🤑 Man Vs. Machine - Willamette Week

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The Oregon variant of Flush Fever video poker (by IGT): rules, pay table, It was on an IGT Game King machine titled "Video Lottery" at the top.


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I examine one Oregon Lottery video poker machine's reports over a circa three-​year period. , dollars put through a year, that's about , bets per year. (there tend to be a few top-performers in the video lottery that skew.


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I used to work as a mathematician making OSL video poker games and I state: "A close approximation of the odds of winning some prize for each If the game autoplayed the best possible moves, what would be the point.


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The Oregon variant of Flush Fever video poker (by IGT): rules, pay table, It was on an IGT Game King machine titled "Video Lottery" at the top.


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A video poker machine dealt Justin Curzi a strange hand. He knew his best chance was to discard the 2 and hope the machine dealt the odds in all our games favor the lottery," says Jack Roberts, Oregon Lottery director.


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It's video poker lottery terminal network was the first centrally controlled gaming system in the U.S. Vegas-style line games for slots were.


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I used to work as a mathematician making OSL video poker games and I state: "A close approximation of the odds of winning some prize for each If the game autoplayed the best possible moves, what would be the point.


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As a regular player of video poker, John Childress is well aware that the odds are always stacked in favor of the house, or in this case, the.


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I used to work as a mathematician making OSL video poker games and I state: "A close approximation of the odds of winning some prize for each If the game autoplayed the best possible moves, what would be the point.


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A collection of video poker strategy tips that work. Learn how to play video poker and win by getting always the best video poker odds.


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Lottery officials deny Curzi's allegations.

Our need for strong and independent local journalism is more urgent now than ever. The game Curzi was playing, draw poker, allowed him to discard cards and get new ones from the dealer.

Players can reject the suggestions at any time. But auto-hold has a second, oregon video poker best odds obvious function. But Curzi's lawyer paid it. The Sept. Within 10 minutes, the game was again advising him to hold cards that cut his chances of winning in half. It allows players to play faster, because they don't have to stop to think about what cards to hold before hitting the button to draw again.

The lottery responded on April 8, saying it would take 30 hours of staff time just to review the records Curzi requested. In one column, the document showed what various video poker machines, based on calculations of probabilities, were expected to pay out to players over time.

Curzi is aware some people might assume he's suing to make money. Auto-hold, she wrote, "is based on optimizing the player's opportunity to win the best highest prize rather than simply increasing the odds of winning any prize. Six days after his curious experience with the Jacks or Better game at Quimby's, Curzi sent a polite and inquisitive email to the Oregon Lottery.

He was fascinated with the games—the ubiquitous, flashing terminals found in bars, delis and even pancake houses—and he played occasionally when out drinking with friends.

That fee would have stopped most people. Draw poker is a game of luck, strategy and second chances.

The lottery encourages dreams of riches. Curzi came across a Feb. Before he got a response from the lottery, Curzi returned to Quimby's, wondering whether the game's bad advice had only been a fluke.

He soon climbed the monthly leader board. The lottery's ffxiv best in slot whm 2 5 require "a close approximation of the odds of winning some prize for each game" and say those odds "must be displayed on a Video Lottery game terminal screen.

Working on commission, he'd target an office building, climb to the top floor, then work his way down, knocking on doors. InCurzi and his partner sold the company to Thomson Reuters in a private deal; Curzi declines to say for how much.

They called the business Emochila —mochila means "backpack" in Spanish and Portuguese—and it blossomed to 30 employees. In another column, the document showed what the machines were oregon video poker best odds paying out.

He played wide receiver at Amherst Collegewhere he majored in economics and history. But friends describe him as wealthy.

He found no evidence it had. Please support the city we love by joining our membership program, Friends of Willamette Week.

Zollinger suggested a public records request might turn up some answers. The spreadsheet listed all the types of Oregon video poker machines by manufacturer, the millions of games played in one quarter of and how much money players spent.

Who would sue over losing money while gambling? In reality, if you play long enough, the machines are geared to eventually take your money, no matter how many wins you record. Curzi—who friends say is intelligent, analytical and obsessively curious—launched a personal investigation of Oregon video poker machines that led him to conclude the machines were cheating players out of millions of dollars every month.

Curzi grew up as a sports-focused kid in small-town New Jersey, the son of a prominent lawyer and oregon video poker best odds stay-at-home mom.

He made a copy of the originals, arranging one set chronologically and the second by topic.

Bad Advice. But the games are engineered to take oregon video poker best odds money. On Feb. The dealer gives players five cards. That would cut Curzi's chances of winning by half—and he thought it was terrible advice. Lottery officials, according to a separate memo, decided to put accurate auto-hold payouts on the Web.

Curzi turned to Jay Zollinger, a lawyer who had helped negotiate the sale of Curzi's business. But Curzi went looking online, even using the Internet Archive search engine, to see if the lottery had ever made public the lower odds.

It actually paid out about 87 cents. That's why news reports two months ago that a Portland man was suing the lottery to recoup video poker players' losses struck some as ludicrous. He landed his first job selling visit web page. Some weren't.

But the machine suggested he do something Curzi thought strange: It recommended he discard the 7. Friends say they are not surprised Curzi—who's just as likely to want to discuss North Dakota's fracking economy as the business model for Purringtons Cat Lounge —zeroed in on something as small and seemingly innocuous as a quirk in a video poker game.

The two teamed up and oregon video poker best odds the program, cold-calling potential clients from Rio de Janeiro on an Internet phone line. Our readers rely on our comprehensive news reporting.

Marlene Meissner, a spokeswoman for the lottery, drafted a response. Each hand costs you 25 cents or more, if you increase your wagerand you win money based on a scale of how strong your hand is.

But in video poker, here not betting against anyone. He knew his best chance was to discard the 2 and hope the machine dealt him a 3 or an 8 to complete a straight.

Documents Curzi received show lottery officials debated whether or not they should tell players the actual odds if they relied on auto-hold. He used the oregon video poker best odds to study his hand—a 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of different suits. Curzi—who played football despite his small size—also wrestled, played baseball and graduated near the top of his high-school class.

By September, Curzi had hundreds of pages of emails, memos and spreadsheets. In a memo labeled "confidential" and dated Sept. In other words, the lottery was backing away from telling Curzi auto-hold offered oregon video poker best odds best option. He insists he's not.

He had instead discovered the lottery knew auto-hold sucked millions away oregon video poker best odds players—and players actually thought auto-hold helped them.

A sticker on Curzi's apartment door showed a group of people heading one direction, and one person walking the other way. He wasn't destined for a traditional job.

When you're playing poker around a table in real life, you're betting against other players in hopes of having the best hand.

Over the next month, Curzi built a spreadsheet to estimate how much money the video poker machines, based on the odds, should have paid out, compared to what they actually did.

Here's how the video poker hand Justin Curzi got on Jan. Curzi, 35, had moved to Oregon in from San Francisco after selling a software company he'd helped found a decade earlier. He consults for private clients, provides microloans to entrepreneurs through the website Kiva and drives a Isuzu Rodeo "whose crowning feature is where a dog chewed the back seats. That led him to New York City after graduation. Curzi took out his iPhone and snapped photos of the screen and the machine's serial number. But, as Curzi later discovered, lottery officials guided Meissner to a different answer, so she revised her email before sending it. But it's not so simple. On this day—Jan. A pair of jacks might win you your 25 cents back. Curzi discovered a survey of video poker players the lottery commissioned from Mosak , a marketing research firm. Players then get a chance to discard cards in the hopes of being dealt better ones. Curzi thought the payouts should have been very close to what the game's programmers predicted. Still, the sense that a player can outsmart the game is part of its allure. Curzi says he just wanted a simple explanation. The lottery's response? He kept digging and made a second big discovery: Lottery officials knew about the discrepancy, and the auto-hold function on some machines was to blame. In , he moved to Brazil and quickly immersed himself in the culture, teaching himself Portuguese within months. That's important because faster play translates to more money for the Oregon Lottery. Unlike slot machines, video poker gives the player a sense that strategy matters. What caught Curzi's attention was a feature on the draw poker games called "auto-hold. He took notes on his laptop in a file that grew to 4, words. Instead, they found machines whose payouts were too low. Curzi had only hoped to understand how auto-hold worked. That's why he filed a class-action lawsuit against the Oregon Lottery in Multnomah County Circuit Court, alleging fraud. He would get his straight only if he drew a 3. Curzi wasn't satisfied. In Brazil, Curzi met an American computer programmer working on a way to help accountants share QuickBook files. His boss told him he was one of the youngest salespeople to reach the top. Curzi explained how he believed the video poker machine should have given him the best advice. Six months after his request, in August , Curzi received the first of five batches of records.