Career Gambling (not a true story)

Years ago, I read a fascinating book – Thirteen against the Bank by Norman Leigh.

In the story, the author decides to take revenge on a famous casino in Monte Carlo. The place had bankrupted and humiliated his father. He puts a team of ordinary people together and teaches them his roulette system, effectively making gamblers out of everyday citizens. They have different responsibilities for each spin of the roulette wheel, and, regardless of how the ball bounces, will share the winnings equally.

I was intrigued by the system, so I went to visit my father at Abbott Laboratories. Dad might be the best programmer on the planet. A ’55 graduate from Cal Tech, he did the computer work on the un-manned space launches and, in the 1960s, wrote software to protect the environment for (or from?) Shell Oil refineries – still in use today.

I had my father write a program to simulate 100,000 spins of a roulette wheel, using each of the gambler’s moves (the outcome of the spin affects each team member differently).

It took about 5 seconds on this massive computer to re-create 100,000 spins and the results of six players’ individual bets. Results weren’t even close to making money. We ran it again – 100,000 spins, several times, same outcome.

I then had him invert the program, that is reverse the logic revealed by Leigh’s system. Maybe, I figured, the author was altering his strategy to hide the real method.

Back to the computer, back to the same results – nothing that amounts to winning money.

So good story, fun reading; and since NUMBERS DON’T LIE, it’s false. Never happened.

Numbers Don’t Lie.

How well do you know your selling numbers? We’ll look at more of this later, but some factors to consider calculating might be closing percentage, opening percentage! (how many people you qualified or disqualified to decide whether to keep selling), time spent on selling activities during the day, rather than admin work, value of a sale (go for bigger?).

All these factors can focus you on what best to keep doing and what best to change. So know your numbers.

Numbers Don’t Lie.

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