Vegas: August 2016 Day 8

Woke up.


Checked out of Aria.

Debated playing before heading to Monte Carlo.

“Playing” won the debate.

Sat down at a shoe game.

Pushed four 20s.

But won 550.

Trip is now -1950.

Heading to Monte Carlo.

“Warm smell of colitas…rising up through the air”

That describes the situation as I walked down the hall to my room at the Monte Carlo — glaucoma patients would do well to hang out in this hallway.

The room:

Showered and feeling refreshed, I made my way to the Starbucks between Monte Carlo and Aria and caffeinated myself.

Arrived at Aria and checked my tier points – apparently I need 71k more to maintain Platinum – I told the guy I didn’t think I’d get 71k tier points in 2 days but he said “the points really add up if you make purchases in addition to gaming” – I’ll keep that in mind lol

Sat down to a double deck game and was greeted with a blackjack – I then saw one of the players from the table last night that was also attempting to make a comeback – she advised me she had won “a little bit” back but still had a way to go – I wished her continued success and resumed my game.  A few hands later I was dealt another blackjack, won a double, pressed a couple of hands and by shuffle’s end, I had regained 700.

As such, the trip is now -1250 

Took a break and eventually made my way back to the tables – had a good conversation about Aria squeezing the black chip players out of the High Limit Lounge and their wanting $300min and higher only in there – let’s see how that works out…

Sat down to a double deck game with the hope of regaining some chips – without much fanfare, by the end of the shuffle, I had regained another 400

Trip is now -850

I will never understand it in a million years why people think adding in an extra hand to “change the cards” is the “right thing to do” – unless you have X-Ray vision, how do you know that adding in an extra hand will help you and, if you know that it will, why aren’t you going “all in” on that very next hand???

Which leads me to sitting down and winning the first two hands of a 6D shoe and losing the third hand to a dealer blackjack while the guy at first base pushed two hands and lost to the dealer blackjack — he decides that “because the dealer had a blackjack” that the “order of the cards needed to change” — of course, he continued to push and lose while I traded sides and lost two splits and two other hands — I switched tables to a double deck game and recouped what I had just lost at the man with X-Ray vision’s table.

Trip is still -850

Just saw a guy win the LUCKY LUCKY side bet at Aria with a suited 678…$25 bet paid 100:1 congrats guy!!! 🎉

Sat down, played 5 hands of double deck and gained two black chips–however, it seems this one floorperson is becoming annoyed with me that I keep hitting and running (even the dealer mentioned it but then made an excuse for her that she “just got back from vacation and probably doesn’t want to be here right now” — oh well

Trip is -650

I made my way back to the Monte Carlo for a shower and shave — feeling refreshed I grabbed an iced Starbuck’s at Aria and sat down to a double deck game.  Without much fanfare, I picked up another 250.

Trip is -400

My cousin was over at Planet Hollywood watching some games so I joined him for a bit then hit the ABC store for some snacks and made my way back through Crystals and Aria, had a burger at Johnny Rockets, and relaxed in the room.

I’ve made the executive decision to call it a night, watch tv, relax and start the day fresh tomorrow.

To reiterate, the trip is now only -400

Sweet dreams.

Vegas: August 2016 Day 7

Had trouble falling asleep last night and had some weird dreams but can’t really remember much about them.  Oh well, back to Vegas.

I headed over to the Miracle Mile shops in the surprisingly refreshing weather outside – naturally, the escalators were not operating from the bridge connecting Cosmopolitan to Planet Hollywood – neither on the way there not the way back.  Had a couple of blueberry vanilla cashew Kind bars and am ready to win!

If you recall, MLIFE informed me I had $9 free slot play on my card – so I attempted to play it and could not get it to work – asked an MLIFE clerk and they didn’t know why it wasn’t working so they called over a supervisor who then informed me that the free slot play is only activated at $10 and above (naturally)

Feeling dejected (lol), I sauntered over to the blackjack pit and sat down to play with one of my favorite dealers to chat with–I lost the first 5 of 6 hands then Pushed a blackjack, followed by a dealer blackjack–then split 8,8 with a double on one for 21 and a 17 on the other – dealer 21 (net loss) – then, I get dealt a double down on 9 and get an Ace – I was just about to tell the dealer not to congratulate me but it was too late – she was already saying “Nice!!!” so I stood up and told her I was switching tables because she was going to get a 21 – she had a 6 turns over another 6 then draws the 9 OF COURSE!

I then switched tables down another 1200 (2900 for the trip) and, got the entire 1200 back plus another 100 in one double deck shuffle.

The pattern of having to lose thousands in order to make up hundreds is becoming all too real.

Trip is now -1600

I swear there is a pattern – it has occurred too many times for it not to be…I pretty much lose the first 5 hands of any shoe/shuffle and then when I finally get a double down (the latest example being Ace, 5 versus dealer 6 — I was dealt a 5 for 21 and the dealer congratulated me – of course, dealer turns over a 5 then draws a Queen) I lose or push it then proceed to go down ± 1k before regaining it plus another ½chip to 2 chips.

Trip is now -1550

This really is becoming ridiculous now – sat down to a double deck game, lost the first 5 hands, pushed a hand, then lost the final 5 — switched tables without winning a hand and the trip back to -2550

The shoe game started out nicely with a win but then, the blackjack gods couldn’t stand for that to happen again, so I lost the next 3 hands plus a double.  As the pattern has been, winning a few hands to start a shoe has not been in the cards (pun intended).  It is not until I am down to a couple chips of my buy-in that I get on any run – which merely brings me back to my buy-in — which, once again, happened here.

Trip was back to -1550 as I took a pizza break…
Satiated from the pizza, I continued my journey back to even and beyond, sitting down at a double deck game – on the first hand, I was dealt a 5,6 v dealer 10 – still gunshy, I doubles for less and was dealt a 5 for a 16 — dealer turned over a 6 -whoa, I had a chance – nope, dealer draws a 5

Per the usual, I lost the next four hands and decided to switch tables.

At the new game, I won 6 out of 10 by shuffle’s end.  Another 300 (slow and steady)

Trip is -1250

Normally, when a floorperson tells me that I should play at a certain table because the dealer is “dumping” – I merely assume the dealer will cease “dumping” as soon as I sit down (a la the “shoe of the century” I watched being played the other day followed by my sitting down and the shoe becoming the “perfect storm” instead).  However, this time I listened and was rewarded, by the end of the shuffle, with 500 in chips to the good.

I then shot the bull with another dealer who told me a guy at his table earlier was down about 10k betting 100-500/hand – the guy, apparently fed up with the situation, decided to put up 10k and either break even or lose his entire bankroll – well, the guy won!  It can be done lol

As for now, the trip is -750

I just met Barry the bulldog – 13 years old – laying down and refusing to get up from the marble casino floor due to overheating and being tired

The owners basically just standing there waiting for him to recuperate – don’t know why they are walking a bulldog in Vegas


My cousin texted me that his plane was on the ground so I was waiting for him before playing again but, after an hour I decided to play again – naturally, after a few hands he texted me he was here – fortunately, I had gained another 200 by then and the trip was now only -550

I kept cashing in the chips gained after each buy-in so I could feel my original cash bankroll attaining its former glory.  So each time I did I was assisted by the same cashier who would ask me “How close?” and telling me “You can do it!” Reminds me of the interaction between Richard Dreyfuss as a horseplayer and Robbie Coltrane as the parimutuel clerk in the movie Let It Ride

The High Limit Lounge at Aria is all 1k/hand minimum tonight:


Fast forward three hours:

I am feeling kind of numb right now – I guess I’ll begin at the beginning – my cousin arrived and I got him settled in – we then headed down to the casino – being only down 550 for the trip, I felt confident and positive that I could get back to even and then start winning…

I sat down and bought in at 6d game for 1k — won the first hand woohoo on my way

Second hand I had 200 up and was dealt 6,5 v dealer 6 — I doubled and was dealt a 5 for 16 — the dealer flipped over a Queen – OMG if I win I’ll be even for the trip and celebrate with a nice dinner and relaxation —

the dealer draws a 5 for 21










Rather than being even, I proceeded to be dealt 5 more doubles that shoe and lost them all – by the end of the shoe I was back to being down 2k

My cousin couldn’t believe it and neither could I so I switched tables to a double deck game – I was playing along with a couple who was already there who continually asked the dealer how to play their hands – the dealer was not knowledgeable at all – however they continued to win and I continued to lose – finally, the couple left and I was playing head’s up

Heard some noise behind me and the guys from those old Dockers commercials come to life had descended upon the table — they were merely watching at this point – I was dealt a double down of 2,9 v dealer 10 – the dealer told me if I double that I would win – of course, I did not win and told the dealer to leave my chip where it was, that she had guaranteed a win –  the floorperson I’m friendly with told me to relax and just play and all of a sudden, who chimes in from behind is one of the Dockers guys who thought it was his job to become Mr. Helper and start telling me to calm down and that if I knew anything about how to play blackjack that I wouldn’t be arguing that the dealer guaranteed  – I told him he had no idea what my level of familiarity was with the dealer and it was none of his business – he replied that he knew “everything there was to know about blackjack” – I rolled my eyes and resumed playing

Moments later, Mr. Helper and one of his buddies sat down to play, flanking me on my left and right– things were ok until Mr. helper doubled a 5,4 versus a 3 and was dealt a 10 — I was dealt a 10,2 and hit – all of a sudden I heard the wail of Mr. Helper yelling that nobody who knows blackjack hits a 12 versus 3 — I said nothing and the dealer corrected him – he told the dealer she was wrong and he called the floorperson over who informed him 12 v 3 is a hit — Mr. Helper refused to listen but, after he won the hand (with the help of my making the correct play) his friends tagged him and he had nothing to say…

I eventually switched tables, this time -3300 for the trip–in the next shoe, ran into a guy playing who would celebrate every time he didn’t busy and inform other players they should be happy when dealt a certain card – naturally, he was always wrong and I soon tired of his act, albeit another 1k down with the trip now -4500

I switched tables yet again and joined a lady playing who informed me she was down 12k –  I told her I’ve beenthisclosetoeven twice and got derailed by ridiculous shoes

Finally finally I was able to win more than one hand in a row – I even won a few double downs – however, a strange thing happened – I had the following hand:

2,2 v dealer 6

Split the 2s

First 2: dealt a 7, doubled and dealt a 3

Second 2: dealt an Ace, doubled and dealt a 9

the lady at the table was dealt a 16 and stayed

the dealer turned over an Ace for 17 but mistakenly kept hitting and busted (it was a non hit soft 17 table)

as we were getting paid he realized his mistake and he called the floorperson over -the floorperson said to just burn the cards he pulled and play the hand as a 17

Well, the roller coaster of emotions from our respective losses overtook us and the lady and I both called for the floorperson to reconsider and let the hand play as it was (admittedly, we were both “taking a shot”) – the shift manager came over to discuss it with us and he graciously allowed us to just take our original bets back – no harm no foul and very classy move (typical of Aria)

From there I was able to get a few more chips back and, although I never made it to even, I did dig myself back from being down 5k again to being down 2500 (think I have another comeback in me?)

Sweet dreams.


Vegas: August 2016 Day 6

Checked out of Caesars this morning after the front desk nonsense last night.  Took a Lyft down the block to Aria:

As I entered Aria a woman passed by me wearing Daisy Dukes with holes in them – basically giving everyone a window to her ass cheeks – I enjoyed watching the looks on people’s faces as she passed by — I wonder if these people have been to a pool or beach lately lol

I sat down to play after checking in, positive that I’d get to even and start winning…it was not to be.

I lost and lost and lost.  I really don’t know what else to say – If I had 20, dealer made 21 – I won only one double or split in playing for an hour.  I would normally recap the hideous hands but I’m trying to erase them from my memory.  

I do find it amazing though that whenever some random person walks by and decides to jump in mid-shoe, they win and I lose.

Rather than being even, I was down 5k.

I was wandering around the casino aimlessly when a dealer called me over to say hi-she told me I looked like I hadn’t slept – I told her I had, but that I haven’t eaten-she advised me to get some food and I took the advice, grabbing a couple Five Cheese slices from Five50.

After tearing through the slices I made my way back to the tables.  I was finally able to win a couple of doubles and, without much fanfare, was able to grab 1200 back to my side of the table.

Trip is -3800

So I smacked myself awake from a two hour nap, showered and shaved and heads o Starbucks.  I am normally a latte drinker but felt I needed something stronger (I suppose I could’ve ordered a double shot)  so I ordered a cold brewed iced coffee – although tastes like gasoline (to me), it does a wonderful job of kicking it up a notch (thank so, Emeril).

I hit the tables and the first table I went to the dealer said he wasn’t allowed to shuffle – I misunderstood and though for some reason they were closing the game.  A few moments later I saw him shuffling and he cleared things up for me – he was in the middle of a marker payoff and waiting for the floorperson.  I have played with this dealer before and he is very much cheering for the players.  When I would double certain hands he would acknowledge that I was playing “by the book” and when I asked him why he moved my chips from one side to the other on a split, he explained that the eye in the sky always wants the player’s original bet on the player’s right.   He said some dealers care and some dont-I then brought it full circle by saying that he is playing “by the book” lol

The shoe began nicely and, slowly and steadily, I was able to recapture 800 worth of chips.

Trip is now -3k


The official slot machine of Bohemian Grove


Rant: Headed down to the casino floor and YUP – forgot my key in the room – no worries – I’ll just head over to the front desk for a new one – I’m first in the Platinum line and there are three people on the regular front desk line.  Another guy joins the Platinum line as we watch the regular line diminishing as they are all called first.  They soon begin calling people from the regular line who didn’t line up until after we did.  I finally walked up when I saw someone leaving the clerk as she called yet another non-Platinum line guest – the other guest arrived seconds after I did and the clerk apologized to him that I had jumped the line.  REALLY REALLY‽ Don’t apologize on my behalf for your not doing your job – I am not one to think I am better than anyone else (far from it) but, in the casino world, tier level (almost) everything and, the blood, sweat, tears and cash it has taken to attain Platinum level is damn sure going to entitle me to a shorter line at the front desk when I need something! 🤑

End of rant.


I then sat down at a six deck game with a fun guy from Philly – we made it through the shoe with a couple chips in our direction and not much else to write home about other than having a good time – hope to play with him again – Good Luck Don

Took a break and chatted it up with a shift boss who made me an “honorary employee” to keep the riff-raff from entering the non-roped-off pit area lol

I have seen people wander through the pit and pick up the phone and start making calls – hilarious.

As for the current chip count:  -2700

Ok – took a walk and headed back to the tables – once again at a shoe game – started the shoe off rocky and, due to the roller coaster of the trip, I started playing “scared” (or should it be I was “scarred” by my previous “luck”) on doubles, doubling for less three times and winning each time, costing myself about 175.  Be that as it may, I was still able to garner the attention of a few good hands and pick up some more chips.

Trip now -2100

Let’s not get too crazy but apparently I have earned (in the past year) $9 free slot play – I guess at some point in time I must have played some slots – so the MLIFE desk clerk gave me a brochure on how to access it – although I’m not sure anyone should actually write their PIN (wow, I didn’t say PIN Number)  in the brochure (although it is perforated):

Took a brief respite to relax and eventually made my way down the yellow brick road to the main floor blackjack pit — dealer was shuffling up a 6D game and I sat down — I was dealt a first hand blackjack, pushed a 20 on the second hand, pushed a 20 on the third hand, then a dealer blackjack followed by another dealer blackjack – lots of high cards out already – luckily though, I hit a couple of doubles and halfway through the shoe felt the pangs of hunger, deciding to take a break with four more chips in my pocket, making the trip now -1700

 My hunger led me to Lemongrass inside Aria where I ordered the sesame chicken (level 3 spicy) with sticky rice:

Yummy and spicy!

As I headed back to my room, I noticed a giant crowd on the line to get into the nightclub here at Aria – apparently the Australian rapper Iggy Azalea is performing here tonight…

On that note, I’m taking myself upstairs and heading to bed — living to fight another day at the blackjack tables.

Sweet dreams.

Vegas: August 2016 Day 5

One female.  High heels.  Black thigh high fishnet stockings.  Short shorts.  Bra top.  Early twenty-something.

Three males.  Fifty-somethings. Dad bods.  Tommy Bahama tees.  Cargo shorts.  Sandals.  Bud lights.

Bellagio.  Blackjack.  I wonder when their friendship began…?


Need an angel on my shoulder to get on the winning side of this trip.

Sat down at Aria to a double deck game, bought in, dealer change, shuffle, dealer change, ready to go, dealer change back to second dealer lol All that before I played one hand

I started the shuffle with a win followed by a push then a losing double down.  After five hands I was down 500 and remained there through the cut card.

Second shuffle things began going my way – won two doubles, was dealt a blackjack and pressed my way back to regaining the 500 plus another 400.

Trip is now -1k.

Took a breather and eventually headed back to the tables, this time to a 6D shoe game.  The dealer broke from the gate faster than Seabiscuit with a first hand blackjack.  From there I lost or pushed the next 6 hands, resulting in losing a quick 900 out of the 1k buy-in — things changed when I was dealt a blackjack of my own.  I battled through ¾ of a shoe until I had the 900 back.  Then as the end of the shoe approached, I hovered around even until I was able to win the final two hands, one blackjack and one dealer bust.

As such, the trip is now -750.

I headed back to the room to relax and get ready for an event my friend invited me to over  at the Foundation Room in Mandalay Bay.  After getting ready, I had some time so I headed downstairs to check out the blackjack action – as I approached the $100min, the dealer dealt himself a blackjack – I took that as a sign to leave my play until later.


Advice from my Lyft driver who informed me she also works as a dealer for MGM:

The best odds to make money in the casino is to play WAR; and

The second best odds are to play blackjack BUT you MUST play TWO HANDS at a time…



Mandalay Bay scenery:

View from the Foundation Room:

The event was a wine club event for a group my friend belongs too – I suppose just a way to get people of the same interests mixing and mingling – although average age was 60!  I ordered the Wagyu burger and relaxed (I don’t like wine), stayed for an hour and headed back to Caesars.

I looked for a 100min game in Palace Court but there was only one to be found and the table was full.  They had two double deck games at 200min – a shoe game at 500min and a Reserved game.  Oh well, see if anything opens up shortly.

Ok got back to Caesars and the WIFI (paid for through the resort fee) situation was not resolved – instead, I spent the next 40 minutes at the front desk attempting to explain that I should not be charged for something that didn’t work –  here is a summary in a tweet form:







Ok – after that nonsense, reconvened with my buddy who was playing VP at the Caesars Lobby Bar and we adjourned to the Palace Court where I awaited a new shuffle and joined a 6d 100min game where there were already a couple of players.  The first hand gave me a winning double down and, without much else to write home about, had won 400 by mid-shoe and decided to take a break.  The others at the table asked how I could leave a good shoe – I have my standard answer “If my hand is never going to lose again, then by all means play it and you can reap the rewards” – to which I always receive a sideways glance for.

My buddy is of the mindset that the attractiveness of a dealer adds to his enjoyment of th casino experience…as such, we headed to the Onnia party out and he sat down at a $5 Three Card Poker table because he thought the dealer was hot.  I was my usual nonsensical self and the dealer said I was “weird” – although that didn’t stop her from laughing at my jokes (or was she laughing at me (who knows who cares – I don’t change my personality just because someone thinks I’m “weird”)).  She was tapped out by a Russian girl who acted as if the Cold Wat was still in season–my buddy, having had plenty of beers by this point, decided he would ask her if her breasts were real – this did not go over well and she openly began rooting against my buddy – I tried to calm the situation and we eventually got up and left.  

About 20 minutes later we went back and he played with the original dealer who asked which one of us made the comment to the other dealer about her breasts – I tried to ease the tension by saying it was my fault as I wasn’t babysitting my buddy properly — however, she then stated that the party pit dealers, dressed in tight push-up corsets and spandex pants, are supposed to maintain a “non-sexualized atmosphere” at their tables – huh‽ 

A few moments later, the Russian dealer tapped back in, a few new players joined he table, and we called it a night.

As it now stands, the trip is -350 and I will be switching hotels tomorrow.

Sweet dreams.

Vegas: August 2016 Day 4

KNOCK-KNOCK! KNOCK-KNOCK!  The noise penetrated my dream around 3:15am and eventually woke me up – I stumbled to the door in the dark and asked “Who is it?” – the man replied “Room service – but I’m knocking on the room next door” – apparently they were not answering their door.  The sequence puzzled me as it was about midnight when I was walking back from getting ice and a couple stepped off the elevator as I passed the bank–as I walked towards my room I noticed they had slowed down and stopped.  Not sure if I was about to be robbed, I looked over my shoulder and they said “Hi neighbor” — apparently, they were staying in the room next to me.  They wished me a goodnight, I did the same and assumed they were going to bed – maybe the room service was a prank but I doubt that as usually the room number attached to the phone line cannot order room service for another room…very interesting as the guy kept knocking and, I assume, left without delivering the rations.


An observation during my morning constitutional–a young girl smiling as if she was in heaven posing for a photo in front of the Harry Winston store — is this the result of the diamond industry or do women just love sparkly things?


Arrived at Carte Prive and caught up with a waitress I am friendly with there and found out the bartender I know there is on vacation – nice – before heading over to a table.  I did not want to interrupt the two guys playing as the shoe had already started — what I witnessed had to be the shoe of the century – they won every double and split – never broke on a bust card and were getting Blackjacks left and right – amazing – I think, combined, they only lost about 8 hands the entire shoe.

So their shoe ended and I bought in and here is what happened:

First hand dealer blackjack

Second hand dealer blackjack

Third hand dealer 21 (one of the guys leaves)

Fourth hand dealer blackjack 

Fifth hand dealer 21 (the other guy leaves)

I ended up losing the first 18 of 25 hands and was down 2k by the end of shoe

Luckily, the shoe ended and the next shoe began with a bang – blackjack for me!!! From then on I was able to press in the right spots and get the 2k back plus another 200

Why couldn’t I have had that shoe first???

Trip is now -2800

In what is clearly becoming a pattern, each time I press my bet after being dealt a blackjack, the dealer gets their own blackjack, thus negating the original 3:2 payment (HAPPY NATIONAL BLACKJACK DAY!)

Shot the bull with a few dealers I am friendly with – topics ranging from dogs to superstitions to the world elites who run the world – having had my fill of conversation, it was back to blackjack.

I sat down and as seems to be customary now, went on an immediate losing streak.  In the course of 4 shuffles of double deck, I had lost 1300.  Finally, shoes 5 and 6 came to my rescue – I stopped pressing my bet after being dealt a blackjack and, lo and behold, the dealer stopped getting Blackjacks the hand after my blackjack (and you say there’s no such thing as superstitions).

I was finally able to press my bets out there and get a good solid run of cards.  After the sixth shoe, not only did I get the 1300 back but added 500 to the stack.

As such, slowly but surely making a comeback, the trip is -2500.

Stopping to smell the “roses” – so to speak:


I was singing/humming the song CRAZY by Gnarls Barkley on my way walking to the Aria monorail – when I got to the top of the escalator, the song CRAZY was playing over the speakers!!!



Headed back to Caesars to relax, shower and get ready for the evening.  After about an hour I made my way back to Aria and sat down in the Carte Prive — exchanged pleasantries with the dealer who informed me he was about to go on break but that the table had been cold for the players.  I thanked him for the head’s up and the relief dealer stepped in, who I usually chat with about his home remodel he’s been doing.  Things were up and down and then I was dealt a 5,4 v dealer 6 with 200 up — I doubled and was dealt a Queen for 19 — the dealer turned over a 3 and I now was merely hoping for a push – not to be as he then drew a 2 for 11 – here we go – no, a reprieve as he drew a 4 for 15 – come on break break – draws an Ace for 16 – damnit break already —— 5

Ughhhhh it was downhill in the shoe thereafter and, by shoe’s end, I was down 1900 of my 2k buy-in.

Time for a shuffle and a new shoe–things started nicely as I was dealt a 9 on my 10,,2 to win the first hand but was then given a reality check on the next three hands as the dealer had 20 each time (luckily, though, I had 20 on two of them and a 17 on the other – not too bad).  I then pushed two doubles with 21 on each.  However, a strange and magical thing happened, I started winning my 14s and 15s as the dealer began busting.  Coupled with my pressing, not only did I regain the 1900, but another 300 on top.  Adding that to the 500 from earlier, I am now down 2200 for the trip.

About to eat at Javier’s in the Aria, my favorite Mexican restaurant.  

I’m munching on the chips and salsa as I await a braised beef dish called:

The meat was so tender it literally was falling off the bone – delicious.

Sat down at a 6D game with a sarcastically funny dealer I’d never played with before – hovered ± 300 for the shoe and ended the shoe ahead another 200, making the trip now only -2k.

Now wandering around Crystals relaxing for a spell:

My friend (the one I grew up with back in NY but now lives in Vegas, dropped by the Strip for more fun and frivolity).  He played some video poker then I headed back to the tables in an effort to get back to even and beyond.

As I was playing, the cocktail waitress took our drink order and, a few minutes later, returned with the drinks.  My friend tipped her as I was playing and she stood there for about 90 seconds just staring at us.  I finally turned to her and asked “Is everything ok?” to which she incredulously replied “Oh I didn’t realize that was all I was getting ”


Talk about tip hustling – we decided to order no more drinks and I even filled out a customer complaint form – how rude and ungrateful!  

The floor people I am friendly with were shocked and said that her behavior was inexcusable.
The saving grace of the evening was that I was able to pick up another 600 and the trip is now down only 1400.

I’m heading back to my hotel to relax and hit the tables again tomorrow in my quest for a winning trip.

Sweet dreams.

Vegas: August 2016 Day 3

Woke up, spoke to a friend (he was my brother-in-arms in the Revel Tournament fiasco) and my cousin about the blackjack goings-on and they commiserated with me.  My friend half-jokingly stated that the “long run” of those basic strategy blackjack simulations of “a billion hands” won’t be on my radar until I’m dead 100 years. He has a point – not that I’m going to stray from basic strategy or even certain content dependent basic strategy variations – but, in the short term, the guy/gal who refuses to split hands can win and the guy/gal who plays perfect basic strategy can lose.

As for the $3k I’m down, the trip is still young and I’ve come back from far worse situations – I think I’m going to “try my luck” outside of Caesars Palace today though.  Maybe a change of scenery will do me some good.

I am headed over now to Harrah’s to play in the first round of the blackjack tournament – though it would be amazing to win, I’d actually settle for 48th place and get $750 in free play.


So it was not until the 11th hand of the shoe in the tournament that I actually won a hand — I had been playing conservatively so was still in the mix – by hand 17 there were only three of us left and one woman was way ahead of everyone–of course controversy because the dealer and her assistant dealer refused to tell the table what the chip count was after hand 17 when they were supposed too – instead they argued with the table and even refused to grab a floor person – finally they did and they were told they were wrong and we were informed of the chip count – why are people so obstinate?

It was now left to the other guy and me to battle it out for second place to advance to the second round.  On the last hand, the other guy busted and, based on bet size, all I needed was a push and I would’ve made it to the next round – I had 17 dealer had 7 showing and turns over an Ace for an 18 – so I lost by $25 to the  other guy left at the table.  What a fucking disaster!

Half on tilt, I decided to calm myself down by walking down to the Aria to play.  I had a gingerly stroll to the Aria as the weather has been beautiful today.  Upon sitting down I bought in for 2k and proceeded to lose 7 of the 10 first hands, with 1 push and 1 win.  There were two doubles in there as well. As such, I was now down another 1200. A gentleman asked if he could jump in and I remarked “can’t get any worse” to which he replied “Story of my life” and we both laughed.  However, of course it could get worse. He bought in for 5k and was averaging $500/hand.  By the end of the shoe (about halfway to the cut card when he joined in), I had lost the $2k and he had lost his $5k.  He took off and I switched to a double deck game.

It seemed as if th dealer could do I wrong as I was quickly down another 1500, making it -6500 for the trip.  Things were about to get much worse before they got better.

I was down yet another $1k and contemplating how quickly I could pack and get to the airport when I was dealt the following:

7,7 versus dealer 6

First 7: dealt a 4, doubled for 21

Second 7: dealt a 7 (re-split) then dealt an Ace for 18

Third 7: dealt a Jack for 17

dealer turns over a 5, then another and then…….a King YES!!!

I was able to press and have some cushion after being down 7500.  At this point, I had regained 3300 and now stand negative 4200 for the trip – much much better than 7500.

I went to the MLIFE desk to ask about comps and they reiterated that table games players no longer earn Express Comps but that a floor person could issue a meal comp.  I asked what my tier score was as well as my play for the day and the MLIFE employee replied that she sees I won $400 yesterday and played for 30 minutes today at a $50 average bet.  I looked at her thinking I jumped into a time warp again – telling her I was not at Aria yesterday – she finally realized she was looking at June instead of August.  With that matter cleared up, she told me I was halfway to maintaining my Platinum status and need 100,000 more tier points by September 30th (goodbye Platinum status lol).

I made my way back to the pit and the floor person informed me they don’t have one authority – she called a host and I was given a $30 comp for the Burger Lounge.

I wanted to first head back to Caesars to shower and rest up for a bit before eating and playing any more.  I headed to the Aria tram:

I stepped off at Bellagio and made my way down the escalator to walk through back towards Caesars.  As has become custom​​ in my trips to Vegas, I randomly run into someone I know.  Out of nowhere I hear my name called and lo and behold, it’s a guy I used to know from Revel who would also play in the high limit room there.  We exchanged pleasantries, he told me he was playing at Aria later and I told him I’d probably see him there later.  Such a small world.

Now back at Caesars for a brief respite before heading to eat regain the other half of my current losses – staying positive! 👍

Headed back to Aria and chewed down at the Burger Lounge – ordered a double classic without cheese and pickles, side of fries and a drink.  Was good, very filling while only finishing half the order of fries.  

Taking a walk around Aria digesting before heading to the tables and just got myself one of these:

I’m hoping for a nice run without having to be up all night but good to plan in advance!

So I was sitting chatting with dealer and floor person while digesting my dinner and two separate guys sat downstage table I was at and asked if they could join – I told them I was just relaxing and they sat down to play – the first guy lost 8 hands in a row before leaving and then the next guy lost 9 in a row.  Some dealers seem to be unbeatable.

I finally bought in for 1k hoping to double it up and then head back to Caesars and call it a night.  Naturally, the blackjack gods laughed at those plans and I quickly lost the 1k plus another 1700 on top.  It took the better part of the past 90 minutes to regain the 1700 + another 800 (out of the original 1k)

So, as it now stands, I’m taking a mini-break down 4200 for the trip.  Positive vibes please.

Went back to the tables after a few minutes and ran into a floor person and shift manager I’m friendly with and we caught up.  I then saw another guy in a suit in the pit who I thought was a dealer I knew that got promoted – turned out I was wrong but always good to wet a new floorperson, especially after making a jackass out of myself by saying “hey look at this guy in the suit – too good for us commoners” as he looked at me quizzically lol

Suitably embarrassed I sat down and quickly lost the first five hands but then won the next 5, including two doubles.  Very quick session netted me another 200 on the comeback trail.  Trip is now -4K 

Took another break and eventually headed back to play – exchanged some war stories with the floor person (he told me about two Reverse Royals he hit 10 years apart)  — anyone know what game the Reverse Royal is from (I assume some sort of Video Poker)?

I finally got in a groove and within two shuffles of double deck, I had regained another 1k.  I was getting tired and dust want to push it any further – as such, during the course of the day, I went from being down 7500 to only being down 3k.

As I was walking in Aria a young girl almost walked right into me with her drink and she looked at me like it was my fault.  I mentioned this to some employees I know in he Carte Prive and they said, oh yeah she is 23 and giving everyone an attitude – I told them sometimes we have to admit when someone is better than us – we all laughed lol

I’m now heading back to Caesars and hope to find something open to grab some food to bring up to the room where I can relax and call it a day – I’m in a positive mood and, as I step off the team at Bellagio, see and smell that it is raining – feels good to have some of the raindrops blowing on me in the breeze.  Like the universe cleansing me of the day’s events.

Sweet dreams everyone and thank you for being a part of my blog.

Vegas: August 2016 Day 2

Good morning Vegas!

I woke up about 6am but vowed to get more sleep so stayed in bed until about 8:30am, got up, showered and ventured down to the casino floor to grab a latte:

I then wandered around the casino a bit and took a photo of the video blackjack dealer for a friend of mine who is convinced (and has convinced me) that those video machines are “rigged” – a few years ago when we were in Vegas he told me he had lost 4 hands in a row where he had 20 – he claimed the computer sees a player 20 and deals itself a 21 – I figured it was a run of bad luck so he implored me to go watch him play – so I did and sure enough he played three hands and made an 18, 20 and 19 – the computer made a 19, 21 and 20 – I’m convinced! So I sent him the pic and he told me just thinking about it was giving him a headache:

I then made my way into @theforumshops and snapped some pics:

The mannequin struck me as poignant in that it showed a television on the fritz in place of someone’s head/brain (not sure the store clerk put that much thought into it though lol)

Love these chairs:

My grandma had a sewing machine just like those:

I finally made my way to the third floor of the Forum Shops and got waylaid into one of those stores trying to sell some sort of anti-aging moisturizer – the woman told me it would magically “de-puff” my eyes – although I normally would have walked away immediately, I felt like trying something new and sat there for the “demonstration” and, in all honesty, I could feel and see the difference.  However, that was the soft sell portion-the hard sell came when I asked he price – the woman replied that “online it sells for $700” (goodbye!) but that they sell it here for $200 and since I’m staying at Caesars I could buy it for $149 – I told her I’d give her $100 and she said that price could not be done – I replied that if my eyes were still “de-puffed” tomorrow morning, I’d come back and buy – we shall see. (edit: I just did a Google search and apparently many people were as equally impressed  as I was with the in-store results but, upon buying the product, could not reproduce those results – claiming that what they use in the store in the same tube of lotion is not what is in the tube they actually sell you – although not sure anyone had it tested by a lab–right now still enjoying the “de-puffing effects but am weary of these types of shops)

I then went into the GUESS store and found a nice leather jacket.  Of course, they did not have my size but located on over at the Miracle Mile location.  I find it amazing how these designers make their sizes run small – who the hell is wearing these skintight clothes – I thought Americans were getting fatter lol…

(edit: I made my way to the GUESS store at the Miracle Mile but, even though the jacket fit my chest and arms much better, it was baggy around the stomach/waist so I ended up not buying it)

I finally made it back to the casino floor and made my way over to Palace Court – as usual, there was only one $100min game and there was a guy playing 1-3 hands – I told him I’d wait for the shuffle, he thanked me and invited me to join – BAM! first hand blackjack for me but then pushed a 20 and lost on a made 20 when the dealer pulled an 8 on his 13.

However, I then got on a nice run and, within 7 minutes, had regained the 1200 I was down.  Thank you dealer (tip) and time for breakfast.  I went up to my room and wanted to get some ice so I clicked over the door lock but apparently the door is built to override it from the open position (good security idea actually) but, my key was in the room–I saw housekeeping next door and asked if she’d let me in and I could then get the key and show her it was my room–she politely told me she is not permitted to do that and directed me to call security – not wanting to wait for security, I decided to head down to the front desk where there was luckily no line–got a new key made, headed to the elevators and back upstairs, got my ice, smiled and waved at the housekeeper and now writing this post.

Now I can finally have some breakfast/lunch and later today head to the BJ tournament registration over at Harrah’s.
Trying to branch out and try new things so I am having lunch at Gordon Ramsay Pub here in Caesars Palace – I’ve never eaten at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant before but my expectations are high based on his television shows wherein he demands excellence – let’s see.

Very very nice chicken Caesar salad – fresh lettuce and well-seasoned chicken – would definitely order again and definitely try another Gordon Ramsay restaurant.


An aside – something I remembered just now as I passed the casino cage – last night when I was heading up to bed, there was a line about 50 people deep for the cashier – never saw that much of a “run” on the cage before – wonder what that was all about


On my way out onto the strip and passed the Caesars sports book – is it being dismantled? anyone know how they plan to modernize it?

Took a walk down the strip and overused the Miracle Mile shops – the guys at the kiosk that I have an ongoing dispute with over their defective cell phone charging case tried to call me over by exclaiming “Sir, would you like me to show you a case better than your Mophie case?” – to which I loudly replied “your cases are horrific and stop working within one day” — he tried walking after me saying “Sir sir there’s no need to be like that lets talk it out” — this is not Camp David and I’m not negotiating any peace – goodbye!

On the way out, took a pic of this small intestine/colon sculpture:

…and this cutie:

Obligatory Eiffel Tower pic:

Made my way to the Grand Bazaar at Balkys and tried some Turkish ice cream (here is the “fun size”):

Relaxing in the room now, not a nap but just laying down watching THE FIVE on FNC–will head over to Harrah’s shortly to register for the blackjack tournament – I am thinking positively as even if you are not in the top 6 (final table), 7th through 48th place all get $750 in free play.

So I am all registered and set to play tomorrow in the first round of the blackjack tournament — I asked how many people were entered and the lady told me approximately 400 – so, have a slightly better than 10% chance to finish in the money – not too shabby.
Ran into this couple:

On the way back to Caesars I ventured into the Mirage:

Headed to the tables and there were two guys at the table both playing anywhere from 100 to 1000/hand–I waited for the shuffle and actually hit a nice run and was quickly up 600. I hovered between being up 100-600 over the next couple of shoes until the guy at third base decided to hit his 12 against the dealer 6–he drew a 7 and smiled–the dealer flipped over a King then drew a 4–damnit! I lost the next 7 hands in a row after that and was down 500.

One of the guys left and it was just third base and me playing – I slowly got back to even when another guy joined in – once again, I hovered around even until I was dealt a blackjack and a winning double down on the final two hands of the shoe–on that not I decided to take a dinner break.

Trip is now +500

Found an offer in my room welcome packet for a complimentary appetizer with purchase of an entree at “Off the Strip” at the LINQ…

…made my way over there and ended up having the dry rub chicken wings for an appetizer and he meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans for entree…

…the bartender was on point as, when I asked for something to wipe my hands with like a wet-nap she made me some with the napkins she had behind the bar.  While eating and facing the LINQ promenade, the wind started to blow something fierce and a few waiters had to go prevent the umbrellas from blowing away (good save).

On the back of the above-mentioned offer was a BOGO offer for Sprinkles cupcakes so, I think I will grab those and bring them back to the room for later.

As I type this, some raindrops are beginning to fall – feels good – although not sure I want to get caught in a downpour ☔️

Ok we’ve now got lightning as well 🌩

aaaaaaaaand, we’ve got rain 🌧

Fortunately, I was just about at Sprinkles and went in and got a vanilla cupcake and cinnamon cream cheese cupcake

Got back to Caesars and headed to Palace Court – the dealer was just shuffling and there was a lady playing third base – I say doe and right out of the gate had a nice run of hands -got three Blackjacks in the first half of the shoe and towards the end I was up 1800 for the trip — however, I lost a double with 150 up on the final hand and ended the shoe +1500 for the trip.

Headed back to the room to try the cupcakes, split the vanilla top from the bottom and took a bite from the bottom half.  I thought I put it down and went to pick it up and it was gone – could I have eaten the bottom half in one bite without realizing it, then imagined putting it down?  I looked and looked and it was gone- very strange.  Actually though, something strange like that happened this morning as well when I was walking through the Forum Shops…I noticed a small store in between Tiffany’s and Zegna that I’d never seen before – it was a store selling very high end puffy winter jackets and fancy boots.  I walked in and after exchanging pleasantries with the salesgirl, I asked how they got the store up and running so quickly – she looked at me quizzically and stated – “What do you mean?” to which I replied “well, I’ve been in Vegas every few months for the past few years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this store so I assume it just opened” – to my surprise, she informed me that the store has been open for over two years – am I experiencing a timeline shift or parallel universe like the man from Taured?

Was debating whether or not to play anymore and decided it was still early and headed down to play +1500 for the trip

I encountered the worst blackjack player of all time and fuck anyone who says other players’ actions have no effect (sure, long term that might be true but I’m living in the here and now and this guy most certainly affected me)

I got my first glimpse into his haphazard style when he refused to split Aces versus a dealer 10 — instead he hit and drew another Ace, a King, and a 9 – I had a 12 and hit and drew a Queen.  As such, had he split he would’ve had a 21, 20 and 21.  The next card out after this would’ve been an 8 to give me 20 and I would have won as the dealer turned over an 8 for 18.  He would then go on to play certain hands as follows:

NEVER splitting any pairs;

Sometimes hitting 12 v 2 and 3, sometimes not;

NEVER hitting 14, at or 16 against anything except a 2.

I remained somewhat calm and told myself it’s all meaningless in the long-term while I quickly lost the 1500 I was up.

Another gentleman joined the table and I won the first three hands of the shoe–however, he lost those three and announced he was putting in another hand to “change the cards”–over the next ten hands, he played two hands at a time and was given a blackjack on one of his two hands for ten hands in a row.  Of course, I lost another 1k and switched tables.

Switching tables I got a quick 800 back and was feeling positive – the guy playing with me at this table said he needed 2k to be even and asked how I was doing – I told him I was now only down 200 – the dealer piped in “well, no worries, I’ll just let you win the next two hands and you can go enjoy your evening” — from that point forward I lost the next 12 out of 16 hands, pushing 2 and winning 2 (while losing a couple doubles as well) – a dealer jinx, naturally — so now, rather than being ahead 1500, blithering idiots fucking affected my play and I lost that plus the 3k

I have the tournament tomorrow afternoon and, should I not advance to the second round, I’m thinking of just heading home and taking 6 months off from going to a casino, maybe more–just seems blackjack has not been a “fair” game in quite some time – I used to be able to consistently win or break even – now, it quickly becomes a slaughter and the ship never rights itself.