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"almost" March Madness

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by LV Terry, Mar 23, 2003.

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  1. LV Terry

    LV Terry Captain Flop'N Fold

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA, USA

    My Trip Report

    The “almost March Madness†trip

    I was originally planning to go to LV for the first week of March Madness, then my wife said she might be able to get away at the beginning of that week, so I immediately switched gears….I’ve been three times in a row without her, so when she says she can go, I’m taking her! I didn’t even bring my golf clubs, scoring a few extra good husband points. We had a really great, relaxing vacation....stayed in a nice hotel, ate lots of good food, slept in late every morning (a luxury my wife really enjoys, but rarely gets to partake of), saw some good shows, and of course gambled for hours and hours! All in all, an excellent trip.

    FOOD:

    Hit the buffets at Aladdin and Bellagio….both very good, as expected. I think I’ve become jaded to the Super Buffet….it’s just not as awe-inspiring as it used to be….I think I’m ready to start eating dinner in regular restaurants, although a few $100+ dinners may send me scurrying back to the buffet.

    Someone asked if the Aladdin buffet is open for breakfast…..everything in the room and in the hotel says it opens for lunch, but they are actually open for breakfast as well…all there is, is a little floor sign at the entrance during breakfast…kind of odd. Bottom line: they’re open for breakfast.

    We also ate at the Caribe Café at the Mirage, and the Cheesecake Factory in the Caesar’s mall. Both places beat me…. Couldn’t finish.


    SHOWS:

    Saw Mama Mia at Mandalay Bay. Outstanding. Had great seats (bought them a month in advance)….about eight rows up, dead center. This is actually a play rather than a show….the story line is pieced together using songs from ABBA. It’s very good….lot’s of happy music that everyone knows the words to. A bonus is that this show is two and a half hours long (one intermission)…with ticket prices at $65/$85, this is one of the very best entertainment options in Vegas. The non-show highlight was toward the end of the show the group of gay guys in the row behind us started singing along with the songs….it was freakin’ hilarious.

    Saw Penn and Teller at The Rio. Again, bought tickets a month in advance, and we were four rows up from the stage. Another reasonably priced, very good show. It’s a combination of comedy show and majic/illusions….very entertaining.


    GAMBLING:

    Played a lot of Poker, mostly at the Mirage….Man, I love that poker room! I also played for a couple of hours at the Bellagio poker room….very nice room, nice chairs….did not win a single hand, which prevented me from falling in love with the place. Also, they recently implemented a quarter ante policy, which I found to be a pain….I understand the reason for it, or at least what I guess to be the reason, which is to weed out the old guys who just come to the poker room to hang out, because it’s better than sitting at home, but I just found all the change making to be annoying….again, not winning any hands may have factored into my attitude.

    Two poker highlights:

    First….Best hand ever: dealt two aces down, and a four up. Bet the aces. Next card is an ace up. Excellent. Looking for the full house. Next card is a no help nine, but I’m still betting the three aces. Two other guys are still in, also trying to fill up their full houses. Next card…a four or nine? No, the fourth ACE!! Best hand ever, and the other two guys both got their full houses, so chips are just raining into the pot….everyone was duly impressed. I resisted the urge to bust out the “I’ve two pair…..a pair of red aces, and a pair of black aces†reference. Side note…my last card was a four…would have filled the full house and won anyway, but Man, it was fun to roll those bullets.

    Second…. Fight night: Last night at the Mirage, around midnight….this huge middle eastern guy stands up from a $20-$40 hold’em table and starts MF ing some old guy whom I assumed just kicked his ass for some serious cash. This guy is Big….probably 6’5â€, 275….he keeps yelling curses at the old guy as the security guys are telling him to shut up and get out. Once he is at the cashier (the poker room has it’s own), he starts laughing and joking with the security guy, who is about 5’6â€, 150, and probably 65 years old. I see him visibly relax as the big guy’s attitude changes, which is exactly what he was hoping for…. He busts past the security and rushes the table….Pandemonium!! I heard a sound I hadn’t heard since high-school, but recognized at once…the sound of punches landing on a human body….all three “green jackets†are on this guy, trying to get him to the ground….it’s about an even fight…until…the old guy who was being attacked stands up, grabs his cane, and gives this guy a full overhand cane to the dome!! Awesome! It’s the freakin’ Wild West!! I have never, ever, seen anything like that. Sidenote….once the room calms down a little, we get back to cards… I’m betting my hand, get my last card, and realize I never once looked to see who else was in, or what they might have…I’ve just been throwing in whatever the bet is….lucky for me, I’ve filled my straight and win the hand!! Hahahahaa

    All the hours that I play poker on this trip, my wife is playing $10 black jack. We did not see a single $5 table the entire trip, and this is mid week! I hate to see that. I perceive that as a very unfriendly move by the casinos. Everywhere we went you would see empty tables, and lots of people circling the pits looking for a $5 table. Why not open 10 $5 tables and scoop up all that market share? I know they force people (like my wife) to the more expensive tables, but they also have to be sending a lot of business to the lower tier casinos. That, along with the proliferation of 6/5 single deck games in Every casino, and what seems like a lot more tables where the dealer hits soft 17, signals a change in philosophy from the Steve Wynn induced “let’s make people never want to leave our casino†feeling that I personally think created the modern Vegas. Too bad.

    The good news is that with the exception of the last session, my wife left the black jack tables a winner every time. Nice. I went and played next to her on day two….I had been playing poker all day, and was ready for dinner… she had been at the same table, with the same pit boss, for like six hours, playing $10 minimum….I asked the pit boss if we could get comped for dinner…. He was very sorry, but six hours of $10 black jack simply wasn’t enough to qualify for any comps… WHAT?! Unbelievable….. see bitch above.

    HOTELS:

    We stayed at the Aladdin for the first time (well…we stayed at the pre-implosion hotel once back in the day, but that doesn’t count). We both liked it very much, especially at the killer $59 rate I nabbed. Great (huge) shower, and a really nice deep bath tub that even my 6’4†frame can enjoy. The bed was a bit firm, but whatever. We had a view of the pool area, and much to my surprise, it was getting heavy use in the 65 degree weather!! We liked the casino, and the shopping mall had a surprising number of shops that you could actually afford to buff stuff in! Big Starbucks on premises, good location on Strip…. All good. We would definitely stay there again.

    On a different hotel note, the RIO has always been on my list of places to stay. They are supposed to have great rooms, and a great pool area. It had been a couple of years since I had been in there, but I had always had a good time…. Upbeat, friendly….nice place. I was surprised to see that the two big black jack pits in the front of the casino had been completely replaced with slot machines. The center pits were almost exclusively funky table games….. you know, Spanish 21, Let it ride, War, “I’m thinking of a numberâ€â€¦.whatever….after a while they did finally open two $15 minimum tables. Thanks. The back pit was all $25 minimum or higher. And this was on a Tuesday night! So much for off Strip properties trying harder to get the business! The Rio was always a great place to go because you could find tons of $5 tables, and it was a great upbeat atmosphere. Dang…. Another one bites the dust.


    General Notes:

    The sports book at the Bellagio is the Bomb!! Met up with some friends from work Wednesday afternoon and had a few drinks there while figuring out our first bets for the Madness.

    The beauty of valet parking is that if it’s cold and windy out, you can drive two casinos away with minimal hassle.

    Went to Red Square at Mandalay Bay, based on a recommendation someone on this board made….can’t remember who it was, but Thank you! Loved that place. I love vodka martini’s, and they had a menu full of them! I had one called “The Chernobyl†… Awesome…two kinds of 100 proof vodka, an 80 proof vodka, cranberry juice, and some other kind of alcohol “floating†on top….it came in a glass you normally see sodas served in at buffet’s….HUGE! My wife, who hardly ever drinks, had a “key lime pie†martini…. Really excellent. Really liked the atmosphere…would definitely recommend it.

    It would not be fun to get your ass kicked by Mirage security. “show him the door, and use his head to open itâ€

    I need to get back to the gym…. I must have gained 10 pounds last week.

    Best news of all…. My wife’s best friend’s 40th birthday is next month…I suggested they fly in for a couple of nights, see a couple of shows, have some fun by themselves….she agreed that would be a great birthday present. I’ve been trying for years to get her to do a girls only trip….hopefully this will open the door, and she’ll see how fun it can be! Now to plan a great trip for them!

    [ March 23, 2003, 03:19 PM: Message edited by: LV Terry ]
     
  2. Dougie

    Dougie I am IN!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Idaho
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Awesome trip! Cant believe you couldnt squeak a free buffet from the pit boss. The poker room fight ranks up there with the best I have heard...

    Bazootch
     
  3. Little Bob

    Little Bob Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    The poker room fight sounds like a volatile combination of testosterone, alcohol, some good cards that weren't quite good enough and a smile or comment at precisely the wrong moment. The big guy at least got his comps out of it---a free room and breakfast courtesy of the local jail.
     
  4. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    What a great story about the fight. Too funny about the old guy getting in his licks.

    I like the Aladdin too. Great location and you got a great rate.

    I've been wanting to try Red Square - love Vodka martini's. Were you able to get a seat at the frozen bar?

    My friend and I were just there at the beginning of the month and didn't have any problems finding $5 Blackjack tables - Luxor, MGM, NYNY, Monte Carlo, Excaliber. We even found non-smoking $5 tables. It was even a weekend. That's too bad you couldn't find any when you went out.

    Sounds like you had a great time though.
     
  5. LV Terry

    LV Terry Captain Flop'N Fold

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,957
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA, USA
    That's really good news about the $5 tables... maybe the casinos were just hitting the early March Madness guests.

    We got a small table at Red Square...the bar was full. Frozen bar? What's that about? If you like vodka martini's, Red Square is definitely the place!

    We did have a really good time. I was telling my buddies about the fight as we were playing golf yesterday, and they were just cracking up. As entertaining as it was, I don't ever need to see it again. I would like to know what the old guy did to set him off though....

    T.
     
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