Being that it is 2 months since my trip, and also considering my memory while in Vegas is not the sharpest due to the anxiety medication I take for airplane travel, I am having to dig deep to remember details of this trip. I’ll give it my best shot and hope you enjoy.
Note: As I mentioned in my title, this trip was my 13th to Las Vegas (first time March 2005 when my wife and I got married). This time, I purchased a ticket for my younger brother (Mike) as he had never been to Las Vegas before. In fact, he has never been on an airplane. The fact that it was my brother’s first trip, it made this trip different for me because I was going to act more like a “tour guide” to ensure I showed Mike around Vegas. Also mentioned in my title, this trip would allow me to be in Vegas during my birthday.
Saturday, March 26
My parents came down to my house (Delaware) with my brother to take us to the airport. Driving to the airport my wife realizes she forgot all of her medications so we had to turn around and head back out again. Good thing my father, who was driving, kicked it up a notch, and we made it to the airport without issue. Now I am starting to notice that my brother is getting a bit more nervous as like me, he is not crazy about flying (I am terrified of heights). It reminded me of the first time I was in an airport and my uneasy feelings. During this trip, I would have a lot of flashbacks of my first time flying or first time in Vegas, since that was what my brother was going through during this trip. We stopped at a bar at the airport for a quick drink and then departed Philadelphia (my hometown) to Washington Dulles and then Washington Dulles to Las Vegas.
While flying or connecting, I generally do not remember much due to the combination of alcohol and xanax but a few things I did remember: excellent chicken wings at the Washington Dulles airport; my brother waking up at some point on the airplane, and while looking right at me asked my wife, “where’s is Dom (that’s me)”…”where did Dom go”….”I have no idea where he went”. Poor bastard didn’t handle the xanax too well (or did he); and while landing in Vegas I switched seats with my brother and told him to look out the window because….there is nothing better than watching the view as you land in Vegas at night. The strip, the lights, the atmosphere….he now realized he was there and was very excited.
After checking into Fitzgeralds Hotel Casino while using my free rooms, we head onto the casino floor. I gave my brother the tour of the casino and then walk on Fremont Street for that tour. After walking around, we decide to head over to the Golden Nugget for a 1 2 NL Cash Game. I really like this room and while playing I said to my brother, “can you believe you are in Las Vegas playing at the Golden Nugget”. I am now ordering vodka/cranberry one after another and at last count, I was up to about 8 (it’s not my fault they keep bringing them to me). It’s at this point, we get into a “situation” and I will try to remember the details as best as possible. Asian Man raises to $7. Mike re-raises to $14. Knowing that my brother is a horrible poker player (and I mean horrible), I have position on him and look down at Ace King of Clubs. I re-raise to $30. Asian Man is not too happy and makes a comment and calls. Mike calls. Flop comes with 2 clubs. Asian Man checks. Mike bets $25 and I raise to $50. Asian Man then calls the floor and says he wants to see our hands. Apparently, he thinks we are playing against him or playing together, whatever. My brother isn’t smart enough to tie his own shoes and I am drunk - neither of us are out to get the Asian Man. The floor comes over and Asian Man says he is All In. My brother folds and then proceeds to yell at the Asian Man. I call (over $300) on the draw because I was pissed. The Club never came and Asian Man scooped the pot. My brother (who is a hot head) kept it up and he and the Asian Man got into it before I convinced my brother to leave. Following this bizarre episode, we walk around a little bit before getting some sleep.
Sunday March 27
Mike, Liz (my wife), and I wake up and decide to walk down Fremont Street to the Main Street Station for a brunch buffet. However, to our surprise, they are not serving the brunch buffet so that’s that. We walk around the casino a little bit and I am playing slots with my wife. I look over, and notice Mike is in love with low limit roulette and blackjack that he is not used to when playing in Atlantic City. We then walk over to the Vegas Club to play more slots and Mike once again finds the tables. I think he made about a hundred bucks so we then walked over to Binions for something to eat. While there, he signs up for a player’s card and he was given different coupons and offers. We then get our picture taken with the million dollars and head to Binions Café and used the Buy One Get One Free offer that Mike received. I highly recommend for omelets, bacon, greasy burgers and other tasty treats. After grubbing, we walk around with Mike some more and watch him play blackjack for about an hour. It is now almost 4:30M and I could not believe how time flew by, and I also couldn’t believe that I never went to the ATM for my daily gambling budget (Liz and I set a daily gambling budget and withdraw daily). My brother did ok at blackjack and agreed to fund my buy-in to the 5PM $60 Fitzgeralds Poker Tournament. 2 tables with 20 runners and I finished on the bubble in 4th, but collected $60 as we previously negotiated a bubble payout. I actually turned down a chop of $160 each to keep playing so I cost myself a hundred bucks. No regrets though, as I really enjoyed myself. I think afterwards we went to Four Queens for a bite to eat but the service was horrible. We were literally ignored and waited 15 minutes to be seated. Despite complaining to an employee, we never were seated and we walked out. We ended up at Binions Café again and grabbed a burger.
Monday March 28
We have breakfast at Fitzgeralds which was very good and then signup to play the 12PM Poker Tournament. This time, I accepted the 4 way chop offer and took down $210. After this, my brother and I drove around and toured the south strip (Tropicana, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay) and then played 1 2 NL at MGM. I ended up getting into a big pot against another fellow and my brother. In the end, I scooped up a several hundred dollar pot after calling Mike’s all in bet. He was kinda miffed but I told him it’s not my fault that he sucks and I had no choice but to call. After cashing out over $600, I gave him $100 and we headed back to Fitzgeralds for the 5PM Poker Tournament. I accept a 4 way chop again and pick up another $200 however I must say, Mike was the chip leader and declared the “winner” and hence brags that he won a poker tournament in Vegas….good for him. My wife is not hungry so my brother and I feel like spending our winnings on a nice dinner. I told him I could take him to the best Italian Restaurant I have ever been to in Vegas….Pasta Mia West on Flamingo. We walk in and Chef Armando himself seats us. We eat appetizers to dessert and cleaned every plate. We then grabbed a takeout dish for my wife and personally gave our regards to Chef Armando. He is a very nice friendly guy, and he uses fresh and high quality ingredients. I feel compelled to recommend this restaurant HIGHLY. Please Google Pasta Mia West on Flamingo and I guarantee you, this place will satisfy you tremendously. After dinner, we head back to Golden Nugget and play 1 2 NL. We then get into an altercation again with another gentleman and decide to leave (this time I didn’t donkey all my chips away). The gentleman asked the floor to see our cards (same situation as before) and Mike got mouthier this time and was asked to leave the poker room. Mike then asked the gentleman to go out on Fremont Street to talk about the situation….thank god he declined as this dude was like 6’5” and had hands the size of microwaves. Anyway, my brother and I walk around Golden Nugget and play slot machines, even trying the $5 wheel of fortune (we never did get a spin). We had a nice time as I racked up some serious slot points and we finally went to bed as the sun was coming up.
Tuesday March 29 (Happy Birthday to me)
We all head out to tour the strip again and visit Venetian, Mirage, Wynn, and Bellagio. We then head over to Bills for the Big Elvis show (highly recommend) as I am an Elvis fan. Following this, we toured the Flamingo before heading back to Fremont Street for dinner. We tried the Paradise Buffet at Fremont Casino which I do NOT recommend. It wasn’t horrible by any means and some dishes that were ok, but overall, I was expecting more from the shrimp and crab legs. Again, I did not hate this place, but I will not go back. After dinner we head to Fitzgeralds for the 9PM Poker Tournament. I finish 5th after my aces got cracked by 10 Q (2 pair) and this was the only tournament where I did not chop/get some cash back. Mike and I then head to Harrahs for some 1 2 NL since we haven’t been to Harrah’s yet and my brother wanted to check it out (he plays at Harrahs Atlantic City and Harrahs Chester). Since my brother sucks, he lost his buy in rather quickly and we left to head back to Fremont Street. We walked around Fremont Street and stayed up until it was time to pack and head to the airport. Our trip was winding down. We departed Las Vegas on our 6:30AM flight to Philadelphia, which connected in Houston, and had a GREAT TIME. Las Vegas XIII was awesome. I had one of the better trips and better times since I started going to Vegas. I never went to the ATM on Sunday or Tuesday; my wife didn’t go to the ATM on Tuesday. The trip came very much under budget….which is like winning, right? Having Mike there is a big reason why I had so much fun. Besides being my brother, he is my best friend and a good guy (little strange, but a good guy). I enjoyed showing him around and we had several laughs and I hope for a chance to get there again with him.
Random Funny Items
You gotta love Fremont Street. The folks that come out after midnight literally made the trip worth it! My brother and I still cannot stop laughing over some of the characters and stories we have…..
1) Crackwhore talking to her beer bottle: While playing slots at Fitzgeralds (I told my brother the $1 progressive was due to hit….of course it did the next day while we were at MGM - $1700) there was a woman holding her empty beer bottle up to her ear like a cell phone. She was having a full blown conversation with her beer bottle (no she did not have a blue tooth device in her ear).
2) Possible escaped prisoner: While watching a free concert on Fremont Street, a guy in an orange “Las Vegas County Prison” shirt told us he escaped and was looking to have a good time. He was so drunk he could just about stand up. Obviously the shirt was purchased as a gag…..but it’s more fun to pretend he was escaped. Maybe he was?
3) Adult male crying his eyes out on Fremont Street: We walk out of a casino and I see this guy on his cell phone crying like a baby. He was weeping hysterically. My brother was concerned as he thought maybe a family member died or something like that. I educated him that in fact the crying man was upset because he lost his life savings and was contemplating ending it all.
4) Drunk guy drinking his urine from a see-through mug. We asked him how his beer was and he said he was drinking his urine. Who are we to argue?
5) Pee Wee Herman look-a-like, picture taken with Mike
6) Hooker approaching Mike and I asking if we wanted to have some fun. I ditched her but of course Mike struck up a conversation. The urban legend is that Mike ended up taking her in our bathroom while my wife and I slept. Disgusting son of a bitch. There is a hot rumor flying around that my brother also purchased some additional professional services and was taken care of behind the coke machine on our hotel floor. Again, something is not right with Mike.
Recommend: Fitzgeralds Hotel/Casino, Pasta Mia West on Flamingo Restaurant, MGM Poker Room, Binions Cafe
A week away! Las Vegas XIV is set for Saturday, June 4 through Wednesday, June 8. Staying at Fitzgeralds again and cannot wait. The theme/title of this trip is Las Vegas XIV “Economy Trip”. The gambling budget is cut in half versus what is normal but I still could not resist the cheap flights to Vegas and I remember…..”having nothing to do in Vegas is better than having a lot to do at home”. We’ll see!
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As Elvis sang in Viva Las Vegas – “if you see it once, you’ll never be the same again”. VIVA LAS VEGAS!
Nice TR, good job and glad you came out 'ahead'. I don't think there is anything wrong with your brother, pretty tame by Las Vegas standards.
One of these days I will try and start a business, simplicity at it's best, just put a recliner (behind some one way security glass!) and just watch the people going by in Vegas. Last trip I waited for the family to show up at Margaritaville on the front patio and the sights and sounds were amazing. Better than TV or Netflix.
Great TR. One on my favorite people watching spots is the little bar outside of the Flamingo with the Miller beer specials. I love the city. Hard to explain it to someone who has never been!!!! Can't wait to get back there myself June 13th