Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Luck or Skill?

I want you to imagine you are watching a group of people playing poker.  Don't worry - I am not encouraging you to gamble, but just using this to illustrate a very important point!

One of the players, Fred, keeps winning.  He shows top hand after top hand.  A Royal Straight Flush, which is the best hand you could possibly have in the game, comes up twice!  The probability of just having one Royal Straight Flush is 0.000154% and he has two, one after the other.  The next two hands he loses.  Then he wins again with four aces, which is also a very rare, powerful hand.  After another losing hand he wins with a Full House (a percentage chance of 2.6% for this).  That is 4 winning hands in a series of 7.  In the first 3 winning hands he gains a lot of chips.  Fewer players throw chips at him when he wins with his Full House, but he still leaves the table having gained around 10 times the amount of money he brought to the table.

Another player, Stephen, loses quite a lot of his "stack" of chips in the first couple of hands.  One of those hands was three kings, and he bet a lot of his "stack" on that hand.   He wins the third hand with a pair of 10s, gaining most of the chips he originally lost.  He wins again on the fourth hand, but as everyone folds to him we cannot see what his hand was.  His winnings now have increased his "stack" to around double what he brought to the table.  He doesn't enter the last three hands at all.

Fred walked away having increased his funds tenfold.  Stephen doubled his funds.  Which of these two players would you feel was the better poker player and is likely to end up with the most money if they keep on playing for many hundreds of games?

The poker players among you may say I have not given you enough information to be certain of the answer.  True.  But you probably have enough to make a fairly reasonable guess.

If you have answered "Stephen", then congratulations!  From the very limited evidence before us he is probably the better player and will probably eventually make more money.

Fred was just very lucky.  The only times he won he had extremely rare hands.  That was the reason he won so much, as other players could reasonably have assumed they had the best hand and were probably right to bet heavily against him.

The thing about luck is that you cannot rely on it.  Skill, on the other hand, you CAN rely on.

A good poker player knows that when he loses money at the table that doesn't necessarily mean he was playing badly.  He will try to learn from the experience, perhaps realizing after the event that there were some body language signals he could have picked up to tell him just how good a hand his opponent had.  But he will also recognize that the best poker player in the world does not win the majority of hands he (or she) plays.  Even the best players lose more hands than they win.  But those hands they DO win eventually ensure they win a lot more money than they lose.

Life is like this too.  No matter how experienced you are in using the Law of Attraction you will not always win every single "battle" in your life.  But if you remain positive and apply the Law of Attraction properly you will win the "war" itself.  Each of your failures is just another step towards success.

Be very thankful when you are lucky.  Make sure the Universe (or God, if you prefer) knows you are very grateful for that luck.  Believe yourself to be a very lucky person.  Know that "lady luck" is on your side.  But also accept your failures gracefully.  Look at them carefully to see what, if anything, you can learn from them, but never be discouraged.  Accept that sometimes luck works against you but that a series of unlucky events is not a pattern of bad luck that will continue.  Your next lucky event is only just around the corner.

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