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Rio - Feb 5th - Feb 9th

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by arukc, Feb 10, 2011.

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  1. arukc

    arukc Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    First part now, more to come soon… This time we stayed at the Rio because it was free and we hadn’t stayed off strip before. Before we left we decided it made sense to get a car for the entire trip. We got a pretty good deal from Enterprise so why not. Flight out was actually 25 minutes early. This was great except that there was no gate open for us. So there we are with a plane full of Vegas hungry folks foaming at the mouth to hit the tables hard. We only had to wait like 10 minutes, but, it felt like 13 hours. Off to the rental area, which I didn’t realize was consolidated for all companies, and our first victory. We were scheduled for an economy class and when the guy took us out he’s like you could takes this Mazda 3 or this …and before he could finish I said sold. Now we’re not fancy folks, but, I’m guessing a Mazda 3 is not economy class. Small yes, economy no. Speaking of victories, we had many this trip, unfortunately none in the gambling variety. On to the Rio…


    Victory #2 - no line at check in. That’s right Saturday afternoon, Super Bowl weekend, Rio has 2500 rooms/suites, and no line. It took us 5 minutes from parking the car up to our luxurious 3rd floor suite with a wonderful view of the…… loading dock. At least it was a short elevator ride. We had tickets to Drew Carey’s Improv-aganza at MGM so we stowed our crap, tested the safe because we knew it would be getting a lot of use, made our Super bowl bets, and got back in the “3â€. Walked over to the “new†Tropicana and it was pretty bright and white. Only real impressive thing I noticed was the sportsbook. Very nice. Over to NYNY for some dinner. Went to the Mexican joint in the village. I had a quesadilla and a Corona and wife had a Mexican something or other with a wine. Both were excellent. So far no real gambling to speak of, except the occasional $20 wasted on slots. Over to the show where we had Victory #3. We thought our tickets were for one of the side tables, but, it turned out we were front and center, 3rd row. Swwweeeeet. I didn’t have too high expectations for the show, thinking it would be like who’s line is it anyways minus Wayne Brady. Turns out that it was very similar, but, maybe I’m getting old cause my head literally hurt from laughing so much. It seemed to go on forever as well, which was fine as it was so good. An extra bonus – the Price is Right girls were sitting 15 feet from us and even got in on some of the action. With so many victories so far I was expecting the pendulum of luck to swing the other way for the drive home. I thought for sure the traffic Gods would have their revenge being Saturday night now and having to get from MGM to Rio. It literally took all of five and a half minutes. You got it, Victory #4.

    Got back to home base and found it nearly impossible to find a table game that peaked my interest. Stuck with VP for awhile, moving back and forth between the Shutters and Masquerade bars. Wife got tired around 10:30 and off to bed. I probably should’ve followed her, but, who needs sleep when you have losing to do. The rest of the night (from what I can remember) went something like this: Corona, VP win, Corona, Corona, Craps lose, Bathroom, Corona, VP win, Corona, Corona, Blackjack lose, VP lose, Corona, Corona, Pai Gai lose, Corona, Craps lose, VP win, Corona, 4:00am celebration for staying up 24 hours straight and then wondering what room was I in again? During one of the VP sessions I noticed two lovely ladies meander up to the bar. One started working left and the other right. They covered the whole bar in a matter of 20 minutes looking for a “friend†I politely declined(Victory #5), but, found their efficiency in working the bar very entertaining.

    Day Two – Super Bowl day or losing day #2 (are you starting to see a trend here?)

    Up at like 8 because that’s what happens every time. The word hangover does not begin to describe how I felt. Luckily, I went back to sleep for a couple hours. After showering, me and the wifey walked over to Gold Coast just for a change of pace. Place is pretty nice, and the VP odds were heads and shoulders above the crappy HET/CET properties. If you like hangin out with folks over 50, then this is the place for you. I can say I’m one of those people. For the big game, we bought tickets to the All American Grille party at the Rio. It included all you can eat from limited menu, 2 drinks, and a t-shirt for $50. We really just wanted to guarantee a good seat. We got there at 1:30 cause that’s when they started the food and we hadn’t had lunch yet. We ended up sitting in a sweet side booth built for 4 facing the bar. Our waiter, Steve, was exceptional. He explained how everything worked for the party which was basically narrowed down to when we needed something all we had to do was ask. We said OK and started with Buffalo Wings, Potato skins, Corn dogs, and cheeseburger sliders. Of course two drinks were in order as well. I’m not sure why I thought that starting to drink at 1:30 was a good idea, but, I was only 500 feet from my room if I needed to curl up in the fetal position and wish for death. Food wasn’t too bad and the wings were a real surprise. Being from Buffalo I don’t have high expectations for wings anywhere else. We finished round 1 and I was actually starting to feel better. On to included drink #2 and only 1 more hour ‘til game time. One of the really nice things about where we were is that we were still able to see the casino and traffic in it from our seats. We spent the next hour debating our next food choices and people watching. And then finally, KICKOFF!!! and then PACKERS!!!!!! Of course, because I apparently suck at gambling I had the Steelers +2.5. Time for food order #2 – wings, Hot Dog, nachos. It’s hard to explain how exciting it is watching a sporting event with so many people, but, it was a beyond a good time. Even the wife admitted to having fun. Food Order #3 basically dinner –WINGS, cheeseburger sliders, and extra fries. At this point I had already exceeded my two included drinks and was well on my way to stuporville. We did have some luck with the SB as we won one of the door prizes, an Andrew Quarless autographed 8x10, and the wife won her 3rd qtr office pool. All in all, we were extremely pleased with the party and the service. For $100 we had lunch, dinner, and a good liquoring up start to the night.

    More to come soon……
     
  2. jpw711

    jpw711 VIP Whale

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    keep it coming, good report so far!
     
  3. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    Enjoying your trip report so far. Keep it coming, June is a long way still.:beer:
     
  4. brossack

    brossack Tourist

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    can't wait for the next installment! I know what you mean about chicken wings - being a Buffalonian myself!:beer:
     
  5. arukc

    arukc Tourist

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    Part 2

    Back to the trip report - Day 2 continued…

    Walked out of the SB party(victory #6) and took a quick look at the huge line of winners waiting to cash out their parlays and such at the sports book. Man, was I happy to not have to wait in that line. The plan for the rest of the night was to take a short rest and then hit the Bellagio for the “satisfying the wife†portion of the trip. I’m pretty sure she would fly to Vegas just to see 3 fountain shows and then fly back without doing anything else. This is where things got good and bad all at the same time. Wife went up to the room with strict instructions to pick her up at 8:15pm. I went to the Rapid Roulette table and Continued to Lose At Will (or CLAW) That’s right, now I’m making up acronyms for my unprecedented losing streak. On a side note, I really don’t care if I win or lose. The important thing to me is being able to play whenever I want, which I was getting dangerously close to not being able to do at this point. It turned 8:14pm and like the well-trained husband I am I went straight to the room to find….. a sleeping wife. This is where the good/bad part occurred. First off the good: I didn’t have to trek over to the Bellagio. The Bad: and by bad I mean not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good, I didn’t have to trek over to the Bellagio. My liver was screaming for mercy at this point, but, I threw caution and another couple $$’s to the wind and headed to set up camp for the rest of the night. VP here I come.

    Off to the Shutters Bar where I started on the quest for a Royal. Unfortunately, I’ve never had one and I’m starting to think it may be user error. The good news is that at least it let me play for awhile, even with the aforementioned excellent odds at HET. I started with a mere $20 and I ended up playing at various spots for the rest of the night which I later figured out to be 7 hours 8:30pm-3:30am? without spending another dime(except tips). In the course of the night I managed to hit the below. Still no Royal.

    View attachment 2533


    Victory #7
    View attachment 2534


    Victory #8
    View attachment 2535


    Day 2 was by far my favorite day this trip – SB, VP wins, and an endless amount of beer of which I would not want to actually figure out how many went down. Of course, if I had to wager a guess I’d say it was about 528 counting the SB party.


    Day 3 – “Get your $ out of your car rental dayâ€

    I was not about to see am this morning, but, of course the east coast virus took it’s hold and I was up at 10. Wife went to the spa so it allowed me to waiver in and out of consciousness for the next two hours. Finally made it to a standing position and we were on our way. First stop lunch on the way to Red Rock Canyon. We took a right out of the Rio on Flamingo hoping to find the perfect spot. Not too far down the road there it was, Sonic. Now we don’t have Sonics in Buffalo, but, I’ve seen the commercials and any place that brings food to you in your car must be good, right? You are incorrect sir. This was horrible. The only edible thing was the mozzarella sticks, and how can you screw those up. Very disappointed. Hoping for better results we continued on our trek to the RR Canyon. We pulled into the visitors center around 1:30pm. It was actually a bit chilly there. Overall, I enjoyed pretending to be a formula one driver on the 35 mph speed limit roads better than the hike we had. Actually, I take that back(in case my wife reads this) the rocks were so red and so spectacular I had tears in my eyes upon leaving. It was really breathtaking. Unfortunately, it was time to leave and head to the pinball HOF. You know I had reservations about this place, with all the pinballs and potential fun stuff. This was Victory #9 as I immediately reverted back to my youth. Pinbot, Terminator, Comet, Cyclone, Roller Coaster Tycoon, old school Kings and Queens, and a bunch of other old schoolers. This place is heaven and I would’ve stayed all night if I could. I think it cost us a total of $10. Off to the Hard Rock, then Cosmo, followed by Planet Hollywood and then Bills. We really got around this night, and being that we walked for most of + RR Canyon + 528 beers the previous night really started taking a toll on me.

    Luckily, we made it to Bill’s to catch about 15-20 minutes of the Elvis show. This guy rocks it and the place is just packed in there for him. Bills is probably my favorite place in this universe on my favorite street corner in the world. This made my impending failure even worse as I knew there was no way I was going to make it past 8 or 9 pm. The wife, being the trooper she is(and after getting 12 hours of sleep the previous night) stepped right up to a pai gow table. I curled up in the back with none other than the Lord of the Rings slot. Yeah, I know, pitiful. It was now about 8:15 and I was literally falling asleep as I mindlessly hit the button. Ooh I hit mile # 18, only need 7 more miles to unlock Arwen's Rescue. I’m such a LOTR nerd. I wake myself up and head over to find the wife on a heater, yes, a Pai Gow heater. I stood behind her as long as I could and then realized there was an empty chair right next to me. What harm could it do, I’ll just sit down for a few hands. That’s when my body literally started to collapse. First the eyes, constantly rubbing them, then the stomach, then the brain. I think I mis-played two hands in a row. The wife at this point knew I was in rough shape and reluctantly agreed to get me back to home base. She was way up for her and I knew I was playing the role of William H. Macy(for most of the movie) in The Cooler.

    Maybe it the Vegas air or the sweet smell of the Rio, but, by the time we made it back I somehow found a second wind. Must’ve been around 9:30ish at this point and I just couldn’t get the thought of a Royal out of my head, or was I dreaming at this point. Onwards to the bar!!!!! Body was begging for reconsideration as the 1st Coors Light turned to 2, 2 to 4, and so on. Found myself away from the bar onto a progressive bank of $.25 VP machines over near the All-American Grill. Started with 1st $20 and nothing. Moved around to the other side, another $20, and then it happened, a Royal.

    Not for me of course,this woman on the machine to the right of me nailed it, clubs I think. What made it worse was that she wasn’t even happy. She mumbled something like “ Oh now you give it to me after I played dollars for an hour.†What an ungrateful you know what. I would’ve given up drinking for the rest of the night if I could hit one. I’m normally happy for people when they win, but, not in this case. I quickly scurried off in disgust to the bathroom which was conveniently located about 20 feet away. I had to go so bad, I’m pretty sure I could have hit the urinal from where I was playing VP if there was no one around. Anyways, after quick break I decided to let bygones be bygones and took up to the machine right next to the lucky lady that just hit the royal. About 10 minutes went by and I was up a bunch, and then it hit for her again. Hearts this time, same machine, same ungrateful woman…. Unreal. Un Real. I’ve played over (insert ridiculous # of hands here) hands with nothing and she hits 2 in a span of 15 minutes, on the same machine. She at least smiles this time and I am holding back everything I can at this point because I hear the LV prison system may not be the best. The slot mongers come over and are all giddy at paying her win as they know 2 Royals must mean a good tip, right. I think she stiffed them, can't be 100% sure though. Mentally and physically done for the night I head to the All-American grille for a late night bite and then sleeeeeep.


    The exciting conclusion to come soon ……….
     
  6. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

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    You write an excellent report. Can't wait for the conclusion!
     
  7. arukc

    arukc Tourist

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    Part 3 - the finale

    And now the ever exciting finale(it’s really not that exciting)

    Day 4 – “You lost what?â€

    Up around 9am I think, still a bit foggy from the night before. I recount the VP antics from last night to the wife and we plan for our last full day in Vegas. What do you like to do on your last day? I usually like to start (and stop) drinking early because I don’t like to fly too hungover. Well, my body was having none of this and even the thought of more alcohol caused pain. So we decided to venture back out to the Vegas streets with the Mazda 3. First, was a quick stop at the Ethel M chocolate factory. I was really hoping for Willie Wonka, you know, a river of chocolate, an everlasting gobstopper, and Augustus Gloop. It was more like an overpriced chocolate store with a window to see people in hairnets. I did happen to learn a little bit about how chocolate is made and also found a machine that gave me nightmares:

    View attachment 2536

    Outside the chocolate factory was a cactus garden. Yes, that’s right, what goes better with chocolate than cactuses. Or Cacti. And that’s what me and the wife talked about for the 5 minutes we walked around the garden – the plural of cactus.

    We also wanted to check out some of the off-strip casinos and started at Green Valley Ranch. The wife wanted to find a place to play cheap table games and I was just hoping to not lose my money during the day so I could play at night. She found a $5 craps table where the average age of the players was 85. She jumped in and I meandered back to the Monopoly slot that was eyeing me on the walk to the tables. I sit down and reach for a $20 and pull out a wad of $1’s. What the… Other pocket, nothing. Wallet, nothing. Where’s my $$$$? Panic sets in and I head back to see the wife. I mention that I can’t find my money and that I’m going to check the car to see if it dropped out of my pocket. Run out to the car and nothing – back to the wife. At this point she is winning, of course, and agrees to leave to go back to hotel to see if in the room. This is the second time I’ve pulled her away from a winning streak, can’t be a good sign. She cashes out her winnings and we’re out. It seemed like it took forever to get to the Rio, even though it was only like 10 minutes. Scurry up to the room, check the table, nothing, check my shorts from the previous day and VICTORY!!!!!(#10) I finally won something!!!! There it was all crumpled up in my pocket. At least I’ll be able to lose my money over the next 8 hours instead of all at once. My wife gives me the look of death and I know what I have to do – take her to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch.

    Off to the Mirage where there was already a small line forming. Lunch was good, not great. Then over to the Flamingo and start heading north. We stop at most of the places on the way to Casino Royale. Wife is once again looking for low limit tables. She really likes to play Let it Ride and used to do so on the $1 game maker machines, but, we couldn’t find any of those. I think there aren’t any left in all of Nevada. She was able to find $5 table for LIR and started playing. I think she won again and eventually we ended back home at the Rio. Both of us weren’t too hungry so we stopped by the Sports Bar Grill for a quick bite. Food was not edible at all, however, we learned that they have a beverage stand that gets more use than a cheap “working girlâ€. We bought a drink and the clerk said save your cup, you can use it for your entire stay. Really, wow thanks (of course there are free drinks in the casino, but, usually need to tip) After taking a seat, I noticed that almost everyone that was filling up with beverages was not using a cup sold by the Sports Bar grille. One lady even had two Sbarro’s cups - there is no Sbarros at the Rio. Next guy had what looked like a coffee mug thing. After the so-called dinner we just spent the rest of the night searching and not finding that elusive Royal.

    Day 5 – “Getting out of Dodgeâ€

    We wanted to check out Town Square before heading out so we packed up our stuff, checked out, and avoided the smoke as we left our temporary home. It’s nice when the wife’s spa bill is pretty much the only thing we need to pay for. Town Square was nice, probably too nice for us, but, we did have an excellent lunch at Claim Jumpers. I guess this would make eating there a tradition as we have done it the last two trips to Mecca. Flight home, like the flight there was early as well.

    Great things this trip:
    - Drew Carey’s Improv-aganza – my head still hurts
    - Super Bowl party – great value, great atmosphere
    - Pretzel Sticks appetizer at Claim Jumpers – mmmmmmmmmmmm

    Good Things:
    - Car rental and ease of getting around – maybe we were lucky, but this seemed way too easy
    - All the casino bars at the Rio – always had great service no matter which one
    - Wife’s lucky streaks – despite all of my “cooler†tendencies she did well; she even won numerous times on the dreaded slot machines – a 1st for her.
    - Wife’s variety of good drinks – pina colada, rum/pineapple, tequila sunrise, and all sorts of wines – all were yummy according to her.

    Not-so-Good things:
    - Housekeeping – may have only showed up twice in 4 days, one day was at 7pm
    - NO ROYAL again
    - Table game – itus. It didn’t matter when I sat down, what game, what casino, as soon as I sat down I lost. I hope this sickness goes away soon. BJ, Craps, Pai Gow, Roulette, and even thought about, but did not play, Casino War(I can’t believe I just wrote that)
     
  8. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

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    Glad you had Victory #10.
     
  9. DirtyFrizank

    DirtyFrizank Tourist

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    Very nice report. Thanks for posting!
     
  10. loonytoony

    loonytoony VIP Whale

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    Nice report. I hate losing trips. Sometimes it just snowballs and you just have to make sure next trip you have forgotten about it.
     
  11. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Nice report thanks for posting.
     
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