Is it Luck or Undefined Skill?

On my daily surf through various sports trading websites I noticed a number of articles related to luck. I believe the author was attempting to answer accusations of being lucky. As a poker playing friend would say after the umpteenth bad beat handed to me, "I'd rather be lucky than good." The truth is that my friend is a very good poker player, as his $1,000,000 plus winnings during his 14 year career testifies to. His statement was just his way of brushing off inferiors.

As far as our sports trading friend is concerned, he is doing himself an injustice. He is not lucky. If he is lucky then he can expect to regress to the mean. That is the point of being lucky, it swings both ways. A fair coin tossed ten times might show nine tails and one head. If someone is gambling with a fair coin and putting their money on tails then they are lucky because in the long run they are going to break-even, the more they play the game.

A player at a roulette wheel might get lucky in the short-term but we know that in the long-run they are going to lose because the house has the edge. If our sports trader is a consistent winner over many years then it is safe to say they have a positive edge. Calling it luck means they are not able to define their skill. Something they need to address or they can fob people off like my poker playing friend with "I'd rather be lucky than good."