Vegas vacation: (Mini) Cosa Nostra style

I got back from my five-night Vegas vacation. It was quite a relaxing trip, though I needed a night to recover from the 6 a.m. flight I took out of Vegas on Monday.

Here are some highlights from me and Patty’s trip.

Oh so close: I very nearly won $4,000 on a $5 Let it Ride table on Saturday.

I was dealt a 3-4-6, all hearts. A flush and straight draw, but I decided to pull the first bet back.

The dealer’s first card was a 5 of hearts. At this point, I can hit a flush with another heart or a straight with a 2 or 7. Even better, though, I can hit a straight flush. That pays 200-1 on each bet (I had $10 at that time) plus $2,000 on the $1 bonus.

I asked Patty if he had the 2 or 7 of hearts. He didn’t. I asked the other guy at the table. He didn’t have them either.

At this point, the dealer asks what I have. I showed him. The excitement was on.

The deal hides the final card under the other one and slowly pulls it back. He had his finger so all we could see was the suit.

“It’s a heart,” he said excitedly. We all sat up and leaned it to see. It was indeed a heart.

I’ve already hit no worse than a flush, which pays 8-1 plus a $50 bonus. But I had my eyes on the straight flush, and needed a 2 or 7 of hearts.

“Are you ready?” the dealer asked. We were all ready.

He quickly throws down the card…which was a 9 of hearts.

I still won $130 on the hand, but it was incredibly close to a huge payday. It was one of the most exciting gambling moments I’ve had in Vegas.

My stomach hates me: What’s the best way to eat on a budget in Vegas? Buffets of course.

We found an even better deal, though — pay $45 and get unlimited buffets at seven different casinos for 24 hours. Quite a deal.

In order to get the most for our money, Patty and I decided to have a late dinner Thursday, lunch on Friday and then an early dinner.

We had dinner Thursday at Planet Hollywood. Lunch was at Paris and the Friday dinner was at Cesar’s.

All three buffets were great, though Paris was easily my favorite. At one point, I had fruit crepes, cheese ravioli and duck on my plate. I love buffets.

If anyone goes to Vegas, I recommend getting that deal. We certainly got our money’s worth.

Enough with the coconut: So the redesigned Tropicana is quite nice. Clear, nice rooms and a bright and festive atmosphere in the casino.

One downside though, had to be the coconut smell. It wasn’t just a little scent — it was a strong aroma everywhere in the casino and the hotel. You could actually smell the coconut when you were approaching the door to the casino.

Needless to say, I won’t be in the mood for Pina Coladas any time soon.

Say what?: Overheard on the strip from a blonde girl, “I just now realized that New York, New York is in the shape of New York City.” Wow…what was your first clue — the Statue of Liberty in the front or the Empire State Building or the Brooklyn Bridge?

Awkward: Friday night as we were entering the Tropicana elevator to head down to the casino, I noticed a girl inside had a massive black eye. A fresh massive black eye.

I did my best not to stare, looking straight at the door while we were going down. She was talking to someone else in the elevator — “He broke his phone, too,” she said.

I turned slightly, and she looked at me with this pained looked, so I quickly turned away again. Then I started noticing who else was in the elevator. Security, security, security.

At this point it was easy to figure out what was going on. Well, easy for everyone but Patty, who didn’t notice the whole situation until I talked to him about it when we left the elevator.

I feel bad for the girl, but at least security was there to help her out.

New fun in Vegas: Patty and I did a couple of new things in Vegas.

On Friday night, we decided to go see the Cirque de Soleil show at the MGM Grand, KA. I had seen a CdS show my last visit to Vegas, but I had heard KA was the best.

Sadly, it was very disappointing. There were a couple of cool moments, but the story wasn’t very good and there wasn’t enough sword fighting like the advertisements make it seem. Still glad we went, but wasn’t what we were expecting.

We also did some go-kart racing, thanks to a coupon we bought on Groupon last month. We had three races for $20 (a $60 value).

The go-karts were pretty fun. You dress in a tracksuit and helmet, because they can go up to 50 mph.

I sucked in the first race, but nearly beat Patty in the second one. In the third race, I was not to be denied. Patty passed me briefly, but on the next turn, I cut to the inside and bumped him into the side, causing a three-car jam. You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

Also on the docket was a trip to Imperial Palace’s exotic car collection and going to see “Limitless” at the movies.

Watch out for Cougars: We went to see Bon Jovi on Saturday, and of course, they were awesome as always. It was an interesting set list, clearly focused on playing the older hits and not much of the new stuff. Figured that was because it was directed for a middle-aged crowd in Vegas.

When we were leaving, Patty and I were talking about the set list.

“Well let’s be honest,” Patty said. “Bon Jovi started a little bit before our generation. I mean, I was five and you were two when the first song came out.”

This prompted the two cougars in front of us to turn around.

“Watch it now,” one of them said to Patty.

Patty tried to scramble and play it off, but the damage was already done. I guess these were two cougars that had no interest in us any more. Haha.

Stupid Kentucky: I made seven parlay bets for the tournament. Kentucky killed five of them. On Thursday I had Kentucky -13.5 against Princeton. On Saturday I took West Virginia +3.5 over UK. Ugg…

Hit your damn free throws: Friday I had a five-team parlay that would have won me $80. I ended up losing. Why? Because Arizona couldn’t hit a free throw with 0.1 seconds remaining to cover against Memphis. Seriously, that bastard needed to just hit 1 of 2 free throws and he couldn’t do it! That one point was the only thing I got wrong on the parlay. Ugg…

I suck at sports better: As you can guess, I didn’t do very well on the tournament games. I’d hit about three or four a day, but I definitely finished down in the sports book. I suck at sports betting.

I’ve created a monster: On the last night of Vegas I decided to hit the craps table. Patty had never played and was curious to learn.

Three hours later, Patty is throwing $5 on each of the hard ways and playing all the numbers. Something tells me Patty will be skipping roulette for the craps table next time.

Here are some pictures from the trip.

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Bear Down and Keep the Faith!


About Joshua Buckley

I used to be a Sports Editor. Now I'm the Media Relations Manager at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.


One thought on “Vegas vacation: (Mini) Cosa Nostra style

  1. What did that slot machine mean by END2END??

    Posted by southernmaninindy | March 24, 2011, 12:38 pm

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