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Long (probably too long) T/R Feb 20 – Feb 27

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Turtleman, Mar 1, 2014.

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  1. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    Thursday: We left for the airport at 5:30 am to avoid Atlanta's notorious rush hour traffic and to have a whole hour in Delta's Sky Club adjusting our attitudes. The flight was fine, good seats, on time, and we had no difficulties getting to the LVH on the 108 "limo" for $1 each. After nearly 29 years of Vegas trips staying in 30 different hotels and visiting twice as many, we had never even visited LVH before. And since Ms. Gecko received two free nights for some inexplicable reason that were about to expire, we decided to check it out. The room was decent enough, and we started with drinks and VP at the sports bar. Winning a little while readjusting our attitudes was a good beginning. We had intended to play BJ, but were disappointed to find only a couple of filled low limit shoe games in an otherwise dead casino, so we hoofed it over to the Riviera. It had been 3 years since we last visited and stayed there and we hardly recognized the place – nice improvements. We played at the same BJ table most of the afternoon with friendly players and pit crew, won a little, and had a very enjoyable afternoon. We'd even consider staying there again!

    Friday – moving day: The morning began on a disappointing note when we noticed we'd be billed $3.75 for each Keurig coffee. Sure, it's no great amount, and maybe charging for in-room coffee is normal at some places, but we've never encountered it before and we travel a lot. So while we love having our coffee before venturing out, we'd sooner risk $100 to get "free" coffee while playing. Truly, it's the principle of the thing. Give in on that, and pretty soon they'll start charging for pillows! Going directly to the nearest bar, we played a little VP and had some of the best coffee we've ever had before switching to alcohol. We then tried a little BJ, did lousy, and decided to check out sooner than planned.

    Taking the 108 again, we transferred to the WAX at the BTC and went onto Suncoast. We played a little VP and BJ, lost at both, said the heck with it, and took the WAX downtown. That proved to be a good decision, as we made back our prior losses and then some playing BJ at MSS and got comped for the always good seafood buffet. More than the money, the comp lets you avoid standing in line for an hour or more. On the way back to the WAX stop, we detoured to watch the Budweiser Clydesdales being hitched up to their beer wagon near the El Cortez. Amazing animals and an amazing amount of poop! We don't envy the crew traveling behind them with shuffles and trash can.

    Saturday: Not much to report, as all we did was stay at Suncoast playing VP, BJ, super fun 21, three card poker, and Pai Gow. Ms. Gecko's three aces at three card poker was the only thing that saved us, and we ended even for the day. At least we scored comps for the crab and prime rib buffet; but after crab legs two nights in a row, I don't think it will be on our dinner menu again anytime soon.

    Sunday – another moving day: After losing at VP and BJ again (we almost never win at Suncoast), we took the WAX to the Trop, hoofed it over to NYNY, and transferred to the 201 to the Orleans. Spending only $1.50 each feels good, the extra time spent over a weeklong trip is no big deal, and the little exercise doesn't hurt either. We decided to wait on a 20th floor room, checked the bags, and went about our usual routine of VP and BJ. That didn't work, and after getting our room, played three card poker and Pai Gow most of the afternoon. We then took the shuttle to Bally's and from there walking to Ellis Island. We've had nothing but the BBQ chicken and ribs combo for the past several years, but decided to return to the infamous steak special – after beer and VP at the bar, of course. We remembered the steak special being very good, but were still surprised by the size and quality of steak. While some folks (not too many) may scoff, we found both the food and service excellent, as always. What a deal, and we'll definitely be going back for it again.

    Monday: We spent way too long walking around the Strip, for reasons that now escape us. We did check out the Linq area and O'Sheas, which is but a small remnant of its former self and essentially a cubbyhole off the Quad. (For that matter, the Quad is a remnant of the IP as it existed several years ago, at least as table games go. Sure, the place looks nicer, but we miss the old Champagne Pit.) It was late morning; and O'Sheas, which we never cared for to begin with, was totally dead. I guess it must pick up at night for beer pong; and for the nostalgia folks out there … enjoy! We left asking ourselves why we bothered. Gambling back at the Orleans remained so-so, and we finished the day with sizzling fajitas at the Costa Cantina. I'm not a huge fan of Mexican cuisine, but always look forward to going there – it's that good. (It's also good that it's now open on Monday's and Tuesday's.) One order is more than enough food for two with some left over.

    Tuesday: We left the Orleans on the first shuttle, went through Bally's to Tix4Tonight near Paris. Being second in line, we got tickets to see Meat Loaf for that evening. At this point I feel compelled to say that before then, the only time I was ever at a rock concert was after I graduated college way back when and returned to see a girl during Homecoming. It will be at least 40-some more years before I attend another rock performance! Anyway, it was for Ms. Gecko's upcoming birthday - not for me. As I recently learned, seeing Meat Loaf has been on her bucket list for at least 10 years. Hell – I didn't even know she had a list, I don't, but do recall her mentioned wanting to see him during our December trip. I was way too under the weather, and without a birthday excuse, never would have agreed to see him, anyway. Having done a little research, Ms. Gecko recommended buying the cheapest tickets in hopes of getting an upgrade – like I needed convincing. We then hung out at PH playing VP until their box office opened and exchanged the vouchers for real tickets. That's a real pain and we'll try to take care of future ticket purchases on-line.

    We returned to the Orleans and played some more BJ, three card, and Pai Gow before taking the shuttle back to Bally's. From there, we returned to Ellis Island, played bar top VP, drank, and went for our usual BBQ chicken and ribs combos. From now on, even at their bargain prices, we're going to pay the extra plate charge and split a meal. We've tried enough times to know that we can't even polish off even one meal between us, let along two. As always, the food and service was wonderful. We know some folks gripe about the service, but we've eaten at EI dozens of times with nothing but consistently good experiences. From there, we tried to ditch a few calories waddling to Planet Hollywood for the show.

    As hoped, upon entering the theater, we were pulled aside and given an upgrade to some of the best seats in the house, center with only three rows between us and the stage extensions. Only expensive tables were closer, which wouldn't have been half as good for seeing what was going on. The show lasted over 2 1/4 hours, and toward the end, Meat Loaf fired several projectiles, looking like plastic-wrapped rolled up towels, from a prop gun into the audience. Everyone was going wild trying to grab one when something hit me on the head; and when my arm instinctively went up, I deflected the object into Ms. Gecko's lap. Upon getting back to the room, it ended up being a nice T-shirt that reads "I saw Meat Loaf in Vegas." She can't wait to wear it to the gym. Like I said, screaming rock isn't for me - never has been and never will be - but Ms. Gecko enjoyed it and scratched one more item off her bucket list. Mission accomplished. Not that I'm a knowledgeable ML fan, but it was easy to see that he gave it his all and I'm not too sorry I went.

    Of note: we've never been accosted by so many timeshare scum and retail salespeople as we encountered walking through LVH, Bally's, Paris, and PH. We expected some, but this was utterly ridiculous. Give me the porn slappers any day! Gee, I wonder why we mostly stay off-Strip these days.

    Wednesday: On our last full day, we were determined to win, and I got off to a terrific start at BJ. However, after losing both split hands with doubles on my largest bet of the day, a black cloud descended over me and it was downhill from then on. I've been there before; that is, when you enter the "Losing Zone" and you just cannot win at any game anywhere! Fortunately, Ms. Gecko was doing a lot better; but even so, we were getting close to the "this is getting serious" point. The Pai Gow and three card tables were too crowded, and after losing to probably every low limit dealer at the Orleans anyway, we took the shuttle to the Gold Coast. Once again, Ms. Gecko was holding her own at BJ, while I gave up and watched. Getting nowhere, we cashed out and headed for the doors when, in a sudden burst of inspiration (and stupidity), we decided to try one more session at three card. Once more, I couldn't do anything but lose, so I quit and just watched Ms. Gecko play. She wasn't doing too well either, and was also about to quit when she got a straight flush to the dealer's regular flush. The few extra $100's helped a lot. The pit boss told us, "Congratulations. When you see one of us with a clipboard in hand, you know somebody won something." Then he added, "Take it and run, that's how you make money in Vegas." We took his advice. Unfortunately, the good luck didn't continue back at the Orleans, the tables were all packed, so contrary to our original plan to stay up playing late into the night, we had a light snack and went to the room.

    Thursday: After our usual "start the day drinks and donation" at bar top VP, we planted ourselves at a BJ table and played for the few remaining hours. Things went up and down. Then, in the final half hour before having to check out and head to the airport, I took over Ms. Gecko's position when she went to the restroom. I guess two hands did the trick and I got on one of the better rolls of the entire trip – naturally, when it was time to leave!

    For sure, it's infinitely better wishing you could stay longer than wishing it was time to go, but having to stay. No, it still wasn't a winning trip, but we didn't lose anything approaching serious and are looking forward to returning. Our ever-present friend, Vern the Turtle (whose photos may be found in my album), also had a good time. It's always fun when a pit critter who hasn't already met Vern asks if he's old enough to be at the table and I dig out Vern's player's card. In addition, Vern really liked it when our favorite CW greeted him by name and brought him his own drink when we first showed up.

    Ms. Gecko won't admit it, but I'm pretty sure that numerous small losses at VP were, and usually are, our undoing. Well, of course she likes VP – she hit five FOAK, though for small amounts. Personally, I HATE machines and use them mainly as diversions from the "real" games. It was particularly frustrating going after the suited Queen of Hearts on the Lucky Ladies side bet. We've hit it a couple times before; and while I received no fewer than five pairs of suited Queens this trip, they were always something other than hearts.

    All-in-all, it was a very good trip. I didn't get sick as I did in December, and the weather during our entire stay couldn't have been better. We even felt wealthy enough to take a cab to the airport! The flight home was uneventful and arrived early, which is always a good thing. We'll be booking air for our annual Halloween trip within the next two weeks (I have a $400 credit on Delta that's due to expire), though we'll definitely be going back in the spring and staying at the Orleans among other places. Now, if we can just ditch the usual extra pounds we packed on …
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    OMG say it ain't so. You took a cab to the airport.:wink2:

    Your TR got me to fire up iTunes and put on Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell II.

    When we lived in Vegas we got constant offers for either free or very discounted concert tickets. In the end I had to buy ear plugs, I just couldn't take the loud music anymore. Even Kenny G was too loud.:evillaugh

    I don't think I would ever go to a live concert again. Even walking past some of the stages on Fremont literally is painful to me.

    Sounds like a good trip, now we just have to get you to enjoy VP.:poke:

    Thanks for posting.
     
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  3. bigblue1

    bigblue1 Tourist

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    Great trip report. I loved that you took busses all over Vegas.
     
  4. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    Thanks for the trip report. Enjoyed the read. Yeah, those timeshare and retail hawkers are a real PITA. Aside from the GN, I hope none of them migrate Downtown.

    Or did they?......
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  5. wpete

    wpete High-Roller

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    Not nearly as good as BOH 1.

    Nice report. I always drive to Vegas and about the only public transportation I use is the Deuce to and from the strip to DT. After reading this TR I may need to widen my bus horizons.
     
  6. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Great rooms, great meals, a rock and roll concert. Two out of three ain't bad. :thumbsup:

    I also take advantage of the WAX, 108 and 109 in town. LVH continues to send me offers with nominal play, and I can use them on weekends which helps during a high demand period.

    Excellent trip report -thanks for posting.

    [YOUTUBE]iOikQWAL8qc[/YOUTUBE]
     
  7. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    "Hell – I didn't even know she had a list"

    LOL..too funny!
    Sounds like a great trip.
    Of course I had to go to your profile and admire Vern.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Yep, good read. And it wasn't too long. If you want to see long, read my TR...:evillaugh

    And if he doesn't feel the VP love, at the very least, get him away from lucky ladies! 17-24% house edge depending on the paytable! Yikes! Unless he's counting the side bet of course.
     
  9. DerbyCityGal

    DerbyCityGal Tourist

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    No trip report can be too long! Enjoyed your report, sounds like a good time.
     
  10. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    Absolutely – the house edge on the side bet is horrible. I notice, however, that the Wizard of Odds doesn't include a pay table and odds for the two-deck game, which is the one I play. Horrible odds or not, it's fun to play, and after I hit the 1,000 to 1 payoff last year at Gold Coast, it's difficult to ignore. Ms. Gecko got a 200:1 payoff at the Orleans last year (no dealer BJ). A lady seated next me last week got the suited Queen of Hearts without the side bet. THEN she started betting it. DUH! We often skip the side bet once we've seen a Queen of Hearts come out. (Of course, that's when the other suited pairs appear!)

    We have to ask ourselves, would we feel worse losing $1 on each hand that doesn't pay anything for the side bet, or would we feel much more terrible if the jackpot shows up when we didn't bet it.
     
  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    At least you're semi-counting it and it's only $1. But that's how they get you with the sidebet. You'll feel bad when you hit and you don't place the bet. And it's also more difficult to find lower limit BJ w/o the side bet.

    That stupid 13.39% house edge "21+3 Extreme" is all over the CET Vegas tables and the minimum for that is $5. :grrr:
     
  12. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    I enjoyed your trip report, any Manhattans?

    You will probably get offers, two free nights midweek or deeply discounted, some freeplay, tickets to comedy club. I would stay there again when low rolling.
     
  13. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Thanks for posting. Enjoyed the read.

    later, GVJ
     
  14. Old Kansas Guy

    Old Kansas Guy Tourist

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    $100 coffee

    I laughed at your reference to $100 coffee in the casino.

    One morning at the Imperial Palace (no coffee in the room), I went to the casino to wait for my wife. I wanted a coffee but did not want to pay a dollar or two for one at the bar, so I sat down at a $10 blackjack table.

    Lost more than $100 in about 15 minutes and never had a chance to order a coffee.

    We have all "Been there and done that!".
     
  15. FullBoat

    FullBoat VIP Whale

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    Sounds like you had a good time.

    The last time I was in Vegas I had my best day about 3 hours before I got on the plane. I was up about $200 on BJ, and the ex won 2 big spins at slots for about $1500 total. We took our money and ran as well. :)
     
  16. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    What did you drink in your room before going out? Is Vern old enough to drink?
     
  17. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Love it!:evillaugh
     
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  18. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    If you're referring to the no coffee morning at LVH, we didn't drink anything before venturing forth. It was rough! Other than sometimes bringing a soft drink back to the room in the evening, we only have coffee or tea in the room in the mornings. We get way more than enough alcohol in the casinos!

    Of course Vern is old enough to drink; they don't issue player's cards unless you're 21 and over! Truth be known, Vern's drink of choice is peppermint schnapps and his favorite food is marshmallows. As you might imagine, his droppings are kind of gooey, but they don't smell bad! :)
     
  19. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I could be wrong, again, but I think that was a reference to the booze in the room thread.
    http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=99328&highlight=booze+room

    Keep up Turtleman. :poke:
     
    Christmas
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  20. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    You might be right – beats me. And thank goodness that booze threat I started was closed. In fact, I thanked HoyaHeel for closing it!
     
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