Are Poker Players REALLY Smarter Than Chess Players?

Chess streamer Alexandra Botez joins Doug Polk to talk about chess, poker, and which game has smarter players.

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0:00 Intro
0:51 Alexandra joins
1:43 Living in Austin, Making content
13:54 The Chess Hustlers, Did AI ruin Chess?
21:07 How to start studying Chess or Poker
25:21 Poker players vs Chess players, Tells vs strategy
35:20 The Chess Twitch boom, Would Chess benefit from a luck factor?
42:00 The World Chess Championship, catering to newbs
51:17 Alexandra’s thoughts on Poker, being competitive
1:02:00 Mike McDonald, NFT’s, Regulation on cryptos/investments
1:26:31 Which cryptos Alexandra and Doug like?
1:37:38 Advice to young people, College
1:46:30 Will Alexandra play more poker in the future?


  1. Alexandra, Im from SoCal my whole life… LA is a SHITHOLE…. trust me. Its disgusting.

  2. Great interview but thank god you had the Doug and Alexandra labels or I wouldnt have known who was who.

  3. Great Podcast Doug. I totally agree that College has little value for many people. Also there is a Choice, it's called trade apprenticeships. College has become a giant moneymaking scam for the Universities and the Loan Companies, not to mention how much money the Federal Government is giving away on FAFSA and other tuition assistance. I got a BA which I will never use, and while I was fortunate to not incur any college loan debt because I went to an instate college, I worked full time while a student and had some GI Bill from my time in the military. I know many people who are still paying on their college loans 15 years later and with no end in the near future either.

  4. After being OOTL for so long, I absolutely wasn't expecting this crossover. Really enjoyed this episode. Someone I'd love to see you talk to would be Destiny. You probably already know who he is, but if not he used to be a pro SC2 player and now does current events on Twitch.

  5. 38:53 That would be cool. RNG chess. Every time try to capture a piece, there is a 90% chess it works as normal, but a 10% chance that your attacking piece dies instead.

  6. Ewwww don’t go to LA. Or NY. Why would you do that?

  7. Chess players are smarter, but they also make less money so they're dumber.

  8. Fan of Alex from the Chess world. I didn’t see her name in the title though so threw me off a bit. Pleasant surprise no the less

  9. Doug – one of your best podcasts – I think she interviewed you more than you interviewed her – I was interested in A LOT of information she "doug" out of you. Really cool stuff. Thanks for continuing your journey. You are an inspiration.

  10. Difficult to say. But the luck factor in chess, bridge, poker and backgammon is probably in that order. Least in chess and then as listed here before.

  11. "It's my god damn money you shouldn't get to decide what I get to do with it, and if I wanna put mine into some cats… meow!"
    Vanessa sure turned into a bona fide catlady in her later years.

  12. imho:
    Poker crushers smarter than chess crushers > chess players > poker gamblers

  13. Stupid!!!!!
    You telling me Ivy or Tony.G smart as Sergey Kariakin or Magnus Carlson??? Wow .. stupidness

  14. Poker includes math and chess includes visualization and patters. Hard to compare them except for the fact computers can solve bounded rule games.

  15. Anybody can beat Phil Ivey, very very very few people can beat Magnus. Poker = Skill and Gambling. Chess = Skill and Talent. That said, being great at either poker or chess doesn't make you smart.

  16. The best chess players in the world are on another level completely.. it’s not even up to debate. Poker players are like chimpanzees compared to them…

  17. poker is so boring compared to chess, lbh… now if you add drinking to the equation, it's closer …..

  18. Not even a huge NFL fan, but I feel like his dismissive tone toward NFL commentators saying something like "Some dude with a calculator should be figuring this out", is a bit excessive. For one, dudes with calculators have already done the bulk of the work, which is why you typically punt or kick a field goal on the 4th down. However, there's a lot of factors that have to be considered; how much time is left on the clock? Are you winning or losing? By how much? How does your particular offensive lineup match up against the other team's particular defense? How about your defensive lineup against their offense? What's the weather like at the stadium? Is it a super windy day? Etc…
    To this he might respond with, "Those are all calculations, which would still render a guy with a calculator assessing the probabilities the best qualified to assess the situation". But then you also have to consider specific circumstances. Take injuries, what if a team's left tackle is out that week? Do you have a statistically significant sample size of how your offense does against their team with the backup left tackle? Even then, football is a relatively fast moving game. That level of statistical analysis of a game I think, when even possible, is better served for post-game breakdowns/analyst shows after the fact. Not during the game. You'd still be analyzing 1 play while 3 others have already happened. 🤷‍♂️

  19. 16:15 It doesn't make it more entertaining. It makes it so nobody wants to play with you. Alex can get away with it because she's a young, pretty girl. If I started to do that I'd lose my friends (and for good reason)

  20. It'd be an awful idea to teach kids about money management in high school because those lessons would be tought by teachers, which are people who've entered a class at age 6 and never left it until their sixties. They don't know a damn about life

  21. I think they should go get a room.

  22. wen a super good poker player and a super good chess players meet and the best conversation is about NFTs lol

  23. Doug Polk is terrible at playing poker, but that's what makes him great. I nominated him as the best bc he plays like me. We stack it on the sharks. That's the only way we know how to play. I've never seen anyone play as hard as me like Polk.

  24. Talked for 2 hours and you chose a title of a question which didnt even get answered. She basically said hmm I respect good players that go into chess to make more money, oh and btw is IQ or EQ more important in poker. Like cmon.

  25. Alexandra’s persona is so likable. She’s obviously smart, well prepared, and is a great conversationalist. Doug is crushing it with these new interviews.

  26. I guess I gotta start playing chess for the ladies…. Never thought I'd say that 🤣

  27. chess by far. it's not close. im sorry, but you can crush poker with a ~110-130IQ and lots of work, good fucking luck breaking 1800 ELO in chess sub 130 IQ and we're not even talking about GMs who are almost all 160IQ+

  28. Average GM chess player is definitely smarter than your average poker pro, this was even more true before online poker became a lot more refined. Now the gap has narrowed with the highest level of poker now made up of some very talented and intelligent players.

  29. I think it's a matter of opinion. If your goal was to become a millionaire, you would choose poker.
    However, money is not an issue for many people. I heard the "smartest" people in terms of IQ at any university tend to be the students that chose mathematics and physics as their major, but it's clear that they're not the richest and neither is money a motivation for them

  30. Hilarious question. The answer is a resounding ‘No’.

  31. You guys are the same! If only you could date eachother lol

  32. Honestly I'm never the type of person to say this stuff, but now it's my 3rd comment about it… I hope you guys can do more content together. You guys are a match to say the least. Chemistry and conversation is there

  33. Did she say you are 1800? Or did I hear that wrong?

  34. Invite Magnus On The Pod, he might actually join in, he is present in alot of Norwegian wierd collabs so he got time

  35. Poker players are smarter because they know better than even try chess.

  36. Both point of or on education is so on point I’m in love, beauty & high level intelligent conversation

  37. Sorry but By interviewing a female you've discounted the value of your interview
    Everyone knows females cannot be geniuses due to IQ spread
    The bluff and reading opponents and the table go beyond what's required for chess

  38. As a lifelong 2-5 grinder, I am getting a bit sick and tired of hearing about solvers and GTO. Upper limits players who solely support GTO are trying to make themselves sound more intelligent than they really are. They are trying to creatie an industry similar to that of wall street finance professionals or lawyers, where only they know the "science" and the "language"behind the secrets to the success. It's simply not true. At the end of the day, poker is a game of people, and adaptation in the game is critical; hence why exploitative poker in the hands of a very skilled player is still the best poker strategy to being a consistent winner. Don't get me wrong – GTO and theory are fundamental to understand, but it is being overmarketed.

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