June 18, 2003
How Goes The Hunt?

I've updated the Ba'ath Poker file (white button in right column) to reflect the capture of the first Ace in custody. For those keeping track at home, this makes 31 of the 52 cards now in custody, and 32 of the List of 55. Either way, that's very close to 60% in the roughly 10 weeks since the statue fell. I have also kept charts cross-referencing rank against date of capture. What can we conclude from the data?

1. The pace of captures has definitely slowed. My chart shows that the captures tend to clump in three phases of roughly equal length: about 3 1/3 weeks or 23 days each. In the first third, we captured 17 cards, in the next third 10, and in the last third only 4 (plus #53 on the list of 55, who just missed the cutoff for a card).

2. Some slowing in the pace was inevitable. By the last week in May, two-thirds of the way across the chart, we had already picked up over half the deck, and nearly two-thirds of the lower orders (22 out of 36 of the Deuces through Tens). That obviously leaves a lot fewer to catch. Some of those not yet in custody may in fact be dead, and surely at least one or two managed to slip out of the country. (I would be glad to be wrong on the last point.)

3. What is interesting is that the pace of high-ranking captures has not slowed much if at all. If we look at the Top 20, Tens through Aces, we find that three (Q Q 10) were captured in the first clump, three more (J Q K) in the second, and three more in the third (10 10 A). To put it another way, it took six weeks to capture the first of the Kings, and ten weeks to capture the first of the Aces. Is the net tightening? Have we picked up most of the little fish and started to close in on the big fish? It certainly looks that way.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at June 18, 2003 10:10 PM