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A long week! Or, a tale of two trip reports! 12/26 - 1/3

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by JaviSRK, Jan 5, 2011.

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  1. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12

    My Trip Report

    You can read my previous trip report in June here:
    http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56590

    Hotel Stays: Flamingo, Monte Carlo
    Casinos visited: A LOT OF THEM

    Background: The last Vegas trip left a bitter taste in my mouth, something that I haven't ever experienced before. A few friends flaked out, things didn't go according to plan, and just some weird things happening.

    So fast forward to early December - a friend (A) who flaked in June will now be joining me for the first three nights of the trip, and Wifey will join me for the last four. I'd figure that with my buddy, things will pretty much be on-the-go, and with my wife, things will be more relaxed.

    Sunday, 12/26:
    So after watching the Texans lose yet another heartbreaking game (do I even care anymore?), it was pretty much an uneventful flight from IAH to LAS. DirecTV was available on the flight, so time flew by nicely. As soon as we headed out to the Car Rental center, the Payless booth said that they had overbooked, and we would have to get our cars tomorrow. They would offer us a shuttle to our hotel, but I soon realized that would simply take too long. So we cabbed it from the Rental Center to the Flamingo. I told the cabbie to take the strip; $20 + tip. Check-in took about 20 mins. We wound up getting a room on the fourth floor at the Habitat towers, with a beautiful view of the air conditioning units. Ugh. But I don't really care - I'm here to gamble! After taking about 30 minutes to get ready, we head out to the Bellagio at about 11pm.

    Gambling:
    'A' is a big poker fiend, so the first place we head out to is the Poker room. Line is about 8/9 people long, so I take him to the Conservatory while he waits. The Christmas theme was still up, so he took his pictures, I took a few, and we head back. I buy in for $200 in 1/2 no limit (NL), I bring up my stack to $250, then I get absolutely crushed when I run my AA into quad 10s. I have $100 left from that loss, but then I slowly grind that away into nothing. 'A' is still playing, so I decide to head off to the craps table.

    Six tables are running at about 2am. I pick a $10 table. 1st set of rolls, I don't see much. Then the dice goes to a shooter next to me, I put $2 on Yo. Yo! I get my $30, but then I decide to bump my bet to $5. Yo! Holy crap! I bump it to $10. Guy says to me, "You want me to hit Yo? I'll hit it again just for you." Yo!

    "Pay my next $150!" I was awestruck, while everyone on the table celebrated. I've never made that much on a yo bet before, wow. So I play for 30 minutes longer, and cashed +$275. Head back to the poker room, I played at the same table 'A' played, and grinded out a +$50 win there until 4am. I told A that I needed to get some shuteye, as I had a 9am massage appointment at Qua, plus I had to pick up the car afterwards. We finally get back to the Flamingo at 5am, and decided to get a couple of hours of shuteye.


    Monday, 12/27:
    Well, those 2-3 hours of sleep didn't go well; I basically tossed and turned. So we get up at 7am. We eat at the Tropical Breeze cafe, then I went upstairs, changed to workout clothes, and walked over to Caesar's while A went to play poker nearby. We decide to meet up later to hit the Planet Hollywood 2pm tourney, as it's cheap and a quick one.

    I had intended to have a good workout before my massage, but the way things went time-wise, I only gave myself about 25 minutes of a quick workout. The massage itself was pretty good, making good convo along the way. Feeling relaxed, I decided to hang out in the spa for another hour and dozed off for about 20 minutes. I then decide to call Payless to pick me up, they told me it would be an hour. Fine by me, I decide to pass by the poker room. Still a beautiful room, but only 2 tables running at noon. So sad. I decided to play a slot machine while I was waiting. Nothing much ($-16) goes on, and off I am to get the car. I find out that there is a waiting list (!) to get the car, so I wind up waiting another hour while getting the car. 10% discount off my rate, but I'm still a bit miffed. But still relaxed physically!


    Gambling:
    So we get to Planet Hollywood at about 2pm. Regular valet was open to only Diamond and 7 star members, so we head out to the Miracle Mile Valet. No line there, so we take a quick walk from the valet to the casino. I quickly find the poker room, and it turns out that the 2pm tournament had already started. No problem, there are 2 seats available, 'A' and I each take a seat. My tournament run was short, as the blinds were already 400/800 or so with only 7000 chips. I get AQs, raise to 1600, I get reraised all in by a guy 2 seats to the left of me, I call. It's a coin flip as my AQ ran into 77 and didn't improve. $70 down the drain. Oh well, I quickly get into a new cash game that was wild and had a lot of action. 'A' winds up chopping the pot 5 ways, with him taking $150 during this time. I wound up making a modest $25 profit and played until 6pm, to head out to the Monte Carlo to buy tickets to see the Jabbawockeez.

    We get there, and the show sold out. Dammit! However, we were able to get tickets for the show on Tuesday at 9:30pm. So we wind up going...

    Food:
    To the Pub @ the Monte Carlo. For those who don't know, it's in the Street of Dreams, which is the walkway between MC and Aria and the CityCenter Tram. We each ordered a couple of Burgers, the Pub Burger and the Little Boy Blue. My burger was cooked Medium Well, with some Onion Rings that was pretty tasty. 'A' had the Pub, with a potato bun and fries. 'A' was really happy with his burger, and all at reasonable prices. Since we don't have a show to go to, we decide to head off to downtown.

    More Gambling:
    We end up at the Golden Nugget at 8pm or so. We took a quick tour of the Shark Tank, then 'A' signed up for some more poker while I decided to head out to Four Queens for some quick craps action. I played for about 30 minutes down about $10, then went back to the Nugget for poker for some 1/2NL. Big mistake. In a span of less than an hour, I lose $300. I run my AA into a set of Jacks, then lose my straight to a rivered flush. I lose my composure and told 'A' I had to leave. I did see the Duke of Fremont, and true to form, he did buy in for at least $5000 in 1/2nl, only to walk away 20 minutes later.

    I decide that we should head out to the Wynn to try our luck there playing 1/3nl. We wait about 20 minutes, I buy in for $300, and in a matter of an hour, I lose $150 with my 2 pair that was good on the turn, only to be sucked out by a higher two pair on the river. 'A' did much worse, losing $600 in 20 minutes. Now he wanted to go elsewhere. It was close to midnight at this point, so we head back to the Flamingo. I still had my workout bag, so I dropped it off at the room while 'A' went to play more poker. I head back down, and decided to play craps after a bit. I play for an hour, and won $100. I spend 30 minutes deciding what to do at this point. Do I play Blackjack or Roulette, or try to get my money back at poker? I decide poker. I buy in for 1/2NL @ $100, and over the course of 3 hours, I get drunk and have one hell of a variance ride, where I wind up being down $50. At 5am I decided to end my night, and I drunkenly stumble to my room, with 'A' still playing.

    More to come!
     
  2. Tuna

    Tuna High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    912
    Location:
    Chicago
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    I like it, lots of gambling. Give me more...
     
  3. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Here are some pics in the meantime:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,872
    Location:
    New York
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Tuna......Did you change your name recently?
     
  5. Tuna

    Tuna High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    912
    Location:
    Chicago
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    I did buddy (chwhtsox). I should probably start a thread informing everyone as you're the 4th person to say something :evillaugh
     
  6. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Tuesday, 12/28:
    I wake up at about 10AM, due to having a very slight two hours of sleep before waking up. 'A' and I discuss our poker downfall for a bit, before deciding on what to do. I need to hit up the bank to withdraw some money, so I figure we can talk a bit before going on to the next casino.

    Food:
    Near the bank on Flamingo, I notice a Baja Fresh near the bank. I originally wanted up to hit up Firefly, but this will do as I was really hungry at that time. The food was only ok. I'd compare it to an upgraded Taco Cabana (for those in Texas). We talked about our poker beats from the night before, and I reassured him that we have to play our best game and we would be alright. After that we decided to hit up MGM Grand.

    Gambling:
    We got the valet at MGM Grand, and took the long walk to the poker room. On the way, I showed 'A' the Sigma Derby game, and the Lion Habitat. 'A' was able to be seated right away, while I had to wait for a new table to open before I got seated at a 1/2NL Table. BTW, the 0.50/$1 NL game no longer runs for those who don't know.

    I played for a good 4 or 5 hours. I didn't drink any alcohol at this time because I was more cold than anything else, so I just got two hot teas. Very hot. I burned my tongue on the first one. I ran my stack up to $250, back down to $150, then cashed out at $185 because I ran card dead for the last hour. I then walked about a bit before deciding to sit down at a VP machine. I played 25c Double Bonus Poker , and about 20 mins in, I hit 4OAK. Sweet! I played it down to $60 then cashed out.

    Soon after, I sit down at a roulette table, hoping to get some nice hits, but alas, it wasn't to be and I lost $100. 8PM hit, and we're on our way back to Monte Carlo. Food was a quickie, we got Sbarro at the food court. Only ate a slice of pizza, I wasn't hungry at all.

    Entertainment:
    After eating, we decided to wait in line for the Jabbawockeez. While on the way there, I noticed a guy playing slots. A little backstory - since CET now allows pets in their hotels, we've been seeing our fair share of dogs in the casinos around Vegas. I've seen anything from Dachschunds to Rat Terriers to Alaskan Huskies. So

    back to this guy. He was playing slots with a cat on his lap. Before every spin, he would pet this cat and then hit the button. Upon a closer look, this guy was petting A STUFFED CAT. I kid you not! After some laughter abound, we finally enter the Monte Carlo theatre for the show.

    Keep in mind that I've never seen the Jabbawockeez up to this point, so I only know vaguely what to expect.

    We sat in the Balcony area, and in some preshow festivities, there was a Wockee (is that the correct term?) who interacted with the audience, getting some good laughter from the audience. The show itself was nice, lasting about 80 minutes. There was a Michael Jackson tribute, some old school hip-hop, a mini-parody of some of the other Vegas acts (Carrot Top , Blue Man Group, Cher, Elvis), a queen tribute, even a tribute to Singing In the Rain. A few audience interactions were also included. Most of their act comes from their dancing and their interactions with the stage (which was interactive to them) with their many costume changes. At the end of the show, all 12 Wockeez came out on stage and unmasked, bringing them a standing ovation. I'd say the performance was solid, but a bit rough. Their dancing is not quite in sync yet, but I'd imagine that will come in time.

    After that, 'A' wants to go back to Bellagio and play more poker. So we decide to take the CityCenter tram. Saves a bit of time, actually.


    More Gambling:
    I got a seat after about a 20 minute wait to play 1/2NL. I got to play in one of the tables in the back. There was this one guy at the table who was playing every hand imaginable. I swear he did not fold a hand from the time I sat down to the time he left. There was a guy three seats to the right of me who would call a lot, with trash hands and hitting his hands for 2 pairs or better and often. At the same time, the people at the table were complaining about a woman behind me who was being loud and abrasive. It takes a whole lot for me to be annoyed by someone, but this lady was ripping into the other players at her table on the regular, saying stuff like "I don't give a s*** about your $15 bet" and "Can you just shut the f*** up?". It was clear the lady was drunk, thought too highly of herself, and was not going to stop. And really getting on my nerves. At 2am, two things happened; 1) I've had about enough of this woman, 2) I realized the car was still at Monte Carlo.

    'A' was still playing at this point, so I told him I'm going to get the car and for him to just walk back to the Flamingo. So I took the tram back to Monte Carlo. By the time I reached the Valet, it was REALLY windy. Ugh. Got the car, went to the Flamingo, valet was full. Great. Parking Garage was full. Even better! I wound up parking behind O'Sheas. I think it took me a full hour to get back in the hotel. On the way back to the room I found a new Wheel of Fortune machine with two sets of reels. 6 coins max for both reels. Not much going here, I won $20 before heading up. 'A' joins me soon after, saying he busted out.

    Wednesday, 12/28:
    I wake up at 9am. It's 'A's' last day in Vegas. He needs to get dropped off at the airport at 6pm, and he wants to play poker before he goes. Before that, we decide to walk to Imperial Palace to visit Hase House a Go Go.

    Food:
    We got to the HHGG about 11am, and there were many people ahead of us. Wait time was about 30mins. I ordered the Hardwood smoked bacon, avocado, onion & swiss scramble and 'A' got the Tractor Driver combo with the pancake. My meal wasn't as huge as I thought it would be, but 'A's' pancake was.

    [​IMG]
    Wow, that was a huge pancake!

    Like I said, my meal wasn't big, but it was good. The potatoes are something else!

    After our meal, I picked up the car at O'Sheas, 'A' got his luggage, I picked him up, and we were off to the Venetian.

    Gambling:
    We got there at about 12:30pm and played 1/2NL with a new table. The scent is as strong as ever. We sat down next to each other initially, but 'A' eventually busted while I stayed until 5pm. The game started out a bit nitty at first, then the table loosened up as the alcohol kept flowing. I wanted to stay as I was coming up a bit in poker, but I wound up losing only $10 as I was the one with the car!

    I dropped him off at the airport, only for him to call me back and say his flight was delayed an hour. So I pick him back up and go eat. He wasn't around initially. I figure he saw me, and so I parked at the end. As soon as I went into 'P', an officer came up to me and says,

    "You need to move."
    I say, "Ok, but my buddy is right there. He's on his way."
    "No, you need to move."
    "Look, he's right there! (Even though he wasn't there yet)"
    "Oh, ok!"
    He starts pulling out his ticketbook. I then said, "OK, OK! I'll move."

    What a dick. So I have to go around yet again, and find my buddy.

    I pick him up with any further incident, and we wind up going to Winchell's pub near the Car Rental Center. Food was good. We wanted to watch the Rockets/Heat game that day, but they couldn't get the channel. WAT? No biggie. We finish up, and head back to drop him off. I go to the CVS on Paradise near the Hard Rock hotel, and then head back to the Flamingo. Even though the valet was full to Diamond members, I was able to park with much issue. I then head up to the room, take a shower, and chill for about an hour before I decide where to go.

    I decide to head to Aria, but I wanted to take a quick detour to the Cosmopolitan to see what it's all about. So I decide to hoof it. Bad mistake. It's cold, and it's windy outside. But soon enough, I get to the Cosmo after 10 minutes. It's a nice casino, the Chandelier Bar is impressive, but I don't feel the gambling vibe there yet, so I walk thru Crystals to Aria.

    More Gambling:
    Aria is packed at about 10:30pm, min limits on roulette was $15. Not sure about BJ. I head straight for the craps area, and find one nearest to the bar and cashier area. Mistake! I drop $150 in 30 minutes, the table was cold, cold, COLD. A bit disheartened, I head to the poker room. For those poker buffs, I did see Eli Elezra, Todd Brunson and Barry Greenstein in Ivey's room. I got a seat after 5 mins to play 1/3NL. I hit quad 8's one hand, and made a sick bluff on another hand. I play for about 3 hours, made $200+. It's almost 3am at this point, so I decide to hoof it back. I decide to tram it back this time to Bellagio, and go back to Flamingo.

    A nice little pic on the way back:
    [​IMG]

    I decide to play for a few bucks at the craps table @ Flamingo. It takes a while because there are 3 or 4 full craps tables. It is all for naught as I hit the table at the end of a hot roll and went cold. I suck up to losing $100, a decide to call it a night, because my wife arrives in Vegas at about 8:30am. So thus, ends part one of this trip report.

    Part two to come later!
     
  7. booker

    booker High-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    904
    Location:
    Washington State Coast
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    Keep 'em coming!

    Love your report, especially the poker stuff as I'm also a 1/2 player.
     
  8. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Ottawa Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17
    Really enjoying the TR. Keep it coming :cheers:

    Hope you're going to report some big wins :peace:
     
  9. TheDMan62

    TheDMan62 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    I'm liking the poker part also. Very good TR
     
  10. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Thursday, 12/30:
    I wake up at about 7AM, so I can pack and get ready to pick up my wife, who's due in at about 8:30am. Flamingo checkout had a few people in line, but was quick and easy to check out. I pick up wifey without incident, and off to the Hash House a Go Go once again. The Imperial Palace security team wouldn't let us in and told us to go to another parking lot, which the O'Shea's lot. We get there, and they wouldn't let us in either... until I showed them my room key from the Flamingo. They gave us a placard to hang on the rear view mirror, which was good for Dec 30-Jan 1 to park at any of their lots. Nice to have, just in case... But we walk from the lot to the IP. It's a cold one, and the wind is strong...

    Food:
    This time at HHaGG, there was no line. I guess it helped that it was only 9am. I ordered the Fresh Mushroom, artichoke hearts, sundried tomato and fresh spinach Hash, wifey ordered the one with Chorizo. While mine was good, it was a bit weird. It tasted just like dinner, and something just didn't sit well with me. Enjoyable breakfast, though. Wifey thoroughly enjoyed hers.

    After we ate, we then made our way to the Monte Carlo, where we would stay for the remainder of this trip. Check-in was quick and easy, and we had a room on the 10th floor facing west onto the freeway and a nice view of the mountains. However, we walked in, and the main doorstop was on the floor. Odd. Wifey didn't get much sleep, so she slept for three hours or so. I didn't get a lot of sleep either, so I slept in for a bit as well. After a while, we got up, and I wanted to take a shower. So I turn on the shower, and the water pressure was WAY to high. Enough to move the shower curtains on a constant basis, and almost enough to turn my skin red. I took a really quick shower, and told wifey. I then called maintenance to tell them what my problems were.

    Unforunately, I soon realized that I was cold, and my body was aching quite a bit. Uh oh... I laid down for a minute, wifey feels my head... I'm burning up. I have a fever. WAT? Sick in Vegas?!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! However, I am quite the champ when it comes to being sick. Although I am cold, and my whole body aches, I nut up and tell wifey we're going out. I take an Advil in hopes it will make me feel better.

    As we were getting unpacked, 20 minutes later, maintenance shows up! Two guys and a supervisor. I told them what the issues were, they fixed the issues quickly, doorstop got repaired, and I complimented them on their speed and responsiveness. That left a really nice impression on us. Soon enough, we got ready and went downstairs right quick to play a slot machine - the one where you can win a car. The car on display was a 2011 Audi A4 Quattro 2.0. Yum. After dumping $40 or so on the slots, we talk a little bit about the weather. Weather was already in the 30s at that point. Originally we bought tickets at the Bridge Bash at New York New York, but I am feeling feverish, and there were doubts if we could be out there that long for NYE. So we head to the coinceirge, I buy tickets for the party at the Pub ($110 for being so last minute), and I cancel my NYNY tix while waiting for our car. Soon enough, we were off to downtown for some eats! We take Frank Sinatra Blvd, into Industrial, then a side street onto Main. I was surprised on how quick that was - I need to take that way to downtown again! We get to downtown about 7pm or so and valet at the Plaza. Obviously, the hotel had closed and there were some slots still operating. A lot more than I thought would be. The sportsbook was open, but nobody was really there, and there were a few people playing the slots. A huge section of the casino was boarded off. From what it looks like, it used to be where the pit games used to be. However, there were signs everywhere saying that they would be going through a $30mil renovation (with some pics of the Fountainbleu furniture) and things will be great and stuff. We walk around for a bit. I buy a beer, she gets some wine, and soon enough, it's almost time to eat.

    More Food:
    I made my reservation at 8pm at Firefly @ the Plaza. While the casino is relatively dead, the restaurant is not. (As I type this, I heard it closed while renovations continue at the Plaza) We get promptly seated, with a great view of the Freemont Street Experience.

    [​IMG]

    This being our second time at Firefly (first time was at the Paradise location), we knew what everything was about, so we ordered:
    A pitcher of Sangria
    Empanada
    Albondigas (meatballs in tomato sauce)
    Merguez (spicy lamb sausage)
    Roasted Eggplant Cannelloni
    Patatas bravas (roasted red potatoes)
    Chocolate Cherry bread pudding

    While the Sangria was only ok, the others were excellent, even in my fevered condition. Probably the best meal all trip for me. We were there for about an hour and a half, we decided to do our gambling in downtown so we didn't have to come back later in the week.


    Gambling:
    While it was still cold, the food warmed us up quite a bit. Wifey was feeling like playing some roulette, so we hopped all the casinos in order to find a wheel that she liked. It took awhile, but we finally decided on playing at Binions on $5 roulette. Place was busy, as you would expect to see on Dec 30. Wifey loses 60, I lose 40 after about an hour. We tried to go to the Golden Gate to play some roulette there, but as some of you know, there's only one table there and was packed. It's a nice atmosphere; it was my first time there and I wouldn't mind going back to play. We decided to go back to the MC, she went back to the slot machines with the car on top, I played craps and lost $150. About 1am, I've had about enough so we go upstairs. Luckily, my fever broke in the middle of the night and I got some meaningful rest.

    Friday, 12/31 - New Year's Eve:
    We wake up at about 10am. I was happy from that extra sleep from when the fever broke; wifey was happy that she finally got a good night's sleep. Wifey needs some stuff from Ross and CVS, so we walk to the front of MC, I was pleasantly surprised that it was RIGHT THERE across the street. A lot closer than I thought. We do the shopping we need, drop off the stuff, and eat at the Dragon Noodle Co.

    Food:
    Dragon Noodle Co. is a restaurant that is the 2nd closest to Las Vegas Blvd. on the property. Typical asian fare, they do advertise house-made dim sum. We had the Soup Noodles with Pork (wifey had beef) with Wontons in it. Nothing really special, it was good and it hit the spot.

    We then take the tram to the Bellagio - Wifey is interested in seeing the Gallery of Fine Art due to her recent classes, so that's our next destination. We spend an hour there. Personally, I don't like going to stuff like this - especially in Vegas. But I'm here to make wifey happy...

    After our little tour, we go back to Monte Carlo for some gambling.

    Gambling:
    One of the wifey's favorite slot machines is called All That Glitters. It's a 5 reel nickel machine that has cascading reels. That means if there is a win, the winning tiles explode, and more tiles come from the top, filling in the gaps (basically). On the way back to MC, I told here that there was a All That Glitters 2 machine available, and she should play it soon. But she wanted a chance to win the car, so we went to the circle of slot machines and drop 25-50 each. I then head out to play some craps. I lose $150 slowly. No real good rolls worth mentioning here.

    Feeling the pain a bit, I finally convince wifey to play. But I go first. I play for about 10 minutes, I lose $10. I then let her play. She wins $60 in a matter of minutes. She's up and down for the next 1/2 hour. It's 6pm at this point, then we decide to go back up to the room to relax for a bit, then get ready to hit the Pub for the NYE party.

    Entertainment:
    Before we hit The Pub, I take a quick tour around the casino. Tables are packed, $15 minimums galore, and people are dressed up. A good sign. We then head out to the Pub. Short line - we get there shortly before 9pm. The all-you-can-drink concept they have is an interesting one - You order your liquor at the mini bar. You have a choice between whiskey, regular or flavored rums, jager, and vodka. After they pour your request - the liquor is really generous - you then go to a station that's full of mixers. If you're only into beer, then they had Bud, BudLight, Coors, Amstel Light, Heineken, Corona available. I have to say, it's a quick way to serve lots of customers in a short amount of time. In addition, The Pub offers complimentary appetizers, and to tell you the truth, this was really our dinner. They served sliders, chicken satay, a spicy sausage with some cheese on it, Louisiana crab cakes, a slice of bacon with arugula and cheese on it, and some flatbread with mushrooms. I have to say, it was all delicious.

    There were at least 300 people in there. It wasn't terribly packed as I imagine most people braved the cold. But it was a nice sized crowd, there was a DJ, and a live female band doing cover songs. At 11:30 they allowed people to go outside. Outside meant a nice sized chunk of the Monte Carlo pool area, which had a great view of Aria. Which is good, since Aria was one of the casinos that had fireworks. The countdown was shaky, but who cares? Everyone had a buzz and was having a good time. Shortly thereafter, we went out to the casino floor, and sure enough, the place was packed. Craps tables were full, slot machines are taken up in a lot of places, $15 roulette.

    We tried waiting for some roulette, but no go after 30 mins. So about 1am, we called it quits and went up to the room.

    Part three to come later!
     
  11. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Ottawa Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17
    Still enjoying the TR!

    You had great seats at Firefly. We really enjoyed the food when we ate there in November, but I agree the Sangria wasn't as good as the reports I had read. I can also vouch for the fact that being sick in Vegas sucks:grrr: Good job toughing it out though.

    Looking forward to more installments:peace:
     
  12. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Saturday, 1/1/11:
    We wake up at 10AM. Hungover? Nope. Feeling good? Sure! Hungry? Definitely! But first, some gambool!

    Gambling:
    While my wife is getting ready, I told her I was going to play some craps for a bit. So I go downstairs with the same clothes I had on last night, play for 30 minutes, lose $150. Jeez. My gambling sucks. Wifey comes down, we discuss what to eat.

    Food:
    We knew it was cold, and we knew we didn't want to go outside for long, so we decided to hit the Cafe that the Monte Carlo has. We wait in line for about 20 minutes, then we get seated. It takes 10 minutes to get our drink order taken, then another 30 minutes to get our food brought to us. We both had the Italian omelet. It was actually good, but it was blunted by the slow service that we were given. By far the worst meal of our trip. Monte Carlo, tsk, tsk!

    More Gambling:
    After we ate, we then made our way to Aria. Did I ever tell you guys that I love the way this casino smells? Wifey wanted dessert, so we go straight to Jean Philippe Patisserie. Wifey orders a Waffle Cone with Banana and Coconut gelato on it. I do have a taste of the dessert, and let me tell you, it is GOOD. We always love going here (or the one @ Bellagio) and we are never disappointed. We walk around looking for All That Glitters 2 (ATG2 now) in Aria, couldn't find one. We did find another machine that had 2 sets of reels / 6 coin in, so I played that for a short bit, then we decided to look around for roulette. I wasn't terribly interested at this point, so I decided to look at the craps tables. Lots of tables were hopping at about 2pm. About 4 $15 tables, 3 $25 tables, and a $100 table were all running. I put down on a $15 table and played while Wifey found a roulette table nearby. Lucky me, I hit a table right when it got cold. -$250. Wifey walked away with $2.

    So we head out to the Elements store to try to find the Aria scent sticks. We do find them, but it's not really the same scent. It's missing that citrus twinge, and the employees admit as much. Wifey and I speculate that the hidden ingredient may be lemongrass. Hrm, something to ponder. We go back to Monte Carlo, we drop $40 on the Audi machines, then gamble a bit on random machines for a bit. We hit up ATG2 again. I lose $10, wifey wins $120. I think we love this slot machine.

    We go up to the room, as I wanted to take a shower and change, and wifey wants to do a bit of R&R. It's at this time we finally decide to go to the Cosmopolitan. We decide to eat at Estiatorio Milos, since we never eat Greek while in Vegas. So we take the walk thru the Street of Dreams, to Aria, to Crystals, to the 2nd floor of the Cosmopolitan. Not a bad walk, especially when it's 30-something degrees outside. I promptly sign up for an Identity card, since it's now known that every thing you do in Cosmo earns points. As expected, the casino is beautiful, it is packed full of people EVERYWHERE. Casino is full. 2nd floor is busy. We got there at about 9pm, Marquee was (about) to open and there was a long, LONG line full of people. We finally get to the 3rd floor, where the nice restaurants are. I did see people lounge around everywhere, and did see the pool table that everyone was playing.

    More Food:
    We find Estiatorio Milos, look at the menu outside, and was immediately disappointed. The menu was mostly seafood. While I like seafood, Wifey doesn't like fish. And the non-seafood entrees were limited at best. Dammit. So off we look at the other restaurants. STK? Nah, don't want steak. Sushi? bleh. Jaleo? Interesting. One of the tables was an actual foosball table. But we didn't want to spoil Firefly's allure, so we skipped that. Comme Ca? Nope. Scarpetta? Nah, no italian. This is disappointing. We take a little detour to the fourth floor, as we saw a sign for the Overlook Grill. Grill was closed. But we did enter the pool area. A beautiful place. We did take pictures, that will come later.

    So down we go back to the second floor. We checked out China Poblano. An interesting concept where you can order Chinese and Mexican food from two different stations. We decide against this because there's better Mexican food to be had at home, and Chinese/asian food we had the day before.

    So we settle for Holstein's. Even though the second floor was packed, we were seated within minutes. They had a nice selection of draft beers available - we went with Shiner Bock(from Texas). Wifey ordered the Gold Standard - which was a burger with thick-cut bacon, and other stuff I can't remember. I had The Longhorn - a burger topped with cole slaw and Thinly sliced brisket and BBQ sauce with Steak Fries. The burger was really good. The brisket did not overpower, but enhanced the taste of the burger in a nice way. Fries were nice. Only thing that irked me was this. Early on in the meal, a guy comes over and says, "Compliments of the chef..." and gives us popcorn. Popcorn, really? I had to laugh at this. It was nothing special, but the though counts? I laugh some more. Prices were in line to what other joints were. In relation to The Pub back at Monte Carlo, the burgers were about $1-2 more.

    Even More Gambling:
    So the burgers were good, we decide to head down and check out if we can gamble some. All the craps tables were either $25 or $100 min. Pass. Roulette tables were $25 mins. Pass. Blackjack, I could not find a table that was below $50 min. Pass. Hey, the casino was still packed, and people were playing. What could I do? We did find a ATG2 machine near the front entrance of the casino. Lost $30, walked around some more. Found another set of ATG2 machines, but they were being hogged by

    some drunk ladies who didn't wanna move. Not going to push the issue, so we found a bank of I Love Lucy machines that basically played the same. Dropped $20, had to

    leave when the lounge act @ the Book And Stage lounge started to ramble incoherently, enough to the point where it became annoying. Ugh. See you Cosmo!

    We went back to Aria. We tried to find some roulette tables, but in the middle of searching, the $15 tables went up to $25. This was at about 10:30pm. Same went for the craps tables. So back to Monte Carlo! I told wifey it's time for some craps. She walks elsewhere, presumably to play the Audi machines, I start playing and drinking. Later wifey comes back, she loses $40 at the Audi machines but wins $100 or so at the ATG2 machine. As for me, I am lucky to lose only $50 or so. We go up
    to the room at 1am. I'm feeling a bit dejected at this point; I can't seem to win anywhere lately.


    Sunday, 1/2/11
    I wake up at about 9am. It's the last day of the NFL Regular season, so I wake up to watch some pregame activities. I drift in and out of sleep at this point, something that continues through the 1st half of the first slate of NFL games. I finally get up, shower, and tell wife I'm going to bet on the Texans game and watch.

    Texans, -3? Vs the Jags who don't have Garrard AND MJD? EZ MONIES!

    So...

    Gambling:
    It's about 30mins still the game starts. I place my bet, lose $20 at ATG2, then wander to the craps table. There's a spot open? I'll take it! I got in at a good time. Had a virgin roller who hit 4 points, and then another person who hit another four. Table was up and down after that... I play for an hour, leave +$150. Score. At this time I completely forgot about the game. I run back to the sportsbook, wifey calls, she's at The Pub, so I head there.

    Food: I again eat at the Pub. It's a nice location to watch the NFL games. We order burgers, they are good, we drink beer while the Texans win and easily cover. So I cash my ticket, then we head out and decide it's time to hit up MGM Grand.

    Gambling:
    As usual, MGM Grand is one of the busiest places in all Vegas. We look at the roulette tables. Wifey is picky on what tables she wants to play. Even though roulette is random, she likes to look at patterns. No luck so far. The next thing we do is try and find some ATG2 machines. We find a bank of them near the Ka ticket counter. Wifey goes first and loses $30. I then put in $20. In 30 mins I cash out +$150. Holy crap! Am I really up so far? We then take another tour of the roulette tables, we finally found one and started playing. We play with 3 other guys from Israel - they are dumping $100s left and right, wifey buys in for $60, me for $80. I get a few drinks in me, I lose only for after over an hour and decide to hit the craps tables. Wifey is still up, so she stays behind. I then play for an hour or so, lose $50. Wifey loses $40, we decide to leave. I'm still up on MGM Grand this day, so I'm happy.

    We go to Mandalay Bay, and try to figure out a place to eat. We wind up in Luxor, eat at this place called Tacos & Tequila. I know, I said I don't eat Mexican while in Vegas. We're starving at this point, and just gave up. Food was ok. Salsa was good. I've had better in Texas.

    We go back to MB, we ask a slot attendant if there are any I love Lucy machines. Where those are, ATG2 is not far behind. No luck, so I decide to play craps while

    Wifey sits at a slot machine nearby. Again, I come in at a good time. The table was lively, drinks were being passed abound, and most importantly, money was being made. I've had a bad couple of years of shooting lately, but I come in and hit 3 points myself. After about 90 mins, I walk away with $+170 or so. A good time to leave, as I felt the table's hot streak was coming to a close.

    After my win, we go back to Monte Carlo to play some more ATG2. Somebody was already there, so we decided to skip that and turn in, as this was our last night.

    Monday, 1/3/11
    We are up at 9am to get ready and pack. We are checked out by 11AM, but we don't have to be back at the Rental Center until 3pm. So we check in our luggage at the Bell Hop, we play ATG2 for a minute, we lose $40 quickly. Ugh. We decide to hoof it toward Planet Hollywood, maybe for some gamble and some eats. On the way there, we did see Pink's Hot Dogs and decided we'll eat there, since we've heard so much about it on TV. It's funny how they have a front entrance, but not one that leads from the casino itself. Wifey orders the Nacho Cheese Dog, I order the Strip Dog. They were good. We look for some ATG2 machines - no go, so I suggest we go back to the Cosmopolitan.

    Not as many people there, but the place was still a bit lively. We find the ATG2 machines that were occupied by the drunk slores on Saturday night, and wifey goes first. She loses $20. I put in my $20. 10 minutes later, I cash out $110 richer. Nice! I then wanted to hit the craps table, and it's a good thing I did. I entered at the beginning of a roll where this one guy hit 6 points, I kid you not. I started off slow, but by the time he sevened out, I had hundreds of dollars on the table. In the middle of this, wifey went to Holsteins and ordered one of their alcoholic shakes. I couldn't tell you what it was, but it was really good, and the alcohol was slight but definitely present. There were a few nice rolls in an hour, but I walked away with $125. I gave $20 to wifey for the food, we walk to Aria. It's about 2pm at this point, so she hits up a $10 min roulette table, I finally decide to play $10 BJ. I know nothing about the percentages off-hand, but I find a table that's a continuous shuffle, but pays 3/2 BJ and must hit on soft 17. Wifey busts, and I make $100 in 20 mins.

    After that, it was off to the Rental Car, then back to the airport for an uneventful flight back to Houston.
     
  13. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Odds and Ends:
    Overall - Like I said, this felt like 2 trips. The first half was "F*** sleep, LET'S GO PLAY POKER OMG". Little sleep, a bit more hectic, more gambling. The second half was more relaxed and exactly attuned to my wife's ideal experience in Vegas. While it was nice, the gambling felt a little more sparse. I definitely prefer the 1st half, although the pace of the 2nd half allowed me to stomach 8 nights nicely.

    Poker - ugh, First trip in a while where I didn't well at all in poker. I just ran into some bad hands, and others were suckouts. By Tuesday, I refused to let it get to me and I played a lot more stable, which probably resulted in a decent win at Aria on the last night. A weird observation at Wynn, however. It seems that the players are more apt to put more money on their draws and their supposed made hands than anywhere else. It's almost like they don't care about losing money, because there's a lot more of where that came from.

    My buddy started off well, up $400 at one point and chopping a donkament. But then when we went to the Wynn, he started running really bad. He wound up being down about $1000 before he left. But he did enjoy his trip. He liked MGM Grand and PH the most for their vibe.

    Other Gambling - Did alright at first, then a few days where I couldn't win squat, then to finish up kinda strong the past few days. I don't know what the final damage was, but I think I'm only like $400 down total, which is not a bad number considering the number of days I was there. What a rollercoaster.

    Freemont Street Zip Line - I thought it would be higher. A bit disappointed.

    Eats - still not eating buffets, that can't be a bad thing... can it? We didn't have our "nice" meal. No steak this time around - but I don't miss it. Estiatorio Milos was disappointing for having such few items on the menu.

    The Cosmopolitan - I'm pretty impressed with this place. The front of the casino (closest to the Strip) seems like another casino as compared to the rest of it. I think the Cabanas have a lot to do with it. The pool area is impressive. It should command a nice premium and should take a way a nice chunk of business from HRH and possibly even Encore. The people are exceptionally friendly. One of the craps dealers (Heather) took the time to learn each of our names, plus our wives who are just hanging out! The proximity to the strip is excellent and does lure lots of people. I almost feel like they are screaming my name when they are looking for customers to stay at their place. I like how you can make your way down to the casino from the 2nd floor of the Chandelier Bar. This is worth another visit. Maybe with some Marriott Rewards points?

    Aria - They've definitely brightened up the place since I've last been in June. Personally, I liked it a bit darker, but the new lighting does work. The signs that indicate locations have changed. Easier to read. Still a great place to play craps and poker. This casino is far from dead and is quickly becoming one of my favorites if not already.

    Flamingo - Decent enough. The craps in the party pit doesn't work too well, though.

    Monte Carlo - My first time staying here, but not first time being in the casino. They've darkened up the casino a bit, but it works to their advantage. In my opinion, this is fast becoming one of the premiere locations of all of Vegas. What? Am I crazy? Probably. But think about it. NYNY, (MGM not too far off) is next door. Aria is a really short walk, especially without going through Crystals. Bellagio is but a tram ride away. Ross and CVS are a short walk nearby. Cosmo and PH isn't too far. The standard room is nice. Yea, a bit of the furniture is a bit worn, but I really don't care about that kind of stuff.

    Misc. - This is the first time I've been to Vegas and told myself, "I really don't need a car". And it really felt like it. I could safely say that having a car was a waste of time and money.

    I hope I gave enough play to MGM Resorts, even though my stay had discounted rates. I usually give them table play, but that was sporadic everywhere and I hope we gave them enough slot play to balance it all out.

    Thanks for reading my report. I had fun. I'm not sure when I'll go back to Vegas. I was thinking the summer initially, but that may be pushed back a bit. Although I had fun, I actually feel a bit burnt out from it. Maybe it was the 8 nights. Maybe it was from the rollercoaster of my bankroll for the trip. Who knows?
     
  14. letsgo2vegas

    letsgo2vegas Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Great report!
    loved the details. thanks for the time you took to write it
     
  15. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Ottawa Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17
    Thanks for taking the time to put this together. Good job on the TR :peace:
     
  16. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Messages:
    610
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Thanks, loved your report..........
     
  17. TheDMan62

    TheDMan62 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Thanks for posting such a detailed TR!!! :nworthy:
     
  18. rickeypea

    rickeypea Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Great trip report. It seems you had the best of both worlds in one trip.

    Thanks

    :beer:
     
  19. Jersey_Bill

    Jersey_Bill High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    644
    Location:
    Exit 8, New Jersey Turnpike
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Thanks for the effort in putting this out there! Seemed like a nice best of both worlds trip and I appreciated all the details...

    JZB
     
  20. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,080
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Great job, really well done.
     
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