By Michael Bond “Your job as a poker player is to identify the situations in which you have a very good chance of winning and risk as much money as possible.” So, that old question: how much is poker about luck? Luck is a huge factor. Your job as a poker player is to identify the situations in which you have a very good chance of winning and risk as much money as possible. The skilful players will give themselves a better chance of winning, but no matter how good you are, there is so much luck involved in any specific hand. Of course, given the law of large numbers, the luck eventually evens out. So the more tournaments you play, the less luck is involved in the game. How important is it to understand probability theory? There is a lot of simple maths you need to know and memorise. For instance, what are the odds of making a flush [five cards of the same suit] if you have two in your hand and there are two on the table? After that, the maths is just one of many factors you can use to figure out what someone has in her hand. There are “maths players” who rely mostly on that aspect, but normally you use some combination of maths, deductive reasoning and psychology. For me,