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A player for the ages

Oct 22, 2002 12:53 AM

Art Friesen comes to Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas three or four times a year to play poker, and every visit lasts for a month or so. While that may not sound like a big deal, it’s important to understand that Friesen will be 101 years old in January!

"I have been coming here for a long time," he said. "It’s been so long that I can’t even keep track."

When he is not wending his way to Vegas, he goes to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and to various Kansas casinos to play blackjack. "They’ve got some buses for us seniors, and we go to different casinos," he said.

Friesen is remarkably sharp for his age and has no problem remembering things. That’s especially noticeable when you get him talking about University of Nebraska football. He has been a Cornhusker fan since he was a child.

"I was at the Four Horsemen game in Nebraska in 1923," he recalled. "Nebraska won that game."

Friesen says he is the oldest person to regularly attend games at Memorial Stadium and has had season tickets for more than 50 years. He has also attended many of the school’s bowl games.

Despite Nebraska’s recent plunge into mediocrity, Friesen remains an avid and loyal fan. "They’re gonna win from now on," he said.

Friesen attends the Nebraska games with his daughter-in-law. "She is really the football fan," he beamed.

According to one Horseshoe poker room regular, "Art will be here playing for the next few weeks, but don’t let his age fool you. He knows his game, and is sharper than many of the regulars."

Just a word to the poker wise!