World Series of Poker virgins don’t expect a lot of things when they come to Las Vegas to play the WSOP for the first time.
One of those things? They’re going to be freezing cold all the damn time.
Despite Las Vegas’ consistent triple-digit weather during the summer the Rio tends to remain at a constant “Fuck it’s cold” temperature.
Last year the hashtag #FrioRio got poker-popular on Twitter as Terrence Chan and a few other pros made sport of it. It was kind of a big deal.
Aside from dozens of terrible puns, the Tweets did help everyone around the world learn one thing about the WSOP: Bundle up.
We in the poker media have been shivering in various rooms around the Rio for years and have found a few tricks to stay warm during the summer.
1) Don’t Be Dan O’Brien
Look at him. Shorts, t-shirt, sunglasses - and in a six-max tournament.
If you’re going to skimp on that much clothing you at least want a 10-handed table to maximize the amount of body and sweat heat surrounding you.
It’s no surprise that O’Brien’s deepest WSOP finishes were in France, where the outdoor temperatures are frigid and the casinos are heated.
At the 2013 WSOPE the tournament staff even opened the doors to let a bit of the heat -- and smell -- out of the tournament area.
If O’Brien puts on a sweater we guarantee he’ll go on a heater and win a bracelet.*
*We guarantee no such thing
Alcohol warms you up. It’s a fact. Don’t Google it.
Luckily for players there’s a cash bar in the hallway. Don’t be drawn in by the Miller tap though. Beer is cold and the good stuff is in the back.
Vodkas, whiskeys, rums ... that’s what you want. Ask the friendly bartender for a few shots and feel the warmth come from within.
It’s really a win/win situation because it’s also a fact that you play significantly better while intoxicated. Scotty Nguyen’s victory in the 2008 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. World Championship is a perfect example.
You’re more confident and never do things you’ll regret. Drink up, win big.
3) Pay Your Taxes
There’s a new booth in the hallway of the Rio this year to help players avoid a Wesley Snipes-ian moment.
"Poker Tax Specialist," they call themselves. If you’re a poker player or a self-employed person who doesn’t already have an accountant, a quick visit to these folks will work up a sweat in no time.
You can still bet on black though.
3-Bet clothing? Hoodies? That’s so 2013. It’s time to ZooopItUp.
The future is now. And it’s not jetpacks or flying cars. It’s a poker-themed onesie.
These space-aged suits were built by the same creative minds who named their company ZooopItUp, and it shows.
The suit will run you $200 but when you consider you’re getting head-to-toe zooopable warmth, it’s almost a freebie.
The zoooped-up model says they’ve sold 152 suits but mostly she just gets hit on.
“It’s about 10-to-1,” she said. “Every day.”
With 152 of these suits increasing their owners chances of a heater it’s only a matter of time before we see our first zoooped-up player win a bracelet.
Then in five years they’ll be the new hoodie and sunglasses and will be replaced by people punching each other in the face.
5) The Double Sweater
It’s a classic.
While ZooopItUp will own the future and enslave a few third-world countries to meet future demand, the double sweater will always remain stylish and respected.
Despite what we’ve read on the internet and what medical journals and other untrustworthy publications say, we’ve never seen someone die while smoking a cigarette.
Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Smoking doesn’t kill.
In fact in the Rio it might save you from dying of hypothermia. Constant smoke breaks will warm your lizard-like cold blood and give you a chance to vent about whatever’s bothering you that day:
Donkeys, internet kids, room service woke you up in the morning, dealer made a mistake, etc.
A smoke break can help release tension and prevent a brat-induced episode.
If you want to go outside but still don’t want to smoke you can do something much worse for you: exercise.
Most people who die while exercising were usually in the middle of exercising.
The All-American Dave truck has some physical activities for players to partake in but be warned: playing sports will make you tired and severely decrease your chances of winning a bracelet.
Keep your heart rate to a minimum and cholesterol to a maximum. Socks and sandals preferred.
8) Poker Kitchen
Warm down one hole, warmer out the other.
The railbird, a close relative of the Emperor Penguin, huddles together for warmth in the Rio.
Like the Emperor Penguin most railbirds have a protective layer of blubber to insulate them from the frigid Rio air vents.
While they lack feathers the railbird has a constant stream of gas that aids in upward mobility, warmth and keeps predators at bay.
The railbird is also a flightless bird.
10) Win a Bracelet
Bracelet winners always have a smile that radiates heat. So, win a bracelet and enjoy the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with it -- as well as the warmth of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It sticks with you for the rest of your life.