Here is the second part of my tips for poker players whilst they are travelling abroad. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these, and if you want to check out the first part click here
Use the information available (JFGI)
The internet has a lot of information out there that can assist you with your trip. I’ve already mentioned Google several times in this blog post but without meaning to be patronising, I can’t stress enough how much your quality of life will be improved if your default is to search for the information as soon as your query comes up. Here are some specific sites to assist your trip:
- Skyscanner/Momondo/Kayak etc for flight comparison.
- Trivago etc for hotel comparison. Some sites such as eBookers have loyalty systems. Booking.com generally has the best interface and widest range of options and sometimes has members only discounts. Make sure you’re logged in when looking. Look out for free cancellation hotels. You can book several options if you’re not sure how many people are coming with you or if you’re not even sure you’re going yet.
- Airbnb for apartment rental options. I’ve had a mixed bag of experiences (fuck you Victor of Avenida Coyoacan) but generally if the apartment/owner is well reviewed this is a great option, both for individuals and especially for groups.
- Tripadvisor for hotels and restaurants. You can’t go too far wrong with this and it’s good to get additional information from some of the detailed reviews.
- Google Maps etc for directions. Take screenshots for when you lose internet and are seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
- 2+2 has some great material. Use the search function to find information on specific places. A great place to start is this thread from the legendary Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler, who is somewhat of a poker institution
Governments and local administrations will usually have tourism pages with useful information and advice. The same applies for looking up relevant visa information, as well as any vaccines you might need. If you have a specific question that’s not answered, try calling or emailing the relevant embassy.
This is essential if you’re going to be travelling abroad a lot in my opinion. Roaming charges are absolutely ridiculous, for a fraction of the price you can be anywhere in the world and use your laptop (or tablet/phone) as if it was a cellular connection based where you are dialling to. I’ve spent many hours on hold to banks in the last few months and it’s only cost me a few quid, as opposed to a few hundred. I’d describe myself as a fairly heavy user of Skype calls and my £20 deposit nine months ago still has £13.41 remaining.
If you’re British, it’s probably best to declare money
I’ve found a lot of players really don’t like to declare money when coming in and out of the UK. It’s hassle we could do without, sure but I think it’s better to be cautious in this situation. I can understand it for Americans or many other nations that have strict tax and money-laundering regulations but if you’re not taking liberties with these (UK citizens don’t pay tax on gambling winnings), there isn’t much downside to declaring your winnings if you’re required to at the airport. The downside to getting caught with a large sum of money you haven’t declared can be at best extremely stressful. Whilst it’s not illegal to carry any sum of money, it is illegal not to do declare it when you are required to. Check out the regulations for the place you’re visiting. Be especially cautious of the Bahamas, there are some horror stories on 2+2.
Looking after your cash/valuables
The best option for this is a casino deposit. Some casinos will allow you to store your money with them for free and if this is the case, I usually deposit most of the money I have on me. Casino Barcelona weirdly only allows you to make one deposit per day. In Vegas I usually get a safety deposit box at the Rio (expensive but worth it if there for significant time). I think other casinos would enjoy greater profits if they provided this simple but very helpful service.
If this isn’t available to you, depending on your trust for the hotel you are in, you may want to use the safe provided in your room (maids/hotel employees could potentially have access) or a secret place in your suitcase. Generally, it’s not a good idea to take your bankroll on a night out with you, I try to avoid this. Passports are often required as ID in some nightclubs and even some casinos, so do your best to keep them safe.
That’s all I can think of for now. Again, thank you to Will for putting up with my irregular blogging. In the future I plan to write a blog about my experiences with moving to Mexico and hopefully my experiences with having success in the near future. My plans before Vegas include preparing and grinding for SCOOP. Last year I won my first SCOOP title and I hope to get another one!
Feel free to tweet me @adamyid with any feedback or for anything else,