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Jesse MayNo matter how many times you go to Vegas, it never gets old. I tell myself I’m not fussed about going this year, and then about four days before I get on the plane that little voice shouts from inside my head, I’m going to Vegas!

I leave in two days, and I am excited. I spent six weeks out there for the series every year from 2000-2006, and then again in 2008, so I’ll be interested to see how the Rio and the WSOP has developed.

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I started going to Vegas at the age of 16

I first started going to Las Vegas at the age of 16. I was there at least a dozen times over the next few years, spending my summers from college living at the Stardust and playing 3-6 limit Hold’em, and then I moved there full time just after I turned 21. I have gone twelve out of the last 13 years to Las Vegas for Superbowl weekend, where I meet up with the same group from college and beyond.

What can I say? I love Vegas, although the town and my relationship to it has changed drastically over the years. First of all, I rarely gamble anymore when I am in Las Vegas, and almost never even play poker. I have enough action away from the town, and if I’m not there for work, then it’s to have fun.

All my old haunts to revisit if they’re still there

I love the restaurants, plenty of old friends to catch up with, and all my old haunts to revisit if they’re still there. There’s nothing I like more than hopping in my car at 3am and prowling around the casinos, checking out the action at Binions, and then the Rio, stopping in for some 24 hour Korean BBQ on the Strip or a hamburger at the 24 hour White Cross Drugstore which is one of the oldest establishments in Las Vegas and one of the few places where everything is still cooked on an old fashioned griddle.

I don’t mind that Las Vegas has changed, part of its personality is the fact that it gets newer and bigger with each passing year, but one thing that I haven’t liked recently is that the poker players are so spread out. It used to be that everybody in town hung out at either the bar at Binion’s Horseshoe or the one across the street at the Golden Nugget. If someone was in town, you’d eventually find them there.

These days it’s different. Someone could be in town for six weeks and you literally will never see them. The closest thing is maybe the poker room bar at the Bellagio, but I’m not even sure of that anymore, what with the new Aria poker room and everything going on at the Venetian. But I can’t wait. I’m going to the PKR WSOP welcome party fresh off the plane, so I’ll report back from that in a few days, providing my head doesn’t hurt, too much.


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