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Downtown Grand/ El Cortez Solo 12/12/15

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by FullPay, Dec 17, 2015.

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  1. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

    Joined:
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    My Trip Report

    Three trips so far this year, first with an old friend, second with the wife, third with my father and brother. Always trying to figure out if someone other than myself is having a good time. Really wanted a solo trip, been almost two years. My wife asked me where I wanted to be on my birthday, I said I don't want to go to my favorite restaurant, it is too crowded with holiday entertaining, I wanted to go to a bar with a little more action. She said which one, I said all the ones that I really like are in Las Vegas. She said okay so I am on it.

    Southwest free flight on points I got from a credit card deal. Where to stay? Comped at Four Queens but the first night, Saturday, is gonna cost about 80 dollars because NFR is still in town, second night free. I have been getting the crappy casino rate offers from El Cortez since they downgraded me about six years ago, still dreaming of getting back on their good list so 85 dollars for two nights with some food credit.

    My brother asked what's wrong with me paying for rooms downtown? Thought about it and hadn't seen any Downtown Grand offers. Call to check and leave my name and number with the host, Marty. She calls me back and said four nights is fine. Sorry Four Queens, maybe next time. IMG_1595.jpg
    Arrived twenty minutes ahead of the WAX, so I started playing with the Lyft app. Never used it before and I was having a hard time getting a price estimate. It asked me to approve five bucks and I did, still no estimate. I was ready to give up when the driver rang my phone. I told him I was just going to take the bus and he turned on his best salesman pitch. I said no and he said I have to cancel the ride on the app. Since the phone was at my ear I just gave up and told him I would meet him. Left the terminal near the elevator to the WAX, pretty good signage, 2nd floor elevator in the parking garage. Sat in the front seat and he talked my ears off. At the DTG I said I am trying to find a discount code, entered the one posted here on VMB and got twenty dollars off a twenty-two dollar ride. Five dollar tip for Tiko and a highly recommend.
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    I change hotels a lot, learned this trick here.

    I told my wife this was not going to be one of those sad, can't win, don't know what I'm doing did I forget how to play video poker trips. I told her I was going to hit a quad with my first beer. Didn't get the beer because someone was questioning the bartender, but I did get this on my third spin in Vegas.
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    Finally got that beer and decided to play a multi-play. Been inspired by all the high roller pics, thought I could step up my game a bit. So it's eighteen quarters a hand on three play Super Times Pay.
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    Bought in several times at various craps tables, DTG, 4Q, GG, each time surviving or winning a hundred. Time to get some food and I think I still have time to catch the happy hour at Chicago Brewing. Check the menu, order the Prime Rib Sliders, was going to get some skins then I found out that happy hour was Monday to Friday. I almost always travel midweek. Then I remembered I had about eighty dollars worth of comps from playing there on previous trips. It might have been some of the beer talking, but they were the tastiest sandwiches I have had in a while.
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    Saw Allan at the 4Q Kings bar, played a lot but no hits. Then bought in at the ten dollar craps table at Binions cause I wanted to see the pretty girls. Me and one other shooter, I could not stop throwing come out sevens. Turned two hundred into three hundred.
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    About time to call it a night I head back to DTG. Look at this, I am up about two hundy.
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    Apparently I still had some wind in my sails because I'm back at the Furnace Bar, DTG. Now I always make a note on my phone when I hit a quad, where, what card, and how much. I was scratching my head the next day about J's DTG 187.50. I had to pull the calculator out, that is 750 quarters. How did I hit a quad for 750 quarters? Later I found this pic.
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    Back to the room and another count, I'm up about four hundred cash in the wallet, I don't keep count of spending and tips (they are plentiful), just the cash count. Excellent first night in Vegas and it gets better. More later.
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  2. tdhoier

    tdhoier Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Like Gordon Lightfoot once sang, this is a 'Beautiful' thing.

    YouTube it or pick up a copy of Gord's Gold and thank me later.
     
  3. marcianofan

    marcianofan Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    I went into the DTG once during the NFR and, the place was BEYOND dead! They only had two blackjack tables, maybe 8-10 people in the casino, and just a very sad feeling. I do like their hotel rooms tho, clean and mostly quiet but the casino, whew........
     
  4. macwjp

    macwjp Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Prince Edward Island, Canada
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    Nice start sir, hope you are have a great remainder of the trip.
     
  5. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Great start! Hope you get to post some pics of the El Cortez, love that place :)
     
  6. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Well, day two started with my brother ringing the phone at 7:30 am. I usually turn the damn thing off. Decided I could talk and told him I was going to set out to the Cal for a loco moco breakfast. He said I should go to the Boars Head and put a hundred in the dollar VP and win a four thousand dollar royal. Since hitting a royal was a primary objective of the trip, I told him "there is no try." A breezy and cold ten minute walk to the Cal and Aloha Specialties is closed. Sunday! I thought. But it was actually ten til nine, they hadn't opened yet. Should I play a machine down the hall or accept my brother's challenge at Boars Head. I went with plan b. Do or Do Not.

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    Do not. Back up the escalator for my favorite downtown breakfast. They changed it out about a year ago, they cook three eggs in a pan that is the same size as the burger patty. Lay down the rice, bring the brown gravy.
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    Stuffed and happy, head back to the Main Street Station. I am working on a chip collection for my wife, one chip for every casino that she has stayed in. Figured I'd buy in at their famous 20X odds craps table. Drop a hundy, drag in my stack with a nickel come bet. Shooter throws eight. Two more chips out for odds. Shooter throws eight. Dealer pays out three numbers bets, dice go out and I'm left out in the cold. "You gonna pay that?" "It just came out." "That's when you pay me, when it comes out!" "It just came out." Apparently this dealer is a known quantity, the pit boss notices and nudges him, pay the man. Sour mood, wondering who has been up all night, hell yes, color me up.
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    Now this happy trip has a sour mood attached, something different must be done to change it. Looking for a different machine, I decided to play the Treasure Chest VP. Plink away at the the old-timey machine, a guy five machines down picks up and sits at the next machine to me, going to change his luck. I play about three more hands, hold three to a royal.
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    The machine locks up, the music starts playing. After about two minutes a slot tech says it will be a few minutes. I tell her I've got all day. Engage in a little chit -chat with the player and his cousin and the handpay shows up. Yes, she broke the last hundy down to twenties and I'm feeling generous. Situate my bills and she asks me to play another hand. I comply and she disappears. Oh well, I tell my new friend. He said that they usually hang around for it. A cold day, inside to play. Back to the DTG for a quad, out on Fremont a bit. The circles seem to be controlling the street acts, mostly the cold has thinned out the crowd so you don't really have to walk around anybody. Back to the Kings Bar at 4Q for drinks with Allan, then to the back wall full pay double bonus machines under Magnolia's. Four Queens at the Four Queens. Should be a bonus for that, only happened once in my life, my wife hit it and got an extra fifteen bucks handpay. You should at least get a t-shirt or a shot glass. All I got was a grin that wouldn't stop.
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    Dinner is the prime rib special at Magnolia's, cause I'm still trying to burn all these food comps. Pretty busy, ten minutes to get seated, another ten to get served. Lukewarm bud light, ice cold iceberg salad. Tough potato, a piece of brocollini and a massive ten ounce slice, about twenty percent is fat cap. Not a fan of the fat, though I know some people love it. Waitress disappears and I read my little paper cups, the chives indicate sour cream, this looks like it should be butter, where is the horseradish? Who brings prime rib without horseradish? Ten minutes to get that rectified, as my restaurant single diner cloak of invisibility seems to have kicked in. Back up to the room and do a wallet count. Twelve hundred dollars. Decide to split the stack and make an eight hundred dollar deposit into the room safe. Back down to the casino with four hundred in the wallet. One crowded craps table, one empty. Decide to try and open up the empty. A yo, a point, point made. Dealers still chatting among themselves. Come out seven, another point made. Dealer hardways bet, dealers paid. I'm hollering out about the free money available but nobody comes over to play with me. Keep winning til I'm up a hundred and color up. Some slots and some more video poker, have to record the natural quad I hit on Deuces Wild, five dollars. Always happens, don't know how to deal with it. More play, more drink, off to bed. Good thing I split my stack, I wake up the next morning and there is a hundred fifty in the wallet. Didn't I leave the room with four hundy? Wife checks in and I have to tell her the truth: obviously someone broke into the room in the middle of the night and took two hundred fifty dollars out of my wallet. Damn this town! More to come.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  7. Aplayer2

    Aplayer2 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Congrats on the royal!! Of course I know the story already having demanded multiple daily updates since I could not be there --The trip report and pics are really good so far keep it coming......
     
  8. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

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    Day three starts at the Furnace Bar waiting for a good friend who went local about ten years ago. There was a time when I didn't drink tomato juice but I learned to drink it so I could get on this Bloody Mary bandwagon. I read somewhere that Wisconsin bartenders always give you a beer back, and that's how I like to drink them. A lot of bartenders in Vegas feel I am trying to subvert the 'one comped drink at a time' rule. No problem from the guy at DTG.
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    Went down to DuPars for breakfast. Not a fan because I liked the old café so much. Had a pretty decent rendition of Eggs Benedict with a side of real hash browns. No food pix, but this one hanging in the men's room always makes me smile. Cause monkeys are funny.
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    My friend is a big chip collector. I told him about the set I was putting together for my wife so we are off to Spinetti's Gaming supplies. They have a dollar chip from every currently operating casino they sell for three bucks each, so almost one stop shopping for me. Recently closed were five bucks, then there is the collector section. Found a Bourbon Street one for seven bucks. Told him that was my upper limit because they are pretty easy to find on eBay. On to Circus Circus to find the old three reel dollar coin droppers. Couldn't get the change machine to take any of my hundreds so off to the cage to get a rack. The attendant said she had to go way in the back to find the lucky ones. Lucky for somebody, my friend sez. Not for me. Ran them through once. Quick sixty dollars worth of fun.
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    Over to Slots a Fun for a frozen drink. Back to DTG to get ready for the room change. Checked in at the cage and had earned enough points for the current promo, free half pint of Jack Daniels.
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    At the El Cor the Check in is usually a wait, got through it in about ten minutes and the lady at the desk was nice. She put me in 208. I prefer the odd numbers because they overlook the casino roof, even ones face the north where all the sirens seem to run by at night. Bonus about the second floor is you can access it without a key card because of the business offices up there. You can also come down the big red carpeted spiral staircase behind the Lobby Bar and pretend you are Kenny Epstein. Checked in at the Parlour Bar to say hey to Scottie, got a nice catch on their fifty cent machines.
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    Feeling pretty good about the hit, so I head over to the old dollar JOB machine near the coin cage and the Subway. Again I couldn't get the DBA to read my bills so I buy a rack at the cage. Loaded all hundred credits before I begin to play, pretty time consuming. First hand I'm dealt three jacks and draw the fourth. Pretty time consuming taking two hundred coins out of the tray, but at least I didn't need a hopper fill.
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    Went over to the slot club and they have promo kiosks so I give it a swap. I'm qualified for a Free Jackie Burger, so Kenny just bought me dinner. It usually comes with a beer as a five dollar special. They made no effort on the presentation and the bun was some weird bakery bun that was too tall to bite through. Had it topless with a complimentary side of potato chips fresh from the big bag in the kitchen. Come on, man. But a win is a win. I'm seven hundred to the good when I call it a night, probably could have bought my own dinner.
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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  9. HollisTheCat

    HollisTheCat Tourist

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    Enjoying reading your TR. congrats on the royal and 4Qs at Four Queens.
     
  10. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

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    Last full day I wake up in the mood for a buffet plate for breakfast. Haven't tried Fremont for over a year, Golden Nugget just keeps getting worse by degrees but they continue to charge the high price, so off to Main Street Station. Short debate as to whether I want to play for the ACG coupon or just pay, $7.99 with card and it's about 10 AM, I pay. Cashier manages to find about a buck fifty on my card. Manny is putting on his show at the omelet station, I get two over easy and load my plate. Being from the South I can tell you that there has never been an actual biscuit on any Vegas buffet but the gravy tasted good. Second plate for me is usually some pitiful fruit but went back for second biscuit and gravy. Back to El Cor for a break, then making some small talk waiting for the elevator. Guy says where you from? Louisville. I love Louisville, been to the Kentucky Derby several times. What's your name? I tell him and he says I'm Kenny Epstein (the owner of the El Cortez). I say, I love the El Cortez. Any problems, you come see me. I tell him I'll put him on my speed dial. We used to love seeing Jackie at the poker room when he owned the place, kinda cool that this guy wanted to shake my hand. Found a bar and played some Caveman Keno during a break from the video poker, caught five of six, a monster hit for me at Keno.
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    Then went to find the fifty play machine, been watching other people on other trip reports. Best hand was dealt four of a kind on Deuces Wild.
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    I played another multi-play called Dream Card. You had to pay ten credits per hand and occasionally the fifth card would be a dream card and turn into whatever card improved your hand the most. Kind of fun at nickels but to strong a price to pay otherwise. Lunch was Saimin soup at Lanai Express. I can't believe people order those huge hot dogs when you can actually see them floating in the water in front of you. Guy in front of me loses control of his hot dog and rolls it on the counter, asks for a new one. Yeah, I don't want to lick that counter either, but he is already way too committed to a bad decision.
    Today's mission was to finally visit the Atomic Café. Ten years ago I would not have walked down there in broad daylight. What used to be a dive bar is now a neighborhood bar disguised as a tourist trap. Eight dollar gin and tonic that tasted like tonic and tonic.
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    Dinner finds me back at Chicago Brewing. I love their little deep dish pizza and I still have comps to burn. Got some comped beers and they bring out a trivet with the food so that you can still get to the video poker buttons while you eat. But not this pizza, it's either knife and fork or you lean way over the plate because of all of the sauce. Talked to this couple at the bar for so long that when I said goodbye I got up and left without paying. Little girl comes running down the stairs and I remember now. Kind of embarrassed but I bet this happens a lot. About nine dollars worth of my comps and a five dollar bill and all is well. Back at the El Cor I got these two hits within three hands of each other at the Parlour Bar for my good night session, went to bed about nine hundred to the good for the trip.
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  11. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    This is so great.

    All my favorite stomping groundses.
     
  12. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

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    Last day starts with me being 900 ahead, I'm in Vegas, and it's my birthday! I'm on the list for the free limo with the driver who has been out here forever and has not lost his Boston accent. I get my bag together and I have four hours. Down to Siegels whatever they call the coffee shop/fine dining restaurant now with a special on my mind. On the sign it looks like an egg mcmuffin with Canadian and American bacon. Comes with a coffee for five bucks. I'm in the mood for a small breakfast and definitely in the mood for coffee. Also know I'm gonna have a drink at some point today, maybe I'll just Irish up that coffee myself. The hostess seats me near the door and my cloak of invisibility activates. I can see a waitress in the distance and a lot of employees hanging out in an alcove to the kitchen. I haven't even gotten a smile yet and a couple gets seated in the middle of the restaurant. Waitress greets them, menus and drink order. She disappears, they get beverages, she reappears and takes their food order. Finally the hostess sees me and goes off to have a conversation with the waitress in the distance. The hostess comes over and says, "I thought she was on break." Not even able to process this information. Five minutes later I've got one cup of coffee, ice water and an egg mcmuffin that Ronald McDonald himself would turn away from. Come on, man. I have yet to exceed my fifteen dollar room credit so at least it is free. Invisibility cloak is intermittent, she finally brings a check, but with no pen. Now I have to wait for the disappeared hostess, mood is soured so no drink for me. Decided to give the fifty cent full pay Double Bonus coin dropper machine a chance. I play it every trip. I usually play quarters, but this is one of the few 100.17% machines left in existence. Some lady was double playing that machine and the one next to it from a go scooter for about two hours the day before, so this will be my first shot. And to be perfectly honest, every trip I put two twenties in it and they disappear. Until today. And I did need a hopper fill.
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    I like that it says special four of a kind, cause threes are special.

    Now that the sour mood is gone, I spot Ron at the Keno Bar. He hooked me up with an excellent Bloody Mary yesterday and we talked for a while, so I know we are good. Happy Birthday, travel starts in three hours, drinks on the house!
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    Inspired by my win and with precious hours left, I up my game to fifty cent video poker at the bar. I play Double Double because it is 9/6 and was my brother's favorite game. I can stand the volatility because I'm around a thousand to the good and not enough time left to lose it. Playing and smiling and this happens:
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    Sweet, sweet Aces. And did you get the kicker? OMG, I got the kicker. I'm staring at that 2000 coin payout, I've hit this like five times in my life, and I realize I'm playing fifty cent. I barely got the math ahead of the machine counting, I just hit for a thousand dollars! I'm afraid to take a leak because everything I touch this morning turns to gold! Because of Jackie's jackpot barrel I get to draw an envelope out of the barrel. Ron goes to find me a slot tech for the certificate and says, "Don't play that off." No, I'm gonna spend a little time staring at that anyway. Twenty dollars in the tip jar, collect a thousand at the cage, draw for ten dollars free play. Mess around with a few slots, spin the Wheel of Fortune, and I'm getting a little morning drunk. Long flight ahead. Limo to airport, 90 minutes to kill. Airport bar is crowded at noon, ask a lady to move her bag. I say to the bartender, "Pour me the most expensive Sam Adams I have ever had in my life." He pushes it forward and says, "That will be eleven dollars." I lift up the beer and say "Congratulations!" Seventeen hundred to the good, my wallet barely folds when I pay him, best trip ever! Thanks for reading.
     
  13. Fet297

    Fet297 Vegas is my happy place!

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    Awesome TR. enjoyed reading it. A great birthday!
     
    First trip for 2017!
  14. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    Wow loved the stories!!! Thanks for the report!
     
  15. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Wow..this was wonderful!:clap:

    "Invisibility cloak is intermittent"
    That is why I like buffets....there is no "cloak".
     
  16. npom

    npom High-Roller

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    Great report!
     
  17. TriviaAndy

    TriviaAndy Tourist

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    What a great trip and what a way to spend your birthday.
     
  18. Superpocky

    Superpocky VIP Whale

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    What a nice trip report and congratulations on the Royal and the Aces with a kicker from just one ace!! I have yet to hit a royal and one of these days I'm gonna hit it, I hope.

    So nice to read a winning trip report, it's pretty scarce theses days. Thank you for sharing with us!
     
  19. DougFur

    DougFur Tourist

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    Excellent report! Congrats on the winning trip.
     
  20. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Good TR...Thanks!
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
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