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Another Christmas Spent in Las Vegas

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by RebelDiceMan, Jan 5, 2006.

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  1. RebelDiceMan

    RebelDiceMan High-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    712
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21

    My Trip Report

    Another Christmas Spent in Las Vegas Finally Complete

    The Baboo and I spent yet another Christmas in LV, arriving on Dec 20 and departing on the 26th. Here is the report but be forewarned that I include a LOT of details, personal opinions and sometimes lengthy clutter. If those type TRs bug you, then read no further.

    Nothing memorable about the flight out, just a routine Jackson-Dallas-McCarren trip. Our pilot did tell us the wrong carousel to go to for our bags. The only headache with that was that our limo driver got a little antsy waiting for us at carousel 3 while we stood around at carousel 1. We finally niticed that the flight on the carousel did not match ours and walked over to the right one. There The Baboo spotted our limo driver holding up a big BABOO sign. She liked that :) since I usually have my name on the limo card.

    We enjoyed a pleasant ride over to the RIO. We got checked in and just automatically headed up the Masquerade tower elevators because that is the only place we have ever stayed in 12-15 trips to the Rio. Once on our floor, we realized that we had been assigned rooms in the Ipanema tower. We went back to the desk to get that corrected and after 3 tries, we were able to get a room in Masquerade that allowed The Baboo to smoke. It wasn't a huge hassle but I resolved to make my reservations by phone next time since there is no way to specifiy which tower you want on-line. Ipanema may be great but we are used to Masquerade and know how to navigate from there.

    A soon as we got our baggage in the room, I rushed down to the Sports Book to beat the kickoff of the USM/Arkansas St game. Just beating the kickoff, I got my $1,000 down on the moneyline taking the Golden Eagles of The University of Southern Mississippi. I was only going to win a little less than $300 for my bet but felt that it was a lock. The Baboo grew up across the steet from USM and hates for me to bet on them because she thinks that I jinx them but this was too good to pass up. As the days passed, my Sports Book action kept my head above water as the tables, especially the blackjack tables, were not kind at all.

    Once I got the bet down, I went over to the Masquerade Bar and drank a few beers while watching the game and playing VP. At the end of teh first half, I hit cash out so I could go check on The Baboo. What? No paper in the printer. The bartender called a tech on the phone to come fix the situation. I sat around for 20 minutes or longer and finally just told the bartender I couldn't wait any longer so I was just abandoning my $10. When I returned downstairs, I dropped back by on the off chance that the tech had left my ticket there. No such good fortune but I wasn't really expecting him to anyway. Something else I wasn't expecting was the bartender to charge me $5 for a Miller lite when he knew that I had just been shorted $10 by the machine. That move sent me to the Sports Book to watch the second half but despite many people extolling the virtues of watching games in the Book, I got somewhat bored and went out to the VP bar just outside the Book to watch the fourth quarter. It was there that I learned the entire Total Rewards system had crashed and none of the machines were doing countdowns or point totals. The Harrah's people were saying that our points were accumulating anyway but I was pretty skeptical of that. Therefore, I kept my play down to just above what it took to keep my drinks free.

    It was quite on that end of the casino with Bikinis being closed and the hour ticking on into the night but that quietness was loudly interrupted when a Bevertainer stand roared to life about 10 feet behind my stool. I would be lying if I denied jumping about 3 feet straight up when we went from quiet solitude to Roaring Disco Inferno in .5 seconds. At least the bevertainer was cute. Finally the game was over and I had my winning ticket. USM had won the game but failed to cover the double-digit spread so I am glad I choose to go the moneyline route.

    It was time to try a little blackjack but I could have saved my time and money because I could not get anything going in an hour and a half. The effort cost me $300. The Rio is notorious for terrible blackjack but their $25 games are playable. I just did not get any cards. I took the short stroll over to the Gold Coast and found a stool at a VP bar. About 40 minutes and 2 beers later I had a $50 profit. I cashed and promptly spent part of it in their convenient and very reasonably priced liquor store getting supplies for the room. Now it was time to find my way to Sleepytown so off to the room I went.

    The next morning I made a coffee/snack run down to the Coffee Bean which is extremely convenient if you are staying in the Masquerad tower because it is located just outside the elevator exits. Coffee was good and I got the first of many different pastries that I would experiment with throughout the week. All were good but I would rate the pastries a notch above the cookies. My personal favorite of the week was the chocolate bundt cake. I also made a trip across the street for cokes, chips, and other supplies for the room. There had been a head-on collision on Flamingo and the had the street blocked off from the bridge to the Gold Coast. It made crossing the street pretty convenient but I hope no one was killed or seriously injured.

    I went over to the Sports Book to cash in my ticket and was saddened to see that the dlie (Toscano?) had been shut down for remodeling. Before we left on the 26th, they were doing a test run by feeding Rio workers and the restaurant was named The Sports Kitchen. It didn't look like they had changed out any of the kitchen equipment so maybe the menu will stay close to the same. The Poker room is located next to the Sports Book and I wanted to check it out. Considering that the Rio is host to most of the World Series of Poker, their poker room is pretty plain-jane. It looks like they just decided to place 8-10 tables in the nearest open space.

    After leaving the poker room, I went to a trio of Megabucks machines to run my daily allotment of $30 through. My Megabucks philosophy is that if I am intended to hit the jackpot that day, 10 spins ought to be able to do it. I had spun a little past my spins when the hits got a little more frequent. When my credits got up to $60 (which doubled my money) I cashed out. This particular Megabucks machine would prove to be my most dependable source of cash during the trip.

    I settled in on a blackjack table to see if my fortunes had changed overnight. Unfortunately, my luck was still miserable. Even more aggravating, there was a very loud guy on first base who had been up all night as well as all morning playing and was more than a few rungs up the intoxication ladder. He was betting pretty strong (black chip and up) which earned him a good deal of tolerance from dealers, pit people, and cocktail waitresses. That tolerance was certainly needed as he made a lot of loud inappropriate comments and speculations about all the above mentioned people. (mostly sexual innuendos) Since his shenanigans were distracting me, I left and found a seat on a 3 card poker table. ( well, not to mention that I had lost $300 and wanted a change of pace anyway) The only thing I regretted was parting company with an extremely friedly and helpful dealer. (Faye)

    The good news is that there were plenty of seats on the 3 card tables. The bad news is that they all had the underpaying 3-1 payout for flushes. I was used to the 4-1 payout that just about all casinos in Mississippi use. I lucked into another nice dealer. If the cards had been half as nice as the people dealing them, this TR would have a lot more reasons to celebrate mentioned. The bottom line is that I dropped another $150 into the Rio coffers.

    Wanting a break, I walked over to the Shutters Bar for a couple of screwdrivers and some VP. While there, I witnessed a Rio pep rally of sorts. There were about 15 Rio associates were just around the corner (mostly suits but a few dealer uniforms) and chanting "Who Are We? . . . . RIO!". They finshed up the pep rally with a sustained yell of GOOOOOOOOOO...RIO! I hope they were fired up. I finally hit a few mid-range winners and cashed out with a modest profit. BTW- Total Rewards was up and running this morning. On my way to the room, I made a swing through the High Limit room to see if The Baboo had found the Top Dollar machine that draws her like a moth to a flame. She wasn't there but I noticed that the Diamond Lounge had a closed sign on it at 1:30 in the afternoon.

    The Baboo and I headed down to the Ibar for a couple of drinks. They make a very tasty White Russian there. Later we went up to the Voodoo about dark to watch the sunset and enjoy the view of the lights coming on across the valley. The Voodoo outdoor patio has been expanded into multi-levels and I cannot compliment the improvements enough. They now have huge, plush chairs that you can loll around on with the rail mere feet from you. The view is just as spectacular as ever and the comfort level has been vastly increased. We had a couple more White Russians and then decided to split a "Witches Brew". The extra long straws they give your reminded us of long-ago days when we were splitting a milkshake instead of a smoking cauldron of alcohol This may seem odd, but it was a romantic moment for us to be overlooking the beauty of the LV lights while sharing a smoking (dry ice) fish bowl of high-octane alcohol through his and hers straws. Unfortunately, those 5 kinds of rum and the 2 or 3 liqueurs in the Witches Brew just about finished the Baboo off. An hour later, she was ready to call it a night.

    Well, that left me on my own and I decided to try out some new places. I caught the shuttle down to Harrah's. The Dueling Pianos were going in full force so I procured me a Stoli and Red Bull and landed me a prime spot just feet away from one of the energetic pianists pounding those keys. It was so much fun, I wound up staying through 2 Stoli & RB refills before moving on. Thank goodness the rest of the crowd was singing and drowning out my warblings. While my singing is enthusiastic, it is always off-key, out of tune, and hard on the ears. I walked out to Carnaval Court and it was locked up tighter than a drum. I guess it had something to do with the time of night or the holiday season.

    I wanted to play a little bit at Imperial Palace but would encounter problems doing so. First I had to cross through the bar that is between the street and the actual entrance to the casino. They were having Kareoke night there and it was more spectacular than any I have seen anywhere outside LV. (but where is the surprise in that) Performer after performer was waiting on their turn and they had on every sort of costume imaginable to help enhance their chance of winning. I saw Michael Jackson, poodle skirts, Billy Idol leather and more but the wildest one was the guy in some sort of superhero getup. He had on gold boots, no pants but red silk briefs, no shirt, a mask, a cape and some sort of horned helmet. Who knows what song went along with that geetup. I promise you, that bar was ROCKIN! What wasn't rocking were the blackjack games inside IP. I wanted to play in either the dealertainer pit or the champagne pit but both had the dreaded 6-5 payout for blackjack and I just will not play those games. So out the door and back through the World Kareoke Championship I went.

    Wanting to see some new places and visit some places I hadn't been in a while, I turned in the direction of the Barbary Coast. I was also a little thirsty so I slurped down a beer and played a few minutes of VP. Next up was O'Sheas. I didn't stay long but I played for a few minutes, got a couple of chips for my collection and tucked a $40 profit in my pocket. I then set out to find Ellis Island. I had never been there and only vaguely remembered that it was somewhere back behind Bally's. Once on the sidewalk, I noticed that I was just outside the door of The Stage Door Casino and went in for a look around. It was pretty nondescript but certainly had nothing wrong with it other than being small. Scored a beer to walk with from either SDC or the mini-mart next to it and hit the road again. I saw the green neon of Ellis Island a LONG way off but set off in that direction anyway. I don't know if it was the hour or the location but I had the sidewalk to myself the entire way. Ellis Island was pleasant enough and the people I encountered were very congenial. I played BJ for about an hour and lost $50. The chips I snared for my collection seemed brand new.

    Making my way back to the stip, I entered the back of Ballys and located the passageway leading to Paris. They had dueling pianos in Napoleons so I stopped in for a couple of beers here. It was fun but less lively than the pianos at Harrahs. Once in the casino, I played blackjack for about an hour. I was a little ahead just about the entire time but finally a couple of lost hands in a row put me back at even so I cashed. I encountered another dealer memorable for her good nature here. (Ann) I always enjoy playing at Paris because of the feeling that you are outdoors that the faux sky produces. My host from New Orleans is going to be working soon at either Ballys or Paris. I hope he gets Paris. I hit Las Vegas Boulevard just in time to hear the opening notes of The Star Spangled Banner as the Bellagio fountains began erupting. I stopped and stayed at my spot for the entire show. As always the SSB was an inspiring moment.

    I walked down to the Boardwalk. I wanted some chips from here and knew they were scheduled for closing. I had read a lot of negative things about this place but it seemed OK to me. Everyone seemed a little depressed but heck, the place is going to be shut down. Who wouldnt' be a little depressed?
    Anyway, I played for about 30 minutes and won $50 which I cashed plus another 4 nickel chips for my collection.

    Even though my feet were protesting by now, I made the hike down to NYNY and paid my respects at the memorial around the Statue of Liberty. Some of the items in the shadow boxes were starting to fade pretty badly. It might be time to rotate in some new items if NYNY kept all of the things that were originally hanging from the fence around the statue. My brother, son-in-law, and a bunch of my friends are firefighters, so I always stop by here. Again, a moving moment. I eased over to the NYNY and caught a ride back to the Rio and went up to the elevators to see if I still had an address in Dreamtown.

    I gotta go now but will add the other 4 days later. Things will get a little less detailed because my notes got a little less coherent but there will still be plenty of details whether they are relevant or not. Just keep that in mind.
    OTOH - If no detail is too trivial for you, I hope you enjoy tagging along on my travels.
     
  2. RebelDiceMan

    RebelDiceMan High-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    712
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    One thing I forgot about was that I didn't go straight to bed when I got back to the Rio from "The Long March". I made a stop at the All American Grill and ordered up the biggest breakfast they had. Nothing like scarfing down a plate of bacon and eggs and wasing them down with a cold Miller lite while you chase that elusive Royal on the bartop VP.

    First on the agenda the next morning was my regular run to the Megabucks machine (same one) where I doubled my money again and collected $60. I was beginning to like the idea of Megabucks buying us breakfast every morning. I then took the goodies from Coffee Bean up to the room and prepared to meet the day.

    I went down to the poker room and registered for the daily no limit hold-em tournament that the Rio holds. ($30 buy that gets you 1,000 in chips in with the option of 50% more chips with an additional $10- everyone just goes ahead and pays the $40) There is also an add-on option that allows you to get another 1,500 in chips anytime in the first hour of play for another $40. Since I had some time to kill, I went over to the Sports Book and put down $800 on the California Bears using another moneyline bet. This was another bet I really liked. Then I settled in at the VP bar where I had a couple of beers before the tournament. Yeah, I know it is bad to be drinking before noon but after all, this is vegas. Plus, it would be almost 2 PM if I was back home.

    The tournament went pretty well. As soon as I sat down, a lady said "I know you have won this tournament before, can you tell me what time it usually finishes up?". Well, this was my first time to play this tournament but I figured it couldn't hurt my table image if everyone thought I was a past winner so I confidently told her it would be finished between 4 and 5 like I knew what I was talking about. During the first hour, I played pretty aggresively, as many people do when an add-on is still available. Additionally, I got some good cards and was able to take advantage of everyone else playing aggressive. This allowed me to more than quadruple my beginnning stack of 1,500. At the first break (1 hour), everyone that wanted or needed the add-on took it. Since I had about 6,500 in chips and most of the people taking the add-on would still be significantly behind me, I passed on taking the add-on. I played a steady game for the next hour but wasn't able to add all that much to my chip stack. OTOH- I didn't let it dwindle down either. After the second break (2 hours), the blinds sareted to go up at a dizzying pace. (400-800 the first 15 minutes, 600-1,200 the next, and 800-1,600 the third 15 minutes. Add in the 100 and then 200 annies and you were put in a position of getting in action of getting gone) I made it onto the final table but the blinds and annies were eating me up. Things had almost turned into a crap shoot. No one else could afford to sit out too many hands either. Since the blinds were chewing into my stack, I finally took a chance with an AJ while on the button. One of the blinds went all in and I called her. Her 8-8 won the race and I departed the table in 5th place. Still, it was good for $280 and I had only invested a $40 entry fee. I just wish I could have saved some of those good cards from the first hour for the third hour when the pots were really good sized.

    Feeling pretty good, I wandereed around and landed on a 3 card poker table where my good fortune continued. I didn't hit anything spectacular but the flushes, straights, and pairs came regularly enough that I was able to cash out with a $200 profit. After that I went over to Shutters Bar and piddled around with VP using a friend of mine's card. You lose any harrah's Total Rewards points you might have if your card isn't used every 6 months. It doesn't matter to them that your regular playing spots got washed away in a hurricane. After accumulating about 50 points on his card, I went upstairs to see about the Baboo who was feeling a little under the weather with some sort of upper respiratory problem and would fight it the entire trip. She had found the energy to visit her favorite "Lucky Sevens" and "Top Dollar" machines while I played poker but they had treated her bad. She thought eating would make her feel a little better so I accompanied her down to the All American. We both ordered a bunch of stuff but then decided to make the orders "to go" and took all the food back up to the room to have our feast in private. We were like a couple of fat, lazy dogs after getting our bellies nice and full. We just laid around after eating and wound up going to bed just before 10 PM. Normally, I hate to do that while in LV because I feel like I am wasting precious LV time by sleeping. In this case though, I knew that the combination of very late night hours the night before, the 10 mile "Long March", and my early start this morning made my getting a little rest a neccesity if I was going to party and play at the level I wanted to for the next 3 days. Talking about sleep gives me the opportunity to commend the Rio on something. We have stayed in countless casino hotels and one constant is that people are coming and going at all hours of the day and night. Usually, you are acutely aware of these comings and goings, especially if you are trying to get some sleep. (doors slamming, maids walkie-talkies, people shouting at their friends who must be 100 yards away or deaf or both) I don't remember hearing any of that in the 6 six nights we slept there. I did hear a few sirens and the train a couple of times but we were high enough up that even those were faint noises only. I heard almost no noise emanate from the hotel itself. Cudos to the Rio for using enough insulation to muffle those sounds. It was quite an auditory shock when you departed your nice, quiet room and went down in the nice quiet elevator but thenhit a wall of sound coming from the casino floor when you exited the elevator. Once you opened those elevator doors, you head a cacophony of sound. Loud, lively, music was always playing and was accompanied by all the attendent bells, whistles, and shouts of the machines and those playing them. At least it never failed to wake you up if you were still a little sleepy-eyed when you came off the elevator.

    The next day we were both refreshed and decided to make today our "South Strip" day. But first, I had to make my Megabucks/CoffeeBean run. I once again doubled my money (cashed $60) and used part of it to buy breakfast. Since I was already dressed and The Baboo still had to "put her face on", I left for downstairs. I dropped by the Shutters Bar for some VP and an energizing Stoli and OJ. Hey, What is this? Four nines!! Allright. I cashed out with a $90 profit and moseyed over to a 3 card poker table. I never even saw a pair and burned through $200 dollars in what seemed like 10 minutes. This seemed like a good time to walk over to the Sports Book and pick up my winnings on the California game. I actually won more money on this game than I did on the USM game despite betting less. But that is just the way moneyline bets work.

    After leaving the Sports Book, I found a chair at a BJ table. There was a guy on the table who was making big ($500 and up) bets. That always makes me a little nervous even though it is not my money. I only played for 30-40 minutes but I saw him lose at least 5K-6K in that time. He had two or three thousand in chips on the table when I sat down and took out a 2K marker. After that was gone, he started pulling money from seemingly every pocket (and he had a lot of pockets) as he made cash money bets. He must have had his cash stashed in every pocket because he would go to a different pocket every time he got money for one more bet. He finally gave up and departed. Right after that, a huge commotion erupted on the table next to us. A twenty-something girl jumped up from that table spewing a stream of obsceneties and came our way with steam coming from her ears. The one phrase that kept coming out was something about "they cost me two thousand dollars". My initial thought that she was blaming the fellow back on her table for playing his cards in a manner she did not approve and therefore causing her to lose her money. After listening to her rants a little closer, I realized that she was cussing the dealer and that the dealer was the one who "cost me two thousand dollars". I considered pointing out that it was the girl herself who actually opened her purse and took the 2K out in the first place but decided this was one of those cases where discretion was definitely the better part of valor. In my experience, people in this agitated state usually bring bad karma to the table (not that I have a superstitious bone in my body :) ) so I decided this would be a good time for me to color up and go see if The Baboo was ready. I had dropped another $100 into the Rio coffers but did not feel too bad after seeing the bloodbath my tablemate had taken.

    The Baboo was all spiffed up and it was off to the taxi line we went. One thing I love about the Rio is that you hardly ever have to wait on a taxi. We enjoyed a nice ride with a friendly driver over to Mandalay Bay. We hardly ever make it the way to this end of the strip so I was anxious to see if any changes had taken place. We walked around and refreshed our memories. Both of us agreed that MB was more impressive than we remembered. This could be a nice play to stay sometime. Rumjungle ws being remodeled and it was too early in the day for Red Square to be open. We did peek through the RS windows and the bar area was just as small as I remembered it. I wish they would find a remedy for that because I love the bar but hate the crowded conditions.

    Me made the long trek out to the Shark Reef and began our visit to the exhibit. I have seen several big aquarium exhibits and this was as good as any I have seen. It was very enjoyable and I really liked the personal sound wands. Lots of cool aquatic critters that you could examine at your own pace. It made you appreciate that Seafood Platter a little more. We completed the tour and began walking back to the main area of MB. Not far from the Shark Reef, they had a model room/suite from THEHotel set up. We have never stayed on this end of the strip but those accommodations looked mighty inviting.

    After the Shark Reef, we took a brief stop for Rest and Recuperation. We were in either the Island Bar or the Crystal Bar. The bar was circular in nature and out in the middle area of the main casino floor. We were the only customers and the 3 bartenders were busily trying to figure out their sports bets for the day. All of them were friendly, gregarious guys and we were all soon engaged in conversation covering a variety of topics from our Katrina experiences to our sports betting theories. I shared with them my only "sure-thing" bet that I felt confident enough in to let someone else risk their money on (Jacksonville - moneyline) and I hope they used it. We had been drinking our usual White Russians but one of our new friends brought us a drink called a "Nuts and Berries" with the stipulation that we did not have to pay for it if we did not like it. The drink looked just like a White Russian but used Frangelica and a Rasberry liqueur(it came in a round bottle with a gold band around it) instead of a White Russian's Vodka and Kahlua. We liked it so much that we not only paid for it but ordered another round of them when the first ones were gone.

    We walked over to Red, White, and Blue for some lunch but they had an enormous line so we decided to walk over to the Luxor to see what we could find. What we found was the food court and a quick snack of pizza. We also found a pretty cool shop up by the food court. They put you on a "flying carpet" and you were surrounded by a "green screen". They then gave you a series of directions on how to act and respond as the magic carpet moved in various ways. Your images were then superimposed over various Las Vegas scenes and action sequences that made it appear as if you were flying all over LV having great adventures. It was hilariously funny on the monitors we were watching. I wanted to have one made but could not convince The Baboo to take a magic carpet ride.

    Outside, we passed the time taking some nice photos of MB and Luxor exteriors while waiting on the tram to Excalibur. Once we got to Excaliber, we walked over to the Bellagio. Before we went in, we stopped on the people mover and watched a fountain show before making our entrance. If anything in LV mesmerizes The Baboo, it is the Bellagio fountains. When we stay there, I don't have to worry about her being bored as long as the fountains are working. We went and checked out the Conservatory and as always, the Bellagio had some outstanding decorations. Penguins and Polar Bears were the things that stuck in my mind. The downside was that it was incredibly crowded. If you ever want to examine the Conservatory in peace, go very early in the morning and you will have the place to your self. We did that both times we stayed there. The crowds also thin out a lot at 4 in the morning. We managed to squeeze in a drink at Fontanas but didn't actually go inside. We found a perch at the VP bar just outside but listened to and watched the band through the open windows connecting the two areas. We were back on the White Russians again by now. It was about time for us to cross over to Paris so we bid adieu to the Bellagio. Of course, once we were half-way out the people mover, a fountain show started so we had to get off and watch it. Like I said, she never misses a show if she can help it.

    Once inside we initially just walked around soaking up the atmosphere. Eventually we landed at some sort of sidewalk cafe VP bar. Switching to screwdrivers, we enjoyed a few minutes entertainment as we watched a lively, energetic band featuring two hot female guitar players. After getting refreshed, we headed to the Eiffle Tower Experience. The Baboo has a slight touch of Agraphobia so of course we got to stand right in front of the glass doors of the elevator as we ascended to the top of the tower. Fun for me but less for her. Once at the observation deck, we both enjoyed it and she even endured the crowded conditions on the Bellagio side to watch yet another fountain show. Back on the ground, we checked out the photos they make of you as you cross the bridge to the tower. Unfortunately, one of (not saying who) was in profile and that highlighted the size of their protruding stomach. When we mentioned that we could not get the photos because of the bulging girth, they used the magic of digital photography to zoom in until only our upper torsos were visible. Hey, we look pretty good now. And so, a sale was made.

    Ready to eat, we walked over to Mon Ami Gabi and got on the list for a patio table. We were less than half way through our drinks at the bar when our table became available. This was probably our most enjoyable meal of the entire trip. Our service was impeccable from hostess to bartender to captain to server. Our food was magnificent )crab cakes for her, steak for me), atmosphere was pleasant, and we had those all-important Bellagio fountains just across the street to keep us entertained. A fine time was had by all.

    After dinner, we caught a taxi from the Paris line and went home to the Rio. Once there, we just spent some time up in our room enjoying each other's company. A couple of hours later, the Baboo drifted off to sleep and I decided to go downstairs. I guess all that sleep I got the night before was beginning to pay off. The first place I heade to was the VP bar right in front of the Sports Book. Unfortunately, this bar was featuring some LOUD rap music with lyrics of MF this and MF that so my stay here was limited.

    I wound up on a blackjack table and over the course of an hour, lost $200. Nothing spectacular, just a slow miserable grind. Win one, lose two, win two, lose three. What was normally my most dependable game completely turned her back on me this trip. Tiring of this, I left and wound up on a 3 card poker table. I must have found this one to my liking because I managed to play here for almost 5 consecutive hours. All week long, I had not seen one person get paid off with one of the big payout hands of straight flush or 3 of a kind. (well, except the time a dealer had 3 aces but she didnt get any bonus payment) Before I left this table, I had hit both a straight flush AND 3 of a kind. This made me a nice winner on this table and allowed me to cash out with over $800 more than I sat down with. My big jackpot hands were 10-J-Q of hearts and 3-3-3. Additionally, at least 3 or 4 big jackpot hands were paid out to other players during this time. This table was HOT!

    During my 5 hours at this table, I had an unobstructed view of the Shutters Bar from about 20 feet away. Since I played so long, some of the "ladies of the night" began showing up for work as we gambled on into the wee hours. This isn't unexpected and isn't a big deal to me. In fact, I consider it somewhat entertaining to watch the various interactions and negotiations take place. It's crazy how many guys think that it is their own personal charm that entices that hot girl half their age into the bar stool next to them.
    You can usually tell to the second when they find out otherwise and the resulting reactions can be quite amusing. Anyway, this one Amazonesque Rio security guard seemed to be on a personal quest to clean up the Shutters. She was checking the girls ID's at a furious rate. When that had no effect, she must have called Metro and made a complaint. When I went up to the restroom by the Diamond check-in a little later, she had a detective with her and was gesturing with gusto back towards the bar. I watched him lurk around the periphery of the bar for an hour or more but never saw him take any legal action. Since it was already late, I decided to take my winnings and lock them in the room safe before my luck changed. And so another day in Las Vegas ended but at least this day had a happy ending.

    We have covered 4 days so far. I will get the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day activities up as soon as I can. Hope you come back for them.

    BTW- if you wonder what sort of degenrate spends his time in such a manner, check out Wheel Of Fortune on January 9, 2006. I taped an episode in November and it airs in 3 days. I am the guy in the beard who acts like he just had a couple of White Russians at happy hour. :)
     
  3. LearningVegas

    LearningVegas Tourist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Messages:
    506
    Location:
    Arizona
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    That's Harrah's for you.

    ....
     
  4. tazgirl20022003

    tazgirl20022003 Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    3 card poker

    I loved the 3 card poker, and it seems you can play for hours. I also hit the straight flush, my last day in vegas an hour before I was leaving. thanks for the report.:woot:
     
  5. RebelDiceMan

    RebelDiceMan High-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    712
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    Sorry for the long delay between segments but my Wheel Of Fortune show aired this week and most of my computer time has been devoted to that event lately. I hope I can finish this up today.

    Christmas Eve morning found me making my regular run to the ATM (I mean Megabucks) machine to pick up our breakfast money. This day was a little less successful than the previous ones as I only cashed a $20 profit. I had come close to zeroing out my credits before getting a small run of winners. Once I got $20 ahead, I figured that would buy breakfast and cashed out. I headed over to CoffeeBean and got another reminder of why it isn't a good idea to take 3 or 4 kids (especially if those kids are used to getting every thing they want all the time) with you to help choose what sweet delights you want if there is a plethora of choices like at CoffeeBean. Of course the kids wanted EVERYTHING and were loudly letting Mom know it. When she tried to explain the limits, temper tantrums were their next strategy to get what they wanted. Bad move. Those temper tantrums seemed to set Mom's nerves on fire. I am not sure what language she was speaking but I could translate the body language well enough to know there was some serious cussing involved.

    After a nice leisurely breakfast in the room, I made my way down to the Sports Book to get my bets in. My strong bet of the day was the Jacksonville Jaguars on the moneyline. I put down what was a pretty big bet for me ($1,000) but I had felt stongly about this game for a while. I was confident that the Jags would at least win the game. I also made a bet that was my one Sports Book miscalculation of the trip. I put $100 on the New York Giants on the moneyline. They were the only underdog I get this trip. They would have paid me $180 for the bet and I would have collected a total of $280 including my original money. They had beaten Washington 36-0 in their earlier meeting so I felt like they were a pretty decent underdog play. Unfortunately, I also made them my second team on two different teaser bets. (bets in which you are allowed to move the spread 6 points in either direction but you have to win two games just to get paid even money) My only other wager was putting $200 on the moneyline for Pittsburg to win.

    Knowing I had been bored earlier watching the games in the Sports Book, I headed to the Masquerade Bar and encountered the friendliest, most helpful bartender I encountered this trip. He made a special effort to find the games I needed on the two TVs right in front of me and never let my drinks run dry. His name was Wille Joe and he was a good fellow. Eventually he found the game featuring my beleaguered and much traveled Saints and then put the Giants game on the TV next to the Saints game. He was very cordial and even went the extra mile by cheering openly whenever one of my teams did something good. Everything went well except for the Giants game. Not only did it lose me money, but it decided to tease me while it did so. It was late in the game and I had mentally written off the moneyline bet as a loser when I saw Eli Manning throw a touchdown pass to Amani Toomer that put the Giants close enough to cover on the two teasers. (the other teams involved in the teasers had already won) When I saw them signal TD, I figured this wuld be a good time for a quick bathroom break. After I got back, I looked up at the screen and saw that the score was still 35-20. What the heck? I guess they called back the touchdown due to some penalty on the play. Whatever the reason, the result was my two teasers going down the drain. Oh well, at least the Jaguar and Steeler bets won enough to make it a nice porfitable day.

    I went and tracked down The Baboo who had been bouncing from machine to machine in an effort to find one that would pay a little. Unfortunately, she had not had much success on ANY of the Rio machines. We decided to walk over to The Palms and catch some lunch. We went to their excellent Mexican restaurant (Guardanos?) and it was as good as we remembered. I love washing down hot spicey food from South of the border with ice cold beer. I probably violated some international trade agreement by making that beer a Becks instead of a Corona but that is how it goes. We had a very enjoyable lunch here, just as we have every time we have gone. Be forewarned that the service is a little laid back but that just gives you more time to enjoy your chips and salsa.

    After lunch, The Baboo decided to continue the Mexican lunch tradition by taking a nice Siesta for dessert. That left me free to catch the shuttle down to Harrah's. Once there, I headed straight to Carnaval Court. I found a shop tht would personalize gold or silver rings by carving whatever you wanted into the band of the ring. I selected a wide silver band and got the artisan started on carving BABOO into the band. He said it would take at least an hour so I found me a good table at CC and settled in. That brings me to one of the things I really like about Carnaval Court. You never know what you are likely to see there. I watched 3 ancient cowboys (who looked like they might have arrived via horseback) just have a fine ole time hooting and clapping along with the leather clad and tatooed rock n roll band on stage. Of course, the hot, Joan Jett look-a-like in the torn leather mini-skirt might have had something to do with their enthusiasm. A couple of tables over was a group a little more formally attired but just as enthusiastic about having some fun. This group of 5-6 tuxedo clad gentlemen were obviously either heading to or from a wedding and planned on doing some celebrating.
    The group that seemed to be having the most fun (and were the most fun to watch) was a group of 4 guys who looked like they might be fraternity brothers out on a tear. These guys were DRUNK, DRUNK, DRUNK. There was one female bartender (who could have passed for the hot singer's sister) and getting these fellows smashed seemed to be a personal goal of hers. I watched her pour a round of drinks for these guys and the idea of careflly measured "jigger" drinks never crossed her mind. She was filling their drinks to the brim and keeping them happy. The wildest moment was when she jumped up on the bar, and made a couple of pelvis rolling moves that the bartenders over at Coyote Ugly only wish they could do before pouring a small lake of liquor straight onto the bar in front of the guys. She then gave them straws to suck up the liquor straight from the bar. They all gave a howl and commenced to suck up the liquor lake with extreme gusto.

    I hated to leave such fun but I figured my ring was ready. It was and I set out for Casino Royale. I make it a point to play here every trip. I don't know what their requirements are but I have had free room offers here for 3 consecutive years. I have never stayed here but I try to play here often enough to keep the room offers coming in case one of my "guy" trips ever gets large enough that I need to put some of the crew down here. In the past, I have usually played blackjack but Casino Royale now has no playable BJ games. All of their tables were either the dreaded 6-5 payout or something called "Blackjack Switch" ( a gimmick game). I couldn't force myself to play either one so I went and bought in at the crap table. CR is actually a great place to shoot craps if you can get there before it gets shoulder to shoulder on the tables. I only bought in for $200 since it doesn't take a huge amount of play to stay in the CRs good graces. The dice were on the other end of the table when I got my first bet on the felt. Talk about a cold table! Not one single point was made by anyone as the dice made their way around the table to me. Finally the dice were in my hand. I quickly put the dice in my favorite set (the flying V) but I knew it was just for show because I had been delinquent in my practice and knew I wasn't sharp as I needed to be. Still, I made three points and pressed my 6 and 8 place bets up to $36 each with $6 increases after starting at $12 each. For anyone who doesn' shoot craps, that means I won back most of what I had lost betting on other shooters as the dice made their way around the table. Finally I missed and the dice moved on. They again went completely around the table without anyone making a single point. Only a few place bets were collected by me. By the time the dice got back to me, my rack held a little less than $100. I decided to get it all in action while I was rolling. I would either win enough to quit and cash or go broke trying and move on. I did make my first point and had hit my place bets enough that I was positioned to make enough to cash if I could keep the dice another few minutes. Well, I didn't make it. All too soon I heard the dreaded call of the stickman "Seven - out, take the line and pay the don'ts". Oh well, I still had fun and definitely enjoyed those $1 Michelobs.

    Once again I had the urge to visit some places I had never seen and that might close before I got out here again. I made an abbreviated version of "The Long March" and walked down to the Frontier followed by a stroll over to the Stardust. I gambled just long enough in those two establishments to say I had done so and to collect a couple of chips from each for my collection. (My rule is that only chips from casinos I have actually gambled in can be displayed) I was hurrying because I knew The Baboo had dinner plans for us and it was already waaaay after dark. She once called both the Rio and Caesars security department and had them look for me when I was 6-8 hours late returning from one of my Walk-A-Bouts. Luckily, the Stardust taxi line and I was soon on my way to the Rio.

    Once I collected her, we headed for the sumptuous Rio buffet. The Platinum/Diamond line had no one in it and we breezed on through after using our Total Rewards card to pay for supper. There are lots of things Harrah's has done the last couple of years I don't like but this pay on the spot with your TR card is one thing I like. One thing it also does is illustrate how determined Harrah's is to differentiate between the Diamond/Platinum tiers of their system and the Gold tier. It seeks like they are making separate D/P areas away from the Gold areas in any place they can think of. (check-in, restaurant lines, reservation priority, etc) Of course, they figure doing so will motivate more people to either play more or stay within the Harrah's Empire more to attain that status. They are probably right too. They had a sem-private area in the buffet for Platinum/Diamond guest. The vibe there was more like a sit down and order restaurant than that of a buffet. It featured plush private booths, free wine, and very attentive service. I enjoyed all that but the food would have been just as plentiful and just as tasty out in the more open areas. Speaking of food, the great reputation of the Rio buffet is well deserved. I can't even begin to tell you what all I ate but it was a lot and covered multiple continents in origin. I devoted one entire plate (but it was a small one) to desserts. I have been Diamond for a couple of years and have been Platinum for the last two. I make Platinum with just my regular level of play despite them raising the requirements last year. If it ever gets to be a hassle, I will just adapt. It won't bother me a bit to eat out in the open area.

    When we finished the buffet, we were STUFFED. While we were eating, a Huge mass of humanity had formed just outside the buffet entrance. I knew our bloated bodies would never squeeze through that crowd but luckily the exits were free of people and we were able to waddle out. Since we were so full that we were really uncomfortable, we went up to the room to lie down for a while and let our food settle. Once she got comfortable, the night was pretty much over for The Baboo. It was only by a tremendous force of will and an overwhelming desire to not waste precious Las Vegas Time that I was able to make myself get out of that bed around 11 o'clock and go downstairs.

    Still feeling WAAAY too full, I came to the conclusion that a walk over to The Palms might help my digestion. The knowledge that the Palms had put their cocktail waitresses in "Sexy Santa" outfits certainly had no impact on my decision. Once over there, I found a perch at the VP bar back by the poker room and ordered a beer. The good thing was that all the servers had to walk right by my barstool to get to their station. HO HO HO Now I know why Santa is always smiling. With helpers like those girls, it would be hard not to smile. The machine set into the bartop was a multigame version and so I was able to play blackjack instead of VP. Even though I was only playing $2 a hand, the points mounted up pretty quickly. That was good because one of my reasons for walking over was to keep my Palms card activated. Once again I was blessed with a good bartender. Whenever my beer got down to the last third, she put me another one on the bar before I could order it or get her tip out. She did all this with a smile too. While I was sitting at this bar, a man walked by who could only have been Lawrence Taylor. He stopped a couple of stools down and they immediately gave him a drink without him even ordering. I guess they knew his drink. He stood around for a while talking with another guy just as big as he was. I didn't recognize him but he looked like he might have worn some shoulder pads at one time or another. LT seemed cordial enough and certainly wasn't drunk or unruly in any way. In case you don't know who Lawrence Taylor is, he was one of the best linebackers to ever play in the NFL. He got into some trouble later on but he was a great player.

    As fun as the Palms was, I knew I had to get some sleep. On the way back to the Rio, I picked up some of the free escort magazines that were in racks on the sidewalks. They weren't for me but I love to show them to some of my buddies (they are all perverts) back home so that they know how wild Las Vegas can get. Yes, I showed them to The Baboo and even told them who they were destined for. She knows the guys in question and agrees that they will be wonder-struck at just the notion that a city has girls on-call and available 24/7.

    I had hoped to finish this but I will have to get the last installment in tomorrow. Tomorrow's installment will show how we tried to pack as much fun in as possible on our last day and why it is a BAD IDEA to try and jam 24 hours of drinking and partying into the last 12 hours before your plane leaves.
     
  6. RebelDiceMan

    RebelDiceMan High-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    712
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    Woke up Christmas day and presented The Baboo with her ring. It caught her by surprise because we were planning to do all our Christmas stuff when we got back home. After that, I made my daily pilgrimage to the Megabucks machine to get some money to buy breakfast. Again, I didn't double my money but was able to squeeze $20 in profit out of the machine and let Megabucks/IGT take care of the breakfast bill.

    I went downstairs to make today's bets and collect yesterday's. I stayed with my mostly successful moneyline strategy and took another favorite, The Chicago Bears. I am always a little afraid of Brett Favre so I limited myself to $500 even though I really felt like the Bears would take this one. I also bet $100 that the Chicago game would go under 31 and another $100 that the Baltimore game would go over 34. One odd thing happened when a security guard stopped me just as I was leaving the Sports Book. I was afraid that I might have done something wrong but he just wanted my thoughts on what I felt was a good bet that day. I don't know if he noticed me cashing those winning tickets or if he was just asking everyone that day. Either way, I gave him my strongest play which was the Bears on the moneyline. I am usually reluctant to give betting advice because I hate the thought of someone losing money on my word, but since he asked, I told him.

    Since The Baboo was planning to ready to roll by halftime of the Bears game, I meandered back to the Masquerade Bar to watch the first half. My old buddy, Willie Joe, was back on duty. I had been favorably impressed with him the day before but he again surprised me and raised his already high standing by remembering my name and greeting me by as I took my seat. Considering how much trouble I have with names, I was duly impressed. So I just watched football, drank a few beers and played VP untl it was time to go get the Baboo. It was a relatively calm, relaxing half of football.

    The Baboo was ready as promised and down the elevator we went. She convinced me to go in halves with her in another attemt to wring some money out of that Top Dollar machine that had been tormenting her in the high limit room. She had encountered nothing but bad luck playing alone and thought the team approach might produce better results. We each fed in our hundred dollar bills and commenced spinning. We do this pretty often and know that to insure domestic tranquility, we have to decide in advance who gets to play any Top Dollar symbols we might get. As always, whoever was spinning when the symbol came up got to control the bonus round. The only time the bonus round came into play was once and it was on her spin. She tends to be more adventurous and keep spinning in an attempt to hit on the highest jackpots while I tend to settle for any decent mid-sized jackpot. So it turns out that we bypass a 50 credit win chasing the 1000 credit jackpot and get stuck with a 20 credit win on the last chance spin. That 50 credit win would have given us $250 but it was her spin and those are the rules we go by. We eventually zeroed out our credits but we did get to play for a prtty lengthy period. Often, it doesn't take long to burn through $200 on a $5 machine.

    Thinking we might catch some of the second half at the ESPN Zone at NYNY, we quickly caught a taxi and set out. Wrong Idea. The Zone was jam packed so we made a change in plans and decided to try 9 Fine Irishmen for the first time. Although we had a little trouble locating the place, we eventually found it and traipsed upstairs to the bar on the second floor. The bar featured something I don't think I have ever encountered elsewhere. About every third barstool (or 4-5 feet), a partition extended out from the bar and gave you a little privacy from the other bar patrons. That was good but the downside was that you had to sort of stand and lean over the bar to get the bartender's attention if he was down at the other end. We had our usual wake-up drink of White Russians and just relaxed for a while as we soaked up the atmosphere. The place had an old-time feel to it and was a good place just to sit and talk for a while. It may get rowdy later but it had a pretty laid back vibe to it while we were there. After our second round, we were getting hungry so we took a few photos and hit the door.

    I thought this would be a good time to check out Toby Keith's place at Harrah's and we made that our destination. I really like this place. ( but then, I like TK a lot) It had a more modern look than I was expecting with plasma (or maybe just flat screen) televisions all over the place and a decorative scheme using a lot of chrome and bright colors. Many of the TVs were playing country music videos (mostly TK but not all) but they happily put the one right in front of us on football. Again we got a friendly, helpful bartender. They must be supportive of football because our shapely bartender had on a cut- off midriff revealing Bears jersey and was pretty knowledgable about football. Later, a different bartender came on shift wearing a Packers jersey and we tried to convince them to settle their differences with a wrestling match but they declined since they were friends. Both of us agreed that the food here was good. Since we are both from the South, anything fried with lots of calories and cholestrol was right up our alley. I got the country fried steak sandwich and it had waaay too much steak to fit onto the over-sized bun. The Baboo got the meatloaf plate with trimmings and she said it was umm, umm, good. Of course, our drinks were potent and plentiful.

    One of our goals today was to see the Wynn so that was next up on our agenda. We had planned to combine this visit with a ride on the new double decker Deuce busses and headed to the bus stop where we came
    face-to-face with reality. There was no way we were going to squeeze onto that bus which already had passengers packed in like sardines. I assured her that it wasn't too far a walk just as bus #271 with people hanging out the windows. She wasn't too enthused about our hike since she had been fighting an upper respiratory infection since we got to LV and felt like the night air would not help matters any. Despite that we set out, We made good time and it wasn't long before we walked past bus #271 sitting at a bus stop trying to load/unload passengers. They caught up to us just before we got to the Wynn but then we passed them again before they could finish unloading/loading. So I guess the time factor was a wash whether you used the Deuce or The Ankle Express.

    We made our way to the Wynn and just walked around looking for a while. We were both struck by how much the interior, especially around the table games, reminded us of the Beau Rivage in Biloxi. Both featured little canopy type things over the gaming tables in a very similar color & pattern. Of course, all those Beau Rivage canopies are either washed out into the Gulf of Mexico or hanging in the few remaining trees so I guess The Wynn has that decorative style all to themselves now. As soon as we wandered by the players club, we got registered and got ready to put a little play on the cards. I let her pick a slot machine she liked and took whatever was next to her. There were plenty to choose from but after all, it was Christmas day. I ran $40 thru mine and she persevered until she had fed $100 into hers but we hit very few winners and were soon done. Unfortunately, her dread of the night air was proving justified and she started feeling worse and worse. We decided to head back to the Rio and did so as soon as we found the taxi line. We were there much over an hour so our impressions are based on a very limited exposure but at this time we would place The Wynn behind both the Bellagio (1) and Venetian (2). We have stayed at both of those places and that probably influenced our ranking but for now, we can't put The Wynn any higher than third. A longer visit (and especially a visit in which we stay there) might alter those rankings.

    Once we got to the Rio, The Baboo took her medicine and went to bed. tht left me on my own once again. I caught the shuttle down to Harrah's and then walked over to Caesers. Caesers is another place I try to show some activity at every trip and tonight was my last chance. My first stop was the Shadow Bar and I made a bee-line there. Once there, I was back on the Stoli and Red Bull. I spent a fair amount of time here watching the flair bartenders and the girls behind the screens. I then wandered over to the Barge for a drink. I only had one before I felt the urge for cards. I found an acceptable blackjack table and played a little over an hour without a lot happening either way. Finally, I departed after making my $100 donation to the vaults of Rome. The Stoli and Red Bull had energized me to the point that I felt strong enough to shoot some craps. I found a table that seemed pretty lively and got down to business. The table was choppy for the most part but there were a couple of shooters who had good rolls and allowed us to turn a profit. Unfortunately, I was not one of the good shooters. I only made one point in my two rolls and not enough hits on the place bets to overcome that deficiency. I was glad the guys on the other end of the table were able to keep the dice in their hands for a considerable length of time. They enabled me to get my $100 back from Rome plus an equal amount of Caesers money in my pocket.

    By now I figured I needed to be back at the Rio so I walked over to Harrah's to catch my final shuttle ride of the trip. The driver was a trainee and a little nervous but she did a great job and all the passengers told her trainer to give her a A+ on her report. I realized that I still had some winning football tickets and went to the Sports Book to cash them. The only problem was that the book was closed. Fortunately, there was still a guy behind the counter and he told me that I could get the tickets cashed at the mail cage. I went there and did indeed get my tickets cashed.

    Here I have to be honest and admit that things get a little blurry from that point on. I know that I shot craps for over an hour and won $200 there but can't supply any significant details. I had a couple of drinks at the IBar and finished up the night at the Masquerade Bar but nothing memorable got recorded in either my notes or my brain. BTW- my notes had gotten pretty hit-and-miss by this point. I finally came dragging back to our room at 4 AM. At 5 AM, I was back up playing a game called "Extreme Regurgitation". At
    6 AM, we had to leave for the airport. Man, was I one sick puppy. This was absolutely my worst trip home EVER by a factor of 10. I think I regurgitated in every plane and every airport we encountered on the way home as well as the taxi that took us to McCarren. At least The Baboo had the foresight to bring along a collection of shopping bags we had accumulated during our visit so I did not actually make a mess anywhere. Thank goodness for her planning. I am usually pretty concerned with my public image but that was the least of my worries on this day. I even laid down on the floor of the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport and went to sleep while waiting for our connection. I totally ignored the children asking their mothers "Mommy, what's wrong with that poor man?". So my friends, learn from my mistakes. DO NOT try to cram 24 hours of partying into your last 12 hours in Las Vegas just because you have to go home. The only positive development to come out of my debaucery was at McCarren when The Baboo asked the gate attendant if we could board early because " He is a little sick". (HA- Understatement of the year) She took one look at me and replied "I can see that. See if he can make it on board".

    We eventually made it home and spent a couple of days recovering from our "fun" in Las Vegas. Her from her congested lungs and chest sore from coughing. Me from my poor ravaged stomach that I so thoughtlessly abused. Still, it was all worth it. If you come back from Las Vegas without at least some wear and tear, you probably didn't have as much fun as you should have.
     
  7. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2002
    Messages:
    19,131
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    I'm feeling a little queasy myself now! Sounds like you mostly had a great time though! :rolleyes2: :nworthy:
     
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