Texas Hold ’em is NOT a game of chance

John Doe at the MGM

It is most definitely a game of skill.  In order to illustrate, I’m going to have to seem as though I am bragging, but I am not.  I regularly play in a small tournament at The Sahara at 7:00 pm.  Total buy in with add on is $65.00.  Total entrants average from 85 to over a 100.  Due to a variety of reasons, the last 4-5 players usually “chop” the prize money instead of playing it all the way down to a winner.  I’ve “chopped” (won $450+) in 4 of the last 5 tournaments there.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction

If each person had an equal chance, then statistically I should have a 1 in 100 (or however many entered the tourney on that particular day) 0f winning, or to factor in a chop, a 4 or 5 in 100 chance of chopping.  That is a far cry from having a 50% chance of winning.   But imagine flipping a coin with somebody for $65 each time and winning 4 out of 5.  Some might suspect a doctored coin, but few would panic if they lost 4 of 5, realizing that eventually the aberrant streak would return to the norm of  50-50.  There is simply no skill in flipping a coin (although I ALWAYS call “heads” when given the choice. 😉  )

Some diehard skeptics might be thinking that my recent streak is just a statistical aberration and that it means that soon I will be on an inordinately long losing streak if I keep it up.  But you naysayers would BE WRONG.  DEAD FUCKINGWRONG!   Hold ’em is like surfing, when you get in the groove (or the slot, or whatever surfer dudes call it), you are golden.  And it is like a basketball player who gets in “the zone.” Every shot they throw up is golden. Swish, swish, swish. Heck, even bowlers get in “the zone.” I did once. I was a 110 average bowler and one game bolled a 220.  Every shot was strike, strike, strike.

Right now, at the Sahara, I’m in the zone. It really is no big deal in the grand scheme of things.  The meager prize money merely pays some of the bills, for now.  But it also confirms that 1) hold ’em takes skill, and 2) John Doe has that skill, at least among the other little fish in the very small pond that is The Sahara. (I know this stupid post is opening me up for bad karma–I’ll probably not win there again for six months.  But that won’t change my opinions.)

5 responses to “Texas Hold ’em is NOT a game of chance

  1. Sounds like you’re doing OK there John, at least you’re not eating out of bins and using newspapers for blankets.

  2. It still could happen, Sir, but it is definitely not in my plans…

  3. Why don’t you play for higher stakes?

  4. Why? It is not an ego thing with me. I don’t want to play with the best players. I want to play with the worst ones, who are easier to beat. If I can win $500 in an afternoon playing $1-$2 no limit, or lose $500 playing $2-$5 or $5-$10, I’ll choose the former any day of the week.

  5. Damn JD…that’s almost lawyer’s wages. 😉


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