Hi there. I've enjoyed reading this site for a couple months, and decided to weigh in. Though I’ve lived in the East or Mid-west forever, I have been to Vegas more than 25 times over the last 20 years. Maybe more. It has always been a part of my over 21 life. I went there in my early 20’s when it was pure gambling-party trips. Typical 3 day weekend trips where I would sleep for a total of 6 hours, risk my limited net worth, mostly flat-betting red-chip or green-chip black jack for hours upon hours at places like Treasure Island or the Flamingo. The city’s lights / theming / and buzz hit me in the textbook fashion they were going for (sucker!). From the minute I landed in McCarron, I was energized. I was further amazed that my stays and food could be “comped” either by my play, or even one of my friends, regardless if we won or lost. Sometimes I would come back with an extra grand and the high that comes from money won. Other times I would come back with a wad of atm slips and a couple of CA (cash advance) slips, an almost negative net-worth, a little bit of black lung, and a lot of wounded brain cells. Looking back those first trips were relatively boring, but it didn’t seem like it at the time. They were always a blast, even if they threw my normal life off-kilter for a period – sleepwise, health wise, bank-account-wise, or any combination of the 3. In my later 20’s when I learned a little more, and had more funds, I enjoyed fuller experiences. Those trips were usually still guy trips. College friends, work friends, or friends from my new city. Or a mix. We learned that you didn’t need to gamble all the time. Club Rio, the Drink, etc provided a social aspect. I might have even been dragged to a strip bar or two, you know, just to keep the fun going at 4 AM. – but that was never my favorite. Gambling was my main draw. The rush that comes from a winning streak – that's my drug. With some time, I learned to mix the bets up more, playing bigger when winning, smaller when losing. I mastered Craps for an alternative. Played low-pressure Caribbean stud to pass the time. Dabbled in high-limit slots after a big table win. Would play smaller in the day. Would play dollar tables downtown, with goal of earning cab fare back. Would casino hop, trying new environments. I have quite the collection of players cards! I usually played bigger at night. Though I never mastered Vegas Sleep, I did learn to take breaks when up significantly. I never quite got proficient at leaving when down. Too many comebacks under my belt. As a result, I have had many more winning trips than losing. But my bigger losing trips are bigger than my average winning. During the bad streaks, I was stubborn, and was never great at self managing / stopping. Hey, I hear Michael Jordan gambles the same way. So I avoided credit lines, and relied on my ATM and Cash Advance limits to keep me (somewhat) within limits. But during these years, I enjoyed the resorts more – the pool, the spa (had my first massage), the dining options. Even tried to continue my exercise routine – which usually meant getting 1 lame workout, if any. But I loved it all. Then in my 30’s I learned that Vegas could be fun with my girlfriend and eventual wife. Sometimes I still met the guys, other times I would go with the WAG. In those trips I would stay at nicer resorts, Bellagio then Wynn and Encore, even a Caesars stay. Sometimes just us, sometimes other couples. I began to enjoy the shows (holy shit Cirque is amazing), and have seen many. I spent time exploring the strip more. Enjoying the spa more. Actually shopping for fun. And hitting the clubs, which were popping up everywhere. In fact, I had and have 3 friends (from separate parts of my life) move to Vegas for the night club business, and they did well getting in at the ground floor. In my mid 30’s, we had connections to “velvet rope” us into the places they worked, which was pretty cool. They all changed venues over time, giving us the ability to experience lots of great “nightlife”. Having those connections is massive, and would have only been better if I had them when I was younger and cared more about that scene. I was never one to wait in line, and the lines these days – frankly can be ridiculous. Even with these more “well rounded” Vegas trips, gambling was always a big part of the trip, even if it wasn’t for the rest in the group. My income grew in my regular life, but I kept my play to green or black chips. The typical trip involved lots of hours, $100 - $200 ave bet, and mostly FBR comped. It was always difficult to determine how much I actually won or lost back then. Even with comped rooms and food, I would spend quite a bit on limos, tips, clothes, shows, spa, and whatever I felt like. Somewhat frugal with my money in normal life, I was much more relaxed when in the Neon Desert. Clearly I was enjoying the action and the (false) feeling of entitlement that comes with a roll of 100’s In the middle to late 30’s there were a couple periods where I thought my interest in Vegas was waning. I was getting older obv., and was very focused on career and family. Also, local casinos were popping up everywhere, removing some of the novelty of gambling. During this time I discovered the stock market, and that took a lot of my need for “action”. Then I participated in the online poker craze, and for awhile there, the idea of a odds-against table game felt stupid. I remember having one very bad session at a local casino, and decided that gambling was stupid. I even sold away a bunch of my gambling books (sadly). Finally, I recognized that I needed to experience other trips, to other places, for a different kind of fun – Paris, London, Aruba, Mexico, Orlando, Cruises etc. Many of those trips were amazing in their own way. Of course, some of those included a little gambling action too, but never like in Vegas. (Except the time I hit a RF on a progressive machine on Carnival. That was pretty intense gambling experience, as I don’t usually play machines.) No matter what, the idea of a fun weekend in Vegas would always pop back into my mind, at some point, for some reason. Now I am in my early 40’s, and I still love the idea of going. I travel extensively for my job, and sometimes that takes me to Vegas. I still regularly go with my wife for a weekend away. And I still meet my friends, once in a while. All in all, I can find myself in that town 5 -6 times per year. And I still love it. The difference these days is….not much. I still like everything, from the clubs (even the pool clubs), food, shopping, shows, and the ever available gambling. The mailed comp offers are better than they used to be, while the host comping is much worse, even with my much bigger play – but whatever. Encore / Cosmo are my regular places, and I like them all for various reasons. Maybe my continued enthusiasm is a bit sad, maybe it's a sign that I haven’t totally grown up. But I don’t care, and neither does my wife. Though I would never want to live there, I am going to keep enjoying Vegas for as long as I want. And I might go a little hard while there – there is something glorious about being a little irresponsible, once in a while. That's exactly what I did on my last trip, and I will write about that soon.