I had a hankering to play some video poker so I tried the Cleveland Horseshoe last month. But the ‘Shoe was unsatisfactory because they have no slant top vp machines and my bum shoulder will allow nothing else. So I planned a trip to Caesar’s Windsor, a 3.5 hour drive away. Those plans were thwarted by a nasty strep throat infection, but new plans were made when I returned to health. It was to be a three night stay, a solo trip, since my husband had other commitments. The drive up was awful – there were torrential rains for the first two hours. But then things cleared up and I arrived at the border crossing just in time for the shift change, which slowed things down a bit. Eventually I made my way to Caesar’s and got checked in. I stopped to play for a while before making the trek back to the car and up to the room. TUESDAY, 8/27 I started playing at the machine where I had hit my last royal there in May. This is quarter 9/5 DDB. And I was off to a good start with a straight flush after just ten minutes of play. Then I hit another straight flush and my first quad, 10’s. But then things cooled off, so I went to get settled in the room. I returned to play but had no luck at all. I finally decided to stop for dinner at the café. They had a seafood promotion going, which had the place packed. I had about a 20 minute wait before being seated. But I had my Kindle e-reader, so I was fine with the wait. For dinner, I had a ham & cheese flatbread with sweet potato fries – good, but I would have been happy with half as much food. After dinner, I returned to VP, but had no luck at all. I tried Let it Ride for a while, but no luck there either. I was tired after the long drive and thought I would go back to the room and maybe go down to the hot tub for a while. But when I got the room, my key wouldn’t work. I was not happy about the long walk from the Forum tower back to the hotel lobby in the Augustus tower. The desk agent asked if the key had been near a cell phone. I had kept them in the same pocket – I never knew that was a problem. He also informed me that I could have just used the house phone to call and they would have brought me a new key. I hadn’t thought of that, but now I’ll know. On the long walk back to the Forum tower, I stopped to play some slots, but didn’t find anything that interested me. But I decided to try some VP again. I wasn’t getting anything and thought I would move on when I got to 200 credits ($50). At 205 credits, I held the QJT of clubs and drew the AK for my 11th royal of the year. I played for a while longer and got one more quad, dealt 5’s, but that was it for the night. So the non-working room key was a happy accident and I turned in for the night with a modest profit. Daily VP total: 2 quads, 2 SF and 1 RF. WEDNESDAY, 8/28 I played VP and LIR on and off all day. I hit several quad, although I couldn’t get the kicker on any of the bonus quads. I hit a full house at LIR, which gave me a small profit from that game. I stopped for an early dinner at the complimentary buffet. Nothing special, but I still managed to eat too much. I returned to play some VP and hit a straight flush. The day’s play had taken its toll on my shoulder so I went to play LIR for a while. I wasn’t having any luck and a woman came and sat in the seat to my right – and got a 3CP straight flush on her first hand, which paid 40 to one. I hate when that happens. I left soon after, with most of my profit from the previous day nearly gone and headed to the hot tub. Daily VP total: 14 quads, 2 SF. THURSDAY, 8/29 After breakfast, I returned to the work of the day, video poker. I played for a while at one end of a bank of machines. The man next to me was having a good session and finally cashed out $800. I thought of moving over there, but before I could, another woman sat down. I heard her credit rolling up and she had just hit quad 2’s. As I looked at her hand, she had held three 2’s, looking for the 2 of clubs. When I looked back at my machine, I had just held three 2’s, looking for the 2 of clubs – I didn’t get mine. Oh well. There was soon a lot of hoopla at a nearby Ultimate X machine, where a woman hit 4 Aces w/k with a 10X multiplier for $5K. That was the biggest hit I saw all week. (The dollar royal at a nearby bank was hit at around $6200 that afternoon, but I wasn’t there to see it. I tried $50 through it, but need to practice on Bonus Poker before I sink too much money into it.) Eventually the lady next to me with the 2’s left and I moved over to that machine with $20 from my initial $100. With a little more than $5 left, I was contemplating my next move, when I was dealt TKQA of diamonds and drew the J for my second royal of the trip and 12th of the year. But my quad drought continued. I did manage to get quad 3’s by holding two of them rather than going for the better EV flush draw. When my shoulder gave up on me, I went to play some LIR. The session started off very slowly, although there were some interesting moments. When I sat down, there were just two men playing and two seats reserved for a couple who had gone to dinner. I sat in the second seat. A little while later, they changed the table to $10 minimum, but we were grandfathered in at the $5 rate. The man in the 7th seat was playing $25 on the LIR spots and $100 on the 3CP bet. And he was hitting like crazy. 3CP straights and flushes, high pairs for LIR, his black and green stacks were awesome. Then the couple returned from dinner and each bought in for $1K, but checked with the pit boss to make sure they were grandfathered in for the $5 minimum as promised. I found that peculiar, but have learned to just smile at the oddities of some people’s gambling practices. Soon the high roller at the end hit a dry patch and cashed out. I don’t know if it was a profitable session for him or not, but my stomach couldn’t stand the bankroll swings he had. Then the guy in the third seat left and on the very next hand, I got a full house. I ultimately got another full house, a flush and a straight before things turned cold again. But I managed to collect my first ever $500 chip when I cashed out. By the way, they now have $1K chips at the tables. They are significantly bigger than the other chips. These are to pay out the $1K per player envy bonus if anyone hits the progressive royal flush on one of the connected games (LIR, 3CP, Caribbean Stud, perhaps others). This progressive was over $95K on Wednesday night when I turned in, but someone hit a Straight Flush for 10% of the total so it was down and then back up to $87K. Some day I hope to get a piece of that. Daily VP total: 3 quads and 1 RF. FRIDAY, 8/30 After packing up and dragging my stuff to the car, I returned to play for a couple of hours before the 3.5 hour drive home. I sat down to play at a machine where I had had good luck before, but hadn’t played at all this trip. I had tried it before, but it wouldn’t accept my card and I just moved on. This time, the casino wasn’t busy, so I moved to the next machine, but requested slot service. Before I could play a hand, Christina came by to check on the problem. She inserted her card and had no problem. She tried my card and it worked. So I tried my card and, again, it wouldn’t work. She tried it many times and it failed, but finally it was accepted. She mentioned something about it being a sign that I should play that machine. I was willing to go with that and proceeded to play. About ten minutes into play, I was dealt four 7’s. Less than ten minutes later, I held the TAJ of clubs and drew the KQ for my third royal of the trip. I played there a little longer before moving to another machine. You may have noticed that I have not yet mentioned that I hit Aces. Well, I had not and it was bugging me. I had not had a single bonus quad with kicker. Who was I to complain after hitting three royals, but still…. So it was getting close to my time to leave when I finally got four Aces, but no kicker. I was nearly resigned to this being a kickerless trip and wondering if I should play their 7/5 WHA (EV 97.441%) or stick with the slightly better paying 9/5 DDB game (EV 97.873%).* But it’s only better paying if you get the kickers once in a while. But then I finally got Aces w/k and was happy that I was playing DDB. I hit several more quads and thought about staying for another night. But the thought of going to the casino host office, back to the hotel lobby, back to the car and back to the hotel again was enough to convince me to leave as planned. But first I had to go pickup my $20 gas cards, the promotion of the day. While I was on the second floor, I decided to try one last shot at the Red Hot Jackpot machines. There are about a dozen machines, all variations of Blazing 7’s, with a top jackpot of over $5K. I had tried these a couple of times throughout the trip and had hit a small profit on them. These machines are usually jammed with players and others waiting. But this time there was a woman just leaving and I sat down. It wasn’t long before I hit five of the Red Hot Jackpot symbols and got $175 on the free spin bonus. I decided to take my profit and run. Daily VP total: 8 quads and 1 RF. * If I had hit the same hands at WHA instead of DDB, the total for the bonus quads and SFs would have been 7000 credits vs. the 5800 credit I got at DDB. I know there is no way of knowing what might have been, but it confirms my dedication to the WHA/TB+ game. I hate relying on seldom seen kickers. VIDEO POKER SUMMARY Royal Flush - 3 Straight Flush - 4 Aces w/k - 1 Aces w/o k - 1 2,3,4 w/k - 0 2,3,4 w/o k - 5 5-K - 20 4 to a royal- 35 Dealt Quads - 2 Quads from holding 1 - 1 Quads from holding 2 - 12 Quads from holding 3 - 12 This was a winning trip for me. I brought home over $2K of Caesar’s money, even after they took their cut on the currency exchange. I hadn’t thought of it until driving home, but perhaps I shouldn’t have changed to US currency, since I will be going back again in a few weeks. Go here for some photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/higgiel/sets/72157635335971476/ Some day I'll figure out how to insert photos directly into the report like everyone else does.