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Gray Days Getaway

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Outsider, Mar 24, 2013.

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  1. Outsider

    Outsider Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    So after a nice fall modest winning trip to Tahoe, and a total break-out loosing winter holiday getaway, (it was a great trip other than the gambling), that I reported neither, I offer the Gray Days Getaway from the Northwest.

    I hadn’t planned on writing a trip report, but felt somewhat obligated after meeting up with the mayor of Main Street Station, Joe, resulting in me browbeating him to write a report while at his office at the Boar’s Head Bar. As we spoke, Joe and I had similar concerns regarding trip reports that we just weren’t hip enough, (that’s a term from our era), high rolling or amusing enough, but I pressed on under the influence of cognac with my view that I enjoyed his reports for their realness and sage observations.

    Upon meeting Joe in person, I concluded that indeed he was the “real deal,” an outgoing social person and all around nice guy. I, on the other hand have not so much of either characteristic. I’m more like the TV show House character, sort of a driven, undisciplined, analytical type. Perhaps not much fun at parties, prone to over thinking things at times, but willing to act on a situation when the opportunity dictates in order to capitalize. Work seems to value these traits, although I’m sure they wish I was a little more disciplined and business-like at times, and my wife has put up with me for three decades, so I guess it works on some level. Anyway, Joe wrote his trip report and posted it, and I would feel a bit of jerk if I didn’t do the same after my pressing him.

    For this spring trip, the usual, the wife and I were busy at work and only got off since we had the time in the bank, and we had put in for the days off months in advance. This trip I had planned around two tournaments; I could have potentially done three, but decided that it was too much trouble to do two at once, so I settled on two back to back; one on the strip and one downtown.

    We got in late on SW Air, near midnight on a Thursday, after working; that means we have been up for about 21 hours, so we are dead tired when we get to Vegas. Our first night was at the Mirage. We like the Mirage, but my level of play only gets one night and $75 fp, so we only stay one night, as we can stay comped somewhere or another. The MGM group offers nice stuff, and if I only played there I’m sure I would get more, but I can’t take a chance of being tied to just one place, or I would still be at the Riv as I was 30 some years ago. On the first night even though I’m tired I play some and lose a session at craps and some VP. The next morning I repeat. Not a great start, but we find some pleasure on our first day with the MyVegas reward of the Secret Garden enjoying the big cats and fish mammals.

    After a late check-out courtesy the Mirage player’s club, we walk over to Bally’s with our bags for the next leg of our trip. We are staying at Bally’s because I have the first tournament a Paris. We like to stay at Paris; the gambling is affordable, the food is good, and it’s a good location on the strip. The host says I’m not quite good enough to get rooms at Paris and play in the tournament, but we can stay next door and play. Go figure. Bally’s gives us junior suite in the north tower. Haven’t stayed at Bally’s since it was the MGM. Room was plenty big and ok for the most part, but it looked like the nightstands and the rest of the furniture had been beat with chains to give an antique look, but that was not the style. Kept talking to other guests about the hotel and they pointed out I was lucky to be in the remodeled tower. Really, the other is in worse shape?

    Played VP at Bally’s and Paris and lost. In the afternoon I registered for the $150k blackjack tournament. Played some more craps and more VP at Paris and continued to loose. I had little or no expectations of doing well at the tournament as I haven’t played more than a couple hours of BJ in the last three decades since I learned how to play craps, or what passes for my version of playing craps.

    Saturday I played my first round of BJ at Paris while the wife went off for some spa treatment at the M Resort taking the courtesy shuttle leaving from Fashion Show Mall. To my surprise I ended up one of the two winners at the table of six with a modest amount more of chips than the others to move on to the next round weeding out the 600, or so, to 150. After the first round morning session I had a cognac to celebrate and then walked over to the Fashion Show Mall to catch the M shuttle to meet the wife at the isolated, but beautiful, casino.

    Besides the wife’s spa time, the main reason I needed to go the M was to cash my winning last summer purchased pre-season placed NFC Championship and Super Bowl sports bets. This year happens to be my best sports bets outcome ever, though I must offer that I’m not much of a sports better.

    Once I arrived at the M, I met the wife at my all time favorite overpriced VP machine, Dream Card, only to find two troglodytes anchored to the only two machines. The wife showed and I inspected her enhancements from the M spa or something to that effect. I instructed her to play her free play and I settled for a game of the more pedestrian Super Times Pay in place of my favorite Dream Card game. Not the game I wanted, but I won a couple hundred anyway so that helped, but wait there’s more. With all my detailed pre-trip plans it turns out my free play was not available for today or the next; just those two days, how did they know I was coming.

    With my sports bet winnings in hand I headed back to my favorite machines only to find moss growing on the two anchored to the machines. So I headed back to the Super Times for some more consolation play. Low and behold, I won about the same again, another couple hundred. It was near lunch so the wife and I headed to M buffet, one of the few we partake. We used our mail offers and enjoyed their buffet as usual. After lunch we boarded the M shuttle and headed back to the strip.

    Back at Bally’s I played some craps and VP, but lost again. Of note was getting dealt 4 to a royal on Super Times ten play $0.50 with an 8xs multiplier active. I had ten chances for a royal with a one card hit, or a straight flush, as I had the K-10, or some flushes or just straights; all with a 8xs multiplier. I was excited. But instead of hitting big, I hit just one pair on two hands; really, what a letdown.

    The next morning I played the next round of the BJ tournament and pretty much dominated the table to move on this time with a single seat win round making it to the final 30. I was surprised again with my BJ success and I repeated the previous day’s ritual with a nice cognac. The next round was later in day starting at 4pm. I played some more VP and craps at Paris and lost again.

    At 4pm I made my way to the Paris BJ tables and was pleased to learn that I and my fellow 30 semi-finalists were in the money with a guaranteed $2k in play payout for our good fortune and BJ prowess. The next round was not so kind and I was appropriately tromped by two the table’s players that had more experience, better cards and better strategy as one moved on to next round.

    After the round I was knocked out, I collected the $2k and I chose machine play over chips. I played in the Paris Champagne machine area for a disappointing experience, buying in with three $100 Rewards credits tickets at a time and cashing out once the money was cycled with only about a 50% return playing triple play $1 DDB, so I moved out on the floor by Gustav’s Bar and switched to 10 play $0.25 Double Pay DDB and did better. My net return was over $1,400 for 45 minutes play after it was all run through.

    That night we wanted to go to a show. There wasn’t much to see on Sunday, but I was able to find something. TR gave us comp tickets to the dinner show Tony and Tina’s Wedding at Bally’s. It was convenient, mildly amusing in a Jersey Shores sort of way, and overall an ok show considering it was a comp with sort of a modest Italian buffet included. Then shortly following the interactive show we saw the LA Comedy club show. Four young hard edged comics that had some funny bits. At the end of the evening we were tired and felt that we had had and full day and night.
    TBC
     
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I enjoyed the report and thank you for the VERY kind words!
    I really do enjoy meeting VMBers in person.

    Hard to believe my countdown is already down to 26 days. I just got home Wednesday.
     
    Christmas
  3. Crazycrue

    Crazycrue Low-Roller

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    Nice report looking forward to reading the rest. I like the Paris Hotel not a fan of the casino though never have any luck there. Stayed there 5 nights on one trip and won very little. But can't beat the location and how quickly you can get from the rooms to the outside.

    :eek:
     
  4. Outsider

    Outsider Tourist

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    Thank you Joe, the pleasure meeting you was mine. I’m jealous of you going back so soon, but a mayor has responsibilities to his constituents, so I understand, and that royal on the Boar Bar won’t hit itself.

    Crazycrue, thanks for the shout out. The rooms in Paris that we have stayed are so much nicer than what we have seen of Bally’s, not to mention less drunken frat boy types roaming the halls.

    We used to stay a Caesars and really liked the rooms in Augustus and the like, but getting in and out of Caesars and the cost of ordinary food is just more trouble than its worth.

    As for winning, I’ve won some at Paris besides the tournament that I just hit, but it’s not my favorite place to play, that would more like someplace downtown.

    Writing up some more.
    Outsider
     
  5. Outsider

    Outsider Tourist

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    The next day was our last on the strip. The tournament was over and we had no real plans other than to use some more of our MyVegas rewards. After breakfast we played a bit at Bally’s and both lost some and then headed over to Cosmo. Although we had been to Cosmo several times and had even stayed for few nights last year, somehow we had not taken them up on the $100 loss rebate and I wanted to get that in before it went away. So we checked and we were eligible so we went for it. We sat down to a pair multi-play Super Times and played. The wife played five play quarters and I played triple halves. I broke out and lost my hundred, but the wife hid quads and took a $160 profit. I got my rebate and was able to recover exactly my $100 back. The wife was pretty proud of herself outdoing me, but I was glad for her and considered it a team win.

    From Cosmo we went to Aria and put in for the MyVegas antipasto reward, but didn’t collect it right then. We rounded back to north and put in for the coveted MyVegas Bellagio buffet reward and had the lunch meal. A good deal and someplace that we had not eaten before. We sat at their bar and it was one of the better buffets that we had tried, so we may actually go again some day.

    After stuffing ourselves we took the tram to the Monte Carlo. We had a MyVegas reward for cognac tasting. I was looking forward to this one despite not being real crazy about going to the MC. So we get the voucher and find the restaurant, only to find it’s closed on Mondays. We head back to the MLife counter and try and get them to reverse the comp since the restaurant is closed and we won’t likely be back before it expires; no dice! So we leave the MC and head back to Bally’s for some more VP play with basically a push.

    A few hours later it’s getting late for dinner, but after the Bellagio buffet we’re not up for a full meal, so as planned we head back to Aria for some VP play and catch the comp antipasto. We play for about an hour with me dropping $500 and wife booking a modest win. Then we find the Italian restaurant on the second floor, sit at the bar and get our order in just after10pm just before they stop serving. A win. The antipasto offered a really nice, large selection from which we were to pick five items. The wife had a pricy wine that she really liked which I paid for with my MLife card points. It was the finest antipasto that we had had, and we really couldn’t eat it all. Highly recommended, however if you are having it for an appetizer I would think you would want at least another couple to help devour it.

    The next day we had the last of several breakfasts we had eaten at Bally’s Sidewallk Café throughout the week. Not a big deal, mostly convenient as it’s near the north tower room elevators, however I wanted to give a shout out for the blueberry pancakes and the lox and bagels; really good. During breakfast I lobbied the wife for another shot at the Cosmo deal before we left the strip. She was modestly enthused and mostly agreed to just so I wouldn’t bug her about it. So we head over to Cosmo and I watch her slide a hundred in the Super Times multi-play and she repeats the previous day with the quads again. She cashes out with another win leaving the loss rebate for another trip. Notable because she is not usually much of a hundred dollar buy-in player and she doesn’t normally play VP, but I had been persuading her to try something different instead of her usual slots.

    After her Cosmo win we headed back to Bally’s and checked out. We had used our TR cards with points mostly from last year’s Great Escape contest. Last year we made vacation trips to Vegas, Tahoe, New Orleans and Biloxi, and I was back in Chicago for work where we were able to gather points. So, for this trip now on the fifth day, we had spent…. nothing on food and quantities of drink. A win!

    However, I had steadily lost at VP and played five loosing sessions of craps. The VP, well I just didn’t have much luck; that happens sometimes and I won’t blame the strip pay tables, as the way I play I can’t make it on full houses and flushes anyway. I play multi-play and see a lot of hands. I expect to see DDB premium quads with kickers and an occasional royal.

    As for the craps, the play I saw was weak at both Bally’s and Paris. The premise of the game is to repeat numbers. I’ve seldom seen so many shooters session after session that couldn’t hit their point much less hold on the dice for more than few rolls. I had a few uninspired shoots and a few good shoots, but not exceptional, but on most sessions I played this trip I was the hot shooter and that’s a problem on a full table. I would make a little progress with bank, and then watch my chips be bled as the dice went around the table.

    I play craps because I like the action and the multi-dimensional bets; single roll, mid-term, and eventually original pass line bet. I also like the comradery of the team effort of craps and the interaction with the dealers. I like VP, but find it isolating. I believe that some establishments do attract better craps players and do offer a better chance of winning and hence more enjoyment. I offer the M Resort and Caesars as examples.

    After this crappy craps adventure I would almost consider playing alone with a surely better chance of winning, at least on this trip. However, playing alone defeats a good portion of my intent of playing the game. As a final wrap on this rant, I seldom play dark-side, I really don’t like the feel of playing the don’t, and I hate putting up odds on the don’t. It would have been hard to make much anyway, as I mentioned, I shot well and so it would have been choppy at best.

    Wrapping up the strip, we had some great food, some entertainment, I was in the money for a tournament, but I was down $3k. With that we took our bags and hopped on the Deuce for Downtown and the final leg of our trip.
     
  6. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    Enjoying your report and looking forward to more. I wish everyone would write a TR no matter what their style and adventures. Everyone is interested in different things.
     
  7. Outsider

    Outsider Tourist

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    We arrived downtown about 1pm and checked in to the Fremont and the 4 Queens. I had a VP tournament offer at the 4Q. We did the three bear’s thing with the beds and the wife decided the Fremont had a bed more to our liking, so we stayed there. We get the “eat for free” Aloha coupon books from the Fremont and with the secret off menu meals, it works for us. We played a little VP and had a good shake resulting in a push.

    It was about lunch, so we headed over to our favorite lunch spot, the 777 at Main Street Station. We both had the mushroom burgers; really good. As we are walking out of MSS I remember reading something about on VMB some hidden features of downtown that including some antique pool tables located in a remote area in MSS. It was written by Joe. I’ve been to MSS more times than I can count, but I’ve never heard of the tables, but Joe said so, and Joe knows MSS, so it must be true. I have affection for old tables; I have a ’48 Brunswick Snooker table in the main entrance of our house.

    As for MSS’s tables, the trouble is, I can’t remember the details of the location, something about a single elevator. So, I ask the hotel desk; no idea what I’m talking about. While there I take a brochure on their antiques, still no mention. We try a single elevator by the desk and go the 2nd floor, no luck. The wife is getting impatient. I ask a few more workers, and mention the single elevator, and someone directs us to a single elevator about mid-casino by security. We ride up to the 2nd floor and sure enough, two hand carved ornate billiard tables and a snooker table from the late 19th century; nice, very nice.

    As we start to leave MSS again, I happen to remember that I read the Joe was going to be in town this week. What are the chances that he could be at the Boar’s Head Bar right now? The wife thinks I’m crazy. We walk by the bar, and there’s a guy sitting at the number (2?) machine. I tell the wife that could be Joe, although the thumbnail image is pretty small that I’ve seen on VMB. So, I call out “Joe,” and he turns around. I walk up and ask if he is Joe from VMB. Sure enough. I take a seat and introduce myself. The wife steps up, who was keeping her distance, concerned that I was going to make a fool of myself bothering someone other than presumed, and I introduce her to Joe. She then takes her leave and goes off to play something other than bar tops as she figures I’m there for a while. Joe calls the bartender over and buys me a drink. I stick with cognac, even though we’re at MSS. I just can’t switch back and forth between liquor and beer, so I stick with what I started the day.

    Joe and I have a pleasant conversation covering VMB, gambling, trips and reports. I relate how much I enjoy Joe’s style of genuine writing that comes across in his trip reports. We talk a little of the differences in the way we play. I don’t usually care to play bar tops; that’s about all Joe plays. He plays $1 single straight games, and I play quarter or half 3 to 10 hand multi-play, with a preference for Super Times and Double Pay, or even Dream Card when I can find it. While sitting, conversing with Joe, I play $1 DDB single play, as it seems the right thing do while in Joe’s House. I hit some hands, flush, full house, but no quads, but cash out with a $40 win as it’s time to move on. I tell Joe that may be my only win at MSS ever thanks to his good karma, wish him well and thank him for his time.

    Later I decided to try and get some money back from my strip losses. I used my $100 fp from the Fremont and $80 fp from the 4Q and a couple grand to boot. I was on semi-tilt, semi-drunk, but eventually went to bed.

    The next morning I awoke with somewhat of a hangover, early as usual, which was just as well as the tournament registration was at 8am. I got my usual Dunkin Donut and played my favorite Super Times at the Fremont for about an hour for a push. Then I went over to the 4Q about 7 thinking I would get some idea of the low-down on the impending tournament. I sat down at a Wheel Poker type of machine and played nickels, not something I usually do, but I like Wheel Poker even though it’s one of the worst carny games I play. Anyway I’m playing for about ten minutes and this retired older vet type fellow comes up and sits next to me. He asks, “so are you here for the tournament?” And I reply, why yes I am. He says, “so you are number one.” I sit there tying to decide if this is a question or a statement, so being the type person I am, I don’t answer and wait for things to reveal themselves.

    Over the next half hour several others arrive and the vet directs them where to line up and tells them their number, as there is only three seats at this bank of machines, the others end up standing weaving around the corner. Then security shows up and stands outside the elevator with stanchions and a red velvet rope blocking the door. I continue playing and at some point ask the vet, “so, are you in charge of the tournament?” He answers, “no, I’m number 2.” “Oh” I reply. Another reason I like downtown, always a new experience. So I keep playing and hit a wheel spin hand for 4k nickels, and then another for 1k and so forth and cash out for a surprising, still slightly hung-over $360. Ten minutes later security moves the rope back and says who’s first. The vet points to me, and he, three or four others and I get in the elevator and ride it up one floor to a reception room.

    I entered the room and made my way to the registration table attended by half a dozen employees. After registering and obtaining a 9am VP play time for both days I checked out the adjacent ample continental breakfast. Then I headed back to our room in the Freemont to meet the wife. After she was ready we made our way back to the 4Q reception hall. We both had some fruit and a muffin or something. It was near 9am so I went into the next room where the tournament machines set up. I took my spot and we were off playing bonus poker. I never even hit a four card hand other than two pair and scored an unremarkable 760.

    Afterward we made our way down to casino floor and played some resulting in a push for me and loss for the wife. From there we headed to the Las Vegas Club to get our free play. The wife played hers with a, but I wanted to play the single Double Pay machine that resides there, but alas it was occupied. So I deferred.

    The wife decided she wanted to go to the mall, so we parted ways for the time. I went back to the Fremont and played for while and hit my first of the trip’s one hand of Aces with a kicker on quarter ten play DDB.
     
  8. fadetheseven

    fadetheseven High-Roller

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    Craps is a very fickle game. It has been so swingy for me over the past few years. Most of my trips where I played mostly dice have been complete loss of trip bankroll. 2012 saw a string of consecutive losing trips. It got very discouraging and the last 4 trips I've played more BJ. Coincendentally, I've had 4 winning trips. What you described at Paris happens to me more often than not.

    Despite the low edge of the "good" bets in craps, it is extremely volatile when you add in multiple bets on one hand. Pass line, place pets can all be "good" bets but when done all at once, the game can wreck your bankroll.

    During my last trip, I was able to have my once a year monster dice session. 2 consecutive shooters held the dice for about an hour and a half total. Despite all those losing sessions last year, it's trips like this gets me hooked again.
     
  9. Outsider

    Outsider Tourist

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    Well said Phat. It is a highly volatile game. I’m a progressive come better, and if the shooter doesn’t repeat, I only win the last come. Historically I believe I have lost 2 sessions to 1 winning session, so when I win, it better make up for the losses. I agree those monster sessions keep your interest, but I guess you have to expect the other side also. Though it seems like through the years it has been harder and harder to find good games on a regular basis.

    Thirty years ago or so when I first started playing, the players were about my age now or older and it seemed most really knew the game well and had some sort of pattern or style to their rolls; not as common now. The big casinos had a lot more tables then they do now. People now laugh when I tell them the best games were at the places like the Riv. The Riv had the best dealers thirty years as in my opinion. I used to play for hours continuously. Twelve hour sessions were not uncommon for me. And more than once I started with a crew and saw them the next day before I colored. Not always a peak win, but almost all those long sessions were wins of some sort. Now I can’t put in the hours on my feet like I used to, and that’s why I started playing VP. So, I guess all things considered things work out in their own way.

    Outsider
     
  10. Outsider

    Outsider Tourist

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    I had another group of last season’s NFL bets, including a particularly nice 4 game playoff game parlay bet to collect from the Golden Nugget. Then I took another shot at the LVC hoping to get my coveted Double Pay machine. Sure enough it was now open. I hurried to the machine, stuck in my card and… nothing, no free play. Turns out they had dropped my desired machine from free play eligibility. My conclusion was that it was just too good. So, I had to go to some less enhanced machine to get my free play. I quickly cycled my free play and got a dollar for dollar cash out at $40. I then took my $40 to my Double Pay machine, added $100 and played quarter 10 play DDB. A few hands in, I held two suited faces, and hit a royal. I cashed out immediately and exited the premises.

    It was near the time the wife had said she expected to return, so I headed back to the room. After the wife returned we headed over to Main Street Station for lunch. We played for a while and then walked down to the 777 expecting to have lunch at the bar. Not so fast non-March Madness fans. The bar was full, so we headed back to play some more for a bit and try again. Lost some more and then checked out the still busy 777 bar. No luck so we decided to leave, skip lunch and decide we’d try to come back for an early dinner a little later.

    So we head back to Fremont for some better luck and were not disappointed. The wife and I are playing their bank of Super Times, her at quarters and me halves, both triple play. After a bit of play I hit a nice Aces with kicker. Then about half an hour I another suited pair and hit my second royal of the day. This one’s a W-2, so while I’m waiting for the pay I play the adjacent machine and hit a low hand quad. After the hand pay I give the machine to the wife and I go to the regular multi-plays right behind the Supers and play 10 play halves. A few hands in I hit Aces with the kicker. I do a rough count and I’m near back to whole again with the day’s hits.

    After dropping a few dollars in room safe, we head back to the MSS and get seats at the 777 bar. We got seats and order our “special dinner,” the prime rib; they were really nice cuts. We finish up at the night at the Fremont and play a bit more a couple regular quads for a modest win.

    The next morning I get up and play with the odd $300 in my pocket at my lucky machines, and have no luck. That’s it I’m done as it’s the last day and we fly in a few hours. I still have the mornings tournament, so after gathering the wife, we head over to the 4Q for my play. I do better doubling my previous day’s score, but doubt I am in the money. After the round we enjoy tournament buffet and accept the tournament gift of a quality USA made plate steel wind chime. Not exactly the take home item of my dreams, but it’s the thought that counts. Then we head back to pack and check out without any charges. A good trip with plenty of play and a near push in the end works as a win as far as I’m concerned. Happy Travels and Good Fortune.
    Outsider
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  11. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Outsider, just curious...did a security guard accompany you up to the second floor to see the pool tables, or were you able to go up by yourself?

    You probably told me, but this for the benefit of other VMBers who might want to venture up there.
     
    Christmas
  12. Outsider

    Outsider Tourist

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    Hi Joe, no one I asked seemed to even know there were tables up there, but someone did know about the single elevator. When we went over to the elevator and security was right there; we got on the elevator without any action from security. We stayed up there for some time, perhaps 10mins, and then went back down without issue. Well worth a few minutes if you like antiques. Thanks for the tip, Mayor Joe.
    Outsider
     
  13. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Ha, I probably have more time there than most of the employees.:evillaugh
     
    Christmas
  14. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    I enjoyed your TR outside; great that you ran into Joe during your travels!:eek:
     
  15. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

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    Never doubt yourself, House! You write a great report. Great come back from your losses. Nice!!
     
  16. VegasGarden

    VegasGarden Low-Roller

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    Terrific TR. Thank you
     
  17. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Don't you just HATE it when someone is on your machine?

    I plan on checking out those pool tables soon.
    Enjoyed your report!
     
  18. robert m.

    robert m. High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    The one time that I went up the elevator to see the pool tables, a security guard was standing nearby. He got onto the elevator with me & stood by as I looked at the tables.
     
  19. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,594
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Enjoyed your trip report. Yes, craps is a very volatile game, and its that monster roll that happens every so often that keeps our interest.

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
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