Dutch Professor Wants Poker Reclassified as a Skill Game
October 8, 2021
There are many highly skilled Dutch poker players on the circuit today (Marcel Luske, Noah Boeken, Rob Hollink and Rolf Slotboom), yet despite all their successes, as far as their home government is concerned, these guys have just been getting lucky.

Ever since 1998 following an important Supreme Court decision, the official Dutch position has been that poker is a "game of chance;" however, thanks to an acclaimed Dutch professor named Ben van der Genugten, that may soon change.

Professor Van der Genugten, a probability and statistics expert formerly of the University of Tilburg, worked with a mathematics and game theory expert named Professor Peter Borm, and together the two believe they have proven that poker should be considered a game of skill.

Using a fairly straight forward mathematical formula, these men discovered a way to classify different games on a scale of 0 (pure luck) to 1 (pure skill). According to their formula, this number can be determined by dividing the effect of study (i.e. Learning Effect), by the effect of study plus the effect of chance.

Skill= Learning Effect / Learning Effect + Chance Effect

Learning Effect= Optimum - Beginner
Chance Effect= Fictive - Optimum

-The Van der Genugten and Borm Formula

After applying this formula to poker, Van der Genugten discovered poker had a skill value of 0.4 which, although it may not sound very impressive, is actually quite high. In comparison, Roulette had a skill value of 0, Blackjack a skill value of 0.049, and fantasy sports management a skill value of 0.3. That's right according to the formula, no matter what Daniel Negreanu may want to believe, his time is probably better served studying poker than his fantasy hockey team roster.

Van de Genugten has already used this formula successfully in court with other games and now given poker's high skill value (which puts it in a category closer to Bridge than Blackjack) he believes the government must reexamine and overturn the 1998 Supreme Court ruling.

Story by Mark Anderson
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