posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 03:33 AM
I'm not saying there isn't some element of chance, only that a single hand, or even a single night is meaningless, and thus, luck is meaningless -
since it handicaps every player equally.
Luck may determine a hand, or even an entire night (everyone has those nights), but it doesn't do much more than annoy a skilled player. They will
have three or four or a hundred good nights under their belt, won through skill, for every bizarre evening where every hand is garbage and the ante
grinds them down.
Point being, poker is not one hand. It's a freakin' career.
Good players don't throw their money around, they don't dump a bunch of chips in the pot on every hand, in hopes of drawing into something decent;
they don't rely on luck to win. The folks who rely on luck to win are the same folks who you see trying to convince other players at the table of
the real cash value of the deed to their home.
Schmucks may win a hand, they may even win a bunch of hands, but the skilled players are the ones who always have money in their pockets, and can
consistently play well, no matter what cards they're dealt.
A solid player, Mike, plays hold 'em with a regular group. He's known for checking every chance he gets, folding often, and raising strong on rare
occasions, usually after the river card creates a pair on the table. (IMO, bad players follow a schedule unknowingly, whereas good players can use
the appearance of a schedule to their advantage - but I'm an amateur at best.)
Every time in recent memory that someone has played into that strong raise, Mike has swept the table with a strong full house or four of a kind. Mike
gets dealt a load of garbage one hand, and instead of folding after the second ace hits the table face up, he bluffs, raising strong like he normally
would if he was just dealt the final element of a money-maker hand. If he doesn't give himself away, the other players at the table fold, wisely,
and he collects the pot without ever having to show his garbage. Well played.
Or, one of the other players has two aces in hand, when that second ace hits the table and Mike raises strong, and he's sure he knows that Mike's
either bluffing four of a kind or holding a full house, he comes right back at him in the hopes of scaring him away or taking even more of his money.
Now Mike has a decision to make...
If he stays in, raises again, controls his bowels and looks at his opponent the way a Grizzly looks at salmon, he just might raise a seedling of doubt
in the mind of the guy across the table, especially if the guy across the table happens to look down and realizes for the first time that there's a
King, Queen, and Ace of diamonds staring back at him, along with another random ace and the ubiquitous two, then he looks back up at Mike, realization
creeps across his face, and Mike grins. So what happens?
Someone loses big when the dust settles, and it had little to do with luck, and everything to do with the individuals' ability to analyze their
That's good poker, I think.
If a fella wants to just throw money into the pot and take a chance on the cards he's dealt, why not play War instead, and leave poker to the poker