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Hello from Antwerp, goodbye from Antwerp?

Hello from Antwerp! It's a new year, and like everyone I'm thinking about the future -- both 2013 and after as well.

As far as poker goes, when I look ahead to the coming year and think about my goals, obviously winning an EPT Main Event would be great. I did manage to win an EPT side event last year, a €1,500 no-limit hold'em event at EPT Deauville. But winning a main event would definitely represent something special, and so that's certainly something for me to shoot for in the coming year.

And like my brother Chris, I also have plans in the coming year to live healthier and work out more. A couple of months ago Chris and I participated in a television show, kind of the Belgian version of "Survivor." The show was a cool experience, but going through it made it real obvious to both of us that we were out of shape! There were a couple of occasions where there were physical challenges and we really had to face up to the fact that we weren't necessarily well prepared for them.

So since then we have started working with a trainer, and it's gone great so far. We're working out regularly and eating better, too. Back at the PCA Chris and I were playing tennis against some of the Team Online guys as well, and that was a lot of fun. So I'd like to continue to do things like that going forward.

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Looking beyond 2013, I'm starting to consider the possibility of spending some time living outside of Belgium, perhaps even spending a period living in the United States.

My girlfriend is currently studying medicine in Poland. She has one-and-a-half years more to go on her degree. She has a goal eventually to go to the United States to study for something called the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination). So after she finishes with her present studies, we will probably go together to the U.S. for a year or perhaps even more so she can complete that.

It will be tough to leave Antwerp -- it's really awesome living here -- but then again this is a good time for us to explore the world a little bit. Because it's true that later on there's a tendency to settle down and it will probably be harder for us to pick up and go live in another country for a year or more.

So when that time comes, I think I'll be ready for the challenge. Meanwhile, I'll be focusing on challenges at the poker table, including trying to win that EPT Main Event title!

Matthias de Meulder is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

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