WSOP 2014: Leo Margets running good...always

At the Isle of Man UKIPT event last autumn, Lee Jones, Liv Boeree, and Leo Margets led a group of runners on a 5k run along the prom. It was a fun run aimed at simply getting out under the sun.

A colleague of mine had a mission. He was going to run with Margets and keep up with her until the end. That's no easy prospect. Margets goes through running shoes like John Bonham went through drumsticks. Or, like John Bonham went through everything, I guess.

No surprise, Margets and my heavy-breathing co-worker got out pretty far of the chase pack and made the finish line before anybody else. As I heard the story later that day, Margets had a chill in her bones.

"It's cold," she was heard to say. My colleague agreed. "Let's keep running!" she said. My colleague...didn't look so good later that day.

The point is this: Margets gets her jollies from putting to feet to the ground and running until she feels good. This is not an easy thing to do in Last Vegas. The daytime highs temperatures here are running about 100° F (around 38° C). It's not much better at night.

"I've had a couple of tries running outside at night and it's impossible," Margets said.

For most people, this would be an easy excuse to take a long break from exercise, drink a lot of beer, and fill up on tacos (or maybe I'm projecting). For Margets, it's a real problem.

"For me, exercise is completely related to outdoor activity," she said. "That's the mental part of it that makes me happy."

Leo Margets_Event 65_Day 1C_2014 WSOP_Giron_8JG5617.JPG

Leo Margets in Day 1C of the WSOP Main Event (Photo: Joe Giron/Poker Photo Archive)

Margets has just returned from a stint on the Spanish version of Survivor, a time when she wasn't able to run much. She didn't have long before she had to make it to Vegas.

So, Margets is doing the best she can. She gets up in the morning, goes to the gym, and hops on what a lot of serious of runners would call The Dreadmill.

"I'd rather get in the gym, even if it's just for 50 minutes, and get out the energy than not do anything," she said.

So much for tacos and beer, I guess.

Margets is an ambitious poker player and she has no desire to enter the Main Event only to get restless, unfocused, and bored.

"I'm really motivated," she said. "This is the biggest event of the year."

So, if you're looking for a running partner, you'll find Margets running good in the Pavilion Room today. Once she survives today, check for her in the gym.

"If I can run in the morning before I play, it keeps me more energetic," she said. "The fitter you are, the easier it is to spend 12 hours sitting on a chair."

is the PokerStars Head of Blogging