As the popularity of poker grows across the world, a number of well known personalities from the poker community are looking to change the image of poker and promote it as a game of skill. Alex Dreyfus, the CEO of the Global Poker Index (GPI) has made it one of his goals to change the global image of poker from being a game of luck to being a game of skill.
A group of researchers recently decided to study over 450 million player hands which they derived from a 12 month database of online poker games. Researches poured over these player hands and concluded that the top 10% of poker players during a six month period had a better probability of finishing within the same ranking during the next six months.
The study was carried out by the University of Nottingham who collaborated with VU University in Amsterdam and Erasmus University in Rotterdam. These analysts concluded that poker players who finished in the top 1% during the first half of the year were 12 times more likely to finish in the same position during the second half of the year. Analysts conclude that to get such consistent results over a long term period requires more skill than luck.
If Poker is deemed to be a game of skill, then the UK Government will be in a position to levy taxes on the prize money that UK poker players make. Victoria Coren Mitchell was the one of the top professional poker players in the UK and made well over a £1.5m. She has received numerous awards including recently at the Fifth Annual British Poker Awards recognizing her commitment and skills in dominating the UK poker market but did not have to pay high taxes on her winnings.
In a statement, Dr Dennie van Dolder, of the University of Nottingham’s School of Economics said
‘It’s up to legislators to decide whether the role of chance diminishes fast enough for poker to be considered a game of skill. If so then our findings represent both good and bad news for players. ‘The good news is they’ll have the satisfaction of knowing the game they love is recognized as requiring real skill. ‘The bad news is that one day they might have to start handing some of their winnings to the taxman if the policymaking community takes notice of findings like ours