1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

A Very, Very Long TR - Cosmo w Dad 9/20-9/24 - Winning Trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by JB in MN, Oct 17, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JB in MN

    JB in MN Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    minneapolis

    My Trip Report

    This will be long and it will take me a while to get it all out, but some VMBers wanted a teaser posted. I will do my best to post the rest as soon as I can!

    Repeat of a trip with my dad from last year. He is still fighting cancer but the chemo he is on is working to the point that the tumors aren’t growing and he is on a ‘chemo vacation’ for the summer. My friend T was going to join us again; M wanted to too, but had other commitments for the week.

    Pre-trip planning

    In August I called my host at Cosmo to ask about arrangements for dad and me. I am the first to admit that I’m a low-roller, so his immediate offer of two rooms for four nights and limo pickup at the airport was not just shocking but met with tremendous gratitude.

    I was waiting for the room confirmation before booking our plane tickets, and when the confirmation never showed I was worried the host’s offer would be for naught. Eventually I talked to the host again who told me to book the tickets and don’t worry about the rooms, he’s on it. So I booked the tickets, four night stay, and sent him our flight info for the limo pickup.

    A few days later, dad and I both get email confirmation of our rooms: three nights in a City room. Three nights, WTF? Thus began a repeated chain of emails, texts and voice messages for the next few weeks all along the lines of “Hi, got the room confirmation for three nights, thanks, but we need four nights; happy to pay a casino rate for the fourth night if it can’t get comped off from our play.” In addition, I wanted to know if I could get my Gold status comped room for T.

    Finally, the host called me back and said not to worry about the fourth night, he would take care of it, and he would look into the Gold room for T and let me know. As a follow-up email I re-sent him the flight info and thanked him for sending a car for us, and he confirmed that he received our flight stats.

    Well, he never got back to me about the fourth night, or a comped room for T. While I’m not sweating it, and I’m sure it will get worked out once we get there, it’d still be nice to know it’s confirmed. As far at T went, I was able to get a Milf offer that was less per night than he was able to find, plus it included a $100 resort credit, so I booked that for him under my name. Hindsight reveals this was a mistake, but I’ll get to that.

    About a week before we left I called 800-Identity VIP to confirm our reservation and dates (not that I’m paranoid). The friendly agent I talked to said we were booked for City rooms, two queen beds. I told her we each only needed a single king bed and that I would like a room in the East Tower. We were only comped for City rooms, and there are no City rooms in the East Tower, so she would email my host to ask about upgrading us (and find out about the fourth night), and she would email me after hearing from him. I will give the savvy VMBers one guess as to what happened: that’s right, nothing. I wasn’t worried about it, any problems could be sorted out when we arrived. On the plus side, I learned that there are no City rooms in the East Tower.

    While the above is sorting itself out, Frank/DV’s craps table get-together/shit show was snowballing into a life of its own and I was really regretting not coming in a day earlier. I looked at changing my departure, and if I was making the trip solo I would have done so, but not this time with the old man. I would miss the craps table and PT’s party on Saturday, but I traded PMs with Frank, PT, Packer and Kat about potentially meeting up on Sunday or Monday so not all would be lost.

    Dad and I planned pretty aggressively for this trip: we boned up and reviewed our betting strategies, bought the BJ strategy cards from Amazon, I printed out and laminated Free Bet strategy cards from WoO, I went over Dice Doctor with dad, and we both brought healthy BRs. I (and dad) had been hawking crap on Craigslist all summer long. I exceeded my sales goals before our departure date (friend M found this Vine to describe me selling things on CL; it’s frightenly accurate) and I was bringing a five figure BR, my largest ever. If past experience would be an indicator of this trip’s performance, less than a third of that would ever leave the safe. I freely admit that I am a pussy when it comes to betting and parting with my hard-earned BR, but I’ve been working really hard on getting around this, psychologically. Typing this long TR is one part of that, it makes me think about how I planned going in and how it worked at the end. Bear with me, people…

    We talked about doing some team play at BJ and baccarat, we were looking forward to putting in some time at PGP, especially if the nice dealer we met last year was there, and we talked about potentially dabbling in roulette (I explained PT’s method to him). Dad is primarily a blackjack player but after learning PGP he likes that too. I prefer craps but feel the same about PGP. We were going to primarily play at Cosmo but left the door open to Aria/B/MGM if the mood struck us.

    My gamboling plans/goals/strategy were to:
    • Step up to $15 (craps) / $25 (BJ, PGP) player. Not playing for comps, but playing aggressively when appropriate
    • Adhere to a smart progressive betting strategy when hitting a streak. My version of this is 15-15-25-35-50-75-125-200-250-350-500-700-1000-1500-2000 etc.
    • BJ/FBBJ: Strict Basic Strategy, using the appropriate BS card and never playing a 6:5 table
    • Craps: Dice Doctor Qualified Shooter & Converted Come
    • Buy-ins: 30x min bet at BJ, PGP, baccarat, roulette; 10x craps base bets on the table
    • Loss limits: walk at a 50% loss of my buy-in
    I view the buy-in and loss limits as both practical and psychological tools. The degens out there will no doubt laugh them off, but what can I say, it’s how I roll. I will never reach into my pocket and buy in to a session again. That, to me, feels like a loser move. Reaching into my pocket for more cash after chips are gone, psychologically, makes me feel like a chump, that they beat me, that I’m a pathetic loser. Same goes for the loss limit – I won’t stand at a cold table until all of my chips are gone because, again, it makes me feel like a pathetic loser, standing there while it all disappears. I know the argument here: just buy in for $500 instead of $1000 if you’re going to leave after losing $500 anyway; $500 is $500, so what’s the difference? The difference is I feel a lot better if there is something to put in my pocket when I decide to walk away. Purely psychological. Some of you may have an issue with the play as detailed above – well, I don’t care because it works for me.

    On to the trip.

    Sunday 9/30
    Our 9am departure out of MSP was uneventful. During the flight dad and I reviewed our betting and playing strategies, Dice Doctor, plans for dinner, etc. and enjoyed a screwdriver or two (me) and a bloody mary (dad). Dad wanted to catch as much of the Vikings game as possible so we tried to figure out where we could watch it, as Book and Stage is under renovation. I had traded some messages with PT and he invited us to his sweet suite to watch the game, but I wasn’t sure dad would be up for PT’s on the morning after his party. Not knowing (but suspecting) the level of debauchery that would have occurred hours previous, I wasn’t sure if I would be up for the Bungalow either! Lol But it was good to know we had that option for the game.

    About an hour from landing, dad gave me a $50 bill and told me to try a $50 trick at check in “to get us upgraded to a nicer room.” Well, I was already planning on doing this with my own $20, to get dad in the West Tower and me in the East Tower. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dad, but some distance in Vegas isn’t a bad thing. And I now knew that if I was in the East Tower I’d get a Terrace Studio vs the City.

    T had left two hours earlier and was going to wait at the gate in LAS for us and we’d all grab the limo that the host was sending for us – what a great way to kick off the trip! Vegas baby, et al, etc, etc.

    With that, we arrive in LAS, and while taxiing to the gate I texted T to confirm that he made it:
    img_2667.jpg img_2668.jpg

    We three made our way to bag claim to retrieve our bags and get the limo. Woo-hoo! Except? No driver was standing there holding an iPad with my name. I texted my host to the effect, “Hi, we arrived safely, did you send a car? No problem if you didn’t we can cab it but please let me know” and I got no reply from him. So a cab ride for us ($23 with tip), no problem, we probably would have tipped the limo driver almost as much, but it was the first “loss” of the trip.

    While walking into the Cosmo (love that smell) I pulled T aside and asked him to keep my dad from coming up to the desk while I was checking in – I didn’t need dad sticking his nose into the nee $20 now $50 trick and my request for different towers. T was the best wingman one could ask for, pulling dad aside and talking about his new car and our recent road trip, etc. I think he was overdoing it just to amuse me, which he did with perfect effect.

    I checked in, I don’t remember the lovely agent’s name but I recognized her from an earlier trip and she said I looked familiar too. Checking in for two, “can I have one room in the West Tower as soon as possible for my dad, and the other room in the East Tower for me, I don’t mind waiting as long as it takes. Also my dad needs a refrigerator in his room for his medication, please.” And with that, the delicious sandwich was presented and we were rewarded in stellar form: dad’s room was ready immediately; my room number would be texted to me when it was ready; Terrace Studios for each of us. Score one big win.

    Dad went to his room to get settled and find the game; T and I walked to Aria to get him checked in. We took the back route, and in Aria, bypassed the extremely long check in line by going to the VIP check in (I have no idea if I am “allowed” to use the VIP check in but I’ve done it every time and it hasn’t ever been an issue), and we were greeted by another lovely agent. T and I amused ourselves by inadvertently presenting as a gay couple: “Two queens or one king?” Pause. “You mean beds, right? One king is fine.” “Any other names on the room?” Etc. When it came time for the ID and credit card, a tasty $20 sandwich was served with a side of, “I’d appreciate it if you could do anything about the resort fee.” Three days of resort fees were waived and a view upgrade. People! Do not fear the $20 trick! She verified that the reservation had a $100 resort credit and I asked if that could be used at Todd English PUB (I charged a meal to a room last year and it did not get credited off of a similar offer/credit). Turns out Todd English is part of Crystals, not Aria, so resort credits will not apply there. Noted.

    T went to the room to get settled and I surveyed Aria – the property itself is as beautiful as ever but the blackjack conditions were horrible. Sunday at 11am Vegas time the only 3:2 tables were $100+. I checked out the high limit area to see if I could ID Packer, Bronco etc. at the bacc tourney, but it was just getting set up for the day. I sent some texts to Frank and Kat to see if either of them was alive, and to PT to check if he had the Vikings game available on his big screen. Frank and Kat were dark, PT said he didn’t have Vikes but I was welcome to swing by.

    I decided to head back to Cosmo to find the Vikes. Stopped at a craps table to say hi to dealers Steve and Mariana, Jeff wasn’t there that day; Eddie was at a neighboring table, all were glad to see me and happy to hear dad was with for this trip. Someone pointed me to Queue bar to find the game and sure enough it was on one of the screens. I texted dad to say I found the game and to come on down.

    Meantime I thought I would check in with my host to thank him for arranging the three nights of comped rooms and get the fourth night sorted out. The host on duty called him and a few minutes later he showed up, apologizing from the get-go. “I just saw your texts now about the limo, I am so sorry, I’ve been swamped today. Come back to my office.” Some people might have been pissed about the limo and the fourth night, but call it the Minnesota Nice in me, I’m not upset because I know it’s going to get sorted out somehow, and my low-rolling ways are already getting me three nights for both of us and I’m fine with that. We sit at his desk and he immediately gets to work on the fourth night – something to the effect of “I am going to take care of this for you right now and comp the night off because it was totally my fault for not getting back to you.” Apology accepted, I’ll take it! I had changed our flight home from what I had originally sent him, so I gave him our new departure time and he said a limo would be arranged to get us to the airport on Thursday. I text dad that I’m with the host, come meet us in the high limit room to say hi, etc. Host and I make small talk and chit chat while he gets our stay extended; five minutes later he met my dad and he thanked him for arranging everything and all was good.

    Dad and I headed to Queue to catch the remaining 3Q and 4Q of the Viking victory over Detroit. I let PT know we were going to watch the game at Queue and thanked him for the invite to stop by. T joined us after a while, and we all did our best to muffle our enthusiasm as there was a small group of Detroit fans behind us, but it was all good. Sometime during the game I got a text that my room was ready.

    It was still early for dinner, but we wanted something to eat, so we decided to try Wicked Spoon. It was set up for brunch but still had a little bit of everything. It wasn’t the greatest meal ever but it wasn’t the worst and our waiter was friendly and funny.

    Dad needed a nap after eating; T wanted a nap after eating; and I wanted to get my bags from bell claim and get settled into the room, so that’s what we all did. I had a room on 62, not a fountain view, it looked over the old Harmon Tower, but it was lovely nonetheless. Frank and Kat had replied to my texts and eventually they found their way over from PH. We shared a drink at Chandelier while they updated me on the previous night’s shenanigans.

    At some point T and dad found their way to a $25 blackjack table near Queue bar and we were going to join them. I know Cosmo has a horrible reputation for their blackjack conditions, but I’ll take their nice dealers, strong drinks and 8 deck 3:2 shoe at $15 any day over the 6:5 I saw at Aria. There were only two seats open at their table, and Frank and Kat spotted a $15 table with the same conditions so they started to walk to it. It was at this point a pit boss pulled me aside and said, “You want a $15 table? I’ll make this one $15 so you can play next to your friends” and I watched him dial down the limits on the LCD screen. Unreal! He overheard us chatting and just decided to dial it down so we could all sit near each other! I found Frank and told him, hey, they just opened a $15 table for us over there, but he’d already bought in and started to play. I went back to let dad know we’d be playing over yonder, and I thanked the pit boss for changing the limits but my friends had already bought in at another table. No problem, and he kept that table at $15.

    So we played, gist of it was I was down. Can’t remember how much I lost but I know I didn’t win. Frank and Kat left and dad, T and I continued our play, they were up and down but I was down overall. Not a ton and I kept to my loss limit rule. We did this for several hours at a couple different tables. At this point central time zone was catching up to us and we were going to call it a night.

    On our trip last year, T, my friend M and I met a fantastic dealer, Cristy, when we were playing blackjack. The next night she was dealing PGP and gave us a lesson/tutorial. I saw Cristy a few times after that trip and she always remembered me, asked after my dad, she is a true sweetheart. Before calling it a night I did a walk around the tables to see if she was working that night, and sure enough I found her dealing at a dead Crazy 4 table.
    IMG_2617.jpg
    Just typing this now I can hear her excited “Oh my god! How are you! (suddenly turning serious) How’s dad?? He with you this trip?” her funny, infectious laughter and accent/cadence just sucks you into her sphere.

    Which is my way of saying how happy she was to see me. We caught up, I told her we had just arrived that day, etc etc, and I was giving her shit for being at a Crazy 4 table, not a PGP table, and seriously asking her, who do I need to talk to to make sure you’re dealing BJ or PGP while we’re here? She thought her boss could put her on one of those games the next night but it wasn’t guaranteed. While we’re having this talk, the pit boss on her current shift had overheard me giving her a hard time for not being at PGP and arranged to move her after her next break!

    If you’re counting, this was the second time a pit boss listened to a customer and did something nice/favorable without being asked. I know some things have changed at Cosmo since Blackstone took over, but these two examples felt like a change in floor policy that wasn’t there before: do something simple that makes the customer happy to be there.

    I found dad and T and said, sorry guys, it’s not bedtime, Cristy is going to be dealing PGP for us. We played and had a blast, Cristy giving me shit for not remembering the rules or not seeing the obvious correct play in my hand at any given time. In my defense, I was sort of drunk. And, as my dad said at one point, we never played poker at home, so the poker hand isn’t always the default way he ‘sees’ the cards. I thought that was pretty accurate, and growing up in the same household, I’m the same way: “wait, I think I have a flush? Or wait, is that a straight? Oh! I have a full house!” Etc.

    It went well for me – I won back everything I had lost earlier that night. There weren’t any big hands but enough small wins and bonus wins – to the point that Cristy was teasing me that I owed her a piece of pizza for all of the help she was giving me. “You owe me pizza!” I knew she was giving me shit but it did get to a point where I thought, “Should I really be getting her a piece of pizza?” I was starting at a $50 bet and a $5 or $10 envy. On a win I’d go up on my main bet, using the progression outlined earlier. I was tipping $5 at least every third hand or so, and Cristy always wanted it played on the envy, so that’s where it went. I won and she won, and she wanted her money on the envy for the big win.

    We played for a while until the night really caught up with dad, but the talk of pizza had us hungry so we said goodnight to Cristy and found our way to Secret Pizza.

    The night was not over – dad and T went to bed but I went to PH to meet up w Frank and Jer… more to come.
     
  2. queentata

    queentata High-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Messages:
    766
    Location:
    Crosby, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    28
    Glad to hear that dad is on a "double vacation" and that y'all got to make this trip again! Big wins for you all and have a FANTASTIC time! Can't wait to read more!
     
  3. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Messages:
    1,331
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Great start, JB! What a great kid you are! I bet your dad is quite proud of you! I'm excited to read on...
    -Richard
     
  4. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,234
    Location:
    Porter Ranch,CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    100
  5. RM777

    RM777 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Fantastic start, JB! Looking forward to the rest...
     
  6. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,602
    Location:
    Central TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Loving your TR so far. Somehow I missed the one from last year so I started off by reading the whole thing. You have a great writing style and I really enjoyed it. I have now decided that my life will not be complete until I can do the tasting menu at Scarpetta.

    I'm also a big Cosmo fan, so that makes your TR's even more fun for me. Looking forward to the rest.
     
    Vegas Just Because...
  7. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,890
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Nice start!
     
  8. whitefox

    whitefox Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    Great read so far, I love the level of detail.
     
  9. PayTriple

    PayTriple The Cucumber King

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    4,018
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    26
    Sorry to miss you on the trip, but looking forward to reading all about it!
     
  10. emmas

    emmas Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    316
    I remember your last report and really enjoying the details of this one. Glad to see that 'dad" is doing so much better.
     
  11. Tbone3336

    Tbone3336 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,442
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    Wow great report so far, love the details! I could never remember things like that after the fact. Thanks for all the effort JB!
     
  12. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    5,906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    106
    Great report.....looking forward to the rest.
     
  13. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,234
    Location:
    Porter Ranch,CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    100
    I rely on JB, SuperPocky and others to tell me what I did in their TR's...much more reliable than my memories
     
  14. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,890
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    I remember a lot more in the TRs I've wrote too! Before 2014, only the major highlights are remembered. :eek:
     
  15. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,234
    Location:
    Porter Ranch,CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    100
    I have a condition that only appears when i go to vegas ...there's something in the air there that brings it on
    I believe the latin term for it is.......







    Kentucky Bourbon
     
  16. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,890
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    :beer:
     
  17. Superpocky

    Superpocky VIP Whale

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,073
    Location:
    Taiwan
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    you need to make sure I get that honor again in December.

    Thanks for the TR JB!
     
  18. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,156
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    What an amazing trip report on so many levels. I absolutely LOVE all of the detail at one time in your writing and your writing style but also the meticulousness with which you plan your trips. You also shared some tips that I'm going to use. Most of all, the relationship with your dad and how you two rolls warms my VMB heart. Looking forward to the rest.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  19. ineedbeer

    ineedbeer Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    Loving the report mate, the detail is great thanks for taking the time, 2 weeks until my trip and this helping the time go that little but quicker
     
  20. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    4,712
    Location:
    Chicago
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    13
    Great tr ... love you took dad along!
     
    Downtown - Wanker Returns after baby!
    Wanker Returns After Baby
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.