This is my first trip report, so please be patient.

Let me start by saying that I already had a Vegas trip scheduled for July 11th-15th (annual trip with friend). My wife came to me in April and said I should get away for a couple of days because...- I stopped listening at this point and called my friend. He had been thinking of going by himself in May (He is divorced). When he was interested, I found airfare on United & he called the hotels.

My friend that I grew up with (D) and I left Chicago on 7:45am flight. We left the gate 5 minutes early and arrived at LAS 30 minutes early- lucky so far. We were the first people on the plane and the first people off the plane so we caught a cab (no line) and $20 later we were at the Excalibur.

D received an offer for 3 nights comped, $75 free play, and $75 per day towards food & beverage. We usually stay at the Mirage, but we could not pass up this offer. Since check-in wasn't available until 11, we checked our bags.

We ate breakfast at the Sherwood Forest Café. It was nothing great, but it got the job done. Off to 3 card poker we went. D held his own, but I lost a couple hundred. I decided to go to the bar to play some VP. I did my research and saw that the better payback percentages were on the double-double-bonus VP. I played for awhile and hit 4 twos for $400- how nice. I would-ve loved the kicker with the 4 twos, but there is no way I could complain.

At around 1:30pm we checked in and went up to the room to wait for the luggage. It took about 10 minutes for it to arrive. I unpacked and took an hour nap. We had tickets to see Lewis Black at the Mirage. His show wasn't until 9pm and seeing that I was up at 2:30am Vegas Time, I figured it would be best to catch some sleep.

After the nap, I showered & changed, Then we went down to the casino to play more VP. Let me tell you- Both D and I have countless hours of VP and neither of us has ever hit a royal flush. Maybe this trip would be the one. Anyway, we played for an hour or so and I hit for 4 aces (no kicker) for $800. I am psyched.

We went to the steakhouse in the Excalibur for dinner. Food was good. I had the filet, Caesar salad, & twice baked potato. D had the bone-in Ribeye, baked potato and asparagus. I would definitely eat there again. I believe that the food tastes better when you know you-re not paying for it.

Off to the Mirage in a cab so we could gamble some before the show. We hit the 3 card poker table and I lost a couple hundred. That game really runs hot & cold for me. D hit a straight flush for about $400 and change. Awesome- we-re both up for the trip. I know it's only day one, but it's better than being down.

The show was funny. John somebody opened for Lewis Black and he was hilarious. Lewis Black performed for about an hour and a half, so we got out of there around 10:45pm. Overall, we both liked the show. I laughed quite a bit. I think it would-ve even been funnier if I wasn't so tired.

Back to the Excalibur for some shut-eye.

Day 2 (Monday, May 25th)
I woke up around 4:30am. I was showered and downstairs by 5 or 5:30am. D was still sleeping. I should-ve kept sleeping because I lost about $400 in less than 45 minutes on VP- ouch.

I went back up to the room. D was getting ready and then we hit breakfast at the café again. Service was good, but they cannot seem to grasp the idea of eggs over easy. I ordered them 3 times and every time they were overdone.

We then took the tram down to Mandalay Bay. We hadn't been there in a few years and we contemplated staying there. We always knew that the one downer is that there is really nothing else near Mandalay Bay. I put some money in the newer Wheel of Fortune video slot machine. I got the bonus and won about $150. I ended up cashing out up $100. I then found a 50 play VP machine and I always wanted to play this for higher stakes than I usually play. So, I played 25 cent 50 hand and was hoping I would get dealt something very good; however that didn't happen and I lost the $100 pretty darn quickly. D wanted to play some table games so we walked through the casino. Their lowest table was $15- how ridiculous. We left right away and went back to the Excalibur.

We went to the bar for some Miller Lites & VP. I lost a couple hundred and so did D. I decided to play the lower denominations because I wasn't doing well. D went to play more 3 card poker. I put in $100 and started playing quarters...lost & lost & lost some more. When I got down to $20, I started playing nickels. I hit a few different hands and got back up to around $50. I switched up to quarters and good thing I did. I hit 4 4's and a kicker for $200- my luck is turning around. Keep in mind I still was up for the trip, but I've learned that when you-re on a bad streak, bet less and when you-re on a good streak bet more. I went over and visited D and he hit for 3 of a kind on 3 card for another $400+.
I went back to the bar for more Miller Lites and $1 VP. My luck had indeed changed. I not only hit 4 aces for $800, but shortly thereafter I was dealt 4 3's with the kicker for another $800. I've never hit like this in my entire life (30+ trips to Vegas- not to mention countless riverboats).

We ended up eating dinner at Dick's Last Resort. Neither of us were impressed. The wings were good, but the ribs were way too salty. The service was bad and it is the worst meal I've ever had in Vegas.

We stayed at Excalibur the rest of the night and just drank & gambled. Lots more Miller Lites and lots more 3 card poker. I went to bed around 10 or so (I know that's early). I think D got back around 1:30 or 2.

At this point I am up about $800-$1000 for the trip and D is up about $100.

Day 3 (Tuesday)
This is our last full day and of course I am up at 5am and down in the casino by 6. I was very hesitant to go down there early again because of the butt-kicking I took the morning before. I decided to just walk around the casino for awhile.

I found some other VP machines (6 machines) that have good payscales as well. I try one out and hit for $800 (# 4). I printed the ticket and went to the cashier for my moolah. I went back to the same set of machines and tried putting in $100, but it was the old version so the machine wouldn't take it. I went back to the cashier to exchange it and she started examining the bill. I told her she can examine it all she wants, but she's the one who gave it to me- she laughed.
Back to the same set of machines. I put $100 in a different one and low & behold I hit for another $800 (#5). Back to the cashier and all she can say is -another one-. Believe me- I am more in shock than her at this point. Back to the machines, but to no avail- I lose a couple hundred.

We next played more 3 card poker and I actually was down about $100 when I hit a straight flush. Now I was pretty foggy when I hit this and I don't remember the suit or the values on the cards, but I only was betting $5. I was now up $100 on 3 card, but I gave it back and got out of there. D stayed and hit another straight flush for $400+.

I decide to try Crazy 4 Poker instead of 3 card poker because I've been getting my butt kicked on 3 card. I had a great dealer (Bosko was his name) and it started out good. I had a straight, a flush, three of a kind. Then it went to hell and Bosko did his impression of every 3 card poker dealer I play against.

I played some slot machines for awhile and didn't win anything (but I played on $100 for an hour and a half).

D and I decided we should get something to eat or we-ll be really messed up so we grabbed a quick meal at the Pizza Hut in the food court.

We always try to get over to the Monte Carlo to see the best cocktail waitress in Las Vegas- Michelle. She is twice as fast as any waitress I've seen. We played some blackjack. I cashed out up $50 and D was still playing. I put $300 into a 3 line $1 VP machine. This is a lot of money, but it is now towards the end of the trip. I was playing max credits as usual, but on this machine max credits means $15 per round. Wouldn't you know it, I was dealt a pair of aces and one of the hands filled in with 2 more aces (another $800- #6). Unfortunately this would be the last hit for me.

We went back to the Excalibur. I was now up $2600 for the trip- how exciting. D was still around even. We hit the bar for more VP & more Miller Lites. D does alright, but I just keep losing. It was my last night and I was up so I didn't care as much. I ended up losing $600 over those last 3 hours, but had a lot of fun doing it.
I crashed around 11 or so, and I have no idea what time D came back to the room.
D ended up winning at VP so he was now up $300 for the trip.

Last Day (Wednesday)

We hit breakfast as usual and then off to the VIP offices to see what they-ll comp. They took care of everything but the tips. This was the second time we've received RFB comps. The first one was at Monte Carlo. We were happy.

We gambled a little more and then off to the airport. Usually we-re depressed about leaving Vegas, but both of us winning ($2000 for me & $300 for D) combined with the fact that we-ll be back in Vegas in July had us both happy.
We arrived safely back in Chicago and cannot wait until July 11th.

Overall, the Excalibur is great for variety of machines- especially VP. The one downer for me was that there are too many kids at Excalibur. I have 2 kids of my own, but they will not touch foot in Vegas until they are 21. Other than that, I really like the Excalibur.