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Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 13 years and 142 days ago. Viewed 2,387 times. #1
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(23 November 2005)

So I've been playing this Texas Hold-'em No Limit on the internet for a while now, and I think I'm coming to grips with a few subtle ideas that have been floating through my mind.

  • Poker is, firstly and formostly, a game of luck.
The elements of luck run through the game. Whether you are lucky in your pocket cards, lucky on the flop, turn, and/or river, the element in play here is luck. There's no more skill involved in getting dealt pocket aces than there is in turning 2-8-offsuit into a full house by drawing an 8 on the river.
  • Tactics are about working your luck into a winning situation.
Once you have been dealt your cards, what you do with them is up to you. While your luck has been shelved for the moment of you acting, there is still the matter of your opponent's luck. You could bet big with pocket kings, however if your opponent has aces, you are still behind.

This is an idea that I verbalized early on while playing poker when I formulated the concept of minimizing my opponent's opportunities to get lucky.

  • Betting is about altering people's perception of luck.
When you bet, you are either trying to get your opponents to believe themselves luckier than you are, or less luckier than you are. This is a skill, in that you can successfully represent a stronger hand than your opponent's perception of his own hand, or you can represent a weaker hand than your opponent's (for example, by checking through a round which made your hand and betting big the next round).

However in the end, your skill is based on the circumstances of luck.

  • Poker on TV is where the lucky congratulate themselves on their skill.
In the end, luck trumps skill. The skill lies in knowing when you are likely the luckier player; however that doesn't always come through for you.

I don't really know why this game is so attractive to me; I've been going through a period where I have no feel for the game, and many of my critical decisions are bad. I've suffered through some bad beats and failed to pull the trigger in endgame (I blew a 5:1 chiplead in heads-up). All this makes me feel like I am not taking the opportunites that are being presented, that I am too passive. I hate gambling and being forced into gambling; I like my situations to be straight forward.

But I am still playing. I've even signed up for this month's round of the CPT this weekend.

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