Sometimes luck plays a part, e.g waiting for the final card for a straight to come up on the river... but the game can really come down to pure mathematics. If you get your probabilities right and then stick to them, the chances are you're going to succeed.
I disagree Nick. Poker is not all about math. It's about playing the other player.
If it was all about math, you'd see a bunch of math and statistics PHd's winning all the tournaments. Also, if it was just luck, then anyone would have a even money chance at winning. Obviously a person who barely knows the game has a less chance of winning than does the experienced player.
The reason that a poker player is great is because he has both the ability to calculate odds and the ability to read the other player. Figure out what the other player likely has, compare it to your options, and make the correct play.
Yer that's true, but it depends whether your talking online or offline, offline the "reading a player" is more important, body language, eye contact etc... online it's a bit harder as less clues are given (you can't see them).
I'll agree, but online is only a little different. The physical tells aren't there, but there is a lot you can pick up from watching. You can pick up betting patterns and classify the player (Tight, agressive, passive, loose). Also if you take enough time you can see how often they bluff, and what amounts they like to bet when they are bluffing. People are creatures of habbit, they like to repeat. It's a good exploit.
However, big NL tournaments, play the odds. Unless you get down to the final table or two, there isn't enough time spent with any one player to pick up on anything. But once you're at that final table, I'd watch close because the rewards are huge if you can pick something up.
I believe that poker is having the oppertunity to MAKE your own Luck. The luck part come from the shuffle of the cards and can not be influenced by anyone but the shuffler. Betting on the other hand and playing your cards against the people or person in the hand with you is another way to MAKE your own luck, with skill and wit it is all up 2 U!!!!
I think it involves both skill and luck like everyone is saying, however in my personal experiance it seems there is more luck involved online as it seems it is a more loose game online. People will chase and suck out even in bigger games. Just my opinion.
I think being a winning player at hold 'em is 100% skill.
You can't make bad plays consistently with all the luck in the world and win money on the long run, Sure you might do good in some tournaments but the money won will be lost in the long run.
And of course, If you are good u will always win money on the long run if oy don't, ur not good.
In the short run however, Anyone can win a tournaments and anyone can win or lose money.
If you make bad beats like u got str8 flush and u lose to higher str8 flush, then it's pure luck, but poker is about skills. There are different skills, bluffing, loose playing, "luck" and so on if u combine these skills u will find out that a good player needs luck, but these skills are importnant.
With poker as well as most things you need a bit of luck but I also think that luck isnt everything if you want to win a large amount of money, because if you know you have the best hand and go all in, the chances are no one will call you unless they have a good hand also good enough to gamble the call on your bet. You need a good player behind good cards to really win the pot, I mean not always sometimes you could bet a low sum and everyone folds but you've got more chance that way.
I have found that if you stick to your math (probability, 4-2 post flop rule - all that), the remaining 70 pct of a game is about knowing your table and using the advantages you might have in stack and position.
I'm a beginner, but one of the things i have observed is that it pays to sort your opponents as fast as possible. You dont want to bet your semi hand against the tightest player at the table but your also hoping for a chance to play anything remotely convincing against the scared ones.
I am a firm believer that poker (live) is not luck, although sometimes luck can have something to do with the outcome. More often then not in live games, the best poker players will win, but some can always be beat by the cards. online poker is much more luck as the cards seem to always be rigged, giving pocket aces, kings, and queens all on one hand, and so on. Also, anybody can just make an account and win a freeroll and play you, who completely are horrible, and they are the ones who just catch and catch on the good players...
Read and understand, for understanding is wisdom, and wisdom is knowledge....
Luck is underrated.... lucky players get money this hand... skilled players get money overall. If you lose all your money in a NL tourney cuz you went all in knowing that theres even one card in the deck that can beat you... you already knew that there was one card in the deck that could beat you... so whats the big surprise when it hits. Watch the movie rounders, there's a line matt damon says in it that goes soemthing like this. "Every player can always remember every bad beat they ever caught, but seldom remember the times they won on a bad beat." I'ts absolutley true, I've won a lot of money by bad beats, but only remember the losses. So to end all this i have to say that luck is a factor in poker, especially hold em'. But poker is a game played hand by hand, luck is one hand.. skill is a thousand.