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How poker champions stay in shape
Weightlifting exercises, mixed martial arts make poker pros physical fit

Unknown to a majority of people, many professional poker players follow a strict regime to stay in shape. Equally important as having a sharp mind and great social skills, physical fitness is important to any game of poker as players, especially in high-rolling major tournaments, are subjected to long hours of bluffing and holding cards. The physical strains of protracted rounds of poker can affect a competitor’s skill set, thereby risking a streak of bad decisions and huge losses in a single poker match. This is why a lot of poker players opt to train in weightlifting and mixed martial arts to strengthen their physical conditioning and stamina.

One prominent cardshark who gives premium on physical fitness is poker multimillionaire Sorel Mizzi. Having amassed more than $8 million (close to £5 million) worth of cash-ins, Mizzi already holds under his belt multiple 1st place finishes in events at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) World Championship and the World Poker Tour (WPT). In an interview, Mizzi shared his secret in staying fit during poker competitions: “(Going to the gym) before the tournament makes such a major difference to my mental clarity. I am so much more focused on everything going on around me.” Simple weightlifting exercises like push-ups and bench presses are just some of the quick workouts that can be done in-between live competitions. If time is a luxury, however, poker players can engage in 25-minute cardio trainings at least thrice a week. Shooting at a heart rate of 120 beats per minute indicates that one is doing a great job in his or her physical workouts.

Contact sport is another arena where cardsharks are bringing their quest for physical fitness. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), in particular, has recently gained a strong following from poker players and fans alike: Betfair Poker alone has multiple tournaments sending poker fans to witness live matches of the Ultimate Fighting Championships. WPT Five Diamond Classic table winner Andrew Robl and WSOP bracelet winner Bertrand Grospellier are just two of the famous poker champions who are also trained in MMA.

Showing that poker is a serious business, seasoned players like Sorel Mizzi, Andrew Robl and Bertrand Grospellier regularly engage in a strict physical routine to stay in perfect shape during live poker tournaments. From simple weightlifting workouts to intensive strengthening and endurance exercises, there is so much that cardsharks can do to win at the peak of their health. Because just like in any sport, discipline is key in making it big in the world of poker.

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