If it’s not our first year in poker, you’ve probably heard a categorical statement- “In poker, everything depends on luck!” at least once.
Such position seems logical to an outside observer. He/she understands that the cards strongly affect the result, and as we remember, they fall out by chance. A person unfamiliar with the basics of probability theory won’t see the big difference between playing poker and buying lottery tickets.
Having decided to play poker, he hopes to hit the jackpot, unaware of the principles of conditional expectation. Such player often shifts the responsibility for wins and losses to fortune.
On the other side are those players who study strategy. As a rule, they remain in the black over the long term and disagree that luck is a key factor in poker.
Who is right?
We will try to answer this question, and, using the examples, get closer to understanding of the real impact of luck in poker pelangi.
Luck at a distance of 50 hands
Let’s imagine the company that is going to play offline cash in the evening. Who will collect all the chips from the table? It will be largely a matter of chance. If you got a good hand, and the opponent is second in strength, the luck will play its role, and you will take the whole stack. And if you’re unlucky, you can also pre-flop all 50 hands.
We are used to be happy about gains and upset over losses. But objectively, luck or failure is just an order in which the result approaches the conditional expectation (the value promised by probability theory).
Thus, if you got pocket AA two times in a row and won two stacks, this will greatly affect the outcome of a short session of 50 hands. But the probability that the aces will draw twice in a row is only 0.0002%.
Luck at a distance of 20.000 hands
However, the win of two all-ins in a row with aces will hardly affect your results for a total of 20.000 hands. Money won through such a happy outcome will mix with money from many small pots.
The poker player, who concentrates on the right decisions, usually shows positive results on a section of 20.000 hands.
It may seem like a very long distance, but it’s all relative. Regular MTT player who plays 40-50 tournaments per week will play 20.000 hands in less than a month. And some cash players can win back this amount in just a few days.
The results of 20.000 hands will be closer to the “right” values. However, strong down streaks and up streaks are also possible. Such deviations often make the players incorrectly assess their strength — here you can both overestimate your level and lose faith in your ability to win at least something.
Luck on an infinitely long distance
At once, we will notice that the infinite distance exists only in theory. Theoretically, balance and justice prevail in multimillion-dollar segments — everybody gets what they deserve, while the luck and Casino Royale poker are incompatible.
Of course, not many are able to win back millions. Fortunately, this is an optional condition, as already at a distance of more than 100.000 hands, the results of the average regular practically don’t differ from what the theory of probability promises.