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Las Vegas 2010

Last weekend, I made my annual trek to Las Vegas.  I usually go at least once a year since one of my good friends lives in Las Vegas.  I went up with a couple of friends.

One of my friends came with his cousin, who goes to Las Vegas 3 or 4 times a year.  He likes to play bacarrat, which I had never tried before.  On our first night, he made $800 which got me interested in the game.  He explained the rules to me, and I decided to try my luck at bacarrat a couple of nights later.

You may have heard of bacarrat.  It’s traditionally a rich man’s game.  Casinos usually have a bacarrat area for high rollers.  However, many casinos now have tables where you can bet as little as $10 per hand. 

On Saturday night, I joined my friend’s cousin on the table and simply bet the same way that he did.  Basically, you have two choices.  You can choose to play with the player’s cards, or you can choose to play with the dealer’s cards.  After the cards are drawn, the person who is closest to 9 wins.  It’s a 50-5o chance of winning, which makes it the best odds bet in the casino.  I ended up making $400 that night playing bacarrat. 

Overall, I still lost money on the trip.  But it would have been worse if I didn’t learn this new game.  I’ll definitely try it again next time I visit.

Viva Las Vegas!

I visited Las Vegas again from 09/18/09 to 09/21/09.  It was a quick visit mainly to check out the UNLV vs Hawaii football game.  There were 10 of us from Hawaii who went up.  We met with a friend who lives in Las Vegas and another friend who drove up from San Diego.

Although we went up to watch the game, there was plenty of time to gamble and shop as well!  I left Hawaii on Friday afternoon with a friend.  We arrived late Friday night and met up with everyone at the California Hotel in downtown Las Vegas.  We stayed in downtown all night (actually early morning).  I did well gambling wise, so it was a good start to my vacation.

On Saturday, we did a little shopping during the day.  We went to buy beef jerky from a shop in downtown Las Vegas.  We also made a Trader Joe’s run and bought some other stuff to bring home.  We all met at the California Hotel for a tailgate party before the game.  We had Hawaiian food and Hawaiian entertainment, then caught the bus to the game.  It was a great game.  Hawaii had their chances to win, but ended up losing by 1 point.  Oh well, at least they made the spread!  I put some money on Hawaii, so I was already up headed back to the casinos.  We ended up going to the Orleans Hotel after the game.  We gambled a bit, but we went back to our hotel around 3:00 am because we were pretty tired.

On Sunday, we did some major shopping during the day.  We visited a couple of outlet malls.  I bought some gifts for my daughters.  I bet with my friend who lives in Vegas on the Rams vs Redskins game.  I’m a Rams fan, but I didn’t have high hopes.  Unexpectedly, the Rams made the spread and I won dinner from my friend.  We ended up at the Red Rock Casino, which is a newer casino in northeast Vegas.  Although the dinner was free, the gambling was a losing proposition.  I ended up losing all the money I made in the first two nights.

I can’t complain, though.  It was a quick, fun vacation.  I broke even gambling.  I got my fill of shopping.  The only thing that would have made the vacation perfect was if the Warriors won the football game.

Room 1313 in Las Vegas

I spent (pun intended) a few days in Vegas at the end of June. Arrived around 11:30 PM on Thursday, June 26th and left Monday morning on June 30th. I went with three of my high school buddies. One lives in Las Vegas. Another lives in Seattle. The third friend and I are living in Hawaii.

This is our second trip together. Six years ago, we all went to Lake Tahoe for our 40th birthdays (now you know how old I am). It was a memorable trip, as we enjoyed skiing, gambling and partying like we did in our younger days.

After a pleasant flight to Las Vegas, things turned a little ominous. We checked into the Orleans Hotel. The hotel front desk girl handed me my room key and said: “You’re in Room 1313.” I looked at her in disbelief. There’s a 13th floor in a Vegas hotel? And a room No. 13 on the 13th floor? I had quick thoughts about asking for a different room, but decided not to be superstitious.

I should have asked for a different room. Prior to this trip, I have never lost money every single night of gambling. On this trip, I lost every night. Even my favorite game, blackjack, was letting me down. I didn’t win any time I sat at the blackjack table. Darn room No. 1313!!

Other than the gambling, the trip was very enjoyable. My friend from Seattle is not a big gambler, so we made time to do other than gambling activities (My other two friends on the other hand, are major poker fiends — playing until the sun comes up in the morning.). On Saturday, we went to an indoor electric go-cart track. You may not think an electric cart can go very fast, but these carts zipped around at 35-40 mph. Good fun!

We also went golfing on Sunday. Nice course, but the temperature was 107 degrees! My poker friends were hurting after staying up all night drinking and playing poker.

One of our other friends drove up from the San Diego area to join us for Friday and Saturday night. It was like old times again — just having a good time with the boys.

We’re already thinking of our next trip. Maybe for our 50th birthday?

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