Friday, November 16, 2007

Ms. Duke goes to Washington

Annie Duke spoke to some congresscritters this week. PPA has the transcript.

Beyond the standard arguments regarding personal freedom and hypocrisy of government, I really like some of her statements. Excerpts below:

"There is critical distinction between poker and other forms of 'gambling' which is the skill level involved to succeed at the game.
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I ask anyone in this hearing room to name for me the top five professional roulette players in the world or the number one lottery picker in America.
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John Von Neumann regarded as the greatest mind of the first part of the 20 century used analysis of the game of poker in his seminal book on game theory, "Theory of Games and Economic Behavior" as a method of modeling decision-making under incomplete information. When asked why he did not use chess he deferred to the skill elements of poker which encompass all aspects of human intellect, calling chess not a game but merely an exercise in calculation.
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I hear people say all the time that poker is only a game of skill for good players and the vast majority of recreational players are playing a game of luck. This is as absurd as asserting that bad golfers are playing a game of luck while only the pro golfers are playing a game of skill.
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One defining characteristic of games of skill is this: a player or team can intentionally lose. If I suggested that you should play slots, roulette, baccarat, or lottery and seek to lose, you could no more make yourself lose than you could make yourself win..."

3 comments:

jtrey333 said...

The Bear (Barry Greenstein) was slated to be the PPA rep at this congressional hearing, but Annie was chosen during the final decision, as she had made a very positive impression during their private visit to the senators. Bear said that Annie "showed the diversity of poker" and really opened up some senators' minds that poker players could be intelligent and be a woman.

Apparently this made some senators pay attention to the issue, which can only be good. Really interesting stuff, and you can hear more here at Barry's audio blog: http://www.pokerroad.com/_/the_bear_blog/11-15-07/

Marshall said...

Ya I heard that Barry was going to be the one to represent us and was pretty excited about it. I would never pick Annie friggin Duke to be his replacement, but damn, after reading that transcript, I have to say she really hit a home run.

Bob Loblaw said...

Yeah, that's very cool. Thanks for pointing it out, Martin.