Today was the day I switched hotels from The Linq to Aria. Aria is one of my favorite hotels in the world because of the employees — aside from one croupier tip hustling years ago, all of the dealers here know me by name, smiling and genuinely happy to see me — even when I have not been back here for a year.
I toured through the casino today catching up with all the dealers and pit personnel I had not seen in quite some time.
After that, I began my comeback attempt.
As the trip had not been going well, I decided to play a $50 game rather than a black chip game. To my surprise, in the year since I had last visited the Aria, the following changes had taken place (as regards blackjack rules):
All games $25/min. and below now paid 6/5 for a natural and the dealers hit soft 17;
All $50/min. games paid 3/2 for a natural but now the dealers hit soft 17;
Black chip games and above remained 3/2 for a natural and stand soft 17.
Sitting down, I played with a woman who was also trying to make her way back to even — although she was down only about half of what I was. We both made a nice run in the shoe that I played and I was able to walk away with $325. The trip was now -9175.
I took a break and a nap in the room before heading back to play some more.
Nothing to write home about other than taking in another $300. The trip was now -8875.
I took a dinner break and headed to one of my favorite restaurants at Aria, Lemongrass – where I had the sesame chicken and sticky rice – YUMMY!
Thereafter, I headed straight to another table and, within ½ a shoe, had regained another 475, bringing the trip to -8400.
I decided that getting back towards even would be the grind of the century – sure, based on these mini-wins, had I shipped the chips in, I would have been even already but, I am taking the approach of slow and steady wins the race.
After schmoozing with some other dealers I had not seen in a year, I sat down again to a $50 game and picked up another 400, bringing my trip to now -8k
Before heading up to the room for the night, I sat down for one more shoe, wherein I won 300.
At this point, the trip is -7700 with two full days left to go.
I did not take any photos today and there were really no hands to write home about but, I am thinking positively and moving towards even.