Welcome back to the continuing saga of my recent Vegas shenanigans. To recap, when we left our hero he had just gone to bed after a late night that ended downtown. Day 3 We set the alarm for 8 again, as the original plan was to meet downstairs at the Buffet at 9am. We got a call at about 8:40 from Kevin's parents, though. They were going to meet us downstairs, but they had checked in with Dave and his wife, and Dave was still dead to the world. Kevin's parents were a little late getting downstairs so we got into the buffet about a quarter after nine. Breakfast was good. I would rank it a little above the Harrah's breakfast buffet, but the two are fairly comparable and neither will blow your mind. After breakfast, Kevin's parents go to discover whether Dave can be awoken and we head back to the room to get ready. The message light on the phone is on. I check the message and it is Paul. He got in late last night, and wasn't sure how late to call, so he waited until morning. I write down the toll free number that forwards to his cell, and we head downstairs to gamble a little before meeting the others. I briefly inquire at the Poker Room, but I don't feel like playing limit, and their no-limit max buy-in is $200, a riskier proposition than I feel like going for. We head over to the blackjack tables and Kevin plays for awhile. I'm just not feeling it. Shortly thereafter, the others come down, fully conscious and ready to move, so we discuss the plan. The elders feel like going to see the Elvis impersonator (Trent Carliti?) at the Sahara, and Kevin and I are planning to go see 'Fantasy' at the Luxor. We make our way to the coke bottle to get tickets, and on the way I borrow Kevin's cell and give Paul a jingle. Apparently he and Tim (another work associate) are in town for a technology conference but all he has today is a reception he's probably going to skip. I tell him we're going to a show and he agrees to come along. He checks with Tim, who apparently doesn't want to go to a girly show, and has work to do. We pick up the ticket vouchers (including one for Paul), and the lady advises us that the seating is assigned at the box office and is first come, first served. Since we don't really have a to do list anyway and Luxor is close by, we convince the others to come along as we go to pick up the tickets right away. Paul tries calling back and arranging to meet up for lunch @ Hooters, and I try to explain that in Vegas, lunch is not a meal for me, but there is a lot of background noise. He sends me a text saying he'll be there at 12:15, and since its 12:10 when we get it and we're at Luxor, I decide it isn't worth heading out there to try to find him. We get our show tickets, the ladies play slots for awhile, and then we start to head back to MGM. I give Paul a call back and tell him we're headed towards MGM. Kevin wants to stop at the slots around the Dodge Viper (his favourite car pretty much since its introduction), so I tell Paul to meet us there. Paul meets us there, and he,Dave and Kevin dump a combined $35 into the machines trying to win a Viper. Paul is free for the day and a complete vegas n00b so he is happy to just tag along with us. The ladies feel like doing some shopping, so we head off towards the Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood. The idea is the ladies can shop, and the guys can go for a drink at Blondies, a sports bar across from the "V" theatre where Kevin and I were very much impressed by both the hotness of the waitress and some of the goings on. Of course, this is the middle of the day and isn't exactly a hotspot at the best of times, so our stay there was fairly pedestrian. We sit out on the "patio" and have a few pints and some snack food. An hour or so later, we meet up with the women and try to decide what to do next. Dave was much impressed by the Dealertainers, and we had all had fun there, so we decided to head back to the IP. I hit the can and when I come back out Dave and Paul have sat down at Dolly Parton's table. Somehow, I lose my good sense from earlier on the trip, forget that its short pay, and sit down. I start off doing ok, but I don't care much for Dolly as a dealer. 'Terri Clarke' comes along next and is much friendlier, but Paul is getting anxious because he's been at the table 15 minutes with no cocktail waitress. He starts bugging the pit boss about being thirsty and are any waitresses working, and eventually one comes over. We order and when she brings my Corona, I tell her I'll be ready for the next one by the time she comes back around. She says she'll tell the regular girl as she's just covering a break. After that the drinks come fast and furious, and the cards come slow and grudging. It gets to the point where the cocktail waitress is worried about getting in trouble because our drinks are arriving before we finish the old ones, so Paul starts hiding the old ones until he's finished so we won't have two in front of us. Anyway, about 45 minutes in Kevin tells me that he and the others are heading back to the MC. Paul and I are still having fun, and I'm losing, but having a merry time nonetheless so I tell him ok, we'll meet up later. We play for awhile longer and after a while I bust out of my $200 for the day .... I was bound to start losing on this trip sooner or later. Paul is up, despite some awful play and hindsight commentary, but he's about ready to go to. He had bought in for $60 and was up a hundred. He pocketed his buy in and $60 of his up money and said he had to go to the bathroom and I should play his other $40. I asked him if he had been watching what just happened and if he really wanted me playing his money. He said don't worry and headed off to the bathroom. Predicatably, three hands later I am on the last $10 of the $40 he left me with and he/I have an 11 against a 7 or 8. Time to bend my buy-in rules as I can't leave this unboubled. I change a 20 and double down, and win. I pick my 30 of the table, and play Paul's remaining 20 until he gets back. He arrives just in time to see the last of it disappear. We cash out and start to head back to the Monte Carlo. We get a text from Kevin that they are about to head down for dinner at the Brew Pup, not the buffet. I stop in at the room for a minute then we head down. They have ordered, but their food isn't there yet. Paul sits down and we order our beers and food right away. Then, disaster strikes. Shortly after we get our pints, Paul spots one of the unique features of the brewpub. They have giant 5L graduated cylinders that they fill with beer (which had a spigot at the bottom). Paul immediately orders one without stopping to check whether the others will partake. Sadly, they are planning to go to the Sahara right after dinner, the others for the show, Kevin just for some $3 blackjack before coming back to meet us for the show. So we're in it now. We were already in a pretty good state prior to this, and now we have 5L for 2 people. Luckily, where I work this kind of disaster is fairly commonplace. It calls to mind a quote from the film "Air America". We joke around with some Australians who also have gotten one, and have a slight laugh when 5 others walk in and order the smaller 3L cylinder. Anyway, we get some decent pictures drinking from the end of the cylinder, and finish the rest of it conventionally. Paul impulsively tries calling up one of the #'s of the flyers the porn slappers gave him, and they hang up on him. and then we head over to Mandalay Bay, where Paul is staying at TheHotel. He shows me his 'room', which is pretty ridiculous, with flatscreens galore, and 2 queen beds. We grab drinks from the minibar as travellers and head to Luxor for the show. We meet up with Kevin and go in for the show before it starts, Paul excuses himself to take a leak and comes back with a pair of double rye and waters. I nurse mine a little but am really in no mood for liquor, and Paul gets to work on his. The show starts and its a lot of fun. The women are hot, the one who is a singer is decent (but why do the ones who can sing not have to take off their tops? Is that a union thing?), and the comedian is funny. About halfway through I look over and Paul is out cold. Glad to see he got a lot of his first Vegas show. Afterwards we sent Paul on the tram back to Mandalay Bay, and Kevin and I go to MGM Grand. He wants to check out studio 54, but it is apparently closed. We wander over to Tabu instead, but naturally there is a line, and naturally guys are spending a lot more time on line than ladies. Now there are two kinds of very drunk when it comes to going out and socializing. There is "feel like a Greek god and any woman who doesn't want me must be a lesbian", and then there is "feel like a warty troll, know you're not going to get anywhere, and would just as soon go drink some more". I was the second, and waiting on line behind annoying people who were comically plotting to bribe their way in wasn't sitting well. Kevin and I talk it over and decide to abandon the "hot spot" search tonight and just find a place to have a drink that won't be too crowded. Since we are walking back anyway, that place becomes the MC brew pup again. They had some decent tunes going and are obviously trying to be a decent nightclub, but no one is having it and the place is nearly empty. We sit down, have a drink, and then head upstairs to crash. Final gambling tally for the day: Down $190 Day 4 Kevin is up shortly after 8 again, as he has to eat, get dressed up and head out of town on business. He heads down to the buffet and says goodbye in case I'm asleep when he gets back to the room. For some mysterious reason, I'm not feeling entirely well on this particular morning. I'm not quite ill, I'm just "uncomfortable", but that is making my whole brilliant plan of sleeping in my last day a bit complicated. I get a little more sleep, then give up on it, and slowly start to get ready for the day. I am showered and dressed and Kevin is still not back, so I write a note, and head down in search of breakfast. My stomach is telling me that a buffet is out of the question, so its down to McDonalds where I pick up a Sausage and Egg McMuffin and head back up to the room. Kevin comes in, and his co-worker is downstairs with the rental car, so we say our goodbyes and he heads off. He'll be coming in later that night, so I don't need to check out at all, but we probably won't see each other again. I get packed except for a change of clothes for later and my swim trunks, and head down to the poker room. I am on my own for the day and am planning to just take it slow, gamble a little, and relax a lot. Paul had told me that a vendor of ours is having a dinner with him and Tim related to their conference @ Craftsteak at 6, and going to see David Copperfield after. He said he'd see if he could get me in on the dinner, and offers to get me show tickets too, but I have a flight to catch tonight. So my plan is to hang around the Monte Carlo, play some ring game poker and maybe blackjack, and loaf about the pool, checking my messages to see if I'm in for dinner. If not, I'll head to Mon Ami Gabi for dinner, and maybe take in the volcano and fountain shows before heading out. I buy in at a 2-4 limit game in the poker and play for about an hour. The game is pretty soft, but no cards are coming for me for awhile and I'm playing tight. I take a pot to get back around even when the Worlds Biggest Calling Station (tm) comes in and sits to my left. If I had my own theme music, right now it would be the Jaws theme, because it only takes me about 3 hands I don't even play to see that this guy will always call you down. No raises, just calls and bets when unopened. I take a hand or two of of him, including one where the flop helps no one and is checked, and I hit an inside straight on the turn. I bet out, get 2 calls, and a possible flush comes on the river. I decide to be careful and keep captain call on a leash, and check. He bets and I call and he doesn't even have top pair. A short while later, the flop comes K 10 8 and I have Q 8 not suited. A bet comes ahead of me and I muck. Calling Station calls, and the turn comes an 8. Calling Station raises on the river, gets called, and has the same hand as me, Q 8 not suited. Anyway, a british couple who were at the table get up to go shortly afterwards and the game gets a bit short. I have the option to move up to 3-6, but decide to just cash in up $10 instead. I head upstairs to check for messages. Paul has called, and is still waiting to hear about dinner. I leave him a voice mail and head back down. I play blackjack and get up about $25. This seems to be a nice number, so I decide to use this "up" money for a "freeroll" at Let It Ride. My brilliant gambling plan is to bet the amount I'm up from blackjack (x3 obviously as only one is committed) and hope to hit a big hand to get a good payoff for the trip. MC has only one Let It Ride running and its for $5, so when a spot opens and I put down three greens, I get some odd looks and a "good luck" from the lady next to me. I have a pair of Kings in the hole and they don't improve, so I get paid off $75 and am now up for the trip. This seems like a good point to curtail my gambling for the trip, so I head to the cashier's cage for the last time. I go up to the room and change for the pool. Paul calls when I'm there and I'm in for dinner, so I agree to meet him at the Viper slots in MGM at 5:30, and I head down to the pool. I get some sun, do some reading and people watching, and take just enough of a dip to cool off. The MC has a cool pool area but it is always overrun with children thanks to the wave pool and lazy river. The only pool from "grown-ups" is a sort of small "lounging" pool. Not bad for cooling off quickly but not great for much more. I head back upstairs and get changed for my fancy free dinner. I meet up with Paul and he plays some blackjack at MGM til 6, then we head to craftsteak. I was expecting one table of maybe 6-8 guys with just the vendors and us. Instead I find that this is a big dinner they are throwing that has people from their company, their corporate partner, and several clients There are maybe 6 tables with about 8 people each. Oh well, the booze and food is still free, so I can live with not ordering off the menu. They bring out the courses on platters and put them in the center of the table, letting you mix and match for each course. There was caesar salad, shrimp and peppers than I recall from the appetizers, and rib-eye steak, lamb, chicken and halibut among the entrees. Everything was delicious, and the wine was decent and frequently re-filled. We had dessert with a round of Baileys with a shot of coffee, and then I made my excuses, said goodbye and headed out to catch my flight. I collected my bags from the room, grabbed a cab, and got to the airport. I won't depress you with flight home details. It was the red eye, it went where it was supposed to, then I drove home to arrive and pass out around 9am ET on wednesday. Finally gambling tally for Day 4: Up $110 For the trip: Up $45. Not too shabby at all. I hope you've enjoyed my trip report. I sure enjoyed my trip, and unlike last time, I got to go home with money in the wallet and very few regrets of things not seen.