1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

lmondun self-indulgence II: Mystere, Ramsey Pub, Heritage Steak, L'Atelier and more

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by lmondun, Dec 12, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    75

    My Trip Report

    Recap for those who didn’t read my previous trip report: Frequent Vegas visitor and semi-regular VMB poster. This will be my second-ever trip report. As before, I’ll post it in sections, starting with the pre-trip basics.

    previous report is here, by the way:

    http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95955&referrerid=18330

    My longtime girlfriend (GF) and I have been visiting Las Vegas together from our Southern California home several times per year for more than a decade. I play $1 and $5 slots. GF plays penny slots and green chip blackjack. I’m Noir at mLife properties and Seven Stars at CET. GF tries to get by with a $1,500 bankroll for a four-night, five-gambling-day trip like this one.

    My total bankroll was [a-paltry-for-me] $6,000 for this trip, and I was dead-set on sticking to it because I was laid off from my job in July and have not yet landed full-time employment. (And, you know, also because I gambled away the equivalent of my entire unused vacation payout during our July trip to Vegas). To that end, I will again try the envelope method, which means I withdraw the full $11,000 available from my Certegy e-check account upon arrival and split $6,000 of it into envelopes based on anticipated money needed for individual gambling sessions over the next several days. At the end of each session, whatever money I have left goes back into the envelope. This time, my GF stashes the rest of the cash and the envelopes for upcoming days in the room safe and doesn’t tell me the combination, thus helping me to ward off a losing binge. She also holds my credit cards for the same reason. (And, yes, this time she remembered to take them.)

    This trip, Dec. 5-9: My GF’s sister (SB) who lives in a different part of the country is planning to fly in Friday to join us for three nights of this four-night trip. We will be driving to Vegas on Thursday with my GF’s 88-year-old mother (SM). My GF and I will stay in a one-bedroom tower suite at Mirage on a comp, and we have booked a second room there for her mother -- it's a reduced rate but not comped. My GF’s sister plans to arrive Friday and check out when we do on Monday morning. She will stay in an Augustus tower king room at Caesars on my comps.

    We pre-booked dinner reservations on Thursday at Onda (Mirage), Friday at L’Atelier (MGM), Saturday at Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak (Mirage) and Sunday at Hakkasan (MGM). We also reserved a table for lunch on Friday at Gordon Ramsey Pub (Caesars) and lunch on Saturday at China Poblano (Cosmopolitan).

    For shows, we prepaid for four tickets on Saturday to see Mystere (TI), which we had all seen previously but not in a few years. We also planned to check out the current list of free Seven Stars shows from Caesars and choose one for Sunday night.

    Up-front comps: From mLife, we had a suite at Mirage for all four nights, plus $600 in free play and $600 in dining credits. (We chose not to use our two free mLife show tickets this trip.) At Caesars, I had $500 in fp available Friday-Saturday and another $500 available Monday. We planned to go to the CET Great Gift Wrap-up event (with about $1,600 in points to be cashed in), but we had to pledge not to attend the similar Holiday Gift Shoppe event from mLife in order to get the Mirage free play. (Will talk more about this during the actual report.)

    Highlights to come: We lose a traveling companion and have to cancel a bunch of reservations. (No one dies, I promise.) Don’t eat the popcorn at Mystere. I meet a very assertive hooker. $3,200 in free play seems like a lot more than it actually is. Cowboys galore! I discover that coming home with a chunk of my bankroll IS possible – but somehow seems less fun than losing over 10 grand.

    Back in a day or two with Day One.
     
  2. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Messages:
    4,566
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    001
    Hey I was laid off from my job in June...where can I find $6000 to gamble with? LOL j/k
    Hurry up and type! I can't even wait the 2 more weeks until I go! lol
     
    Palace Tower Suite!
  3. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    75
    Well, I'm on salary continuation until January as part of my severance package, but the need-a-job-soon pressure is mounting! The first thing that I did in Vegas during this trip was to get interviewed for a new job via Skype while sitting with bags still unpacked in our hotel room. It was a surreal experience.
     
  4. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Messages:
    4,566
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    001
    Lucky you..my severance was only one-month pay, LOL...
     
    Palace Tower Suite!
  5. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,215
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    111
    Looking forward to your TR, lmondun. Nice selection of restaurants!
     
  6. RAWDAWG33

    RAWDAWG33 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    213
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    Looking forward to this one. Great intro
     
  7. dvandentop

    dvandentop VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,763
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    In for the updates
     
  8. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,636
    Location:
    Between here and there
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Can't wait to read
     
    Tentative Arrival
  9. mrstealth

    mrstealth High-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    889
    Location:
    Midwest - Sister Bay, WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    62
    I'm liking this trip report already! Can't wait to read the rest.
     
  10. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    75
    Day 1a: the job interview

    Day One: I realize that most people reading a Vegas trip report want to hear about gambling and shows and elaborate meals that border on outright gluttony, and I’ll get to all of that stuff. But our trip was immediately impacted by a couple of ancillary factors and so I’ll start with those.

    1) The weather: We had planned this trip at a convenient time for my GF’s sister (SB) to fly in from her home in another part of the country to join us. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t get the email. By Wednesday, a frigid and icy storm was making its way across the country. On Thursday, it hit SB’s hometown with a vengeance. SB’s flight was canceled. She tried to make her way to the airport to wait out the storm there in hopes of rescheduling, but the ice was so dangerous that she had to turn back. Just as we hit the road for the drive from our SoCal home to Vegas, SB called to say that she was giving up. Our party of four would have to be three for the duration: myself, my GF and her 88-year-old-but-still-very-spry mother.

    2) The interview: As a job-seeker with a looming need for income and healthcare coverage, I’m not in the position to turn down job interviews just because they aren’t convenient. So my first order of business upon arriving in Las Vegas after the uneventful drive across the desert was to be participation in a Skype discussion with four people about how I might be a good fit for an opening at their workplace. It was to be my first use of Skype, and test runs had not gone particularly well. The sound card in my personal laptop produced an annoying buzz. An iPad workaround seemed OK, though using it would mean relying on the wi-fi connection at the Mirage.

    Just in case, I went ahead and installed Skype on my smartphone, but I didn’t test it beforehand.

    We left a bit earlier than originally planned in hopes of getting checked in and settled before the interview. All was going according to plan, and we made it to Vegas about two hours before the interview. Then we made a spur-of-the-moment decision that I would come to regret.

    It was a Thursday afternoon and the weather in Vegas was chilly but pleasant. It had been almost five full months since our previous trip, and we wondered how construction projects at NYNY-Monte Carlo and at CET’s new Lync development were progressing. So we decided to take a close-up look, exiting at Russell Road and heading up the Strip toward the Mirage, looming ever-so-tantalizingly off in the distance. Traffic was a bit busier than usual at the Tropicana intersection, but we proceeded. Then it ground to a halt.

    We moved about 10 feet every five minutes.

    Crowds of people pushed toward the street from all sides. Taxi drivers nudged their vehicles sideways into narrow openings trying to move ahead but jamming up lanes behind them. Other vehicles – many of which, I confess, had California plates like ours – tried in vain to cross all the way across multiple lanes to get to their respective hotel entrances despite the bumper-to-bumper traffic. At the overpass that leads from CityCenter to Planet Hollywoo [inside joke], hordes of people stood elbow to elbow, all facing north. Something was definitely going on and we were stuck right in the middle of it.

    After about 45 minutes of inching along, we finally arrived at the scene of my growing misery: a parade of NASCAR drivers down the Las Vegas Strip. As it turned out, we were lucky in the sense that we passed by while the drivers stood next to their fancy cars, smiling and waving to the crowd, and not during the time that the Strip would actually be closed for the parade lap itself. My GF and her mother got a kick out of the scene, snapping photos and texting SB to tell her all about the mob encounter that she was missing.

    Meanwhile, I sat with gritted teeth and clenched fists as trickles of anxiety sweat ribboned their way down the steering wheel.

    Once we passed PH, traffic eased up a bit and we made it to the entrance of the Mirage with about 45 minutes to spare before my interview. I’ve never been so grateful for the Noir card that allowed us to bypass the normal check-in line to quickly get our keys and head upstairs to our room. At check-in, we discovered that the second room for my GF’s mother (LM) had been booked as a Tower Suite rather than the much-less-expensive Tower King that we requested. But I was too stressed out to take the time to haggle over it, and so the Mirage’s “mistake” ended up costing us an extra $1,000 for the four days. LM loved the suite, thanked us profusely several times for booking it for her, and we never let on that she was supposed to be in less-lavish accommodations.

    With 30 minutes to go before braggadocio time, I was in the room by myself as my GF settled her mother into the other room down the hall. I fumbled through the wi-fi setup and then connected the IPad to Skype.

    Test call 1: OK, I have video, but sound is dropping out a little.

    Test call 2: Sound still dropping out. Damned mLife wi-fi.

    Test call 3: Screw it. I head downstairs to find the Mirage Business Center to see whether I can use their computer for the interview.

    20 minutes till “This is Your Skype.”

    One sweaty elevator ride and sprint through the Mirage later, I arrive at the Business Center just as an employee closes the door for the day. AAAAAAAAArgh. He looks up, finishes locking the door and then points to my left, where I see a sign for a pay-as-you-go computer kiosk. Huff huff. Drip drip. At the kiosk are three computer stations, one of which is occupied by a couple about my age who are actively engaged in some type of business meeting of their own. They have papers scattered all about and are speaking loudly toward a cheap-ass embedded monitor showing a generic connection screen, seemingly having significant trouble being heard on the other end.

    Crap. Looks like it’ll have to be the smartphone! So back to the elevators I race.

    15 minutes until the Skype call that could change my life.

    Upstairs, I’m still alone in the suite, and I grab the smartphone, make sure my 3G connection is working and dial into Skype. Thank god, the app installed correctly and seems to be working.

    Test call 4: I have video. And there’s steady sound. YES! But it’s muted, sounding like I’m in a tunnel far from the microphone.

    10 minutes till interview time.

    Test call 5: Video is grainy but OK. Sound is the same.
    Crap, crap, crap.

    So I race across the hall and demand that my GF abandon her suite life AT ONCE to come over to look for the headphone set (with built-in microphone) that we usually take along on plane trips. She MUST still have it in her suitcase, right?

    5 minutes to go …

    She finds the mike. I plug it in. I make …

    Test call 6: Oh, thank you, Lord. If I lose every dime I have during this gambling trip, at least you came through with a workable set of earphones and decent sound.

    The Skype interview begins.

    I’m sure there was sweat beaded across my forehead. My underarms and pants legs were certainly soaked. The smartphone takes a bath in my hands as I try to hold it steady without revealing too much of the decor behind me and speak somewhat coherently (I hope) to answer their questions. My face was probably beet red from racing around the Mirage for the past 30 minutes.

    But, as far as I could tell, the interviewers never knew.

    Will break here. Up next, the rest of Day One, which included cancellation of some dining reservations (to save them for a later trip with SB), a free play mix-up that impacted the night's bankroll and a very nice meal at Onda, an old-style Italian restaurant tucked away into a corner at the Mirage. Oh, and our first exposure to the cowboy extravaganza that would serve as an unintentional backdrop for this entire trip.
     
  11. dvandentop

    dvandentop VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,763
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    great read cant wait for the rest
     
  12. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    75
    Onda Ristorante and cowboy central

    Day 1b: With the job interview out of the way, we set about adjusting our itinerary because of SB’s absence. I use the Open Table app to cancel China Poblano and Hakkasan, since both had been requested by SB. Also call L’Atelier to let them know we’ll be a party of three, not four—which we hope will increase our chance of getting seated at the counter. Now, logistics settled, we are definitely ready for some Vegas fun. But we still need money. So my GF and I head down to the cashier’s cage to withdraw our bankroll, leaving her mother to wonder why the heck we rushed over to Vegas only to leave her sitting in her room for two hours before hitting the casino. I ask the cashier to confirm my available e-check balance (yep, $10,960, just like all the other times) and then tell her that I want to take it all. She does not blink, which reminds me that though I like to think of myself as a bit of a whale, I’m really just a pan fish in the casino’s eyes. (A supervisor does toddle over to watch as the money is counted out, however.)

    From there, it’s back to the room to split up the cash. My bankroll for the next few hours is $600 in cash and an expected $600 in free play from my Mirage offer.

    It’s early evening now and our dinner reservation is at 6 at Onda. But I have just enough time to swing by the nearly vacant mLife desk to redeem the free play and pick up a new Noir card to replace the one that expired on Oct. 1. The card is no problem, which is a relief because we didn’t gamble nearly as much at mLife properties this year as in the past, but the mLife clerk tells me that the “boss” has instructed them not to issue free play for the weekend because of the Holiday Gift Shoppe event. He offers to convert my Gift Shoppe points to free play, but I’ve only accumulated about $100 for the year because we made fewer trips to Vegas than normal (and because I moved quite a bit of play over to CET in order to get Seven Stars status this year). I’m no math whiz, but I deduce pretty quickly that the $600 in free play from my promo is a better deal than $100 from the Gift Shoppe. So I plead with the clerk about whether there’s anything he can do – I promise not to go to the special event. I offer to run up to the room to retrieve the mailer under which the stay was booked. Finally, he decides to shift the burden up the chain of command. “Come back tomorrow and talk to your host,” he says. “Maybe he can get the boss to OK your offer.”

    Damn, there goes half of tonight’s gambling money! I fire off a quick (but gracious, I assure you) email to my host to explain the situation and then go to find my GF and her mother. They’ve been playing the minimum bet at a new penny slot based on the movie, “Avatar,” and both are already up about $20 when I arrive. So they are in a good mood when I tell them that it’s time for dinner.

    This will be only our second visit to Onda (the first with LM), despite our having stayed at Mirage at least 10 times the past few years. It’s almost as though the restaurant had been trying to discourage us. The restaurant is tucked way over in a corner of the casino, next to the bathrooms. The entrance is smallish, and from the outside you can only see the bar area and a couple of lounge-style tables, making it look more like a small hipster lounge than a fine dining restaurant. The name sounds Asian, not Italian -- at least to us. But it’s a really pleasant restaurant that serves a nice selection of classic Italian dishes for a reasonable (for Vegas) price. We prefer it over Rao’s at Caesars and Martorano's at Rio, which feature similar dishes and decor and cost but with less flavor and more noise, in our experience. It’s not Sinatra (Wynn), mind you, but it’s a good place to get our trip started with a satisfying dinner.

    The restaurant is much larger on the inside than it appears. We have a friendly waiter who mentions that he started working at Onda almost 20 years ago as a bus boy. (So, I guess it does have steady business.) We are hungry and not feeling adventurous, knowing L’Atelier awaits tomorrow, so I have a Caesar salad and the ladies have Minestrone soup. Everyone is happy with the first serving. For our main courses, my GF and her mother both get the braised short ribs and rave about the tenderness and the taste. My veal saltimbocca is excellent, and I particularly like the sage potato gratin that accompanies it. The dessert menu is relatively sparse, but we share a caramel cheesecake crème brulee with amaretto infused berries that nicely balances sweetness from the crème brulee with tartness from the berries. The tab comes out to $180 with tip, which works out exactly to the $60 per person estimate that I noticed on the restaurant’s website as I was refreshing my memory for this trip report.

    With our bellies fill, we saunter out to the casino (accompanied by gracious “thank yous” from every Onda worker we pass on the way out). It’s louder than usual for a Thursday night at the Mirage, but there ain’t that many folks slottin’ or blackjackin’. Curious, we go searchin’ for the ruckus, eventually making our way toward the far corner, over where the sports book aught a be. As we round the last bend (OK, I’m finally done with the faux country talk), we see the source of all the commotion: Apparently, it’s National Finals Rodeo Week in Vegas.

    And the Mirage is cowboy central!

    Now, I’m a small town boy at heart (I even lived for a while with a former stripper who I met shooting pool at a country & western bar). But my GF and her mother are demure L.A.-born Japanese Americans. Their exposure to cowboy culture is limited at best. Being surrounded by a sea of cowboy hats and pointy boots and shiny belt buckles and bedazzled blue jeans for four days tickled them to no end. For them, it was like a weekend getaway to Wyoming. But with slot machines!

    In the rural town where I grew up, the cowboys tended to be hell-raisers. Country music was on all the radio stations, and anyone who owned a 10-gallon hat seemed intent to emulate the boozin’ and brawlin’ and carousin’ legacy that permeated the country ballads of the day. The only shootings I remember back home took place at a cowboy bar in a neighboring town. So, when I realized that the Mirage was going to be filled with cowboys and cowgirls for our entire stay, I confess that I may have had a momentary spike of apprehension.

    Instead, we were surrounded by the largest group of polite, courteous and good-natured folks that we’ve probably ever encountered in Las Vegas.

    Everyone pushed elevator buttons for whomever stepped in last. Doors were held open while entire large parties passed through. People stepped politely to the side when others approached their position in a hurry. My GF said that table players—even the really drunk ones—always asked if it was OK to join before they would sit down at a blackjack table. We spent four days surrounded by hundreds of party-to-all-hours rodeo fans, but we saw no fights. We heard no bickering. And the country band set up for the nightly beer bash in the sports book even played a fair share of songs by our favorites, the Eagles! All in all, it was the most fun that I’ve had surrounded almost entirely by white people since a visit to the Mormon Tabernacle a few years ago. Almost without exception, visitors at the Mirage during our trip were pleasant, friendly and happy.

    I think most of them were from Canada.

    --

    Coming in the Day 2 report: A cold day in Paradise (Nevada, that is). More on the free play snafu. Check-in for a Caesars room that will sit empty for the next three days. Meals at Gordon Ramsey Pub and L’Atelier. A memorable gambling day.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  13. Dude beer

    Dude beer Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Messages:
    23
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    Really great trip report, love all the little details. The envelope gambling trick never seems to work for me haha.
     
  14. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,215
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    111
    Nice report! Good luck with the job!
     
  15. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    75
    gambling and more gambling

    At my current writing pace, I’ll still be working on this trip report in 2014, so let’s speed it up a bit by covering all the gambling in one post.

    The envelope approach is intended to minimize the opportunity for me to go on a degenerate gambling binge that drains the entire bankroll, plus some. As a lover of gambling [short form: a-d-d-i-c-t], I find the envelope method extremely frustrating in the moment because I feel as though I’m always just one cold streak from being broke again. My bankroll per slot-playing session is normally set at about $300 per hour and I normally bet $5 to $10 per spin, so I’m going to run out of money in most sessions unless:
    a) I get lucky early in a session (or get lucky when converting free play to real money)
    b) I lower my bet average, such as by switching to nickels or pennies
    c) I switch to a lower volatility game than high limit slots, such as video poker.

    During this trip, my strategy was somewhat dependent on a making use of a significant amount of free play. Although it took a while to persuade the mLife bosses, I finally gained access to the $600 in Mirage free play late on Friday afternoon. From Caesars, I had $500 in reel rewards for Friday/Saturday, plus another $500 that would not be viable until 12:01 a.m. Monday. I also had about $1,600 in accumulated points from CET that could be turned into reel rewards during their Gift Wrap-up event (and that’s what I ended up doing). So in all, my bankroll for the trip was $6,000 cash + $3,200 in free play, for $9,200 total.

    Here’s what happened to that money:

    Key Session (S) / Bankroll (B) / Casinos (C) / $ in envelope afterward ($) / Notes (N)

    S: Thursday, 8 p.m.-1 a.m. / B: $600 cash / C: Mirage only / $0 / N: Hit $700 on $5 Top Dollar around 9 p.m. but gave it all back playing $3 per spin dollar slots such as Blazing 7s.

    S: Friday, 10 a.m.-noon and 3-6 p.m. / B: $1,200 cash + $1,100 fp / C: Mirage & Caesars / $700 / N: Only had about $300 left after playing through the free play, but then had a nice run on a bank of Blazing 7s and similar machines at Mirage, getting the credits up to $1,000+ a few times before cashing out with $700 remaining for the afternoon envelope. Played a little at Caesars too after checking into the room where SB was supposed to stay but which would sit empty during the trip because she was stuck at home. Would have canceled the room altogether if I didn’t have so much free play to redeem.

    S: Friday, 6-8 p.m. and 10 p.m.-2 a.m. / B: $1,000 cash / C: Mirage & MGM / $2,000 / N: Hit a $2,100 hand pay playing $5 per spin on African Diamond in HL slot room at Mirage; hit $1,005 playing $1 Cherries Jubilee at MGM, followed soon thereafter by $900 on a $5 Top Dollar machine; lost $100 on my first-ever attempt at winning the progressive on the famed Lions Share slot at MGM.

    S: Saturday, 9-11 a.m., 1:30-5:30 p.m. / B: $700 cash / C: Mirage & Harrah’s / $300 / N: Started with a decent run of about +$500 total playing 9-line $1 Rich Girl slot at Mirage, then pushed the credits up thanks to an $800 bonus round with 55+ spins at $3 per spin on Bier Haus penny slot, also at Mirage. Lost $1,000 of it back playing dollars and pennies at Harrah’s. (It was really cold on Saturday in Vegas and Harrah’s is the shortest walk from Mirage of any CET casino).

    S: Saturday, 11 p.m.-2 a.m. / B: $900 cash / C: Mirage / $1,500 / N: Hit several payouts of $200 or more playing my old favorite African Diamond at Mirage, including a $1,000 jackpot that would have been $2,000 if I hadn’t just dropped my bet from $2 per line to $1 per line; also played several 10-line $1 machines such as Mustang Money 2 for a long time at a bank of slots along the wall just outside the HL room; lost some of my profits trying to hit a progressive that was well over $100,000 on $5 Top Dollar machines at Mirage (lots of other folks were doing the same that weekend).

    S: Sunday, 10-11 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. / B: $200 cash + $1,600 CET reel rewards / C: Mirage before lunch & Harrah’s the rest of the day / $500 / N: We walked around the Great Gift Wrap-up event for about 30 minutes, looking at gift cards and golf clubs and coffee machines and watches. Eventually, we just decided to convert the points into $1,600 in reel rewards that would replace the $500 in cash that I had set aside for the afternoon bankroll, which we sealed in the envelope instead. I chose Harrah’s for use of the reel rewards because the employee at the Seven Stars desk who helped me convert the points was a Harrah’s staffer, and she went out of her way to make sure we could get still tickets for that night’s showing of Million-Dollar Quartet. The $1,600 was down to about $1,110 once I ran it through the machines, and I proceeded to lose the rest of it playing mostly dollar slots at Harrah’s before the show.

    S: Sunday, 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. / B: $400 cash + $500 CET reel rewards / C: Mirage and Caesars / $0 / N: After the show, we had our traditional soup and cabbage rolls at Carnegie Deli and played a while at Mirage. I had trouble getting anything going, in part because players were asking casino employees to lock down various machines, including the two Blazing 7s slots that had been good to me on Friday. At one point, I overheard a slot attendant saying that he was locking up a machine for eight hours at the request of a player who was going up to sleep for the night. That brought the total of locked machines to six out of 10 in a pod of Blazing 7s linked to a progressive that was about $2,000 more than normal during the weekend. By 11, I was down to my last $20 in cash and decided to walk over to Caesars to kill time until another $500 reel rewards certificate would be valid at midnight. I played that $20 for a full 45 minutes while betting 30 cents per spin on a penny slot, then put the $500 free play certificate into a Mustang Money 2 slot near the cashier’s cage at Caesars that had been the source of my most recent hand pay at Caesars. After cycling it through, I had $160 left. *sigh* So it was back to Mirage for the rest of the night, where I managed to hit $200 and $300 on dollar slots a couple of times to keep me playing until my GF was done playing blackjack for the night. Around 1:30, she showed up at my shoulder with a big smile on her face and a $500 chip in her hand. That’s a good run (and a $400 profit) for her at blackjack, and she was very pleased. She fumbled around for about 15 minutes trying to get her smartphone camera to focus well enough to snap a photo of the chip. Finally, about 2, my slot credits hit zero and we called it a night, swinging by the cashier’s cage on the way up to cash out her chip. All told, she came home down about $300 for the trip.

    S: Monday, 10:30-11 a.m. / B: $200 cash / C: Mirage / $0 / N: I had set aside $200 for a final session on departure day. African Diamond, here I come. Alas, the gorillas were apparently still sleeping, and my money was soon gone.

    TOTALS:
    About 35 hours of gambling over parts of five days. I returned home with $5,000 (a very good result that makes me feel a lot better about the envelope method now than I did when I was perpetually staring into my nearly empty wallet in Vegas).

    Biggest single hit was $2,100.

    I had far more success at mLife properties than at CET (biggest single hit at CET was $350 on a penny China Shores at Caesars), though it's true that I did spend more time gambling at mLife properties than at CET. It’ll be interesting to see whether my CET offers drop as a result of cashing in so much free play in one four-day period, particularly since my gambling time fell short of the desired four hours per day.

    CET tier credits earned during trip: 8,120 (total for year: 184,100)

    mLife tier credits earned during trip and for year: 231,194

    --
    Next: Our impressions after first visits to Gordon Ramsey Pub and Heritage Steak, plus a return to my favorite restaurant anywhere: L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.
     
  16. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,215
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    111
    Biggest single hit was $2,100!? Ouch! At least you came back home with $5K instead of nothing!

    I wouldn't be surprised if your experience at Gordon Ramsey's Pub sucks. I've noticed that most of the celebrity restaurants have been going downhill, especially in Europe.
     
  17. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,414
    lmondun thanks for the read, I always love your reports. You're a good writer. But man you sound like a smart guy but you were seriously tempting fate depending on the hotel wifi for that skype interview, and not even knowing if the business center would be open then. As soon as I read that I knew something was coming.

    Just a suggestion if the need arises again, talk to a hotel manager ahead of time about your predicament. See what they can offer you. I was once on a business trip where my laptop had issues and I needed to install citrix and bloomberg APIs for excel onto a computer to update some excel sheets. The computers in the business center wouldn't allow it and the guys working there didn't know anything. I spoke to the hotel manager and he let me install it on his own computer in his office! I could have been installing a virus for all he knew, but it was cool of him and it all went smoothly. This wasn't in Vegas but the Mirage is a nice place and they may have tried to be accommodating if you gave them some heads up.

    Anyway, love the review on Onda especially and congrats on coming back fairly close to even after some considerable gambling.
     
  18. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    75
    Good advice, KC. But I am sure you aren't THAT surprised that a degen gambler like me might find risking it with the wi-fi to be oddly appealing (until it all went sideways, of course).

    I got sidetracked over the past few days with some other responsibilities, but I do plan to circle back and finish this report within a few days. Definitely want to post about Gordon Ramsey Pub and L'Atelier, at least.
     
  19. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,886
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Such detail in this report! Hope things go well with the interview!

    I am also interested to hear about Ramsey's. I haven't heard many glowing things...and we never got around it in 2013. :( Two trips to Vegas this year, and we totally skipped CP. :eek:
     
  20. ant1433

    ant1433 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Messages:
    195
    Location:
    nj
    Great read. I actually misread your screen name and thought it was Imodium. Then I but my glasses on..lol. I was sweating out weather or not you would make the skype interview.Hope it all goes well for you.:beer:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.