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BLOG: If It Weren't For Luck...

Tags: blog, blogger The Prince of Freerolls.
Blog post published on 04 April 2014, written by The Prince of Freerolls.
The Prince of Freerolls avatar
The Prince of Freerolls
England, 22 years of Age.

Phil Hellmuth would win every tournament. Apparently. If it weren't for luck, every tournament would be won by the player who had read the most poker books, or could read their opponents the best. But what would that game even be?

Maybe it would be like Texas Block ‘Em, the upcoming poker App from Thwart Poker. Their attempt will revolve around the concept of choosing your own hole cards once the flop has been dealt; much like their previous games Texas Hold ‘Em Blitz and Texas Hold ‘Em Battle.


Try to pick a card that someone else also wants? Both of you get nothing, and you've wasted one of your four chances to draw cards.

Unfortunately, both games become reduced to an elaborate version of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Do you want to make a Full House, A Straight Flush or Quads? If you pick the wrong hand, chances are you won't have the chance to draw it, and you'll lose. Pick the right hand, and you'll win. Fun, eh? (No.) (Both the apps look and sound pretty ugly too.)

Last week I mentioned that I'm going to start looking into player poker without the influence of luck. It's something that I'm going to go into further detail next week, but this week I thought I'd write about other people's attempts.

I have played a couple games of both Texas Hold ‘Em Blitz and Battle, two stabs in the dark at luckless poker, and neither of them actually play anything like poker.

It's a little presumptuous that you can remove luck from poker, or even create a new form of poker without it. Maybe you could learn a new play-style that doesn't rely on luck, though. Like Daniel Negreanu, and his patented style of Small Ball Poker.
By focusing on suited connectors and small pairs and vastly increasing the amount of hands you play, thereby neutering the ‘luck' factor of being dealt premium hands, Small Ball players look to take advantage of both the big hands and the small hands that many deem offensive to even be dealt.

Pot control is also an important factor with these players, with the objective to never let themselves be put in a situation where they could lose their entire stack. By focusing on smaller pots, and with many players never overbetting, the bet sizes also stay considerably smaller than they normally would. With no huge pots, should your opponent get incredibly lucky on the river, the damage will be mitigated with the bet sizes reflecting the size of the smaller pots.

Whilst many players before him has played in the same style, the Small Ball Poker style came to the height of its power in the huge poker fields that swelled following Chris Moneymaker WSOP adventures.

A huge increase in runners meant that the amount of things that needed to go your way to get further in the tournament increased exponentially. Any method to try and reduce the impact of luck to the game was one that could vastly increase your chances of stacking up chips.
And a third place in the all-time money list and two Player of the Year titles, definitely shows that this tactic has some merit.

Luck is paramount to Poker. It is a necessity to keep the game alive and to keep it fresh. Whilst every player remembers the bad beats that they took, they never seem to remember the bad players that they have took money off.

Every single one of those players were drawn to poker because of its luck factor, and without these new players bringing in a new influx of money, the poker world would dry out and become stale.

Good poker players will also make more money than they lose thanks to luck, even if they can't see recognise it. And yes, if it weren't for luck, all the good players would win all of the tournaments.

And let me tell you, that would be really, really boring. Poker can be unfair, stupid, confusing and incredibly aggravating at times: but it should never be boring.

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16 comments on "If It Weren''t For Luck..."

 doubletop77704/04/2014 11:40:16 GMT
I think that luck is a fundamental part of playing games of chance. Skill will get you a long way but if you are not lucky as well then not even the very top players would do well in these multi player tournaments
 Heskor04/04/2014 17:19:02 GMT
yep i agree, luck is part of the game and without it the poker rooms would be making money off players as they would be paying rake and playing against players of similar level. Just imagine a head up match that is getting stalemated, you will lose more in rake if you cannot exploit the opponent. Also luck keeps the fishes winning thus staying in the game and feeding money to other players who then feed it to better players.

Just hope for a balance of good and bad luck, I know somebody who is under ev on millions of hands.
 ddblt197004/04/2014 19:28:16 GMT
It is simple,

sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you can make yourself a better chance to

win if you play right.
 damosk04/04/2014 21:10:04 GMT
Poker is like life (some would say more important than life itself) and in life (As in poker). Despite all the best laid plans and intentions, you still need lady luck to shine on you to make the difference between a deal and a great deal. That's why poker is so fascinating.
 bowie198404/04/2014 22:12:44 GMT
If It Weren't For Luck...

The Indianapolis Colts would've been in real deep trouble. They've got rid of Peyton Manning and Tom Tedesco went to San Diego, so the front office had casualties too. Oh, wait...
Its the wrong topic. Cool

Anyway, every p.oker know-how states that these are just methods to gain edge or to overcome your opponents edge. The random factor of the game (which is commonly stated as 'luck') will always going to be random.
 demodawggy04/04/2014 22:34:25 GMT
That could be one of the MOST ridiculous things I've ever read about poker...

'Take the luck out of poker and all the good players would always win'....???

Poker is inherantly a game of chance... which means it's 100% luck...

I don't care how good or bad somebody is, or what any of the seasoned pros can NEVER predict what will happen next...

If you try to bluff,...will people fall for it 100% of the time...? no

If you try to bully,...will people back off 100% of the

If you have 4 aces or a straight flush,...will a higher SF NEVER come

If you could predict any of that,...then the game is no longer poker...nor even a 'game' for that matter...

Even if you have a 99.99% chance of winning, cannot predict when that .01% will bite you in the ass...

Ridiculous...but entertaining... Big Smile
 ddblt197005/04/2014 20:04:20 GMT
Yes, it is about luck,

but you can improve your chances by playing right.
 demodawggy06/04/2014 00:31:34 GMT
Hey doubletopp.... I was sitting at the same table as you in one of those $15 freebie Coin Flips on Party Poker earlier...! It was the first round,...I got knocked out,..but I see you survived...!

How did you do in that,...Did you win it...?

I've not won any yet,...but I did make the final table in one...! I was prayin' I'd be the one,....but it wasn't to be... Confused

$15 in one shot would be NICE...!!!
 ddblt197006/04/2014 20:24:56 GMT
He probably didn´t win that one,

pretty low probability. Big Smile
 Fakiry08/04/2014 13:08:33 GMT
It's not easy to try to analyze the luck of a player at a real online game because, if he wins before the showdown with a bad hand - or just a worst hand than his opponent's - you will have to consider it a good bluff and not luck, when it was just luck in the same because of his opponent's fail to understand the bluff and keep in the game until the showdown.
 nike231008/04/2014 20:51:32 GMT
that's really tough one... but i think i don't have any luck... if i get good hand (AA KK QQ JJ or AK) i loose it almost every time.. so i like cards like 9-10 10-J 7-8 suited ... that's my thing. and i learned how to play them cause I gave up on luck... -.- but ofcourse sometimes i get a very big pot with for example 4-9 not suited on big blind..sooo..that's all relative Smile
 dule-vu08/04/2014 21:57:50 GMT
you must have luck in every part of life,at least little bit!cant expect that everything work on skill and brain,especially when you play againts computer,machines or players who like to play on stupid cards!then you are on tilt,when you see that donk pay on 6 4 and get straight againts your KK!
 tmurphy218508/04/2014 22:30:02 GMT
poker is about luck most of the time .. and skill say its roughley 50 percent luck and 50 percent skill..because no one knows what cards are gonna be dealt .. so ther for u have to get luckey

poker is about luck most of the time .. and skill say its roughley 50 percent luck and 50 percent skill..because no one knows what cards are gonna be dealt .. so ther for u have to get luckey
 ddblt197012/04/2014 19:21:36 GMT

Poker is 100% skill of knowing the chance of the "luck" happening and working with it.
 ayaraled07/06/2014 15:26:01 GMT
poker is about luck because there will no excitement in this game if the favorite always winning behind is what luck gives us....its like cockfighting...the good well trained rooster does not win all the time...sometime the the weak wins and its because of luck....
 ddblt197008/06/2014 08:14:24 GMT
That Texas Block´em looks pretty retarded to be honest.

So far the weirdest poker game I have ever seen.

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