Greetings. 5 nights will probably make for a long trip report, so I'll try to summarize when possible, like now: Who: Myself (D, 40), Wife (M, 32); joined by her BFF (L, 32) and her boyfriend, (R, 32). Where: We were comped 4 nights at Palazzo and paid casino rate for the other night. Friends stayed on our comp at TI, 3 free nights. When: We stayed entire 8/4 through 8/9; friends joined late 8/5 and departed 8/8 in early afternoon. Why: My 40th bday (was actually 8/12, but babysitters were not available then). 8/4- Direct flight out of KC was fine. M HATES to fly. Never liked it but since kids came along, she dreads it. She is tense the entire flight and has been prone to cry during turbulence. For this trip she popped a Xanax 4 hours before the flight and another as we boarded. She chased that with free bacardi and cranberry's (3) in flight, and found this then made her laugh during turbulence...a welcome change!! We pour her off the plane, hit the car rental and proceed to Palazzo. Part of our comp was a $150 spa treatment, so she went there for, heck, I dunno, but she was there a while and seemed happy when she got back. I went to Venetian for my game, double deck blackjack and proceeded to win $350 in about 1.5 hours. I also play roulette a la BeeJay- my typical one spin is like this: $5 each on 4, 5, 7, 9, 26, 29, 32, 33, 35; $20 each on 17, 20, 21; $40 to $50 on 23 (yes, I lived in Chicago during the Jordan years). So I threw out my winnings, hit a 21 and gave a little back, but I left the V up $600 in 2 short hours. Head back to the room and shower up to head out to the Palms, our favorite place to gamble. Say what you will about that place, but we love it. Great music in the background, very friendly, fun dealers, and a wait staff that is muy attractive and very efficient. If you get to know the pit bosses, it can play to your advantage, as you'll learn later. So we head there for dinner at Little Buddah. Outstanding meal! M had scallops that were the size of hockey pucks and I went for the Kung Pao with brown rice- both amazing. I believe with tip it was $125...and well worth it. After dinner we found a DDBJ game and we played for around 4 hours, up several hundy. Around midnight we wanted to maybe hit up a strip club. We get up to leave and my legs weren't working. My eyes were blurry...guess all the drinks that just kept getting shoved down my throat got to me, which rarely happens (M is usually the one being carried out of places). So I had over the keys and instead of partying more, we head back to P. M is a little upset with yours truly and she runs off to play WOF and loses $300. I lost a little chasing roulette, so the night ended with a thud. Still, up for the trip. Thurs 8/5 has us awake and refreshed by 8am. We get the rental and head out to IHOP. We live in the sticks now (90 miles from any major retail or chain besides Wal-mart), so it was nice to get out from the strip. Did some shopping and headed back to the P. Did some gambling and had 2 hits on 23 so the bankroll is healthy. Had dinner at Laggasse Sports Bar in P, which was outstanding. $85 for both and again, well worth it. Picked up friends at airport and dropped them and car off at TI. We played in the Gilly's Pleasure Pit for a while (auto shufflers suck) and R was treading water. He asked how I was doing for the trip and I explained I had been very lucky with roulette and #23. He's never played but thought it sounded fun. It was getting late (2am) so M and I decided to hit the washroom before heading over to P. We come out and look to say goodbye when we see 23 had just hit on roulette (darn the luck). Well, R is standing there with a huge grin...his first spin ever he threw $25 on 23 and hit for $875. I told him to quit immediately and never play again! Very happy for them as they were on a limited bank...and this helped immensely. So off to bed we go after that great story. Fri 8/6 saw us back at the Palms where M and I found our DDBJ table and L & R were moving and shaking throughout playing various games. We were there for hours and saw us win another $700. We went back to our rooms to get ready for the evening, starting with dinner at Dos Caminos in P. One of the best meals I've ever had. I had 'mexican paella' which is basically like the spanish version, but with shrimp only (no clams, mussels, lobster). Amazing meal for 4 was $225. Thumbs way up. We then grabbed a cab and hit up a strip club. Ended up a Deja Vu- it was called something else last time we were there...but we still had a great time. I only hit up clubs like this with M, as she loves to go and get lap dances...and who am I to say no? Even though it was my birthday, she certainly had more dances and fun than I did...and we'll leave it at that! We ran a $400 bar tab, but we were playing with house money, so I consider it a free night! Sat 8/7 proved to be a slow start as we were all feeling the affects of running up a $400 bar tab (granted, at $10 each, but still...) We ordered $80 eggs from P and that was about $75 too much. We liked IHOP much better...We eventually meet up around 2 for lunch at Gilley's. Worst meal of the trip. I had $75 in comps at TI and thankfully we used it here as I wouldn't want to pay for this crap. The waitress was 'worn' and the food was even worse...bad service and bad food...bad times. So R & L are fans of downtown and M & I haven't spent a lot of time there over the years, so we took the Deuce down (should have just drove). Did some various things here and there and ended up at the Nugget...found a shoe game for $10 that we could all play and had the weirdest experience ever. Older Asian lady dealer comes on...2nd hand she deals she has a 10 showing. We all manage decent hands (doesn't matter what we had, frankly, I can't remember). She turns over a face for a 20...and proceeds to pull another card...an Ace (now up to 21) and she pulls ANOTHER card...a ten so she's got 31 showing and she pays the table...swear to God!! We all silently looked at each other like "holy shit, she just paid us" and she went on as if nothing happened. The dealer at the next table saw it, said something to the pit boss a few minutes later, but nothing really happened. Freaky. So I'm getting bored and I notice the roulette table behind me is hitting all kinds of my numbers. I buy in for $500 and get the immediate attention of the pit boss. Then I really get his attention when 21 hits back to back with $20 and then $40 on it. Up $2100 on 21! M comes over and she plays similar numbers to me, just not as much. I'm still up big, but am down to my last playing chips...about $35. I look at M and decide what the heck, and put it all on 21..and she throws $25 out there on it...and it hits!! At this point the pit boss is handing me a host card, inviting us to stay, etc...We go catch a light show and ended up in some bar that had a live band- great music and a padded wallet...good times downtown! Sunday 8/8- we took the friends back to the airport and hit up Tacos and Tequilla at Luxor for some great grub. M had the fish tacos and I got the one with steak and bacon...outstanding! Then of course we had to go to Palms, again. I sat down at DDBJ and bought in for $100...lost it quickly. Another $100 and another bomb. Bought in for $200 and said if this losses that's it for the Palms. Well, the Gods must have heard me as the table got on a roll. Met this awesome couple that was house-sitting for poker player Howard Leaderer and they were a hoot...they did well and I turned my -400 into +$1600 in no time. Great dealers...and got to know the pit boss. She eventually asked M and I if we were having dinner. We were going to hit up Bellagio buffet, but instead got offered $500 at N9NE steakhouse...um, ok!!! Easy decision and amazing meal! Surf and turf for two, lobster bisque, bottle of wine...wow!!!! Head out to play some more and hit $50 on 23 so a nice $3500 win from the Palms and a free meal. I love this place! Monday 8/9 was your basic getaway day. All told I was up $6k and M was down $1k. We flew for free, paid $150 for 5 nights at P. We put our friends up for free at TI and got $300 in comps there, plus food, so this was easily the most free, most successful trip to date, and I got to spend it with my lovely, amazing, fun bride. It was great to get home to the kids (boy is 5 and girl just turned 1...birthdays are 07-04-05 and 07-26-09, thus, some of my roulette plays). Hope to get some good offers from Palms and maybe even the Nugget. Home for a few weeks now and wondering when we can go back again! Thanks for reading!