Can poker fit into my new healthy lifestyle? – Day 74

August 12, 2010 1 Comment


365 Days to a Balanced Life Journey – Day 72


Quote of the Day

“Hobbies of any kind are boring except to people who have the same hobby.” – Dave Barry

I am back from yet another 6 day holiday. I am glad my daughter is finally home for the balance of the summer so I am not tempted to keep running off on these mini breaks that only interrupt my lifestyle changes and pursuit of balance. 

This one was a poker holiday.   My intent was to get up every morning before play and workout after my healthy breakfast.  This happened once.  On the plus side, I ate as healthy as I could for the six days I was gone, drank zero alcohol, consumed 10-12 bottles of water a day and took 3 or 4 small walks throughout the day. 

On the downside, I sat too long at a stretch, did not eat often enough (my six meals a day were more like 2 with 2 small snacks) and definitely did not get enough sleep.  It is clear to me why most poker players are under the age of 25.  They are the only ones that can take this grueling schedule.

Although these little jaunts satisfy my passion for poker, they also let me observe people’s life habits.  I have met some very interesting and successful people playing this game.  I have also seen some very talented and super intelligent young kids heading down the wrong path thinking that poker will provide them an easy lifestyle.  Somehow I think it is my duty to try to counsel these kids on their career and lifestyle choices.  I am always there to offer unsolicited advice and sometimes it is even appreciated. :)

If the amount of anti-food and drink that is consumed at the tables is indicitive of the average diet today, we are in trouble as a society.  Energy Drinks seems to be the drink of choice for the average poker player (and average young person in general).  Now they are drinking Diet Energy Drinks, don’t get me started on this one.   One guy who had played for 20 hours straight was downing Diet Cokes every half hour thinking this would help him keep alert.  When I suggested he drink water instead he looked at me like I was a nut!  “How can water help me stay alert?” he asked aggressively.  When I explained the effects of dehydration from drinking all night and consuming large amounts of caffeine to counteract the alcohol and lack of sleep he almost gave it a second thought before ordering his next Diet Coke.  This guy’s moods were vacillating between the biggest jerk I’ve seen in a long time to a friendly jokester, resembling manic depressive behavior.  True, he could have been manic depressive but I think it was more the lack of nutrition, water and sleep.

On top of poor beverage choices comes the occasional meal of sweet and sour chicken with white rice, hamburger, pizza, potato chips….. you get the idea.  Meanwhile I’m popping almonds and dried and fresh fruit along with copious amounts of water with the occasional salmon with vegetables and new potatoes dinner. (thank God for my good habits as it helps balance out the advantage of youth)  Usually following one of these anti-food dinners they have a complete crash.  They become sluggish and moody which is usually followed by some heavy losses on the table.  I am torn between taking advantage of these situations and my need to “help” people live healthier lives.

Thankfully, it is starting to become clear to many poker players that they must focus on good nutrition, exercise and rest if they are to compete at the highest level.  Like any sport (don’t laugh), you must prepare your body and mind prior to each event.  As well, you must exercise control along with time and money management to succeed.  It’s all about balance.

By the way, the day that I followed my routine and exercised in the morning with several small walks and meals throughout the day was my most profitable day at the tables.  Hmmmmm

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One Comments to “Can poker fit into my new healthy lifestyle? – Day 74”
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