My eighth trip to Las Vegas was memorable because it was probably my luckiest trip to Vegas. I went with my sister Karen again and we stayed at the Flamingo. It was probably 1997.
The Flamingo was really nice in the late 90s. Much of the hotel had been renovated, the newer towers were finished and the pool area had just set a new standard for what swimming pools in Vegas should look like.
What I remember most about this trip was walking into the casino and getting dealt four nines at Caribbean Stud poker within my first hour of arriving. Then I won a couple hundred bucks on a dinosaur-themed dollar slot by lining up some Stegosauruses. I went to bed up about five-hundred dollars.
The next day I was playing a progressive quarter poker machine over by the Sports Book. My sister came down from the room and I told her that I had been playing for a long time and that I had doubled my twenty-bucks into forty. I offered her the chance to buy in with a twenty of her own. She did and immediately after we hit the progressive for $1700.
That was the first time I ever really hit a big jackpot in Vegas (big enough to have to pay taxes on the win, anyway). The rest of the trip was pretty lucky, too. We went into the Mirage and almost repeated the same thing on a dollar machine shortly afterward. The royal flush didn’t come up, but we won a few hundred dollars there, too. Barry Manilow was playing there that night.
I remember visiting the Forum Shops and buying a wallet at El Portal. The reason I can pinpoint the date on this trip was because Gucci was still a tacky, overpriced boutique that made me wonder what the hype was about.
All in all, it was a good trip. It was fun to actually win something and to feel as if the pressure was off for the rest of the trip. Budgets be damned!