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Otherworld
06-11-2006, 05:24 PM
there are a plenty of books out there that discuss skill and strategies, but none that discuss plain old luck. then again, can there even be a practical discussion about luck?

im curious how other people deal with luck. i think the basic is the stop-loss cut off point for one's playing for a day (ie, lose $X, stop playing). but theres always the delimma that ensues: one's luck can change from one minute to the next --i believe this is called the gambling addict's mantra (thankfully, hold em IS NOT blackjack). nor does a stop-loss point address when luck is on your side... what (in $$$) or when (time) is that peak point in a session where you just wont win any more?

let me share what happened to me that got me started on this:

few days ago, went to play $1/2 NL at a casino. starting with $50, i was up to $650 in a matter of a few hours. i figured hitting a $1000 for day wouldnt be too difficult. went on a meal break, then poof! draws werent panning out, AK etc and pocket pairs, missed on flop, made a lot of 2nd best hands (ie, AQ on bb, flop AAJ and 5th position limped in with AJ). over the course of 5 hours, i was chipped down to a days total of -$200 and double up a lot of people who were chipped down to their last $30-40 bucks. FARK!.

on the flip side of this story is something i think we've all experienced. sitting at a table for many hours on end, tossing in a few chips every so often only to fold on the flop, miss your draws... then POOF! within the span of a few hands (or a few short hours), you make back your losses and double/triple your money.

so how do you deal? the only idea ive come up with is a min-max strategy (which i havent tried yet); lose lets say $200 quit, win $800 quit.

i am curious and very interested to hear peoples thoughts and strategies for dealing with luck. we've all cursed bad players often enough, but i think we curse (or praise!) fortuna even more with greater passion.

Jotun665
06-11-2006, 05:34 PM
there are a plenty of books out there that discuss skill and strategies, but none that discuss plain old luck. then again, can there even be a practical discussion about luck?

im curious how other people deal with luck. i think the basic is the stop-loss cut off point for one's playing for a day (ie, lose $X, stop playing). but theres always the delimma that ensues: one's luck can change from one minute to the next --i believe this is called the gambling addict's mantra (thankfully, hold em IS NOT blackjack). nor does a stop-loss point address when luck is on your side... what (in $$$) or when (time) is that peak point in a session where you just wont win any more?

let me share what happened to me that got me started on this:

few days ago, went to play $1/2 NL at a casino. starting with $50, i was up to $650 in a matter of a few hours. i figured hitting a $1000 for day wouldnt be too difficult. went on a meal break, then poof! draws werent panning out, AK etc and pocket pairs, missed on flop, made a lot of 2nd best hands (ie, AQ on bb, flop AAJ and 5th position limped in with AJ). over the course of 5 hours, i was chipped down to a days total of -$200 and double up a lot of people who were chipped down to their last $30-40 bucks. FARK!.

on the flip side of this story is something i think we've all experienced. sitting at a table for many hours on end, tossing in a few chips every so often only to fold on the flop, miss your draws... then POOF! within the span of a few hands (or a few short hours), you make back your losses and double/triple your money.

so how do you deal? the only idea ive come up with is a min-max strategy (which i havent tried yet); lose lets say $200 quit, win $800 quit.

i am curious and very interested to hear peoples thoughts and strategies for dealing with luck. we've all cursed bad players often enough, but i think we curse (or praise!) fortuna even more with greater passion.
[/b]


I am of the opinion that money management schemes are only a good idea if you are tilt-prone or under-rolled for the game you are playing. If it's the former, you should be working on that, if it's the latter, you should move down if your shot doesn't work out.

trbpoker
06-11-2006, 08:09 PM
What has happened to you has happened to us all.

We end up getting too much of our bankroll on the table and continue to play with it and risk "bad luck" wiping out a good session.

If you put $50 on a NL table "they" say you should have a $1000 bankroll to do this (not to say your bankroll was $1000 to put that $50 on, but just for arguements sake) which is representing 5% of your bankroll.

Putting 5% of your bankroll on the table should let you have some bad luck on certain hands and still be able to build your bankroll, after all the bad luck can't happen every session.

Once you have built your stack to $650, you have a $1600 bankroll and are sitting with over 40% of your bankroll at the table.

A hand like AQ with a flop like AAJ, AJ can take over 40% of your bankroll in one hand. Not a good situation to be in.

My personal solution to this has been the "80% of max buy in rule". If I buy into a table for $500, I leave or buy into another table when I hit a $400 profit.

Last week I grinded away twice to take about $880 off 2 $500 max buy in tables. When I entered the 3rd I got into a situation where I raised AA - called by KQ suited and got all-in on a flop of K43, yes the Q came on the river and I lost about $600. (my $500 buy in and about $100 profit at that table)

I finished the day up about $380.

As I looked back, I would have made this play for all my chips if I would have stayed on the original table and would have ended up a $500 loser for the day.

Was AA vs KQ a bad luck hand, yes it was, but instead of having a losing day because of 1 bad hand. I ended up winning $380 (a nice swing of $880)

I can't aviod the bad luck hands but I can take profit off the table and manipulate my bankroll numbers to make the "bad luck" hands have a lessor effect on my bankroll.

Otherworld
06-12-2006, 11:56 AM
i agree with you jo (though you havent told me anything about dealing with luck).

in case theres any confusion, i bought in at the NL game for $50 cause i didnt hit the ATM before being seated. i loss $200 for the day cause i had a bus to catch. (could of been more... could of gone home with a profit).

....i guess the bottom line is, we all play to maximize profit when we play utilising skill (raises, check-raise, cold call, etc.) but how does one maximize luck?

Jotun665
06-12-2006, 12:07 PM
i agree with you jo (though you havent told me anything about dealing with luck).

in case theres any confusion, i bought in at the NL game for $50 cause i didnt hit the ATM before being seated. i loss $200 for the day cause i had a bus to catch. (could of been more... could of gone home with a profit).

....i guess the bottom line is, we all play to maximize profit when we play utilising skill (raises, check-raise, cold call, etc.) but how does one maximize luck?
[/b]

You don't have to maximize luck. Play well, and in the long run, your luck will break even (you will have had as many lucky runs as unlucky ones) and you will be ahead. I think it's only a problem if you're underbankrolled for the games you're playing, and can be broken by an unlucky streak.

Otherworld
06-12-2006, 01:45 PM
i get the point your making jo, and absolutely, i agree that skill compensates for fluctuations in luck over the long run --the certainty of math is central to metaphysics and professional poker.

but for discussion sake, lets assume $100K bank roll for someone playing $1/2 - $2-5 NL, and $5/10 - $10/20 limit.

what im trying to ascertain are strategies for dealing with luck, specificially --aside from math. how do you (anyone that is) factor "luck" into decision making? is it just wild ass guesses? are there "signs" you rely on to indicate a lucky streak, or a lucky streak is about to come to an end? that last point is really the central question of my inquiry, and which im hoping for some enlightenment.

of course, i do accept the possibility that i may be the rare "superstitious" prop here.

Jotun665
06-12-2006, 03:04 PM
i get the point your making jo, and absolutely, i agree that skill compensates for fluctuations in luck over the long run --the certainty of math is central to metaphysics and professional poker.

but for discussion sake, lets assume $100K bank roll for someone playing $1/2 - $2-5 NL, and $5/10 - $10/20 limit.

what im trying to ascertain are strategies for dealing with luck, specificially --aside from math. how do you (anyone that is) factor "luck" into decision making? is it just wild ass guesses? are there "signs" you rely on to indicate a lucky streak, or a lucky streak is about to come to an end? that last point is really the central question of my inquiry, and which im hoping for some enlightenment.

of course, i do accept the possibility that i may be the rare "superstitious" prop here.
[/b]

I personally think that you can only talk about lucky streaks and unlucky streaks in the past tense. There is no way for me to say something to the effect of "I am on a lucky streak right now," because doing that requires believing that cards dealt on previous hands can tell you something about cards dealt on current and future hands. My understanding of probability tells me that's not the way the world works. Could be different for others, though.

trbpoker
06-12-2006, 06:15 PM
Isn't "luck" just a mathamatical term.

We consider the guy who wins the lottery "lucky" cause he beat 40 million to 1 odds.

And don't we consider the 1 in 7 million that are struck and killed by lightning "unlucky"

If luck is a mathamatical term, isn't it our "job" as poker players to work it in to are mathamatical calculations so it has the least amount of negative effect on our bankroll.

Personally I think luck is just the randomness of the universe and some of the mathamatical calculations used are just over are head and we as humans will never understand.

Jotun665
06-12-2006, 06:26 PM
Isn't "luck" just a mathamatical term.

We consider the guy who wins the lottery "lucky" cause he beat 40 million to 1 odds.

And don't we consider the 1 in 7 million that are struck and killed by lightning "unlucky"

If luck is a mathamatical term, isn't it our "job" as poker players to work it in to are mathamatical calculations so it has the least amount of negative effect on our bankroll.

Personally I think luck is just the randomness of the universe and some of the mathamatical calculations used are just over are head and we as humans will never understand.
[/b]

Luck is not at all a mathematical term, and has no place in any of the calculations that you're talking about that I am aware of.

trbpoker
06-12-2006, 06:31 PM
I think when I lose all-in with my pocket Aces to pocket Kings, the other guy is lucky.

WHY ???

Because he was a 4:1 underdog

How else do we determine who is lucky and who is unlucky in AA vs KK.

Jotun665
06-12-2006, 07:30 PM
How else do we determine who is lucky and who is unlucky in AA vs KK.
[/b]

Why does it matter?

Otherworld
06-12-2006, 09:38 PM
the luck im referring to has to do more with hitting your draws consistently (running well), rather than outragous ones at that...

though true, i agree, luck by definition is probability defined and when you beat the odds. but the luck factor im trying to wrap my head around is when you not only make low probability draws or hit your draws your not getting correct pot-odds to chase down, but its also

-raising pre with AK, and having A or K hit on the flop
-its raise pre with AA have another person call with AK and have the flop come AKK
-its making 2 pair with any two cards with a higher degree of frequency than normal
-its when your cards hit regularily in any given session
-its hitting your straight and flush draws twice every 8 times regularly vs. 1 in 4 over hundreds of hands
-its NOT having your Q high flush beat by a K high flush... or your 7 high beat by an 8 high
-its calling a hand down cause your gut tells you youre gonna hit.. and other "lucky" factors that work in your favor other than beating the odds

so i suppose, the purpose of my inquiry was to ask how others manage a good/bad streak... and how one maximizes one's luck.

i agree with you Jo that you can only guess whats gonna happen in the future based on current or past events, which kinda mutes the thread...

...fk!!! just got dealt KK on the button and sb had AA while i was typing the reply... sigh.... and another guy got caught with Ace on river to make 2 pair. i was running much better this afternoon.....

trbpoker
06-12-2006, 10:07 PM
Why does it matter?
[/b]

Because you said:

"Luck is not at all a mathematical term"





-raising pre with AK, and having A or K hit on the flop
-its raise pre with AA have another person call with AK and have the flop come AKK
-its making 2 pair with any two cards with a higher degree of frequency than normal
-its when your cards hit regularily in any given session
-its hitting your straight and flush draws twice every 8 times regularly vs. 1 in 4 over hundreds of hands
-its NOT having your Q high flush beat by a K high flush... or your 7 high beat by an 8 high
-its calling a hand down cause your gut tells you youre gonna hit.. and other "lucky" factors that work in your favor other than beating the odds

[/b]

This all sounds familiar.

Then I deleted Private1 off my computer

LOL - just teasing you

Sometimes the cards are just shit. I wish i had a better explanation

Otherworld
06-13-2006, 07:27 PM
btw, remember.... this all started at the casino, NOT pvt1. sites been fine. nothing odd for me... expect that blasted 2/4 game.

CrushU
06-30-2006, 01:55 PM
Other,

Ur gonna get nowhere with this conversation. Each event is independent when talking about one hand to the next. Just like if u flip a coin and it lands on heads 10 times in a row, the probability for the 11th flip is the same, 1:1. Which means u should being playing as much as possible if u feel u have an edge in the game and u are mentally up to the challenge. If u are up 100bb, u may win another 100bb or u may lose it all.

Otherworld
07-04-2006, 01:12 PM
i agree this conversation may be going nowhere. also agree that with 10 same flips, the 11th being the same as the previous 10 is 1-1, and the possibility of each outcome is 1-1. the big however is, what are the odds you can flip a coin 11 times in a row and get 11 same results? i remember having this conversation (about coin flips) with the mathematicians back in university... there is a formula to calculate this, and the odds are pretty slim.

it seems conversations about "luck" come back to probability and mathematics. but what im trying to ascertain is exactly what you elude to crush, "if u feel u have an edge..." that feeling, how do you "measure" its precision? how do you develop strategies based on "feeling"? the fish go with hope or belief --acutally more like "faith" since there is no rational basis to believe they will hit their 2 outer to make a set or runner runners as an example, other than they "feel" lucky. i want to know what the "pros" work with.


as a side...

contrary to the probability equation as luck, ive come up with a new definition of luck for hold em. being lucky means youre opponents in the pot are unlucky. ie, i 3 bet preflop (of course this is 2/4) with AA. guy to my right calls with 6-4 os, and makes trips at river. OR i 2 bet pre with JJ from UTG, all fold except the blinds, guy in small blind calls with 6-3 suited. flop comes 2 of his suit, he misses his flush but makes runner runner 2 pair.

MEG
07-06-2006, 10:28 AM
Acouple of poker books by Larry Phillips - Zen & the Art of Poker and The Tao of Poker both specifically address luck as a tangible situation that you must be aware of and react to correctly.

I highly recommend the Zen book to anyone interested in improving their mental outlook at poker. It has made and save me a lot of money so far.

CrushU
07-06-2006, 04:21 PM
Hey Other,

Determining an edge in a game is easy. You find the bad players who play too many hands and call too much and sit next to them. :D


Seriously, You should be able to gauge ur opponents skill level and know if u have an advantage in the game. That is where ur edge comes from, not which seat is lucky today,etc. So u should be playing until u feel u no longer have an edge or u are too tired, drained,etc. from playing.


And the odds of flipping a coin heads 11 times in a row is less than 1%, considering the odds of flipping heads 2 times in a row is 25%. (50%x50%)=25%

Otherworld
07-11-2006, 02:11 AM
think one would have an edge against a player who calls 3 bets cold preflop with 4-6 os...

nevertheless... good advice crush. skill and judgement is all we have at the end of the day.

str8clay
09-12-2006, 02:24 AM
.... ie, i 3 bet preflop (of course this is 2/4) with AA. guy to my right calls with 6-4 os, and makes trips at river. OR i 2 bet pre with JJ from UTG, all fold except the blinds, guy in small blind calls with 6-3 suited. flop comes 2 of his suit, he misses his flush but makes runner runner 2 pair.
[/b]


That happens all the time, we all have stories like that. It's almost enough to put a guy on tilt. When that happens to me, I try to remember that over time, the more he plays those hands against top ten hands, I know who's going to come out on top. There are 196 different two card combinations pre-flop, over 750,000 five card combinations by the time you get to the river. The more I get run over by crap the tighter and more agressive I play.

Luck is something that people who can't develop skill and knowledge rely on. The more I study and learn, the "luckier" I get. Not to mention, when I chase that ten for the nut straight on the river, I'm paying "donk" with the chips I took from his stack because he felt lucky enough to try and chase his bottom pair for his two outer.

I had a guy run small pair on the flop against top two pair to trip on the river. Two hours after that I left with an extra $400 on a 4/8 table. I don't know if there's that much difference between the two paths. Read a book or two, stroke a purple rabbits foot.... it may be a toss up, but I've made my choice. Luck and skill seem to be both sides of the same coin, I already know which one works for me.

MrBernstein
09-12-2006, 07:07 PM
Isn't "luck" just a mathamatical term.

We consider the guy who wins the lottery "lucky" cause he beat 40 million to 1 odds.

And don't we consider the 1 in 7 million that are struck and killed by lightning "unlucky"

If luck is a mathamatical term, isn't it our "job" as poker players to work it in to are mathamatical calculations so it has the least amount of negative effect on our bankroll.

Personally I think luck is just the randomness of the universe and some of the mathamatical calculations used are just over are head and we as humans will never understand.
[/b]
:unsure: :unsure:

This guy is brilliant!! LOLLLLLLLLLL

trbpoker
09-12-2006, 07:49 PM
Yes - luck has nothing to do with math

LOL

Like they say, opinions are like A-holes, everyone (including you) has one.

Glad you could voice yours !!!

surreyplayboy
09-10-2008, 02:50 PM
You are lucky when you sit with weak opponents, minimise luck by selecting the right players to face and make good notes.

STAIFOKUZED
09-10-2008, 11:34 PM
My strategy for when im on a lucky streak is to take a small portion of my winnings and bet long shots. lottery,slots,parly,ect. Usally no more than 5% of winnings, but who am I to talk it hasnt worked yet. Just thought Id chime in.

jwoodster
09-12-2008, 09:33 AM
Luck is very big part of the game in the short term, however if you play proper statistical poker in the long run, you overcome the short term luck.

This is why you could make an arguement that poker is not gambling in the long run.

Need2Poop
09-22-2008, 09:59 AM
Luck is a word we use to describe how x happened in relation to probability. trbpoker is actually correct that we as poker players are interested in luck only from a mathematical/probability perspective.

Luck/bad luck is something you have no control over, if some donkey hits a 3 outer on you 5 hands in a row and take all your winnings for the day there is absolutely no way you could know that it would happend, and you should not do anything to deal with this. The more times you are a 80% favourite to win in a pot, the more likely will the total nr of times you win in these situations be moving towards 80%. This does not tell anything about what will happend in the future though, as some people think (especially roulette players). You are never "bound" to actually win a hand, or "destined" to lose because you have won a lot in a row. Luck is not predictible.

Making sure you don't bet too much money on something relying on luck (like going all in with AA preflop against 27o) unless you are prepared to take the punch when loosing, no matter how often you will win in that situation. (This can be done by leaving a table where both you and opponent have bigger stacks than you are willing to lose in 1 hand)

NB: This is something some players don't take into consideration about the "quit when ahead" rule: You are making yourself less likely to have a very big loss in 1 singular hand by doing this. But you are also taking away the possibility to win the equal amount. So players used to having theese swings/busting cuz of luck in one hand will never get the big wins they are used to hitting in the same spots when they are NOT unlucky.

Stop-Loss makes no sense to deal with luck. You are not more unlucky one day than another, or one hour more unlucky than another. It's just natural that there will be streaks both ways. The only reason for a stop-loss is that the probability of you playing worse than usually, even if you maybe are not noticing it, is higher in such a situation.

This is not something to negotiate or discuss really, it's hard facts, it's possible to prove it mathematically (Even though I'm not going to do it even if asked. I'm too lazy ;) )

I hope that clears it up.

GottaFold
12-16-2008, 08:06 AM
You shouldn't be trying to figure out a strategy on how to deal with luck at all and it's a terrible thing to think about while playing. Trying to figure out when to stop if you think you're on a "cold streak" or how long to keep playing when you're on a "rush" just doesn't make sense. Some bad or good hands may happen to come all in a row sometimes, but that doesn't mean it will or will not continue. Each hand is a seperate event. Just as in that coinflip example that was given, the odds will not change based on past events. The cards have no memory, they don't know what happened last hand.

I think a stop loss can be a good idea if you feel you aren't gonna be playing your best after losing a few buy-ins, but not just because you feel it's an "unlucky day".

I also think that stopping after you win a certain amount is almost always a big mistake. The example someone gave about his AA vs. KQ is a perfect example of why NOT to stop or go to another table when winning. He feels like he saved money because he got less money in when he would have lost more on that hand, but the results of that one hand aren't the point. He happened to lose that one, but why wouldn't you want more money in the pot when you're about an 4-1 favourite with AA against KQ on that flop? The result of this individual hand doesn't matter, you're gonna be in this kind of situation over and over if you play a lot. Your equity in that pot was about 80%. Would you rather have 80% of a $500 pot or 80% of a $1000 pot? Sure, you're gonna lose sometimes, but winning these pots when you get deepstacked is what's gonna give you those huge winning days. You're gonna win the money in that spot a lot more often than you'll lose it.

It's not about luck, it's all about bankroll management. You need to be less results oriented after having a bad hand or a bad session. You should be playing at a level of game low enough so that you're comfortable enough with it to not be worrying about luck. You shouldn't be thinking at all about wether you're "running good" or "running bad". You should just be thinking about making the best decisions you can for each hand.

viffer
12-16-2008, 11:05 AM
I agree with you, but it's what short term luck (or lack thereof) does to your state of mind. A stop loss can be a very good idea for the reasons that you say, specifically, it can be difficult, in the thick of it, to realise what's down to luck and when you've slipped into tilt.

I'm struggling with a long term tilt at the moment, where my state of mind is focussed on the bad beats. Every time I sit, the horror of old bad beats come back to haunt me and then are reinforced by another bad beat or two blowing the whole thing out of proportion and undoubtedly affecting my game. I've ended up in a spiral that the only way I think I can break it is to quit it for a while. Rationally I know that I should play through it and keep focused on making good decisions. Rationally, I know I should play when others are make such bad plays and that eventually the probabilities will all come back to balance. But, for the moment, my mind keeps finding patterns where none exist (setups, cheats and doom switches to name a few :p) and are distracting me from my "A" game.

So where this thread started, luck is an enormous element of the game. In my opinion not mathematically but emotionally. Managing the impact of luck is about how well you manage tilt. As has been said, hand to hand, it doesn't much matter assuming you continue to play optimally. The key is to identify when luck, good or bad, is affecting optimum play.

dead money888
12-16-2008, 08:43 PM
I agree that it's just statistics, you will win some and lose some.

but I also have noticed that many times when I am losing a lot of hands in a row at a table, and I have folded the last 20 hands I have played between the flop and the river, that will often make the other players at the table who are watching much more aggressive towards me.

I have noticed they will raise me, check raise me much more frequently which will add to my loses.

and I have noticed when I get into this run for cover mode, I seldom get out of it as long as I keep playing on that table with all the other aggressive players.

so while I would like to look at this as just any other job where I put in my 8 hours, at times I think it's really in my best interest to stop playing and cut my losses.

EricBlade
12-17-2008, 04:39 PM
surreyplayboy:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f327/cesarhaha/forum%20replies/ThreadNecromancer.jpg


(just kidding)