If you’re a poker player trying to get to the WSOP to late-register one of Saturday events, and you’re either not close enough to walk or don’t own a personal jetpack, then it’s a Saturday late-afternoon and evening best looking for an alternate poker fix. It’s Carmageddon Squared as the already jammed central-Strip became even worse this afternoon with additional road closures in place for this evening’s Las Vegas Knights Stanley Cup victory parade.
With parts of Harmon and Koval to the south and east of the WSOP’s twin home venues, Horseshoe and Paris, already closed as part of the ongoing Formula 1 road-race repaving project, traffic has already been choked down for long stretches every day. This evening’s Knights parade found Las Vegas officials opting to close down the Strip between Flamingo, just outside the WSOP venues, to Tropicana, the next major east-west artery to the South.
The feature photo above shows the view looking east on Flamingo, away from the Strip, from the Horseshoe’s drop-off area. In theory, traffic should be lighter heading away from where the parade is being held, but an hour before the celebration’s start, that wasn’t true. But it didn’t matter, really; the area surrounding the area has been transformed into a true gridlock that may last into the late-night hours.
The Las Vegas Locally Twitter account also posted a photo from the “back” way into the parking complex, which was as unmoving as everywhere else:
Many players who busted out during today’s afternoon levels found themselves stranded in the very traffic they hoped to avoid, meaning that finding something else to play at the WSOP was an attractive option. Similarly, anecdotal reports of players perhaps skipping some of Saturday’s action also circulated around the floor.
One WSOP worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, speculated that the victory parade and increased gridlock could slightly skew the turnout for the weekend’s mass-field event, the $1,500 Monster Stack. Though today’s Day 1B starting flight drew massive numbers, it remains to be seen how closely the 1A/1B attendance split matches last year’s record turnout. The speculation, in rough terms, is that a slightly higher percentage of the event’s players may have chosen to fire entries on Friday, rather than Saturday, knowing what traffic issues likely waited Saturday’s players.
It’s probably a wash for the WSOP anyway. Any lost attendance from players fearing the gridlock is likely offset by players who are stuck at the WSOP until the late hours and decide to make the best of it. It’s another lesson in how something as massive and pre-planned as the WSOP can be impacted by other events. The best-laid plans, indeed….
Featured image source: Haley Hintze