Normally, I spend around a week at the annual PCA Convention & Trade Show. This year, I spent less than 48 hours in Las Vegas, about a third of which was spent asleep. I only spent one day on the trade show floor and visited fewer than 25 exhibitors, as such, I only saw a tiny fraction of what was on display at the 2024 PCA Convention & Trade Show. That said, these are a few of my favorite things. Actually, these were my three favorite things.

1. Arturo Fuente Don Carlos The Man Lancero

The regular Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Lancero is my favorite cigar. There’s one major downside to that cigar: it’s very difficult to buy them.

It’s unclear whether this is simply a repackaged version of that cigar or the Don Carlos The Man blend—which adds some Chateau de la Fuente tobacco to the Don Carlos’ filler—in a new lancero size. Whatever the case, I’m very interested in trying this.

2. Plasencia’s New Booth

It appears none of our staff took any pictures of this, but it was very impressive. I saw most of this booth at TPE 2024 in January. This is a modular booth, meaning that it can be reconfigured to be smaller or larger depending on needs. It’s very modern, very clean and, yet, warm. There are two private offices, a coffee set up and even room for live music, the latter of which has been a Plasencia staple for quite some time. This reminds me a lot of InterTabac booths, which is a major compliment.

I still don’t think companies should be spending money on elaborate booths, but whether it’s this booth or La Aurora’s booth that the company introduced last year, it’s cool to see what happens when a company spends the money and gets good results.

3. Illusione’s Slot Machine

I remember seeing this on Illusione’s Instagram account within the last year, so I wasn’t completely caught off guard to see it in person. That said, it was a pleasant surprise as I had largely forgotten about it. This machine was restored by Dion Giolito’s brother, who fixes slot machines and motorcycles as hobbies.

Brooks was curious if there were UFOs. Yep. Is it functional? Yes. Did anyone hit the jackpot? As of early Day 3, nope.

A general reminder that you should probably play something other than slots. Especially penny slots. Especially at the airport.

Overall Score

halfwheel's coverage of the 2024 PCA Convention & Trade Show is sponsored by Drew Estate.
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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.