First, a little background is in order. I've been posting on another board for years but frankly you people are much more entertaining! Wife and I are 29. We've been to Vegas about 80-100 times. I am a gambler, she is not. I guess you could say I'm trying to get it out of my system before we "settle down." It helps too that I have a funky set of rules for myself that seem to work at the Venetian that have me winning more often than not. These rules don't work at any MGM property except maybe Mandalay and forget Caesars, that's like a root canal without novacaine. These rules are pretty simple: If I lose on the first day it will usually be a good weekend. I lose on the odd days, win on even. The number is counted from date of arrival. No watch in town. Rubber band around the money, not a money clip Wife CANNOT be on the floor with me at all. No blackjack. Must stay at old tower. With all of that out of the way, this trip was planned because of an April trip. We were on our way out of town after our stay. I went to the players club for a replacement card because I left mine in a machine from the night before and I like having a card handy. When there, the rep informed me that a Spring shopping event was going on in one of the ballrooms and with my points I should check it out. Thinking that it would be some cheesy $25 certificate I wanted to pass, but my wife will never pass up a shopping opportunity. So we went, and good thing we did, it turns out I qualified for $350 worth of goods. My wife, for being such a good shopper, isn't such a good decision maker. She couldn't decide and I wanted to get out of there, so I said, just get gift certificates and we'll use them at a later date. They expired September 30th, and we didn't use them in a July trip, so we HAD to book so they wouldn't go to waste . When she found out that Las Vegas was hosting a "Shopping Night Out" across the city, she was even happier. So about 3 weeks ago I booked this trip with a typical Friday-Sunday trip. 9/10 I wrapped up some early morning meetings and asked the wife to be ready by 11am. I get back to the house by 10:40. My wife has this panicked look on her face and all she says is "we have a BIG BIG BIG problem. The gift certificates we in the magazine rack that you threw out." I put aside questioning why gift certificates were in a magazine rack, and realizing that trash day is Friday and he usually picks up at 11, I ran outside. Luckily, the garbage guy was late. Unluckily our fridge busted last sunday and I threw the magazines under the now 5 day old rotting meat/vegetables, etc. Just as I get done pulling everything out of the can, the wife comes running out to tell me they were in her makeup drawer after all. "Thanks honey!" is about all I could muster because I like my record being felony free She spent so much time looking for them before I got there that we didn't end up leaving until about 1:40. Traffic was decent, and with our usual stop in Barstow, we got in at exactly 6:20. The first thing we noticed when getting off Spring Mountain is that the strip looked DEAD, and it really was in every way. We went to the Invited Guest check-in and got into the room within about 5 minutes. Having been to the city so many times we have these habits. I always shower right away and go down and play while she gets ready. So I hit the casino floor. I used to play exclusively at the Venetian, and almost exclusively craps, but about 2 years ago the flipped around the direction of the tables on the floor and it ruined my mojo, so I have found better luck at the Palazzo. I have a $5 Triple-Double-7's machine I like by the garage escalators. Last trip I won $900 using my slot free play at the beginning of the trip. This time I cycled through the free play but still ended up with $200 off of $100 of free play. I found a couple DDB machines but nothing hit, then played some craps with moderate success, lost my profits on roulette, watching 11 hit a bunch of times. On roulette I play a block of numbers 0,28,9,26 that are grouped together on the wheel. 11 is 2 off from 26 and the ball kept popping from 26 into 11. That must have happened 10 times over the weekend. I went to LIR until my wife was ready and was able to eek out a minor win. So it was SHOPPING TIME for a while, YAY I walked around while she went from store to store at the Wynn and Encore. Found my way to the bar at encore for some DDB. I did well to the tune of about $200. When the wife was done, we walked back to the Palazzo for dinner. We decided to give Dos Caminos a second shot. We didn't like our first experience, and I have to say I liked it better this time. Not a great representation of Mexican food, but definately better. The salsas with chips were the strong point to the meal. When we left the restaurant I wanted to gamble but the wife didn't want to go to sleep, so I violated a rule and let her sit with me at LIR and Roulette. I lost bad, erasing my gains for the night and ending up about $300 down for the day. The worst point came when I swear to god this girl with Alyssa Milano's look, but funny haircut from the 80's was wishing numbers that were hitting while she was loudly praying to god. Her favorite number was 11, nuff said. I licked my small wounds and told myself, follow the rules and Saturday will be better. 9/11 We woke up at 11. Hungry, we decided to hoof it to IP for Hash House. I've been a few times and if you haven't been, you should go. The food is not the best I've had, but portions are HUGE, reasonably priced, and creatively decorated "beer in a bag and chicken n waffles." I had a smoked bacon scramble and she had the banana waffle. The waffle was ok, and the scramble was good. At breakfast we talked about going to see Gilbert Iglesias show at the Monte Carlo or Love at Mirage. We saw a 2for1 ticket booth in between the IP and Venetian. So after breakfast, we headed over. It was a bust, plain and simple. They display ticket prices and show you 30-50% off retail. Let me tell you, and I'm not being political because on politics I swing both ways (Hey DC's the only city with more whores than Vegas.) they must have Clinton redefining the definition of retail, some other way than retail, because 40% off retail means a higher ticket price than possible at the box office. Case in point, They showed balcony Love tickets on the board as being $95 per for general seating, with a $6 service charge per ticket. They said regular price was $117. I couldn't believe that to be right. So we walked over to Mirage and sure enough, the tickets for the balcony were $93 per including all charges. They also don't assign the seats unlike the Mirage box office. So you basically pay a service fee to avoid walking over to the box office you're going to have to walk over to anyways. After talking with my wife for a while, we decided to go with Gilbert Iglesias for the night. So I make the reservation for the show and we decided to do Botero at Encore for dinner. So by the time we made the reservations and chilling for about an hour in the room, we decided to go to Legasses Stadium at Palazzo for some drinks outside. I like Legasse's Stadium. It's just a GUYS place on the strip. So we hung out until about 5:45 when I heard Sheldon Adelson challenging me to a fight inside his casino. My wife, knowing the rules, went to Fashion show to check out the new Forever 21. I hit up the craps table, and let me tell you, Sheldon was getting whooped again. I have these weekends, and when I'm on a roll, I'm on a roll. I started with a bank of $1000. After about 10 minutes I was up to about $2000. The other shooters were a blizzard of 7's and I was back down to even. The fight between Sheldon and I was fast and furious. I rolled up about another $500, then another blizzard of 7's and I was down to about $700. The show was at 8pm, so we had to be out of the room by 730 (walk, cab, walk takes time). Well, I let the dice do the talking. I got the dice the 3rd time at about 650pm, and I didn't give them up until 720 and pinned Sheldon down for about $4500 on that $700, it really was more like $5200, but I'm a generous tipper along the way constantly placing the 6/8 for dealers. I'm winning so great, but it adds up. I literally had the guys on the other end of the table begging me to stay, but told them missing a show would cost me a Chanel purse, and I wasn't coming out of pocket this weekend, but they didn't nibble, :Ãž. So I cashed out, rushed up to the room, changed and we headed out. We got to the show about 15 minutes late. I really liked Gilbert, not as much as the late great Robert Schimmel RIP but still funny nonetheless. We left the show a bit early because he was running long and we were going to be late on our reservation. So we heard his final jokes from the lobby, hopped into a cab and over to Encore. We checked in at Botero and sat within 5 minutes. Let me tell you, that the place was buzzing. The service was great, the food is very good, and the atmosphere is awesome. We were very hungry so I had a caesar salad, we split the steak tartare, and each had a filet. The salad was ok. The tartare was very good, and the filet was also very good. They have 3 options on preparing the steak: traditional, peppered, and chimichurri. I picked peppered and she picked chimichurri, and though they were both the petit filet they were prepared differently and were almost like 2 distinct dishes. The pepper came out over a pad of japanese peppers with 3 choices of peppers. Hers came with chimichurrit dressing. We finished off the dinner with a port and doughnuts. I thought the doughnuts were the weak part of the meal, but still good overall. There were 3 beers and a wine as well. The bill pre-tip came out to roughly $280. The meal was on Sheldon, so we wrapped up as one of the last parties of the night. After dinner, strolled through the Wynn and Palazzo before making it to the Wynn. Some casual gambling, and the wife was "tired" at about 145AM and Sheldon was talking more smack. Before going down, I saw my cell phone was low so decided to let it charge before going down. About 215 I was back on the Palazzo floor. I started off with craps and rolled for about 35 minutes at the table in a wave of up and down finishing down a bit. I went to the slot machine, no luck. DDB, no luck. Roulette, 11, 11, 11. Still no 26 all weekend. I lost a chunk, and with dinner, probably my wife wanting money the next day on top of the gift certificate. I decided to to book the weekend profit at about 315....But Sheldon would just not stop talking, sooooooo.......I told myself I would just play $200 on let it ride before calling it a night, GOOD DECISION! I sat down at the Palazzo table. There were a couple people, but 1 guy in particular at 3rd base. I sat center table. After a while the other people left, but he and I were both hitting hands. They have 2 colored decks, purple and green. I noticed that he kept hitting green and I kept hitting purple. At about 4 am I was up about $1000, when it HAPPENED. I had a good flow going and purple deck was coming up. I put a black chip in each circle, 50 in the pair plus, and 25 around each circle for the dealer. I was dealt 6J6. I was debating letting the first circle ride, but didn't. I pulled it back. The dealer flipped over the 1st card, 6. Let it ride at that point. The dealer turned over the last 6 BOOM BOOM BOOM!!! nworthy: Hey, Sheldon....:Ãž I should have taken a picture, but was too excited and liquored up. It took about 15 minutes, but 5G in front of each circle was a good feeling. I've had multiple 15k craps runs, but this was just awesome! So after that it was an up and down battle. Mostly down for a while, but I wasn't playing TOO stupid. Before I know it I turned around, and it was my wife. She had this look in her eyes "What the hell do you think you're doing? It's 715am, your cell phone is dead. I thought you were dead!" I was so excited and drinking I hadn't noticed the battery was dead and what time it was. So we talked for a couple of minutes. When she calmed down, she was happier about the hit, saw I was on another upswing and let me play for a little longer. I ended up re-couping most of what I lost since the 4 of a kind. I hit the cashier and was up at the room about 815. So I fell asleep, and caught 3 hours of sleep. Not a good decision the next day. 9/12 I woke up at 1115, still drunk and hungry. We walked around, and decided to settle in at one of our favorite restaurants in town, Carnevino. We'd been three times for dinner, and it was great each time. Carnevino is probably my favorite steak along with Joe's at Caesars, with Palm and Delmonico trailing behind. But we hadn't been for lunch and keeping with the theme of the previous night, I felt like a burger. Trust me I don't eat this much red meat at home. I just go overboard in Vegas with it. My arteries would have exploded by now. So we tried the burger. I got the burger medium with swiss cheese and fingerling fries. She got the burger with blue cheese and arrugala salad. It was a really good burger. I recommend it. My burger was a light medium, so I might recommend, medium plus, but it was good. After lunch, it was time to use the certificates we came to use. We were walking around for what seemed like an hour, and she just couldn't decide. She has this rule that on weekends over 10k booked, a wife tax of 10% is charged. I told her, maybe when unemployment falls below 6% again, but we had done enough spending for the weekend. We ended up compromising with me receiving just a flesh wound of new Chanel glasses for $300. She used the certificates on a Michael Kors bag, whoever he is. But she just wouldn't decide, so I decided to have some final words with Sheldon. I went downstairs and reading my rules above, you would know that was a bad decision. I quickly parted with about $400. So I told myself only $100 more on roulette, then I was done. So I sat down at a $15 table, and divided my chips evenly.$1 on each of 28, 9, and 0, one on each of the half's sharing 26, and the rest on 26. Lose, Lose 11, Lose, Lose 11, Lose. Last set of $17 with the said method, 26!, to the tune of about $415. Lose 11, BOOM 26, for another $350. Then I played back to about even on the day before departing. I was hoping all the 26's were backloaded, but no more. I think I ended down the day about $45. We finished shopping. Loaded up the car. Hit my wife's favorite pizza place, Gramaldi's for a takehome pizza and we were on our way at 6pm. We got home at about 1030, and wrapped another sucessful trip in the books. Sheldon and I have a while until we meet again. I am busy the next few months with my everyday work and starting my new company.. Then my sister is getting married in Vegas in early November at the FS. A host at Mandalay has been trying to get my play over there, so it's a good opportunity to be down that way. Plus I probably won't be getting that much play time. The next trip to Venetian will in all likelihood be New Years. Thanks for reading the novel and sorry about any spelling mistakes!