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Not the fun solo trip I had hoped for.

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by WallyBoag, Jan 25, 2009.

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  1. WallyBoag

    WallyBoag Tourist

    Joined:
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    My Trip Report

    I had never been to Vegas by myself, and since I'm an extremely low roller, and all of my friends are either big gamblers or no gamblers at all, I thought that going solo would be the perfect way to have fun. Most of the solo trip reports I read on here seemed like very decent, fun trips, so I thought I'd see if this travel method would work for me. It didn't.

    Who I am: I'm 27 years old (28 in February), live in Fullerton, CA (near Disneyland, 4 hour drive from Vegas), married with my first child to be born in April.

    What I wanted from this trip: An early birthday present for myself. I really just wanted to get away before the stress of having a newborn baby kicks in. I wanted to try out the new Star Trek slot machines because they looked really cool (http://www.ggbmagazine.com/articles/Star_Trek). I wanted to try out one of those virtual table things, assuming they had lower limits than actual table games. I wanted to visit the new Eastside Cannery. I wanted to eat at the Hash House A-Go-Go. I wanted to visit Frankie's Tiki Room. I wanted to see the Encore. I wanted to try out the video camera I bought. I generally just wanted to visit as many casinos as possible, even if it was just a quick "walk through" to see what's up. I wanted to keep the budget DOWN. Cheap was the order of the day. I brought $200 to last me through 2 days.

    The Trip: In order to save money and avoid traffic, I decided I would just drive up to Vegas early Saturday morning, rather than book a Friday night hotel room and drive up after work Friday evening. I had planned on booking the Eastside Cannery for $59 a night, but then found the Tuscany available for $32 on Hotwire and went for that instead. I figured better to use the 30 bucks I saved gambling than stay in the nicer digs. I also figured Tuscany was more centrally located than Eastside Cannery way out on Boulder.

    Anyways I got up at 4 in the morning, showered, stopped at a gas station to make sure my tires were properly inflated and topped off the tank, and was on my way. I was hoping to get a sausage chili and cheese sandwich at Tommy's in Barstow, but they didn't open until 7 AM. Bummer. I rolled into Stateline around 8 AM. From here on out I'm going to document everything casino by casino.

    Casino #1 - Terribles Primm Valley: I was getting hungry and a casino is a casino, so when I rolled into Stateline I headed to Terrible's so get some grub and gaming action. I headed to the coffee shop there and saw a couple of Wizard of Oz slot machines vacant right by the door. I ha three singles and thought "Oh, what the heck" and pushed them in there. Several flying monkey bonuses later, I had $50 in the till, so I cashed out and headed to breakfast. Good way to start the trip! For breakfast I had the $7.99 T-Bone steak and Eggs. The quality was about what you'd expect for an $8 steak and egg special at a crummy casino. But it was filling and not expensive, so I was happy.

    After breakfast I headed over to the craps table with my slot winnings. 3 seven-outs later, my winnings were gone. Well, so much for starting up. I headed over to the pit and found an empty double deck table with a $5 minimum. Had a seat and played for a good hour and a half with a great dealer from Long Island. had fun conversation, and ended up $20. Things weren't too bad anymore. I wanted a shot at some big money, so I went to the Megabucks machine with $40 and... and... and... lost it in about 2 minutes. "Why the hell am I playing slot machines?" I thought to myself, "I'm a table games player." Oh well. I figured Terrible's was cramping my style, so I hopped in the car and headed for Vegas.

    Casino #2 - South Point: One of my intentions for this trip was to visit as many casinos as I could. I thought about stopping in Jean, but was antsy to get to a "real" casino in a "real" town, so I bypassed it, and instead stopped at South Point. This place was really nice. I parked in the parking structure and walked into a high-cielinged gigantic casino. There must have been more than 100 tables in their gigantic pit, but they only had 5 or 6 of them open. A sign of the times? I don't know, but all of the tables that they did have open were pretty full, especially those with $5 minimums.

    "Hey look at that!" I thought to myself as I passed the monopoly video/reel machine (you know, the one with the screen that looks through to the reels... this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzN6wOGZShM ... So I went and signed up for a slot card. "Do I get any special free play or anything for signing up?" I asked the lady. "Nope. Here's your card."

    Oh well. I put $40 into the machine. I walked away with nothing. Not even a bonus round. "Why am I playing slots?" I thought to myself.

    I tried to find a spot at a $5 blackjack table, but there was none to be had. "Hey look at at that!" I thought to myself as I passed the Star Trek slot machine. I plopped down and pushed in $40. This machine was really cool. I did get to play a couple of bonus rounds, but the $40 again disappeared fairly quick. "Why am I playing slots?" I thought to myself. $80 gone at this joint and I didn't even get a drink. That's it. I'm leaving. South Point might look big and pretty, but it sucks.

    On my way out the door "Hey look at that!" I thought to myself as I passed a really cool looking Indiana Jones game. Guess what? another $40 gone. "Why am I playing slots?" I thought to myself... Well that was that. $120 of my $200 budget gone at one casino. No more slots. Period. I drove to the strip.

    Lessons learned: Slot machine designers are really good at what they do. The games are all really neat and fun to play, but the money disappears quickly. I wish I could play these games for fun, not for real money. I'd gladly pay $40 to be able to play any one of those games at home for keeps, but $40 for maybe 20 minutes of play, forget it.

    Casino #3 - Tropicana: I can't check into my room at the Tuscany until 3:00 PM, so I figure, what's a good way to kill three hours? I know. I'll park at the Tropicana, walk all the way up the strip to the Wynn, stopping in each casino, then walk all the way back down the other side to NYNY, stopping in each casino, cross back to the Trop, drive to Tuscany, check in and crash for the night. After all, I've got these really comfortable sandals on. It's cool out, and walking is good for you. Stop laughing, all of you. I pulled my car into a very seedy looking, very old parking structure, walked through the "Garden room" area of the hotel, down a very long, very low, very smokey hallway and into the Tropicana casino.

    What a contrast this place is compared to the South Point. Very low ceilings, very dark lighting, and very crowded. I didn't gamble here. Didn't fell the need to, but boy does the Tropicana reek of old Vegas. I'm surprised that it has lasted as long as it has in the condition it is in. With how packed it was in there and the location they are in, I don't see how they are losing money, but apparently they are. I think that with a good investment in nicer facilities and proper management, that property could easily be turned around. Before leaving I did a loop through they whole casino to see if they had any "virtual" table games. They didn't.

    Casino #4 - MGM Grand: The MGM Grand was also very packed. I was hoping to play some Sigma Derby, but I didn't have any quarters, and there weren't any seats available anyway, so I just did a loop around the casino, again looking for virtual tables. They had none, so after looping all the way back to the Monorail station, I headed back out to the street.

    Man is walking up the strip on a Saturday rough. There are just tons of people everywhere. The sidewalks simply aren't designed for the amount of tourists that are walking up and down the strip. Add to the mix the porn slappers, street carts, crossings, and I'm surprised that things actually were moving out there. On the corner just past M&Ms world Coke was outside handing out free cans of Coke Zero. I tried it. It didn't taste as good as regular coke.

    This is getting really long. Post #2 is coming up shortly.
     
  2. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Enjoying reading it! Kind of sad that you overall didn't have as good a time as you thought you would - sorry to hear it.
     
  3. WallyBoag

    WallyBoag Tourist

    Joined:
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    Casino #5 - Planet Hollywood: I really hadn't spent very much time in this place since it was the Aladdin. My intention was to just whirl though it and see how it looked inside. But as I was walking through "Hey look at that!" I thought to myself. I saw a cherry bomb themed slot machine. It was different than others. It had a big grid-like board with a bunch of squares. You picked five squares, and those are your symbols. If you get three matching symbols you win. If you uncover three bonus symbols, the reels above the machine spin. If you find this little flamey guy, he tosses cherry bombs revealing more symbols. I looked and looked but couldn't find a video of this guy on YouTube, nor did I see it in any other casinos on the strip. I can see why. It's time consuming if you pick your own boxes, but I liked that! I was all about killing time when I had 2 days and only $60 left in my budget. I wound up playing this machine for a good 20 minutes or so on $5. Not bad at all!

    When I was done, I continued my walk through the casino and noticed they had a big drum for a free-play drawing for new club sign-ups in one hour. Well, guess I'm signing up for their slot club, then playing some more on the cherry bomb machine. I walk around in circles trying to find the slot club booth. Turns out it's over by the exit to the casino. Weird positioning, but the Aladdin always was like that. I sign up for the card and get all sorts of neat things! First of all, it came with $5 in free slot play. After putting $40 through a machine you get an additional $15 in free play. Then a free pull on a promotional slot machine (I got nothing). Then an entry into a free daily slot tournament. And to top it all off, a fun book with a $25 matchplay.

    Unfortunately my cherry machine didn't take the free play, but I did cycle $40 through it to qualify for the additional $15 (cost me another five bucks). With my $20 freeplay, I played some $.25 video blackjack while waiting for the drawing. Went through that too. Played another unmemorable slot (Why the hell am I playing slot machines? another $20 gone!) Didn't win in the drawing. The line was too long for the slot tournament (I knew I wasn't getting in), so I went downstairs to use my matchplay. I pull into my wallet... there's only $40 in there left from my $200 budget. I must have miscalculated my losses somewhere and missed something. Walking into a $25 bet, this could get ugly real fast. I could have $15 left to spend for one and a half days in Vegas.

    I shakingly sit down at a $25 double deck table, pull out a twenty and a five and my match play and set them in the betting circle. Out come the cards. Soft twenty versus dealer showing an 8. I feel relieved as I tuck my cards under. Dealer pulls the ten and I'm a WINNER! Thank God! I grab my $75 and high tail it outta there. $90 left in the tank.

    I'm determined to keep all $90 till tomorrow (Stop laughing, all of you.) So the rest of the casinos, all I did was walk through to see what was up, look for the "virtual" tables, and get my ass up to the Encore to check it out.

    I'm gonna take a nap (you'll find out why I'm so damn tired in part 3). The rest of the report will come later today. Sorry to be doing this in pieces, but I don't want to accidentally delete an entire section.
     
  4. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Note for reference - it's a good idea to do the writing in something like Microsoft Word (or wordpad or notepad or whatever) and then copy it into a post.
     
  5. sporty8705

    sporty8705 VIP Whale

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    what happened to the rest....
     
  6. garrman

    garrman Low-Roller

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    Loved the TR so far.
     
  7. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    i'm impressed, a $200 budget that involves lots of gambling...kinda like seeing how far your car will go below the fuel line...please post more!
     
  8. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Nice TR so far....don't leave us hangin...:thumbsup:
     
  9. KevinSTP

    KevinSTP High-Roller

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    I'm looking forward to reading the rest too
     
  10. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Cues Kim Wilde
     
  11. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Guess he is napping. This sounds exhausting.
    I can't imagine going to Vegas with such a small budget...he is a brave man.

    Eagerly awaiting the rest of the story.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. BobLasVegas

    BobLasVegas Tourist

    Joined:
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    Nice Job

    Great report so far! I am loving it!

    But....DUDE! You gotta bring more than 200 bucks with you to gamble!

    Come on man, I am a low roller too!

    And DON'T play slots! They are just money sucking machines built for

    people who are too stupid or to timid to play table games!

    Learn and play full pay video poker! Start with the basic game, Jacks or

    Better! Full Pay video poker, played correctly can really stretch your

    playing time and bankroll! And you actually have a chance of winning,

    unlike slots!

    That's my advice, and I know what I am talking about!

    Also, set a daily budget for gambling, you lose it all, you are done for the

    day.

    Vegas is great, but there is NOTHING worse than being BROKE in Vegas!!!!

    I know because it happened to me. Never again! DAILEY budget!!!
     
  13. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    I've been weaned off slots. Except for Wizard of Oz. I think you see why.
     
  14. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Hmmmm well I'm not timid as I play BJ religiously but I have occasionally dabbled in the slots and this dabbling led me to hit $9K last month in Detroit...not to bad for being stupid. Everyone has there thing :Þ
     
  15. BobLasVegas

    BobLasVegas Tourist

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    Uh Huh...

    My Bad, DUH!
     
  16. libby388

    libby388 Tourist

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    Read your post a little bit better. Wally took only 200 to vegas and black jack nut won the 9K.....Congrats bj nut wish i had that luck at least once
     
  17. lappy22

    lappy22 Tourist

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    Are you serious? Can you speak for everyone?
     
  18. BobLasVegas

    BobLasVegas Tourist

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    No

    No, of course I cannot speak for everyone.

    Only the SMART people!
     
  19. mgreeley1

    mgreeley1 Tourist

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    So,

    Your point of going out on a solo trip was:

    1-Get away before the stress of having a newborn baby kicks in
    2-To visit as many casinos as possible
    3-To do some general sightseeing and to try out your new video camera.

    Sounds like #1 and #3 are pretty easy to do. However, I don't think your budget of $200 for 2 days was realistic given the table game limits you were playing and the fact that you were wasting money in slot machines constantly. It almost seems like you had no real solid gambling plan and ended up wandering in and out of lower rent casinos and wasting money on slot machines. Not exactly a formula for a successful and fun vacation.
     
  20. petgomez

    petgomez Tourist

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    Isn't the formula for a fun/successful vacation purely personal? Maybe sticking to a budget of $200 and playing slots is exactly their idea of a good time??
     
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