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Amateur vs. Professional Poker Players

"Pamala Hargraves" (2020-07-25)







I'm sick of these Amateurs! I hope *insert pro player's name here* wipes the floor with him!

That seems to be a common refrain in poker forums recently, in light of all the success the amateurs are enjoying.
We ran a poll on my web site asking members to predict Who will win WSOP 2004?" I think a professional beat an amateur by at least a 2:1 margin, and about 90% gave Chris Moneymaker hardly a snowball's chance at even making the final few tables.

So why the angst? Is it because of the World Poker Tour coverage on the Travel Channel where so many of the new players today saw and became infatuated with names like Phil Ivey and Howard Lederer and just can't stand watching their horse lose?

Lets consider the differences between the typical amateur and professional poker player at one of these expensive televised tournaments. First, the amateur holds a regular job, albeit generally well paying. Remember the Dentist in World Poker Tour coverage? We probably won't be seeing The Plumber or The Garbage Man dropping several thousand dollars on a poker tournament in the near future. The professional on the other hand considers poker his full time job.

The second difference between the amateur and professional is...is...hmm. What is the second difference? Is there another difference?

The professional players have excellent poker skills, starting hand selection, flop play, reading the other players, knowing when to bluff, when to call, when to get out of the way. But then again, so do the amateurs we see at the final table.

Of course there is dead money at these tournaments, but can anyone make a legitimate argument that all because someone fixes teeth during the day that he or she is a lesser poker player at night?

I'll be the first to admit that I prefer to see a name or two at the final table, but I also know that it is nigh impossible to make it to the final table of one of these things on sheer luck.

Time to give the amateurs some credit?







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