My gambling buddy, Big John, and I left in the early evening and got into Vegas smoothly and easily. Checked into Aria with no problems and registered for the slot tournament I had been invited to attend. Our room was nice enough, but not spectacular. But I don't spend much awake time in the room anyway. We stayed in the Aria casino for the first night. The slots treated me very well with a 5X dollar machine giving me a $750 payoff in the first 15 minutes of play. I love it whena trip starts out in the black. Spent some time at the craps table. Just broke even, but I have to hand it to the dealers: they were friendly and attentive and acted like they were interested in the players. At the sister property, Bellagio, the dealers are bored and burned out and act like they'd sooner be doing almost anything than running a craps table. So, I don't play there. Big John likes 3 card poker, but couldn't get much going.

The next day I pounded on my assigned machine in the slots tournament for my allotted 10 minutes. I then went back to the same machine and took out $450 (of course I primed it with $100 before it started hitting, but a win is a win). We went to the antique car show at the Imperial Palace. Well worth a visit. We played blackjack and broke even and 3 card poker and lost again. Back to Aria. Good run at the craps table that afternoon.

Next day, two chances at the tournament. For all the luck I was having with the slots in the casino, the ones at the tournament were keeping things in balance. My total was pathetic. Fun, though. More luck at the slots in Aria in the afternoon. I was playing next to a very lovely, gracious young woman from Canada. Her WOF hit the $2000 bonus slot. I congratulated her on being very lucky. She pulled two more W-9's or whatever they are out of her purse to show me just how lucky her trip had been: $13,000+ all from slots at Aria. Wahoo!!! Went to Penn and Teller at the Rio. Good enough show, but not great. Back to Aria and got in a bit of a slump at the craps table. Finally fought my way back to even and called it a night.

Next day was check out. I sat at my favorite machine with my loaded suitcase beside me. I was down $200 and calling myself an idiot when I hit for $2000. My first ever hand-pay in Vegas. And on the way out, so I couldn't "reinvest" it. Great trip! I highly recommend Aria as a beautiful, friendly and loose property.