Gambling Not Only Addiction Risk for Power Players

The ability of poker players to stay at the table for hours on end is aided in many cases by the use of drugs, according to researchers.

HealthDay News reported June 3 that a study found that four of five poker players surveyed used some type of illicit or legal drug to gain an edge, from caffeine and energy drinks to cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, or other controlled substances.

“The use of these substances could allow poker players to stay awake longer, as well as focus and concentrate better, which would be a competitive advantage,” said study author Kevin Clauson of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “Stamina is important for any poker player because tournament poker and cash games can go on for many hours.”

Poker players surveyed said they used the drugs to improve focus and concentration, calm their nerves, avoid fatigue, and boost memory.

The survey results were presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists.

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