The Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia has announced that U.S. political guru Nate Silver has been invited to attend the Aussie Millions as a special guest and will compete in the AUD $10,600 Main Event that kicks off on Jan. 27.
After correctly predicting the winner in 49 of 50 states in the 2008 U.S. presidential election and following that up by going 50 for 50 in 2012, Silver has the world’s attention as a political prognosticator. But the 35-year-old is also considered a semi-professional poker player and credits poker for helping him in his uncanny ability to analyze probabilities and statistics.
“Poker played a major role in helping my life to become what it is today, and is a great way to develop the critical-thinking skills that allow us to make better decisions under conditions of uncertainty,” Silver said. “No venue puts those skills to the test more than a tournament like Crown’s Aussie Millions Poker Championship with elite players from all around the world.”
Prior to astonishing the world with his political forecasting abilities, Silver crunched numbers and developed a statistical analysis that foretold the career development and expected performances of baseball players. Silver sold and also managed his statistical results for Baseball Prospectus from 2003-09. In addition, he also wrote several baseball books, including It Ain’t Over til It’s Over, Mind Game, and Baseball Between the Numbers.
Silver’s latest tome, The Signal and The Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t, has graced the New York Times bestseller list following its release in November. Silver’s writings have also been published and widely read in a number of other media outlets including Newsweek, Huffington Post, and his own blog at FiveThirtyEight.com.
Labeled as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2009, Silver believes his poker-playing experience allowed him to develop considerable insights into the role of chance and the part it plays in the decision-making process. “[Poker] gave me better training than anything else I can think of about how to weigh new information, what might be important information, and what might be less so,” Silver said. “Our basic instincts tend to be not very good. We tend to overweigh new information.”
When asked his views in 2012 on whether or not a federal online poker bill will ever be approved, Silver said that poker’s popularity and recent lobbying efforts for its legislation may perhaps persuade federal lawmakers to get something done sometime in the future.