A couple of weeks ago I received a letter in the mail from the Resorts at Wendover (aka the Rainbow, Peppermill, and Montego Bay Casinos in Wendover, Nevada). The letter explained that I was relatively close to moving up to the next Players Club Tier (1,000 tier points away from moving from Gold to Platinum). The letter stated that if I made Platinum by 12/31/2014 I would hold that status for 2015. To help me get to Platinum they were offering 4x Tier Point multiplier days for any one day of my choice in December. Moving from Gold to Platinum wasn’t that important to me. I get more free room offers than I can ever use, and accumulate enough comp dollars to never have to pay for a meal when I go out there. I also get concert ticket offers each month (there’s a decent concert venue out in Wendover), but it is quite rare that anybody they get to play out there is someone I want to see (it’s mostly country artists that I’ve never heard of, or acts you would expect at the Suncoast showroom). You can see here that the perks of moving from Gold to Platinum aren’t that amazing: https://wendoverfun.com/casino/players-club/benefits/ But, since this is the week of my birthday, I decided to book a room and head out to Wendover Friday night (December 12th). I grabbed a rental car from Avis after work and got to Wendover at 6:30pm. The first thing I did was check in at the Rainbow Hotel & Casino. I was given an East Tower room: All the rooms at the Resorts at Wendover properties are nice. Nothing opulent, but always a good, clean room that is well maintained. I’d say the rooms here are a step above The Cal in downtown Vegas.. After check in I visited the players club to get my players card, as I forgot to bring mine with me. After getting the card I walked over to the bank of kiosks they have to activate the 4x Tier Point Multiplier. The kiosk also gave me a $20 food comp as a birthday gift, which was unexpected. First win of the trip! The kiosk then prompted me for a mystery free play: I could choose $20 in free play, or I could choose the mystery box - which would earn me anywhere between $15 and $200 in free play. Of course I chose the mystery box, which provided me with $25 free play. I also had $40 in free play as part of a regular monthly offer. So, I walked away from the kiosk with $20 in free food and $65 in free play, plus 4x Tier Points. At this point I was quite hungry, so I went to the Primo restaurant. The name sounds fancy, but it’s a diner. They make good diner quality food here, and they have a counter which is where I like to sit since I’m solo. I ordered the spaghetti, which includes a soup or salad. The spaghetti is all-you-can-eat, but the first serving is plenty. Pretty good deal for $8.95, which of course I paid with comp dollars. After dinner it was time to gamble. It was about 8pm at this point. I went over to my regular video poker bar and proceeded to play quarter DDB (It’s only 9/5 here at the quarter level) while drinking MGD. They don’t have a great beer selection here, but I am good with MGD. I entered my PIN and loaded my $65 of free play onto the machine. I played at this VP bar for about two hours. I hit a few non-premium quads, but also hit these: After hitting the quad 4s, I played down to $550 and got up to check my Tier Points. Now I was just 300 Tier Points away from Platinum. This casino sometimes has good bands/musicians playing on their stage, and tonight’s was pretty decent. So, I decided to sit at a VP machine near the stage to listen to the music while earning those 300 Tier Points before midnight (it’s about 10:30 at this point). I started out at $1 Bonus Poker (8/5 at the dollar level here). After about 15 minutes of that with no quads, I switched over to $1 DDB (9/6 at the dollar level here). After switching over, I hit this: At this point I am ecstatic. The cash number you see in the bottom right corner of the picture is pure profit, as I haven’t had to put a single dollar into the machine yet - I am still running on my initial input of $65 free play. I played that $1 DDB game down to $1150, then I decided to walk over to the Buffalo machines where I hit two handpays this Summer. I played just long enough to get another MGD, and walked away even thanks to one good bonus hit. Then I went back to the bank of kiosks to check my Tier Points, and it turns out I earned enough points to make Platinum status. So, there’s that. Since I’m ahead I am in a pretty good mood, so I decide I want to try and find a social blackjack table and play some $5 blackjack until bed time. The blackjack rules are very good here: all single deck, same rules as El Cortez in Vegas except that they don’t sweat when you vary your bets. Most tables are $5 minimum, but they do have some $25 for folks who don’t want to hang with the $5 minimum riff raff. They also have the Royal Match sucker bet like El Cortez, and I play it most of the evening, because I am a sucker. I did hit the Royal Match (King and Queen of the same suit) once with a $5 bet, which pays 10 to 1. So I sat down at a blackjack table that was fun for a while, but then the person to my left called me an idiot for advising the 21-year-old hipster to my right to split 8s against the dealer’s 9 (he asked me for the advice, I did not provide it unsolicited). The person to my left wouldn’t let it go because she was convinced it was a poor move and forced her to lose her bet. So I got up and left and went to another table. This is where the fun began. It was one of the most fun blackjack sessions I have ever had in my degenerate gambling career. Even if I had finished the session a loser (which I didn’t) I wouldn’t have cared. I’ll try to give as much detail as possible, but I fear that my words simply can’t do justice. There were two guys about my age at spots 1 and 2. They were nice guys and fun to be at the table with. Camille was in spot 3. Camille was a 40-something female who had probably been overserved. She was pleasant enough, but not coherent enough to make correct blackjack decisions, EVER. Spot 4 was sometimes occupied by Camille’s friend and when Camille’s friend left Camille began to play two hands (spots 3 and 4). Spot 5 was occupied by a stunningly gorgeous and incredibly friendly 20-something Latina wearing a cleavage-friendly leopard print top. Spot 6 was occupied by a 30-something Latina who was slightly less attractive than the 20-something Latina, but also quite nice. The 30-something Latina also had on a cleavage-friendly top (non-leopard print). The 30-something Latina is originally from Jalisco in Mexico - aka where Tequila comes from. The dealers included Erika, Eric, Sammie, and Ceilana (I might be spelling that wrong). Erika and Ceilana were the best. Eric is alright - he an ultra-marathon runner though, so he can’t be trusted. Sammie wasn’t talkative. So everybody is pretty friendly and we’re all mostly betting $5 or $10 per hand. Nothing that is going to kill us. We’re all drinking (good drink service at the tables at the Rainbow) and having a good time. Camille is mostly in line until her friend leaves. Then, Camille starts playing two hands, and her bets are ranging between $30 on the hand and $30 on the Royal Match bet to $100 on each the hand and the Royal Match bet. She has no strategy whatsoever. And everybody else at the table is having a good time joking about this realization. Camille once hit on hard 17 and drew a 3, making a hand of 20. Then she split 2s against a dealer 10, and she won both hands. Then she hit on hard 19 and drew a 2. Then, Camille decides to sit out the last hand of the deck and wants to wait until the dealer shuffles. The dealer shuffles, and Camille bets $100 on the hand and another $100 on the Royal Match bet. What does Camille get dealt? That’s right, a suited blackjack for a $400 win! Camille has her ups and downs as a result of her erratic strategy, but - as the math explains - it didn’t affect anyone else’s hands that much. We all were mostly just in awe of what was going on with her. Anyway, whenever Camille would lose all the chips she had in front of her, she would reach down her shirt into her bra and pull out more money. She was storing $100 bills in each cup. She reached in there on at least 4 occasions, pulling out multiple $100 bills each time. When she walked away from the table at about 3am, I estimated that she lost about $1200 at the table. The other reason the rest of us didn’t get upset with Camille I think is because she took forever to make decisions - so she singlehandedly reduced the number of dealt hands per hour at the table. It really felt like an hour would see 15 hands. Which meant the rest of us were losing less money but getting the same good drink service as the 70 hands per hour tables next to us. I, of course, wasn’t without my own hijinx. I was mostly betting $6 on the hand and $2 on the Royal Match bet, but would occasionally go a bit higher. Well, at one point I had $100 down on the hand (no Royal Match bet). Camille did something crazy with her hand, and the dealer (Ceilana) had a 9 and drew a 2. I thought I was toast, but somehow Ceilana busted. I broke out in song. I may or may not have sung All About That Bass. A while later, with Ceilana dealing again, I had $100 out and was dealt a double down hand (11). So I put up another $100 and had to stand up from the table because I was so nervous. Ceilana made a hand of 18, then she turned over my card and it was an 8. I won! I proceeded to croon Christina Aguilera’s “Come on Over Baby” and did an improvised choreographed dance to it. The tables around me applauded, and one guy got up from another table and became my back-up dancer. At about 3:30 am everybody else at the table decided we were going to call it a night (Camille had left at about 3). I cashed in my chips (I won $200 at this table), and went for a late-night meal at Primo (Crispy Chicken sandwich & fries). Then I called it a night just after 4am. So yeah, it was a fun night. I needed one of those. I got up today (Saturday, 12-13) at about 10:30, had breakfast (again at Primo), and drove back home with a $1350 profit. Thanks for reading. I hope I didn’t bore you. My next Vegas trip is planned for MLK weekend, January 16-19. Staying downtown and playing in a slot tourney at 4 Queens while catching the NFC Conference Championship games.