I really have enjoyed all Las Vegas Trip reports the last few months. LV Talk has been my on-line methadone clinic for as I have tried to work a trip into my schedule. Keep 'em coming.

Finally got an opportunity to go to Sin City with a group of co-workers. I flew Southwest Wednesday morning from Nashville. My friends going to CA Wed afternoon from Atlanta for a meeting and would fly to Vegas Thursday. So I would have one day on my own and that sounded pretty good since I haven't ever done Vegas solo. Left BNA only slightly late so we made it up on the way. Landed at 10:30AM and was quickly at the Monte Carlo.

Checked to see if a room was ready at this hour (11:00 am) and the nice lady tells me "it depends on what I want." Well, the best there is of course--first class all the way. Gave me thirtieth floor with a view of the MGM. I was very happy with that so I drop my bags, suck down a brew and I'm off to the Shoe for my first go at the craps tables.

Now I have been reading about craps and playing Cardoza on the PC so I feel like I have a fairly good handle on how it's done. The only problem is I have never truly "rolled the bones". Found a pretty decent table at the $2 level and played the pass line with double odds. There were some pretty decent rollers there and my first time out I made my point once and hit a couple of numbers. ALRIGHT!!! Nothing to this game, right? Right! Well when I used a conservative strategy (pass line and 1 come bet w/ 2x odds) the shooter would make several numbers. OK, tables heating up so get aggressive and cover three numbers...smackdown!!!! Two more rolls for me and no points made. And so it goes until $50 of my $100 buy-in is gone. Pretty fun but I am ready for Blackjack. I wouldn't get back to the Craps table the rest of the trip.

Now, I am a very amateur card counter but don't enjoy playing that way as I like to chat it up and have good time. Counting is too much work for seemingly little returns. BTW, all the double deck games I found were only 50% pentration at best so the opportunities to spread the bet would be rare. I decided I would bet the minimum and double after every win up to three in a row and then regress one unit each hand back to the minimum. I also came back to the minimum after all losses. I don't have any illusions about breaking the house with this strategy but my hope was that with sound BS to maybe win a little money, have a good time, meet some fun (interesting) people, and suck brewski's--these priorities change order depending on the situation, you understand.

Played a little bit at:
Freemont--fun dealers, drinks flowed, decent players, broke even.
Lady Luck--decent time, even here too.
Fitzgerald's--Sucked. Dealer didn't speak enough english to be much fun and never saw a cocktail waitress. Dropped a little here. Binions--Good game as expected but when you're getting your ass kicked it seems those asian dealers go way to fast, drinks are easy, dropped some more here.
Golden Gate--Loved it here. The small table pit, dark wood, piano player, cool bar all combine for a great time. The dealers here are just learning so they are not too fast and most are young so they smile and have a good time as long as there are no a**holes making things uncomfortable. They are watched very closely by the pit to make sure they handle the cards, money, and payouts correctly. It is all done in a very professional manner so that the game never slows down and you get the impression that they are watching the dealers harder than the players. Left here a little up.

I need to get closer to home as the Lites are going down really nice and I'd feel more comfy if I was staggering distance back to the MC. Cabbed to Barbary Coast and played some more BJ. Modest loss here but some fun action as the dealers and players were friendly. Realized when I got out of the cab that I left my fleece at the GG. Shit. Do you count left belongings as gambling losses, tips, or what? I figure it's gone and put it out of my mind.

Most of the people at BC are refugees from the high table limits in the strip properties where they are staying. However, I must say that the tables aren't what they have been in the past. Only one DD at the $5 level and several CSM's (yikes!). After doing battle for an hour or so I place a bet on Florida (-17, I think) and head back to the MC by way of the tram from Bellagio.

I take a nap to clear my head and watch the first half of the game in the room. At halftime it's down to the casino where I am surprised to find three or four $5 shoe games but they are full so I play at a couple of $10 tables dropping another dime but having fun all the while. Had my first cosmopolitan on a recommendation from a nice lady from north of the border. They call them a "crantini" up there, which I thought was pretty funny. A note for anybody interested in trying the MC: There are two BJ areas here. The first pit is in the front of the casino nearest the strip. Here you will find 8 deck shoe games where the dealer hits soft 17 (strange but true). If you continue on to the back past several banks of slots you will find another area where they deal 4 or 6 (not sure which) deck games and the dealer stays on soft 17. Guess the idea is to give the sightseers a crappier game than the resort guests who enter from the rear of the casino and come to the better tables first. FWIW

So, Florida wins and I am getting my butt kicked so I want to cash a win. I tram back to Bellagio and hike to BC to collect. Play some more here and at the Flamingo but only tread water. It is now 3AM my time and I am whooped! I stumble home and check my voice mail before going to bed. BAD NEWS!!! Snow in Atlanta and my friends are on the tarmac and have been on the plane for several hours waiting to be de-iced. Now they are heading back to the gate. They will not get out tonight. Stay Tuned!