Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Phil Gordon Freakonomics interview

Phil Gordon was the subject of a long interview for the Freakonomics blog. My favorite bits:

On randomness: "I have a simple theory: change 10 river cards in any poker player’s tournament career and I would bet that they would be a losing tournament player for their career."

On avoiding games with a house edge: "I’m not a “gambler” by nature — I consider myself a “strategic investor.” In fact, what we do at the poker table isn’t very different than what investment professionals do — we just get our results every two minutes instead of every few months or years."

On sunglasses: "I don’t believe in the “dilated pupil tell” and other such nonsense. ... I’ve never worn sunglasses at the table and I think it looks completely stupid and is unnecessary."

On quick Lakewood-style tournaments: "The quicker the blinds escalate, the more chances you should be willing to take. Your stack will be at risk quickly, so you might as well push any marginal edge you have when you have it. If the blinds are escalating slowly, you can afford to give up small positive expectation plays."

On Omaha: "I think that it has a chance of surpassing Holdem as the most popular form of the game in five to eight years. As people become “bored” with Holdem, they’ll naturally progress to P.L.O."

On Rock-Paper-Scissors: "Never go rock on the first throw."

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