Las Vegas GroundhogLas Vegas, NVLas Vegas Larry, a groundhog who lives in Downtown Las Vegas, saw his shadow today on Groundhog Day.

Though the ceremony was much more low-key than the revelry in Punxsutawney, a crowd of railbirds surrounded Shuffler’s Stub, the gold leaf-encrusted tree stump that serves as Larry’s ceremonial home, hoping that the forecast would yield a positive prediction.

Instead, senior marketing associate and master of ceremonies Rick Tanaka declared that, possibly aided by the neon lights of the nearby casinos and the glow of smartphones, Las Vegas Larry could, in fact, see his shadow. Thus, the string of bad luck plaguing the country’s poker players will continue for six more weeks.

This marks the seventh consecutive year that Larry has issued his dire warning. Most poker players would agree that a successful, shadow-less morning is a sign of good times to come. When he last declared the end of run-bad, noted luckbox Jerry Yang captured 1st place at the 2007 WSOP Main Event.

We asked Mr. Yang about the correlation, but he declined to provide a statement, claiming he has never worshiped false idols – and definitely not Las Vegas Larry. It should be noted we hadn’t mentioned the groundhog by name during the conversation.

Regardless, Larry’s track record continues to allure many would-be champions to the Stub. Many come even during the off-season, merely to rub their hands on the flaking artificial foliage. Some claim that they get dealt pocket aces on their first hand back from the pilgrimage to the traffic circle.

Rick Tanaka, who passed Larry off to his owner after the large rodent nipped him on the arm, had this to say:

“You know…when I came to work here, and they told me about this tradition, I thought it was bizarre. Sure enough, though, we see a spike in poker room play every year around this time. It’s not like there’s anything else people will come to Las Vegas for in early February!”

When asked if the Super Bowl could be the reason for the traffic increase, Rick seemed unimpressed.

“This is Las Vegas, son. Magic rodents have been here. It’s like we’re trapped in a time warp.”