Warning: read only if you have spare timeâ€¦ The five of us drive up from So CA and arrive at the Strip around 3pm. We drop by the Stardust to see if I can win some â€œdinner money.â€ Head over to mini-bac. Since I usually go for small but consistent percentage wins, I start with $1000. Well, that becomes about $200 after a half-hour. So, I pull out another grand. Manage to work that up to $2350. Color up. I quit with the $350 profit, a 15% gain. My brother Ren and I check in at the Lady Luck while the rest of the guys go to the Plaza. My first time at the LL. Now hereâ€™s what I love about this place: you donâ€™t have to be rich to get a lot of freebies. Just put in some action. You can be a quarter player at the tables and you can get a free room for the weekend plus use of the VIP Gold room! Whatâ€™s the big deal? Ren and I walk in and thereâ€™s this display of a fully stocked bar. While the host is checking me in, I canâ€™t help but to ask the naÃ¯ve question, â€œIs all that fair game?â€ She says, â€œYes sir. You and a guest have full access to that for the length of your stay.â€ No waiting for a waitress, no tipping. Walk in, pour a tall one, walk out. You can be sure I frequently loaded up on my favorite: 12yr old single malt scotch, Glenfiddich to be exact. I felt like a teenager who won a backstage pass to a concert. Needless to say, by the time Ren and I got to our room, we were buzzed. We meet up with the rest of the guys at the Plaza. Everyoneâ€™s had their share of alcohol at this point. A couple of us play mini-bac for only $5 minimum. In no time, I was up a few hundred. Did I quit? No. Stupid me. I was having such a good time, I wanted to continue partying. The other guys had left to play other games and I was the only one left at the table. I gave up a total of $850 to that table. My buddy reminds me to take a break. So, I finally drag-ass myself off that damn table. Then, the floorperson politely reminds me that I owe bankerâ€™s commission. OK, no prob. I search into my wallet. Damn. Zip. I left the rest of my $ in safe deposit at LL. I tell him I need to withdraw from the oleâ€™ jackpot atm. I come back and pay up. I figured now would be a good time to ask for a comp, which he grants: an $850 dinner. I should relax at the bar, but I found the guys at a full craps table along with other young adults they just met . Theyâ€™re all playing the pass line. I can go either way. Test the waters. Quarter on the dc. Up behind the 9. Lay $75. Heâ€™s rollinâ€™ good numbers, but no 9 nor 7. Gets his point. Now Iâ€™m thinking, if this guys rolls a 7 on this come-out thereby winning my no-9 bet , Iâ€™m gonna buy the line. Shoâ€™ nuff. Front line winner. Plus two more 7â€™s after that. Now, whatâ€™s a gambler to think? Right. That he got those nasty 7â€™s out of them bones for a while. Establishes point 4. So, I go for it: $10 hard 4. Placed $50 each on 5&9. $60 each on 6&8. $50 buy on 10. Back up my quarter pass line bet with 8x odds for $200. I would have taken maximum of 10x but I had no more chips. I got about $500 riding on every roll. The whole table is chanting â€œtwenty-two, twenty-two.â€ Line numbers keep coming out and Iâ€™m getting paid $70 per pop. The chips were stacking up so much I couldnâ€™t cover them with one hand anymore. Always cover your chips at the dice table; thieves can reach under your elbow and steal chips while you strain to see what #â€™s were rolled at the other end. I told Ren to get me a coin cup into which I threw all my chips. Finallyâ€¦I couldnâ€™t believe my eyes. Hard 4! The whole table erupts. Of course, I get paid double on my odds. Shooter makes a few more passes and finally sevens out not crap out <â€“ no such thing . Time to quit. I count my chips and it amounts to about $1250. Color up. I put the chips back in the cup which I give to the dealer who hands it to the box man who pours the pile on the felt. I couldnâ€™t resist making the wisecrack to one of my buddies that I was actually making the box man work J. When he finally gets done counting, he leans back and hollers to his floor supervisor, â€œColor out $1350.â€ I could hardly believe my ears. Of course, I wasnâ€™t about to argue since it didnâ€™t matter who miscounted J, as long as the error is on the high side. A piece of advice: if a pit personnel overpays you, donâ€™t draw attention to it. He wonâ€™t appreciate you making him look bad in front of his coworkers and superiors. If pocketing the overpayment is a moral dilemma for you, give it to the dealers as gratuity. And I couldnâ€™t pass up the opportunity to ask for another dinner comp which the floorman generously granted for my only 15-20 minutes of action. Spent the rest of the night getting blitzed with the guys in honor of the groom. The following morning, Ren and I decide to go the Mirage while the other guys play golf. Ren doesnâ€™t really gamble other than the occasional pulls on the quarter slots. He gets off by simply watching other people gamble. We walked around watching high limit betting. Then, I took him to watch, from a distance, some Asian players at the Baccarat room. Five $5000 chips per hand. 25gâ€™s riding on the turn of the cards. What a sight! We passed by a $25 minimum mini-bac table so I drop 2 greens on Banker to win lunch money. Not. Itâ€™s player. Little did I know this was a chopping table from hell. To my initial buy-in of $100, I added $300 later, and then another $900. At this point, Iâ€™ve been sitting for 1.5 hrs with only $400 left. I was willing to bet that a Banker streak was starting to show so I bet it all. Bingo. I let the $800 ride. There it is! Color up. I ask the floor person for a comp and walk away with my $1300 capital, a $200 profit and a free lunch at CA Pizza Kitchen. After lunch, we head back to the Lady Luck for some naptime since the bachelor party was that night. Woke up and had a quick bite from leftovers piling up in room. Met with the guys at the Plaza suite, which was basically 3 rooms connected together, the middle room being the gather area. They paid $160 per weekend night. Thatâ€™s like getting 3 for 1. Not bad, spacious too. I hang out for a while until the strippers arrived. I have this custom where if I avoid strippers and nude bars when in Vegas at a bachelor party, I win at the tables. Wallet first, testosterone later, with the wife. So, I head over to Excalibur to take care of some business. I buy in at a dice table hoping for a repeat of the previous nightâ€™s hot roll. Seven out. Down $400, I try the mini-bac table which was full. Scoreboard shows 5 player wins in a row, then 3 consecutive ties, then 4 banks in a row. Streaky. My kind of table. I bet $250 on bank. Player wins. Damn. It switched. Thatâ€™s ok. Itâ€™ll probably be a player streak now. $100 on player. Now bank wins. The shoe got choppy just when I started. Even worse, it stayed choppy for the rest of the shoe. $500 bet. Gone. $1000. Bye. I went up as high as $1800 for a single bet. That moved only one way. Sure, I won some hands, but I was down a total of $5000 at the shuffle. Maybe thatâ€™s why a casino host introduced himself to me and offered his services, â€œIf thereâ€™s anything I can do for you, let me know.â€ Never had that happen to me before. Am I losing that much? A small consolation when I think about my 5gâ€™s. Others at the table suffered similar losses and left. I thought, â€œCrap! Iâ€™ve never been in the hole by this much before. Maybe I shoulda stayed with the boys at the party? Maybe I should cut my losses now.â€ Now, lucky for me, the Excalibur takes a loooooong time to shuffle and mix the mini-baccarat cards between shoes. I had a long break so I had the dealer save my seat, and I took a walk. I did some thinking and decided to do what any â€œreasonableâ€ gambler wouldâ€¦I was going to work that $5000 back onto my side of the table. I buy in with my last $2000 and begin the grind, limiting my bets from $25 to $300. A new player sits next to me and buys in for the same amount. Heâ€™s optimistic on Banker. Heâ€™s betting $500 to $1000 a hand and winning. Ok, if this shoe is teetering toward Banker, this is what Iâ€™ve been waiting for. Time to super size the bets back to the occasional $900 to $1500. Shoâ€™ nuff. After some time, the score was about 13 wins for Bank peppered with about 3 wins for the Play. I rode Bank for most of it. Got my capital of $7000 plus $500 profit. Whew! Donâ€™t get greedy. Color up. At the cage, as I was reuniting with my bennys, I remembered the casino hostâ€™s offer. Hmmmm. I wonder what he could give me. I found him and asked for a fully comped meal for the five of us to be used tomorrow. No problem. Hereâ€™s a $175 comp ticket. Thanks, Alan. Meet up with the rest of the guys at the Plaza and we use the second comp ticket from the previous night. Went back to my room to catch up on sleep. Wake up late the next morning and I call my host to get a late check out. She says that sheâ€™ll just give me an addâ€™l night. Cool. The guys are supposed to pick us up early afternoon so we can head over to Bellagio and then to Excalibur for the comp. Thatâ€™s still a few hours away. I figure Ren and I should take advantage of another comp ticket as a quick brunch. We finish eating and just kind of loiter in the casino with our after meal drinks from the VIP bar. Iâ€™m thinking Ren might be lucky in 50 cent chip roulette so I buy him in $10. I buy in for $40 in dollar chips and I hit a drought. Buy in for a few more hundred; still nuthin. Iâ€™m getting the little wins but that isnâ€™t going to put me back into positive territory. The rest of the guys come walking in ready to go and I realize how much time has gone by. By this time Iâ€™m betting $25 chips straight up hoping for a single hit. Otherwise, Iâ€™ll leave that table -$500. I bet a quarter each on 17 and 20. What a feeling when the dealer slammed that marker onto my chip at 17! A few smaller wins after that and I color up with a $750 profit. Now, Iâ€™m ready to go but my other buddy Bert is into trying out his wheel sector betting system. The other guys are hungry. So, although Ren and I already ate, I unashamedly ask for a comped lunch for 4. Heck! It keeps me from returning to the gaming tables! After these guys fill up, we pull Bert off the roulette table. Heâ€™s managed to work his $20 buy-in up to $190. Bert ate his meal on the way to Bellagio. Took the guys around the Bellagio to watch some high limit losses at the bj tables. Thatâ€™s always entertaining for us working class folk. Showed them the $1000 denomination slot machine just so I can see their eyes bug out. Too windy so fountains were shut down. Dropped a few bets at the mini-bac table on the way out. $250 profit for 3 minutes of playtime. This is the way I like to do it. We finally get to Excaliburâ€™s Sherwood CafÃ© to use the comp. We order filet mignon at $25 a pop and appetizers for each of us. Halfway through the feast, I notice the guys are starting to grimace cuz theyâ€™re getting so full. I got hit with a laugh attack so bad I thought I was going to faint. Ren had to go take a walk and splash water on his face cuz he was afraid the food was getting to his head. Bert was bracing himself on the chairâ€™s armrests cuz he was concentrating on preventing the food from traveling up his throat. The other two were just slouched quietly nursing their bellies. That scene was so funny I couldnâ€™t stop laughing for a good 15 minutes. We packed the filet mignon to go. Ren commented that for the first time ever heâ€™s relieved that the serving isnâ€™t very large. Returned to LL to get luggage. Left Vegas around 9pm. Arrived home and was happy to see wife and daughter. Bottom line: $2400 in winnings minus $350 in tips and travel expenses equals about $2050 deposited in bank. Color up!