With a few notable exceptions, poker players in years past were not known for their health-conscious diets and ESPN-worthy physiques.
Not coincidentally what you could find to eat in the proximity of a poker tournament reflected that.
But if you follow the exploits of Jason Koon, Daniel Negreanu, Ronit Chamani and Alec Torelli among others you know that stereotype is changing fast in the poker world. And the 2014 World Series of Poker kitchen is showing it.
Options Are Out There for Calorie-Averse
The layout of the Poker Kitchen has changed little over the years but the WSOP is clearly making an effort to give players healthier choices.
The success of @AllAmericanDave certainly has something to do with it but the larger trend in the poker world on the whole is towards a fitter, heathier lifestyle.
For the cool price of $18 players can now pick up food at the Free Range Kitchen where the motto is “Build your own sustained energy meal.”
Players can chose between free range chicken, salmon or a little steak but studies are underway on the amount of sustained energy.
Customized salads are still available along with pre-packaged sushi meals or health-happy smoothies. Options are out there for players looking to avoid packing on extra pounds at the table.
Gone are the lukewarm cardboard-and-cheese $12 pizzas. The big racks of chocolate, caramel and blood-sugar-raising snacks have also been relegated elsewhere.
If It's Calories You Want, Calories Ye Shall Have
Take heart, old schoolers. Even with those options gone you can still get your high-caloric fix.
Players can purchase a burrito the size of a baby’s arm for a small price or jam pack a Styrofoam container full of their favorite Asian cuisine.
The coolers are also back with several selections of gluten-rich, non-vegan sandwiches and wraps.
For those who like to eat big the best addition to the Poker Kitchen might be the new stall from Hash House a Go Go. The eating establishment is (in)famous for its massive portions and starch-heavy menu.
Players can only grab the big Hash House burger in the Poker Kitchen but the full restaurant is just a short walk or scooter ride towards the casino.
If none of those fit the bill, players now have the added bonus of a fully stocked bar in the Poker Kitchen to drown their sorrows and sooth their bad beats.
If poker is a sport it’s one of very few where participants can play the game while eating a double Whopper meal at the same time.
There will always be an ongoing battle of the bulge, for some. But for 2015 the WSOP can always add a few of the XL seats now available - by law - for the 2014 World Cup.