Thursday, October 08, 2009

What does it mean to get lucky

I used to read a lot of poker blogs but I don't so much anymore. I still read a few regularly, Danny Boy's blog is one that I read regularly. I actually like his blog.

One of the things I like about it is that it keeps me in touch with different ways of thinking about things. There really aren't many topics that Danny thinks about in the same way that I do. If you're going to play poker at all successfully I think it's important to how other people sometimes look at things. You can't do Opponent Modeling if you don't understand how opponents think.

I think a lot of poker players are very results oriented, and Danny is no exception.
3 handed, Barry was a short stack and went all in from the button and because of a dealer error, ended up doubling through me. I was supposed to have Q-2, an easy fold, but the dealer launched my card too high, and flashed. So instead of a 2, I got an Ace for A-Q. I called Barry's all in and lost the hand to his J-10. If the dealer hadn't made that error, I would have folded the Q-2 and Barry would not have won that hand.

Danny seems to think that it was bad luck for him to have the 2 replaced by an Ace. Of course, that's absurd, it was good luck, just a bad outcome.

It doesn't make any sense at all to consider a huge increase in equity (which is the direct effect of replacing a duece with an ace) as bad luck. But players do that sort of thing all the time.

Danny's right in that results is really all that matters once it's all over. But, before you get there it's the path and the intended destination that matters, not the eventual actual outcome.

There's nothing really wrong with being results oriented unless that form of thinking carries over to the actual analysis of the game. That's bad. That leads to not changing your underwear as long as you're on a winning streak.

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2 Comments:

Blogger nerkul said...

you can't say it's good luck to get AQ instead of Q2 if the deck has already been shuffled and you'll now lose to JT. it's not exactly bad luck either. it illustrates why referring to luck at all is silly

4:39 PM  
Blogger phlash74 said...

Actually, Barry would have won the hand had Daniel gotten his Q2, he just would have won a smaller pot. And I highly doubt Daniel would complain about his luck if the AQ had won. The only difference is that Barry wouldn't complain either. That's what separates the two of them.

Michael

1:44 PM  

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