Another long trip report, with lots of details. It is a historical record for me and Mrs T but hopefully there is something of interest for others. Gambling was generally low stakes this trip so there are no big highs or lows. Thursday 3 February The drive to London Heathrow airport is extended by Â½ hour due to a vehicle fire. We arrive 15 minutes late to meet valet parking but the car is quickly handed over and we are in the terminal. Check-in and security are very quick and we are settled in the BA Business Class lounge with plenty of time to spare. A light lunch and a couple of glasses of wine pass the time nicely. Priority boarding works well and we are settled in our centre seats at the front of the 'plane. We would have preferred a window/aisle combination but they were all taken when we checked in online. Service is fine, although food service is a little slow. Food is uninspiring as it usually is for veggies, even in Business Class. We have a few drinks and settle down for a film. I watch '127 Hours' and Mrs T chooses 'Wall Street 2'. Both are entertaining. Some sleep and relaxation, yet more food and we are getting ready to land nearly 11 hours after pushing back at Heathrow. Straight through immigration, just a few minutes wait for the cases, no line for taxis and we are on our way to Wynn. That is Wynn via the tunnel and a lengthy loop round the strip. Mrs T gives me the calming hand on the arm and a request not to get into an argument. I know Wynn is north strip and the tunnel is a more reasonable option than it is for hotels further south but it's still not the best option and I was not asked. The fare is $29.10, I hand over $30 without comment and head for check-in. Just one person in line in front of us. We decline the ungenerous offer of paying an extra $35/night for a high floor room and get assigned a strip view room on 21st floor. The room is at the north end, just one or two rooms from the end of the building. The Resort rooms have all been renovated in shades of cream and beige with new huge Sharp Aquos TVs, bedside controls and all the usual Wynn quality furnishings and fittings. As they say in USA, what's not to like? We freshen up and unpack before heading down to the casino and some VP. Second hand brings 4 aces so great start. Between us we hit 6 4OAK in quick time and record a $140 profit. A couple of Bombay Sapphires and tonic complete the Vegas experience. I see Mrs T back to the room and take a stroll around Wynn and Encore, just enjoying being in Vegas and checking out the table minimums as I go. The best BJ games on the casino floor at Wynn (just standard 6 deck, S17) are $100 and higher. The minimum goes up to $200, $300, $500 and even $1000 on different tables as Superbowl weekend progresses. Unsurprisingly the tables are never busy when I pass by. I decide on craps at Encore and more Sapphire & tonic. They have a $10 table going. I never see less than $25 for the rest of the weekend. A steady session and $125 profit. It's 11.30 in Vegas and 7.30 in UK. I have been up for about 26 hours and need to recharge my batteries for the days ahead. After about 2 hours sleep and a trip to the bathroom I get back in bed and hear what sounds like a full blown party going on next door. I sleep with earplugs but they do little to block out this sound. I realise that Mrs T is also awake and also realise that the noise is from one of the Wynn nightclubs. It is not a faint bass rumble but all the rhythm of the music. It is so loud that anyone familiar with the music would be able to identify what is being played. This is Thursday night and things can only get worse over the weekend. We come to the realisation that we have to change rooms. I head off to reception while Mrs T begins repacking. I explain the situation, jokingly saying that we have been given free passes to the nightclub. I do not get any real recognition of the problem or an apology, but do get a quick change to a 18th floor room in the centre of the building. We wheel our cases down to find that the room key does not work. Great! Back to reception for more keys and this time we gain entry. By the time we are settled in it is after 4.30. Definitely time for bed. Friday 4 February Mrs T wakes me with a cup of coffee at 7.0. She is a bit shaken with the jetlag, lack of sleep and middle of the night room change. By the time she wakes me she has already bathed and had a first cup of coffee. Oh well, we never have a great sleep first night in Vegas. Breakfast is at Society Cafe at Encore. This is a smart place for a casual restaurant and Mrs T has good memories of the pancakes she had on a previous trip. We both try them. They are good but not great. Mrs T is pleased to hear that I prefer her home made pancakes. 2 juices, 2 coffees, 2 pancakes comes to $53+tip. After a quick stop back at the room we head over to TI to start the gambling with some 50c full pay JOB. Mrs T feeds a $50 bill to the machine but this is spat out, together with a $100 bill and a $5 bill. Nice start! The $50 bill continues to be rejected so we try $100. This is accepted but the machine shows $150 credits. So a total $155 profit before we even start playing. All very strange but quite welcome. I am dealt a straight flush for $125 but drop back a bit. Mrs T drops $50 but a nice profitable stop at TI. We hop on the tram to Mirage and check out the double deck BJ. This is always one of my favourite places to play but I can only find 2 double deck tables, both with $100 minimum. There are several Pai Gow (tiles) tables so I wonder whether this is a temporary change for Chinese New Year. Hopefully so. We play some VP then wander over to Harrah's. More VP and a bad session. We retrace our steps back to Wynn. I connect the laptop and leave Mrs T browsing the news sites while I head down to the poker room for some $4/$8 limit Hold'em. A good session sees me walk away with $147 profit. Time to freshen up and a quick VP session before dinner. We grab a glass of wine and are reminded of Wynn's huge wine pourings and large glasses. Much better than most other casinos. Dinner is at Lakeside Grill, a new place at Wynn that uses the space previously occupied by Daniel Boulud, overlooking the Lake of Dreams. Quite a smart place with a 'small plates' type menu, the current Vegas trend. We share the whipped feta cheese to start, which is excellent, but we should have ordered 2 plates. We both have a tomato pizza and share a salad, both of which are pretty good. We should have skipped dessert but I end up ordering mini nutella filled doughnuts with espresso chocolate milk. Mrs T orders a small blueberry tart. The doughnuts are OK but unexciting, while Mrs T realises she does not really want dessert. We both enjoy a glass of a decent red wine. The bill comes to $109+tip. Mrs T is happy to leave it at that for the day so I see her back to the room and head over to TI in search of a decent BJ game at under $100. The high limit area has double deck at $50 so I settle in at a table and win the first hand. I then lose 5 in a row and switch tables. Here I lose the first 5 hands, including doubling to 20 and losing to a dealer 21 from 5/6. Early losses coupled with quiet tables and room ensure a quick exit with my tail between my legs. I decide to give craps at TI a go and get on a nice roll. I quit too soon but make $180 to ease the pain of the BJ losses. Time for bed. Saturday 5 February We start the day with a taxi to Paris and the breakfast buffet. This is one of the few places that offers a breakfast buffet at the weekend, before the brunch menu kicks in. Suitably stuffed, we seek out the Goldfish â€“ Race For The Gold slots that used to be in Paris, but they have disappeared. Oh well, we probably saved $20 each. Time to explore the shiny new Cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitan is shiny and new. And bright. And colourful. Mrs T signs up for an Identity card and we take a stroll around before settling at a bank of VP machines. 25c JOB (only 8/5) but an attractive $1700+ progressive. We do not hit the progressive or much else and lose $140 between us. We decline drinks but I do notice the cocktail waitress dresses which are classy and very much in the Wynn style. Towards the end of the session I leave Mrs T to explore the high limit area. They have slots on one side and BJ and mini-bac on the other. There may be other games but I do not look too closely. No big Baccarat table that I can see. I make some chat with a mini-bac dealer, who is very pleasant. Someone else tracks down a host for me. I try to sweet talk my way to Platinum but a Diamond HET card and Gold Venetian card only get me Gold at Cosmopolitan, even with the sweet talk. Cosmopolitan is certainly an attractive place and I will definitely return at a busier time. I might give them some decent play next trip and see what comes of it. We walk through Crystals, and one empty shop after another, to Aria. I must try the poker room next trip. This time we have a quick look round and go in search of decent VP at the 25c level. We fail and Mrs T offers to play a poor game while I try my hand at BJ. Aria, together with Bellagio and Mirage, have a great double deck game, dealt face up, which I prefer. I do not play for long and cannot build any sort of momentum. I walk away with a small loss. Mrs T has survived the poor VP with a $5 loss so we head out for the tram to Bellagio. We have no plans to play at Bellagio but are keen to see the conservatory display for Chinese New Year. It is superb, as good as any I remember. There is a pond with koi and a huge wooden boat, a massive Chinese figure in quilted silk robes, large incense sticks, terracotta soldiers pulling a coach. But where are the rabbits? Then I look across and spy an enormous rabbit made of moss and other garden materials. Surrounding the large rabbit are several smaller topiary rabbits in various frisky states â€“ lying on their back, springing in the air and so on. It really is an excellent display. Next stop is Planet Hollywood and the Diamond Lounge. This is a bit of a walk from the casino floor, up the escalator and across the barren open area up there. Service is good but the lounge is uninspiring. It has no bar but drinks miraculously appear from somewhere, with little delay. The best feature is the large screen TV but that is not an important feature for us. We judge Paris and Caesars to be well above all the other Diamond Lounges. Suitably refreshed, we hit the VP for a small loss and then we are back on the strip, up to Mirage. Mrs T settles at a VP machine while I find a spot at the double deck BJ. Things start off well with the dealer busting most hands. The table breaks up but I stay to take on the dealer. This does not last long and I walk away with a small profit. Mrs T records a small loss on the VP. As we are leaving Mirage we encounter a crowd immediately outside the front doors. A quick investigation shows that the front taxi/valet area is cordoned off for an event, which is about to start. We join the crowd for a Chinese dragon & lion display, with drum accompaniment, which lasts for about 20 minutes or so. It is well done and entertaining, a good free show. Tram to TI and back to Wynn, where Mrs T takes the opportunity to put her feet up for a while. I don't do 'resting up' so head straight down to the poker room and a $54 loss. Time to freshen up for the evening. Dinner is at Maggiano's over at FSM. This is a new one for us. We have a reservation and there is just a few minutes wait for a table. I know the portions are large so we decide against a starter and both choose the gnocchi with a rich creamy vodka tomato sauce. It is good but I only manage about half my portion, Mrs T does better. We share a huge tiramisu for dessert and still leave some! With a glass of inexpensive wine each, the bill comes to $54+ tip. We have a $10 coupon which makes it even cheaper. With good inexpensive food & drink, good service and pleasant surroundings, we give Maggiano's the thumbs up. After escorting Mrs T back, I opt for a lengthy poker session at Wynn. It takes a while to get a seat, which perhaps reduces my losses. I drop $127 in a difficult session and call it a night around midnight. Sunday 6 February Breakfast at Tableau. The French toast is fine, but not too exciting. Mrs T enjoys her mushroom omelette, I help her with the toast and preserves. Service and presentation are excellent and we receive a little bag of nuts, dried fruits and the odd chocolate button after paying the bill. Just the sort of thing that Mrs T enjoys. Cost for 1 juice, 2 coffees, French toast and omelette is $51+tip. First stop today is Riviera. It's an easy walk up the strip from Wynn and a first for us. It is much smarter than I expect. It is also bigger, brighter and cleaner than I expect. I have since heard that it was once the biggest casino in the world, before Mirage and all the other huge strip casinos were built. No problems with smoke early on a Sunday morning. We take a look around and play VP for a while. Mrs T hits a straight flush which ensures we leave Riviera with a small profit between us. We cross the road to Circus Circus for another new experience. Again, it is a pleasant experience, with nothing to offend. We even broach the Midway section with the carnival games, stumbling over the double parked double buggys. Gambling consists of some full pay Bonus Poker, where we break even, before I spot a Wizard of Oz slot behind us. Neither of us really play the slots but I cannot resist $20 in this slot, just for the experience. Mrs T gives it a go as well. What a great slot! Mrs T keeps hitting the bonuses but cannot get the Flying Monkeys or any big bonuses. She eventually loses her $20. I cannot hit any bonuses but cannot keep Glinda away. She is forever appearing and waving her wand, the highlight being 3 wild columns and a 3000 coin win. Yes, 3000 coins. Just let me do the calculation â€“ 3000x unit stake of, oh just 1 cent, well that's $30. It's a profit anyway. When I drop back to $20 profit I cash out. Any profit from a slot machine is worth having, in my opinion. Great fun with the Wizard of Oz slot. A quick walk through Slots of Fun, with nothing to detain us, and we are heading back up the strip, passing the desolate would-be-Echelon area to FSM. We cannot find anything we are keen to buy so head back to Wynn. We play VP for a while, recording a profit, before Mrs T decides to settle in the room. By the time I get back down Superbowl is about to start and the casino is deserted, apart from the Sportsbook and the bars with TVs showing the game. There's just nothing happening. Not one player at the craps tables at Wynn. The crews are just standing there, chatting with each other. I walk through to Encore where it is a similar story. I consider poker but am keen to play another game. I finally spot a few players at a craps table at Wynn so dive in before they all disappear. Nothing exciting happens and I cashout after the third consecutive seven out with a small loss. I am keen to play BJ but less keen to head out to TI or elsewhere so decide to give Wynn another chance. I always get stuffed at BJ at Wynn and was not intending to play there. But I find a table with a friendly dealer and I few other players so decide to just play $25/hand. With the exception of one BJ it is downhill all the way and I wonder why I bothered. I vow that I will never play BJ again at Wynn or Encore. I may play craps, I may play VP, I may play poker, I may try a new game, but I will never ever play BJ there again. Right, that feels better. I join Mrs T back in the room, where she is engrossed in the Superbowl. Engrossed may be stretching it a bit, but she is keeping an eye on the game between all the breaks in play, team changes and commercial breaks. We get ready for the evening and head downstairs to La Cave. This is the new 'small plates' (again) restaurant and wine bar that has been carved out of part of Terrace Pointe cafe. The game is still going and we are seated close to a large screen in a section with a loud party atmosphere. Not what we expected but we do not mind. When the game is over, the TVs are switched off, the lights are dimmed and it becomes a more intimate dining experience. We have decided on small and simple for tonight so order 2 flatbreads and a salad to share. The fiery artichoke flatbread is definitely worth trying. Our simple meal with a glass of wine each comes to $66+tip. All the staff we encounter are very friendly. They have a section of the restaurant which will open up to the outdoors in better weather so that should help get in more customers. My only criticism is that we were not given a wine menu with the food menus â€“ I can only assume this was an oversight. I had to go in search of someone to get hold of the wine menu, but she was friendly and helpful when I found her. A VP session at Wynn does not go too well. After seeing Mrs T back to the room I head back down with no definite plans. I was considering going over to Palazzo but decide against it. BJ at Wynn is definitely out, craps tables have $25 minimums and I want to throw some red chips about, VP is generally reserved for when I play with Mrs T so it looks like poker. No immediate seating and quite a few already on the list. I ask whether another table will be opened and am assured that it will be, once a dealer becomes available in a few minutes. Sounds good so I put my name down. Suffice to say that time passes, a new table is not opened, the waiting list gets shorter so that a new table is not viable and I eventually give up and decide on an early night. Monday 7 February We decide on a lighter breakfast today so take a stroll though Palazzo to take advantage of the facilities in the Gold Lounge at Venetian. Palazzo has a giant rabbit displayed in front of the waterfall, which moves its eyes and swishes its tail. Rabbits are everywhere at the big casinos this trip. I like the Gold Lounge, no alcoholic drinks but self-service cold drinks and snacks, free local newspapers, TV and comfy chairs to relax for Â½ hour. We get some orange juice, coffee, fresh fruit, muffins & pastries, which is plenty to set us up for the day. The pastries are excellent. We spot unoccupied seats at the Goldfish â€“ Race For The Gold slots outside the high limit area so take our chances. Unfortunately bonuses are hard to come by and the $20 we each feed in soon disappears. Time for some VP. This goes a little better and we both cashout with a small profit. The machines do not do justice to Venetian, they look like they were picked up from a salvage yard, a far cry from the condition of the machines at Wynn/Encore. Next stop Harrah's for some VP and a quick craps session, then Flamingo for more VP. We are finding it hard to make a profit at any game today so stroll back up the strip, through Venetian to Palazzo. More craps and more losses sees us over the bridge and through Wynn to Encore. The Wizard of Oz slots are taken so we play VP for a while, then Mrs T rests up. The TVs at Wynn have a poker room channel, which shows which games are running. I see an empty seat at the $4/$8 game so head down to take the opportunity to drop another $50. Early dinner tonight at Society Cafe. We both have the veggie pasta dish, which is small shells with small pieces of tasty veg and a delicious mushroom flavour. We share a cheesecake with brulee topping for dessert, which is delicious. A glass of wine each and a bill of $80+tip. Good service and the tastiest dinner of the trip, strangely enough. Back in the room I check-in for the flight home, securing a window/aisle combination for us. Mrs T is content to just relax in the room so I head over to Palazzo and Venetian. The BJ tables I am interested in are crowded so I make my way to the poker room. A short wait and I get a seat. I am dealt KK early and lose to a straight on the river. Not long after I reraise with KK again and get called by the big blind and the original raiser. I manage to get out without too much damage when the big blind hits a set of eights on the flop. A few more hands too good to fold preflop and too poor to win the pot sees me buying more chips. I get to around $130 down before the recovery starts and I finally manage to win a few decent pots. I get very close to even before losing a couple of pots late on, ending down $41. Another small loss to add to a day of small losses. Tuesday 8 February Breakfast at the Wynn buffet, which we have not sampled for several years. The breakfast price is now $19.95+tax, which is getting pretty steep for a breakfast buffet. But it is an excellent breakfast buffet, well presented in immaculate surroundings and without the bustle of most buffets, or at least it is this morning. Feeling suitably stuffed we secure a 1pm checkout, the latest we can get without paying for an extra night, and stroll through to Encore. Wizard of Oz is unoccupied so we both take the chance to feed a $20 bill into the machine. A steady start but then Mrs T hits a few bonuses. We get to see the Flying Monkeys, which are not as exciting or rewarding as we hope. An entrance to the Wizard with Dorothy and the Ruby Slippers puts Mrs T well ahead. I struggle for any bonuses but Glinda does not let me down. 4 wild columns and another 3000 coin payout. When things slow down and we both drop back a bit we cash out, each winning $20. I never touched the slots until last trip but Wizard of Oz is worth playing just for the entertainment value. A good VP session sees us eating into the losses. Then it is time to finish packing and sort out the money and paperwork. We check out around 12.45 and head outside to the bell desk to leave our bags. Our flight is not until 8.10 so we have plenty of Vegas time left. We leave 2 medium suitcases and a laptop bag with the bell desk. The bellman is friendly and chatty, emphasising how he is putting a fragile tag on the laptop bag and will store the cases carefully until we are ready to pick them up. I tuck the receipt in my wallet and walk away. As I open the doors to go back inside I can hear him muttering about not getting a tip. It seems that after 9 trips I have still not got to grips with all aspects of tipping. If I had called the bell desk to collect the cases from the room I would have tipped then and later, when we collected the cases. As we delivered the cases to the bell desk I assumed that a tip on collection was all that was required. Apparently not, at least according to the bellman at Wynn. It is a slight downer, as I try to get it right and usually tip anything that moves! We have earned a whopping $18 in freeplay at Wynn, which I convert, as if by magic, to $11 and we head over to TI for some more 50c JOB. I struggle but Mrs T finishes in the black and we accept an overall $70 loss. Mrs T accompanies me to the craps table. A good start before a seven out. I set a point and immediately seven out. A friendly crew encourage Mrs T to roll the dice. She is reluctant but agrees to give it a go. I tell her to make sure that the dice hit the end of the table. She establishes a point before one of the dice flies off the end of the table and out of sight. The pit boss jokes that it is just arriving at Mirage. Mrs T's roll ends shortly after. We tip the crew and take a small profit to the cashier. After all these trips we finally identify the route out the front of TI, along the boardwalk and over the bridge to Venetian, coming in near the poker room. Mrs T settles at a VP machine while I give BJ one final go. I should not have bothered. Another brief session with few wins and another doubled 20 losing to the dealer 21. I do secure a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a new beer for me. I am not a huge beer drinker but all credit to Venetian. They have Fat Tire, Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams. I cannot even get Sam Adams at TI. I join Mrs T at the VP and recoup $70 of my losses. Mrs T records a small loss. We stop by the Gold Lounge for a few snacks to keep us going until the flight home. The veggie samosas are the highlight. A walk back through Palazzo and Wynn sees us back at the Wizard of Oz slots at Encore. Bonuses are hard to come by but I manage to break even while Mrs T loses her $20. That's it! We collect the cases and get the taxi to McCarran. The fare is a little over $15 so I give the driver $20. There's just no need to take the interstate. Check-in and security are very quick so we head off for the duty free shop. A bottle of Tanqueray No. Ten and Bombay Sapphire will allow me to carry out a personal taste test at home. We head off to the lounge to find that it is better than we expect, not huge but plenty big enough for the number of passengers there this evening, a bar, some snacks, sandwiches on request and friendly service. We find a couple of comfy armchairs and settle down with a drink. Mrs T accepts the offer of a UK newspaper, while I take advantage of the McCarran Wifi. One of the staff walks around to notify passengers that our flight is boarding so we stroll outside and directly on to the 'plane. The flight back is uneventful with the veggie food options hitting a new low. After the salad course our starter is a virtually identical salad with the same dressing and the addition of some beetroot. Main course and dessert are just OK. I wish I had skipped the meal and gone straight to sleep. I think we will have to deselect the special vegetarian meal and take our chances from the menu in future. We lay our beds flat and settle down for a few hours sleep before breakfast and a slightly early arrival back at Heathrow. Time to change unspent dollars back to Sterling, pick up our cases and head for the car park. Only 5 minutes wait for the car to be returned and we are on the road home. Final Thoughts The gambling was fairly steady, with the exception of BJ. Final figures show a loss of $1071 (excluding the $155 we were donated at TI). All but about $150 of that loss is down to BJ, where I could get nothing going this trip. No Royal Flush this trip after hitting them for the last 3 trips. Weather was fine for the time of year, generally mid 60s during the day. A light jacket was as much as I ever needed. Very pleasant compared to back in UK. Wynn is a classy, immaculate hotel/casino but I do prefer a more central location with easier access to other casinos and better BJ conditions. $4/$8 Hold'em is often a tough game at Wynn & Venetian. I have won money at Wynn but the norm there and at Venetian is to find a table of tough experienced players, often locals, who know how to play their cards. Drunk players or poor players chasing down pots are virtually non-existent. There are easier games elsewhere. Next trip early June, Bally's & Bellagio. T-111.