Exactly ten years ago (the height of the poker boom) I decided to participate in the poker dream by flying to the Caribbean island of St Kitts for a series of poker tournaments. I’d won entry online, all expenses paid. Those opportunities were a dime a dozen back then and of course we thought it would be that way forever. I didn’t plan my itinerary very strategically and found myself connecting through the island of St Maarten. My flight in the dark from St Maarten to St Kitts was one of my more memorable poker travel experiences.
The first thing I wasn’t expecting was that the plane only fit about 10 passengers. This made for a very “cozy” atmosphere where we could actually talk to the pilot as he flew over the Caribbean sea in the moonlight. The second thing I wasn’t expecting was my 4 young dutch co-passengers who brought on board enough booze to float a battleship. They proceeded to pass bottles round the cabin. The whole experience was sufficiently anxiety inducing that drinking heavily with complete strangers on a small plane in the middle of nowhere seemed like a pretty good idea. I was glad I was already drinking when they offered the pilot to join in. To his credit he declined.
The other thing I wasn’t expecting was the change of itinerary. The plane was supposed to land in the island of Nevis (the twin island to St Kitts) and then continue on to St Kitts. It turned out that only one person was going to Nevis so the pilot suggested going to St Kitts first. Very thoughtful, kind of like when you share a cab home after a night of drinking and you drop off the bigger group first. All was forgotten on arrival, St Kitts was a beautiful Caribbean dream come true.