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Encore 16-21

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by alexanbo, Aug 24, 2009.

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  1. alexanbo

    alexanbo High-Roller

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

    My Trip Report

    Well this turned into a really long Report so kudos to those who get through it:

    Introduction
    For some background I’m 33 and from Vancouver,BC and this was going to be my second trip to Vegas. I originally found a code for Encore that was $129 a night with $50 in resort credit but by keeping a close eye on things managed to find an offer for $109 a night and that added $25 in slot play to the resort credit. My last trip had been at Christmas and I had stayed at the Bellagio, but had gone to check out the opening of the Encore and liked it a lot better so decided to stay there this time.

    Prologue
    The trip report really starts the week before I was to leave, as after a long night of drinking and dancing I ended up at the local casino playing poker. Now this wasn’t the brightest move I’ve ever made but somehow managed to make enough money to cover the hotel and flight so I was on a freeroll. The largest part of that came when three of us got it all in preflop with me holding QQ vs KK vs AA and a Queen spiked on the flop. I thought that only happened online, not in live poker.

    Departure
    In any case Sunday morning found me catching a ride out to the airport. My apartment has been facing the construction of the new Canada Line and that has been waking me up for 2 ½ years now and I missed the opening of it by one day, so was forced to bum a ride at the cost of my duty free liquor allowance. I was flying Westjet as I really don’t like Air Canada and they handled the weather delays at Christmas so much better. I ended up sitting on the right hand side of the plane with a window seat and got lucky that there was no one sitting between me and the passenger on the aisle. He was actually the father of the bride of a large wedding party on board so they were all in a festive mood. Flying into Vegas I got a great view of the strip as we came in along the strip, hung a right around the Stratosphere (which was so close you could almost touch it, it seemed) and then got another view of the strip as we landed.
    Luggage came out quick and there was no taxi line and in no time I was heading off to the Encore. I didn’t mention the tunnel at all but I didn’t have to as the cabbie took the back roads to Encore, I think it ended up being around 17 dollars before tip.

    Chaos and the Tease
    Now comes the only bad part about Encore, the registration line. It was packed and crazy and slow, plus I picked the line with a slow computer. In retrospect, since I had already dropped the luggage off with the bell desk I should of just gone and done something else until the line died down but I didn’t. It took about an hour to get through my line. When I finally got to the front, I asked if I could upgrade to a Tower Suite. I had heard they didn’t usually do upgrades from the great marketing rate I had but I figured what the heck. Well anyway the couple next to me had asked the same thing and the desk clerks did some consulting and mentioned this was a $50/night upgrade which is pretty sweet. Unfortunately after agreeing to that they did some clicking on their computers and came back with the result that there were no rooms on that side available, what a tease.

    The Room
    So I got a room and it ended up being on the 15th floor out facing the back of Encore looking out towards Riveria and the mountains. It actually was a pretty good view as you got to watch the planes going by as well and the sun didn’t really shine into it to warm it up. It was also quiet. Now I had, had a question about how they linked the Red Card account they give you with your Room card to your existing Red Card account. I had asked at the front desk but they didn’t know so I ended up going to the Red Card desk and they just looked at the two account numbers on the cards and said no they weren’t. Took them a minute or two to link the accounts and activate my slot play and I was good to go. They told me to use my original card, but I did end up losing that and used my room card and that worked fine.
    I think there’s been lots of reviews of the Encore rooms so I won’t add much. The TV in the bathroom was great as you could shower and still watch TV. I made use of this as I watched the End of the PGA championship in my room.

    Pai Gow Poker at the Palazzo
    I then headed over to the Palazzo to get my Club Grazie card. I had just signed up so they gave me my $15 bonus and actually let me get that as a match play for table games instead of slot credit. I wandered around a bit before finally finding some Pai Gow Poker tables and sat down and played for a bit there. It took about 45 minutes to get my first drink here which was definitely a lot longer then it took at Encore as it looked like there was 1 waitress for about 8 table games and the surrounding slots. A little surprising as those were all the PGP and Baccarat tables that were just below the limits at the High Limit Room that was next to these tables. In any case the game stayed close to form and I won less than a bet in a couple hours of play.

    Okada
    Headed back to the room after that and got refreshed and headed off to Okada for dinner. Got a seat at the sushi bar. The room is really quite amazing, and had a great view overlooking it’s own little lake. The view at the sushi bar involved watching the sushi chefs do their thing and this was pretty entertaining. I ordered the special sushi platter, which is basically one each of each type of sushi, though I got rid of the egg and replaced it with ikura (salmon roe). This was good, though not really all that different then the higher end sushi places here in Vancouver. What really made the dinner though was the Okada Roll. Now that was a truly heavenly piece of lobstery goodness. It even came with some lobster on the side and the sauces were just truly amazing. I also had the cold sake flight with dinner and they were all quite good. For desert I actually just ordered another order of Ikura sushi and enjoyed the slight sweetness of popping the small spheres.

    One of the fun parts of sitting at the bar is you get to meet the people who are sitting there as well. There was a couple sitting next to me who were celebrating their 12th anniversary, but whenever they weren’t talking to me they were fighting with each other and he ended up walking out before the end of their dinner. After that brief bit of entertainment a regular ended up sitting on each side of me so we got to trade Wynn observations and tips.

    And So It Begins
    After dinner it was time to get the serious gamble on and I hit the blackjack Tables at Encore. This session turned into a slow bleed, until I got fed up with it and pushed all in on the first hand of a new shoe. I had a 20 but the dealer of course pulled a 3 card 21, ugh. When I had been down at Christmas, I had left the table to go to the bathroom and then gotten lost on the way back as everything at Encore kind of looks the same, especially after a couple cocktails. This trip, I actually used proximity to the bathroom as a table selection criteria, as they never seemed to have any S17 tables going anyway. One thing I did notice about the bathrooms, is when they opened Encore the sensors above the urinals were embedded in a highly polished rectangle of stainless steal. Now this made them highly reflective, which even though they were slightly convex, making things in them appear bigger, it was slightly disconcerting. I noticed now they have scuffed up the plates so that they aren’t reflective anymore.

    Macallan 18?
    So after losing a buy in at Blackjack I did the only logical thing and went and played some more Pai Gow Poker. Now I decided at this point to switch from beer that I had been drinking to scotch. At first they only gave me Macallan 12, but were giving a very generous 4 finger+ pour. This was still pretty tasty but after a couple hours I asked Julie the pit boss very nicely and she agreed to comp some Macallan 18. The pours weren’t as generous but this was an even better tasting scotch. Now it may have been a little too good because my memory from this point forward gets pretty murky. I vaguely remember that they shut down my table and made me move to a different one, so I think I made it past the shift change at 4am but really have no idea.

    The next thing I remember I’m shaking the cobwebs off and realize I’m just kind of sprawled over my very comfortable bed. I did manage to get my shoes and pants off so that’s something. I did pretty much figure I had lost my buy in, so it was like a big win when I went through my pants pockets and found enough chips that it looks like not only didn’t lose my buy in but was up a couple bets, score!. Well score at least until the hangover hit, though luckily I made it to Wazzuzu for some dim sum for lunch and Walgreens at the Palazzo for some hangover supplies before it did.

    Cut
    That night I had a reservation at Cut and ambled over to the Palazzo. I had found a review of Cut here http://www.kevineats.com/2008/06/cut-las-vegas-nv.htm and that pretty much hooked me on trying it. I had also recommended it to a co-worker and they had tried it out and gave it rave reviews. The co-worker did mention he didn’t like the chairs at the regular tables as they are swiveling and felt like lawn chairs, but I ended up at a regular table and didn’t mind them. They did actually allow me to watch everything that was going on in the room in fact. The booths might be a little better if you’re looking for something a little more romantic, though having the staff pull the entire table in and out whenever you need to get up might be a little bit of a bad side. So of course the waiter starter off with the water selection. I did find it kind of amusing at all the different descriptions of water I heard over my stay, sparkling, still, ice, house etc.

    The meal started off with breadsticks and even these were amazing. Great cheesey flavor and I usually expect breadsticks to be harder and slightly stale but these were fresh and way softer than anything that kept their shape should be. This was followed by their Gruyere cheese Gougères which were little puffs of cheesiness. The bread plate came around and I had some of their focaccia bread and some pretzel bread. The pretzel bread went great with the mustards they brought out for the steak. I had originally ordered a glass of pinot noir, but the waiter managed to upsell me to a half bottle of the Hitching Post Highliner Pinot Noir. I was glad he did as this was an amazing wine that complimented dinner quite well. I was having fun at this point just watching how all the different servers worked together to create the dining experience. It was quite impressive how they were able to get out big tables main and side dishes simultaneously and my wine glass never got near to being empty. Dining alone I had a couple people ask if I wanted reading material and when that was declined a couple of them would come by to converse a bit, especially the manager.

    After the strong opening the meal just kept on going up from there. I ended up ordering the Sirloin Taster, which was a cut of the USDA Prime Dry Aged Nebraska beef, American Angus/Waygu cross from Snake River Farms in Idaho and Japanese Waygu from Kagoshima Prefecture. They had brought the different cuts around before ordering and you could see the difference in marbling. I started with taking a bite of the USDA cut and it was very good. That is, it was very good until I tasted the next cut, the Angus/Waygu cross. Now this was truly heaven in steak form. The knife just slid through it and the taste is almost impossible to describe how good it was. With that bite out of the way, it was time to move onto the pure Japanese Waygu. Now this piece of beef was indeed quite a bit better then the USDA cut but honestly I didn’t like it as much as the Waygu/Angus cut. It was a little too marbled and just didn’t have the same flavor I found. I continued to cycle through taking bites from each of the cuts and my initial impressions were confirmed. They give you sauces to put on the steaks, but really with meat this good why would you want to ruin the pure taste of the meat. I also had an order of the onion rings, and they came as a tower that increased in size as it went down. It was a pretty cool effect actually as there was nothing in the middle holding it up other then friction. One slight hiccup in service was that it took maybe 5 minutes for the side to come after the steak was delivered while I noticed the effort they made at every other table to get everything there at the same time.

    Even though the steaks didn’t look that big they ended up filling me up so there was no room for desert. I did have an Americano and they did bring out some chocolatey and lemon Mignardises. I did have a coupon I had found for any Vegas Wolfgang Puck restaurant that gave 25% off and I gave that to my server right before he did up my bill and I didn’t notice any adverse reaction to it. They did actually screw up the coupon but quickly and apologetically fixed it when I pointed out the error. In any case this was probably one of the top 3 meals I’ve had in my life.

    Hit and Run and the Craps Detour
    After that I apparently played some non-memorable black jack. Looking for a change I went over to Wynn to hit up their Pai Gow Poker Tables. I found a table that was open where no one was playing so that I could bank every other turn. I managed to go on a sick sick run here. I kept calling out that there was no way I could win this hand and then the dealer would turn over garbage. One hand I had a Queen High Pai Gow and somehow the dealer pulled a 10 high Pai Gow. This is like the second lowest hand you could ever get in PGP and it was pretty sick. In any case I felt the deck start to turn so I left, up 8 bets in less than 45 minutes. You’re really not supposed to be able to win that much in PGP as you push about 40% of the time. Now the only bad thing about this run was that there was a craps table between the Pai Gow Poker table and my room. I don’t actually normally play craps but I figured what the hell, it wasn’t too busy I might as well try it out. Aparently that was a bad idea, even just playing table min with full odds you can lose a decent amount of money quickly and I lost half my PGP profit in ½ an hour. With that loss I decided it was time for bed, and to actually use the sheets and stuff instead of just passing out on top

    Blackjack and the SYBLIAB
    Tuesday I lazed around in bed a bit before heading over to the Fashion Show Mall food court for lunch. I managed to go from an Exquisite Steak experience to some crappy Sbarro Pizza in back to back meals. I think it does help you appreciate how good the good stuff is though. I then headed back to Encore for my first foray into the outdoor blackjack tables. At Encore the tables are at the European pool and have misters and fans to keep everything cool. There was some pretty good scenery, though I didn’t get much going in the first session. There was one point where a Sweet Young British Lass in a Bikini decided to play for a bit. SYBLIAB bought in for $30 in a $15 min game and quickly turned that into $150 before wandering back to her daybed. Somehow I think I made a few errors in my play. She then came back with a friend and managed to turn a $40 buy in, into another $150. Despite her implorations to be nice to me the dealer didn’t take me along on that ride and I ended up down, though I think hearing SYBLIAB cursing up a blue streak in her British Lilt was worth it all and all.

    I took a break now from gambling and just walked around Encore and Wynn appreciating the property. I think I was one of those people everyone hates in a crowd as I was too busy looking up at all the architectural features to follow the crowd flow.

    The Run to a Flag
    After this tour I decided to revisit the Pool Blackjack before my show, and what a good call this turned out to be. I had just sat down when a guy I had been sitting with earlier sat down. First he was joking that I had been there the whole time, and I had told him I had left and come back. He was using a progression system when betting where he would increase his bet if he won. He started off about the same as me but would double and add according to some formula. In any case we went on that magical run that you only dream about. Couldn’t miss a hand, you’d have 14, hit and get a 7. So anyway he won enough times in a row that he took his bet from $50 to $1k, and then kept winning. He won about 4-5 hands before he lost, and I had gone all the way to doubling my bet and we actually broke them out of greens because he had to keep getting paid in greens to keep up his pattern. He lost a 1k hand and cashed out up 6K and they had to break into the secret rack below the normal rack to pull out a flag for him. I managed to leave up about a buy in and took my winnings and ran.

    The Planet Hollywood Adventure
    After that excitement I was a bit late so rushed to get ready and had a quick dinner at Wazzuzu. Quick competent Chicken Low Mein and then I was off to Planet Hollywood to go see Peepshow. The taxi got stuck in construction/traffic on the road into Planet Hollywood so it actually ended up costing more to go there then the airport. On the way in I noticed Mike Matusow standing in the entryway, well actually I noticed his hot blonde girlfriend first and then realized the guy she was with looked familiar. Got my ticket to Peepshow (I had found a code to get $40 off on TravelZoo) and had some time to kill.

    The Massacre at the Ho
    Again this was another mistake. I sat down at a Pai Gow Poker table, just looking to kill time and get some free drinks. Boom lost my buy in, 10 bets in 45 minutes. Again like my positive run the other night you shouldn’t be able to do this. To top that off I talked to the Pit Boss and he couldn’t have cared less that I dropped a bunch of money in a short amount of time. He was kind of a dick about it too, so that left a bad taste in my mouth. I did manage to win my match play I got for signing up for their players club. I actually found a double deck game where they let you handle your cards. If I wasn’t in such a bad mood I probably would of played that for a while.

    Peepshow
    In any case it was time for the show now. I ended up with a ticket in the second row of seating dead centre. I figure this seat was better then the VIP seating as you could see everything whereas the VIP seating is a little two forward and you miss some of the stuff on the stages that go out into the crowd. The show was pretty great, the singing was very good, the dancing was ok, I did notice there were some weaker dancers. I actually enjoyed that it was more burlesquey and artistic then what you’d see at a strip club (Or so I’ve been told). If you’re expecting Holly to do a lot you might be disappointed as she doesn’t do much but wander around in lingerie until the final act where she does some dancing and loses some garments. I think you can actually see her counting in her head sometimes as she’s trying to hit her marks and such, but they do manage to highlight her skills (both of them) appropriately. Shosanna Bean on the other hand is quite dynamic and I’m sure an upgrade over her predecessor.

    After the show I went over to the Bellagio and checked out the conservatory and fixed the error they made in my players club card when I signed up. I thought about gambling there but wasn’t feeling it, especially after the bloodbath at Planet Ho and ended up just wandering through Ceasar’s, Mirage, Venetian and Palazzo before heading home for the night.

    What’s a Burnley?
    Wednesday I hustled out of bed to go watch the Manchester United game. I ran down to the Wynn sportsbook and managed to get a bet in with less than a minute before kick-off at -400. I then went over to Zoozacrackers and got a Reuben with Matzo Ball soup. Now this was a lot of food, but good. I watched the first half there, and after a strong start, Manchester United gave up a goal to some team that just got promoted, ugh. For the second half I went to the actual sportsbook and watched there. I got a drink even, I ordered, the waitress asked for a drink ticket, I told her I didn’t have one, she brought me a drink anyway and I tipped her. Works for me. What didn’t work for me was that ManU was unable to come back, Wankers! To give some perspective them losing that game was like the Yankees losing to a Triple A team in a seven game series. I was wearing my Manchester United jersey, which is only interesting because AIG is their title sponsor and their logo is splashed across the front of it. That generated quite a few comments and more vitriol then came from any Liverpool fans.

    This Space Intentionally Left Blank
    In any case to soothe the burn of that loss I found myself back out at the Pool Blackjack tables. Nothing too much memorable happened other than a small loss, followed by another loss inside. I did run into the dealer from the pool the day before inside as he was the pit boss at the table inside. If you’re getting rated you should be friendly with the pit bosses and try and get them to remember who you are.

    Botero
    Tonight’s dinner was to be at Botero. The room here was pretty spectacular. There’s a larger statue by Botero in the middle and then the tables are arranged in a circular fashion around it. There’s kind of two rings and I was put in the inner ring next to the statue facing out. I started off with the soup tasting and the corn soup was good but the chick pea was only mediocre. I had the rib-eye for a main, and it was good but not anywhere near as good as Cut. Now this was a less expensive steak so perhaps this was to be expected. I did find everything at Botero a notch or two below Cut. Right from the food to the service. At Cut the sommelier went through the whole process of wetting the glassware to open it up and paid personal attention while the one at Botero seemed a little offput that I only ordered a half bottle. The rest of the service also seemed just a little off of the standard that was at Cut. I had the Zucchini Blossoms filled with risotto as a side and ended the meal with the Donuts done two ways and an Americano. This was still a very good meal, just my least favourite of the higher end restaurants that I went to.

    The Pai Gow Marathon
    After dinner I skipped the Blackjack and went to the Pai Gow Tables. This turned out to be a monsterly long session. I actually ended up meeting a bunch of people from Vancouver, including a potential client. Maybe I should ask my boss to pay for the trip? Anyway I actually got down to 1 bet in my stack and 1 bet out before mounting a comeback. For a while I had been playing by myself and banking but then a guy sits down at the table so I have to stop. This again turns out to be a good thing. Anyway we proceed to go on a sick run together. I came up with this ritual I had to do before picking up my cards. I shuffled my chips in my one hand and then tapped the table twice with them. I went on such a sick run that the stack grew so big I couldn’t shuffle it anymore. I tried only shuffling part of the stack but then I lost so by the end I was just basically knocking the stack over and rebuilding it. It probably pissed the pit guys off cuz I was slowing things down but I managed to put in 7 hours of play until the shift change at 4 AM.

    The Last Day
    The Last full day was now upon me. It started out innocently enough as I roused myself and headed for lunch. I poked my head into the buffet but there was a line and I wasn’t feeling the line. I ended up at Red 8, just so I could compare and contrast Wazzuzu and I think I liked the steamed pork buns at Red 8 better.

    Blow at High Dough
    Now since I was over at Wynn I decided to go check out the poolside blackjack there. Now the pool looked a lot better than Encore’s and most of it was in the shade so it was cooler. I sat down at a table and should of taken the advice of the two guys sitting there when they mentioned our dealer’s middle name was lucky. Within 10 minutes my buy-in was gone, I had just barely got my drink. I don’t think I won a single hand. I probably doubled 4-5 times and had like 14 each time. General Custer had nothing on this bloodbath. That might have been my single worst gambling experience. So of course I figure the best thing to do now was to head back to the friendly confines of the Encore Pool Blackjack. Again a terrible idea. It took 20 minutes this time to my buy-in which was half of my usually buy in. Well actually a little more as with my last bet I hit a doubling hand and had to pull out some emergency cash to buy enough chips to double down and of course lost that. I didn’t even get a drink here sigh.

    Dazed and Confused
    So now in a daze I just wandered around and dropped $100 in a video poker machine with a terrible pay table. That knocked me out of my daze and I just wandered around the strip a bit ending up a TI where I sat down at a penny slot machine and played a penny at a time. I actually had two wins here which was enough to get 90 spins out of the machine and cash out even. That should be enough to get RFB don’t ya think? Cancelled my plans to have the Burger at Daniel Boulud and just went to the Palazzo’s Grand Lux, skipped the line and ate at the bar. Actually had a burger there which I’m sure couldn’t hold a candle to Mr Boulud’s burger but was 1/3 of the price.

    The HAND
    Now just because I hadn’t had enough punishment I found my way back to the Pai Gow Tables. Now in a previous session one of the guys I had been playing with squeezed out his cards one at a time just to make it more interesting. I had picked this habit up, so when I got a hand, I’d move the rightmost card a little so I could see the suit and perhaps a little about the rank and work through the hand revealing one card at a time. Now one thing to know about PGP is that they have a fortune bonus. This is a bonus that you can play that will pay you out if you get a straight or higher. They pay 8000-1 if you get a 7 card straight, so if you had bet 5 dollars on the fortune, you’d get 40k. If you play 5 dollars or more you are also eligible for an envy bonus, where if anyone else at the table gets above certain hands, you win money. The envy bonus for a 7 card straight flush is $5k.

    So back to the hand. I squeeze out the first card, it’s the King of diamonds. That’s a pretty good start. The next card I squeeze out is the Ten of Diamonds. That’s an ok card, not great though. Next card is the Ace of diamonds, hmm now we have some possibilities but still work to do. So the next card is the joker. Now in PGP you can use the joker as a wild card to complete flushes and straights. So I have AdKd10d and the joker which means I now need any diamond to make a flush or any queen or jack to make a straight. Next card I squeeze out……. Queen of Diamonds, Holy Crap I just made a royal flush. I kind of jump up a little show the cards so far to the dealer and there’s a bit of excitement.

    Alrighty time for card #6. I push it a little and can see it’s red and either an 8 or a 9. If that’s a diamond I’ve got a shot at the 7 card straight flush, even though it’s not natural so the bonus doesn’t pay as much. I finish the squeeze and sure enough it’s the 8 of diamonds. So now I have AdKdQd10d8d with the joker. So if my last card is the Jack of Diamonds or the 9 of Diamonds it’s a wild 7 card straight flush. That hand would pay 1000-1 on the Fortune Bonus
    The last Squeeze. It’s red. It’s either an 8 or a 9. It’s the 8 of hearts, Doh. I still have a royal with a pair of 8’s which is a good hand .

    A royal flush pays 150-1 on the Fortune bonus and $50 on the envy bonus.

    I don’t play the Fortune Bonus.

    No one has the Envy Bonus active that hand.

    Doh.

    Bed Time.

    The Final Bet
    A coworker had given me $10 to put down on black and wanted me to let it ride twice. This being the last morning and deciding I’m pretty much done with gambling I round up $10 from what’s left of my bankroll and decided to match my bet. I walk up to an empty table and the first spin. Ball lands in red and at the last moment hops up and settles into black. Winner! I’ve been texting the coworker to keep him informed. Alright let it ride. Again the ball settles into red and jumps out at the last second to into black. Winner! Winner! And I get to leave on a winning streak.

    The Host
    Now I had come in on a marketing offer and my play the previous December wasn’t that much, I just got a free buffet Christmas Eve with a line pass and a cover at the Terrace Pointe Café when they wouldn’t give me a line pass for the buffet the next day. In any case I went into the Host’s office at Encore to see if they could do anything. By my count I had 11 hours of Blackjack and 11 hours of PGP which I figured should have been good enough for $200 or so off my bill. In fact the host is like hmm looks like you have $400 dollars in comps coming. She checked on the rate I was paying for the room and was like we shouldn’t touch that because it costs $180 comp dollars for a room. So she’s talking to someone on the hotel side and they’re like there’s $260 in food so the host said to give me all the food and 1 night. Now here’s where I screwed up. I guess I wasn’t awake and thought for some reason that was a bad thing because I knew I had spent more on food. I pointed this out so the Host called the hotel person back and then they realized there was more food than first thought so they ended up just comping the food and then giving me a comp breakfast at Society. I didn’t realize I screwed myself out of a free room till later, though I’m not sure what would of happened when they realized the food total was more.

    The Last Meal
    In any case I hit the breakfast comp hard, going with the Eggs Benedict Oscar, which is Eggs Benedict with crab cakes instead of English muffins, sides of bacon and potatoes and as many of the $6 glasses of OJ as I could pound. I skipped the mimosas and bloody mary’s because I don’t really like to fly when drunk.

    Departure
    Packed up in short order and checked out and off to the airport a little early just because I didn’t want to gamble anymore. Actually ran into a girl I know from my local bar, in the departure lounge so we talked for a bit. Didn’t get a good view of the strip when leaving, but had a nice couple from Kelowna sitting next to me and we traded war stories about betting on a -400 line and losing. Used the touchscreen customs machines and found the biggest bottleneck at the place where you hand in the declaration cards after picking up your luggage. Since the Canada Line was fully up and running now, used that to get home and it was relatively painless, other than our original car going out of service.

    The Next Trip?
    Checking my mail there was an offer from Wynn for Three free nights in September to October. This was actually sent before this trip so it seems like they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel from my play last trip. I actually have a trip in October for work that I needed a weekend that I was planning on staying at the MGM Grand, but if I can talk them into giving me a free weekend I might have to go back to Encore, even though I really want to try out the cheaper menus at Joel Rebuchon.

    Conclusions
    The Encore is amazing hotel. I think they were addressing the chaos at registration by having separate check out and check in lines when I left on Friday. Also moving to Tower Suites might be worth skipping the registration mess on a busy day. I think the busy days are going to be Friday/Saturday/Sunday though at Friday at 11 AM there was no one.

    Out of the 3 higher end restaurants I think I would rank them Cut, Okada and Botero, though it’s really just different degrees of excellence. Wazzuzu was good to get quick dim sum and cheap (At least for Encore) Chinese food. Also Cut, Botero and Okada were all packed when I was there and those were Sunday/Monday/Wednesday nights.

    Encore was pretty good with comps. I got $400 for 27 hours of play at $75 a hand average they said. According to my records I had 11 hours at $50 hand BJ and 11 hours at $100 hand at PGP so that seems pretty generous. I think being friendly with the Pit Bosses they would tend to err on the high side for both bets and time.

    Peepshow was definitely worth the money if you can get the discount from TravelZoo
     
  2. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Calgary , Alberta , Canada
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    Great Report
    I too, enjoy West Jet from here in Calgary ~ quick flights!
     
  3. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

    Joined:
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    Flusherville, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Very entertaining report - thanks!

    Took the edge off my Monday morning... :)
     
  4. rlhendrix

    rlhendrix Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Location:
    Woodstock, GA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Great TR. This really helped me get excited about my trip, which is in 9 1/2 hours.
     
  5. BackInVegas

    BackInVegas VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,735
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    37
    Nice report

    I will not try pai gow. Just does not interest me.

    I will go to some of these restaurants though.
     
  6. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Great TR, thanks.
     
  7. pumpkinfish

    pumpkinfish Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    South-east VA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    It was nice to read your review of Cut, thank you for that :peace:.
     
  8. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    5,903
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    106
    Another Westjet fan here....sadly I'm flying USAir for my Sept trip as it was the best price I could get direct from Toronto.

    I envy that you went to so many high-end restaurants on a solo trip....that's something I've never been able to do when solo; I always feel a little out of place and know that is silly, especially in Vegas! Will definitely have to give Cut a try after reading your review.
    :eek:
     
  9. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,806
    Location:
    Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    35
    I amazes me when men can be so drunk they don't know how they got to bed...but still pull a bunch of chips out of their pockets the next morning!
    I think if I was that drunk I would lose everything!
     
  10. alexanbo

    alexanbo High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    952
    Location:
    Vancouver BC, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    breanna- There's no need to feel silly about eating alone. I was a little shy at first but after you do it once it's easy. It's fun just to watch the teamwork of the wait staff and the other patrons.

    blondie - I was pretty impressed I found my way home, but then again I didn't have to deal with a purse or anything. I seem to have always had an innate ability to find my way home, no matter what state I was in. I did have the presence of mind to colour up even.

    I called Encore today to see about free rooms but they only had 1 night available so ended up booking into MGM Grand and already made my reservation at Joel Robuchon on October 24th.

    T-55 and counting.....
     
  11. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,779
    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60
    Excellent report and sounds like a fantastic trip......Even the line at the Ho...."He was kind of a dick about it too, so that left a bad taste in my mouth." Too rich.....
     
    1st Super Bowl DT...Panthers / Browns no doubt
  12. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,824
    Location:
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Very nice Trip Report. Thanks for the restaurant reviews.

    later, GVJ
     
  13. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,316
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Burnley have everything to play for. I doubt they will be able to keep it up.

    At least Man U won their next game.
     
    First trip of 2017.
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