After my last trip to Caesar’s Windsor, where I hit three royals, I was anxious to return. Last month I went alone, but this time my DH joined me. It’s normally a 3.5 hour drive from our house, but this time we had a 1.5 hour delay because of a major accident on the OH turnpike. But we finally arrived, checked into our comped Forum Tower room and got down to the casino for the real purpose of the trip. Gambling I spent most of my time playing quarter 9/5 DDB video poker. After the terrific results I had last trip, this trip was a big disappointment. I hit only four quads on the first day, nine on the second and one on our last day. I didn’t hit any royals or straight flushes. I didn’t get quad Aces. I only hit three bonus quads, two with the kicker. But I didn’t play as much VP as usual this trip because of shoulder pain. Getting old is tough. Impossible to know if I would have done better if I had played more. Last month when I was there, there was a dollar progressive that was over $6K. I figured it was a good play, but the machines don't have DDB or DB, the games I have studied most. They have JoB, TDB and Bonus Poker and perhaps one other game. I thought BP would be a good option, but since I don't normally play it, I didn't want to risk dollar play on a game with an unfamiliar strategy. So I practiced 8/5 BP and returned and checked the pay table. I was quite surprised to find that it was an odd pay table, not the normal 8/5 or even 7/5. It is: 1,1,3,6,8,10,25,40,80,50,250. So the normal BP 2 for 1 payoff for 2 pair was not there, but it paid 6 for one for a straight, 8 for one for a flush and 10 for one for a full house. At first glance, that seemed an OK variation, but after checking my VP for Winners software, I found that the loss of 2 for 1 on the two pair really dooms this pay table. With a $4K royal, the EV is a poor 95.78%; with a $5K royal it moves up to 96.22% and with a $6K royal it is only 96.73%. So I'll no longer be tempted by this progressive. I don't think it could ever get high enough to make it a positive game. I've never before seen such variations in a pay table that still retained the familiar name. I know casinos have the option of choosing which pay table they want to offer, but can they alter individual pay lines? When VP was too painful, I went to play Let it Ride, the only table game I play. It’s not hard to find a $5 table there. On Wednesday night, I was playing between a mother and daughter. The mother in the 7th seat was complaining about how much she had lost throughout the day, but she started hitting when I got there. She was dealt trip fours, but didn’t get the 4th one. But the big excitement was yet to come. Later she was dealt the QJ9 of clubs. She pulled back one bet, saying she just wasn’t having much luck. The first dealer card up was the 8 of clubs. She tucked her cards and the dealer turned up the 10 of clubs for a straight flush. This casino has a progressive jackpot for royal flushes at several different games (LIR, Caribbean Stud, Crazy Four Poker and perhaps others. ) The progressive was over $122K and she got 10% of that amount plus the regular payout for the LIR hand. She ended up getting over $14K for that hand and the other players all got a $300 envy bonus. It took more than 30 minutes for them to verify the win and pay us all. Later we learned that a woman playing Crazy 4 Poker earlier in the day got a royal flush, but hadn’t played the dollar bonus bet to qualify for the progressive jackpot. I know some gambling gurus say that the dollar bonus bet is a bad bet with a high house edge, but I’m not going to cheap out on a dollar and lose the chance at $122K for a RF or $12K for a SF. Over the course of three days, I was up a little on LIR, but not much. My DH played some VP with me, but he tires of it quickly. He played some blackjack, but mostly played Texas Hold ‘em in the Poker room. Poker room play doesn’t provide much in the way of comps, but it’s what he likes. He didn’t come home a winner either. VMB Meet Wednesday afternoon we met up with loonar (from this board) and her DH. We had a very enjoyable chat and arranged to have dinner at the Diamond Lounge. Things got complicated when my DH couldn’t find his wallet. After lots of tearing things apart and getting casino security involved, he remembered that he had locked it in the room safe when he went down to the exercise room. As I said earlier, getting old is tough. This was a losing trip for both of us. Let’s hope the next one is better. We’re heading back next month for a Vince Gill concert.