I am posting this trip report very late because I never had a chance to write it up before now. Because it was so long since the trip, I couldn’t remember everything associated with the trip. I have another trip planned for 2/21/13-2/24/13 on a surprising three-night comp from the Venetian and I wrote this report to help alleviate the anticipation for that trip. Background This trip was divided into a two day solo trip and a two day buddies trip. Thursday, November 15th and Friday, November 16th was the solo portion of the trip staying at the Mirage. Saturday, November 17th and Sunday, November 18th was the buddies portion of the trip staying at Caesars. I was able to piggyback this trip onto a business trip to Detroit. So I flew to Detroit from Ft. Lauderdale with an hour layover in Baltimore on Tuesday, November 13th. I checked into the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit and was assigned room #2121, which I thought was a good omen for my upcoming Vegas trip. The conference ended about noon on Thursday, November 15th and I took the shuttle to the airport for my 1:50 flight to Las Vegas from Detroit with an hour layover in Phoenix. (Note: Seeing all of the burned out and abandoned houses on the road to the airport was pretty depressing.) Day 1 - Thursday 11/15/12 I arrived in Las Vegas around 5:30 p.m. My plan was to get checked in, cleaned up and down to the bar by the Sports Book to watch the second half of the Thursday night football game with my team, the Dolphins playing at Buffalo. I arrived at the check in counter and had to wait a few minutes for one of the front desk clerks to become available. I approached the clerk, a young girl, with my ID, credit card, and $20 in hand. I handed her the ID and credit card and flashed the $20, asking for a complimentary upgrade to a tower deluxe room. She tapped on the computer and said I could get a tower deluxe room for an additional $20/night. I declined, accepted a two queen room on the 15th floor and kept my $20. I went up to room 15106, got cleaned up and headed down stairs to catch the second half of the game. I found a spot at the Sports Bar next to the sports book and deposited my first $100 into the video poker machine. I ordered my first Tanqueray & Tonic and thus began the Vegas trip. I burned through $200 and about 5 T&T's while watching the Dolphins drop the game to the Bills and a 4 and 6 record. (Dolphins Suck!). My next stop was the Ambhar Lounge at the Tropicana to see my friend's band, Ashley Red, play. As I was heading to the front door of the casino to grab a cab, I was propositioned by a lady of the night who provided me with a business card. I have been propositioned many times in Vegas, but this was the first time the lady provided a business card. As I entered the cab at Mirage, the Driver asked if it would be Ok if he knocked off $5 from the fair on a meter that read about $7 when I got in. I guess the driver had a short trip before he picked me up, had the fair paid with tip, and kept the meter running to get two tips on the same fair. I was ok with it, but this was the first time I had seen this happen. When I arrived at Tropicana the total fair was just under $20 and the cabbie accepted a $20, even though I offered an extra few bucks for tip. I headed over to the Ambhar Lounge at the Tropicana grabbed a spot at the bar, deposited $40 into the bar-top video poker machine and ordered another T&T. I hung out at the bar waiting for the band to take a break and say hello to my buddy. I stayed at Tropicana for a few hours, played some blackjack and slots and would catch up with my buddy from the band during breaks. At a certain point, probably around midnight, I realized I was pretty drunk and needed to get back to my home hotel. While waiting in the cab line, I struck up a conversation with a couple of ladies who happened to be going to Mirage also. We decided to share the cab and continue the conversation, which in my drunken state was filled with sexual undertones. Anyway, it was an entertaining cab ride, but nothing came of it. When we got back to the Mirage we parted ways, I played a little more blackjack and was crashed in my room at about 1 am. (One funny side note - I was drunk enough that I couldn’t remember my room number. I knew I was on the 15th floor, but couldn’t remember my room number. I tried my key in a few doors to no avail, finally I had to head back down to the lobby and ask what my room number was at the front desk, embarrassing, but I’m sure I am not the only one that has happened to.) Day 2 - Friday 11/16/12 I woke up pretty early at about 8 am and decided to walk across the street to Harrah's for breakfast at their "Casino Denny's". (The name I use for the 24 hour restaurant in just about every casino which basically has the same menu as Denny's at twice the price). I got the standard two eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast with coffee OJ and water. Eating at a table by yourself is the most awkward part of solo trips, unfortunately this Casino Denny's did not have a bar. After breakfast, I just walked the strip, checking out some of the hotels and picking up the college and pro football sheets at the sports books. The day was pretty uneventful, I gambled some, mostly losing, just killing time before I planned to play in a 7 pm poker tournament at the MGM. I headed over to the MGM around 6 pm so I would have some time before the tournament to play some Sigma Derby and the infamous Lions Share Progressive. I went to the Cashier, got $40 in quarters and burned through that at Sigma Derby in less than a half hour. I then sought out the Lions Share Progressive, which was not an easy task. I must have walked around the casino for about 20 minutes, and asked at least two casino employees who had no idea what I was talking about. I finally found the machine tucked away in a corner over by the high limit slots, I think. I put in $100 with no big hits. While I was playing a lady walked up to me and asked is this the famous lions share progressive? I asked if she was a VMBer, but she was familiar with the machine from Trip Advisor message boards. After burning through the $100, I headed over to the makeshift MGM poker room for the 7 p.m. Tournament. I have generally had bad experiences with poker tournaments in Vegas, because they usually do not have enough players and I've run into locals playing as a team. This was a $150 buy-in tournament which only drew about 20 or so players. The play was pretty tight, with older locals trying to grind out a profit. My play is generally tight, so this suited me fine, the players were generally good, and there were no A-holes. I ground it out for about 4 hours before being knocked out, in eighth place I believe. I believe that only the top three finished in the money. I find Poker to be kind of slow and boring in Vegas, but it is a good way to kill time without losing too much money when you are down for the trip, which I was, probably to the tune of $1,500 at this point. Also, I appreciate that the drinks are free at the poker tables, which is not the case at my local casinos. After being knocked out of the poker tournament, I headed back to the Mirage, gambled a little more, then crashed for the night. Day 3 - Saturday 11/17/12 I wanted to get some bets in for the noon college games, so I woke up early and headed down to the Mirage sports book. First I picked up a bagel and coffee at the Carnegie Deli take-out next to the sports book. I am a Florida State fan and my team was playing a noon eastern, 9 am Vegas, game at Maryland. FSU was a 31 point favorite, which I thought was too high, so I took Maryland with the points. I also placed a $20 three team parlay, taking Maryland, NC State, and UCLA. I was wearing an FSU golf shirt and hat, and a group of guys called out "Hey! Jimbo, Are the Noles going to cover?" I responded that I just put $50 on Maryland and that the 31 points were too much. Ok! I'm sure nobody remembers this game, but it had a crazy ending from a gambler's perspective. FSU was leading 41-7 with about 2 minutes left and was just running it up the middle to run out the clock when the FSU running back fumbled the ball and Maryland took over at the FSU 42 with just 37 seconds left in the game. The Maryland quarterback threw a 42 yard bomb for a touchdown and I jumped out of my chair in celebration. Only in Vegas can you cheer for the team that your team is playing against because of a bet. I ran into the same guys who asked me about the FSU spread before the game, and said "I told you the 31 points were too many". After the game, I headed back to my room to pack and get ready to move over to Caesars. I packed my bag and made my way down to the lobby and got in the taxi line. I apologized to the taxi driver in advance for the short trip, but I did not want to have to lug my bag out on the street. Maybe the cab driver will try to double up on the fare like my earlier cab ride. I headed to the Caesars check-in and asked whether any of my buddies had checked in yet, they had not, but she said they were all in the Roman tower. I asked for a complimentary upgrade and she gave me a two bedroom suite in an old outdated Roman tower suite. The suite was like walking into the seventies. (Note: The separate shower in the bathroom didn’t work, so I had to shower with the shower attachment in the tub, which had no curtain, so it was difficult to keep from flooding the floor. It was annoying, but it wasn’t worth complaining about for a two night stay.) I got cleaned up in the room and headed downstairs to meet up with some of my buddies in the lobby. ( Note: My room was on the eighth floor of the Roman Tower, but closer to the Forum Tower elevators. The weird thing was that the eighth floor of the Roman Tower was the 53rd floor of the Forum Tower. I'm guessing this is an Asian superstition thing.) I met up with my buddies and headed to the Caesars sports book to place some bets on the late college games. We grabbed a quick snack at the Munchbar take-out window next to the Sports Book to tide us over until an 8 pm dinner reservation at STK at the Cosmo. My buddies and I, seven of us, if I recall, met up at the Seahorse Lounge had a few cocktails and caught up with each other. After putting down a few cocktails we all went our separate ways and agreed to meet-up in the lobby at 7 p.m. to make our way to the Cosmo. (As this was the third night of my trip, I went back to my room for a nap, overslept, and missed the 7 p.m. meet up time.) Once I woke up from my nap, showered and changed, it was about 7:30 p.m. and I headed over to Cosmo to meet up with my buddies at the bar at STK. I would characterize STK as a restaurant/nightclub without a dance floor. The food is good, but you really go there for the atmosphere and you pay for it. I believe the bill was about $120 per person. Of course, that included cocktails and wine. If you are looking for a good meal in a party like atmosphere, I would recommend STK. After dinner, we hung out at the STK bar for a while, then drifted our separate ways. I mostly gambled after that at both Cosmo and Caesars, but the particulars are fuzzy thanks to the level of drinking at dinner. I don’t really remember when I called it a night, but I was up early enough on Sunday for the early NFL games at 10 am. Day 4 - Sunday 11/18/12 I woke up Sunday around 8 am and walked over to the Mirage to cash in my College Football parlay. I did a $20 three-team parlay which pays 6-1 so I collected $120. I took $50 of those winnings and did a three team NFL Parlay picking Cincinatti, Cleveland, and New Orleans. After I made my bet, I grabbed a coffee and bagel and headed back to Caesars. I grabbed a spot at the bar near the sports book at Caesars, watched the early NFL games and played some video poker without any big hits. I was sitting next to a woman , probably mid 30s, that was smoking like a chimney, complete with the raspy voice and hacking cough. She seemed to be pissed off at the previous person sitting at my spot because apparently he was giving her shit about the smoking. I am ok with smoking in Vegas, but this woman was pretty gross. I got in touch with some of my buddies and they had gone over to the Venetian and were hanging out at the Bourbon Bar, so I left Caesars and walked over to the Venetian. When I got to the Venetian, two of my buddies were sitting at a $10 blackjack table with pretty good rules (6-deck shoe, 3:2, HS17, Surrender) so I decided to join them. The table was directly across from the Bourbon Room, which had all of the late games on the video wall. It was a great location to gamble and watch the games at the same time. I had a pretty good run at this blackjack table playing $25 minimum with a progression that adds $5 after first win and $10 after each additional win, dropping back to $25 min on a loss. I think I left that table up about $1,000. Right across the walkway was a $10 craps table. I put down $500 on the craps table and was betting $10 pass/come bets with max 3x-4x-5x odds and occasional hard way bets. My buddies and I were all betting the All Small, All Tall, All or Nothing Bets. I was betting $5 on each of the All bets and one of my buddies was on a hot roll. He had rolled all the numbers except 4, so I had won the all tall. At this point the dealers told me I should Lay the four for $400 to guarantee a $400 win. If my buddy rolled a 4 I would lose the Lay bet but win the All bet for $880. If my buddy rolled a 7 I would win the Lay bet. Unfortunately, I had false confidence in my buddy and did not hedge the All bet with the Lay bet and my buddy rolled a 7 on the very next roll of the dice. (Note: We had been drinking heavily for the past four hours and I wasn’t exactly thinking straight and was filled with alcohol induced false confidence) I learned my lesson for the next time I am in this situation. We left the Venetian after the 4 pm eastern (1 pm Vegas time) games were over and I knew I had won my $50 three team parlay for $300. I think that I left the Venetian up about $1,100 which left me down only about $600 for the whole trip. We all went back to our rooms to take naps and agreed to meet up later that evening for dinner. We met up around 7 pm and decided to walk over to City Center for dinner. We ended up going to the Wolfgang Puck restaurant in the mall at City Center. I was feeling shitty from all of the alcohol and only had a soup because I didn’t think any solid foods would stay down. I also must have put down about 15 glasses of water, of course the water glasses were ridiculously small. After dinner, we all went over to the Cosmo and were just hanging out at the Bond Bar in the lobby. The bar was pretty dead, but it picked up a little later. We then headed over to Planet Hollywood for a little gambling before heading back to Caesars for the night. I continued to play some blackjack at Caesars and went on a pretty good run winning about $500. One thing that I was not aware of at Caesars is that you can ask the dealer to shuffle the deck if you are having a bad shoe. I took advantage of this once during the session. Eventually, I shut it down and went to bed. Day 5 - Monday 11/19/12 Departure day. My flight left about 10:00 a.m. so I basically woke up, showered and packed and headed to the airport. The return flight was uneventful.