New Sports Scandal: Poker Players Use Performance Enhancing Drugs


Card cheating

Say it ain't so! Poker players use drugs in an effort to sharpen their Texas Hold 'Em and Seven-Card Stud skills. So says a new study from Nova Southeastern University in Florida that reports that 80 percent of poker players use performance enhancing drugs. The press release reads:

Poker players are using drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, Valium, and other prescription medications, as well as substances including caffeine, energy drinks and guarana to get an edge over their opponents….

Respondents included professional poker players, semi-pro, amateur, and recreational players. Regardless of one's status, an overwhelming majority of poker involves some amount of money, Clauson said. The players surveyed played poker—largely no-limit Texas hold' em —- both in person and on the Internet. Most were males in their mid-20s.

About 73 percent of the respondents said they used drugs and other substances to focus and concentrate better. The rest used these products to calm their nerves, stay awake, and improve memory.

The results suggest that the use of substances to improve poker performance is widespread, especially at higher stakes,…

What kind of gambling role models are these guys and gals?! Can it be long before an outraged Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) [MLB steroid YouTube alert] drags these gamester scoundrels before his Congressional committee and demands that the Poker Players Association require pre-game drug testing?

Via Newswise.

NEXT: Goldman Sachs Gets Top Seed

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  1. I’ve always used caffeine and nicotine when fleecing the optimists and innumerates.

    That makes me a cheater?

  2. Marijuana is a performance enhancer? For a game that requires alertness, concentration, memory?

    1. I had a buddy that was a middling Starcraft player, but when he was stoned it was like he’d traded his appalachian heritage and turned South Korean.

      1. Starcraft != poker.

        I turn into some frag zombie when I play FPS on pot, but can’t make the distinction between a club and a spade when playing poker on it.

    2. I use to play poker online while smoking & I would play better. For some reason it made it easier for me to tell if someone was bluffing.

      1. There was acctually a study on the driving channel that found pot increased awareness/alertness when driving so its totally possible

    3. Pot is funny that way. It can actually help you concentrate in a tunnel-vision kind of way.

      Err, so I’m told.

      1. There is truth to this. Also, the perception of time is slowed and also leads to the relaxation and ability to focus on minutiae absent anxiety that can contribute to the perception of “tunnel vision”.

      2. Pot is funny that way. It can actually help you concentrate in a tunnel-vision kind of way.

        Err, so I’m told.


        I will say, I have experienced this first hand throughout college. I tended to do better when I studied for exams high than when I studied straight.

        I was definitely more focused on the subject at hand and not as easily distracted.

  3. I can dodge bullets, baby!

  4. Poker’s a sport?

    1. I agree. It’s a bit annoying when people refer to poker, chess, ect. as “sports”. They aren’t sports. They are games.

      By calling them games, I am not belittling them. On the contrary, I think they are more interesting than most sports. But, to be a sport, it has to primarily test physical ability.

      1. But, to be a sport, it has to primarily test physical ability.

        Here is my definition of a sport: If the best person at it in the world is or can be a woman it is not a sport.

        1. So poker and chess are both sports.

          1. As are math and physics.

            1. And driving.

            2. You gotta admit, swill, robc nailed you.

              1. My rule only defines what isn’t a sport.

        2. Where does that put bukaki?

      2. By calling them games, I am not belittling them. On the contrary, I think they are more interesting than most sports. But, to be a sport, it has to primarily test physical ability.

        What do you consider golf?

        Personally, I dont consider games of skill and chance a sport. Poker isn’t a sport in my book.

        1. I consider golf a sport, even if it isn’t a strenuous as, for instance, boxing. Baseball is definitely a sport, even though you spend most of your time standing around.

        2. I love golf, but I consider it a game. It’s a game that actually requires SOME exertion, but it’s mostly technique with lots of walking/riding between displays of same.

          1. Doesn’t technique (rather than strategy) test physical ability? Hand-eye coordination and controlled motor movements are physical abilities as much as mental.

      3. And yet, in no sport (except probably some track and field athletics) does the strongest or fastest always win. The rest of sports have specific technical skills that go beyond strength and resistance only.

      4. I think a necessary component for a sport is an objective system of scoring and deciding the winner. Gymnastics, freestyle anything, diving, etc. are not sports.

        1. Agree on that, for sure. As soon as subjective judgments are the chief way of “scoring”, you lose your sport status and enter the realm of “athletic exhibition thingy”.

  5. Well, which of these drugs work?

    1. I used to order a cup of 2% milk at the casino tables. Threw many of the seasoned players off. Also, milk has a calming effect.

      1. Definitely a lactose addict.

  6. Cocaine and strippers to help enhance performance. Jacked and relaxed all at once.

    Are strippers a drug?

  7. Adderall, Ritalin, Beta-blockers . . .

  8. I chew on laurel leaves to get a precognitive edge on my competition.

    1. Actually, Pro’L Dib, I switched your laurel leaves with Khat.

      1. You realize the fallacy in trying to fool someone who can see into the future, right?

        1. How is it fallacious? I didn’t hear you bitching, your poker game improved, and your disposition improved. I have proven it is not a placebo since you already knew what you were chewing.

          Shall I bill you directly or do you have a Pay Pal account?

          1. It means that I replaced your substitution with a substitution.

            1. Plans within plans within plans…I will find other ways to offend you, and as many ways as possible at the same time, Pro’L Dib.

    2. The Spice must flow…

  9. Stu Ungur – one of the best poker players of all time died helf broke in a hotel room crushed on coke and surrounded by strippers.

    1. Stu Ungar

      1. and by coke i meant crack – and by strippers i meant hookers – and by half broke i meant completely broke

    2. And your point is?

      1. Drugs and poker are nothing new

  10. “Stu Ungur – one of the best poker players of all time died helf broke in a hotel room crushed on coke and surrounded by strippers”

    Sounds like good timing to me. Who wants to die leaving a pile of cash behind for someone else to blow 🙂

  11. Does anyone in the U.S. NOT use some kind of drug for some kind of beneficial reason?

    1. Drug-users cheat on life, apparently.

      1. Without insulin my disc golf and tennis skills would go to shit real fast.

    2. Well, a certain prominent holder of high office has been on record as using nicotine.

  12. The FBI should interrogate the people who made this study in order to find out the identities of these scum.

  13. How can we stand idly by while poker players poison our kids? It’s time to ban poker.

  14. Poker is a gateway drug!

  15. Aaaaah . . . Juanita, my sultry siren of silliness. Come away with me to Marrakesh. I will dress you in silks, lavish you with perfumes . . .

    and then lock your dumb-ass in a closet.

  16. I can see how pot or Valium might help a poker player mask their tells. I’d think cocaine or other stimulants would have the opposite effect.

  17. I shoulda played more poker in college.

  18. As an online poker pro I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of pot in helping one focus and concentrate for long hours and stay indifferent to swings.

  19. Playing poker Under the Influence: a sure bet for Van der Slooten’s defense attempt to downgrade everything to involuntary manslaughter.

    Of course, if he isn’t caught in Chile, it will somehow be Milton Friedman’s fault.

  20. I confess, I frequently play poker under the influence….
    – The Neighborhood Game starts at 7:30 PM, pretty close to my bedtime, so I down a cup or two of coffee before it;
    – The coffee is then followed by anywhere from two to half a dozen beers (or maybe some bourbon on the rocks);
    – When I get really, really wild, I will take advantage of the endorphins generated from an M&M binge high.

    Yeah, I can hear you thinking it now… those crazy, crazy poker players!

  21. junk science, if you’d even call it science.
    More like, how fucking slow is the news today and what can we dig up from the absolute bottom of the shithole to fill some space.

    Caffeine, used as a ‘performance enhancing drug’ to gain an edge over your opponent.
    Mutherfucker, sell stupid next door.

    1. Got naked wifey pics?

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