Originally Posted by DunningKruger
The numbers I surmised were among regulars and no I don't have any reason to believe it couldn't be as high as 1 in 4 or so. I do think that when you try to account for everyone who's ever played a hand of online poker the figure gets a lot lower. Surely there are a lot of people who flame out and can't afford to put in the semi consistent volume (without a couple extra mortgages on their house or something) that to me is part of being considered an actual poker player. I'm a winning player and most of my poker friends are winning players so maybe that's predisposed me to thinking that 19 out of 20 is too high. I still remain skeptical that 5% is the figure and still remain interested in any solid reasoning to suggest that it is.
Again, it really comes down to how we define the parameters. When we say "X% of poker players are winners/losers," first what are we considering to be a "poker player" and second how are we defining winning and losing?
In my mind, a poker player is someone who plays poker. Period. Fine, we can filter out the hit & runners who made one deposit, blew it at their first table, and never came back. But it doesn't have to be a player who grinds continuously either. It could be someone who makes a small deposit a couple times a year and sits down with his entire BR and blows it each time.
As to winners/losers, I tend to simplify it down to mean whether you've earned more playing poker than you've invested. I don't really get bogged down with sample size, because the vast majority of people who binked a big cash in their very first game and never played again is so small as to be statistically insignificant. I think the winning category also includes freeroll players who have a balance, because they're playing poker after all and to have a balance means they've earned more than they've paid in.
If we're going to keep moving the bar higher and higher in terms of what constitutes a valid reg, then of course the percentage is going to go up. Looking at CC members, If you eliminate all the freeroll players who have never deposited and have a zero balance, then I think that leaves a much more significant percentage that could be called winners. But if you count *every* CC member (presumably all of whom have played poker either live or online, otherwise not sure why they'd be here), then I'd argue it's probably back into single digits.
The latter part of your Hendon Mob article actually acknowledges that if you increase the inclusiveness criteria of your sample sufficiently, you can get back to those tiny percentages (note that I don't agree with 1% either):
Originally Posted by Hendon Mob Article
Finally, let’s return to the definition of a losing player. In other articles, I’ve examined how many hands a player has to post to be sure of their performance. The answer was also surprising: in the hundreds of thousands. Perhaps people think of a winner as a long term, consistent and significant money maker – someone who may even make a decent living from the game. Returning to the figures above, only 721 Hold Em players out of my database total of 41,000 had played more than 5,000 hands. Of these players, 58%, or 422 were winners.
That is indeed close to the 1% the forum poster had estimated. So in a sense only that fraction of players, we could claim, are “winners”. However, it does not follow that the rest are losers, but merely that they don’t play often enough for us to make any concrete observations about their results
And on the flip side, if you really get tight on your criteria of what you consider a "poker player," it's pretty easy to demonstrate that more than half of players are winners.
Originally Posted by Arjonius
It's not hard to believe that the % of regs who win is substantially higher than the % of all players who win. The thing here is... what % of all players are regs? I have no real idea, but let's say it's 20%. Let's also say 25-30% of regs are winners. If we simplify our model by saying no non-regs are winners, then we end up with 5-6% of all players being winners. we can change thesw numbers of course, but unless we change them quite a bit, the % of all players who are winners stays quite low.
This is pretty much where I'm coming from.
In reality, I'll bet we're all probably in close agreement here when we nail down identical parameters for what it is we're measuring. Some of us just have much broader sample qualification criteria, hence the disparity.