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Poker Pro David Sands Tests Positive For Coronavirus

35-Year-Old Pro Got Tested After Experiencing Mild Symptoms


Rudy Gobert was the first player to test positive for COVID-19 in the sports world, while Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson were the first positive cases in the entertainment industry.

Poker’s first case was announced Sunday night as David “Doc” Sands revealed on Twitter that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

While he hasn’t been on the tournament circuit on a regular basis in a few years, Sands amassed nearly $8.5 million in live earnings with two seven-figure scores, including a victory in the 2013 World Poker Tour Championship Super High Roller $100,000 buy-in for $1.02 million. The 35-year-old is known to take part in some of the biggest cash games in Las Vegas.

Sands started a 13-tweet thread that outlined a brief health history, his symptoms, and the timeline in which he started to feel sick and got tested.

According to Sands, it started with a headache last Monday before adding some mild postnasal drip and what he described as a “wet” cough. He never developed a fever or had dry coughing fits.

The Montana-native called his doctor on Tuesday, who declined to test him for the virus. Since Sands had already been isolating himself and his family for nearly a week before he felt slightly ill and had not had contact with anyone known to have the virus, his doctor felt it wasn’t necessary.

Sands called his “concierge Dr.” who administered the test at his office Thursday. Sands received the bad news Saturday night.

As for how he got it, Sands doesn’t have an idea. He said that he began to isolate before the situation escalated to where it is now and took all the necessary precautions possible. He urged his parents to leave Northern California three weeks ago before the virus took a foothold in the San Francisco Bay area.

In a response to Eric Haber, he hypothesized that his kids may have brought it home from school or that he may have gotten it at the grocery store, but there was no way to know for sure.

Daniel Negreanu corroborated Sands’ safety precautions, saying that they were “elbow shaking" before anyone else.

Sands said that his symptoms have continued to stay mild and that his wife has been experiencing symptoms and will be tested for the virus this week.

The spread of the virus worldwide has essentially put live poker on hold and closed most casinos throughout the country.

According to Johns Hopkins University, at the time of publication, there are 35,224 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States and 343,421 worldwide.

Tags: poker,   coronavirus,   David Sands