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Neuropsychology of Poker (3) - Dopamine, Energy and Focus

Video: Click here


In this article
  • How a neurotransmitter called dopamine controls your mind
  • Why a healthy dopamine level is important for you as a poker player
  • How to reach a healthy level of dopamine

When will you stop tilting? Poker and profit would be much more harmonious terms if only you could stop spewing chips unnecessarily. You spend so much time studying and preparing, prepping and discussing, reviewing and rigorously strengthening your poker skills to crush the competition.

And yet, at least once a session, it’s likely that a stack of chips will still find its way to the middle and then to the opponent. All the while, you are left watching in horror and amazement, wondering why you just made a play which you knew was definitely wrong. This phenomenon is all too real, all too common, and yet many poker players do not understand the underlying physiological mechanisms driving this behaviour.

Your tilt, your mood, your energy levels, your tension and anxiety, even your sex drive are all mediated by a neurotransmitter called Dopamine, as well as a physical response to stress that helped your ancestors survive and give rise to the poker playing cyborg you are today.


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Comments (8)

#1 THESHade, 08 Apr 11 22:29

Its Freeze-Flight-Fight response
Jsut sayin

Good article, I like this one

#2 Varangino, 08 Apr 11 22:48

Great article, looking forward to the next one!

#3 Somnius, 10 Apr 11 02:44

#1 - Wasn't aware of the recent addition. Thank you for bringing that to our attention.

#4 SniffvsSnaf, 05 Jul 11 21:12

Very nice - never read better stuff about this topic - now I got it black on white what I felt... that 5 coffee and that 100 gramm choclate bar affected my A-Game negative...

#5 Pouserly2, 12 Aug 11 09:07

Still a good and interesting read.

#6 awesomeo, 04 Jan 12 01:47

Good one. Realy like the series. From now one I will know better than eating these chocolates while playing.

#7 maythany, 13 Oct 12 03:10

Wow and I was considering having a coffee every time before I start my poker session.

Sex is definitely going to be a problem for all us single guys out there who are dedicated full time poker players along with a full time job. I guess the nutritional foods are just as good :D

#8 edgarsb, 22 Nov 13 04:09

Great article! Answered a lot of my previously unanswered miserable questions! thumbs up!!!!