Poker players have been under the gun on reported steroid use on tour
Following suit with most other professional sport organizations, The World Series of Poker has announced mandatory steroid testing at the beginning of the 2009 season. The announcement comes on the backdrop of the Michell Report, which named numerous Major League baseball players as possibly using steroids.
By 2006, the World Series of Poker was comprised of 45 tournaments, all awarding gold bracelets to the winners. Well over $100 million in prize money was won, making the WSOP the richest event in all of sports. Many outsiders have stated that the size of the participants and the ease of pulling chips towards them has created a mystery about performance enhancing drugs being used on the tour. The World Series has also expanded its reach beyond Las Vegas, to nearly a dozen casinos spread throughout the United States. The newly-formed World Series of Poker Circuit allowed poker players nationwide the opportunity to participate in poker’s greatest tradition.
Big corporations also took notice. What was once an untouchable subculture largely rejected by potential advertisers and business partners has suddenly become a highly- desirable target demographic. Beer companies, auto makers, and other mainstream businesses are now eager to attach themselves to the success story that is the World Series of Poker, but are now nervous because of the sports reported involvement in steroids.
Jeffrey Pollack is the active Commissioner, and has went on record to state that “the sport is clean, and will hire ann outside investigation group to look into the matter.” A few ex-WSOP players have come out and admitted use. Todd Piasecki, a tour member during the tours infancy back in the early 90’s has told numerous media folks that, he “used to shoot up before matches with other contestants.” We all have to wait and see with curiosity and a humbled opinion, that the executives of the WSOP are making sure their organization is clean and morally just in the minds of Americans that are tired hearing about professional drug use.