I left Friday evening for Vegas. Kyle K and Dana were on the same flight. We had a drink at the airport and a fun flight over to Sin City. Kent picked us up at the airport. He dropped off Kyle and Dana over at their hotel, and then we arrived at my hotel around 715. While checking in, it became apparent that my rouse to use my brother's VIP rates was not going to work. Basically, instead of pretending to be my brother this time around, I tried to check in as myself. This was not a good idea. Sean had assured me it was no problem, but having read the fine print of the special offer I really should have known better. The front desk agreed to let me check in for now.... so long as Sean arrived some time that night, otherwise I would be charged the full rate for the one night and my key would be de-activated the next day. Sigh, not a good start. I called Sean and he said that he would just have to find a way to get out to Vegas. "No way man," I said. "I will just pay for it and get another hotel tomorrow." He told me to sit tight while he made a few phone calls. He called back 15 minutes later to report that he spoke with a few people who know a few people and that the entire stay was now comped. How is that for awesome? The people at the front must have been pissed off something serious after the shenanigans I put them through...only to have the casino host come up to them 20 minutes later and tell them to comp the room for 4 nights! Thanks Sean.
Kent had to standby throughout the entire ordeal and had to be getting antsy. We were scheduled to go meet Matt S for dinner but decided to wait for Kevin P to arrive and we would all go eat together. After some bit of confusion with the elevators and the different towers, Kevin eventually found the room, and we all left for the Wynn. We found Matt, and then went off to the Cafe. The Cafe was very quiet and there was still another 30 minutes until closing, but the hostess told us that they were "fully committed" and had no available tables. We had no idea what that meant as it was clear that the place was 90% empty. Kent got frustrated with the hostess and after being told to sit on a bench and wait, I suggested that we simply leave. Kent, a Vegas local, said that this kind of thing is happening everywhere... prices rising, customer service totally absent, staff reductions to the point that businesses are running at such limited capacity that you can't get a table in an empty restaurant. Wow. Sign o' the times, I guess. Since the tension level had risen to unacceptable levels for what was supposed to be a fun time, we opted to just walk down the hall to the Deli, where I paid $17 for a BLT. Lol. I guess $1.99 prime rib dinners is a thing of the past!
After eating, we headed over to the Venetian to check out the tournament satellites for the next day and to play some cash poker. Kevin P left us to go to the MGM, his card room of choice. Matt, Kent and I stayed at the Venetian and played there. I played one satellite and busted out of the money and then sat in a cash game with Kent and grinded out a few bucks. On the way back to the hotel, we noticed that Kent's headlights weren't working. Rather than get pulled over, Kent crashed at the hotel with us. Sound exhausting? It hasn't even begun...
...more to come later.