Physicists do Very Well in Poker

Posted on by RTR Rachel

Besides being successful casino poker players, what do Liv Boeree, Chris Ferguson and Michael Piper all have in common? They all studied physics in college, which seems to be a growing trend among good poker players. And if you’re wondering why a growing number of live and online poker players are coming from the physics arena, you need look no further than what this material entails.

The subject of physics involves a heavy amount of mathematics relating to how matter moves through space and time. And seeing as how being a successful poker player involves applying math to the tendencies of opponents, you can draw a connection.

A Discover Magazine article called “Big Game Theory” touched on the subject of how many former physicists have excelled in the poker world. The article went into a considerable amount of depth on how Boeree and Piper, who were physics classmates at the University of Manchester, have excelled in the poker tournament world. Boeree has $2,059,957 in live tournament winnings and an EPT San Remo title, while Binger has $6,726,432 in tourney winnings, including a 3rd place finish in the 2006 WSOP Main Event.

So what’s the deal behind an increased amount of physicists-turned-poker-pros? The article, which was written by Jennifer Ouellette, gave a reasonable explanation by stating, “Perhaps poker appeals to physicists because it is an intricate, complex puzzle, steeped in statistical probabilities and the tenets of game theory.” Ouellette continued by writing, “The players evince a rare combination of skills in math, strategy, and psychology.”

Dutch physicist Marcel Lonk, who won a gold bracelet in the 2010 WSOP, further expanded on Ouellette’s point by telling her, “Both physics and poker attract people who like to solve multifaceted problems.”

So if you’re looking for more success in poker, maybe you should try studying up on your physics. Unfortunately, we can’t really help you out with this because we don’t even know the first thing about E = mc2. However, we can give you another equation to study: rakeback = more money in your pocket.
Tip of the Day: Even if you hate physics, you should still learn basic poker math such as pot odds, implied odds and hand probabilities. Once you’ve got this down, the rest is all about gaining experience and reviewing your sessions.

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