It’s been more than a week since we returned from our most recent Vegas trip. I’ve finally stopped crying – well, almost. (Yesterday I finished our taxes and got more bad news there.) I lost more on this trip than on any other. It was soul-crushing. But aside from the gambling, we enjoyed the trip. We got away from cold miserable weather in OH, saw a wonderful show, and spent some quality time with my brother (B) and his wife (C). Since B&C are both retired now, we tend to spend even more time with them and less going off on our own. This is not a bad thing as far as I’m concerned, but DH likes getting out and about more. Maybe it would have been better if I had let him drag me all over town. Maybe next time. We usually travel to Vegas on an afternoon flight and return home on an early morning flight. This time we flew out at the crack of dawn and returned around noon. I much prefer the way we did it this time. We got in a half day of gambling on that first day. And arriving home late makes us ready to crash that first night home, which helps with the adjustment with jet lag. Our flights were on Southwest, with connections through Atlanta. Everything was on time. And, for my money, you just can’t beat the free baggage. WEDNESDAY, FEB 26 We started off at our Vegas home, Red Rock. I started off playing single line and then triple line 9/6 DDB. I hit a few quads, but none of the bonus quads. I then moved on to 9/5 TB+. I decided to start strong and play at the $.50 level, even though I am usually a quarter player. Playing a 99.8% game seemed like the best time to try this, but it didn’t work this time. I went through three Franklins with nothing. I went back to quarters and hit a couple of quads, but none of the bonus variety. We quit early, returning to my brother’s for dinner, one of our few home cooked meals. Quad total: 5 THURSDAY, FEB 27 We started off at Suncoast, where DH and B played in the daily poker tournament. The guys didn’t do well in the tournament. I hit several quads, including 2’s and 3’s w/o/k and 2’s w/k. C was dealt Aces w/k and also got Aces w/o/k and several other bonus quads. We had lunch at the Café and then dropped B&C home and DH and I went to Red Rock. I hadn’t had nearly enough VP yet. Playing TB+, my second hand was Aces for 1200 credits. I hit a few more quads, but still ended up a loser for the day. Quad count: 15. FRIDAY, FEB 28 We played at Red Rock all day. I started off trying my hand at the Reversible Royals games. It is an 8/5 DDB game and the RR was at $18,120. These machines are seldom in play. I don’t think I’ll play them again. I found that I was evaluating every hand by whether or not it could be a RR. It really messed with my regular enjoyment of the game. That probably wouldn’t happen if I played it more often, but I’m not willing to play a 96.78% game when there are plenty of 98.98% games available. But that being said, I hit 2’s w/k and one other quad. It was one of the few times I cashed out a winning ticket. I played some triple play DDB and hit a SF and a couple of quads, but just broke even. I tried TB+ again and hit Aces, but there were just too many losing hands and I finished the day down. We returned to the house mid-afternoon to rest up a bit and have dinner. Then we headed down to the strip to see the Ray Romano show at the Mirage. We had seen him several years ago and knew it would be good. He did not disappoint. We didn’t do any gambling at the Mirage. It was crowded, but we managed to get to the valet, retrieve our car and head back to Summerlin in record time. Quad count for the day: 8 + 1 SF. SATURDAY, MAR 1 Again, we played at RR all day. It was an awful day. I hit only two quads all day, another serious drain on my bankroll. Enough said. SUNDAY, MAR 2 We returned to RR, hoping against hope for better results. It was quite a fortuitous day for B&C. First B hit a royal. Then C played her favorite dollar progressive Bonus DW, where she periodically plays a Franklin through. She hit the deuces for a nice grand. Then she hit the deuces again, this time with the Ace for $2600. And then B hit another royal! It was quite a day for them. I hit 2’s w/k at DDB and 2’s w/o/k at TB+ - the preferred way to hit these hands when switching between these games. But there wasn’t enough else happening and I chalked up another losing day. But we did let B&C treat us to dinner at Lucille’s BBQ restaurant. It was quite good, certainly in my top 3 for BBQ ribs. It was not quite enough to remove the awful taste of my lousy VP results. Quad count: 9 MONDAY, MAR 3 RR again. Why? There aren’t any better payout machines available. But clearly, you can lose on even full pay machines, if you are not hitting quads (or royals). I played only TB+ and hit Aces, 2’s, 3’s, 4’s and a straight flush. As I was wandering around looking for some luck, I saw a woman who had clearly found hers. She was playing a five-play $2 game and hit a royal for $8K. I shuddered to think of playing $60 a hand. Only later did I realize it was an Untimate X game, so she was playing $100 a hand. This was my first winning day, but not enough to dig me out of a very deep hole. Quad count: 11. TUESDAY, MAR 4 We went to Suncoast to try to change things up a bit. We played at the SportsBook bar, our usual location. My brother grabbed the machine where I hit my royal last July. I played nearby and was dealt 2’s w/k. C one-upped me by being dealt Aces w/k. And then B hit his third royal for the week! Naturally, I was happy for him, but frustrated by my own poor showing. In that session I was dealt AAAKK. Naturally I tossed the two K’s and drew the other two K’s! Crap! I hit a few more quads, but still lost for the day. Quad count: 8 WEDNESDAY, MAR 5 This was another Suncoast day. No royals today and not too many quads. I was dealt quad Aces, but couldn’t draw the kicker. I would have felt very disheartened if I had known those were the last quad Aces I would see. Instead, I had to learn that the hard way, day by day. I only hit two more quads all day. THURSDAY, MAR 6 We went to Sam’s Town, hoping to run into a friend of ours who deals in their poker room. We learned that he didn’t start until 4PM. So we played a while. I took a shot at the progressive royal, which was only at $1516 – someone had clearly hit it not long before we arrived (it resets at $1500 instead of $1000 like most machines). I never practiced the correct strategy for the 9/5 DDB game where the royal is $1500 (EV 98.98%), and I made a wrong play that might have cost me. (It all depends on which generation of RNG is in these older machines.) Anyway, I was dealt (AKJ)Jx. In a non-progressive game, it is correct to save the J’s and that’s what I did – and drew the suited QT. Ouch! (Later I verified that saving AKJ has an EV of 8.51, and the J’s has an EV of 7.23, when the RF is $1500, but with a non-progressive, the EV of suited AKJ is 6.66.) Later on we headed over to the Rio to meet with some more of DH’s poker friends at the new Hash House a Go Go. We got there a little early, so we played a little VP. I hit only one quad, but it was 4’s w/k. I had a HUGE BBBLT sandwich (lots of bacon), after which we returned to Sam’s Town. The progressive bank of machines has five 9/5 DDB machines on one side and five 9/6 DB machines on the other side. By this time, the progressive had worked up to $1575; it was $1630 by the time we left. Anyway, this time I played 9/6 DB, a slightly better paying game (EV 99.10%). There were two reasons for my choice. The local chain smokers brigade had all of the DDB machines in play. And when I played these machines earlier in the day, the air was blowing in my face, drying out my eyes. Nice with the air to address the smoking brigade, but not so easy on the eyes that were on their 9th day of VP overload. I had a decent session, hitting several quads, but couldn’t get closer than four to the royal. Quad count: 7. FRIDAY, MAR 7 We returned to RR and I stuck with TB+ because I am convinced it gives me my best shot. But my bad luck continued. Quad count: 6 SATURDAY, MAR 8 In the morning, we met with a former co-worker who moved to Vegas about 8 years ago. We had a nice visit before heading to RR in the afternoon. The only excitement for the day was the fire alarm that went off several times. It was annoying, but it didn’t seem to bother any players. Quad count: 5 plus 1 SF. SUNDAY , MAR 9 My DH is always looking to try something different. This time he wanted to return to Laughlin. We hadn’t been there in probably 10 years, so I was looking forward to getting back there. We only went to the Harrah’s property, since we wanted to make the most of our points. They had a bank of 9/5 DDB progressives where the RF was at $1121. There were progressive jackpots for all of the top hands, including SF and quad A,2,3,4. I hit the SF for $314. I also hit several quads, but, once again, B was the big winner. He was dealt a royal for $1135, his 4th royal in a week. I was happy for him, but oh, so envious! We didn’t stay long in Laughlin, preferring to get home before sunset. We had another home-cooked meal and watched the Oscars. Quad count: 5 + 1 SF. MONDAY, MAR 10 We returned to Suncoast where B and DH played in the poker tournament and C & I played VP. B’s winning streak continued as he took 2nd place in the tournament. I had a decent day of VP, hitting a fair number of quads, including drawing 4 jacks after tossing a worthless hand. The very next hand I drew quad 10’s. I also hit a SF. Quad count for the day: 13. TUESDAY, MAR 11 We started our last day in town at the Suncoast. Hit a couple of quads, but nothing outstanding. After the poker tournament (no wins), we headed over to RR. I played TB+ and hit only one quad. As a last resort I tried some 10/6 DDB. I actually hit several FHs and a couple of quads. But the day ended like all the others, with a loss. Quad count: 10. VP SUMMARY Royal Flush: 0 Straight Flush: 5 Aces w/k: 0 Aces w/o/k: 5 2,3,4 w/k: 7 2,3,4 w/o/k : 18 5-K: 77 Dealt Quads: 13 Quads from holding 1 card: 4 Quads from holding 2 cards: 49 Quads from holding 3 cards: 41 Four to the Royal: 116 I lost more on this trip than on any other. It was awful. I can only hope that I got all of my bad luck for the year out of my system on this trip.