First time back to Vegas since 1994 and couldn't wait. I was meeting three other guys who go every year at this time. I used to go with them every year but that stopped when I got married. I was amazed that my wife was letting me go. Not that she has anything to worry about. The guys I was meeting left the night before and they would be picking me up at the airport. They would also be staying for two days longer than me but I figured that my wife was letting me go and I knew she wouldn't let me go for a week. Four days would be fine.

Flight on Southwest left on time as always. I just love SWA always on time, friendly staff, and the meals are excellent(ha ha). I have flown quite a bit this past year and they have a frequent flyer program that can't be beat. If you book through their website you get double credit. That's four flights to a free one. They also have internet specials that come out every tuesday that are usually great deals. Anyway flight was on time and there is nothing like the sight of landing in Las Vegas!

Got picked up by my cousin and he gave me the happenings of the day. We play the horses during the day. Four of us each pitch in some money and my cousin will make the big bets ($50-$300 usually). We also leave a little bit of money out for myself and another guy to make smaller bets. The last guy with us makes no bets but goes up and collects our winners. I know this sounds weird but that is our system and we definately have fun doing it.

I had been reading about how many people have been getting comps for not large amounts of betting and advised my cousin of it. All these years we have been going we have never asked for anything. This year was going to be different. When he picked me up he told me he already had me in on the horses that day and that we had broke even. He said we were up about $2000 but he couldn't hit any thing after that. He had talked to the book manager at the Riviera and one of the rooms (we had 2) was comped for the week. We had played about $5000 that day and ended up breaking even. We still had all week. I will fast forward to the end of the week. We were told to charge our meals to our rooms and it would be reviewed at checkout. Anyway everything ended up getting comped including the other room and all our meals. That was great. Net loss on the horses about $100 for each of us.

When I arrived at the Riviera my cousin said he was going up to the room so I handed him my bag and off to the casino I went. They had been up for about 24hrs at this point. Started with dueces wild machine and right away get dealt four 10's natural. Wrong machine! Played for a little while cashed out about even met up with everybody and off to the Mirage for their buffet. We are big on buffets and love theirs. Ate there and back to the Riviera. I had just finished 7 straight 12 hour night shifts so I was ready to stay up all night. Played some slots, drank alot of beer then hit the let it ride table where one of the guys I was with was playing. Drank alot more beer and played there for a couple of hours. All of the dealers were great except for one but she warmed up to us quickly. It was now about 6am and I head over to the crap table. I love playing craps when I have a nice buzz. I have a tendency to get the entire table going. I simply play the pass line with odds. I had turned $10 into about $150 (of course lost it and then some) I had some nice rolls hit alot of number for another guy at the table. The dealers there were great although some looked at me wondering why I was yelling for some $5 bets. Hey I like to have fun when I play craps. I made several bets for "the boys" amd made them some money. I think that helps them pass the time on the graveyard shift. It's 8am and I better go to bed.

Tuesday

Woke up about 3pm and we went to Sam's Town. The others had been going there for the past few years and really enjoy it. Played video poker for about 5 hours and broke even. I liked the place even though I thought I wouldn't. I pictured some country/western place that would be very smokey. It wasn't at all what I pictured. It was nice. Back to the Riviera played for a few more hours. Mostly nickle slots. Even though those "nickle" slots actuall cost you $2.25 a spin if you are playing max coins. Also enjoyed triple play poker. Very addicting max coins on a .25 machine equals $3.75 a pull. Ate late night at the coffee shop in the Riviera. It was excellent. We did'nt play horses that day. We like Santa Anita and they are dark on Tuesdays. Went to bed about 1:00 am.

Wednesday

Up at 5:30 and off to Laughlin. Been there before nice change of pace. Nice drive (90mi) through the desert. Played the horses and wounded up about $400 total. Asked for 4 buffet comps and ended up with $80 credit to the steakhouse there (Harrahs). Dinner for four ended up costing about $5 each. Back to Las Vegas and to the MGM. I really enjoy it even though the others don't. I insisted on going to keep my slot card active. My cousin had palyed a bit on it for me every year I didn't go. Hit quarter slots for about $250 and left for Riviera. Played a bit in nickle town and cashed in for about $80 in nickles.

Thursday

Got up. Ate buffet for breakfast. Played horses and lost what we were up from the day before. Off to the airport and tried to get bumped but that was not going to happen. Hey I still had money in my pocket and a bump would have kept me there overnight. I missed my wife and my son but she would have had a hard time turning down a free ticket for not seeing me for one more day.

Overall had a great time. Am planning on going in March with my wife to do some non-gambling activities. I never even went up the strip and saw the new casinos that had been put up since I was there last. Lost a few hundred but the comps were a nice touch. This ended up being a lot longer that I planned. Thanks for reading.