Poker Players admit to using Drugs

Posted by Gerry Poltorak on Jun 05, 2010 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

A study at a US university that was conducted recently has confirmed that a big percentage of professional poker players enhance their game with medication and illegal performance enhancing drugs. Players using these drugs claim to be able to improve their win rate but also put a massive risk to their personal health.

The study that was conducted by the Nova South-eastern University showed that 28% of poker players admitted that they used prescription drugs to improve their poker game. A massive 34% said they used marijuana and 8% admitted to taking cocaine. The information from this survey was collected by player interviews in Las Vegas as well as some online surveys. To the poker community this will not be anything new, Mike Matusow is just one of the professionals that has admitted to using speed to enhance his concentration and focus at the tables in his early years.

Substances used claimed to help improve a player’s focus as well as endurance. The most popular prescription drugs were amphetamines which help focus however worryingly the drug has long term and short term side effects which include changes in blood pressure and heart attacks. In fact these are the same sort of drugs that are used by college students to focus on studying during exam periods.

Though it is not a surprise that a lot of professional poker players use drugs to enhance their game it does beg the question if this should be allowed. Though there is no official rule against using drugs in poker, professionals known to be abusing can be asked to leave the game. The real question is if the drug provides a unfair advantage to the user, though this is a problem that can potentially addressed offline there is little chance it can be policed online.

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