This might be of interest:
We conducted an internet-based correlative study assessing differences in technical skills and emotional characteristics (i.e., emotion regulation -related skills) between experienced and inexperienced poker players, which was published in the peer-reviewed academic journal "Journal of Gambling Studies".
The article can be accessed here:
It is not open access - the easiest way to gain access is through a university VPN. If not possible, here is a link to my "own" (not as pretty) version of the manuscript that is not protected by copyright laws:
Short description of the design and main findings:
Technical skill was assessed by two fictitious on-line NLHE decision-making scenarios. Emotional characteristics (or "skills") were assessed by two scales:
1: The self-rumination scale (measures the individual tendency to "ruminate" on negative emotions, or, i.e., the inability to "let go" of unfavourable consequences of actions)
- A good example is a bad beat: Some people can't seem to "let go" of having received one. This relates to self-ruminating
2: The self-reflection scale (measures the individual tendency to a benign self-contemplative style of analyzing one's thoughts and feelings)
In addition, we assessed players' tendency to feel that they have a control over "luck", or, in other words, the ability to "influence luck".
According to the results:
1: Experienced players make better decisions by mathematical standards, in the on-line NLHE -decision scenarios (unsurprising, sure, but it's always good to provide further evidence that poker is about skill )
2: Experienced players are less prone to self-ruminate
3: During NLHE decision-making, experienced players benefit from self-reflection, inexperienced players benefit from self-rumination (an odd result requiring further study, I think)
4: Experienced players do not feel, that "luck" can be influenced, suggesting they have a more analytical and less inflated view of what "luck" really is (i.e., "there is no luck, only variance")
As the study was correlative, directions of causality can't be assessed. In other words, it is conceivable that people who are in essence, disposed to self-ruminate less, are also predisposed to continue playing poker.
However! There might also be a causative effect, meaning that accumulating poker playing experience makes us less self-ruminative, which, i.e., corresponds to better emotional regulation .
I will be happy to answer any questions!
Jussi Palomäki (micro/low stakes grinder, active on-line poker player and a member of various Finnish poker communities)