April 20, 2024

Poker players using performance-enhancing drugs

Players seek “competitive advantage”

Football players do it, weightlifters do it,
runners do it, so why shouldn’t poker players do it? A study presented
recently at a national conference found that 80% of poker players worldwide reported
using drugs and other substances to enhance their poker performance.

The study, at Nova Southeastern University,
reveals poker players regularly use drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines,
Valium and other prescription medications, as well as caffeine, guarana and energy
drinks to improve their game.  

“The use these substances could allow poker
players to stay awake longer, as well as focus and concentrate better, which would
be a competitive advantage,” said Kevin Clauson, an associate professor at NSU’s
College of Pharmacy, the principal investigator in the study. “Stamina is important for any poker player because
tournament poker and cash games can go on for many hours.” The study included professional, semi-pro, amateur
and recreational players. Most were males in their mid-20s. Around 73% said they
used drugs and other substances for focus and improved concentration. The rest used
them to improve memory, stay awake, and calm their nerves.

Will there be drug testing for poker championships?
It’s a sport, after all… Shouldn’t there be a level playing field? ~ Newswise June 1

Jared Yee
performance-enhancing drugs