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Las Vegas Trip Report

Author: Jaco
Date of Trip: April 2008

No, this was not a good start . . .

Hurtling down the runway at 135 mph, I had the distinct feeling that our pilot had lost control of his airplane. The only other time in my life I can remember feeling this particular sickening pull of G’s was when I attempted to navigate my red wagon down a 45 degree incline around cones . . . blindfolded. I felt pretty confident that our pilot was NOT attempting to take off with his eyes closed . . . but I had a gnawing feeling in my gut telling me that if Mr. Pilot didn’t get the plane off the ground immediately, there was no way this bird was going to stay on the runway.

Whoa Nellie . . . . we made it . . . the plane was airborne and immediately thrust into heavy turbulence. Prior to getting on the plane in Phoenix, I consciously sought out a flag to see if the wind was heavy. . . it was not. Maybe our pilot was just having a laugh.

But fifteen minutes into the flight, the constant thuds of the plane flying through the rough air was far from humorous. Nor was the announcement from the steward that no hot liquids would be served on this flight due to the turbulence.

Great, no coffee, guess I’ll just have beer.

I tried not to focus on whether or not turbulence can weaken the structural integrity of a plane, or whether or not my sweatshirt would work as a parachute if I needed to ditch out of the plane at 35,000 feet . . . no, instead I tried to figure out why there were two male stewards on this plane . . . both had full beards, glasses, and looked to be about 48 years old. I never could come up with a good backstory on these blokes . . .

Finally I just settled on shutting my eyes and counting backwards from 10,000.

4,599 . . . 4,598 . . .

And touchdown. I was alive.

And I was in Las Vegas.

First order of business was getting out of the airport as quick as I could. I flew in on US Airways, a first, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had landed at a gate that did not require riding that stupid train. I engaged my speed walk gait and made record time to the limo stand. No line, nobody there and two seconds later I was speeding towards the Wynn in a nice black Crown Victoria. I told the driver she smelled really nice and our speed picked up quite a bit.

My phone rang.

Whale Jo.

The night before I had received a text message from him saying he was up $14k . . . . first question was whether he still had it.

Yes, and some.

Awesome, he had gotten the trip started off nicely and I only hoped that his luck would rub off.

The sedan pulled into the Wynn’s main entrance and there, looking quite ragged, was ole Whale Jo.

“Welcome to the Wynn Mr. Jaco!”

The driver and bell hop had never heard of me. Shocking!

I overpaid the driver and dragged my own bag into the Wynn. Ahhhh . . . . I love this place. We walked quickly over to check in – I could really feel the money burning a hole in my pocket.

“Sorry sir, our computers are down, we will manually take your information and call you when we have a room.”

What?

Oh well, fine. I could just drop my stuff off at Whale Jo’s room and we could be on our way.

Up at Whale Jo’s room, he brought out the cash he had won . . . a couple stacks of banded $10k bundles, some bumblebees ($1k chips at Wynn are yellow and I heard one pit boss call it this), and various other chips.

Nice.

I grabbed a few bills out of my money envelope and we hit the floor. First stop was going to be the $5 VP machines. I had no doubt my special machine would remember me.

Getting off the elevators, I knew that I could find that magic bank of 9/6 JOB machines with my eyes closed. Take a left, walk along the corridor closest to the wall, take a right at the main thoroughfare, then a left when you hear the Top Gun Machines, continue straight until you hear Wheel of Fortune games singing their song, proceed twelve more paces and take a seat . . . .

We decided to pool our money together and split any profits. $400 went in.

Nothing came out.

Oh, sure, I get it, the machines wanted to play hard to get. I was cool with that.

$200 in.

Nothing out.

Um, is that anyway to treat your favorite button pusher?

We switched machines.

$200 in.

Nothing out.

Come on. This is ridiculous.

$200 in.

Zero.

Ouch. Fifteen minutes in and I was getting bled like a Christmas hog.

No amount of rubbing, stroking, or licking would get these machines to warm up. For some reason, I was being shunned. Wow. That really hurt my heart. Fine, if the flippin’ machine didn’t love me anymore, I sure didn’t love it. Sniff.

So we moved onto Jackpot Party . . . there’s a nice little bank of four machines not too far from the $5 VP games . . . two Jackpot Party machines; one Wizard sort of machine; and one machine that has something to do with the Jones.

I was a little wary of playing the Jackpot Party game because of the luck I had had last month . . . but, I put that concern away and stuck some bills in, fully expecting to get paid.

Sure enough, it ate my money.

And ate my money.

And ate my money.

I was already in full money flush mode.

It was time to take a freaking break. Thank goodness it was lunch time . . . and I got a call from the front desk, my room was ready.

I thought it would be a good idea if I got an adjoining room next to Whale Jo . . . . unfortunately, it was taken. So I asked for a room on an upper floor . . . . none of those really left either. So I got put on the 35th floor, but with a very nice strip view.

Gosh, I really do love the Wynn. From the moment you enter the room, you are ensconced in a tiny little oasis from the madness of the strip. Classical music gently wafts from the TV, the room is immaculate, smells wonderful, and the bed . . .

But, no time to delay, I quickly unpacked and took some more money out of my envelope. There would be no budgeting of gambling funds on this trip. That could be costly . . . .but I was feeling stupid.

Whale Jo and I decided to try lunch at the Country Club – and what an amazing choice. It was about 2 p.m. and the main lunch crowd was starting to disperse. We were shown to an outside table overlooking the 18th hole. Amazing view and hard to believe you are in the middle of Vegas – which, I guess, was Mr. Wynn’s intent. Well done Steve.

I had a Cobb Salad and a bunch of beers. Fantastic. Everything in the salad was extremely fresh, flavorful and savory. I couldn’t eat fast enough. Whoever is making salads over at SW Steakhouse (and committing saladcide) could use a lesson or two from the Country Club. Just the perfect balance of dressing, greens, and the usual Cobb adornments. I swear I saw little salad ferries hiding amidst the crumbled blue cheese and bacon. Or, that could have been the start of heat stroke – take your pick.

Lunch was soon over and my battery was recharged. Whale Jo and I decided it was time to head to new environs, so we picked Palazzo. It’s not too bad of a walk through the Esplanade and over the walkway to the Venetian property – just a hop, skip, jump, and about five minutes to get there.

My first impression of the Palazzo was this . . . “Yawn”. The casino had no real vibe, was very cavernous, had too much light, and all the dealers appeared to be pouting.

We started off randomly playing various slot and video poker machines. The nowin virus I had contracted over at the Wynn apparently had followed me to Palazzo. $100 bills were disappearing at an alarming rate.

Easy enough problem to fix – just sit down at a BJ game.

We found an open table – actually, there were a lot of these – and sat down and started playing. I noticed ole Whale Jo was betting big . . . wow. I started betting big. Next thing you know, we’ve reeled in a Palazzo casino host – sort of – her card said she was a Latin Marketing Executive . . . odd. Anyway, all of a sudden we were being given the hard sell on Palazzo and the VIP treatment.

“Oh, you gentlemen need drinks?” Bam, cocktail waitress appears out of thin air.

“Cigarettes?” Bam, Cigarette Lady emerges from underneath the table. Free smokes. I wish I had grabbed multiple packs.

Offers of suites and restaurants . . . . but we told the nice lady we were at the Wynn and very happy. She relented and told us to call on our next trip to see what she could do for us. We’ll see.

As the game progressed, I actually did OK. I won about $800 and walked.

Right over to another BJ table that is.

And got run over by a truck.

HARD.

I left the Palazzo with a $5 bill in my pocket and now I was very mad and entering a very dangerous zone.

Thankfully, I had a little time to cool off before having to head out to dinner. I changed my threads, took more money out of the safe, and waited for Whale Jo down in the main pit. I stuck some money in a random slot machine . . . $50 win. OK, that was something.

Dinner reservations were at Prime. I was looking forward to eating here – I’d been there before in 1999, but couldn’t remember much. We got to Bellagio with no time to spare and were immediately seated.

Sort of.

First we were led to a table in a dark corner of the restaurant, but there was some ancient looking fellow sipping soup at the table. For some reason, this frightened our poor host, and she immediately led us back out to the front. She whispered something to another host and we were quickly led to another table, far away from the darkness.

Dinner was an A+. Here’s a summary.

Drinks: Grey Goose Martini – I really wondered what it would have been like if I could have miniaturized myself and taken a swim in this drink. Ignoring the fact that I would likely be overcome by the alcohol’s fumes, I do suppose it would have been quite divine. I probably could have lived for quite a while in one of those olives. Mmmmm.

Bread. There was some sort of pretzel/roll hybrid that I loved and would have loved better if it had been heated just a tad. The combo of the hard exterior, soft interior reminded me of some fair maiden from overseas. I don’t know why, it just did.

Appetizer: Steak Tartar. Wow. I love my steak tartar and Prime hit the mark with this dish . . . well, almost. The meat and various mixtures were extraordinarily delicious – but it was served with some sort of stale piece of bread. I kinda like toast points or crackers . . . thankfully the tartar was good enough that I could just scoop it off the plate and into my mouth – I love feeding my inner caveman.

Wine: The only real miss of the night. We decided to ask the wine dude to pick something French out – something from Bordeaux – so he did and it was a little shallow. I wish I had retained the cork so I could tell you what it was – about $185. Anyway, I had to cane the bottle so we could get a new one. I picked the second one out – a 2005 Stags Leap Petite Syrah. Now that’s a bottle – not terribly expensive as far as good wine goes – $85 – worth every penny.

Dinner: Perfection. If I had been a little more drunk, I would have stood up and given the steak a standing ovation. This is what I had been looking for – this is was the steak of my dreams. A nice little filet, perfectly cooked, expertly seasoned, and nirvana for my mouth. It was dark enough that I was able to give it a little French kiss . . . thankfully it did not kiss back. Of all the recent steak joints I’ve been to – this steak kicks all of their combined bovine you know whats. KICKS IT.

There were some sides that we ordered, but the steak was so overwhelmingly good that I don’t remember what they were – table decoration as far as I’m concerned.

Oh, and we had a great table too – looked right out at the fountains, which just added to the excitement of eating a perfect steak.

Whale Jo graciously picked up the tab – hell of a dude for doing so if you ask me.

Now it was time to game. I felt that Bellagio would be where I made my comeback.

First a little slot machine action.

Ouch.

Maybe a little VP.

Ouch Ouch.

OK, how about the tables.

Ouch. Ouch. OUCH.

I got destroyed. This trip was starting to blow.

With my pockets empty, I decided it was time to call it a night. However, Whale Jo still had a little gaming left in him, so I accompanied him to the high limit room.

“Can you raise the minimum up to $500?” He sat down, lit a cigarette, and bought in for a lot of money.

I sat down, told the dealer that I was his personal security guard/lawyer and to make sure she dealt him the right cards.

She must have listened. Between her and another dealer, Mr. Whale Jo was starting to build a nice empire of $1k and $5k chips. Soon the big bets were flowing.

“How many hands should I play Jaco?”

I flash three fingers.

“How much?”

I flash a thumbs up sign. He puts $2k on each.

He wins.

It went like this for quite a while . . . .

Until some dude tapped in to deal – a professional cooler.

In the span of about six minutes, he cleaned Whale Jo out.

O-U-C-H.

That made MY stomach hurt.

We stumbled out of there and the last thing I really remember that night is getting back to the Wynn, taking some more money out of my stash and also taking money out of an ATM and losing it all.

My sleep was very troubled.

But, as we all know . . . . there’s always tomorrow.

What the heck is Aquaman doing dealing blackjack. Why am I using grapes as chips? Is there any reason why Sally Field is sitting next to me and hugging me? Why is Wolf Blitzer bringing me martinis with olives that look like Anderson Cooper. Oh crud, the olives have little tiny mouths and though they are moving and obviously swearing at me, the only sound coming out of those mouths is that of a phone ringing.

A phone ringing.

Ring.

Ring.

Huh?

Then I wake up. And reality hits me hard. I’m in Vegas, I’ve lost a lot of money, and my head feels like a piece of licorice getting squeezed between some fat slobbering chubby boy’s cheeks while he watches a rerun of Goonies for the six hundredth time. And the phone is ringing. Loud.

I pick up the cordless right next to the bed. Usually an easy task to answer a cordless, unfortunately I had a slight case of early morning Vegas hangover-tardation. I couldn’t get the frickin’ thing to work.

Argh. I did my best sea lion impression and flopped out of bed, onto the floor, and wormed myself over to the desk where the old fashioned cord phone lay.

“Hello” I am amazed at how many octaves my voice dropped. I make Barry White sound like a soprano.

It’s Whale Jo and seems he’s ready to start the day. I look at the clock. Just a hair before 9:30 a.m. OK, why not. Turns out that Whale Jo stayed out a little later and made back everything he had lost at the Bellagio – all of it. This kind of action at the Wynn had put him on their radar and he was ready to take advantage of it. First order of business, he’d gone ahead and gotten his host to secure a cabana for the day.

Of course, before hitting the pool area, I needed some coffee . . . and I wanted to try a little taste of gaming.

I hit the floor and went to the little cafe in the drugstore at Wynn. The dude in front of me ordered some breakfast bagel – I almost threw up looking at it. I guess I wasn’t quite ready for food. Just a good ole cup of black coffee. I think it cost $4, and I gave a $4 tip. I wanted to start the day off with a little generosity – hoping that Wynn’s machine army would respond in kind.

I tracked Whale Jo down at the $5 VP machines – actually he was on the multi-line machines sitting just to the right of my former favorite machines. I looked at his credits – 400-something. Not bad. I should give it a try. I stuck a bill in and it disappeared in ten seconds.

Those machines are crack.

Whale Jo got his creds up to around 1,000 and cashed out. It was time to go visit the Jackpot Party machines.

I mean, why not – I’d already been humiliated by these devils, it was about time to feel a little love.

Nope. Not this morning. I got female dog-slapped. Sure, there were a couple times where I could get our credits up over $800 (Whale Jo and I were pooling money again) – actually, at one time we had $1,200 sitting in the machine. But . . . greed showed its ugly face and bit my head off. Soon I was laughing, almost crying, at the fact that I had fifty-five cents left in the machine. Ha. Ha. Ha. Well, perhaps it was a good time to check out the pool. Gambling could take a seat for a while.

Whale Jo and I headed to the pool area, checked in with the cabana host and had some little scrawny dude lead us to #111. Here’s what I like about a cabana – it gives you a little privacy, has shade and sun, has a TV, and has free stuff. Also, you get noticed by the babies. Of course, were I a better looking Mog, those looks would be one of awe and not shock.

Here’s what I don’t like – and I know this will sound small, petty, and sexist – why do they have scrawny little twenty something dudes covering the cabanas? Seriously – I think they must type-case these dudes straight from some of those stupid poker shows on Bravo or Fuel . . . . I mean, come on, first off, they wear glasses that are way too big for their face, second, they’ve got enough petroleum products in their hair that they could probably get a free membership to OPEC, and they’ve got attitude.

Oh well, I had my space, so who really cares.

We ordered a little lunch and I proceeded to try and catch a quick nap. Whale Jo went to the pool casino area for some action. Eventually the food came, I ate it, then went to the pool casino as well.

Sigh. Same old story. I lost.

After a couple hours more of lying around, it was time to try and get back on the horse. I went back to the casino, got some more money and sat back down at the Jackpot Party machine.

OK, in writing this, I can see now what an idiot I was – I should have played with more money.

Kidding – I know I should have left the machine alone – but I couldn’t – there was some invisible machine coded siren song luring me back. I knew I could win it back.

And what do you know. I started hitting it. Boom, $600 credit payoff. OK! Boom, $120 payoff. Back and forth I went, until finally I cashed out a ticket for $800 – a nice $600 profit.

I walked around and looked for Whale Jo – but I couldn’t find him. So I went back to the machine. My luck had turned – right?

Wrong. Bye bye $800.

I figured that was an anomaly – I had to be hot. I stuck more money in. And . . . .heidi-ho! I got my credits back up to $800. I cash out and go look for Whale Jo.

Hmm, he must be taking a break. I head back to the machine.

I’m hitting my head on my computer right now – I LOST IT ALL AGAIN.

And pumped more money in. And lost.

Now it was serious nap time – I was in the midst of a true meltdown.

So I slinkered back up to my room, got under my covers, and immediately zonked out.

Until the phone rang.

It was Whale Jo – his wonderful lady had just arrived in town and they were ready to have some fun. I did a mental check of my systems – I didn’t feel too bad, pretty rested, and, though beat up financially, I held out a glimmer of hope of a miracle come back.

I splashed some mouthwash under my arms and headed back down to the casino to meet Whale Jo and his fair maiden. First order of business was to have some cocktails and conversation.

I kinda liked this plan as it meant I wouldn’t be sitting in front of the Jackpot Party demon machine. We chose the bar that’s close to the front of the resort (its name escapes me) and I order myself a nice Malibu and Coke. Refreshing. After downing a few of these, it’s time for a little gaming . . . before hitting Okada for dinner.

At this point, I have about $800 left to gamble. I play a few cautious hands of BJ, lose a few $100, and finally give up and just wait for dinner time to arrive. I would have to make my last stand later in the night.

It was now time to return to Okada. For those of you who read my TR from last June, you may remember my love of this place – especially the food. Have you ever had food so good that you want to bring it home with you to meet Ma? OK, maybe not like that. But seriously, one of the ways I judge whether or not a joint has good food is whether or not it stimulates the creative part of my brain. It doesn’t have to be expensive or exotic – just good. All I’m looking for is food good enough to put my imagination to work.

Our table wasn’t quite ready, so we had a few obligatory cocktails. Whale Jo and I opted for the Macha Tini. It’s a greenish concoction that was a perfect salve for my wounded gaming soul. Whale Jo-ette had some pomegranate dealio that tasted like it had no booze – the waiter called it a sniper drink. Uh oh.

Eventually we were ushered to our seats – a very nice table with a perfect view of the Wynn water feature. I know I’m drinking the Wynn Kool-Aid, but how can you not like the Zen feel of Okada? As chaotic and claustrophobic as SW Steakhouse was, Okada exudes the exact opposite. There is space, there is perfect lighting, there is architecture that makes SENSE . . . I wish, I really wish, Stevie had opted to put Murphy Beds in Okada . . . I’d pay big bucks to be able to cuddle up in a soft bed after a meal here . . . not for the night mind you – just a little me time to allow my stomach, liver, and brain to take a breather from the punishment.

Allow me to summarize our dining experience:

Appetizers:

We ordered basically the same thing as last year. The blue ribbon prize winner of the bunch clearly was the popcorn rock shrimp – multiple orders – ‘nuf said. We also went back to the lobster with uni – it was good – but something was slightly askew with the doneness of the lobster. No biggy – our fault for dipping into the well again. Whale Jo also opted for some sort of goose liver dish – he wanted something decadent. I did not take a bite of this, so I can’t report.

Sushi:

An A+ with one little transgression. I ordered for the table and opted for a selection of maguro, chu-toro, toro-oh, kampachi, albacore, and salmon. Every piece, save one, was perfect temperature, perfect consistency, perfect size, and perfectly perfect. I dare say that each fish that gave up its life, so that a matchbox size of its flesh could make sweet love to my mouth, is proudly smiling in fish heaven. That, or I have an overactive imagination regarding good food. Either way – this sushi rocks.

But . . . there was one piece of toro that should have been sent back to the chef. I could see from looking at it that the chef likely cut this one a little to close to the bone or tail or fin – or whatever fishy body part that allows a gigantic piece of sinew to ingratiate itself into the meat. Ugh, I shudder recounting this. But here I go . . .

I reached down with my chopsticks, fully aware that I might encounter something that was completely unchewable. I put the fish in my mouth and commenced masticating. First chew – nice. Second chew – nicer. Hey, maybe my eyes had deceived me! Third chew . . . .

Sound the alarms! Sound the alarms!

It felt like I was biting into the webbed foot of a duck . . . my teeth quickly retracted and I tried a tentative bit. Smooth. OK, maybe that tough piece of whatever had dissolved. I threw some sake in my mouth just in case. I bit again.

Holy . . .

My teeth stuck to whatever it was . . . stuck! Abandon ship! Abandon ship! My eyes started to water . . . if I could just manage to quickly unhook my teeth . . . I tried . . . no luck. I began to get worried . . . it would only be another second before . . . too late.

My gag reflux had been initiated.

I smiled politely at Whale Jo and Joette, pretending that I had the hiccups.

“Anything wrong Jaco?” I shook my head and dumped some more sake in my mouth. Ahhh. That loosened my teeth and I was able to chew again.

But I could not break down the gristle . . . I was left with two choices – either I could discreetly spit it out into my napkin and then worry the rest of the night that it might fall out at some inopportune moment, or I could try swallowing and risk throwing up, or worse, choking. The thought of feeling the jagged edges of sinew rub against my neck made me gag some more.

I had to choose now, or things would get real bad.

I swallowed. I chased it with sake and beer and wasabi and ginger and . . .

I survived. No barf, no choking . . . thank goodness.

I noted with some horror that one piece of the toro remained.

“Uh, you guys might want to skip that piece.”

But, as I said above – small transgression – I’d endure far worse to have the best that Okada has to offer.

For me, the best it has to offer is the uni. And it was time to order up my closing piece of the night.

Oh sweet joy, sweet uni, sweet little gift of the sea . . . if done right. If done wrong, well, imagine eating rotten banana ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s and finding half a rat’s head frozen at the bottom of the pint . . . that bad.

But tonight, despite the bad luck I had endured at the tables, was my night. The uni was glorious. I should have sung to my uni, I should have bowed to my uni, I should have done something special for that uni because it sure did something good for me. (Ok that makes no sense).

True to his generous form, Whale Jo again picked up the tab – he was confident that this meal would be on Mr. Wynn.

I looked at my watch – it was starting to get late – I had changed my flight to get out of town in the early morning and knew I had to cash in within the next few hours. Time for Jaco’s last stand.

I believe the three of us wandered around just a little bit, gambled some (I lost), and then spied a table completely open. We wandered over and found Daniel, a fine Swiss gentlemen, standing at a $50 min. table . . . single deck . . . 6/5 . . . this certainly looked like a bad idea . . . but, no other tables were open, I didn’t really have that much money left, and it’d be kind of fun to be at a table with Whale Jo and Joette . . . . we sat.

I put my remaining funds on the table . . . and I promptly lost. What to do? I looked over at Whale Jo with his fortress of chips.

“You want a loaner Jaco?”

I nodded.

“500?”

I shrugged my shoulders.

“An even K?”

I held out my hand

OK, reloaded.

Daniel kept dealing . . . and I kept losing. I noticed that both Whale Jo and his lady were winning. I was happy for them.

Until I lost my loaner.

I looked at Whale Jo.

He passed over another K.

I lost a few more hands.

And then, it happened.

The magic shoe . . . or should I say shoes.

I can’t tell you with any specificity what hands I got, or how much I was betting, only that I could feel the tide turn. And it wasn’t just me – Whale Jo and Joette were making hay as well.

First order of business, I got my stack up to $2k. I peeled off $1k and sent it packing back to Whale Jo. Now only one more Whale Jo marker to go.

And the hits kept coming. It took about 10 minutes and I was able to ship back the other loaner marker to my buddy. Now I was on Jaco-cash. All I really wanted was a couple hundred to help pay for taxi, food, and drink in the morning.

Daniel the Swiss dealer was probably the best dealer I’ve ever had the pleasure of facing in Vegas. It truly seemed as if he wanted us to win. Sure, a lot of dealers give off that vibe – but how many of them do it with a Swiss accent? That’s what made it so special.

I think when he dealt out A-K; A-Q; K-J to the three of us (remember, single deck) we all knew this guy was special. So, I kept betting, and I kept winning. Though I wasn’t making giant leaps – I was betting only about $100 or $200 per hand, I was making enough back to dull the pain from earlier losses.

Then, my final hand.

I didn’t know it at the time that I was playing my final hand – in fact, based on Danny-boy’s dealings, I fully expected to stay at the table for quite a while. But, as it turns out, I probably ended up leaving at the peak of my luck.

For some reason, I got a little antsy and decided to up my bet to $500. Boom, out comes 7-7. Dealer had something like a five or a six – all I know is it wasn’t a face or ten. OK, why not, I had enough to cover a double, so I pushed out another $500.

3

No problem – I’d been flushed this entire trip, why be scared now? I put out another $500 and signaled for Danny to deal my card down. On the other seven I was dealt a face card, so I stood pat, only $1,500 sitting out on the line.

I nervously watched Whale Joette play her hand – I think she got 20, at this point, things go quite foggy.

All I know is that Danny turned a card over . . . must have been a face . . and then hit . . . and BUSTED.

Git er’ done Danny boy!!!!

I just about wet myself and broke my wrist giving out high-fives at the same time. Yessss.

Right after that hand ended, Whale Joette told Danny she was coloring up.

What?

But then I looked at my stacks – an even $4k.

Why the heck push it. It wasn’t going to get any better than this tonight. I pushed my stacks of black in. I think I heard Whale Jo say something like, “We just hit this table for $13k” . . . everyone had a good run.

So, that was it. We meandered through the slot machines – I watched Whale Jo try and make a quick hit on some Wolf slot . . . I think he just wanted to howl and impress his lady.

I took my four bumblebees to the cage and cashed out. This trip had turned out OK after all.

I headed back up to my room – posted quickly on TA – then did a little jig for the gambling gods as the masses below ebbed and flowed into the dens of iniquity. Life was good.

In the a.m. I tried to call a casino host, but found out that they don’t show up until 7 a.m. So I went downstairs to check with the Red Card people about comps – they don’t open until 7 a.m. either. So, tempted to play, I just sat at a machine and waited until 7.

Once 7 rolled around, I took my little Red Card out and asked the nice lady if there was anything she could do for me. I have no idea what table rating I had, but I do know I had over 10,000 points accumulated from slot and VP pay. For whatever reason, she couldn’t figure things out, so she summoned her boss to come over and look at my play. He had the power to do something and zeroed out my room. I smiled – I just stayed for free at the Wynn.

The only thing I ended up paying for was a bottle of water and the stupid movie I ordered (and watched for only two minutes). But, paying for my stay at the Wynn with a $20 bill kinda was OK with me.

And, that was that. I left for the airport, flew home in first class . . . and now here I am, almost a week later writing down my memories . . pining for when I’ll return again.

So, the story ends. When will I be back? Probably not until March or April 2009 . . . but that’s OK, I’ve got some fun places to go between now and then . . . . maybe I should write some TRs about those . . . I do think Whale Jo and I might be heading with our ladies to Napa . . . no gambling, but plenty of wine . . .

Thanks for reading and to those who are heading out to Vegas soon . . good luck.

More of my Vegas trip reports can be found at http://www.thevegasblog.blogspot.com/

Feel free to visit.

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