viernes, 8 de abril de 2011
Poker: Luck or Skill ??
There was a very interesting article in this yesterday's Wall Street Journal about America's recent favorite pastime, Poker. The question was asked whether or not poker is a game of chance or a game of strategy and skill. It is clear to me that it involves a tremendous amount of skill to be a very good poker player. Luck, of course, will always play a factor. I have a puncher's chance of beating Phil Ivey on a lucky "all in," but if you have ever seen Joes vs. Pros, you know that professional athletes will dominate you EVERY TIME. Let's be honest. Could you strike out Barry Bonds? Once? Stop Jordan from scoring? Once? The answer is no. You won't. Not once.
So, if I have a chance against Phil Ivey or Howard Lederer, what makes Poker a game of skill? Two very good points were raised in the article. First by Annie Duke, "you can purposely lose at poker if you choose." It's a good point. The ability to affect the outcome is present, unlike roulette, or horse races. Yet, in blackjack you could hit on 21, ensuring a loss. Does that make blackjack a game of skill? Hmmm...
The second point was raised by Annie's brother, Howard Lederer, "the vast majority of high-betting poker hands are decided after all players except the winner have folded. So if no one shows his cards, can you legally argue that the outcome was determined by luck?" Another great point by the poker superstar sibling. If no one sees any cards, the cards did not play a role in the outcome. Thus, the outcome was determined by the betting of the players, clearly a process of skill or strategy.
There are some genuine business concerns over the question. The recent ban on internet gaming was specifically a ban on any "game predominantly subject to chance." The whole thing is rather annoying. Why ban it? Let it happen, try to put check in place to prevent minors from gambling online, and find a way to tax it. Everyone wins.
I have a follow up question. Is investing in stocks a game of luck of skill?
Based on Annie's point, can you intentionally lose? The answer seems to be no. So, how does picking stocks involve more skill than picking the winner of the Warriors/Mavericks series?
Que opinan es el poker suerte o habilidad??