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Well, after getting back from Crazy Horse Too at 6 in the morning, we slept until 1 PM. For lunch, we decided to check out the Sherwood Forest Cafe in Excalibur.

The Sherwood Forest Cafe is open 24 hours, and basically serves Denny's-style food at twice the price of a regular Denny's. The service was also remarkably like Denny's, too - curt and inattentive. The food was fine. This place is certainly worth missing in the future.

From Excalibur, we took the tram to Mandalay Bay, as we wanted to check out the Poker room there. Mandalay Bay is also pretty nicely decorated on the interior, with something of a Caribbean theme, I guess. Their Poker room was also fairly small - 8 or 12 tables, I can't remember - but they claimed to spread limits up to $10-$20. On Wednesday afternoon, they only had a $1-$5 Stud and a (surprise!) $1-$4-$8-$8 Hold'em game going. My guess is that they only get a $10-$20 game going on weekend nights. Their Poker tables were certainly nice, though. We decided to take a cab to The Mirage to play.

I got a seat almost immediately in the $10-$20 Hold'em game at The Mirage. This game was pretty soft; everybody there was pretty much a bad player. One of the guys playing was from Tucson, and another player there also played in Phoenix quite a bit; it seems this week must have been Arizona's week to play in Vegas or something.

As an amazing coincidence, one of the other players in this game, who is a resident of Las Vegas, would be in my $10-$20 Hold'em game at Casino Arizona on Friday night! When we talked on Friday night, he said that he had just driven down to Phoenix for the weekend, and decided to play a little Poker while he was there. He was at the wrong table, though - besides me, there were two pros at the table, with whom I regularly play. I thought that was an amusing turnabout, that a tourist from Las Vegas should get eaten up by the sharks at the Phoenix Poker tables. Maybe a cab driver should have warned him.

After 4 1/2 hours, I left the table with a profit of $391. We finally got a tight, aggressive player at the table at around 7 PM. Also, around 6 PM or so, I got a treat - Mason Malmuth walked into the room, and took a seat at the $20-$40 Hold'em game next to ours. I didn't want to disturb him, as he was playing, and he was involved in a conversation with someone else as well. It was still nice to know that he exists as a real person, however. :-) (Mason Malmuth is a well-respected author on gambling theory and Poker.)

Anyway, one thing about this tight, aggressive player is that it was easy to spot him right off the bat. Part of the giveaway was the pen and notepad sticking out from his shirt pocket. He might as well have had a neon sign above his head. Plus, his buddy was the one talking with Mason Malmuth. Of course, I know who Mason is, but I'm not about to ADVERTISE that fact to the rest of the cardroom. Sheesh.

We were getting hungry around 7:30, so we took a cab back to Excalibur. The plan was to change clothes, eat sushi at Hamada of Japan in the Luxor, and then check out the Ra night club (also in the Luxor). I was feeling pretty fatigued, and ready to go home at this point, so I just wanted to kick back and relax. I was feeling too tired to play any more Poker. We decided we would just play it by ear after sushi.

Hamada of Japan is an excellent sushi bar in the Luxor. It is pricey, though - total bill for both of us was about $100. Then again, I can eat a lot of sushi. :-)

The Ra opened at 9, but we could see from outside that it was dead. Plus, cover charge was $15. Since we weren't even planning on being there for an hour, we decided we'd just wait until our next trip to visit Ra. My roommate wanted to play some more Craps, so we decided to head back downtown to the Las Vegas Club.

I might as well mention the Luxor's Poker room, which is eight tables, and spreads (surprise!) $1-$5 Stud and $1-$4-$8 Hold'em. They made a point to distinguish between $1-$4-$8 Hold'em, and $1-$4-$8-$8 Hold'em. Does anyone know if there is a difference between these two games? I didn't think to ask. Not like I'm inclined to play any more spread-limit Hold'em, but I am curious.

The cab ride to the Las Vegas Club was the most enjoyable of all our cab rides. Our driver, Tony, was a trip; he gave us the skinny on the Chicken Ranch. In case you're interested, the cab ride to and from is $240, round-trip, regardless of how many people are going. You first head back to the station to drop off your deposit and so the driver can get a jack and some supplies, and then you head on out there. Tony said it was a 45-minute drive, and that he'd buy us beer on the way. :-) Tony recommended taking $300 in addition to the cab fare in order to assure yourself of a good time. See, these are good things to know!

In case you're wondering, no, we didn't go that night. But we did get his card in case we were so inclined on our next trip.

The Craps table at the Club was just as friendly as the previous night, with most of the same crew working. I actually bet with the table this time, making Pass Line and Come Bets. The table was pretty good, and I left with a profit of $175. My roommate had another exceptional session, and he left with a $900 profit.

To top the evening off, we decided to check out one of the other topless clubs in Vegas - Olympic Garden. The only place I had ever been in Vegas was Crazy Horse Too, and I was looking forward to comparing them. Plus, my roommate had heard that Olympic Garden took in the most revenue of all the clubs in Vegas.

Well, he must have heard wrong. There is no comparison between Olympic Garden and Crazy Horse Too. Olympic Garden was just like the bigger topless clubs in every other city. I mean, it was OK - there's just no way it can even come close to Crazy Horse Too. Cover charge was $20, which included two drink coupons worth $5 each. I'd just recommend going to CH2 instead. We didn't even get any dances there, just used our two drink coupons and went back to Excalibur.

After a brief stop at Krispy Kreme in Excalibur I went back to the room and crashed.

Thursday morning we got up around 10 AM. We had a plane to catch at 12:30 PM, but we had enough time to grab some lunch. We still had a coupon left, this one for the WCW Nitro Grill - but we hadn't seen it the entire time in Excalibur. After asking around, we learned that the enormously successful (or not) WCW Nitro Grill had been taken out of Excalibur a couple months prior. I guess they had already had the coupon books printed when it had happened.

So, in the interests of our time remaining, we hit the McDonalds in Excalibur's food court, which was priced remarkably like the other McDonalds in the country. A quick scoop of ice cream at the Cold Stone Creamery (also in the food court), and then we dropped our keys in the express check-out booth and left for the airport.

All in all, this trip was the best I've yet had in Vegas. I visited more new places than ever before, and had a blast at the Craps tables. I was curious about the lack of strong opposition at the Poker tables, too - there was only one tough player there in all four of my Vegas sessions. The rest of the field was pretty soft. Now, I don't know if that was just an anomaly, or whether I'd have to move up to $20-$40 in Vegas to encounter tougher players, but the $10-$20 game at Casino Arizona is generally significantly tougher than any of the games I played in Vegas. It may be that the tougher players play much more on the weekends - I don't know. I don't think so, since there were a number of locals in the games I was playing. It's just that the locals weren't all that good.

I plan on flying up there again in May or June, and if Excalibur's rates are the most reasonable, I'll probably stay there again. Three nights seemed to be a good duration for this trip, so I'll probably shoot for three nights again on the next trip. The next trip I'll probably plan for a weekend, so that I can again measure the level of competition, but this time during the typically best times to play. And next time, I'll wear some decent clothes to dinner. :-)

Hope you enjoyed the reports.

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