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Atlantic City 7* Signature event and Borgata

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by DaiLun, Jun 28, 2016.

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  1. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G., but N.A.H.

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Well, my trip started out in a rough fashion.

    I was due to leave at 2:05 PM from San Jose on SWA. When our inbound plane arrived, we were told that the oxygen container in the cockpit was low and needed to be repalced. They didn't have one locally, but one was being flown in from Phoenix, and the new departure time was 3:30PM.

    Now, I was going to miss my connecting flight to Philadelphia anyway and the next flight from Midway (Chicago) to Philly was at 5:45 the next morning. It just so happened that they needed 3 "bump volunteers" for the Chicago flight.
    Since we weren't gonna make it into Philly on Thursday anyway, me, a professional volleyball player and another guy took them up on the bumps. The net-net was that they gave us $800 in vouchers, and a hotel room in Chicago which the 3 of us skipped on because the plane was due to arrive at Midway at 2AM, and the next flight was 5:45AM.

    So, the new itinerary was SJC-LAX, and LAX to Midway. The flight from LAX to Midway was completely full, and I was given seat B45 to that flight. I had no intention of sitting in a middle seat for 4 hours, so I upgraded to A5 for $40.00. I also had to let Les know what was going on, and that he needed to stay in Philly overnight since CET wouldn't let him check in on his own on my reservation.

    I also had to cancel one night on my reservation in AC. Both things were taken care of. Now I just needed to get to Philly.

    Same thing from Midway to Philadelphia, except that the charge was only $30 and I got A2.

    Finally arrived in Philly at 8:15AM. Picked up my car and off to pick up Les. There was a crash on the bridge into downtown Philly, where Les was staying, so i was delayed in picking him up.

    We finally got to AC at 10:30, and I crashed. Got up at 11:30 and went down to have lunch with Les and another friend that we were meeting. Had lunch a Kwi Noodles.

    We separated and I played to make 1000TC, getting beaten pretty badly, and even thought there was no "play expectation", how many of you would ever had done that? I wasn't doing very well, but then again, I spent a lot of my time in the High Limit Slot pit.

    This was the best that I hit in the first session:


    Les and I met back up and we had "dinner" at the Diamond Lounge at Caesars. All of the posts about AC Diamond Lounges were right!!! A decent buffet spread. Les and I ate ourselves full and didn't need dinner.

    We didn't get to the 7* lounge this trip, but I took pictures of the menu.

    Well, the pictures turned out like crap, so here's the menu:

    Baked Potato Chowder
    Chicken Noodle
    Soup of the Day

    Country Fried Chicken Salad
    Chef's Winner" Salad
    Mozzarella and Tomato
    Caesar Salad

    Beef Satay
    Asian Vegetable Dumplings
    House Smoked Salmon Carpaccio
    Shrimp Cocktail

    NY Deli Wrap
    Kalbi Cheese Steak Slider
    Ham and Brie Panini
    All AMerican Burger
    AC Seafood Roll
    Tuna, Chicken, or Egg Salad

    From the Hot Line
    Chicken Marsala
    Stuffed Sweet Potato
    Cheese Tortellini
    Penne Pasta
    Pan Roasted Salmon
    Braised Short Ribs

    Carrot Cake
    Warm French Apple Strudel
    PB&J Ice Cream Sandwich
    Chocolate Cake
    Ricotta Filled Cannoli
    Freshley Baked Assorted Cookies
    Ice Cream and Sorbet
    Cheese Plate
    Fruits, Berries, and Cream
    Sugar Free Cheesecake

    Liquid Desserts
    Irish Coffee
    Bailey's Chocolate Martini
    Tastes Like a Thin Mint Cookie
    Italian Coffee
    Liquid Biscotti

    Our schedule for Friday was still open, and the one thing on the casino agenda was a trip to Borgata. We went to the comp booth and signed up. I had a myVegas Match play and they upgraded me to Black Card.

    Borgata upgraded me and Les to Black card level, and I got $100 free play. I told Les that he should upgrade since, as a 7* companion, he has a 7* card and maybe they would upgrade him as well.

    So, I sat down at a Wolf's Run machine. Playing $4.00 on a penny machine, I saw 4 wilds on each of the first three columns.

    Eventually, I hit a handpay. After the first three columns were wild, then the fourth I was (internally) getting very excited!!


    OK, so I made back what I had lost and then some, so now I'm feeling better about the trip. Having made back some money, I decided to go for 2500TC. It ended up costing me about all I was up, but I had a 2500TC day and down just a little.

    I was physically beat. Time for bed.

    End of Day 1.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
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  2. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G., but N.A.H.

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Day two. We got up at 8:30AM (5:30AM PDT). I suggested that we go to Harrah's for breakfast. Borgata, Harrahs, and Golden Nugget are in the same grouping We got in the car and proceeded to Harrahs.

    We planned to have lunch at Borgata and use our comp dollars.

    So, a little about Atlantic City for those of you who have never been there. . .

    Unlike Las Vegas, where there are casinos and gambling pretty much everywhere, gambling is solely in large casinos. No slot machines in 7-Elevens or gas stations, not "Dottie's" convenience casinos. There were as many as 15 at one time, but only 8 (9 if you count Wild Wild West as a separate casino) remain, and those casinos are grouped together in 4 districts.

    Midtown - Caesars, Wild Wild West and Ballys (Wild WIld West and Ballys are pretty much the same casino)
    Uptown - Trump Taj Mahal and Resorts
    Downbeach - Tropicana
    Marina - Harrahs, Golden Nugget, and Borgata

    They are like casinos that you would see in Las Vegas, except there is no sports betting.

    The trip between Midtown and the Marina District is about 3 miles through a very depressed part of Atlantic City.

    Before we had breakfast, I sat down at the Titan 360 machine and on the second pull, got the bonus for 32 free spins. Two retriggers later I was up $150.00. Remember that Titan 360 uses Konami machines, which have notoriously low payouts.

    I suggested that we go eat Breakfast and then head over to Golden Nugget.

    After breakfast, we walked by the Viking cooking class (one of the 7* SIgnature Event options and they were making guacamole.

    We ate at the Harrahs buffet and then headed over to the Golden Nugget.

    An arcade was on the walkway to the casino, and we stopped at a bowling machine. I played against Les for one game, and his scoreboard wasn't working properly, but I was given an inflatable plastic bat and Les was given a Whoopee cushion for our troubles.


    Played for an hour at Golden Nugget. Lost back what I was up for the morning, so I'm back to $0 for the day. There was a Beef Jerky store in the outlet mall and I went there and bought about $100 worth.

    Went back to Borgata for lunch. The lunch buffet as only $9.98 each!!! More than covered by our comps. It was a mid level buffet brisket and turkey as the "featured" meats. Played a little maore and then proceeded back to Caesars.

    Now, I had only planned on playing a 500TC day, but I thought about it and factored in the following:

    1)the bonus for 500TC is 175TC, and the bonus for 1000TC is 1000TC 2500 was out of the question.
    2)I already had 500TC, so I only had another 500TC to go.
    3)What the heck, I'm here to gambble
    4)The Summer TC promo was still in effect for 5 more days

    So, I decided to put in another 500TC at Ballys to make it a 1000TC day.

    At 6:45 we went to dinner.

    Dinner was served buffet style. They separated the buffet into 5 areas, each representing a different part of the country, and had 3 different cuisines from each part of that country.

    East Coast
    West Coast
    Gulf Coast

    East coast had Clams casino, Bacon Wrapped scallops
    West Coast had a chicken dish
    Midwest had Prime Rib and mushrooms
    Gulf Coast had (I can't remember, maybe Les or someone else will chime in with what was served)
    Southwest had "Bobby Flay" style tacos

    They had 16 raffle prizes, (10) $500 FP, (3) $1000FP, and trips to Tahoe, Las Vegas, and New Orleans.

    Well, I didn't win anything, and the dinner was very crowded. I would guess about 600 people, which means 300 raffle entrants.

    Dinner had a surprise headliner, Jay and the Americans
    However, this was Jay #3 and he didn't have the full range since he couldn't quite get to the high notes in Cara mia.

    I left after the song Cara Mia but Les stayed.

    Went out to spend some more time (and lose) a couple of hundred. I took my beating and surrendered.

    Went to the Smokey Robinson concert. We had seats in the 5th row of the second level, on the aisle. It was a good concert. Smokey Robinson is 77 years old, and we were close enough to tell it was him, but not close enough to see the wrinkles.

    Smokey Robinson Set list
    Being With You
    I Second that Emotion
    You Really Got A Hold On Me
    Quiet Storm
    Oohh baby, baby
    The Way You Do The Things You Do
    Get Ready
    Tears of a Clown
    Bad Girl
    Fly Me to the Moon
    Love Bath
    That Special Place
    I Would Do Anything
    Tracks of My tears

    About 3/4 of the way through, a lot of the older (and white) people, whom I guess were 7* members who took the tickets not quite knowing who Smokey Robinson was, all started to leave.

    We stayed until the last song, but Smokey started "stretching it out", so we decided to leave.

    I was finished, made my 1000TC done with CET for the trip. Brunch tomorrow and then off to Philly.

    End of day two.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
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  3. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

    Oct 3, 2004
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Always like a good AC report. Wow what an effort to get there! And I'm shocked people didn't know Smokey Robinson.
  4. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G., but N.A.H.

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Day 3 - Time to go home

    We went to a sit down brunch at Nero's Steakhouse. This was the last of the 7* Signature Events. It was a grand spread, they had snow crab done to perfection, and shrimp that were HUGE. They also served carved meat, all sorts of salads, a crepe station, everything that you might have wished for.

    One thing I want to mention. The staff at Caesars was VERY nice. Genuinely nice, I asked for directions to the Valet, and the staff member that answered me was walking that way, he struck up a pleasant conversation with me along the way, where were we from, how were we doing, as opposed to Las Vegas where you would get a polite answer but that would be it. Just an observation.

    This being my first 7* Signature event, I watched carefully to see how tips were handled. No one put tips "out" on the tables, but tips were given discreetly to the waiter or staff member that provided service. I went and tipped the Crepe chef.

    A lot of the time was spent people watching. Looking at the demographics, trying to figure out who the "gambler" of the couple was.

    I went back to the room and called the duty host to see if I could get my charges comped, it took awhile (Sunday morning rush) but the duty host cleared all of my charges.

    So, one more stop on the way out, to Borgata just to pick up some knick-knacks. I had a bulk rate mailing box full of dirty clothes and beef jerky that I needed to drop in the mail. For $20 it's worth it not to have to deal with it, and leave my suitcase a bit lighter.

    At Borgata, we went back to the gift shop. Note that the gift shop uses comp dollars at a 2:1 ratio (2 comp dollars=$1). I bought a shirt for a friend, Les bought supplies for the trip to Philadelphia, and we were on our way.

    We got into Philadelphia at about 11AM, Les looked up and found a Post Office that was open on Sunday(???) I had to jump on that because I was using a box that was too big for most of the parcel drops. So we went downtown and dropped of the box in the mail, then decided to go to the Reading Terminal Market.

    "The Reading Terminal Market, established in 1892 at 12th and Arch Streets, is the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market." IMHO, this is a place worth visiting if you are ever in Philadelphia


    We finally found it, thanks in part to my GPS, which I always carry whenever I travel and rent a car. We found parking, and went inside.

    We wandered around, looking at all of the wares that were being sold. It was "Bahamanian Day", and there was a parade inside the market.



    We stopped at Termini Brothers Bakery, where I picked up a box of Biscotti for my ex-wife, who stayed with my son and Dad so I could go on this trip (I actually paid her, since she doesn't work. Yeah, I know, TMI)

    I also picked up cookies for me.

    So, my three presents bought, I'm done, or am I?

    We picked up duck won ton and peking duck rolls at Sang Kee Peking Duck to take back to the hotel, and we were done.

    So, it was about 2PM, and we had to be at the airport at 3:45AM, so a late night out wasn't an option. I looked on the web and found "Sugar House Casino". Now, with a name like Sugar House and in Philadelphia, my first thought was "what kind of dive casino could this be?".

    I asked Les if he wanted to go there. We had an afternoon to kill, so we went.

    "SugarHouse Casino is a casino entertainment development along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Fishtown neighborhood, one of five stand-alone casinos awarded a gaming license on December 20, 2006 by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. SugarHouse's first phase opened on September 23, 2010. The 1,300,000-square-foot (120,000 m2) casino complex is located on the 22-acre (8.9 ha) site of the former Jack Frost Sugar Refinery, hence the "SugarHouse" name."

    It's a big casino, with 1800+ slot machines and over 100 tables. There are three restaurants. The promotion was $25 FP, and if you had a "top level" player's club card (such as CET 7*) from one of the other competing casino chains, you got an addl. $100 FP.

    There was also a promotion going on where if you accumulated 50 reward points, you would get a "Ninja Blender". Les commented on me getting the blender hom if I somehow accumulated the credits to get one.


    So, I sat down and played, of course, I couldn't find a way to tell how many points I was accumulating or what my current status was. After the $125 FP and another $150 of my own money, I looked at my total 26 points. Oh s**t. So I have a choice of leaving the blender behind, or "spending" more money to get one plus pay to ship it back home.

    Well, the thought of having a "Ninja blender" got the better of me. So I checked where the nearest Office Depot was and how later they were open. Check, I still had time to 1)Get the blender, and 2)take it to Office Depot and ship it.

    30 minutes later (and $200 poorer), I got the blender. Off to Office Depot to box and ship it. That was another $20.

    It's dinnertime now, "how about Korean?" I suggested. Les agreed and we started off to a Korean restaurant that had a 4 1/2 star Yelp rating. Well, the bridge was out and what should've been a 20-30 minute trip ended up being more like 45-60 minutes. We got there, and saw why it was a 5 star Yelp rating.

    The restaurant is called Korean Noodle House, it is a little "hole in the wall" place and all of the posted menus were in Korean. Fortunately, 1)They had English on the menus and 2)They served Champong (a spicy seafood noodle soup that is my favorite Korean menu item.


    Run by a Korean Mom and Pop and a hispanic kitchen worker, the food was very very good. The Champong was excellent!!

    Back to the hotel. It was 8:30PM and time to call it a day. The original plan was for Les to take the hotel shuttle and I would drive to the airport, since my flight left earlier than his.

    Woke up at 3AM, packed and ready to go by 3:20. I told Les that I should drive him to the airport since he was in Terminal D and the car rental drop off was beyond that. Dropped him off at his terminal, and returned the rental car.

    NOTE: When they say at Philadelphia International Airport, "get there 3 hours before your flight, after 4AM that really does apply. If you don't have TSA pre-check, it strongly applies. I was there at 3:45AM and there must've been 30 people in the regular security screening. Fortunately, none in the TSA Pre-check line.

    The trip home was uneventful, except that my Dad "decided" to skip dialysis despite my ex-wife's best efforts to get him up. Therefore, it falls to me to get him to dialysis today. I ended up having to drive my ex-wife and son to her house (130 miles away) and back before I could get some well needed rest.

    It was a fun trip, but I will definitely think about traveling cross country for a 3 day trip next time.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
    Lake Tahoe - Lift ticket promotion
    Las Vegas - $400 FP. $159 R/T Couldn't pass it up.
  5. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

    Mar 29, 2014
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    You did a LOT in a short period of time. Though it wasn't a winning trip it wasn't a bad losing one and you got to experience a lot of AC. Thanks for the report. I am headed to AC this weekend for four full days for July 4th. Love AC in the summer time.
    Long Celebratory and Solo Trip While Winning Mega More at Encore!!!
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  6. oghuman

    oghuman High-Roller

    May 24, 2010
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I like your report but... I was at the Smokey Robinson Show too. I'm trying to understand your old white people remark that never heard of Smokey Robinson. How old could they possibly not know who he is. Smokey is 77, I'm not 77, but I'm white and over 60 and I listen to his stuff all the time. Do you really think with all the choices of "excursions" they would pick to watch someone who they never heard of. I think they thought the show was about to be over and wanted to beat people to the 7* Lounge. Sometimes people were being turned away after a show. BTW, I saw him in 2014 at Caesars AC but was not crazy about the show because he sang mostly music from a new album. I loved his show this time.
  7. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G., but N.A.H.

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Well, what I think is that they might have selected the show based on the location. If you don't listen to soul music, you would have never heard of Smokey Robinson. We were in the 5th row on the second deck, and I watched about 25-35 people leave, many before "Bad Girl" I couldn't imagine people leaving that early if they'd PAID for tickets. Just my observation.
    Lake Tahoe - Lift ticket promotion
    Las Vegas - $400 FP. $159 R/T Couldn't pass it up.
  8. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G., but N.A.H.

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    Forgot that I hit an $800.00 plus progressive after lunch at Borgata, so that makes me $3000 up at Borgata, but down at Least that much at Caesars. Oh well, can't win em all.


    It was 8 progressive symbols plus two "advance progressive" in the "pick 'em"

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    Lake Tahoe - Lift ticket promotion
    Las Vegas - $400 FP. $159 R/T Couldn't pass it up.
  9. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

    Sep 18, 2006
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the AC trip report, you really did a lot in a short amount of time. Driving in from Philly makes sense but I always wondered if folks considered flying into Newark direct. Its about 45 minutes further than Philly.

    Sugar House was recently expanded, need to go back and check it out....also check out Yards Brewery a block away. I'm not a Sugar House fan, it seemed that everything was jammed in too close together.

    I am going to try Champong, that Korean restaurant is not far from my old neighborhood. I recently had Korean BBQ about a mile from that place, they used a bucket of coals instead of a gas grill.

    We saw Smokey Robinson about 20 years ago, a $20 tip to the maître d' put us right up against the stage, awesome show.
  10. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G., but N.A.H.

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Yeah, the problem is that SWA (Southwest Airlines, my airline of choice) doesn't fly direct to Newark. To get direct I'd have to fly out of SFO on United or Virgin (which might not be so bad), and it's worth a look if I ever go to AC in the next couple of years.

    The other thing is that on getaway day, I'd rather stay in Philly than Newark . . . . .

    I wouldn't play at Sugar House again. Been there, done that . . . .
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
    Lake Tahoe - Lift ticket promotion
    Las Vegas - $400 FP. $159 R/T Couldn't pass it up.
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