1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Christmas TR-Mandarin, Bardot/Julian Serrano/Le Cirque and my first Handy

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by alexanbo, Jan 10, 2016.

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

    alexanbo High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    952
    Location:
    Vancouver BC, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9

    My Trip Report

    Although I did a live trip report, I wanted to write up a more detailed account of this trip, especially with the way it turned out.

    The trip was my 8th annual trip to Vegas for Christmas, and the 5th one I've taken my mom down with me.

    Once again we stayed at Mandarin Oriental, which has become our home away from home for the holidays.

    For dinners we went to Bardot, Julian Serrano and Le Cirque, with lunches at China Pablano, Lago and Lemongrass.

    Getting There

    I signed up for the Westjet Mastercard in the past year and used the sign up credits and a companion fare to book cheap flights down. Ended up near the front of the plane which sucked a litte as we boarded last and had to put my small carry on in front of me. We did get off the plane quicker though.

    For the airport transfer I booked a stretch limo through Presidential. There was a slight hiccup as I never got an email confirmation, but a couple emails back and forth the day before got it all straightened out.

    Had to wait a bit for my Mom's bag to come out but we were soon on our way.

    [​IMG]

    Check In
    Usually I have curbside check in at Mandarin, which means the room keys are waiting for me at the bell desk when I show up. This time however, the hotel had switched to a "new system" and I had to go to the front desk and sign some paperwork to authorize curbside check in again in the future.

    I got a room on the 17th floor looking North down the Strip.

    [​IMG]

    The room was standard layout, no upgrade this time.

    I took some pictures of the room with my new phone.

    Upon entering the room is a hallway off to the right with the closet and valet closet.

    [​IMG]

    The bathroom is to the right as you continue on into the room. There's two sinks, a shower, wc and a bathtub.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    From the bathtub, with the divider open the strip is visible.

    [​IMG]

    After unpacking and settling in a bit we headed off to China Pablano for lunch.

    China Pablano
    Jose Andre's Chinese/Mexican fusion restaurant is a must goto for me when I'm in Vegas.

    Salt Air Margarita
    [​IMG]

    Jose's take on the classic Margarita. Instead of a salted rim, the salt is made into a foam on top of the drink.

    Cochinita Taco
    Yucatan-style pit barbecue pork/marinated onions

    [​IMG]

    Kind of an average taco, nothing special. Mom enjoyed her Lagosta (Lobster) taco though.

    Ten Treasure Noodles
    fresh shrimp/ham/seasonal vegetables/wide cellophane noodles/Good Fortune sauce

    [​IMG]

    Actually was expecting this to be just a noodle dish, but it turned out it was served as a soup. The broth was tasty and all the ingredients were super fresh.

    Golden Pigs
    fried delicate steamed buns/Chinese barbecue prok

    [​IMG]

    A different take on the traditional Pork bun, with the consistency of a donut. I order these every time.

    Cosmo

    After lunch we went down to the Chandelier Bar for the first gambling of the trip. My favourite bartender S wasn't there though.

    I did take a quick spin around the floor to see the changes and noticed they were doing some training at Clique.

    [​IMG]

    When we did sit down at the Chandelier bar, I started with a Budweiser. That actually ended up being my last Bud of the whole trip as it just wasn't working for me. Besides the taste I wasn't winning anything so I switched it up to Peach Ciroc. At Chandelier they comped my mom a sparkling wine/elderberry liquer concoction without any issues.

    [​IMG]

    After not winning much of anything we walked back to Mandarin

    [​IMG]

    Mandarin Bar Night 1

    One of the best parts of staying at Mandarin, is the easy access to the bar. Up on the 23rd floor it's got great views.

    A Sierra Nevada Pale Ale pre-dinner drink

    [​IMG]

    We got there to watch the sunset and then the full moon came out.

    [​IMG]

    After a couple of drinks at the bar it was time to get ready to go to dinner.

    Bardot

    Dinner the first night was at Bardot. This was my first chance to check out the restaurant, Michael Mina's take on a French Brassiere.

    Krug Grande Cuvee
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With dinner we had a 1/2 bottle of Krug. I've found that I really enjoy champagne and as a sommelier told me once, champagne goes with everything.

    The Krug is dry which I enjoy more then sweet.

    Bone Marrow Au Poivre
    peppercorn crusted bone marrow, burgundy onion jam, grilled country bread

    [​IMG]

    The bone marrow at Botero was a favourite of ours and with the demise of Botero I was on a lookout for a replacement. Unfortunately this wasn't as good as Botero's. I didn't find it quite as rich or wonderful.

    The bread was amazing though, probably the best I had all trip.

    Main Lobster Thermidor
    asparagus,fines herbes, mushroom cream, sauce bearnaise

    [​IMG]

    An updated take on a classic from the 70s/80s. Very Very rich and delicious, the lobster swimming in the sauce, served on a bed of potatoes that were almost as rich as Robuchon's.

    A delicious dish and I highly recommend it if you're in the mood for something rich.

    Lamb Rack "Frites"
    roasted eggplant puree, basil pistou, basque piperade, chickpea frites

    [​IMG]

    Mom had the lamb and she liked it. I tried a couple pieces of the lamb and definetly liked the lobster more.

    A good meal, a modern take on casual french dining.

    On the way out, I ran into A who's a regular at the Mandarin Bar. Small world.

    <b>Gambling</b>
    After dinner we wandered around a bit at Aria. Asked at the lobby bar if the piano player was playing that night but he wasn't starting for a while.

    Ended up sitting at a VP bank on the floor and running a bit of money through as Mom wanted to gamble.

    Hit my first quads of the trip but ended up losing.

    [​IMG]

    Mom lost her money she had put in so wanted to call it a night.

    I walked her back to the hotel, grabbed some money from my safe and went back to Aria for more gambling.

    <b>Gambling</b>

    I noticed they changed up the Pai Gow Poker pit, adding Blackjack tables and Baccarat tables to the end nearest the cashier and moving the PGP tables to the middle of the pit.

    Sitting at a Pai Gow Poker table, it was time to start the real gambling.

    Went on a nice little run to begin with and got within 1 bet of being up a nice round number several times before falling below my starting stack.

    To end my PGP session I pressed up my bet to recapture the losses of the day, but alas it was a loser.

    Feeling a bit down after losing at PGP I wandered the floor looking to play some blackjack. There was nothing under $50 that wasn't 6:5, I knew some 6:5 had come to Aria but didn't know it was as bad as that.

    I ended up at a $50 S17 6 deck table which seemed not terrible, especially as I think there was some $50 6:5 tables.

    The dealer was one of those very fast ones, which I'm not a fan of. managed to go 0-5 for dealer bets but was up and down.

    My most memorable hand, I was down to my last $200, and put a $100 bet out. Dealt 8's, split them, got a three, had to pull the emergency Benjamin from my wallet to put out the double down.

    Dealer busts and that hand starts a little comeback, ending when I thought I was up $50. As I was colouring up the dealer reminded me I bought in for the extra $100, doh

    Not quite done with gambling I wandered to the Gem Bar to play some video poker. This bar is what they replaced the Deuce with. I liked it, big tvs and a good booze selection, I got Peach Ciroc comped no problem and they have a good beer list. Bartenders seemed better then the sports bar.

    Something interesting happened as I was sitting there. A couple sat down a couple seats down from me and they were youngish looking. Bartender ID's them and they were apparently from Uruguay, and only had an Uruguayan driver's license. Since the bartender wasn't familiar with driver's licenses from Uruguay, the bartender had to call security. Took about 10 minutes for security to arrive, which kind of annoyed the couple. The security guard had a book of pictures of different IDs from around the world, and checked the ID against the book and verified it was real.

    Didn't win much of anything though and the session wasn't that memorable. I like playing at this bar, rather then the Sports Book bar.

    After the VP session I decided it was time to call it a night and went back to the room. Ran into A in the Hotel Lobby as he was leaving the Mandarin Bar.

    <b>Cupcakes</b>

    The welcome amenity had been dropped off in the room while we were out

    [​IMG]

    And I raided it for 1 of the cupcakes, well maybe 2 to end the night

    [​IMG]

    <b>Day 2</b>

    The next morning I slept in a bit. I hadn't planned anything for lunch that day so I went to look through the Aria app for something that struck my fancy. The app had been updated so that it covered all the MGM properties and I noticed Lago was open for lunch and decided to try it out. It was a bit odd the app didn't let you make a reservation directly from it, but the mobile version of the website does.

    After showering and getting ready, I met Mom in the Mandarin Sky Lobby and detoured through Aria's to put a bet down on the Raiders -5.5

    To try a new route from Mandarin to Bellagio, we went up to the tram from Monte Carlo to Bellagio. It took a while for the tram to come, it turned out only one of the trams was running. I did notice a firefighter in full respirator checking out the other tram when we went by it, so maybe it had broken down and was smoking. That route wasn't an improvement from our normal route going out the back valet of Aria and cutting through Vdara to Bellagio so we didn't use that route again.

    We got to Lago before it was too busy and ended up with a table one over from the windows over looking the fountains.

    [​IMG]

    Since it was perhaps a touch too early in the day to start drinking, I tried one of the house made soda's, I think it was Grapefruit and Raspberry.

    [​IMG]

    It wasn't quite as good as it could of been.

    Lago had a 3 course tasting for Lunch and it seemed like a great deal at $28

    [​IMG]

    Strategically, mom and I chose different dishes so that we could taste multiple things.

    I started out with the Minestrone Soup.

    [​IMG]

    Vegetables were fresh and I liked the slight flavour of Pesto.

    Mom had the Seafood Salad, but had a Vinaigrette dressing with it instead of the Grapefruit dressing

    [​IMG]

    It was very good as well, the vegetables crisp and the seafood pure and fresh.

    For the second course I had the Meatballs

    [​IMG]

    Sauce was very good, I even ate it up after all the meatballs were gone. The meatballs themselves were tender and succulent.

    Mom had the Branzino Livornese (sea bass|capers|olives|tomatoes|roasted asparagus

    [​IMG]

    This was better then the Meatballs. Crispy skin and the meat was perfectly flaky. The crispness of the asparagus was a nice contrast.

    For dessert there was a Lemon and Chocolate choice, we chose both.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Chocolate was rich and decadent, while the Lemon was tart and refreshing.

    I enjoyed the food at Lago and the lunch deal is a great value. Better then the deal at Milos I think, and the view is a lot better.

    I used Express comps to pay for the entire lunch, and that worked smoothly, just having to give them my MLife card.

    <b>Shopping</b>

    Mom wanted to go shopping, so I walked her over to the Forum Shoppes and made plans to meet up with her when she was done.

    I wandered around Caesars hitting up a bunch of different machines in the VP area just by the Forum shops entrance and only managed to hit one quad.

    [​IMG]

    There was a lot of losing and I even tried a little Ultimate X and Trible Double before admitting defeat and killed the rest of the time playing some nondescript slot until Mom was done her shopping.

    <b>Fountains</b>

    After shopping was done we headed back in the direction of Mandarin and caught our only fountain show of the trip.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    <b>Cosmo</b>

    Mom wanted to do some gambling so we ended up at the Chandelier Bar for some more Video Poker.

    Neither Mom or I hit anything. The one win was that the bartender made my Peach Ciroc very strong.

    <b>Mandarin Bar, Night 2</b>

    After the failed VP session at Cosmo, we found ourselves back at the Mandarin Bar for a pre dinner drink.

    [​IMG]

    I was pretty tipsy from the Peach Circo and with Midnight Mass on the agenda, Ginger Ale was the drink of choice.

    <b>Julian Serrano</b>

    Dinner on Christmas Eve was at Julian Serrano. Since lunch ended up being at Lago, it ended up being an all Julian Serrano day of dining.

    Alcohol for dinner was Juve y Camps Cava. It's a dry Cava, very good, in fact it turns out it was the same thing we had ordered last year.

    [​IMG]

    <b>tuna cones | ahi tartare | cucumber | crispy won ton | avocado | ponzu</b>

    [​IMG]

    Like a spicy tuna roll in an ice cream cone. A little reminiscent of TK's salmon coronets but with the flavour more in you face, then the subtly of the coronets. Mom doesn't like raw or spicy stuff so I ended up giving one away to the table next to us who had been admiring them when they were delivered to our table.

    <b>ensalada mixta | mix greens | tomato | cucumber | onion | olive | egg</b>

    [​IMG]

    This salad was just kind of there for me. I'm not a huge fan of salads so it would take a pretty spectacular salad for me to take notice.

    <b>spanish jamon croquettes | serrano ham | béchamel | tetilla cheese sauce</b>

    [​IMG]

    Deep fried fritters filled with ham and bechamel sauce. Rich and yummy. I was so eager to eat them, forgot to take a picture of the plate before we dived in.

    <b>crab black rice | crab | lobster | calamari | saffron | squid ink | spicy alioli</b>

    [​IMG]

    I think this is my favourite dish at Julian Serrano. The rice is almost like a risotto, the seafood is great and the aioli is a great compliment to it all.

    <b>grilled rib eye steak | piquillo confit | mushroom demi | mashed potato</b>

    [​IMG]

    A decent steak dish, but not outstanding.

    <b>torrija | salted caramel | vanilla bean ice cream | candied macadamia</b>

    [​IMG]

    Torrija is a Spanish dessert served during Lent. It consists of a slice of bread that is soaked in milk or wine with honey and spices, and, after being dipped in egg, fried in a pan with olive oil.

    This was interesting as I don't think I've had anything quite like it. The deep fried bread soaked up the ice cream and mixed with the caramel wonderfully.

    Another great meal at Julian Serrano, cementing it as my favourite over Jaleo.

    <b>Raiders, ugh</b>

    After we had finished dinner, we still had a bit of Cava left and the Raiders game I had bet on was winding down, well theoretically.

    Ended up watching the rest of that mess, cheering for SD to tie so that the Raiders had a chance to score a TD in OT.

    We were a bit far away from the TV's and didn't have sound so thought the Raiders had come through a couple times in OT only to have my hopes crushed. No free dinner for me, sigh.

    On the way back to Mandarin, stopped by the sports book and gave away the drink tickets I got with my losing bet. A small consolation to a fellow Raiders loser.

    <b>Midnight Mass</b>

    After a post dinner drink at Mandarin Bar, we headed off to our yearly tradition of Midnight Mass.

    There's a Cathedral just past Encore that we go to. Before Mass there's carols and the band and choir is quite good.

    In order to get a seat, you do have to get there pretty early, so we were there for 11.

    It makes for a pretty long night as the service didn't wrap up until 1:30 AM.

    [​IMG]

    After the service we walked over to Encore to catch a cab. Oddly there were none there waiting so it took a bit to get a cab. I guess I should of got Uber setup.

    <b>Christmas Day</b>

    Slept in even later Christmas Day. Made a reservation at Lemongrass in Aria for lunch.

    Wall facing elevators in the Mandarin Sky Lobby

    [​IMG]

    Before heading into Lemongrass, I stopped by the host office to get a comp for lunch. With the elimination of Express comps for table games, if you want a food comp and aren't staying on property you have to get a comp put on your card. I don't actually mind this too much as I think I actually end up getting more then just from express comps. You do have to plan where and when you want to eat though.

    <b>Christmas decorations outside Lemongrass</b>

    [​IMG]

    Lemongrass had Dim Sum going so we got a mixture of that and their normal food.

    <b>Dim Sum Menu</b>

    [​IMG]

    <b>Steamed BBQ Pork Bun</b>

    [​IMG]

    My favourite Dim Sum dish, was so hungry forgot to get a picture of them all.

    <b>Pad Thai</b>

    [​IMG]

    Not my favourite version, decent but not anything special.

    <b>Fried Sesame Sweet Ball</b>

    [​IMG]

    Mom's favourite Dim Sum dish. A good example, though it did take quite some time to come. Service in general sucked and they made a major mistake with my comp.

    <b>Mango Sticky Rice</b>

    [​IMG]

    Love this dessert, the sweetness and texture of the rice is so good.

    At the end of the meal I handed over my MLife card and told the waitress, once we found her, that I had a comp. She brought back the comp slip, I didn't look too closely at it, signed it and left a cash tip. Later when I was getting ready for dinner I checked my MLife account and noticed that the waitress had used up my Express comps, rather then the primary comp the host had loaded onto my card.

    I ended up going by the host office after Christmas dinner and seeing what they could do, but it was going to take some time to get the ECs back and it didn't seem worth it to waste my time on it. The host did give me his card and said let him know when i'm back and he'll make it up to me but that seems doubtful.

    So in summary, the food is good at Lemongrass, the service sometimes isn't so good. I have had better luck just sitting at the bar and ordering through the bartender.

    <b>Wynn</b>

    After lunch we headed down to Wynn.

    I had the taxi drop us off at the Tower Suites entrance as I love the Tower Suite lobby.

    The lobby had some nice Christmas decorations up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    <b>Parasol Down</b>

    Went over to Parasol Down and the sun was shining down on the Patio outside and so with the heaters it was warm enough to sit on the patio. In fact most of the trip I was walking around in short sleeved, and had only a polo shirt on as we sat outside and enjoyed some drinks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After finishing our drinks we walked around Wynn a bit

    Craps Table in Host Office

    [​IMG]

    After Mom popped into the perfume shop we headed over to Venetian/Palazzo to check out the Christmas decorations there.

    Mom wanted to do some more gambling so we took a cab back from Venetian to Aria and ended up at the Gem Bar for some more VP.

    The bartender offered up a Sin City beer that was tasty, however that was the highlight of the session as neither Mom or I hit anything. Mom's gambling had gone poorly and she hadn't won at all for any of our VP sessions.

    <b>Mandarin Bar, Night 3</b>

    Before hitting the bar, I made a quick stop in my room and noticed Santa had been by. I guess he must of got on a hot roll at the craps table and couldn't deliver until Christmas Day afternoon.

    [​IMG]

    The bar was full by the time we got there and we grabbed a table by the bar. Mom ordered something that the bar didn't have, but the bartender went through their inventory and brought out a bottle of something that Mom ended up liking better.

    [​IMG]

    We stayed at the bar through Sunset which is always fun to watch from that perch.

    [​IMG]

    After Mom left to get ready for Christmas dinner I moved up to the bar.

    [​IMG]

    After that beer it was time to get ready for Christmas Dinner.

    [​IMG]

    <b>Le Cirque</b>

    For Christmas dinner we went chose Le Cirque. This was our 3rd or 4th Christmas dinner at Le Cirque.

    It's always calming to get out of the madness of Bellagio lobby and through the doors of Le Cirque.

    We were a bit early for our reservation so we had a drink of champagne while we waited.

    [​IMG]

    The wait wasn't very long and soon we were seated at our table, along the back of the room. Mom could see the fountains but I had my back to them.

    [​IMG]

    The cool candles on the table

    [​IMG]

    <b>Amuse</b>

    The meal started off with an amuse of a Salmon Rillete with an Asparagus veloute and topped with a bit of Gold leaf and Osetra Caviar

    [​IMG]

    The veloute was creamy and smooth and meshed nicely with the tanginess of the salmon.

    <b>Bacon Bread</b>

    [​IMG]

    Out of the many choices, I went with the Bacon Bread. It was good but I only ended up eating half the piece as I avoided the trap of filling up with bread.

    <b>Ruinart Champagne Blanc De Blancs</b>

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The First course came out so fast we hadn't finished our first glass of champange before the second was poured.

    In fact the first two course were lighting fast and we asked for it to slow down. The waiter at first said chef was kind of fussy and food came out when it came out but eventually he convinced chef to slow down.

    I preferred the Ruinart to the Veuve we had started out with as it was dryer.

    <b>Maryland Blue Crab and Russian Osetra Caviar, Ocean Water Smoke</b>

    [​IMG]

    For my first course I chose the crab and caviar dish. After they put it down on the table they used a little teapot thing to pour the ocean smoke over it.

    <embed width="600" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullscreen="true" allowNetworking="all" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf" flashvars="file=http%3A%2F%2Fvid901.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fac217%2Falexanbo%2FVegas%2520December%25202015%2FVegas%2520Dec%25202015%2520005_zpsrdezyfgp.mp4&title=">

    An amazing dish, I loved the taste and texture of the caviar, mixing with the crab and avocado salad was heaven.

    I cleaned the shell out.

    [​IMG]

    "Le Cirque" Lobster and Avocado Salad, Black Truggle Vinaigrette

    [​IMG]

    Mom had the Lobster salad and enjoyed it.

    <b>Carnarolli Risotto, Alba White Truffles</b>

    [​IMG]

    Both Mom and I went with the Truffle Risotto. Another amazing dish, maybe not the flashiest, but wonderful. The Risotto was pitch perfect and a perfect base for the Truffles.

    <b>Jean Chartron Puligny Montrachet 2013</b>

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The sommelier mentioned this wine was from his hometown. I enjoyed it and it was my second favourite of the night, after the Ruinart.

    <b>Pine Nut Cruster Diver Scallop, Trout Roe, Parsley Coulis, Glazed Matsutake</b>

    [​IMG]

    For the fish course I chose the Scallop. The broth is a lobster bisque. The individual pieces of the dish were good, I think that there was a little too much going on for the dish to work as a whole.

    <b>Potato Cruster Mediterranean Sea-Bass, Braised Leeks, Pinot Noir Reduction</b>

    [​IMG]

    Mom's choice for the fish course on the other hand was superb. I got to taste a little of the fish, and the crust really enhanced the flavour of the perfectly cooked fish.

    <b>Vosne-Romanée 2013</b>

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    <b>Cervena Venison, Poached Bosc Pear Farci, Cacao Nibs, Kabocha Squash, Parsnip and Vanilla Mousseline</b>

    [​IMG]

    Chef based this dish on the dessert Pears Belle Helene. Instead of chocolate, venison is used to make the dish savoury.

    The poached pear with the bit of venison shoulder in the middle was one of the best bites I've had. The flavour of the Venison seeped into the sweetness of the pear flesh and the combination was incredible.

    <b>Le Sughere di Frassinelle 2012</b>

    [​IMG]

    <b>Petite Boule de Chocolat, Eclats de Noisette Caramélisée, Glace Chocolat Blanc</b>

    Chocolate Ball: Praline Mousse, White Chocolate Ice Cream, Hazelnut Caramel Crunch, Chocolate Sauce

    [​IMG]

    The waiter pours the warm Chocolate Sauce over the Ball and it melts, revealing the yummy interior.

    <embed width="600" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullscreen="true" allowNetworking="all" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf" flashvars="file=http%3A%2F%2Fvid901.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fac217%2Falexanbo%2FVegas%2520December%25202015%2FVegas%2520Dec%25202015%2520006_zpsdc0mugrb.mp4&title=">

    [​IMG]

    <b>Petit Fours</b>

    [​IMG]

    Some treats to end the meal with. I got one of them, the jam jelly one, and then Mom managed to get the rest to go and then didn't relinquish custody of them.

    She was also presented with a present of additional sweets.

    <b>Americano</b>

    [​IMG]

    A traditional way to end the meal for me.

    <b>Signed Menu</b>

    [​IMG]

    A great Christmas Dinner, made even better getting to share it with Mom.

    <b>Mandarin Bar, Night 3 continued</b>

    After dinner we walked back to Mandarin Bar.

    Dinner had completely filled us so I asked the bartender to make a light refreshing drink.

    He came up with a Raspberry Moscow Mule, which hit the spot perfectly.

    <b>Raspberry Moscow Mule</b>

    [​IMG]

    The sweetness of the raspberry was a good compliment to the ginger beer.

    On Fridays and Saturdays, the bar has live music, that night was a three piece band doing jazzy versions of pop music.

    [​IMG]

    Mom called it a night after she finished her Raspberry Mule.

    The drink was so good, I got one in a to go cup

    [​IMG]

    To take with me for the final night of gambling.

    <b>Pai Gow Poker</b>

    After a quick trip to the room to change, I took my to go cup to Aria and sat at a PGP table.

    For the first hour or so everything comes up roses. I have a nice little run and am up 15 bets.

    The relief dealer for the PGP pit was pretty funny and engaging and since we were winning, he would play with the cards and tease us when setting his hands by say putting a pair up top first, letting us sweat and then sliding it down to the bottom before putting nothing up top.

    One memorable hand he actually stopped me from picking up my hand, picked it up himself and set it. With the mood at the table it was fine and kind of fun. Then he sets the dealer hand and it was good, I think he had tens up top and Aces behind, so I was like oh great that's a loss. He just laughs and flips over Jacks on top and trips behind for me and I win... woot!

    As I mentioned I was up 15 bets, for the trip 16 bets would of made me even. I flirted with that 16th bet quite a while but just couldn't close the deal. That started a long slow bleed, including a stretch of 5 pai gows in a row.

    During the losing streak, the relief dealer was a lot more subdued and didn't do any playing with the cards.

    I found myself with only 4 bets left, decided what the hell and went all in with it. Pulled out a win on that hand but didn't get much farther then that. I was getting tired and decided to end the session, down 7 bets, a swing of 22 bets.

    I would of been more upset about that if not for what followed next.

    <b>Row 802</b>

    After cashing in my chips, I wasn't quite ready to call it a night. I was on my way to go finish the night again at Gem Bar, when a little voice in my head reminded me I hadn't tried the Beejay Memorial Row 802 yet this trip. I had to walk back from the mLife desk to the row and sat down at the STP machine.

    I put $500 into the machine and away I went.

    I actually started on quarters and this was the only thing I hit

    [​IMG]

    Figuring what the hell it's late and I'm going home tomorrow, I bumped up to dollars.

    I managed to hit this to get me within shouting distance of even.

    [​IMG]

    Two minutes later, I hit this to stay alive

    [​IMG]

    And then as I was getting low I hit this

    [​IMG]

    1 minute later

    [​IMG]

    And then 3 minutes later, this

    [​IMG]

    Which is kind of a fun hand, holding three 6's and getting the 4th on two lines. This would of been more of a high lite if not for what happens later.

    It was now 4:20 AM in the morning and I had been drinking since about 1:30 PM the previous day. I was pretty tired and barely awake and I had to be at the airport in 7 hours.

    Whenever a multiplier had been coming up, I had been cheering for whatever I needed to make a decent hand to come up on the redraw.

    This had not worked out at all for me.

    So when a 4x multiplier shows up along with two Aces, I'm saying to myself in my head Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace, Ace.

    I hit the deal button.

    My eyes scan the bottom row, sigh nothing.

    I hear the machine start to count up, and up and up and up.

    Scan the next line.

    Boom.

    [​IMG]

    It didn't actually register right away.

    But the machine kept counting up and up and up.

    And then it sunk in.

    I kind of remember the Hand Pay notice not popping up right away, but it eventually did.

    [​IMG]

    I jumped up and yelled YEAH, at 4:30 AM there was no one around though. I started messaging a couple friends, none of whom seemed to be up yet.

    I waited 10 minutes and then caught a cocktail waitress, who's eyes actually got big when she saw what I hit and she went and got the slot attendant. I guess there was actually no one working that section at that time of night.

    Eventually they got the paperwork filled out and brought my cash. It was my first handpay so they had to set up the foreign info for tax witholding.

    I was kind of in a daze still. It was exciting to have them count out all the cash.

    Weirdly they all almost disappeared before I had a chance to tip. The only one that stuck around was the security guard, so hopefully he shared the tip. I also never saw the cocktail waitress again, doh.

    It was all pretty surreal, I usually only play single line quarters, I had been 1 bet away from quitting gambling for the trip at the Pai Gow table, I had been about 5 steps away from sitting at the VP bar, and then I had thought to myself that I was going to play the machine down to 1k and I hit the Aces with $1001 in the machine.

    Figuring it was a good time to quit gambling I walked back to Mandarin.

    I still wasn't sure it was real until I got back to the room

    [​IMG]

    Leaving

    I managed to get a couple hours sleep before having to pack and head to the airport. I thought I had prepaid for the rooms, but I still had to pay the resort fee.

    When we got to the bell stand, the bellman said the house car should be there soon. We waited around for that and took it to the airport.

    [​IMG]

    Traffic was super heavy, and the house car ended up going a long way, turning left onto the strip, right on Harmon and up Paradise to the airport.

    There was a long line at security so we barely had time for my....

    Last Meal

    [​IMG]

    After scarfing down a Whopper we walked on the plane as it had just started boarding when we got to the gate.

    We had exit row so extra room and priority boarding.

    Bye

    Had a good view as we took off South to North and then hung a left at Sands

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Home

    [​IMG]

    Great ending to the trip, that was one of my best days in Vegas ever. Not only the handpay, but the whole day, dinner, everything was amazingand sharing it all with Mom.
     
  2. Spock

    Spock Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Messages:
    77
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    such a nice read. Thank you for all the pictures and taking the time to document the same.

    The ending was fantastic and congratulations on the hit. Great way to end the vacation.

    GL for 2016
     
  3. Raptor

    Raptor High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Southern Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Great report and congrats on the great hit. Thanks for sharing, the pictures were amazing!
     
  4. Treb23

    Treb23 Tourist

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Georgia
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Great TR! I always appreciate the dinning pics and comments! Congrats on the Handy!
     
  5. 6Mermaids

    6Mermaids Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    174
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Thank you for sharing! This trip report is a great start for my Monday morning.

    You are a wonderful son. :)
     
  6. JSR1968

    JSR1968 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Nice write up thanks
     
  7. sammowhammo

    sammowhammo VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,057
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    13
    What a wonderful trip report! Love love love all the pictures. Congrats on the HP! I have to show this to my son to show him what will be expected of him in the future :D
     
  8. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,428
    Location:
    capital of Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    42
    What a way to end a trip!
    Loved the food pics - Le Cirque being my favorite - such a fan of their risotto and sea bass - we eat there once each trip.
    And so nice to be able to share the holiday tradition with your Mom.
    Thanks for taking us along.
     
  9. RM777

    RM777 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Thanks for the TR! I really enjoyed the pictures!
     
  10. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,607
    Location:
    Central TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Outstanding TR!! I really enjoyed it, especially all the food porn - you had some great meals! Congrats on the big hit, what did your Mom say when you told her about it? Glad you and she both enjoyed your trip.
     
    Vegas Just Because...
  11. callmegeorge

    callmegeorge Tourist

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    Great TR! Loved the pictures. One quick question- On the hand where you had the dealt Full House, aren't you supposed to normally break it up and just hold the three 2's? Just wondering :)
     
  12. alexanbo

    alexanbo High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    952
    Location:
    Vancouver BC, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Mom was super happy that I won. It did make it harder to convince her to give me a ride home from the Airport though.
     
  13. alexanbo

    alexanbo High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    952
    Location:
    Vancouver BC, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    On DDB you only break aces from a full house I believe
     
  14. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2,109
    Location:
    Cincinnatti, OH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    45
    Great trip report, thoroughly enjoyed your detailed recap and dining review. On the Lago 3 course lunch meal was this a special holiday offering or do you know if it is something regularly offered.
    Wife and I have been wanting to try out Lago and lunch offering seems like a great way to preview the place.
     
  15. alexanbo

    alexanbo High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    952
    Location:
    Vancouver BC, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    The lunch 3 course meal is a regular thing I believe. It shows up on their website.

    They do a Sunday brunch so it probably wouldn't be on then.
     
  16. Riders

    Riders High-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    GA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    55
    Enjoyed the whole report .. the food looked amazing.

    However, I loved that Aces with Kicker with multiplier .. on a 2 card hold no less. Congrats.
     
  17. retiree52

    retiree52 Tourist

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    South Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Wow this was a great report an it's always wonderful to leave Vegas on a winning note! Congrats!
     
    Happy place Soon
  18. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,449
    Location:
    NYC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Great TR and pics!
     
    Super Bowl Weekend for a Bachelor Party!
  19. hanoscf

    hanoscf High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    NW Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Thanks for the great report. And congrats on the handpay!
     
  20. mike841

    mike841 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    347
    Location:
    in the quail's nest
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    enjoyed reading and looking at the pics, congrats on the hand pay
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.