Dan Smith snapped. Could everyone be quiet for 20 seconds, he asked while grinning. “I’ll be quick!”
Smith had been involved in a hand in the middle of a drawn out conversation between Daniel Negreanu, Fabian Quoss, and anyone else who cared to join in. But it had been getting deep, and Smith needed to concentrate. They paused the conversation so Smith could think.
“Okay you can carry on,” he said a few seconds later, mucking his cards.
Throughout all this Faraz Jaka ate a candy bar, which was subversive really because Negreanu and Quoss were talking health food.
Quoss started it, talking about his aversion to grains for their anti-nutrient qualities. Negreanu said he loved grains, for their nutritional qualities. I thought I also heard someone say carrots can kill you.
Quoss went on, pressing the case for ditching grains instead of better sources of carbohydrates, like potatoes. I added to the list in my head, sugar, yeast, alcohol… Quoss’s was evidently on what is known in some circles as a Paleo diet, a diet in which you eat nothing but dinosaurs.
Negreanu, who was leaning forward, for this is the kind of conversation he enjoys, said that he’d read something about the whole Paleo thing being complete bull****. Quoss re-raised, saying that he’d read a book that proved that the book Negreanu had read was bull****. All of a sudden there was bull**** everywhere. But they agreed that what was good for one person might not be good for the other.
Quoss continued, confessing that he ate a lot of liver, explaining he liked to eat “the whole animal”, gesticulating with his hands, miming the size of a small dog. Then aspartame came up. By now I was keeping up as well as I could. Aspartame is bad for you, unless it’s good for you, in which case you should definitely have it, or not.
“So did you have health problems?” asked Negreanu, looking at Quoss. Not exactly, replied Quoss, but he feels bad every time he ate grain. Funnily enough that’s why Negreanu doesn’t eat animals.
Then Negreanu recommended a book; Body Mind and Sport, by John Douillard, which did him wonders, with certain foods suited different people. Beef was no good for Negreanu.
“But it’s so good,” said Lichtenberger, piping up from under his hood and making Smith laugh.
Quoss was still talking, mentioning the 30 doctors he’d seen and how all carbohydrates make your insulin levels go up. My notes by now had become more a survival check list than a hand history. Poker had suddenly become a distraction and Quoss cut himself off.
“We’re missing a lot of hands now,” he said, looking at some new cards. Negreanu laughed and agreed, although seconds later they were at it again. Processed foods were deemed bad for you – they could all agree on that. But then they started talking bad about fruit, dragging the “five-a-day” people into the debate, the poison of sugar specifically. Lichtenberger then made his second contribution, talking about the poison that got into his body at the party last night, bravely showing no regrets.
Not to be raised out of the discussion, Quoss then re-raised with his own book recommendation, something about how to shop for groceries better. It was agreed quinoa was great and kale too, which is apparently full of calcium, fibre and protein, although neither mentioned the amount of ketchup you need to smother it with before you can keep it down. All of which goes through a dehydrator, which Negreanu uses for his vegetables. Quoss uses his for beef jerky.
Finally a hand, Negreanu tangling with Mikhail Smirnov (also a good source of carbohydrate), who made an unusual bet on the flop.
“You’re a weird dude,” Negreanu said. Smirnov said nothing.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.
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