Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 187–200 | Cite as

Losing More by Losing It: Poker Experience, Sensitivity to Losses and Tilting Severity

Original Paper

Abstract

In poker, detrimental decision-making as a result of losing control due to negative emotions is known as tilting. Previous evidence suggests that poker experience is related to better emotion regulation in dealing with poker losses, and possibly to reduced severity of tilting in the game. A correlational on-line study (N = 417) was conducted to operationalize the tilting phenomenon by defining certain experiential characteristics that conceivably protect players from tilting or predispose them to it. These characteristics, as well as a measurement of poker experience, were then used in predicting the severity of tilting. It was hypothesized that (1) players with more poker experience are more likely to perceive having tilted less severely, as a result of accumulating poker experience; (2) players with more poker experience have lower severity of tilting; (3) players with more poker experience report lower emotional sensitivity to losses; and (4) players with a higher emotional sensitivity to losses have higher severity of tilting. Hypotheses 1 and 4 were supported, hypothesis 3 was weakly supported, but contrary to hypothesis 2, poker experience was associated with higher tilting severity. It is argued that these results are sensible if experienced players are less likely to tilt in relative terms, per single hand, but more likely to tilt in the long run.

Keywords

On-line poker Tilting Poker experience Sensitivity to losses Losing control 

References

  1. Aiken, L., & West, G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Angelo, T. (2007). Elements of poker. Self-published.Google Scholar
  3. Bechara, A., Damasio, A. R., Damasio, H., & Anderson, S. W. (1994). Insensitivity to future consequences following damage to human prefrontal cortex. Cognition, 50(1–3), 7–15.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bjerg, O. (2010). Problem gambling in poker: Money, rationality and control in a skill-based social game. International Gambling Studies, 10(3), 239–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bjerg, O. (2011). Poker. The parody of capitalism. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, S. C., & Mitchell, L. A. (2010). An observational investigation of poker style and of five-factor personality model. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26(2), 229–234.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown, S. L., Rodda, S., & Phillips, J. G. (2004). Differences between problem and nonproblem gamblers in subjective arousal and affective valence amongst electronic gaming machine players. Addictive Behaviors, 29(9), 1863–1867.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Browne, B. R. (1989). Going on tilt: Frequent poker players and control. Journal of Gambling Behavior, 5(1), 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  10. Dedonno, M. A., & Detterman, D. K. (2008). Poker is a skill. Gaming Law Review, 12(1), 31–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dickerson, M., & O’Connor, J. (2006). Gambling as an addictive behavior. Impaired control, harm minimisation, treatment and prevention. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Griffiths, M., Parke, J., Wood, R., & Rigbye, J. (2010). Online poker gambling in university students: Further findings from an online survey. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 8(1), 82–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hayano, D. M. (1982). Poker faces: The life and work of professional card players. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hopley, A. A. B., Dempsey, K., & Nicki, R. (2011). Texas Hold’em online poker: A further examination. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. doi:10.1007/s11469-011-9353-2.Google Scholar
  15. Hopley, A. A. B., & Nicki, R. M. (2010). Predictive factors of excessive online poker playing. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 13(4), 379–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lesieur, H. (1984). The chase: Career of the compulsive gambler. Massachusetts: Schenkman.Google Scholar
  17. Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1987). The South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS): A new instrument for the identification of pathological gamblers. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 1184–1188.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Lewis, M., Haviland-Jones, J. M., & Feldman Barrett, L. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of emotions (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  19. Linnet, J., Frøslev, M., Ramsgaard, S., Gebauer, L., Mouridsen, K., & Wohlert, V. (2011). Impaired probability estimation and decision-making in pathological gambling poker players. Journal of Gambling Studies. doi:10.1007/s10899-011-9244-2.Google Scholar
  20. Linnet, J., Gebauer, L., Shaffer, H., Mouridsen, K., & Møller, A. (2010). Experienced poker players differ from inexperienced poker players in estimation bias and decision bias. Journal of Gambling Issues, 24, 86–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Meyer, G., von Meduna, M., Brosowski, T., & Hayer, T. (2012). Is poker a game of skill or chance? A quasi-experimental study. Journal of Gambling Studies. doi:10.1007/s10899-012-9327-8.Google Scholar
  22. Mitrovic, D. V., & Brown, J. (2009). Poker mania and problem gambling: A study of distorted cognitions, motivations and alexithymia. Journal of Gambling Studies, 25(4), 489–502.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Moodie, C., & Finnigan, F. (2005). A comparison of the autonomic arousal of frequent, infrequent and non-gamblers while playing fruit machines. Addiction, 100(1), 51–59.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Moore, S. M., Thomas, A. C., Kyrios, M., & Bates, G. (2011). The self-regulation of gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies. doi:10.1007/s10899-011-9265-x.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Palomäki, J., & Laakasuo, M. Qualitative assessment of feelings associated with significant losses in poker. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  26. Palomäki, J., Laakasuo, M., & Salmela, M. (2012). “Don’t worry, it’s just poker!”-Experience, self-rumination and self-reflection as determinants of decision-making in on-line poker. Journal of Gambling Studies. doi:10.1007/s10899-012-9311-3.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Radburn, B., & Horsley, R. (2011). Gamblers, grinders, and mavericks: The use of membership categorisation to manage identity by professional poker players. Journal of Gambling Issues. doi:10.4309/jgi.2011.26.4.Google Scholar
  28. Rhodes, M. (2010). Randy “nanonoko” Lew and his rise to multi-table poker fame. Resource document. OnlinePoker.net. http://www.onlinepoker.net/poker-news/poker-pros-news/randy-nanonoko-lew-rise-multitable-poker-fame/7327. Accessed September 4, 2012.
  29. Rosenthal, R. J. (1995). The phenomenology of “Bad Beats”: Some clinical observations. Journal of Gambling Studies, 11(4), 367–372.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Siler, K. (2010). Social and psychological challenges of poker. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26(3), 401–420.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sklansky, D., & Miller, E. (2006). No-limit Hold’em: Theory and practice. Henderson, NV: Two Plus Two Publishing.Google Scholar
  32. Teed, M., Finlay, K. A., Marmurek, H. H. C., Colwell, S. R., & Newby-Clark, I. R. (2011). Sympathetic magic and gambling: Adherence to the law of contagions varies with gambling severity. Journal of Gambling Studies. doi:10.1007/s10899-011-9280-y.Google Scholar
  33. Toneatto, T. (1999). Cognitive psychopathology of problem gambling. Substance Use and Misuse, 34(11), 1593–1604.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vohs, K. D., Baumeister, R. F., & Loewenstein, G. (Eds.). (2007). Do emotions hurt or help decision-making? A hedgefoxian perspective. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  35. Williams, A. D., Grisham, J. R., Erskine, A., & Cassedy, E. (2011). Deficits in emotion regulation associated with pathological gambling. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8260.2011.02022.x.Google Scholar
  36. Zhou, K., Tang, H., Sun, Y., Huang, G., Rao, L., Liang, Z., et al. (2011). Belief in luck or in skill: Which locks people into gambling? Journal of Gambling Studies. doi:10.1007/s10899-011-9263-z.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jussi Palomäki
    • 1
    • 3
  • Michael Laakasuo
    • 1
  • Mikko Salmela
    • 2
  1. 1.Cognitive Science, Institute of Behavioural SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Helsinki Collegium for Advanced StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.HelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations