This past weekend I witnessed an event from behind the players in the tournament I played in that could put any student of this game on tilt. An elderly lady was obviously in over her head. She needed one of the other players to help her add up her hand totals while she was making her playing decisions. In this tournament if you placed more chips than the max bet in the betting circle, you forfeited the extra chips. She did this multiple times and forfeited a significant amount. There was no way she could have had the situational awareness to know and understand the implications of the chip counts. But she got so lucky with her huge bets she overcame all that and was out of reach by the last hand. She advanced from the table. I saw at least one of the players who didn't advance murmur and roll their eyes in disgust. Someone who has spent many hours studying and playing for years only to get steamrolled like this might be inclined to question if they are playing the right game. One could hardly be blamed for going on tilt when this happens to them... except... They would be falling into the sense-of-entitlement mentality. A sense of entitlement based on your efforts to develop a strong game has nothing to do with having that strong game. It serves only to make you vulnerable to tilt. What are your thoughts on this?

I will admit to leaving the table with steam blowing out my ears after being beaten by someone who made all the wrong moves and still succeeded. The same can be said after a few of the incredibly bad beats I have suffered at the hands of skilled players. So far, I have avoided going on tilt while at the table. I may mutter under my breath or even say something out loud, but I always collect myself, re-evaluate, and soldier on. Most of these emotional reactions occurred early in my playing career and Monkey is right. I did have a sense of entitlement. I find my emotional reactions have become far more subdued as my experience grows. Perhaps because the more things you see and experience, the less surprised you are when they happen.

Of course you should always play a strong game, regardless. To avoid going on tilt, just remember that for every time you get squashed by a loose cannon on deck, you've won more than that which weren't really earned by strong play alone (last hand blackjack, full swing, etc.). Due to the many facets of luck involved in the game, sense of entitlement goes out the window and you're left with sense of I played my best.

agree about entitlement. But with that comes wonder. For I saw two top players overcome overthinking during rounds at Buffalo Run and fall prey to the max bet penalty, only to advance anyway. Prepare yourself the best you can. Try not to make a mistake. Let the cards fall where they may.

Dakota's point is very well taken. Over all, skilled players should come out ahead in the luck lottery. Not because we deserve it, but because we know how to reduce the amount of luck we'll need and we also know how to create situations for luck to favour us where a less skilled player may miss the opportunity entirely. An example of the former happened last week at the Fallsview. With 5 hands to go, and after being swung, I was down by 4 max bets. I knew I had to bet max and double on anything to have a chance -- and I mean anything. I doubled on a 12, a 15, an 11 and another 15 down the stretch, winning them all. On the final hand, my opponent failed to cover my double and failed to anticipate me doubling on my 17. I doubled for a 5th straight time, winning it and advancing. I really had no business advancing at all from that table, but by making those doubles, I needed less luck than if I had relied on swings to get there. As example of the latter is the time I doubled a hard 19 because I had 0% chance to advance unless I did. I ended up winning the hand and advancing.

Certainly the first one is, and I suppose the second one is if you consider reducing the amount of luck needed from infinite to substantial. I feel that the second example is more like recognizing an opportunity, since many inexperienced players would not even consider it.

Certainly the second example is recognizing an opportunity(with long odds of success, but still the possibility of success). In the first though, calculating the possibility of winning five hands in a row in a short number of hands universe and compounding that outcome with winning five hard double downs in a row stretches the realm of possibility. Yes it's possible, probable, it did happen. But both outcomes, even forseen as the only possibility, were the result of LUCK. So, as the beneficiary of LUCK one reduces the influence of LUCK? Perhaps we need a definition of LUCK.

Essentially if you do something which increases your probability of success, then you have reduced the amount of LUCK you need in order to succeed. So perhaps a formula for luck on a scale of 0 to 1 is: 1- (probability of success). If your probability of success is high, then the LUCK factor is reduced. It can even be reduced to zero if you have a lock.

See my thread in the blackjack strategy section about the Fundamental Theorem of Casino Tournaments. Basically luck is mathematical variance that favors or disfavors a player. I guess if you want to quantify it you could define it as the mathematical probability of success. This would be a fraction or decimal between zero and 100% inclusive. So if strategy A is deployed against strategy B and strategy A has a 53% probability of success in this matchup, then the player using strategy A needs less luck than does the player using strategy B. The player using strategy A has to beat a 53% probability whereas the player using strategy B has to beat a 47% probability .

In essence, knowing you have a probability of success, no matter how small, over someone who has no idea of a probability of success, reduces your Luck factor? Discounting the idea that exceeding the small probability for success is not luck.

I don't believe the luck factor's absolute value would be reduced, but the skill factor (knowing the probability/correct strategy) relative to the other player would increase.