Talking Drugs and Poker Lifestyle with Dr Allen and Jeff Boski

2 years ago
Talking Drugs and Poker Lifestyle with Dr Allen and Jeff Boski
12 Apr

My man Boski is back on form and this week sees Jeff sit down with Dr Allen to discuss the positive and negative effects of smoking marijuana whilst playing, blood flow during long sessions, nutrition and how to stay comfortable and healthy whilst playing long hours!

It’s an unusual vlog from Jeff, in many ways, as he has an expert sounding board for his thoughts, a Las Vegas MD from Green Valley area who focuses on lifestyle solutions for his patients with chronic problems – perfect for poker players in fact!

Exercise at the table…

“During tournaments, we’re sitting there prisoners for two hours – is there anything we can do during that time to help our mental clarity?” asks my favourite vlogger Jeff.

Simple things, says Dr Allen, will help:

“Squeezing and relaxing your muscles…or holding your breath, then slowly letting it out.”

…and weed away from the table!

The jokey introduction to marijuana use by players on breaks leads to a serious discussion… “How does that affect your thought process?” Boski wants to know, having hinted that he might have been subject to such mind-altering substances in years gone by – him and about 90% of poker players!

The Doc hits the nail on the head, stating:

“A person who has just smoked marijuana will tend to have some period of relaxation… and that may affect their decision-making during the game. It can also create a certain level of anxiety… the more potent the marijuana it can develop more paranoid thoughts… sitting there feeling the whole table is out to get you. Well. Literally they ARE all out to get you! Let’s put it this way,” explains Allen. "It’s pretty unusual to hear the story: ‘My life was going along like crap… nothing worked… and then I found marijuana – and then my life just got awesome! Maybe Willie Nelson has that story – it’s possible – but it’s a pretty unusual story.”

Expert advice

It’s clear that Dr Allen knows about poker – tilt and variance aren’t things you hear non-poker people explaining after all – so Jeff’s choice of guest is inspired, and together they cover just about every facet of lifestyle and poker.


“Some people don’t eat anything and gamble in the pits,” says Boski. “Some people eat a hamburger and French fries, other like a green smoothie and a carrot –what would you recommend?”
“If you’re trying for optimal mental performance, avoid high fat foods!” is the quick response. “Studies have shown reliably that such tings lead to a 20% reduction in oxygen to the tissues – that includes the brain!”

Food coma, in other words, something your scribe knows only too well unfortunately! Doc Allen’s suggestion is go to the restaurant and order something like bake potatoes – “your body needs calories!” – “and then have some vegetables and a salad with some light dressing.”

“Get rid of the short-term pleasure and go for the long-term success,” is Jeff’s summary – and you just know it makes sense.

Supplements – good or bad?

"Fish oil?” asks Boski. “No”, says Doc, citing studies which have shown them to have not lived up to their industry hype. Any simple over-the-counter B12 vitamin supplement is what you need.” But what about more toxic ‘supplements’?

The brain drugs

ADHD drugs, modern brain enhancers such as Adderall? They’ve all been tried and Doc Allen doesn’t dismiss them outright.

“I think if it’s short-lived, if it’s temporary, if it’s used with knowledge of the side-effects…it’s one way to go about getting that accomplished. I think healthy living is a better choice.”

It’s a well-spent 20 minutes or so for any poker player looking to improve the non-poker aspects of their life. Green tea or coffee? Physical activity? Self-awareness at the table? Boski doesn’t miss a thing and there’s nothing Doc Allen doesn’t have an informed view on – see you at the salad bar Jeff!

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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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