Play Hungry for Better Decision Making

Chicken wings

Modern day poker has never been fitter, as players are more and more becoming aware of the fact that being in better shape both physically and mentally can allow them to play poker far more optimally. In this day and age the average player will be fit, conscious of what they eat and drink, not smoke and make sure that they eat and sleep enough to get them through the tough and long sessions at the felt.

However, a recent study has shown that there might be a misconception going around in the game that is holding players back. Have we got it all the wrong way around concerning poker, sex and food?

It has long been thought that playing poker when hungry or in a sexually aroused mood was a bad thing, that being either will lead to your decision making becoming that much poorer. Players usually make sure that they eat sufficiently before playing, simply because they want to avoid getting hungry as well as believing that the energy from food will help them to get through the day.

It Could Actually be the Opposite

Well just to show that we might not actually know everything that we all thought about poker, a new study has shown that players might actually play better rather than worse when hungry or in a naughty mood.

There have been three studies done recently, with each of the results having been published over on PLOS One, an open science action journal, that suggest that players who are hungry and sexually excited (in a hot state) will actually make better decisions.

“Despite the apparent evidence that hot states compromise advantageous decision making, most studies so far have examined decisions about satisfaction of immediate needs in simple decision contexts where the potential long-term consequences are relatively straightforward. In contrast, there is initial evidence suggesting that hot states may not compromise but rather facilitate advantageous decision making when these decisions are complex and long-term outcomes are uncertain, such as when delayed benefits are involved”

The studies were broken up into three tests with the results showing that the participants who were the hungriest came out on top in two of them. You should check out the full article to really get down into the inner workings of the studies, simply because it is very interesting from a poker players perspective.

Whilst these findings across the three studies suggest that we should all go to the tables after a long abstinence from both food and sex, it should be pointed out that the results are far from conclusive right now until further tests are carried out.