so it’s not a game of luck Part 2 Skill versus luck … In Part I, we cover the strong rhetoric of business tycoon Sheldon Adelson, claiming poker is primarily a game of luck while skill plays a “negligible role.” On that basis, poker will be considered as another form of gambling. I’m sure most good poker players disagree. In fact, skills play a major role.
I respond to Adelson’s perception in a broad sense, it is this skill effect that makes the difference between winning and losing in the long run.
Yes, luck does play an important role, but it’s skill that makes a big difference. Any game or activity is at stake when luck is the dominant factor.
This applies to business ventures and other endeavors as well as poker games. Did you know that eight out of 10 new businesses fail within the first 18 months? Their leaders may not have essential skills.
To help prove our point, we cite two court cases in which, after considering all the evidence and facts, each court determined the skills that dominated the game of poker. Otherwise, how could so many people make a living playing games?
In that case, did you know Jason Mercier has finished among the top ten at the WSOP tournament 18 times in the last nine years, including first five places?
It has to be more than just luck.
Without skill, there is only luck; and it’s just casual gambling. To go a step further, I promise to provide a detailed explanation to support our unrestricted belief that poker is actually a game of skill.
First, understand that a skill is expertise in a specialized, high level of proficiency – such as a doctor, professional athlete, or successful entrepreneur. Adelson is very successful because of his business acumen – his expertise. Likewise, there are many poker players who are very successful.
I agree with Adelson that luck is an important factor at the poker table – as it is in making any investment or endeavor. As he says, you can’t control luck; But, I’ll interrupt, you can control how you play your cards and interact with your opponents. In doing so, a savvy (skilled) player makes informed decisions and takes appropriate action which substantially reduces the significance of the luck factor.
Several years ago, I developed a mathematical model for the game of poker. (This model can also be applied to other competitive ventures.) Good luck or bad luck, more or less; in the long run, everyone gets their fair share.
In the final part of this series, we will explore the factors that define a highly skilled poker player. What are the key skills that you must develop to overcome luck and achieve long-term success (i.e., winning) at the poker table?