Reader beware....long trip report.

Saturday, 11/05/2011

This was my 11th trip to Vegas (second trip for 2011), this time for my birthday. Traveling with my long-time friend I'll call 'S'. Her birthday was the week after mine, so this was a birthday trip for the both of us.

Flew out of Atlanta on Delta on my birthday. The last time I flew to Vegas, I almost missed my flight because of the mass of people waiting in the baggage and security lines. At that time, a nice ticket agent told me that it was better (less crowded) to fly out of Hartsfield later in the day on a Saturday, so I took her advice and booked a later flight this trip and it was worth it. The airport was deserted. Check-in was a breeze, and we didn't feel like we were rushed to catch the flight. The flight itself was uneventful. Arrived in Las Vegas around 3:00 that afternoon. The taxi line was pretty long, but we got through it fairly quickly, and we were on our way to the LV Hilton. I had an offer from the Hilton for four free nights, plus $50 food credit, $100 in promo money, and two free buffets. I like the video poker at the Hilton and frequently stay at this hotel when I'm in Vegas. We were given one of the remodeled rooms in the East Tower, 24th floor -- very nice and served it's purpose of providing a comfortable place to sleep and shower.

After getting settled into the room, we hit the player's club desk so S could get a players card, and I could get the $100 in promo money loaded onto my players card. Then, we hit the casino. Since I had $100 in "free" money to play with, I hit the Blazing 7's slots first (I love these machines, but rarely have good luck with them, and today was no exception). I then spotted a $1 triple-play DB VP machine, and decided I would try my luck at that since I was playing with the casino's money (I normally play $0.25 DB VP). The max bet on this machine was $15! I couldn't see myself betting $15 per hand, so I only bet $10 per hand. While sitting and chatting with S, I was dealt three nothing hands, and held one ace. Suddenly, I see the word "jackpot" flash across the screen, and realized I had just gotten four aces on one of the hands. Since I never play $1 triple-play VP, I didn't understand at first that I had won $1,600. It took a minute for it to sink in. Happy Birthday to me!! What a great way to start our trip.

For the next few hours, I proceeded to blow through a lot of my winnings, and finally went up to the room around midnight. I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer. The time difference and the end of Daylight Savings Time had gotten to me.

Sunday, 11/06/2011

Woke up around 6:30 a.m. (very unusual for me to wake up this early) and went downstairs for breakfast. We ate at the buffet, which is nothing to write home about, but it was free and it filled us up. Played some VP and slots for a while before going up to shower and change and get ready to head to the strip. (No luck on VP or slots). We headed to Planet Hollywood around 2:00 for lunch at Yolos (paid for using a $50 gift card I had gotten for my birthday), and so I could play VP. I had really good luck at DB VP at PH last trip and wanted to see if my luck would hold. As luck would have it, it did. I left PH around $400 up.

We then headed over to Caesars Palace because we had tickets for the Rod Stewart show at 7:30. This was a birthday present from me to S. We played some VP at Caesars while waiting for the show to start with minimal luck. The Rod Stewart show was outstanding. I'm not a big show person when in Vegas; I usually prefer to casino-hop and gamble. But, this was really a great show. One I would actually see again. After the show, I wanted to head over to Circus Circus to play slots (since I had really good luck the time I was there), but S was falling asleep. So, she went back to the hotel, and I headed to Circus Circus.

Circus Circus has a bank of slot machines that are advertised to have a higher payout than normal slots. Most of these machines take coins, but some take paper money. I won a $1,000 jackpot when I was here back in July, so I sat down at the same machine I won the last jackpot on and put $100 in to see what it would do. Went through $100 pretty quickly, but figured I was up for the trip, so put another $100 in. At this point, I actually started winning. A little here, a little there, $100 here, $80 there, $120 here, etc. I was up to $517 when I won a $1,000 jackpot. I was very excited but had nobody around to celebrate with me, although the other players seemed pretty excited for me. Since I still had $517 left on the machine, I decided I would continue to play the same machine, and it continued to give me small wins here and there. I was down to about $300 when lo and behold, I hit another $1,000 jackpot! Wow. I tried to hit for a third jackpot, but had no luck, although the cashier told me it was known to happen -- three jackpots on the same machine. I hit several of the machines, with no luck, and then I finally went back to the hotel around 2:30 a.m. What a night!

Monday, 11/07/2011

Woke up around 9:00 this morning, and S was already downstairs playing VP. I went downstairs and grabbed some coffee and played a little VP until hunger got me. I went to the cafe for breakfast, then headed upstairs to shower and get ready. While waiting for S to get ready, I went down to the casino and decided to sit down at a Blazing 7's machine (since I had the winnings from the night before). Although I never won a jackpot, this machine was giving me $200 and $300 wins like you wouldn't believe. I called S and she was just coming downstairs, so I told her she had to come watch this. We sat there and watched my $100 turn into more than $1,400. We were giggling like school girls and joking that something must be wrong with the machine and that the guy that had just serviced it must have messed it up. I couldn't believe how frequently I was winning. We sat there playing that machine until it finally turned cold and I cashed out $900. Then we headed for the Mirage since I've never been to the Mirage and I wanted to check it out.

We ate an early dinner at a sandwich shop in the Mirage. Not sure about the name of the place, but the sandwiches were pretty good. I played some VP and some slots with no luck at all. Then S wanted to go to the Circus Circus and try our luck there. We had zero luck at CC, and I don't even want to know how much money I blew (and gave to S to blow) chasing jackpots that never came. We headed back to the Hilton to play VP, and neither of us had any luck. S decided to call it a night, and I decided I would try my luck with the Blazing 7's machines again. I put $40 in one, no luck, $40 in another, no luck, $40 in another, and won $200. So, I decided to sit down at that one and play. And what do you know? $1,027 jackpot -- sweet! I then proceeded to hit-and-run through all of the Blazing 7's machines in the casino just to see if any of them would pay off. Although I won $200 here and there, and $300 once, I did not get another jackpot, and finally decided to turn in around 1:30.

Tuesday, 11/08/2011 (last day)

Woke up this morning around 9:30 and went downstairs for coffee and VP. S was already down there having realized that she had earned enough points on her players card to earn promo money, and she was using it on the VP machines. She stopped long enough to have breakfast with me at the buffet, and then we both played VP. I was again having absolutely no luck on VP -- not even 4OAK's. This is highly unusual at the Hilton -- I can normally play VP all day long and not spend a lot of money, but not so this trip. I finally went upstairs to shower and get ready to go because I wanted to hit Circus Circus one last time to see if I could win another jackpot. S was having fairly good luck at VP and did not want to come with, so I went by myself.

I got to CC and sat down at the same machine I had been sitting at the other night. It was cold as ice, so I moved down a machine. Again, cold as ice. So, I moved to another machine, and this one was paying. $100 here and there, $120 here, $80 there...and then, you guessed it, jackpot! Another $1,000. I was shocked. After receiving the hand-pay, I decided to continue to play the same machine because it was still paying, and within 20 minutes, another $1,000. I was stunned! They had to "reset" the machine because it had been less than an hour since it paid the last jackpot. The machine quickly turned cold following the second jackpot, and I had no luck at any of the other machines, so I left to go back to the Hilton.

I went up to the room and packed my things since we are leaving on the red-eye tonight, and then proceeded to blow a ton of money on VP since I was still having ZERO luck on VP. Checked out of the hotel and everything had been comped -- the room, all the food -- everything. One thing to note. In the past, if I had any comps left on my card, I could cash them out. They do not let you do this now. Now, you have to spend your comps in the casino. I have about $70 in comps left that I have to spend within six months or I lose them. That bites. Wasn't planning another trip to Vegas until May, but now I might just have to go back sooner. Oh well....:)

We headed to the airport around 9:00 and the flight left on time at 11:30 p.m. Uneventful flight home, got back to Atlanta about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday morning with $800 more than I took with me. I know, I know.....I should have brought back more, but something happens to me when I'm in Vegas. I can't seem to hang onto money. Strange how that happens. :)

Notes:

The two trips I took to Vegas in 2011 were the luckiest trips I've had since 2007. Not sure if it's a fluke, or if business is just better in Vegas right now. I sure did appreciate it. It was nice not having to mentally calculate whether or not I was close to my budget for the day and play whatever I wanted. Two trips this year and they didn't cost me a dime! I was already planning another trip in May, but now I may come back in January.

I LOVE LAS VEGAS!!!