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First Time in Vegas: May 29-June 3

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by mebedaman, Jun 9, 2005.

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  1. mebedaman

    mebedaman Tourist

    Mar 6, 2003

    My Trip Report

    Hello everyone. Since I love all of your trip reports, I feel obligated to write one myself. Shouldn't be too long....but I guess we'll see!

    Well, I had been planning this trip for quite a while and finally booked in March, so needless to say I was ready to go. A little background -- I went with Bill, a long-time friend from high school and college. We have also been planning to move to Vegas around the first of September. Yeah, we're nuts... It was definitely a low roller trip, but I love doing the research in order to find good deals and love to use coupons (when I remember!). Using "Ding" through Southwest, I was able to score roundtrip tickets from Chicago to Vegas for $106 per person with taxes and fees included. For hotels, I paid $43 for Sunday night, $43 for Monday and Tuesday nights together, and then $43 for Wednesday and Thursday nights. Sunday-Tuesday was at the Vegas Club and Wednesday and Thursday was at the Plaza. I used the Buy One Get One Free coupons in the ACG to get Tuesday and Thursday nights free. So, split 2 ways, lodging cost me about $13/night tax included -- I love Vegas!! (There is a trend forming...)

    Got to the airport with plenty of time to spare on Sunday....flight was smooth....blah blah.....used CLS (??) to shuttle from the airport to Downtown. I don't know how other shuttles do it, but my advice would be to AVOID using these people. It said "downtown" but we were one of TWO people that were actually staying downtown. They stopped at Sahara, LVH, New Frontier, as well as 4-5 other places NOT downtown before arriving at LVC. But since I had never been to the city before, I didn't bitch too much. :) I love Vegas.

    From reading hour after hour, I knew Bill and I would be "downtown people," whatever that means. But, in a nutshell, the place fit us perfectly. A la Mikey, we hit the Golden Gate first thing for a 99¢ shrimp cocktail and a sandwich -- I was STARVING! It hit the spot, and we were off. The night gets a little blurry, but from what Bill tells me, I spent the last 6 hours playing blackjack at the Plaza. I remember before playing there, that I was REALLY tired and was about to go to bed. I left a message on Bill's phone (which he saved so I could hear it the next day) around 10am Vegas time -- that's 1pm Michigan time -- before I finally headed back to the hotel. Halfway through my message, I stopped mid-sentence and said something like, "Holy shit...sweet...I've got two $25 chips in my pocket....how the hell did those get there??"

    Got up around 2:30pm...don't ask me how or why....except my body knew I was in Vegas and it was time to GO! Call up Bill and find out that he never slept! He was probably at El Cortez playing poker, I don't remember -- this became a trend. Although I lost there, I love that place....it's just so....great. We gambled and hung out.....I remember eating at MSS buffet, but my stomach was still a little shakey from the night before. I had a massive headache and said I needed to go back to the hotel for a "nap" around 9pm. Bill was tired too....of course he hadn't slept for 36 hours or so I guess. So my "nap" lasted about 7.5 hours and I got up around 4:30am -- guess it's time to gamble!

    I hit the Lady Luck, Four Queens, Binions, and maybe one other -- took them each for $100-$150 playing hit-and-run craps. I was setting the dice and having some success....another trend. I've never gotten any heat for setting the dice here at my local riverboat in Michigan and was very surprised at some of the comments I received once I started to win at some of these downtown casinos. If one of the dice wouldn't hit the back wall, they would almost yell at me, instead of politely asking, "Sir, please make sure the dice hit the back wall." The a$$hole pit critter at Binions really did yell at me and said they must come off the back wall "this far" and held out his hands showing about a 2 foot gap. I said, "Oh, we're measuring now?" I rolled again and the dice did hit the wall, and I made the point. But, sweating the $5 action like they do, he made some other rude comment, and I calmly followed up with, "Take down my 6, 8, the odds on the 9..." I took down my passline bet as well, stacked up my row of nickels and said, "Color that." The players were bummed because I was having a good roll...making two points...and he said, "Well, he didn't want to hit the back wall..." I didn't say it at the time, but it had nothing to do with my rolls not hitting the wall -- that jackoff wasn't going to talk to me like he talked to the dealers working for him. It's too bad that place has fallen off like I've heard. Got some heat from Four Queens and the b!tch at Fitzgeralds the night before was just downright rude as well. I guess these guys are just used to seeing the dice ricochet off the back wall at Mach 3 speed that I kinda threw em off. The Rady Ruck didn't have a problem with anything I did -- had a lot of fun with the foreign break-in dealers too. Good times in the early morning when there's no one else at the table....went back up to the room around 8am and Bill and I went to the Upper Deck and had some breakfast.

    ....continued below because of length....
  2. mebedaman

    mebedaman Tourist

    Mar 6, 2003
    I feel like I'm writing a novel, so I will change the format and list some notes and various observations...

    * Stopped at Mikey's table around 10:30am on Tuesday, his last day at GG. I introduced myself and asked him how he liked his newfound "fame" and such. Funny guy -- I'm sure it was more obvious as the day went on that he wouldn't be returning to this place the way he talked to the pit..haha. Saw him again at the Orleans when I was heading to the buffet - he invited me for drinks, but we wanted to get to the strip, so I didn't meet up afterwards. I will definitely get into contact with you when I get back to Vegas, Mikey!

    * Since we spent the first 2 days just downtown, I didn't realize until I got to the Strip that I hadn't seen anyone under the age of 35 yet! The Strip is where the cool people are, no doubt. Which is why I'm not sure if we belonged. I almost got whiplash a couple times....the women are.....well, NICE! Of course, if you're used to the toothless bums that are down to their last $10, I guess anything's a step up.

    * Speaking of toothless bums...One afternoon, I was talking on my cell phone walking just north of the canopy and this woman comes up to me and started talking - I just figured she was asking for money. But I was having a conversation, and just turned and kept walking. Well, I found out that instead of meeting Bill at the bus station, I was going to just go to the Tez. So I went back a half a block and walked down Fremont. I walk another block and I hear "excuse me...excuse me!" from behind. I turn around and it's this same lady. I keep walking and she asked, "I didn't want to bother you when you were on the phone back there....(whisper)...Do you have any cigarette paper?" I look at her funny and say "No, sorry" -- still walking. She's like, "You know what that is, right? (whisper) Weed paper..." I half smile and say, "No, sorry, I don't have any." She responds, "You don't smoke weed?" like all dumbfounded......I smile and say, "No, sorry." and walk on. I go another half block and just start cracking up laughing.....what, do I really look like I smoke weed? Looking at myself....I had on a yellow striped polo shirt and shorts with sunglasses. I though maybe the yellow attracted her or something......funny stuff.

    * Went to Ellis Island twice for the $4.95 steak dinner. Of course, I had coupons for 2-for-1 entrees.....yes, I'm cheap. With the $5 matchplay on the placemat and the $10 MP in ACG, I might just eat there every day when I move. Gotta stay away from their "love tub" craps though...that thing killed me.

    * The Orleans was nice...big....all-in-one joint with the bowling alley, moving theatre, etc. Double odds on craps? Seems pretty weak....although I usually only play double odds anyway...

    * I think Bill and I have found a home at the Tez though (as we like to refer to it). We don't smoke, but if you're a chain smoker, this is definitely the place for you. I'm fairly certain that this is the only casino where you can play 1-3-6 Hold em, smoke like a chimney, and play with the OWNER all at the same time. Brings a smile to my face just thinking about it...

    * With all my research -- believe me, I read for hours upon hours a day -- I never heard about the single deck blackjack at the Tez. This would be the "real" version -- you know, where you actually get paid 3-2 on blackjack. $5 minimum and LOTS of open tables. I believe there's a .17% house advantage on this game. You can't count because the penetration is terrible, but it's sure funny when the non-english speaking dealers yell out "CHECKS PLAY!" when you bet $25 or more (not me, of course).

    * Normal people pretty much can't afford to gamble at 75% of the Strip resorts. $15 minimums on the weekdays and 6/5 blackjack everywhere you look....wow. Sure, you can find better, but why bother.

    * The first day we were on the Strip, walking from hotel to hotel, I made it a priority to get a card/pamphlet/whatever from all the porn slappers. I was going out of my way to make sure I picked one up from each person in the line. I thanked each of them after receiving the card. The looks on some of their faces were awesome. Of course, I was straight-faced and sincere about the whole thing.

    * I don't get out of the midwest much, but this whole "dry heat" thing is true, I think. Maybe I was just welcoming the heat after enduring a winter where it snowed every damn day.....but it could be 95º in Vegas and I'd be just fine. I didn't feel all sticky and sweaty like I do here when it's hot.

    * They have a craps variation at IP called Dragon Dice, I believe. I read about it on LVA and posted here, but didn't get a reply. I checked it out and sure enough - the only 2 differences are that they pay triple on 12 on a field bet (like they should anyway!) and that the odds on hardways bets are 8 to 1 and 10 to 1 instead of 8 for 1 and 10 for 1. Those payoffs are actually true odds. I wasn't able to play because I think they only open the table on the weekends. Funny situation -- I was at EI and played some craps while waiting for my table. Mentioned to the dealer that I'd heard of this game at IP....he hadn't heard about it. I said that pays true odds on the hardways and he said those payoffs weren't true odds....flat out wouldn't believe me. But he was cool and we were laughing and having fun....not 30 seconds after I gave up trying to convince him a guy came up to the table and said the same thing! I laughed and said, "Don't bother!" He tried to use his $5 ACG MP and got denied as well. I asked him where he heard about it and he said his friend who was a dealer told him. Well, after replying with my story on the LVA forums, it turns out that the original poster of the thread where I read about it was this guy!!! He said, "That was me at EI!!" Haha...small freakin world. The link if you have a subscription - http://forums.lasvegasadvisor.com/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=161503

    * Talked to the boxman/pit boss/whatever else at the Tez....cool guys there. They were just beside themselves at this one dealer - couldn't get a damn thing right. Just yelling and stuff....I mentioned how I would never be able to deal dice and I feel for 'em. But he was telling me that after you learn the basics and do it a while that it's actually pretty repetitious and boring. He said how dice dealers were in high demand and told me how much they made and stuff. Said that there were guys worse than him at second tier places like Coasts and the like. It was like he was trying to convince me to become a dealer - hey, it's not that bad...air conditioned, how many breaks they get, etc. And that was before I told him I was moving to Vegas and didn't have a job lined up. :)

    * Apparently the Bellagio Fountains run 364 days a year. The night I was there, they weren't running because they were fixing something -- at least that's what someone told us. Never made it back, but hey, I'll be back in 3 months...

    * Based on riding the bus, I don't think I will be looking forward to battling the traffic in this town...

    * When you're already hammered, don't run into La Bayou at 1:28am looking to ride the grain train. Then when they tell you they're closing, don't run to Mermaids and pay $10 for the banana yard with an extra shot. Whew...

    * Note to La Bayou AND Mermaids: I am MUCH more likely to enter your casino if the women twirling the beads outside are at least SOMEWHAT attractive....jeez...

    * I think I'm going to try to get a job as a waiter when I get to Vegas. They do have male waiters, right? Seems like a pretty lucrative job if you can get one in a nice restaurant...c'mon Mikey, help a brotha out! I know you've got connections!

    * I had an absolutely terrible last day of gambling...stayed out waaaayy too late and gambled waayy too long....and lost just about every bet I made. But I still ended up about $100 up on the trip - including all the food, tips, drinks, etc. The only things I put on the credit card were the flight and hotels. So I figure they entire 5 days cost me about $70...only in Vegas, baby.

    And finally, thanks to everyone here for all the information and laughs you've provided me...they've helped a lot!

    Oh yeah, I love Vegas...

  3. DNA

    DNA Low-Roller

    Dec 5, 2004
    Great trip report. Sounds like you had a blast. I'm from Michigan to and me and my wife love it downtown. To bad i'm not going to be able to meet Mikey at the gate now though. The "papers" thing made me laugh. Back in Feb. when i was there i went out front of Fitzgeralds about 8 in the morning and had this guy ask me if i had any papers and when i said no, he asked if i wanted to buy a joint. I was thinking to myself, "what, not rolled" LOL

  4. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Nov 25, 2002
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I wasn't going to say anything, but yeah.

    Nice trip. I've never played poker at the El Co, the concentration of smoke and characters is even more intense now that it's off the floor in the "poker room". I did cash out in front of a guy who had been playing all day on basically a handful of chips. Just like at Wynn. :rolleyes:
  5. CamelClutch

    CamelClutch Low-Roller

    Oct 11, 2004

    Classic late-night Vegas voicemail, mebedaman. Nice trip report, too--thanks for sharing it.

    On my first trip to Vegas in 2000, my buddy was having a nice run playing blackjack at the Venetian with a table full of Japanese businessmen. He was making friends with them, rooting them on, "let's see a monkey for Hiroshi!!". If you've seent the Seinfeld episode where Kramer has the Japanese guys in his hot tub, this was pretty similar.

    Anyway, after about a dozen Crown rocks, I thought it would be a good idea to call our other buddy back home to tell him what's going on. My efforts to describe the hilarity are preserved for posterity in a 6:00 am (Michigan time) voicemail that is just a mess of rambling and slurring. I still get it forwarded to me at least once every few months.
  6. Thekiller

    Thekiller Tourist

    Jan 6, 2004
    Nice report man

    If I can cipher my numbers right, thats about $420 for a month in town. That's cheaper than rent in Chicago isn't it?
  7. vegasbound

    vegasbound Moderator

    Mar 3, 2002
    Las Vegas
    Great trip report! You definitely did a lot of research for your trip. You did Vegas like a pro, nice job ;) Sounds like a great time, much like the trips I used to make.

    You should enjoy living in Vegas. It's true, the dry heat beats the heck out of winters and summers in the Midwest. Good luck with the move!
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