Originally Posted by slycbnew
pokerkid refers to this point, but keep in mind this also means that we can attribute our winnings as well as our losses to variance as well...
Excellent point, Sly. A fact that has uncomfortable implications for some:
Using my model of coin flipping with a skill advantage of $1 we are in profit if we get 45 or more heads. Equally, there are some players out there who have a skill disadvantage
of $1. Because of their lower skill level they need to get a much higher number of heads over the 100 flips. It is nothing that remarkable if they get 60 heads and turn in a profit. We can imagine a poor player who starts playing online and soon racks up 10,000 hands and returns a profit - because of variance. There will be a feedback circuit that will tell them they are a good player so they crack on playing the same style of game. The next 10,000 hands sees them getting 50 heads and so they lose. These loses they blame on variance, having a bad run of luck. Since most people believe they are better than most other people at any given task it is easy to slip into the trap of not analysing one's own game but put losses down to variance - 'after all, I did make a profit in the first 10,000 hands.'
I can talk about this with great authority as this was what happened to me when I started online!