Las Vegas 2012 Trip Report “March”

Back over Las Vegas for the third time in as many months this year, I was visiting with my good friends Paul Ridgway (AKA Tosh), Andy Morris (AKA Moz), Mark Sowerby, and joined the following day by Paul's British Army colleague Stewart Jackson (AKA Jacko). These are lads from Crewe who I met during my September 2009 trip, all really top guys. We kind of travelled together in that we were on the same BA flight Heathrow > Las Vegas, but they made their own way from Crewe to London. I was delayed over an hour in Newcastle, so meant I arrived in Heathrow at 15:35 for a 15:55 departure to Las Vegas. So I had to leave my luggage and go direct to the staff travel desk, then the flight was really busy so I unfortunately couldn't fly in club world but actually had to take a jump seat. This is where the staff sit during taxi, take-off, and landing so yeah penthouse to gutter, but whatever I was just delighted to be on the flight. We arrived as scheduled at 18:20PST (Monday 26th), after reporting my luggage situation we caught a cab to the Excalibur Hotel Casino where I was sharing a room with Paul. I had reserved a tower room which for what we paid was good value, check out a few photos of our room/view;

The first evening was predictably awesome, after we got freshened up and had a couple of drinks at Sherwood Forest Bar we headed out over the road to Coyote Ugly over at NYNY until closing. From here I ended up mortal and losing the rest of the boys, so decided to camp in the MGM playing 500NL doing a graveyard shift until around 08:00. I was actually so fucked I forgot to take any pictures, so there is only one photo from the evening which you can see below.

The following morning (after having maybe one hours sleep) I had brunch over at Munchbar in Caesars Palace, before heading to Tropicana at noon for the $340 March Mania Mega Stack event. I ran really well and took it down for $5,200 which I was absolutely delighted with. From here I booked some 21:00 tickets to see The Amazing Jonathan show at the Harmon Theatre in Planet Hollywood, their was only three of us Moz, Mark, and I as Paul was still in the $240 CPSPM event over at Caesars, anyway without going into a great deal of detail it was absolutely shit. I actually fell asleep for almost the entire show, this I guess was a combination of the poor entertainment and only having an hours sleep the night earlier but either way definitely something I would recommend avoiding.

The show finished at like 22:30 so Moz and I decided to head to Earl Of Sandwich for some supper, before taking a slow walk back to Excalibur meeting Tosh and his mate Jacko who had arrived earlier that evening. I had a quick drink on the casino floor, before deciding to head to bed around midnight. My luggage arrived the following morning (Wednesday 28th), which was a relief as I had to wear the same shirt to fly and go out with the first and second night, so you can imagine my dry cleaning bill was beginning to mount up. We (Tosh, Moz, and I) had an early start this morning as I had booked us up with Adrenaline ATV Tours to go quad biking around the Valley of Fire, we were scheduled for collection at 08:00 which although I didn't enjoy the 07:15 wake up call after freshening up we had a brilliant morning/afternoon. The Valley of Fire has some of Nevada's most beautiful scenery, with red sandstone rock formations making for miles of easy and challenging routes for quad biking. This was a great break from the madness of Las Vegas boulevard, check out the scenery on the photo's below;

This finished in good timing around 14:00, giving me a two hour window to shower and change before heading back to Tropicana for the 16:00 $250 PLO March Mania Mega Stack event I was playing, this was poorly attended with only 20 runners after late registration. I really enjoyed it despite busting in third for $500 and missing out on the $3,000 up top, I got it all in on a AJ9hh flop three ways holding KQTT double suited (hearts and diamonds) vs AJJx (2 hearts, NFD) and AAxx (no draw). So yeah I was around 40% for a chip leader 100,000+ pot, which didn't work out as the board paired the 9 on the turn leaving me drawing to 8h for the straight flush. It kind of sucked, but I was happy with the situation and how I played. From here we headed back to the Excalibur and got ready for the evening, playing a few drinking games in the room to help set the tone for the evening. Jacko suggested the name association game, which was great fun and a sure fire way to get you pretty pissed pretty quick. For those not familiar with the game, check out my definition below;

Name Association Game P&S
Player whose name starts first alphabetically has the bring in, they then say any random word not beginning with a P or S. The action goes clockwise around the group with players all saying words that are associated with the aforementioned word, once a player either repeats a previous word or says a word beginning with P or S they then have to have a drink of liquor. The game then recommences with the next player to act, they then choose another completely random word not beginning with P or S but doesn't have to be associated with the last round.

After finishing over two litres of vodka between us, we were all pretty mortal and decided to head over Mandalay Bay for some VIP bottle service at Foundation Room. This was a brilliant night shared with some absolute ace guys and a quite spectacular view of Las Vegas boulevard, check out the photo's below;

Left to right: Mark Sowerby, Andy “Moz” Morris, Dan Trett, Paul “Tosh” Ridgway, and Stewart “Jacko” Jackson.

After leaving Foundation Room at closing we ended up back at Excalibur, minimum betting on blackjack for a couple of hours enjoying some free drinks. This was fun as the five of us occupied a full table, and most of the dealers were getting in the spirit of things with high fives even though we were betting the minimum. Then at 06:45 still mortal drunk I had to go get showered and freshened up for a 07:35 collection from Sky Combat Ace. None of the other boys were interested in this, so I was off on the road alone. Although I was in no fit state for this experience, I wasn't prepared to miss out so just decided to roll with it. Honestly guys this was just the ultimate adrenaline rush, upon arriving you meet your SCA instructor pilot who talks you through what you'll be flying in and what you'll be doing. I chose the Top Gun Experience which was $698 (then a further $205 for the photos/videos), so in total it was the best part of $1,000. But honestly this is just WHOA from start to finish, the flight included taxi, take-off, and approximately 45 minutes in the air whilst the pilot performs amazing aerobatics over the beautiful Mojave desert. Then once the instructor demonstrated how to do the manoeuvres it was my turn at the controls, there was an identical set of flight controls in my cockpit so I attempted to copy (albeit not very well) the same aerobatics he had just showed me. So yeah this was expensive and I was sceptical at first, but you try telling me it's not worth $1,000 to get in the cockpit of a plane and perform loops, rolls, stalls, tumbles, etc. We were in a 2007 Extra Flugzeugproduktions-und EA 300/L C/N 1258 which was solid, quick, and highly manoeuvrable making it's ability to perform heart-pounding aerobatics with ease, an experience I'll never forget and would for sure recommended to all thrill seekers.

This finished around 10:30 and I was back at Excalibur for around 11:00, so got changed into some shorts and went to join the boys around the pool. This was pretty chilled and relaxing, I actually fell asleep on the lounger for a couple of hours to catch up for not sleeping the previous night. Conveniently it was spring break while we were in town, so the strip and particularly the pool was full of some fine young ladies. Anyway I left the boys around the pool at 15:00, as I had to get refreshed and at Caesars Palace for the $130 HU CPSPM event at 16:00. It was capped at 64 entrants, I went bust in the round of 32 after opening my BTN for 1,300 at 300/600 level and calling off my remaining 8,000+. On their backs and I had a small lead holding A5h vs. Q7o, but the board ran out xQxxx to send me to the rail. After busting I took a slow walk back to the Excalibur and caught the boys as they were going for a complimentary dinner buffet, this was courtesy of Mark's regular slot play so always nice to get rewarded for your play. The buffet was pretty poor, but I knew that already but it was for free so not really any room to complain. This took us up until around 21:00 and I was absolute fucked after pretty much no sleep for the last 36+ hours, so told the boys I was sacking it for the evening and was in bed by 22:00. This of course meant I was wide awake around 03:00 when all the boys were getting home, so I got up and refreshed and went to do the graveyard shift playing 200NL over at MGM Grand. The boys come to collect me from the table around 10:30 and we headed over The Café at Monte Carlo to have breakfast. After breakfast we caught a cab to The Putt Park Miniature Golf Course, I had picked up some really cheap tickets like $17 for four people. It's around a $70 return cab ride from Las Vegas boulevard, so if going I would recommend going in a group of four to offset the travel cost. We had a brilliant late morning/early afternoon, with the sun shining and everybody in good spirits laughing and joking. We played heads or tails for teams and I ended up with Moz, who by our own admission were the two worst players out of the four. However 18 holes later (and 2 hole-in-one's from yours truly), we were collecting our $40 prize money from Tosh and Jacko after a rather convincing performance from start to finish. Great activity to get some fresh air away from Las Vegas boulevard, check out a some of our photo's below;

Putt Park Champions 2012: Trett & Moz

From here we had three separate drop-off points, first Excalibur for Tosh who was off to grind some 200NL, followed by Caesars Palace for me as I was late registering for the $240 CPSPM event, and then finally the fashion show mall for Moz and Jacko who were looking to pick up some cheap clothes. I bust my first stack within like 30 minutes, bluffing three streets with air so re-entered and made better use of my stack. I was chip leader by around 15:00 and held onto until I blew up, 5BET shoving air for 50% of my stack quickly followed by 4BET shoving my last 40,000 with JJ and running into QQ. I was cool with this though as I knew the boys were out on a club crawl, so after quickly getting changed and freshened up I met the boys over at Tabu ultra lounge over at MGM Grand. I was on catch up so swiftly ordered three treble vodka redbulls for like $120, and smashed those within like 5 minutes to ensure I was as fucked as the rest of the boys. See a couple of photo's from Tabu ultra lounge;

Then we took the club crawl party bus to Chateau Nightclub in Paris Las Vegas, this was an entertaining part of the evening to say the least. Check out the adults only photo's below from the limousine;

Then finally at Chateau where I ordered a table on the balcony over looking the fabulous neon lights of Las Vegas boulevard, and we enjoyed the rest of the night with some bottle service getting mortal until closing. Photo's from Chateau below;

Tosh and I were the last to leave, so we caught a cab at like 05:00 and went straight to bed upon arriving at Excalibur. The following morning we headed to Pizza Hut for a meat feast, before going to kick it by the pool from like 11:00 through to 13:30. After this Tosh, Moz, and I bought tickets for the 14:30 afternoon The Price Is Right Live show over at Ballys, this just like the program you'll be familiar with on television is an interactive show that gives the audience chances to win appliances, vacations and even new cars by playing classic games from the television institution. Contestants are randomly selected from the audience to "come on down" and play games like Plinko, Cliffhangers, Hole In One, It's In The Bag, the Big Wheel, Punch a Bunch, and the fabulous Showcase. Unfortunately none of us were selected to play, but at the end you have the opportunity to take photo's with the cast and props.

This took us to around 16:00 and on walking back to our hotel, the three of us decided to ride the Eiffel Tower Ride in Paris Las Vegas. Our tour guide explained it was exactly half the size of the original in Paris, France, the views from up top were pretty spectacular although we visited through the day so no doubt it would be better during the night time. They took a photo and embedded the image into an Eiffel tower background, so being a sucker I paid the $20 for it D'OH.

From here Tosh and I decided to chill at the Planet Hollywood 200NL whilst we waited for our 19:00 dinner reservations at Cabo Wabo Cantina, this is a Mexican restaurant out front of Planet Hollywood with a balcony over looking Las Vegas boulevard. All five of us ate together which was a nice way to spend our final evening, then Tosh and I headed to the Aria for their $125 evening tournament whilst the rest of the boys went clubbing at Pure, Caesars Palace. We both made reasonably deep runs I guess (considering it only had like 40ish runners), but neither cashed and we were both pretty exhausted so in bed by around 01:00. The following morning I was awake pretty early around 06:00, the sun hadn't risen so I couldn't kick it by the pool so decided to head over MGM to play some 200NL. This was a particularly fun session as I played until 11:00, spending approximately two hours of that time to the right of Steve Martin.

He was a lot of fun, win or lose he was laughing and joking around with the rest of the table. From here I headed back over Excalibur to sort out our late 18:00 check out with reception, this again was courtesy of Mark's slot play and was a welcome bonus giving that we had an evening flight home. After this I had lunch plans with my friend Monette and her friends Ron, Caryn, and Dan who all took me over to the Ping Pang Pong Restaurant at Gold Coast Hotel & Casino for some dim sum, it was my first time and although I wasn't over adventurous with my appetite it was nice to try a new cuisine. For those not familiar dim sum is basically individual portions of traditional Chinese food, served usually in steam baskets or small plates. Then we headed upstairs to the Gold Coast tenpin bowling alley for ten very friendly non-competitive frames, I hit a couple of strikes but overall was a pretty poor performance as I finished 4/5 by the time we had finished. I didn't take any photo's, but below is a couple of photo's courtesy of the internet of the restaurant and bowling alley where I spent the afternoon.

I arrived back at Excalibur around 16:00 and joined Tosh at the 200NL for our final few hours, I kind of wished I hadn't as I ran pretty bad in a really short time dropping a few buy-in's but whatever I won't bore you with the details. We left the table at approximately 19:00, leaving more than enough time to get to McCarran airport for our 20:45 flight. The flight was pretty quite this journey so I was fortunate enough to get a seat in club world, which I was pretty pleased about as I didn't fancy another ten hours on a jump seat. So yeah after a lobster, steak, and champagne dinner I fell asleep for almost the entire flight, waking up nicely for a hot tea and bacon roll around half an hour before descending to Heathrow. After collecting my luggage and saying goodbye to the boys, I had a small wait for my connection to Newcastle. So yeah that brings an end to a fabulous week enjoyed in a brilliant city with some really first class guys, great times and memories.

Take it easy


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