The Fallacy Of The Importance Of Skill In Poker
This week we have again witnessed an angry reaction from a significant number of professional players to statements by Sheldon Adelson in which the millionaire mogul of the Sands casinos seems to reject the idea that poker is a game of skill.
Ike Haxton played him an idiot, Brian Rast challenged him to a heads-up. Kristy Arnett called him a fool … To a certain extent, it is difficult to defend the idea that a man who has amassed Adelson’s fortune is a fool of a capirote, and even though he is, it does not take too much light to distinguish the skill that requires playing a Poker hand of simple fact to bet a number to the roulette.
Moreover, the American author Steve Ruddock has the theory , which I share, that Adelson has a very advanced understanding of that difference, only that he does not give a damn.
Let’s look again at the paragraph that raised the ire of our American colleagues.
Some say poker is not gambling. Poker is a game. They say it’s a game of skill. I do not know what skill you can apply to someone who shuffles some cards and gives you a few at random. You have no control over them. Is there one who bluffs better or makes better bets than others? Yes, but that does not make it a skill game.
Adelson recognizes that in poker there are more skillful players than others, who bluff better or who make better bets. I do not think anyone who knows the rules of poker is able to deny such evidence, and I do not think Adelson denies it either, despite the final clue that it does not make poker a game of skill.
That Adelson is not an idiot does not mean that he is not capable of twisting an argument until he contradicts himself for his convenience. The problem with all of Adelson’s statements is the context, which has a lot to do with his personal interests, his ideology and the legal side of this discussion.