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FEBRUARY 4-6 AT BELLAGIO

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Color Up, Feb 26, 2002.

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  1. I am not wealthy. I am a low-mid roller who tries to milk the cash cow casinos as much as he can, such as by getting unearned comps (thanks Max Rubin). When I go to lv alone, I’m not too selective about the hotel. I’ll play/stay at Stardust or Lady Luck. When my picky wife goes with me, quality lodging is a close second only to winning. Furthermore, my wife doesn’t gamble and likes to just relax in the room and spa, and eat good food. She fell in love with the Bellagio fountains first time she ever saw it. So, I decided to take advantage of the $99/nt email special posted here. I figured this was the cheapest it was ever going to get (unless comped).
    Called to see if I could get a free upgrade. Spoke with Alicia, a manager. Said she’d have to charge me for it, an extra $50/nt for the fountain view. I passed. I asked if there was anything she could offer such as a free refrigerator (regularly $20/nt!) since it was our first time there. She said she could provide that and nothing else
    Drove up to valet at 4:30 pm Feb 4. Friendly valet. At check-in, I asked the clerk for the lakeview upgrade. Quoted me $25/nt (instead of the manager’s $50/nt) so I took it. When we got to our room on the 22nd fl, I had her close her eyes for the surprise. When she saw it, she was ecstatic. The sight was more than enough, but our helpful bellman informed us of TV channel 31. It played the accompanying music. A private water show in the comfort of our room! He gave us lots of add’l info and also ordered suite robes for us although we were staying in a standard size room.
    It was nearing dinnertime so I embarked on my first session for some meal money. Low limit mini-baccarat is my favorite game so I sat down to buy-in. Then I saw the limit card: Minimum bet $100! Oh, crap! It’s the day after the Super Bowl. I’ve never even so much touched a $100 minimum chair. Highest limit I’ve played is $25 min. Checked the other mini-bac tables. Same. Oh, well. This is Bellagio. Go for it. Bought in for $2000. Ordered my favorite drink, 18-yr old Scotch. I know it is insane to mix drinking and gambling, but alcohol + dopamine + adrenaline is the ultimate vacation trio.
    Up and down for about an hour. The whole time I’m thinking to myself, “This is crazy. Just don’t lose your shirt. What am I doing here at this high-falutin’ joint? HOO!….This is wild!†Pit boss walks over and offers me a comp at Noodles. I look at my chips and I’m up $600. I quit since I’m raging with a strong buzz and I don’t want to return a single dollar to the house. Color up!
    Back to the room to watch and videotape the fountain show. At the comped dinner, my wife and I run it up to $128 including two rounds of cocktails. We bring most of the food and drinks back to the room for late night snacks. Watched the fountains some more. Wife retires around 1am and I go on to my second mini-bac table session.
    Bought in for $2000 and that was gone in 15 min. Another $2000 buy-in became $1000 in 20 more minutes. Of course, I was thinking “Why didn’t I just quit at a $600 profit?†Then, I started to bet with this couple next to me. It was the right decision. I was losing the $100 bets and winning the $700 bets. A short time later, I was out of the hole plus $450 for this table. Whew! OK, don’t get greedy. Time for a break. Oh, pit boss, how about setting me up for lunch tomorrow? Color up!
    To “reset†I hung out for a while at the Baccarat Bar. Then I took a walk…right by the craps tables. Shooter at this $25 min tables got his point of 4. Hmm, might be a good roll. Bet a spread of about $180 on the line. He holds the dice for a sweet 15-20 min. and hits mostly line numbers, no horn trash. By the time he sevened-out, I was up $625. Color up!
    Went to bed around 3:30am. Woke-up around 9am and ate last night’s leftovers for breakfast (there was a lot of food). Headed over to the pool. We don’t even use robes at home, but we wore the robes just to see how people would react. It was funny. People staring, literally trying to figure us out. We are working class people and we definitely don’t look rich. So what the hell are we doing with them robes? We were on vacation so what the heck. Many pools and Jacuzzis I lost count of them.
    Back to the room, got ready for comped lunch at Café Bellagio. Damn, everything was good. Appetizers: Crabcakes; jumbo shrimp cocktail. Entrees: Seafood combo; Tenderloin steak. Desserts: vanilla crème brulee; freshly cooked brownie. Made my wife happy. Tab inc cocktails was about $125. Brought mostly everything back to room again.
    Took a nap. Headed for my 3rd mini-bac session. Limit lowered to $25. Yeah. This is more like it. $2000 buy-in. Gone in a few. In Ken Uston’s words, I ran into a buzz-saw. The dealer was really feeling bad for me. Another $2000 buy-in. I lose another $500 of that. What am I doing back in this position? I put up the remaining $1500 as a single bet on player: natural 9! I grind it out to my original $4000 plus $500. Break-time from the roller coaster. Oh, pit boss, how about dinner for two? Great. Color up!
    Spoke with casino host about comping the room charge. “Well, sir, we have you rated as $190/hr for only two hrs of play. What you are paying per night is lower than our casino rate of $129 per night. I can’t reduce your rate anymore. You’ll have to play for 2-6 hrs. more for a full room comp.†Thanks, but no thanks. Not gonna give the house another shot at my wad.
    Same story for dinner. Ran it up to $135 comp at Café Bellagio. Entrees were veal and salmon. Same desserts. Mmmm good. Back to room with multiple food containers. Watched our final night of the fountains. My wife couldn’t get enough of this. After midnight, tried to sleep. Nuthin’ doin’. Back to the casino at 4am. This time I play only quarter machines to protect my winnings. It would royally suck if I gave back all the cash on my last day. Win about $40 here and there. It’s 6:30am and I’m still wired but I didn’t want to gamble anymore. Headed to the spa to work out and kill time in Jacuzzi and steam room.
    Back to room. Ate breakfast, and left Vegas with winnings intact. Final numbers: $2250 (winnings) minus $750 in expenses (lodging, van rental, tips, shpping) left about $1500 cash to be deposited into the bank.
    Hope you enjoyed the report, and that your sessions at the tables end with “Color up!â€
     
  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
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    18
    Wow! What a great report. You scare me with those $2000 losses though. I don't gamble that much in 3 trips! [​IMG] I'm sure that if Jimbo reads this he's going to have total heart failure. [​IMG]

    Sounds like your wife got quite a treat! Lucky girl! :D
     
  3. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Good report. I should try your method. I never got comped anything while in Vegas, but then again, i was luckey if I made the cash I took with me to the casino last an hour, lol.
     
    Tentative Arrival
  4. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Pump, pump, pump, pump, pump,Breath; pump, pump, pump,pump, pump, Breath;.......

    (2 Man CPR)

    Jim
     
  5. Jer

    Jer VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Color up,

    Can you tell us some of the tips that Max Rubin offers in his book? I'm sure people would love to hear about it... [​IMG]
     
  6. cterral

    cterral Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
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    Location:
    Claremore, OK
    I have purchased Max Rubin's book and enjoyed reading it. It gave some good advice to the novice gambler. One of the biggest things I got out of it was that you need to ask. Ask to be rated, even at low stakes tables, and then after playing for an hour or two ask for a comp. Just be sure what you ask for lines up with what you're betting. What I mean is don't ask for hotel/airfare comp if your playing at a $5 min. table for 2-3 hours. Ask for a coffee shop comp. I'm headed to Vegas in June and am definately going to give it a go. After all, the worst that can happen is that they will say no.
     
  7. Color Up

    Color Up Guest

    Vegas Jer, I pretty much do what Cterral posted. Throughout my table session, I want the pit boss to be noticing me, betting at least $25 or more. When I'm done, he knows that I'm due something, anything. However, I do ask for more than I earned. If the pit boss declines, then I "negotiate" down. The conversation usually goes something like this:
    Color up: John, I'm done for now.
    Pit boss: Ok, I'll close you out.
    Color up: How about dinner and a show?
    Pit boss: Well, we've logged you for only 45 min of play. We want to see 4 hrs at least.
    Color up: Fine. Can you do just dinner for 2?
    Pit boss: That I can do. Where would you like?
    Color up: How about Le Cirque or Aqua?
    Pit boss: That's still to strong for me.
    Color up: Ok. I'll take the Cafe. Thanks.
    What the bosses sometimes suggest is to charge the show and gourmet dinner, if I want them that badly, to the room, then have my host look at your folio to remove the charges based on my play. Well this will work if I play 4 hrs or more per day, which I don't do for fear of the long term vig. I want my comps up front to avoid any surprises from the back end. Also, re food comps, I don't opt for the buffet because it's less in monetary value and I can't take out my leftovers for in-room snacking. However, if a buffet is all they can comp me, I'll take it.
    Obviously, I'm playing with fire. Rubin says that this is a cat & mouse game. I'm the mouse. It's exciting to escape with the loot in hand while the cat's in pursuit. He and Jean Scott state that the vast majority of gamblers lose anyway. They might as well get comped big for it. To sum up, this is what I do. Hit them in 3 comp areas: 1) deep discounts or freebies before I get there--front end comps [thanks, Sonya]
    2) the pit boss right after my table session--front end comps
    3) casino host to shave down my room charges--back end comps
    Hope all this gets you cash and freebies.
     
  8. veegee

    veegee Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Toronto
    Enjoyed your report Color up, but those kind of losses are scary to me. I expect to lose that much over the course of the trip but at a much slower pace.
     
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