Congrats to my partner in Healthy Poker, Paul Gibbons who just shipped event 1 of the Chicago Poker Classic for $US100k. Healthy Poker, Get your life right, get your head right, Ship it!…See it really does work
Alanis you would hate this because it is actually ironic. I have just become a partner in Healthy Poker.
Healthy Poker is a one-stop place for poker players looking to accelerate their lives in every way. We offer everything from tax planning, and life coaching to mindset coaching and specialist advice and coaching on fitness & nutrition for optimal performance.
Why is it ironic? Well, I am out of shape (read fat), have been treating my body and brain like an amusement park and have had some well documented battles…read as beatings from the tax office. So in summary I am exactly the kind of person that Healthy Poker would describe as an “ideal customer”. This is not me but it may as well be:
Now that I am at the helm of Healthy Poker I simply cannot present myself as I am today. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the pinaccle of the poker world and by far the greatest concentration of poker players in one place (Vegas) and at one time…It is paramount that Healthy Poker has a prescence during the WSOP and therefore it is paramount that I present myself in a manner that befits and represents our ideals at Healthy Poker. In simple terms I need to live it if I am going to sell it.
And from the perspective of a serious poker player if I am going to do anything except flush my bankroll away when playing at the WSOP then I am going to need to be in shape, physically, mentally, emotially and a whole lot of other areas ending in lly that I can’t think of right now.
I know you have heard this all before (The Hawk Weight Loss Bet etc.) but this time it’s a need not a want that I can rationalise away…
I will be blogging here on Healthy Poker Live and a variety of other poker sites and forums etc…
(to avoid any advertising bans on these sites we will talk exclusively about getting in shape to play)
…with the focus being on my work with a variety of Healthy Poker professionals and specialist advisors to get me in mental and physical shape to make a serious run at this years WSOP…basically I will be trying to practice what we preach at Healthy Poker. Hopefully the content will be of interest and help to not only the many poker players who struggle with fitness, balance, mindset and other impediments to optimal performance, but also to the people who just want to live a happier, healthier life.
We will kick off with physical fitness and and why we need a quest to get back in shape in time for the WSOP.
Thankfully it wasn’t always this way, but I should have seen the warning signs, or did I see them and just subconsciously choose to avoid them? The jeans that didn’t fit anymore, that my sports psychologist gave me a copy of a book he wrote called Scientifically Slim, or that it had become increasingly difficult to reach around and wipe my bum (and I am pretty sure my arms haven’t got any shorter), and you should never be on a first name basis with both the Crust Pizza and the McDonald’s delivery guys…the sad part about this is that I don’t even like McDonalds!
I’m not really sure how it happened, one minute I looked like this…
…and the next minute I look like…
…My vanity prevents me from putting up a fat pic just yet, but let’s just say I don’t look like that guy anymore.
The link between physical fitness and mental performance has never been stronger, so I am getting off my sizable bum and doing something about it. I have engaged Singapore’s leading fitness guru Andrew Jacobs (Jayco)…
…and he is helping me put together a program to get me in shape for June and the WSOP. So in the coming weeks you can join me on my journey which will include:
- Initial Professional Assessment (including the before pics…as much as my ego hates this)
- Initial Training Regime (details posted here for anyone who would like to follow the program)
- Progress Reports (lots of pics and videos)
- Pre Vegas June Review (the after pics)
Then we will conclude by posting a program specially designed by Jayco to keep us sharp during the WSOP (The World Series Workout). Understanding that players will be sedentary for up to 12 hours a day and in some cases sharing hotel rooms, Jayco will show us how to get the most bang for our exercise buck with a short, sharp program that can be done anyware…even inside a hotel room.
The WSOP is 3.5 months away…is there a bracelet with my name on it? Who knows, but I do know there will be a size 34 pair of jeans waiting there with my name on them.
If you are interested in joining the Healthy Poker Challenge please fill in the contact form on the front page of www.healthypoker.com
I have only just started to work on looking after my brain after spending too many years abusing it. Some great tips here to keep your brain in shape which will ultimately help your poker and all other areas of your life. http://www.menshealth.com.sg/health/keep-your-brain-shape.
Stop taking your grey matter for granted, says Dr P. Murali Doraiswamy, chief of biological psychiatry at Duke University’s School of Medicine in the US. “You can add 10 years or more to your brain’s useful life just by paying some attention to it.” If that doesn’t sound like a fantastic return on an investment, then well, you may have already lost your mind.
Exercise Your Brain
Just as exercise builds endurance, bolstering your neurological connections creates a reservoir of stamina that you can tap later in life. Here’s how you can bulk up your neurons.
1. Study another language
In a 2007 study at York University in Canada, bilingual seniors kept the worst effects of the condition at bay four years longer than those who’d never ventured beyond their native tongue. Learning a second language appears to increase the density of grey matter in the areas of your brain that govern attention and memory, says researcher Ellen Bialystok, PhD.
During your commute, play some language instruction CDs, such as one from Macmillan’s Behind the Wheel series (www.macmillanaudio.com or download the MP3 version from www.audible.com). Then reinforce your lessons by signing up to social networking sites that let you interact with native speakers. Finally, rent a movie once a month in the language you’re studying and watch it without the subtitles.
2. Workout regularly
Vigorous workouts can boost your brain’s error radar, say researchers from Illinois Wesleyan University. They discovered that men with high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were significantly better than their less-fit counterparts at identifying mistakes on a test. “Fitter guys can absorb more oxygen into their blood,” says study author Jason Themanson, PhD. “This appears to improve the functioning of the brain’s cingulate cortex, the source of error-detection abilities.”
Interval training is the best way to improve your VO2 max, or the amount of oxygen your blood can carry and use. Trainer Craig Ballantyne, author of Turbulence Training, recommends choosing a cardio workout – like running or biking – and alternating between 30- second sprints and 90 seconds at a relaxed pace. Repeat for a total of six cycles. Do this twice a week, along with two additional sessions of your regular cardio routine.
Let Your Brain De-Stress
Don’t feel too guilty about shootin’ the bull at the water cooler. A recent University of Michigan study found that people who chatted for 10 minutes before being tested for mental processing speed performed better than those who didn’t. “Social interaction seems to sharpen your memory and other brain functions because you have to process information and gauge responses, such as whether a person is being ironic or honest,” says researcher Oscar Ybarra, PhD. No office gang? Try these strategies.
1. Watch ESPN
A 2008 University of Chicago study shows that not only can playing a sport improve your learning and comprehension but simply watching sports can boost those same skills. “Your brain appears to treat any engagement with sports – either as a player or spectator – as somewhat similar activities,” says researcher Sian Beilock, PhD. So when Cristiano Ronaldo is eyeing the goal before a free kick, your brain is trying to mimic his thought process, not just wondering why he’s so prone to falling.
Tell your wife or girlfriend that you must spend a few hours a week watching sports. Beilock says dedicated players or fans score the most brain-boosting points; watching a game every few weeks won’t cut it.
2. Take regular work breaks
Grinding away at your job may not give you the edge you think it will. Heck, it could blunt your brainpower. A 2009 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that clocking 55 hours or more on the job correlated with lower scores on vocabulary and reasoning tests, compared with working a 35- to 40-hour week. The researchers think stress from overwork can cause impaired sleep and other problems that can slow your CPU.
“Reserve 20 minutes to lie down or sit quietly with your eyes closed, away from any stimulus,” says Richard Best, PhD, a US-based organisational psychologist. You aren’t trying to fall asleep; you’re simply giving your brain a breather from non-stop processing. Your recharged neurons will thank you.