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skill against luck


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i all, i been playing about 18mths now,online mtts freerolls sit and gos ,etc ,have been playing live aswell weekly at local clubs and tried a couple of casinoes just for curiosity,i have found that i can play one day and seem to do nothing wrong,but more often than not i look a bad player.and cannot win a hand .is this a lack of skill or luck ,any comments wellcome

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Re: skill against luck

i all' date=' i been playing about 18mths now,online mtts freerolls sit and gos ,etc ,have been playing live aswell weekly at local clubs and tried a couple of casinoes just for curiosity,i have found that i can play one day and seem to do nothing wrong,but more often than not i look a bad player.and cannot win a hand .is this a lack of skill or luck ,any comments wellcome[/quote'] :welcome to the lounge msbarsley! i believe that skill is a huge element which is why you find certain players consistently doing well. however, i note amongst some of my friends playing, that some of the guys who really dont care where they finish but know what they are doing, quite often do well. I think that part of this is that they relax to the point it is difficult to judge what hand they potentially have! luck does come into play but a good player will make his own :ok theres a lot of much more experienced and better players here, so i'm sure you'll get a varied response!
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Re: skill against luck There is no such thing as luck (good or bad) in Poker. What most people call luck is actually variance - it is normal, to be expected and happens to everyone. How much luck/variance is there in poker? Well that depends on your time period - the longer you play, the less luck/variance you will see. Take it to both extremes..... Over 1 hand, the result is nearly 100% Luck/variance and nearly 0% skill Over 60 Years play (and millions of hands), the result is nearly 0% luck/variance and nearly 100% skill. Time scales in between have splits in between of luck/variance and skill. If overall (maybe over a month or so), you find that you are losing, then it is probably a good indication that there is a problem with your game and you should look at the way you tackle the game .... you cannot judge your game over a single session/evening/game.

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Re: skill against luck

Over 1 hand, the result is nearly 100% Luck/variance and nearly 0% skill Over 60 Years play (and millions of hands), the result is nearly 0% luck/variance and nearly 100% skill. Time scales in between have splits in between of luck/variance and skill. If overall (maybe over a month or so), you find that you are losing, then it is probably a good indication that there is a problem with your game and you should look at the way you tackle the game .... you cannot judge your game over a single session/evening/game.
I think one month may not be long enough to judge either to be fair GAF. The problem with variance is that you may start on the wrong side of it, they do say it may take months before it goes your way. The problem then may be, you may adjust your play to counter the variance, when in fact you weren't doing anything wrong in the first place. I'd suggest (especially if playing tournaments) is to jot down the hands you go out with. Did you get your chips in when you were a favourite ? (If you were a underdog on most of your hands, I would say that may indicate that your game needs some tuning. If you find you're a favourite more often than not, then you're just suffering the variance.) The hardest part is say you get someone to commit all their chips on the turn and they have only 2 outs, doesn't mean you'll win the other 19 out of 20, the next time you're in this favourable situation. Like GAF says it make take 60 years to average winning 19 of these 20 hands. But thats what makes poker so infuriating yet so challenging.
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Re: skill against luck

I think one month may not be long enough to judge either to be fair GAF.
Agreed - though most people most of the time will be able to get a correct feel after a month or so as to whether they are heading in the right direction or not......
I'd suggest (especially if playing tournaments) is to jot down the hands you go out with. Did you get your chips in when you were a favourite ? (If you were a underdog on most of your hands' date=' I would say that may indicate that your game needs some tuning. If you find you're a favourite more often than not, then you're just suffering the variance.) [/quote'] I wouldn't wholly agree - for example if you are good at stack management, but too tight/passive at the beginning/middle, then it becomes correct to be becoming more aggressive when your stack is short - you will eventually get called when behind .... but that doesn't mean you were incorect to shove with what was the worse hand. I would agree with your approach more in cash games.... msbarsley - What do you play? Cash or Tournaments? If you play cash, then I would recommend using PokerTracker for judging your game. If you play tourneys (esp MTTs) then I would recommend that you read the Harrington on Holdem series of books.
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Re: skill against luck mostly mtts dont play cash games very often.usually in NLHM .by the sound of the variance my sucsess could come and go at any time.so there must be a element of skill required.which i possibly need to aproach.to be a little more successfull in mtt tourneys.

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Re: skill against luck Well, if you play MTT's with 365 entrants, and play one a day, then on AVERAGE you will win one a year (assuming everyone is of identical ability).......Over 10 years, your expectation should be to win in the region of 10 ...... it would not however be that remote a possibility to go 5 years or more without any wins!!! So remember this when judging your success (or otherwise) ..... if MTTs are your main game, then expect long lean spells......it's normal

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Re: skill against luck Ill agree with most stuff here. Tournies (if were talking big entrant MTTs) are sick variance/luck factor. In can be possible for people never to get the fair deal overall in tournaments I think and so the luck element still looms large. For example you or I may only get a chance to enter a couple or major live events ever in our lives, if the luck goes against us on these big money occasions we never get the chance for it to even out. Also it takes longer in MTTs just in general I believe to get the luck factor to even out. You can easily just keep getting stiffed at crucial points for a long time, it could take years for it to swing back in your favour really. In can work the other way too of course, where you keep getting lucky. In cash games if you play the same stakes for long enough there is 0% luck involved basically. If you have 1 million hands in pokertracker thats pretty much how it is.

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Re: skill against luck From such a simple question this could spiral into the depths of complexity. A lot of poker depends on luck, a smaller amount depends on skill. However, in the long run, your skill level alone will determine how profitable you are and your ability to consistently apply your skills will determine your variance. Statements like ''a skilled player will make his own luck'' is self contradictory...you can't make luck, it is random, this is what makes it luck. What should be said is...skilled players will minimise losses when luck is against them and maximise wins when luck flows with them. Luck is involved when the cards are dealt, you have no control over this, pure 100% unadulterated luck. Skill is how you play these given cards, how much you bet, win or lose, is down to your own decisions. Right choice or wrong choice, it is your own skill level in playing every particular hand that will determine just how much you win or lose. I don't fully understand variance, as applied to poker, it is a fairly complex form of statistical analysis. But if you can get to grips with it, it will give you firstly an expected long term profit level then secondly a variance level within which your short term profits are expected to fall. I'm not so sure that playing with variance levels in MTTs is going to be of any use...they are essential for cash game players but application to MTT stats may not be very helpful. I just don't think you would have enough data to make them significant. Whatever happens...BE LUCKY:hope

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Re: skill against luck

From such a simple question this could spiral into the depths of complexity. A lot of poker depends on luck, a smaller amount depends on skill. However, in the long run, your skill level alone will determine how profitable you are and your ability to consistently apply your skills will determine your variance. Statements like ''a skilled player will make his own luck'' is self contradictory...you can't make luck, it is random, this is what makes it luck. What should be said is...skilled players will minimise losses when luck is against them and maximise wins when luck flows with them. Luck is involved when the cards are dealt, you have no control over this, pure 100% unadulterated luck. Skill is how you play these given cards, how much you bet, win or lose, is down to your own decisions. Right choice or wrong choice, it is your own skill level in playing every particular hand that will determine just how much you win or lose. I don't fully understand variance, as applied to poker, it is a fairly complex form of statistical analysis. But if you can get to grips with it, it will give you firstly an expected long term profit level then secondly a variance level within which your short term profits are expected to fall. I'm not so sure that playing with variance levels in MTTs is going to be of any use...they are essential for cash game players but application to MTT stats may not be very helpful. I just don't think you would have enough data to make them significant. Whatever happens...BE LUCKY:hope
This is an excellent post Dodger if I may say so. It also suggests why the Strategy of Poker is vital to becoming a winning player (long term), because it is using the strategic situations that you recognise to be profitable (the skill) in order to maximise your profitability (luck). I think thats much more important in MTT than in cash games as a good patient player can grind out a profit playing ABC poker. A patient MTT player will sooner or later find themselves in short stack situations and its picking those moments which make or break tournaments.
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Re: skill against luck

I think thats much more important in MTT than in cash games as a good patient player can grind out a profit playing ABC poker. A patient MTT player will sooner or later find themselves in short stack situations and its picking those moments which make or break tournaments.
This is, IMO, a very pertinent point made by Mr V. Your strategy in an STT/MTT must, if you are to be a consistent winner, be spot on. In a 10 player cash game, most players will play the same cards in the same way in the same position. (before I get jumped on for that statement, of course you vary your play on occasion). In a tournament, the decision on what to do will change potentially from hand to hand.
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