Background The players are eleven married guys, ranging in age from 37 to 32. Eight of us are friends from our neighborhood outside of Atlanta that play poker, watch football and attend parties together. One is an honorary neighborhood member, and the final three are college buddies with another friend. The genesis of the trip was my thirst for a follow up trip from my June adventure. I threw out that I am making a Fall Vegas trip, and mentioned I could get some comped rooms. The level of persuasion it took was minimal. Our spouses were also equally persuaded since they all know each other and figured that if anyone misbehaved, someone would cave and tell their spouse. We all enjoy gambling, playing poker, drinking and college football. A variety of college football schools are represented; including University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Clemson, West Virginia, Florida, Arizona State and South Florida. I'll use nicknames to protect the players: TP, Squirrel, Lobster, Mini-D, Louse, Fly-Boy, Rip, Scooter, Tap, M and me. Rooms: I booked a suite at the Mirage for myself, Fly-Boy and Rip. I booked a room at Harrah's for TP and Squirrel, along with a room at IP through the friends and family program for Tap, Lobster and Scooter. M booked a room at the Wyndham. Louse and Mini-D booked a room at New York/New York. Flight The majority of the crowd left on the 9:30 AM Delta flight out of Atlanta. Both of the members of our crowd that are airline pilots were able to score jump seats for their flight. Initially, I was a little concerned that a few members of our crowd would not make it late night when I discovered that they were drinking bloody mary's at 6:30 AM on the drive to the airport, followed by a stint with bourbon in the Crown Room at the airport before drinking in first class on the flight. Proudly, I can say that no one passed out early. Day 1 Upon arriving in Vegas, we grabbed a limo for five of us for $78.00. I went to the front desk of the Mirage, and without asking, they upgraded my Deluxe Suite to a Tower Suite without using the $20.00 trick. My hot, blond, Eastern European girl at the desk had our room ready immediately. After grabbing some beer in the lobby store, we headed to the room. Suite A-14 in the Mirage was awesome! Huge living space with a bar, large wrap around sofa, dining room table, enormous bathroom and a flat screen that popped out of the foot of the bed. The room overlooked the South end of the strip, and the pool/dolphin habitat. After sorting my cash budget, I headed over to check the other guys into the room at Harrah's. We waited on the rest of the crowd at Toby Keith's Bar & Grille. Once our bellies were full of not particularly good bar food and beer, I headed over to place a bet on my hometown Falcons to lose to the Ravens (I was the only one betting against the Falcons based on some bad information that Roddy White was out of the game). Then, we all played in the 3:00 PM Harrah's poker tournament. One of our group went out on the first hand slow playing pocket aces, which provided some brief amusement. The rest of us went fairly deep into the tournament, and Lobster chopped the pot with the final 3. My experience in the poker tournament was frustrating. Some 50 something jackarse went in big with draws against me on every hand (5 times total). I lost three times with trip kings to his river straight and/or flush. After he won every hand, he'd get on his cell phone and call his buddy at Palazzo to replay the hand. Thanks for the play by play ass wagon. We watched some of the game, and a few of us headed to the Harrah's roulette table. I did a couple of $100.00 spins placing nickels over 12 numbers. Missed on the first spin, hit on the second and cashed out after the third after another miss. Lobster hit for $100.00 and cashed out immediately. The other guys played craps at Harrah's and did pretty well. I headed over to Mirage and bought in for $500.00 on the craps table, leaving very slightly up. We watched football for awhile in the sports book before heading to Gilley's at Treasure Island for dinner. Food was OK, but the waitress was extremely hot. After dinner, we played in the 10:00 PM Treasure Island poker tournament. I was pretty drunk by this time, and did not play well. TP won the tournament, and we all ended up splitting up to gamble. I bought in for $400.00 at black jack at Mirage and cashed out about even. Went back to craps and bought in for another $500.00 breaking even for the most part. Attempted to go to bed, but was intercepted by the rest of the crowd. We wondered the strip drinking for awhile. Eventually, the guys headed into the Harrah's Party Pit. They wouldn't let me in with my drink, so I used this as an opportunity to head to bed. I found out later that a girl kept grabbing a friend of mine and calling him Fred, before later coming up to him and yelling at him for blowing smoke in her face. She was obviously confused since his name is not Fred, and he does not smoke. Day 2 We all met at Mirage buffet for breakfast. Once we were reloaded, we decided to avoid drinking first thing in the morning by going into the Auto Museum at IP. A guy in line behind me handed me a free admission coupon, so I got in for free. I thought the museum was definitely worth the time, and kept me from drinking before noon. Afterwards, we headed to Bally's to place college sports bets for the next day. Oddly, Bally's was not taking action on the UGA v. Auburn game because they felt there was a possibility that Cam Newton would not play. Anyway, I placed some bets, and we cashed in our drink tickets for the walk to Cabo Wabo to meet the rest of the crowd, who had already started drinking. While sitting on the rail at Cabo Wabo, we noticed a guy holding a sign that said "Need Money, Spent It All on Hookers & Blow". The guy was wearing a Canadian Flag shirt, and had some others guys laughing at him. I am going to assume that these guys were the Canadians from this board. My friends spoke to them, and apparently one of the guys said that the sign holder lost a bet had to get money on each corner of the strip to re-pay the bet. It actually appeared that he was having some success. I headed off with M to check out Aria. I thought that the other board members were exaggerating what a pain in the ass it is to get in and out of Aria. They were dead on. After wandering forever, we made our way into the casino. I really liked the place. More importantly, the sports book was taking action on the UGA v. Auburn game. I bet against my bulldawgs and took Auburn -7. Once my bet was placed, we headed over to the poker room. We didn't play, but we saw Phil Helmuth playing in the Ivey Room. Not surprisingly, he was lecturing the other players at the table. They were playing $200/$400 blinds mixed games. I did a few more $100.00 spins on the Aria roulette table, and cashed out up $200.00, before heading back to Planet Hollywood. We all played in the 2:00 PM Planet Hollywood poker tournament. TP, who went out on pocket aces on the first hand of the Harrah's tournament but won the TI tournament, again went out the first hand losing to a better full house. I played OK, but went out shortly before break. We all hung out at the Heart Bar until everyone was knocked out. M chopped the pot when they got down to the final group. Mini-D made the final table, but did not cash. I went to see the Beatles Tribute Band while the rest of the crowd got ready for our group dinner that night. The Beatles tribute band, now called B Beatlemania, was good. They have a new John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and lacked the energy that they used to have; but were good nonetheless. After the show, I headed to the Eiffel Tower restaurant to meet the rest of the crew. Apparently, we were pretty drunk and loud. The manager hovered around our table, and managed to blast the only guy at the table that wasn't really drunk. After dinner, we went back to Planet Hollywood for some black jack. All of us were doing really well, but the rest of the crew wanted to go to Olympic Gardens for a strip club experience. Me and another guy passed, wanting to spend our money gambling. After Planet Hollywood, I headed back to the Mirage for craps and black jack. Left a little up at black jack, but down at craps. I was approached by a hooker at the bar at Mirage. She was actually attractive and articulate. She explained to me that she came to Vegas from Seattle, and wanted to make money. Oddly, she wasn't dressed slutty, but had on jeans and a nice sweater. I mentioned that I was married with two kids and headed back to the gaming tables. Made it to bed around 1:15 AM. I later learned that everyone had a good time at OG (I had been there a couple of times for bachelor parties). Apparently one of the guys was getting dances from an Asian girl that the other strippers claimed was a post-op transsexual. Although this was likely nonsense, everyone named her "Jeff" for the rest of the weekend. When I asked one of the guys if she really looked like a transsexual, the response was "if that was a dude, I'd bang that dude in a heartbeat". Day 3 Since I was the first one asleep, I was the first one awake. I didn't want to wake anyone else up, so I headed to the Wynn breakfast buffet. I was completely underwhelmed. It took forever to get the people in the very small line seated. The buffet was not nearly as good as the breakfast buffet at Bellagio, Paris or even Mirage. I gather that they cater to the large international crowd that frequent the Wynn. After breakfast, I got the call that the rest of the crowd was at the Mirage buffet. The two pilots in our group had to take early morning flights back to ensure a jump seat. By this time, my hangover had reached fever pitch, and I needed a bloody mary. I thought the quickest thing to do would be to hit the tables. I ran through $400.00 at the craps table over an hour period of time, and the only cocktail waitress I saw told me to hold on a second. After I lost my money, I headed to the room. The rest of the guys brought some vodka and bourbon up to the room, and we settled in to watch college football in the suite. Covered my Auburn bet, and one other bet; but otherwise, it was a rough afternoon losing Utah -5 and a few other bets. A few of the guys headed to O'Sheas for the afternoon poker tournament. M and Mini-D made the final table. M got knocked out just out of the money. Mini-D made the final three and refused to chop the pop since he was the chip leader. Karma came back to get him when he ended up finishing third. Eventually, we worked our way to IP for some gambling. $500.00 at the craps table was gone in about twenty minutes. I came back a bit by cashing out $450.00 with $100.00 spins on roulette. The temperature in IP was awful, so we headed to Planet Hollywood. We were all starving, and had no luck finding a place to eat that could serve us quickly. Luckily, we were able to get a big table at La Salsa Fiesta across from Blondie's. Most places were packed for the Pacquio (Sp?) fight. We played $25.00 Pai Gow, and all cashed out up before heading to Aria to cash in my Auburn bet. We left Aria to come back to Mirage. I lost another $500.00 pretty quickly at craps, but won a couple of hundred back at black jack. Eventually, I tired out, and apparently everyone else did too. A couple of guys managed to hang at video poker until about 3:00 AM. Day 4 Most of us met at Hash House A Go Go for breakfast. This isn't really my favorite place, but I decided to go with the flow. Everyone was flying back home this day, except for me. After breakfast, we learned that Lobster was up $1,000.00 for the trip, TP was up $350.00 and most everyone else was about even. I would consider this a win. Fortunately, my bribe for this trip was a cheaper Coach purse, rather than the Dooney & Bourke purse that was extorted from me last time. I headed to Fashion Show Mall and had the purse shipped. Then I headed back to the Mirage to check out and move to Harrah's. I tried to see if I could get some of the room service and buffet charges knocked off my bill. The response I got was, in a nutshell, "we gave you a badass upgraded suite, so it's not happening". I had 4 $500.00 craps sessions, four $400.00 black jack sessions, 3 $200.00 roulette sessions and some sports bets; so I wasn't expecting much. On my way out, I bought some Beatles shirts for my 3 year old and 1 1/2 year old. I also bought a ticket for the 7:00 PM Love show. I moved over to Harrah's and watched a little bit of pro-football. I bet Jets -3 and Cowboys +14. Finally, I got moving and headed to Bally's to buy some toys for the boys. I cruised over to Paris and played black jack. I cashed out doubling my $400.00 buy in, and grabbed a burger at Le Burger Brassiere. Both of my pro-football bets hit and I cashed in my tickets when I made my way back to Harrah's. I then headed to the craps table and bought in for $300.00. I was down a little bit until a confident, well dressed Asian man took the dice. He rolled for a long time, and I cashed out up $1,100.00 from his roll. I'm not sure the shooter had a pulse, and I never saw him smile despite cashing out a few thousand on his roll. Feeling lucky, I headed over to the roulette table. Missed on the first $100.00 spin, but hit the next several and cashed out up an even $500.00. Went to the room to put money in the safe and to get my Love ticket. This was my 4th time seeing Love. It was also the first time I was relatively sober and I had great seats. Even though this was the 4th time I had seen the show, it was my best experience. I had a nice couple from Manchester, England sitting next to me; and we discussed the Beatles and how they grew up during the 60's. It was nice not having to run to the bathroom and get beers three times during the show. The seats were great, 5 rows from the front at stage level on the aisle. Once the show was over, I decided to give Let It Ride a shot. I won one hand before my $200.00 buy in was gone. Did OK at black jack. Had an interesting event occur though. I went to the bathroom, and when I returned, I saw a woman that had sat in the seat next to me raking my whole stack of chips into her stack. As you can imagine, I was livid. Fortunately, she had just bought in, and the pit boss separated my chips from hers. She apologized repeatedly to the point where I had to let her know that I didn't want to talk about it anymore. I'm not sure if she was sincere or not, but I was annoyed so I cashed out a few hands later and went to Carnegie Deli to get a sandwich. My corn beef and hash could have fed about 4. I didn't stand a chance, but I finished half the sandwich in my room and feel asleep. For some reason, I didn't sleep well in my room at Harrah's. I woke up at 5:00 AM and got ready and got to the airport for my 8:00 AM flight. Final Thoughts Aside from the logistical cluster *($&*&$# with going to Vegas with 11 guys, we had a great time. The crowds seem much smaller on the weeknights, but about average on the weekend nights. It was nice adding some more guys to the wolf-pack that met us from our one friend's WVU days. It amazes me that I give equal play to MGM/Mirage and Harrah's on average, but Mirage puts me in an awesome suite, and Harrah's puts me in a crappy older tower of the hotel. Restaurants in Vegas don't appreciate large groups, although that may have had something to do with our level of intoxication. Aria is a really nice casino, that seems to have a really small crowd. The Wynn's casino appeared to be nearly empty every time that I wandered in. I can't believe how many people were swimming in the Mirage pool in mid-November. The Beatles Tribute show at Planet Hollywood has went downhill. The guys don't seem to be into the show anymore. I always thought I was in the minority on this, but our whole crowd seem to enjoy the vibe at Planet Hollywood more than the other casinos. As much as I like my casinos dark, I just don't enjoy gambling in the Mirage at night. Came home with $3,600.00 of the $5,700.00 I took for the trip. I figure I was close to even after food, drinks, shows and presents. Able to add a little to the bankroll for my June trip, which seems an eternity away.