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Hardly Working (thebucket live apr. 25-29) Sam's, Fremont, Mirage

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by thebucket, Apr 26, 2010.

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  1. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    I'll be posting here on occasion, my rather silly tale of planes, trains, and automobiles (and the bus, yeah!).

    Anyway, if you like your Vegas TRs silly, difficult to follow, and chock full of photos, please pay my BlackBerry fed blog. RSS available for true TR fans.

    Enjoy!

    (More soon)

    Until then:
    http://blog.coindropper.com/
     
  2. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

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    i'm loving the blog postying that you are doing with short snippets and pics....makes me want to do the same in july!!!

    keep it up pseudo pit boss!!!:beer::beer::beer:
     
  3. BigRoss71

    BigRoss71 Low-Roller

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    Can i get a buffet comp, bucket? My $10/hand play is sure impressive isn't it? Thor i am going to be in vegas the same time as you in july, maybe i'll see ya there.
     
  4. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

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    awesome ross...we'll be there for about two weeks at various spots...we may have to plan a beer or 7!!! :beer::beer::beer:


    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK BUCKET!!!
     
  5. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    The real TR

    Well, I put most of my trip highlights up on the blog, but it's short, odd, and rarely to the point. I hope that you folks may have enjoyed the blogging, but now I will write (in several sessions) the actual trip report, in a number of sessions.

    Get ready for a number of unnecessarily detailed tales of my activity, guaranteed to either keep you glued to your seat or make you feel like throwing up, or both (kind of like that 7th shot of Patron at the blackjack table). :vomit:

    In any event, here we go!

    Sunday, April 25
    My excitement to be on my way to Vegas had been building for a short while (like 11 months, since I was there last). Finally, an opportunity had come up for me to travel to Vegas for work (ever since my daughter was discovered to be on the way, my wife was quite opposed to me coming out for a personal trip). However, 'work travel' is both required in my job description, and relatively well accepted at home. Interop LV 2010, here I come!

    I headed out to the airport in my car, bags tossed rather carelessly into the back seat, my Zero Halliburton laptop case looking kind of James Bond-ish (I never keep my bankroll in there, just because it looks like it ought to be full of money and would probably be the first thing someone would grab) and in great contrast to my overly-beaten-up giant red soft cheap suitcase with the coming-apart zipper.

    Arrival at the airport was easy, got a decent parking spot and dragged by bags in. Wow. Allegiant's line is always long, but this time they one-upped themselves in that department. Thank goodness I got to the airport two hours early, or I might not have made it on the plane at all. It was, in a word, ridiculous. On the other hand, $189 for me and one bag to fly R/T to Vegas wasn't a bad price at all. Anyway, I made the plane, can't complain too much.

    When I finally made it to the concourse, they hadn't quite started boarding yet, so I made a stop by the airport bar to 'get the party started' with a $10 Corona. Jeez. I mean seriously. $10 beer? Since my travel had already started, it was officially a travel expense, but I couldn't help but think about how four hours later, when I reached Sam's Town, these things would be free except for a modest tip. :beer:

    The beer gone, I headed down to the gate. Still not quite boarding, but there was a table by the departure counter that wasn't being used for anything. I took the opportunity to verify the presence of my bankroll, stash it in the little security-wallet thing I bought recently for it, and poke it down inside my pants. I think the dude waiting next to me thought this was a bit odd, and quickly gave me a bug-eyed look and started looking around at everything else once he got a load of the contents. :faint:

    On to the plane. It was a nice ride out, and though I had intended to sleep on the way out, I ended up taking the entire flight to handicap the Balmoral races that I would hopefully be at Sam's in time to place a few bets on. I was pretty happy with my picks, and a review of the 'expert' picks in the back of the program verified most of my opinions, and caused me to change a few.

    Soon we were landing at McCarran. Lots of people were looking out the windows to get a view of the strip... I was peering out the other way, vying for a view of Sam's Town, and ended up getting a nice ariel view. Dang that place is BIG. Anyway, we touched down and I was off like a horse at Balmoral to get to the luggage claim area. Not that my luggage would be there yet, but that would be my first opportunity for a cigarette in Vegas.

    I stepped outside for my first breath of fresh Vegas air... A wonderful moment it was. Leaning casually against a no-smoking sign, I withdrew a Gold Coast light (yeah, I got a carton specifically because it is the only brand of cigarette I know of with a casino namesake) and held it briefly to even more ceremoniously draw out my Holiday International Casino matchbook (now Main Street Station, dating the matchbook to about 1980). With my California hat on, I had to be the most ridiculously Boyd-oriented tourist on the premises. A cigarette later, I wandered back inside to get my luggage and find the bus stop.

    Getting my luggage was no problem, but I was rather aware of my overpacking as I lugged it around, trying to figure out where the heck they hide the bus stop. Fortunately, a gentleman from here by the name of Dewey has a lot of great info on his website, and I knew that I had to find ground level zero. There is an escalator tucked in the corner that goes there, with an undersized sign indicating that it is for limos and public transportation. I think they hide it on purpose to discourage tourists from getting on the city buses and depriving the cab and limo and shuttle services of their supposedly hard-earned tourist traffic. Kind of the same way the monorail seems to be always planning to extend to the airport, but never actually doing it.

    Finally at ground level zero, it took a bit of doing to find the bus stop. Supposedly there is a TVM (Ticket Vending Machine) there, but I sure didn't see it. There's just an RTC sign stuck to a temporary looking pole way off to the right, a few lanes of traffic away from the terminal. If you go looking for it, look for the crowd of airport workers sitting around for no obvious reason. That's the bus stop.

    After about 10 minutes, the 108 pulled up. I dragged my massive bag up onto it, and was thankfully able to validate my mail-order pass by putting it down into a slot in the ticket-taking thing on the bus. Away I went, sitting on my bag nestled in the fortunately-unoccupied wheelchair-area at the front. I was on my way, headed up to Flamingo to catch the 202 out to Sam's. :wave:

    More soon...
     
  6. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Ol' Leroy

    I nearly got off the 108 at Tropicana by mistake. Not that I didn't know that I needed to get on the Flamingo bus, but I was just a bit jumpy about possibly missing the stop. Fortunately another rider was helpful with the information about exactly when I should get off.

    I got off the 108 at Flamingo, and found myself at a relatively unoccupied street corner right next to a UNLV building. I had been wondering a bit about the neighborhood, but reassurance from my message-board friend and bus-info guy Dewey kept me from worrying about it much, and the few passerby that I did see kept right on moving. The 202 came along soon enough, and I climbed up onto it like I knew what I was doing (I kind-of did, having used the same bus line as a shuttle between Gold Coast and Bellagio last year). I parked myself up front, and (though I managed to maintain my silence externally) found myself quite enjoying the trip, entirely unable to get Save a Horse by Big and Rich out of my head:

    "And I wouldn't trade Ol' Leroy
    For your Chevrolet
    Or your Escalade
    Or your freak parade
    I'm the only John Wayne left in this town"

    By the time I got to Sam's (rather appropriately with a country song running through my head), I had officially nicknamed each and every RTC bus 'Leroy' in honour of the song. The ride took rather longer than I expected, but it was fine environment-wise. I think that I got off the bus a bit too early (got off on Flamingo right before Boulder Highway - I think I should have stayed on the bus until it turned onto Boulder, but the ride may have been about the same in any event.

    Some guy bummed a cigarette off me as I was crossing Boulder (go figure). I gave him one. Money I won't hand out. Cigarettes (as long as someone wants ONE)... sure. I marched up the front of Sam's to the entrance, opened the doors, and stepped into the first casino (the airport doesn't count) of my five-day adventure of booze, buses, baccarat, and much much more.

    Stay tuned for more, if you dare. Or even if you don't dare. Or even if you're just passingly interested and are asking yourself why you even bothered to read this far. Don't worry. We haven't gotten to the good bit yet.

    More soon...
     
  7. pumpkinfish

    pumpkinfish Tourist

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    I have to say, I really enjoyed following your adventures and now reading your TR. Thanks for posting!
     
  8. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Thanks, Pumpkinfish, thor, bigross71, and everyone else... It makes it worthwhile to write all this out to know that there are folks out there who get a kick out of reading it. Now... Back to our regularly scheduled programming.
     
  9. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    I walked into Sam's with the Big and Rich tune still running through my head... proud to have gotten from the airport to a relatively difficult/expensive to access casino for nearly nothing.

    Time to check in.

    I strode through the casino entrance, and sauntered (well, I don't know if it counted as 'sauntered', seeing as I was carrying a ~15lb aluminum laptop case (which I never carry my bankroll in, because it's a Halliburton and just LOOKS like it's full of money, making it a prime grab-and-run thing) and dragging a giant cheap suitcase behind me). Oh, well. No matter the circumstances, I do believe that I managed to saunter to the front desk, if only just a little bit.

    There was a line to check in, about 5 people were in front of me. I had a 5:30 post time to catch in the race book, so I thought about just checking my bags and getting the room later, but no one was to be seen near the large sign beside the registration area that said "Bell Desk" (I later discovered that this clearly marked 'Bell Desk' is not in fact where one goes to check luggage at Sam's... They need to take the $#@* sign down in that case).

    It didn't take too long (maybe 10 minutes) to bring me to the front of the line. My reservation (BConnected Ruby rate, $21 King, Smoking) was pretty low-end, but I knew that the park-view rooms at Sam's were premium. Therefore, when an agent (not the guy I had been hoping for) cleared up and motioned for me to come forward, I smiled broadly, handed over my CC and ID, and asked if there was any way that I could get into a room on a high floor with a view of the atrium.

    My check-in guy was quite friendly and all, but told me that there was a $10 upcharge for that. Umm... It's a $20 room. A $10 upcharge is like a 50% rate increase. I told him that I would do without at that price, and tried to look crestfallen and not like there was a big wad of Benjamins in a security wallet hanging off my belt.

    He apologized quite nicely for the rate, and proceeded to do all sorts of stuff to his computer. It took quite a while, and I vaguely wondered if he might be applying for a second mortgage online rather than just checking me into my room. In the end, though, he smiled, told me that my host had comped the upgrade, and that I was to be in a high floor king bed smoking room with a perfect view of the waterfall.

    Umm... I didn't bother to mention that I don't have a host at Sam's. In fact, most of the hosts I do have have been next to useless at my level of play (a host I visited the next day broke the mould, however, so I must say that Sam's knows how to comp). I didn't complain, however, and slid the registration guy a Lincoln for his efforts (the $20 trick seemed pretty over the top for a $21 room).

    With my keycard in hand, I was off like a horse behind the starter car to the elevators. Stopping for a moment or two to shoot some photos (see blog at http://blog.coindropper.com/), I got to my room as was quite pleased with it for what I was paying. It was of a good size, nicely appointed, with a great view of the atrium, clean, and well kept. Score #1 at Sam's Town.

    I dropped my stuff in the room and headed down to the race book to catch the Balmoral races that I had so painstakingly handicapped on the plane. Cocktail service in the race book at Sam's is great, and I had a beer, a cigarette, and a number of box exacta tickets in hand before the first race went off. Drawing a deep breath, I sat back and relaxed to enjoy to the fullest my first bets of the trip. Ahh, this is the life, I said to myself. Some dude a couple of seats down from me looked over at me like I was nuts. Screw off, I thought... If you aren't enjoying this, you shouldn't be here.

    The car rolled. The horses trotted. It was the sport of the common man, and I was there to enjoy it to the fullest. I immediately lost $20. And enjoyed every second of it.

    More soon...
     
  10. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    The races were fun. I was quite tense during the second, on which I had a box exacta that promised to pay me something in the neighborhood of $800 if it hit... I was on the edge of my seat as they came into the final stretch in first and second place...

    And rather crestfallen as the third horse zoomed forward to take second.

    Oh, well. That's why they call it gambling, right? In the end, I made something like $40 on my race betting as a whole, so while not a big win, it was a win, and I have no complaints (not that I would even if losing consistantly, which is the norm for me with race betting). It was a great time, and the drink and counter service at Sam's has made it my favourite race book in all of Las Vegas.

    I was quite hungry when I arrived, but didn't want to miss the Balmoral post, so I didn't stay in the race book for the entire race. Instead, I placed a few right-before-post bets, watched a few races, drank a couple of Coronas, and then placed a bet to win on the favourite driver in all of the remaining races (at .419, his record was pretty astounding, and it was a fairly sure thing that any horse they put him behind had a pretty good chance of winnning).

    After turning in my bets for the rest of the race, I went to tour the casino and have a bite to eat. As I wandered around, I noticed the little keno-counter near a pillar that I always end up playing a game or two at, and decided to sign myself up for a hundred games, a series that should conclude the next morning before I would be on my way. I took 100 $1 2-spot games, knowing that this would surely hit a number of times and result in a marginal loss or win, as well as looking good for me ratings-wise. I used 2 and 11.

    Time for dinner. I made my way over to Willy and Jose's, the Mexican place there, and got a table to myself (obviously, since I was alone, but anyway...). I ordered a burrito and water (as if I couldn't get more than enough alcohol while I played, so there seemed no point in ordering anything else to drink). The burrito was good, the water was just what I needed after a day of travel and a couple of beers, and I left Willy and Jose's for about $10 full, satisfied, and ready to go play.

    More soon...
     
  11. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    More Sam's Detail (Apr 25)

    Walking out of Willy and Jose's, stuffed with a burrito, I was ready for some action. In fact, I was about to set out on a mission. An easy one. One that has 'first night in Vegas' written all over it. Yes... That's right... I intended to...

    Get drunk and gamble

    Oh. Not all that unique, right. Oh, well. I had a good time of it.

    Since my goal for the evening was clearly achievable barring some sort of totally catastrophic event, I decided to take precautions against my own foolishness. Namely locking up about 80% of my bankroll in a safe deposit box at the cage. The lady there was extremely helpful, and even asked if I wanted a particular box number. Sure... How about 2? Or 11? Unfortunately, both were either taken or out of service. Oh, well. How about 13? Yep, got it. I stuffed the carrier with cash (ok, not really literally 'stuffed', but it sounds good). The cashier watched me do this, and let me know that they have a private room for handling the boxes if I wanted to use it in the future. Great customer service overall, and I did use it when I emptied the box the next day... After all, who's going to mug a guy who just put a wad of cash IN a safe deposit box?. I have a feeling that it's the getting-it-out that they watch for.

    With my first night's gambling budget in my pocket, I set out to find a game to play. It turns out this is not a difficult goal to achieve at Sam's.

    I was feeling a bit sedate from the burrito still settling in my stomach, and though a nearby craps table looked attractive, I decided to leave it for later when I was drunk (I play skill-requiring games like VP and blackjack while relatively sober, and random-result games like roulette and craps if I feel like I've had enough to drink that I shouldn't play a skill-game).

    I knew that Sam's had coin-operated 9/6 JoB somewhere upstairs, so I found the easy-to-spot escalator and went up there. Found the machines, bought in, and walked away a small winner a while later. Good times, and I finally had put some Sam's points on my BConnected card... Hopefully my next night there will be on an offer. I played at Sam's once before farily heavily, but I was on a 5x point multiplier coupon that I got from a local friend (RJ insert), and never saw an offer (I have a feeling that out-of-state people who play entirely on large multiplier locals coupons get classified as less-than-desirable players, particularly since JoB is pretty much breakeven with that). This time, however, I had no coupons, made points at the normal rate, and will hopefully show on their radar.

    Done with my VP session, at least for the moment, I rolled back down the escalator and started scoping out the pits. Hoping for some mini-bac to warm up for the big tables in the week to come, but it turns out that Sam's evidently doesn't deal it. Oh, well. Time for some blackjack.

    And blackjack Sam's had. In spades. And clubs, diamonds, and hearts... Ok, that was corny. I sat down for an hour or so at $50, made some good money, had a couple of more beers (the cocktail waitress for our area was nowhere near as amazing-looking as the one in the race book to my disappointment, but oh, well... Great service anyway).

    I wandered around for a while longer, and the Silver Strike slots caught my eye. I checked the coin-design, since I wanted one with the building pictured on it, and sure enough one of them had nothing but. Sweet. I popped in a $20 (those things are set to give the coins as an extremely common hit, I'm convinced, since it's never cost me more than $40 to get one and I think I'm in the black overall on them if I had cashed the coins instead of keeping them). Spun a few times, hit the Silver Strike symbol, watched the top mechanism go through it's fascinating gyrations (so much more fascinating than usual after 4 beers or so), and drop my Silver Strike out, as advertised with an image of Sam's on it. Counting the coin-hit, I had $18. Not bad. Not bad at all.

    Time to play craps!

    More soon...
     
  12. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Craps at Sam's...

    And craps it was.

    A table with an open position just to the left of the stickman (my favourite position to play from) opened up, and I walked up, dumped a grand on the table, and called for 'change only'. Half black and half green, I started in on the game in my usual style when I'm betting heavily, putting a $5 pass line bet down when the dice came around to me, dropping $88 inside (pulling down the point bet if a 5,6,8, or 9 and moving it plus or minus a bit to odds), and seeing what I could make happen.

    The game was quite stable for an hour or so... I didn't really make or lose much overall at that table, which is somewhat surprising (but turned out to be normal for the trip) given my relatively heavy (for me) betting.

    I ended up about a hundred up on craps, and quickly found that the drink service had done its intended job and gotten me rather inebriated. I took another stroll around the casino, spent another hour or so putting in some VP action upstairs for quarters (no way I would play for dollars drunk), and finally went back up to my room to retire for the night. It was only 11pm Vegas time, but it felt like 1am given my same-day time zone change, and I didn't want to be good-for-nothing on Monday.

    Back up in the room, I opened my drapes wide to take in the atrium view, turned on the TV to the hotel channel to see what they were advertising on their cable system (yeah, I'm lame, that's all I ever watch in the room). After cleaning up a bit I settled down to bed, and the alcohol hit me like a ton of bricks. To spare the readers the gory details, I ended up vomiting (made it to the bathroom, yea!) :vomit: , felt much better, and turned in for a good night's sleep.

    I felt just fine the next day (perhaps in part due to my purging the night before), and headed downstairs for the breakfast buffet and to grovel a bit and see if I could get my room charges comped. :nworthy:

    More soon...
     
  13. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Sam's Host Comp

    Monday morning I awoke at a reasonable hour (9ish), refreshed and ready to get on with the business of the day at hand.

    I got up, showered (the shower was quite nice at Sam's... not a super-fancy thing like in some of the higher-end strip hotels, but good water pressure, plenty of hot water, and decent soap and shampoo provided. I got dressed for the day in the suit that was to become my uniform for the rest of the week, and headed downstairs for a bite to eat.

    The Firelight Buffet at Sam's advertises a $5-something breakfast special with players' card, so I wandered over that way, getting distracted for a half-hour or so by a little bit more VP on the second floor. Maybe I shouldn't have done that... If they go by daily-average, my Monday play there may have taken me down a notch in the system. Oh, well. The $50 I made playing was surely more than whatever marketing offer I miss out on would be worth.

    Down to the buffet I went. The selection was a bit limited, but they had a custom-omlette-making station. I stood in line for it for a bit, put in my order, and waited for it to be produced. One significant weakness was that it was by no means obvious where one was supposed to put one's plate to wait for the omlette to be done. Oh, well... I got it just fine, dropped a buck for the omlette-making lady (who, by the look of the tip-basket-thing, was doing quite well).

    The breakfast was excellent, plenty of sausages (which I always partake in at such venues), toast that one can make oneself, grits (they weren't great, but the fact that they had grits at all was cool), and the omlette was very good. My only complaints were:

    1) It was nearly impossible to find the butter. They hide it.
    2) They don't serve grapefruit juice. Orange they had, and it was good, but no grapefruit. WTF? A breakfast buffet in a fairly large resort with no grapefruit juice? Oh, well. I'll give 'em a pass on that since Sinatra at Encore can't seem to serve a scotch with just one ice cube in it (rant on that later).

    Nicely filled up with breakfast, I set out to find a host and have my measley $21 in room charges (well, more like $25.50 after the flippin 'resort fee') knocked out me in a heavyweight bout.

    Finding the host office was adventuresome. I looked around. I figured it would be akin to Gold Coast (which has an 'Emerald Services' office... Not that I'm anything better than Ruby, but that just means that I don't show 'em enough action for them to be sure of the casino edge having its intended effect on me). Such was not the case. So I went to the cage to close out my box (using a private room this time, it has a great counter to count cash down on), and asked the lady there after tipping well where I could find a host. She gave me directions to get there, which I followed, in a bit of a hurry to get on with my day.

    I followed the directions, and found myself at a pair of windowless double-doors in one wall of the casino. They didn't say anything at all on them, and looked very much like the kind of doors in the wall of a casino that patrons aren't really supposed to go through. On the other hand, they didn't say that I SHOULDN'T go through them, so I did, finding myself in a rather ordinary business office. There wasn't anyone in there. Umm... After a minute of standing around and waving at a camera in the ceiling to demonstrate the benevolence of my presence in there to it, some guy walked by. He was 100% the old-school casino boss type, pretty big guy, saying something gruffly in what may have been an Italian accent to someone on a radio. Wow, I thought. This is better than expected. This is seriously old-school.

    I asked the guy (who was evidently going to walk right past me, my presence of much less concern to him than whatever he was being gruff about on the radio) where I could find a host. He pointed to a glassed-in office that didn't have anyone in it, said "Wait in there", and went on his way. Umm... Ok.

    I sat in there for just a few minutes, and a lady stopped by to see what she could do to help me. I gave her a big smile, handed over my suspiciously-red-coloured BConnected card, and told her that I wanted to see if she could do anything about my room charges. She asked me if it was a comp room, to which I answered "I sure hope so". I know that she was trying to find out if it was a MARKETING COMP, but oh, well. She brought up my card number on her computer (which was an old-school interface, quite possibly a TN5250 client into an AS-400), looked at my action from the night before, and told me that she would take care of the room. Cool! I was a bit disappointed that my action was evidently too low for her to bother to give me a card and ask me to get a hold of her when I wanted to come back. Oh, well. Got my free room!

    Almost.

    My next stop was the room to gather my belongings and go down to the front desk to check out and get a receipt for nothing. Nothing at all, Nada. My 'host took care of it'. Heheh. When I did this, however, the lady at the front desk told me that my remaining charges were $1. Umm... One dollar? Evidently my 'telephone charges' (I didn't use it) weren't comped. Everything else was. WTF? If you're going to comp everyting down to the last buck, why not just comp that too and not cause random guests to go writing on and on about it on message board trip reports? Jeez. Anyway, I ponied up my $1 and walked over to the large lighted sign next to registration that said "BELL DESK" in giant ornate lighted letters. I didn't want to drag my luggage around on the bus that day, and figured that I'd just check it with the bell desk and come back for it later. I stood there. And stood there. And stood there. Finally, the lady that checked me out asked if there was something more she could do for me. Umm, I just want to check my bags. "Oh", she replied, "You'll need to go to the bell desk for that". UMM... UMMM.... Ok, I'll bite. WHERE might that BE? By the front door. WTF? Don't put a big all-caps lighted sign up over a counter that says "BELL DESK" if that isn't the freaking place to go drop your bags. I wandered back out into the casino, scouted around the front doors, and found nothing resembling a desk, a bell, a bellman, or a bell desk of any kind. I did find a bar. I walked up to it, bartender asked me what he could get me. I explained that I was looking for the bell desk, and was informed that I needed to go further into the casino, and that it was located right beside the registration desk, under a big lighted sign that says "BELL DESK".

    So I went back. And stood there for a bit. The same lady again came over and asked if she could help me. I explained that I had gone back up to the front, couldn't find a bell desk, and that a bartender up there told me to come back to registration where the big lighted "BELL DESK" sign was. She gave an exasperated sigh and asked if I remembered the bartender's name. WTF? Was his advice really all that bad? Guy at the bar wants the bell desk. There's a big-ass sign by registration that says "BELL DESK". Where does any self-respecting bartender send said random bell desk seeking guy? To what by all appearances is the BELL DESK, that's where. Anyway, I conveniently forgot the bartender's name. The front-desk lady asked if I went outside. No... I didn't go outside. I want to check my bags before I leave, so I didn't flippin' go OUTSIDE. Ahh, she tells me. That's where the bell desk is. Outside, by the front entrance. Not inside (like most hotels).

    I went back to the front doors. Went outside. Scouted the situation out. Saw an unmarked tan door set into the wall, part-way open with a suitcase or two on the floor barely visible thru the door. Must be the 'bell desk'. I went over there and peered in, some guy was sitting on a chair in there talking on the phone. I gave him a wave. He smiled. Gave me a wave. I waited a minute. Umm... Looked in there again, he gave me another wave. Must be the WAVE DESK. Damn. And I was looking for the BELL DESK. Finally he got off the phone and came to the door, swinging it wide open to reveal an array of suitcases in storage within. I asked him if this was the bell desk. He told me that "yeah, this is the outside one". Ok. I wasn't about to start arguing the finer points of the evident total-non-functionality of pretty much anything bell-service-related on the inside of the resort. Instead, I gave him my bags, passed him a fiver for evidently being the only functional bell-person on-site, and strode on out to Boulder Highway to go catch the 202 back.

    Jeez.
     
  14. pumpkinfish

    pumpkinfish Tourist

    Joined:
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    Just letting you know you still have followers ;)

    Love how you handle the craps tables.

    Quite possibly the funniest thing I've read EVER.
     
  15. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the compliment, pumpkinfish!

    Thanks also for letting me know that this stuff does actually get read (sometimes I wonder if I might be talking to myself here, but eventually I decide that I have enough fun writing it that I'm going to do it anyway).
     
  16. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    The dude who got his ass kicked at the Reserve

    Well, I hoofed it back up to Flamingo, and headed off west-bound to find the nearest bus stop to jump on the 202. This was fairly close-by, and as usual I was hit up for a cigarette by some homeless-looking guy as I waited to cross Boulder. Also as usual, I gave him one. He was also short a match. Gave him a book of 'em from Bellagio. He was evidently quite grateful, and treated me to an earful of how he strip resorts were in the business of 'stickin it to the tourists', and how it made the cigarette so much sweeter to be lighting it at the expense of a joint on the strip.

    Umm, ok. Glad I could be so helpful.

    He also told me that their slots were way tight (generally true) and that their video poker was a crime (also generally true). Asked me if I played. Guy seemed harmless, so I walked beside him and carried on a conversation as our Boulder-crossing light turned on. Told him I played a lot of blackjack, some craps, and some big baccarat. He told me to 'play it cool' with blackjack if I counted, and he told me that wearing a suit out on Boulder would bring heat the moment I stepped near a table. He then proceeded to tell me a tale of how he used to count and dress like he was made outta money and got his ass kicked in some huge way in the back room at the Reserve (now Fiesta Henderson). The fact that I knew what the Reserve was, who owned it then (Ameristar), and what it is now evidently impressed him. He shook my hand as he headed off in a different direction than my course was taking me, and told me to 'be careful out there'. I wished him the best as well, passed him an unopened pack of cigarettes to 'keep him going for a while', and walked on down Flamingo to find the 202 stop.

    More soon...
     
  17. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    My New Job

    Getting on the 202 was no trouble at all, and getting from there back on the 109 back down to McCarran was no sweat as well. I think the trip (Monday late morning) was significantly faster than my trip from McCarran to Sam's the day before.

    During my transfer, I stopped by a Walgreen's to grab a stick of deoderant. I had forgotten mine, and was acutely aware of the likelihood of me becoming somewhat odorous as the day wore on. Therefore, I redefined 'classy' by putting some on standing outside the Walgreen's, and proceeded to go find the stop for the southbound 109.

    As I stood at the bus stop to await the 109, a lady approached me. Lemme guess... "Can you spare a cigarette?" was the next thing to be spoken? I couldn't have been farther wrong, or less prepared for what it was that she was going to inquire about. Evidently my presence at an RTC stop, Walgreen's plastic bag in hand, in suit pants, a nice (french cuffed) shirt, no tie, and a casual Sam's Town jacket (I know it would be a crime on 'What Not To Wear', but I really didn't care) indicated that I was someone whom I was not. This lady appropached me, and the conversation went something like this:

    "Hey, are you guys hiring?"
    "Huh?"
    "Are you guys hiring? Out at Sam's?"
    "Umm, I dunno. Sam's?"
    "You work at Sam's right?"
    "Umm, no... I'm a tourist, just got the jacket there"
    "You're a TOURIST?"
    "Yeah, headed down to the airport on the 109 whenever it shows"
    "Oh. You look like a pit boss who just got off work"
    "Oh, yeah, maybe so. Sorry about that"
    "No problem. Hope you catch your plane"
    "I'm not going to get on a plane, going to get a car"
    "You're going to the airport and you're not going to get on a plane?"
    "Yeah, going to get a car. They're cheaper that way"
    "Umm, ok. Good luck!"

    During the course of this wholly confusing conversation, I realized that a guy in a suit, with a casual Sam's Town jacket over the shirt, carrying a Walgreen's plastic sack, at an RTC stop, was exactly the sort of guy that would look 100% like an off duty table games supervisor from the casino mentioned on the jacket. Made total sense. The jacket didn't go with the outfit, but an off duty supervisor might well not give a rat's ass on his way home. The Walgreen's bag indicates that he stopped to grab something on the way home. Bus usage means that he's reasonably thrifty (like using the casino-issued jacket), and those guys don't make all that much so it makes sense.

    Heheh. I'm a pit boss from Sam's Town, according to at least one reasonably well-informed local.
     
  18. mardaho

    mardaho Low-Roller

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    Very Entertaining and Enjoyable read
    Keep it coming :beer:
     
  19. jaxjoe

    jaxjoe Guest

    Thanks for the report...and pics (blog):beer:
     
  20. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Dollar Mortgage Brokers and Rental Cars, Inc

    Well, away I went on the 109 a few minutes later. Though I had originally intended to use the RTC buses for absoltely all motor transportation on this trip, I needed to entertain a co-worker starting that Monday who was likely not to be as wholly entertained by using the bus as I was.

    Therefore, I got a really good rate ($17 daily) on a full-size rental from Dollar, for only the days that my co-worker would be in town. I took the 109 to the South Strip Transit Terminal (about a half-mile from the McCarran rental car facility, actually closer than the airport is to it, and probably faster to walk there than to go to the airport and get on the rental-car shuttle bus). The walk was no problem, though I was (except for one guy) the only pedestrian in the area.

    Once in the McCarran rental car facility, I walked over to the Dollar counter, only to find a rather massive line of people waiting to be served. I felt the need to visit the restroom thanks to all the water I had been drinking that day to recover fully from the night before, so I decided to go visit the restroom, and hope that the line died down a bit while I did so. Though my restroom visit was a success, the line was even longer when I got back to the Dollar counter. Oh, well. Shouldn't take TOO long, right? After all, I did need to go up to Mirage, check into my co-worker's room (I got a really good rate on it and therefore needed to be the one to check in to it), go out to Sam's, get my bags, get up to Fremont, check into my own hotel room there, then get back to Mirage to greet my co-worker on arrival.

    This plan would have been fine save for the fact that the process of renting a car (judging by the amount of time people were spending at the counter) was evidently roughly equivilant in complexity to taking out a mortgage. I honestly thought that I might be there two or three hours. In fact, it was well over an hour before I walked away from the counter, paperwork in hand, to go rent a car. Their video displays above the counters kept showing off Lincoln Town Car rentals, so I asked about an upgrade to one of those (I really prefer RWD, and the Town Car would've been a fun one... then people could mistake me for a limo driver rather than a table supervisor). Turns out they don't actually have one of those. I could upgrade to a Mercury Grand Marquis for double the rate of my rental (a Dodge Charger)... Not worth it, I thought, and got a perfectly nice red Charger out of the garage. Away I went, knowing that my carefully laid plans were in jeapoardy because of the time. Oh, well.

    I decided to ignore my own arrangements and 'get with the program' preparing for my co-worker's arrival. I went straight up to Mirage, put 'new Leroy' (as I had nicknamed the car) in valet, and strolled in. There was a massive crowd in front of the registration area, quite akin to the line at the rental car joint. This time, however, I got to smile, stroll over to the 'Invited Guest' line, and wait only about 5 minutes before getting set up with my co-worker's room (Penthouse suite, photos on the blog, real nice room but a bit worn around the edges, not yet remodeled like the regular rooms at Mirage have been). I hurried up to the room, discovering along the way that although the elevators are designed to make you put your key-card in a slot to select a suite level, this is in fact non-functional and all you have to do is push a lettered button (the regular floors are numbered, the concierge/suite levels are lettered). Up I went to inspect the room. I had ordered non-smoking, and the array of matches and ashtrays in the room seemed to indicate that I was not in fact in a non-smoking room. There was no smoke odor though, so it should be fine. I headed back downstairs.

    Since I hadn't taken time to deal with my own affairs, I found that I had an hour to spare before my co-worker arrived at Mirage (and since I had the room key, I needed to be there). I didn't dare try to run up to Fremont or out to Sam's with only an hour, so I wandered the casino for a bit and played some rather bad video poker for quarters.

    Soon the call came that my co-worker's limo was on the way, so I went out front to meet it. My co-worker was as amazed at the room as I was... It's always fun to be able to pull a Vegas rabbit (so to speak) out of a hat for someone who isn't expecting anything out of the ordinary. I left my co-worker to settle in, and went to get New Leroy out of valet to go grab my bags from Sam's and check in up at Fremont before we would head off to the Chart House at the Golden Nugget for dinner that night.

    More soon...
     
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