As you can see in the post title last week was our 3rd annual summer guys trip to Vegas – previous trip recaps at bottom of this post. It always occurs in August near my Birthday, but has nothing to do with my Birthday, it is just a time of year that works for all of us with kids back in school and typically slow work schedules. The same three guys have made this trip each year, we’ve tried to recruit other guys, but for whatever reason it has stayed the original 3 each year. As always it was a fun time and below is a recap of our 48 hours of drinking and gambling.
Day 1: Slow start: We had a 10am flight out of Atlanta for which I got a 1st class upgrade and when we taxied to the runway the pilot came on to announce we were turning back to the gate. We get off, call Delta to get on 11:30 flight, run down terminal, get to gate, and gate agent won’t let us on the plane which the phone agent assures us we have seats and tickets for. Not a great start. Lunch and 3 beers later we’re on the 2p flight and now I’m back in Comfort+ which at least still gave me free drinks.
Downtown: Each year we look for new and different things to try during our stay and this year we decided to spend some time in downtown for a change of pace. After landing we stashed our bags at Paris, where we were staying, and caught a cab to Binions. Our plan was to hit Binions – old Vegas history, The D – face of new DTLV and to piss off @_Lucky45, and El Cortez because @VegasFanboy and @WallStreetNole swear by this place for cheap fun and good blackjack games. We started at Binion’s, but it felt small and claustrophobic so we strolled down Fremont with our drinks and ducked into The D. One of my buddies is an aspiring blackjack player so he joined me at a $15 table where we played for an hour or so – he struggled to a small loss and I had a nice run to start the trip up a couple hundred. Our 3rd buddy who doesn’t really gamble was ready to keep exploring so we headed to El Cortez. By that time we were hungry so we tried Hennesseys tavern across the street from El Co (apparently that’s what the cool Twitter kids call it). Hennesseys was pretty solid for what it is, especially when you are drinking all day, and our waitress Anne was great fun putting up with us morons. Next stop El Cortez – expectations were low – but once we got inside we really did enjoy ourselves. The vibe was friendly, place was chill – guy had his dog sleeping next to him at the bar, and plenty of good tables. We played a little low-limit blackjack without much flow and then decided to try a $1 roulette table – because it was a $1 Roulette Table – and the min bet was .25 – I didn’t even know those electronic signs had decimal points! Lost a few bucks, but really didn’t care since it was late and we had a solid time. With a good night in the books in DTLV we grabbed a cab back to the Strip.
Day 2: Pool Time and Team Gambling: We stayed at Paris since I have Total Rewards credits that got us three rooms for two nights for less than our drink tab for the trip (almost half of that was resort fees). In the spirit of trying new things we decided to get a cabana at the Paris pool to use as our home base for day 2. The pool opened at 10am and we were still on East Coast time so I decided to play a little blackjack after breakfast. It became clear that was a financial mistake pretty quickly. I played at the Paris high limit room at a $100 table and was quickly knocked on my ass. After a quick beat down I walked next door and Planet Hollywood then continued my losing streak at a $25 table which put me in a 20-yard hole for the day and 16-yards for the trip…grrr. Luckily the pool was now open and I was already a few beers in so we started the day 2 drinking marathon early. The pool was a good call, we had a private cabana with a great server – Samantha – who was a lot of fun and made sure the drinks flowed constantly all day. We took a trip across the street to Todd English Pub for lunch which has been our tradition and quite honestly may never go back – our tab was $200 for lunch for sandwiches and 2 drinks each – I don’t mind paying more in Vegas but that was excessive so we’ll find another option to add to the mix in future trips. After lunch we played our way back to the pool stopping at Planet Hollywood where the pleasure pit took us for a few more hundred before for more drinks and unbelievably it rained for an hour while we were in the cabana. We were on tilt after the PH loss and so we called it a day around 5, headed to the room, changed and hit the road to make our money back. My buddy looked at me when I walked down the hall and said – ‘dude you look ready to win’ – I was fired up and knew we were going to win. We started with $50 blackjack at Bally’s high-limit room where my buddy who gambles and I went on a nice run and both kept building stacks and the non-gambler started to play roulette. Every 15 minutes or so he would stop at the table with a stack of chips saying – look what I won! We were rolling…so we took our blackjack winnings of about 6 yards each and joined the roulette craziness. It was a $10 table and we pooled money to buy in for $300. I played the numbers and the other guys manned the outside bets and we started crushing it. I hit at least 5 numbers all with 2-10 dollar bets each and they were putting stacks of ones on red/black/even/odd and hitting at least 60% which meant we were getting loud and drawing a crowd. The table started copying our bets and we rolled to 3X our buy-in then got real nuts putting $100 on odd/even/black/red and $25 on numbers which of course dented our winnings on the spins we missed, but damn it was fun when we hit – unfortunately we never hit the $25 inside bets, but when we felt the tide turn we quit up 2.5X which was a great finish to the night. Of course I went and played the $50 table again and in one shoe made 6 yards for good measure.
That was our 36 hour blur of a Vegas guys trip, overall down a few bucks thanks to one bad run of blackjack, but well worth it for the entertainment value. We are ready to go back immediately, but realistically it will be next August and we’ll keep Downtown and the Pool cabana in our rotation for next year’s festivities.
Previous Vegas Guys Trip Recaps: