Why I love Las Vegas

July 01, 2014

This year marks my fifth trip to Las Vegas for the World Series and it’s always one I look forward to. Even though Polish players have to pay taxes on our winnings straight away, I still think it’s a worthwhile experience and +EV overall. This year I’ve been out for the second half of the series, playing five to ten events including the Main Event this weekend. I’ve grown to love Las Vegas and not just for the poker. Vegas is so much more than the Strip and its casinos. I love its modern architecture and wide streets. In Europe you never have roads with five lanes going one direction, but in Vegas there is so much space! I am a keen golfer and there are probably more golf courses in Las Vegas than in whole country of Poland! Every year I take a break from World Series to play a few rounds of golf.

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Sightseeing opportunities are plentiful around Las Vegas. Lake Mead and Hoover Dam are both easily accessible. You can reach the Grand Canyon by car or you can do what I did two years ago and take a helicopter ride right over it. If you want to take a few days off for a longer trip, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, and Death Valley are all only a few hours away. There are also some beautiful mountains close to Vegas. On a particularly hot day the last time I was there, I took the car and drove up to Mt. Charleston. Back when I was young, I was a professional skier and I was surprised to discover there are ski lifts only 20 miles from Las Vegas. Of course there’s no snow in the summer, but while it was 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) down in the valley, it was much, much nicer up on the mountain.

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Then, of course, there’s the poker. The WSOP is the softest tournament series on Earth, full of recreational players who want to have fun and try to make a big score. I really like the schedule this year. This year there’s a $10 million guaranteed first place in the Main Event and I think it may draw a bigger field that in previous years. It very well could be the second-biggest World Series Main Event ever, behind the 2006 Main Event.

Even if you’re not out in Vegas playing tournaments, there’s plenty to sweat, whether it’s your favorite players, your Facebook fantasy team, or Daniel Negreanu’s high-stakes fantasy pool. This year will also have the biggest One Drop ever, with more players expected in the $1 million buy-in event than there were two years ago. By the end of the WSOP, it’s very likely we’ll see a player win $20 million in a single tournament. I think everyone in the poker world is looking forward to watching that, myself included.

Marcin Horecki is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

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