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Lucky Thread

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by TheDude, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. TheDude

    TheDude DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    I really like this reply and I have had the same beliefs. However, I have since gone back on this a bit.

    Luck in poker is short term. Over the long term, luck disappears for strong players. Therefore, luck doesn't exist in poker. Consider that a casino's earnings on a given game graphed out will trend exactly to the house edge of that game.

    In this context, luck might be better described as variance. In short term winnings, variance is the ups and downs on your graph. Long term (zoomed out) the variance smooths out for a good player.

    One minor niggle on your example though...

    This is because they are celebrities. They get backed by sponsors and build a brand. With this backing they were able to play insane games which were good for performance. The shows on T.V. want to show the same faces or else they wouldn't rate as well. This doesn't necessarily mean they are the best at poker. However, the fact that they are well backed does mean they can spend more time playing poker and playing the best at these shows. A more common profile of someone getting rich playing poker back in the day would be someone playing steady and under the radar at home where they can play as many tables as they can handle online with a possibly 24/7 schedule. You don't get rich playing WSOP, that's just where you build your brand.

    Same for boxing. Is Mayweather the best? He had the best record partly because he was able to pick his fights. He was able to shape boxing with his brand recognition. People involved with the sport were incentivized to help Mayweather do all of this. He's still a d*mn good boxer though.

    And the same with music. Are the stars you see on T.V. the best? No, it's brand recognition. But these musicians do get very good by going on tour for years to support their albums.

    And now my disagreement.

    As mentioned, variance is a much better descriptor than luck. The only way you can smooth out your variance to see if you have an edge (positive expected value) is to get long term results based on your play. A rule of thumb for poker players is that you need to play 10,000 hands once you have changed your game to see what the effects are (this isn't even feasible in a casino because it's slower than online poker.)

    Life is FAR more complicated than poker. Even though poker is a complex game, it's still limited to a deck of cards and fixed number of permutations. Life is functionally unbounded.

    Variance in driving is such that you could be a bad driver (but good enough for basic operation of the vehicle) and never get in a wreck. As you get through life, you might think that you are a great driver, but really you were just lucky that one of your bad driving habits didn't end badly. And the risk is such that just one accident could cause your death. In contrast, poker is far more constrained. You can get lucky with one session, but in multiple sessions you will lose everything you put into the game for that session. Lack of skill won't take you far.

    You can get relatively low variance by investing in a scheme which tracks the S&P 500. You can get low variance in the results of your work with strong processes. But as you zoom out to a point which encompasses our whole lives, then the variance is such that luck is a major factor. First up, where were you born? Who were your parents? What mentors did you have when you grew up? Who was there to influence you?

    So, I agree with your last post, but only if you limit the scope.
     
  2. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    Yeah...that was the point.

    :meh: Ok. I concede that is the case now but when large poker tournaments first started that wasn't so much the case.

    There is no "luck" in boxing. Mayweather is absolutely one of the best boxers to have ever lived. Picking your competition is part of the sport. Just like wasting sh*t loads of time is part of the most boring sport to ever exist, American football.

    I think most of them are "very good" at what they do before they get signed. What you considered a "musician" really depends on personal taste. Is the triangle player in a world renowned orchestra a musician? Is a song writer with 20 top 10 hits that can't sing a musician? Is someone who can sing but doesn't have a creative bone in their body a musician? Does whatever Justin Bieber does make him a musician? I guess that depends on who is being asked the question.

    I'm sure you know how analogies work. lol

    If you get through life without ever having an accident you very likely are a good defensive driver that pays very close attention to their surroundings while on the road. Insurance companies have figured out there is not much "luck" when it comes to driving skills. Younger people are more likely to have an accident due to their inexperience, older people less likely, older married people even less likely. Luck has nothing to do with it.

    I think you have that backwards. In the long term there is little "luck" (or risk) with investing, stock markets will go up (until they don't). It is when you try to play the short game that you can get burnt...but it still isn't due to "luck".

    Short Term:
    SP500Short.PNG
    Long term:
    SP500Long.PNG

    To the untrained eye it may seem that luck has to do with the prices but there are reasons why stock prices drop. Obviously it is something that is extremely complicated and not easy to identify or we would already have an algorithm that could predict what is going to happen. "Luck" is used to explain things that we can't, or refuse to, understand.

    WTF was the topic again?
     
  3. danbandanna

    danbandanna DI Forum Adept Veteran Marines

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    the term "luck" indeed devalues hard work and I find it is used by those who are envious of that hard work... but as one who spent several years playing on the circuit in both cash and tournament games... luck does indeed exist as a wonderful and terrifying entity :smile:
     
  4. PatO

    PatO DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer Veteran Marines

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    American Football. Living here there are not a whole lot of possibilities to select from that would not be considered wasting time. For sure, “one man’s passion is another man’s poison”, is in play here. Watching sports at one of the pubs here, playing poker, golf, billiards, drlnking on the blvd, the endless search to find a decent restaurant, gardening, cooking, hours on the internet, chasing the ladies, whatever, for most of us older folks, beats the hell out of working, Another day above ground to waste our time is better than the alternative. Personally, watching football is a far more enjoyable experience than talking politics over coffee at Sans Rival.
    Luck. How about lucky in love here! Low odds for many.

    Dude and Dustin, keep those interesting posts going. Insightful.
     
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  5. Jens K

    Jens K DI Member

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    It doesn't have to. But there are talented people who are successful, and there are talented people who are way more successful than their peers. And there are talented people who aren't successful at all. Luck as a term to describe all the uncertainties in life that are beyond an individual's control helps to explain the difference, it puts things into perspective.

    There are way more talented people, than there are wildly successful talented people. Life circumstances, education, parents, physical and mental health - all things you cannot or only partly control, is what people call luck. You can be really talented in anything, but if you're depressive and never leave your house, well, that's bad luck because chances are nobody will ever know. Ignoring the effects of life circumstances and attributing everything to personal talent devalues the efforts of those people who weren't as lucky as the few highly visible unicorns. Yes, some highly successful people literally rose from a slum where they had nothing - but these are rare exceptions. Many more started at much higher grounds and, from the start, were dealt a better hand.

    Every game of poker is a fresh start so what we call luck just goes away in a mathematical sense if played often enough. Life is more like a single game of poker - you are dealt exactly one hand and then you have to make it or not with that.
     
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  6. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    I didn't mean that watching was a waste of time (though it certainly is a waste of my time). I meant that "time management" is a major factor in the sport. :wink: They really have to be careful how they run their 2 to 5 second plays...and how they use their 45 second breaks between those plays.

    I'm not talking just about super wealthy/talented people. Luck (or bad luck) is an excuse used by the poor and underprivileged to justify their lot in life. If you are depressed and don't leave the house that isn't bad luck, that is a mental illness you can overcome. If you were born into poverty that isn't "luck" and it certainly doesn't prohibit what you can do in life. The sh*tty attitude that usually accompanies those that cry about "bad luck" is what holds people back.

    Maybe this is just semantics though.
     
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  7. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    Not always - some people never cope and live a life of extreme suffering or kills themselves. There are many different routes into that situation and few, I believe, are due to intentional actions by the sufferer. It is a combination of nature and nurture. Is that being 'lucky/unlucky'? I have been in that situation myself but pulled myself out of it and, btw, ran a successful business whilst mostly stuck within my home. I partly attribute that to luck as I was in the right place at the right time to see an opportunity and exploit it.

    As I said above, I ran a successful business - but was born into poverty. I was the only family member to go into higher education but I could have operated my business without that level of education. Two other family members also ran successful businesses - both without any formal higher education. I think the three of us had someone within our brains that directed us that way and perhaps former poverty was the motor. Were we 'lucky' to have those drives?
     
  8. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    Not being able to cope has nothing to do with luck. That is a lack of action/motivation.

    https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/luck
    Most of those quotes, from people much smarter than me, seem to dismiss the idea of luck.

    One of my favorites: "Success is a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

    Kind of mean but...:rolleyes:
     
  9. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    A prize to the best completion of "Kind of mean but ..." :smile:
     
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  10. Jack Peterson

    Jack Peterson DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Air Force

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    "The Winning Lottery Ticket I found Helped a lot" :sneaky: Lucky EH? :smile:
     
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