Sorry it has taken so long to post a TR. Now that I am â€œthe bossâ€, taking a whole week off during audit season ended up being a real bad move. I am almost dug out and can see a third of my desk again, so I am taking some time to write. This is long, but that is how I like them. The short version is walked, drank, gambled, saw the sun come up, sleep a little bit (~14 hours over the course of 3 nights with zero sleep on the last night), repeat. Here is the longer versionâ€¦ I promised my brother (Dirk) that when he turned 21, Vegas was on me. All he had to pay for was booze, gambling and any extra-curricular activities. Although he turned in April, we waited for August to catch the WSOP main event. We had planned for the Luxor at $89/night, and then canceled in favor of Mirage at $99/night when I got their deal, but when I got the Wynn for $119/night with the handy $150 in freeplay, Mirage was out too. $477 total for two RT tix on Allegiant from Des Moines and the gambling budget was looking pretty good. Usually when I land at LAS, I get teary eyed and my heart actually speeds up, (Both signs of true addiction, they tell me) but not this time. No this time my heart was racing already because we had a huge crosswind and they still brought us in on the main runway! I thought we were going touch a wing on the tarmac coming down. SO I was robbed of the overwhelming joy of arrival and just happy to be alive. Off the baggage claim and then no wait for a cab at all! We zipped over to the Wynn in no time, put our luggage in the capable hands of the bell staff and went to check in. It was about 3:30-4:00 and the reception area was a zoo. No real queue, just a sea of people. I waited in the mass for a bit and then realized that with the $119, I was technically an invited guest. I shuffled over to the VIP section and checked right in. We got to the room and it was very nice. Not THEhotel nice, but still not bad. I thought the automatic curtains/sheers where a good touch. The TV was too small though. The bathroom was almost identical to THEhotel, so that was the highlight. We had two double beds that were comfy to me (but opinions on that topic can vary). We had a nice view of the north strip and the golf course. I think there were maybe 8 groups out there all week (but we didnâ€™t spend a lot of time looking). I called to have the feathers removed and get the luggage. It took awhile for the luggage and we left before the bedding could be changed. The bellman was very nice and suggested that we check out the European pool area where the topless ladies could be found. We never made it out to the pool, so I canâ€™t speak to that topic. Then the marathon began. First we looped the Wynn to get our bearings, turn my freeplay into $123 of real money on the $1 Texas Tea machine and headed over to TI. It was hot, but not unbearable. Wandered TI and took the tram to Mirage. We wandered over to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. I had the Thai chicken pizza; my brother had the cheese pizza. Both were good. Mine was not overly impressive. I can get better locally. The tab was around $30. Then we walked over to Harrahâ€™s and caught the shuttle to Rio. Afterall, we chose the hottest damn month of the year for a reason, we needed to figure out what was up with the WSOP. They were clearly ahead of schedule and I wanted to make sure we got our moneyâ€™s worth. We found the venue and spoke to a security guard to get the skinny. They would be going from 27 to 9 the next day (Tuesday) and the Final table would be Thursday. After hiking back to the casino, we walked over the Gold Coast for some Pai Gow Poker. A lot of smoke, but the game was good. We had a lot of fun talking to the old timers on the game. My $2 bill tips worked as expected and the nice lady kept the drinks flowing non-stop. I remember cashing in chips, so that was good. We then wandered over to Palms for some fun. Walked past H&H and saw Dizzle through the sea of people. We wandered and gambled. I got 250 points on my card in about an hour or so and got a â€œfreeâ€ hat. My brother got 100 points and got a â€œfreeâ€ backpack. We caught a cab back to Wynn and went to the room to drop off the goodies and head back out. We hit Frontier for some craps (with bad results) and then wandered south and hit TI. We found the giant Wheel of Fortune game with the big wheel in the middle. It has double sized chairs so we sat down and each put in $20 and took turns hitting spin. In no time we hit for the 10,000 credits! (oops it was a penny machine, but $100 is $100.) We then headed to Venetian and then south. We ended up at Paris and then Bellagio. We walked back to the Poker room and were amazed by the people in the room. We saw Sam Grizzle playing high limit Omaha. David William and Cindy Violette were sitting beside one another at another table. Then we saw them open the door to Bobbyâ€™s room. Ivey, Greenstein, Chau and Gus, where the faces we recognized. I donâ€™t know what the game was, but I canâ€™t imagine even thinking about sitting down at that table! We saw the lobby and conservatory and then decided to head back north. We saw the sun coming up and encountered joggers just starting their days! Fun Vegas fact, they power wash the sidewalks between 3:30 and 4:00 in the morning. Not that it is a big surprise, but now I know. I left the curtains open and just closed the sheers. BIG mistake! The sun was brutal and in my eyes in no time. Hell with it, as long as we are up, we might as well get a jump on the day. We hit the Peppermill for breakfast. It was my first trip there, and it was HUGE. The food was good. I had the canadian bacon, eggs, potatoes and toast. They donâ€™t have peanut butter, so that was a let down. My brother had waffles. Neither of us could put more than a dent in our food before we were stuffed. We then headed over to the Riviera and then, when we could not find the cab stand, over to Circus Circus to catch a cab to Rio. We got there in time to get seats right before they started. We had fun watching. I am going to take a chronological break from the action for you poker fans. Over the course of the 18 hours we watched poker (5 hours Tuesday, 13 hours Thursday) we came within a few feet of the following folks: Allen Cunningham, T.J. Cloutier, John Juanda, David Ulliott, Phil Gordon, Scotty Nguyen, Doyle, Joe Hachem, Phil Hellmuth, Hoyt Corkin, Jeffrey Lasandro and Jennifer Harman. Plus 4 other old time bracelet winners, I donâ€™t remember. But the crowning moments where getting Johnny Chan, Chris Ferguson and Greg Raymersâ€™ autographs. I shook Gregâ€™s hand and got to tough the bracelet even! Okay, back on task. Nothing earth shaking about the event that day. The most excitement was when Dirk and I almost got clocked by the boom camera. But it missed by about an inch, so no large pain and suffering settlement in our future. We had to meet Mikey downtown for dinner at 7:00, so we left at 5:00 to get cleaned up and head to the Main Street Station. We got there a little earlier and waited to Mikey to show up. We got right in and ordered. I had the Prime Rib, Dirk had a cheese pizza and Mikey had a burger. The food was good and just over $30. Mikey was gracious enough to bring some fine cigars and after peeing on the Berlin Wall we found an empty $10 Pai Gow table. We laughed, drank smoked and gambled. Dirk got out his Vegas Scaveger hunt to mark off â€œpee on the Berlin wallâ€ and passed it over to Mikey. He gave some pointers and we decided what he could help get checked off. At one point this idiot sits down at the table, covers his nose with his shirt and asks how long we will be smoking. Mikey looks at his cigar and estimates another two hours. He got a shocked look on his face and Mikey busted his chops for sitting down at a table with three guys smoking cigars and bitching about it! He concedes the point (as you will soon find out he was not a quick witted fellow). After that he became pleasant and tried to have conversation. The typical crap about where you live and what you do. When Mikey said he was a dealer, the guy got a surprised look on his face and said, â€œDrugs?â€ We died! Dude, you need a better class of friends! Dumbass, what do you think that uniformed gentleman in the across the table passing out cards is?! The cards were not kind and the idiot was not adequate company, so we colored up a few stray chips and headed over to the Las Vegas Club to find Dora and check another item off the list. Sadly no Dora, so we had to find someone else to bring us our drinks. By the time we lost money and everyone started to color up, we were fed up with downtown. We never actually even set foot on Fremont Street! Mikey fetched his new wheels from the MSS valet and we took a tour of the more entertaining parts of Fremont Street; the parts that Mayor Goodman doesnâ€™t want you to know about. We drove out to Boulder Station in search of cheap Pai Gow. We found a $10 table all to ourselves. More drinks were served and laughs were plenty. Dirk even got to see his first hoochie momma â€œworkingâ€ to floor. â€œPlay spot the hookerâ€ check another one off the list! As we walked out the door broke, my brother had a great line, â€œYou guys are chumps, at least I never had to pay a commission!â€ That laugh capped off the trip to Boulder Station. Being the consummate host, Mikey drop us back to Mandalay Bay. He offered to take us to Wynn, but since the Bay was closer to home, and the night was young we said the Bay would be fine. Mikey even took us in past the Welcome sign for good measure! Thanks for the good times Mikey!!! Sorry you have never won a stinking dime gambling with me. Maybe next time we should stick to food, drinks and cigars! As I walked into the Bay, that sweet aroma overtook me and I almost wept! I was HOME! After stopping at the island bar and being disappointed that they no longer have a blender! We took our $18 worth of booze and toured Mandalay Bay. We walked all the way back to Shark Reef so Dirk could see the convention area and get a feel for the size of the joint. I hit my $1 Texas Tea machine in the high limit area for a quick $100 (it still has the magic!) and we left the Bay through the shopping area. Quick tour of Luxor and a walk straight out of Excalibur to NYNY. Coyote Ugly was a calling! The 54oz. boot full â€˜o beverage was gone, but they had huge footballs. We opted for the extra shot (a misnomer as the bottom two and a half inches of the football was filled with rum) and the fun began. This is where things get a bit hazy. I remember leaving MGM and walking to Aladdin. But then the wheels came off. I have vague memories of playing the giant Wheel of Fortune and whenever the big wheel would spin (even when not for us) we were clapping and yelling â€œBig money! Big Money! No whammies!â€ I remember being in front of Ballyâ€™s and someone asking where we got our beverages. I held it up and yelled, â€œCoyote Ugly is where it is at!â€ People began to stare, and Dirk determined that they where just jealous of our â€˜balls! I have fuzzy memories of playing the Giant WoF at Barbary and two trips to the menâ€™s room (I guess the seal was broken!) I donâ€™t remember how we got to TI, but by then the footballs were gone and we got more Pina Coladas. â€œThey have whip cream on themâ€¦ Thatâ€™s fun!â€ We managed to hit $100 on another $1 Texas tea and $50 on the Giant WoF machine. We stumbled back to Wynn and went to bed. Curtains closed this time! A few hours later and we were up. Wednesday was the day for â€œThe Driveâ€. So we marched up to Sahara concerned over passing the breathalyzer test. We managed and we both plunked down $10 for two rides. I took out an H3, like the one I had just bought, to get feel for its capabilities. It was unreal! Driving around a corner on a 45 degree angle is nuts! The second ride I took was in a Cadillac STS-V. 469 HP or so and 0-60 in about 4.5. Plus it road like a dream. If I had a spare $75k just lying around, I would give it some serious consideration. Dirk opted for the Caddy and the Vette for his two rides. His comment on the Vette was, â€œI only hit the brakes once, otherwise it was like it was on rails.â€ If you have a chance, defiantly stop by â€œThe Driveâ€ We took the monorail to MGM and then walked over to MB for breakfast at Raffles. Afterall, it is not Vegas unless I get to eat at Raffles at least once. Then we strolled over to Hooters. I was not impressed at all. The outside is San Remo with an Owl and some orange neon lines. The inside was wood and tin. And whose brilliant idea was it to have hooter girls working the pits, but not the craps table? I would be tossing out place bets left and right, take â€˜em down, put â€˜em up every other roll! They could make a killing! But instead, it was three grumpy looking men working to supplement their Social Security benefits, standing guard at a dead table! It was now 6:30, and for the life of me, I canâ€™t remember how we got from 12:00 to 6:30, but we did. I swear, I was not even drinking! We took the monorail back to Harrahâ€™s and trudged north to Wynn to get cleaned up for the night. I wanted to give Dirk an opportunity to experience some of the Sin in Sin city so we cabbed it over to Little Darlings. I had been there two years prior and had a pleasurable time. We got our drinks and found some seats in the third row, stage right and sat down. I turned to Dirk and he was being hauled away by two scantly clad young women. Brother doesnâ€™t waste any time! I myself waited to see each of the ladies before taking my pick. (Oddly enough, I am quite the monogamist when in one of those establishments.) Dirk returned about 3 songs later with a smile on his face! He said the bed dances were â€œworth the price of admission.â€ On to watching the talent work the room. One woman scared the hell out of me. She looked like she would beat my ass for fun! Two gals looked like they were at least 4 months pregnant and should have been off the pole. A couple of the women looked like they belonged in a Cirque show over on the Strip. They did some amazing tricks about 15 feet above the stage. Once they had all had their shot, I made my pick. I went with the one who scared the hell out of me. An odd choice to say the least, but it was intriguing. (Definitely out of character for me.) We went back for 6 songs in bed. And my instincts were right; she had a nasty streak in her! She was quite gentle in her actual dancing, but she had claws and liked to bite! With that fun over it was back to the show. A couple interesting things happened during the 5 hours were there (Time flies when you are having fun!) First we saw Jesse from Hart & Huntington come in. Then we saw a guy come in with a wannabe porn star (or maybe a real one, I donâ€™t know). They sat center stage, gynecologistsâ€™ row. The MC had brought all the girls on stage for a promo dollar dance. He lost his composure at the site of her enormous breasts and stopped the show. He said, â€œOkay, letâ€™s get this over with, lets see â€˜em!â€ She obliged at pulled won her dress. Good times! The final â€œinteresting thingâ€ that happened goes on the all time awkward moments list. This diminutive, young woman came out and did her first song and sauntered offstage to divest herself of her g-string and her next song came on. Two bars into it, I turned to my brother and he had this look of horror on his face. I said Dear God no! But there was no stopping it. There are many songs that are not appropriate for a Strip Club. Until that night, I thought the worst was maybe the ballad of the Edmund Fitzgerald. No, my vote for the worst song to hear in a strip club is now, â€œSheâ€™s Only Seventeen!â€ With that we hit the door. There is usually a modicum of sleaziness dripping from you when you leave a nude club, but I needed a shower badly after that! Back to the Wynn to clean up. Look, itâ€™s the sun again! Time to hit the hay for the last time. We crawled out of bed Thursday morning for the last time. After getting ready, we headed to Harrahâ€™s for another shuttle ride to Rio. We got there about noon and opted for the buffet. It was a very good buffet. I think it was around $35 for two of us. It had a lot of freshly cooked food stations and a huge selection. I thought the Final Table started at noon and figured by first break, the folks who thought it would be like on TV would realize it is a different story when they donâ€™t give you the hole card cams and post the percentages. My plan was to swoop in and snake some good seats. When rounded the corner and saw the huge queue, my naÃ¯ve hopes were dashed. They were passing out hats and shirts. So I decided to â€œpimpâ€ for Poker Stars.net and wore the free hat. Turns out it didnâ€™t start until 2:00 with a presentation and introductions. The cards hit the air around 2:30. Realizing we were out of luck on seats we created our own viewing section near one of the big screen TVâ€™s by pulling chairs from the empty poker tables. We waited until first break and then got in a much shorter line to wait for seats. We waited around 4 hours until we finally got in right before the dinner break. Dirk was first one in and had a great seat. My seat was bad, but it was inside the velvet ropes none-the-less! The good news is that once you are â€œinâ€ you get a hand stamp and are allowed re-entry while the unwashed masses huddled, begging for admittance. (Nevermind I was one of them 20 minutes earlier). When they took a break we wandered back to the beer tent and food court for a beverage and snack. Then it was back inside the venue. The folks sitting beside Dirk had left so I got to sit by him. They were GREAT seats. Third row, right by the path where they brought in the cash. No shotguns this year, but I figured I still had no chance of making it out the door with one of the Halliburton briefcases. (Oh yeah, the days of the cardboard box are but mere memories now.) There was a giant plasma screen TV over my left shoulder. It made no sense. No one was watching it. We asked one of the ESPN guys what the point was. He said it was a set up shot. When Alan Cunningham was trying to make a decision, they could throw his opponents face up of the screen and have a shot with both men in the frame. Score, I might get some quality face time on ESPN! I got a miniscule shot on the high-def version two years ago, but basically you had to know what you were looking for and use the DVR slow forward feature. Given my ever expanding girth and lack of athletic talent. It is my only real shot at making an ESPN highlight reel! We were sitting amongst some of Paulâ€™s friends, so we decided to cheer for him. Iâ€™m a cheap whore apparently. It was an absolute blast! We had told Mikey we would try to make it out to Sunset Station that night, but it was a poker fans wet dream sitting there, so we didnâ€™t make it to Sunset. Sorry Mikey! It was now 3:00 in the morning and there were three players left. We had not packed and with the new security rules, we had to be at the airport extra early. So, figuring this thing was due to go until at least 6 or 7, we left. Dirk swiped a seat cushion as an extra souvenir on the way out. We were not even in the cab when it was down to two players and about 40 minutes later it was all over! Oh well, we now know to pack before we leave the room on the last day! Off to Wynn, and a quick pack job. We cleared out all the freebies left by housekeeping and hit the elevator. I told Dirk to wait by the luggage while I went to discuss a discrepancy with the desk staff and check out. Tryst (Wynnâ€™s nightclub) was letting out and he was approached by two scantily clad women who were clearly hammered. They had long-ago lost their shoes and were extra frisky! Apparently they approached him and asked, â€œComing or going?â€ He said going and they replied that they were heartbroken. He was pissed! â€œWhy hadnâ€™t this happened any of the other nights?!?!â€ I told him to chase them down and I would spot him five minutes before going for a cab. He thought about it a moment and, figuring that they would probably pass out before any fun could be had, he reluctantly picked up his bag and we shuffled out the door. We got to the airport and it was a zoo! We apparently were the only ones to catch the news about the new security precautions. There some very pissed off women who had spent considerable sums of money at Sephora and now had to toss it all! As we stood in line we saw folks trying to chug their beverages before they got to the check point. One guy was even two fisting apples to try to get them eaten. Not that they were taking fruit, but whatever. Once at the D gate we stopped for food. WARNING, do not get the breakfast special from the stand just west of the restaurant with the desert theme. It was GOD-AWFUL! Dirk got a Cinni-bun and was happy with it. As we waited at the gate, we tried to remain conscious so as not to miss our flight. We heard some high comedy while we waited. There were three college guys passed out on the floor. One of their friends was chatting up some middle aged women to kill time. He mentioned that they were all very tired from spending so much time at The Library. The ladies thought that was quaint, taking time out of their trip to study! I laughed hysterically. For those of you who donâ€™t get it. We passed The Library on our trek out to Boulder Station Tuesday night. It is a topless club. So when the ladies wanted to set these â€œnice young boysâ€ up with their daughters they wer in for a surprise! The plane finally arrived and I passed out shortly after the Strip vanished under the wing. I canâ€™t wait to go back! Only 198 Days until my next trip! I am still stuck on the â€œfirst stepâ€: admitting I have a problem! For those that are still with me, thanks for reading!