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Pre Christmas Trip Report Dec 19-22 - Love Those Deuces!!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Suekel, Jan 8, 2013.

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  1. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Central TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    Background: Last time we were in Vegas was July of 2012, and we were starting to feel the itch to go again. A good sale from SWA plus great comp offers from CET convinced us to use a few days of our 2 week Christmas vacation to make a quick trip.

    Booked SWA AUS->LAS Dec 19, returning the 22nd. To get the best price we had to take the 8:40 PM return flight which would not have us into Austin til nearly 1AM, but we figured what the heck, we could sleep in the next day.

    We ran into a little snafu booking because I was using points and my husband (R) was paying by CC. Did it as two separate transactions at the same time, and mine went thru while his said that fare was no longer available for that flight. Basically I nabbed the last seat at the low price, and in the end he had to book a different outbound flight to get the low fare. I figured no big deal, I could try to get on his earlier flight, and if it was sold out, well, he’d get 4 hours in Vegas alone to enjoy.

    Day 1 - Dec 19th 2012
    R’s flight was scheduled for 7:30 AM so we were up and out the door before sunrise. Got to the airport and were pleasantly surprised to see no lines at all for baggage check or security. Breezed through and got to his gate early. As soon as a gate agent showed up, I went up to ask about possibly getting on that flight. Unluckily for me, I got the bitch agent from hell. I could understand if the flight was full, but there were 7 open seats, yet she would not let me get on unless I paid ($$ or points) the difference between the fare I booked and the fare that day, which of course being same day was outrageous. I pointed out that my flight was showing as full, so I’d actually be helping them out by switching, but she was totally inflexible, and in the end R took off without me, with at least a few empty seats on the plane.
    So, I puttered around the airport for several hours, had some drinks, bought a book, read half the book, until finally my flight time arrived. Fortunately we checked both our bags on R’s flight, so I only had a carry on to contend with. I sat next to a nice older couple who were passing thru Vegas en route to their ultimate destination to spend Christmas with their daughter in California.

    Arrived in Vegas on time around 1PM, and since I did not have luggage to contend with, I half sprinted to the cab line, and was in a cab within 10 minutes of landing. Told the drive PH, please use Swenson and Paradise, and had no issues with him trying to long haul me. Fare was around $14-$15 and I gave him $20 and said Happy Holidays.

    Went and found R sitting at Yolo’s having a beer, having managed to lose all the cash he had on him in the 4 hours he had to wait for me. I pointed out that that was precisely why I only gave him half of his gambling budget for the day. We do the daily envelope method and I am the keeper of the money, because I am better at it. He agrees with this wholeheartedly. We went to see about checking in, but the line was long, so we went back to the casino to have a drink or two and play some VP. Tried again about 30 mins later and there was no line. Check in was quick and easy, tried to see about an upgrade, but since the Miss Universe pagent was taking place that night they were really full, so my $20 went back in my pocket and we just took what we got. Room was fine for our needs – nothing special, but clean, nice sized bathroom and a decently comfortable bed. We called the bell stand for the luggage R had left with them, and that arrived really quickly. Unpacked a little and headed out in search of action.

    We decided the first place we wanted to hit up was Cosmo. We’d had a great time hanging at the Queue bar on our last visit, so we went back there. Our bartender, Shea, was great, and we settled in with some cocktails and VP. On about my 6th or 7th hand, I hit quad Queens, but since I was only playing bonus and .25 level, the win was only $62.50. But still, nice to start off with a little win.

    [​IMG]

    After playing a while we were getting hungry, so I suggested we seek out the “secret pizza place”. R was very skeptical about this, kept asking me what the name was so he could look on the directory, I kept trying to tell him it didn’t have a name, that’s what made it secret, etc. We went up the wrong escalator and ended up by the conference rooms, and he was determined to give up, saying I did not know what I was talking about. We finally found the area with the pool table, I asked an employee and he helpfully pointed to the hallway. R then had to eat his words, because not only did this mysterious place exist, but the pizza was really good. We each had a slice and felt much better after.

    I can’t recall the exact order of everything else we did that day, but I know we walked over and thru Paris, Bally’s, and Flamingo, stopping to play and have drinks at each place. We bought into a $5 3 card poker table for $40 each at Flamingo, and within a few minutes I hit a six card bet for about a $120 win. Black chip went straight into my pocket. We managed to play for quite a while there, and our initially $80 outlay turned into about $150, so that was good. Played some VP at Bugsy’s bar, and then started making our way back the way we came. At some point, I don’t remember where, I hit 4 2’s for $100 win.


    I kept catching R playing VP at .50 and $1 level and scolding him that he was going to blow through his money too fast doing that. Well, at Bally’s on the way back, we sat at the Casino bar for some VP, were doing okay there. At some point, I don’t recall why, we moved to the other side of the bar. I was playing along happily in my semi drunken stupor when R starts elbowing me frantically. I look over and see he has hit 4 deuces on DW! Yay, $250!! Then I realize he was playing dollars and actually won $1000!!! We hooted and hollered a bit, got high fives from the (awesome) bartenders, and he went and cashed that ticket out asap and gave me the money to tuck away.

    [​IMG]

    A nice win on the first night is such an awesome feeling! We tipped the bartender a $20, played a little longer then left the bar. Searched out my favorite Hot Shot machines, found them in a new location, and played two machines side by side, hitting a couple small progressives each to leave there up another $200 or so. Finally left Ballys, played something at Paris and made our way back to home base at Pho. Everything after that is a blur, but I know we had a late night sandwich at Earl of Sandwich, played a lot more VP, and then next day we woke to this:

    [​IMG]


    Day 2 – Dec 20th, 2012

    I have an issue in Vegas in that I can NEVER sleep in the first morning. Between the two hour time difference and being an early bird by nature, I am always up by 6 or 7. So I got up and showered and told a still half asleep R that I was going down to play a little and I’d bring back breakfast and coffee. Played for 40 minutes or so, no wins, so I just got breakfast sandwiches from Earl along with coffee and two bottles of water and went back up. He got up, ate, showered and headed out.

    I had purchased tickets for the Hitzville show at the V Theater using a website called 3 O’Clock Club, so we decided to go by the box office and change our vouchers in for tickets. That turned into a massive ordeal. There was only one clerk, he had never heard of 3 O’Clock Club, couldn’t find it in their system. Had to call a manager, who had to call someone in Marketing, who wanted him to fax the vouchers, etc etc. Meanwhile the line is growing behind us and people are grumbling, so after LITERALLY an hour of this, I say “Look, we aren’t wanting to go to the show til tomorrow, so why don’t you take some time to work on this, take my cell number and call me when it’s worked out.” They agreed, and we left, kind of stressed out. All this made me think of the fact that I’d bought Ka tickets (direct from MGM) but never received a confirmation e-mail, so we decided to go to MGM and pick those tickets up, in case there were any issues. We had to walk the gauntlet of porn slappers, time share folks and characters all the way to MGM. By far, the time share people annoy me the most. I would just like to walk down the street without being bothered every 10 feet. Made it to MGM and thankfully no issues with KA tickets, had them in hand in no time. Also, while I was there PH called and said they had everything straightened out with our Hitzville tickets and we could come get them whenever we wanted.

    I figured since we were already at MGM, why not stick a couple $20’s in the Lions Share. Got a couple small hits, but nothing exciting and the money was gone quickly. Oh well, I tried. Jackpot was at $2.29 million.

    [​IMG]

    We wanted to go back to Bally’s and Flamingo to cash out TITO’s from the night before, but I could not face the thought of walking that gauntlet again, so we decided to take the monorail. Rode to Flamingo, hung around there for a while playing VP at Bugsy’s Bar. Meandered thru Bills, Bally’s (tried to recreate the magic of the $1K win the night before, no luck) and Paris before going back to pick up the Hitzville tickets and then go to our room to get ready for Ka. At some point in these wanderings we stopped in at Le Burger Brasserie and split a salad and a REALLY good burger, along with the onion ring tower. It was delish!

    After the 7 PM Ka show, which was great, we went across to NYNY for a bit, then to Monte Carlo for a while. Took the tram from MC to Bellagio, bypassing City Center, for which I have an irrational hatred. I just don’t like the place at all. We wanted to end up at Mirage, because just by coincidence my cousin was going to be in Vegas for a night or two with some friends, and she was seeing the late show of LOVE. We had agreed to meet for a drink with her and her boyfriend when they got out. Waited for them in the Sports Book lounge, had a nice chat and a couple quick hugs over a drink, before going our separate ways. She is a good 20 years younger than I am, so I imagine her plans for the night were different than ours!

    I think we went back to Cosmo one more time before returning to PH to play for a while before bed. While we didn’t have any major hits this day, we had plenty of “Put in a twenty, run it up to $50, $60, $70, cash out and stick the ticket in your wallet, start over with another $20” scenarios that allowed us to play all day without depleting that day’s budget or touching the $1K win from the day prior.

    Day 3 – Dec 21, 2012
    I managed to sleep in a little later today, maybe 8:30 or so. We got up and ready and decided to have some breakfast. R had noticed a sign for a breakfast special in the Miracle Mile shops the day before, so we headed that way. Ended up at Cheeseburger Las Vegas for their $5.99 breakfast special, with $3.50 Mimosas or Bloody Marys. Who are we to say no?

    [​IMG]

    After breakfast we went back over to Cosmo, hoping to see our new favorite bartender Shea at the Queue bar. They weren’t quite open yet (it was about 10:20 and they open at 11:00) so we went down to the Book and Stage instead. Jen was the bartender and she was great. We had a couple screwdrivers and played for a while. While we were there, a guy a few seats down hit a Royal on DW, so that was some excitement.

    Just after 11, we closed out there and went to Queue bar, and sure enough Shea was working. Hung out there playing for a while. Had a beer, and when he asked if we wanted another, I asked if he felt like being creative, and he said “Always”, so I told him I like vodka and fruit flavors, and he made us an awesome drink with blood orange juice and other stuff. It was tasty and refreshing and STRONG.

    [​IMG]

    Left there around noon and walked over to Bellagio. The conservatory was way too crowded the prior day and we wanted to see it so we went back for that. I liked the winter/Christmas theme and was glad we made time for it. As we walked through we stopped at a double seat Hot Shot machine and managed to turn $20 into $250 in short order, so we cashed that out and moved along. Not entirely sure what we did after that. I have this picture of another 4OAK that occurred sometime before the Hitzville show which was at 5:30 that afternoon.

    [​IMG]

    Went back to the hotel to change and freshen up for our matinee show. After the whole ticket snafu had been cleared up, we decided to pay to upgrade to VIP and I am glad we did. It meant we did not have to line up early, so we hung out in Blondies having a couple drinks until it was time to go in. We bought a couple really overpriced drinks in the Showgirl Bar and went in to find our seats.

    [​IMG]

    Things got a little interesting here. We had specifically requested aisle seats cuz R is a tall guy who hates to be squashed in between people. We did have aisle seats, but right next to my seat was a really, really large woman who was spilling over into my seat. I’m not exactly waifish myself, so while we did squeeze ourselves into our two seats, we both immediately said no way are we staying there. Add to that the lady in front of me had a baby that couldn’t have been more than 13-14 months. Who brings a kid that young to a show? The kid was toddling around, going up to people etc. Yeah, no. That would distract me way too much. Anyway, the theater was not even half full so as soon as the show was started we asked the usher if we could move back a couple rows and he said sure. Much better! These were more like theater seats, with cushion and arm rests, while the other seats were more like banquet chairs. So much more comfortable. We enjoyed the show, with just two minor things that took me out of it. Two seats down from me was a woman by herself, and she had her coat on the seat between us, which did not bother me at all. Until she knocked her coat off, and it knocked over my $15 drink which was still more than half full and was on the floor very much by my seat. Then she was all concerned about her coat, but didn’t seem to care about my wasted drink much. Whatever, I let it go. Also, the lady with the aforementioned baby thought it would be a good idea during the final number to hold the baby up in the air and move it around like it was dancing, which had the effect of basically shaking the baby around violently, which was freaking me out. Aside from those little things, tho, we really did enjoy the show. Jin Jin Reeves is very talented, and we love Motown so it was a good time.

    After the show we were kind of hungry, hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so we did the “I don’t know, what do you feel like” thing for a while, as we walked thru the Pho casino. We were walking by PF Changs, and although we normally won’t eat anywhere in Vegas that we can have at home, we both thought some appetizers at the bar sounded good. We lucked out and scored the last couple seats at the bar, the place was PACKED! We ordered some potstickers, firecracker shrimp and a bowl of egg drop soup, figuring that would be good to share. Well, the bowl turned out to be a freaking tureen, it was HUGE! I ate a cup and a half, R had two cups and there was still about 1/3 left. Everything was tasty and it hit the spot. One funny thing, while we were waiting for our food, a guy came in hammered out of his mind. He stumbled around looking for an outlet to charge his phone, then took the only empty seat which was right next to me. Joy. He ordered some noodles, put his head down on the bar to apparently nap while he waited for them, and then hoovered down about half of them like a wild animal when they arrived. He had enough presence of mind to request a to-go box for the rest and managed to pay his tab before stumbling off into the casino. I reminded him not to forget his charging phone and got a grunt as thanks. Only in Vegas, man.

    After dinner it was around 9 and we decided to cross back over to Cosmo (do you see a pattern here) for some more VP, this time at Bond Bar. It was pretty dead, and the bartender did not seem super interested in us, but we played for a bit. Lucky thing we did, because R hit another 4 dueces on DW (just quarters this time) and I hit the same exact thing about 10 minutes later! So we were up $500 in no time! (Well, on that session, for the day we were down about half our $250 budgets each, so those wins put us back up for the day for sure. )

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We moved over to Queue bar for a while, and then I don’t quite recall what we did for the rest of that night. Oh wait, yes I do! We went back to Pho and bought in for $100 each on a $5 3 card poker table. We were doing pretty well, staying above water, and then R hit a 6 card bet for a couple hundred dollar win. Into the pocket went the black chips and we kept playing with our buy in and small winnings. At one point an older Indian couple approached and said they had never played but would like to try, would we mind if they sat with us. I said “Sure!” and proceeded to help them learn the game. They were very nice and had some decent luck before the dealers changed out and the table went ice cold. I colored up and explained that I was going to walk around a bit since the game had gone cold. Found another table a short while later, and about 10 minutes into that the couple came up and asked me “Is this table warmer?” So they sat again and seemed to enjoy the game. When I finally colored up for good they thanked me for the help – they were nice people. I love those random encounters that you sometimes have in Vegas. Finally it got late and we decided to hit the sack around 1AM. It had been a really fun and fairly lucky day.

    Day 4 – Dec 22nd, 2012. Going home day

    I was awake around 7, let R sleep til about 8:30 and then started getting ready and packing up to check out. Our flight was not until 8PM so after checking out (applying our TR credits against the charge from PF Changs) we left our bags with the bellmen and went into the Miracle Mile to get a couple souvenirs at ABC and a couple Christmas gifts. I realized I did not want to lug those around all day, and that I kind of needed my coat which I’d left in my checked carry on, so I went back to the bellstand, asked if I could access my bag, and they brought me into the back where the bags were located. I tipped the guy another $5 for the trouble, and was able to leave the gifts and get my coat.

    We had a few places we wanted to visit, some because we had TITO’s or chips to cash in and some because we wanted to say goodbye to the bartenders who had been so nice to us. I was also having a fit over not having seen a single fountain show, so that was on the agenda.

    We started at Cosmo, played VP and had a couple drinks from Shea at Queue bar. He’s a really nice guy. After that we walked down toward Bellagio and hung around for a fountain show, which was set to “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, which is my favorite Christmas Carol, so I was happy. We went into Paris to cash in some chips, and spent some time at the big VP bar there. Can’t recall the name of it. There was a lady walking around offering 20 minute massages, so R bought me one. Felt pretty dang good, although I felt self conscious a bit. After hanging out there a while, we walked thru the shops toward Bally’s, stopping at the little pizza place for their slice and a beer deal. Went back to the Casino bar at Bally's to say goodbye to Steve and Leland (our first day in town, Steve actually remembered us from our July trip, which I thought was amazing. With the number of people who pass thru there, what are the chances? Hopefully it’s because we are good tippers and not because we are drunks, LOL) and play a little more.
    Finally it was getting on 5 and we were concerned the airport would be super busy due to the approaching Christmas holiday, so we went back to Pho where I managed one last $100 hit before retrieving our bags and grabbing a cab. Well, the airport was dead. Like, I’ve never seen it so slow! So we were at our gate super early, figured what the heck, and grabbed a couple drinks at Sammy Haggar’s Cabo Wabo bar. Our flight was delayed and by the time we landed back in Austin it was nearly 2AM. Exhausted and very glad we did not have to work for the next week and a half.

    In summary, we had a great trip. It was very different from past trips in that we made no effort to visit every casino on the strip or go downtown. We never went past Flamingo on one side and Mirage on the other, or past MGM and NYNY at the other end. We concentrated our time at a handful of places and actually really enjoyed that. It was laid back, without a lot of plans, and it was just what we needed. From a gambling perspective, we played a LOT of VP, some slots, and a handful of table games. We won enough to play as much as we wanted and still go home with about ¾ of our gambling budget unspent, and for us, that counts as a win.

    We hadn’t planned to go back again til at least the middle of 2013, but there is a couple we are good friends with, and the guy is turning 40 in March. He has never been to Vegas and REALLY wants to go, and for us to go to show him the ropes. When SW had a recent flight sale, it was too good to pass up so we called them and we all pounced on it, going back at the end of February for a pre 40th trip. His birthday is during March Madness and spring break, so much more pricey then. We are actually now up to 4 couples for that trip (which should be interesting since we are used to going just the two of us.)

    Thanks to anyone who stuck around to the end of this!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
    Vegas Just Because...
  2. br549

    br549 High-Roller

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    Nice TR. Sounds like you had a lot of fun. Enjoyed reading it and congrats on your wins.
     
    Last Trip of 2016 - Trip moved up 3 days
  3. Barney

    Barney Low-Roller

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    Nice TR!
     
  4. Jersey_Bill

    Jersey_Bill High-Roller

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    Enjoyed this one !! Great VP hits !!

    JZB
     
  5. gongoman

    gongoman MIA

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    Glad ya had fun and this was a very enjoyable TR ,,Thanks:beer:
     
  6. booker

    booker High-Roller

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    Thanks for the TR! I am also a lover of deuce machines.
     
  7. natedog666

    natedog666 17 and 20 Expert

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    Great Pics and TR! Love the detail!
     
  8. brit2vegas

    brit2vegas Tourist

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    great stuff, thanks for posting
     
    Trip number 6, Christmas in Vegas!
  9. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    It must be the texas hill country effect as I have the same problem with waking up in the a.m. which appears absurdly early each morning. I take a nap and am able to stay up late at night....but alas, at 7 a.m. it seems the eyelids flap up like two window shades with no brakes......great trip report....
     
    1st Super Bowl DT...Panthers / Browns no doubt
    Spur of momento trip
  10. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Very entertaining report!
    I had never heard of the "3 O'clock club" either!
     
  11. RodneyK

    RodneyK Tourist

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    Thanks for the report!
     
  12. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 Low-Roller

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    Great report. How was the breakfast special at Cheeseburger Las Vegas?

    Mark
     
  13. Dpin300

    Dpin300 Low-Roller

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    Another well written and exciting to read TR. Thanks for sharing!
     
  14. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I kept procrastinating and was almost not gonna do one, but am glad I did.

    Kobra, the special was quite good. 2 eggs, choice of meat, hash browns, toast and coffee for $5.99. We added a single pancake to share, which was just ok.

    I always order eggs over medium and 99% of the time I get over easy, but the eggs there were a perfect over medium.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
    Vegas Just Because...
  15. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

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    Great report, love the detail too! Also love seeing the pics. Nothing better than holding one card and seeing the other 3 pop up as happened on one of your many 4OAK!!!
    Have fun in next time..........
     
  16. RAWDAWG33

    RAWDAWG33 Low-Roller

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    Awesome report. Great pics and sweet vp wins. :beer:
     
  17. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

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    Nice job, Suekel! Bringing home 3/4 of your budget probably ensured that February trip. Good luck!
     
  18. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

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    It definitely did. Had we lost big on the Dec trip, there is no way we would have considered going back so soon. Hope we can repeat that luck and then some. I am considering upping our playing budget slightly for this trip, not sure yet.
     
    Vegas Just Because...
  19. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    Great report, Suekel.

    I like that you like the cocktails. :cheers:
    It's always fun and relaxing to concentrate on a section
    of Vegas and soak in all its goodness instead of trying to
    hit everything up all in one trip.

    And it gives us good reason for a follow-up.
    More exploration necessary! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  20. VPDana

    VPDana Low-Roller

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    Enjoyable TR!
     
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