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May 10-17 The Full Monty (just the final trip report people, calm down)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by travelfiend, Jun 10, 2013.

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  1. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Here is the final write up! Lots of pics, hope you enjoy them!

    This will be my longest trip to Las Vegas in long time, possibly ever. I have comped nights at Sunset Station, Mandalay Bay and Aria, last two courtesy of MyVegas which I booked before the tightening of awards took place. Was a little worried about having to move every 2 days and although not ideal, it turned out okay and I got some great rooms.

    Friday, May 10th –

    Actually get on the road at 9am (that is early for me, lol) with my free rental car (hey, I deserve something for driving 20K a year for my job), new Ford Escape with satellite radio, so 7.5 hours of listening to Radio Margaritaville, happy camper here (I am easy to please, don’t go….). It really is a pretty drive most of the way, even stopped for some pictures along the way.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    So with the time change, I arrive at Sunset Station about 4:30 local time, check in is a breeze, I think there was 1 or 2 people in front of me and 3 people working the counter). I didn’t even try to upgrade, actually wanted to see what regular king room was like since this was my first time staying there. In fact, one of the things I was excited about this trip was that I would be staying in 3 places I had never been before. It was a pretty standard room, certainly spacious enough for one person, and what a view of that parking lot. :)

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    My tradition is to hit a VP machine right away and get that first beer going. First beer only cost me $40, could have been a lot worse, did manage one quad at least. Switched over to Pai Gow Poker, my very social and slow game but I love it. Plus when you only have a $500 bankroll for a 6 day trip, you have to slow play it. I proceeded to do exactly that, played for about 6 hours straight on my $100 buy in, happily drinking and getting to know all the locals. Seriously, in 6 hours, I was the only player from out of state. Many of the players were greeted by name by dealers and many of them knew each other. It was quite interesting to watch the social dynamics, very different from the strip casinos. Anyway, after 6 hours and way too many beers, time to call it a night. Luckily, the Fatburger is right there inside casino so late night snack and off to bed. Down $70 for the day, within my $100 stop loss.

    I will continue the story with further posts, want to make sure I am posting the pictures properly.
     
  2. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    Loving the info on Sunset Station, be there for my first stay in 8 days.
     
  3. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    Hmm, for some reason, my pix are not posting, should be 5 included on first post but I see none.
     
  4. vegasdrea

    vegasdrea Buckle Bunny

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    I don't see any pictures either :cry:

    Great start so far :beer: and might I add...it's about time you got around to it!! ;)
     
  5. VegasDave

    VegasDave Addicted

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    I would upload somewhere else, I can browse them on twitter, but can't get them to come up on here. Weird
     
  6. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    Ok, adding pix here, but I think I got it figured out for next day
     

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  7. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    Day 2 – Saturday May 11
    I really really need to accept that I am not as young as I think I am and not drink so much. Woke up, not really hungover, just not feeling like doing anything! But I have a free Brunch comp at Border Grill at Mandalay Bay (thank you MyVegas) and I had made a reservation for noon. Drag myself out at that ridiculous time, lol, and actually get there about 11:30, no problem, place was half empty. I was worried it might be crowded because Mother’s Day was Sunday but no worries. Ate outside, nice breeze, nice soft music from two guys singing ballads, guitar and harp. Sometimes those can be over the top, but these guys played softly and it was great background. I loved the Border Grill Brunch. It is served tapas style so small portions and probably about a dozen to pick from. Plus it included unlimited mimosas and yes, I had 4 of them, but the glasses are small, original OJ, Mango, Watermelon and even Cucumber. I know Cucumber sounds bad but actually, I liked it the best. It was the last one though, hmmmmm.




    After lunch, I was there for over an hour, decide to track down the Pai Gow Poker tables at Mandalay Bay. Finally find them, they are inside a sectioned off area, very nice and excellent cocktail service, despite very few players in the entire area. I play for an hour, turning my $100 buy in into $200 so now up for the trip a whopping $30 but that is better than being down right? I am really tired, and it is vacation so I do believe a nap is in order, to heck with the Mob Museum which was the plan for afternoon. 

Nice 2 hour nap and I am ready for an evening of video poker. I sit down at a Jacks or Better machine, full pay back by the movie theater at Sunset Station, put a $100 in with full intent to get that Royal Flush. Lo and behold, about an hour later, and only down less than $25, I hit this.

    I so wished there had been a camera on my face, I was in shock. Now the interesting thing to me, no bells went off, nothing happened at all, it just added the credits to machine. I mean I know the win was not over $1200 but every other time I have got a RF on quarter machines, they still do a hand pay and make a big deal out of it. I played maybe 3 more hands and cashed out and took ticket to cashier. No way am I using the auto machines to redeem this one. SOMEONE has to know I hit a Royal Flush. At this point, it is about midnight, and I am done for the day and one really happy camper.
     

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  8. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    Day 3 – Sunday, May 11th
    Full day ahead, plans include hiking at Red Rock Canyon (haven’t been there since 1997, last year I lived in Las Vegas), checking out of Sunset and moving to Mandalay Bay (suite for 2 nights courtesy of MyVegas), and meeting up with other VMBers at Peppermill for dinner and then the Riviera Comedy Club.

    I actually made it out to Red Rock Canyon by about 9:30 and hiked for about 90 minutes, doing the easy trail, only 300 feet elevation climb. Took lots of pictures, narrowed it down to these 5 for you fine people. Who knew, you can actually do nature things in Las Vegas, lol

    Back to Sunset, pack up, breakfast at the Grand Café, nothing to write home about, but steak and eggs for 8.99, check out and drive over to Mandalay Bay, arrive about 1:30, no problems checking in, no nonsense about early check in fees, probably took a whopping 5 minutes to check in.

    Room is great, and I have decided I do like suites even though I don’t spend much time there, just nice to have the extra space. View was great from 30th floor although being on south end of strip, it is limited.

    Short nap, and I then have a little time before heading to dinner to play some Pai Gow Poker, lose my $100 so done there and head out to dinner at Peppermill. Pick up Lady Fortuna and VegasNut at Monte Carlo and off we go to PepperMill. Lived in Las Vegas and never went to Peppermill so was fun to cross it off THE List. It was lots of fun and great hanging out with other VMBers. Then Sco shows up and all hell breaks loose. Just kidding, we were very calm and had a very nice dinner together. I had the beef kabobs and they were good. But I really enjoyed the lounge the most with the fireplace and great drinks, just had that old Vegas feel I had heard so much about. 



    Then the 4 of us went to the Riviera Comedy Club, forget the name of the Comedian but he was pretty funny. Did the picking on people in audience, got some good laughs. Another VMBer caught up with us at the club, steveorama as we all enjoyed the show. Then after the show, we stroll around Riviera casino, boy was it really dead there. But lo and behold we run into none other than the infamous Dewey089. I got to tell you, it is so much fun to meet all these fine people in person.



    Thank you Lady Fortuna for organizing this small get together.
     

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  9. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    4th day Monday, May 13

    Pool day at Mandalay Bay – total relaxation baby
. I rented one of the padded lounge chairs for the day at $50 for the day. Wasn’t sure if I needed to do that but am glad I did. You get a really comfortable chair, small table, bucket of ice with 6 small bottles of water and most importantly a big umbrella. I was there from about 10am to noon, then took 2 hour break, trammed, walked over to NYNY, picked up Zumanity tickets (thanks MyVegas) for Monday evening, had Nathan’s Hot Dogs for first time in my life and headed back to pool from 2-5.

    Have 2 tickets to Zumanity for 7:30 show but only me, boo hoo, head over to NYNY, grab a quick slice of pizza. See some guy standing in ticket line by himself, he is solo so I give him ticket, he is like thanks, thanks. Great seats, impressive show, but the only other Cirque show I have seen is “O” and I don't think it even came close to the value of that show. The sexual jokes were funny and at times I cannot believe what they did to audience members, was glad they didn’t pick on me.

    After show, head back to Mandalay Bay, have to play some Pai Gow poker, they have 5 tables open, 3 of them empty, others only 1 or 2 players. I buy in for $200, play for 2-3 hours, turning it into $600. So far, I am liking the gambling on this trip. Up about $1300. But I have already mixed my gambling money and food/drinks money. I really need to get better about keeping it separate so I can keep accurate track of gambling wins/losses.
     

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  10. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    Hopefully will post end of trip tomorrow. The gambling gets interesting.
     
  11. freddywill

    freddywill Low-Roller

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    Nice trip dude, you really know how to make it interesting. Good luck tomorrow!
     
  12. RAWDAWG33

    RAWDAWG33 Low-Roller

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    Really enjoying this report. Thanks for sharing, can't wait to read the rest.
     
  13. Mayoman

    Mayoman Low-Roller

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    Great TR, love those $40 beers.
     
  14. squidward

    squidward Probationary Member

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    Hey that's better than the $200 coffee I had on my last trip? Ewwww.... ugly....Sh!t!!!
     
  15. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    hmmmmm, the gambling gets interesting; well you've already snagged a Royal so I wonder what will happen next! Will be waiting to hear the rest of the story! Congrats on the Royal.:eek:
     
  16. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    5th Day, Tuesday May 14th

    Checkout day and move to Aria but first, I have planned something I been meaning to do for years. Visit the Neon Boneyard Museum. It is just a bit north of downtown, pretty easy to get to, have a tour set up for 11am ($18, proceeds support the museum, recovery of old signs). I took tons of pictures, just posting a few here. It was neat to see the old signs and some of the not so old but from casinos no more, like the Stardust.

    Since I am downtown got to stop and see Fremont even though it is daytime. I stopped at Horseshoe, get a players card, play a little video poker, drop $60, not feeling it, walk around see the old places, actually had popcorn for lunch (I am such a gourmet)

    It is about 2pm now so I head to Aria to check in. Since I am more of a low rent kinda guy, I have to admit, I was a little worried that I would feel out of place at Aria but it was not to be so. I had 2 nights comped via MyVegas (thank you very much) . I go to check in with my $20 ready to ask for an upgrade and first thing, there is a problem with my reservation. The reservation number I give them, they don’t have, but they do have a reservation for me in my name just a different number. Plus it is no longer a small suite; I have been upgraded to a Cirrus Suite or a Sky Suite, not sure which. But I do know I have to go to the special elevators and show my silver room key and I have a special lounge to relax in. This was by far the fanciest hotel room I have had in Las Vegas and almost beat out my corner suite at the Watergate in DC. I probably stayed in room for 30-40 minutes just checking everything out, especially the technology. I have included lots of pix here, hope you enjoy them. Remember, this was a 2 night comp from playing MyVegas on Facebook and I just had to check online, retail price for my room for those 2 nights was about $300 a night.
    Short nap and then I head over to NYNY about 3pm to meet up with some VMBers. There is Lady Fortuna and Vegasnut again and a lovely couple whom I can’t remember their VMBer handle, sorry!

    So we have a few drinks at the Times Square bar, sax player pretty good but damn I am getting old, it was just too loud for me. We played a little bit of Texas Holdem, me for first time, thanks for the patience Vegasnut. Had a late night dinner at Nine Fine Irishmen, me using my $100 certificate from guess where? Yep, MyVegas was very nice to me!

    Fish and chips were pretty good, and I had their Cider instead of beer. Some cider can just be too sweet but theirs was just right. I am sure that opinion was not influenced by the earlier intake of alcohol. Called it a night at midnight.
     

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  17. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    Here are Aria room pics and by the way not sure who posted it first, but taking a picture of your room number is great idea! Did I mention that I loved this room and Aria might just be my go to hotel from now on.
     
  18. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    6th Day – Wednesday, May 15 Last Day or is it?

    Sleep in pretty good except those blackout curtains are not real blackout curtains. I am meeting some fellow MyVegas folks over at Bellagio Buffet at 11am. Head over there and have a little problem redeeming my award, takes about an hour to get straighten out with me emailing the PlayStudio staff, but all is fixed and top it off, I win $40 playing VP while waiting around. WIN!

    Bellagio Buffet was pretty impressive; the variety of food was amazing. Since we got there at 11ish, there was still some breakfast items out which were wonderful as is my favorite meal of day. My problem is I think I am just beginning to not enjoy buffets anymore. I think I would rather spend the money on a nice restaurant and get a better quality one dish item. For example, I enjoyed the brunch at Border Grill way more than the Bellagio Buffet. Anyway, just my thinking these days.



    Head back to Aria, played a little bit of Pai Gow Poker (don’t remember winning or losing, so I am taking that as a win), but only for an hour or two before the room and that sweet bed was calling me for a nap. Is it still a nap if you fall hard asleep for 2 ½ hours? Wake up not feeling that well but it is my last night in Vegas and I have a wonderful steak dinner planned at Tender in the Luxor (one more time, thank you MyVegas)

    Take the tram from Luxor back to Excalibur, walk back to Aria, nice evening but boy I do not feel good. Maybe I partied just a bit too much this week and feeling the cumulative effects now. I lay down for a bit but no way am I going to bed early on my last night.

    So about 10pm, I head back to my new favorite Pai Gow table and as I approach table I see there is only one spot open, and guy in first base position just leaving. As I get closer, the pit is putting a plastic cover over his chips which I have never seen in all my years living and playing in Las Vegas. Mind you this is a $25-10,000 table. So I sit down and buy in with my $300. Now, I am a very cool, calm and smooth operator but I need to know what chips are under that cover, I mean really, what is the big deal? But without my glasses and the thick plastic, I can’t tell how many freaking zeros are on the chips! Few minutes go by, player returns, cover comes off and I am sitting next to almost 100k in chips, mostly in 5K chips. Dude was really nice, asked if he had missed anything exciting while he was gone. So for the next hour, he is betting 10K a hand while I am betting mostly $25 a hand. It was fun to be that close to that kind of money. Made even better by the niceness of this guy, he seemed truly happy when I won or got a bonus.

    Now if you are not familiar with Pai Gow, when you win a hand, you actually have to pay the house a 5% commission. So when I bet $25, if I won, I actually only won 23.75. When he won a hand at 10K, he had to pay $500 commission and would win only $9500. His commission was almost twice my entire buy in and bankroll for the night! He ended up having a bit of a bad run and cashed out after about an hour with 55K. After he left, dealer told me he had bought in with 50K so he was okay. Oh yeah, somewhere in there, I turned my $300 into $600. But it sure was fun seeing that big money fly around the table. It is 1am time to turn it, I have a 7.5 hour drive home tomorrow or do I?
     

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  19. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    7th Day, Thursday May 16th – Drive home day boo hoo

    I toss and turn all night, just feeling terrible. Maybe I got 3-4 hours sleep. At around eight, I force myself out of bed, shower, soak in my private Jacuzzi tub but still feel miserable. Get some drugs from ABC store, maybe this will help and check out of Aria. Head to gas station to fill up over by Palms where I play a little Video Poker but still feel rotten. At this point it is nearing noon and I am thinking, this is going to be one miserable 7.5 hour drive back to Colorado plus I lose an hour. I check my Hotel Tonight app, and I can get a room at Paris for $46, no hesitation on my part, booked.

    I get to the line about 1:30, dead tired, inquire about early check in possibility and upgrade with the $20 about as obvious as can be. Nice lady says I can check in early for $15 and an upgrade would be an additional $40. Apparently, my sob story about being sick and the $20 was nothing. BUT later, I shall thank this unknown person as it turned out quite well for me.

    

So I have 2 ½ hours to kill before I can officially check in and honestly I am a grumpy gus at this point. I walk over to PH and head to Earl of Sandwich, this will make me feel better. Well, it literally took 35 minutes to get my sandwich, there was no line, they screwed up my order not once but twice. When I say screwed up, not because I am a picky customer, it didn’t get made the first time. When I asked after 15 minutes, they put second order in and that got lost also. To his credit, the manager was very nice and when he realized what had happened tried to comp me but I had used TR points so he gave me a business card and wrote Free lunch for 2 on back.

    Lunch actually perked me up a bit, and as I was walking back through Planet Hollywood, I see they are filming something at one of the pits and there happens to be a Pai Gow Poker table there. Hey, I am not dumb so I buy in for $200, it is a $15 minimum and proceed to play and watch the actors standing around mostly and every now and then doing a scene. I am also losing pretty badly. No bonus hands and I am down $100 in about 30 minutes, until the lovely dealer deals me a Royal Flush with my $5 bonus out there. Now I did grow up in Texas and when you get a Royal Flush and are from Texas, by law, you are required to let out a big Whoop! Unfortunately, that was seconds right after I had heard someone else yell “Action”. Boy, if looks could kill, I would not be writing this report right now. My payoff was $750 which gave me a nice $600 profit which I owed to the Paris for not letting me check in early.

    Now it is 4pm and I can check in, head back to Paris, to my 5th floor room that overlooks backside, maybe a garage roof. Room was a bit dated but included a refrigerator so that was nice. Sorry, still felt like crap so forgot to take pics.
    I rested for couple of hours, really tired but hey tonight was my 2nd Last night in Vegas, I can’t stay in the room. I walk over to the Flamingo for a little last night of Pai Gow Poker at the Margaritaville Casino, fun place and I am not saying that just because of the cocktail waitress outfits. Quickly lost $200 and then $60 playing video poker and thought, hey, my trip is over. I did take one final picture back at hotel because it was a really nice gambling trip this time. I can’t remember when I came back with almost 4x my original bankroll.

    Thanks for reading, always enjoy your comments and feedback. Till the next trip!
     

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  20. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Thoroughly enjoyed the report!
    Congrats on the Royal and the Pai Gow win.:thumbsup:
     
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