Fighting Fit

When there’s big money on the line you need to make sure your body raring to go and in peak condition

Water is vital for maintaining concentration and longevity at the table

So you’ve scored a place in your first major tournament. You’ve got your plane ticket, the stake is taken care of and you have three intense days of poker to look forward to. Nervous? You should be. This is going to be gaming like you’ve never experienced and you need to make sure you’re ready! Obviously you know not to book a flight that arrives 10 minutes before the tournament starts, but how else can you make sure that you’re good to go when the first hand is dealt?

Some might remember when Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short did battle over a chess board. These guys – goliaths of the chess world – were at the pinnacle of their game but Kasparov was unbeatable and Short knew it. He made sure his preparation was as good as it could be – he cut out everything extraneous and totally focused; he ate the same things and had a whole wardrobe full of identical clothes. Basically he lived a bit like a monk trapped in the film Groundhog Day.

But what have you got in common with these tweed-wearing geeks? Everything! For the next three days you’re a ‘brain athlete’ and need to be totally focused. While they’re playing for intellectual reward, international glory and the pride of their country you may be playing for something much more important – next month’s rent!

So it’s off down the high street for three weeks’ worth of Chow Mein pot noodles then? Err, no. But there are some sensible changes to be made that, while not exciting, are going to do wonders to your performance while not driving you totally insane.

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