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Just got back...when do we go again?!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by dfense072, Apr 8, 2003.

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  1. dfense072

    dfense072 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15

    My Trip Report

    OK, here goes my first attempt at a trip report. My fiancée Jen and I spent 5 nights at Rio from 3/29 to 4/3. I’ll have to break it down into sections, since I can’t remember one day from the next…trips to Vegas seem to meld into one long day, and never last long enough!

    Flights:

    Very uneventful…flew Northwest from Hartford, connected in Detroit on the way out, Minneapolis on the way back…never flew Northwest before, they were OK. Didn’t serve a meal or snack on any segment of the trip, only pretzels & drinks [​IMG]
    Detroit’s airport is a monster! They have a tram just to get you from one end to the other- of the same terminal! I did see legendary boxing trainer Emanuel Steward in the food court there, but I didn’t bother him. Good thing, since I thought he was former heavyweight champ Floyd Patterson at the time!
    We were sooo hoping to get bumped at some point on the way home (to score some free airfare), but neither of the flights was overbooked.

    Car rental:

    Rolled the dice even before the trip started and booked a compact w/Thrifty. I signed up for their express Blue Chip club, which I think helped big time. Took about 5 minutes inside to pay, and another 5 outside waiting for our car. We got a silver Mitsubishi Lancer 4-door…had about 17k miles on it, but was clean and ran smooth. Couldn’t complain for $112 (including taxes)!

    Hotel:

    We’ve stayed at Rio every time in Vegas…spent parts of other trips at MGM and Luxor as well, but Harrah’s always sends us decent offers to come back to Rio (or the Harrah’s on the strip). We both agreed that this would probably be our last time staying there; while we love the oversized rooms there, the slot & video poker machines are very tight, and their table minimums are very rarely under $10. We’re also just ready for a change of scenery, so we played a lot at MGM/Mirage casinos to try & get some future offers from them.

    Gambling:

    Nothing exciting to report here, either! My plan was to play craps the majority of the time, with some video poker sprinkled in here & there (Jen plays mostly nickel video slots). I ended up playing mostly video poker since the two most common phrases I heard in the pits were “Good luck,” as I changed in my hundred for a stack of reds, followed soon after by “Seven out!” about 5 or 6 times. Believe me when I tell you that I’d still be at a table in Sin City if I played Darth Vader (a.k.a. the Dark Side).

    Why do Don’t Pass bettors seem so glum? Are they pessimists? Who knows, but I always bet the Pass/Come to avoid second-guessing myself…and who doesn’t want to be in the middle of a packed table making loads of cash during an hour-long roll?

    Anyways…video poker was up and down. The only VP worth playing at Rio is a bank of 8/5 Bonus progressives in the Masquerade Village, and we only caught a handful of 4-of-a-kinds. We also hopped over to Fiesta for the VP tournament on Tuesday. It only costs $10, with re-entries another $5. First place pays $250, but neither of us won any dough. One of my scores was close to when Jen won 3rd with last year, but I wasn’t even close this time around.

    The great thing about Fiesta is all of their full-pay VP machines, in quarters as well as nickels. I lost pretty quickly on the .25 10/7 Double Bonus, but broke even on the nickel variety after playing for an hour or so. My few decent hits during the week were a $100 hit on a $5 roulette table at NY, NY (bought in for $40, hit my numbers & ran), another hundred on those 8/5 Bonus machines at Rio, and $200 for 4 Aces on a Double-Double Bonus game at Paris.

    Jen didn’t have much luck on the video slots, or even VP for that matter. I keep telling her those nickel games return less than 90%, but I must admit they’re pretty fun when you make it to a bonus round.

    I actually found a $5 BJ table at MGM on Thursday afternoon. The Grand is one of the few spots left, either on the strip or downtown, where the dealer still stands on soft 17. Their BJ is also hand-shuffled, which allows for a break after every shoe. And they only have 6 spots per table, giving me some room to stretch out them tired legs! [​IMG]

    I used to play a lot of BJ out there, but the rules have tightened up too much. The only time I played on a “dealer must hit soft 17” table was at Rio last year, and by the time I realized the rule change, you guessed it…the dealer’s soft 17 turned into 20. I still pushed, but got right up and left. Gambling is frustrating enough sometimes, no need to give the house an extra edge…and I haven’t even mentioned the single deck, 6-5 BJ tables that are now everywhere!

    Food:

    This part of the trip is something I look much more forward to than Jen. I am definitely a food lover, and Vegas never lets me down in this category! While we didn’t get dressed to the nines this time and enjoy a $150 dinner, we (I) still had some good eats.

    My breakfasts were mostly spent at the Gold Coast buffet…Jen’s strictly a breakfast bagel person, so she spent her mornings in bed. [​IMG] Now Rio is known for their Carnival World Buffet, but $9.99 for breakfast is a bit much. It’s just a short walk across the street to Gold Coast, and you get the same quality of food for half the price. The Ports-O-Call Buffet offers eggs benedict, Mexican eggs, omelets cooked to order, all sorts of waffles & pancakes, fresh fruit, etc…I love starting my day with a nice leisurely breakfast while reading the paper…sure as heck beats the 5 minute bowl of cereal on the way out the door to work! We also ordered room service one morning; Jen had her bagel & cream cheese, while I had pecan waffles. Both were good and relatively warm.

    Lunches were mostly skipped or consisted of snacks, but I did have the double shrimp cocktail at Golden Gate. Usually I just get the 99-centers, but this time I got an order of the large shrimp as well. Three words for ya: mmm, mmm, mmm! Fresh, crunchy shrimp and spicy cocktail sauce…I think I could pull a Homer Simpson there and eat the Gate right out of business!

    Our dinners went something like this:
    - Sao Paulo on Sat (Rio’s 24-hour restaurant)…we both like the food there, but I was a little disappointed with the rotisserie chicken. It’s supposed to be their specialty, but was merely okay…a little on the dry side and not much flavor. Jen got the Island teriyaki chicken sandwich, which is her fav there.
    - P.F. Chang’s on Sun at Aladdin…we were both let down here. I read a lot of good reviews about this place online, but our food was blah (beef & broccoli, mango chicken).
    - Harrah’s buffet on Mon…glad we didn’t have to pay for it! I mean, the food was decent, but definitely not worth the $15.99 they charge for dinner. We had 2 coupons good for 2 buffets each, but we only used 1.
    - Spice Market Buffet on Tue at Aladdin…easily our favorite buffet. No prime rib, but the striploin roast is awesome. No peel & eat shrimp, just eat & eat shrimp! The lamb shish kebobs were juicy, and the dessert crepes…could’ve pulled another Homer here, too (mmmm, everything!).
    - Cheesecake Factory on Wed at Caesars…when I asked Jen if she wanted to go there for dinner, she said “Yeah!”…thinking we were just having cheesecake. That would’ve been fine with her, but I was hungry! I got the Renee’s special: half a turkey sandwich (which was the size of a small sub), a cup of spicy chicken & rice soup (yum), and a side salad (so big I couldn’t finish). It only cost $7.99, yet I was too full afterwards for cheesecake! We got a couple of huge slices to go, or else Jen would’ve had my head! Man, they were good…
    - Pyramid Café on Thu at Luxor…we had some leftover comp there from prior trips, so we used it. Nothing special here, but my BLT was more like BBBBBLT…a cholesterol special for sure, but an enjoyable one!

    Other fun stuff:

    We saw the Scintas one night at Rio. Definitely a great show…lasted almost 2 hours, and never dragged. This family does all sorts of musical impressions, from Sinatra & Dean Martin to the Beatles & Mick Jagger…Chrissy Scinta has a wonderful voice, while the two brothers make a great comedy duo. Would definitely see them again.

    Spent a windy Wednesday out in the desert at Red Rock Canyon. Great views of the canyons, but with the 30 MPH winds it was coldddd. Jen was excited to see a wild burro as we ended the 13-mile drive. Then we were off to Bonnie Springs, an old mining town a few miles down the road. It’s mostly a family-themed place, but the mock hanging and cheesy wax museum were fun.

    The “porno slappers” were out in full force on the strip…I even saw one wearing a fluorescent yellow t-shirt proclaiming “LIVE STRIPPERS, 555-1234!” I wanted so badly to offer the dude a ten spot for that shirt, but I figured it wouldn’t fit anyways. One of the senior slappers did show some class by hiding his hookers-for-hire cards behind his back as a family with small kids walked by. He got a golf clap for that move, but I’m sure the kids saw what at least one of the other thousand slappers was holding…

    Well that’s about it…I didn’t think the report would end up being this long, but it was a nice way for me to re-live the trip…hope you enjoyed it!

    T-300+ :( ,
    Jim
     
  2. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,838
    Location:
    Southeast of Sin City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Hey Jim...

    Thanks for the cool report. I was unaware that the MGM still had favorable BJ rules. Thanks for the update.

    Mikey
     
  3. dfense072

    dfense072 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Yeah, we were both pretty happy with MGM. Good BJ rules, low limits for the strip, nice & roomy, even smells good in there! That'll probably be our home base for the next few trips out.

    Wish there was some way I could make it to Vegas end of July and meet up with all of ya :(

    Jim
     
  4. Smarra17

    Smarra17 Poker Queen

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,810
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    Great report and thanks for the info on the Rio. I am staying there for the first time in May and planning to see the Scintas. Usually I stay at the Treasure Island but the Rio made me an offer I couldn't refuse.
     
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