TGT: Skill and Luck; Skill Progression

Here’s a first draft for another section of the nascent Tourneygeek’s Guide to Tournaments manuscript: Skill and luck.

I’m linking to a PDF because I’m not clever enough to figure out how to get the thing to format properly in the blog itself.

As always, comments and corrections are more than welcome.

2 thoughts on “TGT: Skill and Luck; Skill Progression”

  1. There’s a passage in Moneyball (the book, not the movie) referencing a theory that luck accounts for an average of about four runs per game in the MLB, and skill at that level accounts for no more than about one run per game. You might consider mentioning that here.

    The Red Sox went 108-54 this year, winning 2/3 of their games. This is abnormally high for baseball: winning just 4/7 of your games (92-70) will usually net you a playoff spot.


  2. That’s interesting – I’ll look it up.

    I had a post on the subject of luck in baseball called “Hearts Full of Youth” some time ago, in which I used my simulator to estimate that the proper ratio of luck to skill in Major League Baseball is about 6:1. In a book called “The Success Equation” by M. Mauboussin, there’s an estimate that luck accounts for 34% of a team’s result over the whole 162-game season. In contrast, NFL results are 38% luck, but over a 16-game season.


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