The name Sunny Mehta probably doesn’t ring a bell to even the most diehard hockey fans. However, his story is one that the new Las Vegas franchise should become very familiar with.
He’s the advanced statistics director for the New Jersey Devils. A job that’s long been thought to only have a place in baseball, but basketball, soccer, and now hockey are beginning to embrace the ideals of analytics as well.
What’s the most important thing about Mehta’s path to the league is his career in Las Vegas.
As a jazz guitarist and caught on as a musician in New Orleans in the early 2000s. He taught himself poker there and made money on the side playing at casinos. He has written two books on poker.
After Hurricane Katrina, Mehta left for Las Vegas to play poker full time. He lasted six months before heading back to New Orleans, and he spent the next five years playing poker. –Pat Pickens, NYTimes.com
A poker player. A genius in probabilities to head up a sports analytics department. Pretty pretty pretty pretty smart.
I’m not sure if you know this, but here in Las Vegas we have a lot of brilliant poker players.