Thursday, April 7, 2011

On Luck

Lots of chitter chatter on the intertubes lately about luck, and a certain diminutive Sicilian woman and the notion that she has more than her fair share of it.

Here's something interesting I found on the subject of luck and poker.

My philosophy of play at NLHE is a simple one: I try to win big pots, and the small ones I pick up (win without a contest). It's a philosophy that necessitates a gambling style of play. My style. And it's this style that has fostered a lot of comment from countless players about how "lucky" I am. I've been hearing that for a lot of years. The simple fact is, it's not true. Everyone gets lucky once in a while but no one is consistently lucky. So it has to be something other than luck to account for the fact I've been a consistently big winner through the years. It is something else.

I've appeared to be a "lucky" player because every time a big pot came up, I've usually had the worst hand. There are good reasons for that: I'm a very aggressive player. I'm reaching out and picking up small pots all the time. I'm always betting at those pots - hammering at them. And I don't want anybody to stop me from doing that. I don't want anyone to defeat my style of play.

Consequently if I've got any kind of a hand, any kind of a draw, I bet. And if I get raised, I don't quit. I go ahead and get all my money in the pot knowing I've probably got the worst hand - that I'm the underdog to win the pot.

If I win ten pots where nobody has a big hand - ten pots with let's say $300 in them - then I can afford to take 2:1 to the worst of it and play a $3000 pot. I've already got that pot paid for with all the small pots I've picked up. And when I play that big pot, it's a freeroll.

The author? Some loser railbird named Doyle Brunson, in his Bible of poker, Super/System. And yes, it's dated as regards some elements of strategy (a victim of the book's popularity) but it's still a brilliant work for the deep nuts and bolts of NHLE. And nobody could rightly accuse that dude of being lucky.

I am not comparing anyone to Texas Dolly. I'm just sayin', is all.


  1. No, Wolfie...

    (takes off glasses dramatically)


  2. I don't care who you are, that's funny, right there. Hell, I don't even wear glasses.

  3. I guess a defender is better than a detractor ...

    Please be by her side when variance slaps her in her kisser. She will be shocked. lol

  4. She doesn't need any support from me when the winds pick up. Four words: LOW CENTER OF GRAVITY.

  5. Gary, when I started reading that, I thought you picked it up off my blog from back in the beginning when I used to post about my strategy.

    You're a good friend. And that "glasses" bit was very funny.

    I just had a 6 hr nap and feel a little better.

  6. Gary,

    did you just say she has a big butt?

  7. No. Merely that she, not being tall, is not easily knocked over.

  8. Jesus Wolf, are you TRYING to get me in trouble?

  9. hahahahaha

    You remind me of Paul McCartney's granddad in Hard Day's Night - very old and very much a troublemaker. Paul would refer to him as "you old twister."

    So there, you old twister.

  10. The old man absolutely makes that flick. Talking about Ringo and his nose: "Aye, it may be a joke to you, but it's his nose. He can't help having a hideous great hooter! And his poor little head, trembling under the weight of it!"