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Overdue TR from Nov 2013 - Ultra Frugal!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by bclub, Apr 8, 2014.

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  1. bclub

    bclub Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    Here’s the skinny…

    I am a 45-year old married guy with 4 children from Buffalo, NY. My last two trips to Vegas have been solo, and the two before that were as “guides” for my in-laws from Russia. I prefer solo trips so I can do as I want, drink as I want, sleep when I want, etc. This is my first trip report. This trip is drastically different from all my others, as I wanted to prove to my wife that I can indeed to Vegas “on the cheap” and still have fun. I’ve used ACG coupons before, but never to this extent, and was my first time redeeming myVegas rewards. This was a quick, 3.5 day trip - I took pretty good notes, but as it is nearly six months since I've been there, details are a bit sketchy.

    Saturday – Booked a flight on US Airways using 25K miles and $10 fee - get a head start on my buzz at the Buffalo airport, 2 beers - $14. Arrive to Vegas at 10pm, catch the WAX ($2) and transfer to the 201 to Excalibur. I had done this once before, about 8 years ago, where I didn’t book a hotel for the first night and gambled until check-in time the next day. I can do this again, right? Drop my bag and catch a taxi ($12) to Ellis Island, which is running a “pay your taxi ride” promotion (up to $10 in freeplay).

    I sit down and order a Ellis Island Hefeweizen (so yummy) and use my freeplay to play full-pay VP near the Karaoke entrance for a $20 profit, and cash out. Have the marvelous steak dinner and 22 ounce porter homebrew ($8.99 + one extra beer + tip = $15 total). Since I did well in the last session, I sit down at the same VP machine and turn $20 into $10, then head over to the roulette table and go from a $20 buy-in to $12. The $5 match play roulette (red) was a loser.
    IMG_20131013_002429.jpg IMG_20131013_003703.jpg
    Walk up Koval and make a right at Flamingo and go over to the Tuscany. First time I had ever been there, and boy is it nice. An older crowd and quiet casino (granted, by this time it’s nearly 2am) but it looks like a really beautiful place to stay. Signed up for a players card and received $5 in freeplay. No one on duty at the players club but a manager came by, signed me up and, I have to say, it felt like he was genuinely was happy to see me.

    Sat down at VP (can’t remember the pay tables), and turned $5 into $15 for a $10 profit. Took my ACG $5 MP coupon and won on roulette (red) for a $15 profit. I hated to leave but I had an agenda, plus the beer was starting to wear on my 45-year old body at 3 a.m.

    I proceed west down Flamingo to the Westin, where I have a $10 match play available when you sign up for a players card. I had not seen this advertised anywhere but I had called ahead and asked if they had any promos for new players. This place is D_E_A_D…so much so that I feel like every camera is watching me while I turn my $10 MP into a $30 profit on roulette (red). I exit quickly before they catch up to me.
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    I continue down Flamingo and find a spot I’ve been dying to try, the Stage Door. I’ve heard so much about it, how it’s down to earth and the locals love it, etc. I walk and sit down at the bar, where a multi-tattooed female bartender proceeds to tell me about the drink specials. I put $20 in the bartop VP, with 7/5 JOB. Amazingly, I only lose $5 over the course of about an hour. I have the “$2.50 Bud with all-beef hot dog” special….at 4 in the morning, it’s SOOO good that I have another. Tipping goes a long way here and I sincerely start to lose track of my tip total. She gave a couple free beers for the tips, I struck up a conversation with some guy next to me; it was a good time. I’ll be back.
    IMG_20131013_024316.jpg 1381657844381.jpg
    I’m feeling reeeealy good at this point, and I’m being [STRIKE]cheap[/STRIKE] frugal, so I think it’s a good idea to walk down to the Excal and see if I can finagle my way to an early check-in for my free room from myVegas. I bought a water ($2) on the way there. Google maps says it’s a 28 minute walk, not bad, right? Well, when you’ve had at least 12 beers in ya, it ain’t a good idea. Seriously.

    It was morning when I arrived, and I knew I’d be pushing my luck trying to check in now (~7am), so I look for a place to sit down and catch a few zzzzz’s for a couple hours. Yeah, no. There’s literally no place to sit down ANYWHERE in any casino unless you’re in front of a slot machine. I walked into the Trop and found a second floor bathroom in an area which looked deserted. Got into the handicap stall and fell asleep. When I woke up, I literally couldn’t move my legs. This did more harm than good, I was desperate for a place to lay down. I walked back to the Castle and tried my luck. The nice young man at the desk told me that he could get me an early check-in for $40. At this point, frugal was not a word which I had in my vocabulary. I gave in and crashed.
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    Sunday – I go down to the Mlife desk and redeem my all-day buffet and all-day monorail pass from myVegas. I could eat at either Luxor or Excal for the entire day. I went and had a very good breakfast at Excal. I stuffed myself, actually, since this the first real food (hot dogs excluded) I’ve had in over 24 hours.
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    Down to the sportsbook to check out the Sunday NFL action – I drop a $5 and $10 parlay, sorry I can’t remember how many teams I bet. I ended up losing both bets for a loss of $15. The Wizard of Oz caught my eye and I lost a quick $20 on that. The bonus was pretty cool, though.
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    I was going to use the myVegas monorail pass until I discovered that it was buy one, get one free. I think it was $12 for the all day pass, so I said to myself, self, just buy the one-way and save $7. I hopped on the rail and got off at Bally’s, and went back to my new favorite place, Ellis Island.

    EI VP continued to be kind, turning my $20 into $40, but then I blew the profit on craps. I swore off craps (I thought…see later) because 1) I can’t roll worth of dog poo, and 2) I’m a dark side bettor; everyone hates me. My original plan was to play JOB until I hit that Royal…no more craps, I sez.
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    Switched things up and played Bonus Poker and profited $5. The Hefeweizens were flowing freely once more…I checked the players club to see if my $10 freeplay had been credited to my account from the ACG coupon, but it hadn’t been 24 hours yet. After I lost $20 on JOB, I decided to move on despite the fact that I knew I wouldn’t get better beer anywhere…

    I headed over to the 7-11 (or is it an AM/PM?) next door and bought some chapstick and a roadie Budweiser in the obligatory paper bag ($5.14). At this point I took the westbound 202 to the strip, and the SDX northbound to my old lover, Fremont Street. I had not stayed or gambled on the strip in a very long time, and almost exclusively been an El Cortez shill. Technically, I was “off-strip” but it was still nice to get back “home”.

    I’m about halfway through so I’ll stop here and continue tomorrow…

    BClub

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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
  2. coolpacific

    coolpacific Low-Roller

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    Thanks for posting, I can appreciate frugality and you seem to be having fun I simply could not spend my first night with a nap in the can...
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  3. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

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    Enjoying your report and details. Thanks for posting!
     
  4. aaronw915

    aaronw915 Low-Roller

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    I tip my hat to you sir for taking frugalness to a whole new level or frugality.

    :beer:
     
  5. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

    Joined:
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    "I walked into the Trop and found a second floor bathroom in an area which looked deserted. Got into the handicap stall and fell asleep. When I woke up, I literally couldn’t move my legs."

    I can't even begin to imagine how uncomfortable that would be!
     
  6. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    Love a frugal report...thanks!
     
  7. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good start!

    I'm annoyed the best the check in guy could do is $40. That's like half price at excalibur for a saturday! Not cool when the sun is already up.

    And I bet the ddb players will cringe at that first quad pic...lol But 9/6 JoB and Ellis Island's beer is tough to beat. I really need to get back there for their quick quads!
     
  8. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the write up and when traveling solo, I tend to be frugal. Thanks to the Dean of Frugality, none other than Dewey, I stayed at the Super 8 on Koval and used the free shuttle. I think the rate was $73 but I arrived around 10 PM and I also had several microbrews at Ellis Island while playing VP. Looking forward to the rest of your trip report.
     
  9. CVG2LAS

    CVG2LAS Tourist

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    This is a very entertaining read. Attempting to sleep in the bathroom for a couple of hours - hilarious. Looking forward to the rest.
     
  10. bclub

    bclub Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I’m downtown, and I’m very happy that it only takes me 45 seconds to walk to a different casino. I take my Plaza ACG $10 MP and win – roulette, red again. $30 profit.
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    Hit and run…walk across the street to the sad, sad Las Vegas Club. This place has never been appealing, but it seems even worse than it was when I was here two years ago. Anyway, I lose my $5 MP (roulette, red) and walk past the temptation of deep fried twinkies at Mermaids to the Four Queens.
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    The 4Q ACG coupon was double slot points, but I don’t play slots, so I lose $15 in VP. However, I was not in the system, and for being a new member I received $10 match play and $10 freeplay (I think you get this after accumulating a certain number of points). I won my MP on roulette (red), profit of $30. I lost the freeplay on $1 slots. For some reason, I threw away $5 on Keno.

    Head on down to “home”, the El Co. I simply can’t get enough of this place…whether it’s the old-style charm of the building, the cool fresco walkway leading up to the joint, the coin-in video poker, or the craps dealers who remember me from 2 years ago…all these things make it my favorite place to gamble. I just wish the piped-in smell wasn’t so strong.

    I use my ACG $10 slot freeplay on the Goldfish and lose. I also take advantage of the 5% freeplay for using their ATM, by withdrawing $200 I get $10. I’m more than willing to try the Fish again, with no luck. I look for my favorite Downtown Deuces Wild machine which I hit a mini-jackpot ($500) back in 2010 and drop a hunny into it. The waitress was good to me … and much later I cash out (in quarters) $125. They had to refill the machine, LOL.
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    I get up and walk around…passing by the craps pit. And I walk by there again. One of the dealers smile and say hello….you had me at hello. The table is dead cold and I’m betting no-4/no-10 for $41 each. No one is making points, but they’re killing the 4 & 10. I throw a second $100 down. I decide to play a simple Don’t Come with odds – 2x if it’s a 6/8 and 3x on any other number. I am the only person “winning”, and probably the most inebriated. I’m holding it well, though, and I have the fortitude to cash out $310 for a $110 profit.

    Now, I said earlier that I had sworn off craps. It’s kinda like eating just one Pringle…but now I’ve downed half the can of chips and I can’t stop. But not here, noooo! Not where I’m actually MAKING money! Let’s try to rob a different casino! Where haven’t I been yet? Fremont? Sure!

    Recollections here fade…I don’t even know how the notes got put in my phone, but it says here that I turned $300 into $210. So it wasn’t as horrible as some of my sessions, but I honestly don’t remember a single thing. I do remember getting a cab at the Plaza and being pissed off that it was $32 to Excalibur. I’m done for the night!

    Monday – Checkout ($20.16 resort fee for my “free” room), and leave my bag here at Excal. I have a full day of off-strip properties to get to. I have no notes of eating breakfast, but I’m a breakfast kinda guy and need my coffee as well, so I’m sure I’m missing that expense. Let’s call it $15.

    It’s an easy ride on the 201 to the Orleans, which is an impressive place. I have never been here, and I like the atmosphere. My $10 MP is a loss, but I didn’t write down how I lost it, I would imagine it was on roulette, red. Not feeling satisfied, I plug my Bconnected card into a 3x Bonus Poker game and lose $18. I try a different VP BP and lose $10 more. I’m outta here.
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    From here, I didn’t have a bus schedule, but I knew a bus ran up Arville so I could stop on Flamingo to get to the Palms. I must have just missed the last bus, because I waited nearly half an hour.

    Another place I’ve never been to! I bought the slotplaycoupons.com deal of $50 for $25 (which I’ve just learned that the Palms no longer participates in, too bad), and had my ACG $10 MP coupon. There were some full-pay JOB machines that were eligible to be played, and I turned my $25 of cash money ($50 play) into $60 cash. The waitress service was lacking, to say the least, and after I cashed out I bought a beer at the bar ($5.50). I continued a string of MP roulette red win, for a $30 profit. Not a bad lil’ stop.
    IMG_20131014_122239.jpg IMG_20131014_130714.jpg
    It was mid-afternoon at this point – I was hungry. Right across the street from the Palms was some delicious chili dog heaven! Being from Buffalo, we don’t have Sonic. I was down in Texas years ago and loved it – I spent $2 on a coffee from Terrible’s next door and $4 on a lunch combo. Powered up and ready to go!
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    A short walk east on Flamingo brings me to another first-time visit, the Gold Coast. The only thing I had here was $5 matchplay from ACG. I was going to the roulette table to employ my (to this point) tried and true method of red, but the table was crowded and I pushed my bet to the dealer and said, “red”. For some reason he put it on black, and I said, “no, I’d like that on red”…then continued, “wait, let’s play it your way, no big deal”. Red popped up. $5 loss…lesson learned, go with what you know... The Triple Play VP caught my eye (and my money) for a $20 loss.

    I walk back across the street and hit the 202 and stop at Koval to use my $10 freeplay at Ellis Island which should have been on my account by now. It sure was! Hefeweizen please! The small wins continue here, parlaying that $10 fake money into $55 real cash! Same machine, in the middle of three right in front of the Karaoke bar. I move over to the opposite side after taking a break and end with $32 from my initial $20.

    Sadly, I parted ways with EI and my last ACG was at the Riviera. I don’t have notes about how I got there, but I do remember it was still daytime and getting off the bus. 202 to the strip and walk from there? Or did I buy a one-time northbound? Who knows.

    I sign up for a free Riviera t-shirt which I ended up carrying around all day since I left my backpack with my bag. Ugh. This place was nearly as dead as the Las Vegas Club. I truly felt a bit of guilt by winning the red roulette $10 MP ($30 profit). But I was done here, and walked out.

    I take Deuce (ah, so I *did* buy it - $6) northbound to downtown for some more El Cortez. I had a $35 loss on DDW, so of course it’s only natural that I try to make it up at the craps table. I see some familiar faces and profit $65 from my $100 buy-in.

    I had done some reading and practice play on Pai Gow Poker. It’s supposed to be a good way to kill time, have some drinks, and basically push most of the time. I lost $205. It was crazy; this is not how I envisioned it, obviously. I drag my sorry butt over to Subway and spend $6 on a sub before catching the Deuce southbound to Excalibur.

    Before I get my bag I decide to play the Wizard of Oz again, and turn a $60 investment into $84. I take the walkway over and finally check in at Luxor with my third myVegas reward, a free room. It was in the pyramid – I’ve heard bad things about those rooms, but it was actually very nice. The only issue, and it’s a big one, is that the air conditioner barely worked. I drop my stuff in the room and remember that I collected $20 each from four co-workers to play Lion’s Share at MGM.

    I walk the maze of walkways and bridges over to the Grand, where the mother of all slots resides. I couldn’t find this friggin’ machine! I’ve never played it in all my trips to Vegas, and now I was wondering if I ever would. The funny thing is, I asked a couple of employees walking the floor – one didn’t know what I was talking about when I asked, “Do you know where the Lion’s Share machine is”, and the other gave me bad directions! No one at the machine, I walked right up to it. It’s a very non-descript slot machine; it was pointed away from the 2 aisles and I’m pretty sure I passed it once trying to find it. Anyway, I finally found it and gave it a $100 whirl. It kept me playing for a couple small hits, but then quickly melted away.

    I went back to the Luxor, played a quick $20 on slots up to $34, prepared my bag for departure, and hit the hay.
    IMG_20131015_081141.jpg
    Tuesday – At checkout, I paid $18 for my resort fee, and took the WAX ($2) to the airport. My notes tell me I played VP at the airport ($20 into $25), and I was off!

    Total cost of 3.5 day trip (including $42 in tips): $152.80.

    Thanks for reading.

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  11. bclub

    bclub Tourist

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    Lion's Share & misc

    Couldn't fit these in the last post...I forgot about Krispy Kreme so add another $6 on to the final expense.

    The VP pic is from the Trop while waiting for the WAX, I forgot how much I played or won/lost.

    IMG_20131013_051415.jpg

    IMG_20131013_051550.jpg

    IMG_20131015_090513.jpg

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  12. CVG2LAS

    CVG2LAS Tourist

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    Absolutely Great Trip. Great Plan, Great Execution. If only you didn't play PG.

    How did you keep all the MP coupons straight? Did you carry around some sort of file folder?
     
  13. bclub

    bclub Tourist

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    Pai Gow was a killer, no doubt. Wrong day, wrong dealer, wrong cards. I even had a 'regular' who sat next to me help set my hands on the questionable cards. Should have just walked...how many times have I said that?? :cry:

    I carried an envelope with me, in which the coups were paper clipped together by my day plan. The envelope fit in my cargo pants pocket. My wife is kind OCD about planning, so she pushed me to group the areas together. She's an extreme couponer, so this comes as no surprise to me.

    Before I walked into each casino, I just put the coups in my wallet so I didn't look like a complete dork, pulling out an envelope of coupons at the table or player's club window. The hardest thing about coupons is sticking to the plan, and this is easiest when you're travelling solo.
     
  14. rob889

    rob889 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for taking the time to post your trip report. I really enjoyed the details and photos. Those hit 'n run matchplays/freeplay really add up fast...I've done that with my gf in the past (double the MP, double the fun!). It definitely gets you in the door of places you otherwise never would have seen too. Your trip is definitely a win in my book.

    Oh, and next time you decide to nap in the restroom PLEASE post a picture :poke:

    Thanks again :beer:
     
  15. Packrat1

    Packrat1 Tourist

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    Great report thanks for writing. Have you ever considered the Las Vegas Advisor coupon book instead of the ACG book?
     
  16. bclub

    bclub Tourist

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    I have looked at both. The cost of the books ($37 vs. $12) is one factor; the other is that the LVA doesn't give me anything substantially better than what I found in the ACG.

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  17. bighouse304

    bighouse304 Tourist

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    Fantastic trip report! About 5-6 years ago I carried my coupons around in what my wife described as a small cardboard box. It's now our inside joke every time we go back, she always asks if I have my "box" ;)
     
  18. It's On

    It's On Newbie

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    Great report!! Loved the hustle--free always tastes better!!!
     
  19. Criminole

    Criminole Low-Roller

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    My kind of trip! I need to get the bus schedule figured out for a trip to off strip casinos instead of cabs or long walks. Wife won't let me go solo so hope to find a Vegas Virgin as many of the coupons are for first timers.
     
  20. basicearth

    basicearth Tourist

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    Loved it! I tend to me the "frugal gambler" myself. Actually isn't that term "frugal gambler" an oxymoron???
     
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