What were the Odds?


A pretty rare occurrence tonight of a Secret Hunter with five secrets up at only two mana. I mean, that’s pretty crazy, Paladins were scary last year with five secrets on turn six, remember?

On the spot I noticed it (hence the screenshot), but it’s only after the game (won, by the way) that I realised how rare this was.

img_0096As you can see, this deck contains six different secrets: Cat Trick, Explosive Trap, Freezing Trap, and Snipe in two copies, while Bear Trap and Snake Trap were present only once.

The card log on the left shows that the one not in play was Explosive Trap.

Now, let’s look at the situation closely: for this to happen, it is imperative to play second, as without coin it would be impossible to play the Cloaked Huntress on turn two. That alone has a 0.5 probability of happening in a given game.

I don’t remember the order in which I received the secrets, but I remember that I had four of them from the scratch, which is what inspired me to keep them. In all honesty, I was hoping to draw first a Secretkeeper, then the Cloaked Huntress, instead I drew first the fifth secret, then the Cloaked Huntress.

We start with 30 cards. I played my coin first, then all cards from right to left, starting of course with the Cloaked Huntress which reduces the cost of the secrets to 0, so I received the cards in the opposite order (left to right).

There is a total of 10 secrets in this deck meaning that when I drew my first card, the odds of drawing a secret were 1/3 or 0.333333333

Once Cat Trick was in my hand, 29 cards were remaining, but only 8 would do it for the second secret, as a second copy of the first wouldn’t work. So probability of drawing a second secret different from the first was 8/29 or 0.275862069. After drawing Snipe, we are down to 6/28 or 0.214285714 then 4/27 or 0.148148148 for the following one. The fourth one was Snake Trap, one copy only, so the odds for the fifth secret I got on tour one were 3/26 or 0.115384615.

Finally, the Cloaked Huntress I drew on tour two: 2/25 or 0.08

1/2 x 10/30 x 8/29 x 6/28 x 4/27 x 3/26 x 2/25 = 0.0000134731169214

In the end, the chances for such a combination were pretty low: 1 in 74,222

One could argue that it’s not that low, but considering I have been playing for about 16 months, and I played a total of 250 games with the Hunter, that still represents about 400 years of playing hunter at my current pace, which suddenly gives a better idea of the rarity of the event.


Visa to India

Third in our new “recipes” series: the Visa to India

  • Original Passport (must have at least 2 blank visa pages).
  • One original signed visa application.
  • One copy of Austrian ´Meldezettel’.
  • 1 recently taken passport photo (51mm x 51mm against a light background, maximum head size 3.5cm).
  • 2 Letters of Invitation.
  • Conference Organiser Clearance letter.
  • Conference Organiser Clarification letter.
  • Endorsement Letter from US employer on company letterhead.
  • Copy of 3 months of bank statements.
  • Copy of CV or resume.
  • Flight and Hotel confirmations.
  • Visa fee of 101.20 Euros in cash – no credit cards. Please bring extra cash.

Print all the above on 36 pages in A4 format, mourn the loss of a tree, then get psychologically ready to spend some time in a waiting room, at least twice.

Interesting that obtaining a visa to attend a conference is way more complex than a tourist visa.



Wiener Schnitzel

(Photo credits: tripb)

  • A pair of pants
  • A shirt or t-shirt
  • A pair of shoes
  • Optionally, a plane ticket to Vienna
  • A bit of money, but not that much
  • A map of Vienna

Stop working for a bit, put some pants on, and get out of your house. Once in the street, depending on where you are, you may have to go to the airport and fly to Vienna, or if like me you already are in Vienna, walk five minutes to Gasthaus Rebhuhn.

Once there, take a seat, order a drink, then a Schnitzel, either the Veal or the Pork one. I personally prefer the pork one that is tastier, cheaper, and comes with those amazing parsley potatoes. The veal one comes with a potato salad that contains way too much sauce.

Wait a little bit for your Schnitzel to be cooked, then eat it when it is served. Trust me, that’s the best way, cooking it at home is quite messy. 🙂


PS: In case you wonder why I didn’t take the photo myself: I wanted to go there today at lunch, but someone preferred a pizza…


Caesar Salad

  • Some Romana salad
  • Two table spoons of mayo
  • One garlic clove, crushed
  • One tea spoon of anchovy paste
  • One tea spoon of lemon juice
  • One table spoon of Worcester sauce
  • A bit of milk
  • A chunk of Parmigiano

Mix all the ingredients together by hand with a tea spoon excepted milk and cheese.

Dilute with a bit of milk, then add the cheese, grated, and keep mixing with the spoon. If the sauce is too thick, use a little more milk. The sauce should remain tick, though, it’s not supposed to be liquid.

Add salt and pepper to your taste, toss the salad and sauce in a bowl, let it rest half an hour so that the salad becomes tender.

Depending on your taste you can add grilled chicken breast, or croutons, or a few grilled prawns, or some extra cheese, all the above, or none, it’s your salad, you get to decide…



Diversity and Inclusion

We don’t add new pages to the Automattic website very often, but when we do, they make me proud:

Howdy! We are an international company with employees who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. We believe that the more perspectives we embrace, the better we are at engaging our global community of users and developers. We want to build Automattic as an environment where people love their work and show respect and empathy to those with whom we interact.

Go read the rest on, and when you are done, remember: we are hiring!


The Wire

The Wire” from Elliot Lim


The Spectrum

Automattic Spectrum Division, Sep 2016, Whistler, BC

Thanks to Luca for the photo.

photos stuff



Where is Paolo?

Automattic has grown to the point that finding someone in our yearly photo feels like a “Where is Wally/Waldo1” game. If you want to play too, come join the fun: we are hiring!

Photo courtesy of Donncha
  1. I recently learned that the name is different in each country, Wally in Great Britain, Waldo in the USA, Charlie in France…
photos stuff

Green Lake, Whistler 


Shouting from the Rooftop

Quartz featured Automattic, the company I proudly work for, as an organisational model for their “Perfect Company” series:

This pioneering tech company figured how to make work-from-home work

While I’ll leave it to you to read the article and make your own opinion, this one quote from Matt, our CEO, particularly resonated with me:

I decided it’s a great idea and everyone should do it. I’ll keep shouting from the rooftop because everyone should do it.

Here’s one more shout from the proverbial rooftop: You can do it too!


A small world

Today I met a dear friend in a random airport where we both happened to be waiting for connecting flights, coming from different countries, headed to different continents half a world apart.

It was one of these moments where you love randomness.

And you, dear reader, have nevertheless to cope with such an unoriginal title. Isn’t life unfair? 



Leaving for Whistler tomorrow where next week will start the yearly Automattic Grand Meetup. It seems that beyond the time difference, conditions will be similar, might neeed a light jacket at night…


Today Apple launched a new camera, I can’t wait to try it.

Funny enough, they removed the 3.5mm jack from it, but kept the phone function, go figure…


My new friend

Today I turned 46, and I met a new friend!