What Luck?

What is luck?  Is there even such a thing?  We are always hearing in poker “He got lucky on me”, or “I have been unlucky”, “I sucked out”, “I can’t hit a flush to save my life” “I always lose AK, I have no luck with that hand”, “I’m on a heater”.   “Luck” abounds all over the poker room floor, and in life in general too I guess.   But is it even real?   Can someone ever, actually, be “lucky”…. like, before the fact happens?  And if so, how?   Or is luck just something that we can figure out AFTER the fact; more like the “lucky” one is only the one on the right side of the math variance in that particular, or a set of particular, situation/s/; the “unlucky” one on the wrong side.   Variance, in poker, can most surely seem cruel and can feel like you are on the short end of the stick for a fairly extended period of time.   Haha, I know, as I’m in the midst of just such a period of time currently.   It’s hard not to think of yourself as “unlucky” whilst in the middle of one of these streaks.   The trick is keeping your head looking in the correct directions and, as much as possible, to stick to your “A” game.  But does that mean to play the hands the same way you would play them in the middle of a “good” run?    The caveat here, is things actually DO change a bit, as, although the actuality of luck may be just a distortion of the reality of variance, the PERCEPTION of luck is what really matters here, at least as far as playing poker is concerned.   When you are running bad, for instance, and it’s KNOWN, i.e., the table has seen you running bad, then, although just on the “wrong” side of variance for the moment, you are perceived as being unlucky and this CAN actually change the way you would want to play a particular hand.  So, although the trick IS to stick to your “A” game, that “A” game strategy could change slightly and have to be adjusted according to the perception of you running bad, or being unlucky. This is, in essence, about “Table Image” and adjusting your game to what that image is……  So, although I don’t really believe in “luck”, per se, I most definitely want to keep my mind toward the pulse of what others are perceiving in regards to “luck” and adjust accordingly,   Thus, and in ending, “luck” is both real, and not real, all at the same time.   Good LUCK on the felt, and in life!!


  1. Neil Richmond says:

    I don’t like the word ‘luck’. I use ‘fortunate’. Ex: I am fortunate to have Brock as a friend. I am fortunate to be alive. Or you can use unfortunate if are ‘unlucky’ at the moment.

  2. Sounds like a good philosophy for life in general as well as poker. Always sticking to the A game has to serve us well eventually. 🙂

  3. Brock says:

    Thank you MindyLee! Safe travels.

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