My last trip was in July of 2013. I didn’t post a trip report then because I felt the trip mirrored the trip report I submitted a few months back in March 2013. I felt it would seem boring and redundant for those of you who read trip reports. Well, I just got back yesterday and I feel I should at least post something. It was a solo trip, like the previous two trips. All I do is gamble when I go solo. No shows. No fancy restaurants. No sightseeing. Definitely not shopping lol! Gamble, sleep, eat. So now you know the gist of the upcoming contents of my report. Might be boring for most readers but if you like, feel free to read on. I’ll try to keep it short, but I’ve been known to ramble on and on.:evillaugh My wife and I charge practically everything on our priority rewards charge card and as a result we got two 500 dollar Vacations Hawaii gift certificates, which I promptly used to fly First Class. Vacations Hawaii charters Omni International to fly a cattle load of us Hawaii degenerate gamblers to Vegas. They use the Boeing 767, which in itself is an o.k. plane. (What da hell do I know about planes?) The bummer part is I sat in row 1 of the plane but the movie screen starts from row2 on. Yep, I’m in first class but the 1st row people get to see no fricken movie. Hell if I know why that is. Never noticed before but then again, I never flew 1st class in this particular plane. Well, 5 and a half hrs. later we arrived in my beloved mecca and the busses were waiting to wisk us off to Downtown. There was a pleasant surprise! My Aunt and my cousin also were on the same flight over and saw each other as we boarded the buses. I learned they are staying at the Fremont while I am staying at the Cal. Actually the surprise is not uncommon. There is always someone you know on these flights. Hawaii gamblers are true degenerates and visit Vegas regularly. We made plans to meet up for dinner before we head back home. By the way, Vacations Hawaii is owned by Boyd Gaming so all of us are either staying at the Cal, Fremont, Main St. Station, or Orleans. My room was in the west wing of the Cal. The west wing was renovated so the rooms are nicer than the east wing. Room was clean, functional, and relatively quiet. Flat screen T.V., refrigerator, shitty safe but better than no safe; iron, hair dryer, ironing board, the usual. More than enough for someone who just needs a place to sleep and shower, then head out back to the tables. I ate mostly on the fly, at MSS buffet, Market St. Café at the Cal, or Aloha Specialties on the mezzanine between the Cal and MSS. Most of my breakfasts were at the MSS buffet. Can’t go wrong with breakfast; loaded up on bacon, omelets, and fruit. At the Market St. Café there is a counter where the solo travelers can sit. Great placed to strike up a conversation with your neighbor. Common subjects are how you’re doing at the tables or machines, what flight did you get in on, or where you’re from. At Aloha Specialties they have this tripe stew that is awesome. For you adventurous eaters you’ve got to try this. A cow’s stomach, gently stewed in a tomato sauce for hrs., rendering it soft, luxurious, and tasty. Like eating soft, delicious rubber bands, lol.! But seriously, if you like trying different foods, try this. You’re either gonna love it, or hate it. It’s a personal favorite of mine and Aloha Specialties does this dish very well. On our last night in Vegas, my Aunt, cousin, another Aunt and husband who lives in Vegas, and myself had dinner at 2nd St. Grill at the Fremont. I love this place, and enjoyed my meals the last time I visited. One Aunt had mahi mahi, the other Aunt had miso butterfish, and my cousin and Aunt’s husband had New York steaks. They all enjoyed their meals. The dishes were well presented with ample portions, and the steaks were huge. I must harp on my meal, which I enjoyed so much I plan to have it again when I return with my wife. I ordered the seared ahi fillet. It was seared outside but remained rare inside. The fillet was huge, topped with mangoes, pineapple, and sat on some kind of sauce that made the dish so succulently tasty that I couldn’t stop raving about it to my dining party. 2nd St. Grill is a great place for casual fine dining and I’ll always visit every time I’m in Vegas with my wife or family. Craps is what I love to play while in Vegas. When the tables are full and I can’t get on, or when the tables are empty with no players (I don’t like to play alone), I dabble in VP. I’ve been doing this on recent trips and find I like to play this more than slots. It used to bore me until I got a substantial 4OAK that hooked me. No royal yet. I like DDB but need to finesse my strategy. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m holding the right cards. How did I do at the craps tables? I would say average for the hardcore craps player: which means I lost, lol!! How did I do at VP? Not too bad actually. But I must say, VP is only to keep me occupied until I can get on the craps tables. Which means I won’t sacrifice my bankroll on it, preferring to use it at the craps tables. Which means…. I played mostly nickels, lol! A few times at quarter level, and only twice at dollar level. A whole shitload of 4OAK at nickel level and quite a few at quarter level. Some of the wins at quarter level were substantial enough to buy in at the craps table for 3 or four hundred, which I promptly pissed away, but shit, so much fun in the process!:banana: The Cal was hosting their annual Golden Arm craps tournament the week I was there, but the actual play for the money was on Sunday at noon, the day I leave for home. So it was actually the preliminaries during the week I was there where they keep track of how many rolls you make before you 7 out. Those who establish high rolls get put on a board for Sunday’s finals. Anybody can play, and the boxperson keeps track of your rolls. For the tournament, the Cal set up extra craps tables and for the 5 nites I was there all tables were absolutely mobbed from mid- morning to at least 3 am the next day. Total chaos. It was very difficult to get on the tables, but chairs were provided for us degenerates who were waiting to jump on any openings . The tables were so busy that dealers from all of the Boyd properties were activated for this event. By their dealer uniforms you could see that they had dealers from Sam’s Town, Fremont, Orleans, MSS, and of course the Cal regulars. Even pit personnel from other properties were recruited to man the event. The only down side to this event was that the Cal raised ALL of their tables to 10 dollar minimums. No 5 dollar table could be found. This posed a problem for me, as my bankroll, playing strategy, and daily loss limit is structured on 5 dollar tables. I would need to think out my playing strategy or resign my play to either MSS, Fremont, or other DT casinos that offer 5 dollar play. But I wanted to play in this preliminary tournament, dammit! Even if I won’t be around for the finals; I just wanted to see if I can qualify. So I played. And lost. I stood dumbfounded as I watched my buy-in dwindle to nothing. On my first night, I lost confidence in my play and bailed out, losing about a third of my daily bankroll. On the 2nd night, I suffered a beating that took half of my daily bankroll away. A lot of point-7outs were prevalent no matter what table you were on. (But I must add the fun factor was awesome, the atmosphere lively, the drinks were coming faster than you can drink, and the CW’s were hotties!) I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind. My strategy was wrong. My buy-in didn’t give me enough bullets to withstand the negative variance, but I refused to stray from my established buy-in amt. I had to think of something. I usually bet 27 across on 5 dollar tables, but because of the higher minimums, I had to bet 54 across at the 10 dollar tables. But wait. Who said you HAVE to bet 54 across? How about 34 inside? Or 12 dollar 6 and 8? So I did. I either bet 32 or 34 inside or 12 dollar 6 and 8 if the beating continued. And on that third night it worked. I pressed my bets, then when I felt I had enough, I bought the 4 and 10 for a quarter, pressing if the shooter got hot. It just so happened that the shooter next to me went on a heater, and sevened out just 4 minutes short of an hour roll. Then I shot for about 30 minutes and after the smoke cleared I colored out $1600 on a $400 buy in. A cool $1200 profit to offset the first two nights. Whew! Needed that change of direction, lol! Unfortunately, the euphoria of victory was short-lived. The next night proved that the beating was just the beginning. Talk about getting killed. The tables were choppy: the worst type of table for craps players, as these types of conditions lure you to believe a streak is in the making, only to have you crash and burn as you press your bets. Again and again. It was brutal. I lost all my profit and then some. I reluctantly stopped play for the night and relinquished myself to nickel and quarter VP. Ahhh…. More relaxing, drinks come often from pretty CW’s, and the machines were close to the craps action so I could watch my fellow craps warriors fall one by one on the wayside, lol! At this point in my trip I decided not to play at the Cals craps tables. My daily bankroll and session allotment was not structured for 10 dollar play. I decided to play either at Fremont or MSS. And I actually did better. I was more relaxed, more confident, and my conservative play proved more productive and fun. I had several scorching 30 minute plus dice rolls at MSS that was fun. On one of my heaters I threw eleven 7’s during a come out. In a row. One after the other. Even the boxman shook his head and smiled. I guess that doesn’t happen very often. I was surprised he didn’t inspect the dice, lol! I did walk around Fremont on Saturday afternoon. I started at the LVC then walked in a circle, visiting Plaza, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, 4 queens, the D, Downtown Grand, Fremont, and Binions. My observations: LVC: The entrance was pretty busy with gamblers while the “Hottie” (I’ll use the term loosely, here) gyrated on the stage. Aside from this, the back casino where the machines are located was dead. There was no one playing when I walked through. My visited was approximately 1 minute. Plaza: Dark, dead, uninviting. They should improve their security there as I saw 2 street people with their bags dozing off in slot chairs, obviously not playing machines. I didn’t feel like playing either. 4 Queens: Hot as hell in there. Seems like their AC was not working properly. Golden Gate. Big improvement in there. But still a tiny casino. Walked between the Cashier’s cage and the craps table and almost got conked in the head by the stickman. Less than 10 feet between the craps tables and the Cashier cage. Hate to see the place when it’s crowded! The D: It’s not as loud in there as I remember it being. But still loud, lol! I wouldn’t be able to play craps there. I can’t hear as well as I used to. Downtown Grand: Walked through in less than 5 minutes. Nothing to look at, no atmosphere, vibe, or identity. Too bad. Bye-bye, Downtown Grand.:Þ Binions: Very busy. The tables were pretty full, place was lively and fun looking. The craps dealer/hotties had a lot of customers at their table. Fremont: Crowded, busy, lively, and smoky. All crap tables were so packed you couldn’t fit a playing card between the players. Fremont Canopy: Lots of Characters. Saw these two “angel” girls. One was amply blessed and the other kinda skinny. Wondered if Devil Girl moonlights as an “angel” on some days. Anyway, I looked at their ASSets, then moved on. Had some other characters that were forgettable. Transformers, a gross guy in diapers, some dude who spray painted himself gold, etc., etc. The spray-paint artist is always interesting to watch, the sax guy, hell, some people bash him but his mesmerizing tunes on an early Vegas evening under the canopy is magic. I enjoyed watching the fall-down drunk tourists dancing to the DJ music over by the LVC/Golden Gate. How they managed to hold on to their precious drinks while dancing like zombies is hilarious to watch. I admit I find extreme pleasure watching people enjoying themselves and having fun. Restores my faith in the human spirit. Well, at least until my trip ends and I have to go back to the real world. Just kidding. I think. There were a lot of beggars. Military Vet with a sign saying “you owe me for my service to our country” or something like that. Don’t owe you anything, buddy. In todays society nobody twists anybody’s arm as far as military service. I went, I served, and I don’t expect anything from anybody. Free will. A supposedly “Father” with pictures of his daughter on his sign asking for money to help support her. I looked in his money pail. All pennies….. A man and his mother (in wheelchair). Sign asking for money to help them survive. I got approached twice for money while in Vegas. A lady asked for a dollar as I walked that street from the canopy to the Downtown Grand. I smiled and shook my head. On my way back she asked me again. I guess they are so numb to the negative responses that she forgot she just asked me a few minutes earlier. All the people she asked as I watched shook their heads. A man asked me for money in the MSS bathroom. I shook my head. (After shaking my other head…) He asked “You don’t have money?” and I said I do. Then I smiled and walked out. Washed my hands first, of course. Well, I’d like to finish the report on a lighter note. I did enjoy myself, although as you can see all I do on solo trips is gamble, eat, sleep, and look at people’s ASSets….:evillaugh I found I enjoy VP more and more. It provides a more challenging entertainment option than just pushing a button at slots, although I’m sure all you slot fans will beg to differ. Bonus rounds at slots can be extremely entertaining. As far as craps, what can I say, I’m a hopeless addict. I play relentlessly, ignoring the countless losses only to live to see that one monster roll of a lifetime, whether it be myself rolling or being on a table with the shooter of the century. When that happens, all the previous losses are forgotten. When you think about it, all degenerates think this way. It’s our hobby. Our pastime. Some people Golf. Some travel the world. Still others spend money on boats, airplanes, or ski resorts. Doesn’t matter. We’re doing what we love. Anyway. Enough of this philosophical jabber. I brought $5000.00 to gamble and went home with $3600.00. Not bad considering my horrendous loss on the 4th night. Going back in August with my wife! I love going with my wife. Only problem is we’re going with her sister and her obnoxious husband. Ugh….sigh.:Þ Peace!!