I helped my friend, Brad, and his fiance, Dionne, move to Henderson and stayed for a while to enjoy the town during a freeze out in Detroit. He has played cards for a living since we were 18 (now 33) which was before it was the â€œcoolâ€ thing to do. A lot of the higher stakes games have been drying up due to the economy, so they decided to move where there are many more games. We took both of their cars packed to the gills with the hopes of getting there by 5 PM on Saturday so they could sign their lease papers. The plan was to leave around 3 AM on Friday morning. 1/9/09 Left at 5:30 AM all fueled up and decided to take a slightly longer route of going through St. Louis, and down through the southern states as opposed to through Colorado due to weather concerns. We made it through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and into Amarillo, Texas. By that time, it was about 2 AM. We were all tired, and werenâ€™t sure we could make it the whole way without rest, so we stopped in a Wal-Mart Parking lot and slept for a few hours. 1/10/09 Woke up and were on the road by 5:30 AM. As we got into New Mexico we started running into a little dusting of snow. Everyone was driving exceptionally slow, but we blew through there since we are very used to snow. By the time we were about 10 miles East of Albuquerque, we were in a full blown blizzard. I never expected that to happen in New Mexico, but by the time we got to Albuquerque there was almost no snow on the ground. Kinda odd. The rest of the drive was pretty smooth through Arizona, Hoover Dam and into Henderson. We arrived at around 2 PM, about a mile north of Green Valley Ranch and got their lease signed and moved all of their things in. They didnâ€™t bring any furniture, just all of their belongings they thought they needed. After they were moved in, we ordered some pizza from Grimaldiâ€™s and we went to pick up my rental . My buddy dropped me off at the car rental and I picked up my Dodge Charger while he picked the pizza up. Got back and ate and was very tired. I had planned on just sleeping at the apartment, but my body said â€œHell no, you need a bed!â€, so I decided to reserve a room. I called Fiesta Henderson and no one answered at reservation desk, so I made a reservation through Travelocity (thank goodness he has an air card for his laptop). About an hour later, I drove over to Fiesta and they had no record of the reservation, so we had to call customer service. They said they had no record of my reservation either, so I just got a room through the hotel. I was in my room around 11 PM and walked around the casino and played a few slots and roulette (lost about $150) and then slept for about 8 Â½ hours. 1/11/09 I woke up and tried to check out on the TV, but the remote didnâ€™t work, so I couldnâ€™t hit the menu button to check out. I checked out at the desk and grabbed a Caffe Mocha at Starbucks. My friends met up with me and we hit the car wash, since Dionneâ€™s car was the only car in Vegas with salt all over it. Had breakfast at the Omelet House. It was quite busy, which is expected for a Sunday morning. I ordered the â€œBlack Forestâ€ omelet (Ham,swiss, mushrooms) along with banana nut bread. The bread was outstanding!! Omelet was huge! I can knock out some food, but had a hard time knocking out half of it. My favorite was the sliced potatoes. They were almost like potato chips, but still somewhat soft. After breakfast we went to 3 different furniture stores and they were all closed!! What gives?? End up at Wal-Mart to pick up some essentials and leave my friends to check into 4 Queens to take advantage of the 3 nights for $10.96 total thanks to this message board. There was no line and was checking into 1520 overlooking Freemont, but was above it. The room had been remodeled recently and was well above my expectations. I tried to turn the TV on the see what the football scores were, but TV didnâ€™t work. Left the room and walked around downtown for a while. Stopped into the Plaza, played a $50 Sit & Go. Came in 4th, top 3 paid. Hit Binionâ€™s, got my picture taken with the $1 million and bought in for a $55 buy-in tournament. Had a little over Â½ hour, hit the coffee shop and had a French onion soup and a very tasty sandwich (canâ€™t remember name). Showed up for tourney about 15 minutes late. Didnâ€™t get much in the way of cards. Played about 2 hours and busted out in about 20th out of 40. Went to room around 10:30 pm. 1/12/09 Slept til about 3:30 AM and woke up to a call from Brad. He was going to head down to Bellagio to play for a while. I agreed to meet up with him. Told the front desk about the tv issues and they said they would be right up there to fix the problem. Got to Bellagio a little after Brad did and he was talking to a couple of guys we know from back home. One that moved out to Vegas about 3 years ago and the other is a professional hockey player that was visiting while the team was out on a west coast swing. It was nice to catch up with them, then they went into the poker room to play (a little too high of stakes for me), so I grabbed a coffee and watched Sportscenter in the sports book while they played some $30/$60. Bred cashed out about an hour later and cashed out about $350 more than he started. I told him I was going to take him somewhere he has never been for breakfast. Ellis Island $4.99 steak and eggs. He was impressed with the value and said he was certain he would stop there again. Brad said he had to go furniture shopping, so I hit Sunset station for some 4/8 limit. Played from 9 am until 7 pm, cashed out up $170 went bck to 4 queens for dinner. Wasnâ€™t sure where to go so I hit Magnoliaâ€™s coffee shop at 4 Queens for the 10 oz. prime rib dinner for $7.95. Very disappointing. The best part of the meal was the root beer. Hit Binionâ€™s for some 3/6, played for about an hour and cashed out about $50 to the good side. 1/13/09 I went furniture shopping with Brad and Dionne all day. I needed a break from gambling, so I helped move their king size bed and helped build some office furniture. After a long day, I left their apartment at 11 pm and hit Binionâ€™s 3/6 for about 4 hours. Cashed out up a hundred. Hit the silver strike slot at 4 Queens and got 5 of the coins with my $20 buy in and then hit the hay. 1/14/09 Check out in the morning and headed toward the strip for check in to Planet Hollywood. On my way down, I stopped at The Gamblers General Store to pick up a poker chip frame to display some chips I have. Hit Inâ€™nâ€™Out for Lunch. It was pretty good, but nothing like I expected from the rave reviews on the board. Afterwards, I went to the Orleans to check out the poker room. I didnâ€™t play, but I hit the sports book to by $20 on my Spartans to win the NCAA basketball tourney at 20:1. Shot over to the Planet Hollywood to check into the newly remodeled movie memorabilia room. I was pretty sharp in there. Probably too hip for me, but it made me feel the part, so I guess they did their job. Each room has a piece of movie memorabilia displayed in the room. My room had a hat worn by Harry Connick, Jr. in â€œLittle Man Tateâ€. Never seen it. Tried to turn the tv on, but the only way to do that was hitting the power on the actual tv. Even with this, you couldnâ€™t change the channel or lower the volume so I had to call maintenance. 3 hotels and no TVs worked. Went down to get my players card and match play coupon book. I really like the casino. It feels like Vegas Strip. Hit the sports book to watch the Spartans beat Penn St and then hit Earl of Sandwich for some baked potato soup and â€œThe Originalâ€ sandwich (roast beef, cheddar cheese, and horseradish). Very good and only $9. Signed in for an $80 tourney and made it to final table but short of the cash. Knocked out when my two tens were smashed by aces. I had been playing a lot of limit poker, so I was pretty pleased with the result in this no-limit tournament. Went to the ports book to catch the last goal of the game to put the Wings up with 9 minutes to go and stave off the attacking Anaheim offense. Good sports day for me!! Since I had a nice time on Monday, I decided to hit the poker room at Sunset Station. This was one of the oddest nights and craziest games I have been involved in in a long while. Half of the players were ultra loose, but just kept hitting cards. It was ridiculous. Then one guy got pretty drunk and obnoxious. The whole dynamic changed when he was f-bombing it and everyone started to get cranky. I finally got knocked out of my initial $100 at around 5:30 am when some guy called me down with second pair and hit for 2 pair on the river to my top pair and kicker when my AK hit the K on the flop. That hand typified the madness of the evening. Oh well. Got back to Planet Ho, threw 20 into a slot and hit for $100. Cashed out my buy-in for the night. 1/15/09 Woke up at 11 am when everyone decided to call. Went down to casino and played my $25 match play on red at the roulette table. It hit. I tipped the dealer $5 so I turned my $25 into $70. Good start to the day. Went to Spice Market Buffet for lunch and I then went to the hotel lobby and walked through â€œHollywood Obsessionsâ€. It is a movie/music memorabilia store. It has the feel of a museum in a way and it was very enjoyable just to browse the store. While walking out of the store, I got a call from my business partner about an issue at one of my businesses. I was hoping not to think about work for the whole trip. After about an hour, I hung the phone up and caught most of the Purdue-Northwestern game. What a brutal game and how Northwester blew that 17 point lead, I will never understand. Got a call from Brad wanting to meet up at South Point Casino. I cleaned up and met them at the casino. Dionne wanted to hit the bingo hall. I hate bingo, but they have these computers that will play for you and you can just have a drink and yell bingo when the machine tells you. Both brad and I hit for $100 and we decided to hit the steak house (Eldorado, I believe) with our winnings. We had crab cakes for appetizer, and I ordered the bone-in rib-eye, Brad had the filet trio and Dionne had their lobster special. The service was impeccable and the food was almost as good. For the three of us, without drinks, the bill came to $170 with tip. Brad wanted to hit Bellagio, so Dionne and I went back to Sunset Station to play some more 4/8. Dionne left around 3 am and I stayed until the game ended around 5am. I think I was down about $40. 1/16/09 Got about 3 hours sleep and woke up to check out. And then walked around desert passage or whatever it is called now. Needed to waste some time, so I met up Brad and Dionne to see how the apartment was coming along, to print out my e ticket and then we said our goodbyes. I hit Sunset again and threw $20 in a slot, won $100. Hit another machine and cashed out at $250, went to one more and my ticket went up to $400. Lost a little bit and cashed out for a total of $300. Nice little run. I then hit fat burger for a turkey burger and then rather than playing cards I went to see Gran Torino at the theater. It was very good. By that time, I turned the car in and made it to my gate. The flight was delayed about Â½ hour, so I put $20 in a Wheel of Fortune and cashed out $40. My last win in Vegas! Boarded the plane for a smooth flight home and walked out of the plane to -14 degrees at 5 am in Detroit!! Welcome to reality!!! Came back with a fair amount of money and it feels like I actually had a vacation. Final Thoughts I will probably never drive to Vegas again. Unless it is part of a planned vacation with stops. Why arenâ€™t there any furniture stores open on Sunday in Henderson? Or did we pick all the wrong stores? Why didnâ€™t any TV work without calling for them to get fixed? Just want to use for check out. I will always rent a car in Vegas from now on. I think a week is a good amount of time for a visit. I donâ€™t feel like I have to gamble the whole time. I could see myself moving to Vegas at some point of my life.