word type: noun

  1. A personality type, common amongst poker players, that is typified by an abundance of self-destructive behavior.

Common Degen Habits

There are a variety of "degenerate behavior" patterns that poker players have been known to embrace. They include, but are not limited to:

- Pit gambling

- Drug use

- Excessive spending

- Sports betting

- Hookers and strippers

Degen Psychology

Why do so many pro poker players do degenerate things that leave them broke and miserable?

1) One of the traits that allows poker players to succeed is having a warped perception, if not a total disregard, for the value of money. Many players have problems leaving this attitude at the poker table.

2) Related to that, a good run in the short term can give poker players the false perception that the easy money will flow forever, and thus their perception of money is skewed even further.

3) -EV gambling, hookers and drugs are fun and provide mindless short-term gratification to stressed out poker players. However, these are also addictive activities, and the inevitable consequence is degeneracy.

4) Self-loathing.

The Gambler with James Caan

In this 1974 film, The Gambler, James Caan plays the protagonist, a textbook degenerate: