Do you really know the best hands in poker?
12 months ago
Thee Best Hands - yes, you know them. A professional massage team that is present in many large poker festivals. To learn more about their work and who they are we had a chat with two of the top massage therapists in the poker scene – Jay and Arina – who will also be joining this year’s Kings of Tallinn.
How many times have you been at Kings of Tallinn? How do you feel about this year’s festival approaching?
Jay: I’ve been at every Kings of Tallinn from the beginning. It’s definitely one of my favourite poker festivals of the year so can’t wait!
Arina: This is only my second Kings of Tallinn, but I fell in love with it last year and strived to be on the team in future. I am for sure looking forward to Kings of Tallinn… this event just lives in my heart.
What keeps you coming back? What do you like about Kings of Tallinn, what is different here? What’s different here or about the players etc?
Jay: It’s very well organised. It feels more like a home to me, it’s more relaxed and fun than most other poker events. Players are very polite and love taking massages. I feel more appreciated and respected. Also there are lots of tournaments here and cash games are good too so there’s something for everyone.
Arina: Kings of Tallinn is an ultimately cosy event. It is about the location and the atmosphere, created by both the staff and the players. Seems like everyone just knows each other. Like just a get-together of good friends. And Tallinn is the best place to be anyways.
You are travelling to poker festivals all over the world, how do you choose where to go?
Jay: I love to travel a lot so I just go anywhere I can, but I always want to return to the places/poker festivals where I feel the most happy, loved and appreciated.
Arina: There are not so many very big events but we always try to be there, for the profit mostly. But with time you start to value more comfort and good vibe and certain smaller events become like a balm for the soul. Kings of Tallinn is one of them.
What do you recommend to do or see for players travelling to Estonia for Kings of Tallinn?
Jay: Tallinn is a beautiful little city with lots of old medieval charm and polite people. I don’t mind the cold at all, to me it’s nice and fresh, the air feels cleaner and when it snows it becomes even more wonderful. I love spending time in the old town, it’s very magical. There are some good places to eat (including healthy vegan food) and drink too… as well as many other activities to experience, like clubs, bars, karaoke etc.
How is massaging poker players different from usual massage?
Jay: It’s actually much harder massaging on the chair then laying down on the table, also most players need/ want lots of pressure and can take hours and hours long massage, also it’s very focused on their needs, healing and not just following a routine massage as you might find in most spas and massage parlours. I much prefer doing this than normal massage as it gives me a real job satisfaction making people feel better. And it’s done in very cool, fun environment so it’s never boring.
Arina: Massaging at poker is very different from usual massage. It‘s not so comfortable for our own bodies and the amount of massages goes over board sometimes.. But at the same time it’s fun to work and be with people at the same time - you can always have a good laugh or chat. I love to just observe the scenery. It is very meditative.
Do you have any tips for players who are sitting down at the tables for long hours?
Jay: Try to keep your back as straight as possible, stand up and stretch often, drink plenty of water.
Arina: Sitting for so long hours just unavoidably leads to tensions in the body. It would be good to find time and still workout regularly - before the poker day or when busted. It‘s so important also for the player’s performance. And – take regular massage! Maybe not even too long, but more often – consistency is the key, like with many things.
Don’t hesitate to ask for a relaxing massage from Jay and Arina at Kings of Tallinn! The festival will take place already on 17-23 February at Hilton Tallinn Park and Olympic Park Casino in the lovely capital of Estonia.