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Five Essentials For a Live Poker Player
You have been grinding away on various online poker sites and have been doing quite well for yourself and have even managed to win a satellite tournament to a major live event such. It may be your first time of stepping away from your computer screen and taking on opponents in the live poker world.
Do not worry because it is the same game that you play at home, expect live players, as a general rule, are a lot weaker than their online counterparts. You can simply concentrate on playing your usual poker game, but you should consider what items to take with you should you manage to qualify for a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event or similar. We have you covered on that front because these are five essential items every live poker player should carry with them.
A Hoodie or a Jumper
A hoodie is not only a fashion accessory, but it can also be a necessity at some live venues. Anyone who has competed at the WSOP in Las Vegas over the past five or six years will attest to the tournament rooms of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino being close to the coldest places on Earth!
OK, that last point is something of an exaggeration, but trust this from someone who spent two summers in Vegas without leaving the house without a hoodie, you will need one.
Being able to make yourself comfortable is crucial to success, particularly in poker tournaments where you could be seated at the table over numerous days, with each day spanning 12 or more hours. Concentration levels plummet when you are uncomfortable and drop further if you are too cold. Pack something warm just in case, you do not have to wear it but it is handy to have available if you need it.
Pack some hand sanitizer if it is the only thing you take with you to a live poker event, even at the expense of a hoodie which is equally as vital. Cards and chips you are using will have been handled by hundreds if not several thousand people and they are rarely if ever, cleaned.
This makes the chips a breeding ground for germs and those germs are now on your hands! The last thing you want is to fall ill if you are playing for life-changing money, or are playing in a series of tournaments over a number of days or weeks.
If you need evidence of why hand sanitizer is vital, take a trip to the bathroom during a scheduled break and make a note of how many of your fellow players actually wash their hands when they have finished doing their business. Sounds gross, but you will instantly realize this tip is golden!
Snacks and Drinks
Keeping your energy levels high and your body hydrated can be the difference between being able to concentrate for the entire day’s play or falling by the wayside and busting from the tournament.
Avoid sugary snacks such as candy or chocolate and take seeds and nuts instead. These foods release energy over a longer period of time, prevent dreaded sugar crashes, are generally better for your overall health. Keeping hunger at bay so you can concentrate on playing your best poker should be a no-brainer.
The same is true when it comes to drinks. Most casinos will provide free soft drinks, but not always in tournaments. The WSOP, for example, does have valets serving tables, although they are not overly regular and they charge for all drinks and snacks.
Avoid alcohol for obvious reasons, and also beverages with high caffeine content. While the increased alertness from the caffeine may pep you up briefly, there will be an inevitable crash. Stick to water, squash or fruit juice instead.
It is becoming the norm for casinos to provide poker tables with power outlets built into them, yet some casinos seem stuck in the dark ages and fail to provide this service. Power banks, which are essentially a battery with a charging cable, are perfect to recharge your cell phone or tablet while you get your grind on.
While you should probably avoid surfing the internet during a poker session, there is nothing worse than your cell phone’s battery dying with three hours of the tournament still to play and you are left unable to continue listening to your music. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
Laptop back / backpack
As an online poker player, you are likely to use a laptop when you are traveling or even as your main machine. Investing in a top laptop bag or rucksack is a good idea when you are on the road because it allows you to keep all your belongings with you, even if you do not have your laptop in the casino with you. Where else are you going to store your hoodie, hand sanitizer, snacks, drinks, and power bank?!
Some better laptop rucksacks are resistant to blades (mine is shockproof for some reason) to stop your belongings being stolen. There are also some with hand pouches for power banks so you never have to open your rucksack to charge your devices.