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Plaza / MSS / DTG - 12/27-12/30

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by DougFur, Dec 31, 2014.

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  1. DougFur

    DougFur Tourist

    Aug 10, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report


    My girlfriend (LP) and I spent a few days in Vegas post-Christmas. Her parents
    (KP and QP) were with us the first two days before returning back to Phoenix.

    I had originally taken very detailed notes on each session, but a technical snafu
    led to their demise, so I'm reconstructing this a bit from memory. Hopefully it's still
    worth a read.

    Saturday Dec 27

    LP, her parents, and I headed out from Phoenix at about 9:30am. We stopped in Kingman for
    coffee and a quick lunch at Starbucks, and arrived in Vegas at around 2pm. They dropped us
    off at the Plaza and continued to the GN where they were staying.

    Normally we stay at The Cal or MSS, but both properties wanted $50+/night for our dates so we
    tried hotwire and got a good deal at the Plaza. We had heard decent things about their rooms
    so we decided to give it a shot.

    The Plaza wanted $40 for early check in which we of course declined. I was surprised they were
    still attempting to charge us this at 2pm, but we dropped our bags at the bell desk and headed to
    MSS for some VP.

    Our first session was a loser, but it passed the time and we headed back to the Plaza to check in
    around 4pm. At this point the line was very long and there were only two agents working at the counter.

    The line was very close to the front door, and it was fairly chilly out - mid 40s. I pulled the hood
    up on my hoodie, but was quickly descended upon by Plaza security: "no hoodies!". Busted.

    After about 40 minutes we finally got checked in and got settled into our room, which was fairly large
    and well appointed (by our admittedly modest standards). I'd definitely rate it above the rooms at MSS
    or the Cal. Our king non-smoking room included a decent sized desk, couch, and coffee table. The WiFi
    was also quite fast.

    After settling in we headed back to MSS and played a while before our 6pm dinner reservation at
    Pizza Rock. KP and QP joined us, and I gave them a quick primer on VP (they normally play blackjack).

    Pizza Rock was stellar as usual. We ordered our typical marinara pizza + string bean appetizer.
    They had a 80s video medley going on the TVs which we thoroughly enjoyed.

    After dinner we did a quick tour through the Grand but didn't play. KP and QP headed back to GN while
    LP and I put in one last (losing) session at MSS.

    Gambling for the day was pretty miserable. We lost about $330 overall which was close to our daily
    budget for the trip.

    Day: -330
    Trip: -330

    Sunday Dec 28

    Sunday was QP's birthday and we had plans to see Mystere at TI that evening. As usual I got up before
    LP and headed over to MSS. I dropped a few bucks at VP and then joined QP at the blackjack table.

    My luck started to turn and I had a great session. Won all my double downs. Caught a blackjack with my
    big bet on the table (I use the KO count but don't spread much). Overall I was up $75 on the session.

    LP arrives and we head to the buffet brunch which was delicious (and free w/points). After breakfast our
    luck continues on the MSS BP triple line machines. LP goes up about $100 and I break even.

    We head to GN and head to the strip with KP and QP. We drop the ladies off at the mall and head to the
    Atomic Testing Museum for a few hours. It's a bit expensive ($22) but I had a BOGO coupon. Overall I
    wasn't terribly impressed with the museum. There was some good info on the technical details of the tests
    but I wished some of the exhibits had been presented more clearly and I felt they could have been more
    balanced in their historical perspective. For example, there was no information about the health or
    environmental consequences of the 40 years of testing. But the time period and technical details are
    very interesting to me, so I felt I got my money's worth. If you're a science or cold war buff it's
    worth a visit.

    We head back to the strip and drop the car off at TI, then find QP and LP at the mall and head to
    Maggiano's for dinner. Our table had a nice view of Las Vegas Blvd and the food was quite good.
    Our server was also very attentive and gave QP a complementary dessert. A good meal.

    Next we head to TI and play a bit of short pay VP before the show. We get quite lucky playing
    STP on nickels and it was great fun. I was also pleasantly surprised by the TI drink service.
    We don't spend much time on the strip, so perhaps this is typical but we had a waitress visit us
    far faster than we could finish our drinks.

    After 45 minutes we cash out up $30 and head to Mystere. I don't know that I could say anything
    about this show that hasn't already been said. I believe it's the longest running Cirque show in
    Vegas, and it's quite good, if a bit abstract in theme.

    After the show we have KP drop us at MSS and we play a bit more triple line where we enjoy
    continued success.

    Gambling-wise Sunday was the perfect opposite of Saturday. We didn't have a losing session and
    we win back all our losses and then some.

    Day: +360
    Trip: +30

    Monday Dec 29

    KP and QP got up early and headed back to Phoenix, so LP and I are on our own from here out.
    Per usual I got up before LP and headed to MSS. After going down $300 and then back up I was
    a bit reluctant to risk much money early in the day. I figured I'd play the short pay STP at
    nickels until LP arrived. It was a great session - I think I hit about 5 quads including aces
    but it was at nickels so it didn't amount to much overall.

    LP arrives and we enjoy another free (points) breakfast at the MSS buffet before returning to
    the triple line BP. We both quickly drop $100. Uh oh.. Perhaps we need to take a gambling

    We're both fans of Benedict Cumberbatch and we'd heard he was playing Alan Turing in the
    Imitation Game. We check movie times and it's playing at Sam's Town, so we head to the Cal
    and catch the 1:40pm shuttle.

    We're early for the 2:40 showing so of course we decide to partake in a bit of VP. Neither of
    us is very familiar with the layout of the machines there and we play a few short pay machines
    for a bit before we find the full pay JoB progressives upstairs. But regardless of the pay
    table, it's lose lose lose. I don't think either of us hit any quads on any of the machines
    we played.

    Down about $80 we head to the movie. Not bad. Cumberbatch is great, and the story is fairly
    well told, but the writers took quite a bit of license with the historical details. But
    hopefully it inspires folks to read more about Turing's life. It's quite tragic.

    Afterwards I'm getting hungry but LP has a hankering for Thai food and Sam's Town can't
    deliver on that, so we wait for the shuttle back to downtown and head to Le Thai. We've
    eaten here before and definitely recommend it. Reasonable prices, good food, and
    more food than we can eat. We put the leftovers in a to go box and head out to find
    someone on Fremont who may be hungry. The first man we talk to is not interested in free
    vegan thai food, but the second man we approach is appreciative. Mission accomplished.

    We hadn't played at the Boar's Head bar yet this trip so we head to MSS to correct this.
    The beers were delicious but the VP was not. We drop about $60 before heading back to the
    Plaza to turn in.

    Day: -400
    Trip: -370

    Tuesday Dec 30

    It's our last day in Vegas but we have a 8pm flight, so there's plenty of time to
    win a few bucks before we go. Our plan today was to play at DTG and see if we can
    get any additional offers. We played there last month and got 2 free nights as part of
    their new player promotion.

    After a quick breakfast of coffee and a danish from the espresso bar at the Plaza I head
    to the Grand. My plan was to try out their double deck BJ game but at 9am the table
    minimum was still $15 so I opted for BP instead. I almost ran through my $100 before
    turning the tide and hitting a quad. I cash out down $25.

    Before returning to the Plaza to check out of our room I headed to the host desk to ask
    about how their hotel bookings work with the player's club. With Boyd it's all pretty easy
    to do from the web site, but I didn't notice any way to book a room online at DTG with your
    player's card info, so I wanted to find out what the process is.

    The woman I talked to suggested that if you have player's card and wish to book a room you
    should call and talk to a host regardless of your level of play. Others may be able to
    correct me on this, but I think the hotel and the casino are operated by different companies
    and that may explain why the hotel comps aren't integrated into the online reservation system.
    I also learned that I should have received a mailer for a discounted room rate through March.
    I'm not sure why I never received it, but if you have played at the Grand and haven't
    received an offer I'd suggest giving them a call before you book your next trip and see what
    they can do. It seems that room discounts are pretty easy to get.

    I headed back to the Plaza to check out of the room. We drop our bags at the bell desk and
    head to Container Park. LP wants to buy a gift for a friend's upcoming birthday and we find
    a cool necklace at a shop that makes jewelry out of recycled booze bottles. Next we head to
    The Beat for a coffee. It's a fun cafe, if a bit hipsterish. They were playing Joy Division
    on the turntable and this pleased us.

    For lunch we wanted to hit up Biergarten again for the field roast dogs. We get there around
    12:30pm and are told that they open in about an hour which seemed a bit late to me. LP plays
    some JoB at the Plaza to pass the time and at 1pm we return and are told that the manager still
    hasn't arrived and they're not sure when they'll open. Strange. So we head to the MSS buffet and
    fill up on salad and iced tea.

    After lunch we play some JoB at MSS. Again I can't get anything going, but LP does well and hits a
    straight flush before cashing out up $60.

    Next up is bonus poker at the Grand. We had a great time there. LP had a few gin and tonics. I had a few
    red bull vodkas, and we both had a few quads. We play several hours on our original $100 buy in.
    I end up busting out but LP makes some money, cashing out at $135.

    It's about 5pm and we have an hour before we need to catch the WAX to the airport. Both of us
    were pretty bummed that we didn't get our field roast dog and since we had to go back to the Plaza
    to get our bags we gave Biergarten another chance. By this time the manager had arrived (yay) and
    we had an early dinner. I think the food at this place is really good, and like last month they had
    a special going where you got a free beer with your dog purchase. Last month it was a pumpkin beer
    and this month it's a dark lager from Coors that was actually pretty tasty.

    Satiated, we grab our bags and head to the WAX. $2 and 25 minutes later we're at McCarren. Our flight
    back to Seattle was delayed a couple of hours (not sure why) and we don't arrive home until 1am.

    Sadly we missed the Vegas snow today (it did snow right?).

    Day: -100
    Trip: -470

    It was a losing trip monetarily, but we had a really great time and can't wait until our next trip
    which is tentatively scheduled for April. We hope to use our two free nights at DTG then.

    Happy New Years to everyone and best of luck on your next trip.

  2. Iamrice

    Iamrice High-Roller

    Sep 16, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like a good one, you know how to do downtown.
    Thanks for the report!
  3. jimboguy

    jimboguy My sloppy joe is all sloppy and no joe.

    Nov 15, 2010
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the report. I always enjoy reading downtown trip reports.
    If you have a smartphone, the Downtown Grand has an app that shows your offers. But your suggestion of giving them a call is probably best.
    I haven't heard much about the food at BierGarten; thank you for the tip on the free beer special.
    If your April trip has you in Vegas on April 11th, you may want to check out this beer festival: Great Vegas Festival of Beer
    Thanksgiving Weekend
    I like fall
  4. DougFur

    DougFur Tourist

    Aug 10, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    jimboguy: Thanks for the tip re: smartphone app. I just installed it on my iPad and it looks like there's some food/freeplay offers available that expire in Jan. I'm guessing those may be recurring monthly offers so we'll check again in April.

    Good suggestion on the beer festival -- we're going to just miss it though. We return home on the 11th, unfortunately.

    BTW if anyone has gotten the 2 day room comp and was wondering if weekend nights are allowed, they appear to be. We just booked Thurs/Fri with ours. The agent also said the resort fee is waved. We're looking forward to our stay there.
  5. Ty

    Ty ?

    Sep 2, 2013
    Mid Ga
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report, thanks for sharing. Sounds like we had some overlapping VP days at MSS.
  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Jan 21, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Another good report! Hopefully you can get the Royal next time!

    And if you play at TI again, they hopefully will still have 7/5 Bonus with Double STP (98.51%) for as cheap as nickels. It's not "full pay", but it's not that "short" either.
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