The luck vs skill argument

IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
Don't know which pro said it but it went something like: In a single event it may be 90% luck and 10% skill, but over the long haul the numbers reverse. (May have been Chris Ferguson).

Last night I was in a buy-in for another forum that also have some very good players. There were 32 entries, including the RVP resident pro Lou Krieger. I finished in the middle of the pack after 2 hours, 16 of 32. What I'm very satisfied with is that I didn't make a single stupid mistake or bad call all night. As the blinds started to go up, my cards started to get very cold so I stole when I could and folded when I should. Didn't make a dime, in fact lost $5.50, but I'm satisfied I was beat by bad cards not bad play.

Most times when I lose when I honestly look at my play I find errors I made that cost me dearly, last night I found none. Went out on A-Q suited to a first position limper holding A-T offsuit. Flop paired the tens and bye Dave.

So, I think I agree with the overall 90/10 and 10/90. Had my cards not went completely cold I think I could have beat these folks and over time I will...
 
tenbob

tenbob

Legend
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I agree totally with you Dave. However I feel in tourneys that luck play's a much greater roll than in ring/cash games. What I mean by this is that normally in a tourney situation at some stage you will get both a run of cold cards, and a run of great cards. The stage of the tourney when these runs hit is critical.

There is nothing worst than getting a great run of cards early on, only to get it blinded off in the later stages.
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
Tournament poker and cash games are two completely different monsters. However, I have made this same statement on here numerous times and had to vigorously defend my position every single instance. In any one session the outcome can be alost 100% luck, but the further you extend these results out over time that number skews more and more toward the skill side.

Poker is a zero sum game. All that means is that the expectation of a person playing the game with the cards equitably distributed over a long period of time is that the individual in question will simply break even. It is skill and skill alone, that over the long run makes a player profitable or successful.

Anyone that argues against this point is simply wrong.
 
buckster436

buckster436

Cardschat Hall of Famer - RIP Buck
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diabloblanco said:
Tournament poker and cash games are two completely different monsters. However, I have made this same statement on here numerous times and had to vigorously defend my position every single instance. In any one session the outcome can be alost 100% luck, but the further you extend these results out over time that number skews more and more toward the skill side.

Poker is a zero sum game. All that means is that the expectation of a person playing the game with the cards equitably distributed over a long period of time is that the individual in question will simply break even. It is skill and skill alone, that over the long run makes a player profitable or successful.

Anyone that argues against this point is simply wrong.
Very,Very true Diablo, anybody can win for a short time, but you have to win consistently to be a great player, one example is Chris Moneymaker, when`s the last time he won after the 2003 wsop, he is not consistent, but all the good pro`s are, like T.J. Cloutier 55 major tournament wins.
buckster436
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
This is why I was very satisfied with my play last night. Given the cards I was getting, it's amazing I was around as long as I was. With just a touch of luck, especially on the flop, I would have murdered that crew. They all played so tight they sqeaked...
 
JediQuest

JediQuest

Enthusiast
I've touched on this subject elsewhere but I once heard a pro say, Have you ever seen anyone win a tourney and not get lucky once. So there is some luck but others would say its just poker BABY!
 
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webber286

Guest
Poker is definitely a game of skill, and it is very interesting the points being made here. From my perspective, I've found that over time playing cash games produces relatively consistent results, meaning winning over time. When it comes to tournament poker, it can really be a crap shoot due to those swings of good cards and bad cards.
 
poettic1

poettic1

Guest
i agree doubley with everyone. but irish that is where i wouldn't be happy with your proformance. in both of doyle brunsons books it comes up that "every player can win with ace ace, but it takes a professional to find an angle when there seems to be no hope".example daneil negranue(horrible spelling but meh) he show'd himself at the world poker tour better than anyone has. and sure hes not top table everytime but enough to notice. tight play doesn't win tourneys, correct play does(unless you are chris moneymaker or raymore), in every single hand there is a 90/10 split, so if it always starts that way how can poker ever be about anything but luck? how you play is different. against phil ivy he might have it down to 50/50 per hand because he takes away marginal hands from you.and against him he is 100% to take my stack over the haul because hes that much better. again TIGHT PLAY doesnt win tourneys CORRECT play does
 
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diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
I like your analogy and welcome to Cardschat, however, I wouldn't be me if I didn't give you a little flame. You lump Greg Raymer and Moneymaker in the same category in your post and insinuate that neither played correctly to win the WSOP Main Event, both were lucky. This statement is baseless and completely uninformed and I totally disagree with you and so will anyone that knows anything about Poker. Yes, Moneymaker won a sick amount of races and all in's where he was a 'dog and got very lucky, but Raymer is a completely different story alltogether. Raymer was a higher-limit pro before the WSOP Main Event and was never at a loss for someone to stake him to play in those games, because he was good. I have watched the final table with his audio commentary track playing, and he has a great poker mind and a sick reading skill. He was all-in a lot, which may have seemed reckless, but he was far from reckless. He was an astonishing chip leader and he was willing to gamble on slight edges in his favor to win pots, because a loss wouldn't hurt him that much in the grand scheme of things. I don't remember the exact number, but I think he was only behind in a race situation when the money went in once at the final table. Pretty tough to call that lucky.

Either way, Raymer has been great for poker as has Monymaker. Every time I play online ring games or even some home games, I thank god for both of them and how much dead money they brought into poker.
 
poettic1

poettic1

Guest
people tell me that raymer was spot on in most situations and where the show doesn't give you the actual numbers it would seem he was. but if you look at the sheer volume of coin flips he brought down you'd throw up. he lost one on tv and one off. i'd win the wsop if that was the case. he hasn't been productive since and he is only really good from the big stack(his words not mine). but if i had to say of corse raymer was better he had the stack and explioed anyone who didn't exploit him. that said i would actually kiss the guy if i saw him due to the fact that right now i can play poker at a profit online b4 i even have a chance to play in the casino. they've both done good things for the game and both got extremely lucky. and hey i don't have a bracelet so who am i to judge right.
 
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WraithPoker

Guest
The hot and cold argument holds truth. To be successfull you must maximixe your good runs. Maximum extraction. You have 3 bets after the flop to get all of your chips into the pot. Extracting calls (as I call it) is an art. Tourney play relies more on playing the player than playing your cards. Identify who's blinds you can steal and wait on position to steal them. I do not steal blinds early (would rather add respect to my play). Many allin cowboys steal early? 10/15 and 15/30 pitance amounts of chips. I like to wait until 75/150 and 100/200 stealing just one of those equals stealing 5 or 6 of the opening blinds. Risk vs Reward. The allin cowboys rely on pure luck with coin tosses (usually they are behind when called) yet we see them suck out time and time again it seams? (or do they) For every tourney they get lucky in they bust out very early in 10-20 others. Do not let this change your play. Adjust to the table (players). Play the players, watch pay attention. Find who will fold post flop to a large raise? Go after them and not the cowboys.
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
A hand I played yesterday in a Paradise SNG sums this up. I have K-J suited in the big blind and limp in. Flop comes A-Q-6 two in my suit. I push a raise as I have a flush draw and an inside str8 draw and rather not have callers. Everyone folds but 1 who calls. Turn comes T not my suit. Now I have nut str8, still have nut flush draw, push all-in. Fella calls and turns over pocket tens for a set. River is an 6, I'm out as he caught a boat. Didn't play the hand wrong and still lost to the river. Some could argue not playing; however, with a flush/str8 draw - why not.

Now my question: Did I lose this hand to skill or luck?
 
robwhufc

robwhufc

Cardschat Elite
IrishDave said:
A hand I played yesterday in a Paradise SNG sums this up. I have K-J suited in the big blind and limp in. Flop comes A-Q-6 two in my suit. I push a raise as I have a flush draw and an inside str8 draw and rather not have callers. Everyone folds but 1 who calls. Turn comes T not my suit. Now I have nut str8, still have nut flush draw, push all-in. Fella calls and turns over pocket tens for a set. River is an 6, I'm out as he caught a boat. Didn't play the hand wrong and still lost to the river. Some could argue not playing; however, with a flush/str8 draw - why not.

Now my question: Did I lose this hand to skill or luck?
Bit of bad luck. An A or a Q would have won it for him as well so it wasn't a miracle escape.

I've now lost 11 out of the last 12 all ins when i've been favourite. THAT'S bad luck! I read in Pokers for Dummies about someone who lost 24 out of 25, so some way too go yet.
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
poettic1
Raymer went very deep in the Main Event this year and was knocked out on a fairly disgusting set of circumstances. He had his legs chopped out from under him on a suckout and had no choice but to make a desparation play to stay alive which also backfired when he was a favorite. Had he not been bad-beat out of the tournament the way he was, he would have been in a seriously good position to at least make the final table if not take down the tournament. The man is simply a monster when he has a big stack. People talk about Harrington's two final tables as being the biggest feat in WSOP history because of the size of the fields, but imagine for a second if Raymer had just won the big hand he was a favorite to win. That would have been a truly amazing accomplishment. Aside from all that, he has been, and still is, a super nice guy and a great ambassador for the game and a gentleman player.
 
poettic1

poettic1

Guest
the last thing i wanna do is discuss raymer i personally hate the guy he knocked out a verygood friend of mine last year, on a suck out. my friend told me that he watched raymer and he played the bully and got lucky, i trust him.

irish you played the hand to the best of your ability there was no way to know he'd catch trips. my question is what level is this because in most of the higher buy-ins players are less reluctant to fold. you played the hand correctly and got drawn out happens. its to bad though you probably would have doubled and chiped until you over took him, then you could have exploited another bad call by him and won.

good luck even though you dont need it
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
Oh, right on...so you have an unbiased opinion of him. That's always a plus when you're describing a persons level of talent.
 
poettic1

poettic1

Guest
i apolgize i dint know you two were in bed together he plays bad poker, you claim he doesn't now move on kid not the disscussion soet overn get over it.
 
joshyb20

joshyb20

Visionary
Raymer plays bad poker? Man, maybe if I started playing like crap, I could win the WSOP and the nearly 10 mill that will come with it next year. And to think of all the time I've wasted reading, studying odds, listening, practicing, and doing everything in my power to get better, when all I really had to do was play "bad poker"
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
Poettic, do you wear a crash helmet at all times or just when mommy sits you up in front of the computer? Just curious.

PS-If English is your first language, find all of your teachers starting at about third grade, and slap them. They have failed you miserably. Your posts make my head hurt.
 
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poettic1

poettic1

Guest
is raymer handing out free rides to children, holy god get off it, its not the topic. not changing my opinion by insulting me or presenting his one acomplishments i couldn't care less in truth. the man plays very good chip leader poker. but all but two times he played a coin flip he won. he said it hims elf in his coverage special. something like i played 20-30 coin flips and lost two. again im sure even i could win with that kind of draw ability, now i know i wouldn't have the mox to call someones all in with ace -j its just not statistically correct. he also said that his reading ability is subpar. so in closing f it staight up wait for him to do something(he wont this year), ill come back and apologize to everyone on this site and track him down at the wsop and personally tell him hes grear inspite of his mistakes. no small task winning the main event but someone had to win, i will thank that it wasn't helmuth or moneymaker. hey lets drop this now and talk actual poker aight
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
Draw ability? Ummm, Okaaay. Care to elaborate on that? Aside from that, my intention was never to "change your opinion," I was simply pointing out the obvious holes in your analogy. I say obvious to mean anyone that knows a little something about poker. You don't like the guy, fine, but making weak generalizations about him that you cannot substantiate other than to say "he knocked my friend out of...," then getting pissy with me when I present a valid rebuttal to said generalization, is weak.

Like I said, I don't give a rats ass whether you like him or not, nor am I going to try to change your opinion of him Don't flatter yourself and assume that I really care how you feel about someone for which I share absolutely no personal interest. I simply made a comment regarding your obvious understatement of his talent. I could go into the myriad of reasons why your comments thus far have been misinformed, but I honestly have spent enough time on this already.
 
X

xdmanx007

Legend
Well kinda hard to not like the "guy" Raymer, that is, one of those guys that seems simply too nice to hate. Granted he runs a lot of races but when you are the chip leader you WANT TO CREATE RACES or coin flips. The main event at the world series has been forever changed by the internet. You can make a strong arguement that Greg Raymer plays the PERFECT style to WIN huge tournaments. His aggressive style will either WIN a huge tournament or get him busted out relatively early he doesn't play to finish in the money he plays to WIN! There is a very sound reason why his style is very successful late in a tournament with a very large number of entrants, by the time the final table comes around the blinds have a reached a point where you SHOULD loosen up considerably. Flip side is you saw what happened in the tournament of champions which was basically a single table SNG the blinds were so small for so long that the tighter players could wait till they, instead of a true race, actually had an advantage and they got him. So anybody that really thinks Raymer "sucks out" didn't watch the same player I did. He was willing to run the races and lets be honest in order to WIN a MTT you HAVE to win a few races along the way!
 
joshyb20

joshyb20

Visionary
To the matter at hand, I can sum it all up right here: When your winning its skill, when your losing its luck. And damn have I been unlucky today!!!
 
poettic1

poettic1

Guest
my hat tips to josh im gonna use that line later in life if you dont mind. the drawing ability in question is his coin flips, he's rediculous at them. not everyone here was at the wsop last year i wasn't and i'm not one to call my friend a liar when cards aren't in front of us. im not knocking his late game style of play, everyone should have some big stack strategy, it was his getting there that bothers me. he has phenominal end game but no sound strategy to get there. playing for first is definatly how to play, but i guess i need someone to tell me how playing general coin flip hands is exploiting angles. isn't it better to exploit clear advantages. thats what every single pro book says, now how is a coin flip a clear advantage???????
 
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