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NYE Trip Report 2012-2013

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by ItsJustMe, Jan 3, 2013.

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  1. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27

    My Trip Report

    Preplanning

    In October I received an New Year’s invitation from Bconnected for a 5 night stay at either Main Street Station or the California from 12/28 – 1/2 2013 which also included an NYE invitational dinner with cash prizes. I was torn on whether to go or not as I was traveling with my wife to Milwaukee/Las Vegas for 17 days in November and Hong Kong for 15 days in January. As this is my first offer for New Year’s Eve @ Las Vegas and I am a first time Emerald status card holder and not sure if I can achieve Emerald status again for next year, I decided to book the offer.

    My wife was not able to take vacation for this trip :cry: so I invited my brother who lives in Albuquerque, who quickly said yes :cheers: as he wanted to experience Las Vegas during New Years.

    Air fare from Hawaii is quite expensive during the Christmas/New Years holiday so I opted to use my mileage – 17.5k to Las Vegas and 25k back home on Hawaiian Air. I book from Dec 26 to Jan 2 – both red-eye flights to get 6 full days in Las Vegas. My brother says he will drive so no need to rent a car. SCORE – this trip is costing me nothing except meals and gambling.

    Departure

    So I go to the airport on 12/26 (points was cheaper to leave on this days as opposed to the red-eye flight on the 27th). Air Force Once is leaving the airport to fly back to DC. All outside work is shut down until Air Force One departs – then they load up our bags into the cargo hold. Our flight departs about 30 minutes behind schedule but makes up most of the time on-route. I arrive in Las Vegas at 6:05 am and my brother is waiting for me at the baggage claim.

    Dec 27 (Day 1)

    My brother is using a 2 day comp from the Orleans so we go there first. My original plan is to take a short nap after arriving but hey, I’m in Vegas so forget the nap! Play a little 25$ blackjack, can’t get it going so after 25 minutes of going back and forth I color up with a $50 loss – a win in my book at least for the time played. I play a little Goldfish2 (penny machine) – put in a $20, play around 10 spins and hit the bonus paying out 5040 points (this pattern of playing penny slots will become a habit during this trip). SCORE – I cash $43 profit.

    Breakfast is a the BabyStacks Café on the corner of Buffalo & Flamingo. This place is probably owned by Hawaiian transplants as the menu looks like it came from home. Portuguese sausage & eggs, Kalua pig adobe fried rice… but they have a wide assortment of pancakes – banana cream pie pancakes, cinnabun pancakes, white chocolate macadamia nut pancakes, but my favorite is the Red Velvet pancakes. Hmm yum-yum.

    Next stop is South Point. Dropped $200 on 2 different $25 blackjack tables Usually South Point is good to me but not on this trip. Oh well, there are a lot more days of gambling ahead so I don’t sweat the loses. Go find the Goldfish2 slots, put in a $20 and a few spins later cash out $35. Getting a little tired so I guess I will have to take a nap.

    Nothing to eventful for the remainder of the day. Go back to Orleans, take my 2 hour nap, eat a ½ sandwich at Subways for dinner, play 3 hours of $25 blackjacks which I broke even. Go to bed at 10:30 pm (Wow! That’s too early) down around $400 for the day.

    Dec 28 (Day 2)

    The plan today is to drive to Laughlin. I’ve never been there so my brother (who has gone there a few times) is going to take me sightseeing there. Figuring for a 6 day trip its good to do other things (especially for my bankroll to survive 6 days).

    Checked out of the Orleans this morning – on to Main Street Station. Checked in to MSS but my room is not ready. They gave 2 meal voucher books – each one containing 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches & 5 dinners. SCORE – Now I have free food too! This trip is getting even better.

    After checking in I tell my brother lets go over to the Cal so I can go have some hot cakes and Portuguese sausage from the Market Street Café now that it’s free. Now the line for the Café is always long, but one of benefits I’ve been enjoying with the Emerald card status is being able to bypass the line (that’s always a win!).

    After breakfast my brother tells me he going to drop $20 on the craps table since we’re there. Since we’re leaving soon, I decide not to go play blackjack but instead head straight to the Goldfish2 slots. Drop a $20 in there, play maybe 5 spins and hit 1648 points. I cash out with a $12.48 profit on my $20 (start to see a pattern here?) and decided to go look for the $1 Wheel of Fortune.

    On Christmas day my wife gave me $100 in a lucky Lei See (Chinese) envelope and wished me luck on my trip. My daughter joked that this is “Lucky Money”. I kept that $100 in the Lei See envelope and put it into my wallet that morning. I walk to the bank of $1 WOF machines by the slot host desk but machine I always hear ringing has someone seated. She is not playing but rather talking to the slot host. I ponder for a moment whether to ask her to move or not, but decided that it’s a sign for me not to play there.

    I walk into the craps pit to tell my brother that I’m ready to go when I see 2 $1 WOF machines by the bank of $.25 WOF. I instead tell him that I’ll be there and immediately proceed to put my “Lucky Money” into the machine.

    Spin after spin results in nothing (so what else is new). A cherry comes up but not even a bar win appears. Getting rather frustrated, I finally get a WOF spin with 13 credits left. Spin the wheel and get $40. I’m thinking “That’s good. At least I didn’t get $20 or $25”. Now with $53 I think about cashing out since I have at least $50 but decide that since this is my “Lucky Money” I should press on. And on I did.

    This time I get another WOF spin when I reach 27 credits remaining. Now I’m thinking “I’ll have at least $50 so I should cash out after this”. Wait a couple of seconds then press the spin button. Watch the wheel spin. Round and round it goes. Watch as the wheel slows down into the 100, then into the 40. I’m thinking “Ooooh, I have almost $70. Good). And the wheel had just enough momentum to click over the post out of the 40 and into the 1000. HOLY CRAP!! I stood up and almost fell over as I tipped the chair backwards. A couple of ladies who were playing near me were cheering for me My brother walks over 5 seconds later and wonders what all the commotion is about. WOW, just WOW! “Lucky Money” indeed.

    Go to Laughlin and just walk around to check the place out. Went into the Harrah’s Laughlin, Golden Nugget Laughlin and the Aquarius. Its always nice to go into casinos you’ve never been into. At Harrah’s, played a little $15 Blackjack and made $20. Found a Goldfish 2 penny machine, put in a $20, 1 spin hit 592 points, then immediately cashed out with a $4.92 profit.

    At the Golden Nugget Laughlin they had these weird slot machine where wheels glowed and flashed different colors. My brother and I put in a $20 each and left within a few spins. The flashing lights were really hurting our eyes so I cashed out and went looking for a ticket redemption machine.

    I found a Press Your Luck penny machine on the way and decided to play my $15.45 ticket. The lady playing next to me looked like she’d been playing for a while. Put the ticket into the machine, pressed 1 spin and hit the Big Bonus. As I played the Big Bonus, the lady next to me only glared at my machine (probably thinking “I sit here and play and get nothing, but here comes this guy and gets the bonus after only 1 spin!) The Big Bonus pays me only 1230 but hey, it was only 1 spin! I cash out with a $8.55 profit.

    The blackjack table was brutal. At the $10 table I bought in with $50, played $10 hands and lost it in 5 straight loses. Oh well… Find my brother at the craps table alone. He had just made point so I tossed $20 to the dealers and threw $5 on the pass line. (Now I don’t play craps so I only do the pass line.) He established his point so I threw $15 for odds behind the pass line and waited. No disappointment here, my $20 became $65 before he 7’d out, so hey, I’m up in this establishment.

    The Aquarius is the largest of the casinos I went into at Laughlin but I just couldn’t find anything to play. The blackjack table just didn’t feel right and I couldn’t find any slot I wanted to play. So on a good note – no money lost here!

    After getting back to downtown LV, nothing exciting happens for the rest of the day. Lost a couple of $100 at the Blackjack tables, made some small wins playing my Goldfish/Goldfish2 slots. Went to bed at 11 PM (Still too early being that I’m in Vegas!)

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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  2. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Part 2

    Dec 29 (Day 3)

    This is the beginning of a 2 day slaughter (not really but it sure seemed like it). One good thing is that we met up with my Uncle who lives in Vegas, had lunch and helped him purchase and setup his new cell phone. That took 6 hours away from gambling – so that’s 6 hours less of losses. SCORE – now that’s a win! (ha-ha)

    Blackjack was not good to me. I reduced my buy-ins from $200 to $100 but still played on $25 tables. I figured that with that first $100 I could determine if I was (a) getting lucky (b)holding my own or (c)cutting my losses with how my wins and losses were coming out. I probably lost around $1300 during the next 2 days but I did get some good playtime.

    Still getting those small wins on the slots machines although I did cash out once with $65 on a $20 buy-in after getting a fish bonus of 2696 followed by another fish bonus of 3098 a few spins later. This was all within 5 minutes.

    I was on my way back to my room at Main Street from the Cal and saw a group of players having fun on the $25 table. I joined in and bought in with a $100. I dropped another $200 later but I played with them until 3 in the morning – almost 4 hours of fun (which is always good for my rating).

    Although I didn’t win, it was at this point that I adapted the money management strategy of banking any red ($5 dollar) chips I got through blackjacks. Sure I ran out of greens ($25 dollar) chips but still went to the cashiers cage with over $100. It always feels good to leave the table with some chips in your hands rather than empty-handed! So on this night I went to bed at 3:30 am.

    Dec 30 (Day 4)

    I woke up at 7 am the next morning so I got 3.5 hours of sleep. Definitely will need a nap today! Nothing special to report today. The slaughter continues… still getting those small wins on the Goldfish slots… still can’t get started on the blackjack tables. Go to El Cortez… drop a $100 there. Go to Golden Nugget’s high limit room – break even there. Go to the D twice… first time during the day – broke even. Came back in the early evening and its too noisy. As loud as being in a nightclub. The music is blaring and I have to yell to talk to the dealer… I can’t make out what’s she is saying. Lost my $100 buy-in. I guess I’ll only come back during the day…

    I went back to the Cal and played with this nice 80+ year old lady (I’ll call her F) her daughter, and this fellow playing table max ($1000). He had a nice stack of pink ($500 dollars) chips, probably around $15k or so. Every few wins he would generously tip the dealers $200. The dealers made around 3k on tips while he was playing. Also around was every manager in the casino (well not every manager but it sure seemed like it). They were watching his play as well but unlike strip casino mangers, they didn’t watch with their arms crossed, they would smile and talk to us and wish him well (reverse psychology?)

    I played on this table for 3+ hours on $200. As how the day and previous day’s play progressed, I went nowhere with this. Down to my last chip, up to $200, down to my last chip, up to $150, lather, rinse, repeat. This went on for hours. Everyone else on the table was winning though. F was down to her last chip shortly after my initial buy-in and when I left she was up to maybe $800. Her daughter who only plays $3 Blackjack was sitting with her mom and decided to risk $100. On a $25 table! When I finally left she was up to maybe $500. The table limit guy left with his 15k. I guess I was sitting in the wrong chair!

    After midnight my brother decided to play some blackjacks instead of craps so we found an empty $5 table and sat down to play. We were doing OK when a young girl sat down (they ID’d her) and her older boyfriend (with white hair) stood behind her. It seems like she never played blackjack before… the dealer had to show her to scratch the cards on the table to indicate hit, flip over the cards when you bust , want to double-down or have a blackjack, or even how to tuck the cards when you stand. I’m OK with this as everyone has to go through this at some point in their lives playing blackjack, but when the dealer is showing a 6 and you have 13 and the rest of the table is telling you to stand, you don’t listen to your boyfriend who tells you to hit! Of course she busted out and the dealer busted out as well… but you would think she would learn for the next time! Noooooo, she listens to her boyfriend every time and of course busts out every time as well. Now for me I tolerate this kind of playing as I know it will not affect me (in the long run), but it is rather frustrating in the short-term. So I color-up with $175 ($75 profit) and go back to the $25 table. I guess that because it is after midnight, it is a new day on the calendar… maybe that’s why I turned that $175 into $550 after a few hours. Yipee! I finally made some money playing blackjack! It’s a good thing I had a nap earlier in the afternoon otherwise I’ll be dead to the world. I finally make it up to the room and go to bed at 4:30 am.

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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  3. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Part 3

    Dec 31 New Year’s Eve (Day 5)

    Wake up at 9… What? Not even 5 hours of sleep? I thought for sure I’d sleep to noon. Oh well, I guess I’ll pay the price tonight. It seems like the worst is over on the tables, I’m not losing… but I’m not really winning that much either. Which is a SCORE in my book since its like free play!

    Nothing exciting to report about on this day… played about 6 hours of $25 blackjack… made around $200. But we did have our New Year’s Eve Dinner party at Main Street. Now that was good food. Shrimp, crab, lamb shanks, pork loin masala, prime rib, lots more other fine foods and desserts… Best meal I’ve eaten in Las Vegas in a long time. There were drawings for around 20 $100 chips, 10 $200 chips, a $500 chip and the grand prize was 2 first-class tickets to either Las Vegas or Hawaii – but didn’t win any of them… oh well… I got a free dinner. Did I say that it was free? SCORE! That’s a win!

    I spent New Year’s Eve in the Cal casino. I didn’t feel like being smashed in with 30,000 other people on the Fremont Street Experience nor on the strip with the other 250k+ people. Here I got to sit down on the blackjack table, get a party hat and noisemaker and get champagne. Participated in the countdown, blew my horn, toasted the New Year and watched the firework show on TV. Texted my wife and daughter a Happy New Year from my phone… as well as my brother since I didn’t know where he was (MSS playing craps – where else?).

    Now down to business… first bet of the New Year… I win. SCORE! Next bet… lose. Next bet… push. Now what does that mean?

    By 12:30 AM all the New Year’s adrenaline is gone out of my system and I’m falling asleep. Its nighty-nite time so I bid everyone a Happy New Year and go up to the room. I go to bed at 12:45 am.

    Jan 1 New Year’s Day (Day6)

    I wake up at 7:45 am. Not bad, about 7 hours of sleep. My brother turns on the TV and they say the current temp is 30 degrees. 30 degrees?? WTF! And it turns out that it is a biting cold day as there is some wind. The other days were in the 30s and 40s but it was OK (even by my warm Hawaiian standards of bringing out the extra blanket when it dips to the low 70s. You Hawaii readers will understand.). I only wore t-shirts and a light jacket the first 5 days. I left my heavy jacket up in the room. But today? I couldn’t even walk down Fremont Street without freezing my nads off. I told my brother we need to cut through the casinos to warm up.

    Lost a hundred at the D and I’m thinking to myself “I walked into the cold for this? Am I nuts??” Picked up a couple of 1 liter bottles of water at the ABC store and some chips for my flight home tonight. My brother picks up some water as well… then puts them back and instead picks up the refrigerated bottles. “Are you nuts??” I get no answer on this one… Of course I’m just thinking that!

    Back to the Cal for more blackjack. $100 buy-in turns into $500. Do some other things then go back to the tables. There’s F playing blackjack and wants me to join her. She tells me that “I bring her luck”. She says that every time I joined her table, she’s been winning. This time is no exception. The difference is that this time I win as well.

    This blackjack session turns into that streak you always dream about. I start off slow, doing OK. Win some, lose some. Get up to $250 then it starts. The next 5 or 6 shuffles are like heaven. We both lost 2 maybe 3 hands during this time. The dealer is busting left and right… and when she makes her hand we both beat her. I was able to ramp up my bets to make around $800 during this time. Then of course the inevitable happens… luck (or rather variance) turns around and she’s making the 5-card 21’s while we’re busting. So a little of that and I color up for $700. Pretty good for a $100 buy-in. F had well over $1000 when I left.

    A couple more winning sessions then its off to South Point, then the airport for the 1:40 AM red-eye flight home. I put only $300 into my pockets… the rest of the money gets put into envelopes for the ride home. Good thing I did that too… lost the $300. As I said earlier, South Point is usually good to me, but not on this trip.

    Notes

    I always thought of this trip as being my “Lucky Trip”. In total for the 6 days of gambling, I lost only $500… which is a GREAT WIN in my book. I played a lot more slots than I normally do… and had fun doing so as well. I earned over 55k points on my Bconnected card so maybe there may be a chance of renewing my Emerald status for another year. I have until the end of Sept to get that 250k. I need to earn another 100k but I’ll have 3 or 4 trips to do that in.

    Hope you enjoyed reading my trip report. Next trip will probably be in April or May. Good luck everyone and a safe and happy new year!
     
  4. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Some Pics

    Meal comps pics
     

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  5. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
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    Location:
    Hawaii
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    More Pics

    $1 Wheel Of Fortune
     

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  6. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

    Joined:
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    Flusherville, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    57
    Enjoyed your report, nice to re-visit the Cal in my imagination. :)
     
  7. JRSOBX

    JRSOBX Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
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    Location:
    OBX, NC
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    4
    Good report, thanks.
     
  8. sammowhammo

    sammowhammo VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,057
    Location:
    Texas
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    Excellent TR - I'd say that's a win!

    This stuff cracked me up teeny wins on the penny machines - lolz!
    Sounds like the winner get to have an epileptic seizure!

    Lucky envelope FTW!
     
  9. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    "The music is blaring and I have to yell to talk to the dealer… I can’t make out what’s she is saying. "

    That is just insane. Why do they do this???

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  10. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    11,320
    Location:
    Wisconsin
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    175
    Nice report!
    Just curious, did you price out Vacations Hawaii that Boyd runs, for prices on airfare? I know they have airfare only packages.
     
    Christmas
  11. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Hawaii
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    It makes for an uncomfortable gambling session where you lose all your money since you cannot concentrate/think straight. Even my brother had a hard time playing craps with all the noise. Lost his $$ as well.
     
  12. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    Sorry Joe, I only fly Hawaiian Air (ps: I replied to your PM).
     
  13. eviliciouz

    eviliciouz Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Congratulations on the WOF win!!! Great TR, I want to try Babystack cafe next time :).
     
  14. True Fiction

    True Fiction Tourist

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    I need to take some "lucky money" with me on my next visit :)
     
  15. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
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    Awesome!!!! Yay on the WOF win! That's my favorite machine but I rarely play it because it usually favors those 20s and 30s. Great to see you hit that 1,000!!!! Nice report.
     
  16. Srvanwyk

    Srvanwyk Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
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    Location:
    Iowa
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    Awesome report
     
  17. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    27
    I can not find the rest of the other food pics from Babystack Cafe, but here's the Portuguese Sausage, Eggs & Rice with Red Velvet pancakes. :D
     

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  18. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Colorado
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Great trip report, sounds like you had fun. But damn you man, now I need me some Hawaiian breakfast which I am pretty sure I can't find here in Grand Junction. (I went to UH-Manoa in 93), love Portuguese sausage and rice with my eggs!
     
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