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ales of Team Carborundum
9th Jan 2002
Jesse May
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.

Jesse is also the creator of The Gambler's Guide to the World, an insiders look at the action and games around the world.
Email : Jesse May
    Superbowl in Las Vegas
The Superbowl has always taken place in Las Vegas. I mean there’s 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. That’s a fact. It’s 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, that’s 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 it’s about nine years now that our group has been making the yearly pilgrimage to Las Vegas. I’ve been there seven years running and wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’ve shown up with bricks of bills that I couldn’t climb over, and I’ve 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.

Certain things frequently happen. These are called traditions. For instance, it’s traditional to play golf on the Friday afternoon. It’s traditional to share a steak dinner on Friday night. It’s traditional that everybody bets on one giant horse race on Saturday afternoon. And it’s traditional that someone gets a large suite with big screen TV’s for all to gather in on Sunday’s 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 that’s not important. What’s 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.
2) 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 doesn’t show. He’s not there and he hasn’t called. Do you get upset? No! No plans are fixed. Where is he? That’s his business. Or, it’s three am and you’re walking through the Mirage when you see your buddy sitting at the $25 minimum blackjack table. He’s 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. You’ve done your bit and now it’s time to go. He’s 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 I’ll be in Las Vegas. Maybe you’ll be there too. But as much as I’d like to make plans, while dinner sounds divine and it would be fun to watch the game together, I just can’t commit. You see, I might be involved.
for use

Editor's note
The editor's best poker experience was at SuperBowl weekend in Las Vegas. The place was swamped with Texans just in off the plane. Apparently they had given up drilling oil in favour of growing cabbage.