Be Wary of Poker Statistics: Responses to Part 1

Yesterday’s post generated some strong replies. I was taken aback by this. The post was supposed to be an introduction to the tricky topic of interpreting poker tracking statistics.

The best response was from loyal customer Matt, who wrote,

People who pay $60 [for poker statistics software] are a sophisticated crowd.

He’s right. When people ask to export data from Poker Copilot for use with R I know I’ve got some mathematically sophisticated users.

What Matt and others don’t see are the support e-mails I get from some users without a strong background in statistics. They get lost amongst the statistics, unsure what to make of them. These users were the target for the post.

These are the users who might see that an opponent has a 0% “blind steal attempt”, and therefore fold their premium hand when that opponent does finally attempt to steal the blinds. But that 0% may be 0 from 4. In my opinion, folding here is a dangerous conclusion.

I say other users. But now a confession. I find myself instinctively playing by small-sample-space statistics sometimes. And I should know better!