I will try to make this trip report as organized as possible... it might be pretty long depending on how much I remember. Enjoy!!! I don't feel like editing this so my apologies for spelling and grammatical errors! WARNING: I'm pretty blunt about some stuff and some content may not be suitable for young children. Also, after reading some of what may be "controversial" content, please don't flame me about it. Either ignore it or don't read this. I really don't have any time for hypocrites bashing me about committing sins in a place where being there is a sin in it self. Please skip to "THE GOOD STUFF," or "FAT TUESDAY" sections to get to the meat of my trip if you'd like! Info about me: 21 Male - Love Gambling - Drink Below Average - Not a club type - Enjoys "chillaxin" - Beefy frame - Shy - I'm into dudes but can make my way if the ladies if I have to. I'm currently go to work and school full time so although money is sort of scarce, I had a big (to me) bankroll to work with. Info about friend: 20 Female - Future Gambler - Drink Moderately - Not a club type - Helps force me away from the gambling! Half black/Half White (Race is stated here because I make a point of it later on) Departure from San Francisco to Las Vegas via Virgin America Unfortunately, I had to work in the wee hours of the morning then go back home to dress up and get my bags. The person who was originally supposed to take my friend and I to SFO flaked out, which pissed me off considering how much I have always done for her. Some things just never give back I tell ya, which would foreshadow my luck in Vegas, oblivious to me. So my friend and I had separate flights becasue of some weird ticket buying that went on. We were both online on Southwest... both trying to buy the cheapest tickets for the same price; however, we used our own credit cards and such. She submitted her order and I tried to submit mine within 30 seconds and BOOM, the promotional fare was over (Again, some foreshadowing that was oblivious to me ). So as she already had her tickets, I was not about to pay double the price she paid so I went onto Virgin America and found a flight that flew within 10 minutes of the Southwest flight... AWESOME. I get to the airport and find that Virgin America is in the International Terminal, which is just GREAT because I've always wanted to go into that terminal. I marveled at the space techie architecture of the place and I really felt like I was on some sort of Star Trek Space Station. I really enjoy neo-futuristic modern architecture with super high ceilings, it seems majestic to me for some reason. So anyway, with my friend already on her way to her terminal, I found out that my gate was ALL THE WAY AT THE END of the terminal and when you are carrying non-rolling bags, that is a trek within itself. I saw it as losing the weight to prepare myself for a FEAST at Vegas! So anyway, there were no delays for the flight. The sky was beautiful and clear. The Virgin America flight has the be the BEST flight I have ever been on. It was really special being able to fly on a relatively new plane. The mood lighting was incredible, again, giving me that neo-futuristic feel. The amenities were superb. Even though the flight was a short one, about 1 hour and 20 minutes, it was the shortest feeling flight of my life. There was always something to do! I mean, I don't know if what VA is doing is anything new, but I have never taken a flight this comfortable before. I had entertainment all around! I even learned of quite a few new songs that I will certainly be adding to my iPod in the near future! Sooo much better than any other flight I've been on. We touched down in Las Vegas and even though it was still early, it was already really dark. I met my friend in the main baggage claim area and we headed off to find a taxi. We headed to Planet Hollywood!!! The cab fare cost $15 w/ Tip. An interesting smell on the way to the hotel was the crisp smell of burning firewood. I guess with so few cold days in Vegas, you gotta take advantage of the simple things in life like burning a fire in a fireplace whenever you can. THE GOOD STUFF I don't know if anyone who's reading this read my post before asking about using the $20 Trick on an enitrely comped trip (sans flight and activities). I got mixed reviews and suggestions and ultimately agreed with the "Nothing to Lose" rhetoric. The nice and really cute Asian lady was the one helping me out at Registration. I folded a nice crisp $20 between my ID and my Credit Card at registration. She took it, saw the $20 between my cards and smiled at me. I sort of flirted a bit with her and asked her if she had any upgrades available. I already knew that my original room would be one of the non-renovated rooms and I had to get out of that! So she checked around and she was able to find me a "bigger" room in the South Tower (One of those two towers that stick our perpendicularly to the main tower). The room, before I even saw it, had a Strip View with the pretty damn full Bellagio fountains view. In addition to the room keys and such, she gave me my info for the ThanksGiveaway Slot Tournament that I was invited to, which was pretty much the premise of this entire trip. Free chance to win some dough and free room! BTW, we requested non smoking. So my friend and I head up to the 20th Floor of the South Tower. I've never been higher than the 10th floor anywhere so this was already a welcome change to me. Before we got into our room, we noticed the "Do Not Distrub" sign still on the key entry. That was already a red flag to us so we entered the room to find that it has not yet been made since the last guests. In fact, it actually looked like the guests were still staying there judging by the amount of stuff that was till in there. In addition, there were cigarette packs all over the place, which told us it was a smoking room. After calling the front desk, I went back down to talk to the girl that helped me at first. I had a feeling that this is not really the fault of the hotel itself as there was still that "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door so the housekeeping automatically skipped it. In my head, "No kudos to those jerks who: 1) Left a BIG ass mess in their room 2) Were dumb enough to leave that sign on the doorknob." On a sidenote: I am VERY appreciative of the work that housekeeping has to do so whenever I stay at any hotel, I try to make the job as easy as possible for them. I also never request housekeeping service during my stay. After talking to the receptionist (correct job title?), she really apologized and immediately got us another room on the 22nd Floor. I really wanted a Bellagio view room so we had to compromise and get a room with 1 King Bed and an extra roll away bed at no extra charge. While there, I decided to take more advantage of some free stuff and asked to see if I can get a free buffet for 2 at Spice Market. She agreed and BAM, FREE FOOD! Ah, now kudos to those idiots who left the room the way they did! So we settled into our new room on the 22nd Floor. It was crisp and clean. The room was HUGE to say the least. I have never stayed in a "regular" room that was that large. SH%$, bring in some aero beds and you can fit literally 5-7 people in that room. SWEET DEAL. Also, the Bathroom was WAYYY BIGGER than my damn dorm room... now that is awesome. Continuing on, we were incredible hungry and decided to use our complimentary buffet form. The Spice Market Buffet was just GREAT. So tasty and it had an incredible variety of food. I had such a hard time choosing between it all. I made one promise to myself while I was here... I would EAT A LOT. It's Thanksgiving week and I was planning on walking a whole lot so it's okay! After the buffet, we freshened up and hit the Strip. We walked all the way down to Bill's, one of my fav. casinos. I wanted to try a little bit at 3 Card Poker (since the table limits are only $5) but low and behold the one table they had was completely full. I just settled on a penny slot and after putting in $5, I won $100! Woot! I have been up since 6am that morning so suffice it to say, I was burnt out. Around 11pm, we trekked back to our room and called it a night. TWO funny notes: At PH, they have these blackjack tables that was called the "Pleasure Pit." Man, one of those girls dancing up there looked FU&%ING BORED TO DEATH. She was dancing and all but the look on her face was pure boredom. I wish I had a picture to take of that but I forgot my camera. Ah well, the memories will suffice. A question to the men that play in that area... Does it make you feel more like a man playing in the Pleasure Pit with attractive and scantily clad women dancing in front of you? I just don't really understand it. I'd much rather get some booty to take back to my room and have some fun there. (Tuesday for me!) The OTHER note is in regards to the room we were in and the race of my friend. Now, all of the newly renovated rooms have a theme that is specific to a famous movie. Now of all the 2000+ renovated rooms on the property, we had to get the room that was themed to Amistad. I've never watched the movie but I do know the premise and setting of it. So can you imagine the surprise on my friend's face when we enter this room and she goes to the bathroom to find a HUGE frame over the big bathtub displaying a screen capture of white male officers detaining black people in chains? Yeah, not exactly a welcoming picture. We had a huge laugh over the irony and took some ironic pictures with the memorabilia. Good times. MONDAY Non Gaming Activities Now since my friend is under 21, there wasn't too much that we could have done, which was fine since she sort of forced me from gambling (I.E. losing). We did tons of walking and tons of eating. I have never eaten breakfast in a very long time so that was really tasty. Hell, I never usually get up till 10 or 11 and this time I had to get up at 8. Ack. We walked for several hours.. took the monorail to Hilton, walked to Circus Circus. Now... let me be honest here about Circus...I totally used to love this place when I was a kid... but in reality... it lost a lot of it's luster. They definitely need to make better use of the property. Keep the Circus theme but I'd say make it even more extravagant. Make it still a cheap place to stay on the strip as well as a family area... but there needs to be a few major changes. Unfortunately, my friends flight was leaving on Tuesday morning because she had class but all is not lost. I pretty much had the entire Tuesday to myself which I designated as my gaming day... More on that later. SLOT TOURNAMENT RESULTS Well, I didn't win anything in the tournament which made me sad because on the first day, I thought I did really well. DAY 1: Round 1: 9500+ Round 2: 9300+ Needed to win minimum prize: ~21000 Total Result: 40 Something th DAY 2: Round 1: 11000+ Round 2: 6700+ Needed to win minimum prize: ~19500 Total Result: Didn't check my placement out of spite Man, I was really sad I didn't win anything! THis is my first ever tournament and I was SOO surprised how some people get so damn competitive. This one dude kept looking at my score and every time I surpassed him, he started slamming his damn button harder. Bro, CHILL. I just laughed it off. I tchatted with the nice old ladies at the Tourney... showin off my charm. The guy who was "hosting" the event was really charismatic, especially so damn early in the morning. Cute guy really. He flirted a lot with the older ladies which was cute in it self. I definitely could have a piece of him if I had the chance. Haha. PHAT TUESDAY & MAN LUCK Now this was my day to play in all aspects of the word. I played at a $50 + $10 Tourney in the Poker Room at Planet Hollywood. I lasted pretty long considering it was only me second tournament I've ever been in. I think I lasted through more than half of the field. I was at a pretty fun but quiet at first table. I finally decided to go all in on what would be my last hand with a King-Queen Off suited. The blinds were going really high so I just decided to FU%*-IT right there and went for it. It was heads up with a guy with pocket Jacks so I think I had 6 or 8 outs pre-flop (Im still learning the "out" terminology") Any queen or king would have done wonders for me but low and behold, nothing came out and I was out. Again, I had a fun time so there was no anger or remorse. Now, one pet peeve I developed was this... First, from what I could tell, this was a very minor and low buy in tournament so I would assume that it would be a pretty casual atmosphere, which it indeed was. There was this one dude who had that whole poker persona... I would say "Poser." He was wearing a hat that covered his eyes, headphones, a hoodie, and always covered his face with this hands. I was like, "Dude, this ain't high stakes and it's pretty damn casual so stop posin' " I mean, I know this is merely strategy and all but CMON talk to us bro! Enjoy your time here at this casual table! I just couldn't help but roll my eyes at his "attitude" for lack of a better word. I would understand that strategy at a higher stakes tournament and what not.. but whatever. Maybe I'm being ignorant and maybe he knows that he wears his heart on his shoulders which will make him easy to read. Whatever though. He got knocked out early. So then I decided to make a trek after the tournament to Bill's where I've been pretty lucky. Although the meaning of lucky for me at this establishment changed for the time being, I was still lucky nonetheless. More explanation on this later. I was playing some Ultimate Texas Hold'em at a pretty packed table. There were 4 of these young Irish guys that apparently have been playing for several hours straight... with the Boss calling them grandfathers. They were some pretty cool guys and talked to everyone who was playing around them so it definitely made the table a fun one to play at. The dealers were having a good time. I was too; however, I wasn't doing lucky at all. I ended up losing about $400 at the table but it lasted for several hours so it was still fun. I was sitting next to one of the Irish guys and I was getting alot great with all of em. After I lost the last of my money at the table, I decided to call it quits. The guys encouraged me to play more but my pockets were very shallow at that point so I had to decline. The guy I was sitting next to apparently also decided to leave too and caught up with me while walking out to ask me to catch a drink with him. I didn't really think anything of it at the time because he was the one I talked to the most at the table and he was a cool guy anyway. I told him I was headed back to the hotel since I had an early A$$ flight back to San Francisco, but suggested we go to the Heart Bar at PH for some drinks. He agreed and we both had a couple of beers. Then I kind of got the feeling that he wanted to do more so I invited him up to my room, which was now only occupied by me. I'll leave the rest of this story blank. Again to explain the meanings on "Luckiness" that I was speaking of earlier... Bill's just so happens to be a pretty lucky place for me... whether money or something else is the source of luck. THE FLIGHT BACK FINALLY, after this LONG report, is my flight back. I am NEVER EVER going to book a flight that early EVER again. It was horrible.. My guy left around 4am so I didn't even get a chance to sleep. I packed up, headed to the airport at 5am for the 7am flight. The airport was already packed, which makes sense since the day before Thanksgiving is probably one of the busier days. I had a Southwest flight back to Oakland which was WAYYY more boring than the Virgin America flight. I think that flight marked the first time I have ever fell asleep on a plane. Oakland Intl airport was surprisingly painless. No delays. It is really an excellent airport.... smaller than SFO yet better. I took a fliht to Oakland because it was cheaper. I took BART back to San Francisco, dressed up and went to work for the day. 11:00pm rolls around, I get off work and I get home and fall asleep right before my head hits the pillow. AWESOME TIME IN VEGAS. This is the first time I went without family after I turned 21. Ohhh the hot memories. Oh and the weather was surprisingly warm. Oh and if that Irish guy is reading this, THANKS for the funky good times. NEXT TRIP, CHECK IT OUT BELOW. LESS THAN A MONTH BABY!!!