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Weezy goes to Vegas

Just got back from Vegas Dec 20-23rd. Didn't have to worry about bad karma going during Jesus's special time of year me being Jewish and all, but my friends may have. No problem, though, we're all medical students and hopefully down the road we can earn some points with God so we can keep blowing them in Vegas, much like our bankrolls. This was my 13th trip so I know my way around, however, a lot of my buddies have yet to visit or have only been once, so part of our trip was gambling and another part doing touristy stuff. However, the trip was 100% alcohol infused.

So anyway, Me and my twin Bush we'll call him (the craps table is the only time hes not conservative) were the first to show up, flying in from ATL on what had to be the least exciting Vegas flight ever. On the way there, however, the army guy next to me got upgraded to first class when a lady asked to change seats with him as a show of gratitude. Her payback? Me crushing her in Delta's free trivia game. HAHAHAHA. Anyway. In Vegas. Out Gate 4. Tell the cabbie no tunnel or other funny business and over to Mandalay for a few days of degenerate sports betting, blackjack and rollin the bones. Girls need not apply. Unless they work at Wynn, then they can do whatever they want.

Not bothering to wait for the rest of our Motley Crue to show up, Bush and I fired it up at the Craps table. Dreams of Steve Cyr coming over to shake our hands and offer us tickets to the Tyson fight after rolling for hours and playing with black chips were quickly dashed along with our first C-note, myself 4 Grey Goose/Pineapples to the good, and Bush a solid 2. Best $25 dollar drinks I ever had. My motto being 'Play to Win' and with a stubbornness to gamble more that only surfaces in Vegas, we threw out 2 more hundred, this time buoyed by the promise that the 'Reserved' craps table next to us was about to be occupied by Cameron Diaz. Hell, maybe she'd let us join in! Maybe she'd like us so much shed take us out on the town tonite and who knows what else! Down another hundred and with no Cameron, we went to check in. Tried the $20 trick and to make a long story short, got placed on the 60th floor penthouse- decent enough. Bush and I used part of our $200 resort credit for Happy Hour and the House of Blues. Some Pizza and a chicken quesadilla made for a decent lunch, and with $1 domestics and $2 imports, we had our fill. I know that drinks are free on the gambling floor, and anyone who even feigns gambling can drink for free, yet for some reason I thought that if I didn't take advantage of Happy Hour now, it may never return.

After the game, it was over to Aria at CityCenter to catch the Cavs-Mavs and Vikes-Panthers in their sportsbook, as I had $60 on the games. Aria's sportsbook was surprisingly dead for a Sunday NFL game, as our only company was a degenerate betting the ponies and the cocktail waitress. Between my shiny one dollar tokes and her belief that I had betting tickets for Aria and not Mandalay, she plowed us with several more Grey Gooses and Patron/Grand Marniers. As my stupor increased, the Vikings went proportionally down the toilet, as did the Cavs. There goes another 60. Aria was a dark, but huge flashy casino with fancy-walled bars and clubs that I would have no chance in hell of getting into. However, the minimums were 10 bucks- within my price range. We'd be back to take on the deep pockets of Aria! Anyway, it was back to Mandalay to meet up with more of our crew.

So about 9pm Sunday, Bush and I met up with two Vegas novices in our crew, Brew and Enalion. They joined us for some more craps at Mandalay- no clue how I did there as I was pretty blitzed already. Where better to start off a night on the Strip than Ellis Island on Koval. For those in the know, EI is a dinky little locals casino a couple blocks behind Ballys, easily walkable to the strip. I like the place because (1) My crew is often the only group playing at the tables, leading to (2) Our own cocktail waitress bringing us (3) homemade microbrews that are fantastic! I liked the light. The other guys dug the Amber and Hefeweizen. Never did get to try their Holiday eggnog, however.

Making friends with an obese old dude at the bar was our first contact with the locals; I think he must be on some government lists because somehow he got us four to show him our chest hair to prove something or other. Apparently, he had the inside track at all the strip clubs in town just like every other bum on the street or porn slapper named Jesus. We would be certain to take him up on the offer never. After donking off some hard earned dolla bills at Craps and Blackjack while downing the microwbrews and SoCo Lime Shots, we headed over to the restaurant for 4 of the great steak dinners at 7 bucks a pop. Salad, Bread, Green Beans, Potato, a good Piece of Meat and a Beer hit the spot.

Off to some places I cant remember but I can picture the notice on the ATM machine when it informed me I exceeded my daily withdrawl limit. So now Bank of America is keeping me honest in Vegas, but later in the trip Bush would add that duty to his job description. I do know we shot the dice at Bills. I saw a roped off area with a dude on the ground, surrounded my policemen and security guards, who looked like he got hit in the head. The scene was right near the ATM that had just rejected me and my potential $4.99 withdrawl fee, so hoping for some good karma, I stumbled over to the scene and said 'Do you guys need any help I'm an M D (I'm not)' They made me repeat myself a couple times because apparently my stuperous utterings were hardly decipherable, and quickly refused the services of a ill-trained and barely coherent medical student. At this point, I was overserved. I forget what happened the rest of the night, but I know I had a blast being young and irresponsible- my opportunities to do this have become far and few between, so I jump on them quicker than it takes me to 7-out that evening, something I unfortunately did often and rather quickly. Bed at 5am. Monday AM Mandalay buffet for lunch- pretty good stuff for $10 a person (had 2 2-for-1's). More gambling. And then the rest of the troops convened that afternoon after some quick gambling at Excalibur or something like that. More to come.

December 21st- About mid-afternoon, the other 3 arrives. Clay is a buddy of mine from school, and his friend from back home Boss come too. Our Asian classmate Panda drove in from Cali as well. Clay and Boss both have a fondness for the Mirage. Being in Vegas with Clay once before, we were playing 10 dollar blackjack at the Mirage on our last night in town. A drunk rich businessman came to our table and spent the night throwing us hundred dollar chips to play hands (at 2000 bucks a pop) for him. Throughout that night, me, Clay and another guy collectively made over $6500, mostly from the generosity of this guy, 'Brock.' Needless to say, its pretty understandable why Clay wanted to head over there first thing. So while Me, Brew, Enal, Bush and Asian shot some dice at Mandalay, the other guys headed over to the Mirage where we'd meet up with them later that night. Bascially broke even on the dice at the Mandalay, and headed over to meet Clay and Boss at the Mirage, where they had already polished off numerous Vodka/Sodas and Bud Lights. Why anyone would ever order such a cheap beer when other options include Sam Adams, Newcastle, Corona, Fat Tire, etc... I'll never quite understand, but I've done the same thing before too so its all good.

At the Mirage, this is where things got hazy. I think we went back to Mandalay and I kept drinking. It was my turn to be 'that guy' of the trip, as Clay took the Honors on the last trip (he wasn't arrested, he was 'detained.'). My buddies brought me back up to my room as I apparently stumbled down the hallways and puked in the garbage cans- hardly a unique sight in Vegas. Anyway, the crew went to eat at Border Grill at Mandalay while I passed out- only to recover 3 hours later as we all cabbed it to the Hard Rock.

In my 13 times in Vegas, the Hard Rock is the one major hotel/casino I have never been to. I can finally cross it off my list. While I had heard it to be young, hip and fun, when we were there, it was dark and empty. Midnight during the dullest week of the year- no big surprise. It was OK though, as us guys created our own fun. Some of us played BJ, with some enjoyable banter with the dealers. Unfortunately, none of us came out ahead. Boss has his big hand- the one that makes or breaks your trip to Vegas- when he had $80-$100 bucks or so on a bunch of split 8s/doubles against a dealer 3. Lo and behold, dealer finds another 8 under that 3 and we all know the next card.... It was cool, though, Hard Rock was fun and I took the drinking a little slowly there, needing a moderate night's sleep to recover so I could destroy my stomach lining, liver and cerebellum with a fresh start the next day.

At this point, Im down a nice sum and everybody else is down too I think. A couple of the guys might have been a small winner. I felt bad for Panda...he was wondering what the lure of vegas was when every 100 he put on the Craps table ended up on the wrong side after a few obligatory throws of the dice. But man, that game is fun!

We all headed back about 5am, saw Brew off to the airport and went to bed for a few hours. Final day coming.

12/22/09-
Our last day in Vegas, and with so much undone yet so little energy, we were dragging. First, we headed to Burger Bar at the mall area in Mandalay. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Vegas, as you can create a fantastic burger from the ground up. Avocado, fried egg and cranberry sauce are just some of the toppings you can get on the burger. My sstomach was still recovering from the constant infusion of alcohol the last couple days, so I got the Veggie burger, fearing I couldn't handle dead animal, along with some sweet potato fries. Boss got a crazy Crème de Menthe Mint Chocolate Chip or something milkshake that looked fantastic. Very good breakfast/lunch!
Afterwards, we cabbed it to the Venetian and straggled around for a bit before deciding to play some blackjack. Turns out our blackjack dealer was the same guy who played the dealer in the Hangover in the scene where Zack Galifinakis counted cards and won tens of thousands. Unfortuantely, we didn't find this out until after we got home via some internet searching, or else that would have made for some majorly interesting conversation. The dealer was also a comedian in a troupe, so he thoroughly entertained us for our session. In fact, when finding out we were medical students, he asked why we didn't have any Indian guys with us. Ironic because our Indian friend was supposed to go but was kept home by his father to study more or something or other. Anyway, I won 1 or 2 hundred this afternoon session of $10 blackjack at Venetian and had a few more Captain and Diets with Lime. Then, I won another buck-fifty at the craps table, I think managing to play Craps and Blackjack simultaneously. Now that's degeneracy.
Made a new Vegas find early that evening, when we went to Lagasse's Stadium for that evenings Las Vegas Bowl. Lagasse's stadium is an Emeril-themed restaurant that doubles as the Palazzo sportsbook. It was stadium seating with plush couches, individual televisions and has the design of a nightclub, being the old location of Jay-Zs 40/40 club. That was a fantastic place to watch a game, as our whole group got to sit in a skybox, chilling on couches, eating some great food (barbecue chicken pizza was outstanding). We relaxed, drank some beers- domestic buckets were 6 for $15, including Sierra Nevada and watched the bowl game for a while, but I needed some action on the game. I signed up for 'pocket casino,' where a $100 deposit gave me a keypad where I could make instant bets such as 'Will Oregon State make a first down'?. This was ridiculous fun, and made the game so much more interesting to watch. After taking a few 10 dollar bets on the Over as the O/U kept climbing (but not as fast as they were scoring points), I made a nice score. I did lose some other bets such as putting down 20 that Oregon State would overcome a 24-7 deficit to outright win, etc.... All in all, I lost 9 bucks but got 10 drink tickets, so some of our beers were free as well. I think I'd love to come back here on an NFL Sunday, though I hear they have a $25 or $50 per person minimum, but whatever...I'll be back. Overall, this plus Aria's awesome new sports book I went to on my first night in town made sports betting one of the highlights of the trip.
After the Las Vegas bowl, our crew assembled for our final Craps Tour of Vegas- I'll talk about that and a quick summation in my next and final entry. Sorry, I'm just lazy to type everything at once.

Our last night in Vegas and our crew reassembled. Some of the guys new to the city wanted to see the major hotels, so we decided to check them out, playing some Craps at each of them. Having played Venetian already, we walked North to Wynn. Everyone was pretty awestruck at this place. Everything was top-notch, especially the cocktail waitresses. We pulled up to an empty craps table after checking the place out, and decided to plunk down a C-Note each and try our luck. We killed! All of us won 100-200 in about 1 hour, and it was great leaving the place a winner. From the waitresses to the drinks to the hot hand of our lucky Asian Buddha friend, Wynn Craps has a definite highlight of our trip. Enal, our Vegas first-timer, went all out on the table, eventually having $24 bucks on the 8 while the greenies kept pouring into his rack. I don't know exactly how everyone else did, but I took $20 of my $120 profit and let it ride in the Field. A well-timed 12 payed triple, and I made a $200 profit. We drank Grey Goose and Sodas, Patron/Grand Marnier Margaritas and ordered a Grey Goose Martini just because we could, and ended up using it as a place to spit out our gum.

Looking for our next stop, we walked through TI and Mirage but did not play there. From Mirage, we cabbed it to Bellagio because it was freezing outside. On the cab ride, I passed Casino Royale- a place which has so much to advertise, such as 'will get you f*cked up for cheap' or '3 dollar craps with 20x odds, 100x if you play $5.? Instead, they advertise 'Free Drinks to Players.' No sh*t. How unique. They should let people know that a free beer means an 8 ounce glass of draft; its worth paying the $1 at the bar for a big boy beer- an actual bottle.

Next Stop-Bellagio. Bad Karma when I got into it with a surly Asian craps dealer who thought I was trying to cheat the house out of $1, and chided me like I committed a crime for not hitting both dice against the back wall. Some people think they are God because they control a stick and push dice around. Whatever. Pit boss was on my side, but as I said, Karma was not, as I was the only loser- $80 worth. Everyone else won fortunately, and our big comeback was in full swing. Even better, Panda, the Asian friend, made a couple of bigtime Wrong betters eat it and walk away from the table when he held the dice. A few more drinks later, we quit and walked around the hotel a bit, showing the n00bs the Chihuly glass sculpture, chocolate fountain and the gift shop which sold a cheap roll of Tums for $3. From there, we shuttled over to Aria at CityCenter.

CityCenter- Very large, lavish casino. Pretty dark. We started our session lousy, dipping down from our $100s to $20 or $30 each. But we came back with a vengeance and walked away all winners, and each of us got a few more premium drinks. Rule number one in Vegas: Call the Brand. There is no price difference on a Grey Goose and Soda versus a Vodka Soda; such an easy thing to do yet so many don't do it!

Finally, we ended the night with a lousy session of dice at Mandalay. So ended our trip. Can't wait to be back! I think next time I'd like to stay more central on the Strip, Aria or Waynn or any of the properties in between. Very impressed with the new CityCenter. Anyway, I think everyone had a good time and I hope to do it again soon.

Highlights:
-Interactive Sports betting/Drink tickets at Lagasse Stadium at Palazzo
-Ellis Island Steak Dinner
-Craps Tour of Vegas
-Wynn Cocktail Waitresses
-Venetian Blackjack Dealer

Casinos we Gambled at:
Mandalay
Planet Hollywood
Aria
Hard Rock
Mirage
O'Sheas
Wynn
Venetian
Palazzo
Excalibur
Ellis Island
Other Places I cant Remember

Things We Didn't Get To:
MGM Grand
Hooters
Encore
Clubs/Adult Clubs
Downtown/Anywhere North of Wynn
See A Show

Thanks everyone for reading.