This is a fairly detailed trip report of my recent run to Vegas with a stay at the Bellagio for three nights. Three nights is about the perfect run for me coming from the east coast, four might be better but I don't think I could really do a week there the way I do Vegas :evillaugh Thursday 5:30am: Waking up about 5 minutes before the alarm clock with a mild hangover and an inability to sleep (like everyone with the pre-trip adrenaline in their veins) I get dressed just as my buddy FF shows up. FF has been to Vegas once and mostly just partied there. He gambles in CT with me but likes the clubs as much as the gambling. He is a hardcore Marine, ex-boxer, ex-cop, and about as opposite my temperament as you can get. He is a lot of fun and a great traveling companion for the trip. He is also my insurance against getting mugged because I am bringing 11k in cash in my bag. FF has about 400 in cash on him and his ATM card so there is going to be a gambling mismatch here but it doesn't matter. I have a town car pick us up at my house and take us to JFK. Itâ€™s a quick ride with just a tiny bit of heavy traffic as we near NY. We get dropped off and have a quick Cigarette in 30-degree weather with a howling wind so we bolt inside quick. Security was a bit slow but not bad, the lines are long but there are a bunch of checkpoints and we don't get scanned or patted down etc. We wander around for a bit and I get a really nasty breakfast sandwich and a water and get about half way through it and have to toss it as we are boarding - timing was good enough for me. We fly Virgin Atlantic which as great TV and Movies and service but they ding you $25 for each check-in bag. FF gets the window I get the middle and a nasty troll woman gets the aisle. She manages to disgust and annoy the entire flight and kills it for me. FF and I both watch "Inception" after paying $8 for the movie. This is after FF has 4 drinks so as soon as the movie starts he falls asleep and makes up just in time for the credits! We land and get to the baggage area, the slots in the airport trigger a Pavlovian response in me but I don't pause to play them. My bag arrives with its handle sheared off on one side and itâ€™s fairly new so I am not happy. Bellagio has comped me three nights in a Bellagio suite, full RFB, $1k in free play, limo there and back PLUS I have mooched 2 tickets to the Amir Khan Fight for Saturday at Mandalay and later scored limo to it and back as well. Our driver is right there and itâ€™s a quick non-tunnel trip to the big B. He also has water, which we guzzle after being on the plane. We give the bags to the bag guy and he follows us all the way in to the VIP check in by the entrance to the conservatory. Its a cool area but not that big a deal, we later use it as a place to snag bottled water and soda but thatâ€™s about all the use we have for it. They have a set of private elevators as well but we only use them once to go up because our room is really in the center of the building and the normal set of elevators does a great job of dropping us in the middle of the action for the rest of the trip. I get the check-in woman to set us up with a fridge for the room and line passes. The room keys do say "VIP" on them as well. This is important later when FF goes to "The Bank" nightclub every night and uses it to blow past all the lines and cover charges. The room is simply awesome, the ceilings are like 10 feet high, and the doors are also super tall. The room has an entryway with a bathroom, a living room with a huge TV, couch, two chairs, a table and two chairs as well. The Bedroom has two baths, one with a tub and one with a steam shower that is the greatest hangover removal device ever invented. There is also a TV in the bedroom as well as one in each bath! FF get a fold-away type bed (hey its my comp!) but doesn't care. The TV has a Bose sound system and in a few minutes I have Sinatra and Dean Martin cranking after I jack in my IPod. We unpack and run down to buy booze. A bottle of gin, another of rum and some mixer and chips and back up we go. Like the pro I am I packed four limes, a knife and a tiny cutting board in my check-in bag so the bar is officially open! Shot of the living room taken later at night: The view from the thirty-first floor looking down at the pool. You can see a Bellagio Villaâ€™s private pool on the left which is about 3 floors above the actual pools and about level with the top of the conservatory â€“ nice digs if you can get them! The Cosmopolitan hotel as seen from my suite Now we are dialed in, unpacked, stocked and ready to hit it. We go to the players club and get FF a card and find out we will have to go back Saturday at noon for the fight tickets. I drag him off to the high stakes slots and rapidly turn 1k in freeplay into a lame $150 in cash â€“ not a good way to start frankly!! I spin a few bucks in slots and then we both go to play BJ. At a $25/hand table he manages to turn $300 into $1k and I turn $500 into ZERO in no time â€“ again NOT GOOD. We hit the buffet after a drink at the Petrosian Bar (I love that bar! Great piano player!) The Bellagio buffet is top notch and we overload on the king crab legs and prime rib. FF is REALLY, REALLY Picky about what he eats, I on the other hand will eat anything so I eat till I am about to pop. Next we go and reload with some real cash but FF has arranged for some of his old friends from the Marines who live in vegas to stop by. The stay tooo looong even though they are cool. FF wants us all to go out to a club together but they have to work starting at 2am somewhere so luckily for me I avoid getting dragged to a club. I have ZERO desire to go in them but FF has a really serious club jones. At this point he goes to the club and I go for the first real session of gambling. I take about 3k down and manage to get nowhere, after a few hours the time difference and booze and no-sleep catch up to me and I crash. Meanwhile FF leaves the club just barely avoiding killing anybody and comes up to get cash. He is ripped and wants me to go down but I am dead. About 3 hours later he comes up with like $1500 after a hopeless $200 buy-in at BJ. He plays Kamikaze to my perfect basic strategy but makes it work. He gives me the money minus $200 and somehow does it again, 2 hours later he is back (like 5am) with like $1200. In the a.m. he only barely remembers winning at all, doesnâ€™t know how much, when, how, etc. so I have to explain it all to him. This win sets him up as up 3k for the trip on the first night while I am down about the same. Go figure! He then commits a true â€œbasic strategyâ€ error by calling his wife and telling her all the exact dollar amounts of everything. Her response is â€œbring it home, you are done!â€ like thatâ€™s going to happen with two days to go!! Friday morning: We get up around 11am somehow and get our act together. A couple of steam showers brings us back from the dead and we go to the Bellagio cafÃ© for â€œbreakfastâ€. The conservatory is a mob scene as we get there and the line to go in is huge. The â€œline passâ€ line has about ten people in it as well. How sad is that? We have to wait in line to avoid the real line. A woman comes in, passes the line pass line and demands to be seated NOW because her line pass says â€œline passâ€ on it dammit!! She ends up at the back of the line pass line with us and sputters away for a few minutes. My advice (not given) to her is â€œroom serviceâ€ if your that damn hungry. I have a really great waffle/booze sponge and FF has a HUGE cheeseburger. We drink OJ and itâ€™s the best damn OJ ever (or itâ€™s the hangover). We Sign it to the room and head off with the loose plan being to sightsee a few casinos FF never saw. FF is still basically tanked at this point from the previous night so hopefully the food will revive him. We cab it to Encore and go from encore through Wynn to Venetian and Palazzo. We are just waling through them gawking and I am explaining stuff and we get only as far as Wynn before its cocktail time (hey I TRIED!). We did see the new Sinatra place in Wynn but it was closed. I am a fan so I got this pic of his Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy in the entrance. We have a few drinks at the lobby bar, I think its called the parasol - not sure. Great staff, very comfy. Some Asian guy is drinking this bizarre drink that requires a bowl thing with a spigot on a pedestal, its drips ice water onto a sugar cube into some other glass with absynth (maybe?) but the net was it took the bartender about ten minutes to set the contraption up while FF had to wait for another drink. He briefly considers murder but I convince him otherwise. The booze helps so off we go to Venetian and Palazzo. I see Venetians high stakes slots and feel my fangs coming out. I take $100 and put it in a $25 machine. I donâ€™t recall exactly how everything worked but in like 5 machines in a row I hit something and then yanked out the ticket for a profit. In like 10 minutes I made just over $600 and pocketed it. The point wasnâ€™t to gamble here but itâ€™s a small bit of money I can take back to Bellagio and feed the beast with and it will look like fresh coin-in to them so I stop messing around before I lose it. FF thought he wanted to sight see but between his â€œconditionâ€ and too-tight left shoe with quickly wrap it up and go back â€œhomeâ€. A two hour snooze-fest intermission occursâ€¦. We have a few drinks at the Baccarat bar in Bellagio and I go scope out the Baccarat room. The plan is for me to play this weird game for high stakes and see if I canâ€™t get a good fire going later tonight. We go throw on a couple of suits and hit PRIME for dinner. I had made reservations to Prime and Le Cirque weeks earlier and they were good to go. Itâ€™s a good move to do this even if you have to cancel later otherwise you get the scrap times and tables if you go last minute. Prime had the best damn Filet Mignon on earth. I had a 12 oz one and FF had a smaller one with a lobster tail. I kicked off with a Glenlivet then switched to a nice Cabernet Sauvignon (by the glass at like $38 each! Thanks Bellagio!). We eat like mad and then do a couple espressos. We could see the fountains going from our table and a group of zillionaire Asians were there eating (I later played baccarat with them) and there was some guy with a group who kept laughing so loud it shook the damn room. Normally that would bug me but the way he laughed was so funny whenever he did it everyone in the room was chuckling. After eating what looked like a softball-sized piece of meat with some cool sides I was stuffed. The bill with tip was $420 for the two of usâ€¦â€¦kaching !! Friday night â€“ SHOWTIME BABY !! FF heads off to club it having decided we shouldnâ€™t gamble together. I LOVED that idea since I had no desire to answer baccarat questions while trying to play it. He can to this conclusion after I spent 30 seconds explaining Baccarat and he got NONE of it. Itâ€™s not as confusing as craps but if you have never seen it played itâ€™s a bit strange. With VMB forum advice and encouragement I enter the world of Baccarat! I buy in for a cowardly 2k and plan to play black chips. As it turns out right now Bellagio is always running a $100/min Baccarat table, same thing with BJ in the Club Prive so thatâ€™s where I did all my black chip damage. I am playing with an Asian couple and some guy from Israel and his â€œnieceâ€. They are playing 2k per hand to my little black chip but nobody cares. The Israeli guy is like clairvoyant and hits hand after hand racking up big bucks, I go south early but then claw back, the Asians are going in too heavy relative to their stack but somehow hold on. Its fun but its very choppy favoring the Player hand more than the bank. There are a ton of ties but like an idiot I make maybe one tie bet. Having played this game for hours on my computer I got the feeling that ties seem to run in pairs or within a hand or two of each other. They then seem to disappear for twenty hands or so then come back often in pairs. Its probably not mathematically true but that was the sense I got on the computer. The first time a pair comes out I naturally miss it but then I also fail to bet it the next hand and out it comes again! This happens twice in like ten hands and I want to kill myself. With the shoe as choppy as it was I bail out after 40 minutes with half my buy-in. I got some game time, I didnâ€™t flame out and I lived to tell so good enough for me. I take my remaining 1k and spin it up to $1800, almost back to 2k, playing black chip BJ in the Club Prive. The drink service in there is instant, the dealers are great, everything is great EXCEPT the drunk at third base. I can play BJ with anyone but this guy is like designed to annoy not only me, but the whole room. He canâ€™t play, he messes up the hits and stays and he wins at the tables expense like a real PITA. A guy sits down between us and I have to do a double-take. The guy looks exactly like Matt Damon â€“ EXACTLY like him. Drunk man says â€œI loved you in Good Will Hunting!â€. Its not Damon but this guy must get this all the time. Look-alike guy is a decent player and the table gets better, he totaled his cards up in French at one point and (speaking it myself) I said something to him about the game and he answered back in really good but probably college acquired French. One minute later we are both cursing out Drunk Guy in French to each other and laughing like hell â€“ ah relief! That improves the Karma and I get back to about $1500. HERES WHERE IT GETS GOODâ€¦ I bail out of BJ and go back to the high stakes slots. I am poking around and watching the Top Dollar machines because the $25x2 machines have been spitting out bonus rounds like oil wells since I got there (just not for me). There is a HUGE guy from Atlanta playing one, he has what looks like a tiny draw-string laundry bag in his hands with probably 30k judging by the size of it. He is winning like crazy so I squeeze in next to him. He hits a bonus for like $3450 and two seconds later I get one for $3250. We are high-fiving and its all good. My bankroll gets a reprieve with that win so itâ€™s the first thing to REALLY go right all trip if you donâ€™t count the great-but-small-scale win at the Venetian. I start sprinkling the win around the room in $25, $50 and $100 machines and get nothing. I am down to 2k of the win so I go back and shoe-horn in next to laundry bag guy again because he is radiating luck. One minute later I get a red seven, a triple symbol and another red seven for triple $2500. Instant $7500 hit on a $50 pull!! VERY NICE. At this point the trip goes full positive cash-wise and I am a happy, over-fed and well oiled gambler !! Someone take a picture because this is what its all about ! I get the hand pay (no taxes taken) after I do the W2-G for the second time in the night and its THICK like the bankroll I came with and I know I still have like $4500 upstairs. Up until this point I had been really out-racing my bankroll but when the dust settles at the end of the night I have like $13500 to greet me in the morning of the last full day of the trip so its perfect. It means that in the a.m. its like I just got here, for only one full day, and I have even more money than my original stake. It also means that even I canâ€™t burn through that much in a day so I wont be going home broke unless I go full blast crazy. Here is where it gets weird/blurryâ€¦. Lets just say the Bellagio never lets you get thirsty. I put the money in the room, I take a few hundred but I know the big gaming is done since I donâ€™t want to wreck the win. I go back down and sit at a bar and play VP for fun. I know VERY little about the game but I am not totally stupid when it comes to poker so I muddle through. There is a very nice looking woman sitting next to me, maybe 30-35 years old. She says sheâ€™s an LPN from PA moving to Oregon or whatever. The guy next to her is asking VP advice, he wants her phone number, she takes his instead, he leaves. She and I are talking and I burn through the VP buy in, I say good night, she says â€œHow about weâ€¦.â€ And doesnâ€™t finish the sentence. Now I am trying to do the math, I have been sitting there for only 20-30 minutes. I told her about the win, I am dressed to the max, and drunk. She is REALLY put together but there is nothing overtly â€œproâ€ about her except for that last sentence she spoke. My mind cant reconcile the directness and the brevity versus the down home back-story about her being a nurse whose moving out west. In my mind a silver dollar coin is rising in the air, head over tails flipping in slow motion and I can see it pause and begin its fall into the palm of my hand. Tails honey, sorry. I tell her with a smile I have someone back home. I donâ€™t explain that itâ€™s a 12 pound tabby named â€œCosmoâ€ but something just ainâ€™t right. I walk away hoping I wasnâ€™t just drugged but wondering if I just trashed a Vegas trifecta and so I go do some lightweight slots and BJ till I am burned out at about 3am. I sleep like a rock until FF comes back with yet more cash â€“ the room safe now has like 17K in it â€“ I check to make sure its REALLY locked like 3 times !! Saturday: I wake up to this: Save me steam shower, SAVE ME !! And it does. We suit up and in slow motion finally go down to the players club to get the fight tickets. Its like noon but we donâ€™t bother to eat. When we get the tickets I ask for a limo there and back. The Executive Slot host starts typing into the computer. This is where I find out if mid-trip they like my play or not, basically If I am under-playing/over-comped or not. The guy says â€œYou absolutely can have a car take you over and backâ€. That was music to my ears. It may not have been definitive proof of their esteem for my half-drunk handle cranking but it wasnâ€™t a rejection of my action like it would have been had some lame numbers of coin-in come up. We go out front and get a car. During this time FF has checked his bill on line to see if his booze charges at The Bank are showing up. They arenâ€™t on the bill â€“ yet. We limo over to Mandalay Bay. We do some nice slot work and score some low bucks, maybe $150. We then go to the Mandalay Buffet, its all cowboy hats and some dude is even carrying a brand new saddle for some reason. We eat and its pretty good, I always like their buffet, its not as good as Bellagio but itâ€™s a much better deal. We have some drinks their big house bar called Eyecandy. We meet some girls in from the west coast and kill time before the fight, which isnâ€™t for hours, we really are here to early but cant think of anything else to do. We also go to the bar called Red Square. Thatâ€™s a cool place because the bar top is a frozen sheet of ice and they serve a lot of vodka â€“ which I hate. I have a beer and FF has some weird vodka thing the bartender recommended. When we get out FF announces the odor of Mandalay is killing him so I suggest we walk over to Luxor so he can see it. The Luxor is a shadow of its original themed self and I like the original, its now dome what Treasure Island did when it became â€œTIâ€. The casino is, by my standards as a purist BJ player, and near total disaster. I liked NOTHING about their casino. It doesnâ€™t mean you cant have fun or whatever, its not terrible, its just not a gamblers casino. FF plays some 6/5 party pit BJ sitting in booth seating with wierdos while I watch the dancer. The dancer isnâ€™t a stripper or even an almost stripper she really was good and a lot of fun. She was throwing people beads if they would cough up a few dance moves, which both FF and I did â€“ not for the worthless plastic beads but because an insanely beautiful girl in a tiny cowboy hat told us to. If she told me to start a fire I would have! Anywayâ€¦â€¦ We walk back to Mandalay and go to the fight a bit early, Tecate beer sponsored it so I got a pic with their fake ring girls: (I am the one in the middleâ€¦) THE FIGHT: Amir Khan versus some other guy who actually won in our estimation but they gave it to Khan because he was the current title holder. A terrible call to a boxing match in Las Vegas? I donâ€™t believe it ! THE END. When the fight was over we were told by the staff that MGM has a VIP exit for limo pickup back to MGM hotels. We go outside and are like the first out. There are MGM owned limos by the ton out here and a guy with an earpiece thingy talking into a radio and shooting you off to this car or that. We get the first car out to Bellagio, the driver shoots onto the highway then back off at Bellagio through some service road filled with trucks and then SURPRISE we are somehow in from of the place â€“ very slick and VIP-ish. By a quirk of perfect timing we end up about five minutes early for a dinner reservation at Le Cirque. The service is awesome, the food was ok but not great. I had the rabbit and it was too salty. We beat a hasty exit when FF FINALLY gives out after boozing/clubbing/not sleeping/almost killing people/cheeseburgering and he says â€œI need to find a bathroomâ€, I said â€œYou need to get upstairsâ€, We run down the hall, I whip the door open, thank god for the â€œpowder room off the salonâ€ as people who werenâ€™t about to throw up might say. $380 with tip divided by two people is how much? THANKS BELLAGIOâ€¦..from one of us anyway. Somehow rejuvenated by the dash down the hall and some bottled water FF decides (wait for itâ€¦.wait for itâ€¦.) To go YET AGAIN to The Bank nightclub. I take the $1500 I am still up on them and go down to the slots and end up winning another $1500 for W2-G form #3 of my trip â€¦â€¦and then I lost all of it !! First I lost most of it in slots then a bunch in BJ playing with really drunk people from Brazil or Portugal in the Club Prive. For the Crescendo I lost the LAST of it in slots. I did meet a woman in the slot room who had won 144,000 and then 48,000 that night. I said â€œWow great win what are you going to do with all that?â€ and she said â€œMost of it went to pay off markersâ€, wow! EPILOGUE or Where we discover FFâ€™s 650 dollar bar bill is NOT comped !!: The system on the TV that shows the bills for each card now shows FF as having a zero balance â€“ this leads him to believe his bar bills were comped, I then look at mine and its not the $100 in booze and pretzels I was expecting its $650 !! The players club and VIP reception take a few things like the Mandalay buffet off and some other minor stuff so now itâ€™s â€œdownâ€ to $570. I said it early, I never waivered, I told FF the wont comp The Bank. What they didnâ€™t do was show a running bill from The Bank so poor FF kept checking it and kept thinking they were comping it â€“ oops. Rapid steam showering and packing ensues. My final act of stupidity: He is about to pay it in cash and I say, â€œgive me the cash and I will get the Amex pointsâ€. I have all my money packed in my carry-on, buried under everything in an envelope. I have like $50 on me, BUT NOW I just added almost $600 in cash and we have like 40 minutes before we have them limo us back to the airport. FF says he wants to play some quick BJ, I immediately run to the high stakes slot room and incinerate every last dime of the money he just gave me â€“ damn it !! We fly home, I get the window seat, FF doesnâ€™t get stuck next to an animal like I did and finally gets to watch â€œInceptionâ€ without sleeping through it. We have to search for our driver but for some reason they picked us up in a stretch so as a last act of kindness from the gods of gambling we ride back to Connecticut in style. I finally get 8 hours of unbroken sleep. As I am writing this I am wondering what kind of offers they are going to send my way next time!! I still end the trip basically even money-wise - amazing ! FINAL NOTE REGARDING THE BELLAGIO: This really is a great place, everything was virtually perfect. The only thing that happened that I didnâ€™t really expect or maybe never noticed in the past is that on weekend nights this place goes from pure class during the day to a complete zoo at night. The crowd is almost completely drunk and wound up for one reason or another. I am more used to local casinos where most people have to drive home at some point so tend not to get really drunk en masse like Vegas. Here nobody is driving anywhere and everyone is blowing off steam really hard. Its fun but its not even close to keeping with the daytime image.