The incredible true story of the card-counting mathematics professor who taught the world how to beat the dealer and, as the first of the great quantitative investors, ushered in a revolution on Wall Street.
A child of the Great Depression, legendary mathematician Edward O. Thorp invented card counting, proving that you could do the seemingly impossible—beat the dealer at the blackjack table—and in doing so launched a gambling renaissance. His remarkable success—and mathematically unassailable method—caused such an uproar that the casinos altered the rules of the game to thwart him and the legions he inspired. They barred him from their premises, instituted new rules, and put his life in jeopardy. Nonetheless gambling was forever changed.
Thereafter, Thorp shifted his sights to “the biggest casino in the world”: Wall Street. Devising and then deploying mathematical formulas to beat the market, Thorp ushered in the era of quantitative finance that we live in today. Along the way, the so-called godfather of the quants played bridge with Warren Buffett, crossed swords with a young Rudolph Giuliani, detected the Bernie Madoff scheme, and invented, with Claude Shannon, the world’s first wearable computer to successfully beat the game of roulette.
Here, for the first time, Thorp tells the story of what he did, how he did it, his passions and motivations, and the curiosity that has always driven him to disregard conventional wisdom and devise game-changing solutions to seemingly insoluble problems. An intellectual thrill ride, replete with practical wisdom that can guide us all in uncertain financial waters, A Man for All Markets is an instant classic—a book that challenges its readers to think logically about a seemingly irrational world.
“An amazing book by a true icon; Thorp launched revolutions in Vegas and on Wall Street by turning math into magic, and here he weaves his own life lessons into a page turner as hot as a deck full of aces. Loved it!”
—Ben Mezrich, New York Times Bestselling Author of Bringing Down The House and The Accidental Billionaires
“Whether you are an aspiring professional player, a casual gambler, or an occasional visitor to Las Vegas, you can feel the impact of Professor Ed Thorp’s intellect on that desert city…. A Man for All Markets chronicles Thorp’s personal journey in navigating the unexpected and sometimes dangerous obstacles that come along with challenging the status quo of a wealthy corporate adversary.”
—Nicholas G. Colon, Professional Advantage Gambler and Managing Director of Alea Consulting Group, a casino gaming consulting firm
“A fascinating insight into the thought processes of someone with little interest in fame, who has mostly stayed under the radar, but who has followed his inquisitive mind wherever it has led him, and reaped the resulting rewards. There is nothing more important than knowing how to think clearly. Read this book and learn from a master.”
—Paul Wilmott, Founder, Wilmott Magazine
Meet Edward Thorp: math professor, inventor, best-selling author, hedge-fund manager, gambler. And, if this autobiography is typical of his writing skill, a masterful storyteller […] Readers who like to read the life stories of ambitious, creative, and successful people with fascinating stories to tell should be steered in this book’s direction.
—Booklist, Starred Review
An extraordinary autobiography which reads like a novel and contains insights into what has gone wrong with the financial system along the way.
—John Kay, author of Other People’s Money: The Real Business of Finance
Ed Thorp takes us on an incredible journey as we learn how to beat blackjack, roulette, and then Wall Street, stop off to have dinner with a young Buffett, unmask Madoff before anyone else, and so much more. More important, it’s all fun, fascinating and filled with lessons we can all use to be more successful in business and life. Learn and enjoy, I did!
—Joel Greenblatt, author of the New York Times bestseller The Little Book that Beats the Market