Check It: DADI |


Moneymaker on Luck

A while ago, I mentioned that Moneymaker, in his book, makes a very interesting point concerning luck. Everyone knows Moneymaker as the winner of the main event of the 2003 World Series of Poker. He is also a fine author, and if you get a chance, read his book. It gave an interesting perspective on the man and the WSOP.

A lot of people see Moneymaker as one lucky SOB who sucked-out his way to winning the WSOP. Once you read his book, you'll see that he did have his fair share of suck-outs. However, he also earned his suck-outs by amassing chips enough that he could take a chance.

Moneymaker's comments regarding luck were particularly interesting. The best way to explain it is to use an example from the WSOP (and his book). Thank you DP for setting me straight on the hand history. I was way-off originally. But the principles are there, so bare with the errors. Chris Moneymaker ("CM") held pocket AQ. He was the chipleader or thereabouts. Phil Ivey ("PI") held 99. There was a lot of betting pre-flop. The flop was QQx. CM and PI bet back and forth. A third player in the hand laid down his cards (allegedly pocket JJ). The turn was a 9. CM bet and PI went all-in. The river was an A, and Moneymaker won the hand with a higher fullhouse.

People think Moneymaker was lucky. But as Moneymaker put it, they were both lucky. He was just lucky last. Ivey had a slim shot of hitting his 9 on the turn. He got lucky when he hit it. In the exact same way Moneymaker was lucky to hit his A on the river. In the end, people see Moneymaker as getting lucky. But that was not the whole picture.

While Moneymaker does not go into depth on the subject, another aspect that is overlooked is that Moneymaker put himself in a position to get lucky. He had a chiplead and a table image, and was willing to push his hand. Had be been timid, or shorstacked, or whatever, he woudn't have made it to that point.

So, I guess the moral of the story is that luck is definitely as aspect of the game. However, you have to put yourself in a position to get lucky, so to speak.

On that note, I was extremely lucky this weekend. I almost saw it as a pre-wedding gift from the poker gods. I hit quads on three occassions. I flopped full houses, nut straights, and flushes. I could do no wrong. Seems that the same thing is happening to GCox too. Sometimes it makes you wonder.

I have too much to do, and I'm under the weather, and blah blah blah.

So, go poker youself.

posted by Jordan @ 10:07 AM,


At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordon, that is completely wrong. I remember watching the WSOP footage, this is how the hand went, from what I remmeber --

Moneymaker: AQo
Phil Ivey: 99

Money raise preflop, Ivey call.

Flop QQx, Money bet moderate amount, Phill calls.

Turn 9. Money bets, Phil immediately goes all in. Money calls instantly.

Turn brings an A giving Money a full house and knocking out Phil Ivey.

When betting took place, the only time Moneymaker had a better hand was on the flop, so 1/3 the hand. In addition, he called Phil Ivey's all in (instantly, nonetheless) and got extremely lucky -- he had only 8% chance to catch an A or Q.

That's how I remember it anyway. Oh yeah, and I really do think Moneymaker is an idiot as evidenced when he showed up to the WSOP main event with a hangover.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops I meant: River brings an A giving money a full house.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger GaryC said...

That's the hand I remember too, BUT, I find it hard to agree that Moneymaker is an idiot. He made some great plays during the WSOP to get to that point and some even better plays at the final table. How do you bluff Sam Farha?

The one I considered lucky(before this year) was Raymer. He caught embarrasingly easy cards to play at the end two years ago. His showing this year, though, proved that he was no fluke either. I think Moneymaker will win again at some point. Maybe not the Main Event, but he'll win more tournaments.

Varkonyi was the luck-box of the last few WSOP's.


At 11:48 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Thanks DP. I read the book weeks ago, so I knew my hand history was worng. The important part, though, was the way that Moneymaker explained the situation. I think there is some validity to it. Moneymaker did make a bonehead move and get lucky by calling after Ivey hit his full house. However, Ivy made a bonehead move post-flop with his call, and got lucky by hitting his 2-outer. That is undeniable.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger D said...

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity...You are dead on by saying that he had the chips and was able to play this way. Does Moneymaker go around saying he is the greatest player ever or that his win wasn't luck at all? If he does, he deserves some criticism. In all my poker watching and reading I haven't heard him say these two things(I havent read his book yet). If he hasn't said these things and people still like to ridcule him, they need to get a life. Sounds more like jealosy. I am not saying he wasn't lucky, but arent we all lucky sometimes.

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Let me also point out, in response to DP, that you miss some important points. You mention that Moneymaker only had a 8% chance to hit his A or Q. Well, Ivey only had an 8% chance to hit his two-outer post-flop. So, Ivey hit an 8% and so did Moneymaker. If Moneymaker is an idiot for this, then so is Ivey. Also, there isn't anything wrong with having a hangover. You of all people should know that. Read the book though. I think it will give you a better idea of who Moneymaker is and why he did what he did. Otherwise, you are basing your assumptions on TV editing and hearsay.


Post a Comment

<< Home