I was delighted to be invited to play in last night’s poker charity event held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
Each year for as long as I can remember, poker pro and legend Jennifer Harman has given something back by organizing and hosting a charity benefit for the Nevada SPCA (be warned about visiting the site — you might fall in love and end up adopting an animal). The Nevada SPCA does fabulous work rescuing needy animals, and helping to find them loving homes. I cannot write or say enough good things for this organization and the fine people who do this kind of work.
Friday night’s gala included several speeches, public and silent auctions, a red carpet extravaganza, dozens of cute and cuddly animals, and a charity poker tournament designed to raise money for the Nevada SPCA. We were informed that for each $50 raised, that would save one dog or cat. Hundreds of people showed up, and 180 players entered the tournament, with multiple re-buys. First place was a seat into next year’s WSOP Main Event Championship valued at $10,000 (which would have been ironic had I won it, since due to obvious restrictions I would not be able to play). What really mattered was coming out, supporting this great cause, and helping to raise awareness for these innocent animals who desperately need our love and care, and deserve so much more than the tough beats these creatures have been dealt in life.
Las Vegas can sometimes be a strange place to live.
Consider two recent local stories from our hometown newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Both features are 100 percent accurate. Reportedly, these events really happened.
Gee, I thought the barbecue tasted a little funny.
Las Vegas locals who live here on the West Side will undoubtedly remember the name “Memphis Championship Barbecue,” which opened up their family-style restaurant about 15 years ago at 1401 South Rainbow Blvd. Not to be confused with their Henderson sister location which remains open, for reasons unknown, this rib joint just never made a splash.
With Greg Carlin, CEO of Rush Street Gaming at G2E 2015
Preface: This past week, I attended the 2015 Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas. This was my eighth time to attend what is the world’s largest annual casino and gambling conference. I’ve had the honor of speaking and appearing on two panel discussions in past years. However, this time I attended solely as a media representative with the intent to report on much of what I learned, and speculate on the direction this sector is headed. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and do not reflect any of my past or present employers or associates.
[Gaming vs. Gambling: I do not use the terms gaming and gambling interchangeably. Gaming refers to interactive games not involving wagering. Gambling refers to games of chance which including wagering. Hence, when “gaming” is used herein any of my writings, it’s not a euphemism for “gambling.”]
For most, including those of us who now live here, Las Vegas started out as a fantasy land.
Las Vegas was a giant amusement park for adults where you played long and partied harder, and slept as little as humanly possible. Given the typical Vegas vacation was perhaps 3 or 4 days, at most, we didn’t want to waste any precious time napping when instead we could be down in the casino gambling at the tables, seeing extravagant shows that were also ridiculously affordable, or feasting on $2.99 all-you-can-eat buffets, often comped. There was plenty of time to sleep when we returned home. Las Vegas was about staying up all day and all night, and maximizing the total vacation experience.