That may have been true 15 years ago, but not today.
A good folio is much, much more valuable than the degree, unless it's from a particularly excellent school.
No degree == no job at the entry level.
There are plenty of pages in the stack with BOTH degrees and some evidence like a portfolio.
The only way a portfolio would trump the lack of degree is if the portfolio included sufficient games to put you already in the industry.
You are not competing in a vacuum. You are competing against everyone else who applied. At the entry level there are typically a lot of applicants. Most have a degree, many have a degree and portfolio.