This is my long and probably boring trip report. You can find the pictures I refer to at: http://picasaweb.google.com/buckhorncamp/VegasTripForWeb# I headed out to Vegas Monday, November 10 on Allegiant Airlines from the Fort Collins/Loveland airport. I have two options to fly from my area in Colorado to Vegas. Allegiant is the only airline that flies out of the Fort Collins Airport and only flies to Vegas and back from there. I can also head down to Denver and fly from there but Allegiant is inexpensive and much closer. My round trip flight this time was about $120 with taxes. I was staying in the Excalibur this time for two reasons. My plan was to spend most of my time in the Excalibur poker room and the deal that the EX was giving me was hard to pass up. I had four nights for around $150 (standard room). My wife is not as enthusiastic about Vegas as I am so I was alone this time. My last trip in October was funded by my surprise win at a slot machine in Blackhawk, CO. This trip was being financed by winnings in Vegas on two slots and the poker table. My goal was to completely pay for the trip with poker winnings. Lofty goals perhaps, but why not try? The trip began with a series of hurdles. First the flight was delayed almost an hour. Not a big thing, but when I arrived at McCarran I decided, because I was on my own, to take a shuttle instead of a cab. I was the first on the shuttle and had a long wait as the shuttle filled. The first person to get on was a visibly drunk guy in his late 20â€™s with a CSI had on. As soon as he got on I felt he was trying to sneak on the shuttle for he did not come from the back and he just was acting weird. Anyway, the shuttle filled and the driver came on, counted heads, looked back at his tickets and asked for the person that had not given him a ticket to do so. Everyone said they had given him a ticket. Making a long story short the driver finally had to go through a process of elimination of who was going to what hotel to find out that â€œMr. CSIâ€ had not given him a ticket. The driver handled it quite well and got Mr. (drunk) CSI off the shuttle and to his supervisor so we could finally leave. I think it will be a taxi for me next time. I finally get to the Excalibur. I had never stayed here before - as I said before I booked it mainly for the price. I was booked into a standard room and I was hoping to get an upgrade to a wide-screen room but when I was checking in they wanted to charge me $80 more for the week for a wide-screen room. That was over half of what I was paying for the entire week so I said no. Got up to my room and found it not ready! There was trash still in the room and no soap or shampoo in the bathroom. I headed back down to the desk to inform them of the situation. I received an apology and a free upgrade to a wide-screen room! I was really happy about this for I do not think I would have like the beds in the standard room. I took pictures of both rooms as you can see at my link to the pictures I took on this trip. On my way back up to my room there were a lot of people waiting for the elevators. Someone said that there was only one working and there was one elevator open but dark and obviously shut down. All of a sudden a maintenance person shows up, gets on the elevator, turns it on and motions us all to get on. We get in the elevator and as the doors are shutting I ask him â€œis the elevator fixed now.â€ He answers â€œwell weâ€™ll see, this is the trial run!â€ Everyone in the elevator looked at one another and smiled nervously, gulp. No problems however. A few tips on the Excalibur rooms. I would always go for the wide-screen room, much nicer. The standard rooms are in Tower 1 and the wide-screen in Tower 2. No matter what tower you are in ask for a room that does not face Las Vegas Blvd. (Tower 1) or Tropicana (Tower 2). My room faced Tropicana and even on the 26th floor the traffic noise was very loud! I didnâ€™t do a lot on the first night. I walked down the strip and played some video poker and that is about all. The next day I signed up for the 9 AM poker tourney at the EX. It is only a $20 buy-in â€“ I think it is the cheapest tourney on the strip. I finished just out of the money at 7th place with fifty in the event. Not too bad but I would have like to cash. I played a little more at a cash table and was up about $50 so I decided to quit and head down the strip. I took a picture of the construction of the new bar at the NYNY. You can see this also at my link above. Went down to the Palazzo and just spent some time looking around. I entered the 5 PM poker tourney at Oâ€™Sheaâ€™s. I almost made the final table but was knocked out at 11th. I ended the night playing at Billâ€™s new poker room. It is not really a room but a roped off area in front of the casino. I just wanted to see how the action was. The dealers were some of the nicest I have ever played with but I didnâ€™t do well, I was up, down, and finally finished the evening with about a $50 loss. One footnote to this day, as I was heading back to the EX through Ballyâ€™s I got hear a band called Jamm playing at the Indigo Lounge. They are simply the best lounge band I have ever heard. I would recommend checking them out on your next trip. The sign said they were there from Thursday â€“ Saturday but since this was Tuesday I donâ€™t know how accurate that is. On Wednesday I played the 9 AM tourney at the EX again and finished 12th. I then played a cash game when a weird thing happened. The PokerPro electronic table malfunctioned. I had made a raise and the when the player two positions to my right called the table froze. I have a picture of the frozen table at my link. It took a half hour to resolve the situation. I have played these tables a lot now. I really like them and have never had this happen before or after. We did receive a comp to a meal from the poker host. Later that day I went back down to Billâ€™s to try their tables again. On my first hand my Kings were cracked by a set of tens that came on the river. Everything went downhill from there I played for about three hours and finally ended up about $100 down for that evening. Headed back to the EX and caught Jamm at Ballyâ€™s for a while. Thursday was my last full day and it was a poker marathon for me. Again I started out playing the 9 AM tourney at the EX. I was the first knocked out of the tourney â€“ OUCH! It was a bad beat but those things happen. I usually really enjoy playing tournaments but this time I did much better on the cash tables. It was so early that there was no cash table going yet but there was one other person waiting to get a game going so I went over to sit with him and talk. This is how I met Patrick from France. He was new to poker so, although I am certainly not a pro, we talked different strategies for a while. A few more players showed up and we began the game. I didnâ€™t realize when we began that Patrick and I would be at this table together for over thirteen hours. To say I had fun at this table is an understatement â€“ I had a blast! This was a .50 - $1 blind table. I bought in for $50 and by the end of the night I had made over $500. Not a huge win but enough to make me even for the trip. At one time during the game Patrick, who had also bought into the game for $50 was up to $700. There are many funny stories during that marathon session. We began calling Patrick Mr. Flush because whenever there was a flush draw on the table he was in to the river â€“ and most of the time he would hit! The most memorable moment for me was with John from England who, for many hours, was the player just to my right. His play was pretty good but a little loose. I had 9 â€“ 8 of spades and called. The flop came 8-9-8 with two hearts. I have full house! John bets out and I call, everyone else folds. Another heart comes on the turn, John bets out strong, I just call trying to trap. The river is a heart! John goes all in â€“ Iâ€™m thinking he has the A of hearts. There is no possible straight flush on the table so I call the all-in. There is over six hundred dollars in this pot, by far the biggest of the evening. We turn over our cards â€“ John has the 9-8 of clubs â€“we both have the same hand! We looked in disbelief at each others hand, then turned and looked at each other, and then just started laughing and literally beating on each other, calling each other a SOB and laughing till we almost cried. Some of the others at the table who had not been paying attention to the hand thought we were mad! The next morning I check out of the room and went and played poker for a few hours until I had to leave. Again the plane was delayed and after we boarded the pilot came back and made the announcement that there had been and electrical problem and they had almost decided not to use this plane but they thought it would be ok now â€“ thanks, that was really reassuring! Made it back fine and I canâ€™t wait to go back. I didnâ€™t quite make my goal. I didnâ€™t cover all of my expenses with winnings. I am out of pocket for about $400 for flight, room, and food. I did bring all of the money I took for gambling back with me. I am still ahead totally from my last two wins at Blackhawk and Vegas. If I had stuck to cash games at the EX this time I think I would have had bigger wins. I am planning on heading back either Feb. or March of next year and try my strategy again.