Marc-Andre Ladouceur on Vegas and the Electric Daisy Carnival experience
WSOP in Vegas every summer is everything but ordinary. Spending six weeks out there is very demanding both mentally and physically since we work hard, for ten hours at a time on most days.
Between some circus and comedy shows, music concerts, pool parties and nights out to (hopefully) celebrate a friend`s final table, there is so much to do. This year I wanted to try something different, the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC).
Electronic music festivals have become very popular in the recent years, particularly amongst poker players. This three-day event takes place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and features hundreds of world class DJ`s. So I circled the EDC weekend on my calendar to live the full experience.
The event sells out a month in advance so I got on Craigslist and found VIP Tickets for less than face value. Proper attire is highly suggested so we went shopping and I got myself a sleeveless hoodie and the coolest tiger tank top I could find.
Liv (Boeree) had the brilliant idea of creating a WhatsApp group of about 50 poker players who wanted to go, so it made planning a lot easier.
Getting to the festival and coming back is usually a big ordeal. Traffic and finding a sober driver can be a challenge, so instead we rented a party bus that waited for us the whole night. It's fairly affordable when cost is divided among everybody. We loaded it up with a big cooler full of ice, water, Gatorade, sodas and vodka and we were ready to leave Vdara by 8pm. The party bus allowed for traveling and pre-gaming with a bunch of friends, which really got the party started.
When we parked at the stadium we looked for some benchmarks and took a few pictures to be able to find the bus at 6am among the hundred thousand people rushing to leave. We made it pretty quickly through the security lines and then entered. I stood there in the bleachers for a few minutes, astonished by the view. The seven stages, the colorful rides, the production lights and the 130,000 people in attendance made it spectacular.
The first step was to make it to the meeting point, in this case a big metal sculpture shaped as a Bonsai tree. This would be the spot we'd get back to in case anyone got lost. This was a must, with a group as big as ours, if you don`t pay attention for a split second, you may be left behind. We went from stage to stage to watch the likes of Kaskade, Tiesto, Avicii, Alesso, Hardwell, Diplo, Martin Garrix,etc.. When it came down to the Main Stage (Kinetic Field) it was so crowded that everybody had to hold hands as we tried to pass the crowd to get closer to the front. It seemed the best it could be get when we were 100 feet from the stage, so we hung out there for a while.
I then fully experienced the energy that the EDM community is so renowned for. Despite a lack of personal space within the crowd, everybody was peaceful and very friendly towards one another. We also went on a few carnival rides. I felt like a kid again, excited and waiting in line for some rides that shoot you up in the air and others that spin you around.
Before we knew it, it was 5am and the sun was coming up. It was time to wrap up a memorable night, get everyone together and head back home.
For the weekend person, Las Vegas is perfect for things like the EDC. Everything is set in place to make it a grandiose event. But to me it`s the friends you share it with that make those memories last a lifetime. With the festival out of the way, it`s time to get back to the WSOP grind.
Until next time.
PokerStars Team Online pro Marc-Andre Ladouceur.