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Laughlin/Vegas Four Unsupervised Guys

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by pauldixon, Sep 16, 2012.

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  1. pauldixon

    pauldixon Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Asbury, Iowa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70

    My Trip Report

    Laughlin/Las Vegas Guy’s Trip

    We decided that a perfect way to celebrate fall would be a trip to Nevada to see if gambling was still legal. Our wives were not able to come so this was just us four gentlemen seeking free food, free drinks, decent gambling and perhaps a win or two.

    From Iowa, there are options to get to Vegas but they often involve a layover. We then saw that one of the Laughlin Riverside’s junkets was planning to fly out of Dubuque to Laughlin on a late Friday to Monday stretch that worked well with our plans. We had one semi Vegas Virgin (SVV) with us and were anxious to share the value that Vegas can provide with coupons, comps and careful gaming.

    The flight was scheduled for an afternoon departure so we all were able to get in a day’s work prior to leaving. I was happy to shed my suit and put on my Vegas-wear. We were in fine spirits at the airport and boarded what was a pretty full flight on the Sun Country Charter. It seemed like we had barely taken off when the pilot announced some warning lights were on and we would be landing in Minneapolis to change planes.

    We had a two hour unplanned stop and we were given ten dollar food vouchers which almost but not quite covered one of those premade sandwiches and bottle of water in the deli.

    Part of our plan was to spend the night in Laughlin and then take off in the morning in a rental car however I saw that I wouldn’t be in town before the Hertz people closed up. Oh well.

    The Riverside charters are a nice package that includes air and room for about $300. The flight actually arrives across the river in Bullhead City, Arizona and they provide a bus to get you to the Riverside. We didn’t plan on actually staying at the Riverside since we much prefer the Aquarius. Our host had set us up with a two bedroom suite and two other nearby rooms. We walked over to the Aquarius and checked in. We were a bit tired but no- not too tired to fire up some Video Poker and guzzle a cocktail. VPFree2 listed triple play dollar 9/6 JOB in the high limit area however I couldn’t find it. We took our SVV over to the quarter JOB and coached him through a few sessions. He had VP for Winners software and had practiced to a reasonable state of competency.

    We grabbed a bite in the Café as travel soon caught up with us and we hit the rooms for some snooze time.

    We were up early to use the comp our host had written us for breakfast. We checked out and cabbed over the airport to pick up our rental. I had a three day special from Hertz for just over $94.00 I declined the accident insurance, the GPS, the fuel option, reversible floor mats, custom glove box, platinum aerial and a full menu of other choices designed to pump the price up and grabbed the keys to a Nissan Maxima. Actually key is not correct as it was one of those proximity fobs where you press a button to start the car.

    I enjoy the ride from Laughlin to Vegas- other than the dreary patch known as Searchlight, Nevada where the speed limit goes to 25 from 75 in a short amount of time. Searchlight provides ample opportunity to meet members of their law enforcement community but I saw the speed limit signs in time to slow down.
    Our first stop was the Gold Coast where we hunkered down on the video poker- Jacks for most of our crew and NSUD for me. As the driver, I had to ignore the alluring call of “cocktails” and felt virtuous- thirsty but virtuous.

    We wanted to earn 200 points to qualify for the free every Saturday video poker contest and each of us did. We all went over to “tournament alley” and played our sessions.
    I was pretty pleased with my score in the mid 2,000s. My companions were unfortunately in the high hundreds and clearly out of the money.

    Time to head over to the casino we were actually staying at- The Stratosphere .

    Our host has always taken good care of us. We were all on the top (24th) floor of the Select Tower in separate rooms. Not suites but clean and more than suitable for our purposes.

    We decided that we would unpack and then play video poker at the sports bar- my favorite location to watch football, play dollar 8/5 bonus poker and drink beer.

    I put in my card and checked the pay table……………what? 7/5 crappy 98%? I checked other machines- all 7/5. I then went over to the high limit area where they have Airport Deuces; however they had also suffered although the return is very similar to airport deuces. We checked machines all over the casino however it was like some barbarian horde of scrooges had massacred all the playable video poker in the place. I was seriously bummed but had encountered this phenomenon many times in the past. You get yourself established somewhere – comfortable with the offers and games, and whammo- things change for the worse.

    This was even more pronounced since the Gold Coast had playable video poker everywhere. We hit Roxys Dinner, scarfed some lunch, and headed off to Fremont Street so our SVV could enjoy the spectacle. First stop was Main Street Station for some high roller gold at the bar and some 9/6 JOB.

    Properly lubricated for the long journey, we waltzed up the street to the Plaza and crossed into the circus that is Fremont. Bands are blaring, people are milling around everywhere and oh look at the dealers at the Golden Gate!

    We sit down for some beer and black jack and then go the Four Queens. More video poker and then on to the D (Fitzgeralds) where we each get $3 for signing up for cards. We go upstairs and play it through and one of our group got their buy in up to $10 and cashed out. Score!

    It is getting late by now and we decide to go back to the Strat and play black jack for a while before calling it a night.

    As usually happens when I am in Vegas, my sleep needs shrink to about four hours. I bounce up and go down to Starbucks to bring my caffeine level up to a therapeutic dose. Once both eyes start to focus in the same direction, I do another VP inventory check and they are indeed all lowered to unplayable levels. I play a little more blackjack and wait for my hibernating companions to arise and join me for breakfast at Roxys. ACEPlay, the slot club shared between the Strat, both AZ Charlie’s and The Aquarius was recently improved- which meant my old comp dollar balance needed to be used up so we paid for things with points rather than charge them to the room as we usually do.

    We decided to back to the Gold Coast and see how we did at the VP tournament. I was a $25 winner- thank you very much and everyone else was out of the money as they figured.

    Some of our group wanted to watch football at the bar but I found some dollar NSUD uprights and fired up some hundreds. About thirty minutes into my session I hit a royal in spades for a nice $4,000 score. Don’t you enjoy that post royal prepay moment where the machine is warbling out the music, strangers are stopping by to gawk and offer congratulations and you snap a couple of pictures to memorialize the event. I text my buds with the cryptic phrase, “royal” and they text back congratulations. A wad of hundreds soon graces my palms and we all decide to sit at the bar and watch sports, drink beer and play dollar jacks.

    We line up, order a round of Heinekens and divide our attention between football and video poker.
    We’ve been at it for about an hour when lightening hits again, I get another Royal again in spades.
    I exchange high fives with my group and several bar patrons while waiting for my second pile of benjamins. Obviously I am now a brilliant video poker player whose mastery of button pushing has reached an incredible level.

    I decide to move into the casino and go back to dollar deuces and hit four deuces for what seems like a paltry $1,000. My pockets are bulging and we decide it is time to go back to the Stratosphere. I feed some of my winnings into the dismal machines with predictable results- bye bye buy in.

    We want to take of SVV on a tour of the strip although start by sticking our heads into a casino near the Stratosphere called the Aztec Inn. For some reason we imagined that this would be a fascinating dive bar but it is actually very quiet with some video poker and a small fast food type restaurant. There is a guy selling smokes out of a little booth as you go in but not much more.

    We take a cab to the strip and hit the Bellagio fountains, snap a few pictures inside Caesars Palace, take the tram to Aria, walk across the street and end up at the Flamingo’s Margaritaville. We decide on a late lunch and I get the pulled pork sandwich that is very good. We wash it all down with a bucket of Corona’s and enjoy the show. There are Jimmy Buffet videos playing, guys on stilts dressed like boat captains and even better, Margaritaville Girl who slides into a large glass filled with water near the bar.

    It is entertaining stuff but we are starting to fade a bit. It is back to the Strat for some blackjack at the double down pit but this is 6:5 so I cash out and hit my room. I have another trip planned in October and had thought I would base out of the Strat again- obviously time to reconsider.

    No more big wins and it is suddenly time to drive back to Laughlin. As usual, it seems like we had just arrived and now we have to start to get ready to go home. We arrive at the Aquarius and play for a while at the Cove Bar. I like this place because you can duck outside for a quick breath of non-smoke polluted air.

    We gather our stuff, turn in the car and go to the airport for the unremarkable trip back home.

    We did make progress however since our SVV asked me, “When can we go back?”
     
  2. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the great trip report. What did you think of that airport? Takeoff and landing a real jet there can be tricky.
     
  3. jack1057

    jack1057 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Great report. We have gone in and out of Bullhead several times and it sure beats the zoo at McCarran
     
  4. Vladimir

    Vladimir Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
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    Location:
    United Kingdom
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    9
    Great TR.

    Nice to see one about the Strat and of course the Aztec Inn. Stayed at the Strat 5 times and only noticed it last time I was there!

    Glad to hear you came out a winner as well!
     
  5. Dpin300

    Dpin300 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Pics of the royals or they didn't happen :wink2:
     
  6. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    When I posted the above, I didn't know that they had extended the runway a few years ago. I flew into there before the extension and the largest jet that was allowed was a 737 and it needed all of the runway to stop. I'm glad that they fixed it.
     
  7. ant1433

    ant1433 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
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    Location:
    nj
    Never been to Laughlin. How long is the drive to Vegas. Think I might try it.
    Thanks.
     
  8. gongoman

    gongoman MIA

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2012
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    Location:
    Long Beach,In
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    15
    Thanks for trip report:beer:
     
  9. catman

    catman Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
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    Kentucky
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    1.5 to 2 hour drive depending where you start from.
     
  10. pauldixon

    pauldixon Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
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    Location:
    Asbury, Iowa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Posting pix

    I would be happy to post the pictures but I'm a bit clueless on how to do it.
    Any advice appreciated and I will post the pictures of my royals.

    Thanks,

    Paul
     
  11. CIrvine

    CIrvine Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Congrats on the two Royals!
     
  12. Reed

    Reed High-Roller

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    Two royals within a couple of hours? Nice score!
     
  13. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Congrats on the Royals!!:eek:
     
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