Coronavirus sports markets in everything, multiple simulations edition

For $20, fans of German soccer club Borussia can have a cut-out of themselves placed in the stands at BORUSSIA-PARK. According to the club, over 12,000 cut-outs have been ordered and 4,500 have already been put in place.

Here is the tweet and photo.

And some sports bettors are betting on simulated sporting events.  (Again, I’ve never understood gambling — why not save up your risk-taking for positive-sum activities?  Is negative-sum gambling a kind of personality management game to remind yourself loss is real and to keep down your risk-taking in other areas?)

Via Samir Varma and Cory Waters.


Speaking of sports, 3 kids in China died suddenly from running with masks on. Who knows if it's dangerously faulty masks or what. Maybe it was a good idea that the FDA banned all those masks coming in from China.,%20Officials%20Call%20for%20No%20Masks%20in%20Gym%20Class

Occam’s razor:

There doesn’t need to be anything wrong with the masks. Kids running 100 minutes with masks on was a terrible idea. You’re intentionally limiting oxygen intake.

Yes and, if these kids could run distanced from each other, then the masks weren't serving any positive purpose either. In the present mask mania --- let's not forget that just a few weeks ago we were being told not to wear masks --- no one seems to be considering the risks associated with mask wearing: the difficulty of ensuring that masks are and stay uncontaminated. That requires diligence in washing one's hands each time before and after handling the mask as well as taking care not to place the mask on a potentially contaminated surface, such as a table while eating. During vigorous exercise, one should hydrate for health and safety reasons. I'm not sure how one can wash one's hands while outdoors each time that one needs to remove one's mask to drink some fluids. Like Dr. Birx, I worry that people that currently advocate mandatory mask wearing might have to deal with the guilt if someone ends up dying from wearing a contaminated mask.

The point here is not that masks should be forbidden either. There are some situations where the risk of wearing a mask are probably outweighed by the potential of inhibiting spreading. Given all the uncertainties and variations (cloth vs. disposable masks, outdoor vs. indoor, distanced vs. not distanced, symptomatic vs. asymptomatic, etc.), when it comes to masks, we should not adopt the principle of that which is not forbidden should be mandatory.

It's a bit more subtle. There are quite a few scenarios in which you're performing effort with reduce oxygen flow - from sex kinks to sport training, and I think some medical testing as well.

Problem is when you start working with large numbers. A one in 10,000,000 risk - practically impossible to measure beforehand - suddenly translates into a handful of dead kids.

The Ultras were very unhappy about 'ghost games,' so it is amusing to see a way to cash in on their blind devotion while avoiding any discussion about the soccer clubs paying for the police presence necessary to deal with the Ultras in real life.

And concerning gambling, is anyone reminded of McCoy making this observation to Spock, who is presumed to have no human feelings (though in this case, love, not risk taking) - "You see, I feel sorrier for you than I do for him because you'll never know the things that love can drive a man to. The ecstasies, the miseries, the broken rules, the desperate chances, the glorious failures, the glorious victories. All of these things you'll never know simply because the word love isn't written into your book."

"why not save up your risk-taking for positive-sum activities?"

In gambling, the house wins, the tax man wins, the winners win but only the losers lose. So at least 3 winners for every loser. Even excluding the thrill of victory/defeat, that's a positive sum activity.

Betting is fun, simple as that. But I’ll pass on the simulated sports. Using available information to form best guess point estimate of what to do with some skin in the game.

One would think a good chess player likewise enjoy betting. It’s the same kind of thing. Putting your ability to spot patterns and synthesize information to the test.

Now why people enjoy random gambling like playing a slot machine or the lottery I don’t know. Where is the fun in that? It’s effortless random luck. That I don’t understand.

Similar dopamine pathways as sex

One could easily create short-duration derivatives on the equity and other financial markets that would allow gamblers to achieve the same thrills as gambling while applying their risk-taking to socially beneficial bearing of systematic risk. Two obvious reasons why that may not be happening: (1) gambling and financial regulations prevent the emergence of such products or (2) "Wall Street shaming" has stigmatized financial products and scared gamblers away from them.

You never understood gambling? Maybe you don't need to understand everything about it but it is quite human to take risks at times. I will risk posting this figuring I could get slammed. It's a gamble of sorts.

Isn't all investment some kind of gamble?

You don't understand this statement: "... why not save up your risk-taking for positive-sum activities? " Investment is a positive-sum activity, even if the majority of investments in a basket of diversified stocks don't work out (fat tails and limited downside risk = Siegel's constant, doing quite well, amazingly, even in these C-19 times).

Simulated sports betting? Totally ripe for corruption.

So is real sports betting, recall those fixed (statistically) soccer games.

Bonus trivia: you can roll a bitcoin-payment roulette wheel and then find out if the wheel was fair in a deterministic way, as they track the seed. The seed that those Imperial College spoiled. Spoiled seed, sounds a bit like Ferguson, who's team won some sort of EV prize. Good for them actually.

Re: Gambling - what is a positive-sum activity in which the result is known after such a short time, and which can be performed on demand to the same extent?

I suspect it also has something to do with the lack of skill perceived to be needed. Predicting forex markets conceivably has something to do with skill, and I may not feel confident to do it because of that, but with gambling I know there is nothing to it that I don't understand.

I think gambling can be a form of entertainment/thrill-seeking as legitimate as watching movies, which gets less respect from educated classes though.

My last comment should start with "Re: Gambling - What is a positive-sum risk-taking activity...", sorry

With gambling, the losses can be put down to entertainment and the activity can still be seen as value for money.

I used to bet casually, two or three hundred leke a day, I think that was about $3. I'd start the day by going to the bar/cafe, and looking at the games in the newspaper while drinking an espresso. I'd hand the barman my slip as I paid for my drink.
Then in the evening I'd go back to the bar, have a couple of beers and watch the games. If I won, great, drinks on me. If not, I probably got more enjoyment from the process and excitement as I did the two beers. It's certainly vastly more fun (and therefore addictive I assume) than playing the lottery.
When I moved to Italy I stopped gambling because here bookies are dark, dirty shops which you don't really want to spend much time in. There's no social aspect to it at all.

Also, many people with low incomes simply don't have enough capital to invest their money in stocks or bonds and already have some sort of pension plan. If you're choices are chuck a couple of beers' worth of money into a pot and not see the results for thirty years or spend it on some entertainment with the chance of multiplying that money by fifty or one hundred by the end of the day, then it's a pretty obvious choice for a lot.

Good answer. The lottery has similar value to some. For $2 you can buy a ticket and the pleasure you get fantasizing about what you would do with $50 million is worth that small amount, even though you know you will never win.

Taiwan's Vice President is an epidemiologist. No wonder they fared well during the crisis while the West is too busy skewering their scientists because their code didn't look pretty.

How high are his GRE scores?

An ability to perform magic will be required for all forms of higher education or specialized professional or vocational training.

The spaghetti code wasn’t even the issue.

The ‘deterministic’ model was spitting out random garbage and they were taking the average to smooth it out.

That is the worst possible take. If this program was really putting out random garbage it would be dead by now. No one is that stupid.

And maybe this is a bad place to hang this because people won't see it for what it is, but I think it's important:

There may be a fundamental difference here where some people expect for a given set of disease conditions a fixed outcome in the real world. I don't believe that's true, and if the real world is going to have random variations based on chance, a simulation *must* if it is going to model the real world.

With the same disease, the same people, and just random chance City A may have a completely different outcome than City B.

Or City A might have a different outcome the second time around.

If the world is not deterministic you definitely don't want a simulation that is.

Dude, why do you keep digging yourself deeper into this LARP hole. It's, frankly, pretty cringe at this point and I'm starting to get second-hand embarrassment.

You're not a Quant. You're not a modeler. FFS stop the cringe-fest.

The simulation wasn't intentionally non-deterministic. Instead of thinking 'gee, this stochastic simulation should be deterministic based on randomized inputs', they thought:

F it, let's just average the output.

I'll let you stop for a second and think about all of the ways that will lead to straight up garbage.

I notice that you are most abusive when you cannot form a simple polite and coherent answer.

Everybody understands that there are two questions. One question is whether they mismanaged their series of random calls, the other is whether the program correctly models disease transmission.

you focus entirely on the first question and call the output garbage.

All the programmers in the house understand that there are two questions here.

By the way, I have only seen one episode of Devs, but I believe this is the central conceit. It is the idea that with a good enough understanding of the world and a powerfull enough computer everything is deterministic.

Obviously not. Though perhaps the series is worth watching.

Technically there is some nuance of language here, between what is called deterministic and what is called predictable.

Consider the double pendulum.

No, that' I give up dude. You're going to throw so much garbage into this thread it's not even worth engaging.

LARP it up Boomer.

I kind of wonder what your life is like, if you can't actually digest something like the double pendulum and see how it relates to disease models.

I think it's accessible to anyone if they think about it. Simple systems are predictable, like the single pendulum. And this is actually very important to our understanding of the universe, that you only have to bump complexity a little bit to a double pendulum to make them unpredictable.

This is a place where two things cannot be true at the same time. It cannot be true that a butterfly flapping its wings triggers a tornado, but at the same time we must be able to exactly calculate the path of a disease.

We can hope we can calculate the path of a disease, we can hope that there are convergences and results.

But we can't assume all stochastic problems converge because our homework did,.

The take it to the bank quote:

This example demonstrates empirically that small perturbations in disease transmission patterns can fundamentally alter the regularity and spatiotemporal coherence of epidemics.

Taiwan’s greatest advantages were (are?) that they absolutely completely distrust anything China says, and thus they are skeptical about the WHO, and T’s spies were able to effectively separate the Wuhan info from the noise.

They also had the advantage that China had earlier banned its citizens from visiting Taiwan as tourists.

Gambling in sports provides an incentive to fix the outcome of the game. How does one know if the receiver intentionally dropped the ball or the referee intentionally blew the call. Not knowing which side has the advantage of the fix makes gambling in sports by the casual investor a game of chance. Not so with gambling in the stock market. Sure, there are plenty of market manipulators, but unlike a gambler in sports, a gambler in the stock market has the confidence that the Fed will limit his losses by engaging in market manipulation if prices fall. Gambling in the stock market provides an incentive to fix the outcome of the game; and fixing the outcome of the game is not only legal, it's national policy.

Since you post this nonsense in EVERY THREAD EVER on multiple sites, the nonsense about all investing and market returns being solely due to the Fed making prices go up, it is obvious you have always been too afraid to invest in stocks and it burns you up seeing how others build wealth that way.

Grow up or man up, preferably both.

Now add a small speaker to each cardboard cutout, to create artificial crowd noise.

Then partner with Alexa or Google Home to monitor the level of noise you make while watching the match on TV, and transmit that information to the speaker on your cardboard cutout. For reasons of privacy and bandwidth, it wouldn't transmit the actual sounds from your house, just noise volume data.

Alternatively, train a deep learning model with footage and crowd sounds from old matches, and then have the AI generate realistic crowd noises in reaction to what happens on the field.

Gambling is a simple game. That's why it's liked.

Roulette and slots are simple, Omaha poker for example is not.

Organized, and even semi-organized, gambling involves "take-out", the percentage that the house retains in order to finance the continuation of the game. Las Vegas' opulent casinos are financed by the take-out, in the case of slot machines, the percentage of bets not returned to bettors. In horse racing a varying percentage related to the type of bet is skimmed by management to pay taxes, wages and other expenses.

Unlike financial markets, the results of a horse race are generally known within minutes, it's a very simple process. There are no mergers, derivatives, short sales and other processes meant to confuse the participants. The biggest winnings go to bettors, not management functionaries like this guy.

Best of all is that cashing a winning ticket proves for a short time that one is a genius. Throwing a loser on the floor only means that your horse failed to run to potential.

I've often wondered why there is no lottery type investment vehicle where you have a 1 billionth chance of winning a billion dollars in stock minus management fees.

This is the proper place for some signaling and partisanship arguments. If someone bets on one sports team or another, maybe they're trying to win. If they reliably bet on their own team ..

I've never been on either, but I would guess the typical soccer bet is more partisan than the typical horse race bet.

"never understood gambling"

It's entertainment. At the end of the night you're down $xx. This is what you paid for an evening of games. That's all. No need to get analytical about odds and returns.

And there are very few other forms of entertainment that potentially send you home richer than when you arrived. Unless you are lucky enough to find work that's entertaining.

Purely random games like slots are indeed zero-sum but some people derive entertainment value at least.

Others such as poker do have an element of skill. The incentives are different too - unlike other table games you aren't playing against the house. The house simply takes a fee for hosting the game and otherwise doesn't care how well any particular player does.

And sports betting is similar to stock market investing, except with a vastly higher transaction fee but also a more shallow market that can give the dedicated analyst an information advantage.

The whole economy is one negative sum game. The value is extracted from the working class and hand delivered to the crony capitalists in government and finance.

Actually any form of entertainment, from a movie and dinner to a ballgame or an elaborate vacation, is a gamble -- a wager that you will get your money's worth in value and enjoyment. A day at the track -- if they ever let us in again -- can be relatively cheap or even nicely profitable.

Comments for this post are closed