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Oct 9 - Oct 13 Ballys Last Minute Canadian Thanksgiving Trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by scohitch, Oct 13, 2014.

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  1. scohitch

    scohitch Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    My Trip Report

    Thursday

    My wife and I decided the week before Thanksgiving to head to Vegas. We took a quick look at our offers from MLife and didn't find anything worth booking. Having switched to MLife a year ago and getting to within 30K points of Platinum status, we've found their offers to be subpar in comparison to Total Rewards. We don't care as much about the freeplay, we're more fond of free rooms which we only get from NYNY and Excalibur, despite very little play in either. I've played a ton of both slots and Pai Gow Tile at Aria and haven't received a sniff from them, which is unfortunate. We decided to book at Ballys - it was free and we don't care as much about the perception of the poor quality rooms. The one we had this trip was perfectly fine.

    We left work early on Thursday afternoon and met at the airport for our 6:30 flight. WestJet, as usual, left on time and arrived early. We only travel with carry on luggage so right off the plane at Terminal 3 and out to the non-existent taxi line and on to Ballys. Feel bad for the cab drivers at that Terminal but not bad enough to allow him to take the tunnel. Tipped five bucks and in to the lobby we went. We did the electronic pre-check in and looked forward to our text telling us that our room was ready when we landed - um...what text? We bounded into the lobby and right into the Platinum line to find out what happened. Lo and behold, we found out quickly that there really is no benefit to electronic check-in except that they hold a specific room for you, of their choosing, of course. Finished checking in and headed to the room. Once there, we unpacked, got the rest of our stuff in order and headed out for our first night in Vegas.

    We decided to play at Ballys first - I lost $100 on Ballys 7s and she won a few bucks on Multi Strike Poker and we headed to the Cromwell. I played a couple of machines, and won zilch, while she headed over to High Card Flush. I joined her not too long after, buying in for $200 and quickly lost $100 while she broke even. We cashed out and headed to the exit when a Reel'em In progressive machine took my wife's fancy. A few spins in, she got the bonus, betting max, and won two progressives, one of which was $201. We do a split when one of us wins $80 above our buy-in, so she promptly gave me my share and we headed out the door.

    We walked over to the Flamingo and walked right into the Margaritaville casino so she could play Big Split Poker, a favourite of hers. I walked around a played a few slots, including Red Baron, with no wins and she didn't win there, either. By now, it was 10:30 so we headed back to Ballys to play there a while before going to bed. I went over and played some Tiles, losing quickly, then headed to bed.

    Friday

    Having lived on the east coast, previously, my past trips to Vegas have usually resulted in me waking up at 4:30am for the first couple of mornings before getting used to the time change. Now that we're in Mountain time, my mornings start at 7:30, sans alarm clock, and I feel quite refreshed. Was up earlier than the wife so sat and doodled on my DS and phone until she awoke about half an hour later. Got ready and headed to the sports book in Paris to make my first round of bets while she stopped at the bakery. Made my parlays, then stepped into the bar area to have a croissant before leaving.

    She really wanted to stop at Slots of Fun and SLS before heading downtown so we cabbed it to Riviera and walked through playing a couple of machines with no wins. Stepped into Slots of Fun and walked around...and left. We like looking for older VLTs but they've gotten rid of most of them so nothing worth playing. Walked over to Circus Circus, lost a little then walked up to SLS. We stood in line for a players card at SLS for a few minutes but soon realized there were staff members sitting in the back room playing on phones. We headed to the Pai Gow Poker table and asked for players cards there. It took some time but finally got them. I played a few slots and lost, she played Pai Gow and lost. On our way out, she played a slot machine, triggered a few bonuses and made our sharing threshold so she paid me my share and we were off, in a cab to the Plaza.

    The last time we went downtown, we said "The Plaza" to the cabbie and we found ourselves pulling into the Palazzo. Not at all what we were expecting. Almost had the same experience this time but we said "The Plaza, downtown". He clarified and we made our way out to the highway and downtown. We'd completely forgotten about the construction between MSS and Plaza so a quick threat to throw him some money and jump out got us a left hand turn on a red and out we went to MSS. Looked around there, playing a few slots, to no avail and decided on the buffet for lunch. For their price, the food is really quite good it came with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy, which was a great Thanksgiving treat for us in the States. Breakfast was several hours prior and we'd done a ton of walking.

    We left MSS and headed to The Plaza where we both lost a few bucks. We then proceeded to walk down Fremont, crisscrossing the entire way, heading from one casino to the other, all the way down to the D. It was an unusual trip downtown - neither of us hit anything of note. One of us will usually win a few hundred dollars, but not this trip. My best showing was in Pai Gow Mania at the D and I only broke even. We grabbed a cab from the D and went back to Ballys. I went over to play some Tiles and the wife played Asia Poker, both at Paris. We both lost and I headed to the room while she went to play High Card Flush. On her first hand, she got a five card straight flush on a $10 bet for $1000. When she came back up to the room, she awoke me to give me my $500 share - definitely don't mind being woken up to be given cash. :thumbsup:

    Will update Saturday and Sunday's strip adventures later tonight.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Jjd234

    Jjd234 Tourist

    Joined:
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    In the future you may find calling the hotel directly and ask for vip services. I am heading to Vegas the end of October. Only had three nights free at Luxor but wanted MGM. MGM offer was only two nights midweek. when I called MGM the woman I spoke to took me off the offer and comped me three nights based on play. Combining this with an unexpected two night offer from The Cosmopolitan.
     
  3. Aces and Eights

    Aces and Eights VIP Whale

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    I'm hoping that the five-card straight flush in High Card Flush is the beginning of many wins!
     
  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good start so far!
     
  5. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Great start!!
     
  6. Mario's Backroom

    Mario's Backroom Low-Roller

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    Congrats on the 5 card Straight Flush...hope you arrived home with even more Vegas money (assuming there will be some left for me next month!). :beer:
     
  7. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

    Joined:
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    Enjoying your report! I think it's neat that you and your wife share the wins. Makes the trip more fun! Looking forward to more.
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  8. jpw711

    jpw711 VIP Whale

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    Liking it so far!
     
  9. scohitch

    scohitch Low-Roller

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    Good strategy and I've done that before but prefer to see all of my offers online. CET does that much better than MGM.
     
  10. scohitch

    scohitch Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Back to it - Saturday and Sunday

    Sorry for the delay but life does get in the way.

    On Saturday morning, we decided to get up and flip a coin to decide if we were going North or South on the Strip. Heads was north and it landed heads so we headed...south! Why not? We're in Vegas, baby!! My wife knew I really wanted to have the Aria Cafe for lunch - they make a mean General Tso's chicken. We headed across to Bellagio where I played Bejeweled (and lost), Wheel of Fortune in quarters (and lost), Cleopatra 2 (and lost)...think you see the pattern. I did win a few bucks on a couple of machines and the wife won $300 on Willy Wonka, aka, the ATM. It's hard to play that game, bet max and not win more money that you put in. Nearly any bonus round will net you a fairly good win. She did lose playing Pai Gow but the win on Wonka was enough to pay me...so she did.

    We left and walked over to Cosmo - played BAM (and lost) and Top Dollar (and lost) while she played KISS and was there quite some time. She got a few bonuses and a few $10 wins and had a good time. After that, we went to Aria for lunch and enjoyed their Tso's chicken. It was a little more bland than I've had in the past but I still enjoyed it. Played the Double Double Bonus outside of the cafe and lost so we moved on to Monte Carlo, then the tram to Mandalay Bay. There was very little of note in either place and I was getting a little tired and wanting to play tiles. We headed back to Ballys/Paris where I played Tiles and she played Asia Poker before moving back to Ballys for High Card Flush/Pai Gow. The tiles didn't turn my way and I was out of money quick. I headed back to the room with a couple of hundred dollars left over to carry into the next day.

    Sunday

    When I woke on Sunday morning, she had come and gone but left her phone so I assumed she was getting breakfast. Assumption correct! I also noticed $1100 in chips on the counter. Sure enough, she played Pai Gow and hit a few hands so I had money coming my way. We both had more than our day's allotment of funds so we decided to split everything down the middle and I found myself up another couple of hundred as we prepared to head north on the strip.

    The very last full day in Vegas is the absolute WORST day for any traveler that truly loves Vegas. Just as someone had mentioned, it's not about the gambling, per se, but more about the unknown when heading down the long hallway (I love staying at the end of the hall for this very reason) toward the elevator, then the ride down the elevator with baited breath and wild anticipation for what the day might bring. I usually spend the last day in mourning, thinking about work and getting back into real life.

    We headed down the elevator and out the door to Caesars Palace. Got there and realized that she didn't cash in her Ballys chips for $1100. I offered her cash that to walk back with her once we left Caesars but she hustled back to Ballys while I played a machine or two. Mr Hyde Wild Ride didn't yield any results for me, neither did Big Split Poker. When she got back and after she played Big Split, we headed into the Forum Shoppes and out to the strip towards Mirage. There, she played Magically Wild while I played a quarter nine-line VLT. We both lost and I headed over to Magically Wild and got the bonus on my first max bet spin. Ended up with two bonuses but didn't hit any progressives. Left the machine up $80. Played a couple of other machines and we went for a burger for lunch. Great burger as always, the "84" and headed over to Treasure Island. We had the intention of playing about $40 there but lost about $140 playing Texas Tea, Kitty Glitter, and a few other machines.

    We headed over to Venetian and played Rapunzel (sp?) and I doubled my money but she lost. Headed over to play Pai Gow poker. We were there for an hour and a half and left with even money. After cashing in our chips, we stopped and played a machine, she played a Wonder 4 and I played...something else. I got the bonus on my machine and won over $100 so paid the wife her share and we headed out towards Casino Royale. If we were in Vegas for our usual week jaunt, we would have stopped in but we really wanted to get back to a CET property in order to earn comps. We stopped in a Harrahs and played High Card Flush. She won quite a bit and ended up paying me twice. No five card flushes but several small wins add up quickly in that game. I left even money and headed over to Tiles and played for about an hour. Tiles were good and I doubled my money so headed back to pay her, her share, and head out for dinner.

    Dinner ended up being Hash House a Go-Go at Imperi...err...The Quad and then headed back to Ballys through Flamingo. We both went to Paris and bought into Asia Poker where we've both done well in the past. We lost $700 in 45 minutes so headed back to the room to pack.

    Monday morning

    Up at 5:30 to get ready and head to the airport for our 8:00am flight. Very surprised to see how many people leave Vegas that early in the morning. It was the longest security line I've been through. Hit Burger King for breakfast as the only open restaurant in Terminal 3 and waited for our flights.

    Thanks to all of you for your comments and reading this report. We plan to head back to Vegas for Christmas with my mother in law in tow. I'll try to do a better job of remember details of machines and wins. That will be a struggle as I tried really, really hard not to think about what happens when I get home, while I'm away.

    Until next time, Las Vegas...be good to my friends.
     
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