From the Hard Court to the Tables: NBA Players and Poker

Basketball requires both psychological (focus and discipline) and physical skills (agility, coordination and stamina). Focus means coordinating your eyes, hands, legs, and feet to work together and win the game. As a physical sport, you need to be disciplined by training, doing cardiovascular workouts, strengthening your muscles, and increasing your body’s flexibility. A player, whether professional on the National Basketball League (NBA) court or an amateur shooting hoops with friends, must have the following qualities in order to win a game.

Same as the sport of basketball, the card game of poker requires skill, discipline, and focus. In fact, we’ve seen several prominent NBA players have been making the rounds at the tables lately, and even on Partypoker. Nicknamed “The Matrix”, Shawn Marion of the Dallas Maverick competed at the tables during the 2011 World Series of Poker (WSOP) hoping to win the one of the world’s most exclusive bracelets: the WSOP Championship Bracelet. Former Bolton Celtics’ small forward, Paul “The Truth” Pierce, displayed his poker skills during the 2013 WSOP 10K Pot-Limit Omaha Championship. Unfortunately, he got flushed out of the tournament. What keeps them playing poker outside the court?

Achieving Mental Toughness

Playing sports means challenging yourself both physically and mentally. First, you have to accept growth and develop your skills. Accept change and never remain static—always keep your eyes on the prize. In basketball, this means training hard, listening to criticism, and practicing. Since poker is a competitive game, it helps players to accept defeat graciously and to never give up. They learn to stay committed and control their emotions. As William Florence would say “The strong point in poker is never to lose your temper, either with those you are playing with or, more particularly, with the cards. Always keep cool. If you lose your head you will lose all your chips.” Same goes with basketball; the more you get angrier, the more you stand to lose the game.

Becoming Focused and Fearless

An arena filled with shouting and cheering fans can be really distracting. Compared to a typical poker tournament, everything is relatively quiet. Noise can really unsettle your nerves and cause you a critical match. But how can you keep your focus and become fearless on the court and the tables? Minimize distractions and stay focused on the game. Basketball players like Paul Pierce believe that playing poker helped him be a smarter NBA player. According to him “It helps me on the basketball court, to be more patient and to be more of a thinking player and to be smarter out there.” By being focused, you learn to be fearless and patient. You will never let fear come between you and your game.

Being Cheerful and Staying Positive

Basically, the point of playing basketball or poker is to have fun. Sometimes, we just need to play just for entertainment or charity. The French-raised NBA superstar, Tony Parker, hosted several poker charity events with his former wife, Eva Langoria. With players like him hosting events like these, it helps spread positive vibes on the hard court and the tables.

Pacers Are in Driver’s Seat Against Heat

The Indiana Pacers may be down 2-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, but they are still in the driver’s seat.

Why? Because LeBron James appears to be all that Miami has going for it right know. Chris Anderson is suspended for Game 6, Dwane Wade is shooting 47% from the field in this series and Chris Bosh has shrunk while guarding Roy Hibbert.

Wade is listed as day-to-day and it’s clear that his knee is giving him more problems than he has been willing to admit. He admitted to having to tape his knee up to play games and his eight field goal attempts in Game 5 shows that he’s not comfortable on the court right now.

The only players who have really stepped up for Miami besides James have been Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem. However, both are role players and their impact isn’t enough to swing this series in the favor of Miami.

I’m not a big gambler, but I’m tempted to check out on line gambling from Will Hill and throw down some money on Indiana winning the game tonight and even winning the series.

Roy Hibbert has been a complete beast in this series. Besides making a 6’10 all-star look invisible, Hibbert has averaged 22.6 points and 10.8 boards in this series. He’s had some problems at time adjusting to Haslem and Chris Anderson sticking jumpers, but besides that, he’s been the MVP of this series.

Yes, even ahead of James.

The other interesting factor is the play of Paul George. Indiana’s current all-star has had a bit of a rollercoaster of a series, but Game 5 showed that he’s capable of making a big difference in this series. He hit five three-pointers and scored a team-high 27 points.

Are the Pacers a lock to upset the Heat? Far from it. However, based on how things have played out so far, it looks like Indiana is in a good place to steal this series and advance to the NBA Finals.

Benefits of Whey Protein Isolate Supplements for Basketball Players

Protein is an important nutrient for the human body. Its value is far reaching in building and maintaining good health. Therefore, it is of little surprise that this nutrient is even more valuable to basketball players who put their body through a great deal of stress during their games. There are many different kinds of protein that you can find on many shops like Maxishop for example. The best choice would be forms of whey protein as this is the only complete protein.

Basketball players who are using other forms of protein or not using supplements at all, should consider adding whey protein supplements to their training regimen.

Whey protein is a byproduct of the process used to make cheese. Whey is one of the best forms of soluble protein. This means it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream with little wasted. Whey protein does come in some different forms. Of these forms, whey protein isolate is the best. It comes with the least amount of fat and lactose. This is important as many basketball players do not want to gain fat. Whey protein isolate also has the largest amount of protein in comparison to other types of protein as well as other forms of whey protein.

The bodies of basketball players do receive rather rough treatments. This perhaps may be putting it mildly! Protein is important for the body to withstand this treatment. Whey protein isolate is able to help maintain as well as repair muscle tissue. Whey protein isolate, like all whey protein, does contain the essential amino acids. Therefore, whey protein isolate can help to synthesis the protein to create muscle.

Stamina is also improved from using whey protein isolate supplements. Basketball players benefit greatly from this type of consumption. Muscle soreness is able to be reduced. Also, the body recovers much quicker from the match or workout.