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SCC's first stay at Encore! First TR. Bonus: Gambled with a Celebrity

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by scc31, Aug 25, 2015.

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  1. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Hi all,

    Since I'm constantly lurking and reading all these wonderful TRs, I will write a TR about my trip (one and only one this year) to Vegas these past couple days. It is only a 3 day, 2 night trip unfortunately but I think IMO that it is full of memories that will be worthy of your read at least. (not to the scales Packers, Plee, etc's TRs tho :p). Hopefully you enjoy it and if you're a low bank roller you can live bi curiously through it!

    TLDR since I'm pretty tired right now and will write out more at work if it's slow tomorrow. Lots of swings in gambling. I only play table games like Blackjack, Paigow Poker, 1-3 NL Texas Hold'em, couple random ones here and there such as Roulette, and lastly MLB. Unfortunately no chip porn and I came out in the negative but I gambled a lot and was surprised I had $145 of that $400 left by end of trip even going on tilt at one point. One celebrity sat next to me and my girlfriend at a table (no picture sorry.. his wish and I respected it) but I will keep that for the descriptions of each days in the TR. A first time stay at a Wynn's resort + review of dinner at SW Steakhouse (Fantastic but a little bit on the pricey side granted the ambiance was mind blowing +amazing food). Also cashed in MyVegas free coupons at the Mirage for LOVE show (pretty good IMO) and pass to Secret Garden.

    Quick Summary:

    Who: Couples trip (me and my GF mid to late 20ish) from California.
    Where: Encore
    Days: Aug 23 to Aug 25th (Sun-Tues) 3 days 2 nights
    Gambling: $400 budget for 3 days. I was going to go with envelope method but I was like eff it. Small budget anyways sink or swim after first day is fine with me. If you read TLDR, the $400 lasted me all 3 days which shows how crazy of a swing I experienced.
    Activities: Gambling, gambling, drinking, LOVE, more gambling, some walking, Wynn Pool.
    Notable Eats: BLT Burger (mirage), Encore Lobby Bar, Philadelphia Cheese Steak (Fashion Show food court), SW Steakhouse (Wynn), Earl's Sandwich (Hollywood).

    That's all for now I'll try to write up the days tomorrow. PS: Kudos to the VMBers who does Semi to Live-TRs. I can't imagine it. The days flew by so fast between gambling, walking, eating, and just trying to enjoy the vacation without having to check the phone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
  2. sapphirevegas

    sapphirevegas Low-Roller

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    Good first TR. Draw us in with a cliffhanger!
     
    wedding trip!!!
  3. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    Cant wait for the rest!!
     
  4. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    Looking forward to the TR. Hoping your celebrity encounter is not some reality tv star. :)
     
  5. B S

    B S MIA

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    Can't wait to hear more. Intrigued by which celebrity you played with....
     
  6. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Looking forward to your report.
     
  7. RM777

    RM777 Low-Roller

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    Ditto.
     
  8. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    Day 1: Sunday, August 26th

    Getting there: The flight was uneventful which was the first win of the trip. Flying has never been my thing (slight to major fear of it based on weather + hate having to go through security, checking in, going onto the planes, cramped seats, etc) so having a flight that was on time and with little to no bumps was a great start to the trip. (I wish I can say the same about the return trip.) The only thing I wish I had done was check in earlier via online. Unfortunately I forgot and was one of the last ones (C group) to board the plane and had to sit next to a rather large guy who took up a lot of room. We leave the airport at 9:55am and touch down to McCarren by 11:30am.

    Arrival and to the hotel: We quickly grabbed our bags and made our way to the shuttle. By this point it was already noon and I've been awake for 4hours without coffee (coffee addiction yelling at me) or food (stomach was growling). I would like to note that I was confident I can pack everything in the morning and rush out the door with time to spare to grab some food on the way to the airport or on the terminal. I never learn my lesson and dealt with the consequences. By the time I got to the airport I was already lining up to board the airplane so I couldn't even get Peets in the terminal. Thankfully there was a Coffee and Beans there right off the terminal and got my slightly over priced $7 iced coffee. The shuttle to Encore was $35 (buying a head of time was 15/person roundtrip + $5 tip each time... just don't lose your boarding pass because you need it to return to LAS!)

    Checking in: Once there we checked into Encore at about 12:30ish way earlier then the scheduled time. Luckily being Sunday that meant available rooms already. The reception lady gave us several options. One being noisy facing XS/pool club the other facing the mountains. Also offered us a $25 upgrade for a higher level with panoramic view (I think?) but we elected not to and to go with the quieter room facing the Mountains & Circus Circus. Waited roughly 15minutes walking around Wynn and our room was ready. The room was very nice and highly recommended if you want a resort based on rooms (no pictures sorry) Only disappointment was that the view was of nothing but darkness and they did not have any slippers to walk around the room in. I dropped by the Sportsbook to bet $80 on Giants/Pirates game. Later on Giants got handled after just 3innings and that was a quick -80.

    Mirage/MyVegas: After settling we headed over to the Mirage to collect and cash in our MyVegas redemption's. We first went to the Secret Garden. It had a lot of potential compared to Shark Reef. Unfortunately the big cats were all asleep besides a white tiger. Thankfully it was free which made it a whole lot better. There's a nice big dolphin pool at the entrance before the cats where they would feed the dolphins and display them to the audience. After the Secret Garden we had 2hours to kill before Cirque's LOVE at 7:00pm. We found our self at a PaiGow table. The gambling here went back and forth for 1.5hours at $10/hand. By the end of our session I think I was up $45 with two drinks in me and my girlfriend was probably up around $50 as well. Funny thing was I ordered a Jameson on the rock which the waitress handed to another guy at the table. The guy jokingly said something along like the line of man you drink this stuff? I can't roll like you I ordered a Jameson and Soda. The waitress never came back with my drink...

    Ate at BLT Burger in Mirage for dinner prior LOVE. (Sorry no pictures, was too hungry and just went straight for it). We got the Smoked Gouda Double Dip and Buffalo Chicken sandwiches with a side of Curly Fries. Smoked Gouda gets the approval if you're a huge Gouda cheese fan while my Buffalo Chicken was very bearing in flavor and blue cheese. I wouldn't recommend it. Curly Fries were good. The dinner came out to be $40 which was more expensive then your Red Robins but the sandwiches were pretty tasty.

    Link: http://www.yelp.com/biz/blt-burger-las-vegas

    LOVE was a good show. Great visual effects and lots of great dancing and acrobatic. I felt it was a little long (But in reality it was only 1.5hours). By now my contacts were drying out from the Vegas heat and I didn't have eye drops so I couldn't enjoy LOVE as much as I probably could have. That and I don't know any of Beatles song to save my life. If you're into acrobatic cirque shows and enjoy Beatles music then I can see how you can spend money on the tickets. Fortunately for me I got it free via MyVegas for us or else I don't think I would've went for $100. By now phone died so I'm lacking pictures rest of night.


    One takeaway from these two MyVegas redemption: For me I don't like whining if things are free. But I feel like LOVE was probably one of the better prizes you can redeem. Stuff like the Shark Reef and Secret Garden are nice for the kids and family and definitely saving $15 is nice because you risk being extremely disappointed if you paid and it does take a lot of time to go to the resort and is probably not worth it in the long run if you are staying farther from the resort. I can only hope that the game lasts long enough for my next visit where I can use some more credit on possibly Free Bets or a Buffet without having to stay at an mLife property.


    Rest of day 1 to follow... a lot of gambling, an encounter with the celebrity, and a lady who "hits" the big jackpot in Monopoly slots.

    Here's some pictures to the above post.

    IMAG0485.jpg
    IMAG0494.jpg
    IMAG0501.jpg
    IMAG0505.jpg
    IMAG0506.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  9. Sissyboy_Deuce

    Sissyboy_Deuce Tourist

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    Come on, was it Elvis? Looking forward to finding out. Thanks for writing it up.
     
  10. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    That celebrity cliffhanger is just to reel you readers in. It's actually just the Vegas Zach Galifianakis impersonator from the Hangover you see infront of Caesar. (Just kidding). I'll write it up soon but it happens at the 2nd part of Day 1 so hopefully the read count doesn't drop after the first night. :beer:
     
  11. B S

    B S MIA

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    Great first post. Looking for more. Screw the views. Write it as you would want to read it and it will do the rest.

    Thanks for taking the time to share.
     
  12. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    Day 1: Sunday, August 26th... part 2

    We returned to home base at Wynncore and stayed there for the rest of the night. This would be gambling, enjoying the nice room, explore the Resort some more, drinking, and people watch. I was debating with the girlfriend whether or not to go to XS Swim night at Encore or Drai's club at the Cromwell. I always wanted to hit up Drai's since it looked really nice with hip hop music - but the guest performer was 50 cent for tonight. From my understanding that club can get for the lack of better words, ratchet or ghetto, based on the performer. Both I have never experienced and will probably try Night swim if I get the chance to in the future after perhaps dieting a little and working out more. (hah!) But failure to be put on a guest list ultimately led us to just take it easy and enjoy the Resort.

    Anyways...

    After recharging my phone and resting up we went down to the Wynn side of the casino at ~9pm where we would hop from table to table playing Blackjack. I would also like to point out here that my girlfriend is not a big gambler where as I consider myself a pretty big degenerate when it comes to playing and would like to push if I feel like my luck is turning up.

    We found an empty $10 min 6-5 BJ table (yuck, I know). The dealer was really cool and interactive. After 2hours at this table and the minimum raising to $25 I was up +$421 whereas my girlfriend was down $100. We went through 2 dealers until we felt like the table might be finally cooling down and moved to a different table. Here my luck changed and I quickly dropped -$260. Fortunately, it was my girlfriends turn to win and she quickly went up ~$240 or so. It's what happened while we were at the table that made the night extremely interesting. 15minutes or so into this table (only 3 people on this team) a fourth person sits down.

    I'm not so sure how many of you would consider this person to be a celebrity, but he goes by the name Sung Kang otherwise more commonly known as "Han" from the Fast and Furious series. (Tokyo Drift, Fast 5. and Fast & Furious 6). He was a fan favorite for many female audience for his low mellow attitude and frankly being pretty good looking. Even in person, I had to admit he looked better then your common gambler in the casino and stood out immediately.

    Bonus picture from Google if you're too lazy to look up how he looks like: https://www.google.com/search?q=sung+kang&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMI4qiJvN_HxwIVyymICh1INQZ1&biw=1423&bih=842&dpr=0.9

    I recognized him right away but did not want to say anything. Later when he took a break, the female dealer and my girlfriend was like that guy was very handsome. My reply was "isn't he Han from Fast and Furious?" I had to google his real name and to make sure as well and we all agreed. (of course this being all when he stepped away for a break from the table).

    True to his movie character, he was very low tone and quiet mannered even at the table. I think he was with a relative or mother who looked equally young. I wasn't so sure but I just know that he was approached and asked by a fan if he was Sung Kang and if they could take a picture. He confirmed the fans question but politely denied the picture because he does not like taking pictures with fans in the casino. I didn't want to bother him like a fan-boy despite wanting to take a picture with him but I did ask if he gets approached a lot he simply laughed and said yeah. It seemed like he just wanted to gamble for fun and not be photographed.

    This is when things gets even more interesting. Suddenly we hear a death screech from several feet where our table was in the slots area. Slowly people started migrating to where the yelling was and it turned out somebody "hit" the jackpot on a Monopoly wheel of fortune machine. People were all congratulating her and taking pictures of the machine. Me being one of them.

    IMAG0507.jpg

    It appears to be a $250k win! Unfortunately, after I sat back down on the table, Sung Kang came back to his seat and said she only won $1,400? or Perhaps it was $14,000? because the lady played a minimum bet as oppose to the max bet? If you're a slot player can you confirm if that's true? I don't play slots and I would not know how the jackpot works and if it's only for max bettors. I just realized that it should light up a lot more of if it's a big jackpot so what Sung Kang said seems to be the truth and makes a lot more sense. Sucks for the lady...

    After 30 more hands or so we called it a night at 1:30am. After all said is done, we're up $400 roughly in combined winning. But as you know even in a short 3 day trip, $400 in gambling can diminish fairly fast. A lot more gambling in Day 2!
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  13. B S

    B S MIA

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    Rough day for that lady...
     
  14. Geogran

    Geogran OTD Tea Sipper

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    I feel for that slot player...rough day indeed.

    I learned the hard way early on as a newbie, was playing dollars, 3 credits, blazing sevens progressive and down to my last dollar on the machine. Since we were leaving, I bet just the one credit and of course here come the three blazing sevens..instead of winning a progressive of a little over a thousand dollars, I was so shell shocked I couldn't remember if it even paid anything at all, in fact, I think it didn't pay anything at all.... Lesson learned: NEVER play a progressive unless you bet max credit..as there is no whining in gambling..

    Really enjoying your trip report - very nice tempo to it!! Hope to see some big wins!!
     
  15. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    Thanks!

    That sucks about the Blazing 7's. I was debating on playing slots but the few times I realized that the minimum bet on Progressives won't be getting me anything anyways. I too wanted to give Blazing sevens a shot since I've read that's probably the best way for a quick hit if you're not a slot player. That being said I lost $40 on slots on the last day... at the airport. Dumb move! I might as well of placed that on a number on Roulette and hope I hit. Day 2 is just more up and down and ultimately up even more. Will post later.
     
  16. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    Right? I'm not sure what I would have felt worse about. the difference between 1/4 a million in jackpot to several grand or just that the person who garneredall of the casino's attention with 5minute of celebratory screeching that can be heard across the floor for a phantom jackpot.
     
  17. jrp227

    jrp227 Tourist

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    I'm pretty sure that is the 'free parking' jackpot and not for the progressive. The progressive is won by lining up symbols on the 5th reel of the slot :)
     
  18. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    That would make a whole lot more sense!!
     
  19. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    Day 2: Monday, August 27th

    The day started off relatively early for Vegas time. I woke up at 9:30am and couldn't go back to sleep so I head down from the room to get some fuel for a long day ahead of me.

    Breakfast: If you've stayed at Encore you'll know that to go to the rooms you will have to pass by a Security guard to get to the elevator. Besides all this is a fancy looking Lounge area with a bar island in the middle. This will be the Encore Lobby Bar. Since I failed at getting pictures again because my mind was so out of it, I provided a link below. I'll make up for all the lack of pictures when it comes to SW Steakhouse review. Knowing we're about to hit the pool before it gets too crowded, I just got a large coffee ($4.50) and a Croissant egg, ham, and cheese sandwich (~$9.00). That's pretty expensive by any Coffee and Sandwich standards but it is Encore/Vegas so I just bit my tongue. I did enjoy the sandwich though and the coffee was really good. Though the service on the other hand was kind of rude.

    Link: http://www.yelp.com/biz/encore-lobby-bar-las-vegas?osq=encore+cafe

    As my girlfriend got ready I saw a Roulette table. Spin, spin, spin ($10 minimum) I lose $20 buy-in. Then I go back upstairs and get ready for the pool. I came back down and played the remaining $20. This lasted a while and I even went all in hitting a big money $1 at my lucky name 31. Eventually decided to go all in on Black and got beat.

    Pool: Since we're staying at Encore we have the option to go to Wynn's pool. Wynn's pool is huge and beautiful. For all those who's thinking about staying here in the near future, I highly recommend going to Wynn's pool despite being a little out of the way over Encore's pool. There's several different sections and a lot more lounging area. There's also what felt like less smoker in the Wynn pool area. I enjoyed the Wynn pool a lot and went back once more later the day. Additional suggestion: There's a bar/gambling area near the back of the Wynn pool for the adults.

    Gambling session #1: After the Pool we decided to head out because I needed to buy some Mauna Loa macadamia nuts at ABC across the street at Fashion Show. On the way out I stupidly decided to play some Ultimate Texas Hold'em. I've had some success in the past and I thought I can give it a go. Nope. Every time I did the correct play I would still get smashed by the dealer. It was rough and I lost -$160 in a matter of minutes. (As you might know, this game allows you to either raise the bets if you like your hand or just check across and fold) I had some suited pictures and I went big and boom, there goes $50 here and $30 there. I also added a $20 MLB parlay 4 games. Hit 3/4 but lost one over/under on a Yankee/Astros game. That would make it -220 from today making me at roughly $100 up. and I didn't even lunch yet.

    Fashion show mall: It's whatever. Nothing much to write about here to be honest. They're renovating the front so it made it difficult to get to the food court. All we wanted was a light meal, fast, and affordable and to go to ABC Market. That leads us to sharing a Philly cheese steak from http://www.yelp.com/biz/philadelphia-steak-and-hoagie-las-vegas. The 2 stars on yelp was fitting. It was good in a mall food sense (my expectation is always low) and did the job until dinner. We went straight to ABCs and then got some boxes of macadamia nuts. If you have not tried it - this is the place to buy it. It's extremely expensive outside and difficult to find depending on where you are. These things are extremely addictive too. http://shop.maunaloa.com/Roasted-Salted-6Tin-Gift-Pack/p/MAU-040166&[email protected]. (A box of 6 on the actual site is $37.99 vs $25 at ABC). If you're in the shopping mood I guess Fashion show mall is perfect for you. No high end stores and pretty much your basic shopping mall you'll find back home but still large and full of options.

    After the Fashion show mall we decided to walk around to the neighboring casinos. We went to Palazzio/Venetian and took some pictures at Encore and what not and then waited for dinner @ SW.

    The first part of Day 1 is more toursy but Part 2 of Day 2 contains Food porn pictures & Lots of gambling.

    Here's some pictures we took of the nice land marks around Wynn/Venetian. IMAG0509.jpg IMAG0516.jpg IMAG0518.jpg IMAG0519.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  20. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    Day 2: Monday, August 27th part 2

    So we head back to Encore and get ready for dinner at SW Steakhouse at 7:00pm.

    I got ready relatively quickly with time to spare. So while the girlfriend relaxes in the hotel room, the degenerate in me brings me to the Wynn poker room.

    First Poker play: The rooms were busy with many different limits and even a tournament going on. I'm quickly seated at a 1-3 table (lowest binds) and bought in for $100. 30minutes go by, nothing and was slowly bleeding. Then one hand all in pocket A's against a guy who had pocket J's. Quick +$80. By this point I was playing aggressive and making all the right reads and forcing people out left and right on hands. One other all in hand by a guy who was on tilt had a top pair Q's vs my low suited 4-5. I flopped a straight a slow played it knowing I couldn't lose. Boom, another +$150. I should have taken a photo of my chips but I was at $386 when I cashed out and had to go to dinner. Knowing the Poker Lady luck was on my side that night, I probably should have just stayed there instead of playing other games.... more on that later.

    SW Steakhouse: As mentioned, the ambiance is breath taking. You walk in and you see class everywhere. I'm not sure how the SW Steakhouse is, but the restaurant was bright and clean looking. Very modern. They sat us at a table close to the outdoors but not exactly. We had a great view of the waterfall in addition to getting the newly renovated inside. Apparently the old one was slightly darker said the waiter.

    For the food we got the following: Black Truffle Cream Corn ($16), Creamed Spinach ($14), Butter Poached Maine Lobster ($75), and the Domestic Wagyu 10oz ($80). It was all very well prepared. Do I think it was a little bit pricy? Yes. But I had a great dinner that I think really highlighted the trip. The final bill was at $274 after tip/tax. Oh and I got a San Diego IPA and my girlfriend got a Litchi drink. Each were $20 give or take a couple dollars. In addition, I also said that we were celebrating our 3 year anniversary so they noted that and surprised us with some free macarons. That was awesome.

    For the show, we got a singing frog, a red/blue dancing balls in the water, and a two big flowers over the waterfall. They were very interesting and an experience I never witnessed during a restaurant. Definitely factored into the cost of the dinner.

    Pictures shown below were of those taken at dinner.

    IMAG0527.jpg IMAG0528.jpg IMAG0539.jpg IMAG0525.jpg IMAG0533.jpg IMAG0541.jpg IMAG0540.jpg

    After dinner I decided to gamble some more. I did a quick hit at black jack for +$210 and went back to the Poker room for an additional +$60. I wasn't really calculating my wins/losses by this point but I think my estimated winnings were at +$600 for the trip which was more that I could have asked for and probably should have stopped....

    Unfortunately the night was still young so I decided to chase and hit 4 digits. Nope, quickly dropped $200 before calling it quits and then going to bed slightly defeated but feeling good about being up a lot and full of good food.

    Day 3 to follow!
     
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