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.

Aint' no rest for the Wicked (Mar 6th through 11th)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Jinx, Mar 16, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,790
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25

    My Trip Report

    This trip was sort of unexpected. I scheduled a trip for the end of April with my brother and another friend in lieu of my regular March trip (and for that matter my summer trip). The feeling was that April would be nice as it would be early pool season and might give me a chance to conserve my bankroll and do two trips on the year instead of three.

    Cut to early January and crappy weather and the thought of waiting until April for the first trip away seemed daunting. I had a stack of offers, most for something unique for me including slot tournaments and places I didn’t think I’d have much chance to stay comped on my budget. So I talked with the wife about a possible trip, after some deliberation she decided she didn’t want to go. I put things to the side a bit and figured I’d just ride it out until April. Until a work seminar came up requiring me to go to Vegas (yay). Instead of booking whatever random room the company decided on I quickly moved to book some of my offers.

    I wound up with Caesars for two nights, and a Mirage slot tournament. The Caesars offer was my birthday offer from HET for my expiring platinum status, my play at HET over the last year has fallen to nil and while I can get comped rooms at most of their properties during the week. The weekend I can’t even get IP comped, so the Caesars deal including weekend nights was a steal for me and I knew it was likely the last one I’d have for the foreseeable future there. Plus it would be a chance to add Mirage to my list of properties stayed at.

    So I booked for 5 nights, arriving Saturday afternoon and leaving on Thursday. Nothing overly exciting about the plane ride except I just missed getting bumped. I was third on the list and they took first two. Oh well, it would have been the perfect trip for it, as I was on a pretty flexible schedule and wasn’t worried about the amount of time I had since I had the April trip around the corner.

    I decided upon landing to take the shuttle to Caesars. My luck continued to run bad as I was the last stop after a 6 property tour. Again, not being in a rush helped as it kept the bankroll in tact and in truth I’ve tired of starting out bad on a trip with cab rides. It’s not the price of getting tunneled, it’s more the attitude I’ve seemed to get from cabbies when asking to take a specific route, I just wasn’t interested in dealing with the drama, so I shuttled it. I am still surprised to see so many couples and groups of people taking the shuttle, as the time and cost would seem prohibitive to me for that, but it seems people aren’t overly familiar with things before arriving. To me, for one person the shuttle makes sense and it’s a nice way to get a ride on the strip.

    Check in to Caesars with no issue, they had me in the Forum tower, where I stayed last July. It’s a nice room with a huge shower and right off the casino floor. I was hoping for an Augustus or Palace room, but after arriving at check in and seeing the crowds, I was just happy that I wasn’t downgraded or moved as the place was packed and this was a Saturday checkin.

    I unpacked, and ironed my ton of clothes out. One thing I have found is that in my over excitement to get out on a trip, packing a week (or two) early leaves for some severely wrinkled clothes. After texting a couple people and grabbing a couple slices of pizza at Slice to eat up in the room (in my opinion the best pizza on the strip, in Caesars food court, I was ready to go). I should point out my friend Peanutmnm was flabbergasted that I had been on the ground for 2 or 3 hours without already being in the casino. He gave me a good razzing for my metro-sexual tendencies of primping.

    In truth for me, trying to start out easy is another bankroll preserver, the longer it takes me to start gambling, the more likely I won’t spend a ton of time doing it. The real goal this trip was to break even, do a lot of things, and then take a nice size bankroll in April. I tend to be fairly risk averse when it comes to gambling, I keep the budgets fairly limited for 2-3 trips during the year with the goal of hitting a nice win for at least one profitable trip and otherwise play enough to generate the continued offers.

    Anyway, I finally made it down and out on the strip. To a fairly solid drizzle, with a cool breeze. For me it was awesome coming from the freezing temperatures of Cleveland, plus I tend to love the rain, so I took a walk to Bills. On the way I snapped some pictures and texted my brother and friend who were out for my SIL’s birthday and received the appropriate &*&*% texts in return. (my friend and brother are the ones I’m heading out with in April).

    Made it to Bills and finally signed up for their club, as I wanted to give the rapid craps game a try. After getting the card, I sat down, the table min was $5 for Saturday, although the dealers thought it was still $3 (the standard). First impressions, the screens are much smaller then rapid roulette and because there are chairs, it seems the sides of the table are somewhat shorter then a standard craps table. I bought in for 60 or 80 and preceeded to make my standard bets after figuring out the system and the process. There were about 4 other people playing the game, and the table was choppy. The dealers seemed a bit frazzled as they seemed to be under direction to push the “rapid†side of it and it basically meant not having a lot of time to place/remove/add bets. With some experience on the dealers and players part, I think this issue would go away. I settled on a couple of regular bets and stuck to them. Plus added in a come bet, which is something I don’t usually play as playing with my screen gave me a better idea at all times of what I had on the table. With the table being choppy, my buyin dwindled fairly quickly and I bought for a bit more as my roll came up, but I couldn’t get anything running. I wound up down for the session. No drink service at the table during my time there, it’s near the bar and there were plenty of waitresses around, so my guess is I just missed their order taking as I believe I saw them drop off when I first got there.

    I’ll likely give the game another chance when my brother and I are in town. Although I’m much more likely to play it for $3 levels then $5. At $5 I’m not a real fan and I have to see how the table flows when the dealers have a better understanding of the system, as you could definitely tell the rythym of the game was off. So for the moment I’m on the fence with it and will wait until next trip to make a determination.

    I started the trek toward TI Kahunaville to see the RTMBandLV (twitter account). It was still fairly early 8pm or so, so I wandered through Flamingo and dropped some coins in an old progressive they have there which is at 26k and wound up winning back my rapid craps buy in. I then headed to IP third floor where I said hello to the bartenders who know me on site and have a drink ready for me as soon as I sit down, I played some VP and bs’d a bit but wasn’t having any luck so I hit the road again. It was still early around 9pm or so, so I decided to stop in at Rhumbar at Mirage and have a drink or two.

    I had a couple of glasses of rum and talked with the bartenders and wound up talking some with a guy next to me at the bar, it was his first trip out to Vegas for a friends wedding and he just go there today, we hung out and talked some about UFC, which was being replayed on the TV and a variety of other things, while I worked up a nice buzz on some quality rum. I decided it was time to head off to Kahunaville, so I invite ‘Dave’ along and he decided to tag along.

    We made it down to TI with no issue. For those that haven’t read my trip reports before, the RTM band at TI is a lounge band that puts on a great show in addition to their standard show after their first set, they bring up people to sing if they want to. If there’s one thing I am more of a degenerate at then gambling or drinking it would be singing. So I usually submit my two songs, get up for both during the night and drink like a fish for the evening. The crowd is usually very good, as it’s a great mix of people, very unpretentious, and often drunk. The drinks are a bit expensive, but since it’s a flair bar, there’s always the random shots being poured as well.

    The bar seemed a little slow to get going at first, but once the band cranked it up and the liquor was continuing to be poured, the early laid back effects were replaced with a full on party atmosphere. I said hello to the producer of the show (told you I’m a degenerate when like in three places I’m remembered in Vegas), who accepts the song requests and took a seat at the bar and had a couple drinks and bs’d some more with Dave.

    I got called up fairly quickly and decided on Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive for the first song that night. I have to say one of the things that concerns me about singing with this group is there is a limited number of songs they perform off their song list, that fit my style and that I do well. The stuff they perform is a bit more dance style and performance tunes, so mixing in something that’s more rock n roll always concerns me as the crowd is usually just getting settled into some Usher or Outkast.

    I wound up following Yeah by Usher and Lil John. Not exactly the song I’d want to follow, but my fears were unjustified, I got up on stage and the band remembered me and gave me the assorted handshakes and we were off. The crowd was wall to wall up front and definitely ready to see whether it was going to be a good performance or whether I was bound for the “Apollo sweep†that the band does for those that don’t quite perform. My singing and stage presence since I’ve joined a band has only been growing and tonight I really decided to just go for it. I blew it out of the water, I hit that zone where you just know that what you are doing is perfect, it’s like a baseball player on a hitting streak. You literally put all thoughts out of your head and just let the memory of practice take over. The crowd went nuts, to the point where I was fist bumping the guys in the crowd in the front and really working it.

    I wasn’t thinking about it before I got up there, but it appears there were a good number of people who had attended the Bon Jovi concert that night (as evidenced by their shirts) and excitement. I knew there was a concert, but figured it would still be going and not much overlap. I turned out to be wrong, had I known I might not have tried that song tonight, as in my opinion it’s not something you want to follow after a show, but again, not knowing helped here. And when I came down from the song, I didn’t buy a drink the rest of the night and until we left had people coming up and talking about how good the performance was. I’m not one to typically hype my own performances, but I’d have to say this was up on the 8 or 9 scale of a 10 pt performance and it felt good.

    I wound up moving up front and enjoying the rest of the show, talking and meeting a ton of different people. Dave hung around too and was getting blitzed, we finally closed the place down around 2 or 3. (didn’t make it up for the last song, as they had a ton of requests for performances that night, which was actually kind of nice as it would have been hard to replicate the first go round that night). We had been hanging out with a couple from CA over the last couple hours and we walked out of TI with them. The wife was up for some more drinking and hanging out but the husband was ready to head back to the hotel. I was in the same boat as the time change, flight, and drinking were taking a toll, so we said our goodbyes and I told Dave I’d walk him back to Caesars to give him a taste of the strip late at night and to let him try and burn some of the alcohol off a bit before we got him a cab back to MGM. The sidewalks were fairly slick due to the rain and while I wasn’t plastered I wasn’t exactly sober either. On our way back to Caesars, Dave fell at least three times, I’d put the over/under that the cause of that was only once due to the rain and at least 2 due to the alcohol, it was a rather interesting walk to say the least. We arrived at Caesars and the cab line was at least 45 minutes long, so I turned us around and walked across the street to IP where we got him in a cab in about a minute. I headed back to Caesars and crashed for the night, definitely a bit drunker then I wanted to be and with a 10am Qua appt. the next day I needed to crash so I wasn’t feeling the effects for the whole next day.

    So for the first day, tally was a ton of drinks, a great performance and memory, and the successful corruption of one vegas newbie.

    A couple other interesting points I should point out (that talking about them above would have taken forever to fit in.

    There was one woman at the bar whose top was barely covering her assets, as she proceeded to drink more and dance, they were popping out at regular intervals. It was one of those situations where you couldn’t help but notice or stare. So as we were sitting talking (Dave and I) I noticed the dude next to her giving me the stare down, and all I could think of was dude is going to try and kick my ass. Which sort of amazed me as his girl (well if it was his girl) was flashing the puppies all over the place and there wasn’t a guy in there that wasn’t looking or hadn’t seen. I just found it fascinating that he zeroed in on me. In retrospect it’s possible it was after I had sang, which if it was the case might have made sense.
    When we moved up front there were a group of girls drinking and having fun and I quickly noticed an older gentlemen who was rather ‘persistent’ with trying to ‘get’ with them. It was fairly obvious that they were not thrilled with the overtures and after talking with one of the girls for a bit, I decided to intervene on his next attempt and jumped in and claimed I was her brother and that she wasn’t interested, which worked like a charm. I should say I stole this from a woman who did the same for me a couple trips ago when I couldn’t shake an over aggressive suitor for the evening. I actually made out quite nice with this too as the girls bought me a drink and after they left so did the offender, who was plastered by that point, he was Iranian, and all he could keep saying was that he was Iranian and that he loved the Iranian people, but not the government. He was harmless though (I think, liked I’d know at that point).

    The last interesting tidbit was from the wife of the couple we wound up sitting with, who went on and on about the girls that she was talking with who were talking about me after I sang and I guess they were rather vulgar in there references of affection, which I think I’m flattered at, but not really sure how to take it. She went on and on about this, talking about the crazy white girls and from what she was telling me I’d have to agree.

    Ok, enough for today on this, I’ll get to the next days here soon, no guarantees though, hopefully by Monday.

    Day 2

    Woke up around 8 am on Sunday and went down to the casino and gambled for a bit, breaking even or losing a little bit if I remember correctly and failing to score the desired Bailey’s and Coffee I was aiming for. I loathe regular coffee in Vegas, as most of it tastes like crap.

    Without my coffee score I headed off to Qua to get checked in and get my massage. I wound up spending about 5 hours in Qua, most of it dozing in the heated lounge chairs in between whirlpool sessions in the Roman Mineral Pool rooms. I’ve stated this in other trip reports, but to me, Qua at Caesars is in my opinion the best spa in Vegas, with all of the amenities available and the size, it’s a perfect place to relax. The massage therapists are always very good too. My left side was completely screwed up from falling down some stairs on Friday night and the massage loosened everything up.

    I finished up at Qua and played some more at Caesars for the rest of the day until Bradley Ogden opened for dinner at 5. I headed there around 5 and got their price fix steakburger special. In addition to their awesome burger, they have a great Caesar salad. If you haven’t tried the burger here, I’d definitely recommend it, the downside of eating here was that I couldn’t imagine eating another burger all trip. As a matter of fact after stuffing myself here, my appetite for the rest of the trip was pretty low. The price fix is available in the lounge and is $30 for 3 courses.

    I gambled for another couple hours and then headed over to the IP for some more video poker. I hung out at the bar and talked with the bartenders some and preceded to drink about 4-5 captain and cokes in short order. As I was sitting at the bar when I came in and the bartenders said hi, the woman next to me started up some conversation. She mentioned that she was just getting going again that day as she had gotten drunk at a champagne brunch this morning. I engaged briefly but continued to focus on the video poker, as at that point, I was relatively sure she was a working girl. After reconsidering it for a bit. (she was playing full coin and drinking, and wasn’t checking her phone every 5 minutes for messages) I engaged for a bit and talked some more with her as we were both continuing to play, after a while she left (although she did come back about 30 minutes later). Anyway, I wasn’t able to determine whether she was a working girl or not, as I quickly got dealt 4 aces and missed on the kicker.

    I decided it would be a good time to take a walk, so I headed down to Carnaval Court and watched the band there for a bit and then headed to the Flamingo. I still wanted to play some, but I wanted something different, so I decided to sit in at a 2-4 ½ kill poker game at the Flamingo. I like poker, but I tend to get impatient at the tables in Vegas, so I tend to push with marginal hands or get tired of folding 75% of my hands. So limit worked for me as I could play loose and limit my losses for the game. It also would give me some more experience at sitting at a casino poker table. Our game was short handed when I sat down with 7 players and topped out at 9 and then back down to 6. When we got to 6, we agreed to raise the limits to 3-6. I stuck around for a few more orbits and then decided I had enough, so I headed back to Caesars. Total dmg. for my session was like $30. The good thing is it got me to sit down at the poker tables again and opened it up as a possibility on another trip, although I think 3-6 might be more in line with what I’d want to play, which likely means the Mirage for a game.

    I headed back to Caesars and called it a night. I had budgeted per day for the trip, mostly to try and ensure I had budget left over for my 3 days at Mirage in order to try and continue receiving my offers. I was pretty pleased with how things had worked out, as it turns out I had a little less then 50% of my 2 day budget left, which let me pay off my room/spa charges in cash and left me with some walking around Monday between work and the time Mirage let me check in.

    Day 3

    I woke up about 6am and after trying to go back to sleep unsuccessfully I decided to get up. I finished packing and made another attempt down in the casino for a Bailey’s and Coffee, only to see absolutely no one around as I lost in the mornings session.

    I headed back upstairs and decided to go ahead and check out and take my stuff down to the Mirage where I was staying the next 3 days. Upon checkout, I found that they had screwed up my comp dollars in my total rewards account. Which I had confirmed before I arrived, and their only response to resolution was to drag my crap across the casino floor again to the TR desk. I passed and decided to write a letter in regards to it, as I decided I didn’t want to waste my time tracking down the correction to their mistake.
    So I headed down to the Mirage and checked my bags, it was far too early to check in (8:30) so I grabbed a cup of Starbucks and headed down the strip towards Aria.

    I walked through the Bellagio to get to Vdara and then on to Aria and then to Crystals. Vdara appeared about as I expected it on the lower level, which is a hotel with a restaurant and a bar, nothing that I haven’t seen in every major city I’ve ever stayed in.

    On to Aria, I get the airport references, at least from the outside area in between Vdara and Aria, it’s drab, it’s large, and it just feels cold. The canoe structure looks absurd hanging out there and you feel like you are going to drown in concrete.

    I walked into the lobby and down the escalator to the North Valet, as I wanted to see the Jenny Holzer piece, and it didn’t disappoint, throughout my walking around Aria, I probably saw 5-8 pieces and by far this was my favorite. http://tweetphoto.com/13709921 In my opinion this really should be the highlight of the resort, out front and visible, but it seems to be placed almost as an afterthought, an embarrassment as it’s too Vegasy.

    I also found the Christopher Walken photos, looked at the silver Colorado river, and a couple of the other pieces, the only other one that I liked was the boy behind the tree piece toward the front entrance, right past the Walken photos. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture, and I can’t find any reference online through a quick search. (it blows my mind, that art has been trumped so much in interviews, but I can find nary a mention on the website). I will say that taking a walk and looking at the art is worth a trip to Aria, I’d recommend doing it in the morning though when the resort is empty.

    Speaking of empty, it does seem Aria might not be running at full capacity of the type of spender they were looking for, as I counted 8 $5 blackjack tables open that morning. Granted it was Monday morning in early March, but it does go to show how different things are then 2-3 years ago when you had a hard time finding $5 tables anywhere.

    I walked from Aria to Crystals and got about 100 feet in and decided that there wasn’t anything I wanted to see there. I can’t tell you if it’s the gaping, spacious, open area, the high end shops, or all the white, but all I know is it didn’t feel pleasant, and I didn’t regret missing it.

    I made my way from Aria to the Monte Carlo, the hall where they connect has really been done up nicely at MC. In truth it made me sort of sad, as there are a ton of areas of MGM properties that could use some updates like this, and I fear that CC is going to put a lot of that on hold.

    I wound up out on the MC floor playing their video version of Ultimate Texas Hold’em. I hit four of a kind which paid off at 10-1 on the blind bet, and spent a couple hours there and walked with a nice profit. I like the Monte Carlo more and more as I visit there. I do wish they gave the casino floor a makeover though, maybe a new carpet, or a lounge on the floor to liven the place up.

    From there I headed to MGM, I had an email that said that $50 freeplay was deposited in my account due to my birthday and I could redeem on my visit and sure enough it was. It was kind of nice as there was no hassle of visiting the players club and debating on whether I needed to be staying at MGM to use that offer. I turned it into $30 and ran that through the lion’s share machine, which gave me a nice quick $30 hit, but I played it all down without even viewing one lion.

    From there I headed to the M&M shop to pick up some stuff for my daughter. She’s now associated Vegas and M&M stuff, so before every trip she provides a list of things that she’d like for me to bring home. Once again I was impressed with the volume that store has to do, where other places at that time of day were just slowly waking up, the store was already packed with people.

    I headed down to the Miracle Mile shop, as my next to do was to get a couple watch batteries changed at the Fossil store there. For some reason I never make it out to the Fossil store in the Cleveland area to get mine switched, since I’ve always bought my watches in Vegas, it just feels right to get it changed when I’m there. I don’t wear it much though working from home, so it makes for a nice diversion when I’m in Vegas. Unfortunately the Fossil shop at the Mile is either closing or being renovated which meant I would have to head down to Fashion show if I wanted it changed. I will say this about the Miracle Mile shops, it unintentionally reminds me of Vegas kitsch, due to the fact that half of the motif is in the modern Mile style and the other half is remnants of the Desert Passage.

    I decided to pass on getting lunch and head back towards the Mirage and see if something on the way peaked my interest. I did notice on the bridge from Ballys to Bills that there were about 10 panhandlers on the bridge, some calling out to some of the other tourists walking the bridge. On top of that, there were about 5 street musicians up there as well. Its bad enough that these are enclosed areas, but given the fact that there are so many congregating, I do have to wonder if it’s going to lead to an altercation at some point. Vegas rex pointed out recently on his blog issues he had on the NYNY/MGM bridge.

    I walked through the Flamingo and IP and didn’t find anything that interested me, so I headed to Toby Keith’s at Harrahs. I was in the mood for a drink and they have a pretty good Tea Vodka/Lemonade drink and I figured I’d grab some food as well. I’ve had the steak quesadillas there before and they were pretty good, but it looked like the item might have changed a bit, so I ordered the pulled pork sandwich, it was pretty good, although I thought the sauce was fairly average. I played some VP at their bar and gave up after losing my buyin and headed back to the Mirage.

    Got back to the Mirage about 2:30 and attempted to checkin, they didn’t have a room ready and advised it would be about 3 hours. Which reminded me of why I try to double book a room. I broke my personal rule and decided to gamble a bit before I got into my room and it was a disaster, I blew through a ton of cash in quick order, blackjack, video poker, multi line vp, and a couple slots. I could get nothing going and it was one of those streaks where it puts a serious dent in the bankroll in addition to being demoralizing. Especially considering I had bankroll preserved through the whole day, all that work was gone.

    I decided to break free and walk down to the Fossil store at Fashion Show. I got there and they could only change the battery on one of the watches, the other one they couldn’t get open (mine) at this point, I was pretty sure it was not to be a lucky day for me.

    I walked around for a bit and then headed back to Mirage and was able to get checked in. I hung out in the room for a bit, and then headed back out to the floor.

    I sat in on a $10 blackjack game and bought in for a 100 figuring I’d try and play for awhile and if things got hot I’d push a bit on my bets. I actually was treading water pretty well and hitting a couple doubles downs, etc and had doubled my stack up when I ran into a bad patch and lost it back. It would be easy to blame it on the tools that sat down that didn’t have any understanding of the basic strategy, but I tend to look at those swings as balancing out although it didn’t in this case. To give you an idea of how bad their play was, they’d hit 12 or 13 against a 6 and stand on 14 or 15 against a face. The dealer who was an old timer at the Mirage, tried ‘helping’ them a bit, even explaining to them, why some of the things they were doing were wrong (trying to bet two spots at table minimum, trying to hit a 5 card hit that was at soft 20, etc). But instead of appreciating it and listening, they grumbled and then bitched about the dealer after she left. She even tried the approach that blackjack was a team game and pointed out how there mentally deficient hit, cost me my $20/$20 double down bet, but she just wasn’t getting through. It was definitely appreciated and I was regularly running a bet for her as I was betting mine, but she didn’t have much luck with them. It did remind me of why I tend to gravitate towards vp or slots rather then tables though. It’s not so much there decisions on what they hit, it was far more about their smug attitude toward the dealer and their very visible lack of class.

    So not being smart enough to lock up a marginal profit at blackjack I lost my buyin and decided to call it a night for gambling. I headed over to Rhumbar and had another couple drinks. I wound up talking with a Scotsmen that was living in Ecuador now, he was up here for the nightclub industry convention as he and his wife were looking to open up a Scottish pub in Ecuador. We also discussed a bunch of different rums and swapped notes on some favorites. He was heading up to Haze at Aria, and being his first time in Vegas, he wasn’t positive on how to get there, since I needed to walk off some of the drinking I had been doing all day, I told him I’d walk up that way and show him how to get there. We got up there after almost being blown backwards due to the high winds between Aria and Vdara and although he did try and see if he could get me inside to the event, he didn’t have much luck, so I headed back to homebase.

    Unfortunately I made the wrong turn on the walkway in front of Aria and wound up on the wrong side of the walkway to get back, so I decided to head up to MGM and then take the monorail back. I grabbed a couple slices of pizza at the MGM food court to go and then jumped on the Monorail. Maintenance on the monorail stops is abysmal. Fluorescent lights burnt out and blinking, none of the escalators working, It’s got a real urban feel to it now, of course this was just at the MGM station, which of course makes for a great impression for the resort. Harrahs stop was just as bad, but at least it’s not connected under one roof.

    I headed back to the room, watched the talking heads debate Ben Rapesberger from the Steelers for a while and called it an early night.

    Day 4

    Slot tournament, it’s a 10k top prize for the tournament and my first slot tournament in Vegas. Format is three rounds for the first day and top 64 move on to head to head competition the next day.

    My first session was at 11:30. I entered the ballroom to find a bar setup with wine and beer and a table with soft drinks and coffee. Not a bad setup although I missed having any regular alcohol. I did have a couple beers over the day, which is a rarity for me. The tournament host was dressed up as Richard Simmons including the hair and the short shorts along with the necessary energy. I found out there were 155 entrants for the tourney.

    I wound up scoring progressively worse each round, 10,000, 9,000, and 8,000 and wound up finishing in 73rd place, good enough for $100 in freeplay but outside of the second day activities. I knew my third round score would kill my chances, although I was a bit surprised that it got up to 8k, as halfway through the round I was lagging at 2k. Oh well, seems my tournament machine used some of my standard slot machine luck.

    The tournament was fun and the staff did a great job in putting it on, it was interesting watching the host’s energy level drop to nil by the last session, after doing it for 6 hours I’d imagine I would be pretty beat too.

    In between the tourney sessions, I just hung out at the Mirage and played Ultimate Texas Hold’em. I fluctuated between up and down by about $60, drank a ton of more drinks, and earned enough points to justify my room and offers for the next trip.

    All in all it wasn’t a bad day, it was sort of nice having something scheduled throughout the day and staying at the Mirage all day, I wouldn’t want to do it often, but with a chance at some free play, it’s not a bad deal at all.

    I finished the tourney and headed to Japonais as I wanted to get some Sushi, unfortunately they don’t serve food until 5pm and I was far too hungry to wait. Of course I found this out after ordering my drink, so I decided to play VP as I finished it and hit 4 3’s with no kicker, cashed out and decided to try Cravings (Mirage’s buffet) for dinner.

    No line to get in and not very crowded, I remembered from the one time I had tried the place that their Chinese station was very good and they had gelato for dessert. I can definitely say the Chinese station was still very good and the gelato is gone, The beef and broccoli I had was the highlight of the meal, even with a small portion on the first pass, I was pretty filled up and picked at the rest of the stuff I on the second pass. There wasn nothing else that was very noteworthy, if I head back here in the future, I think I’ll just eat at the Chinese station.

    After dinner, I headed over to the Venetian, as I wanted to check out their new Rock Bar/Lounge Smoking Hot Aces. It’s a pit, it’s in the spot up front on the walkway, either the old V bar or the other one that was busted so many times over. The inside is concrete floors and dark spaces, reminiscent of Coyote Ugly’s hole in the wall format. They’ve decided to put couches and tables in a corner here though in order to sell bottle service as well. If you find youself in Vegas and our getting Bottle Service here you are doing it wrong. There were some positives with the place though, the bar maids were extremely attractive and depending on what they decided to wear, barely clothed at all (at least for the night shift bartender). They have a 2for1 drink special from 5-9 and their mixed cocktails were very good and ‘only’ $10 bucks regulary, so for $5 a cocktail, with some of the options they had, I’d visit again for a couple hours. The place was fairly dead too (it was a Tuesday) as the band they were supposed to have that night was out of town. With enough people in there and the right band, it wouldn’t be horrible if you aren’t shelling out $250 for bottle service, but otherwise there are probably better places to spend some time.

    After Aces, I decided to head over to McFaddens at the Rio for some more karaoke. I walked up to Harrahs and jumped on the shuttle. At this point I was pretty lit, so the shuttle ride was fine, but they now stop at some timeshare location (sunny something) as well. Ah, anything for a $ Harrahs. Arriving at the the Rio the casino floor was fairly packed for a Tuesday, although completely empty by 1am. I headed back towards McFaddens and grabbed a drink. I’ve been here once before and it’s not a bad spot for a weeknight, drinks tend to be on the high side ($9 for mixed). But they often have open bar specials for call drinks at $20 or $30 which is a nice quick way to get drunk.

    The night turned out to be pretty crazy as two girls were the stars of the night, both getting progressively drunker and dancing through the night, as the night wore on 3-4 ‘very drunk’ girls joined the party. I wound up talking with a couple people at the bar that worked for the Wyndham timeshares, a young kid and an older, rather large woman. The kid was pretty cool, and I had to complement him on his sales skills as during one of songs the girls were out dancing too, he pulled up a chair, pulled out a dollar and coaxed a lap dance out of her. The large woman seemed to have eyes for me from the moment I was there, and I did my best to try and avoid too much conversation and sort of just move away peacefully and quietly, which worked nicely as there was a group of Canucks from Vancouver that came in, 4 girls and 1 guy, who we quickly acclimated to the party. I wish I could type up more on how the night went, but there was a lot of alcohol flowing, in addition it probably wouldn’t translate well to my prose. Let’s just say for a Tuesday night, it was quite a wild party, take some of the weekend non-pretentious spots, reduce the crowd by about 50% so it seems more intimate, mix in a lot of music, laughs, and some crazy antics and you would have a night like this. If you are looking for something different on a weeknight, I’d definitely recommend giving McFaddens a shot. The bartenders did take care of me at McFaddens though, I decided to just drink soda and then mix in some shots, here’s the size of the jager shots they were pouring. http://tweetphoto.com/13877148

    We closed the bar out at two and I cabbed it back to the Mirage, after politely avoiding the advances of a working girl. After getting back to the Mirage, I wasn’t ready to call it a night, so I gambled for another 30 minutes or so and grabbed a drink at the Revolution Lounge.

    Day 5

    I slept in a bit today, I think I made it until about 8am. I took stock of the bankroll and realized that keeping my losses to the previous day centered around drinking and food, got me back to about where I anticipated being this far in the trip. (a bit above budget for the last day). With an above average day gambling, there was a pretty good chance of coming home with some cash.

    I decided to get ready and head off to Wynn and Encore for the day. I’ve been in Wynn once or twice and most of it was spent on the casino floor. I really wanted to take a walk through the property though, like I did Aria on the previous days.

    I grabbed a Starbucks and made the walk down. Walked through the area I was familiar with at Wynn, the mall and the casino floor by Parasol Up. I decided I was going to gamble here today, so I walked over the red card desk and signed up. Their current offers for new signups. $10 freeplay for your email. 100 points in spin the wheel (which typically ends up on $10 freeplay), 300 points (Encore water bottle). 400 points buffet. I didn’t plan on playing more then 100 points on the card as I had dreams of the 10k freeplay win they have listed.

    I walked over to Encore, unfortunately taking the convention corridor way to get there. Talk about making a wrong turn. I can assure everyone who has a convention at Wynn, that there breakfast tables are stocked with the same supplies I typically find at the IBM Poughkeepsie hotel in NY. Which is to say it’s a fairly decent selection.

    After managing to escape the maze of the convention/training rooms, I found the correct path to Encore. I love the walk in there, I typically wouldn’t consider myself a fan of natural light in casinos, but I liked how it was incorporated here. I won’t try and go into details of how it’s incorporated there are far better pieces that do a fine job of that. I did decide to play some at Encore, as I liked the layout of the casino floor. I sat down and played some VP, and eventually a waitress found me and I decided on a Mojito for the first drink.

    I lost a good deal of my buy in with no waitress returning, so I decided to try something else, and moved over to some random slots, played for a while, got another drink and then got bored, but had made my 100 points, went over and spun the wheel, and landed on $10. The rep. gave me my card back as he had already loaded $10 on it, I’m guessing it’s fairly usual :) . I headed back to Wynn, fully prepared to leave, but decided to sit down at an electronic single zero roulette machine, which tend to either be nice sessions for me or very horrible sessions. The nice thing is Wynn has decided that a 2% house edge on the outside bets (inside at 34 to 1 so lower) still rates earning points on your card. MGM has signs on most of their single zero machines that you cannot accrue points anymore on them, as they did on some Video Blackjack machines too (the one with the extremely buxom dealers). Anyway, so it was nice to see that even though I was likely to pay more for the majority of things at Wynn, as a machine player I wasn’t getting nickel and dimed.

    I played for a while and hit the jackpot in waitresses, who brought me about 5 mojitos in under 2 hours, that’s probably a conservative estimate. I finally decided to cash out after doubling my buyin and not being able to get above that for 15 minutes, and then decided to eat at Wynn since it was later then I planned to be there. I noticed Red 8 had an 18.88 lunch special, so I gave it a try. I got the Thai Beef and it was very good, I’d definitely return for it. I even liked the seating they gave me, dining by myself, a front table, looking out on the casino floor, but set up nicely in that you weren’t pressed against the open window for people to look in on you.

    After lunch, I took a stab at the roulette game again and lost my buyin, I was at 300 points now and decided since I was there, might as well go get the water bottle. So I trekked back to Encore, I also realized I had about 50 points to go for the buffet, and since I travel solo a lot to Vegas, it would take care of a meal in the future and give me a reason to come back, so I played some at Encore. I wound up hitting a big win on one of Wynn’s Windfall machines and was down about $30 total for the day when I hit 400. I also wound up with about 5 or 6 more mojitos, so considering that $30 down was mostly in tips and I was at about $3 a drink, I’d have to say it wasn’t a bad day.

    I loaded the last mojito in the water bottle (have to keep it classy, you know) and headed back out on to the strip and back to the room. For those interested at the TI/Fashion Show walkway they are passing out 2for1 Mystere coupons. I’m guessing that will likely be the first cirque show to finally close on the strip. Unless of course Ruffin takes creative control and introduces bull riding and cowgirls with the French Canadian Acrobats.

    Back to the Mirage and I started packing a bit for the return trip home the next day. After resting for a bit, I headed down to the casino, mostly to use my $100 free play from the slot tournament. I turned it into $50 and at the last second got asked for a drink by the waitress. I hesitated but decided to order one and then moved to a new machine, playing single coin $1, figuring I’d feed $20 through and be done, and it hit for $200. A nice accidental coincidence. I played around for another couple hours, going up and down on the same hundred, unable to get anything moving and then finally hitting a bad run. I was at the point, where I was ready to call it a night and just keep the bankroll for next trip, but I decided I wanted to play some baccarat and walk the strip a bit, so I headed for the Flamingo, which has a low limit table on the floor, that way if I wasn’t getting on any run, I could drop it down if I needed to. I wanted to head up to the Monte Carlo, but it was freezing out, and I just couldn’t see myself getting all the way up there, getting blown out and then trekking back to the Mirage.

    So I hit the Flamingo and got crushed on the table. Every choice I was on the wrong side, I scooped the last $20 of my buyin and headed back to the room. The good thing was I hadn’t touched the final days budget, so I had that for the April trip, the bad thing was I dumped a ton taking the shot that night, that I wouldn’t of minded having for the April trip. :)

    In the morning, I decided to check my room charges and saw that the hotel room was being charged rather then comped. I headed down to the desk and the clerk quickly got it straightened out. It was a pain in the ass to have to head down there to resolve it, since it should have been set up right, but I have to say the clerk handled it very well. As a lower tier player, you cringe thinking this might the one time that you have to start arguing about whether your play meets historical levels. In this case that wasn’t what happened though, they had just put it into the system wrong (I was the third one that day with the issue).

    Final thoughts for the trip.

    1. My brother was worried that two trips so close together would spoil my interest for the April trip, I can definitely confirm he’s wrong with that one. Highly looking forward to next month, when I come back to even the score.

    2. I liked the weather in Vegas, but can’t wait for pool season next month to be in full swing.

    3. I really didn’t want to like Wynn. It’s nothing I have against it, it’s just that I tend to be a lower rent type. Staying at Bellagio last year gave me a far removed taste of some of what to like. Spending the day at Wynn/Encore only enhanced it. I won’t say I’d come to the point of paying for a night there, but I think I would make a trip out there for a marketing offer during a non-peak period that floated my way. There were just a lot of little things from a gambling perspective I liked.

    4. Back to the gambling perspective on Wynn. I swear the hit % on the MGM and HET machines are set obscenely low. It’s one thing to set the hold % low, but if you aren’t giving your clients a chance to feel like they are gambling at all, what’s the point. Now I realize I might have just wound up a bit ‘luckier’ with my machine choices at Wynn, but throughout 4-5 machines I played, I was seeing a ton of small wins that enabled me to recycle some play. MGM and HET properties I’ve seen very few sessions of this over the last 4-5 trips.

    5. My issues with Caesars during checkout has been resolved, I received a call last night and an email from the Hotel manager who apologized and refunded me the discrepancy. Very well handled.

    6. I know others like the Mirage and I’m glad I stayed there, but I really don’t like that casino.

    7. This was a return to center strip for me. Last year I found myself down on the MGM through most of my 3 trips. I have to say I think I’m starting to prefer the MGM side of the strip. Although another good day at Encore would probably shift the pendulum.

    8. It’s always fun to meet new people when in Vegas. The laid back nature of the strip makes it really easy to hang out with random people.

    9. Crowds seemed to be up a bit on the Strip from what I’ve seen at times over the past year. But I still get the impression that people aren’t spending like they used to, which in truth doesn’t surprise me. While I don’t want to see the strip turn into a bunch of Osheas/Casino Royale style value places, it wouldn’t be bad for some of the middle tier properties to start looking at some ways of differentiating themselves from the big boys and generate their own base. MC and Ballys I’m thinking of you.

    10. I’m already trying to figure out a way to get a summer trip in addition to my November trip in. At some point people are going to have that intervention, I’m relatively sure of it.

    Thanks for reading, apologies for the spelling or grammatical errors, feel free to ask any questions.
     
  2. CaptainJack

    CaptainJack Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    468
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    24
    That boy behind the tree photo is a young Bill Cosby...and the photographer is a young (and probably stoned) Dennis Hopper. I believe he took that photo for Vogue magazine in the 60's.
     
  3. jfaspen

    jfaspen Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Messages:
    101
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    Great detailed trip report. As I read it, I kept thinking to myself, this is what I would sound like coming back from a trip like that!

    Good luck next month.
     
  4. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,060
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Great job. Is there a list of songs somewhere that that band will do with other people singing? I couldn't find their actual Facebook page, just their regular web page...
     
  5. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    4,473
    Location:
    rolling hardways
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    229
    Jinx, I missed you by a day. I got into town on the 12th. Are you going in May for the Mayweather fight? If you are, will see you then!

    Rich
     
  6. pass line man

    pass line man Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    455
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23
    Hell of a TR, thanks!
     
  7. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,790
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Captain Jack, thanks for the info on the portrait, much appreciated.

    rwalsh, dang I figured you might be out there for the Paquiao fight, I won't be making it out in May, although I can't wait until I get a chance to be out there again for a fight, such a great time last time.

    pass the man, thanks.

    chuck, they don't actually have a list posted on their website, you can get to their website from the Kahunaville page I believe, but it's basically just background on the band. If you head there, they don't put the lists out, but their sound person has them on a table right next to the stage. Hope this helps.

    jfaspen, thanks, hoping for good luck next month, then we can have a summer trip report too.
     
  8. peanutmnm

    peanutmnm Scotchy

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    731
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    Our text conversation from the 1st day:

    jinx-On the ground, in route to Casesars!

    Me-Cool beans!

    Me (an hour later)-Drunk yet? Win anything?

    jinx-Nope, I'm ironing my clothes.

    Me-WTF man?

    jinx-I'm having a drink in the room. I can't relax if my clothes look bad.

    Me-Huh? Come on man!
     
  9. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,790
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    It's all in the details, what can I say. Does it help that I actually got a couple slices of pizza and brought them up to the room and had a drink?

    Oh forgot one thing that you might find interesting too, Bradley Ogden stocks Oronoco, first bar outside of Rhumbar that I found it at, that is if you decide on a scotch alternative for the night :)
     
  10. SloppyJoe

    SloppyJoe Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    58
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    Great Report. Interesting story about the band at TI, I will have to make it a point to see them. Thanks.
     
  11. peanutmnm

    peanutmnm Scotchy

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    731
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    I'm just busting your balls because I'm pissed you got to go and I couldn't. Your dad must have been a military man?

    PS-Carmel Bar at the Bellagio has Oronono Rum.
     
  12. garyz100

    garyz100 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    cleveland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    94
    Jinx, great report, you sound like me when i travel solo to vegas. i hit mostly the mgm property's. I am also from the cleveland area (brunswick) and will be in vegas apr 13-20 staying at ny ny. I normly go 3-4 times a yr but finding airfare going up up up its going to be tough this year to keep that pace.
     
  13. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,790
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Joe, definitely check them out, they are out there W-Saturday, with wednesdays show being from 8-12.

    Peanut, I don't mind the ball busting and based on that text definitely deserve it, dad was sort of military, he served his tour in Nam, however he's not the uniformed guy that pressed a lot on those details. I think it's from when I was heavy, and after I lost weight I just wanted to look good, so it's more a factor of that :), plus habit of travelling from when I used to be an IT trainer for work. (old habits die hard) Carmel bar having Oronoco is awesome, as I have a spot to goto next trip then on the first couple days, great tip.

    Gary, thanks, you aren't kidding airfare has dropped for everywhere else except Vegas here in Cleveland hasn't it. I had jumped on a deal at $300 roundtrip on SW for Vegas for the March trip and was happy to have found it, as I found nothing comparable factoring bags and stuff in otherwise. They definitely have that route filled regularly. Using a FF ticket for April, and have a RR ticket now available, but that's likely for November. At least the weather is warming up here, have a great time at NYNY, you'll be leaving 2 days before my Cleveland crew arrives. Its still one of the resorts I haven't made it too, I had it booked for this next trip and then Bellagio came and smashed that offer with theirs.
     
  14. peanutmnm

    peanutmnm Scotchy

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    731
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    I prefer to think the wrinkled look is in. :beer:
     
  15. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,790
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    That's after I wind up drinking the day and night away :) Which tends to happen regularly on these trips.
     
  16. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    San Diego
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    Art at City Center

    Try this link:

    http://www.citycenter.com/

    Then click on City Center -> About -> Fine Art Collection -> View Fine Art in the Interactive Directory

    This gives you a list of the artists, a brief description of each piece, where's it's located, a picture so small you really can't make out much detail.
     
  17. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,725
    Location:
    Chicago & Jersey City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    85
    loved every minute of the report....classic trip! sounds like you tore it up on the stage and had to play some dodge ball with the ladies. i keep trying to hate wynn and encore too but its like a chick that is too hot for me and i cant quit looking at her. btw there is one here today id like to see in a polka dot bikini!

    pnut-great text messaging, i am pretty sure youve got an x-rated drunken hooker conversation in that iphone somewhere from the same weekend! haha.

    good luck on the may trip Jinx...hope u keep emptying steve wynns pockets!
     
  18. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,038
    Location:
    Calgary , Alberta , Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    13
    Great TR :) very detailed , sounds like a fun time!
     
  19. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,790
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Socaldude, thanks for the link.

    Beejay, thanks, so true on Wynn, great analogy on it. Good luck on your April trip too, looking forward to the live updates, as it's going to get me through to my trip. I was trying to get a pic of the chick walking around Mirage in what could only be described as a purple mini bikini, that I was going to send to Pnut, but the crowd of dudes that surrounded her made it too difficult. I'm saving the good stories for the next trip he makes it out there as we get bombed in the high limit room.

    VegasDiva, thanks.
     
  20. peanutmnm

    peanutmnm Scotchy

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    731
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    Jinx,
    If my trip goes well in a few weeks I'll do my best to drive up when you are there and drink some rum with you boys. I'll start working on getting V3 out there on my drive home. :poke:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.