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My gambling mojo is back: 1/16 -1/19 trip report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Brewing18Aces, Jan 20, 2008.

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  1. Brewing18Aces

    Brewing18Aces Tourist

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17

    My Trip Report

    It is enjoyable reading the trip reports that people have contributed, so I thought I would try my to hand at my own. It wasn't a very eventful trip but it definitely was fun and a great getaway from everything at home. I love planning trips and Vegas is probably the easiest one to do. This one was to celebrate my wife's 40th birthday. For my 40th birthday last fall we got to go to Chicago to see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, so my wife decided she wanted to go somewhere for hers. Since it was a little late to plan a vacation to the somewhere like the beach and we don't like to ski, it was a natural choice for us to move up our Vegas vacation from May to January for her b-day.

    Wednesday

    After dropping off the dog at the kennel the night before and taking our 4 year-old to his aunt's house to stay while we were gone, we were off to the airport in Omaha Wednesday morning (1/16). Fortunately the snow
    they were predicting hadn't arrived yet so the roads were clear and the all was ready for a timely departure. As much as I hate flying I think I am getting used to this. Until we got married I think I had flown twice in my life. Now since our honeymoon to Vegas in 2001, I have flown every year. Once we reach cruising altitude, I am fine, but the take-off bugs me for some reason. Obviously I am not a fan of roller coasters and I think that is just what it feels like. Anyway, the flight was smooth and 2.5 hours later we arrive. Head straight for baggage claim (lucked out and arrived at one of the C-20something gates that you just walk right up some stairs and down an escalator and you are at baggage claim) and then to the taxi line. Short 10 minute or so wait and we are on our way to the New York, New York hotel. Cab driver was friendly and got us there quickly right up Swenson to Tropicana and to the hotel.

    Check-in line wasn't too bad. I think we waited 15-20 minutes. Got our room in the Century Tower facing MGM, Tropicana, and Excalibur from the 20th floor. The room wasn't real big, but comfortable enough for us. I know some people don't like the hallways in the NYNY, nut I kind of liked them not being one long narrow hallway for a change. Easier to Navigate than the hallways my friend and I had to negotiate at the Golden Nugget last year. Once we settled in it was off to Gonzalez Y Gonzalez for lunch. Neither of us had eaten much this morning, so had to take care of that. Need to have something to soak up the beer and the daiquiri's. The food at Gonzalez y Gonzalez isn't too bad. We have never been disappointed. Probably a little pricier than it should be, but not bad.

    Once lunch was done, off we went to check out the casino's in the area. Since it was a chilly and windy day, we didn't really want to spend too much time outside. We wandered over to Excalibur, Luxor, and MGM to check out all the new changes. We really don't sit around in any one place gambling. We are more of a hit and run type of gambler. Even though it was only early afternoon, I did notice that there were a lot of $5 minumum tables at all the places, including NYNY. Some even were still running in the evening. I guess since there wasn't anything huge going on in the area, minimums weren't too bad. Although I hardly play BlackJack any more, I did notice that at least MGM had some relatively decent rules, even at the lower levels. Did kind of like the changes at the Luxor on the casino level, although it seems like to are adding quite a bit this year. There was a kind of funky smell on the atrium level, so we made a relatively quick walk through there.

    The rest of the day we just gambled here and there, never really hitting much. Didn't get onto any craps tables since the low limit ones were all full. Probably could have went with the $10 dollar tables with just doing single odds instead of my regular double odds, but wasn't going to do that this early in the trip. Could potentially damage the bankroll. After checking everything out at the south end of the strip and stopping at about all the sportsbooks to check the Australian Open tennis matches we headed back to the room about 10 that night. My wife decided to call it a night since we had been up since a little before 6:00 am central time. I then headed back down to play a little more. So far between the cab, some drinks and a few 20's run through the slots and VP I was down only about 170 for the trip and I figured that was about what was going to be par for the course. Did wonder through the Luxor, and Excalibur to check the tables. Still full, so I
    headed over to Tropicana to see what they had going. Thought about sitting in on the midnight poker tournament, but decided I would probably be wiped out before too long. The craps tables were busy, so I sat down at my favorite slot, 25-cent 2 coin Triple Diamond. Popped in a 20 and a few spins later, 7-triple.diamond-triple-diamond. 450 dollars Score! My gambling mojo had definitely returned. The last couple trips I couldn't get ahead, but this time I got ahead early and never looked back. played a little more, but
    then the fact that I had been up for so long, it was time for bed.

    Thursday

    At last, an uninterrupted sleep. No dog or 4 year old to wake me in the middle of the night. I almost forgot what that was like. Anyway, we get up and head downstairs to get some breakfast. Just went with muffins at Starbucks, since we were going to eat somewhat big for lunch. We decided to go over to the Tropicana. Since my wife is a speech pathologist, she wanted to check out the "Bodies" exhibition. Seemed like it would be interesting, so we get tickets. Didn't open till 10, so we played a little there to kill time. Discovered the penny slot, Coyote Moon, and decided to play. If only I had put more money in and played max coins ($4 a spin) hit 5000 credits. Oh well 20 into over 60 ain't bad. Once 10 rolled around we headed
    to the exhibit. It may not be great for the squeamish, but overall I thought it was interesting. It is amazing how they preserved the the bodies and being able to see the systems and organs in this way made me appreciate just what doctors have to learn. Also reminded me why I don't smoke after seeing the smokers lung they showed next to a healthy lung.

    After the exhibition, we took the monorail to the flamingo station and headed over to Caesars to eat at Cheesecake Factory. The lunch wasn't too bad, as usual, but was incidental. We were there for dessert. We love the Vanilla Bean cheesecake they make. Now that we were full, it was time to walk it off a little. We walk around Caesars for a bit, then we stop off at the race and sports book. I had handicapped Santa Anita and Golden Gate while on the plane so we decided to sit there for a while and play the horses a little. And my wife was able to watch her tennis some too. Won a few show bets at both tracks, but not any exactas. Some might not like it, but the drink tickets they hand out at Caesers in the sportsbook are pretty easy to get. Each time I bet more than $5 dollars they gave me a ticket, so I had no problem with drinks. Anyway my wife decided she was getting tired and we needed to walk around some more, so I told her that I just had one more
    bet to make. I had narrowed down a 10 horse field to 4 in the 3rd race at Santa Anita. I would have tried two exacta boxes, but one of the four was a late scratch. So I changed up to a $2 trifecta box (1,8,9). Watched the race and could have sworn that the race ended 1, 9, 6. So I thought I had just missed it, but my wife said that she was sure it was the 8 horse that finished third. She was right. Cashed in a $338 trifecta bet. So I up over $500 for the trip. Can't argue with that.

    We head over to check out the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood and to show my wife the changes at Planet Hollywood. She actually kind of likes it now. She wasn't all that fond of it when it was the Alladin. Played a little at Harrahs and Imperial Palace and then headed back to the room to mellow out for a little bit, but had to stop at the daiquiri bar outside of Coyote Ugly since they were the only one that had my favorite, the White russian Daiquiri. Funny thing is they card everyone at this one. I haven't had to show ID for drinks for like 10 years. We headed to the room to relax for a bit and watch some tennis again.

    About 6 we decided to head back up the strip. We had tickets to Wayne Brady at the Venetian at 9. We played at a few casinos by there, mostly Harrahs properties, to keep the points going a little bit, but mostly
    to kill time till the show. The Wayne Brady show is pretty good. It was really funny. He had a lot of audience participation and it had a lot of "whose line is it anyway?" type of stuff. It was a good variety type show. Maybe a little pricey, but I would say that the Venetian showroom doesn't really have a bad seat, so you wouldn't need to buy the best tickets to have a good view of the show. We thought it was worth the money, but I guess that all depends on your personal tastes. After the show headed back to NYNY and grabbed some pizza at the pizza shop in the village and then headed back to the room.

    Friday

    Decided to start the day with some Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Need the sugar rush to get the day going. We were going to head back up the strip to see the Palazzo and go through the Fashion Show mall. Just a bit of
    wandering around. Bought a few things and played a little here and there. Got a few pictures this day. Head back to the room with our purchases and get ready to head downtown. Catch a cab at NYNY and head to Main
    Street Station for lunch at the 777 Brew Pub. Last time my wife and I were there the Kitchen had lost power so we couldn't eat, but this time all was well. The beer and the food was good. I really like the Main Street Station casino. It is one of the few places I could stay downtown. I like to gamble all over downtown, but Main Street Station, and the Golden Nugget are the places I would most likely stay.

    After lunch I took my wife through some of the downtown casino's she really had never been to. I had to replace a bunch of the player's club cards that I lost last year. So we went from casino to casino downtown, looking for a craps game that my wife wanted to play or had room since they were all pretty busy. After wandering throuh Main Street Station, The Cal, Vegas Club, Golden Nugget, Four Queens, we finally ended up playing at Binion's. Did okay, but not a lot. At least I got some time in at the craps table. wandered around a little more including stopping in at the Golden Gate. Overall I would say I like downtown. It is cheaper and in many ways more fun. If my wife didn't like the amenities of the strip resorts, we would
    probably stay downtown.

    Caught a cab back to the strip. Decided to hit Harrahs again and the Imperial Palace. played there for a while and then wandered down to Bill's. Even though I liked it a bit better when it was the Barbary Coast, Bill's still isn't too bad a place to play, It was busy, but not too crowded. Tried a little 3-card poker while my wife sat the bar playing VP. Neither of us did very well, but it was fun to play there. When we were done there we thought about trying to do a little celebrity spotting, but since we really weren't into clubs and not sure where else to go, we just headed back to the sports books to catch a little more Australian Open Tennis and back to the room. My wife stayed in and I decided to go back down and play the free play I had on my Players club card. played a little more on the slots. Thought about playing Craps on the tables at NYNY, but the only table that had openings had people on it that just weren't any fun and almost annoying. I prefer a fun table. Decided to head up to the room about midnight.

    Saturday

    Time to head home. The weather finally warmed up pretty good (up to mid 50's). At least good compared to what we were headed back home to. It was 7 degrees at home. Real smooth take off out of McCarran. Nice
    comfortable flight. Got some reading done. Got a ways in the book, "May the horse be with you" by Harvey Pack. Interesting read if you like horseracing. Not a real long book, great for reading on the plane.

    Overall it was a great trip. would have liked to play a little more table games. but the slots, VP and horseracing treated me okay. As always the food was good and it made for a great getaway.

    A few observations for those that might be interested:

    low minimums can be found on the strip. I saw $5 minimums in places I usually didn't think I would. even saw $10 minimums in some the swankier places.

    I know it takes a little bit to get to the monorail, but I still like it for getting up and down the the strip if you are staying at one end or another.

    "Pour 24" at NYNY is a nice place to grab a beer that is not the average macrobrew, but I am not sureI would go out of my way to get there.

    As most know, Downtown is probably the best value. We only really ate one meal a day and downtown was about half the cost. And the beer was about half the cost if you weren't gambling, or came around quicker when you were gambling.

    You don't have to be gambling all the time to have fun. I still missed some things I wanted to go, but just wandering around checking things out can be just was fun.

    Hope you enjoyed the read. It was my first trip report and kind of long, but I finally wrote one. That's a start right?

    Have a good one,

    Joel
     
  2. swanny

    swanny Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    285
    Location:
    Outside of Philly (PA)
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    Thanks for the report, Joel. My wife & I will be hitting downtown for the first time in March. Glad to hear all of the positive feedback on the downtown area.

    Swanny
     
  3. Lauri

    Lauri Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Great report, Joel - looks like we both endured the Wednesday freeze!

    I did see some $5 BJ also, but they were always full.
     
  4. ghetto71

    ghetto71 Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Raleigh
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    Nice TR!:thumbsup:
     
  5. aggie182

    aggie182 Off Key and Out of Tune

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
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    Location:
    Missouri City, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Thanks for helping me kill some time at the office with a nice, well-written TR.
     
  6. kitson

    kitson VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,881
    thanks. i am with you on the flying, its ok, but the takeoffs and landings are tough on me.

    where is pour 24? know that the bar in times square has a few different beers on tap, but dont recall seeing pour 24.
     
  7. JimmyO

    JimmyO Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    Great report! My wife is also a speechie, and she is interested in seeing the Bodies exhibit. We missed it when it passed through town here last year.
     
  8. ssfblue

    ssfblue Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    407
    Location:
    The Bay Area
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Thanks for your TR, congrats on your winnings! :)
     
  9. Brewing18Aces

    Brewing18Aces Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
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    Kitson,

    Pour 24 is right next to the top of the escalators and by Coyote Ugly. Just a small bar area that serves all American craft brews on tap. the brews were good. prices averaged about 6 bucks each. We drank there a few times as we went by to go back to the room.
     
  10. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
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    Tacoma, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    24
    Very nicely done and congrats on the slot and pony wins. DT is definetly the better value; but, one has to wonder with all the remodels going on how much of a bargain will it be.
     
    Back where we belong
  11. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
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    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
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    Great report..........nice first effort!!
     
  12. angel81chick

    angel81chick Abuelita

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
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    Nice TR....thanks! :D
     
  13. sin

    sin VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Albuquerque
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    Joel, excellent first tr! Glad to hear you both had an enjoyable time and that you won a little cash....always makes the trip a happier one! :beer:
     
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