Winning Can Cost You In Online Poker

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An analysis of over 27 million online poker players found that winning more hands actually leads to collecting less money overall.

The Study

Kyle Siler, a doctoral student at Cornell University, used PokerTracker software to analyze small, medium, and high stakes hands in online games of No-Limit Texas Hold'em. His surprising find was that players who won more hands actually walked away with less money than players who won less often. Frequent small wins provide players with positive reinforcement, and they tend to continue to play. By placing too much emphasis on their "winning streak," frequent small winners fail to realize how an occasional significant loss impacts their overall gain.

What Does This Mean?

Online poker is a multibillion dollar industry, and it provides easy and constant gambling access. People can play more hands than they can in physical games, and the rate of addiction to online gambling is growing. This objective look at actual outcomes of "winning streaks" in online poker should encourage players to take a closer and more realistic look at their gambling habits.

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