My brother was coming home from Afghanistan for a month and when he was working in California he would take the $70-$100 round trip flight from Stockton, CA any time my wife and I happened to be in town....for us thats ever 4-6 weeks but only for a night...sometimes less since we're truckers and usually have somewhere to be when going from Denver or Salt Lake down to So Cal. Friday August 10th, My brother gets to Atlanta after a very long 19 hour day of flights on both airplane and helicopter. Shelia (my wife) and I meet up with my brother at my mothers house where he will crash for the next week before our trip and the week after before he goes back to the middle east. We book some rooms and flights for him. A few nights a Flamingo, a few nights at Rio, 2 nights at Golden Gate, and a few nights at Harrahs. We have some over lap between his rooms and my rooms as some nights were not comped for him and he would crash with us. Shelia and I get a load that will take us from Atlanta to New Jersey and then a 2nd load from New Jersey to Compton, CA...a short 5 hour drive to Las Vegas from there. Maybe we'll catch some freight going to Vegas from So Cal but usually we just drive up there and not worry about finding some freight. Monday August 13th, 3 Days later and 3500 miles driven we get to Compton, deliver our FedEx load at 8PM or so and decide to start heading north on I-15 and will stop and take a nap if we get too tired to drive. Michaels (my brother) flight lands tomorrow mid afternoon...4 or 5...so we're not really in any hurry to get there. I end up driving the entire 5 hours...which is on top of the 9 hours I've already driven from Kingman, AZ. We get to town and park our rig at Palace Station...plenty of truck parking and I love their Grand Cafe they serve the best waffles! Tuesday August 14th, Shelia and I get up around 10AM thanks to the dogs spotting a dog being walked and start freaking out. Stupid dogs!! We get up and have breakfast at the Grand Cafe and walk around the casino floor and checkout whats new and exciting at Palace Station. We were surprised to find several new slots. Gone With the Wind, Super Team, Superman, and Jaws. Gone With the Wind...more like Gone With My Money! It sucked down a hundy in no time at all. I spot the Super Team slot which is one of my new favorite slots. However we hit no bonuses and there goes another hundy. I then slip $40 into a megabucks machine and hit nothing on that either. So far this trip is starting out pretty lousy. I decide to move away from the slots and hit up some baccarat. I buy in for $200 at a table with a pretty good banker shoe. I start out with $50 and win the first 2 or 3 bets and decide to step up my game. I wait for the 2nd bank and bet it heavy. 1st time I go all in...natural 8 bank for the win. I play a few more hands at $25-$50 and lose back down to my original $200. Another 2nd bank line comes and I go all in....BBQ player 7; bank 6....damn. I move over to the craps table after busting out at baccarat and craps is super terrible. I set up 10 on the pass, double odds, $52/$54 across and 4 shooters in a row point 7 out. Jesus I'm getting crushed on the gamble. Its my turn to shoot so I do $10 pass, full odds, $130 across. I hit a few numbers but no repeaters and even throw down a few $10 hard way bets but after 7 or 8 rolls I too 7 out. Give the last few bux I have in my rack to the dealers and tell them, "well at least someone made some money on this table." Shelia comes back from playing whatever she was playing with a few bucks more then she started with. She had a few small $75-$100 wins but ended up not even putting a dent into our losses. Total loss? $585 We didn't have a room that night as we were not exactly sure when we would get to town however we relocated to the back lot at Rio where we are booked for 5 nights this week and they never give us any problems with parking the truck there. After a little nap Michael sends me a text telling me hes landed and is getting the rental car. I tell him that I'll meet him at Flamingo and we'll have some dinner. We end up eating at Victorian Cafe at Bill's and from there head back over to the Flamingo to check-in. This is the first of 3 colossal fuckups with reservations / check-in clerks of the trip. Its too late for the diamond check-in so we use the self check-in kiosk. We figure we won't get a chance at an upgrade but we've got a petstay room booked anyway so there's not an upgrade to be had since its a specific floor that they have the pet rooms on. He scans his total reward card...reservation not found...scans his license...no reservation found...i dig out the confirmation number from his email still not coming up. We are then forced to wait in line and we get up there and the clerk tells us that our reservations are for tomorrow and Thursday and they are sold out tonight. Awesome, its getting close to 10 and we've got no where to stay. Thankfully the front desk person was really nice about it and called over total rewards and offered him a comp room at IP or $29 at Ballys. We decide on the IP since its a closer walk and the King Suite rooms smell less like dead hooker then the normal rooms and we ask for that room and we get it. After walking over to the IP we check-in and head upstairs. The bed was amazingly comfortable...however there is only 1 bed! As much as I miss my brother I'd rather not sleep next to him. The front desk tells us that the couch is a pull out...duh we didn't think to check on that. No matter now we've had a few drinks and are ready to hit the tables. First up? Craps. Table is ice cold and drop nearly $400 in less then 30 min. After swearing off craps for the rest of the trip we find a Pai Gow Poker table and play some PGP in hopes of getting a little more trashed before calling it a night. I lose the first 5 hands and I'm nearly out of my $400 buy-in. I tell Michael that if I lose this next hand I'm going to bed. I put up my usual $75 bet and $5 fortune bet. I thought about putting the other $10 or so I had left in front of me on the bonus but decided I'd give it to the dealer despite her kicking my ass she was fun. I fan out my cards and I've got all black cards and they seem to be in order. Michael looks at my hand and says, "You've got a flush!" to that I reply "actually I have a 6 card straight flush and a 7 card club flush!!" I was holding Jack, joker, 9, 8, 7, 6, King...all clubs....SOOOOOO close!! Oh well I still take my 50:1 win on my bonus bet and the dealer had a straight with a 9 high or something pretty weak on top so I won the hand as well. I tip the dealer $10 and continue to play for another hour. I end up for the session $384 which is good except most of that came from just one hand. After that we play some slots with moderate luck. I decide to take another stab at craps...swearing off craps for the rest of the trip lasted all of 2 hours! I got in on a hot shooter and win $420 with a quickness. Color up and move over to a 3 Card Poker table and proceed to lose all my winning from the craps table in about 8 hands. I walk back to the craps table one final time for the night with the hopes of just winning some of my money back. Table goes back and forth and I'm holding my own. I decide to go in big for the shooter who did so well 20 min earlier. $25 on the pass, full odds, $260 across, $100 on all the hard ways. Sets the point of 4, rolls a 9 then 7s out!!!!! Another $425 down the crapper. I wonder around the casino floor on a total drunken tilt deciding if I should help pay for any more of the remodeling that is happening at the IP. I stick in $200 into a 5 reel double gold machine. $.10 denom, 190 credit max bet...at $19 a spin even a decent win will put me back in the black. I hit a few $80 wins but nothing to get me back to even for this casino let alone even for the entire day. It too takes all my money and finally give up the ghost and head off to bed. Total loss? $476.00 Closing out day 1 down $1,000 However tomorrow is a new day and we'll be heading downtown for a change of scenery.