We know plenty of casual poker players who would jump at the chance to join this offer. In fact, they'd probably be stunned to see someone printing out the idea -- because they do it in bars and clubs all the time.
Yet as you might guess, this proposal was different. It's a "scientific" research study being done by a university in our town, to see if alcohol really affects someone's poker-playing skills.
The academic behind this offer sat down with us for an alcohol-free tournament, and asked the table for their general opinions about the idea. Most people guessed the addition of liquor would hurt someone's poker skills. But we recalled several times when people clearly went past their alcohol limit, yet succeeded - sometimes hitting more "lucky cards" than normal.
So are we going to join in this experiment? No. That's not what we do - or what we've done throughout our life:
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness.... Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. - Romans 13:13-14
The Bible clearly opposes getting drunk. But admittedly, some Christian groups have taken this to the other side of the road and declared any alcohol consumption is wrong. That's not really Scriptural.
Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, and he master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.... "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." - John 2:7-10
If drinking wine is wrong, why would Jesus turn a lot of water into wine? As "the first of his miraculous signs," at that (verse 11)?
The proper middle ground seems to be that alcohol is OK to drink, as long as you don't drink too much:
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. - Philippians 4:5 (KJV)
In other words, don't go over the edge and drink yourself "under the table." Playing poker under a table probably would get you removed from the tournament, anyway.
So what do you think of this experiment? Have you seen alcohol make a poker-player's performance better? Worse? Or is there no difference? Your comments are welcome.