As I lay here on the couch in full recovery mode I figured I would share some of my SB weekend experiences. This will not be a full comprehensive TR as I have done before or like many of you guys post - the reason for that is that I didn't take many notes or pictures. I haven't been to Vegas in two years because of working so much and having to use my vacation time to go back home to Philly to help when my mom got sick. I didn't even plan on going SB weekend because my friends who I normally go with couldn't make it this year. I was planning on March Madness. That was until my best friend said he was going to town for a convention the 4th-6th and he'd come in for the weekend if I wanted to go. Don't have to twist my arm, buddy! I'm in! This was in early January so finding cheaper flights and booking a hotel were challenging. I snagged the FC ticket on United for $600ish and luckily that day I received the Venetian/Palazzo mailer for the three free nights and even more shocking was they let me book for SB weekend! I stayed four nights so I paid for Saturday and got Fri-Sun-Mon gratis. GETTING THERE I flew out of Bush in Houston Friday night on United. I was in first class and had my favorite window seat (5F on the right side). The flight was supposed to be delayed because of issues with the incoming plane being held up by weather but thankfully United switched us to a new plane and we were outta there on time. The flight was uneventful and I was able to get a nice buzz from a couple rum and cokes and Miller Lite's. I had no checked bags and was off the plane quick and hit the nearly empty taxi line at the new terminal three. I had a nice cabbie who didn't have a problem when I told him to go Swenson to Paradise to Sands. I think the fare was $20 and I tipped $7. HOTEL As previously mentioned I stayed at The Palazzo on the marketing 3 free night offer and I paid for one night. The rate for Saturday night was $299 plus tax. I was checked in quickly as there was no line and was off to the 16th floor. The room was awesome as I expected. I stayed at The Venetian before and the Palazzo definitely felt newer. I unpacked and set up everything in the room and damn near sprinted to the casino. GAMBLING Since my best friend isn't a huge gambler I was determined to get in as much as I could before he got there Saturday afternoon. I walked the strip a bit (never got further south than The Flamingo all weekend, which wasn't how I planned it but it happened like that) and ended up at Casino Royale. I used to love playing craps here but remembered reading they reduced the number of tables from five down to one...and yes, they still have just one. It was a madhouse in there but I managed to get a spot. In hindsight I wished a spot had never opened up because the table was ice cold. The entire right side was don't players (the annoying cheering ones too). It eventually warmed up a bit but I left down several hundred. I was playing $5 pass with 10-20x odds. I then made it back to the Venetian and Palazzo and got into a nice game at the Venetian. I played for several hours at a $15 table and when I started feeling the alcohol I decided to mosey towards the room. However I was pulled in by a good table at Palazzo. This was $15 and then eventually bumped up to $25. We had several good shooters including one lady who nailed the ALL SMALL-ALL-ALL TALL bet for me. That was fun! I needed the 12 as the final number and I had myself, the dealers and her on the boxcars trying to entice midnight to show its face...and it did! When they bumped it to $25 I played about a half hour and then called it quits. By this time it was about 5am and I needed some sleep. But I got a fourth wind and wandered over to roulette for some unsuccessful spins. I went back to craps and it had cooled so I went upstairs to sleep. I decided to shower and then when I got out I wasn't tired any longer so I changed and went downstairs to play some cards. I found out they no longer have Spanish 21 which sucked so I settled into a good $25 3:2 table and was able to make a nice several hundred dollar profit. We had good players and fun dealers. So by the time my friend arrives at 130pm Saturday afternoon I have been awake since 730am Friday morning and am who knows how many beers deep. But strangely I still didn't feel tired. Saturday night didn't have much gambling because it was super crowded. Everywhere we went it was nearly impossible to get onto a $15-25 crap table. The only open ones were $50-$100 at V/P, Mirage, Caesar's and several other places. Blackjack tables were crazy too. Just walls of people everywhere. We even took a cab downtown hoping to find a game there. Lower limits were present but no spots were. We ended up playing some blackjack at the Nugget and the cards were dead. By this time I was really dead and starting to feel zombie-ish from no sleep and too much drinking. Sunday the only betting that I did was on the Super Bowl and a parlay on the Celts/Magic (took BOS and the under...score!). I bet the Broncos and a shit load of props that were centered around the Broncos winning the game. How effing stupid of me to fall into the Manning trap. Because I was in total degen mode on Friday/early Saturday I didn't get to get my SB bets in at LVH. So when I got there on Sunday the line was crazy long and I ended up using the Venetian's book. Monday's betting consisted of some craps at Mirage (loss) and a quick hit attempt at roulette there as well. I was already pissed from being annihilated by the Broncos choke job so when the dice were cold and my roulette spin didn't hit I shut it down. I decided that all I was going to do the rest of the trip was sit in the book and bet NBA and NHL. The reason the roulette hit was my final "I cannot catch a break" straw was the ball bounced into 20, out, back IN and then back out into 32. I only had two green chips on me at the time so I put one on 17 and 20. So I missed on that 20 hit and I was pissed at myself for not wanting to break out any cash otherwise I would have bet 32 as well since that number resides between 17 and 20. So I decided on saving my leftover main bankroll for the March Madness trip and just sat in the Mirage book Monday night watching all the basketball games. I hit a couple straight bets (IND/ORL under, Mavs -8, Raptors -4, Sixers +9.5) but I wish nothing but bad things on the New Orleans Pelicans. Why? Because I always like to do what I call "hail mary parlays". I studied the lines pretty hard and put together what I thought was a great 8 team parlay for $10 that would pay out $1485. The ONE TEAM THAT DIDN'T COVER WAS NEW ORLEANS AND THEY LET SAN ANTONIO OUTSCORE THEM BY 19 IN THE 4th! Sickening. The Pels were +3.5...http://www.nba.com/games/20140203/SASNOP/gameinfo.html I realize the odds are very long to hit these. But combine that bad beat with the bad loss on the SB bets, cold dice and no lucky bounces...I definitely decided to shut down the betting until March. I lost about $1500 of $5000 budget which isn't too bad but like I said...I just wasn't feeling it. So that means the MM budget gets a $3500 boost! FOOD We ate at The Grand Lux often. That was dinner on Saturday night, late night snack Saturday night, breakfast Monday morning and breakfast Tuesday morning. Normally I opt for variety but the place was good, relatively cheap and convenient. We ate at both of the locations in V/P. The other grub was Sunday breakfast at the Mirage buffet and Steiner's Pub for the SB party. SUPER BOWL PARTY Several years ago my buddy found Steiner's Pub and their SB party. It costs $50 to reserve your spot (and a square on their big square board [won $1200 on this three years ago]) and $100 cash at the door. The hundred bucks gets you all you can eat and drink from the menu for one hour before kickoff until the ballgame is over. This is a great deal in my opinion. They are located about 10mi from the strip so we took a cab over. The ride was $30 and our cabbie on the way out there drove line he was auditioning for a role in Smokey and The Bandit. Good grief. I am a Mustang guy who used to race all the time...and this dude was pushing his mini-van to the limits. I think a piston and rod fell out somewhere on the highway. We put away several buckets of beer, numerous shots, a couple shrimp cocktails and various other appetizers and then had a burger towards the end. The atmosphere was subdued a little bit compared to years past because of how shitty the game was. Obviously I was pissed the Broncos lost but at least a competitive game would have been nice. Thanks, Peyton! OBSERVATIONS & RANDOM MUSINGS This has gone longer that I expected and in a rather dis-jointed fashion. Sorry about that. But it jives with my trip because all the plans and things I wanted to do went by the wayside while I was there. I was totally cool with that because I know that is how Vegas is some times. We did The Royal Shave at Art of Shaving located in Mandalay's shops. I have done this before and it was great. I couldn't get an appt at the one in The Canal Shoppes because only one barber was on duty. We did this Saturday afternoon and being that I was awake for almost 36 hours at this point I was damn near asleep by the time she was done with me. This is a great experience. I paid $55 plus tip. I have been out for three previous SB weekends and this one was by far the busiest. I don't know if it was because the Broncos are close to Vegas so many people made the trek out there or if people just decided to hit the city up...but it was PACKED. I didn't care for it Saturday night because we struggled to find a place to sit or stand to play. All dealers and pit bosses were great. I especially loved the dice crews at The V/P. Even though my gambling sucked I am already looking forward to the MM weekend trip. I think I made the right call to not chase and to pocket the leftover bankroll for the next trip (gonna hit the local casino up this weekend too for a friend's birthday). My final rating at The V/P was $200 per hand for 17 hours combined of BJ and craps. Thanks for reading! I cannot wait for MM weekend! I will be staying the 19th-24th at The Cosmo and Aria or Mirage.