I write these reports as a historical record for me and Mrs T to look back over from time to time. This trip was fairly uneventful but I will post the TR and hope there is the occasional snippet of interest or piece of information for others. Thursday 26 September Usual start to the trip with the drive to Heathrow, drop the car with valet parking and indulge in the offerings of the BA lounges. That first glass of Grand Siecle champagne always gets the holiday off to a great start. We then take our favourite 1A/K seat combination in First, right in the nose of the aircraft, for the direct Heathrow to Vegas flight. Slightly late arrival but straight through immigration and waiting for the baggage carousel to start so we can collect our bags. We are in the first handful of passengers out the terminal and our driver from Bellagio is waiting. A comfortable limo ride is a nice way to begin our time in Vegas. We have 4 nights comped at Bellagio. Quick check in and up to our room. 20th floor, central fountain view. We never tire of this view. By the time I am freshened up and ready for action it is 9.45pm. That's 24 hours since we got up in UK and Mrs T is ready for bed. That's not for me so I spend some time at Bellagio, Paris and PH, playing a little VP and checking pay tables before settling in for some BJ at Bellagio. My bets range from $50 to $300 but no wild swings. After nearly 2 hours I have $125 profit. It beats losing! It's 1am, I'm not tired but I have to get some sleep to survive 6 nights in Vegas. Friday 27 September Awake at 5.30am. Love that jetlag! Breakfast at the Bellagio buffet and hit the 2 VP machines with full pay Bonus Poker (BP) at the 25c level. It's a strange multi-game, multi-line, Spin Poker beast. A fat finger on the first spin means I lose $22.50 on 1 spin. Steady stuff after that. A little VP over at PH, then we hit a shoe store in Miracle Mile to find me a new pair of running shoes. $120 is too much for the shoes I am after so we find the Super Times Pay (STP) machines at PH. This is a great game for learning the zero times table, 1x0 = 0, 2x0 =0, all the way to 10x0 =0. We keep playing, waiting to get a big multiplier on a good hand. It does not happen and we take a $150 loss. Mrs T joins me for a BJ session back at Bellagio. Nothing good happens and I take a $350 loss. We have a miserable relief dealer at the end of the session so I do not feel inclined to point out his mistake when he pays me on a $150 losing bet. A little more VP and Mrs T is happy to take it easy for a while so I head to the poker room for a steady session and $49 profit. Evening starts at Caesars. Unsurprisingly the Seahorse Lounge is packed on a Friday evening so we play on the casino floor before heading to Cheesecake Factory. Just a few minutes wait, which is a pleasant surprise, and we are seated. The veggie burger and fries are excellent. $31 + tip for some tasty breads and butter, 2 burgers, side salad, fries and a shared cheesecake is good value. I'm falling asleep at the VP machines after dinner so we head back to Bellagio for an early night. Saturday 28 September Breakfast on the patio at Mon Ami Gabi. It's a bit chilly this morning but the heaters make it comfortable. Food is always reliable here. VP losses continue today at Flamingo and Harrah's. We work our way to FSM, where I find a few shirts and track down the shoes I have been looking for at the Finish Line concession in Macy's, at half the price I was quoted at Foot Locker. Result! To celebrate my bargain purchases we head for Laguna Bar at Palazzo. A dealt straight flush offsets most of my losses. $10 for 3 Mai Tai's is a bargain. A stroll back to Bellagio where I spend my free time dropping $750 at the BJ tables. I have a decent start, discuss the merits of Homeland and Breaking Bad with the dealer, but then he has a killer shoe to clear the table. I lick my wounds and regroup with a steady craps session. More BJ looks like it could prove profitable when I press to $300 and get dealt a BJ. Unfortunately that is the highlight and I have to settle for a $325 profit. Time to rejoin Mrs T for dinner at Sensi, a new place for us. The complimentary naan bread and dips are delicious, the rest of the food is fine but unmemorable. 2 cocktails, 4 shared plates and 2 desserts come to $105 + tip. We get a complimentary small bag of truffles to take with us, yummy! After seeing Mrs T back to the room I head out for the strip. I had forgotten just how packed the strip is between Bellagio and Mirage on a weekend evening. I've had some good sessions at Mirage in the past so thought I would try again. The BJ conditions have gone downhill but they still have 3 tables with good rules, one DD and a couple of shoe games. I settle in at the $50 minimum DD game with 2 other players and am getting all the right cards from the start. I press it to $400, then loser-loser and I am knocked back. Things pick up again and I am winning more than I lose without getting to any big bets. Last hand before the shuffle I have a $200 bet out. Split-double-double leaves me with $800 on the table and I win all 4 bets. As things have not gone too well to date I colour up early with a healthy $2400 profit. Back in the black. I decide that I will stick to the DD games for bigger stakes in future. It's where I have had most of my best sessions in the past and it's what I enjoy. A little extra profit at the craps tables at Bellagio adds to the satisfaction and I go to bed happy. Sunday 29 September Breakfast at Cafe Bellagio, very quiet early on a Sunday morning. We decide to give the $0.50 7/5 BP a go. Last time we stayed at Bellagio we got killed on these machines. On this occasion it's nice and steady with a small profit between us. We then give that back, plus a little extra, on the full pay Spin Poker machines. That's the way it goes. By late morning we decide it should be warm enough for the pool so head back to the room to change. We find a couple of loungers in the shade around the pool but it's actually a bit chilly out of the sun so we move location. Mrs T has a low heat threshold and my pasty white skin does not cope well either, but we slap on the sun cream and hope for the best. We spend around 1½ -2 hours at the pool, which is a long time for us, and sample a poolside cocktail while enjoying the sun and the views. I only get told off once by Mrs T. I thought my sunglasses were disguising where I was looking, but apparently not! Later that day I find a large angry red patch on the inside of my ankle, which I am still treating. It's hard to get that sun cream everywhere. Fortunately the sunburn does not trouble me, apart from the occasional rubbing of my shoe. After showering I leave Mrs T freshening up while I head down for some more BJ. There are 2 $50 minimum DD games available this afternoon but I decide against both. One table has a single player, sat in the middle, smoking a large cigar. The other table has a dealer I prefer to avoid. Perhaps I am just being fickle but I decide to just play low stakes at a H17 table. $25 is the maximum I will bet under these rules. My modest $300 buy-in disappears with hardly an up-tick registered. The final hand sees me get an ace on a doubled 11 which says it all really. I tell my sorry tale to Mrs T and we head over to Paris where we have a room comp for the next 4 nights, although we are only using the room for 2 nights. Quick check-in, no free upgrade to a red room but we get a P room on 20th floor without asking. Nice room at the end of the hall with double windows, flat panel TV, fridge and separate shower in the bathroom. Some of the furniture is dated and the armchairs have seen better days but no real complaints. We drop a few things in the room, hang the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door and head down to the casino. The VP at Paris is not great but they do have Triple Play 7/5 BP at the 25c level. I hit 3 quads, including 3s, to break even. Mrs T hits a couple of quads and drops $50. Not great but not bad for a 3 line game. Time to get ready for the evening and head out the back of Bellagio for the tram to Monte Carlo and the walk through to NYNY. We grab a drink at the Center Bar but it's a bit noisy so we take our drinks to the casino floor before strolling over to Il Fornaio for dinner. We have eaten here a couple of times in the past and have found the food and service reliable. Tonight is no different. The complimentary bread and oil are delicious. A shared salad and 2 raviolis costs us $52 + tip. The full pay JOB machines are occupied so we retrace our steps to Bellagio and a little more VP play on the $0.50 machines. Just a short session with no reward and another $90 donated to Bellagio. I see Mrs T back to the room and check the BJ. There is still 1 DD table at $50 minimum but I'm not feeling it so head for the craps tables where I register a very small loss after an uneventful session. Monday 30 September The day starts with breakfast at PH buffet before picking up a hire car at Paris and parking up at Bellagio. It's moving day so we finish packing up, checkout, load the car and park up in the Paris/Bally's garage. A bit of unpacking and we are down to the casino to hit the Triple Play machines. Despite 6 quads between us it's tough going and we drop $250. Time for some steady single line stuff so we move to Bally's and recover $60. Mrs T joins me for some $25 BJ at the one table with half-decent rules. She is later asked to give up her seat by someone who wants to play so I take that as my cue to leave. I've had a good session and colour up with $300 profit. I see Mrs T back to the room and head back to the Bally's poker room for some low stakes Hold'em. The table breaks after 45 minutes so I take my $14 profit to the craps table, hit a few points and make another $100 with low stakes. The evening starts with drinks at Bond Bar at Cosmo. Great bar with quality drinks and almost empty tonight. On to Aria for dinner at Lemongrass, a Thai restaurant and another new place for us. Service is just a little too quick for my liking and there is a mix-up when I order the same choices for both of us but we are given a plate to share. The food is fairly tasty though and prices are reasonable. My favourite dish is the sticky rice and mango for dessert. A shared starter, 2 mains and 2 desserts comes to $62 + tip. We stop for a fountain show on the way back to Paris, where Mrs T settles while I head back down for more gambling. Nobody seems to be making headway at the craps tables at Bally's so I take a small loss and call it a night. Tuesday 1 October Breakfast at Wicked Spoon at Cosmo. It's a while since we have eaten here and we want breakfast rather than brunch, but we can find plenty to hold us down. We pick the car up and head to Suncoast, a new casino for us. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be the jewel of the Boyd empire but the casino does not seem any grander than Orleans. It's also smokier than many places, a common theme with locals casinos. Full pay VP and 7x points is hard to resist though so we play the relatively volatile Bonus Deluxe. I hit a quad and break even. Mrs T hits nothing and drops $130. Like any game that only returns 1 coin for 2 pair, no quads or better usually equates to fairly quick losses. We move on to Red Rock, which is a big step up from Suncoast. It's a really smart place. More Bonus Deluxe and a straight flush cannot save me from a $50 loss. Mrs T hits a quad for a small profit. It's time for a break from gambling and a delayed first visit to Red Rock Canyon. We follow politics and we knew about the shutdowns but did not anticipate problems at Red Rock. Well we get there and the entrance is gated and blocked! Time to rethink plans so we park up back at Red Rock casino to decide what's next. The decision is VP at Palms, which we have not visited the last few trips. Full pay JOB results in Mrs T's small profit balancing my small loss before we drive back to Paris. We settle in the room for a while before enjoying pre-dinner drinks at Gustav's Bar. Decent red wine, good service and a steady VP session are a winning combination. We decided that we did not want to go far for dinner tonight so give Sugar Factory a chance. The food is all very tasty, the atmosphere is pleasant enough and service is fine, although our server seems overworked. A shared deep fried mac and cheese, salad, pizza and dessert costs $51 + tip. Not bad at all. I leave Mrs T in the room and take care of a little financial housekeeping downstairs. The plan is for more gambling but nothing draws me in. Perhaps it's just a 6th night feeling but I decide to join Mrs T for an early night. Wednesday 2 October Last day in Vegas. We hop in the car for the short journey to Orleans. I have plenty of Boyd comps and it's not impossible that we will stay at Orleans on a future trip, so trying out the buffet seems a reasonable idea. I also have a $5 freeplay offer I must redeem! The buffet exceeds expectations. Everything is clean, service is fine and the food choice is excellent. I can cope with paper napkins. The fruit options are not as extensive as some places but they are good enough. The dessert choice is really good with a patisserie selection that beats anything offered by Bellagio, Wynn and others. $7.99 and no tax paying with points is hard to beat. We have a good look around the casino. We have been here a few times before but want to explore a bit further. There is nothing in the actual casino to put us off staying here, or at least nothing on a Wednesday morning. Time for more VP volatility with more Bonus Deluxe. Mrs T is on fire with the quads and records a $250 profit before we move on. One quad keeps me ahead $50 so a good session. We give a little back at BP before deciding to move on. Next stop is Gold Coast for more STP. Full pay JOB with STP is an attractive option but I continue to get the multiplier on crappy hands. Mrs T fares better and we leave with just a very small loss between us. Back at Paris we finish packing and preparing for the journey home. We still have the afternoon free so drive out to Green Valley Ranch, another new stop for us. Very nice, in an ornate European style, rather than the modern clean lines of Red Rock and M Resort. After taking a good look around we settle at one of the many banks of good VP. The plan is to invest $100 each in Bonus Deluxe and then switch to JOB if we lose that. We are in the black for the trip and want to keep it that way. $100 each is duly lost. Mrs T adds another $50 at JOB but I finally hit a quad to recover $20. Not great for our final session. We make an early exit for the airport, stopping to fill the car on the way. I discover I do not know how to open the petrol cap cover and have to ask a fellow driver for assistance. Refuelling is completed, the car is returned and we are on the shuttle bus to McCarran. It's a nice, stress-free way to end the trip. The lounge at LAS is fine for a few snacks and drinks before the flight. We have seats 1A/K in First again and, once again, an unrenovated cabin. After a meal it's time to get the bed made for a few hours sleep before breakfast and arrival at Heathrow. Final gambling figures - BJ +$1762 Poker +$63 Craps +$100 VP -$1111 Total +$814 Not a huge profit but good to have a winning trip after 2 consecutive losing trips. VP was tough, as it usually is. Without a Royal Flush, a significant loss is almost inevitable, especially playing some of the short pay machines on the strip. VP is the gambling entertainment we pay for. I always have hopes of making a profit at the table games, although that does not always work out! For the first time in a long time we do not have a trip booked. We'll just settle down at home for a few weeks and see how we feel.