All American Dave, a foodie favorite for WSOP regulars, has closed his business six weeks after being told he can’t serve meals at this year’s series.
David Swanson, better known as All American Dave, tweeted on March 2 that he wouldn’t be allowed to deliver food during the WSOP. The decision came directly from the WSOP’s new host venues, the Horseshoe and Paris.
Being blocked was the final nail in Swanson’s food truck business, according to his latest tweet. In a message to the poker community, Swanson explained that, after two years of difficulties, All American Dave has ceased operations.
WSOP regulars fueled by All American Dave
Swanson began serving food outside the Rio in 2013. As a personal trainer, he offered poker players grinding long hours a selection of nutritionally balanced meals. The food truck quickly became popular with pros wanting an alternative to the Rio’s fast food joints.
The business grew over the course of seven years and, in addition to serving meals from his truck parked outside the Rio, Swanson offered a tableside delivery service. Pros, including CardsChat ambassador Matt Vaughan, came to rely on All American Dave to fuel their WSOP sessions.
Thank you for making the WSOP a better experience for me & so many others.
It’s hard for people (even poker players) to understand how it feels to run a business that’s falling behind, taking on debt, waiting for circumstances to change.
Can’t imagine how the WSOP news felt 💔
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) April 14, 2022
The business started to veer off course when the 2020 WSOP was moved online due to COVID-19. With no one to serve, Swanson was forced to weather the storm and hope things would change in 2021.
Unfortunately for him, things didn’t change enough. Last year’s WSOP was blighted by COVID restrictions and Swanson wasn’t allowed to use the Rio’s kitchens or have his food truck on site. He continued to serve players in the best way he could but, in his words, the business incurred a “significant loss.”
Changes cause Swanson to fold
The wheels finally fell off after the WSOP moved from the Rio to the Horseshoe (formerly called Bally’s). The new management didn’t want All American Dave, or any other outside company, delivering food to players at the tables. Swanson called on anyone with some influence to make concessions, but none were forthcoming.
With debt from last year’s WSOP looming large, and the logistical costs of running his food truck this summer too high, Swanson has closed the business. Amid tweets thanking Swanson for his services, some pros have asked what happens to money they had on account with All American Dave.
Frustrated and sorry to hear this.
I hate to ask this at such a tough time, but I do wonder what will happen for those of us who had carryover funds from 2021 WSOP?
— Matt Vaughan (@mEVpoker) April 14, 2022
The valid question was met with some sharp responses from those who thought it was insensitive.
“Asking about what happens to the carryover funds when this hardworking family man just poured out his heart and soul to the community is as tasteless as the Esfandiari Chicken. Have some tact, man,” replied producer and WPT champ, Matt Salsberg.
Regardless of the potential etiquette breach, Swanson confirmed that, if he can avoid filing for bankruptcy, he’s happy to discuss a “fair resolution” with affected players. If not, outstanding credit will be paid out based on what he can get from selling his assets.
Places to eat at this year’s WSOP
With All American Dave out of the WSOP, poker players will now be considering their food options at the WSOP’s host venues, the Horseshoe and Paris.
The Horseshoe has Nosh Deli, which offers “gourmet food on the go.” It opens at 6am, but closes at 4pm. What’s more, it’s closed Monday through Wednesday. That means the food court will be the default option for many players at the Horseshoe.
Eating at the Horseshoe food court
Open 24 hours per day, the Horseshoe’s food court offers a variety of quick meal options from the following eateries:
- Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs
- Pan Asian Express
- Sbarro (Italian food)
- Johnny Rockets (American)
Anyone who plays at the Paris will have more food options. There are 14 places to eat, including upmarket restaurants, casual diners, and fast food outlets. Some of the best options for WSOP players wanting to eat during breaks are:
- JJ’s Boulangerie (French-themed café)
- Brioche by Guy Savoy (grab-n-go savory brioche and other French dishes from Michelin-star chef Guy Savoy)
- Bobby’s Burgers by Bobby Flay
The demise of All American Dave means WSOP regulars not only have to think about the hands they play, but the food choices they make. Indeed, the reason many people paid a premium for Swanson’s service was so that they didn’t have to think about what they were going to eat.
Without that luxury, poker players now need another option. The Horseshoe and Paris have a mix of eateries, but whether they’re suitable for everyone’s tastes is another matter.