Even with the most sedentary of hobbies people must be aware that they need regular exercises so that they stave off weight gain and general bodily imbalances. Keeping the mind and body healthy simultaneously isn’t easy, however it should be of the upmost priority regardless what your day job entails.
One sport that was enthused with a shot in the arm recently on the health front was poker, and many of its competitors were challenged to become healthier. A lot of these players that weren’t deemed the most active of “sportsmen and women” were challenged to make life changes and become role models for the next generation of poker players. Gone are the days where players would play in smoke filled gaming establishments. Now modern professionals are doing iron mans or marathons in their idle hours to help improve their psychological state of mind, striving to improve their mindset while in the midst of games.
The new breed of poker such as French fitness fanatic and poker professional Elky Grospellier who after years of consuming junk food and inactivity met Lisa Hamilton a semi-pro who was a keen health buff. After their friendship grew, Hamilton convinced Grospellier to make a series of life changes, and it worked for the better. Grospellier has since performed considerably better at tournaments and has changed his outlook on life. He regularly works out in between table sessions and is in the best shape of his life.
And as the popularity of poker has grown rapidly since the early days when online poker saw a boom when the first portal InterCasino was launched in 1996, it’s only now people are trying to help in making the sport more health-conscience. You’ll see the various lists published on websites that will give a run down on ‘Health Tips for Poker Players’ but these are all pretty obvious generic tips. It’s the likes of Grospellier that help initiate change in the sport.
Another notable poker professional player is Dara O’Kearney who doubles up as an Ultra Marathon runner in his spare time. Helping break the stereotype of unhealthy poker players, O’Kearney has won many marathons in his life including the Tresco marathon (2005), New York Road Runners 60k Ultra Marathon (2006), Shinnen 50k (2007), Brno Indoor (2008) and also he was the 24-hour Irish running champion in 2007. An impressive feat for someone who’s also won reputable European Tour Events titles in his poker career, too.
So, when you glimpse at your TV screen and you see a poker event taking place have a look at the participants and see if you can see the next generation of poker players huddled around table. Are they looking like a much healthier bunch compared to their smoking, whiskey-chugging predecessors? We hope they do, as health buffs like Grospellier and O’Kearney look to educate the new generation of poker players on how important it is to keep healthy.