As Christmas approached, The Baboo and I decided to make a trip down to New Orleans to see what we could whip up at Harrah’s. I needed to have a couple of thousand tier credit days to bump over the 15K mark and stay Diamond for another year and she was just ready for a road trip. Leaving on a Monday morning, we made great time and pulled into the Harrah’s parking garage around 2 PM. Check in was quick and efficient (as it almost always is at Harrah’s N.O.) and we were unpacking 10 minutes after we walked into the lobby. The room was nice as usual and we got our coveted river view without a problem. The Baboo usually hangs around the room for a while on our first day so she settled in for some relaxation while my usual antsy self headed over to the casino. My first task was to just do a walk-about and see if there were any new things or modifications on the casino floor. I noticed that the buffet has a to-go policy similar to the Beau Rivage in Biloxi that lets you fill a box with whatever fits during breakfast and lunch for 11.99. Obviously you can’t eat and then fill a box but you can come in and get a box to go. That works well for me because I often take meals back to the room if The Baboo wants to eat in. The Caribbean Stud jackpot was over 71 K and I knew I would be playing that game some. In the Asian games area there were $25 double deck blackjack games mixed in with the Pai Goi and Baccarat games. All had some sort of side game but you don’t have to play them. My TR cards didn’t seem to work in the promotions kiosk so I went by Total Rewards and picked up a couple of new ones. Craps was only $10 during this afternoon but they would all be at least $15 by the early evening. I saw a bartender I like at the quarter bar (actually the Hoodoo Lounge) and stopped for a quick drink with her. Threw a twenty in but was doing more visiting than concentrating. I still managed to pick up an easy $10 and was soon back on my rounds. Masquerade (the bar in the center of the casino) was deserted but that was to be expected on a Monday afternoon. Walked down to Besh to check things out because I planned to use my Diamond dinner down there later on. By now I needed to get busy cranking up some tier credits if I was going to get a thousand before I went to bed. I wound up at the Signature Bar (by the Poydras St. entrance) and stuck a hundred in a machine. They don’t open till 4 but a cocktail came by and took my order for a Miller Lite. One thing that they had added here since my last visit was putting a progressive jackpot on the dollar game. It was at $4,198.55. I love progressives and fully approved of this improvement. BTW- dollar JOB at the Signature is 8/6. Not the best but certainly not the worst I have seen lately. The chosen machine was actually treating me pretty well. Thanks to a 4OAK (Q) and a total of 15 flushes/full houses, I ran up about 200 TC’s and cashed $200 ahead. A good start so far. I was over by the cage cashing that TITO ticket when I heard YoooHooo. That is our(me and Baboo) signal to one another that we are in close proximity. We both had offers for 2 buffets on Mondays so we went on and ate before things got crowded or picked over. To us, the buffet at Harrah’s slid downhill a bit last summer but we were pleasantly surprised when almost everything that we got was fresh and tasty. Both of us had been on the low carb diet for over a month and we had a bunch of cravings to satisfy. We follow the carb rules strictly while we are in our home county but when we travel we get to splurge. I got a bunch of things but the best things were the Jambalya, the dirty rice, and all the desserts. The desserts were all of the mini version so you could eat several different ones. This trip featured some great cornbread and that was one of the things that was of shaky quality last spring and summer. The only thing that was merely satisfactory was the fried chicken. It was OK but not up to Southern standards. After a very filling meal, we walked back to the quarter bar because Cheryl is also friends with the bartender who was on duty. We played a little while and visited but were soon gone without a lot of money changing hands in either direction. The Baboo was ready to get back to the room before her “must see” shows came on so I got up too and walked her to the escalators. I love hanging out at the quarter bar because I know just about every bartender that works there but if you need to run up some tier credits, it is hard to do at $1.25 a hand. After we split up, I made a bee-line to The Court of Good Fortune (Harrah’s high limit slot area). Many times when I need to run up some TC’s, I get on a $5.00 JOB machine and play two credits for a total of $10 per hand. This is a pretty fair trade off unless you hit a Royal. The five dollar machines were 9/5 for JOB. Basically you get shorted on flushes at $5.00 and shorted on full houses at dollars. I took the machine just to the right of the two $100 a credit machines. You don’t see those machines in play all that often so I am pretty much assured that my left side will have plenty of room. Unfortunately, this machine was tight and $150 burned away like sparklers on the fourth of July. I actually played 55 hands without a single hand having a hand higher than 3OAK. I moved a few seats down and gave it another go. This one was a little more generous and I played for quite a while. One 4OAK (5) kept me going but I also get about ten straights, flushes, and full houses mixed in too. I played but didn’t win. My C-note eventually ran out but by the time it did my daily total for Tier Credits was at 499 and I was still down less than a hundred dollars total. I did have two close calls with four to a Royal but never got that fifth card I needed. I would see a lot of those four to a Royal hands this trip (I also 2 earlier in the day). I am about due to fill one in. I made a move over to the Signature Bar and fired up a machine. It was getting close to Monday Night Football and I intended to watch it here. There was an ambulance parked just outside the casino entrance with the lights flashing and the bartender explained that a gentleman had slipped in the bathroom and injured himself. The $ progressive had barely moved and was at 4, 202.65. My first machine sucked and it took a hundy in a hurry with me only hitting one straight and one full house before my credits expired. It was time to find a more profitable seat. I moved two seats down and got busy with another hundred. I wound up watching almost the entire Monday Night Football game while on this machine. This was the machine I had been looking for all night. It threw me FOUR 4OAKs (3) (Q) (K) (Q), sixteen flushes, thirteen straights, and twelve full houses. Oh yeah, two more “four to a Royals”. I enjoyed the bartender’s company (I had played at her bar on my last trip too) and the game was good. What really topped off this visit to the Signature Bar was me cashing out over $250 ahead on this machine. The only thing that was a little bit of a drag was the three ex-CET employees (info picked up from their conversations with the bartender) who sat there and drank for an hour and a half while either not playing at all or just pecking a single credit every once in a while. There were a couple of other guys playing some game against each other on their phones. They weren’t drinking much (draft beer) but they were taking up VP seats that someone could have been playing on. Stuff like that is why you see the red light/green light systems becoming common in Las Vegas. Just before I left I heard a great song on the sound system. Romeo’s Tune is a song that a friend of mine (Steve Forbert) had a pretty big hit with back in the 80’s. He and I go all the way back to high school. That lifted my spirits and made me ready to go try some table games. I had cracked the thousand tier credits barrier in the fourth quarter of the game so now I could go to the tables. 1,031 TC’s to be exact. My first goal was to pop that 71 K jackpot over on the Caribbean Stud table. If I could not hit a Royal at VP, maybe I could hit one at CSP. I had fun on this table as the atmosphere was very sociable but unfortunately the winning was pretty scarce. I did meet an extremely nice floor person named Stewart who was sporting quite an impressive beard. I have worn a beard for over 30 years but his was truly magnificent. All the people around there were pleasant but I had to move after dropping a couple of hundred into their drop box. I had vowed to get back to playing more blackjack on this trip and off to a table I went. I play at this table fairly often if it is not crowded. Being a $25 table, you can usually get a seat. It is the closest table to Masquerade and I enjoy people watching between hands. This table was a little choppy but it was keeping me in action. After about an hour I got a taste of the bad side of the social aspect of table games. There was an older woman playing the third base seat and she wasn’t having much luck. In her frustration, she got to complaining about the way others were playing their hand. She eventually got around to criticizing something I did and I explained that was why we all brought our own money to the casino-so that we could play it just the way we wanted to. That ticked her off. She went broke within another 10-12 hands so we were able to escape her criticisms after that. I never got a big enough win that I wanted to cash but I never got deep enough in the hole to call it a night either. My new buddy Stewart walked down to our end of the pit to tell me that he was about to E.O. so I wished him well and a safe drive home. It wasn’t too long after he left that I decided to take the tunnel back over to the hotel and call it a night myself. I had enjoyed myself and left with three more green chips than I started with. We both slept in the next morning and ate lightly on room snacks that we always travel with. When I got over to the casino, I went straight to the Court of Good Fortune and got started on my second day. Before I played a hand, my TC totals from the day before popped up. I wound up with a total of 1159 Tier Credits for the day so that meant that over an hour and a half on Caribbean Stud playing $15/30 and a couple hours on a blackjack table playing a $25 - 35 - 50 progression only netted me a total of 128 Tier Credits. Yeah, you can tell how much CET loves table players. I put in hundred and pulled up my $60 in freeplay for my start. I should have saved my freeplay because this machine was terrible. I hit less than ten of my recordable hands (straights, flushes, full houses, 4OAK) and lost all $160 before giving up. I did have one 4 to a Royal but missed that ace of clubs that would have been my saving grace. One interesting thing was the couple who sat down at the $100 machine and played it for about 20-30 minutes. Who knows what that cost them? I gave up on my first machine but not on the entire room so I moved down 3 spaces and loaded another hundred in a different machine. Right off the bat I hit 4OAK (10) and 3 full houses plus a bunch of trips and two pair. Once I got a couple of hundred ahead, I cashed out and made my initial walk of the day around the casino. It was still pretty early in the afternoon but the poker room was packed. Harrah’s N.O. has a pretty big poker room and the majority of the tables had active games. I sat down at the quarter bar (Hoodoo Lounge) to suck down a couple of beers before going for a walk in the sunshine. It’s funny how a couple of beers make Canal St (or Poydras or Decatur for that matter) much more interesting. It didn’t take long to knock two beers out and I won a sawbuck if my memory is correct. The walk down to Walgreens revealed plenty of the interesting people you encounter in N.O. but nothing memorable beyond that. When I got back, I was back on a $5 machine working on my 1,000 TC goal for the day. I went back to the same machine I had been playing before I decided to walk around a little. It took a little while to get warmed up and at one time I was worried about having to re-seed it before the tide turned. Before things were over, I had hit two 4OAK’s (both were kings), and an assortment (8) of my recordable hands. I put $200 in before things warmed up and was fortunate to cash out $300 for a decent profit. Saw another 4 to a royal (no Q this time) in clubs again. Gotta keep swinging..I’ll hit a homer sooner or later. There was a jackpot hit but it was about 10 feet behind me on a $5 or $10 Double Lucky machine. Some lady hit 3 green 7’s and got a hand pay with a lot of bells that went off when she hit it. By now I was over 600 TC’s so I made the short stroll over to the Signature Bar and took a seat. It wasn’t 4 yet so there was no bartender but that was fine. I had used the ordering system on my VP machine to get me a new beer just as I was cashing out. I had the bar to myself and that suited me fine. I was getting decent cards - 4OAK (J) , 5 straights, one each of the FH & FL but not enough to cash out. I had put $200 in this machine and was OK with cashing out at $160 when I ran out of beer. I made a move to get back to my “old dependable” over in the high limit area. (COGF) The first thing I noticed when I got into that area was that there was a guy playing the $100 VP machine. He played for about 10 minutes and then he was gone. If I was smart, I would have followed him. Old Dependable cost me $150 on less than 20 hands dealt. (playing $10 a hand) Time to go. I moved to a machine that I had not played yet but it was not a whole lot better. I got to play for a while but it eventually wore me down and I slunk out with only $30 left of the $200 I had fed it. My spidey sense told me it was time to take a break from VP. I walked across the street Gordon Birsch and got a beer and a seat at the bar overlooking the Fulton St. entertainment area. There wasn’t much on sports wise at this time of day but there was a never ending stream of folks to people watch out the window. GB has some pretty tasty beers that they brew themselves so I just chilled out and enjoyed a little non-casino time. Eventually, I headed back across Poydras to the casino for a push to get that last 100 TC’s I needed to break that 1 K mark. Settling in at another machine I hadn’t played this trip in the COGF, it didn’t take me long to run up that last 100 and lock myself in at Diamond for another year. I had put a single $100 in and was still playing when The Baboo walked up. We were going to use my Diamond dinner at Besh a little later and felt that we should have a drink or two before we went there. Actually, I had been hitting those Miller Lites off and on all day but she was fresh from the room. In less than a minute, we were taking seats at the Signature Bar and ordering drinks. She played .50 JOB while I was on dollars. We spent as much time talking as we did playing but there was no problem from our bartender. We played steadily but worked on our plans for dinner and beyond also. We had both had a fairly light lunch so we drank one drink each and then took our second one with us as we walked to Besh. Neither of us had done much either way on the VP. Once there, we were seated immediately in a romantic corner. We have eaten here a bunch of times and have never gotten anything that wasn’t really good. We had finished our cocktails just before we got to the entrance and this place makes some of the best White Russians in New Orleans. Of course, we both got one. We went with our standard and stuck with the house specialty of steak. She likes filets and I like ribeyes but both were delicious. The only problem is that neither of us could finish our meal and had to get go boxes. Well, I love a late night snack too. About the only time I play slots is when The Baboo and I pool some money to play together. This seemed like a good time to see what we could do together. We went to the Court of Good Fortune where I told her about the lady hitting a jackpot on the Double Lucky. We put a hundred each in our starting bankroll and tried the Double Lucky but it wasn’t hitting at all. We moved to another machine (Double Diamond) and this one let us play for a while. I had already hit my 1000 TC’s for today so we played on her card. Our deal is that we have to at least double our money before we cash out. We got close a couple of times but we just never got to that $400 that would have let us cash out and re-group. We eventually tried another machine (something with stars) with a fresh $100 but it wasn’t the one we needed. She wanted to get off these $5 machines and try some dollars so we went out on the floor and team played three separate machines with $30 from each of us in it. Nothing seemed to work so she was ready to call it a night. I walked her back to the hotel lobby and bid her adieu. I wasn’t in a big hurry to get back to gambling so I walked down Fulton St. to Manning’s. There had been a little shower earlier so the street had that New Orleans look to it. It seems like their streets stay wetter longer than any place in America. Anyway, I walked in the front door and the first thing I noticed was that there was no hostess there to greet. How odd? I got to looking around and didn’t see any customers up on the elevated eating area in the middle of the restaurant. I walked around the walkway to the long bar and guess what? That’s right -no bartender. I did a couple of Hellooo’s and got no response. The thought flashed into my head of all those news stories of people being robbed and locked in the cooler by the robbers. Manning’s has as many cameras scattered throughout their property as any casino so I knew I was being recorded. I thought it prudent to get the hell out of there and did so at a rapid rate. I didn’t want to abandon anyone if they were actually locked in the cooler so I walked across the street to one of my other non casino hangouts. (Ernst Café) This is more of a locals bar that caters to Harrah’s employees too. I told the bartender what I had just experienced and asked him to call in a notification. Then I got me a Southern Pecan from Magnolia Brewing in Kiln, MS. (Brett Favre’s hometown). There was a rowdy bunch of Millenials at the other end of the bar celebrating something. I was glad to see them because they livened things up even if they did so in a noisy manner. They looked like a group from work. A little later, I got another Southern Pecan and went outside to sit at one of the sidewalk tables to chill out a little. I love sitting outside with a drink in New Orleans at night. For some reason, it is very calming to me. Thoroughly relaxed, I felt that I still had a little gamble left in me and headed back to the casino. My favorite bartender works nights at the Quarter bar so I walked to the other end of the casino to visit with him a while. After our hello’s, the first thing I noticed was that the progressive had dropped from the 1,300 it was earlier that day to 1,008 now. I asked B.R. about it and he just pointed to the young lady sitting next to me. She smiled and confirmed that she had indeed hit the progressive a little earlier that night. I sat here playing and drinking until my buddy went on his break. I wound up losing $30 while visiting with B.R. but it was well worth it. I have hit 3 Royals at this bar and wanted to make that $1,300 one my fourth. Well, that didn’t work out. I hadn’t played 3 card poker yet on this trip so I went and found a seat to see what I could do. As it turned out, I didn’t do much. My notes only say “You never got anything” so I am not sure how much I lost but I do know I very rarely quit a table if I have not lost $200 or more. There was one person with a little luck. A girl one seat from third base did hit a straight flush that paid her $600. She used those winnings to up her bet and before I left she only had $200 left of that $600 from her straight flush. I thought about shooting some dice but by this time of night all the tables were $15 minimums. I prefer to play on $10 tables because my place bets work better on them. I walked around for a little while thinking “what to do, what to do?“ My mind finally figured out that my best plan of action was to go to the room and get some sleep so that is what I did. Wednesday morning found us both feeling a bit lazy so we just lolled around for a while. We had a great view of the end of Poydras St. where there is a sort of cul-de-sac in front of the Hilton. The aquarium is on the other side of the cul-de-sac. When we first got up, there were a couple of emergency vehicles (police, ambulance) with their blue and red lights flashing and a TV van down close to the Poydras St./Canal St. intersection and a bunch of people standing around in the area surrounding the cul-de-sac. I couldn’t tell what was going on so I just watched for a minute or two and returned to our morning activities. It wasn’t long before I started getting antsy and got ready to go out. Before leaving I went back over to the window and looked again. All the emergency vehicles were still there as was the TV station van. I couldn’t see any wrecked vehicles or apparent cause for all this activity so I just took off for the casino. I returned to my old haunts (Court of Good Fortune) and fed my first bill of the day into a VP machine. I was pretty much the only person there. I ordered a beer using the machine and soon April my cocktail waitress came to deliver it. As she walked up, she called me by name like we were old friends. That puzzled me until I figured that it must show up on the order when I make it. From then on, we were on a first name basis. I mentioned all that activity that I had witnessed outside of the casino. She replied that they were filming a movie out there today. I will have to keep my eyes open for any upcoming movies that feature a New Orleans location to see what sort of scene they filmed that day. This first machine gave me a 4OAK (9) and seven straights in fairly short order. I played for a while and eventually played down to where I had doubled the $100 I put in; so that seemed like a good time to take a profit. I decided to cash and take a walk. I walked all the way to the other end of the casino to the quarter bar but the bartender was not one of my favorites so I decided to find something else to do. McAllisters Deli (a regional food outlet that I highly recommend) is right next to the Hoodooo Lounge (quarter bar) so I ordered up some sandwiches and brownies to go. Add in some sweet tea and I had prepared lunch for us. It was ready in minutes and I took it back over to the hotel. It was kind of wet and dreary outside so I knew that the Baboo would likely want to stay inside until later on tonight. We made quick work of the delicious food and worked on a plan for later. She was to come over to the casino whenever she felt like it but if she wasn’t there by 6, I would come check on her. In the meantime, she had a movie that she was going to order up and watch. After a quick walk thru the tunnel, I was back among the bells and whistles of the casino. When I got back, I took a seat at the Signature Bar in order to watch their multiple TV’s while I played. Since I had crossed the Diamond threshold last night, I had less incentive to run up a big tier score today. I fired up a machine playing $ JOB. This dollar progressive has to be one of the slowest ever. It was still only $4,213 so that is a little over twelve dollars in over two days. Well, I would still be happy if I was fortunate enough to hit it. My new friend April the cocktail waitress was responsible for the slot area behind me and she just yelled over asking if I wanted a Miller Lite. Yes Maam. The bar might not have been open yet but the machines and TV’s were. This machine was throwing a lot of “keep you afloat” hands like trips and 2 pair but was stingy with hands that might put you ahead. I hit two FL, 3 FH, and 1 ST before my credit meter went to zero but it seemed like a foregone conclusion the entire time I was playing. It did give me a couple of bumps of rush with two 4 to a Royals ( a lack of a Q-hearts and J-clubs kept me from really getting a fast heart rate). Since I was out of credits, (adios C-note) I decided to stroll around for a while. But first I walked over to the doors going out to Poydras St. It looked like they were still filming because there were still police cars with flashing lights in view. I got up to the other end of the casino and eased by the craps table where I saw that they had not yet changed the minimums from $10 to $15. The table wasn’t super crowded but had enough people playing to make it lively. A quick buy-in and I was in action. The players ranged from guys who looked like they learned to shoot dice on a troop ship in WWII to some young pups who looked like they had just left the frat house at Tulane. No one had a legendary roll like you occasionally read about but just about everyone kept the dice for a few rolls. Even when people aren’t hitting their pass line bets a whole lot, my place bets are usually getting popped pretty frequently if they are throwing the dice for a while before the dreaded 7 shows up. I finally got the dice and my throwing went about like everyone else. I made two points and it took me about 10-12 rolls each time to make them. By the time the dice had made a full loop of the table, I had made $125 and decided that this might be a good time for a “hit and run” so I took my profits and ran. The quarter bar was in sight of the craps table and I saw a bartender friend of mine who has the same first name as me. I shouted at him and he shouted back so of course I had to have a drink with him. When I am not chasing TC’s, I like playing here because of the bartenders I know and the relaxed atmosphere. Plus you are close to the Canal St. entrance and the majority of visitors come in that way. It makes for active people watching. The down side is that that the machines get abused more. There were two machines out of order and mine worked but man were the buttons sticky. Anyway I caught up with my buddy for a few minutes but this bar stays busy and he had to get back to tending to his other customers. This machine had started cold and I had to put in a second $20 to keep playing. That second Jackson seemed to wake that RNG up and I started to get some cards. The progressive was $1,021.55 and I wanted it. I got some of my recordable hands (5 FH, 2FL, 4ST) and clawed my way up to 200 credits. I was quite happy to escape with my ten dollar profit. Walking back to the other end of the casino, I took the shortcut thru the Masquerade nightclub. It is a big circular nightclub with an inner circle where the actual bar is located. There is one table game pit on the outer edge but most of the area has booths , couches, and tables. There is a VIP area on the side of the bar opposite from the table game pit. There are statues of jazz musicians on a ledge that goes around the outer wall. When Harrah’s first opened, this was a Jazz Club but for some reason it never took off even in the city of Jazz. I still check them out almost every time I walk thru. They were getting ready to open the Signature Bar so I took a seat. The bartender noticed me and got me a Miller Lite without even asking. There are some benefits to playing in the same place for 3 days running and drinking the same thing all that time. One thing that was not to my benefit was this machine. Before they even got the bar officially open, I had burned a hundred out and zeroed my credit meter. I had only hit one each of my recordable hands on that hundred dollar investment so it was time to move. I didn’t move far and got the seat to my immediate right. As it turned out, this machine was much nicer to me. It hit a Full House on the second hand and kept on making me smile. My recordable hands were FH4,FL3,ST7 but I had a little more good fortune. I got two more 4 to a Royals. One the first one, I missed the K of spades I needed but on the second one I was drawing to 10-J-Q-K of clubs. I didn’t get the Ace but I did get the 9 of clubs for a straight flush. Yawzaa-that is a nice little $250 hit! I had almost hit one earlier. One of my 3 flushes was the 3-4-5-6-8 of hearts so maybe SF’s are this machine’s specialty. The odd thing is that I truly think that I have hit more Royals than I have just regular straight flushes. I know that it counter-intuitive since the math says that SF’s should come up much more often. Still, I can only remember ever hitting but 5-6 straight flushes and I know that I have hit 8 Royals. That hit let me cash for $200 more than I put in and that always make me happy. I was just sitting there plotting my next move when I heard that familiar YoooHooo call from The Baboo signifying “here I am”. She grabbed the seat next to me and fed a little money in to get ready to play. We have a few VP differences. She plays either .25 or .50 and I play dollars. I usually drink beer and she always gets a drink. (usually Captain Morgan & diet Coke). But we are the same in the amount of fun we have, especially when we are playing side by side. Our drinks and companionship were top notch but both our machines were cold. She doesn’t have the patience (or maybe stubborness) that I have so once she lost $40, she was ready to try something else. I had lost almost a hundred so I certainly did not disagree. We had gotten fresh drinks before we left so we were sort of just walking the perimeter of the casino talking. She told me of an encounter she had happened earlier with a homeless lady. The lady wasn’t intrusive but watched her playing a slot before she caught up with me. The homeless lady was encouraging The Baboo to win and told her that she was feeling a vibe that she was destined to win. It was “You gonna win Boo!, You got this Boo!. The good vibes were welcome but The Baboo doesn’t really enjoy someone sweating her action so after about 15 minutes she announced that she was going to give it a break for a few minutes. The lady asked “where you going”. Baboo replied that she was going over to the nearby gift shop. “Well, let’s go” was the woman’s response and off they went. Once inside, the lady was picking up and examining all sorts of stuff. That got the evil eye from the clerk so Baboo suggested they go outside. Once outside, she asked the lady what she wanted to do next. The lady replied that she wanted a hot dog. Baboo asked did she mean a Lucky Dog.. After the lady confirmed that ,they walked over by the poker room to the Lucky Dog cart and got her one. The homeless lady was obviously a Lucky Dog connoisseur because she rattled off her order of dog, chili, with a stripe of mustard without the blink of an eye. Baboo paid the bill and explained that she had to go find her “honey”. The woman wished her well and reminded her that she had felt that winning vibe coming from her earlier. We had made a full circle by now so we stepped into the Court of Good Fortune high limit area. It was time for us to play some slots as a team. Since I had already passed my Diamond threshold for the year, we played on her card. We stuck $50 each into a Triple Diamond machine. (that I am pretty sure had the nudge feature). We picked a good machine and started hitting a few winners. We finally hit a winner that allowed us to cash out with each of us $100 ahead and we had a lot of fun getting there. The Baboo picked the next machine but I don’t remember what it was. We fed a hundred into this one and if anything, it treated us better than the triple diamond did. We played for over an hour on this one machine and cashed out seven hundred ahead. I do remember that this machine involved sevens and we got three of them for our biggest hit. That put us a total of $900 ahead. I was really excited because way too often our joint ventures don’t turn out this successfully. Maybe that homeless lady knew more than we thought. We went to a third machine but that old saying about the third time being the charm was definitely not in play this time. We actually got to play for a decent amount of time but everything we hit was either for 5 credits or 10 credits so we never built up enough to cash. I think we might have hit for 20 credits one time but that wasn’t enough to offset the periods of drought we got on this machine. We finally got broke and decided to take a walk and regroup. We had both won $400 here in the high limit room and The Baboo was ready to hang on to her winnings. I needed some more steps on my Fitbit so I offered to walk her back to the hotel. We stopped for a nightcap at Gordon Birsch and then that was it for her. We split up after we came out from Gordon Birsch with her going to the room and me walking down Fulton St. to Manning’s. There were plenty of people here tonight. I got a TiTo’s and water and explained to the bartender what had happened to me the night before when no one was in the building. At first, she was incredulous but believed me after I kept insisting that it happened. She explained that they close at 10 on Tuesday and someone must have forgotten to lock the front door. I suggested that they review their video of that night to make sure what happened. Another Tito’s and some more conversation was a pleasant break from the casino but I headed back for some more action. My first stop was the Signature Bar. While I wasn’t worried about breaking 1,000 tier today, I was close enough to 500 that I did want to go over that milestone. I am wary of depending on table supervisors to rate you accurately so I wanted 500 before I played any more tables. I only needed a little over 40 pts and it did not take me long to get that knocked out and it only cost me twenty dollars to do it. After 3 days, I was starting to see cross-eyed from playing VP. I was in the mood to chase that $71,000 Caribbean Stud jackpot. Unfortunately when I got there , no dealer was present. Disappointed, I made my way over to a 3 card poker table and bought in. As luck would have it, my new friend with the big beard, Stewart was watching over this pit. I asked him about the CSP table being closed and he told me that it had only been closed about 20 minutes. Dang, late again. This table started out pretty good as I caught two straights paying 6-1 in my first 10-15 hands but when it turned cold, it turned real cold. We had a mostly full table when I sat down but people started dropping out after the dealer started making a lot of hands. Soon it was just me and one other person. That nice stack of chips I had built up dwindled down to my buy-in amount. I stuck it out a little longer but my enthusiasm was waning. When my poor cards continued and I got a hundred down, it was time for me to go and so I did. I had read about Harrah’s opening some outdoor smoking lounges complete with heaters and slot machines. Even though I have never smoked, I wanted to check them out. I knew they were over by the valet area and went in that direction. Before I got there, I ran into April, the cocktail waitress. She still remembered my name and said that the smoking area was part of her area. She told me to come on and she took me there. The smoking area didn’t seem too bad. The heaters kept it warm (in fact, it was hot if you got too close to them) and there were plenty of machines. It was maybe a little bit of tight quarters but the only thing I didn’t like was the metal fence that surrounded the entire area. I understood the need for it but it gave the area too much of a jail feel. I didn’t even notice the smoke because it dissipated so quickly in the outdoor air. By now I was about casino’d out. It seemed like a good time to walk down to the French Quarter. Canal St. was busy with people headed in all direction. Once I crossed Decatur, I moved a block into the Quarter and headed in the direction of Bourbon. Before I got there, I was in front of one of my favorite locals bar called Jumani’s. It is sort of dark and funky but that is the kind of place I love in New Orleans. I took a seat at the bar and ordered a beer. Another reason I like Jumani’s is that they have the Buzztime national trivia game that comes in on satellite. I got a couple of control boards and logged in to my account and The Baboo’s account. I played well enough to put up 2 scores on their top ten list of monthly scores. I hung around in here for an hour or two before deciding to really call it a night and head to the hotel. One other thing that I really like about Jumani’s is that they make GREAT pizza. I ordered one to take back to the room. When I got it, I had to eat a couple of pieces to give me the energy to make it back to the hotel. The walk back was pleasant and entertaining (New Orleans is full of unusual people) plus I was getting some more steps for my Fitbit. Bypassing the casino, I went straight to the room and was rewarded by The Baboo being awake. She was overjoyed to see the late night snack in the Jumani’s box. It was a fitting end to our trip.