Archives For Vegas Trip Reports

My lovely wife and I went the Treasure Island for a 3 day gambling trip Dec. 24-27. This was a basic trip for us.

1) We had an offer: 3 nights in a comped Suite, $1050 in Freeplay, and Free Food (RFL). This included the check-in in the VIP lounge as well as the TI car picking us up at the airport.
2) We arrived via first class flight via Delta. The trip was smooth and we arrived around 12:30. Our luggage was some of the first bags to come out –love that Priority service with Delta!
3) We went straight to the VIP lounge to check in -no $20 trick here – The executive suite was ready! The driver made sure a porter got our bags and when we came out of the VIP room he walked us up to our room. It was Christmas so they all (Driver, Porter, and VIP check-in girl) all got great tips!
4) We ate at the following places: TI Coffee Shop (3 times for Breakfast), TI Dishes, and Gilley’s. All the food was great and the service was too! We also grabbed a slice of pizza at the pizza joint and a cone from Ben and Jerry’s.
5) We did go shopping at the Fashion Show Mall -since is so nicely located next to TI. We also went over to the Mirage to visit the Sugar Factory. Otherwise we were gambling at TI. No issues with the tram service.
6) My wife and I did nothing but slots. As far as slots go: my wife likes Goldfish 2, Alice, and Zeus II. We both had great runs at times. She spent most of her time on the ALICE game! I play just about anything on the slots -but like Goldfish 2, Hangover, Sex in the City, and Ghostbusters, Invaders from the Planet Moolah, and Mermaids.
7) Drink service was good as always – a definite plus for TI
8) Took advantage of the VIP lounge – they offer free drinks and snacks throughout the day – The soda are in cans so – we go in a couple of times a day to grab a soda and cookie!
9) No resort fee for comped guests – but you can take advantage of the “free” stuff – we did not.
10) Our host gave us front row tickets to see Jersey Boy’s over at the Paris. They took us in their car and picked us up too. The Show was very good!
11) My wife earn about $200 in additional Pointplay and I earned about $100
12) We checked out Thursday morning around 9:30 am and headed to the airport. We did a little last minute shopping and gambling.
13) I visited the Spa once – No issues! Use a Groupon –great way to save money!
14) Hope to go back this April. The Offer is already out there!

Coach Terry

This report is really long. Grab a beverage before reading.

Came out to Vegas from St Louis with one of my best friends for another poker only trip in mid-December. Some non-poker notes to start off:

I have never been to Vegas and got my luggage, got a taxi, and whisked to the hotel this fast. The airport was DEAD on an early Sunday morning. Ultimately it was eerie as it is always packed when I come in June for the WSOP, but man it was nice to breeze through there and get the trip started!

For you food junkies, I was a fixture at both \’Fix\’ for dinner and \’Snacks\’ for lunch at the Bellagio. Fix has a great vibe, and really good food. The filet was top notch there. Snacks has GREAT blackened salmon and it is 2 feet from the B poker room which is very convenient. The buffet is worth the big bucks at the B if you are a crab leg fan. Tons of huge legs–all you can eat. Outstanding.

Also tried KGB burgers and the Oyster Bar at Harrahs. KGB was without a doubt one of the best burgers I\’ve had with a great waiter staff as well. The Oyster Bar had dried out (and small) lobster tails but really good seafood risotto.

As far as the hotel this time, I had a free week from Harrahs and the room was ok. Not a place I would normally stay–but free is free right? The only other note about Harrahs is the poker room moved from the enclosed area by the sportsbook up to an open air area by the front doors. I only played there 30 minutes after landing the first day and did not think much of it either way. They had a splash pot promotion while I sat there during the NFL games which made people both very excited and very dumb in those particular hands. I saw two splash pots and people were more than eager to put in $300 pre-flop to win the $50 promotion at a 1/2 game…Not my style, not my game.

Poker talk:

After getting my room Sunday I hit the Venetian for some 8/16 Omaha which had 2 tables full and a list. Extremely aggressive game with some of the same faces I played with 6 months ago. Tons of action at this game and it plays deep. Not much to report on hands as I played uber-tight. Up $145. Although I rarely play tourneys, there was a 7pm $125? buyin which I entered as the field was getting pretty big which helped make my decision. Ultimately 69 runners and we eventualy got down to 16 at the final two tables. I have a mid size stack with no real concerns at my table or with my chip count at that point.

That is when the first of my two \”limp in with aces\” under the gun decisions on this trip came into play. This one turned out quite different from one at the Bellagio later in the week!

The reason for my decision to limp with them in this spot, was that the table I was at was brutally bad about someone min-raising (why?), and then usually two people would just flat call the min-raise(why again?). I figured I would wait for that in then push pre-flop. In this case, NO ONE FRIGGIN RAISED as I think some noticed me limp under the gun which I never did the whole tourney. 4 limpers in the pot as a result including me. I\’m second to act. Flop 4/5/6 rainbow. I watch the reaction and see nothing from anyone. First guy checks. I push all-in. I want the pot now. Guy to my left goes in tank forever. No one at that table is calling with 2/3 or 7/8. If they hit a set–so be it. He calls. I think he hit a set. We have identical stacks–again neither of us are short stacked–and he calls. The other two insta-fold. I roll the aces and he says \’oh fuc* me! I am so bad!\’. He then rolls over two red threes and tells me I deserve it as he thought I was just pushing/stealing with A/K in my spot the way I played it. Cool. Turn =2. Not cool. River= Jack. I\’m out.

I win that pot, and I\’m pretty well assured of being in the money with my tourney style play (very tight aggressive). I screwed up!! Bad move–I\’m a dummy. My bad!

As it was late and my first night, I got some sleep to get ready for the Bellagio cash games the next day. A long time St Louis player (BR) has had the same dislike as me for the Bellagio for several years. Too tight of an area for that many tables and the attitude of the staff was simply the worst I have ever seen in any poker room anywhere which is why I hadn\’t been there since 2006 or so. This friend I refer to told me before I left things were different at the B and I should check it out. A tad more space, $2 an hour comps, and a very different attitude by all he said. Ok, I\’ll check it out.

So Monday morning comes around and I head over. I walk up to the podium, look at the floor person, and before I say a word I hear this from her mouth:


After I got up, I said, \”Uhh, 2/5 …please\”.


I had to get up again but I did follow her over. By the way her name is Nicole and that stunning conversation I never expected started a little friendship between us as I rarely left that room again for about 80 hours. Turns out her Dad is from St Louis, and whenever she was there on duty through the week, she would come talk to me–usually in the same seat I was the day before she saw me…Sweet lady.

The game itself was one of the best I have seen in Vegas. Rarely did I see the same faces all week. There was between one and four 2/5 games going all day/night which was great and only about 4 daily ppl there who were all outstanding to chat with and easily identified right away. Two in particular treated me great and filled me in on a lot I did not know about the room as the hours passed. Really interesting behind the scenes stuff there especially with the big names in Bobbys Room.

I rarely play in Vegas with my friend Mike (friend that I came with) as I play with him a ton at home. But this time we started at the same table on Monday and it was just a blast. He left after about 10 hours (he cant do the 20+ hour sessions I love—wimp) up well over $2K. For those that don\’t know, the B caps the 2/5 at $500 on the buyin so he had a great session. I eventually finished a bit below him-just over $2K- which made him happy (we are insanely competitive). But it was a blast to come to town and double team a few locals (before we got to know them at that point). That first night was by far the deepest table I played all week. It looked like a 5/10 with the stacks by the end in all seats. LOTS of fun!

Speaking of the 5/10 there at the B, I never jumped in the water. At that level I did see the exact same faces every day/night. Can I beat them? Don\’t know. Doubtful at first and my roll would take an initial beating until I adjusted. But why would I leave a game I consistently beat for the unknown? Plus I play on average 24 hours in a given normal/home week. These guys were making their living in that game without question. My hat is off to them and I hope they are successful!

As far as other games in the room, there were always several 1/2, 2/5, 5/10 NL and also some large limit games spread. The \’upper deck \’ for lack of a better term was always full but I never asked what was spread there. Bobbys Room was always going too. Ezezra/Brunson/Tran & Berman were the big 4 among about 6 others who looked 12 years old. I\’m not kidding. I think they made their first 4 million online when they were 10, bought the best fake ID\’s around, and are now playing Bobbys Room with Doyle and Eli. Sickening.

As the days dragged on, Mike started leveling off and I stayed on a heater. His focus shifted to making massive NBA bets and I grinded hour after hour sucking down as much blackened salmon as I could get my fork on. Man that stuff is great! \’Snacks\’ is the highest end snack bar I have been around– that is for sure lol.

I did play one more tourney on the trip to break things up a bit. This was the Wed night Bellagio $125 buyin. Only 31 or so total and the play was atrocious. Nothing at all like the V tourney. Very different skill levels as a whole. Oddly I won the thing at the Bellagio. Once down to 2, the other guy and I were dead even and we chopped. The tourney was run by a floor person named Mel who could not have been nicer/more professional. I was able to chat with him for awhile after the tourney and it was obvious he loves his job and has a good time doing it. Turns out we have a similar military background. Class guy who I wish the best to. Thanks for making it fun if you read this amigo!

As this is dragging on forever, a quick note on limp #2 with aces under the gun. This time it is a wildly aggressive 2/5 with 7 people I had not played with at all before at the table. This was almost all businessmen and rodeo people who wanted to kill some time playing poker. Geez I love Vegas. So I\’m sitting on $1200 and the villian has about $680. I limp with two red aces. Villian in mid position pops it to $50. It folds to me. I make it $300. If he calls, great. If not, I just picked up a free $60. Instead, if folds back to him and he insta-shoves. I call. He rolls two black tens. Really?

Turn= 2 diamonds
River= 3 diamonds

He laughed, pulled out a wad of about $7K and plopped $500 more on the table. I stacked for awhile.

Overall this was a great trip both $ wise and overall fun. I really do appreciate the difference in attitude at the Bellagio as us nobodies in the poker world do notice stuff like that–at least I do. Plus the game was incredible. Add the great food and I think I just found my new poker home. I just need to schmooze a bit more in the future to get a better rate as I plan to stay there from now on!

Last thing–finally got to meet Photoc this trip. Good guy and I hope to get some sushi next time I’m in town! Also a quick shout to Jennifer and Justin and AlaskaGal who I was happy to see at a quick session at the Mirage one day. Lots of good people in that room!

If still awake, I hope this was entertaining in some respect. Please keep the trip reports coming! We have some great writers on AVP with some interesting stories and writing styles!


Thursday, December 6th

I took the direct Allegiant flight from Des Moines to Las Vegas. It was a smooth flight and on time. I did not book this flight well in advance as this was a rather spur of the moment trip. Thus, I didn’t get a great deal and Allegiant has become the worst possible airline for add on fees (charge to pick your seat, charge to check your bag, charge to check your carry-on, charge for priority boarding for which you are eligible only if you pay to check your carry-on). But as I said, the flight was direct, smooth, and I had an aisle seat in an exit row with no one in the middle seat. Allegiant version of first class!

Upon arrival it was straight to the taxi line which was blessedly short. The trip to the Encore was uneventful and check-in very quick. I was given a room on the 32nd floor after turning down an offer to upgrade to a “panoramic view” for an additional $20/night (same I view I had from the 32nd floor but higher). The room was beautiful. The floor to ceiling windows are outstanding but it’s too bad that in addition to a portion of the Stratosphere, a portion of the Wynn golf course, and the mountains, the primary view was unfinished and long dormant construction. Anyway, I put my iPod in the docking station, turned on my American Standards playlist (what’s Vegas without Sinatra, Buble, and Krall?) while unpacking and checking out the control panel for the lights, sheers, and drapes. I also took advantage of the resort fee by checking my email using the wireless. I did note that the AC is located in the living room portion of the suite and it did not cool the entire suite evenly. Not a big deal in December but a potential problem during warmer months. I dug out my Sinatra card protector to ensure I had it when I decided to play poker. Continue Reading…

My last trip to Vegas was in August; however, my husband had 2 work trips in October, so I piggy backed for his 2nd trip, which was for the SEMA Trade Show.

November 1
I flew Sun Country, arrived on time, but waited at the Payless line for a long time to get the rental car. Price was right at $88 for 5 days, but next time I am renting from EZ, which is right next door to Payless. EZ never has a line & one guy from my line switched to EZ & was in & out in little time. Their website is

My husband’s (A), work used the Cosmopolitan as home base. Their suites are nice, but in my opinion, I think the suites at Encore are nicer. No complaints, though, as we are staying for free.

After dropping my luggage off, I am heading to Henderson to pick my cousin, Steve, up. A has work duties tonight. By the time I get to Steve’s house, he is ½ in the bag. We end up going to PT’s in Henderson & play bar top quarter keno. A 5 coin max bet hitting 6 out of 6 spots was paying $2,900. Steve & I both chased, but no 6 spots came up. Lots of 5 out of 6, so it was interesting… We shared chicken nachos & believe it or not, but these nachos were some of the best I have ever had. Steve used his points to pay for all the alcohol & nachos. Thanks! By the time we left, Steve, was well into & fighting inside the bag & he had to work the next day. I’ve never seen him this drunk. Ouch! Continue Reading…

LV Trip report

This is an annual trip for my wife and me. We have spent most of the last 12 Thanksgivings in LV. We don’t have kids, my family is pretty spread out, and we are able to convince some friends and family to meet us in LV for the weekend and then, she and I finish the trip with some Xmas shopping at the Primm outlets before heading back home to the OC. I look forward to this trip every year as a chance to watch a lot of football, eat well, and get my gamble on. Please to enjoy.

Drove into town about 2:00 and checked into our room at the Aria. We had a regular room booked for three nights. I tried the $20 trick and the clerk upgraded me to a ‘view room’ which I was thrilled with. Really nice view of the Center, MGM, NYNY, etc… This was my first time at Aria and I was impressed. I have stayed pretty much every top resort in LV (Wynn, V, Caesars, MB, Mandarin, Bellagio, et al) and I thought Aria ranked right up there. The rooms are smaller than V or Wynn, but the place is nice to be sure.

For dinner we went to Julian Serrano (the tapas place) to spend some of our $100 resort credit. The food was really good and the service was outstanding. Not a place to fill up, but a nice experience nonetheless. Continue Reading…

We flew out of Portland (Oregon) to arrive LAS at 6:40pm. I love getting there in the early evening, just in time to get the drinking started. This was our 4th year staying at the IP and our 8th trip overall. Also the fourth trip with me, my husband, my sister, and bro-in law. The IP is just the most reasonably priced hotel and a perfect location in our opinions. Upon check-in we were told that the room we wanted, overlooking the Carnival Court, had been remodled and would be another $20/night. I’m too cheap to pay that so I sorta-kinda begged and said “even if we tell you this is our 4th year staying here and we love it here”?… he said he’d talk to somebody and he walked away and came back and hooked us up. Yippy! I was a happy girl.

Now, I really can’t give you an exact rundown of what happened the next four days since it’s kind of a blur of drinking, sleeping and gambling… but I’ll do my best. I will say this was a trip of “firsts” for us…

First No. 1: Gambling. In the past we maybe put $40 in slots, if that. My husband hates to gamble. He just can’t handle losing money, and that is what gambling is to him. He doesn’t mind if I do it, he just doesn’t want too.. That said, this trip I put $5 in the nickle slot at IP and turned it into $25 before too long. I had been itching to try out roulette this trip so I took my $25 to a table and let me say this – I will never play a slot machine again. I’m hooked, like a fishy in the river, I’m completely hooked on roulette. On that $25 I played for hours and hours. And had the best time doing it. By the end of the trip I had played almost all my chips out – hubby cashed my last $25 chip for me the morning we left. I’m pretty sure I played the entire time on that $5 I started with in the nickle slots. I have to say I really liked having the pretty little black $100 chip in my purse.

First No. 2: Going to bed after the sun came up. Not too uncommon for some maybe, but a first for us. The second night I played roulette I cashed out at $194 (only started with $25 again) and we went up to the room. I had no idea what time it was … Opened the door and it was light outside! Wow… so absolutely awesome. We hollered at the early morning folks walking down by the Carnival Court and then hit the hay for a few hours. We were back up and ready to go by 10.

First No. 3: We didn’t ever make it down to the NYNY/MGM area. This is something we do every year and for some reason this year we had other things going on. Now that we’re home it feels like we really missed out on something… No M&M or Coke world, no big NYNY gift shops… kind of a wierd feeling…

Other things we did…
*Ate at Bertolinis at CP – great atmosphere
*Wasted our time watching the TI pirate show – girls were lame, but the captain of the guys ship was a cutie so that was good
*Went to the Wynn, ok but nothing so special, it was very crowded
*Explored the Venetian more this time, so beautiful
*Hung out at Tequila Joe’s at IP, great bar, we really liked it
*Took tons more pics than normal

All in all a great time was had by all, we have the photos to prove it. Ready to do it again soon. Next June can’t get here soon enough.

Thanks for reading my report.

Welcome back for the latest installment in my series of infamous Las Vegas trip reports. This report requires a little history lesson. I am friends with a group of track coaches that have attended the United States Track & Field Olympic Trials every four years since 1992. The Trials were held in Sacramento in 2000, and we snuck over to Reno during the two day break. We had such a good time that we decided to go to Las Vegas in 2002 to break up the four year wait. Well, that 2002 trip has resulted in annual trips to Las Vegas every summer since, including 2004, when we went a mere two weeks before returning to Sacramento for the Trials. The cast is made up of high school track coaching legends and educators Rudy, Emery, Rudy’s son Matthew, Rudy’s son-in-law Chris, and yours truly. The notorious Whitey, who has joined us on other trips, got the clamps put on him from Mrs. Whitey, and is missing from this year’s roster. This trip report is a lot tamer than when I go on my solo trips, since alcohol doesn’t play as big of a role when I go with others.

BigCheese Fabulous Las Vegas Trip Report XVII

The tradition lives on! The track coaches invade Las Vegas. Rudy (Rude-dog), Matthew (The Puppy), Chris (Puppy-In-Law) and Emery (Captain J) joined your humble reporter, me, for a fourth consecutive annual trip to Sin City.

Since it was only his second trip with the Boys, and having done a lousy job of babysitting the Puppy last year, Chris was placed on double-super-secret probation for the first part of the trip. At the request of his mother, we thought of putting Matthew on probation too. But he does such a good job of getting drunked up and providing entertainment that we decided against it, and only told her that we would. The rest of us required no such probation, as nobody really thought that a bunch of old farts needed it. However, a separated shoulder almost prevented Rudy from attending this year’s excursion. Rudy assured us that he was capable of performing all of his required functions without assistance, which is good since this is a pretty unsympathetic bunch.


Our group convened at the Capital City Airport in Lansing. Congratulations to Rudy abounded, as he took over his new position as Superintendent of Hemlock High School on Friday. I questioned Rudy on the difficulty of a job that would require him to take a vacation after only one day of work. Fortunately the promotion has not gone to his head, as we only had to call him “Super-Rudy”, and not “His Highness” on the trip.
I knew that I was destined for a successful trip as I was a winner before we even flew out. I was informed by the TSA people that my name was randomly selected by the computer, so I asked them what I won. The grand prize was a full body search. I have won better awards, but I didn’t complain. After pulling me aside to do the search, I was a little worried about my belongings traveling by their lonesome through the screener. I called out to the Boys to grab my crap, which they did.

The screening process obviously not what it should be, the dumb-asses finally got around to getting my stuff, which was neatly stacked on the side by Rudy and Emery. After the security saw this, one of them asked for whoever touched my stuff. Rudy reluctantly came forward, but Emery bolted. Reminiscent of the old Hertz commercials, Emery looked like O J Simpson running up the stairs before disappearing around a corner. It’s the fastest he’s moved in years. I momentarily thought about squealing on him, but I decided to shut up and let Rudy take the rap by himself. Rudy was also rewarded with a search, although he did not leave the screener a tip.

I required only one Bloody Mary on the quiet flight, amazingly void of any whiny brats. Rudy needed no pain medication for his shoulder, and we even discussed selling some of his pills at the Western for some extra cash. The highlight of the flight came when Matthew won a garbage bag full of $1 bills when flight attendant Geonn selected his bill in the money game. Visions of entering Glitter Gulch with a bag full of singles immediately filled Matthew’s head. Continue Reading…

Sitting at a $200 by in No-Limit Table I am dealt a 7-7. I pay to see the flop. The flop comes 9-7-7. I am sitting on Quad 7’s with about $300 in front of me!!! I bet out $50 hoping to get a bite. Person 2 seats to my left raises me $50. I re-raise another $50 and the other player goes all-in for more than my stack. I call. He flips his cards and has pocket 9-9.
My Quad vs his Full House. Turn is something I don’t remember and the River is a 9. Yup, a 9. In 50+ hours of play over 4 days these were the only 2 sets of quads I saw and mine cost me well over $300.

Welcome to my trip report. I figured I would start with the highlight of my trip. The rest of my trip went about that well just so you know what to expect. For the low-light of my trip you can skip clear to the bottom.

I went out with a friend of mine who was in town for the Microsoft summit, or something like that. I got into town about 3PM on Sunday and left 7PM on Thursday.


We stayed at the Hawthorne Suites at the Desert Rose Resort. Just a fancy name for a Business class Hotel off the strip right behind the San Remo. I guess the place was ok. The room was small but clean. We did not have any Air Conditioning for 3 of the days, the elevator was broken 2 of the days and the pool was being repaired thus was unavailable. It’s also hard to get into the place as some of the entrances are closed for construction. There was also no casino. Don’t think I would recomend this place to anyone.


Belligo buffet still gets my vote for the best place to eat in town. Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Prime Rib. What else could you possibly need!!! We also ate at the Cheesecake Factory (excellent) Triple 7 Brew Pub at the Main Street Station (also excellent) and the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton (I’ll pass next time). We tried to have dinner at the Rosewood Grill at the California but we did not make reservations and the wait was 3+ hours. I was a bit disapointed by this, but what can you do. On Thursday I did have the MGM buffet for lunch. Total and complete Rip Off. Not only was it a terrible buffet but I believe the price was $14. It was expensive but at least the food was bad Crying or Very sad Continue Reading…