Well, to start, my winning streak has been snapped at one trip! My royal flush streak has been stopped at 4 trips. My trip started poorly with a trip to the doctor on the day before I was to leave. I had been feeling ill, and was in no mood to be sick in Las Vegas! The doctor told me I had an infection, and needed antibiotics. He also said, "Very important that you stay out of the sun while on this medication". That's great doc.......I'm going to sunny Las Vegas, and have to stay inside all day? I was pizzed about that, but at least I would be getting better. Well, over the next two days, I simply didn't feel myself. Being sick in Vegas, simply put, sucks. I felt run down, and like someone was punching me in the kidneys for the next 60 hours. To top that off, I took a pretty good sized beat down on day one, and I NEVER allow that to happen. This trip was heading down a crappy path. I arrived mid-morning on Thursday May, 23, and picked up a Thrifty Mitzubishi Galant for the week. ($126 out the door) In the dark garage of the rental center, the car looked bright red. The first time I picked it up from the valet at Orleans, it looked orange-ish, so I wasn't sure it was mine! What a boob! Anyway, I check into my room, unpacked, and.......laid down for an hour. Exciting stuff. I did muster up the moxie to hit the casino, and I'll blame my state of "illness" for my not having the kind of start I am used to. I tread softly on day one every trip. (I never want to come from behind after day one) This day, I took a sound beating to the tune of several hundred dollars, by the end of day two, it was over two grand. Sick, and bleeding money: Bad combo. One of the things I had planned on doing, was seeing the M casino, and having their buffet. I'm not a big buffy person, but that one gets some good reviews, so I wanted to give it a whirl! I thought the place was nice. The staff was very friendly, and I enjoyed my time there. When it was time to eat, I noticed the buffet line was about 3/4s of a mile long. I got in line, but I should have known it was a mistake when the "comp/VIP" line was 30 deep! My line didn't even move for 10 minutes!!!! Thanks, but no thanks. I went to the deli and had a Rueben with a basket of fries that was large enough for a family! Seriously....I never put a dent in it. Fri/Sat were pretty much stay at Orleans days. Having to stay out of the sun really put a dent in my trip plans. The good news was, the gambing evened out. I was not gaining ground, but the losses stopped. I was, for all intents and puposes, just playing for free. Still, being down over 2 grand sucked. Now, again on Friday, I thought I would brave a buffet. The Orleans had their seafood offerings this evening, so I thought, "why not"? I'll tell you why not: Kids and hogs! Holy Christ six ways from Sunday! Let's just say that this room is not accoustically pleasing when it comes to deadening screams, yells, cries, etc from little children and babies. In all my years I have never been anywhere to eat where people didn't at least make an effort to shut their brood up, or remove them from the scene. Not here. Not at the Slop 'N Trough. I had to laugh at myself though, for I was not in some 5 star French restaurant! This is the trade off I get for eschewing the folly of the Strip. I can have obnoxious drunken 20 somethings or families with loud kids. I'll take the kids. I had a couple plates of mediocre food, and the obligitory crab legs. I noticed there was a huge line waiting for the legs, and it was because people fish through the bin looking for the "best" of the legs to stockpile on their plate. I don't get that......grab a pile and go. Sunday I decided to venture off to the Strip. I had wanted to do a "Strip crawl", and pick up shirts and baseball caps at some of the nicer joints, but having to stay out of the sun was going to make this a no-go. Perhaps just nab a couple? I pulled into Bellagio, and went inside. There is always a palpable difference between the local places and the Strip. As much as I feel more at home among the working man of the local joints, I have a great appreciation for the "beautiful people", as well. Opening the door to the ambiance that is the Bellagio is always a nice feeling. Their opulence is never lost on me. The smell is always fresh, the machines a little brighter and seemingly cleaner, and the clientel more refined. But, alas, even the Mecca of Mecca has it's soft white underbelly. Perhaps it was the timing of my trip, or maybe the continuing trend of people not giving a shit how they look in public? It just looked to me like there was an inordinate amount of people "dressed for the beach" this trip. I know it was a holiday, and school is out for the 'twenies kids', and it is almost summer, so maybe I'm over-reacting? I just think people are taking their personal comfort a little too far in public. But, these people are having a good time, and are not bothering me, so live and let live. I did notice the line for their buffet was about as long as a ride a Disney! How anyone has the patience to stand in line for an hour or more to eat, is beyond me!!! My Strip crawl ended up consisting of Bellagio and Caesars Palace. Frankly, because I got beat up at both of them. I was now down about 3 grand for the trip. Ouch! (Never got no stinkin' hats, either!) Honestly, I have zero comfort level playing at Caesars. They know I don't belong there. Even the dealers know they are better than me, and that sucks! Makes for a tough gamble. I crawled back to Orleans, and spent my time with the societal unwashed that met my strata a little better. I made back some of my lost loot from my earlier excursion, and was feeling a little better, both mentally, and physically. Monday I went downtown and gave them some play. Had a great time at MSS with a killer craps roll. Lasted about half an hour. About 20 minutes in, this woman came up and said, "Can I sqeeze in here?" A Hawiian guy next to me said, "He's on a roll, he needs his space, you'll have to wait". She protested a little and walked to other spots on the table, and no one budged for her. (It was a pretty full table) She came back around a couple rolls later trying to get in again: "You can make room for me in here!" The guy tells her again, "No....we can't", and I said, "You need to go away". I know it sounds mean, and probaly was, but I didn't need her in my back pocket while I'm trying to throw the dice on a crowded table. Well, a couple more rolls down the road, she manages to finally get the mercy of someone on the end of the table, and squeezes in. She tosses a nickel in the center of the table and calls out some stupid prop bet. I set the dice, and promply toss a seven out. I just shook my head. I'm not blaming her, it is what it is. But here's the thing: The second after it happened, SHE LEAVES THE TABLE!!!!! Now, I WAS pissed! I called after her, "Are you happy now??? Do you work for this place???" I seriously thought of the movie, "The Cooler" when she did that move. I hit one 4OK here for a $2 scratcher. I gave it to the girl at the cage when I cashed out later that night. I got a comp to 777 for a steak dinner, and it was great as always. The joke of the gambling evening was the I would buy in for $500 at the craps table, lose about $300, and then tell them I was going to play BJ and win it back and come back in a few minutes to try again. I did that about 5 times, and the crew always laughed! I finally got 'em in the end! The oddity of this trip was that I seemed to fair very well at blackjack. The past several YEARS have been very ugly in that department. I did still have a couple really bad sessions where nothing went right, including one at the end of the trip. Tuesday morning I was about two hours from leaving, and played some craps. I had another great roll, and the Orleans has a bet called Replay. It doesn't hit very often, but it's a side bet you can make at the start of each shooter's roll. I made a $5 wager on this bet. Basics of the bet: You have to make the same "point" at least 3 times to be paid. 4 times, and you get much more. This bet doesn't hit too often. I made the wager a few times over the course of the trip, and it never was won. Well, this roll, I set, and hit, the point of 6 three times. That was a 75:1 payoff. Two other players at the table had the bet, so they were happy, too. The next roll, I hit the 6 again, so I was in line for a potential 100:1 payoff. I never did hit it the fourth time, but I had a nice roll of inside numbers that filled my rack with a few chips. I played blackjack after that, and made about $900. My best session in years at that game. I was pretty pumped about that, and it reduced my losses substancially for the trip. I was happy about that, and went to grab a bite to eat before leaving for home. After eating, I went to say goodbye to the craps crew. One of the guys was telling me, "You aren't done yet". I told him I was, and that I was leaving the casino in two hours. He said two hours was a long time in a casino. He was right.......10 minutes later, a guy was on a little 'heater' at the table, so I hauled out $500. It was down to $250 in two minutes. Well, I knew I could erase that bad memory with a trip over to the blackjack pit. Four minutes later I was now out the whole $500. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Not the way to leave town, but that's how it was going to be. I'd come home about $3000 shorter than I came in with. Not a complete tail kicking, considering what I brought, and how far I was down after 36 hours, but not the best outcome, either. VP was better this trip, with me hitting 20 4OK, and 7 of them "good ones". The highlight of that was when I called back home to ask if my GF wanted to "play some vp"? She said yes, and we "pooled" $100. I texted ger that we were up $85 after I hit a 4OK, and then I went to .50 and a few spins later hit another 4OK! I was happy about that, but on the very NEXT play, I hit 4 3w/kicker!!! My GF pocketed $250 in 10 minutes! Whoot! I guess that's about it! Thanks for taking the time to read this garbage!