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08 Jul 2014

Gum 

TL;DR Version


I like gum.

Not-Long-Enough; Tell Me More Version


In my final post about the poker tournament I won in Vegas, I thought I'd talk about something that isn't discussed enough in poker, or in life for that matter, which is mental stamina and, to that end, physical nourishment throughout the course of a long, busy day.

Over the years, I've become pretty disciplined about my approach to poker tournaments in terms of eating healthy beforehand, and attempting to maintain an active, rational, pragmatic mindset while at the table. A mindset in which I am seeking out every edge I can get, but not to the point of gambling too much unnecessarily on the small edges.

I still haven't mastered it and continue to experiment, but one habit I picked up on my Vegas trip was that of chewing gum.

In the aforementioned Aria tournament, I played poker for 12+ hours with only small 15-minute breaks (no dinner break). I ate a light lunch beforehand but otherwise didn't eat a single meal throughout the day. I think chewing gum periodically helped me immensely because a.) the sugar gave me a shot of energy when I needed it, b.) the act of chewing helped keep me "in the moment", and c.) I used it as a reward system for surviving X minutes / hours, which also kept me from quickly chewing through the whole pack!

I'm thinking of trying this out in my "real life" as a software developer when I need something to help me focus, which is usually sometime around mid-afternoon.

Thoughts? Am I the Michael Jordan of poker players / software developers?

 



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