Is there a sport/game in which an average person could win at least 1 out of a 100 against a top 10 player?

Is there a sport or a game out there in which an average person with a weeks worth of training could beat a world top ten player in that sport or game at least once out of 100 times?

For example, would I as an average person be able to beat a top ten chess master once out of 100 games? I know how to play chess, but I am fairly certain that I would get beat 100 out of 100 times by a top ten chess master. We can define an average person as someone who may or may not have participated in the sport or game and has not participated in competitions where there is prize money over $1000 (ex: small local competitions would be OK). What a “match” or “game” would be would be dependent on the sport or game.

The answer will really really vary according to the sport and what exactly constitutes “winning” “top player” and “average person”.
In tennis, a reasonably fit person could probably win a point off a Top 10 mens player and a male player might win a game or two against a female player, but I would expect them to lose a match.

The same person would probably score a penalty off someone like Courtois or Alisson, if they took a set of five.

In cricket schoolboys can and have dismissed top batters in exhibition games since it only takes one error to get out.

Assuming the poker family of games qualifies under your scenario, I think it’s a good candidate, as long as you also count “winning a hand” as “winning.” Sheer luck of the draw is going to give the inexperienced player a strong hand sufficient to overcome their relative weakness at least once in a while, and all they have to do is recognize it and not screw up.

If you define “winning” as taking the whole pot over the entire sequence of hands, though, this is certainly excluded. Barring some freakishly rare run of lucky cards, the expert player will destroy the newbie in a complete game every time.

(The nitpicker may also require us to set a higher bar for “winning a hand,” i.e. is it enough to just collect the pot after the stronger player folds, versus actually leading them through the betting and getting to the laydown, which is obviously much less likely.)

As evidence of how over matched the average poker player is against a pro, Annette Obrestad won an online SNG tournament and only looked at her cards once.

The same idea would also apply to backgammon. In fact, it would apply to any game where there is an element of chance, so I think they should be excluded.

All sports have at least some element of chance.

True, but games involving cards or dice or a spinning wheel have chance built in. A tennis player may stumble. twist an ankle, and retire. That is bad luck, but not built into the game.

In bridge a pair of beginners could get a top board against a field of experts, no problem. But a typical match has many boards, and winning the overall match would not be possible.

Bridge has no luck of the draw - you are all playing with the same cards, and it is also very information rich compared to other card games. You each get 13 cards and must exchange information about what you have in the bidding, which further removes randomness and emphasises skill.

But at the end of the day it’s a game about making percentage plays in the face of incomplete information - well known to get fixed by noobs who bid a wildly anti-percentage game that then makes on an unlikely lie of the cards. But over time the stronger players always prevail.

As it’s a partnership game you could have the (common) scenario where a total noob plays with an expert - it is possible for that pair to win a tournament, or at least do well with the expert carrying the novice.

Sadly you have no hope at all! :cry:
I’ve been rated above 2200 for over 40 years and have never beaten a grandmaster (let alone a top 10 player.)
A grandmaster could certainly take on 25 club players in a simultaneous display and beat them all.

Chess only has the advantage of the White pieces - if you play pairs of games that disappears.

Duplicate bridge, yes indeed.

But the game at which a pair of club players could beat two World Champions is rubber bridge. :open_mouth:
It’s not hard to imagine the first couple of hands - the club pair bid:

1NT - 3NT (making an overtirck)
1S - 3S - 4S (just making)

Now that pair are ahead by 130 + 420 + 700 = 1250.
The Champions have done nothing wrong…

A cruel game with a lot of luck involved.

Heck no. “a lot of luck?” I can’t think of a worse description.

That was one that I dismissed out of hand. There is very, very little “luck” involved in a frame of snooker that hands the win to the person off the street.

Sure the expert may miss a pot, that does nothing for the amateur. They still have to make the pot themselves, and keep doing so far beyond what their ability would likely allow. At the same time the expert would have to keep missing their chances, making pots at a rate far, far below what their ability would predict.

No serious system allowed in rubber, either, iirc? (I’ve never played). Can only use agricultural bidding, which further levels the playing field.

Well it may require a bit more than a hour of training for the amateur but different forms of ski racing could be won by a far less skilled skier if the top master falls and is DQ’ed. I guess bob sledding could also do this. And I think if you want to eliminate chance as the factor, it has to fall to strict rules that would force a DQ on the side of the pro.

In 10 pin bowing you only need 12 consecutive strikes to get a perfect score. Even casual players probably get a couple of strikes each game. It doesn’t need that much for the situations line up that the pro misses at least 1 and the schlub just gets lucky 12 times.

I’d suggest darts as an option. Physically, it’s not hugely demanding, so the “out of shape” factor for most sports is significantly less. Precision of action is more important than strength, speed, or endurance.

Plus, there are amateur darts leagues all over the place, so you have a good pool of people with at least a moderate level of practice to put up against the real pros who play on TV.

As the OP states “an average person with week’s worth of training”, so that discounts people already playing in amateur darts leagues.

If we are allowing skilled amateurs with years of practice to be included then I think we are looking at a very different question.

Heck, I was skilled amateur at darts and regularly played and practiced with a local pro (when I was but a nipper) and regularly took games off him but I don’t think I’m what the OP had in mind.

Amateurs should be able to beat the masters at least some of the time in rock-paper-scissors.

I’m not sure this is true. Assuming the OP means a 1:1 head to head game, and by average player we mean someone who understands the rules, the approximate odds of a particular hand winning, and basic poker strategy. I can see the odds of the amateur winning being 100:1 or better.

I think just raw statistics mean a simple strategy (where you pick what to at random based on the second hand of your watch) could ensure at least a 100:1 chance of winning the pot.

Possibly that doesn’t scale up when they are the “fish” at a larger table (as in with four pros and an amateur the odds might be worse than 500:1)

Have you ever bowled? Based on the stipulations in the OP, the ‘average person’ (based on observing myself, friends, family, and others on the lanes on any given day) would be extraordinarily lucky to hit the front pin 12 times in a row, never mind the luck required for that to translate into 12 strikes. Propelling a 14lb ball in a straight line over 60 feet is not easy.

Put another way, pro bowlers have averages well into the 200s, your average Joe considers 100 a very good score. There is no chance they could win 1 in 100 games against a pro.

The only plausible candidate I can think of is eight-ball pool, where the pro might pot the eight ball on their break but also foul, losing the game, 1 in 50 times, or the amateur might pot the eight ball on their break, winning, 1 in 50 times. But the latter is much less likely than the former, and the pro could avoid the former by not breaking so hard. So even that is a stretch.

As the first reply notes, tennis might qualify if we define “winning” as “winning 1 point out of 100” - I saw a bit of fuss on Facebook recently about a poll that supposedly said 12% of men think they could win a point against Serena Williams. A lot of people were saying that showed men vastly overestimated their ability, actually I thought it was pretty reasonable IF defined as “winning one point in a set” (which would be a lot fewer than 100 points) - there is always a chance of just getting your racquet to a serve and fluking a winner, or similar. On the same basis, I might (as a casual tennis player) win 1 point in 100 versus Djokovic. But winning a set (or even a game)? Zero chance, barring injury, as mentioned.

Really I think this question tells us something about pro sport/games - they are basically the definition of something where it’s functionally impossible for a casual player to beat a pro, that’s a big part of what makes them entertaining and popular. There is no (serious) world championship for Tic-Tac-Toe because the skill level required to play it perfectly is pretty trivial. Not so for chess, backgammon, poker, Go etc. Similarly for sports with a physical element - you can win money by playing darts (where the margin between success and failure is very, very small), not so much for throwing a bean bag in a garbage can (yes I am aware of professional Cornhole, but that has a bit more to it. In fact, it’s just possible it qualifies as an answer to the OP, but I don’t follow it closely enough to say either way. If it does, it is because it has a relatively small pool of pro players and a pretty low physical and mental bar to success, no offence intended).

Yeah I’d say a newbie (unless they happened to be very good at pool) wouldn’t be able to beat a decent amateur snooker player 1:100 times. Let alone a pro.