TJ Jurkiewicz releases guide for healthy eating during Vegas poker summer

Haley Hintze
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Posted on May 24, 2022 2:20 pm EDT

If you’re looking for healthy eating options while grinding away at Las Vegas’s poker tables this summer, taking free guidance from a nutrition expert has to be beneficial. Veteran poker player Timothy “T.J.” Jurkiewicz has released a free ebook, called WSOP Healthier Eating Guide, that lists the many restaurants within “easy walking distance” of the 2022 World Series of Poker, along with the healthiest eating options at each.

Jurkiewicz’s giveaway comes at a great time, just a week before the 2022 WSOP and several other major series begin their lengthy summer runs. Jurkiewicz is a poker veteran and has called Las Vegas home for many years, and who has become a certified fitness coach with a poker-theme nutrition and fitness startup, All In Fitness Coaching.

Many players struggle to have handy access to nutritional and lower-calorie food options while spending long hours at the tables. It’s been a topic on those players’ minds of late as well, following the expected but mildly controversial news that one such option in the past, All American Dave’s, will no longer be present at the WSOP.

Ebook lists nearby dining options, highlights best choices

Virtually everyone in attendance at this year’s WSOP will be exploring new food options anyway. Jurkiewicz’s 68-page ebook offers a list of eight properties, including WSOP host venues Paris and Bally’s, along with the nearby Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops, Cromwell, Paris, Flamingo, the Linq and Linq Promenade, Planet Hollywood, and the attached Miracle Mile Shops.

Not including some additional food-court options, that gives Jurkiewicz 47 different dining venues to include. For each property, he selects a couple of the best nutritional options, including estimated caloric content. You won’t find much for fried foods, red meats, or heavy sauces in this guide, with proteins leaning heavily toward chicken (though a few grilled burgers do make the cut, along with numerous fancier salad offerings.

There’s a moment or two of humor as well. When it comes to the Buffalo Wild Wings outlet within the Miracle Mile Shops, Jurkiewicz writes, “I tried my best to keep my personal opinions out of this e-book but I am just going to go ahead and say that the chicken wings at Buffalo Wild Wings are hot, over-salted garbage.” Jurkiewicz does allow that the Naked Chicken Tenders and Chicken Street Tacos at BWW are somewhat better options.

Motivating players to eat better

Jurkiewicz is trying to build a community of players who seek better nutritional options and a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. His book includes links to his personal profile and a related Facebook group, along with several text and visual references to his allinfitnesscoaching.com startup. “If you are a poker player, professional or otherwise,” Jurkiewicz writes in the introduction to his ebook, “and you are interested in ways to become healthier and lose weight, I would greatly appreciate it if you would join my free Facebook group. Inside of the group I put out content every day for free whether it be recipes, overall health tips, or live trainings. If you find any ounce of value in this guide I have prepared for you,
it would mean a lot to me if you joined the group and helped build a community of likeminded
individuals looking to get healthier.”

On his site, Jurkiewicz details some of his own struggles with nutrition and weight, especially during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I had ballooned up to a weight I told myself I would never see again, which was above 240 pounds. At the beginning of 2020 I was a little under 240 pounds and had worked my way down to as low as 214 pounds before I completely fell off the wagon for what seemed like the billionth time in my life. I always seemed to get myself down to a respectable weight using some sort of restrictive diet, usually the ketogentic diet, and then I would completely go off the rails and binge all of the foods that I had been craving while on the diet and before you knew it I had lost all willpower and ballooned back up to where I was before I even started the diet.” Tired of the weight loss/gain cycles, Jurkiewicz then committed to nutritional self-education, and taking it several steps further, to create a subgroup championing health and nutrition within the poker world.

Jurkiewicz also shared with Poker.org his personal motivations for creating his free and downloadable ebook centered on (but not affiliated with) the WSOP. “With the series moving to the Strip for the first time, I wanted to provide players with a comprehensive list of food items that they could order so that they are able to make overall better dietary decisions than they may have in the past. I believe that you should take every possible edge you can at the table. A vastly overlooked edge is what you put into your body to fuel you while putting in long hours of grinding tournaments.”

Jurkiewicz also offers a bit of advice regarding personal-catering services that can deliver nutritionally-designed meals to individual players, somewhat akin to the defunct All American Dave’s approach. He promotes one such service that operates in Vegas, Good Life Meal Prep, and includes an affiliate-style signup code. He even notes, regarding Good Life, that the company “will deliver their meals anywhere in Las Vegas, including any hotel on the Strip.”

That does not mean, however, that Good Life can deliver food to players at the WSOP tables. That was one of the insurmountable blocks that ended the All American Dave’s run. Instead, as Jurkiewicz acknowledges, players would have to go meet the delivery service or make additional arrangements. “As far as the meal prep company [Good Life], it would be more of a meet them at the door or have them leave your order with the concierge sort of thing. Individual meals delivered on gaming floor isn’t their MO,” Jurkiewicz explains.

Like everything else in this year of transition, players seeking the most nutritious foo options have new decisions to make. As Jurkiewicz’s ebook details, though, there are plenty of nearby options.

Featured image source: All In Fitness Coaching