In the world of music, extreme fans are categorized as groupies. They follow rock stars and bands from show to show and claim to know everything about the music. I am similar, but different. I am an extreme fan and groupie in my own right.

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Instead of following musicians though, I follow casino owners.

They call me “The Casino Jerk”

I’m Markus Sumner, owner of As a kid, I traveled a lot with my parents and saw the world as an oasis for exploring. My parents loved Las Vegas, so it was a common destination. I grew up in a small farming community in Central California and loved the Vegas getaway. Mom would spend all day Friday packing the station wagon, and when dad got off work at 5 p.m., we’d load up and take off.

Bright light of Las Vegas

Bright light of Las Vegas

I’ll never forget waking up after the eight-hour car ride to the flashing lights, loud vibes and streets full of people. From an early age, I fell in love with Las Vegas. came about due to my overwhelming fascination with gambling, casino ownership, and a desire to emulate the concept. I’ve always been inspired by people who have succeeded in business and it’s always been a dream of mine to follow the leads of some of the most successful.

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My love of poker prompted my extensive research into the lives of those that grew casino businesses. I’m considered the casino jerk because I love to share my knowledge with anyone who’ll listen. I find the more I can identify with professional entrepreneurs, the more I am prompted to believe I can be just as accomplished.

Game of Poker

Game of Poker

For many years, I put people like Donald Trump and Steve Wynn on a pedestal and idolized them. As I began to learn more about each one, it occurred to me that they were merely human, with lives similar to my own. They made mistakes, felt pain, and were proud, just like anyone else. It is with these eyes that I began to see that if they could succeed at business, I could too.

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Donald Trump, Steve Wynn, Richard “Skip” Bronson

I find inspiration in everything that makes them complete. The failures are as important as the successes, because they are lessons. The scandals make them human and the skeletons in the closet make them as vulnerable as anyone else.