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Live report - July 15 to 20 - Craps, slot golf and a road trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by jhpa, Jul 14, 2012.

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  1. jhpa

    jhpa High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    It is saturday afternoon and I just got done packing. Flight leaves Philly at 11:20 am tomorrow and I should be in Vegas by 2. Reservations at the Marriott Grand Chateau across the street from Planet HO.

    The trip will include me, my son in law (flying in from Kansas City today), SIL friend, (flying in from Dallas today), SiL's friend's father (flying in from Jersey tomorrow) and SIL's brother, (who flew in from Jersey yesterday).

    Major goal for this trip is to gamble. For me, it will be craps. Maybe a little roulette, an occassional $20 thrown into a slot machine. But I like craps and I hope to play at least 30 hours of craps this week. The boys are more into Poker and Blackjack. The other father - not sure....mostly blackjack I think.

    Other plans for the trip:
    A road trip wednesday to LA to see the Phillies play the Dodgers.

    A 12 hour slot-golf marathon. If you don't know what slot golf is, I'll be happy to provide details later. For now, suffice it to say that it involves 18 casinos, five guys, each with 18 $10 bills, and a lot of drinking.

    A visit to the spa at Aria - I love spas so I will give a full critique.

    A day hitting all of the downtown casinos.

    Adding to my casino chip collection. I now have $1 chips from 27 different casinos. I hope to add at least 25 to my collection this week.

    Some good dinners: Mon Ami Gabi sunday, Bartolatta (thursday) and Binions Steakhouse (Tuesday)

    I'll try to post each day with my win report, my restaurant reviews, and other pubblishable details from the trip.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
  2. Vegas Dave

    Vegas Dave Newbie

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    Congrats on pulling through the long wait. I know LA isn't THAT far, but to use up a day to just go there and back seems like it would be hard for me to do. Then again, I would probably do it for a Chargers game to SD and that is even farther!
     
  3. surfside

    surfside Tourist

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    casino golf

    Hey there!

    I would love to hear about casino golf..do explain!
     
  4. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    Have a great time!

    I'm looking forward to hearing about Bartolotta
    and your dining experience there.
    It's one of the restaurants on my "list".

    Slot golf sounds fun. Good luck! :beer:
     
  5. jhpa

    jhpa High-Roller

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    Slot Golf

    oops....made some corrections and reposted

    see below
     
  6. jhpa

    jhpa High-Roller

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    Slot Golf

    Here you go

    Slot Golf is a game played on slot machines. Like golf, a game consists of
    "holes" and the winner is the person with the fewest strokes over the course
    of the game. In slot golf, each "hole" is a turn at a slot machine. A
    "stroke" is a pull on a slot machine.

    Play goes as follows - for each "hole" the player puts a $10 bill in a slot
    machine. The payer bets a pre-determined number of credits and pulls the
    lever. Each pull is considered a stroke.

    * If the player wins one or more credit on the first pull, the
    player's score is 1 stroke. The player cashes out, which includes any
    remaining original credits and whatever was won on the pull. The player
    registers his score of 1 on the scorecard for the first hole and the amount
    cashed out is put into the money pot.

    * If the player wins nothing on the first pull, the player repeats
    the bet and the pull. This continues until the player wins at least one
    credit. For example, at a $.25 machine, we decide it will be a five credit hole. The player spins. Lets say that nothing is won on the first two pulls, and then
    there is a winner on the third pull for 20 credits. The player records a 3 for that hole. The player cashes out $11.25 ($6.25 are his remaining credits plus he won $5 on his winning spin) and the money goes into the pool.

    * All players play the same or identical machines. So in our case, all five players gather near one machine. The first player puts in his money and takes his turn. Then the other players take their turn.

    * This is repeated for 18 holes.

    In an ideal game, you play a hole at one casino, do some drinking, maybe
    gamble (craps, blackjack, video poker, whatever) and then move on to another
    casino and repeat. After 18 holes, the players are ranked according to their
    total score, with the winner being the player with the lowest score. The
    pool of winnings is distributed. Winnings will be divided based on a payout
    schedule determined by the number of players.

    Payout schedule - For Five Players

    * Winner gets 50%

    * Second gets 20%

    * Third gets 15%

    * Fourth gets 10%

    * Fifth gets 5%

    Our 18 holes will be as follows:

    Front nine:
    Planet Ho, Paris, Bellagio, Aria, Montecarlo, New York, ExCal, Trop, MGM,
    Back Nine:
    Venetian, Casino Royale, Harrahs, Imperial Palace, Flamingo, Bills, Ballys, Paris, Planet Ho

    Tee time is 2:30 PM. Dinner is planned at the Venetian Public House at 8:30 Expected arrival at the 19th hole is 3 AM.
     
  7. Vegas Dave

    Vegas Dave Newbie

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    Looks like 2 holes repeat, does it matter?
     
  8. jhpa

    jhpa High-Roller

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    no - we really wanted to do a loop and end up back where we began. Since we are staying at the Marriott Grand Chateau, Planet Ho is where we start and end. And Paris is convenient as well.

    It is tricky planning out the "course". You want to minimize walking and cab rides. We will take the Monorail from MGM up to Harrahs "at the turn"
     
  9. jhpa

    jhpa High-Roller

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    Sunday at 12:30
    Off to an auspicious start
    Up early (6 am)and finished packing. Showered and shaved, kissed the dog and patted my wife on the head hand headed to the airport on time. I had not finished my morning mug of tea so I put it in a cup, threw some ice cubes on top and put it in the car cup holder. After an uneventful drive to the airport valet parking lot, the driver gets in the driver seat, I get in the passenger seat to head to the airport and I reflexively put my iPhone in the cup holder. The phone was in there no more than 3 seconds before I pulled it out and dried it off, but the damage was done. The screen started flashing on and off, askingme to power off, then not powering off. I tried a call – no go. I could make a few text messages but they were very sporadic. I did get one off to my daughter to tell the others on the trip that I would be incommunicado for bit. And she also texted me the location of the nearest Apple Store to the Marriott in Vegas in Ceasars, not far) So I guess that will be my first stop on this trip after check-in.
    Oh well, it looks like my first stop at a craps table will be delayed a bit. Could be a good thing. We will never know.
    But security was a breeze and first class check in was smooth. But now I have been in the air for 30 minutes and have not gotten my first drink yet. They did bring the warm lemony towels around. But I really could use my drink. I remember a thread on this Board “when does you Vegas vacation start?” I said mine started when I got my first drink on the plane. … not yet…..

    12:45
    AHHH….my can of tonic and two little bottles of Finlandia are here! My laptop is fired up. I have two movies ready to go – Vegas Vacation and 21. But I think I need something to relax a bit. I have a great playlist with Diana Krall, the Four Freshman, Michael Buble , Josh Groban, Tierny Sutton, Il Vivo and Bernadetter Peters. Very mellow. Not really pre-Vegas music, but it is what I want right now. “Two more vodkas, sir?”. Oh yes……
    1:45
    Lunch was pretty good – chicken enchilada, rice and beans, salad, some humus and pita. Dessert was really good carrot cake and coffee. Just finished my 6th little bottle of Finlandia. Time for a nap….3 hours left on the plane….zzzz.
    3:15 (Eastern time – I guess I need to specify that)
    Nice nap. Was going to start a movie but I realized I have only 13% of battery left. Bummer. Why did just listening to music for 2 hours drain almost all of my battery on my laptop? Just checked phone- completely dead.
    Don’t worry….the rest of this trip report won’t include such minutiae.
     
  10. DotHaze

    DotHaze Tourist

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    Rough start but I'm looking forward to more! :)
     
  11. jhpa

    jhpa High-Roller

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    12:41 AM Monday
    Just back from a lot of walking and not terribly successful gambling.
    But first, about the phone.
    I got off the plane, gathered my bags and got a taxi to the Marriott Grand Chateau. Arrived at 2:30 and the room was not ready. So I grabbed the free shuttle to the Fashion show mall to hit the apple store. While I was waiting I found a plug and got it charged. The guy checked it out and it looked like it is fine. So I blew my first 2 hours in Vegas at the Fashion Show Mall. Pretty incredible mall – if you don’t mind spending your time in vegas at a mall. Not my idea of a good use of precious time. (I also found that –in that massive mall – there is no place that sells shoelaces!)
    Got back to the Condo at 4:30 and my friends had already checked in. Gorgeous place, but not much of a view from only the eighth floor. We did go up to the rooftop pool and bar for a drink. Gorgeous! And the weather is incredible. Last time, yo could not stay up there for more than 10 minutes before getting burned to a crisp. Yesterday it was almost chilly. I am sure it was in the low nineties, but a nice breeze.
    We headed out for our first excursion about 5:30. We walked down to MGM. I hate that stretch of the strip, especially on this side. . I had separated from my friends, planning to meet for 7 PM dinner at Mon Ami Gabi. Lost a little it back at craps at MGM, won to Trop, lost again at Monte Carlo. I think this was my first time in there….nothing to write home about. Took the tram up to Bellagio. I love that tram. It makes you feel like you are riding in a space craft with the Jetsons. I love the way it weaves in and out of the tall very modern building of the city center. It is much more impressive in the daytime than at night. Finally Got over to Paris just at 7 PM. Friends were no where to be found
    Via text message, I found out they were at Hooters. Ran into a hot blackjack table and did not want to leave. I sat at the bar and had a great dinner alone. Not disappointed at all. That is Vegas. Dinner was onion soup (absolutely the best I have ever had: sweet , rich broth, nice layer of cheese on top. ) and a thinly pound chicken breat grilled with herbs and lemon. A Blue Moon and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Very nice bartender to keep me company.
    After that, it was a successful run at blackjack at Paris- I am not usually a blackjack fan, but enjoyed this one. Dealer was chatty. Told an interesting tidbit: he says that dealers are allowed to keep whatever is left at the table if it is not claimed within 30 days. Wallets, cameras – anything but cell phone. He said the casino keep the cell phones and will switch out the sim card and re-use them for their emploiyees. Does anyone believe that?
    After Paris, I headed over to Bills. Still my favorite place for relaxed, rowdy craps. Had some good shooters. Nice drink service….I was craving something cold so I had a Strawberry Daquiri…yummy…then three more. A bunch of kids from a bachelor party were keeping things lively. The problem was it wa only a $5 table so I did not make much profit.
    Next I hit the Bellagio. I usually like playing there, with some of the nicest eye candy on the strip. But it was 10 PM and the craps tables were kind of dead. Bought in at an empty table and quickly lost my buy in. Walked to another table with two people playing. Nothing. I was down to about $50 of my second buy in and got a little pissed at the dealer. I had been playing at the table for about 20 minutes. Me and only two other players who were not betting much. I was always playing the same….$10 pass line with single odds, and two place bets. On one come out roll, there was a craps. I had been getting a drink from the waitress and missed replacing my $10. The shooter then set the point and immediately made the point – so I missed out on one of the few winners of the session. I said to the dealer “ I kind of wish you would have mentioned to me that I did not have a pass line bet”. He started giving me major attitude about how he can’t keep track of my bets. I said “hey, no big deal. But I have been at many tables where the dealers remember your basic bets and reminds you when you miss it” . He then kept it up say after each roll “hey, you don’t have a bet on the four or the nine, do you want that? How about a bet on the hard 8?” He was not being playful, just really nasty. I colored up and left.
    Really soured me on what used to be my favorite high end place to play.
    So I was ready to head to the barn – about 11 – when I stopped into the Cosmopolitan. What a nice place. I was down to the last $100 of my daily gaming budget and was just going to take it back and add it to the next days stake. I found an empty blackjack table ($15) with a cute, friendly dealer. We talked for a but and then I decided to buy in. Really nice time (although it was a 6-5 table). Had a couple of appletinis. At one point, a couple sat down and joined us , and then a very attractive young lady sat down as well. We had a good time, although the young lady was just a little too opinionated about everyone else’s mode of play. The guy to my right was deviating from basic strategy a little too much for her liking. She was betting $50 per hand or more, and last a few hundred. She stomped away saying what a bad table it was. I colored in with my same $100, after an hour of entertainment and a couple of not too bad drinks.
    Headed back to the room to crash. Had $100 of my budget left – so I consider that a win for the day!
    Tomorrow: Spa in the morning and slot golf until dawn
     
  12. bighouse304

    bighouse304 Tourist

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    Looking forward to more! Here's hoping for some better luck!
     
  13. sammowhammo

    sammowhammo VIP Whale

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    Van's has shoelaces for sneakers & Nordstroms has mens dress shoelaces.
     
  14. ButterflyMtn

    ButterflyMtn High-Roller

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    slot golf sounds like fun!
     
  15. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    We live for minutiae.
     
  16. Drambler

    Drambler High-Roller

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    The more details the better..

    I'm definitely stealing your slot golf idea for my next trip. Thanks for coming up with it.
     
  17. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    Keep the report coming. Your report helps the wait.:beer::beer: We leave Saturday morning for LV.
     
  18. jhpa

    jhpa High-Roller

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    Tuesday Morning - 8:20 Vegas time

    I can’t believe I am awake. Got in after 5 AM and in bed just before 6. Two hours of sleep must seem like enough for my body.

    Yesterday began with some uneventful craps at Planet Hollywood and then Aria. Aria kind of pissed me off. I had gone through the motions of getting a line of credit set up – all I had to do was go in and sign for it. I like to use lines of credits as free ATM machines in Vegas. When I got to the credit office, they had not heard of me. So I had to wait through while they gathered the information from their sister property. Pain in the butt.

    At 8:30 I went up to the Aria Spa. It was a very very good experience. You enter the first floor of the spa where the retail area is and where the gym is. The gym is good with a lot of cardio and a decent selection of weights. I used the gym for a not overly strenuous 40 minute workout. The spa itself – locker facilities, treatment rooms is up one floor via a private elevator. The men’s locker room is excellent. A quiet haven amid Vegas hustle. I am sure the women’s is the same. When you check in you can put your valuables in a safe deposit box. The you are given the robe and sandals. The lounge area has coffee, juices, fruit and little munchies (honey peanuts and honey-mustard pretzel nuggets – 0dd). T

    The wet area has a great steam room with strong eucalyptus oil. As an aside, someone has to invent a quiet steam generator. You sit in this steam room, relaxing and almost falling asleep to the sounds of the wood flute playing on the sound system. Then every three minutes it sounds like an F-14 is doing a flyover as the steam kicks in. Although maybe that is to keep you from falling asleep in there.

    Anyway, there were four small bubbly pools, three of them kept at 103 degrees and one kept about 60. Unfortunately, there was no signs on them to say which was which so you had to do trial and error. Yeow.

    Througout the spa were multiple very comfy lounge chairs and sofas. I also tried the salt meditation room. It had some fairly comfortable chairs – reminded me of the chairs in my dentist office. Not sure I could appreciate the effects of the salt walls, but I will take their word for it. There was also access to the outside balcony which had maybe 8 or 10 lounges next to what looked like a long skinny bubbly pool. I did not partake. The shower facilities were good and the sink area had lots of razors and foams and other products of which I partook (Is that a word?)

    My massage was at 11 and was excellent - one of the bests I ever had. Afterwards, I rested a bit and got dressed and left about 12:30. Four hours of wonderful relaxation.

    I grabbed an unremarkable sand which from a bar at the Miracle Mile and got back to the room to prepare for slot golf. I will continue that part of the report later. It will take a while ot write. A lot to cover ina 14 hour trek that hit 18 casinos and ended just before 4 in the morning
     
  19. Kimsa70

    Kimsa70 High-Roller

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    Great report thus far! Looking forward to hearing about slot golf.
     
  20. jhpa

    jhpa High-Roller

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    Slot Golf
    We met up at Planet Ho for the first tee at 2:30. We each played our $10 and were off.
    I am not going to give you the hole by hole thing – first of all, it might bore you to death. Secondly, as I write this two morning s later, some of the details were fuzzy. Instead, I think I will just bullet the most memorable parts of the soujourn.

    • We spent a total of $900 on slot golf ($180 per person and there were 5 of us). At the end of the day, we had $812.80 in the pot. It could have been a lot better. We never really hit any really good payouts. I think the largest payout was about $40.

    • We played all different denominations of machines. A couple of penny slots where we bet $2 a spin, some $.50 machines for 2 units and mostly $.25 machines s with 3 and 5 units. So the max on the holes ranged from 6 to 15.

    • Some machines seemed so damn easy win one or two units. Good for the score, but not much for adding to the pot. A couple of holes, we all scored one or two. Then there were holes when nothing hit. One was at the Casino Royale. We hit there about midnight. Two of the people had the max score of 15 while the others hit after 4, 6 and 8 strokes. It was on the 13th hole at Imperial Palace, 4 of us had holes in one and one guy had an 11. That is what can make the game fun. When you pick the machine and set the betting units so you have a possibility of a high score, it can really allow for some separation among the players.

    • Drinking is a huge part of the round. Realize that it only takes about 2 or 3 minutes to actually play the hole. This is not long enough to get a drink at the machine. So we would head over to craps table, Blackjack table or roulette when we were done each hole. Buy in for $100 and play until we ordered and received a drink. Sometimes we would continue for 30 minutes or more filling up on beer or Vodka and cranberry. We also made stops at some bars Olives in Bellagio – I love that place – for a round of five nice cold appletinis about 4 PM, at a frozen drink place in Aria (it was a pretty hot day so the frozen margherrita was appreciated) – at Cayote Ugle for a buy one get one Blue Moon during Happy hour. We actually paid for very few drinks, mostly we got them at the tables.

    • My friend D and I were successful getting $1chips from all the casinos we played to add to our collection.

    • We found a very very fun dealer at a roulette table at the Trop. We stayed there a good 45 minutes. And had about four rounds of drinks with him. I was playing my usual set of numbers (3,6,9, 14,23,27) which are the birthdays of my wife, I and our two kids. ^ hit three times and 8 once in that span, so I made a nice profit. (Remember – any money you make on this play does not go into the pot.)

    • I continued to have a cold feeling about the Bellagio. Very disappointing.

    • We took the tram from the Bellagio to Aria. It is not the best way to go if you want to be efficient with time. A lot of walking through the back halls. But I love the actual ride. It always makes me feel like you are in the “spaceship” in the opening scene of the Jetsons , weaving in and out of the modern buildings of the City Center. I hope at least someone remembers the reference.

    • At the end of the front nine, we took the monorail from the MGM to the Venetian. We had 8:30 reservations for dinner at the Public House. We had to keep calling and puching back the reservation. We did not get there until 9:45. It seemed like a nice, but we all needed a break from the drinking. We had a nice dinner – I would give it about a B+. I had a very nice salad with greens, fennel, blue cheese, figs and a vinegarette. My boneless short ribs were delicious , but they were not kidding about the short part. I do not think it was more than 3 ounces of meat. Delicious, with a great sauce and a pea puree. But It would not have made for a satisfying appetizer.

    • Scores after the front nine were me in the lead at 19 strokes, D with 29, J with 28, Mr G with 35 and M with 43.

    • The backnine travelled a lot less distance. The front nine went across to Bellagio, Down to Excal, across to Trop and MGM. The back nine was a straight shot from the Venetian back down to the Planet HO. A lot less walking so more time for additional gaming and drinking.

    • We started the back nine about 11. The Venetian had high minimums so we did not play there except to get our $1 chips.

    • We took a lot of time at the Harrahs and some of the folks chilled out in the Keno room. A great place when you want to conserve your $$$ and drink. I did not – I found a very friendly craps table and had a fun time. Turned $200 into $300.

    • The best gambling I had was at the Imperial Palace at about 1 AM. It was going to be just a quick hit – play the hole and leave. But someone had to hit the bathroom and I bought into a hot hot crps table. It was filled with some really colorful players. I boughtin between two craps virgins, at least one a very fun gay woman (self proclaimed) and another tall black haired woman. I love helping to teach the game to newbies and they were well into their drinks. The shooter was a tattooed guy at the other end who just kept rolling. Along the way, we were joined by a beautiful blond who said she was Sweden named Ulrica. I am not sure if she was a hooker or not, but she was friendly as hell. Chatting her up was a lot of fun too. I had bought in for only $100 thinking I would cash out quickly adding a chip to my collection. Instead I stayed almost 30 minutes and turned my $100 into $350.

    • This brings up an interesting challenge of slot golf. It can be difficult keeping the five players together – in fact, you don’t want to. After you play the hole, you often go off in different directions with a time and place to meet. But you know gambling – you buy into a hot shoe or hit a hot shooter, one person might be “stuck” (a good thing) while the others are ready to leave. Cell phones and an understanding group is a necessity.

    • We rolled into Planet Ho and played our last hole on the Hangover Machine. Now I hate slot machine – I just do not see the attraction – but when I feel like throwing away $20 I will hit that machine.

    • We sat down at Planet Dailies – the 24 hour restaurant at Planet Ho at 4:30. We added the score and counted the pot . Final scores – M 78 (won $40). Mr G ($81), D ($181), J(212) and ME THE WINNER (with $406 of the pot)

    • We ordered some breakfast and headed back to the rooms. Crawled into bed about 5:00.

    My next post will be about out field trip to LA for the Dodgers / Phillies game and working our way back hitting the casinos along I -15.
     
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