f Nov 2017 #Vegas Strong & Seeing it all

I was in Vegas a week before the Route 91 Festival Massacre. Like most of the world, I watched in horror as news poured out of this deadly event. I was shocked, sad and plenty pissed that something like this happens in my country. And even more so in the place that brings me the most happiness in life.

My youngest brother was already registered to run in the Vegas marathon the following month. We planned on making it a family affair, my Dad, one of my Sisters and both of my Brothers. With zero fear in any of our hearts, we kept the trip planned as scheduled.

Since I have a new crew this trip, and my Dad in particular who hasn't been back to Vegas since my wedding there over a decade ago. The plan was to see Vegas, all of it. Well, as much as we possibly could in 4 days.

Do all the Strip, hit up Fremont, see some local casinos. Soak in as much "new" as we could for them. My oldest Brother will be my Wingman once more, he is an old hand to all of this. But for the rest of them its new.

My Brother has them shacked up at Planet Hollywood this trip. They are in town from Wed through the following Monday. I'm just in town from Wednesday - Saturday. I just couldn't leave my poor wife alone with the kids that long to mirror their plans.

Plus the longer I'm in Vegas, the bigger the bankroll I need to stay true to my degenerate self. And with Christmas looming, I just cant justify risking that much just a month after I just got back from my last Vegas vacation.

With all that said, let the festivities begin!


I have the Cosmopolitan booked for the first time ever this trip. I made friends with their slot director via one of the message boards I frequent, and he put me in touch with a host. With next to no rated play at their joint, they matched another Vegas offer I had and hooked me up for the two nights that I asked for.

With $250 in free play, plus one of their awesome rooms, I'm pretty excited about my stay there. Both of them couldn't have been nicer or easier to deal with. "Will I have to pay resort fees on the free room?" "Nope, not on your comp". "Could I check in early" "I'll put it in, no promises, but I have you marked down for an early check in".

I think I could have asked for a Russian Midget and a bottle of Jolt Cola waiting for me in the room and they would have found some way to make it happen. Huge shout out to both of them. I'd put their names in this report, but I didn't think to ask for permission to do so. And the last thing I want is a bunch of you freeloaders googling these peeps looking for a handout. Just kidding, well, not really. I know how some of you degens are!

My last trip we won some Free Spirit Miles on the flight home from Vegas. I used those to cover my flight this round, less taxes and fees.

Even though we all are flying out on Spirit, we hung out in the United terminal at O'Hare here in Chicago before the flight. Its nice to see how the other classes live their lives.

A picture of that is below, complete with a Brooks Brothers for any custom suit needs. The Spirit terminal is like something out of Ishtar. People coughing madly, kids screaming and running around. An overpriced McDonalds and a seating area that hasn't been cleaned since Spirit moved in. Pretty gross.

The flight out was as expected. Zero comfort. Strange odors. At least a dozen different languages being spoken way too loudly. But before you can say "How can a new airplane be so filthy" the Strip appears on the horizon!

Check in at Cosmo goes exactly like you would hope. They have an "Invited Guest" line, that I didn't even see, so I waited with the common folks. Check-in Dude was super nice and very helpful. Nice conversation and he genuinely seemed to like his job, which is rare these days.

He found my early check in, made sure I had a nice floor with a nice fountain view. He even wrote down his name in case I had any questions later on about the property, but noted I could use some text-engine called Rose if I didn't want to hang out with him.

I left him a tip for the fun conversation and I gathered the troops to head up to the room. Even though they are staying at Planet Ho, CET wants something like $40 if you want to check in early. Fuck that noise, they can leave their shit in my room.

It was everything I had hoped for and perhaps a little more!

View from the suite.

This ended up being one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept on. You can peep my Pops taking in the view from the balcony. The feeling of getting in town, having all your money and all the hopeful prosperity in front of you AND soaking in that amazing view of the strip is second to none.

With a couch this big, I almost have to let my Brother crash here. Beats sleeping 2 to a bed at Planet Ho. Cosmo even has a "Bed in a box" in one of the closets for any last minute crashers. They think of everything here!

A nice little kitchen setup and an extra TV for the living room area rounds out the space. If you need utensils or anything to make the kitchen work, just call down to the front desk and they will send them up.

They have a peek-a-boo setup for the bathroom in case you want to view the strip while you soak in the tub. It's hidden, but there is a pull down blinds in case you are modest, and dont want the guy watching TV to also watch you bathe...

Dual sinks, very fancy!

I am not big on modern decor, but the Cosmo really nailed it with all the fun touches. From the art books, that I would never pick up, scattered around the room to the fun smart controls that were easy to figure out. It was a nice space.

Even the wallpaper in the shitter was fun. Once you see the nudey chicks you cant unsee them...
Now its time to get dirty in the casino. Grab my card from the booth, update all of my contact info (it has been awhile) and its off to the races!

I lose $100 farting around before getting that right back on Marilyn Monroe .
I end up playing some silly Cinderella slot, only because it was next to a game that my Dad was playing. Glad I did. $250.00 out of thin air and I'm doing good.
Time to convert that $250 in free play. I turn it into $200ish of real money before cashing out on Texas Tea.

Pass by the world famous Chandelier Bar... 
And lose all the money I was up for the trip on random games of chance. I do end up playing an old school Mermaid slot, but I was betting $3.00 like a pussy since I didn't want to go on tilt so soon into the trip.

After this $120 win, I moved over to The Price is Right. I was in that fucker for $100 before hitting $150.00 on a crazy line hit. Back up $300 now.

Check my phone to see what time it was, like time matters at all in Vegas. And you cant beat 65 degrees in Paradise.
The plan now is to get my two free Diamond Show tickets for the month and send my Dad & Sister over to the Rio to see Penn & Teller. Since I would log a gambling day doing that, I figured I'd grind some coin through their machines while I was at it.


Take the pedestrian bridge from Cosmo to the Ho and I quickly lose my $300 there. I cant even remember what I was playing that stole from me, I just remember having the $300 I was up in one pocket before grabbing some Earl of Sandwich for lunch. And then having an empty pocket by the time we regrouped.

Turns out the Penn & Teller show was almost sold out, and all they had left were some premium tickets 5 rows from the stage, I guess they can suffer with free $125 each face value seats.

You go to the booth and tell them what show you want. They give you a slip and send you to the other side of the casino for real tickets. And they actually book them for you. Which was great, since I had zero plans of heading all the way to the Rio tonight to exchange at their box office.

Speaking of which, I had it all planned out for them to take the free shuttle from Harrah's to Rio to watch the show. But CET ended that fun little ride days before we got out here. I can't see any reason why someone would want to be landlocked at stupid Rio now their entire trip, or pay for cabs/ride share each way.

Getting back on track, I lose $300, we all regroup, and while we are waiting for my Brother to join us I hit three Quick Hits for a fast $1,000!

Different game, but I nailed three QH's my last trip for the same payout.

I like these Total Rewards themed slots. My assumption is that they are looser than the rest of the rapey holds CET tosses out there these days. I bet they would love to feature winners playing on THEIR game. So maybe the hold is better. I kept going back to them during the day and doing decent each time.


I cash out that $1K and start with a fresh Benny on some video poker. I dont feature much poker play on my blog. Its not that I dont play them, it's just hard to come up with a picture of anything over $100.

Its mostly just a grind. Win $5.00 lose $5.00 ETC. This was a decent hit though.


From there I hop on this quarter game. I cleared out the lower progressive for $55 and then I finally took down the middle one for $206. After being down $300 here, I'm now up $1300. God I love Vegas!

Cash out up at Planet Hollywood and we move the show over to Paris.

I love this place. We even had our wedding reception here. It just screams Vegas as soon as you walk in.


But she steals my money. I lost $200 on their Texas Tea, and dropped another hundo off playing some dollar Monte Carlo slots. It happens.

Follow the shops into Bally's and I dont see much that I want to play. But did spot a Gimme! slot that I like. And it gave alright, but just a hundred bucks. It helps the Paris loss though.


We head out of Bally's and I show them the Bizarre. The last time my Dad was here we would watch bum fights in the same space. I guess this is better, just not much for me here. I prefer the 1980's Tomorrowland theme it had going on before. Hardly any Homeless or Hookers here now,

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We briefly walk into the Cromwell, since it was new to them. We got maybe 10 steps in before everyone agreed it was nothing they wanted to see. I cant think of anyone that I know that actually gambles in here.

The tables seem like a good bargain, there just isn't many of them. And the tiny slot selection sucks.

We head into the Flamingo and my Brother & Sis run off to the Flamingo Habitat while I took my Old Man into the Diamond Lounge for some free grub.

CET will now start charging $10 a head to get in one of these Lounges in 2018. They already do so in Atlantic City, but those joints are like a full blown buffet. In Vegas, the hours are limited (4PM-8PM during the week at most) and the selection is garbage.
For free, great deal. For $10 each, for some dry ass chicken and potato chips, its theft pure and simple. But if you only gamble nearly twice as much as what it takes to earn Diamond, you still get your bar food for free.

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Catch up with the kids bird watching and we head over to the Linq. Also new to them.


Unlike the silly Bazaar, the Linq is worth your time. The High Roller is here, you are an easy walk just steps away from two casinos. Three if you count O'Shea's, which I don't. It's just a bar with some games in it. Not much different than any bar in Vegas. The only thing that is Casinoey is the sign out front.
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For some reason we end up hat shopping. They were nice enough to humor my Dad and show him a series of hats that cost more than his flight into town. We left with a "Let me think about it" and headed over to Harrah's


We all scatter in Harrah's and go our separate ways. I end up losing a couple hundred bucks before I end up playing their Monroe slot for dollars. $9.00 a spin adds up fast, but I get ballsey when I have the lead.

I thought for sure I'd have a hand pay. I triggered the bonus with a three times multiplier AND I spun the wheel for Free Spins instead of a credit prize. That's 10 spins as if I was betting $27.00 and I only won $330.
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It always makes me happy to see Pete "Big Elvis" Vallee is still alive and kicking. Well, maybe not kicking any more, but still very much alive!

The man sings his heart out, but sadly his body is at the point where he can only sit and sing.


Leave Pete and head over to Caesars Palace for a walk through. I stayed here 5 weeks ago, so I'm all CP'ed out. But they still need to walk through the Legend.


From here we split up for the night. Dad & Sis eventually catch a cab to the Rio to watch the show and I end up walking back to Cosmo alone. But what a night to be alive!

I'm still up $1,000. The air is cool. The sights are many. And I'm about to chill on my only private Las Vegas perch and watch the fountains of Bellagio.
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As if the view from the ground couldn't get any better. The view from my room was the cat's ass. Here is what I looked out onto.
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My Brother eventually shows up and catches me on the balcony. I raise my cognac glass to him and give him the Griswold "Oink Oink my Good Man" as he approaches. We both agree that there is no place else we would rather be then on that balcony watching the show.

But there is money to be won! So we head back down to play up my card. I cant fuck my super awesome host. That didn't sound right, but you guys know what I mean!

I kick some ass on this Cleo Pinball game. I just wish I could have bet more then $2.00 a spin. What a shitty max bet!


Some fleeting luck on this weird 3D game after losing $200 in the new Vacation slot. I love the Griswold's, but it fucked me pretty good. I just suck at picking bonuses.

I can only assume a Vegas Vacation slot is in the works though.


Back to the Price is Right and boy was it ever! An $80 bonus on a $5.00 bet is not the best, but I finally got the free spins and that paid out $320.00!
I leave my stupid Brother on his Vacation slot, he was actually doing well on it, and I head to Johnny Cash. But not before making a pit stop at one of the newer Green Machines. $100 later I hop on Johnny.


And he treated me well! I'm now walking around with a $900 TITO!

So what do you do when you are up? Try to be more up! I lose a few hundred playing in their High Limit Parlor before finally getting a bonus on Pinball.
It had to be the shittest bonus possible. 10 credits 3 times and 1 15 credit. I've never been more sad to win $225.00


I cash out that big ticket and start with a fresh $100 bill on this new (to me) Quick Hit game. I lose that fast betting $4 a spin, so I naturally feed it another $100 bill. I'll show him who's Boss!

And it actually worked. In the bonus round the Quick Hit symbols become wild. I had one major spin at 3X and end up with almost $500.

I play Playboy with a new hundo and almost immediately I get a wheel spin for $100. Now I have even more money!


Move on to this Shark game that I have only ever played for dollars before. Pennies are so much easier since you do not need 3 bonus symbols on a line. I take down the below is succession.

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I end up pissing most of that away on whatever caught my fancy before eventually killing it on an Elvis bonus game for $315.00


I thought for sure this game would have been better. Maybe I just got the worlds worst bonus. I have seen people win a lot more, on much smaller bets, but I still cashed out up on it.

Still playing with the same TITO, I find some older mechanical slots in the back. And do very well on them. Below was the best where I hit for $302.00


Starting to poop out by now, waking up at 4AM to get on my flight and spending a dozen hours walking around and exploring, I hit Johnny Cash once more before heading up to bed.

With that Minor Jackpot win, I cash out this session with a $900 ticket. Notice I have over 4,000 points on my card ($2.50 = 1 point) and knowing I now have enough to be Sterling at Cosmo. I hit the club booth to get a new copy of my card. It also comes with a free night stay as well.

I count my riches in the room while listening to Faith Hill direct the fountains of Bellagio.

After all that play, just over 1,000 Tier Credits earned at CET + 4,000 here, that is just over $15,000 coin-in on the machines today and I have an extra $1,600 to show for it. Vegas baby!

The only knock I have on the room is the trade off between watching the cool Bellagio Fountains, and listening to the burst of the water cannons sporadically at night. Just like hemorrhoids, you get used to it after awhile.



So here is my dilemma... I'm now up, considerably for me. Do I now play Prevent Defense for the next few days? Cover my lead and not risk anything aggressively?

Fuck No! Do you know what doesn't win money? Scared money! When you play Prevent D that can prevent you from winning. I understand the smart play, but I'm a risk taker...

My internal clock still thinks I'm in Chicago and need to get up for work. Even on weekends, the kids don't let me sleep past 7AM. So at 5AM Vegas time, I'm rolling around in my bed.

With the sweet symphony of my fat Brother snoring away on my couch (Bed in a Box worked great) I freshen up and head down to play alone.

I grab an overpriced Monster from the Sundries Shop and have a nice conversation with the man working there. Just idle chit chat, but yet another insanely friendly employee. Rinse and Repeat everywhere I go at Cosmo. The cleaning lady in the Hall? "Good Morning Sir I hope you enjoy your day". The woman cleaning ashtrays in the casino "Hello Sir, I wish you nothing but Good Luck". Everyone that I saw seemed genuinely happy and friendly.

Why am I pointing this out again? Cosmo is the happiest place I have ever stayed not including Disney. Those wooden fucks will smile at you even if the mouse has to ram his fist up their ass to do so. But this is unheard of at a casino resort. I look big and surly, granted, so not everyone approaches me everywhere I go with pleasantries. I have met friendly people before in casinos, just not every single person in the resort like here.

Mad credit to whoever hires and trains these fine folks. They were all wonderful.

On with the debauchery. Its now 6AM, I'm hopped up on Camel cigarettes and energy drinks by this point. Still high on the crazy day I just had winning on almost everything I touched. Well, it felt like that. So what happens next? I shit away $500!

I'm just getting the most dogshit bonuses possible. $6.00 bet on Willy Wonka nets me a $12.00 bonus game. $6.00 bet on Simpsons gets me 9 free spins worth a total of $16.80. It was rough.

So I call home to talk to the girls and see how its going. I tell the wife I'm up, so she doesn't start the divorce proceedings. But I don't tell her how much just in case I blow it. After that cool down I settle in on a Michael Jackson Icon slot. And that was the right move!

Turned that $100 bill into a $571 ticket. Just like that I righted the ship after a couple of good bonus games.

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I start chasing the rest of my money and for a few minutes I was actually up for the day on Texas Tea.


Before I started losing it little by little. Down to $640 after a  bonus here.


Then down to $535 after a bonus there.

Before dropping down to $185 after a Johnny Cash bonus. I end up waking my brother up so I have some company to keep me from losing all the money I won. I end up cashing that $100 bill that started this streak, but I still lost $500.

No sour grapes, it happens, just pointing out the time line of my demise.

Pass through Cosmo via the 2nd floor on the way to Planet Ho. The plan is to eat breakfast, hop on the shuttle at Harrah's to get us over to Sam's Town. From there we will hop on the free shuttle yet again, and hitch a ride to Fremont Street.
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Exit to the skybridge and over to the Ho where Dad & Sis are waiting.

We walk down to McDonalds and eat. There are 30 or so people milling around and waiting to order, but those bastards know how to serve the masses and we get our food pretty fast.

I finish before them and go outside to smoke when I get offered some cocaine from a lovely gentleman that just wants to see me have a good time. I kindly refuse and a quick fist bump later he was off into the daylight.


With my slow ass family still eating, and me narrowly avoiding getting shanked on the Strip for not buying drugs, I jump in Harrah's to play some Video Poker.

I know Spin Poker is for suckers, but I nailed Royal Flushes every where. How this wasn't more than $180 is beyond me.

Now there is a trick to catching the free shuttle to Sam's. You have to exit the rear of Harrah's, out through the doors by check in. From there stay to the left, you'll see signs for buses.

There is nothing marked, just spaces for buses to pull in and out of. Wyndham Timeshares has the only official space marker. Everything else is pot luck. Mostly shuttles from the airport.

Eventually our bus shows up. Its all white with "Sam's Town" printed on a piece of paper taped to the window. There are no shuttle times posted on the web. Well, there are, but they change every single day according to the driver.

They used to have a few buses, now its just him driving in circles. The times I found called for a 9:30AM pickup, but his window said 9:45. In the end, we were pretty much his only passengers. But it was a very nice shuttle!

Here is a picture of half my Motley Crew


An often missed view of the backside of the Strip.

We finally get to Sam's in about 25 minutes. Nice and easy. Everything I read online says I should stay here with the Family. Plenty of stuff for my kids to do. Lots of themeing to keep me happy. Great gambling odds ETC.

I actually popped in here about 15 or so years ago. I remember having fun and liking it there. So I want to play on my Boyd card and see if they start sending me offers to stay there. I called them once, asking if they would match offers, they told me to fuck off.

It was just as awesome as I remembered it!
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Babbling brooks, cheesy animatronics, it was glorious! This is the Vegas I remembered 20 years ago!

Then it happened, I walked into the casino and the charm completely wore away. Dated, stale smelling, older machines with even older people playing on them. The carpet was worn, the wallpaper stained from years of smoke. Wood accents nicked or broken.
There were gamblers all around, just super old ones. We were probably the only people under 40 in the joint. Easy. Most are in the upper 60's or even closer to death. God bless them, I'd rather see them having their fun with their money then giving it away after they die to their kids that never call.

But they were all staring at us, like we crossed into their turf.

I go to the players club booth, hand over my ID and ask for a copy of my card. This is where it gets really strange... She holds up my drivers license and tells me to remove my hat and sunglasses. I do it, I just assume she wants to see if it was really me. Heaven forbid someone pretends to be me to play on my card.

She just starts typing away and I put my ball cap and shades back on. She stops typing and says sternly "I told you to remove your hat and glasses, you are in a casino!"

What the fuck? I tell her I know I'm in a casino, what does that have to do with anything? She says Its the rules and that she has to enforce them.

I tell her I have been gambling for 20 years all around the country, I have never heard of such a thing. If I played a table game and they asked me to remove my shades, I would. But not to play slots or just walk through the casino. She says "Do you want your card or not?" I did, so I took off my hat.

As I walked away I put my hat and glasses back on and she yells out that "They can throw you out for that you know!"

It's bad enough all the old folks are sweating us, but the employees too?

I walked past half a dozen older men wearing various Veteran or Armed Forces hats just to get to that booth. I'd love to see security walk up to one of them and order them to remove their cap emblazon with the American Flag and whatever battleship they served on.  

Since we took the shuttle, we are stuck here for 2 hours. I'm not going to allow one shitty boothling to ruin my day.

I piss away about $100 on a few machines before settling in on the below. Within about 3 spins I hit for $300.


Good thing for me I like older machines, those were plentiful here. I end up picking the shit out of my Turkey Shoot bonus for $310. I lean back to take a picture of my win, and security sees me and he starts closing in.

I was done on that machine anyway, but Dude followed me to the next machine.


I find an older Big Ben machine that I haven't seen in ages, I slip in my ticket and the older broad playing next to the machine looks over at me, huffs and cashes out. WTF? I fell like a Black Guy at Denny's in here.

Oh well, I play until I hit the progressive for $83, take a picture in front of my new security guard friend and walk over to the cash-out machine, to which he follows along.

I know perfectly well that most casinos frown on slot pictures. It's stupid, but I know the risk. At Cosmo they actually encourage you to take a picture, or even video your machine. But here, I guess, they think I'm casing the joint or getting ready to snatch some little old ladies purse. So strange.


I gather the troops and we head off to check out the arcade. Any thoughts I had of staying here with my kids are quickly seeping away. Not only was the arcade worn and aging like everything else here, but it was also completely abandoned.

Who would I turn in my tickets to to get the latest toys such as a Furby or a Backstreet Boys button. The place really is a time warp.


Still winning, and still killing time I hop on a Double Dragon slot. Yet another machine I haven't seen for a good 10 years or so. Even then they weren't new. I take that down for just over $100 in profit.


Since I pretty much cant lose in their casino, props to them for that at least, I start to play even bigger. $7.50 a spin and I finally catch a bonus on the below for $137.00


We head to their second floor casino and find yet another stash of older games.

I start with a hundo on the below and eventually cash out with nearly $300.


I give Double Dragon one last shot before we grab some grub and the shuttle. That's a solid $200 hit. I flip through my cash while munching on my filet-0-fish and I not only got back the $500 I lost at Cosmo this morning, but I'm up an additional $400.

Even with all the finger wagging, security creeping and fellow gambler shunning, I still took this fucker for nearly a grand. We make our own fun, so no one regrets coming here. But we all agree that we most likely wont be back.

I am curious to see what my $4K of coin-in earns me here though. Considering its Boyd, I wont be shocked if its a free room + resort fees and a cheese grader. Seriously, that was the giveaway the day we were there. Those Blue-hairs like some weird shit, the next day it was a scented candle day!

The shuttle to Fremont only took 15 minutes. The plan for here is to show the team everything that changed Downtown since they last visited.

Out with Fitzgerald and in with the D. Glitter Gulch, Mermaids, La Bayou, Las Vegas Club all dead.

The carcass of the Las Vegas Club

We start the show at the Plaza. It now only smells a little bit like shit, but looks a thousand times better than it did years ago. I actually stayed at Biff's Place once and had a good time. But some shitty hosts and their overall non-caring staff combined with shit comps and a small casino kept me from every going back.

I did manage to shit away $200 in their casino today though, so that worked out nicely. I couldn't catch a break on anything I tried here. Since I hate playing for free, I keep the rest of my cash in my wallet for a joint I'm getting rated at.

My Dad wanted to do the Zipline, so we grabbed him and my sister some tickets and waited for their time slot to open. It's a solid deal, $26 a ride and $5 off before 5PM or something.

Batter up! And away they go!

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I dont bother to call home to Mom and tell her she just wasted her money on extra insurance on Dad. They both make it out unscathed.

Dad smells some White Castle, so we get him a mid-morning snack.

I take a picture of this guy before a McDonald's moves into the space and they paint him up like a Corporate Clown or something...

Much like the bastardization of the Trader Bills sign across from it.


We grab a cab back to the Cosmo, and that turns into a nearly 1 hour affair. The highway was jammed, the Strip was blocked, everywhere the cabbie tried was met with lines. We found out later on that the Culinary Union was striking on the Strip, and the coppers were putting up barricades and such for them.

I finally dont pick like a dipshit in my Vacation bonus, and I cash out up $150 after a $226 hit. But I piss away that entire TITO plus $200 more trying to get Monty Python to do something, anything, but it was a lost cause.


At least Elvis was still good for a bonus or two.


I started to climb out of my hole on my new favorite Shark Game. After a series of bonuses, I cash out up almost $200 to help right the ship.

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I started to swing for the fences as the night was rolling on, I manged to take down the below hits over the next hour or so.

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We head over to Planet Ho to grab some diner and see what cost us an extra $30 in cab fare rolling down the Strip.

I'm not Anti-Union, so dont bother sending me pissy emails. I was actually Union myself 20 years ago in a warehouse. It's just annoying when something like this pops up in the middle of your vacation.

I will say that them shouting Vegas Strong in their chat is a bit disgusting. Turning a rally cry that was meant to unite the city amidst such horrible tragedy, and turning it into a chant for some Chefs to get a raise is a bit much. Shame on them.


We ate at some sports place in the Ho, it was good and reasonably priced. My Philly Cheesesteak was small but my cheese fries were huge.

Drop off Dad & Sis and my Brother and I head back to Cosmo to round off the night.

I manage to piss away some more money with only the Johnny Cash hit below to really show for it. At my peak today, walking out of Sam's, I was up over $2,000 for the trip. By the time I turned in tonight, I was up only $600. But I would like to stress that up is up!


Wake up early to checkout of Cosmo. We all really enjoyed our experience here. The machines seemed fair, by Strip standards, everyone we interacted with was super awesome and the room was beyond reproach.

I end up with just over $18,000 coin-in, all slots, the 2 nights I stayed. Fingers crossed that was enough to draw in some decent corporate offers. I'd love to add this place to my mix of Vegas mainstays.

Apparently "Do Not Disturb" Courtney Love when she licks a butt-plug.

Now that we have the band back together, the plan is to take them on a tour of all the MGM casinos. So far we have seen all of the CET joints, most of the Downtown casinos and we headed Off Strip once.

We have to fill in time before I can check into the Luxor for the last leg of my short trip. First stop, Mirage.


I got absolutely robbed with everything I played. In short order I was down $500.00 before hitting the below bonus for $193.


But I end up losing that as well. The carnage I left in my wake was brutal for less than 30 minutes of play. I did take the below off them on my way out, but that hardly put a dent in the damage.

"Excuse me Cesar, which way to do I go to get my money back? Over there at Bellagio? Thanks Buddy!"

And boy was he right! The first machine I played after walking in was good for a $130 hit. We grab breakfast at their cafe, it was fine just not much to choose from.

Not a huge win, but I'll take any help I can get after the Mirage debacle.


Nearly a $100 bonus on a quarter Turkey Shoot. The B still has plenty of older titles to play. Bless their hearts for that.
Then the Storm hit for $307.00

And to round off the victory tour, $484! Just like that I got back all of my Mirage mistake and was actually up on the day.


We hop the free monorail over to Monte Carlo, I mean Park MGM.

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Here is a shot of the team. Not sure about the 2 on the right side of the picture. They just kept to their own and ignored all the dick and fart jokes we were making.

In the annals of stupid casino names, Park MGM has to rank near the top. You already have issues when telling a cabby to get you to Paris. They usually say "Harrah's with an H?" And you have to correct them.

I can only imagine the Abbot & Costello routine for MGM VS Park MGM. "You want me to Park at MGM?" "No! Park MGM!"


They were removing the signage for Monte Carlo...
There once was a time when casinos would rip out their lame rectangular pools and install lazy rivers, palm trees and other Tropical wonders. Instead, they did the opposite here.

Maybe I just dont get it. I guess it gives them more space for dancing and DJ's. Neither of which I want to see at a pool. But I guess they dont build resorts just for me.

These used to be the "Streets of Dreams" thriving with cute little shops. Now it is more the "Streets of Sadness"

The Lobby does look great, I'll give them that much.

Not sure what to think of the weird tree roots popping out of the ceiling. Reminds me of something from "Stranger Things".

I'd like to say I rolled my Bellagio luck into more of the same here. But I cant. With the exception of the below bonus it was more misses then hits.

Not sure why we even played here. The entire casino is nothing but temporary walls and construction noise. We should have kept walking.

Back through the barren wasteland and over to Aria, always a fan favorite.

I shit away $300 here before finally getting the below hit for $200.

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With enough time killed, we walk over to Luxor. What should have been a fun sightseeing adventure turned into a cluster fuck since they have the Excalibur/NY NY bridge shut down.

We didn't find that out until we crossed over from MGM, only to have to cross back, then to the Trop, and THEN to ExCal to get to Luxor.

The lines for a room were long at 3PM, but there was no one in line at VIP. Faster than you can say "Did Cleopatra stay here" we had our room keys.

The Inclivators are slowly dying and it makes for a creepy and noisy ride up the pyramid.

I've stayed in these suites before. Not much to look at, really no views to be had at Luxor and the rooms are more space then fixtures. But for two dudes, it will work out just fine.

Notice the triple ass wipes below. They must really plan on you eating at their buffet!

Hungry from the voyage over, we grab the buffet and charge it to the room. I have a resort credit I need to burn up. Even for the rock bottom price of "free" the buffet really isn't worth it.

I love the space, its one of the only things they haven't ruined from the original themeing. But the food keeps sucking more and more every year. I end up eating a scoop of mashed and gravy and some nachos.

That was the only thing I found to suit my pallet here. I was this close to drinking a cup of Ranch and eating a banana for lunch. The options were that slim.


I only have $100 in free play to go along with the room and resort credit. So I make fast work converting that. I dont get much on the free play, but I do sit a little longer and eventfully land the below for $324


I killed it on this stupid Dragon game. Since finding machines that give you full points are next to impossible to find at MGM casinos these days, I play where I get the most value.

It's at the point where they should just say $10.00 = 1 point and then call the older machines "bonus ones" that give 1 point for $3.00. When nearly every game being played is tagged as a "specialty" slot at what point are they no longer "special" when they are now the majority?

I lose some chasing on Austin Powers before I finally get a bonus on Wizard of Oz.
We make the walk over to Mandalay Bay from here, they all have tickets for the Michael Jackson Cirque show tonight.

I never knew that Hitler was a Guinness fan. You learn something new every day I guess. 

I catch on fire early at MB. I have seen people play this game online. You really have to max bet to get anything out of it. At $4.40 a spin it was right up my alley. I turned my hundo into $500.

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I was doing well here, until I pissed away too much cash on the new Simpsons slot. Bonus games popped up frequently enough, I just wasn't hitting anything worthy of my $6.00 bet.

I did manage $100 on an older Instant Spin. I love these games but they are now a dying breed.


I have been playing this Cash Spinner for nearly 20 years here in the exact same spot (pretty much).

I flew too close to the sun though. Even after climbing out ahead at first, I pissed away $600. The below was my only saving grace on my way out. Not that $125 is going to pull the dent out of this one.

I head up to the room, alone and sad. I end up taking a giant shit thanks to the crappy buffet. Thank Gawd I had 3 rolls of toilet paper waiting for me!


I'm not one to sit and pout for very long. I'm still up after all. Plus I am in Vegas. So I stop being a little bitch and head over to Excalibur to see what is happening there.

I pick the hell out of this Diamond game for a decent progressive, but that was pretty much the only luck I had. Another $300 gone.

By now their show was over and my Brother is heading back to me to play Wingman. Just as he texts that he is back at Luxor, I nail the below for a $200 win.
We both head to Exclaibur, since I spotted a rare Neverland game that we both like. Treasure Island is the only other place on the strip where I know I can play these. My bonus game was just OK. But any little bit helps.

We decide to go check out MGM. We cross by the broken bridge and get long hauled to the Trop and back over.

When you cross from New York New York to MGM you pretty much go casino to casino. When you have to get there via Tropicana, you go down escalators, follow a stupid curved path that leads directly to the Trops Valet drop off, then circle back to some more escalators up. Then more escalators back down. And then you walk into MGM.

Worth the effort? Probably not. But MGM usually gets a lot of cool new games before other places in town. So we still had to see.

And they did not disappoint! The only Goonies slot I know of in captivity. By far my favorite Childhood movie. I have been watching demo videos online for a long time. Finally, here I am, face to face with one.

So I slip in a hundo, get some random bonus games that dont pay shit. So I give it another bill. And another. In 30 minutes I feed $400 into this bitch, at $4.00 a spin, and all for not.

My brother takes the same beating. Here he is below stepping back up to the plate for one last try on our way out. He finally got a bonus game, and it paid out fairly. But we both still left with a kick in the dick.


Below is my only solid hit at MGM. I ended up losing that as well. Every single trip I say I cant win at MGM and almost every single trip that holds true. One of these days though...

Back to the Trop to get back to ExCal to get back to the room. I inspect my funds and I'm only up $200 now. But up is up!



Wake up early, again, and head down to gamble alone, again, like the degenerate that I am. And I completely fall flat on my face.

I cant even say what I lost on. I went on tilt the last time I was at Luxor as well. Just prolonged losing streaks. I was in on Spider-man to the tune of $200 when I finally got the free games for just $72.00

After an hour of insults I'm finally able to get my Brother to wake up and join me for some more free shit buffets here. I go to burn whats left of my TITO in an Instant Spin machine, and we both are shocked that 2  Jackpot symbols pays out $400. 1 symbol is $4.00, 2 is $400 and 3 is $40K

This certainly helps to take the sting off of the morning.
I get an omelette, made to order and it was burnt. I get some bacon, but it was so thin you could see through it and tasted like nothing. So I fill my tummy with some ice cream. It was the only thing that had any flavor.

Head out to catch the tram over to ExCal so we can hop over (the long way) to New York New York. The last of the MGM casinos we need to collect them all on this trip.

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I think parts of the Fair Grounds are still off limits due to the investigation. At least I hope that is why the Route 91 Billboard is still up. If not, and it was just left there waiting for a new sponsor, that is bad form. It's like leaving the White Star ticket booth in front of the dock the Titanic left from.


And there she is! The casino so nice they named it twice!
One of my favorite things each trip is a ride down their escalator into the casino. More due to fond memories then actual visuals. At one time this space was incredible. Fake birds chirping in fake trees, High Limit slots set inside a fake Central Park. A silly little fake river that ran through the slot area ETC.

Now it has been MGM'ed way too much into a bland and unexciting space.

I lose, fast and hard. I'm down $400 in about 20 minutes. Nothing was going my way. Until I pulled this rabbit out of my ass!

I guess each Diamond is a scatter worth $40 and wilds count as scatters too. Who knew?

But dont worry, I lost that money as well. I dont have much time to gamble today anyway. I need to catch my flight at 6PM to get back home. I'm leaving my room for my Brothers to both enjoy, they can just checkout in the morning.

We pass through the only themed part of NY NY left, their awesome restaurant section.
We go all the way down to Aria from here to convert my points into free play. Its the only place you can convert 100% of your points into money. The other joints make you go 5 bucks at a clip or something.

I ended up with 6,000 points this trip. That's $18K at $3=1 point. But with all the specialty games I was playing, like stupid Goonies, my coin in was closer to $24K in 1.5 days.

In the end, I'm a loser, I ended up down $400 on the trip. From being up $2K to down $400 in a few dozen hours sucks. But that's still only $100 lost a day for all that play and fun. Not a bad run at all.

If I knew when to stop, it wouldn't be a gamble. Zero regrets on my end. If I stopped when I was up $500 I wouldn't have been up $1,000. If I stopped at $1,000 up I never would have gotten to $2,000 up.

We did pop in the M&M store so I could pick up my kids some souvenirs. It's the least I could do since I'm risking their Christmas gift money on my gambling addiction. I hope, for their sake, Santa has some extra cash this year.

I fear the crowds coming in for the marathon, and it being a Saturday evening flight. So I get to the airport 2 hours before boarding to find the place all to my self.

Farewell Las Vegas, thanks for taking it easy on me! Stay Strong!


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