It’s not easy staying fit when poker is your primary avocation. Paul and I work hard (and often fail) to maintain a decent level of fitness despite the fact that we work at desks all day and sit at poker tables in our off time. Not to mention our Netflix time, my passion for reading, and Paul’s obsession with the Boston Celtics. And don’t even get us started talking about our downhill slide in the last year while we have been stuck in the house. When I last saw my doctor, he actually said to me “So. The weight.” Enough said. We imagine that we are not alone in the struggle to stay fit while loving poker. In the interest of getting back to a fit state ourselves, we have pondered better times. For those of you who love poker and are struggling too, here are our 4 secrets to becoming a fit poker player.
2020 was a rough year for poker. From temporary closures to plexiglass partitions to the cancellation of numerous tournaments, live poker took a hit. While we hope that most rooms will return to business as normal at some point in 2021, we want to take a moment to note the rooms that fell by the wayside last year. Here are a few of the poker rooms that closed in 2020.
Poker Rooms Closed Permanently in 2020
The Mirage Poker Room in Las Vegas fell upon hard times long before 2020 came around. The room repeatedly saw its square footage reduced along with its import to the casino. First opened in 1989 by Steve Wynn (later acquired by MGM), the Mirage was a major center of poker action. Its 19 tables hosted the likes of Jennifer Harmon, Daniel Negreanu, and Layne Flack. The Mirage is even mentioned in that greatest of all poker movies Rounders as “the center of the poker universe.”
Amazingly, it has been a couple of years since we started this blog and shared with you our poker pilgrimage plan to travel the country playing poker all the way. Here in the Spring of 2021, we feel that we are moving ever closer to our year of travel, while at the same time unable to travel at all.
It is hard to even imagine a time when we will be free to play live poker again, let alone roam the country at will (possibly in an RV). As we have had to put our Poker Table Averages, our Room Reviews, and Map Updates on hold as the world goes crazy around us, we thought it was time to give those of you who read this blog regularly an update on our plans. (By the way, if you are looking for a resource on what poker rooms are currently open, Paul is updating such a page over at Advanced Poker Training).
Poker Pilgrimage Pre-Journey Travel Plan
We are currently hoping to start our “real” Poker Pilgrimage in the fall of 2022. At that point, our youngest kids will be entering their sophomore year of college and we will be giving up our lease and moving everything into storage for the big trip. We have a lot of work to do between now and then. Over the next year, we will be writing a lot more blog posts about our poker plans, our travel plans, and how we plan to continue to work our day jobs (and hopefully even increase our savings!) while living on the road. We have been working from home for a decade now, so the transition to digital nomad should not be that hard.
January is the time for New Year’s resolutions, goal setting, and recriminations. I gave up resolutions years ago, once I learned that around 80% of them fail by February 1st. However, I am a strong believer in goal setting, and particularly in setting SMART goals. The concept of SMART goals has been around since the early 1980s (what I call high school), and originally came from the world of business management. SMART is, of course, an acronym, generally translated as:
Across the years, a number of studies have found that SMART goals are more successful than goals which do not meet the above criteria. The folks at Creately have put together a comprehensive guide on setting SMART goals that we have found very helpful as we went through our goal-setting process for the new year. It includes information on setting goals, applying the SMART method, identifying obstacles and creating an action plan that can be continuously monitored. It is filled with useful resources and worksheets of the latest goal setting techniques.
We have created a set of SMART goals for Poker Pilgrims in 2021. Of course, our top (not so SMART) goal is to play live poker once again. We can’t wait until we are all vaccinated and safe to get back to the tables. But on to some goals that we have control over…
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It’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about buying gifts for those near and dear to you. Given how the last year has gone, you know your poker playing friends and family are desperate for a little poker love.
You know who they are. She’s your sister who takes every vacation in Las Vegas (but had to stay home this year). Or maybe he’s your dad who is up late playing on Poker Stars every night (and maybe all day now too…). Now you’ve got to wrap your mind around finding them a gift. Poker Pilgrims would like to help you out with suggestions for great poker gifts for the player in your life. In these tough times (especially for us poker players!) don’t they deserve a little something special to keep poker alive in their hearts?