I'm off to Las Vegas to spend the weekend with... my family. Yes, the dreaded family vacation. Oh well, it should be fun, considering that I haven't been to Vegas in years. I'm not a big gambler, but I like looking around and eating at all the buffets. Mmmm.

Anyway, while I'm gone go check out the *Best Of* archives and leave some comments. I'll be back sometime Sunday, I reckon.

I'm back! At no point, in the net or in the gross, for any individual game or overall, was I ahead by a single penny all weekend. Except blackjack, I suppose. Fortunately, I don't like gambling that much and I stuck with the low-stakes games and tables.

There's a really nifty new machine that they didn't have when I was in Vegas four years ago that lets you play 100 hands of draw poker at once. You get dealt a single hand, and then select which cards to hold. The other 99 hands start with your held cards, and then each gets filled in from its own deck. It's a fascinating game, and it illustrates perfectly just how much the odds are stacked against you. If the rate of return for the game is set at 99% per hand, you can lose money very quickly playing 100 hands at a time.

Meanwhile, there are new hotels. The old-new hotels (like Excalibur) are really starting to show their age, and the new ones seem much more uniform inside than I remember hotels being. Most of the casinos have the same exact games, and the decor isn't as interesting to me as it used to be.

We stayed for two nights, and by this morning I was really ready to head home. We hit a touch of traffic on the 15 by Barstow, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared.

Home again, home again, jiggety gig.



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