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Living the Vegas Suite Life - Encore and the 2x HANDPAY ATTACK! + Pics/Video Project

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by ssfblue, Mar 14, 2009.

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  1. ssfblue

    ssfblue Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    The Bay Area
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20

    My Trip Report

    Corny and dumb title but who cares! The trip was AWESOME!

    DISCLAIMER: There are probably lots of spelling/grammar errors.

    This is a long, long post so skip to your favorite category if you'd like!

    CATEGORIES (Sequential Order): INFO, FLIGHT, HOTEL, FOOD, GAMING PREFACE, GAMING, FINAL STATS, TIDBITS, PICTURES (SLIDESHOW LINK), VIDEO

    INFO

    Dates: March 9-12, 2009
    Flight To: Virgin America - San Francisco to Las Vegas
    Flight Back: Virgin America - Las Vegas to San Francisco
    Hotel: Mirage - March 9-10 / Encore March 10-12
    Trip Bankroll: $1100

    FLIGHT

    I was delayed going to Vegas for a little over an hour because of high winds but it wasn't that bad. The descent into Vegas was a little bit jarry, which didn't help my fear of flying much.

    I flew First Class (first time ever) and found that VA is simply the BEST domestic carrier out there, hands down. I was able to get the First Class bump for free from a friend. The amenities of this airlines is simply unmatched by other carriers and I am very lucky for VA to have their hub in San Francisco.

    Because it was a short haul flight, there wasn't a full on gourmet meal like there are on long-haul flights but I got whatever snacks and drinks I wanted gratis and this cute little red box filled with three tiny courses. A mixed salad with yogurt, a cous cous salad with artichoke, and a delicious chocolate pudding. These three "mini-courses" were served in one of those shot-glass cups that restaurants serve "dessert-shots" in. I was really hungry so I ordered up a snack and got myself a mojito and Cranberry-Vodka. It was definitely yum-yum.

    The flight back, I only flew Main Cabin Select, which is essentially the business class of VA. You don't get the reclining massage chair or that red box I spoke of, but you still got lots of leg room and free food/drinks. Hell, even their Economy tier is still great! Leather seats, complimentary non-alcoholic drinks, access to the on-board entertainment system... VA is definitely the way to fly!

    The weather in Vegas, to me, was perfect. It was not a bite-your-ass cold like you get in December, and it wasn't a melt your body hot like in the Summer. It was very mild, much like what I get in San Francisco, which I love.

    HOTEL

    The Mirage

    I was staying here for their Slot Tournament. I got three nights free but also had two nights free at the Encore. My friends would be coming in the following day and I let them have the room, so long as they bought me dinner. :)

    The room was pretty damn good. It for sure was recently renovated and it had a very upscale and modern feel. The bed was comfy and the TV was flat and large, just the way I like it. The bathroom is a little bit small, but I understand the reason for that as the hotel is now one of the older joints on the Strip. The toilet flushed with gusto and the shower was hot with decent pressure.

    The overall design of the hotel is excellent with lots of connectivity options installed on their dresser/desk. I had a view of the strip and it was definitely a beauty at night.

    Unfortunately, stupid me got too lazy to take pictures but I am sure you can find them on flickr.

    The Encore @ The Wynn

    Now, this has to be hands-down the best hotel I have EVER been to. While I still prefer to stay at Bellagio because of the Fountain View rooms, this hotel, by luxury and design is unmatched. The beauty of the hotel, both inside and out is staggering, with use of very bold and contrasting colors. I was even impressed by their elevators!

    The room was simply awesome. One thing I loved was the fact that I no longer had to worry about putting some bookmark on the door to claim privacy. Now all I have to do is press a privacy button, located both in the foyer and next to the bed. One press will give me my privacy. I love the idea of putting the button by the bed because if I'm gettin' hot and heavy with my bud, pressing the button next to the bed is the sexiest way to go... and it was VERY VERY useful on this trip. :)

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    .... This is right by the bed so if the bed's a rockin' don't come a knockin'!

    The lights in the room were also controlled through those control panels in the foyer and bedside which made everything that much easier and extravagant. The room was huge (to me) as well as the bathroom. Hell, they even had a TV in the bathroom! Nothing new I suppose but it was the first time I have seen one in the john. Their shower has to be the BEST shower I have ever experienced in any hotel. The pressure was beyond excellent and they had a separate attachment that you can use (that's connected to a hose). At home, my shower head is connected to a hose so this was definitely a touch of home, which in my opinion, makes a hotel even better. The view I had was a strip view and it made for a very interesting light show.

    Check out the pictures below for a full picture gallery of the rooms. Please click each one to see a larger version.

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    ENTERTAINMENT

    My room. Nuff said.

    FOOD

    I personally am not much of a food connoisseur... I tend to like the cheaper side of eating so there aren't any fine dining reviews here.

    TERRACE POINTE CAFE @ THE WYNN (DINNER)

    On my first night there, I went out with a cousin that lived in the area, We went around town and ended up eating at the Terrace Pointe Cafe at the Wynn. My intention was to have some of their pancakes, as I have been told that they have one of the best in the world, so I had to see for myself. Unfortunately for me, I didn't realize that they weren't like the run of the mill Denny's where most food is served all day. Since my cousin and I were already there, we decided to eat there anyway.

    For appetizers, we had the Pot Stickers, and man were they delicious. The tangy soy dipping sauce was perfect and it served as a great starter. My cousin had the Wynn burger with fries and I had a Philly Cheese Steak with no mushrooms and salad as my side.

    Let me tell you... while the salad was good, it was a mistake. I should have gotten fries because their fries are GOOD (as I tasted from my cousin's dish). There was something different about their ketchup... I think it might have been homemade, but I was uncertain.

    For dessert, we shared a big slice of carrot cake and it was delicious, but not my favorite of all time.

    MIRAGE IN-ROOM DINING

    I tend to make it a tradition for myself to order some in room dining at the hotels I stay at. It's fun to eat in a room with my man their and just my shorts on. We both just got appetizers...

    Me: Asian Appetizer Platter with Chicken Satay, Pot Stickers, and something else I don't remember. The dipping sauce for the Pot Stickers was waaaaay too salty and my meal wasn't particularly great. My boy got some buffalo wings. I took one of his wings and thought was was pretty good.

    THE BELLAGIO BUFFET

    Because I supplied my incoming friends with a room, they took us out to dinner. I have eaten before at Wynn's buffet and thought they were the best... and I think Bellagio's buffet is great, but a slight underdog to the Wynn.

    Personally, I don't think that my opinion should matter too much because I can't eat seafood, which is probably the ingredient that can make or break a buffet. For me, everything I had at Bellagio's buffet was excellent... from the tasty Prime Rib to the slices of pizza.

    For me, any buffet that has creme brulee get's an A++ in my book. THey had it and I loved it! The Wynn also had it, and I must say that theirs was better.

    TERRACE POINT CAFE @ THE WYNN (BREAKFAST)

    My man was dead tired from the night before so I made the trek from our room at the Encore down to the Cafe on my own... I HAD to have those pancakes!!! I sat at the bar and the bartender was very friendly. All I had were pancakes and sausage... no eggs.

    The pancakes were a THICK stack of four and they were excellent. Just a little bit crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside. The serving was so large that I could only chow down half of it. The sausage was good but nothing to write home about. By the end, I was a full man and decided to take a nap afterwards.

    IN-ROOM DINING @ THE ENCORE

    While my man hit the night scene with my friends, I stayed back. I am not a club/bar type of person so I decided to fulfill my tradition and order in-room dining. I got myself some fries, buffalo wings, BLT, and a cheesecake.

    There is something about the fries that The Wynn/Encore make. The fries I had at Terrace Pointe Cafe were skinny fries and the in-room dining ones were thicker. Both of them were frakking EXCELLENT! These were seriously some of the best tasting fries I have had in a while.

    The buffalo wings were cooked to perfection... crispy, spicy and flavorful. The BLT was just okay in my opinion. Nothing too spectacular... I've had one at South Point and they seriously have one of the best BLT's I have ever had. The cheesecake was off the hook. Ordering in-room dining desserts, in my experiences, have been a VERY fancy affair. Like usual, the dessert was dressed up and lookin' fancy. Whatever that red thing was on top of it was good (see picture).

    PREFACE TO GAMING

    This is a recollection of my trip to South Point in September 2008 and December 2008. This preface will serve as a mini TR since I never got around to writing a full TR.

    There was a time in September of 2008 where I went to the South Point on a solo trip (cuz I needed to get away from people for a bit). To put things short, this trip was the luckiest trip I have ever gone on in Vegas. Everywhere I went, I won. I never had a handpay (GOOD!) and the largest jackpot I won was $1100 from a PENNY MACHINE! It was one one of those Press Your Luck community Bonus machines... where there is like a bank of four machines with a big screen on top. The more and faster you bet, the higher your Bonus multiplier goes. I was playing by myself and reached a bonus called Trip of a Lifetime, to which my multiplier was set at 10x. The bonus game was the one where there are a bunch of vacation destinations... each city with their own progressive which your multiplier applies. I believe there were five or six cities, each city holding their own progressive, then the screen would randomly select your "Trip of a Lifetime." During the bonus, I landed on the progressive that paid out $110 multiplied by my multiplier; thus, winning about $1100!!!!! That one was the highest one on the machine and it was amazing! I wonder sometimes that if I wasn't alone, would I have gotten the same thing?

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    Press Your Luck Big Event Example

    Anyway, in addition to that jackpot, I played the Penny Wheel of Fortune machine... the one with that gigantic Wheel in the middle. I hit the 10000x TWICE! I usually bet max so my Line Bet was 5. So 10000x5=50000 Pennies = $500!!! And I hit it TWICE!

    THEN, in the $5 Wheel of Fortune Machine, I hit a Red 7-7-7, within 4 spins and got $1000 then after 3-5 more spins, got the Bonus Spin feature and hit $750. I don't usually play $5 machines, but I figured that I had some extra money, why not try it out, and BAM... $1750 in two different jackpots. I needed someone there to hit me to see if I was dreaming because I definitely thought I was dreaming.

    So the rest of the stay at South Point included some smaller winnings... a few hundred on Star Wars (!) Machines... Those WMS Zeus games... I just kept winning and I loved EVERY MINUTE of it!

    Then, I went back in December with my family but stayed on the Strip. I went to South Point for a night and ended up winning $1000 on their Wheel of Fortune $1 machines during the bonus feature.

    I just can't believe the luck that I have over at South Point... for one thing, their hotel, food, and services are EXCELLENT with a variety of things to do.

    Anyway, that's all for the preface, now onto my SECOND BEST GAMING TRIP EVER!!!


    GAMING

    March 9, 2009

    Okay, Mirage SUCKS. They have several slot machines that I like (but with no WoF to be found) but I just was not doing well AT ALL. During my one night there, I burned through more than HALF of my bankroll! I swear that my luck over at the Mirage SUCKS!

    I just couldn't win anything on their slots and table games.

    March 10, 2009

    SO there I was, on my last $200. I played some $25 BJ and was up for a bit then had a losing streak. What I love about the Wynn/Encore is that they have ALL of my favorite slot machines, including newer versions like Zeus II and stuff. Several of my favorites were all in one place... Star Trek, Wizard of Oz, Dirty Harry, Monopoly, etc. I played all of them and finally ended up on this Monopoly machine called Up Up and Away.

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    Monopoly up Up and Away

    So after playing for several minutes (Max Bet), I hit the bonus round. The way the bonus works on here is different than most. Most games require one to hit the bonus icons scattered 3 times around the reels. This particular game needs three Bonus Symbols to happen on any payline consecutive. Sometimes, there are 3 bonuses stacked on top of each other. For me, I had 9 bonus symbols stacked 3x3 and it activated pretty much on ALL paylines. Each time the bonus is activated on the payline, you get 1 "shot" in the main bonus. I apparently activated 20 (!) paylines with the bonus and thus received 20 shots! Each shot will trigger a payout or extra bonus game that you will see on top of the machine.

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    One of the feautred Bonus Games of Monopoly. Again, at one point, I was able to turn ALL of those tiles until it ended that particular bonus.

    Now, one of my favorite things about slot machines are the bonuses... and this particular machine has SEVERAL bonuses. You can only get to the other bonuses through the main bonus game and I got to ALL OF THEM!!!! At one point, I reached an extra bonus round where I had to pick tiles and receive a prize until I picked the tile that ended that particular bonus. I opened ALL OF THEM until I hit the last one which ended my bonus. THAT WAS SOOOO AWESOME!! There were a couple people behind me sayin, "OH SHIT" or "WOW!"

    How lucky was I to be able to play every single type of bonus game on that machine? It was the BEST. I ended up with about 104900 Pennies!!!! Because I inserted a voucher worth over $300, I needed to be hand payed. At first, the slot attended tried to dupe me into getting a W2-G form but I was like, NO NO!! The jackpot was UNDER $1200... about $350 of it was mine. After a few minutes, I and people around me convinced her that we were right and I got hand paid.

    THAT WAS MY FIRST HANDPAY EVER!!!! It was definitely an exciting experience.

    Anyway, after that, I played a little bit more then decided to go to bed. Little did I know it was about 4 in the morning but oh well, I had a GREAT TIME!

    Around 9:30am, I woke with my man next to me. I tried to wake him up for breakfast but he was dead tired so I decided not to force it. I went down to Wynn-side, ate some breakfast, then hit the floor. I found this new Wizard of Oz machine that I have never seen before.... it was like those monopoly ones with that really kickass transmissive reel technology. See picture:

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    Wizard of Oz Machine with Transmissive Reels

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    Close-Up Example of Transmissive Reel Technology (NOT MY PHOTO)

    So with this machine, I never hit a bonus round, but that was perfectly okay after you read this story.

    This particular machine, as seen in the picture, has multi-level progressives. There is the top progressive, which is networked across all like machines in the US. Then there are four local-progressives which at unique to the group of machines. As per usual, I was betting max and I hit the randomly generated Tornado bonus in which an animated tornado takes away one of the local progressives one by one.

    This one eliminated the Level 3 and Level 1 Progressives respectively, leaving the level 2 progressive and Top Level four progressive. Naturally, I got excited and hopeful that the Top Level prog. would be left but expectedly, the top progressive went away. BOO!!! :)

    So after a good 15-20 minutes of continuous play, the Tornado Bonus occurred again and like the first time, only the Level 2 and Top Progressive were left. At this point, after never hitting even a $100 win, I was like... yeah yeah yeah, give me the $50 one. Then while looking... BAM, I win the $1700 progressive and I am like, WTF? Man was my heart pounding! Haha, I didn't even think it was possible to get such a large payout from a penny machine, let alone all of it happening in less than 16 hours!!! Check out my win:

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    I played some Pai Gow, 3 Card Poker, Blackjack, and Roulette. I also played Craps for the first time but still have no idea what the hell I am doing so that didn't last long. I didn't do well at all at the tables with the exception of Roulette where I put $5 on 5 and hit it after 2 or 3 spins.

    I am starting to get more and more used to BJ but I just don't seem to have the luck! And for some stupid reason, I get all nervous whenever I play.

    I played for a couple hours at the Wynn Poker Room on my last night. I didn't do very well... I just couldn't get any playable hands so I decided to voluntarily go on tilt and see where my $100 buy-in went. I was so exhausted by that point, I didn't care and I had a flight in a mere 5 or 6 hours. I mean, the hands I played were rather decent but none of my cards ever up after the flop. The game was $1-$3 NL.

    I haven't played Poker in a long time so maybe I need another tutorial.

    So that concludes my TR. It was a good one... 2 handpays at the Wynn/Encore... the first ones ever. I had a great time with my man and friends. I ate well, the weather was beautiful. I couldn't have asked for more!

    FINAL STATS

    +2.7 Pounds
    +$1600 Gaming
    3000+ Wynn Points ($3 = 1pt)
    3000+ MGM Mirage Points ($1.5 = 1pt)
    1000+ Miles of Travel
    +2 Handpays (2 Lifetime)

    Anyway, check out these pictures and enjoy the video I made!!!

    INTERESTING BUT IRRELEVANT TIDBITS

    Oh and as a note, one of my absolute favorite bands is 311... I ended my trip on 3/11. Virgin America's in-flight entertainment system is called Red and Wynn's player's club card is called the Red Card. I got that monopoly bonus $1100 jackpot when my accumulated point balance on my Wynn Red Card was 777.


    SLIDESHOW

    http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=67348

    VIDEO PROJECT

     
  2. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    Great report and even better video. Thank you! :nworthy:
     
  3. alicia

    alicia Low-Roller

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    That video is AWESOME!! Great job!
     
  4. ez369

    ez369 High-Roller

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    congrats on your wins! I really enjoyed the video you put together!
     
  5. pywakit

    pywakit Low-Roller

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    What an Excellent Adventure!! Really enjoyed your pix and video.

    Will need to find those games on my upcoming trip!
     
  6. 1quick1

    1quick1 Tourist

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    Awesome trip report.

    I absolutely love that room. The colors and the sunlight coming in. Wow!
     
  7. KevinSTP

    KevinSTP High-Roller

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    Great trip report! Is that a standard Encore room or were you upgraded to something bigger?
     
  8. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the great TR and incredible photos and video!:nworthy:

    Congratulations on the wins!:beer:
     
  9. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Very good TR. I especially liked the added features.

    later, GVJ
     
  10. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    ssfblue, VERY nice TR and love the video....I do Photography and Video production as a side job....one of the best amateur (or maybe you do this professionally) videos I have seen of Vegas, love your transitions, content and choice of music! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  11. LadyRose

    LadyRose High-Roller

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    One word...... AWESOME :nworthy::nworthy::nworthy:
     
  12. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Hey nice job.

    Thanks for turning me on to that 311 song. Never heard it before.



    I'm gonna have to try the topless in room dining and see how Mrs. Flusher likes me eating in just shorts.
     
  13. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Very nice work on the vid! Watching the sun come up on the WynnLV tower was cool, although I suddenly felt dead tired...

    And congrats on the slot wins - that's awesome.
     
  14. StickyFingers007

    StickyFingers007 Namer of T2V Gatherings

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    Beautiful! That video is amazing! I'll have to say, that I can't promise I wont try to do a few of those tricks myself.

    Nice job on the slot machines! Awesome report and thanks for putting all that effort into it!

    Sticky
     
  15. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Your video is incredible!!!!!! Thank you for posting.:eek:
     
  16. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Amazing report!

    Congrats on your gambling luck. You have talked about machines I have never seen before. I will have to hunt them down!
     
  17. sunni

    sunni VIP Whale

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    Great report and nice wins ~:wave:
     
  18. nyr2

    nyr2 Tourist

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    excellent trip report :thumbsup: congrats on the great wins!
     
  19. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

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    Awesome trip report! Love the pics....tell me, how much of a bankroll did you bring with you to gamble with?
     
    40th Birthday Bash!
  20. flamingogal

    flamingogal Low-Roller

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    Awesome video!!
     
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