I’m going to try to change how I do trip reports since I think most people want actual figures and not too much detail. I’ve also decided to leave off the more surrealistic stuff that seems to happen to me every time I go, since it seems to upset people. I generally tip to the nearest 100, 500 or 1K depending on how well I did, so it makes for nice even numbers to remember. [This turned out being way longer than intended, if you get bored of repetition, just read day one….the others are just about the same, craps, pizza lunch, craps, steak dinner, craps.] Left Austin with a stopover in Dallas (all flights on time – good start). On the flight to Las Vegas asked for my meal to be sent to someone in cattle class, told the stewardess to pick someone that looks like they needed it. She did, but I didn’t see who. I do this every time I fly since I don’t eat when I fly (holding at almost exactly 50% whether they will do it or not). Arrived in Vega and no limo. Luckily there was zero line for taxis so wasn’t really upset. I’m a terrible flyer so just happy to be in Vegas. 3 guys all staying at MGM (and my mother who seems to love Vegas) 1 there the whole week (me) – Sat-Sat 1 there 5 days (J) 1 there 3 days (M) Arrived Saturday went over to eat at the Steakhouse at Camelot since my buddy dislikes the place but I like the food and he usually comes for the whole week but didn’t this time, so I had a chance to go there. Had the filet and the Tomato Mozzarella (essentially a type of Caprese salad). Filet was very tasty, if you like your meat charred on the outside then you should like this. The tomato mozzarella dish was okay (good enough that I’d get it again). Played brief craps at Excal – 1K in 1.5K out. Went back over to MGM and played craps. 5K in, 3.8K out. Had one of those MGM gift baskets waiting for me in my room. I think my host was a tad embarrassed about the lack of limo. Was pretty wiped from my ‘flying’ drugs so decided to call it an early night, but not before I made a 2K contribution to a few ladies college funds. Got up way too early Sunday, went to the pool. Got settled in at the adult pool, then was told it wasn’t open until later !@#$, guess they figure adults wouldn’t be up until later. Found a quiet spot at one of the other pools. Spent maybe an hour at the pool. There were heat warnings this day, and even at 9am it was liking being in an oven. I went and looked in the gym then decided I could not bring myself to actually workout. After a long shower I went and played some 1-2 no limit poker. 300 in, 600 out. Still amazes me how bad poker players are in Vegas at this level. I really just play to be social and to relax, seems mostly everyone else is so serious. It’s 1-2$!!!! Folks need to lighten up. And just because you have an ace doesn’t mean you have a good hand! Went to the food court for some pizza, seriously good pizza when you can get it fresh, if it sits out not so much. Hate reheated pizza. Luckily I got it fresh this time…very good pizza. Played some craps 3K in, 1.2K out. Went over to NYNY and played some craps 2K in, 3K out (was actually 1$ shy of 3k - somehow I tipped 1$ too much). Ate dinner at Gallagher’s. Had the filet and the Bruschetta. I always loved the Bruschetta there, but alas they must have changed chefs. Was no longer great, mediocre at best. Went back over to MGM and played craps 5K in, 12K out. Almost all made on one hand with some kid (first time playing) throwing 4 after 4 after 4. It was a $15 table and the kid made maybe $150 dollars. I threw him 4 black and he didn’t understand why. The baseman had to explain that he made me lots of money. I think the poor kid was in shock, but seemed very happy when he walked away he shook my hand way too many times. The stick was very amused. BTW this is the first and only time I think I’ve EVER seen $15 at MGM (Either $10, $25, $50 or $100). And never saw them again this trip. Spent 3.5K contributing to the ladies college funds (might have been more, sometimes I lose track of these things). Woke up Monday, still with company. I must have been very tired because I actually had to do a double take before I remembered it was for all night. I offered breakfast but was politely turned down. We did have a very nice few parting tangos however, this girl could dance! I decided to go bake by the pool. Again about an hour was all I could take. The water was at a very nice temperature though, not too cold or warm, just refreshing. Walked past the gym without even the idea of looking. After shower, back to the poker room. $300 in, 305 out. I had been close to $600 but got sucked out 2 hands in a row. My pocket aces lost to someone who caught a second pair on the river and then my straight lost to someone fishing on the river (flush). Although it happens all the time, can still be frustrating, so decided I should probably take a break. Went back to the food court for my pizza. Alas it was a tad old, but the girl knew to only heat it up for a few seconds (perhaps I go to Vegas to often? – nah!). After lunch I was going to watch one of my workmates play in one of the WSOP events, but was too lazy to go over to the RIO. I knew he was staying at Vdara so headed over that way. He didn’t answer my text so I headed over to Bellagio. I played some craps at Bellagio. 5K in, 5K out. Was down to under 1K so was very happy with breaking even! Finally got a text from my workmate that said he was entered in one of the 5K buy-ins but didn’t know if he’d be out for dinner. I went over to Aria anyway just in case he was out for dinner. Played some craps there 3K in 6K out. Went to dinner at Jean-Georges sans workmate. Had the filet and the Burrata Mozzarella. Always good meals there, love the pretzel bread they have (I could just eat that and be done with dinner). After dinner stayed and played craps 3K in 6K out. Was very happy, doubles before and after dinner! Both times had tables to myself, or just 1 other person. Went back to MGM and played Pai Gow. 2K in 0K out. Seriously had a terrible run of tiles. If I had a high hand Wong the dealer had a Bo, if I had a Gong she had a Wong. Considering I just play Pai Gow to relax and get off my feet this would have been frustrating had I not started laughing at how bad my luck was. Thankfully I had my favorite dealer, so we had a good time….mind you not 2K worth, but would have been really lousy with a bad dealer. Went and played craps 5K in 4.5K out, I felt a bad run coming so didn’t play very long. Spent 3K contributing to college funds. This night I remembered I had company but didn’t sleep too well. I think I may have worn the poor girl out by morning. Offered breakfast, turned down again. Thought about going to the pool but could not handle frying again. Showered and went over to Excal to play in their very cheap poker tournament. People still too serious but friendlier than other places. Got to the final table (not really saying much here) but couldn’t money as it just becomes a coin toss with the high blinds. Played craps at Excal, a few people at this $5 table. Bought in for 2K which seems perhaps too big for Excal as I get a lot of attention. Also I tip which seems to be highly unusual for those poor dealers, didn’t play long and came away with 2.5K. Went back over to MGM for my pizza in the food court. Pizza was not too old so not reheated. Still wasn’t bad. Got the employee discount (I guess she figured I must work there by now – this happens a lot at MGM, I’m pretty sure I resemble someone there). J was due in an hour so went back over to play Pai Gow. While I was there a lady on the Lion machine got excited and the light was flashing (the Pai Gow table is close to the machine), I thought finally, but alas she had 3 lions on the screen, but not lined up. She still won 10K though. I did more normal this time at Pai Gow 2K in 1.5K out. Although 1 hand I had the second highest pair and he had the Gee Joon pair (the highest one), still pushed on the low, but argh! Finally my buddy J arrived and we played some craps at MGM. I had 5K in and 1K out, he had 1K in and 2K out. He usually doesn’t bet unless he or I are throwing, but I can’t help myself and bet money on people just chucking the dice. Occasionally I get lucky on someone, usually not. Went to dinner at Craftsteak. I got the filet, half order of the Buffalo Mozzarella, Half order of the Tomatoes (basically creating my own Caprese salad), also go the Paprika fries. He got some sea food (halibut?). His fish was not very good, bland he said. After dinner we went and played more craps. 5K in 8K out. J had 1K in 1.1K out. Spent 1K contributing to college funds. Wednesday morning (no company this night), briefly thought about going to the gym (finally decided I should take a week off). Got up and met J over at the craps tables, but they were fairly busy. We went over to Tropicana with a nice empty table. 2K in 3.5K out – mostly on J shooting, was up to about 6K before and ugly turn. J .5K in .8K out. I make the majority of my money on hardways. J was rolling them over and over. We went back over to MGM for some pizza. Got the employee discount again. After lunch played some craps 5K in 3K out. J 1K in .5K out. Had a bad run so decided we needed a change and went over to NYNY. 2k in, 4.5 K out. J .5K in 1.3K out. Went back to MGM to wait for our friend M. Played some Pai Gow and had a great run 2K in 6K out. Probably the best I’ve ever done on tiles by far. Mostly just got lucky with a few presses. J 1k in 1K out. M got here and the 3 of us went and played craps. 5k in 5.5k out. J 1K in 2.1K out. M .8k in .5k out. My mother came in so I had to go check her in as the rooms are in my name. They woman at VIP is always very nice to my mother. We all went over to Tenders for dinner. I had the filet (surprise) and their tomato dish (another caprese salad), which they only have when the tomatoes are in season. My mother always loves this place and all the dishes were good. We stayed and played craps there (Luxor). 5k in 3k out. J 1k in 1k out. M 2k in 1k out. After that beating we decided to walk back to MGM. We stopped to play at Excal (surprised me, J hates that place). 2K in 4K out. J .5K in 1K out. M .8K in 1K out. We hit the bonus (feature) bet once, and almost hit it a second time. Actually had to wait to be paid while they made a call upstairs. They have a bell they ring when tipped, after the call the boxman seemed very happy. I didn’t notice but J said he was ringing the bell continually (poor dealers don’t seem to get tips). M & I tip VERY well when winning. I went across for the dealers which seemed to absolutely confound the young basekid. We went back to MGM and played some blackjack. 2K in 6.5K out. J 1k in 1.5k out. M 1k in 0K out. We don’t play blackjack to much anymore so this was one of the best sessions I’ve had in a LONG time. I do a modified progressive run system which got very lucky (for a change). Back to the craps table 5K in 8K out. J 1K in 1.5K out. M .8K in 1K out. I had a few hands that could have been huge, just couldn’t get over the hump. Just getting things pressed up nicely. 3.5 K contribution to college funds. Woke up Thursday morning with company. Did not ask her if she wanted breakfast, my luck this one would say yes and I’d run into mom (that would be awkward). Sent the girl on her way and went over to the craps table. It was busy so I was standing there for all of 5 mins when here comes my mother heading to the café for breakfast. I joined her there. She likes this place, a shame it is barely open any more. After sitting with her for a while I went and joined J at the now mostly empty craps table. I had just hit my first point when a guy bought in with a 50K marker. He proceeded to start laying the 4 and 10 for chocolate. I almost immediately start rolling 4s and 10s. I *almost* felt bad for the guy, after the first 20K went. But he was giving me sour faces like it was my fault he was betting against me. After I rolled, J rolled and this guy was betting chocolate on the dark side. He was also putting down ‘don’t come’ bets. J hits a lot of the same numbers in progression, and went on an all points hand. Guy lost the first 50K and was well into the second when he left cursing and grumbling under his breath. I mentioned to the dealers about Mr. sour puss, they tried to be diplomatic but I could tell they weren’t thrilled with him either (he must not tip too well). 5K in 9K out. J1K in 2K out. Went to the food court for some pizza (got the employee discount again). M finally joined us. I have no idea how much J &M contributed to college funds (I’m sure they told me, but I don’t remember), but I think it was < 1K as they do a more normal contribution. My mother said the slot machines were not being very friendly to her this trip. M had a friend staying at the Venetian so we went over there. His *friend* turned out to be two 21 year old girls he knew from a strip club in Dallas. The 5 of us went over and played craps. 2K in 3.5K out. J 1K in 2K out. M 2K in 3K out. I almost never go to the Venetian because I have philosophical differences with the owner, so I enjoy taking any money from that place. Sometime during the craps session we lost the two girls who went to do their own thing. The relationship between them and M is fuzzy (getting M to give any clear picture seems to be impossible – which is not unusual for him). We went back to the MGM and played Pai Gow. 2K in 2K out. J 1K in .8K out. M 1K in 3K out (his big win was last two hands all in). We met my mother at Craftsteak for dinner. I had the same thing I had last time (and every time) – I’m a very boring food person, sorry. Everyone liked their meals (they all had some sort of steak). We went back to the craps table and had an empty one for the 3 of us. 5K in 14K out. J 1K in 3.5K out. M 1K in 2.5K out. I had some decent hands and J had a 42 roller. Called it a night. No college fund donation tonight. It would have been wasted money as I was somewhat zombiefied. Friday morning had trouble getting out of bed. By the time I got to the craps table J was already there and someone was in my spot (yes I am one of those that try to influence the dice by setting them and controlling their flight, so can only throw in my spot). In about 20 mins the table got cold and my spot opened up. 5K in 4K out. Don’t have numbers for J. We went to get pizza at the food court. (No employee discount – very sad that I seem to have been let go without notification….then again, was hired and didn’t know it). Still no M, he must have been up late. J practices on his craps table at home MANY hours a week, so he was a tad unhappy with his throwing – although I still think his throwing is fine, but his betting sucks –so gave him a lot of positive reinforcement over lunch). Went back to craps, they were just opening a new table so nice and empty. M arrived about an hour later with his two friends in tow (I guess he did have a good night). They didn’t want to watch craps so took off. 10K in 32K out. J 1K in 3K out. M said he did okay but don’t have his numbers. M and J both had some decent hands and I had a 48 roll hand (my best of the trip). We took a break at the Pai Gow table. 5K in 3K out. J1K in 1.5K out. M 1K in 1K out. Back to craps: 10K in 3K out. Don’t have figures for my buddies as I left for a quick bite at the food court since I have to fly tomorrow I don’t eat much. After that it was craps for the rest of the night. Three table buy-ins at 15K a piece (45K) came out with 66K so a 21K win. Sent my mother off on the red eye back to Philly. Bought a LOT of company somewhere in the 5K range. Woke up Saturday and had texts from J & M that they had left for the airport. I went and played a final craps session. 27K in 0K out (15K in, then another 5K, then another 7K). Was ugly. Went and had a massage at the airport. Fell asleep in the Centurion lounge – could probably have missed my flight, but the US Open was on TV and someone got excited. Both my flights were almost right on time (told the stewardess to send my meal back, but have no idea if she did, I was out cold from Vegas to Dallas, and barely recall my flight from Dallas to Austin). I know I missed some sessions of blackjack and tiles and even craps here or there. Probably not big wins or loses. I tried to keep track of things, but with all the drinking I get a little sloppy (although admittedly I’d be sloppy even without the drinking). All in all I went home with an 18K profit (sadly this doesn’t make me even for the year). Admittedly I did spend a bit on contributing to college funds (have to get these girls an education!). And I do give away a few thousand to young people. I usually just go up to them and give them a few black chips. These are the kids that are excited about that $5 win and look at a $10 table as too expensive. I remember being there (sometimes it doesn’t seem that long ago) and a few hundred won’t change my life but it may make a young couple’s vacation a little better. Gives me a cheap thrill seeing them get excited. A couple on their honeymoon were sitting next to us one night so I paid for their dinner. I also left my host a nice tip. Time to start planning the next trip!