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Mirage 9/22-9/24

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Buckeye Bob, Sep 26, 2005.

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  1. Buckeye Bob

    Buckeye Bob Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    Messages:
    470
    Location:
    Chicago
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27

    My Trip Report

    We just returned from a long weekend staying at the Mirage. We did not plan to go this year, but earlier in the summer, one of friends said that this was the year they were finally going to go to Las Vegas, leaving the kids at home. We said that if they went, we would go to and they called our bluff. We got another couple to sign up and we were set. Hopefully, you will like my TR. I will warn you up front, it’s a long one.



    Thursday – A 25-hour day

    As is typical for me the night before I go to Las Vegas, I woke up about 4:45 am because I was too excited to sleep. We flew out of Chicago on American, landing in LV at 4:45 pm. Flight was uneventful and got in 10 minutes early. We fully expected to see a huge cab line but were very excited to see literally no one waiting. Much different from last year. We had a great cab driver that took some shortcuts including one through Harrah’s parking garage and avoided a lot of the traffic on the strip. She was well deserving of a good tip. We had reserved a regular room at the Mirage for $537 for a three-night stay. At check-in, I inquired about the possibility of an upgrade but they were sold out so no chance. I did let her know that last year we had a small room with a horrible view of the air conditioners on the roof. She took care of us with a room on the 18th floor that overlooked the pool and towards the south strip. 18-111 if anyone cares.



    After getting unpacked, we headed down to meet our other friends. The couple we went with last year are very good friends of ours but are not very big partiers. This year’s group was the opposite. Two other couples and we expected some wild times to come. We were not disappointed. We meet up in the lobby and head over to Margaritaville for our traditional first night out. They told us it would be a 45-minute wait for a table so we headed for the bar. Since none of us had eaten lunch, the margaritas kicked in rather quickly. 20 minutes into our wait, our buzzer went off and we were seated. Food was good and somewhat reasonably priced. Many more margaritas were consumed.



    We headed out to the strip and the ladies wanted to learn how to play craps. We started walking and ended up at Casino Royale for their $2 craps with 100x odds. It was tough to get on a table but we finally managed. Ladies had a great time watching but only one decided to actually play. Casino Royale is an interesting place. A little different crowd from the Mirage, to put it mildly, and very smoky. Dealers at the Craps table were overwhelmed with how many people were playing. I have never seen so many disputes about who was paid and not paid after a roll. Eventually, we all decided that we had enough and headed back out. The ladies wanted to dance and we end up at Tangerine at TI. I was skeptical of our ability to get in and we did not feel like paying a $20 cover charge. One of the ladies went up to the doorman and next thing we know, we are in. At first, I thought we would be a too old for this place (we are all in our late-30s, early 40s) but the crowd was mixed. We had a great time and finally left at around 1:30 am. After discussing what next, the ladies decided they wanted to dance some more so they went back to the club. The men gambled and we finally left TI around 2:45 to head back. We get back to the room and finally get to bed about 3:30am, 25 hours after waking up.



    Friday – The Running of the Bulls, Mirage style

    Being used to getting up at 6 am every day, central time, of course I wake up at 5:30am in Vegas and cannot fall back to sleep. My wife too, although I probably had something to do with that. We decide to get down to the pool early to get some chairs. We look out of our window at 6:45 and see that people are already lining up to get in. Please keep in mind that the pool does not open until 8:00. We finally get down there about 7:30 and get in line. More people keep coming and the line becomes a little less defined. When 8 am comes, they open the gate and any semblance of a line goes out the window. I felt like I was in Pamplona in July. This was the running of the bulls in Las Vegas. People were literally sprinting for chairs. Very funny. We walked in an orderly fashion and had no problem grabbing 3 chairs. We decided not to be greedy even though there were six of us. The ladies were heading to the spa this morning so it was just us boys at the pool in the morning. After a little while, I decided to go play some poker. I head over to the Poker Room and am amazed to discover that they only have two tables going. One $3/$6 limit and a $2/$5 no limit. I decide to play Limit. Kind of treading water and then the hand. WARNING: POKER BAD-BEAT STORY COMING!! I get dealt pocket 10s and raise preflop. 5 others call. Flop comes 3s 10c 7c. Beautiful, I have a set of 10’s! Someone bets and I just decide to call. I knew that more than likely, my raise was not going to scare many out of the hand. Turn comes the beautiful 3c. This helped anyone on the flush draw but gave me a full house. Young Asian guy, who’s been playing everything, bets, someone raises and I reraise. The bets end up capped and I am out of my mind because I just know I have the best hand. River comes 3d. Now, all of a sudden, I am a little nervous. Betting goes around with raises and re-raises and you guessed it, Asian guy has A 3 for runner-runner quad 3s to beat my full boat. $140 or so pot. Ouch. The next hand, my gut shot on the river gave me a straight but also made a flush for the guy on my right. I decided that although, I had only played for 20 minutes, enough was enough. I cashed out and went back to the pool. The ladies came back from the spa looking very relaxed from their treatments. We hung by the pool for a while and decided we needed to get the drinking started again since it was almost 11 am. We ordered bloody marys and margaritas. Here’s a tip for the Mirage pool. They sell small drinks that are normal size and large drinks that come in this enormous souvenir glass. They are about the size of over 3 small drinks but cost only about 40% more than the small. Ask for some extra cups. We had lunch at the pool from Carnegie Deli. Huge sandwiches. Make sure you share.



    Now, it’s getting close to 3pm so we head over to the Barbary Coast for Big Elvis. Show was very similar to last year but I do not believe the stories that he has lost any weight. He rarely stood up during the show, even less than last year. I will say, though, that boy can sing and it was enjoyable as always. Finally, we head back to the room for a “nap†and then some sleep to get ready for that night.



    We head out to the MGM for dinner at Emeril’s. Food was excellent. We had been there about 3 years ago but they had completely changed the décor of the restaurant and the menu. More emphasis on fine dining but not stuffy. Service was awesome as was the food. Waiter was great. Twice, he directed us away from something that he thought was not very good. Their shrimp entrée and the bread pudding if anyone cares. They had a scallop appetizer special that I had as and entrée along with an artichoke parmesan soup that was incredible. Everyone loved their meals. Bill was about $150 per couple including 3 bottles of wine.



    After dinner, we went over to see Ka. This was unbelievable. I had seen Mystere but this was very different. It had somewhat of a story but a little hard to follow. The staging and the theatre itself was spectacular. At one time the entire stage pivoted to be completely up and down with performers climbing all over this vertical wall. I won’t give away anything else but it was incredible. For seats, we were in section 201, row BB. 201 is a little left of stage in the second section. However, BB is the first row in this section and we were in the seats on the far right of 201, across the aisle from 200. These had to be the best seats in the house in the $125 price bucket. The seats directly across the aisle in 200 were $150. Seat numbers were 21-26 if anyone cares.



    After the show, we headed back to the Mirage. At first, our cab driver seemed to be going in a different direction than I would have expected and I asked him about it. He then got belligerent that I was questioning his ethics. I tried to explain to him that I have seen it happen many times and didn’t want to get taken advantage of. He of course did not like this so he pretty much ranted the whole way. As it turned out, he was going over to the highway to miss all of the strip traffic. I told him afterward that I was wrong to question him and he seemed to get over it. It is funny that virtually any cab driver I tell “No tunnel†to at the airport seems to take offense at the request. We get back to the Mirage about 1:00 am and everyone decides to call it an early night.



    Saturday – Football, Pool, and I’m the only one Sober!

    Wake up about 6am and get ready for a day at the Sportsbook watching college football. I get down there early to get a table in the bar area and plan my attack for the day’s games. My friends come down and the games begin. I actually end up positive on the day on my sports bets, not a normal occurrence for me. I win big on my Buckeyes over Iowa, Notre Dame, Miami, Florida and Wisconsin. Clemson and Purdue both blew it in overtime or I would have had a really good day. To me, nothing is better than Michigan losing and me winning money on it. After the Buckeye game, I decide to leave my friends in the Sportsbook and try poker again. Things go pretty well with the highlight being beating the idiot in the sunglasses (at a 3/6 table!!) out of a huge pot when my QK made a full house to beat his trip Kings with AK. $120 pot.



    Okay, so now it is 3:30 and I realize we have not heard from the wives since 9 am. I tell my friends that one of two things are happening. Either they went shopping and have spent a ton or they are probably hammered by the pool. Option B turned out to be true. I go back to my friends and I realize that they also have been drinking since I went to play poker. I don’t like to drink when I play poker so I have not had anything to drink as of yet. Now, all of the wives are hammered as are the other two guys and I am sober. My wife, of course, seems to be about the worst of all. Very funny. We head up to the room to get ready for dinner about 6 pm and she did share later that she did not remember taking a shower…or anything else before dinner. That made me feel real good, if you know what I mean.



    I get over being the only sober one and decide the only way I can survive is to start drinking and try and catch up. Dinner was at Isla at Treasure Island. Higher-end Mexican food but quite tasty. I highly recommend. We had a sampler platter of appetizers and for dinner, I had their Chili Relleno and it was great. Bill was about $105 per couple with many drinks.



    After dinner, we decide to go over to the Rio and go to Voodoo Lounge. None of us had ever been there and we are glad we went. Here is a tip: If you are going to go to Voodoo, there is a website where you can sign up to get a VIP pass that allows you to skip the line and avoid cover charge. There were about 40 people in line and we went right to the front and up. The website is:



    http://www.riovegasnights.com/index2.htm



    I was a little skeptical if it was going to work but no problem. We get up to the top and head out on the terrace area outside. Wow, what a view. It was so cool to see the strip at night from that angle. I got some great pictures. After a while there, we head back to the strip. The cab line at the Rio is enormous with no cabs in sight. I saw the sign for the shuttle to Harrah’s and it should be coming any minute. We take the shuttle and it sure beat waiting in that line. Once back on the strip, we decide to go to check out the Bellagio as the other two couples had never been there either. We walk over there and go through the casino to the lobby. I hadn’t been there in three years and I forgot how amazing it was. The conservatory had a Halloween theme going and was a little underwhelming this time. After a while, we went out to watch a couple of fountain shows and then headed back up the strip. The ladies wanted to play cheap craps again so, against all better judgment, we go back up to Casino Royale. Their tables are jammed without any chance of getting a spot in the near future. After about 20 minutes, I decided that my brain just can’t handle the transition from Bellagio to Casino Royale so we head back to the Mirage. I decide to jump on a $10 craps table, which is a little higher than I normally play. One of the other guys decides to play also for his first time. We have a great time and end up exactly even for the session. Same with my friend. The ladies decide that after a full day of drinking, they have had enough. I stay down there with one other until about 3 am and then head up myself.



    Sunday – Adventures in Flying and Problems with the Stairwell at O’Hare

    We wake up about 8:00 am and after showering, we head out to find breakfast. We meet up with one of the couples at Carnegie Deli as the coffeshop, Caribe Café, was too long a wait. Breakfast was okay. Huge omelet and order of bacon. We split between two of us and I highly recommend that. While we are at breakfast, we get a call from the other couple who are already at the airport informing us that our 12:00 flight was now delayed until 2:20. Great. We go over to the airport to a HUGE security line. However, they told us to go through the line that said first class and then they would direct us into the general security line. They noticed that I am Platinum on American, because I travel a lot for business, and let me go in the preferred security line with only 4 people in front of us. Huge Score!! We get to the gate and discover that the problem is mechanical but that 2:20 looks good. We kill 3 hours at the airport doing nothing. We actually would have stayed longer at the Mirage but we were worried that it was a weather delay and would hate to see the plane end up leaving earlier. Flight home is uneventful and we are now trying to meet up with one of the other couples who are on a different flight but getting in around the same time. They are delayed a little so I volunteer to go and get the car. As I am walking, I call my wife on her cell phone to let her know the gate of our friend’s plane. As I am about one second from the beep on her voicemail, I catch the end of my shoe as I am walking down the steps while carrying my luggage. It was like a slow motion play and all I could think was, this is not going to end well. I stumble down the steps and hit the cement landing on my side. My bag goes flying down the steps and the cell phone also goes flying. I get up somewhat bruised and embarrassed with a twisted ankle. I call my wife again and tell her what happened and after inquiring about my condition, her and her friend proceed to almost wet themselves laughing. I start laughing too. Very funny but it gets better. Remember when I said I was one second from leaving a message? Well, when we checked it later, we could hear me say Sh*t and hear me stumbling and the bag falling down the steps. Good humor.



    Observations and other Random Thoughts

    · You could find $10 tables virtually everywhere on Saturday night. I was actually amazed to see a number of them even at the Bellagio. 6/5 seems to have taken over the single and double deck games on the strip, at least at the $25 and below tables. What gets me is that there are no shortage of idiots playing them.

    · I never had back-to-back positive gambling sessions. If I won some money, I would lose it the next time I sat down. For whatever reason, I was most profitable at Roulette this time. Blackjack beat me up and Craps was about even. However, I only lost about $300 for the trip so no complaints.

    · The Mirage is still my favorite place. Some of the new changes are beautiful. I had never been to the Ava lounge before but we loved it. It is just something about the casino that makes feel more comfortable. Not to mention the fact that their ventilation system is top-notch. You barely notice the smoke unlike some other places, such as MGM.

    · The Mirage Sportsbook is awesome but I don’t understand why they don’t open up some of the horseracing section to football during weekends in the fall. Two-thirds of the wall is set aside for horseracing with not nearly as many people playing.

    · No offense to anyone but for whatever reason, I cannot win at a blackjack table with a Female, Asian dealer. I have no idea why.

    · I really wanted to play more poker this time but it didn’t work with the big group. Definitely next time.

    · I truly love going to Las Vegas, especially with good friends. I couldn’t stop smiling the first day there and that is even before I started drinking.



    Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.



    Bob
     
  2. kitson

    kitson VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,881
    bob, great report, thanks. i have also noticed that somehow a person gets to have a lot more naps in las vegas than at home.
     
  3. PWiddy

    PWiddy Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Messages:
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    great report! thanks....i'm going to mirage on thursday and am glad to know the construction didn't hinder the trip much (or at least you didnt mention it)

    you mentioned some rennovations? What have they completed so far?
     
  4. Buckeye Bob

    Buckeye Bob Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    470
    Location:
    Chicago
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Pwiddy,

    As my wife will tell you, I am not the most observant person but I did notice that they completely redid the high-limit area. This did not affect me but I know it was under construction last November. In addition, I think they did some renovation of the Ava Lounge as I didn't remember it looking the same. I could be wrong on that one. The White Tiger observation area on the one side was closed but is set to reopen this week so it should be ready to go when you get there. Other than that, I did not see any construction going on while we were there.

    Bob
     
  5. PWiddy

    PWiddy Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    thanks for info!
     
  6. IllMarty

    IllMarty Orangutan

    Joined:
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    Nice report Bob. I too love the Mirage when staying on the strip. Your fall on the stairs sounds like something that might happen to me. Dooh!

    Marty
     
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