Archive for the 'Poker'

Graham Wants to Ban Online Gambling

Sen. Lindsay Graham has decided that we must ban internet gambling at the federal level. By sheer coincidence, I’m sure, he came to this position after Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who wants to rid himself of the competition, started raising big money for his reelection campaign. Read more

Poker, Psychology and the Science of Tells

A friend who has a PhD in psychology sent me a recent study that found that “the quality of professional poker players’ hands is perceived accurately from arm movements.” In the study, they showed 78 undergrads video clips from the World Series of Poker that included no sound but had one version where you could only see the players’ faces and one where you could see their upper torsos too. They were asked to rank how strong they think the player’s hand is on a scale of 1-7. And the study found that seeing their bodies significantly increased the chances of reading their hand correctly. Read more

The Brain and Gambling Addictions

Farris Jabr at Scientific American reports on studies of those who become addicted to gambling. He notes that the latest DSM-V reclassifies problem gambling as an addiction rather than a compulsion, as it was previously called, and that this was done because of the similar ways that both drug addiction and gambling addiction affect the brain. Read more

A Terrible Study on Poker

Sean Carroll (the physicist, not the paleontologist) calls attention to an absolutely ridiculous study on whether poker is a game of skill. It was published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, which apparently doesn’t bother with that pesky peer review stuff. I’m not paying $39.95 for the whole study, but the abstract alone tells you how absurd the methodology is: Read more

Spotting the Sucker at a Poker Table

The first line of the movie Rounders, which helped spark the poker boom in the late 90s, is “If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.” I played poker with a guy recently who made it incredibly easy to spot him as the sucker (or one of them). Read more