Experience and Passion in Poker: Are There Well-Being Implications?

  • Apostolos Oikonomidis
  • Jussi Palomäki
  • Michael Laakasuo
Original Paper


Previous studies on gambling passion have identified that obsessive passion is related to negative consequences, including gambling pathology, whereas harmonious passion is mostly related to positive outcomes both during and after engagement in gambling activity. In the present study, we focused on poker players (N = 311) and investigated the associations between the two types of gambling passion and subjective well-being, while taking into account acquired poker experience. We found that harmonious passion toward poker was associated with higher levels of well-being, whereas the reverse was true for obsessive passion. Poker experience was positively related to harmonious but not obsessive passion, and moderated the relationship between harmonious passion and quality of life. Our findings contribute to extant literature on passion and further solidify its application in a gambling context. Most importantly, our results underline the relevance of accounting for poker experience when studying gambling among poker players.


Poker Gambling passion Harmonious passion Obsessive passion Poker experience Well-being 



The authors wish to thank all respondents who participated in this study. Special thanks to Dr. Yiannis Kasvikis and Iliana Pavlopoulou for their thoughtful guidance and support.


No funding was received for this research project.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. (Details on the ethical procedures followed during this research project are presented in the method section of the submitted article).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavior Treatment UnitAthensGreece
  2. 2.Faculty of Arts, Department of Digital Humanities, Cognitive ScienceUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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