There’s No Such Thing as Luck

By David Sasseman | January 20, 2009

Do not bother to read this if you are a hardhead, but there is no such thing as luck. You can dwell on semantics and definitions but this article will not get technical. It will simply prove; there is no such thing as luck. Oh, there are fluctuations and variances, but this is a normal part of the Universe. If a coin comes up heads 10 times in a row, what is the chance of it being tails on the next toss? Many say it has a greater chance to be heads. Some say it has a greater chance to be tails because it has been tails so many times. To relate this to the poker table, what if nines are coming out on most of the flops? I hear players say, “I am not folding when I have a nine in my hand!”

Because of fluctuation, a coin might come up heads 10 times in a row but toss this coin 100,000 times and heads will come up one-half the time. You get pocket aces 1 in 220 hands. Oh, you might not see them for days on end, but with a large enough sample size, say 100,000 hands, you will get them 1 in 220 hands. If you want to call a player “lucky” when he is on a rush OK, but it is not luck. It is the way of nature- fluctuation. If a good player keeps playing his (normally) winning style of poker and has a terrible number of losing sessions- it is fluctuation. He relaxes and waits it out.

Believing in luck to excess is harmful. First off, a player obsessing with luck and hope rarely relaxes. Secondly, they find it hard to admit their strengths and weaknesses. Just blame it on luck. If a player is not honest about themselves, they cannot fix their leaks and will continue to make the same mistakes over and over. Finally, it is hard to concentrate and process the real information when luck and the poker gods are involved in the fray.

Poker Luckaholics 6 Step Program:

  1. We admitted we were powerless and our poker lives become unmanageable when we let luck influence our game.
  2. We will make a deep searching and fearless moral inventory of our poker game.
  3. We will admit to ourselves, and to others, the exact nature of our wrongs.
  4. We are entirely ready to take control and remove all the defects from our game.
  5. We will continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, promptly admit it.
  6. We will study or get a poker coach and believe that new information will improve our game (regardless what level we are on).

Remember luck is an addiction; it is cunning, baffling, and powerful! We must unite and believe it does not exist. In the fifth century BC the Greek philosophers and play writes introduced the notion that we are in control of our own lives. We have mastery over our own destiny. We cannot blame luck and the poker gods any more. Oh, a disbeliever might exclaim, “What is fluctuation!” Another might ask “how can you not believe in luck when this player or that player sucked out on me”. These are just symptoms that the player is not looking at the whole picture and they are addicted to blaming luck for their demise.

Do not be discouraged if you are still unsure. There is one who has all power – that one is you. Take control. Find yourself now. Remember, half measures avail us nothing. We stand at the turning point of our poker career. We will let go the notion of luck from our lives completely. We will learn poker statistics, odds, and percentages with reckless abandon. Having had a spiritual awakening, we will carry this message to others who believe in luck and will practice these principles in all our affairs. The principles we have set down are guides to our progress. From now on, we claim statistical analysis, game theory and computer modelling, not luck.

Do you believe? Say it, “I believe”.

By David Sasseman

David lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and has played over a million hands online and many thousands of hands in Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Las Vegas casinos.


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