Study Reveals Soccer Players Suffer From Poker Hangover

Graeme Law from the University of Chester in England conducted an interesting study recently in which he interviewed a total of thirty-four professional soccer players in order to determine how gambling affected their performances on the pitch. One of the conclusions of the study that losing at gambling before a soccer match can have a detrimental affect on their play, however, will come as a shock to few.
The Ph.D. student elaborated on his findings at the British Sociological Association’s conference in Birmingham on April 7th. The players who took part in the research included those from the Premiership, as well as those competing in lower leagues, with their chief concern expressed being that gambling and playing poker games at hotels or on the team coach before matches had negatively impacted their performances during a soccer game. One of the study’s participants, for instance, explained that he had a “shocker” of a game after losing £2,000 on his way to the match, while another complained that:
“I have lost a lot and I had a stinker because it’s all I thought about during the game.”
Furthermore, Graeme Law states that their below par performance on the pitch subsequently creates resentment about their gambling amongst their fellow team memebrs. This can often then lead to these players moving their gambling online in order to avoid attention from their team mates, or girlfriends or wives. Despite the findings, the problem is not so easily remedied, though, and as one player subsequently explained:
“I liked to bet on the bus, but it got worse when I could bet online. I was able to do it all the time with no one knowing. I lost a lot. My wife found out after a year or so and she got me help and it’s under control now. It’s the culture to gamble in football and it can get dangerous when it grips you.”
In spite of Graeme Law’s research, some of the best soccer players in the world continue to express their love of poker, with a number currently sponsored by some of the major online operators, including Team PokerStars SportStars members Neymar Jr, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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