Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Wilson's Law"

Just in case I don't become famous for my theoretical "River-Call Bluff," I've decided to name something else after myself. I call it "Wilson's Law," and it should apply not only to poker but also to any other endeavor involving any amount of chance. Before I describe it, let me explain what made me think of it.

I've been winning a lot recently, and I'm very aware that I've been quite lucky. However, I've also never heard of anyone actually overestimating his own luck (with the possible exception of Lou Gehrig) . A player who's losing usually seems to think that he's the only one at the table who has ever lost to a flush draw, and the player who caught the flush usually seems to think that he "deserved" to win that one because he can remember some previous instance where he missed a draw. I think everyone is subject to this mode of thinking, although obviously to varying degrees. With this in mind, it occurs to me that even though I readily acknowledge that I've been lucky recently, I'm probably still underestimating the extent. This line of reasoning reminded me of Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law." This led me to the formulation of what I will now dub "Wilson's Law": You're always luckier than you consider yourself to be, even when you take into account Wilson's Law.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Haha, this is a good idea. Maybe you should also name something like a star or a meteor after yourself just in case this doesn't come through either.