Canadian study claims playing online poker reduces stress

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Feb 27, 2010 Posted in World Poker News | No Comments » cites a Canadian University’s study that shows playing online poker reduces cortisol levels in the brain. The study claims that as poker players become more focused on the game their body produced less cortisol. This would go against everything we know about poker since cortisol is produced in response to stress or anxiety. The study claims the reduction is due to the focus required to play poker, due to the level of attention needed to play the game.

Although the researchers prove a valid point, not only about poker but perhaps why people engage in games of skill and gambling, I would have loved to have been in the room when the researchers pitched this study for a grant, and once again when funding for this study was granted.

The research really highlights why poker is so popular, it blends together the adrenaline high of gambling while at the same time reducing stress; the best of both worlds.


Stress is the way that you feel when pressure is placed on you.

A little bit of pressure can be productive, give you motivation, and help you to perform better at something. However, too much pressure or prolonged pressure can lead to stress, which is unhealthy for the mind and body.

Everyone reacts differently to stress, and some people may have a higher threshold than others. Too much stress often leads to physical, mental and emotional problems.

If you want to try and control your stress levels witha game of poker, visit

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