Explaining Poker to Friends / Family

    • ThatGuyMatt
      ThatGuyMatt
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      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 3,758
      Self explanatory thread, how do you convince friends/family that Poker isn't just gambling and a game of luck? You can only say "Look at my profits" if you have a steady profit ofc and can't walk around with that all the time, so how do you explain your side?

      I have some friends who play Texas Holdem on the Xbox Live Arcade, I just can't get it into their head that its not random luck and gambling.
      They play alot but still see no sense, constantly saying its "80% luck & 20% skill" I tried to explain the maths but they have none of it!

      Is there just no hope for some people? How do you convince people its a game of skill?

      I just can't seem to explain it myself properly and it bugs me, lets have soem foolproof ways to show these people! :f_biggrin:
  • 29 replies
    • ragney
      ragney
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      Joined: 02.08.2010 Posts: 2,417
      Theres a big topic about this awhile ago with nice discussions, I can't find it atm though but try looking for it :)
    • shichibukaii
      shichibukaii
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      Joined: 28.06.2009 Posts: 48
      Some people will always think it's pure gambling whatever your arguments might be. And since they're not "into" it they won't really care about changing that point of view. Just like I wouldn't care to change my opinion about cycling being a boring sport to watch, even though someone would be a fan of it and would try to convince me otherwise.
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
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      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      I think explaining poker to random people (who have no interest in it) is harder than scoring with the hottest Hollywood celebrity.

      That said, if they say it's just luck, I am very inclined to play them a lot if the stakes are to my liking. :D
    • eXtremeACE
      eXtremeACE
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      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267
      Heh, funny thread.. I get your point..
      It's soooo taboo to make a (constant, keyword here) money off a poker in the country I'm living, that everyone's first guess is I'm gambling and should quit. ZOMG :D

      But over time I came up with a quick question that somehow puts them in my mindset, atleast a tad closer..

      Ask your skeptic friend this: I give you 1000$ and we play a game of mine. We have 1 dice, and if the number turns out to be between 1 and 5, you get double your bet, and if it turns out to be 6, I take your bet. Note to them - that shows up like ~83% in their favor, and tell them they can bet as small as 0.10$ and bet 10000 times, or bet once all of their 1000$.. And ask them what will they chose and why?

      If they pick the smallest possible bet, then explain to them that you're doing the same with poker, playing through hundreds and hundreds of hands waiting for that positive expected value to show over time.

      :heart: For an added bonus you can say to them that with AA preflop you're about ~80% favor vs random hand, and by going all-in preflop with such hand you're actually doing the same thing in the above game.

      If they pick to bet all of once, stop explaining, there is no point to waste your words, turn your back and keep on walking. :D
    • ragney
      ragney
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      Joined: 02.08.2010 Posts: 2,417
      Here it is
      Telling People/Friends You Play Poker?
    • AJSK
      AJSK
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      Joined: 23.05.2009 Posts: 58
      There are certain people that you cannot convince. My parents are very religious (Christianity) and hold the belief that gambling is a sin, win or lose. Of course, they also hold the general (incorrect) consensus, that poker is all luck (gambling) and that you will lose if you keep playing. At the sign of poker, my mother completely flips out and I cannot explain to her that I am actually doing well and making a profit.

      A person in the topic linked above me said to not mention it at all if you're a recreational player, and only to select people if you play professionally, and I like to hold this stance as well. With how much indoctrinated misinformation that goes around about poker, it's simply not worth it to try and explain to some people.

      As a side note, I do recall seeing a thread a long time ago that linked to a document containing detailed descriptions on why poker is good for you, but I'm not sure where that is now...
    • prochmann
      prochmann
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      Joined: 09.06.2011 Posts: 32
      Just tell them to look at the final tables of the big tournaments.. we have a lot of the "same faces" there.. can't be luck, right?

      kind regards!
    • conall88
      conall88
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      Joined: 02.01.2009 Posts: 1,715
      The real question is why should you bother?

      I mean if it doesn't change much, what's the point.

      If you are suceeding and they notice, that's great. eminate a calm and logical attitude.
    • jonnyjm
      jonnyjm
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.03.2008 Posts: 447
      You don't, we arn't able to mind control people into changing an opinion or assumption. They'll only understand if they want to understand.

      Just avoid talking about poker, it's a bit like a girl talking to me about her hand bag or shoes, i'm just not intrested in those topics so i'll think it's boring/have no interest in learning about them. To some people this is poker.

      My bestfriends always been skeptical about poker, thinking its prodominatly luck and little to no skill. I havn't had a real job for about 5 years now...last week i was at the pub with him having a pint and eating some fruit cake and he goes "Are you still in profit with the poker?" and i go "yeah" then he goes "are you sure" and im like "dude how the frick do you think i payed for this and everything else? I havn't had a job for 5 years!!!!". Point of that story is some people arn't capable of understanding, so just avoid convos about poker unless spoken to about poker...simples.
    • bradomurder
      bradomurder
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      Joined: 17.10.2008 Posts: 1,329
      Originally posted by prochmann
      Just tell them to look at the final tables of the big tournaments.. we have a lot of the "same faces" there.. can't be luck, right?

      kind regards!
      that's only cos those same degens play more than anyone else


      don't even bother explaining imo, if people see you're confident and dont care about their opinion they just leave you alone after a while

      I do find it funny how people think that even though they have never actually played the game they know better than someone who puts in a huge amount of time studying and playing it
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
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      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,860
      Originally posted by jonnyjm
      They'll only understand if they want to understand.
      well said sir, also nice post overall

      if it's not your girlfriend/parents/someone for whom the subject actually matters in some way... just don't bother.
      else if they have a reason to care... you should manage to make them understand things better over time.
    • ramadas
      ramadas
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      Joined: 02.09.2011 Posts: 462
      Just tell them to look at the final tables of the big tournaments.. we have a lot of the "same faces" there.. can't be luck, right?



      Really? This was ad for Full Tilt Poker, but I don't see it is true. More and more unfamiliar faces.
    • shichibukaii
      shichibukaii
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.06.2009 Posts: 48
      tell them poker not only teaches you how to put some mathematical/psychological skill into action, but also prepares you for tough real life situations. And then show them this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9X3h-avdFE
    • Rukkizzi
      Rukkizzi
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.03.2011 Posts: 10
      To sombody who knows nothing about poker, its a very simple game, they know the rules, they know how to play np :)
      When you tell people u have been learning alot for a long time they probably lol inside :/
      From my little experiance its near impossible to explain to others, i just try to cram in as much termonology as poss while giving very brief explenations about positioning, best sizing, bankroll managments and such hopfully after that they are left thinking theres more to it then they first thought.
    • Cealin
      Cealin
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.03.2006 Posts: 85
      Some people really understand and think it's cool that I can earn some with poker.

      But, there are also the other people: one time I loaned money from my grandmother because I needed it. Then later on I heard from others that my uncle said I needed that money so I could (lose with) poker more.

      Lol
    • TwiceT
      TwiceT
      Black
      Joined: 15.07.2007 Posts: 4,796
      I did never convince anybody. When they were interested and asked, I explained everything the best I could. When they flamed, I didn't answer or respond in any way. At max I told them I have to find out myself :) Just dont take it personally, they just dont (want to) understand simple because almost everybody is not in control of their gambling emotions themselves, hence they perceive everyone else to lack this skill as well. (cuz obv there are also Roulette plrs telling you about their strategies ... )




      Now, a few years later I sometimes send postcards from one of my journies or showing my penthouse view, post pics on FB when Im cruising around in my racing machine or playing Golf during a sunny weekday or let one of my companies conduct business negotiations with their bosses ...


      And soon with the help of JB I might even publish a poker strategy book. They didn't wanna listen back then, maybe they like to read now. :] :] :]
    • TwiceT
      TwiceT
      Black
      Joined: 15.07.2007 Posts: 4,796
      my point is: dont care what others think. not in poker not in anything. be happy yourself and make ppl happy around you. not much else rly matters.
    • TwiceT
      TwiceT
      Black
      Joined: 15.07.2007 Posts: 4,796
      btw one more thought. there is skill in basically everything and there is randomness (they call it luck) in everything.

      i can gain an edge in uno (if you wanna book uno coaching, contact me in skype), flipping a coin (you can practice how to through it in order to get a slight advantage) and basically everything. the more you practice something, the better you get vs others. even if it only means you can apply rules faster.

      from my experience, ppl just don understand that. dont try to "convince" ppl that what you do is good or not. if you think quitting uni is best for you, do it. if you think become an actor is best, do it. i dont see a point in convincing ppl that poker is a skill game. just tell them you love the game, you are happy playing it, it challenges your mind, it finances your studies etc etc etc


      i rather tell ppl btw poker is a fun game and depending purely on luck :D a) good to keep taxation authorities believing that b) good to get new fish playing. imagine they would rly understand and know i have a 60/40 edge in any single hand we play .... not sure if they would rly continue playing me :D
    • Meda1985
      Meda1985
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.01.2011 Posts: 233
      Originally posted by MattDenness

      They play alot but still see no sense, constantly saying its "80% luck & 20% skill" I tried to explain the maths but they have none of it!

      They are so wrong, Phil Helmuth says: "Poker is 100% skill and 50% luck!" :)
      I don't know where are you from, but in some countries any way of earning money is acceptable! So, here in Serbia where avg paycheck is about 300EUR, so if you can make constant profit playing poker, not only mother and father will back you, but even your wife and children, as well as the church people! :)
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