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Grand Casino (Hinckley, MN) -- 1/2/16

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by sergi0wned, Jan 2, 2016.

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  1. sergi0wned

    sergi0wned Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    CO
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6

    My Trip Report

    Background: I'm a low-roller, seeing as I'm a college student. When I say low-roller, I mean it; I budget $100 a day for my Vegas trips. I try to conserve most of my bankroll for my trips, so I'll generally bring $40-60 to the local and write it off as the cost of scratching my degenerate gambler itch. This is my first TR, so I welcome any feedback/suggestions/questions/comments! :)

    My grandma is a big slot player, and has platinum status at Grand. She's 84 years old, and generally a badass. She plays primarily $1 3 reels in the high limits lounge, with a couple of max bet penny slots thrown in (she loves her Pompeii, which I've never had ANY luck on). Even though her bankroll pales in comparison to some of the gamblers on here, she's always seemed like a high roller to me; I vividly remember watching her hit a $400 on a coin dropper back before Grand got rid of them (maybe 2013), and she was pissed because that was the threshold for the machine dumping the coins. She offered me $100 to collect the tokens and cash it out for her, which I obviously accepted. Grandma is very generous at the casino, and enjoys boosting my bankroll with a couple of twenties, an extra cashout ticket, or even a Benjamin if she's doing well.

    Since I've got my 2nd annual Vegas birthday trip coming up later this month (January 13th-19th), I'd been trying to keep my degenerate urges at bay and conserve my modest bankroll for the big show, especially after two losses of about $50 each with my cousin at the tables at Running Aces (another local cardroom) with my cousin. I was lucky enough to go on a trip with Grandma in December and walk away with $115 to add to my gambling kitty, and I'd planned to add $100 to the Vegas pot. However, when Grandma called last night and asked if I wanted to drive up to Grand with her today, the obvious answer was an enthusiastic "YES!" I took $40 out from my previous winnings with the hope that Grandma would pad the bankroll. My dad even gave me a $20 and said to use it on a machine that "looks lucky."

    The Trip Up: I woke up at 7:45 (which was really early as a college student on Christmas break!) and double checked with Grandma to make sure we were still on. We were, so I shaved, showered, and got ready. I had went Christmas shopping with my mom earlier in the week, so I was excited to debut some new jeans and a button down with my trusty cowboy boots. I like dressing up a bit for the casino since I feel more confident, which in turn helps people take me seriously when I'm the youngest guy at the table. I also debuted a lucky charm my dad (a fellow gambler) got me for Christmas on his trip to Arizona: a silver bear necklace that my step-grandfather made by hand. Feeling confident in my outfit, of course I had a bad hair day. Oh well. I picked up grandma from her house, got the keys to her Lexus, and started on the 70 minute drive to the casino. The ride was fairly uneventful. A clear day made for good driving, and nice conversation helped the time fly by. Before we knew it, we were there. Grandma has a walker and handicap plates, so she can't walk too far. We drove around the parking lot for a good 5 minutes looking for a spot before I finally dropped her off by the back door and went to find a spot. Right as I turned the corner, I saw an empty spot very close to the entrance. Hopefully a good omen for things to come. I went inside to find Grandma in a panic; she'd forgotten her wallet, which contained her bankroll, ID, and iPhone. Luckily, it was on the floor of the car, so I got to play hero when I ran back and got it.

    The Gambling: After I gave Grandma her wallet, she pulled out a crisp $100 bill and gave it to me, along with $10 that she'd gotten in comps. We figured out our meeting time (1:00, at our usual meeting point near the entrance to the Grand American Grill) and she wishes me good luck and runs off to her VIP lounge. Usually we play a machine or two together, so it was a bit atypical to split up so fast. I swiped my players card at the kiosk and had a birthday offer. I opened it, and got to spin a wheel, where I won $10 of freeplay. My total bankroll for the day was set at $130.

    IMG_0735.jpg

    I also had my dad and stepmom's players cards, hoping to use their $7 of weekly freeplay. I went to the high limit lounge and picked out some $1 3 reels to use the freeplay on, hoping to get a good hit and convert it to cash. My stepmom's resulted in $2, and I couldn't get my dad's to work since the PIN wasn't enabled. I was able to convert my $10 of freeplay into $10 cash on a five stars machine. I pocketed the ticket, and looked around for a machine to use my dad's $20 on.

    I found one of those XTRA REWARD machines that has a jackpot round where you spin a wheel to get compartments for Jackpots and Bonuses. There's a video coin pusher on top, with different prizes that can fall into the compartments. Once one of the prizes falls into a selected compartment, you win the corresponding reward. My dad has had luck on those in the past, so I figured I'd throw his $20 in. I hit some free spins pretty quickly, which kept retriggering with lotuses. I probably had 30-40 free spins, and ended up making $63 thanks to random wild multipliers, for a total of $84 off of my $20 coin in. I decided I'd run the credits down to $70 and pocket the winnings. Then I hit a jackpot round. I just missed a mini jackpot and got a measly $5 bonus, which just angered me. There was a crown (the max jackpot) on the board, so I decided to chase a jackpot spin down to $65 if necessary. By this point, I'd amassed a cheerleader who was down $100 and walking by. We laughed at my pitiful bonus round and hoped for another jackpot spin soon. I was down to $68 and contemplating walking, and then I hit the jackpot spin! The jackpot compartment opened up in front of the crown, which was halfway back. It slowly moved closer, and it was right on the brink of falling into either an empty compartment or my jackpot compartment. The fateful coin fell, and pushed the crown onto the edge... from which it fell into the jackpot compartment! I hit the maxi jackpot for $292.98.

    IMG_0740.jpg

    This was my first ever jackpot, and not too shabby for a penny machine where I was averaging a 90 cent bet. My new friend and I celebrated, and I ran the ticket down to a round $360 to pocket.

    IMG_0741.jpg

    Riding high and knowing I'd be going home a winner no matter what, I went to the tables. I bought in for $40 at a $2 blackjack table. The rules are pretty good, seeing as there's no ante, BJs pay 3:2, and you can double on any hand and split up to 4 times. I had a lot of luck at first, but my attempts to increase my bets backfired and I ended up losing $15 before lunch.

    I met Grandma at the Grill right on time, and she shared the exciting news that she was up $500 on the day. We got a cheese curds appetizer, and Grandma got the prime rib special (16oz for $7.77). I got my usual steak and eggs, but I decided to mix it up with some over easy eggs instead of the typical scramble. It was filling as always, and I couldn't even touch the hashbrowns. Grandma comped the meal and we agreed to play for another 45 minutes.

    I went to a $5 BJ table in the hopes of quickly doubling up. No such luck. The table was cold, and the players were uptight and not fun. I blew through the $25 in less than 10 minutes. Two notable hands were a last ditch $10 all in bet that I won, and then a double on my 11 against a dealer 7 for which I got a 3 and the dealer flipped a 10. Ouch. Oh well, I could stand to play aggressive since I'd already locked in my win for the day!

    On a whim, I decided to give 25 cent Double Bonus Poker a try with my last $20 of cash. I hit max bet, figuring that my money would go fast. Within 10 hands, I hit this...

    IMG_0743.jpg

    Four 9s for $62.50, not too bad. I smiled and snapped a shot as the lady next to me gave me a death glare. My first quads on max bet DBP, so I was so excited I cashed on and went to show Grandma my $76 ticket. Then I felt the urge to go back to the same machine, telling myself I'd play down to $60. I didn't have to worry about playing to $60, since I hit this beauty in short order...

    IMG_0745.jpg

    My heart skipped a beat when I looked up and saw four As. It further dropped when I looked up and saw the 800 coin payout. I stared wide eyed and watched the credits climb and climb, and the guy next to me congratulated me. He also pointed out that I could have had twice as much if I was playing the variant he was playing - oh well, I was more than happy with my first quad aces and my $200 payout. I was so excited that I jumped the gun taking a photo. I wish I had one of the final payout, but alas I don't. I donked my $264 down to $200 before walking and calling it a day.

    I could hardly believe my luck when I cashed out at the redemption machine...

    IMG_0747.jpg

    $585. By far my best heater at the casino! $130 cash in, $585 out for a $455 profit! Grandma was up $600 at the end of the day, so combined we took them for over $1,000! Nice to start 2016 in the positive! Now my total bankroll is over $1,000... I'll probably bring only $500 or $600 to Vegas so I can preserve some of the roll (and hopefully add to it!). I will be taking a trip to Treasure Island (another local) with my Grandpa on Tuesday, so I will probably parlay the $85 into some VP.

    IMG_0748.jpg
     
  2. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Nice TR, sergi0wned! I like your "Grand Casino Story" better than those they put on their commercials! Congrats!
    Your story made me miss my own badass Granny!
    Have fun with Gramps at Minnesota's TI...

    -Richard
     
  3. jfn111

    jfn111 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    109
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    Good report Sergi,
    I always have fun at the Hinckley Casino.
     
  4. Raptor

    Raptor High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Messages:
    689
    Location:
    Southern Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Nice report, always great to hear about a nice low rolling win!
     
  5. Elf70

    Elf70 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Fun report! Good luck on Tuesday and in Vegas!!
     
  6. JB in MN

    JB in MN Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    minneapolis
    sergi0wned, nice report, well done.

    Not sure if you have seen the meetup thread but there's a group meetup and slot pull on Saturday the 16th. It would be great to meet another VMBer and add to the slot pull (maybe you could act as Grandma's proxy!)

    --JB
     
  7. northerngirl

    northerngirl Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    471
    Location:
    Northern Minnesota
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    Nice win....going there next month. Never have had a bad meal at the American Grill.
     
  8. TriggerMN

    TriggerMN High-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    553
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Congrats on the win! I used to hit the Grand Casino north of Onamia on the way to hunting weekends, and always enjoyed my experiences there as well. Hopefully you grabbed a pastry at Tobie's on the way home.
     
  9. sergi0wned

    sergi0wned Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    CO
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Thanks Richard! I went by Grandma's house today to help her with some car stuff and the first thing she says is "you put the money in the bank right?" I didn't have the heart to tell her that I'm going to parlay some of it into my Vegas trip. Although now that my bankroll is over $1,000 for the first time ever, I guess it's not a lie to say I'll be putting some in the bank... for a Vegas trip this summer!

    Thank you! Hinckley is probably my favorite local. Have you ever ventured to the ones across the border in Wisconsin?

    Thanks! I know my total winnings are less than some people bet, but a 15x slot cashout and 10x VP cashout are fun no matter what! I'll try to keep 'em coming.

    Thank you! Let's hope I can keep some of the momentum going :)

    Thanks JB! I'm glad you enjoyed it, I'll try to keep them coming. I had seen the meetup and I've been hemming and hawing about it since I'll most likely be staying downtown that night to save on costs and because $100 is a pretty big chunk of my total bankroll (my daily budget, in fact). But I think it might be worth the inconvenience to meet y'all!

    Thank you! Hopefully you can take them for some money as well. The American Grill is great! What have you got there? I always debate different things, and then up ordering the same meals every time.

    Thank you! I've never been to Mille Lacs, but I'd love to check it out. Unfortunately Grandma doesn't get the appeal of Tobie's so we didn't stop by there, but on trips up to Duluth I've enjoyed their cinnamon rolls and/or peanut butter cookies!
     
  10. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Nice run!

    Bit annoyed that MN can offer cheap $2 3:2 BJ, which I'd love, but not 98%+ VP? At least they offered close to 98% in your pics. ;)
     
  11. sergi0wned

    sergi0wned Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
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    Location:
    CO
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Thanks! I was pleasantly surprised by the 9/6 payout on DB, that's about as good as it gets in MN (even without the quad aces)! In my case, it turned out to be 1000% payout lol!

    No complaints at all on the 3:2 VP though. Mystic Lake has $1 blackjack, but it has a .25 ante, so it's entirely unplayable. One of many reasons Grand is my favorite local.
     
  12. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Nice report. Grand Casino is my favorite local casino. Thanks for posting!
     
  13. sergi0wned

    sergi0wned Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. It's fun to have another local person who knows what I'm talking about :)
     
  14. JennyTalia

    JennyTalia Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2015
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    Location:
    North Carolina
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    Nice! Have fun in Vegas!
     
  15. LV2GAMBLE

    LV2GAMBLE Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Nice wins to add to your stash. Have only been to the Hinckley location a few times. Got a rezzie at Mille Lacs for MLK weekend. We haven't been there for a while and while we really like it there, I wish it wasn't a dry casino.
     
    Always seems so far away............
  16. jfn111

    jfn111 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    It's been years since I've been to any of the Wisconsin casinos. I used to do a lot of work down in Iowa so I spent a lot of time visiting those.
    Nowadays most of my gambling is at Canterbury Park. I love the horses and their card room is a good time also.
     
  17. KyleB

    KyleB Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Los Angeles, prev. FL
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    Great story, hoping for continued success in your Vegas trip!
     
  18. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

    Joined:
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    Nice TR, congrats on the win.. keep that momentum going in Vegas.
     
    Downtown - Wanker Returns after baby!
    Wanker Returns After Baby
  19. hanoscf

    hanoscf High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Great report. As someone who gambles once in a while at Hinckely I am happy to hear you were a big winner. I usually am not.
     
  20. Minnesota3

    Minnesota3 Tourist

    Joined:
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    Great trip report! Grand Casino Hinckley is now my favorite MN casino (used to be TI), as Grand Hinckley has the best quarter and dime pay schedules in MN. I hit 4 Aces w/kicker at the Silver Sevens Bar on 9/5 DDB in February for $500. The $2 BJ has been busy every time I have been there lately unfortunately. Continued good luck!
     
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