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Poker a game of skill according to Cigital Study

1/4/2009
A survey carried out by software consultancy group Cigital in conjunction with online poker giants PokerStars pored over the results of over 103 million hands to conclude that poker is a game of skill.

The recently concluded study analysed the findings of online hand histories submitted by PokerStars players and discovered that 75% of all hands were won or lost without the player ever seeing more than their own hole cards and the cards on the board.

Of the remaining 25% that actually reached showdown, only half were won by the player holding the best five-card hand, with the remainder of winning hands being folded before the cards were turned face up. Such findings strongly indicate that Texas Hold’em is a game dictated largely by skill, with good players relying on more than just luck to win pots.

Senator Alfonse D’Amato, Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, hailed the results of the survey, which he claimed proved that a player’s decision-making in a hand was more important to their long-term success than the outcome of the cards.

“As a poker player, I can tell you that knowing when to hold or when to fold is not based solely on the cards that are dealt, but a series of decisions based on skill and the actions of the other players,” D’Amato explained. “This study provides the raw data to back up the compelling arguments made by poker players from around the world that it’s skill, not pure luck, that determines the outcome of the game.”

The full findings from Cigital’s statistical analysis of Texas Hold’em can be downloaded from their website at: www.cigital.com.

Duncan Wilkie
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