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Physical activity or exercise is a core component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s imperative to know that regular exercise can significantly improve health and reduce the risk of developing several health conditions like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. While this is generally good advice for people to exercise, but when it comes to poker players, it is perhaps a necessity.
Even though poker is a sport, it is essentially a mind sport, and with the advent of online poker, it requires minimal physical activity from participants. Poker involves sitting for long periods, regardless of whether you are playing a live tournament or even competing online from home. Poker players who do not have an exercise schedule are often plagued with back and neck pain and frequent headaches. Poker players are a risk group for developing many different diseases and disorders associated with prolonged sitting, lack of physical activity, and – very often – isolation.
If you take a look at some of the most successful poker pros today, you will see that most of them take pains to follow a fitness and nutrition schedule. In fact, in June last year, GGPoker Ambassador and six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu turned vegan to lose weight.
Why go looking in the international circuit when we have some inspiring stories within the domestic circuit. Seasoned pros Aditya Sushant, Sahil Agarwal, and Aditya Agarwal, have in the past year, achieved incredible fitness milestones to not just lead a healthy life but also improve their poker game.
Yes, you read that right. Physical fitness is crucial to staying on top of your game. A healthy fitness regime can go a long way in boosting stamina and cognitive skills, which in turn, can work wonders for your gameplay. No wonder how physical fitness has become an important talking point for some of the game’s best poker players.
Let us now look at how some of our ‘desi’ pros overcame their physical fitness challenges.
The renowned poker coach and one of our former Young Guns, Sahil Agarwal, is a force to be reckoned with. The 2020 PokerStars LIVE Red Dragon Manila Kickoff champion has raked up ₹2.23 Crores in live tournament winnings. The former AOPS Main Event champion’s online scorecard currently boasts of ₹2.2 Crores in winnings.
The former IT professional was among many poker pros who suffered from weight-related issues, but he decided to make good use of the COVID-19 induced lockdown, unlike many. Believe it or not, he lost over 20 Kgs in three months. He went from being 118 Kgs to 98 Kgs and is still working on getting better every day. His success story was shared by his friend Vaibhav Saigal.
There is hardly a poker enthusiast who hasn’t heard of Aditya Sushant. India’s first WSOP bracelet winner, the man from Chennai, has an unending list of achievements, with ₹4.88 Crores in live tournament earnings and ₹4.54 Crores in online cashes.
Sushant’s poker journey began nearly a decade ago and while he has indeed proved his mettle on both the live and online felts time and again, physical fitness is something that he has struggled with over the years.
However, over the past few years, he has been working hard to get fit and recently shared a Facebook post chronicling his newfound love for running and participating in The Chennai Marathon.
The original ‘Poker Guru,’ Aditya Agarwal’s name, is synonymous with Indian poker. What can we say about this poker maestro that hasn’t already been said. A poker pioneer, Agarwal has amassed an eye-popping ₹8.23 Crores in live tournament earnings and even more online. The Kolkata-born pro was the first Indian player to become a brand ambassador for online poker giant PokerStars, and the partnership continued for five-years till December 2019.
Agarwal’s fitness-related issues were different from most others. While others were concerned with losing weight, Agarwal had to gain it. With his personal trainer, Nelson Paes, Agarwal has been dedicatedly working towards his physical fitness. If his Instagram is anything to go by, the difference is undoubtedly starting to show. We do have word that he has a prop-bet fight coming up next month! But more on that later.
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If you know of any such inspiring stories or would like to share your own physical fitness success story, do write to us at [email protected]!