Tripreport Oslo-Las Vegas, March 06-21 (LA March 10-15) Since I quit my job earlier this year, and still havenâ€™t got myself a new job, I decided to take off for a 2 weeks Vegas-vacation all by my self. The air fare (round trip for $655) offer was to good to be passed on, and Monday march 6 I was off to my local airport. When I checked in the counter person asked to see my credit card, something I found quite odd, since I didnâ€™t travel with electronic ticket this time. - I just wanted to check if you had remembered it, I think it will be crucial for you after 14 nights in Las Vegas, she said, quite funny. And correct. Oslo-Frankfurt is the first leg of my journey, and I get seat 18A, and since 18B is vacant I have more than enough room. 30 mins of sleep makes the trip feel even shorter. The next leg is Frankfurt-Chicago, and even if the flight is almost full I have a full 2-seater by myself this time also. I am in seat 34K. This flight is scheduled to take 9 hours and 35 mins. While the dinner service is underway I continue to read the book â€œAutomobilâ€ by a Norwegian author. A well written book about a car journey in eastern Europe. After the food is served I manage to sleep 3-4 hours, and just as we touch down in Chicago I read the last page of the book. In Chicago it is only 90 mins transfer time to my next flight, but I soon realize that the Las Vegas-flight is delayed. A little piece of drama as well, on the train between the terminals. As Im holding on to my seat I can see luggage av people flying around in the train, and for a while I think we have derailed. 10 mins later we are â€œon trackâ€ again, it was just the power supply that had fell off or something like that, no big drama. 2 hours after schedule I land at McCarran airport, and I just cant wait to pick up my suitcase and take the shuttlebus over to the rental car terminal. However, I have to wait another hour for my luggage to show up, not funny. At 0215am I arrive Las Vegas Club where I will stay for the first 2 nights. It is 9,9 miles from the airport, via The Strip to Las Vegas Club. I decide to pass on the gambling, and go direct to bed, I will have enough time to drop my money later on this trip. On Tuesday march 7 I get a sugar-shock breakfast at Krispy Kreme, before I head to Mirage to test my poker skills. I want to play the 2-5NL games, but no games are running. While I wait I play a little bit of 1-2 NL. After a while the floor man announces that a 2-5 NL game is starting up, so I rush over to secure my seat. Only the dealer and an additional player is seated when I arrive to the table, and to my big surprise that other player is no other than the world series of poker champion of 2003 himself, Chris Moneymaker. For a â€œfishâ€ like me it was a new experience to play among the big star, Moneymaker, but he didnâ€™t outplay me, and I rather won money of him, than he won money of me. He played a lot of pots, but almost every pot he laid down on river, after complaining about how bad that river card had hurt him. After a while a 5-10 NL table is starting, and when Moneymaker shifts to that table the table Im at is almost empty. Its now 7pm, and I pick up my car and drive over to Bellagio. I know a couple of guys that are first time visitors of Vegas, and I enter the casino to look for them. And, no surprise, hanging at the Craps table, there they are. They are having fun, allthough losing most their money on the craps tables. They are out of battery on both cell phones and laptop pcs, so I offer them a short drive down to Fryâ€™s where they buy the needed power converters. I drive the boys back to Bellagio, and then head back to downtown Las Vegas. I arrive my room at LVC just before 9pm. I catch up on the latest American Idol-gossip, and based upon what I hear I believe that Mendisa can reach far in this years show. I grab a Subway sandwich at Plaza, and head for the blackjack table at LVC. The drink service at LVC is as always pretty fast, and the Bud Lites just keep coming, after a while I switch to Captain Morgans instead. I play single deck blackjack, and I kiss my money goodbye as I see the dealer make 3 consecutive blackjacks â€“ with ONE deck! I havenâ€™t seen that before â€“ luckily. After that I give up on the blackjack and sit down by a slot machine. I remember vaguely 20 dollars, 100 dollar, another 100 dollars, and when I wake up the next morning I am quite concerned that I have blown my gambling budget the first real night in Vegas. I went to bed around 06am, so with 7 hours of slot machine gambling, I fear the worst. When I counted my money, much to my surprise I found out that I was 100 dollars up, including the blackjack losses, not to bad. I check out from Las Vegas Club, $100 for 2 nights. I also found out that I had earned â€œlots of compsâ€, possibly because of my 7 hours of slot play. At 3pm I check in at Stratosphere , where I have a 2 nights comped stay. To my big irritation the wireless internet doesnâ€™t work, and after talking to 3 different people on housekeeping I give up on it, and ask myself to never book Stratosphere again because of this. I play some 1-2NL at Stratosphere, and leave a few dollars ahead. Pick up my car, and drive down to Mirage, where I enter the $130-rebuy tournament at 7pm. In the rebuy period it doesnt happen much at my table, but I have managed to double my start stack, and I buy one add-on. The next couple of hours I go on a completely dry spell card wise. I have to do steals with hands like K4 and J9, and when where are down to about 12 players I have the least amount of chips in the tournament. Then I pick up KK, and a guy raises before its my turn. I reraise, and he quickly puts me allin, and when he has TT and doesnâ€™t improve I double up. I reach the final table, and have a nice reputation on the table, I push all in at least 10 times, without geteting a call, and all in was also my last move. From the button I push all in with KTo, and I get insta-called by smallblind who has JJ. I donâ€™t improve and I finish 7th. It was 5 prizes, and 5th paid $1,200, so I regretted that last move. I go back to room 41626 at the Stratosphere, cant reccomend that room to anyone else, a fan outside the room is making some noise, and makes it hard to fall asleep. The view isnâ€™t very good either. Thursday march 9 0930am â€“ I wake up with a bang, when an alarm clock at my night stand table is yelling at me. I hate it when room service doesnâ€™t reset the alarm clocks. I take a quick shower, and head over to Orleans where I plan to play in a $40 Omaha H/L-tournament. It is very rare that I play that game, and I have never played it live. It doesnt go very well, and I also try my luck on some slot machines and cash games Omaha H/L at the Orleans, without any success. I decide to head back to the Stratosphere. I need a winning session, and I jump down at a blackjacktable, and tip the waitress $10 and ask her to keep the Bud Lites coming. The beer flows, and I quickly turn my grumpy mood into a happy mood. After loosing my first 10 hands at the table the luck also turns, and I am actually having a good time at the table. A couple of guys from Queens, New York, and a MC-dude from Oklahoma makes it a fun table. I play and drink from 11pm to 0430, and when I quit I am loaded with beer and a couple of bucks ahead. Friday march 10 Waking up with a BANG again. Not the alarm clock this time, this time it is the fire alarm or something like that. At 0830 I cant sleep anymore, and luckily it was a false alarm. I shower, pack my stuff, and leave Las Vegas around 10am. Head south on I-15, and make a quick stop to eat and shop in Primm, NV. Arrive LA during rush hour, but I check in at my hotel as early as 4pm. I stayed at the Ramada Inn in Commerce just south of LA, I can recommend that hotel. Wireless internet worked flawless. After checking my email, I decide to rest a little bit, and around 6pm I fall asleep. I donâ€™t remember much, but next time I wake up it is 4am, so there went my first night in LA. I guess Las Vegas had made me more tired than I realized. Saturday march 11 Play a tournament on Commerce casino. Finish just outside the money â€“ again! I go allin as second chippie, and chipleader calls me with AKo. No help to him, he doesnâ€™t get an ace or a king, but after 2 clubs on the flop, runner-runner clubs give him the higher flush. That was a bitter exit! Play some more cards, no losses and no winnings. Sunday march 12. Just washing some clothes, and play some poker at Bicycle casino, nothing much exiting happening this day. I am quite impressed though, by the size of the card rooms, both on Commerce Casino and the Bike. Monday march 14 Shop around a little bit during the day, after that I og to Bicycle Casino to play in the $550 â€Winning on the greenâ€-tournament. I double up in my second hand, and Im off to a great start. I last for a while, but with 40 out of 262 players left I am shortstacked and try to win a pot with AKs, only to be called and beaten by a guy holding JJ. I drive directly back to Las Vegas after this, and play some poker at Imperial Palace, where I have a reservation, but since I am 1 day early I cant get to my room yet. Play poker all night, and finally can get my room at 9am. I like the casino and the dealertainers at Imperial Palace, but the hotel I really donâ€™t like at all. Room 13102 is no quiet room, which is what I asked for. The noise from the parking garage outside is annoying, and when the maintenance offices are located just outside your room it isnâ€™t QUIET at all, especially not during the day, and I had to sleep from 9am to 4pm, since I had been up all night. Ugh. This is my last stay ever at the IP. Tueday march 15 Woke up at 4pm. Had a shower, and walked southbound down the Strip. Grabbed a Fatburger, and continued past MGM, and took a left on Tropicana to check out the new Hooters Casino. The casino was extremely HOT and NOISY. A band was playing just by the tables, and every time the band played some loud tunes the music in the casino was turned even higher, so I was able to pick up a nice headache in addition to my Donald Trump-millioniser winnings I got down there. Cabbed back ($10) to IP, and hit the pillow at midnight. Wednesday march 16 Sleep till 10am, and then check out and head to Wynn to pick up 50 points on my Red Card and some free lunches. After hitting 50 points, the clerk at the players booth explains that I need 150 points. Doh! I guess there is no such thing as a free lunch, but I put my card and a $20 bill into a $1-machine and pray for some luck. 5 mins, 200 points and $150 in winnings later I can tell the clerk that I got my free lunch anyway I am getting hungry, and since I have heard that the Peppermill should be such a nice place I decide to give it a try. I didnâ€™t feel for meat, so I ordered banana pancakes, and what a size to those pancakes. The 2 pancakes I got was big enough to feed a small African village, and I couldnâ€™t even finish one third of the portion. The place it self was so-so, service was very good, prices high, and the interior was extremely tacky. Looked like a Bulgarian disco anno 1985-style. I drive down to 4 Queens downtown, where the extremely nice casino host, Lillian Guthrie has helped me to secure a room to a very nice price. Most of the hotels was full or extremely over priced the coming weekend, so I was delighted to get a room for $59/night. After checking in I decide to play some slots and some Pai Gow-poker. Drinking with both hands, so before I know it I am getting quite drunk in the afternoon. Later that night my two friends from Bellagio finally takes a de-tour from the Strip, and visit downtown. They love to play craps, and since I want to learn I join them. After 5 mins I have lost a few dollars, but also getting yelled at several times from the craps dealers, and my friends were shocked to see how bad the casino employees could treat their customers. Compared to Bellagio this was like day and night they said. I didnâ€™t care, I was more interested in booze. We take a look at the lights show outside in Freemont street. Its about time they renew these shows soon, isnâ€™t it? We head down to Golden Gate, and buy a football full of beer each. Drinking beer with a straw is highly recommended if you dont want to remember what your first name is. Outside Golden Gate I talk to a homeless guy, and give him some money, and when my two friends finds out they invite him with us, over to the Plaza. They hire him (to write casino reviews for their site www.pokersiden.no) and become good friends, while I decide to drop some money at a Blackjack table. Things are a bit blurry for me right now. After that we head over to Las Vegas Club where I go on a winning streak at the blackjack tables, and late-late-late I stumble in to my room N-821 at the 4 Queens. Thursday march 17 I wake up around noon, and I am extremely hung over. Since I have promised to pick up my friend, Viggo, at the airport later that night I cant do what really want; drink more, but I have to stay sober all day. Grab the car, drive over to Inâ€™nâ€™Out and eat a delicious double-double. Best burger in the universe! I do some shopping, and when it gets dark I head over to McCarran to meet Viggo. 1 hour late his America West-flight arrives, and after showing him some parts of the Strip Inâ€™nâ€™Out comes to the rescue again. We head downtown, and play some blackjack at LVC, and drink some booze. Head to bed around 2am. Friday march 18 Woke up at 9am, and quickly drove over to Wynn to have some free lunches. The buffet at Wynn was very good, and I am quite sure it is well worth the price for those prefering to pay for their meals We then head over to Stratosphere, where we do the Big Shot. It never fails. It is always nerve wrecking and funny. To me, riding the Big Shot is a Vegas-tradition that I HAVE to do each time I visit Vegas. We play some more blackjack, and then head over to Stardust where we watch the Rick Thomas magic show. Quite funny, not the worst I have seen, but also far from the best Ive seen. We have a dinner reservation at the Great Moments Room (GMR) at LVC @9pm, and after the Rick Thomas show we head downtown to do some gambling first. When the clock hits 7pm I am really hungry, and also starting to get a bit intoxicated, so we head over to GMR 2 hours early. Luckily we could get a table, and boy-o-boy the food was good! I had a $100 comp for the restaurant, but with 2 salads and 2 main courses, plus drinks and wine the bill still totalled just under 90 dollars. We tipped an additional 20 dollars, the service was exceptional, and I really want to go back to GMR next time Im in Vegas! We play some more after dinner, and decided to have a quick glance at the lights show on Freemont street. As I watch I suddenly feel a set of hands grabbing my shoulders, and I get pretty scared, I remember thinking, wow, is this how it feels to be robbed. But, I wasnâ€™t robbed, it was just the homeless guy from the 2 nights before that wanted to say hello. He told me that for the money he got from us he had been able to rent a cheap room, and by having an address he could also get a job. Wow, I am not sure if this was just a tear dropping story he made up to get some more money, but it sure felt pretty good to make a difference to a guy on the shadow side of life. I gave him $10 to buy some booze and headed over to the Plaza with my friend Viggo, for some late night poker. Got to bed around 0330 that night. Saturday march 18 Slept till almost noon, and had to hurry down to Plaza to play the MM3 T2V-poker tournament. I am not the most active person on this board, but it sure was fun to meet up with you guys. I didnâ€™t last long in the tournament, but I still had fun. My 88 was beaten by KK, even though a 8 hit the flop, the miracle K showed up on river to save my opponent. After the poker we went to Upper Deck on LVC, and had a mediocre burger. Back to Plaza again, some poker, then some blackjack. I had to pas on a really nice offer from Sin, as Viggo and I had to cab to Sahara to watch the show Buck Wild. I think it was a funny show. *spoiler* When the midget comes out of Dolly Partons skirt, imitating Kenny Rogers singing â€The Gamblerâ€ I screamed of laugher, it was so funny. I was even able to â€œlow-fiveâ€ the midget after the show. I love short people. If anyone knows more Vegas-shows with short people I would love to hear about them After the show we cabbed to IP, where I lost money to â€œMadonnaâ€ and â€œMichael Jacksonâ€ before â€œElvisâ€ came to the rescue, and I could almost recover my losses. A few hotels and casinos later we hitched a cab back to downtown, Viggo had an early flight back to San Francisco Sunday morning. Sunday march 19 When I wake up, Viggo is gone, and as I am packing my stuff and taking a shower I get a text message from him, telling that he is safe and back in San Francisco. I check out from 4Queens, and do a little bit of sightseeing in my car. The view from Las Vegas Boulevard, 15 miles north of town is amazing! Then drive south strip to South Coast, the casino is nothing special to me. Drive to Las Vegas Outlet to buy some clean underwear, donâ€™t wanna spend my last days in Vegas doing laundry. The traffic up The Strip is massive, but I donâ€™t mind it, I just play the radio real loud and do a lot of people watching Around 7pm I check in at Aladdin, room 1644. Nothing special to look at outside the window, but I must admit that I enjoy the spacious bathroom in this hotel. Spend a few hours reading emails, and head down to check out the casino, go to bed around 3am. Monday march 20 My last full day in Vegas, and I get up at 10am. I woke up from construction noise, it was quite loud. I nosebleed, I guess it is the dry air and air conditions that makes me do that, I never do it outside of Las Vegas. Does anyone know? Leave my room around noon, to get something to eat, and walk the strip. Some slotmachines make me change my mind. I like the Drew Carey-machines, and hit the â€œBig Ballsâ€-bonus a few times. While I play I also get approached by a casino host, her name was Rose, and just out of nowhere she comped me with a VIP-line pass to the lunch buffet, plus $30 food credit to the Zanzibar coffee shop! Wow, I was so impressed, and almost felt like a VIP! I cashed out from the slot machine and went to the buffet. The VIP-pass paid off, the line was quite long. I had pizza, pasta, mashed potatoes, turkey, quesadillas, meatballs and then some more pizza, then I headed for the desserts the buffet was very good, I think the 2 buffets I visited on this trip are both among the top 5 buffets in Vegas. Then went over to Barbary Coast, I have a reservation for 2 weeks there this summer, and since I have read that they have remodelled all their rooms I decided to take a look. I was locked it to have a look at room 242, and wow that plasma screen looks nice on the wall. The bathroom looks just like a closet, at least compared to the bathrooms at Aladdin, but for the price we are paying ($1100 for 14 nights) I think that we will stick to Barbary Coast. I really like the location of that hotel, even if it smells quite funky in the bar area down there. A trick at BC is that if you want to have a strip/Bellagio fountains-view, then request the even numbered rooms, example 202, 204 etc. I also hit some nice wins at the Donald Trump millioniser machines at BC, a win that I later that night flush down the drain on pai gow, blackjack and poker at the Aladdin hotel. Hit the pillow at 3am, and need to sleep 4 hours before I get up the next morning. Tuesday March 21 Shower, packing and waiting 20 mins to get my car from the valet. Deliver the car, hit the shuttle bus back to the airport and checks in. have to rearrange my stuff in my bag and my suitcase, the new 50 pound weight limit on luggage is a joke. It used to be 70 pounds, and those 20 punds really made the difference. I fly via Denver, Colorado and Frankfurt home, and 24 hours after I left the Aladdin I hit the ground in Oslo, Norway, it is always nice to be home, but its even nicer to think about the fact that it is only 4 months to my next Las Vegas-trip! July 21 I am back again!