Join date: Apr 25, 2022

They are broke because of poor emotional control, an inability to evaluate themselves objectively, a need to challenge tougher players, and many other reasons. An important, but rarely discussed reason is that they are not much better than their opponents. “Your success at poker depends, not on how well you play, but on how well you play in relation to your opponents.” If most players in a game have approximately equal abilities, the small differences in abilities will have little effect. It is an extremely well-verified statistical principle. For example, research proves that Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) scores are poor predictors of grades in elite colleges because they accept only the highest scorers

I am writing this book during the Olympics, and the same principle is extremely obvious there. The Olympians are such superb athletes that the differences between them are tiny. The winner in an event may be a few hundredths of a second faster than the second, third, and fourth place finishers, while any of them would finish far ahead of nearly every non-Olympian.

The same principle applies to poker because most games are “stratified.” As games get bigger, the players get tougher. The skill differences between high-, middle-, and low-stakes players are often much greater than the differences between players in most games at any level. “We cannot stress enough that—in the bigger games—most of the worst players are good enough to beat the smaller games.”

If poker players and Olympians compete only against weaker opposition, they will nearly always win. In addition, it doesn’t matter whether you win an Olympic event by a hundredth of a second or ten minutes. You still get the gold medal. In poker you want to win as much as possible, and the easiest way to win a lot of bets is to play against much weaker players.

More actions