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Escaping leftovers at Wynn (Nov 23-27)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by thecarve, Nov 29, 2012.

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  1. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    My Trip Report

    Just returned and figured I’d post a few thoughts on my most recent trip. It was a four day, post Turkey Day trip from the 23rd to the 27th (Fri-Tue). Since it was a solo trip and I spent the majority of the time either gambling or watching football, I can’t imagine a blow-by-blow account would be terribly interesting to anyone. So, I’m just going to post a few thoughts and some of the more pertinent information.


    Hotel

    I’ve been on a Wynncore kick of late and this was my third consecutive trip staying at one of The Steve’s joints. This was the first of the three that I stayed at Wynn, and my first ever staying on the Tower Suites side.

    • As usual, everything was great there. I had a regular room on the 50th (well, 40th really) floor with a view of the strip. The first night, I noticed a bit of noise from the club. But it was nothing like what you get at Encore if you’re in the “wrong” room. It didn’t bother me a bit (as I mentioned in another thread, you really almost had to “try” to hear it) and I didn’t hear anything the final three nights.

    • The service on the Tower side was excellent – the typical friendliness of Wynn employees is turned up to 11. I honestly don’t think I came away from a single interaction with an employee without a smile on my face. Is it worth the roughly $100/night premium over a Resort room? Probably not. But if you feel like splurging, I really don’t think you’ll come away disappointed.


    • With each night’s turn down service, housekeeping left a bookmark on the bed that had a little blurb about Las Vegas of a certain decade (I got the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s – they must have forgotten the first night) on one side and a artistic rendering of something that symbolized Las Vegas of that decade (The 70’s had a showgirl, the 80’s had a rodeo scene commemorating NFR’s first appearance in Vegas…). Also, the artwork and font used was very typical of the decade being represented. And of course, Steve couldn’t resist a little self promotion – one of the factoids was usually about what Wynn was doing: 1970’s – taking ownership of GN, 1980’s – building Mirage etc.:rolleyes2: Anyway, I thought it was a neat little touch. I don’t know if this is something that is only done on the Tower Suites side (where turn down service is standard vs. on the Resort side, where I believe you have to request turn down service) or not, but it was the first time I’ve noticed it in my many stays at Wynn/Encore.


    Food

    I went pretty casual this trip and pretty much stayed at Wynncore or nearby.

    Wazuzu (Encore) – I went here the first night and had my usual – drunken noodles with chicken. It was very good as usual (and at $21, a decent value). This time I went a little more adventurous with the spice level – 4 out of 5. And boy was it hot! While I did enjoy the heat, I think it was too much for this particular dish and kind of overpowered the subtle sweet/savory flavor of the noodles. I’ll certainly have them dial back the heat next time. (3.5/5)

    Society Café (Encore) – Still the best wings and one of the best burgers (“kobe” burger with ‘shrooms, Swiss and bacon, medium rare, for me) in Vegas, IMO. A perfect complement to watching Notre Dame cover with a sweet goal line stand (netting me a tidy $500 profit). (4/5)

    Allegro (Wynn) – This is the place that used to be Stratta. I stopped in for lunch and had a salad (a Caesar, I think…) and a pizza at the bar. Obviously the salad was unmemorable as I can’t even recall which one I had. But the pizza was very good. Very thin crust, just the right balance of chewy and crunchy, great cheese and sauce, just the right amount of grease from the pepperoni…good stuff. I’ll definitely return when I’m hankering for pizza (and probably even if I’m not). (pizza 4/5, salad ??/5)

    La Cave (Wynn) – For some reason or other, I wasn’t really expecting great things from this place. I don’t know if it is because nothing on the menu really “excited” me or the fact that I just seldom read or hear much about it. But, I was very pleasantly surprised. I had the crab lettuce cups, an interesting take on Carpaccio and the bacon wrapped dates. All three plates were fantastic, but the crab lettuce cups were truly phenomenal – huge lumps of delicious, ridiculously flavorful crab and citrus segments (I think each ‘cup’ had a different type of citrus) that added a great refreshing aspect to the dish. Also, the beer menu is great. I had a Spanish lager they had on tap as well as a craft brew from, I believe, Colorado that was outta this world. It was a light-ish ale that was just perfectly balanced (I love me some hops, but am I the only one who thinks that many of today’s “trendy” beers are just so unbalanced?). I really wish I hadn’t eaten a late lunch this day as the three plates absolutely filled me up and there were several other dishes I would have liked to have tried. I will definitely return. (Crab – 5/5, Carpaccio – 4/5, Dates 4/5, Beer – 4.5/5)

    FIRST Food and Bar (Palazzo) – I had planned on trying out Grimaldi’s. But on my way there, it dawned on me that I had just had pizza the day before. So, I made a detour to FIRST. It’s an interesting space, and my booth had a nice view of LV Blvd. below. But, the service was mediocre at best and the food was certainly nothing spectacular. The meal actually started well – the fried calamari and peppers were excellent. But for my main dish, I had their take on a Philly Cheese Steak. It was just okay. The foie mayo was rich and tasty. But nothing else about it was anything to write home about. Add to that the fact that fried calamari, a Philly and a beer rang the register to the tune of $60 (before tip)…I certainly won’t be returning on my own dime. (2.5/5)

    STACK (Mirage) – My final meal in Vegas was at STACK. I had eaten here once several years ago and really enjoyed it. But it was just for apps and drinks before seeing LOVE. My experience this time around wasn’t nearly as good. It wasn’t a bad meal by any means, it just wasn’t great. I started with a wedge salad that was pretty ‘blah’. My main dish was the steak special they had that night – a “kobe” sirloin with Cippolini Onions and a Balsamic reduction. It was good, and it was wonderfully marbled. But it just didn’t have that deep, rich flavor that a great steak has. They brought two sauces with the steak (I can’t recall what they were called) that were good. But, I’m not a sauce person when it comes to steak, so I didn’t get too much use out of them (not to mention the fact that there was already a balsamic reduction on the steak). My side was the whipped potatoes. Again, they were good, but far from great – there was nothing to separate them from any other whipped/mashed/smashed/pureed potatoes you can get at 100 other restaurants up and down the strip and beyond. I may return again, but if I do, it will likely just be for drinks and apps again. (3/5)

    Wynn Room Service – I had the brioche French toast with a side of bacon and sausage one morning. The bacon and coffee were excellent, the sausage was pretty good and the French toast was bland. While not bad for room service, it was probably the worst I’ve had from Wynncore’s room service. Oh, and try not to read the bill when you get room service at Wynn, it will really annoy you. In addition to the now-standard $5 fee per person dining, there is an additional 18% surcharge for delivery (and no, this isn’t the gratuity…there’s a separate 18% charge for that). (2.5/5)


    Gambling

    In Vegas, I gamble. Sure, I love the great restaurants, the top-shelf entertainment, the opulent rooms for the price of a Days Inn, and the free-flowing booze. But, I go to gamble. Period. The rest is just gravy. Unfortunately, reading about gambling is about as interesting as the average instruction manual. So, I will spare you as much as possible and just try to hit the high/low lights.

    With the exception of the first day, every day started with a loss of exactly $2000 (and after my first good hit on the first day, I still managed to end up $2000 in the hole after a few hours). It didn’t matter where I played, what game I played, how aggressively/conservatively I bet, I started each day losing two grand before I could even have a break-even session. Considering my daily budget is around $4000, this was a far from pleasant way to start each day. Fortunately, it usually got better after that.

    Video Poker surpassed Craps as my “number two” game this trip (behind BJ). And I am absolutely addicted to “Super X Times Pay” games. Unfortunately, my luck on the machines wasn’t very good. I did have four fairly memorable “hits” though.

    • The first came within minutes of arriving in Vegas…or at least within minutes of arriving in the casino for the first time. I sat down at the B Bar @ Wynn, and on my fifth spin I hit four aces (no kicker) for $800 – I hadn’t even taken a sip of my cocktail!

    • The second happened on day two at The Eastside Lounge @ Encore. Again, it was aces within a few minutes of sitting down – only this time I had a kicker for $2000 and a W-2G.

    • Number three was four jacks at a $5 DDBP game at Wynn on the final day of the trip ($1250 and another W2-G). I really had no business playing at a $5 machine, but I was chasing – trying to make back the $2000 I had just lost in about 20 minutes playing BJ that morning.

    • The final hit was again at Wynn on the final night, on a quarter, 5-play, Super X Times game. The multiplier came up and it was 10X. Only, instead of the garbage I usually get dealt when the multiplier is so high, I was actually dealt three queens. On two of the five hands, the fourth lady joined her sisters and I got a sweet 5450 credits – or $1362.50 and my third W2-G.


    While blackjack was the game I played most, my gambling resulted in less than memorable results. More often than not, I would win or lose about $1000 and move on. The only really nice run came at Mirage on the last night. I sat down in the HL room and bought in for $1000, and walked away with $5000 about 45 minutes later. (Perhaps if I had eaten at STACK after gambling - instead of before - my review would have been a bit more positive…)

    For the most part, craps was just as unexciting as blackjack. There was one ridiculous run that I had, though: Per my usual, I started the roll with a $15 pass, full odds and $60 on both the 6 and 8. The point was 5. The shooter then went on to hit my placed 8 ten times (and the 6 at least three times) before finally making the point. By the time he made the point, I had pressed my $60 up to $930. The next point was 8, so I took my $930 down, and he promptly sevened out (phew). I stuck around for another shooter or two, but the magic was gone. Still, I cashed out for a $3000 profit (after a few blacks each for “the boys” and the hot shooter) in only about a half hour of play.

    Overall results: I returned home with exactly five fewer C-notes than I left with. Considering I take all cash purchases (tips, non-comp’d drinks, snacks, cheap lunches, cab fare etc.) and dealer tokes out of my gambling budget, my actual results were probably closer to $1500+ to the good. After starting so poorly – I was down about $8000 by midway through day three – I was thrilled with the result.

    The Worst Gambler In The World… (or the luckiest?)

    One afternoon I was walking through the casino to get me a fancy (hopefully not too girly) cocktail and some kick-ass snack mix and potato chips at Parasol Up when I noticed a BJ table with a $500 minimum in an area I always thought had the lower limit games. “Funny”, I thought “I never knew Wynn had another pit of ‘good’ blackjack”, and I continued on my way. Then I started to realize that all the tables around that table were $10 tables – this wasn’t another high-min, good-rules pit. It was the usual, low-min, shitty-rules pit. Had I seen the number wrong? I had to double back for another look. As I got closer to the table in question, I noticed the player had a stack of yellows in front of him - $30,000, at least – and was playing two hands at $2000 each. No, I hadn’t read the table minimum incorrectly. And as I drew still nearer, so many little things about the game looked ‘wrong’ to me…the amount of cards in the dealer’s hand looked too small for a double deck game…and there were way too many things written on the felt…what’s that last line say? Then it all hit me at once – there were “too few” cards because it was a single deck game…and those extra words on the felt read, you guessed it, “Blackjack pays 6:5”!

    For the rest of the trip – and even now – I can’t stop wondering: was this a guy who started out playing $10/hand and got ridiculously lucky? Or was it the most foolish blackjack player in the world?


    Odds & Sods

    This was either my third or fourth consecutive post-Thanksgiving weekend trip to Vegas. And it was easily the busiest I’ve seen it for that weekend. There were plenty of people everywhere – at the bars, the restaurants, the tables/machines…it was good to see. But by Sunday afternoon…poof. It was a ghost town – probably as dead as I’ve seen Vegas in a few years. On Saturday night, Wynn had nearly every one of the tables open in the “good” BJ pit, the minimums were all at least $100 (most higher) and every table had at least a few people on it. But Sunday and Monday nights there were only a few tables open, with most of the mins at $50 (and over at Encore, there were a few DD games with $25 mins). It was a pretty crazy contrast and none of the dealers could believe how quickly the place cleared out.

    Apologies to VMB member Coolcanuck79. We were supposed to meet up Saturday for some football and VP. Unfortunately, Vegas happened! Too much booze, too much gambling…too little regard for the clock…you know how it is. Anyway, sorry CC79. Hopefully our paths will cross on some future trip – drinks will be on me.

    I believe someone mentioned it a few weeks ago, but I’ll go ahead and reiterate it. Unfortunately, Encore is now devoid of any S17 tables on the main floor. They only have the H17 DD games and the six deck (now) H17, DAS, RSA, late surrender games now (in the pit where the better rules/higher minimums are). If you want a S17 game, you have to go to the HL room or over to the Wynn side. This wasn’t a huge deal to me, practically speaking, as I’ve never had any luck on Encore’s shoe games, and I prefer the vibe at Wynn (at least for playing BJ) anyway. But it is a shame to see any deterioration of playing conditions – let alone in a place I love to stay.

    Paying for drinks while playing the bartops suuuuucks! :grrr: And to make matters worse, the bartops at Encore have some of the best pay tables in the whole joint (at least at the $1 level for my game - DDBP). So it’s so hard to resist the allure of good drink service and good pay tables. The only mitigating factor is that The Eastside Lounge has some of the best bartenders in Vegas, IMO. Most of them remembered me from prior visits – many by name. And Bill and Kerel make paying for drinks in Vegas almost tolerable.

    With a large cash outlay on the horizon (my car status is quickly moving from “want a new car” to “need a new car”) and some very lean years in the foreseeable future for my business, this trip was going to be my last Vegas trip for quite a while…unless I was able to win or break even. So with essentially a break even trip, I have ensured myself at least one more trip to Sin City! I think it is going to be a trip with my kid sister and her husband in April 2013. A long time to wait for this degenerate gambler, to be sure. But, considering only a week ago I had resigned myself to the fact that this trip might be my last (at least for a long while), I think I can handle it.

    Thanks for reading. Hope it wasn’t too boring.

    Kyle :peace:
     
  2. jdub7

    jdub7 Tourist

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    That TR was not boring at all! I love staying at the Wynn. I did not stay in the tower suites, so I did not get the cool bookmarks. I like anything about "old School" vegas. Congrats on making it to another trip. While going single must be nice, I would think having family around would be great also. You will have to get your "vegas fix" thru VMB until April. Thanks for a well written, interesting report!
     
  3. vegasqc

    vegasqc VIP Whale

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    Not boring at all I enjoyed it for sure Thanks
     
  4. PopMegaphone

    PopMegaphone VIP Whale

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    Great report! Thank you for sharing!
     
  5. CaptainJack

    CaptainJack Low-Roller

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    Another possibility....the gambler was seeing something you were not. Wynn is notorious for letting big action like this continue on for a while before they stop and say "waaaait a minute...."
     
  6. Mnracer

    Mnracer Tourist

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    I always enjoy the Wynn properties - looking forward to my own visit in December. Thanks for taking time to write up your report!
     
  7. Chocoholic

    Chocoholic Newbie

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    Great trip report! Now I have to add "La Cave" to our list of places to try next month. :beer:
     
  8. dw2121

    dw2121 Low-Roller

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    Great report!!!
     
  9. Tubbs

    Tubbs High-Roller

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    Thanks for an interesting, well written report. I have not stayed at Wynn/Encore since early last year but the rooms are always great.

    Nice comeback on the gambling and some good hits on the VP. It's not that long until April!:beer:
     
  10. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

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    Lovely and concise, thanks for posting. I'm staying in a Wynn Tower King for the first time next week, and the info you gave was interesting. Did you get the complimentary b'fast, or has that been discontinued?
     
  11. luvstp

    luvstp High-Roller

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    Great report--your vp worked out better than mine did the few days before you were there. I LOVE super times pay....I could play that game for hours and hours and hours if it wasn't such a bankroll devourer at times. I've hit a quad with a 10X multiplier only twice.....and still have the photos. Aces for $8K and Jacks for $1350 on fifty cents. Congratulations on that hit!!!

    They have been giving out those bookmarks in the tower suites for several years now as I have a couple dozen or more until I realized I should stop bringing them home.

    Good to know about Allegro....we ate there a few months back and I thought the service and food were mediocre--a disappointment compared to the rest of the restaurants there. But, we didn't try the pizza!

    We love those crab/lettuce cups at La'Cave.....haven't eaten there in awhile now, so we'll be checking it out in 17 days!

    Thanks again for your report and enjoy your new car! :wave:
     
  12. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    Interesting read and very well articulated. Thanks.:beer:
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  13. RodneyK

    RodneyK Tourist

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    Great report.
     
  14. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Great report...I keep hearing good things about Wynncore I might have to check it out.
     
  15. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    Your report was very entertaining! Very cool writing style.

    Those Wynn fees....*shudder*
     
  16. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    An enjoyable read, thanks for your write up. Super times pay is also a favorite of mine, and I downloaded the app on my iPad to practice.

    Likewise, your comment about balance in craft brews is spot on, a few years ago, the price of hops almost tripled due to a shortage caused by a poor crop. Today it seems that many craft brews just go overboard with the hops.
     
  17. nikerbokers

    nikerbokers Tourist

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    Loved this report and now I'm craving Drunken Noodles with chicken extra spicy. :licklips:
     
  18. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Thanks for the kind words, gang.

    I’m an idiot. My host sent me info about the Tower Suites that indicated that the free b’fast was still going. But, once I was there, I completely forgot about it. So, I can’t add any relevant info in that regard. Sorry. :rolleyes2:
     
  19. Dpin300

    Dpin300 Low-Roller

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    Good tr. Thanks for sharing! Glad to read you won a bit after all.!
     
  20. bmwnola

    bmwnola Tourist

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    Thanka for sharing your experience
     
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