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 06-07-2012, 12:28 AM #31 stranger   Join Date: Mar 2011 Posts: 9 Re: How much luck? How much skill? Oops. My first post, even though I joined long ago. You're right it should have been in "legislation." However, I thought the theory guys might have the stats I was hoping to find. The legislation in Calif that I am talking about actually is supported by several dozen brick and mortar card casinos and Indian casinos in the state. Read more here: http://www.calonlinepoker.org/online...ts/who-we-are/
06-07-2012, 04:01 AM   #32
journeyman

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 306
Re: How much luck? How much skill?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by buggzilla My argument is that poker is a game that is 100% skill in the long run. My proof is simply the earn charts of long-term cash game winners that slope consistently upward at a steady X bb/100 rate. How can this not be the result of skill?
Not saying it is but the question you ask is answered by book Fooled by Randomness. Or if you prefer the one thousand monkeys, one thousand typewriters etc. Someone was going to make it.

Want simple scientific proof. Take x skilled poker players (Pool A) and x players chosen at random from the population (Pool B).

These two populations both play limit holdem against an opponent who either bets, checks, folds, calls at random whenever given a decision.

Pool A performs better than Pool B (demonstrating skill) and also wins against the random opponent who relies only on luck.

So in a double blind repeatable test you prove poker is a skill. It would be irrefutable but I don't see it pushing the legislation bus along. Like has been said other factors are at play here.

 06-07-2012, 07:52 AM #33 old hand     Join Date: May 2010 Location: in line behind 2919 other browsers Posts: 1,921 Re: How much luck? How much skill? IMO the fact that most hands don't go all the way to showdown, coupled with the fact that players dont know the other players cards is what shows skill is the most important factor in poker. If you win hands without ever showing your cards, then you could in fact have any two cards. Therefore the luck of which cards you were dealt or which hit the board is immaterial to who wins those hands.
 06-07-2012, 09:28 AM #34 centurion   Join Date: Sep 2002 Location: It depends Posts: 145 Re: How much luck? How much skill? Poker to be a "luck" game would play along the lines; there is a wager, you are given two cards, you cannot fold, and all the other players are in all the way to the showdown. Best five card combo wins. Next hand. Poker as a game of "skill", there is an initial wages, you can decide whether to continue the hand preflop, you will have additional betting / folding decisions to make after more cards are being exposed, those decisions will be made based on your understanding of strength of hand, equity, opponent's style, deductive reasoning of opponent's action, deception, knowledge of opponent's action, (when in position). Hence, the "skill' factor. In addition, you have the option to optimize one's profit or limit your losses with each decision you make as new information is revealed. This would akin to a market trader making decisions on a position based on information on macro, micro economic data, understanding of a particular company's financial position, managing future earnings expectations, market psychology.
 06-07-2012, 11:51 AM #35 centurion     Join Date: Mar 2011 Location: Arizona, Hawaii, Europe Posts: 153 Re: How much luck? How much skill? ^ This. Gio's explanation resonates with me.
 06-08-2012, 05:46 AM #36 centurion     Join Date: Jun 2012 Location: On the Button Posts: 159 Re: How much luck? How much skill? What I think Gio said, simplified: 1.) You can select which hand(s) to play from which position. 2.) You can mathematically calculate the long-term profitability of hand/play at any time during the hand. 3.) You can win without having the best hand. (Bluff)
06-08-2012, 07:30 AM   #37

Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 707
Re: How much luck? How much skill?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by cltrich Short term: Luck is extremely high Long term: Luck is nearly 0
this is very close.

I wrote an article about this for vegaspokerpro.com, i think called luck vs skill in poker that OP may find useful.

I think i did something on the subject for top poker as well, wwwtoppoker.org

on vegaspokerpro.com i write as Donovan Doust and covered this subject pretty thoroughly in just one or two paragraphs.
I use to write as "Dead Money" for top poker. If I wrote on this subject for top poker it would be alot more comprehensive as they usually wanted a minimum word count, and frankly, they paid a lot better. toppoker.org, poker strat, Dead Money

But the short answer is; luck is the dominant force in the short term but its boiled out of the equation ENTIRELY in the long run.
% Luck over a long enough period is exactly 0%.
Asking what percent of poker is luck and what part is skill is like asking the marital status of the number 7. Its an impossible question. It doesn't have an answer because the question is not logical.
Asking how much of poker is luck and how much is skill is like asking what percent of a book is story and what percent is ink. Its just not answerable.

In order to guage an amount of skill and an amount of luck you need to, as a minimum, include a reference to time. Even then you are restricted, logically, to ask more specific questions like what are the odds of beating a game where my edge is x%. Or what are my chances of going broke with x buy ins, x edge, over x amount of time.

How much is luck how much is skill? You have to rephrase this into something that makes sense.
Just read my article at vegaspokerpro.com and if you still don't get it go to toppoker.org. I think i give pretty good answers and explanations; it's been like 7 years since I wrote for either publication so I don't remember exactly but i imagine they are OK. A lot of poker has changed in the last 5 years, but the math is the same.
Good "luck"
L8r,
Donovan

 06-08-2012, 11:21 AM #38 The Situation     Join Date: Sep 2009 Location: CA and Vegas Posts: 8,369 Re: How much luck? How much skill? There is an easier determination of luck vs skill. In a game where luck is the dominant factor, like roulette, you can take 100 random noobs (give them a ten minute tutorial on how to play) and put them up against 100 players with years of roulette experience and your results will be the same In a game where skill is the dominant factor, that will not be the case. But the real problem in the poker skill debate is that the arguments don't stem from logic, they stem from.emotion. and politics as I stated in my previous post...
06-08-2012, 11:25 AM   #39
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Re: How much luck? How much skill?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Donovan Asking what percent of poker is luck and what part is skill is like asking the marital status of the number 7. Its an impossible question. It doesn't have an answer because the question is not logical. Asking how much of poker is luck and how much is skill is like asking what percent of a book is story and what percent is ink. Its just not answerable.
This.

Luck and skill are not two parts of a pie that can be neatly divided. They are two entirely different components of the game that are not complements of each other in any way.

I realize that some legislatures try to make them complements of each other but they are misguided. It can't be done. What can be done, as has been described in this thread, is quantifying the effect of luck according to the number of hands played. Obviously the law of large numbers tells us that eventually the random luck for us and against us tends to cancel each other out and we are left with only skill. But the sample size to reach this point (within some confidence interval) is dependent on an individual's play style, skill edge, and other factors, so that too is not something that can be easily generalized (if at all).

Last edited by NewOldGuy; 06-08-2012 at 11:30 AM.

 06-08-2012, 12:10 PM #40 centurion     Join Date: Mar 2011 Location: Arizona, Hawaii, Europe Posts: 153 Re: How much luck? How much skill? Another explanation for the difference between luck and skill games I've heard: Luck-Based Game = a game that you cannot purposely lose at (e.g., roulette) Skill-Based Game = One that you can purposely lose at (e.g., poker) Dunno if I fully buy this description, but it does kind of make sense.
 06-08-2012, 12:34 PM #41 banned   Join Date: Jun 2011 Posts: 262 Re: How much luck? How much skill? there is no luck, just probabilities
 06-08-2012, 01:26 PM #42 newbie   Join Date: Jun 2011 Posts: 40 Re: How much luck? How much skill? For the politicians that say it's only a game of luck, challenge them to a match of 10k hands at 50/100
06-08-2012, 01:36 PM   #43
veteran

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Re: How much luck? How much skill?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by buggzilla Another explanation for the difference between luck and skill games I've heard: Luck-Based Game = a game that you cannot purposely lose at (e.g., roulette) Skill-Based Game = One that you can purposely lose at (e.g., poker) Dunno if I fully buy this description, but it does kind of make sense.
I will bet you a lot of money that I can consistently lose 100% of any reasonable sized bankroll at roulette, and can do this over and over at will.

There is some merit to your point but it needs more qualifications.

06-08-2012, 04:20 PM   #44
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 14,928
Re: How much luck? How much skill?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by NewOldGuy I will bet you a lot of money that I can consistently lose 100% of any reasonable sized bankroll at roulette, and can do this over and over at will. There is some merit to your point but it needs more qualifications.
I think his point his point is that you can't purposefully lose WORSE than someone who is trying to do "well", although that isn't true with a lot of gambling games (almost every table game has terrible sucker bets). I know Sklansky raised this once as a potential argument for poker being a skill game but eventually convinced himself it didn't work. You can probably find the thread, it's several years old.

 06-08-2012, 04:51 PM #45 centurion   Join Date: Feb 2008 Posts: 115 Re: How much luck? How much skill? 0% luck, 100% skill. Definition of luck: "Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions." Nothing in poker happens independent of one's actions. You make a decision to put your money in the pot based on the information gathered during game play. Afterwards, you will win x% of the time, lose y% of the time. Skill is used to work to make sure x times \$ won is greater than y times \$ wagered. A player with a high level of skill will accomplish that more often than a player with a low level of skill. Calling it lucky or unlucky after the outcome of single hand or series of hands is just superstition.

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