As many of you know, over the past few years I’ve gone from just strictly playing poker as a career to dividing my efforts between playing poker, coaching poker students, working with poker rooms to promote and improve their products, and most importantly doing more charity work. In 2014 I founded the Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) and over the past three years we’ve raised $150,000 for Habitat for Humanity, food banks and Brad Garrett’s Maximum Hope Foundation which provides financial assistance to the families of terminally ill children.
With the incredibly popular $560 buy-in, $2 million guaranteed opening event of the 2017 Borgata Winter Poker Open upon us, I figured now would be a good time to give the readers of the Borgata Blog a few pointers on how to approach tournaments with fields so large they almost seem insurmountable. You’ll frequently hear players refer to big field tournaments as lotteries, luck fests, and other names that imply that skill somehow isn’t a factor like it is in tournaments with smaller fields.
On a few different occasions I’ve heard players wonder what all of the backpack-toting poker pros are carrying in their bag. Cash game players have the luxury of getting up and leaving the table any time they get hungry, have a headache, start to lose focus or go on tilt but with tournament days often lasting 12-14 hours or more it’s important to stay prepared in order to remain focused and avoid distractions at the table. Here’s a list of what I consider the essentials when I pack my bag for a tournament.