Friday, April 18, 2008

Phil Gordon Answers Your Poker Questions

From Freakonomics:

Q: What percent of your success would you say is attributable to randomness?

A: That really depends on what you mean by randomness. Was it random that I was born in the U.S. to a caring family that was able to educate me instead of to a poor family in Zimbabwe? That was probably the biggest determining factor in my success, and one of the most random.

Randomness, otherwise known as “variance” at the poker table is much bigger and more important than most poker players realize. I have a simple theory: change 10 river cards in any poker player’s tournament career and I would bet that they would be a losing tournament player for their career.

Q: How many times have you gone completely broke over the course of your poker career?

A: I’m proud to say “zero” — in fact I’ve never had a losing year as a pro. I practice very sound bankroll management principles, and I think my game selection skills are just about as good as anyone in the game.

If there aren’t a few guys that are just giving their money away, I don’t play.

Q: At a final table, would you rather play against a pro that you understand or a lucky rookie who doesn’t understand the game?

A: Give me the chump any day....MORE