Hey everyone! Sorry for my extended absence from this blog! It’s funny how much some things in your life can change. Prior to April 15, 2011, I used to spend somewhere between 50-60 hours a week on the computer. The combination of the subtraction of online poker and the addition of an iPhone to my life has greatly reduced that number. I plan on making it a priority to keep this blog updated though. With that said, let me update you guys on what has happened in my life over the last month or so.
Renewed focus on Health and Fitness goals
The Monday after we hosted the poker tournament to benefit the bELieve fund I felt pretty crappy due to eating and drinking a ton over the weekend. I went to the gym in the morning and weighed myself and I was 224.2 lbs. I will eventually do a full blog about my weight loss journey but for now I’ll just give you a few important details. At my biggest, I weighed 256 lbs. around October 2010. I lost a lot of that pretty quickly and got down to around 230 lbs. going into the WSOP last summer. Spending 6 weeks in Vegas playing lots of tournaments and eating lots of food hurt me a bit and I put some of the weight back on. When I got home, I rededicated myself to losing the weight and I believe I got to my lowest weight at the time of somewhere around 210 lbs. in September or October. So here I was again on May 21st, at 224.2 lbs and feeling like I needed to get myself in check before I swung back in the other direction. I decided to try out a few new apps to help me along the way and the results have been awesome.
The first app is myfitnesspal. I absolutely love this app.. it has helped me so much to keep track of what I’m eating and my progress throughout the last 5+ weeks. You start by entering your current weight and what your goals are and they come up with an amount of calories you should be consuming. You enter the food you eat throughout the day. You can save meals that you eat often so that you can add them very quickly. I’ve found that having a few go to staple meals makes it much easier to stay on track with your goals. I pretty much eat the same breakfast every day and Jody makes me a couple of different lunches and dinners. I think it’s also important to be able to have those days where you go out and have a great time and eat and drink whatever you want. I have done that a few times during this stretch but I’ve also stayed aware of what I was taking in and for the most part I’ve kept everything in moderation. Prior to using this app, I really had no idea how many calories were in certain types of food and how many calories I was taking in each day. Here is a look at my progress since I began using myfitnesspal:
So as you can see, around May 21st I started at 224.2 lbs. and as of yesterday I weigh 207.8 lbs for a total loss of 16.4 lbs.
The second app that I began using is GymPact. I believe I talked about this app in a Friday Five post before but I’ll go over the details briefly again. You sign up with GymPact and give your credit card information and select your Pact details including how many days a week you are going to go the gym and what fine you will pay per day if you don’t meet your goal. I selected 5 days per week and $5 per missed day. Each time you go to the gym you check in and check out and as long as you are there for 30 minutes you receive credit for the day. As a reward for meeting your pact, GymPact pays you anywhere between $.50 and $.75 for each workout. This seems like a small amount but if you already go to the gym regularly it is essentially free money that you can use towards paying your gym membership. GymPact has kept me focused on meeting my fitness goals.
Going forward, I hope to continue to get my body into excellent shape. I know that I feel so much better in every day life when I’m eating well and working out. It also helps my poker game tremendously. Most importantly, I want to be as healthy as possible so I can be around for as long as possible to see my little girls grow up.
Poker: Some crazy ups and downs!
To be honest, this last month was a really crappy month for me to not be updating my blog. I’m sure it would have been incredibly interesting to follow along and see in detail the ups and downs over this stretch. During the time that I did the “Week in the Life of” series I had 9 consecutive winning sessions. On the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, with about an hour left in my day I was probably up about 1k and heading for my 10th winning session in a row when I lost 3 big hands and ended up having a pretty bad losing day. As much as I try to not let the day to day results bother me, it’s always a real let down to lose on Friday’s because I spend the rest of the weekend thinking about it. This session started a stretch where I lost in 5 out of 7 sessions and 4 of these sessions were my worst losing days of the entire year. During this stretch, I tried to continue to play as best as I possibly could. Having been through bad stretches before throughout my poker career helped a ton and also the fact that I was focusing on my health so much during this time. When things are going poorly, I try to remember that it’s never as bad as it seems and that there will come a time when things will be worse than they are currently. It also helps a ton to have the support from Jody that I have and to know that regardless of whether I win or lose that day, when I walk in the front door Ava and Cameron will be there running to me and screaming my name. On the 8th day of this stretch, I was down about 1k and was about to call it a day at 6 pm, when I noticed that a friend of mine that I went to Rutgers with was sitting down to deal for the next half hour so I decided to stay. On the second hand he dealt, I won an $8,000 pot with 88 vs. 77 on an 875 flop and completely turned my day around. Since that hand it has been all uphill and hopefully it stays that way for a while! Just as it’s important to not get too down when things aren’t going well, it’s also important not to get too high when things are going well because in this game the end result is somewhere in the middle of the high and the low.
I have to say I do worry about the long term effects that playing poker for a living will have on me. The amount of focus that I have to put in day in and day out and the mental stress, anxiety and adrenaline swings have to take a toll on my body.
In other poker related news, I decided to skip the preliminary events this year at the WSOP. For the past 7 years, I’ve always spent at least sometime out there during the beginning of the series. Usually, we rent a house with a bunch of guys and have the best time. Last year, we spent the entire summer in Vegas and although it was a great time, it was incredibly expensive and not the easiest of times for Jody having to deal with two crazy little girls while I grinded tournament after tournament chasing bracelets. At first, I didn’t really mind that I was missing out on most of the WSOP because I was happy to be in a routine playing at Parx but as the series has gone on and I’ve been watching some of the live feeds, I’ve gotten a little sad that I missed out on those events this year. Cash games will always be my bread and butter and I love them but tournaments feed my competitive fire.
Jody and I will be going out for the Main event on July 6th and staying through July 16th. This will be the first year that Ava and Cameron aren’t spending any time in Vegas and that makes me sad because I know how much Ava loves Vegas. We actually can’t even tell her that we are going to Vegas or she will be very sad :(. My plan is to really work hard so that next year when WSOP time rolls around we can spend the summer out there and I can give myself a chance to win a bracelet. Well, really my plan is to win the Main event this year so I’m just gonna make that happen :).
While in Vegas, I will be writing daily blogs updating everyone on our trip. These blogs will be posted when we return from Vegas. I want to give everyone a glimpse of what it is like to play in the Main event so you guys can look forward to that. Until then, I hope to continue to update the blog. Hope everyone had a great weekend!