Thanks to Jack “Treetop” Straus‘ exploits in the 1982 World Series of Poker, there are many people out there who think all you need is a chip and a chair to compete at the poker tables. Modern poker players going to live events, however, rely on an assortment of travel accessories.
Nowadays people are used to being around gadgets, gizmos and creature comforts, belongings often, like appendages, making the trip wherever they go. Here is a list of items that you might want to cram into your rucksack when travelling or making your way to a WPT event.
Seven essentials for the travelling poker player
Have you ever noticed that a large portion of poker players at major live tournament wear hoodies? It’s no coincidence that the hoodie is the most popular garment on the circuit, and it has nothing to do with poker players terrorising grannies or hanging about on street corners getting ASBOs.
Some use the hoodie as a fashion accessory, but others like the feeling of wearing the hood up to hide any facial tells, to feel comfortable and to close themselves off, much like a racehorse wearing blinkers. Also, a lot of casinos, particularly those in Las Vegas, are bitterly cold and nobody wants to play poker while shivering your nether regions off.
Noise cancelling headphones
Without a doubt, the best £300 I ever spent was on my Bose QC15 headphones. Not only do they allow me to listen to my favourite music in superb clarity, I can do this on aeroplanes, trains and buses without having to turn the volume up to skull-shattering levels. What’s more, the noise cancelling feature, even without music playing, helps drown out the crying baby that is inevitably on your flight!
Up there as one of my best poker investments was my iPad, although Android tablets are just as good. They’re perfect for entertaining you on any journey and help pass the time while at the poker table, especially as the pace is much slower than in the online world.
With tablet computers becoming more popular and powerful, the trusty laptop looks to be on its way out. Add into the mix that you can now play the full array of partypoker games from your favourite mobile device and the laptop could be going the way of the dodo.
However, we believe the laptop will always have merit. Nothing beats firing up your favourite TV shows on a decent sized screen or getting involved with some online poker from the comfort of your hotel room, of course only if you’ve busted from the live event.
If you’re heading abroad, a travel adaptor is most definitely an accessory you won’t want to forget. You’d be surprised at the number of times I’ve had to lend an adaptor while working at live events, or hearing poker players moan about paying through their teeth for one so they can charge their phone, tablet or laptop.
Vitamins and medication
Nobody plans on getting sick but it is always better to be prepared. There’s nothing worse than falling ill when you’re trying to win a ton of money, other than falling ill while trying to win a ton of money in a foreign country. Trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to be wondering the streets of Austria or France, eyes streaming and nose like a leaky tap, asking locals where you can buy drugs (of the legal variety of course). Pack some cold remedies, vitamins and sleep aids, get a good sleep and thank us later.
Although I don’t make a habit of watching people when I visit the little boy’s room in a casino, or elsewhere for that matter, it is impossible to avoid noticing dirty grubs do their business and leave without washing their hands. They go on to use the very chips that you’re playing with, a scummy thought that will turn your stomach and might make you need the medication we just spoke of. A quick squirt of hand sanitiser every now and then will help keep the germs away and let you play without dismay.
These are only seven essentials for the travelling poker player. What did we miss? Is there something that you can’t live without when you play live poker? Let us know in the comments box below.