At that time, he only had solutions for up to 5 players. I submitted the first 6-player solution , which is also the only constructed solution I have seen (the others were found using brute force algorithms.)
edit: I'm not sure if brute force is the correct term (though I may be wrong), it's kind of simulated annealing. The difference being I'm not checking all possible decks, only the ones that appear promising.
Also, you are right; "brute force" appears to specifically refer to exhaustive search methods. It was a poor word choice on my part.
The more general rule of Verifiability will be greatly aided by dead tree, yes.
But even once that's accomplished, establishing Notability will be difficult, I think. I guess if the Harvard professor writes it up, and then the NYT reporter writes that up, that might do it.
I suppose the greatest benefit from this type of a rig would be the ability to call off big bluffs, meaning that representing a weak hand in any circumstance is optimal.
It would be interesting to rerun the algorithm, looking for decks that give everyone a big hand, but a certain player the win. In other words, not just look for any deck that matches the goals, but look for one which will cause a lot more money to be bet.
Making money at (cash game, not tournament) poker doesn't have much to do with your cards. To make money you have to convince another player with a second-best hand to put money in the pot. In that sense it's all about the other players' cards.
And in order to get a "huge payoff" your opponents must hold cards that justify calling a huge bet. But almost none of the second-best hands in these decks are anywhere near strong enough to justify committing any significant amount of money to the pot.
Things get more interesting if in fact a deck can be found that gives multiple players "big" hands. But that is a lot harder, and kind of subjective. For instance, would you call a pot-sized raise on the river holding the 10 of spades with four lower spades on the board? I know I wouldn't, even though a flush is a "big" hand.
I guess ultimately it comes down to the fact that poker is a mostly situational game. And one that is played out over the course of many hands. Knowing that you will definitely win one hand during a session where you may see 200 hands doesn't really do you much good.
That said, it is a cool party trick.
P.S. In a game with experienced players, acting meekly all the way and then betting strongly at the end is a sure-fire way to get all but the top 5 or so possible hands to fold.
Regardless, presumably you'd have to memorize this order of the deck in order to stack it that way, thus you could look at your hand and determine the opponent's hand and what the board would be. You could play accordingly. It's easy to make a lot of money at poker when you know what all the cards are.
On the other hand, I've never seen a game for significant stakes where the players were dealt, and I've sure never known anyone good enough to take a deck and sort it into a specific 52 card pattern without being noticed.
Don't get me wrong, you're generally correct, it's generally better not to slowplay, but it's still a valuable tool in your arsenal.
Just for kicks, I went through the first 20 hands, putting myself in the position of the small blind and thinking how many rounds of betting I would go through on that hand.
Leaving out the minimum bet the SB is required to make at the start, there are 3 rounds of betting per hand x 20 hands makes 60 possible rounds. Based on the cards I could see at the time, I would have bet in 37 of them. I'm a novice player and not very good, so probably a better player would have dropped out more often, but I was trying hard to bet with the percentages. In any case, I think there's definitely enough advantage in this deck to win you some money at the table.
EDIT: I see that I got ninja'd by an experienced poker player who is saying the opposite. You're probably right that experienced players would not bet on most of these second-best hands. But there are a lot more inexperienced players like me than experienced ones like you. And, if you can act a bit, you might be able to bluff that your hand is weak on a hand where you know you'll win.
I disagree though that a better player would drop out more often. I think better players stay in more often. How can you win if you're not in?
More importantly, I think the sort of "deck hacking" mindset the author has created can open up a world of research into this topic. Producing decks with some sort of "mean winning hand dominance" that is low would be the step you are describing.
As for practicality, that's another world of research. Would it be possible to create a deck such that when shuffled a specific and non-conspicuous way produces a high likelihood of a Joffe deck? Off the top of my head, one could take the decks provided and produce decks that when riffle shuffled twice, produce a Joffe deck. So, for example, you could take out a "fresh deck" (which is rigged) from a box, and riffle shuffle it twice, pass it to be cut, and still be guaranteed a win.
And don't forget that there are professionals that, with enough practice, could take an actually fresh deck and come up with a way to shuffle it so that it ends up a Joffe deck. In fact, one could come up with a sorting algorithm that takes the different types of sorts available (riffle, cut, hindu, faro, etc) and figure out the optimal path to get a Joffe deck. (maybe).
Not necessarily. I think this is just a consequence of the way the cards get reused. Cut one card later, and SB now has many of the same cards as dealer had. Many of the same cards as a good hand isn't necessarily a good hand, but it's certainly more likely to be good than from a random deal.
I guess people should start implementing dual cuts or something. Or maybe another way to alter the deck by a 2nd player that makes it incredibly hard to cheat.
I started picking up a bit of card magic a year or so ago, and I was amazed at how easy it is to fiddle a deck, and how many ways there are to do it. I was also amazed at just how inattentive and easily distracted people are, especially when they think they are watching you like a hawk. I've done incredibly blatant top changes and card reverses right in front of people and gotten away with it...and I'm a novice.