|Jesse May, multiple
author in the gambling field and sometimes dubded the "voice of poker", writes
a bi-weekly column.
|Most people know Jesse as "the voice of poker" from his
colourful commentary in CH4's late Night Poker. Jesse is also the author of the
widely respected novel, Shut Up And
Deal, which looks deep into the poker playing life. Its the hard faced
21st Century Cincinnati Kid.
also the creator of The Gambler's Guide to
the World, an insiders look at the action and games around the
in Las Vegas
The Superbowl has always taken place in Las Vegas.
I mean theres always someone who will say, when you say that you are
going to Las Vegas for the Superbowl, someone will always say, But I
thought it was in California this year? Or New Orleans, or something like
that. But the Superbowl has always taken place in Las Vegas. Thats a
fact. Its the most wagered on sporting event in the history of our
country. And I defy you to find any date on the American calendar that is as
uniquely Las Vegas as Superbowl Sunday. Quite simply, thats where the
action is. Where would you rather be? With a bunch of A-list idiots talking
stock prices on the fifty yard line while Britney Spears does dance moves at
half time, or hunkered down in front of a big screen TV with all your fellow
gamblers and a stack of tickets as thick as your wallet giving you action on
everything from the spread to the first field goal to the number of total
rushing yards by the third string tailback. And the casino right downstairs.
The Superbowl has never just been a celebration of football. Pure and simple,
Superbowl Sunday is a celebration of gambling.
I guess its about
nine years now that our group has been making the yearly pilgrimage to Las
Vegas. Ive been there seven years running and wouldnt miss it for
the world. Ive shown up with bricks of bills that I couldnt climb
over, and Ive shown up Tap City, with no money, no room, and needing a
ride from the airport. The boys will keep you clothed and fed. The important
thing is to be there. What started out as a few people in town for a poker
weekend has turned into nothing short of a convention. And all we ask is that
attendees abide by the rules. The rules of Vegas.
It was a long time ago
that we established the rules of Vegas. And they have always governed our
gambling trips since, set in stone and simple to remember. Because while a
vacation is meant to be fun, while tradition and camaraderie are hallmarks of a
good time, Las Vegas is special and needs its own set of rules.
things frequently happen. These are called traditions. For instance, its
traditional to play golf on the Friday afternoon. Its traditional to
share a steak dinner on Friday night. Its traditional that everybody bets
on one giant horse race on Saturday afternoon. And its traditional that
someone gets a large suite with big screen TVs for all to gather in on
Sundays main event. One year we ended up sweating it out on a fourteen
inch screen bolted to the floor with paper towels in a nightmare room at the
Excalibur, but thats not important. Whats important is that while
we have a lot of traditions in Vegas, none of these traditions are our rules.
There are only two rules in Las Vegas.
1) No plans are fixed.
Every man has the right to gamble alone.
How necessary are these rules?
Absolutely essential. The rules protect you in Vegas. They keep relationships
together. They clear up misunderstandings. Because Las Vegas is not an ordinary
town, and gambling is not an ordinary vacation. For instance, you schedule to
meet a friend at the Bellagio buffet at 4pm. The time arrives and he
doesnt show. Hes not there and he hasnt called. Do you get
upset? No! No plans are fixed. Where is he? Thats his business. Or,
its three am and youre walking through the Mirage when you see your
buddy sitting at the $25 minimum blackjack table. Hes all alone and has a
piddly pile of chips. Usually he plays at the five dollar minimum table. You
ask him if he wants to get a snack and he says no. Now, do you stick around and
watch him? Do you keep talking to him? No! Every man has the right to gamble
alone, should that desire overtake him. Youve done your bit and now
its time to go. Hes your friend, but this is Vegas. If he asks for
help, you can stay. But keep in mind the rules of Vegas.
The end of
January will roll around, and I can safely say that Ill be in Las Vegas.
Maybe youll be there too. But as much as Id like to make plans,
while dinner sounds divine and it would be fun to watch the game together, I
just cant commit. You see, I might be involved.