Smoking Weed At The WSOP: Is It Allowed?

2 years ago
Smoking Weed At The WSOP: Is It Allowed?
16:30
10 Jul

(Photo: Saleminteractivemedia.com)

It’s long been spoken of in hushed (and not so hushed tones) that the car park at the WSOP is a paradise for weed-smoking poker players, the unmistakeable whiff of green when breaks in play are announced enough to get you high without even rolling your own joint!

And now, as of July 1st, Nevada’s law has changed to allow ‘recreational pot sales’, as the Cannabist.com calls it, so you might expect to see some of the world’s best players strolling about the Rio’s courtyard this coming week, chilling out from the rigors of the Main Event by smoking a doobie which would challenge Bob Marley in his prime.

But not so fast! Just because Nevada has joined 7 other states in legalizing sales of many cannabis products doesn’t mean poker pros can do what they like. As the weed-smoking lovers favorite website points out:

“State gambling regulators have directed casinos to abide by federal law, which outlaws the drug. That means tourists will have a hard time finding a place to use it legally despite being the biggest expected piece of the market.”

(Photo: AP.org)


For some, it’s a weird idea to even contemplate getting high while gambling, serial min-casher Allen Kessler telling Derrick Devan of Leafly.com that,

“It doesn’t make any sense to me. When you go home you can smoke all the weed you want. Why would you want to impede your ability to play in a tournament?”

Not to mention the fact that casino security can – and apparently have – thrown players out mid-tournament when caught indulging in a bit of spliff-building or smoking, even in their cars.


Dewan recalls the infamous case of Bryan Micon, whose Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ impersonation back in 2006 was a cannabis-inspired routine as he ran deep in the Main Event.

Last week he tweeted on the eve of Nevada’s relaxation of the laws:

…while fellow pro Josh Arieh had the following suggestion…

Dutch Boyd told Leafly that:

“Marijuana is part of poker. If you’re ever on the tournament trail and stop in a Tunica hotel room during a World Series of Poker circuit event or in Los Angeles for a stop on the World Poker Tour, just walk down the halls and it’s everywhere. It smells like weed. It’s part of the game’s culture.”


That, however, won’t cut any ice with Nevada’s police. Although anyone who is 21 and has a valid ID “can buy up to an ounce of pot or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates” now, Cannabist.com states, if you’re caught partaking of it in public you could find yourself with a $600 ticket for a first offense.

“It changes the dynamics of what we have to enforce and what we don’t in terms of marijuana,” Deputy Reno Police Chief Tom Robinson told Associated Press reporters, but that doesn’t mean if they spot Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk sharing a quick spliff (and what odds would you get on that scenario?!) they’ll just overlook it.

The law states that it’s only for personal consumption in the home, but given its mass appeal to poker players and the fact that many seem to live in casinos, perhaps an exception might be made? For the time being though, pot-loving players are going to have to continue their hide-and-seek weed game in the Rio’s car park and hope that security don’t sniff them out.


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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