View Full Version : How much of poker is luck?

09-09-2005, 03:08 AM
Does anyone know the percentage of how much luck is involved in NL Texas Holdem? For example, Brunson said a tourney is 80%Luck and 20% skill and I am just wondering what that number is for cash games?

Thanks for all the help

Mr. Curious
09-09-2005, 03:25 AM
Poker is 100% luck and 100% skill.

09-10-2005, 12:50 AM
some of my none-gambling friends always try to tell me poker is all luck because whoever gets the best cards wins. My reply is "good poker is winning the most when you have the best hand and losing the least when you don't." They usually concede after that.

As your number of hands increases, the accuracy of your win or lose rate calculations becomes more accurate. Theoretically "luck," aka variance becomes minimal once you have a very large sample size.

09-10-2005, 01:06 AM
Does anyone remember how many times Stu entered the WSOP? I know he won it three times -- how many times did he enter?

09-10-2005, 01:49 AM

He won 10 out of 30 major tourneys.

09-10-2005, 05:38 AM
Poker is 100% luck and 1000% skill.

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09-10-2005, 10:34 AM
It depends. One hand is all luck, in a lifetime of play luck is only a minor factor.

Over 100 hands, a typical good player might have a standard deviation equal to 10 times their expected win rate. So over 10,000 hands, you could say luck and skill are about equally important. But this depends on the skill of the players and the game type.

Games with high blinds and antes relative to stacks and limits increase the importance of luck. This is true in late stages of tournaments for example.

No limit games increase the importance of luck in the sense that results are determined by fewer hands than in limit play. On the other hand, no limit also increases the scope for skill.

Good players increase the importance of skill, bad players make luck more important (which helps them).

09-10-2005, 05:26 PM

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Nope--he was 9th in 1990 and 264th in 1996. There are probably a few other times as well.

09-10-2005, 07:05 PM
Entered five times? Can anyone update that?
So far he's in the money 4 out of 5 in WSOP ...

09-10-2005, 09:04 PM
I'm sure that he entered other times as well. For example, he won the Super Bowl of Poker in '83, '88, and '89, so he'd probably be lucid enough to enter the WSOP in those years as well.

(That's just a stab in the dark...but I have heard that he entered at least most years in the 80s)

09-10-2005, 09:33 PM
Thanks. I knew Stu, but lost track of him in the late 70's. I've heard a lot of stories from the 80's - but only saw him once at a game in Reno. It just seemed to me he would be a good example when comparing luck to skill -- maybe some of you can name players that have better (or better documented) track records.

09-12-2005, 09:33 AM
I don't believe this question is answerable.

At a table of players of equal ability (ie. all playing identically) the skill factor is 0% and the luck factor is 100%, and it makes no difference if they are World Champions or novices.

Introduce 1 stronger or weaker player to the table and that completely changes.

09-12-2005, 11:24 AM
Depends on the blinds, starting chips, time bewteen the blinds and so on. The shorter the game, luck increases.
Outside of that, I find most people who lose alot claim its all luck. And, when and someone tells me it was all luck, I thank them very much. It tells me they don't know how to play

09-13-2005, 01:10 PM
wow, that was EXACTLY what i was going to say...

i think that luck and skill aren't mutually exclusive, therefore, poker is both. when you get the luck, you have to use your skill to get the most money. and when you get bad luck, ou have to use your skill to lose the least money.

09-13-2005, 03:34 PM
There is no way to answer this question with anything but an opinion, it's not a quantifiable thing.