Exercise and Poker

I had a bad day yesterday.

Not a bad day in a time where 80% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 per day. Not a bad day where I contracted a terminal disease. Not a bad day where I was injured or sick. But a bad day all the same.

Trying to build and maintain a successful and profitable poker room has taken a lot of hours of my week, especially late into the night. I am not sleeping enough nor eating very healthy.

I was irritable, quick to anger and slow to do my daily chores.

But this should not have been a bad day. I was off work, the sun was shining, the temps were in the 70s and a nice breeze blew through my rental house.

I am not the greatest person in the world for changing my attitude. I’ve read the books and watched the videos. I know how important it is to have a positive attitude. I am just not that great at changing mine.

Besides the obvious reasons of losing weight and making a stronger body and heart, exercise can make a stronger mind. Since my day was already spinning off the rails, I decided to take her advice. Instead of playing in a poker tournament last night (which I wanted to do), I decided to go for a four-mile walk (not nearly as appealing).

It was a splendid choice, like laying down A-Q when you know the other person has A-K.

The average walking speed of an adult is around 3 MPH. Younger adults a little faster, older adults a little slower. If walking 4 miles seems like a daunting number, think about it as walking about 90 minutes.

I am blessed to live in Las Vegas, home to literally hundreds of hikes, paths and paved walking areas throughout the city, the suburbs and the outlying areas. I was able to walk from my rental house to a CVS pharmacy to pick up a prescription and then back along the Pittman Wash to a park two blocks from my house. I only took a small walking pack with two bottles of water with me, and didn’t even drink it all.

After just 90 minutes of walking I felt better than I had all day. When the walk was over I rested for a short while before resuming my work.

Exercise is an important part of poker, too. The better you feel, the better you will play. In fact, a lot of body factors can effect the way you play.


Alcohol — Drinking while playing can impair you decision making ability. And having to go to the restroom often takes you away from the table.

Eating — A large meal, or a fattening meal, can make you tired while it digests.

Lack of Sleep — Being irritated or uncomfortable can lead to bad decisions

Tobacco — A need to get out of the room and smoke can take you away from the action, make you rush decisions and miss learning information from other people’s play


Sleep — Feeling fresh and alert will put your on your A game

Exercise — Reducing the amount of stress in your life and the release of endorphins in your brain will make you feel unbeatable

Eating — A good breakfast like fruit, yogurt or oatmeal can keep your body strong without feel hungry or bogged down

Exercise and poker go hand in hand! I am going to try to exercise 60 minutes every day!

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