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judge rules poker game of skill

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Gomar, Aug 23, 2012.

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  1. Gomar

    Gomar Low-Roller

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  2. jayperiodsmith

    jayperiodsmith Low-Roller

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    A game of skill? I still say its More luck with skill thrown in. You can be dealt pocket ACES and still lose to Pocket 2's, with 5 cards to come on the board. Hows that skill? Its pure luck then. I rather be lucky than Good I say!:wink2:
     
  3. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    there's certainly an element of luck involved and it's always better to be lucky than good. but luck doesn't explain why you see the same faces at final tables around the world.
     
  4. elrohir44

    elrohir44 Low-Roller

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    Jay-

    Skill has no effect on how the cards fall during a single hand. The skill comes with how the player decides to play his hand over the long run. Nobody is saying that your skill can give you a better hand than the other player. They are saying that a skilled player is going to tend to lose less money when they have a losing hand than a poor player would, and vice versa. It takes time for a player's skill to make itself obvious.

    In your pocket aces example, aggressive raising preflop could have gotten the 22 hand to either fold or pay too high a price to see the flop to make calling profitable over the long run. One of the laws of poker is that whenever another player makes a move that will give him a theoretical loss over the long run, the other players in the hand make a theoretical profit.

    Also in reference to your example, a skilled player is more likely to recognize when his AA are beat, and will therefore tend to lose less money on the hand than an inexperienced player who would often act like his AA were invincible and call any bet.

    My point is in the short run luck plays a big role (hand per hand, tournament per tournament, and even session per session) just like playing blackjack or craps. Over the long run (months and years) a skilled player's edge over the rest of the table will show a profit, again, just like blackjack or craps does for the casino. Playing BJ, you are going to have "lucky sessions" against the casino where you win a lot. Consider this a "bad beat" against the casino. IF you continue to play, however, the casino will eventually win it back and more because it holds an edge over the player. The same thing applies to poker players.

    Fortunately for the truly skilled poker players, nearly every poker player thinks they are good at the game so the bad ones keep coming back to the tables.
     
  5. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    In principle, I'd agree its a game of skill.

    But pretty murky grey territory for the courts to be wading into.

    I mean, if I'm running a high max buy in, low blind cash game with a low rake, its way more a game of skill than if I run a 1 hour or less sit and go with aggressive blind levels.

    Those are both poker, but are way different in their skill vs luck balance. But because of the former, the latter gets the benefit of the doubt?
     
  6. elrohir44

    elrohir44 Low-Roller

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    Nevyn,

    Even though the luck/skill balance changes significantly in your example, there will always be a way for a smart player to squeeze out a small edge against the other players (through hand selection or increasing aggression against a player that seems timid, for example). No matter the level of luck involved, a player's decisions will always have an effect on the ultimate outcome of a tournament with a poor structure. A good player should still have better results than a bad player over the long run, regardless of what fees are charged.
     
  7. crapsguy5000

    crapsguy5000 Low-Roller

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    Tax Deductions

    I am intrested to see if the tax code will change regarding poker. Right now gambling losses are only deductible to the extent that they do not exceed gambling winnings. If poker is a game of skill, (much like stock and commodity trading), it would then seem reasonable to say that there can be professional poker players; just like you have professional stock and commodity traders. That would mean that poker players can then claim themselves as a buissness;( just like stock and commodity traders do); and deduct expenses on schedule C for "buissness trips" to play the game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  8. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    But again, this about a continuum between luck and skill.

    The judge contrasted it with sports betting, which can be aided by skill, but is considered gambling. So obviously there is some arbitrary cut off line where something requires enough skill to not match the definition.

    And my point that where poker falls in that continuum is completely dependant on the specifics of the game's rules.

    An aggressive blind level tourney, or low buy-in to blinds cash game still take some skill. But not much, and skill is less of an edge. It is more like passing a bar of competence.

    For example, put a top pro against a solid home game amateur that can hold his own in a vegas 1-2 game, and in my first example the pro has a massive edge in outcome.
     
  9. elrohir44

    elrohir44 Low-Roller

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    There are already tax laws in place for professional gamblers. The way I understand it it is similar to how a business is taxed. Tournament pros are able to deduct expenses such as travel and hotels for example. To file this way you must proved that gambling is your primary source of income. You must also maintain extremely detailed records. Unfortunately you are still pretty much taxed on winnings and losses are treated as deductions so it is still not perfect. Hopefully the laws will change as you said.
     
  10. crapsguy5000

    crapsguy5000 Low-Roller

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    That is not correct. The current tax laws state that even if all your income comes from gambling, then losses are deductible only to the extent that they do not exceed winnings . Since you cannot declare gambling ventures as a business none of your expenses are deductible and losses that exceed winnings cannot be carried forward to provide deductions for future tax years, like you can with stock and commodity losses.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
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