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Study: Poker Players Use Performance-Enhancing Drugs, Too!

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Long left off the list of performance-enhancing drug abusing “athletes,” poker players are finally having their day in the sun. A new study from Nova Southeastern University found that 80 percent of the 198 players interviewed reported using drugs and other substances to enhance their performance.

The drugs, generally, were things like marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, Valium, and other prescription medications, as well as caffeine, energy drinks, and guarana. (No anabolic steroids were mentioned.)

“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, Pharm.D., an associate professor at NSU’s College of Pharmacy, who was the principle investigator in the study. “Stamina is important for any poker player because tournament poker and cash games can go on for many hours.”

The higher stakes the game, the more likely the use of substances to enhance performance, said Clauson. Take that, cyclists!