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Do you have a poker tournament packing list? Sure, when you go on a trip, you think about what you’re going to pack. You may even refer to a standard list so you don’t forget your toothbrush, phone charger, or razor (my most likely to be forgotten item). If you do, good for you! Similarly, you should have a poker tournament packing list for any event lasting more than a couple of hours.
In order to play your best poker, you’ll want to be well fed, hydrated, and focused. You also want to make sure that you’re comfortable. This may mean extra layers of clothes and sunglasses or a hat to cut any glare from the lights. And if you play with a partner, you’ll want to bring along some reading, viewing, or poker training to amuse yourself if you go out first. Unless you have a poker go bag (also not a bad idea), you’ll want a poker tournament packing list to assure that you don’t forget any crucial items for your longer tournaments.
Poker Tournament Packing List
Best Poker Tournament Backpack
The first thing that you’re going to need is the right bag to carry your supplies. There are a wide variety of bags and backpacks that will suffice. However, we have a strong favorite in the Swiss Gear Ibex Wenger backpack. In fact, we love this backpack so much that we also bought it for two of our children.
This backpack has a number of features that make it perfect for a tournament backpack. It fits both of our laptops, extra clothes, snacks, books, an ipad, and two water bottles without even breathing hard. The laptop section is padded with three layers of foam for protection in case we drop it. The bag has several compartments that help us organize our gear without having to dig around. The bottom is stabilized, which means it will sit up on the floor without toppling over. And most importantly, it’s very comfortable to wear, even when navigating the hallway from one end of Foxwoods to the other.
We always make sure to bring along some high protein snacks and bottles of water for a long tournament. On the snack front, we are particular to Kind bars, cashews, and pretzels (if we crave a crunchy/salty snack alternative). Bringing our own snacks means that we will save money (by not ordering at the table), and will have a little something to eat if the blood sugar starts to flag.
We also always have bottles of water on our poker tournament packing list. Yes, we’re cheap. We hate to pay $3 for a 12-ounce bottle (or a $1 tip for 6 ounces of “free” water). So we always bring our trusty water, and refill at a water fountain, rather than paying casino prices to stay hydrated.
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Personally, I never enter a poker room without a scarf and a jacket. For some reason, the standard temperature in most poker rooms is deep chill. I have found this to be as true in August as it is in January. Of course, if you assume it will be cold, you’ll find yourself in a room that hasn’t accommodated for 150 tournament players, and is thus 90 degrees. So my default is jeans and a light shirt with back up layers always at the ready.
Other “clothes” a lot of players like to have include hoodies, hats, and sunglasses. While I’m not the sunglasses type, I understand the urge. And if I ever make a televised final table, complete with lights and camera, I will change my hat & sunglasses tune quickly.Did you know that you should have a poker tournament packing list for any tournament scheduled to last longer than a couple of hours?Click To Tweet
I never sit down at a poker table without my phone and headphones. Sure, there are days when I enjoy participating in the banter at the table. But there are days when I really want to dig in, focus, and block out the noise. On other days I’m just feeling a tad misanthropic and want to keep to myself. If I have a particularly chatty seatmate, I may need to block them out in order to play optimally. And headphones can be life or death when my table-mates are discussing politics.
If you’re looking for a good set of poker headphones at a bargain price, you won’t go wrong with this pair:
We always have power cords and a charging device handy when we play a long tournament. Phone batteries can drain fast when you are hooked up to wi-fi, bluetooth, or listening to music. These days, some poker rooms (such as Manchester and the Borgata) that have USB ports in the tables. We hope that more rooms follow their lead in the near future. Even if there is a USB slot in the table, you still need your cord to charge up.
When we desperately need power and can’t find a ready outlet, we’ve come to rely on our Allstart Boost, which was actually recommended to us by another poker player who swore by his. The Allstart is incredibly powerful. It even comes with jumper cables and can start your car in a pinch! It charges quickly and holds a charge for up to a month after you’ve powered it up. On top of that, it is small, light, and even has a built in flashlight. We seriously love this thing.
Supplies for When You Knock Out First
There’s only one thing worse than knocking out of a poker tournament before your partner: exiting first without a game plan. It’s a horrible feeling facing perhaps 2, 3, or even 5 hours or more with nothing to do.
Extra money in order to play cash may be your key in the event of an early dismissal. However, you definitely want to think about how that plan fits into your overall poker budget strategy. If you do plan to play cash, set a stop-loss goal to mitigate your one day losses. Also, don’t play cash if you’re on tilt from the tournament.
Other things we bring to either kill time or be productive include books, our iPad (to catch up on Netflix, work on our poker training, watch a MasterClass, or just surf the internet), and sometimes our laptops. While mixing work and fun can be a bummer, it also can be rewarding to “make back” my tournament buy-in by working a couple of hours while waiting for Paul to money.
Don’t be caught short at your next tournament, make a poker tournament packing list today!
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