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Old 11-14-2011, 11:12 PM   #26
kamikaze baby
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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Originally Posted by VP$IP View Post
I think they imply it, by calling it gambling, instead of gaming.
Sure, but that's not an argument. Poker is a game in which players make decisions which materially affect the outcome, and in which some decisions are self-evidently better than others. I don't know why the onus should be on us to prove poker is a game of skill when that fact is glaringly obvious to anyone who has played it. It may even be counterproductive to produce lengthy treatises which attempt to prove that poker is a game of skill, because that makes it appear that there's actually something substantial to debate on the topic.

Those who think poker is a game of luck should be the ones who are asked to back up their position. It would then be easy to tear apart whatever arguments they make.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:18 PM   #27
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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I posted this earlier, but this seems like it's a fairly air-tight argument for the predominance of skill in poker:

In my opinion people are thinking about this the wrong way in terms of skill and luck and that is because the difference in skill between any two people who know the rules is not that great (yes even between Ivey and some noob). The better way to think about this is if two people are playing and one is trying to win and the other is trying to lose and they both follow the rules of the game will the person trying to win usually/always win. The answer for poker is obviously yes. If I raise/fold 100% of the time and my opponent is not a moron and knows that I am doing this, he invariably wins. This is true for all games of skill, (basketball, tennis, etc...) but is not true of games that involve skill (i.e., sports-betting, stock market investing, etc...). While following the rules of these "games" even if you try to throw a match you could not be guaranteed to do so. I think this demonstrates the predominance of skill in poker over luck, however, the problem is more complicated as skill edge is so small and thus the likelihood that an individual wins any given match or over any given period of time devolves into a statistical argument but that seems to be completely irrelevant for whether poker is a predominantly skill game and thus differs from sports betting. I hope someone lets the PPA know about this argument because even though it seems trivially obvious to me, I haven't heard it yet (admittedly though I haven't read much on the subject).
If I add the option to surrender your bet mid spin and get half of your money back, roulette would instantly qualify as a game of skill in your test.

If a trader refuses to sell a stock for more than he pays for it, he can deliberately never win, give the sports better the same option I gave the roulette player at half time and he can always succeed at losing.

Congress is not going to legalize poker simply because it has a surrender option, every form of gambling known to man could be tweaked to meet that standard.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:18 PM   #28
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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Originally Posted by banonlinepoker View Post
Not this again....

Poker is not all skill. Over the long term a good player can make more money than a bad player but this can be said about Blackjack too.

You, KevMode and Pony are the only trolls I respect and would never report, I truly respect your troll game.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:20 PM   #29
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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There was that Cigital statistical analysis that showed that most poker hands are won by skill, in the sense of players maneuvering their betting to successfully fold out the player that would have held the best 5 card hand, more often than not - http://www.cigital.com/resources/gaming/poker/

The Freakonomics paper on poker as a skill game, having less luck/variance than sports tournament/Wall Street - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_859388.html

And the Harvard Poker Strategic Poker Society article posted recently, on how it improves thinking, it's academic value etc - http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2011/11/12/harvard-poker
I don't know what the numbers are exactly, but I don't think this is entirely accurate. If you say that most of the hands do not go to showdown, that does not mean the the best hand folds more often than not. It merely means most hands are not won by going to showdown.

Have you ever bluffed with the best hand? Made a tight fold (that was right)?

Besides, I think the "poker is skill" is moot. Obvously, poker is a skill game. Obviously luck is involved. The legal wrangling is a distraction. The intent of anti-gambling laws is probably to include poker. Everything else is just fancy lawyer talk. if it's somehow determined to be a skill game because the statutes are sufficiently vague, the statutes will often be amended to expressly include poker, or exclude depending depending on your point of view.

The much better view is libertarian: so what, let me spend my money as I choose.

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Originally Posted by uncforte View Post
I posted this earlier, but this seems like it's a fairly air-tight argument for the predominance of skill in poker:

In my opinion people are thinking about this the wrong way in terms of skill and luck and that is because the difference in skill between any two people who know the rules is not that great (yes even between Ivey and some noob). The better way to think about this is if two people are playing and one is trying to win and the other is trying to lose and they both follow the rules of the game will the person trying to win usually/always win. The answer for poker is obviously yes. If I raise/fold 100% of the time and my opponent is not a moron and knows that I am doing this, he invariably wins. This is true for all games of skill, (basketball, tennis, etc...) but is not true of games that involve skill (i.e., sports-betting, stock market investing, etc...). While following the rules of these "games" even if you try to throw a match you could not be guaranteed to do so. I think this demonstrates the predominance of skill in poker over luck, however, the problem is more complicated as skill edge is so small and thus the likelihood that an individual wins any given match or over any given period of time devolves into a statistical argument but that seems to be completely irrelevant for whether poker is a predominantly skill game and thus differs from sports betting. I hope someone lets the PPA know about this argument because even though it seems trivially obvious to me, I haven't heard it yet (admittedly though I haven't read much on the subject).
But you can play baseball etc. without gambling, i.e. betting on the outcome where chance is involved, but not poker.

Last edited by Aruj Reis; 11-14-2011 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:20 PM   #30
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

Poker is a game that is predominantly luck. A person playing craps can make dozens of decisions at the table with varying degrees of longterm expectation, ranging from neutral EV to horrendously -EV (i.e. the fire bet). Like a savvy poker player, a savvy craps player can play for 1000 hours in the same game and show a consistent and distinct edge over people making worse decisions than they are. One craps player could have a sustained ROI of -1.3%, and the other could have have a sustained ROI of -20%, but the game is still luck.

Poker is no different, the fact that some players can leverage such a huge edge so as to become positive EV doesn't change two important facts: 1) the possibility of being +EV with exceptional skill is true of other games like blackjack as well that are unequivocally luck and 2) raked poker is necessarily a negative sum game, your ability to make profit hinges not on how good you are, but how bad your opponents are. If nine of the world's best poker players sat down and played 10000 Sit n Go's with each other they would all wind up losers. There is a game theory optimal approach to virtually all forms of poker, and your ability to win necessitates that your opponents are making suboptimal decisions, because if they don't, then everyone loses to the rake and the outcome is completely decided by the cards. People can go pro in poker because these mistakes are rampant, but mistakes are rampant all over the place in the gambling world. On lower stakes blackjack tables, nearly half of a casino's profits are generated through player error*. In more complicated table games like Texas Hold'em Bonus, it's certain that casinos earn well over twice their expected edge for optimal play. Since they profit more from mistakes than they do from their edge, does that mean that Texas Hold'em Bonus is a game of skill, so the UIGEA doesn't apply?

The problem with Sklansky's proposed definition is that the craps example I mentioned would be a perfect way to disprove it. Since the "AVERAGE player" bets the pass line, a skilled craps player could just bet the don't pass and lose less over the long run. The unfortunate reality is that there's not really going to be a set of criteria that include poker as a game of skill that excludes other forms of gambling because- well, it isn't.

*http://www.casinoenterprisemanagemen...e-poor-players

Last edited by zizek; 11-14-2011 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:37 PM   #31
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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Originally Posted by kamikaze baby View Post
Sure, but that's not an argument. Poker is a game in which players make decisions which materially affect the outcome, and in which some decisions are self-evidently better than others. I don't know why the onus should be on us to prove poker is a game of skill when that fact is glaringly obvious to anyone who has played it. It may even be counterproductive to produce lengthy treatises which attempt to prove that poker is a game of skill, because that makes it appear that there's actually something substantial to debate on the topic.

Those who think poker is a game of luck should be the ones who are asked to back up their position. It would then be easy to tear apart whatever arguments they make.
The pro poker lobbyists want us to believe that the Focus on Family lobbyists are the reason congress won't pass legislation. They tell us that FoF hates poker because it is all luck.

FoF's position is actually the opposite, they believe that poker has just enough luck to fool unskilled players into thinking they can compete with professionals.

FoF believes this makes poker a uniquely enticing form of gambling, one in which people don't really feel like they are gambling because they can fold their weak hands.

I don't know what the best argument would be to dissuade those fears, but screaming "poker is all skill and Jungleman will end up with your roll in the long run" doesn't seem to be the right one.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:39 PM   #32
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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Originally Posted by zizek View Post
Poker is a game that is predominantly luck. A person playing craps can make dozens of decisions at the table with varying degrees of longterm expectation, ranging from neutral EV to horrendously -EV (i.e. the fire bet). Like a savvy poker player, a savvy craps player can play for 1000 hours in the same game and show a consistent and distinct edge over people making worse decisions than they are. One craps player could have a sustained ROI of -1.3%, and the other could have have a sustained ROI of -20%, but the game is still luck.

Poker is no different, the fact that some players can leverage such a huge edge so as to become positive EV doesn't change two important facts: 1) the possibility of being +EV with exceptional skill is true of other games like blackjack as well that are unequivocally luck and 2) raked poker is necessarily a negative sum game, your ability to make profit hinges not on how good you are, but how bad your opponents are. If nine of the world's best poker players sat down and played 1000's Sit n Go's with each other they would all wind up losers. There is a game theory optimal approach to virtually all forms of poker, and your ability to win necessitates that your opponents are making suboptimal decisions, because if they don't, then everyone loses to the rake and the outcome is completely decided by the cards. People can go pro in poker because these mistakes are rampant, but mistakes are rampant all over the place in the gambling world. On lower stakes blackjack tables, nearly half of a casino's profits are generated through player error*. In more complicated table games like Texas Hold'em Bonus, it's certain that casinos earn well over twice their expected edge for optimal play. Since they profit more from mistakes than they do from their edge, does that mean that Texas Hold'em Bonus is a game of skill, so the UIGEA doesn't apply?

The problem with Sklansky's proposed definition is that the craps example I mentioned would be a perfect way to disprove it. Since the "AVERAGE player" bets the pass line, a skilled craps player could just bet the don't pass and lose less over the long run. The unfortunate reality is that there's not really going to be a set of criteria that include poker as a game of skill that excludes other forms of gambling because- well, it isn't.

*http://www.casinoenterprisemanagemen...e-poor-players
For whatever reason, probably beer, this post made me think of something...

A lot much time/money/etc. is spent on the skill vs. luck argument, but what does it really boil down to? Over a sufficient sample, +EV wins. Is that enough to "prove" the luck vs. skill argument? If that is the case, then Blackjack with card counting allowed is a skill game, or anything else where the EV is positive for the player. What if +EV is not possible, but the skill difference is merely how great is the negative EV? Then every game involving decisions is probably skill. I don't have any larger point, but what does skil v. luck mean?

(more or less what the quote says, I think)

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:06 AM   #33
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

Poker is 100% skill. Singling out weaker players who don't know how to play. Using HUDs vs people who don't even know they exist. Stats telling us what range people have in any situation. Colluding. Buying datamined hands. Sweating.

They're called fish for a reason, because they are helpless and don't even know it. Be sure to bring all that up and you will convince anyone how much skill there is in poker, because there is absolutely no luck involved.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:26 AM   #34
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

Well zizek's post confuses the argument by introducing a lot of entirely irrelevant distractions.

Suppose I pay $10 to enter a competition with 9 other people. The competition will consist of 20 strenuous multiplication questions, and whoever performs the greatest number of calculations correctly within 3 minutes wins $30. About this contest:

* this is clearly a game of skill. No one would be able to perform these calculations correctly by luck;

* the fact that this game is heavily raked has nothing to do with whether it is a game of skill or a game of luck;

* if I complete 16 of the calculations correctly and win the competition, then I have profited off the mistakes of others, since the other competitors must have made at least 5 mistakes each. The fact that I can profit off others' mistakes has nothing to do with whether the game is one of skill or one of luck.

Finally, if game theory optimal strategies exist in a given contest, that is evidence that there is skill involved in the contest - for one thing, it implies that there are strategic choices to the game. So if game theory optimal strategies exist in poker, that does not support the claim that poker is based on luck.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:38 AM   #35
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

Insert nanonoko's graph here (I hear the sample size is pretty OK)
Then somebody explain to me how it's luck.

Last edited by canadatak; 11-15-2011 at 12:47 AM. Reason: scientists use the straightness his first 3M hands to calibrate their instruments
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:48 AM   #36
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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Poker is 100% skill. Singling out weaker players who don't know how to play. Using HUDs vs people who don't even know they exist. Stats telling us what range people have in any situation. Colluding. Buying datamined hands. Sweating.

They're called fish for a reason, because they are helpless and don't even know it. Be sure to bring all that up and you will convince anyone how much skill there is in poker, because there is absolutely no luck involved.

THIS is the argument we need to win in order to get legislation passed, when legislators can be convinced online poker could be a fair game of chance like a lottery where any Chris could be a Moneymaker and the government could collect revenue, online poker will be legal.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:50 AM   #37
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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Poker is 100% a game of skill. This is a true statement.
You know in the long run this is very true.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:52 AM   #38
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

Picking golf clubs seems to be a good analogy for poker. Let's say you're on a golf course. For any one shot there is a golf club that will provide you with the best chance to make the shot.

In order to know which golf club to pick you have to play a lot of golf. Eventually in most situations you'll know the right club to pick for most types of shots.

The skill of poker is trying to use a nine iron to make a putt and at the same time trying to convince your opponent that his putter isn't good at making putts. You're trying to convince him that you have a better shot than he does. He's trying to figure out if his putter is a piece of junk that is going to fall part after he hits the ball. Then imagine the entire course changing at any moment and either one of your golf clubs is no good anymore. The person who is right most often is the better player.
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:30 AM   #39
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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Well zizek's post confuses the argument by introducing a lot of entirely irrelevant distractions.

Suppose I pay $10 to enter a competition with 9 other people. The competition will consist of 20 strenuous multiplication questions, and whoever performs the greatest number of calculations correctly within 3 minutes wins $30. About this contest:

* this is clearly a game of skill. No one would be able to perform these calculations correctly by luck;

* the fact that this game is heavily raked has nothing to do with whether it is a game of skill or a game of luck;

* if I complete 16 of the calculations correctly and win the competition, then I have profited off the mistakes of others, since the other competitors must have made at least 5 mistakes each. The fact that I can profit off others' mistakes has nothing to do with whether the game is one of skill or one of luck.

Finally, if game theory optimal strategies exist in a given contest, that is evidence that there is skill involved in the contest - for one thing, it implies that there are strategic choices to the game. So if game theory optimal strategies exist in poker, that does not support the claim that poker is based on luck.
You're missing the point entirely. If everyone played poker optimally then the outcome would only be decided by chance. You say the fact that optimal play exists means that it's skillful and strategic, I say optimal strategy exists for quite possibly every mainstream gambling game in existence. In roulette I could bet black and red simultaneously. In blackjack I could double down on 20. In pai gow I could always play my two lowest cards up front. These are all suboptimal plays that vastly increase the edge the casino would otherwise have.*

In a poker tournament with a 10% rake, your longterm expectation is a -10% ROI. This can only be offset if your opponents make mistakes that you don't. Whereas in other casino games, this edge would be passed along to the casino, in poker that edge is passed along to other players. This is the only thing that distinguishes poker from the other aforementioned gambling games. Optimal strategy in most poker variants is so abstract that mistakes are abundant, but mistakes are abundant in other gambling games too.

In fact the last paragraph of your post really reflects how much you're missing this point, because to actually prove poker is a game of skill you would have to prove that GTO strategy doesn't exist because only then could the longterm outcome be decided by creative faculty. The fact that GTO strategy hasn't been fully fleshed out for most poker variants is irrelevant because its existence can be assumed to exist, as a perfect game of chess can be assumed to exist.

And to preempt the obvious response that "well chess must not be a game of skill under that definition", the difference is that in the perfect game of chess, a certain player (probably white) is ALWAYS going to win, whereas at a table with 6 people playing perfect poker, the winner would be completely random.

*Technically speaking I know the roulette example actually doesn't, so I'll just cop out and say that that betting strategy is worse because you're betting twice as much. Yeah, that's it.

Last edited by zizek; 11-15-2011 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:44 AM   #40
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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This can only be offset if your opponents make mistakes that you don't.
But you can force other opponents to make mistakes through your play. I agree with your points, we don't automatically profit by just raising with AA, because virtually everyone takes that same standard action, it's what we do differently that counts, most profits come from opponents' tilt sessions, etc. etc., but it's not like we're playing against a mirror image of ourselves, a perfect feedback system, where we're waiting in vain for mistakes to be made, they can be forced by taking non-standard lines, then re-adjusting, yada yada yada. Saying poker is predominantly a luck game based on the assumption of frequent perfect play is a bit of a stretch, especially with software for easy table selection to avoid the unexploitable regs, and huge % rakeback deals with high volume and a dealt rake credit system on tables full of fish
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:55 AM   #41
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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Didn't the freakonomics guys write a paper about how poker was a skill game within the last year or so?

I think dropping that name at every opportunity possible would be more effective at convincing the public than talking about ROI's and standard deviations.
Dropping "Freakonomics" guys' names to congressional Republicans would be horrible because those guys also wrote a very controversial and debatable argument that abortions reduce the crime rate. The moralistic Repubs are the ones we're trying to sway, so don't, please don't use any "Freakonomics" stats.
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:57 AM   #42
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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In fact the last paragraph of your post really reflects how much you're missing this point, because to actually prove poker is a game of skill you would have to prove that GTO strategy doesn't exist because only then could the longterm outcome be decided by creative faculty. The fact that GTO strategy hasn't been fully fleshed out for most poker variants is irrelevant because its existence can be assumed to exist, as a perfect game of chess can be assumed to exist.
I am not missing your point. I just find it absurd. Checkers, for example, is clearly not a game of luck. In checkers, there is a game theory optimal strategy. However, that strategy is so complicated a computer is needed to find it. In practice, therefore, checkers becomes a game of skill, since you will never have two opponents each playing game theory optimally. That is, there can be skill in a complex game in trying to discover an approximation to optimal play.

Poker is vastly more complicated than checkers from the point of view of game theory. So your vision of a table of poker players all playing game theory optimally has no relevance to real world poker.

Last edited by kamikaze baby; 11-15-2011 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:01 AM   #43
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

Your estimated probabilities are completely ridiculous.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:14 AM   #44
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

If an above average poker player wins in the long run, is he above average because of luck or skill? Is it a run of cards over a 100,000 hand sample size (6-max NLHE), or his edge in the game that is resulting in profit? If the answer is his edge, that should be the end of the debate, imo. Show lots of garphs.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:17 AM   #45
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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I am not missing your point. I just find it absurd. Checkers, for example, is clearly not a game of luck. In checkers, there is a game theory optimal strategy. However, that strategy is so complicated a computer is needed to find it. In practice, therefore, checkers becomes a game of skill, since you will never have two opponents each playing game theory optimally. That is, there can be skill in a complex game in trying to discover an approximation to optimal play.

Poker is vastly more complicated than checkers from the point of view of game theory. So your vision of a table of poker players all playing game theory optimally has no relevance to real world poker.
You are missing the point. Checkers is a game of skill because the optimal strategy always yields the same result (a draw). In poker, optimal strategy would yield erratic and unpredictable results meaning it's a game of luck. Therefore to prove poker is a game of skill it would have to be impossible to play perfectly, so that whatever skill that would involve would offset the luck.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:32 AM   #46
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

The prominence of skill in poker is exactly what politicians are concerned about, if there was no skill there would be no advantage gained by collusion, a HUD couldn't improve your win rate, a bot couldn't be programed to be profitable nor could viewing your opponents cards with a Trojan.

There is nobody in Washington saying he's against poker because it's all luck, that is a myth that threads like this one perpetuate. The only people with anything to gain by this argument are the site operators whom are in legal trouble for breaking the current laws.

The lawyers for those sites somehow convincing a court to dismiss the charges against them on this 'no element of chance' technicality doesn't help the cause of the players, in fact a good argument could be made that it hurts our cause.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:42 AM   #47
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

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You are missing the point. Checkers is a game of skill because the optimal strategy always yields the same result (a draw). In poker, optimal strategy would yield erratic and unpredictable results meaning it's a game of luck. Therefore to prove poker is a game of skill it would have to be impossible to play perfectly, so that whatever skill that would involve would offset the luck.
You're talking about one perfect GTO player playing another, and in general I agree that two perfect GTO players playing one another means the cards have more to do with the outcome than the player's play. What if one player plays perfect GTO and the other player plays a little less than perfect GTO though? Are there really two, let alone one, players in the world who never make mistakes?

In tennis one can imagine two perfect tennis players who never make mistakes, and there too it would be bad spins, a blow of the wind, etc. that would determine the outcome (iow random, dumb chance), but that doesn't mean tennis isn't a skill game.

What if you were playing tennis cash matches? If you were Nadal, would you make more money playing $5000 games against Federer, or more against Joe Fatbluecollar guy (game selection ftw)? If you were Nadal, would you worry about playing GTO against Fatbluecollar guy, or would you exploit the **** out his weakness, say his inability to return well, for example. In pro tennis, second serves are almost always less aggressive, but against Fatbluecollar guy it's worth it to serve as hard as possible on second serves because even if it only gets in 60% of the time he can't return it enough to make it a bad play. You get my point...

What I'm saying is if we're trying persuade Congress to let us play the game we love, we should talk not about GTO, but exploitive play, how a skillful player will make money in the long run from non-skilled players, and this is not difficult to prove.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:48 AM   #48
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

So, I'm going to sound like a nuthugger
DS doing this is one of the reasons I love this site.
Sagacity. period.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:54 AM   #49
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

Quote:
Originally Posted by zizek View Post
You are missing the point. Checkers is a game of skill because the optimal strategy always yields the same result (a draw). In poker, optimal strategy would yield erratic and unpredictable results meaning it's a game of luck. Therefore to prove poker is a game of skill it would have to be impossible to play perfectly, so that whatever skill that would involve would offset the luck.
It would be nice if you could stop being patronizing by telling me I'm missing a point that is either illogical or fatuous to begin with. If you're simply saying that there is some luck involved in determining the outcome of a poker hand, no one will argue with you.

I fundamentally disagree with your basic definitions of what constitutes a game of luck, and what constitutes a game of skill, so there isn't any point in continuing this discussion. The fact that luck plays some role in determining the outcome of a poker game does not in and of itself make poker a 'game of luck', no more so than a multiple choice math test is a test of 'luck' (since sometimes you will guess at questions and get right answers). Poker is a game of skill in which luck plays a role. The same is true of many other games of skill. The only worthwhile question is how skill and luck are balanced in determining outcomes.

Last edited by kamikaze baby; 11-15-2011 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:04 AM   #50
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Re: Thoughts On "Predominantly Skill" Definitions

It's also worth noting that lots of gambling games are extremely difficult to play well. "Optimal Strategy for Pai Gow" by Stephen Wong is 160 pages long.

There are plenty of much better arguments to get online poker legalized and regulated. And now, over a decade since the creation of online poker, there's plenty of empirical evidence to show that poker sites haven't become a conduit for terrorist money, and the rest of the world hasn't spiraled into degeneracy and gambling addiction.
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