Took my son and his college roommate to Vegas for my son's 21st birthday. His roommate is also 21. First time to Vegas for both of them. We stayed at the Flamingo which is where I usually stay due to its relatively inexpensive price and central strip location. Checked in at the airport so we were able to go straight to our room and dump our luggage immediately upon arrival at the hotel. I'd recommend that approach if the hotel check-in at the airport doesn't have much of a line.
The boys spent most of the first day wandering the strip, checking out the various properties. I bought them 3 day passes on the monorail so they could go from the Sahara at one end to the MGM at the other end and back with no problem. My poker the first day was played at the Flamingo and TI.
TI was a nice room and had $2/hour comps. They got me a players card while I was seated at the table. They have the same technology as the poker room at MGM Grand where they can swipe your card and track play right at the poker table. Played here for a couple hours with generally loose passive 2/4 limit players. Nice folks. Slow cocktail service when I was there.
Got the boys to play their first brick and mortar poker at the Flamingo late the first night. Made sure the 3 of us were seated at different tables so we were taking money from others (or giving it to others). We finally gave it up after being up over 24 straight hours from the time we left.
I played at the Flamingo and Monte Carlo on day/night two. The Flamingo room is much improved. It is busier, they have an electronic players list, the have an "aces cracked" $50 pay-out on Wednesdays, and the changed their high hand approach to immediate payouts for specific hands up to $599. The 2/4 players are typically very friendly, very loose, and passive. If you have time and discipline you will make money. Often 6 or 7 people see the flop. A couple people at my table would see every flop. You will get sucked out on due to so many people seeing the flop and sticking around if the flop hits them at all. Your raises need to be primarily for value because you typically won't make anyone fold. Enjoyed playing with a woman having her "39th birthday" again (she played any hand with a 5 in it because it was lucky), a couple from Indiana that plays enough at Harrah's properties to get comped free rooms, and a gentleman from Wales. Monte Carlo is a good, old-school poker room. Even at $2/$4, the play is not as loose as what I saw at TI or the Flamingo. More like "real" poker even at low limits.
The boys went to the Stratosphere on day/night two. Went to the top and did those crazy rides that hang you out over the edge, 900 feet in the air. Guess you are young and immortal at 21! They also went to the show, "Bite", that evening. Described it as a classic show set to great classic rock music. Of course, it didn't hurt that the women in the show are topless...which is also why the boys purchased front row seats. But they really went for the music, singing, and dancing. And I'm sure they buy Playboy for the articles! They also went over to the Bellagio frequently to see how was playing in Bobby's room. We did see Johnny Chan one night. Thought we might have seen Huck Seed as well. I took the boys to the Shadow Bar at Ceasars as well. They enjoyed watching the women dance behind the screens and the $10 drinks. They realized it was better to drink "free" while playing poker or making a sports bet if I wasn't buying. We also walked through the Ceasar poker room. It looks like they've made a few changes to make it feel a little more intimate vs. looking like a bunch of tables inside a big conference/meeting room.
On day/night 3 (I think...time really has no meaning in Vegas other than catching your flight out), we bet on the Iowa Hawkeyes against Michigan State at the Flamingo Sports Book and watched the game while eating pizza and having a drink or two. We each won our bets (except the over/under) and enjoyed the game. Back to the Flamingo poker tables after that for my son and me. I cashed it in at 3:00 a.m. My son stayed up all night playing. I think I created a monster!
By the end of the trip, I'd lost $62 playing many hours of $2/$4 limit, my son's friend had lost $7 playing $2/$4, and my son won $219 playing $2/$4. The good news is, I staked my son to $200 in poker money before the trip. The deal was he could keep any winnings but I got my stake back (or anything left of it) at the end of the trip. So he was happy with his $219, I was happy getting my $200 back. It was a great trip and I'd recommend any parent taking their son or daughter when they turn 21. It was fun bonding over poker and Vegas. My son wants to know when we are going again........and whether Spring Break would be too soon!