In light of the World Series of Poker October Nine at the Rio
on Oct. 29 and 30 it’s only appropriate to take a closer look at poker and delve into the controversial debate of whether or not poker is a game of skill or luck.
This isn’t a new question. In fact, in 2011 economists Steven D. Levitt and Thomas J. Miles explored the idea of luck vs. skill in the working paper published with the National Bureau of Economic Research. What they found? Poker is mainly about skill.
To determine how much luck plays a role in poker, Levitt and Miles analyzed results from the 2010 World Series of Poker and computed the net loss or gain for each of the more than 32,000 players who competed for a total of $185 million in prize money.
The 2010 tournament’s entry fee ranged from $1,000 to $50,000, for which a player receives a certain amount of chips.
The economists discovered that the 720 players rated as highly skilled won an average of more than $1,200 each per event, or received a 30 percent return on their initial investment. All other players averaged a loss of $400 per event, which was 15 percent of their investment. The paper concluded that this large gap in returns is strong evidence in support that poker is indeed a game of skill.
In 2012, a Brooklyn judged also ruled that poker was a game of skill after Lawrence Dicristina admitted to running Texas Hold’em contests and charged under the federal Illegal Gambling Business Act. He was convicted by a jury and later asked the judge to throw out the jury verdict, stating that poker isn’t gambling. The judge agreed and set Dicristina free. He concluded that poker isn’t gambling since it is a skill, which makes it legal under federal law. To prove his case a defense expert provided evidence that skillful poker players consistently win over time, while those who don’t have the proper skills consistently lose.
Stay tuned for more details on the World Series of Poker’s final tables on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 at the Rio
. In the meantime you can test out your hand and see if you have the skill to be a successful poker player at any of the many casinos up and down the Strip. And if you choose the Rio don’t forget to take a break from the game and catch some of the hotel’s many shows like the comedy magic duo Penn & Teller
(coming back November 3rd,) the sexy male revue Chippendales
, the tribute show The Rat Pack is Back
and much more.
Las Vegas, NV 10/23/12