Move Over Cyclists, Poker Player Doping Is Huge

Is that my hand or am I hallucinating?

At first glance, the findings of a new study from Nova Southeastern University in Florida make it sound as though the thing should soon be published in “The Journal Duh.” The trumpeted conclusion: Poker players use drugs to enhance performance.

You mean people that make money from one vice partake in another? Noooo. You mean people ingest something to stay awake and focused while competing in a 30-hour tournament? You don’ say.

But the specifics of the findings are genuinely kooky. Reading them, I still say “No way,” but with incredulity rather than sarcasm.

According to a press release from Nova Southeastern, researchers found that about 80 percent of poker players around the world use drugs to improve their game. That’s where the “duh” for the most part stops. The “whaaa?” part commences with a list of the drugs they use. Some of them include valium, marijuana, hydrocodone and alcohol.

The reasons for stimulants are obvious, needing to stay awake for many, many hours of high stakes concentration — of course, I’m not sure all people on cocaine are that good at quietly focusing on a single task of the mind. Apparently, the downers and light psychoactive drugs are used to increase the players’ concentration. Whaaaat? Who’s concentration improves while stoned?

My hunch is that these players think they’re being helped, but are sorely mistaken and just too stoned to realize it. I’ve known people who’ve claimed heightened concentration while high, but since I was speaking with them, I know for a fact, they were dead wrong.

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