Few poker players reach the nosebleed levels where a full slate of PokerStars Championship Bahamas events leads straight into five-figure action on the other side of the world at the Aussie Millions in Melbourne, Australia.
The facts aren’t pretty – the quickest trips averages out to 31 hours of travel with three stops along the way. The first flight out of Nassau is key to hit a major airport on the East Coast to quickly get to the West Coast – Miami, Atlanta and New York’s JFK are the most layover friendly.
Then it’s the four-hour cross-country flight that serves as just the warm up for the long haul. It’s key to plan a long enough layover to have enough time to have a relaxing meal, use the facilities and calmly find the next gate with time to pick up any supplies.
Australia’s premier airline flies direct to Melbourne from Dallas, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco – most other airlines require a stop in Sydney first. Savy travelers will get local currency of their destination
The last thing any traveler should do is make a mad dash across LAX for a 14-hour trans-Pacific flight. The last stop before crossing the Pacific is the best time to change into any comfortable clothes packed in the carry-on. Track pants, yoga pants – pajama pants are a stretch – but dress smart and comfortable layers. Finally, prepare for any sleep medications prior to boarding.
Essentials for the trip include a (fully charged) tablet, a good book, headphones and an eye mask. Most find binging on a particular series keeps interest for the long haul rather a series of unconnected movies or shows. Try to keep a normal sleep schedule as much as possible, six straight hours of sleep is better for your body than multiple, short periods of sleep.
Travelers flying west to Australia lose a day when crossing the International Date Line over the Pacific. The best way to acclimate to the jet lag is to eat and drink regularly while traveling, avoid alcohol and go to sleep when you normally would before preparing for a long day of tournament poker.
The high overhead and close to 60 hours travel for a round trip is tall order for many, but for poker players seeking the purest month of elite poker – there’s no other choice involved.