Las Vegas Little Black Book Blog
Vegas Trip Report 
5/11/09, 11:44 AM - Vegas Trip Reports

I had the time to spend in the mecca, so of course I took it. I flew in the day after the crowd trifecta: Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby, and the de la Hoya fight. Surprisingly, the town wasn't trashed. I guess no NBA fans showed up. They said our flight to Vegas was delayed due to high winds in the desert, I say it was because the airport was so jammed they wouldn't let anyone land. Due to some comped rooms and internet deals, I took the opportunity to stay in three hotels I hadn't stayed in before.

There were six of us, three couples, so we rented a van and headed into traffic up the Strip to see the sights on our way to the Rio. By the way, lying about it being your anniversary gets you an upgrade. I recommend it. We were starving from the flights and delays so we headed up to the VooDoo Lounge. I highly recommend this. The food was excellent, the atmosphere was cool, and the view from outside is spectacular. Get there before 7pm to avoid a cover charge. After about half an hour of enjoying the view, and a trip to the liquor store for supplies, we headed downtown for our first night at the Golden Nugget.

The tables were not kind. We were all down a couple hundy the first night. We chose the Nugget because our friends hadn't been downtown at night before and we decided to check out the Nugget's remodel. I can't tell you what actually changed inside the hotel, but I can say they did a hell of a job on the pool area with the Shark Tank. The slide shoots through the tank that holds about a dozen eight-foot sharks and other fish. Throw in some blackjack tables and lounge chairs in the water, and it's a good time on a sunny Vegas morning. That afternoon we packed up what was left of the bottles and rolled on to the Rio.

I was very impressed with the rooms. They call them all suites, but they are actually just large rooms. Ours had one of those sofas that has the lounge end to it. Excellent for Sportscenter and updates on the car bomb at the Luxor. It came with a fridge and a microwave, and a window from the shower to the bedroom. Not many hotels have a vibe to them, but the Rio had people laughing and partying all the time. We even held up the elevator so I could take pics of a couple hotties licking the Chippendales poster. A couple more benjamins down day two.

Day three started with time at the pool, complete with a beer company photo shoot. The three models added up to thirty. It's hilarious how people stop talking as the bodies walk by. Girls don't want to say what's actually on their mind, and guys don't want to say anything stupid or get caught looking. At least those of us with no game. A sphincter moment on the Big Shot at the Strat, breaking even at Casino Royale, Sirens at TI, dinner at Cheesecake Factory, a couple more losses at Gold Coast, and day three ends at 3am.

One of the couples was flying out the next day, so we took them to the airport and checked out Hard Rock on our way back. It's odd that you can see the whole casino from the front steps. Dropped of the rental car and checked in at the MGM for $75 an night, after taxes. Damn, that hotel's big. Standard room but with a glamour shot of Drew Barrymore. Nice. The women went shopping while me and my buddy went over to Hooters to pick up the Bobby Slayton tickets Dave had for us and to set reservations at Dan Marino's. MGM: large and stuffy. Hooters: small and loose. MGM staff: large and stuffy: Hooters: hot and, um, large, and loose. Couple bills down here too. If you're crossing Tropicana to Hooters, use the crosswalk. At the risk of sounding sissified, I can see why they put in the overwalks. Took a nap, everyone changed clothes, and we took in dinner and a show. Caught up with Dave in the casino and he was gracious enough to comp us some drinks for the show. Bobby Slayton is one of those guys that you will recognize the face but not know where from. An hour and a half of a very funny guy. ANOTHER two hundred down in Hooters.

We changed clothes and took the monorail down to the Wynn to walk back down the Strip. BIG mistake. How am I supposed to know the Wynn shuttle stops at 8pm? Do you know how far it is walking from the monorail station to the Strip? I do. It's far, and it sucks. A pass through the Frontier helped me realize my life wasn't so bad. That place has to come down next. My friends were bitching halfway down the Strip, so we stopped at the Victorian Room at "Bill's" for a late meal. Steak and eggs at midnight, and I'm ready to go! I left the others crashed in the MGM and went to the Trop for a low stakes blackjack, and at 5am I was up two hundred and got out happy.

Getaway Day was a morning at the pool. Or should I say pools. There were gaggles of twentysomethings everywhere and the lazy river took me around to see most of them. A few drinks, a few laps, and I was ready for some food. America at NYNY is always solid. The women packed while we hit the tables and I gave up the only win I had all week. D'oh! I asked the pit boss to tell me a good gambling story. He told me Ted Binion authorized a bet for a guy, put a box on the Don't Pass, the guy won, and there was $777,000 in the box. Lesson: ask the bosses for good stories.

We had a half-day checkout, 6pm for half-day price. Ten dollar taxi to the airport for a 10:30pm, and leaving Las Vegas always stinks.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Click on the images to purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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A Black Book Trip to Vegas 
4/14/09, 7:18 PM - Vegas Trip Reports

Below is a trip to Vegas sent in by Bill. Many Black Book influences: Gambling with the boys, Day Time activites, Big Man's Dinner, Drinking and Strip Clubs.

Vegas Weekend

The trip was great. Once again staying at Hooters paid off.

From a gambling perspective, I came back home up around $1200. My poker play was profitable (about +$600) and I hit on a video poker machine at Shorty's for $500. We also all made out well at blackjack.

Friday

I played poker before the other guys arrived. It's an anti-social game, not compatible with a group of guys having fun. So I usually come early and stay late so I have time to play. I played at Mirage; I really like their room. It's not pretentious, the play is good, and they run regular sit-n-go single tables, 10 player tournaments. I bought in for $70 ($60 for the pot +$10 to the house). Nice bunch of guys. A really fun table. When it was four of us we agreed to split the $600 pot three ways when one more was eliminated. I knocked out the last guy when I called his all-in bet. We both had top pair, Jacks, but my 10 kicker was better.

We met for our big dinner Friday at Lawry's and were served by the lovely Mrs. Krmpotich. Our prime rib arrived in its own Airstream trailer. After dinner we stopped in at Spearmint Rhino, but it was like a frat boy convention, without an open seat in the house. The front-man wanted at least $200 grease to seat us. We left and went to Scores. Got a nice table up front and got treated very well. We got back to Hooters around 3AM. I think I went to sleep. I know I woke up in my room.

Saturday

Met up at The Dam Restaurant; nice breakfast buffet. More prime rib (almost as good as Lawry's... not really). Played some blackjack to let the buffet settle and then it was off to Flyaway Indoor Skydiving. $250 buys up to 5 people 15 minutes in the chamber; you get a DVD of your "flight." 250 is a magic number, if you weigh 250+ you aren't flying. 4 of us flew and it was a good time. I'll probably end up putting a version of the flight on woof.

After Flyaway we walked over to Wynn in the 100 degree heat. I thought I smelt bacon but it was only my skin in the Las Vegas sun. At Wynn we played some more blackjack; the 5 of us took the house for more than $1K and about a dozen very good margaritas. After blackjack, we went over to the Fashion Square Mall across the street and I bought a pair of sunglasses for my aching eyeballs. Then it was more red meat and red wine at a very nice lunch at the Capital Grille. It's a la carte so you don't have to mess around with that green stuff if you don't want to. After a nice meal it was time for some of us to recharge and nap for an hour or two. Others took in the spa at MGM.

After a nap and a shower I went to play poker for an hour at MGM before meeting the guys. I was tired and my play suffered; I lost $100 in a snap. At your suggestion, we decided to meet up at the Centrifuge "center" bar at MGM. The idea of a center bar at MGM is kind of hilarious since the place is so flippin' huge. But it's a nice round bar (aren't they all?) and the good looking bartenders break into a bar-stomping dance number about once every 15 minutes. If you're seated at the bar, watch your drinks and beware the bleach-wipe-down.

We debated going to Red Rock and opted for Mandalay instead. We had dinner at the Border Grill. Great Mexican, Tex-Mex cuisine and more margaritas. It was a nice dinner on the patio that was slightly marred by the intrusion of REO Speedwagon. After dinner we suffered a spell of indecision (in the cab) trying to select a gentleman's club. I recommended Crazy Horse Too or Striptease based on your suggestions. The cab driver tried to talk us into Sherri's Cabaret... ugh. I had to explain to him that his suggestion was bad and why. We ended up stopping at Striptease, which was nearly vacant (the guys sent me in to investigate) and then the Horse which wouldn't let once of us in without paying. As my friend Jim observed, we learned a valuable lesson: if you think too much about such things, the allure fades.

We went back to Hooters for another great round of blackjack with a very funny dealer from Jersey; fortunately he wasn't wearing the Hooters Gril outfit. The deck and the dealer were good to us; once again we all walked away winners.

I played a little late night poker and then went to bed.

Sunday

We met for coffee at 8AM; two of the guys were flying out at 10. We said our goodbyes and I checked out, checked my bags and went for a few more hours of poker at the Mirage. Ate lunch (a salad, finally) at the California Pizza Kitchen near the poker room; watched the Red Sox come from behind to beat the Texas Rangers by way of a David Ortiz 3-run-home-run in the bottom of the ninth. Nice cap on the trip.

Bill
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Las Vegas Little Black Book Trip Report 
6/23/08, 9:39 PM - Vegas Trip Reports

I would like to thank Sal for sending in this detailed Vegas trip report. I welcome any other submissions. This is good stuff.
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48 hours of booze-fueled madness!

Sal Paradise here. Just returned from a bachelor party trip to Las Vegas and since the Little Black Book was a huge part of it, wanted to fill you in. Usually I don't know when to quit and it shows here, it's long, but hopefully worth it. I of course had to leave lots out, but I think hit the biggest details.

Six of us flew out of Chicago O'Hare to Las Vegas on Sunday morning, arriving around 9AM for a bachelor party. Despite most of us operating on less than four hours sleep, due to the early flight time, the anticipation was high for a good time. Everyone carried-on their luggage so we made a dash for the exits, where the group was greeted by a driver from Bell-Trans limo service. Only myself and one other guy knew we had a limo arranged so it was a nice surprise for the bachelor.

We had conned the groom-to-be into thinking the first stop was the Liberace Museum with a personalized tour, but when I told the driver where we were stopping before the hotel, the group squealed like a bunch of little girls. The driver was fast and efficient and seemed almost as excited about the destination as us. First stop, The Gun Store to squeeze off a few rounds from automatic weapons. We doubled up on most of the guns. Montana Slim and Old Bull Lee, split the M16 carbine and the Thompson. Carlo Marx and I shared the MP5 and M16. Dean went solo and fired the M249 SAW. Mississippi Gene, being a pacifist, decided not to shoot. Mr. Limo driver was quite impressed at the beginning of our party.

A quick stop at Walgreen's was in order to grab some supplies and afterwards we headed to Treasure Island. Of course it was too early to get our rooms so we did the champagne brunch at Dishes. It was reasonably priced at $18 and although not a tremendous amount of variety was available, everyone seemed to leave satisfied. The freshly made mini donettes were quite delightful. Check in line was at least six miles long at this point in the morning, but it moved fast and we were up at the front in about thirty minutes. Got the keys for the three rooms we reserved and were upstairs before 1PM. The plan was to head over to Casino Royale at 3 for some cheap drinking and gambling, so we all agreed to meet in the Breeze Bar at 2:30.

Old Bull Lee and I hit the blackjack tables and got creamed by the dealer hand after hand. She had the personality of a wooden post, so we left, fortunately not down by much since we're both low-rollers. It was bar time, so we walked over, got some drinks and waited for the others. Everyone had assembled by 3 except for Montana Slim. He finally showed up about fifteen minutes late and with a mad cackle proclaimed he had already lost close to $200 on blackjack and roulette. And I felt bad about being down $20!

The next three hours was spent shooting craps at Casino Royale and drinking Michelob's from the bar or Killian's at the table. Montana Slim, Mississippi Gene, Old Bull Lee and myself played, whilst Carlo and Dean played the slots. They seem to prefer shredding their money, although Carlo has got some uncanny luck with those damn things most times. The craps table was hot and we had some good runs. We were easily the rowdiest table in the joint and we started drawing a bit of a crowd. Making it more entertaining, was we were at the little table with a single dealer and sitting down. Eventually the table cooled off and we had some douchebag playing don't pass at the other end. Montana Slim stuck it to him though on a come out role, hitting an 11 and douche lost a forty dollar bet. He ended up driving everyone off the table with his attitude, at one point berating us for not tossing out a buck for the dealer. The guys that had just sat there for three hours and placed three "horn high yo's" for the dealer and hit all three of them! Ultimately the craps paid off and I had recovered my losses from TI plus some extra.

Afterwards we wandered over to Carnival Court and Harrah's to use the bathroom and have a look-see. The original plan was for Isla for dinner, but no one was ready, so we ended up getting something at the Forum Shops at a little cafe in the middle, not far from the Neptune statue. From there we hit Casa Fuente for a smoke and when the group got an eyefull of Rathna, the hostess, we were quickly convinced staying for a drink was in order. Tip here, sit facing the entrance if you want to get the most opportunity for leering. Two cocktails apiece later we hit the bricks and headed back towards TI. Mississippi Gene decided to call it a night and the rest of us got a drink and went over to the outdoor area set aside for hotel guests on the last Sirens show of the night. It was corny as hell, but not hard on the eyes. Definitely not a kiddy show anymore, but still plenty of kids in the crowd.

Carlo wanted to go to the Double Down saloon and try a bacon martini, so Dean, Old Bull Lee, and I joined him and hopped a cab. After listening to the same song for an hour and a half from the crap band that was playing, we stumbled over to Hard Rock. Carlo and Dean played the slots and Bull hit the craps tables. I wandered a bit and had a beer, ogling the women. When I checked in with Bull he said he was getting crushed, but twenty minutes later and he was up. Dean was beat, so he and Carlo headed home for the night, but Bull was looking to stay, so I figured I'd keep him company. Good choice. To celebrate his good run, we opted to hang for a bit and have a cocktail. A Lebanese/Sicilian hottie next to us started chatting us up when she asked to bum a smoke and things were going well, until her friend wanted her to come talk to some putz with a mullet. Ah well, can't win em all. Gave up our seats along the perimeter of the bar to go to the bathroom and here's where the night takes the most entertaining turn. Went back to the center bar and I spot our seats opening up again, so I tell Bull to grab them and I'll get the drinks. Belly up to place the order and the woman sitting at the counter to my left says "Hi, I'm Sera, what's your name? What are you up to?" I answered and realize, hey wait! Here's a hottie with a big rack in tight little clothes and talking to me. Woohoo! Hooker! But she didn't have hot tea so I think that's what threw me off at first contact.

Before our conversation goes any further, a woman slips in between us and says "Hi, how's it going?" Not a hooker as far as I can tell; she has a drink, she's wearing jeans and a black top with spaghetti straps. Never seen a prostitute dressed like that. Sera looks pissed though and the new girl walks back over to where Bull is at with me as we converse. However, now I know she's a working girl, because no way is a woman like this going to talk to me. Before too long we have hooker show-down as Sera and Natasha duke it out over who's customer belongs to whom. Natasha settles on Bull and Sera grabs me and pulls me away. Kept brushing her breasts on my arm, but it was the only action either of us would see. Although fun to talk to and both really nice, neither of us married fellers had any intention of hooking up with them. Both had good attitudes about not getting business from us. Bull and I decided it was time to go back.

At TI we stopped in the store for some supplies where the woman that checked us out six hours ago, remembered us and was shocked to see we were still up. Called up to Carlo's room and chastised him for being a "big blubbering vagina" and he should come down and join us. TI was dead, so we gave about about 5AM and headed to bed. Bull stayed up a bit longer in the room to eat cheetos and beef jerky.

Monday, was a bit looser in terms of schedule. Bull and Gene decided to chill at the TI blackjack tables, whilst the rest of us toured the strip a bit. Carlo and Montana Slim were Vegas rookies, so it seemed like a good time to see some of the strip sights. It was hot, but dry; so pleasant to walk down the strip. Visited Bellagio, Alladin, MGM Grand, New York NewYork, and then made our way back up to Paris to meet Bull who had been gambling at Bellagio. After a stop at Barbary Coast for a bit of play and a quest to see Big Elvis, we were needing to get back to prepare for dinner. Unfortunately outside the Forum Shops entrance, Bull and I made a decision to ditch the others for a cocktail and another eyefull of Rathna. Carlo and Dean found us within twenty minutes. They're no dummies!

Montana and Gene were a little upset with us for being late to meet in the Breeze Bar prior to dinner, but it was well worth it. Got changed and jumped some cabs to go to Del Frisco's. Everyone loved the place and raved about the chow. I would have been happy to just smell my beef instead of eating it. Food was absolutely fantastic and it was a slow night for them, so we got treated quite well and very attentively. I asked to see a manager to let her know what a great time we were having and also told her David deMontmollin at Hooter's sent us. After dinner we headed into the lounge where we hung until close for cigars and drinks. The only downside was the jackass doorman there.

When we walked out and said Gene was going to TI, but the other five of us wanted to go to Scores, he kept trying to get us to take this SUV limo that was sitting in the lot. It started at $100 for the transport and VIP passes, but with each no, the price got lower. I think the last was $30 just to drive us there. We took cabs. I rode with Carlo and we got dropped in back at the VIP entrance. They had us wait for an escort and Patrick came back to bring us into the club. I let him know David from LBB sent us and he seemed appreciative.

Scores rocked. Not many patrons for midnight, so we had plenty of attention from the ladies. I had one girl dance for me a couple of times, but had miscounted my scratch before we left TI, so I was just about tapped out. Carlo, Dean, and Bull tore it up with them; but not like Montana Slim. He disappeared more than once and dropped some serious money upstairs. He was happy man. Well we all were, just Montana was happier than the rest. They had a moonlighting Cirque performer do a few shows in between stage shows, which was actually very cool and although she remained clothed, she was pretty damn fine too. It was about 1:30 or maybe later and we decided to head back. Montana had done well for us and we were given the house limo to take us back to the hotel, just needed to tip. Very cool.

Bull wanted to see the Wynn, so we stumbled about in there for a while. It was a ghost town so luckily no one was too offended by my perverse songs about a former boss. Dean and Montana called it quits about 2:30 and headed home, but Carlo, Bull, and I were still going. Grabbed a cab and went back to Casino Royale. We joked that Wynn was a dump and we were tired of slumming it there. The cabbie seemed genuinely amused. Bull and I hit the craps table again, same little one and started another decent streak. Well I did at least. Carlo left about an hour later and went to gamble at the Venetian, ultimately turning in around 5AM. The table at Casino was a way more subdued than the day before, but there was still a decent number of players considering the time. I'm going to be part of somebody's wacky Vegas story, as we sat there and spouted off all sorts of strange comments and out of context remarks. I was the weirdo at the tables at 4 in the morning. Again there was some douche playing don't pass, but he ended up getting creamed by our hot runs and walked away having lost all his chips. We finally stumbled out at 6AM with my having recovered from losses at Barbary Coast and was up $50 for the trip.

We'd be leaving for the airport in just a few hours, so we tried to get some shut-eye. Not much else to say about the journey back home. It was two booze-fueled days of madness in Vegas and less than ten hours sleep over a 72 hour period. I don't think I'd have it any other way.

The success of this trip couldn't have been possible without the Little Black Book and the personal suggestions of David deMontmollin via email. All names have been changed or omitted. My only regret was not getting over to Hooter's to say hello to David and thank him in person, but it sure felt like he was with us in spirit....

Sal
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A Black Book Trip to Vegas 
4/14/08, 7:18 PM - Vegas Trip Reports

Below is a trip to Vegas sent in by Bill. Many Black Book influences: Gambling with the boys, Day Time activites, Big Man's Dinner, Drinking and Strip Clubs.

Vegas Weekend

The trip was great. Once again staying at Hooters paid off.

From a gambling perspective, I came back home up around $1200. My poker play was profitable (about +$600) and I hit on a video poker machine at Shorty's for $500. We also all made out well at blackjack.

Friday

I played poker before the other guys arrived. It's an anti-social game, not compatible with a group of guys having fun. So I usually come early and stay late so I have time to play. I played at Mirage; I really like their room. It's not pretentious, the play is good, and they run regular sit-n-go single tables, 10 player tournaments. I bought in for $70 ($60 for the pot +$10 to the house). Nice bunch of guys. A really fun table. When it was four of us we agreed to split the $600 pot three ways when one more was eliminated. I knocked out the last guy when I called his all-in bet. We both had top pair, Jacks, but my 10 kicker was better.

We met for our big dinner Friday at Lawry's and were served by the lovely Mrs. Krmpotich. Our prime rib arrived in its own Airstream trailer. After dinner we stopped in at Spearmint Rhino, but it was like a frat boy convention, without an open seat in the house. The front-man wanted at least $200 grease to seat us. We left and went to Scores. Got a nice table up front and got treated very well. We got back to Hooters around 3AM. I think I went to sleep. I know I woke up in my room.

Saturday

Met up at The Dam Restaurant; nice breakfast buffet. More prime rib (almost as good as Lawry's... not really). Played some blackjack to let the buffet settle and then it was off to Flyaway Indoor Skydiving. $250 buys up to 5 people 15 minutes in the chamber; you get a DVD of your "flight." 250 is a magic number, if you weigh 250+ you aren't flying. 4 of us flew and it was a good time. I'll probably end up putting a version of the flight on woof.

After Flyaway we walked over to Wynn in the 100 degree heat. I thought I smelt bacon but it was only my skin in the Las Vegas sun. At Wynn we played some more blackjack; the 5 of us took the house for more than $1K and about a dozen very good margaritas. After blackjack, we went over to the Fashion Square Mall across the street and I bought a pair of sunglasses for my aching eyeballs. Then it was more red meat and red wine at a very nice lunch at the Capital Grille. It's a la carte so you don't have to mess around with that green stuff if you don't want to. After a nice meal it was time for some of us to recharge and nap for an hour or two. Others took in the spa at MGM.

After a nap and a shower I went to play poker for an hour at MGM before meeting the guys. I was tired and my play suffered; I lost $100 in a snap. At your suggestion, we decided to meet up at the Centrifuge "center" bar at MGM. The idea of a center bar at MGM is kind of hilarious since the place is so flippin' huge. But it's a nice round bar (aren't they all?) and the good looking bartenders break into a bar-stomping dance number about once every 15 minutes. If you're seated at the bar, watch your drinks and beware the bleach-wipe-down.

We debated going to Red Rock and opted for Mandalay instead. We had dinner at the Border Grill. Great Mexican, Tex-Mex cuisine and more margaritas. It was a nice dinner on the patio that was slightly marred by the intrusion of REO Speedwagon. After dinner we suffered a spell of indecision (in the cab) trying to select a gentleman's club. I recommended Crazy Horse Too or Striptease based on your suggestions. The cab driver tried to talk us into Sherri's Cabaret... ugh. I had to explain to him that his suggestion was bad and why. We ended up stopping at Striptease, which was nearly vacant (the guys sent me in to investigate) and then the Horse which wouldn't let once of us in without paying. As my friend Jim observed, we learned a valuable lesson: if you think too much about such things, the allure fades.

We went back to Hooters for another great round of blackjack with a very funny dealer from Jersey; fortunately he wasn't wearing the Hooters Gril outfit. The deck and the dealer were good to us; once again we all walked away winners.

I played a little late night poker and then went to bed.

Sunday

We met for coffee at 8AM; two of the guys were flying out at 10. We said our goodbyes and I checked out, checked my bags and went for a few more hours of poker at the Mirage. Ate lunch (a salad, finally) at the California Pizza Kitchen near the poker room; watched the Red Sox come from behind to beat the Texas Rangers by way of a David Ortiz 3-run-home-run in the bottom of the ninth. Nice cap on the trip.

Bill
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Trip Report from Pete 
5/20/07, 11:04 PM - Vegas Trip Reports

I had the time to spend in the mecca, so of course I took it. I flew in the day after the crowd trifecta: Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby, and the de la Hoya fight. Surprisingly, the town wasn't trashed. I guess no NBA fans showed up. They said our flight to Vegas was delayed due to high winds in the desert, I say it was because the airport was so jammed they wouldn't let anyone land. Due to some comped rooms and internet deals, I took the opportunity to stay in three hotels I hadn't stayed in before.

There were six of us, three couples, so we rented a van and headed into traffic up the Strip to see the sights on our way to the Rio. By the way, lying about it being your anniversary gets you an upgrade. I recommend it. We were starving from the flights and delays so we headed up to the VooDoo Lounge. I highly recommend this. The food was excellent, the atmosphere was cool, and the view from outside is spectacular. Get there before 7pm to avoid a cover charge. After about half an hour of enjoying the view, and a trip to the liquor store for supplies, we headed downtown for our first night at the Golden Nugget.

The tables were not kind. We were all down a couple hundy the first night. We chose the Nugget because our friends hadn't been downtown at night before and we decided to check out the Nugget's remodel. I can't tell you what actually changed inside the hotel, but I can say they did a hell of a job on the pool area with the Shark Tank. The slide shoots through the tank that holds about a dozen eight-foot sharks and other fish. Throw in some blackjack tables and lounge chairs in the water, and it's a good time on a sunny Vegas morning. That afternoon we packed up what was left of the bottles and rolled on to the Rio.

I was very impressed with the rooms. They call them all suites, but they are actually just large rooms. Ours had one of those sofas that has the lounge end to it. Excellent for Sportscenter and updates on the car bomb at the Luxor. It came with a fridge and a microwave, and a window from the shower to the bedroom. Not many hotels have a vibe to them, but the Rio had people laughing and partying all the time. We even held up the elevator so I could take pics of a couple hotties licking the Chippendales poster. A couple more benjamins down day two.

Day three started with time at the pool, complete with a beer company photo shoot. The three models added up to thirty. It's hilarious how people stop talking as the bodies walk by. Girls don't want to say what's actually on their mind, and guys don't want to say anything stupid or get caught looking. At least those of us with no game. A sphincter moment on the Big Shot at the Strat, breaking even at Casino Royale, Sirens at TI, dinner at Cheesecake Factory, a couple more losses at Gold Coast, and day three ends at 3am.

One of the couples was flying out the next day, so we took them to the airport and checked out Hard Rock on our way back. It's odd that you can see the whole casino from the front steps. Dropped of the rental car and checked in at the MGM for $75 an night, after taxes. Damn, that hotel's big. Standard room but with a glamour shot of Drew Barrymore. Nice. The women went shopping while me and my buddy went over to Hooters to pick up the Bobby Slayton tickets Dave had for us and to set reservations at Dan Marino's. MGM: large and stuffy. Hooters: small and loose. MGM staff: large and stuffy: Hooters: hot and, um, large, and loose. Couple bills down here too. If you're crossing Tropicana to Hooters, use the crosswalk. At the risk of sounding sissified, I can see why they put in the overwalks. Took a nap, everyone changed clothes, and we took in dinner and a show. Caught up with Dave in the casino and he was gracious enough to comp us some drinks for the show. Bobby Slayton is one of those guys that you will recognize the face but not know where from. An hour and a half of a very funny guy. ANOTHER two hundred down in Hooters.

We changed clothes and took the monorail down to the Wynn to walk back down the Strip. BIG mistake. How am I supposed to know the Wynn shuttle stops at 8pm? Do you know how far it is walking from the monorail station to the Strip? I do. It's far, and it sucks. A pass through the Frontier helped me realize my life wasn't so bad. That place has to come down next. My friends were bitching halfway down the Strip, so we stopped at the Victorian Room at "Bill's" for a late meal. Steak and eggs at midnight, and I'm ready to go! I left the others crashed in the MGM and went to the Trop for a low stakes blackjack, and at 5am I was up two hundred and got out happy.

Getaway Day was a morning at the pool. Or should I say pools. There were gaggles of twentysomethings everywhere and the lazy river took me around to see most of them. A few drinks, a few laps, and I was ready for some food. America at NYNY is always solid. The women packed while we hit the tables and I gave up the only win I had all week. D'oh! I asked the pit boss to tell me a good gambling story. He told me Ted Binion authorized a bet for a guy, put a box on the Don't Pass, the guy won, and there was $777,000 in the box. Lesson: ask the bosses for good stories.

We had a half-day checkout, 6pm for half-day price. Ten dollar taxi to the airport for a 10:30pm, and leaving Las Vegas always stinks.

Dave, thanks again for your hospitality. It was good to catch up with you too. Keep up the good work.

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Little Black Book Trip Report 
11/16/06, 2:45 AM - Vegas Trip Reports

A Las Vegas Little Black Book Trip Report from Dan. I thought you all would enjoy this….

David deMontmollin and the Little Black Book truly can make, as the book claims, a good trip great. My name is Dan and five of my friends and I decided to skip our yearly football trip for our soon to be annual pilgrimage to Vegas. Our “football” group ranges in ages 31 to 62 [Don’t let their ages fool you, 60 is the new 40 and 50 is the new 30] and three of us had never been to Vegas before. We all are happily married and we went with the full knowledge and consent of our lovely wives. The Little Black Book played a big part in the planning and execution of the trip and David was top notch with his advice and counsel. He was like our own Vegas Concierge, telling us where to go and what to do. Thanks for everything David.

Nick P., Quayle, C. Lou, Kingwood, Crabman, and I flew from Washington, D.C. to Vegas on Friday morning. First of all, the Little Black Book saved us well over an hour at the airport. We all packed a carry-on and we were able to head straight to the check-in desk at the airport. We had reservations to set up camp at the MGM Grand and the airport check-in was the bomb. There was no line and we used a little LBB advice and tipped the check-in girl and we were able to get our three rooms all on the same floor, all with views of the strip and all within a short walk of the elevator; and, it wasn’t even 11:00 a.m.! I had made a prior reservation for a limo to pick us up at the airport and the group was very impressed when we found the driver waiting for us with all our names on a sign. A limo at the airport for a big group of guys is a must. Not only was it a money saver, but it saved us from having to wait in a seemingly endless taxi line, when all we wanted to do was start our weekend. We had our bags, were checked into our hotel, and were in a limo on the way to the strip within 35 to 45 minutes. We couldn’t ask for a better start to the weekend.

By now, the buzz from the screwdrivers on the airplane had worn off and we were all thirsty and hungry. Our driver pulled over so we could buy a 12 pack of beer. We each downed two in about five minutes as we made our way up the strip. When we arrived at the MGM we were ravenous and went straight to a sandwich shop called “’Wichcraft.” The meatloaf and bacon sandwich was the perfect meal after not eating for eight hours. After lunch we went up to our rooms and dropped off our bags before heading down to check out the casino. Quayle took off to explore, Crabman took a nap, and Nick and I found a $10 black jack table and sat down. C. Lou and Kingwood joined up with us later. An hour and a half passed in what seemed like a matter of minutes, and Vegas had hooked me in. I don’t know if it was the free drinks, the bright lights, or the excitement of winning a few hands of black jack; whatever it was I was drinking the Vegas Kool-Aid. By the time we were finished I was even, C. Lou was up a little and Nick P was down a little. Considering all the free drinks, I think we were all ahead. We caught up with Kingwood and he was up $200 after playing slots and was feeling pretty good about himself.

We met for celebratory drinks in the center bar named Zuri. It had a great vantage point of the casino for ogling and everyone dug the garter belts the barmaids had own. The one thing that I noticed is that time slips by so fast while in Vegas. If you blink the weekend’s over. Now I know why people don’t want to sleep while there. We decided to make our first night Old School Vegas Night. I arranged for another limo to take us downtown to eat at LBB recommended Hugo’s Cellar. Let me just say that it did not disappoint. Upon arrival we ordered martinis and gimlets. They brought our drinks out in a carafe chilled in a bucket of ice. We each got three drinks out of our carafe. The salad cart was awesome as was the between course sorbet. But the highlight of the meal was when they brought out Nick P.’s Hugo’s cut of prime rib. It was both beautiful and disgusting at the same time. We all got a big laugh watching him tear into a piece of meat the size of a small animal. After dinner we split up with three of the group exploring Freemont Street and Crabman, C. Lou and I heading upstairs to the Chicago Brewery Cigar Bar for a Fuente and a glass of port. We had fun relaxing and taking in the whole experience.

After we finished the port we headed across the street to the Golden Nugget and the three of us got in on some low stakes blackjack. We played for about 45 minutes, with the first part cleaning house with a novice dealer. When the dealers switched, we quickly gave all our winnings back to the house. However, I think C. Lou was up $75. We met back up with the group and booked a limo to take us to Scores. I have to say I was a little disappointed with Scores. Four of us went inside, while the older members of our crew elected to take the limo back to the MGM. At the door the cute receptionists informed us that David had arranged for us to have free drinks at the bar, which was sweet. Hats off to you David; however, the bouncers at the door said they didn’t see our name on any list and that we weren’t getting any free drinks. They also wouldn’t negotiate with us on the $30 cover charge, nor could they find us a seat. Clearly they wanted us to grease their pockets and we clearly weren’t going to do that after they pissed us off. Kingwood and C Lou left and Nick P and I hung around for a while. Once we got away from the bouncers we had a good time. When we got back to the hotel we walked around and checked out NY-NY and then called it a night.

My body was still on East Coast time and I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. With less than three hours sleep I took a shower and stumbled down stairs into the casino. I couldn’t believe the activity. Vegas truly is the town that never sleeps. The night before we placed some bets on numerous college football games and the group met at 8:30 at the ESPNZone to watch the Noon EST college football games. We were able to get a big booth with our own TV. After two Rock Star and SKYY Vodka energy drinks I was ready to go. Thanks to a little LBB advice we ordered one appetizer at a time and stretched it out for over three hours. (If you go, you got to get the sliders.) After the early games, Nick P and I walked over to LBB recommended Tickets2Nite and we were able to get good seats for the Motley Crue and Aerosmith concert later that night at the MGM.

Most of us decided to go check out the strip, Crabman stayed behind but the rest of us took the monorail up to Harrah’s and did some exploring. The event turned into a mini daiquiri dash as outlined in David’s book. We grabbed one at Harrah’s and drank it as we walked up to Casino Royale. Next we grabbed $1 margaritas at the bar in Casino Royale and walked through the Venetian. We headed back to Casino Royale and played some switch black jack and had some great luck. We crossed the street and explored Caesar’s Palace. We were all thoroughly impressed. Next we crossed the street again and went to Margaritaville and had another round of margaritas. These were easily the best margaritas we had. We caught the monorail at the Flamingo back to the MGM. We finished with hurricanes and jello shots back at Fat Tuesdays when we got off the monorail at the MGM. We originally had reservations at ISLA located in TI as the LBB had recommended, but since we had tickets to the concert at the MGM, we changed the reservation to the Mexican restaurant Diego located in our hotel.

After a much needed power nap we met back at Zuri Center bar and had a few more rounds before supper. Diego was outstanding. We drank sangria and had fresh guacamole made from the roving guacamole cart. After dinner we split up with Nick P and me heading to the concert and the older guys skipping the concert to find trouble somewhere else. The concert rocked. It makes for a cool story to tell friends that I saw the Crue and Aerosmith while I was out in Vegas. It sure beats saying I went to Celine Dion or Howie Mandel.

Nick P. and I were jacked after the concert and headed over to NY-NY to check out the LBB recommended dueling piano bar. After a short wait and a reasonable $10 cover charge we were in. When we got there is was mostly a sausage factory and Nick P. said he wanted to file a complaint with the LBB for leading us astray, but out of nowhere a bachelorette party of six mingled our way and to our amazement they were mostly ignored as they stood there checking out the scene. Nick P bought them a round of shots and we were in. We told them how wonderful married life was and they ate it up. We danced and sang along until we had had enough. After wishing the bride-to-be good luck we stumbled back to the MGM and played some black jack before crashing for the night.

Sunday morning I woke up refreshed and ready to enjoy my last day on the strip. I went downstairs and stood in line to make my picks for Sunday’s games. Our group met again at the ESPNZone, but we got there late and the line was too long. However, NY-NY put the games on several big screens in their cabaret theatre, which actually made a perfect place to watch the games. It was a good crowd with a lot of Washington and Dallas fans. It was wild watching the Redskins win by blocking a kick and then kicking the game winning field goal on an un-timed down. The place went nuts. I bet $11 on the game and it was the most fun $10 that I ever won.

We paid to keep one of the rooms until 6 p.m., which was another great piece of advice from David. After we made arrangements and moved all of our stuff into one room, Kingwood, C Lou, Nick P and I walked around the casino until we found the elusive $5 table. It was in the back next the KA theatre if any of you are at the MGM. Nick P bought a strategy card in the hotel and we used it to our advantage. We were splitting and doubling down all over the place and we were all winning. It was also pretty cool when the pit boss came over and asked to examine the card. He gave it back to us a few minutes later and watched us like a hawk the entire time we were playing. Two and half hours later we were all drunk and happy. We checked out of our room at six and dogged some Chinese food at the food court to soak up some of the alcohol in our stomach.

We spent our last hours in Vegas watching the football game at the center bar, having a few more drinks and playing a couple of slots. We caught a limo back to the airport while we watched everyone else standing in the taxi line. Again, money well spent. We made it through security and we were all on the plane sleeping before we knew it with visions of the next trip swirling in our heads. I tried to incorporate as many of David’s suggestions as I could. The Little Black Book was a hit.

I regret not making it to Hooters to say hello and to thank David for helping elevate our trip to one for the record books. As anyone who has been to Vegas knows, there is much more to the trip than can be memorialized in any recap. There are many more memorable tales that didn’t and couldn’t make it into this report, and when our “football” group gets together we will always have tons of laughs and stories to recount with each other about our trip and for that Mr. David deMontollin, I salute you. . . .

--Dan

Thanks Dan, this is a great trip report. I will be sure to talk to Scores and get them in line. Thanks!

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