From Goa to Bangalore and Macau to Vegas, the poker player traverses geographical boundaries multiple times. From long waits at the airport to grinding the hours away on the felt, poker pros have to balance between their work and health on poker trips. Sleep deprivation, exercise, oily food, currency conversions, flight cancellations, alcohol overdose- These are just some of the woes of a poker player on their tryst to shipping a physical tournament. We asked the very well travelled Adda52 Team Spades Pro Muskan Sethi about how she balances her routine during a poker trip. She tips us on how to strike a balance between health, exercise, eating and poker while travelling for poker.
Q1. How do you plan a poker trip? What are the factors that affect your planning a trip?
Muskan- I like to plan my trip way in advance only so I have everything booked and listed out. But sometimes when its a last minute plan then is when the trouble starts.
Q2 How do you deal with your luggage?
Muskan– I would end up paying for extra baggage no matter how smart I try to pack. But, I am getting better and lighter with time.So the best way is to pack light on a poker trip. I check-in the heavy luggage and carry a small backpack or a bag on the flight! Its easy to manage and I hire a porter when I’m running late.
Q3 How do you deal with sitting long hours on the airport and within the flight?
Muskan– If I’m traveling alone then I’m on the phone making last minute phone calls or texting while waiting at the airport. During flights I’m reading a poker book, listening to music or catching up on my sleep. My thoughts keep me entertained somehow!
Q4 Any travel must haves? accessories that you always carry on every poker trip?
Muskan– MUST HAVES: A Backpack, Phone, MUSIC, Shades, Headphones ,lucky hoodie, comfy clothes, iPad , laptop , OCD kit for poker tables , ID , debit/credit cards apart from some extra cash, All necessary chargers , Power Bank , A pack of cards , travel poker chip set, lucky charms and family’s blessings.
Q5 Whats your ideal food during poker trips? Both during the travel as well as during the trip?
Muskan– God! I’m a foodie, I love to indulge depending on where I am. If I am playing around a beach town, then I always seek out good seafood. In between tournaments I just can’t eat. I can have a peaceful meal only before or after the tourney. Most importantly we should stay hydrated so I recommend to drink a lot of water at all times. I am a big fan of All American Dave at the WSOP, now that’s a fitness poker meal you wouldn’t mind.
PS-not too fond of heavy meals before a flight.
Q6 How do you manage to stay fit while traveling? Do you exercise? Eat better?
Muskan– YOGA! I’ve carried a mat with me on all poker travels but in most places you can find one at the hotel itself or can simply get a new one. Carrying it all the way does not make sense to most of my friends so they laugh at me. I like to take it easy and focus on the game when I am traveling specially for poker. I redeem my fitness once I’m back. I have an easy workout regime anyway. I’m health conscious so I keep it balanced for myself. Those who are trying to loose weight should be strict with themselves on these trips and stick to salads, non-greasy food and one hour of exercising no matter how they are placed.
Q7 How do you make up your grinding hours while traveling?
Muskan- I usually carry one or more devices with me. If Its a slow structure then I start playing online on the ipad in the middle of a Live tournament. If I’m traveling alone after getting knocked out I usually run back to my room, order some food and start grinding online.
Q8 What is the most important thing to look after on a poker trip?
Muskan– Your ID, Passport, cards, personal belongings, tournament seat card after registering and your health of course.