Sat 5/29, Getting There Vegas content starts after first pictures. Being a somewhat good son, I pushed my flight to LAS to Saturday night so I could have lunch with my mother on her 70th birthday. That also meant I got to IAD way before my flights. This gave me an opportunity to do some lounge hopping. The Lufthansa lounge had some wrapped sandwiches out, but no booze. It was a ghost town. Two thumbs down. The Turkish Airlines lounge was hopping and the bar was intermittently open (bartender also re-stocked food, bussed tables). None of the food options appealed to me and there was no baklava. One thumb up. Finally, the Air France lounge was jam packed. There was a nice spread of food (I ended up with a ham and butter sandwich), and I felt like James Bond drinking Taittinger champagne. I might have to start arriving early for my flights. Lucked into a first class upgrade so I got to have some wine during the flight. Flight was uneventful and I made it to T3 about 20 minutes before the next CX departure. I had a $15 Uber credit to use so I tried booking a $40 UberX. After a couple minutes Uber cancelled the ride saying that they couldn't find a driver. I still had time to catch the bus, but I noticed there was no line for taxis. It ended up being $63 (with generous tip) instead of $2, but I was jonesing for some Vegas time before bed. No suite this trip, probably because of the holiday weekend. Room 249 overlooks the stage between 4Q and D. Standard 4Q king room. Not sure if all the rooms have been renovated, but last year when I stayed at 4Q the sinks were made of some weird material with peeling paint and a shelf over the drain. This year they have all been replaced with fake granite. In my opinion this is a huge improvement...the peeling paint seemed unsanitary and grossed me out. One short hour after landing I was playing video poker (garbage 8/5/30 quarter BP) at Chicago Brewing. My free beers ended up costing just $5 thanks to a nice run of quads. Warning, the following picture may be NSFW for DDB players Downtown was packed at 11:00 Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend! Traffic wasn't moving at all. It didn't help that Casino Center was missing some lanes due to construction. And for some reason Derek Stevens wants his patrons waiting outside instead of spending money in his casino. Evidently I slept through a fire alarm. I was woken up by a security officer on the PA system (had not noticed the speaker in the room). First message: "security is investigating fire alarm". Second message: was too tired to register what was said. Third message: "you must leave the casino tables and slots and go to your rooms." Yikes! There is a distinct possibility I misheard/dreamed that last message. I was never too worried since I was on a low floor right next to the fire escape. Sun 5/30, So Much JoB Sunday morning Tarpie thanked Saturday night Tarpie for not finishing that beer. At 8am there was a short line for Magnolia's, but at full capacity the line moved quickly. And biscuits are back! For some reason biscuits were cut on the pandemic menu even though they served the gravy on the country fried steak. Speaking of which, the CFS has changed! It's now a chewy cube steak like the one's at Binion's Cafe and Saltgrass. It's still better than both those places flavor wise, but I preferred the fork tender version I had been eating for the past year. Breakfast cost $16.77 comp dollars. The gambling goal for the day was to earn 2000 pts. I'm trying to get up to the "Diamond 2" level at 4Q. I had made D2 at Binion's during last summer's promotion with 2000 pt days, so hopefully the same will work at 4Q. 2000 pts is $16k coin-in at 9/6 JoB. That's 3200 hands at $1 denom. I get sore playing the uprights, so I played four one hour long sessions throughout the day. By 3:30pm I had earned 1900 pts, leaving 100 more to be earned at Chicago Brewing later. The May promotion was $100 bonus free play after 1000 pts earned. Before dinner I turned that $100 + $300 monthly free play into $355. That left me down a bit over $700 on the day. Unfortunate (literally), but I can't complain after hitting a royal on my last trip to 4Q. On my way to dinner at the Redwood Grill I noticed the cigar shop at Binion's was replaced with a fish spa. Lame. Also, the poker hall of fame plaques were removed from the sportsbook walls. Maybe CZRs will display them at wherever the WSOP ends up? I couldn't resist the bread at Redwood. And pre-dinner cocktail was, of course, a Bombay Sapphire martini. And with Keith behind the bar I even got blue cheese stuffed olives. Those went great with the blue cheese in the wedge salad. I opted for the ribeye oscar-style and a glass of le grand noir for the main course. The total came to $105, but I'm a cheap bastard so I used points to pay. Without tax, the total was $97.50, and at 0.6 points per cent, I spent 58,500 bconnected points. Because of that I decided to play an hour of VP so it wouldn't show up as a no-play day. I actually made $20, which almost covered the tip. After dinner I spent a couple of hours at Chicago Brewing with 50 cent DDB, a cigar, port, and a couple IPAs. A couple of quads made for a profitable session, but didn't make up for the losses earlier. Now I know the agony and defeat of kickers. Evidently I had one IPA too many and ended up back at the Cal for craps. Stupid sirens luring me to the rocks. But after buying in for $200 (twice), I actually came out ahead by $15, the table minimum. Here's a @Ty escalator pic (going up instead of down). Cal was hopping at 1am. Mon 5/31, Binion's BP Another morning, another room temperature beer waiting for me in the morning. Someone made a good decision the night before. Today's gambling goal was to earn 2000 pts at Binion's to get back to getting D2 offers. 500 pts (800 hands) of $1 8/5 Bonus Poker took 52 minutes. This is in contrast to 500 pts of JoB at 4Q that took 67 minutes on average. Over a 2000 point day that's an extra hour playing at 4Q. Binion's machines are faster and the slant tops are also more comfortable to play. After earning 500 points, I decided I wanted corned beef hash for breakfast. That eliminated Binion's Cafe from contention, and I ended up back at Magnolia's in a short line (I started waiting at the base of the stairs). In no time I was back at the two-top in the backroom with a window to see the cashier. Switched it up and had the eggs scrambled with american cheese. Service was quite a bit slower than the day before, but food was hot and tasty. I paid with $16.56 comp dollars. After breakfast I got right back to work on earning points. I purchased new wireless ear buds (Anker Life A1) for this trip. They worked great at blocking out the racket the jerk next to me was making by hitting "Max Bet" every single hand. Catching up on old episodes of the Gambling With an Edge podcast made the time fly by. I managed to get 1500 pts in one 2h45m session. Not too many exciting hands, but I did get quad Aces and held one card and missed a royal by just a card. 2000 pts had cost over $600 I still had the D2 offer for May at Binion's ($600 FP), and earning 1000 pts got me another $100 of FP. I managed to turn that into $800 cash money thanks to hitting a straight flush. That put me up almost $200 on that day. Sweet! Dinner was at the bar at Chicago Brewing while playing 25 cent 8/5/30 BP video poker for "free" IPAs. I love the cowboy bites, and the sauce actually has some kick. An hour later I had a Windy City pizza. Good, but would have liked it more if the green peppers had been cooked. The free beers cost $20, and the food was $24.98 comp dollars. After dinner I just bounced around downtown with a beer in my hand. Plaza is still overly perfumed. The mustang at 4Q will be old enough for antique plates by the time someone wins it. The horses were out of order. On my way to bed I had my suspicions confirmed. Music was starting at the stroke of June 1, right outside my window. Tue 6/1, The Voyage Home I am a deep sleeper, but I can tell you the band started right at midnight. I drifted in and out of sleep, but I know they stopped at precisely 3:55. I still had almost an hour of shuteye before my 4:44 alarm A very tired Tarpie got to the bus stop a couple minutes early for the 5:44 CX. Because of the construction on Casino Center the bus stop was closed. Thanks to info from some helpful construction workers, I booked it down Casino Center past Golden Nugget without really knowing where I was going. Luckily someone wanted to get off the CX and it just happened to pull up and stop right next to me. Phew! The bus ride was uneventful, security at T3 was almost empty at 6:30am, and I made it on my 7:00 flight with a couple minutes to spare. Next Trip I'm heading back to Vegas in a week (6/14). CZR is running another good Apple promo, so I will be on the Strip for the first time in 2021. I'm getting in on Monday and working from Paris Tu-Fr. A couple friends are joining me on Wednesday. On Saturday we move downtown for three nights. And then back to the strip to use my two Gold+Companion nights at Cosmo. I might try to do a semi-live report similar to what I did during my two month trip last summer, but with work, friends, and tons of VP, I'm not sure how much time I will have.