Gus Hansen is one lucky guy

OK, I am not doubting Gus Hansen's skill whatsoever, he is worldclass. But......I have seen him win more hands as a complete dog and only seen him bust out one time. His ability to play strange hands and pull them off is uncanning.

Luck is a misleading word, but damn I have never seen people catch cards like this guy. Last night on WPT, the Magician goes all in with 77 and Gus calls with T8s. Gus said, "Well I have to call with ten high." And lo and behold on the turn an 8 falls.

Yes it was pretty much a coin flip with the 2 overcards vs the lower pair, but damn who calls an all in with T8s? Gus Hansen I guess.

from what i've seen gus has had much more than his "fair share" of luck. it will be interesting to see if he lasts more then a few years.

the thing that gets me is how the announcers, when gus plays, say stuff like, "gus is playing amazing poker. his great play is just on another level...how does he do it?". do what? outdraw dominating hands? catch every flop he needs when he is a dog to stay alive? win every coin flip? pure luck. just once i'd like the announcers to say, "jesus f'n christ gus is lucky as fuck!!"

on a side note, antonio esphandiarieghdf was acting like a dick, belittling the amature guy and telling gus to "go back to denmark" and "backgammon". i'm glad gus kicked his ass.

jman- in that example, you aren't marveling at his
luck but at the call he made... maybe he read the guy
(Esfandiari?) for a low pp? He didn't need much luck
to win with 2 overcards, and T8 isn't that big a dog
to anything except an overpair or a matching card with
a higher kicker. What was the situation? Was one of
them low on chips, or pot-committed? Either situation
might make it an easy call...

Gus does get lucky sometimes, especially in the hands
they choose to show on TV. But he wins because
he plays well. He doesn't get any luckier than anyone
else overall.

He plays people so well and so often that sometimes he
gets called on it when he is bluffing. Then some of
those times, he draws out and wins. It's not really
that lucky IMO.

I agree with Fraser.

But before I continue let me say, I'm still a novice in the whole poker thing, but when it went back to Antonio to call Gus' raise, it was either the best acting ever done by any poker player ever, or he was seriously looking to fold. Again, i don't know jack about the game especially when compaired to them (or even people on this forum) but I think Gus realized that and used it to put Antonio on to a hand that's alright, but generally not worth an all in. I think Gus did a great job of putting all the pieces together to realize what type of hand the magician had and the fact that we was probably going all in thinking Gus was just being Gus and raising with pretty crappy cards (which he was). He read it all perfectly. However, I don't care, he still gets really lucky when he needs it...or at least that's what they always show

"He doesn't get any luckier than anyone else overall"

how do you know this?

are you saying that all the other pros make as many bad moves that make them big dogs and then draw out to win, but the tv producers only show gus do it(over and over again in event after event)?

It wasn't just the show last night, that was only one example. Antonio was not shortstacked by any means when he went all in, but Gus had him coverered very slightly.

I've seen him on a few other shows and his crazy dog hands beat out the favorite. And it usually is always in an All In situation. He does seem to fold a lot when someone calls his bluff (last night that happened as well). But he seems to go all in with crappier hands than the ones he folds trying to steal the pot. Maybe they don't show a lot of the hands where he doesn't play well.

I did seem him lose on the very first hand of a WPT show when he went all in. Someone with AA or something called him and he was out the first hand. Other than that, I've never seen him really get knocked out when he should. An amazing player.

I know it because I trust math more than subjective
interpretation of what is filtered to the TV set.

math is not subjective, i agree, but human perception of what they think probablity and statistics say about real life can be.

i'm not saying that skill is not a factor. its the most important factor, but you also NEED luck to be a TOP player. i play over 25 hours a week of casino no limit poker and i've never gambled in my life(casino games), so its obvious i don't think all poker is a crap shoot or i wouldn't be playing, but i think you ignore mathematical possibilities and certainties with almost a religious ferver. poker IS a form of gambling and gambling involves luck. gus is luckier than probablity would suggest he should be.

but anyway....so you are saying that the producers on tv are giving the impression that gus is just lucky while the other players all make just as many amazing draw outs - they just don't show them?

Yeah, basically.

And that the draw outs Gus makes stick more in your
head because he is "lucky Gus".

I refuse to believe that any player is lucky beyond
what is statistically possible, and Gus's consistent
success implies to me that it's statistically
impossible for luck to carry him that far.

"I refuse to believe that any player is lucky beyond what is statistically possible, and Gus's consistent success implies to me that it's statistically impossible for luck to carry him that far."

it is wholly probable that someone could be luckier than someone else in poker(standard bell curve distribution), especially in the short term which could be a few years(gus's career length so far).yes he has some skill but he's lucky as hell too.

it is actually more statistically improbable that everyone gets the exact same ammount of luck, than that they get differing ammounts over the short run.

do you also refuse to believe that some are luckier in the lottery than statistics would suggest? because those people do exist whether you "refuse to believe" it or not....you just have no emotional investment in the lottery.

i'll leave you with a quote:

"Insanity is not a product of uncertainty it is a product of certainty"

-fraser

I saw the show last night. I don't think it was as bad a call as most people think.

Gus raised the pot 100k. The guy who called took some time in thinking about going all in. Gus probably thought the guy had a made hand, BUT not a big made hand. If he had a big hand, I think he would have pushed his chips in faster.

If Gus put him on small to medium size pair, then he knows its pretty much a coin flip. If he wins the coin flip, he has a massive chip lead and his style of play makes him a huge favorite. If he misses, well no big deal. I think the winner was the only one who collected because they didn't show the winnings for any other player.

"it is wholly probable that someone could be luckier
than someone else in poker(standard bell curve
distribution), especially in the short term which
could be a few years(gus's career length so far).yes
he has some skill but he's lucky as hell too."

This is speculation represented as logical conclusion.
You don't know the width of the bell curve, or the
true length of the "short term". Both these things
need to be known before you can evaluate what role
luck play's in Gus's success.

I am not giving hard evidence either, but I am also
just providing my beliefs based on educated guessing-
not trying to represent objective truth.

"it is actually more statistically improbable that
everyone gets the exact same ammount of luck, than
that they get differing ammounts over the short run."

That depends on how exact you want to be.

If we each flip a coin 100,000 times, it's extremely
unlikely we'll get the same number of heads. But it's
also extremely unlikely we will get very different
numbers either. What counts as "the exact same
amount"? An error rate of 0.01%?

"Insanity is not a product of uncertainty it is a
product of certainty"

This doesn't mean that certainty has no place. I am
certain that the sun will come up tomorrow- does that
make me insane?

"I am not giving hard evidence either, but I am also just providing my beliefs based on educated guessing- not trying to represent objective truth. "

FINALLY!! that is the whole point! probability only gives you an idea of what SHOULD happen, not what WILL happen. its an educated guess at best. the whole point of standard distributions is that there is a standard distribution - not a uniform distribution. if the great mass are equally lucky, there must be a few either far luckier or far unluckier than that middle mass. is this fact? no, its not, but its what is suggested by statistical theory and it is highly probable.

but the statement, "I refuse to believe that any player is lucky beyond what is statistically possible..", implies both a misunderstanding of probability theory and a faith in probalility that mirrors religious ferver, not rational use of statistics as they may or may not relfect real life.

BTW, i was quoting you and one day the sun won't "come up tomorrow".....

headcheese wrote,

"FINALLY!! that is the whole point! probability only gives you an idea of what SHOULD happen, not what WILL happen. its an educated guess at best."

Yep. Fraser believes what should happen, has to happen. He does not give credence to outliers or anomalies that are outside any statistical model that he or some ivory tower type can imagine.

But the real world is full of outliers and anomalies. I've seen ugly parents with beautiful kids and I've met men of Irish heritage that never touched a drop of liquor in their lives. Well, maybe the Irish guy was adopted. Only way I can account for that.

The belief that things can't happen outside of whatever brilliant statistical model many a learned man created; has caused massive destruction of wealth many times in financial history. I'd rather believe that the outliers and anomalies exist. Certainly existed for the Long Term Capital guys and many before them!

I don't think his success has anything to do with luck. If you pay attention you will notice when he plays these hands he is nearly always in position. He isn't playing his cards so much, more the other persons cards.

There are a lot of hands never shown on tv. Did he get lucky in all of those too?

His abilty to win with what most would consider crap hands is what sets him apart.

i love watching the guy play but the mark of a solid player is putting your money in with the best of it not outdrawing. gus is repeatedly going in with the worst of it and getting lucky. you can tell by the other players reaction what they think. someone even called him an "idiot" for making that all in call with 10 8. it was a bad move even if he knew antonio had an underpair which was the best he could have hoped for in that situation. he got lucky plain and simple.

and if you watch him a lot you will see that he plays crap hands for raises and calls out of position as well. if any of you saw the last "pokerstars" you'll know what i'm talking about.

"His abilty to win with what most would consider crap hands is what sets him apart."

or an indication that he is just plain luckier then the other players which is fine - luck is part of poker, and recognizing that you are running well and playing it for all its worth is another part.

I admit he got lucky with the T 8. He must have known it was a coin flip at best and felt like a gamble.

Haven't seen pokerstars so I can't comment on that.

I still don't believe it is all down to luck however. Maybe his play is just beyond our comprehension.

Would be interested to hear Wreckers thoughts.

"probability only gives you an idea of what SHOULD
happen, not what WILL happen."

I guess we are back to the same old debate.

Your statement is correct when applied to individual
occurences, such as one coin flip, but not when
applied to many many occurrences with short odds, such
as 100,000 coin flips.

In the first case, probability gives no indication of
what the results will be. In the second, it gives you
a guarantee that the results will be almost exactly
50/50.

"the whole point of standard distributions is that
there is a standard distribution - not a uniform
distribution. if the great mass are equally lucky,
there must be a few either far luckier or far
unluckier than that middle mass."

Yes, but if the standard deviation is very small, that
difference is effectively zero in practical terms. If
100,000 people flip a coin 100,000 times each, the guy
who makes the most # of heads won't be very far off
from 50/50. Just like if you play 100,000 poker hands
the guy with the best luck in catching cards won't be
far off from average.

"but the statement, "I refuse to believe that any
player is lucky beyond what is statistically
possible..", implies both a misunderstanding of
probability theory and a faith in probalility that
mirrors religious ferver, not rational use of
statistics as they may or may not relfect real life."

No, you are misunderstanding me. I know that the more
repetitions you have of the same random event, the
more the results will average out. Eventually you get
to a point where some results (like flipping 10,000
heads in a row) are so unlikely as to be statistically
impossible (one in 2 to the 10,000th power). All I am
saying is that I don't think luck can make the
statistically impossible possible. I don't think
anyone can be lucky enough to flip 10,000 heads in a
row.

If Gus's luck IS statistically possible, then I can
believe it. But if it's NOT, I can't. I don't have the
data to determine what the situation is, I am just
saying that no one is so lucky as to make math
irrelevant.

"Fraser believes what should happen, has to happen."

No, if you think that's true you don't understand what
I am saying. I think that if math shows that if you
flip a coin 100,000 times and it will be between
49,000 and 51,000 heads 99.99999% of the time, then in
PRACTICAL terms it's impossible to have any other
result. That's all. I am saying what math predicts
will happen 99.99999% of the time pretty much HAS to
happen.

"i love watching the guy play but the mark of a solid
player is putting your money in with the best of it
not outdrawing."

In low-level poker, absolutely. In world-class NL, I
think that it's more important to play players and a
good, aggressive bluffer who knows what his opponent
is thinking will beat a player with a solid "card-
based" game.

"Your statement is correct when applied to individual occurences, such as one coin flip, but not when applied to many many occurrences with short odds, such as 100,000 coin flips.

In the first case, probability gives no indication of what the results will be. In the second, it gives you a guarantee that the results will be almost exactly 50/50."

yes aces will be dealt a certain percentage of the time in the long run using a randomly shuffled deck, but who gets those aces? the odds of getting aces dealt to you is the same whether you just got aces or not. show me a law of probablity that says that each person must get the same ammmount of aces? flipping a coin might come up heads 1/2 the time but it says nothing about guessing right on the next toss. over the long run on a roulette wheel black and red should come up evenly but try to make money off that fact.

"Yes, but if the standard deviation is very small, that difference is effectively zero in practical terms. If 100,000 people flip a coin 100,000 times each, the guy who makes the most # of heads won't be very far off from 50/50. Just like if you play 100,000 poker hands the guy with the best luck in catching cards won't be far off from average. "

the standard deviatioon may be small but with a world population of poker players in the multi-millions, even the small tails represent a significant number of players who recieve more than or less than their "fair share" of luck. not to mention that the timing of when you "get lucky" is a huge factor.

"If Gus's luck IS statistically possible, then I can believe it. But if it's NOT, I can't. I don't have the data to determine what the situation is, I am just saying that no one is so lucky as to make math irrelevant. "

gus's luck is not only statistically possible but wholly probable. longer shots than gus's luck hit everday in realms in and out of poker. it is more statistically impossible that someone hits the lottery once let alone twice but it happens. do you not believe that? just us evolving is a more than a billion to 1 longshot, yet here we are - nothing that is mathematically possible is wholly improbable.

"In low-level poker, absolutely. In world-class NL, I think that it's more important to play players and a good, aggressive bluffer who knows what his opponent is thinking will beat a player with a solid "card- based" game."

but he repeatedly calls all in bets with the worst of it and outdraws. that has nothing to do with reading people. if he could read that he had AJ vs AK would he still call an all in bet like i've seen him do(he hit a Jack to win)?? calling an all in bet with the worst hand is not a "bluff", its a "mistake". i wish i had the whole poker stars tournement on tape - you might change your mind.

and that 10 8 call was terrible. even if he thought antonio had a small pair which was the best he could have hoped for(unless he put antonio on a pure bluff with two low cards, in which case what happended to his legendary reading skills?) he stil would be a small dog. they had about the same ammount of chips at the time. so why would a "top pro" with the skills to win with his great play put his tounement on the line with a hand that is at best a small dog and at worst a big dog?

if that amature kid had made that same call with 10 8 and drawn out, everyone would be screaming bloody murder, but gus does it and its a brilliant read and a calculated coin flip......WTF?