Mystic at Night

Magical Mystic Connecticut

This time of year we are always looking for a quick post-holiday get away to celebrate the fact that we’ve made it through another festive season alive. Between holiday preparations for our four kids, end of the year work demands, and celebration with our respective families, by the end of December we really need a vacation. We are fortunate enough most years to fit in a brief three or four day getaway before the new year rolls around.

We have three requirements for our December destinations. They must: 1) lie within a short drive of our home in the Boston area, 2) sport plenty of winter scenery, and 3) be in the general vicinity of at least one poker venue (of course). For example, later this month we will be heading up to Montreal (and will supply a full report after that trip!).

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San Diego: One of our favorite cities

Our 5 Favorite Cities in the US

As we ponder our Poker Pilgrimage, we need to decide where our year of travel will take us. We have three basic criteria for places to earn a spot on our journey, a location must either have a poker room (or rooms: Hello Las Vegas!) we want to visit, be a spot that we have never been but would like to go (such as Charleston, SC), or be one of our favorite cities, and thus worthy of a return trip. Today, we thought we would share our five favorite cities and start to pin some way-points on our journey.

Boston, MA

Boston: One of our favorite cities
The Boston Skyline

Boston is an easy one. We live in the Boston area, and thus this is where our journey will begin. Boston has history, museums, culture, natural beauty, and sports teams galore. For the first time visitor we would recommend the aquarium, the science museum, Faneuil Hall, a walk down the Freedom Trail, a walk along the Charles River, taking in a game (Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox, or Bruins depending on the season), and a visit to any of the many historic and beautiful outlying towns. Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, and numerous New Hampshire cardrooms are within a couple of hours if your poker jones needs to be fed.

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Building a Budget

Building a Budget for a Dream

Although our Poker Pilgrimage is still five years away, we spend a lot of time thinking about its viability and about building a budget for our dream. We are fortunate to work as consultants and thus know that we will be able to take our jobs on the road.  However, a year of travel (and poker!) will certainly lead to reduced hours, and a wide variety of costs (gas, food, and lodging for a start) that are different than those we face today.

Building a Budget
Building a Budget
Image by GotCredit.com

We also hope to reduce hours with our primary income source on this trip. While our main hustle pays well, it is not our favorite way to spend time. So we are actively looking for side hustles, both small and large, that will help increase our income as we are building a budget for this trip.

On the other hand, we plan to give up our apartment and one of our cars. We will also reduce or eliminate costs that we bear today. Initial targets include gas expenditures and groceries. Our Pilgrimage budget will help us get an idea of the costs we can expect during our year of travel, and tell us how much we need to start saving today.

Building a Budget for a DreamClick To Tweet

This is only a rough initial budget. We intend to update our budget regularly as we take deeper dives into each aspect of our trip. These posts can be found in our “Building the Stakes” thread.

For our first budget, we share our original baseline estimates for our yearlong trip.

Monthly Budget CategoryAmountNotes
Lodging1800Assumes $60/night at VRBO or AirBNB
FIOS0No cable
Utilities0No Utilities
Phone / Internet Access150Need to Explore Options
Health Insurance (couple)1200Need to Explore Options
Car Insurance (1 car)60
Groceries300Need to estimate
Accounting230
Gas400Need to calculate
Car Property Tax50
Medical100
Dining600Need to estimate
Entertainment200Need to estimate
Gifts200
Household0No household!
Poker1000Need to estimate
Charity50
Emergency Fund100
Total6440

As you can see, we are starting with a very rough estimate. Over time, we will fully explore each of the items above to refine our budget. We will share each of these explorations in a post so that you will learn the financial ins and outs of long-term travel along with us.

If you have any questions about our initial budget, feel free to ask in the comments.

 

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Hampton Falls Poker Room Review

Hampton Falls Poker Room Review

UPDATE: Hampton Falls poker room was purchased by The Brook this spring. The beautiful old Hampton Falls room has since closed. We are saddened, as Hampton Falls was our very favorite New Hampshire poker room. However, we hope to see some of our favorite staff and structures coming to The Brook.

 

Hampton Falls Poker Room is the best poker experience in New Hampshire. For the player looking for a well-run room, quality dealers, and reasonably competitive play this is your spot. Want to match wits with tournament players who can actually fold correctly? Well, your chances here are far better than many of the other local rooms. We have played them all, from Seabrook to Chasers.

The cash games at Hampton Falls Poker Room can get fairly wild with loose aggressive play being a seeming badge of honor. But the tournament play is fabulous. We highly recommend Hampton Falls for those seeking tournament poker in southern New Hampshire.

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Poker Pilgrims

Welcome to Our Pilgrimage

Welcome to Poker Pilgrims! I am Heather and I have built this site with my husband Paul in order to share our thoughts, experiences, and research as we work toward a grand adventure in poker travel. If you have ever dreamed of a future in which you travel the country, this site is for you.

Paul and I are both avid poker players and travelers. It has long been our dream to travel the country for a year, playing poker along the way. As our youngest children approach college, we can see this dream within reach and are now getting serious about planning for our journey. Our target date is September 2022. It feels so close, yet so very far into the future. In the meantime, we take as many mini-pilgrimages as we can. So far we have visited South Florida, Las Vegas (we visit the WSOP every year), Montreal, Tampa, and Montreal. We have also thoroughly explored the poker landscape in our own region of New England. In the fall of 2021, we plan to drive to Northern California and spend two months visiting all that California has to offer.

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