´Checking Out the WSOP on the Cheap
Many more people still will come out to observe the event in the hopes to catch glimpses of their favorite poker player. It is no secret that playing the WSOP is an expensive endeavor. Even spectating can be costly. It doesn't have to be. If you are going out to watch the WSOP, here are a few tips you can use to help save money.
Don't Buy Food and Drinks at the Rio
The Rio has a lot of nice little restaurants and gift shops available for patrons to buy food, gifts, etc. While there are a lot of neat gifts there, some of the items are a bit pricey, especially the food and drinks. For example, a bottled soda in the gift shop regularly runs $2.50. A candy bar is usually $1. A bag of chips that you would normally pay .40 to .50 for are $1. Don't get me started on the prices of food. To give you an idea of how pricey things are, players are given a $10 food comp with their WSOP entry. Many have to add money to get a basic meal. And by basic we are talking a sandwich, chips, and drink. Of course, if you go to one of the fancier restaurant, forget about it. You will be paying a pretty penny. Basically, if you want something to drink or eat, either bring it with you or wait until after you are done watching the events.
Buying Gifts on the Cheap
Of course, there are those out there that cannot resist getting something from the Rio so that they have something tangible to prove they were there. I will admit that there are a few things at the gift shop that are relatively affordable. The best deal you are going to find is the t-shirt and hat combo. For the last two years, they have sold a plain WSOP logo t-shirt and plain WSOP logo hat for $20.
For those that want something even cheaper, there are glasses, keychains, some hats, decks of cards, and even shot glasses. About the cheapest thing you are going to find for sale in the gift shop is a WSOP poker chip. It has the WSOP logo on it and sells for .50. Buy five or six of these and give them out to your buddies back home. About the cheapest gift you can buy.
Swag and Other Stuff
Of course, if you are really cheap, I mean thrifty, then you will want to probably look into some of the free things that you can pick up around the Rio during the WSOP. At some point there are different companies and organizations that give out free stuff to the people wandering around. Sometimes it is very simplistic like a poker chip and in some cases, you can get nice stuff like t-shirts and hats. In 2006, I was able to pick up about 10 different t-shirts, about 4 hats, and various other little goodies.
There will also be newsletters and result sheets that you can pick up around the Rio that are free to the public. If you are wise, you will bring a camera with you. Then, you can go around and get pics of pretty much whatever you want as long as you don't use flash or videotape. You can also hunt down your favorite pros and try to get their autographs. As long as they are not in the middle of something important, many will be happy to take the time and sign an autograph or take a picture.
While the above suggestions may seem like a cheapskate's way of checking out the WSOP, the reality is that many people cannot afford to put down a lot of money to check out the event. If you use your head and plan properly, then you can go enjoy the WSOP with minimum cost.