Don’t talk to them, they will not understand: How poker players experience criticism and stigma
In this qualitative study, 15 poker players described a lack of understanding and unfair criticism from non-players, both of which made them unwilling to discuss poker. A theoretical framework, based on classical theories from Goffman (1963), Becker (1963) and Douglas (2003), was used to analyze the players’ perspectives. This article argues that the society’s reluctance to acknowledge poker players’ competence might cause a lack of dialogue between players and non-players. Over time, this situation may cause players to consider themselves outsiders. This result could contribute to make it difficult to combine poker playing with the life outside and to encourage former professional poker players into education or other jobs. In poker, unlike most forms of gambling, a personal connection operates between the winning and losing players. A common criticism against successful poker players is that they are cynical, and take advantage of weak or compulsive players. Previous research has hypothesized that cultural differences operate with players relate to opponents with potential gambling problems. This study identifies three different approaches and attitudes poker players may have towards suspected compulsive gamblers, and suggests that players from Nordic welfare states are more likely to empathize with compulsive gamblers than players from more market liberal countries. The players in this inquiry generally stated that they disliked playing against suspected problem gamblers, and argued that it created for them difficult ethical dilemmas. To confront a stranger with a gambling problem then advise him or her to stop was described as challenging, especially in front of other players.
Dans cette étude qualitative, 15 joueurs de poker ont décrit un manque de compréhension et une critique injuste de la part de non-joueurs, ce qui les rend peu enclins à discuter de poker. Un cadre théorique basé sur les théories classiques de Goffman (1963), de Becker (1963) et de Douglas (2003) a été utilisé pour analyser les perspectives des joueurs. Cet article soutient que la réticence de la société à reconnaître la compétence des joueurs de poker pourrait entraîner un manque de dialogue entre les joueurs et les non-joueurs. Avec le temps, les joueurs peuvent se sentir marginalisés. Cela pourrait nuire à la possibilité de combiner le poker avec la vie en dehors du jeu et d’amener les anciens joueurs de poker professionnels à poursuivre des études ou occuper d’autres emplois. Au poker, contrairement à la plupart des formes de jeu, il existe un lien personnel entre les joueurs gagnants et perdants. On critique souvent les joueurs de poker gagnants d’être cyniques et de profiter de joueurs faibles ou compulsifs. Des recherches antérieures ont émis l’hypothèse qu’il existe des différences culturelles dans la façon dont les joueurs se lient aux adversaires ayant des problèmes de jeu potentiels. Cette étude relève trois approches différentes que les joueurs de poker peuvent adopter vis-à-vis des joueurs présumés compulsifs, et laisse entendre que les joueurs provenant d’États-providence du Nord sont plus susceptibles de sympathiser avec les joueurs compulsifs que les joueurs des pays libéraux. Les joueurs de cette étude ont généralement déclaré qu’ils n’aimaient pas jouer contre des joueurs soupçonnés d’avoir des problèmes de jeu et ont fait valoir que cela les mettait dans des dilemmes éthiques difficiles. Affronter un étranger ayant un problème de jeu et lui conseiller de se détendre a été décrit comme un défi, surtout devant les autres joueurs.
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