Yesterday evening I saw the BBC documentary, Making Millions the Easy Way. It was about three MIT students (MIT Blackjack Team) who used a special system to improve the odds in the game of blackjack. So, what is the difference between gambling and trading? A gambling game is pure entertainment without any underlying product. The financial trading industry has a link to commodities or companies. Anyhow, you could find interesting connections between poker players and traders. The financial trader, Victor Sperandeo, started his career as a professional poker player. Here is an excerpt from Lisa M. Whitley's article, Trader Vic hedges his bets on Wall Street.
"Gambling is when the art of winning is against you," said Sperandeo, a 30-year veteran of market trading and author of two books on trading. "Speculation is when the odds are in your favor."
Sperandeo, president of Dallas-based Trader Vic Investments L.L.C., is in a position to judge the odds.
As a teen-ager, he earned a living by playing poker and quickly learned that winning was simply a matter of managing the odds. Memorizing the odds of important card combinations proved to be the catalyst to a successful trading career. (Dallas Business Journal, 11/28/97.)
Two of the members of the blackjack team are still involved in the gambling world. Semyon Dukach is having seminars in blackjack. Andy Bloch is playing poker.
- Trader Vic--Methods of a Wall Street Master and Trader Vic II: Principles of Professional Speculation by Victor Sperandeo.
- Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich.
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