Just returned from a trip from July 27 - 31 at NYNY. This was my gift to my younger son to celebrate his 21st birthday. Flight out of Oâ€™Hare was uneventful and on time at 11:45 a.m. Upon arrival we proceeded to Thrifty to pick up the vehicle. As a Blue Chip Member, the transaction was fast and in about 10 minutes we were on our way in a sebring. Car was fine and the air conditioner capably handed the hot Vegas weather. Got to NYNY and there was no line. I asked if there was room facing the strip and the clerk said she had one ready. Room was on the 19th floor of the Century tower and from the window you could see the MGM, Tropicana and McCarran. Okay, so it wasnâ€™t the best of views but it met our needs. Since he didnâ€™t actually turn 21 until midnight on the 28th, gambling was out for the next few hours. After unpacking we headed down the strip to the Tickets2nite booth by the M&M store. We decided on the Tribute to the Ratpack at the Greek Isles. Although only 21, my son has listened to Frank, Dean and Sammy since he was an infant so he was okay with that choice. We took a ride to a local retailer and picked up a few odds and ends including some beer for the room. My older son who had moved out there a couple of months ago called and came up to the room and we visited for a couple of hours until it was time to head to the show. On the advice of the young man working the Tickets2nite booth, we purchased the general admission seating (saves you $5 per ticket) and used the $10 savings to tip the maitre dâ€™ at the show. Turned out to be good advice as we ended up with a private booth in the preferred seating section, second to the main aisle. Pretty much as dead center as you can get. The fact that is was a Thursday and not sold out helped our location as we were moved a couple of times before we ended up in that booth....each time improving our location. The show was very good. The performers did a great job and we both enjoyed the show. This was my second time seeing them and I do consider it one of the best values for the dollar available. There were a lot of laughs and the only negative was the showroom was getting very warm towards the end. I donâ€™t know if they were having problems with A/C or if they purposefully donâ€™t keep it cool in order to protect the performers voices. Mind you, it wasnâ€™t awful but I did feel a few beads of perspiration forming on my head. Back to NYNY and a late dinner at ESPN Zone which was very average although service was good. We had another 45 minutes or so until it was midnight and headed over to Monte Carlo. At precisely 12:00 midnight we approached a blackjack table and as I had instructed him to do, he put the $10 bill I had given him in the circle and said â€œMoney playsâ€. The dealer looked at him and asked him for his ID (something that happened throughout the trip). The dealer looked at the clock in the pit which I could see showed 12:00 midnight and smiled and said â€œLooks like you just made itâ€. He called over a pit boss who also looked at the ID and then wished him luck giving the ID back to him. The entire table was extending their birthday congrats to him and the dealer dealt the cards. He ended up with 7-4 and with the dealer showing a 5, I grabbed a $20 from my wallet and told him to â€œdouble downâ€. The dealer dealt him a 10 making his 21. The dealer busted anyway but he was still a winner on his first hand. My son played a couple of more hands and got his stake up to $50. After the dealer won 3 hands in a row, I tapped my son on the shoulder and said we should go. The dealer looked at my son and smiled and said â€œYes, this would the time for you to leave before you lose it all backâ€. And with that piece of advice he got up and we went to play some slots. We ended up staying up pretty much all night playing slots. On Friday, we headed over to the Gold Coast as my son really wanted to see the World Series of Poker at the Rio and I prefer to park in GC. We found a $22 buy-in tournament starts daily at 10:00 a.m. at the GC and although we were too late for that tournament, my son said he wanted to go there back tomorrow and play. We played some slots at GC and then headed over to the Rio. The World Gaming Expo was going on and they were giving away all sorts of stuff including T-shirts, magazines, totebags and other trinkets advertising their respective gaming websites. We picked up a couple of things and saw a couple of professionals signing autographs and promoting their various sponsors. (Joseph Hachem was one I recognized. We also saw Greg Raymer and Scottie Nguyen out in the hallway). We then headed down to the room where the tournament was being held. Unfortunately, they werenâ€™t letting anyone into the room. The doors were closed and locked and a mass of people were outside. Occasionally someone would attempt to enter the room by knocking on the door where they were met by a security guard telling them they couldnâ€™t enter. The only information you got was from those closer to the front of the line who were passing back information that â€œweâ€™d be allowed to enter at the next break which was in about 5 minutesâ€. We stood there for a few more minutes and many players began exiting and we thought â€œOh good, hereâ€™s the break and we can get inâ€. But no, they still werenâ€™t letting people in. Word from the front passed back that half the players were going on break now, and the next break would be in 15 minutes for the other half. It made sense but there was still no word on if and when the observers would be let into the room. So after about 30 minutes standing there waiting, we left. It appeared to me that the tournament sponsors did a terrible job of preparation and even a worse job of communication. Even if they didnâ€™t expect that type of crowd to come and observe, what would it have taken them to have someone standing outside the door telling people what was going on? It was pretty poorly handled and hopefully theyâ€™ll be better prepared and post some signs indicating when people can enter and leave the room next time. We gambled a few hours on the slots and we held our own. I ended up cashing out about $40 ahead and my son down about $20 after several hours of play. My older son and his roommate came out and hung out with us before we headed back to the Monte Carlo Brew Pub for chicken wings and beer. We got one of their large beer towers and managed to polish that off among the 4 of us. After that, we parted ways and we headed back to the room. We got up early the next morning and entered the tournament at the GC. My son got busted out in the first half hour and he was pretty mad as he considers himself a pretty good poker player. I managed to hang in there and made the final table but was short stacked. There was some discussion about chopping the pot which would have given us each $138 dollars and of course I was all for it since I was short stacked. Everyone agreed except the chip leader so there was no chop. I canâ€™t say as I blame him but it wouldâ€™ve been nice to walk away with something. I busted out 2 hands later as I went all in on A-8 os against a Q-J os. The the flop came Q-9-6 of diamonds and the pair of Qâ€™s held up. I was pretty happy finishing 9th (I think there were about 80 players to start with) since Iâ€™d never played poker in Vegas before but it still wouldâ€™ve been nice to make some money. We headed out to Red Rock Casino and found it to be everything everyone has raved about. A very beautiful casino that just had a good vibe. We played for a few hours both slots and blackjack. My son ended up hitting a penny machine for over $100 and Red Rock was rightfully his favorite casino of the trip. We stopped at The Orleans for some more slot play and eventually got back to NYNY and played some more. On Sunday, my son wanted to return to the GC and enter the tournament again. This time, I busted out within the first half hour but he managed to last another hour and a half before busting out himself. We headed over the Palms for an hour or so but I wasnâ€™t feeling too well and decided to head back to NYNY so I could lay down. I donâ€™t know if I was just exhausted or if the lightning in the Palms was just giving me what felt like vertigo. At any rate, after I had laid down for an hour and a half, I felt much better. My older son and roommate had come over to the hotel and they had gone back with my younger son to the Rio to try to get some free stuff at the World Gaming Expo but found that there wasnâ€™t anything left. They came back and got me and we went over to the Excalibur and Luxor and had dinner at the Sherwood Forest CafÃ© with some comp dollars I had left on my players club card. After dinner, my older son and roommate left and my younger son and I went to the Comedy Store at the Tropicana and caught the show. It was very funny and we both had a lot of laughs. We played some $5 blackjack and penny slots at the Trop. Although I did okay at the slots, my usual run of 12's, 13's and 14's against the dealerâ€™s 10-up continued in blackjack. Despite the poor cards, I managed to play about 45 minutes before quitting down only $17.50. Some more gambling continued over at MGM where I introduced my son to nickel keno machines. I started playing these a few trips back and Iâ€™ve found that this is a good way to kill some time and you can actually make some money n them. With a max bet of .20 cents (4 coins), thereâ€™s even less temptation as in the penny slots to play 2 - 4 dollars on a max bet on one of those machines. We both ended up hitting for 7 out of 9 numbers which paid $51.00 so we walked out ahead of MGM. Played a bit more at NYNY and then headed up to the room. After a few hours sleep, we got up, packed our bags and headed back to Monte Carlo before checking out. We played some slots and we were both holding our own before it was time to head back, check-out and get to the airport. All-in-all it was a great trip. Being a part of my younger sonâ€™s 21st birthday was money well spent. Spending time with my both my sons was piceless. I canâ€™t wait to save up some money and plan another trip since I now have the best â€œgambling buddiesâ€ a guy could hope.