WSOP 2023 – Fox Report #1

There is a lot to report from the World Series Of Poker this year. I’ll talk briefly about everything from traffic to long lines to structure changes and even the banners on the wall, but I think the big story at the start of the series is a new vending machine. 

WSOP Thunderdome 2023

The Thunder Dome is mostly unchanged but still impressive. (photo: Chris Wallace/CardsChat)

What could possibly be in a vending machine that would warrant it being the first thing I report on at this year’s WSOP? Could I be talking about the FasTrac machines? They are basically vending machines that spit out tournament tickets, but no, the vending machine that I’m talking about is even more amazing. Because this one sells cake! 

A cake machine

That’s right, a vending machine that sells cake. Big slices of cake too. Rainbow cake, chocolate cake, red velvet, a nice selection overall. I haven’t tested the cake yet, though I have it on my list of things to check out before my next Fox Report and I promise to publish a full review of at least one of the cake flavors soon. 

A vending machine with slices of cake in it. Man, I love this town. You can get a margarita any time, day or night, there are cannabis dispensaries damn near everywhere, there are more than a dozen poker rooms, and the cops are even friendly. What a city! 

Other (less important) WSOP news

Also of note, though not nearly so important as a vending machine that sells cake (cake!), the traffic is worse than usual because of construction on the strip to prepare for the upcoming F1 race. This F1 thing is apparently a big deal and they will be racing right down the Las Vegas strip, so the roads are all being redone to prepare for the event. If you have to approach from the north, it may be best to stay off the strip entirely and approach from Maryland or Eastern, especially during rush hour. 

Lines are long for the smaller buy-in events and wait times have been long for cash games during busy periods, but not drastically more so than previous years. The beginning of the series always involves some long wait times, it’s a tradition at this point. Running the world’s largest poker tournament series is no small task, and the folks in charge work hard to make it work, but every year there are bound to be a few hiccups at the beginning. 

10k fixed-limit events have a new structure this year, with 40 minute blind levels on day one and a much slower structure on day two. Reactions were mixed, but it seems like a fine compromise to me. I’m sure there was quite a bit of complaining since that is what fixed-limit tournament players do – they complain, they argue, and occasionally, but only occasionally, they fold. 

 The WSOP Cafe still has $14 hot dogs and they do not appear to be any better than previous years. Pack a lunch. 

And now, here’s a small sampling of the photos I’ve snapped so far. Somehow I did not manage to get a photo of the cake vending machine, which seems a remarkable oversight on my part and you have my most sincere apologies. I’ll get good photos when I do my full review of the cake itself. 

Written by
Chris Wallace
Professional poker player, HORSE world champion, author.

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