Las Vegas 2012 Trip Report “January”

I was back over Las Vegas for my tenth visit, as has become customary I travelled alone but upon arrival I was sharing a room with my friend and NPF associate Chris “lecpet” Leckie over at Tropicana Hotel & Casino. I had a very enjoyable journey from Newcastle > Heathrow > Las Vegas upgrading from economy to business class, this was quite an experience and it featured the world's first fully flat bed. Now here goes with the platform for which creates an only in Las Vegas night, whilst on board I was sat next to this gentleman named Terry Bland. He explained he was only in town 12 hours, whilst connecting to Los Angelas the following morning. We have a few drinks and I invite him to join me on arrival, say I'll look after him and we'll have a good night. The flight arrived at Las Vegas for 18:20 feeling very refreshed and ready for the evening ahead, so after grabbing my suitcase Terry and I picked up a taxi to Tropicana. I check-in whilst Terry waits for me at the bar and catch up with Chris who is chilling in the room, after quickly freshening up (well throwing on some deodorant, no shower smelly pig) we smash a couple of shots each and admire our brilliant view of MGM Grand and NYNY before heading down to meet Terry at the sports bar. We then walk next door to Hooters Casino to catch up with my friend Paul Ridgway and have a few cheap drinks in Pete & Shorty's, here we start smashing tequila slammers and really get things started.

Paul is scheduled to fly home at like 01:00 the following morning, but puts his flight back until Sunday to kick it with me for a few days. The forthcoming 12 hours Chris, Terry, Paul, and I hit Vegas pretty hard with drinks at carnival court, meeting Conny and Sonja (hot Austrian girls) before heading to VooDoo Lounge over at Rio for some VIP bottle service. My memory of the evening is almost non-existent, so take a look at the photo's below which as they say tell a thousand words;

By the final photo we are in the lounge at Bills Gambling Saloon with these two sisters at like 05:00, Chris had already turned in around 02:00 and Terry has to leave for the airport so Paul who is fucked shares a taxi back joined by Conny & Sonja leaving me with the two sisters. Anyway to cut a long story short I get thrown out of Bills Gambling Saloon (yeah again Dave) for being too pissed and chanting “barman's a bell-end” after he refuses to serve me any more alcohol. So I head over Flamingo with these two sisters and we have a few drinks in the Garden Bar, before the one on the left leaves around 08:00 and leaves me with Lucy. We then decided to go back to her room at Polo Towers and do the wild thing (trying to be as cool as Adam Matues), but I'll leave the details to your imagination. I finally leave around 09:30 before walking back towards Tropicana and collapsing in bed, in summary a pretty awesome way to start the trip.

I don't really have any sleep, just toss and turn for a couple of hours before we arrange to meet Paul at Tropicana main entrance around 13:00. We then head towards Aria to try out their lunch buffet which I've had recommended from a few people, I was really impressed with the exception of the cocktail service which was very slow. Following this we go to Tix4Tonight to buy some Criss Angel tickets for the evening, we choose the earlier 19:30 performance. Paul and I then head back to the room to catch a little more sleep, whilst Chris who is a little fresher heads towards Excalibur to play some cash. I still struggle to sleep (I blame the endless amount of vodka redbull drunk the previous night) so just unpack, shower, and iron my clothes before meeting Paul at the sports bar for 19:00. We then collect Chris from the Excalibur before all walking over the Luxor together, taking our seats to watch Criss Angel Believe by Cirque du Soleil.

We all agreed this was a great show, I would really recommend it especially if your fans of magic. From their we decided to catch late registration for the Aria $125 tournament, all agreeing to swap 10% prior to the tournament. Both Chris and I bust relatively early, think I bust around midnight so took a walk back to Tropicana. I slept really well for like 7 hours or something and woke around 08:00 to some good news as Paul had split it heads up for $1,600, so good job man and it recouped my buy-in with a small profit once I collected my $160 for 10%.

Friday 6th morning now so Chris and I head down stairs to have our complimentary buffet breakfast from Tropicana, and without going into too much detail it was shit. I mean we can't complain because it was free, but it was priced at like $18 which is just ridiculous. I then suggest heading to centre strip as I have to buy some gifts for friends away from the felt, this takes a few hours before were back at Tropicana and meet Paul around noon. We then opt to check out the Las Vegas Mob Experience museum at the Tropicana, this is pretty interesting giving you an insight into how Las Vegas was ran by mobsters and houses a host of cool artifacts and memorabilia.

After this we decided to spend the afternoon chilling at the Luxor poker room playing some 200NL, this was a pretty fun session as we all hit the beer and started to get in the mood for the evening. We played from like 13:00-18:00 and I walked away about $40 stuck, which is a result considering at one point I was in a pretty deep hole and had around eight bottles of Budweiser. Then this evening really gets going, we have some drink in our room so decided to chill on the sofa's in the lobby (with a brilliant view of MGM) and start playing card drinking games. This although started off with good intentions, ended up getting really messy with spirits including vodka, jack daniels, jaegermeister, tequila, as well as wine, champagne, and a load of lager. We met two brothers Ryan and Kyle Wiegmann from California and then joined by two other random lads Isaic and another Ryan (didn't get there surnames) , these were all like early twenties and just wanting to hit the drink hard. Anyway take a look at these photo's, it'll go some way to explain why Tropicana security moved us on;

Left to right: Dan Trett, Chris Leckie, Paul Ridgway, Isaic, Ryan Wiegmann, Ryan, and Kyle Wiegmann.

So from here we decided to head onto Monte Carlo to hit minus5 ice bar, where we bump into a penguin so decided to dance with him chanting “were dancing with a penguin” and have a wrestling match with him. Take a look at photos from this part of the evening;

The night continued as we got more drunk, we stumbled towards Aria and headed to gold boutique lounge, having a few drinks and chatting to some hot lasses. Then to our final destination Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace where we met up again with brothers Ryan and Kyle (who had now changed from fancy dress, to flash suit and tie), also meeting Glen and Caitlin who we had briefly met in Bills Gambling Saloon on the first night. Here we order bottle service in the VIP section on the roof, and just get absolute mortal in great company overlooking the best man made view in the world. Check out photo's of the final stages of the night below;

Left to right: Paul Ridgway, Ryan & Kyle Wiegmann, Caitlin Shea, Glen Knowles, and Dan Trett.

Finally jumping in a taxi back to Tropicana around 05:00 after 14+ hours getting on it, another fantastic only in Las Vegas evening. I wake up around 10:00 and get ready to head with Chris, we both want to ride the Manhattan Express over NYNY, so walk over for timing it nicely for it opening at 10:30.

Then meeting Paul who has checked out his hotel and is moving in Tropicana to kick it with us for his final night, after he freshens up we head out for lunch to the Harley Davidson café on Las Vegas boulevard. This was really impressive as we all order the same baby back ribs and half chicken breast, served with french fries and coleslaw. After lunch we head to Fremont street to play the $105 Binions tournament which has a $5,000 guarantee, however this was blown away with 105 runners. Again we agree to split 10% and both Paul and I run relatively well as he busts in 9th and me in 5th for $250 and $630 respectively, so $880 total return not bad after an enjoyable day on the felt. So we left Binions small winners, not quite $1,000,000 but it's nice to dream though guys free photo below courtesy of Binions Gambling Hall.

By now it's just gone midnight and were all pretty drained, so decided to catch a cab back to Tropicana to get some well over due sleep. We sleep until around 06:00 then Paul and I decide to head down to the sports book to watch the last 20 minutes of Man Utd vs. Man City, nice to see Utd shut the noisy neighbours up again. Then head back to the room as Paul packs his suitcase ready for his morning flight, then we all head over to Wicked Spoon buffet for brunch, located inside the brand new Cosmopolitan. I had this recommended from a few friends I have to say I was not disappointed, it's now my favourite buffet on the strip edging out Wynn in 2nd and considerably better than both Aria and Bellagio which in my opinion are 3rd and 4th respectively. I would strongly encourage anybody who visits Las Vegas and enjoys nice food to get over there and try it out, I took a few pictures to try and give you an idea but you really have to try it for yourself guys.

Shortly after this Paul grabbed a taxi from Cosmopolitan valet to the airport via Tropicana to collect his luggage, this left Chris and I to enjoy the rest of the morning picking up a few more gifts. We decide to try out the MGM Grand where we first off take part in a showcase TV promotion, where we watched a preview of a future show not yet been broadcast and gave our feedback. The show was called 'The Rob Schneider Project', it was pretty funny I guess and the Maggie (the wife) is pretty hot but not something I would go out my way to watch. Then move onto the CSI: The Experience this is also at the MGM Grand, it's really fun actually and like a real life cluedo. You assume the role of crime scene investigator and have to attend the scene of a murder, then guided by forensic scientists you have to examine bullets and DNA of potential suspects. I mean of course I owned the experience, even have my diploma to prove it.

After this we head back to the room so Chris can pack for his evening flight home, this doesn't take long so we decide to spent his last few hours kicking it over at Excalibur poker room playing some cash. Stay until around 18:00 and I leave stuck like $90 but Chris signs out with a sizeable profit in comparison to the game, so nice to leave after a winning session. Once Chris leaves for the airport I have 24 hours to myself so after a bit of deliberation on what to do I make a last minute decision to taxi down Bellagio, they have a 14:00 $330 tournament so I make it in for late registration at level eight 600/1,200/100. You have the option to come in for a double entry which I think at this level is kind of necessary, so I buy in for $660 giving me 20,000 which albeit is still less than twenty big blinds but whatever I was hoping to flip well. As hoped I ran really well winning some important all in flips, twice out running QQ whilst holding AK and made it to the final table chip leader. This gave me the foundations to apply some pressure and I never really took my foot off the gas, I was heads up with a 4:1 chip lead and pleased to say I managed to hold off the guy when my KJ outdrew his A7s. I was delighted with the win and the $10,700 prize money, which lead me nicely to around 23:00 so rather than kick it in I decided to chill at the 200NL for a bit making another small profit. Leaving the Bellagio around 04:00, taking a slow walk back to Tropicana enjoying the lights and sights on my final night.

My final morning now and I get up to head down to the Apple store at Caesars Palace forum shops, I promised I'd price up an iPad 2 for my dad. Anyway after speaking to him and giving him prices whilst in the store, he decides against it so I leave and head up back to Tropicana to check out. I leave around 13:30 (2:30 after check out time) after giving the cleaner a nice tip, this bought me a bit of extra time. Then headed next door to Hooters who were running a free steak promotion, this was open to all people who had an out of state ID and an Owl rewards card. So I enjoyed my free steak, although it was nothing special I mean it's for free so whatever. Then decided to spend my last few hours kicking it over at MGM Grand playing 200NL, had a profitable final session so like Chris nice to check out with a win. I left it a little late and left at 19:00 so quickly over the road to collect my luggage from bellman at Tropicana, then in taxi to airport but it's was absolute dead so I checked my bags straight in and through security within like 10 minutes. So now I get possibly the most star struck I've ever been, I go to kick it in the lounge and as I'm sitting sending out a few texts enjoying one final glass of champagne before boarding. Mike Tyson walks in with all his family, I have to give credit to myself for acting as nonchalant as I did because I was doing cartwheels inside. He literally sat in the seat next to me for half an hour, I so wanted to ask him for a photo but figured he's in the lounge for some peace from the general public so I didn't. I actually didn't even speak to him or anything, but yeah sat in the seat next to me so that's kind of cool story.

Another enjoyable relaxing flight home in BA club world, where I took full advantage of the fully flat bed and slept almost the entire flight after they served dinner. In summary another fantastic trip shared with some awesome people, big shout outs to Chris and Paul who extended their trips to hang out with me and I'm sure they had a blast too. Met some awesome new friends, many of which I'm already friends with on facebook including Terry Bland, Sonja Schloffer, Conny Czuba, Lucy, Glen Knowles, Caitlin Shea, Ryan and Kyle Wiegmann, Isaic, and Ryan amongst others whom I don't know the names. All these guys are first class people, who made this trip a little extra special. I'm hoping to join Dom Davidson out there at the beginning of February, who's in town for the UFC Diaz vs. Condit fight and play some poker. I don't have anything booked yet but should sort something soon, I think Paul is going to fly back out as well so should be another fun week.

Take it easy guys

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