Some time ago, a question was asked on Quora, which is arguably one of the best places to get an answer for any query, related to the winnings of poker players. The questioner wanted to know what was the average number of winning hands for professional poker players. The questioner further went on to state that some players win only 10% of all the hands that they play whereas others win a much higher percentage. The questioner further wanted to know why this discrepancy existed and if it was possible to differentiate between amateurs and professionals based on the percentage of winning hands. Alan Bustany, who is a poker player himself, answered this question very comprehensively.
It’s not the number of hands but the overall winnings that matter
Bustany states that professional players don’t really care much about the proportion of hands that they win. Rather, they are much more interested in the amount of money that they net. To maximize this value, players may adopt different approaches. For example, they may play a large number of small pots, or a small number of big pots; they may not worry much about winning or losing small pots, instead they may concentrate on winning only the big pots; and so on. Therefore, based on the strategy that a player employs, the percentage of winning hands will vary widely.
Difference between amateurs and professionals
One of the most important differences when it comes to playing poker as far as amateurs and professionals are concerned is that, unlike amateurs, professionals observe everybody that they are playing against and they don’t just think of their own hand. Further, amateurs have a tendency to play a very large number of hands, in addition to being extremely passive. And, while professionals do have set styles, they are quite flexible too. And, as far as professionals go, there is no magic number of winning hands that must exist in a game.