Greetings all! I appreciate everyone taking the time to write thoughts and post pics, so here's my feable attempt at the same (no pics though). I came in a day early for some R&R prior to some business dealings. Here are the highlights (lowlights) of the trip, which featured 3 comp nights at the Venetian along with some FP and birthday gifts. Arrive via SWA on time and grab my car around Noon on Sunday. First stop is to Crab Corner (Eastern and Flamingo) for some delish Maryland crab soup and crab cake sandwich. Absolutely one of the best places in Vegas if you're a seafood fan, and with me being a Baltimore native...this is spot on. Anyway, I thought it was funny when I picked up the car, I did GPS on the phone, even though I knew how to get there. Stupid me followed the directions and I tunneled myself without realizing what I was doing. When I got out of the car, I yelled at myself and stated I'd not pay full fare for the trip and then I reported myself to the taxi cab authority. Anywho....checked in to my basic suite overlooking a few pools and went to find a DDBJ table to conquer. V was packed so I went to Palazzo and found my table...and promptly dropped $1000 in a matter of 30 minutes. You know how you lose sometimes but you still have fun? This wasn't one of those sessions. I vowed to take it easier this trip and enjoy my surroundings, rather than log 6-10 hours at the table each day / night. Funny though, each time I sat down, at various places (I've now gotten the car and went to try my luck at Palms), I lost, and lost quickly, so it wasn't possible to log those kind of hours. I had a slow bleed at Palms, so I broke up the session by trying a place called Pasta Mia in the strip mall next to Palms (where the Starbucks is). Great little place in the corner of the strip mall. I had the penne vodka with ham and a salad and both were outstanding. The bread though, was amazing. Heated, buttered, crispy...I probably had a whole damn loaf on my own, so finishing the generous portion of pasta was impossible. Dinner with a glass of wine and tip was a very reasonable $35. I stopped back at the Palms to try my luck one more time....no go. I finished the day down a miserable $3,500 and was never close to being up at any point the entire day or night. Defeated, I head to bed at a relatively early 11:30 and sleep until 8 or so- not bad for me. So Monday is a free day for me, so I decide to walk the strip. It was still early enough that it wasn't busy and I really enjoyed the freedom to do as I pleased. My intent was to make my way to the Lion Share slot and finally play that damn thing. I also wanted to check out the MC and their blackjack scene. I made my way up past Harrah's and the like, and eventually crossed over to walk past Bellagio and on up to MC. Could the mess around Cosmo / Aria take you around Murphy's barn any more than it already does? Holy cow, it was a mild 105 outside and that extra nonsense made for a sweaty arrival to the MC. I toweled off and proceeded to be underwhelmed by the blackjack options. I played at a table or two (shoe) and surprising lost (so that's now 6 sessions without running to the cage for any reason). I made my way to MGM then and after a little searching, I found the machine, but there was a guy pretty much camping there, spread out, taking his time as a few folks waited along the rail. That would drive me crazy...you have folks standing there waiting for you to basically lose, so that they can take their turn to lose. I don't get it. So I walked around and tried another shoe game. Sit down now...I won $400! (I know, right!). That sentence hardly warrants an exclamation point like I used (!), but hell, I was beginning to think I would never win again. Now that I've won, I'm certain I'm going to go to the Lion Share and win, since, you know...I'm on a roll now. Well, a couple threw $20 in and I was 'that guy' waiting on the rail since they only had a few spins...and damn if they didn't hit for $300, so they hunkered in for the longterm. I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat- I was going to opt for Asian, but I settled on Wolfgang's place. I grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich. It came with homemade pickles and some zesty sauce, etc (to justify charging $20 for a chicken boob), and it came with tater salad. It was 'eh' at best. It was just too much and it didn't go well together. As a crude friend says about just ok food....it will make a turd... I digress....as I walk back to my conquest (Lion Share), there is now 7 folks standing, waiting. Really. Ok...no LS for me this trip. I make the long walk back and it was crowded, but pleasant as it clouded over and looked like rain. I stopped in Planet Aladdin in spite of beatings in earlier trips. Yeah, I wanted the busty dealers throwing me BJ's (blackjacks, pervs.....), but they were all busy playing with other John's, so I grabbed the next best thing....older Asian dealers with no boobs to speak off. She was a very pleasant lady who believed if you said your 'happy word', good things would happen at the table. She explained her word was 'keep the faith' and I thought 'that's 3 words', but she was on a roll and told me her 'word' repeatedly for about 20 minutes straight and why she used it (it really wasn't that interesting...I'll spare you). Her word(s) worked, as I won a few hundy (don't recall exactly), so now I believe I'm actually up $500 or so for the day (offsetting losses at MC). I continue onward toward home base and decide to give the V more play and once again, I was treated like a red-headed step child (apologies to all red-headed step kids out there). I haven't seen beatings like that since I stuck a banana in my pocket and they turned the moneky loose...or something like that. Only one thing to do, as I'm down another $1000 now...head out for some MNF and crab at Crab Corner again. Yep, thousands of choices in Vegas and I go back to where I had lunch yesterday. This time it seemed even better than ever. So good. I watched John Football flip the bird in DC and then I decided to head downtown. I've heard good things about Golden Gate and I gotta tell you, while I took local roads there (interesting at night), it was fun arriving there in one piece. It's a mess there with construction, so I used valet and boom...there you are. The place is as advertised. Small, but I loved the theme. The dealers were all cute to hot and they danced when they weren't dealing. Good music and good beverage service made for a fun night. I tried my hand a 'free bet' BJ. I've read bits about the game on here so I tried it. Gotta tell you, I love it! Spoiler alert...I did not win, but I finally had a hoot losing!. I can see if you get some cards, you can make money at this game. For those that don't know basics are this: Let's assume a simple $25 bet. If you're dealt any hard 9, 10 or 11 (no aces) or any pair, you can signal the dealer and the house pays for your double, no matter what they are showing. They place a token next to your bet and you get one card (in case of a double) and of course if you split, you do so just like you've put another $25 bet out there. If you are able to double your split (again, hard 9-11 only), they will double that for you too. I don't know the 'basic strategy', but I felt for instance, if I had 6-6 vs. a 10, I still signaled 'split' as I now had $50 out there to possibly win vs. a stinker $25 hand. I actually won this sceanrio and was able to double on both hands...would never do that in 'real life' but made for interesting conversations. It was a $5 table (as were most there), so no serious money was in action. I lost $200 after being up $300 at one point and then I decided to try their 'high limit' $15 tables- double deck face up no touching cards....lost $600 as quick as I could. So down yet another $1000 I decide to head back....but of course being a degen, I exit toward Palms instead and managed to lose $500 more, just to make the drive back that much sweeter. Down $6000 in 2 days of R&R. Ok, last full day. I originally was going to stay through Thursday, but with the beatdown, I decided to come home a day earlier. Tuesday was a busy day of business, but before heading out to dinner with a guy that works for me, I hit the tables at the V and....lost another $1500. Good times. Grab a delicious dinner at Samba Sushi and then we head up toward the Linq. We found a bar on the left as you walk toward the wheel...don't recall the name, but they have live music every night. Camped out there for a few hours and just enjoyed the hell out of listening to some tunes. Very reasonable drink prices and a cozy atmosphere and I was happy in spite of my losses. We head back to the V around midnight and hang at the Bourbon Room for a bit and catch up with the MC, Marvelous Mark- just a great guy...might line him up to do a motivational speech for my sales group next meeting. While there I got chatted up by not one, not two, but three separate females. Apparently, I'm just that damn good looking and charming. Most of them had heard that the rooms at the Venetian were nice and wanted to see mine- I thought that was nice to offer, but damned if they didn't want to charge me to see MY room?!?! Oh well...maybe I wasn't that good looking after all :-0 We played some shoe BJ for a bit (my associate is not a gambler and was trying to split 10's and the like!), so he retired around 2am and I had one more run in me. I tried FB BJ and went down a quick $200 so I made one last effort at DDBJ. $50 a hand and I slowly, finally built a stack. At 4:50am (bad!), I cashed out with $3,500 (3 yellows and I was so tired I forget to take a pic). Of course, now I want to stay and have another session like that, but I had made my changes and I stuck to them. The dealers easily made $400+ in tips while on my run- I love dropping them some money if they'll actually be cordial and say more than 'good luck' and I had two dealers that absolutely fit the bill. Happy for them. Happy for me. Thank God for the comeback...$4,500 down sucks, but it's way better than $8,000 (by $3,500 if my math is correct). Hope I didn't ramble too much and hope you found some of the food info useful. I look forward to reading others' reports and trials and tribulations!