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Despite all the high stakes poker chatter surrounding Macau and a clear increase in the game’s popularity overseas, Las Vegas remains the hot spot for live poker action worldwide.

I’ve spent months of my life travelling to Sin City, either to play poker or report on live poker tournament action. Drawing on that experience, I would like to share my thoughts on How to Pack for a Poker Weekend in Las Vegas.

Carry On Luggage and Pockets

luggageThe most important items you’ll need to travel to and have a good time in Las Vegas will be stored in your carry on luggage or pockets. These items include basics for any traveler, such as an official photo ID, any Player’s Club cards you’ve acquired during previous visits, mobile device, keys, sunglasses, an iPod, deodorant, saved casino chips, and of course, your lucky card protector plus other trinkets.

While not having a mathematical effect on your poker results, making sure you have everything that makes you comfortable at a poker table is a priority. So don’t forget to bring everything you need to make your long sessions enjoyable.

As far as toiletries go, a toothbrush and toothpaste are indispensable, plus any prescription medications you’ll need during your 48-72 hour stay. I also like to bring along over the counter (OTC) medicine such as aspirin. Tissue paper works better than the casino bar napkins for a runny nose or coughing, so bring that along too.

There is one request I have for anyone who plans on drinking and may feel discomfort on the way back home… a plastic bag. Airliners should have one for each seat, but this isn’t always the case. If you’re one to board a plane with a hangover or a hefty buzz from the night before, do the peeps on your return flight a “solid” and pack a barf bag in your carry on luggage. Thanks!

One Check-In Suitcase

Taking into account that you’re going to Las Vegas for a weekend of poker, you should travel light and bring a maximum of one non-carry on suitcase to check in at the airport. If you’re not one to use the hotel’s shampoo and soap, then bring small (3.4 ounces or 100ml) bottles of shampoo, sunscreen, or suntan lotion, and a small bar of soap. You shouldn’t need more for a 48-72 hour trip unless you have very long hair.

You should pack enough underwear and socks to last the trip, as well as a comfortable hooded sweatshirt, t-shirts, pants, plus flip-flops and swimming trunks if you plan on entering a pool. For tips on what to wear during long live poker sessions, read our How To Dress For Success At A Poker Table article.

packing suitcase

If there is any chance you’ll be attending a nightclub, nice restaurant or show while in Vegas, be sure to bring along a nice set of clothes with accompanying socks, belt, and shoes. These clothes should be ironed beforehand and placed at or near the top of your other check-in suitcase so they don’t get wrinkled.

One other recommendation: leave some space in your suitcase for Las Vegas purchases you may make after a successful poker session. I’ve done this on occasion when the cards worked in my favor and you’ll be glad you have extra room for gifts to your family and friends.

Be Practical

playing cardsThere are two types of people when it comes to packing for a poker weekend: Practical and U-Haulers. Try to be the former!

Remember that you may spend well over half of your time in Vegas at a poker table, so dress for comfort and don’t bog yourself down with a heavy traveling load.

Best of luck at the Las Vegas poker tables!

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David Huber

David Huber has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade: initially as a professional online poker player and later as an editor, consultant, writer, and forum manager. Known as "dhubermex" online, David's poker-related work has been heavily published across numerous websites since 2004.

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