I say this in the nicest way possible, as I would absolutely call myself both a geek and a math nerd. Young, mathematically inclined and often socially awkward kids under the age of 23 are literally taking over the world of both online and live poker. Go to any major poker event these days and the field will be dominated by kids who look like they just graduated from high school. The slick-looking, sharply dressed elder statesmen poker players such as Doyle Brunson are a dying breed; they are quickly being replaced by youngers more likely to sport a pocket calculator than a pair of sunglasses and cigar.
The question is, why are kids with above average math skills flocking to poker in droves? The answer to that is an easy one. While poker does involve some luck, skills and knowledge of odds will eventually come out on top. People who used to play games such as Magic and Starcraft are now flocking to poker, because they can easily beat the average player due to their strategic thinking and knowledge of odds. In no time flat, a sharp mind can grasp the basics of poker and easily outplay the "weekend warrior" type of player just by understanding the math behind the game.
Want proof of this phenomenon?
David Williams, who came in second behind Greg Raymer in the 2004 World Series of Poker, was a well-known Magic player before he ventured into poker. His appearance at the World Series of Poker wasn't a fluke; he has final tabled numerous major events since then.
Elky, a well-known and very successful online player, was one of the top Starcraft players in the world before he saw the potential in online poker and switched his game of choice.
Actionjeff, one of the most successful players online (at only 18 years of age, he has already won close to a million dollars online) was at one time the highest ranked Magic player in the US.
I could list dozens of examples, but you get the idea. Word of mouth is spreading, and people with strong math and analytical skills are gravitating towards online poker, lured by the prospects of sitting in front of your computer, making huge amounts of money. Online poker players are the new 21st century rock stars.
Filed Under: Miscellaneous Poker Articles