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State of My Head - Jan 10-19 Golf, VP, BJ, Slot pull, etc

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Nevyn, Jan 27, 2016.

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  1. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    Welcome to my Jan 2016 trip report!

    I will apologize from the outset if it tends to get long winded. I planned this for awhile, it was the longest trip I’ve taken to Paradise, and I love re-reading reports later on to relive the experience.

    Also, if you want the full immersive experience in this report, I would suggest you listen to this while reading:

    [video=youtube;Kv0B-DLtMiM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv0B-DLtMiM[/video]

    t’s not that it is a favourite song, or the lyrics have particular bearing on what happened or any special significance of their own. But we had a rental car this trip, and that car radio was turned to KOMP 92.3. And that station gave us mostly a great mix of newer and older rock and metal. It also played the above song at least one time every time we rode in the car. Thus, it truly got to feel like the soundtrack of our trip.

    Pre-trip planning and goals
    • 4 rounds of golf
    • John Fogerty
    • Norm Macdonald
    • Watch Continental Cup of Curling
    • Meetup and slot pull
    • Try SW Steakhouse
    • Lotus of Siam
    • Bootleggers
    • Ellis Island Steak Special
    • Maverick Helicopter ride (MyVegas)
    • Blackjack
    • Poker
    • Newbie Video Poker
    • Downtown Grand $500 at par
    • Random Caesars Windsor no play
    • Plaza $500 on us
    • ACG match play coupons
    • Winning trip
    • Spend 9 nights in Vegas without a complete burnout/meltdown by day 5

    Stretch goals level 1
    • Net free trip

    Stretch goals level 2
    • Get a handpay and complain about the tax
    • Set up offers for future trips
    • Yellow chip(s)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Agonizing Pre-Trip details, Part 1: Hotel planning

    So this is what happens when a budget conscious, Vegas obsessed person who averages a trip a year starts planning his trip months in advance.

    This is an approximate time lapse of the various hotel bookings made. Bear in mind that the dates never really changed, short of deciding on whether to stay the night of 18th.

    Date unknown: Book Jan 10-15 COMP at Flamingo - studio 2 double
    August 12th: Re-book nights as Jan 12-17 COMP at Flamingo - Fab room
    October 30th: Book Jan 10-11 at Plaza
    Nov 5th: Book Jan 18-19 at the D, as rates seem high for those dates and MyVegas not coming through as planned.
    Nov 29th: Cancel the D, change CET comp booking to Jan 14-17 flamingo COMP, Jan 18-19 Rio COMP, book Mirage Jan 12-13 Myvegas (2 people’s rewards).
    Dec 17th: Cancel the Plaza, book Jan 10-11 at the Downtown Grand

    They say the first step is admitting you have a problem ….

    - - - Updated - - -

    Agonizing Pre-Trip details, Part 2: The budget

    Normally, I divide my trip gambling budget into days. Anything won, or in fact anything not lost, gets rolled into a spending/take home budget and can no longer be used for playing. I’ve found that this is a good system to make sure the budget lasts, that I don’t chase, and that gambling is only part of the enjoyment on the trip.

    But that was not going to work this time. Nine gambling days are a lot for siloed pre-set budgets. What’s more, thanks to the Canadian at par promotion at Downtown Grand, and the $500 on us promotion at the plaza, a significant chunk of the bankroll was going to be in play in the first couple of days regardless. It was going to be at fairly low risk advantage conditions, but still, it was going to be in play.

    So I more or less decided to play this one by ear. I brought about $80 US for initial trip spend, and the rest I brought in Canadian, first to use with the at par promotions, and the rest to be exchanged only if needed.

    I was still going to have daily budgets, but aside from the first couple of days, they would be set on the fly according to my mood.
     
  2. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Agonizing Pre-Trip details, level 3: Day Zero

    Generally when travelling to Vegas I like to fly out of Detroit. Nearly the same drive time as Toronto, but much cheaper flights, and customs is far more convenient in a car than an airport, I find.

    I also get a perverse pleasure out of booking a COMP room at Caesars Windsor the night before flying anywhere, and just no playing it, other than the $10 DirectBet they give me, that is. So that was the plan again this time.

    Time to pack up, I ran down the list:

    Golf clubs
    [​IMG]

    Bankroll
    [​IMG]

    Coupon book

    [​IMG]

    Hatchet
    [​IMG]

    Rubber Tubing
    [​IMG]

    And my Mitts.
    [​IMG]

    Oops, I may have gotten that mixed up with another list. Just the first three. And my Mitts.

    This trip, I was going with a friend and fellow golf/curling enthusiast, who shall henceforth be referred to as Player Two. We set forth on Saturday the 9th and arrived at Caesars Windsor in time to watch most of Pittsburgh-Cincinnati. Had dinner at Legends, the sports bar there. I Played the $10 direct bet (plus $5 of my own) on a $15 dollar table, won, and walked to the cage. Watched football and went to bed. So far so good. One more sleep 'til Vegas
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  3. rittermd

    rittermd Low-Roller

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    Have fun!!!
     
  4. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Day 1: All aboard the emotional roller coaster

    1.1: Wherein Southwest and Delta battle for airline I am most pissed at.


    We wake up on the morning of our flight, and take a peek outside, and, yep, its snowing. Rather extensively in fact. But the roads don’t look THAT bad. I check online and the flight is listed as on time. We get ready , check out of Caesars Windsor, and get underway.

    The first warning sign that the weather could become a bit of an issue for our travel day came at the first stoplight, just outside the Caesars Windsor parking garage, when Player 2’s antilock breaks engaged. Hmm, it seems that the current snowfall is coming after a night of freezing rain.

    Luckily, we have allowed a lot of time to get to the airport, as we average probably about 30-35 mph on I-94. We park off airport, get the shuttle to our terminal, breeze through baggage check in and security, and notice that our flight now shows as delayed 50 minutes. No biggie. We sit down for lunch.

    Midway through lunch, I go to check flight status on my phone and get a “can’t retrieve flight details” message. Ok, mildly alarming, but a bunch of flights get that message, so possible website problem. Or maybe they are further delaying and we can’t check until changes are posted …. riiiiiigggght?

    I finish the Worst Chicken Caesar Salad Ever (), and we go to the nearest departures board and see our flight listed as ….. Cancelled.

    Ok, that sucks. Even worse, since it is cancelled, our gate doesn’t really exist. The plane is not getting there, there is no one to ask. A neighbouring gate for Southwest has a super long line, and it appears half of the Southwest flight board got cancelled or delayed.

    I am looking online for rebooks and none of the Southwest Vegas flights for that day are eligible. We would have to rebook the next day. We finally find a line to wait in, while I explore options on other airlines.

    Delta still has a number of departing flights for the day, with rapidly escalating prices. The best deal is an 8pm flight for $308, about $30 more we paid for our original roundtrip (with baggage fees to come). We decide that is good enough and I try to complete the ticket purchase while in line, so we can just arrange the refund and go on our way.

    Delta takes me through screens and screens of ticket ordering. Names, birthdates, etc. What is your favourite slow jam? Finally get to the billing. CC#? Check. Expiry? Check. CVV2? Check. Now its time to enter your billing address.

    Defaults to US address. No big deal, I’ll just click the dropdown and pick from the list of options ….

    Oh, my, US is the ONLY option.

    By now, we are the front of the line, and we are getting an explanation from the Southwest rep while fighting the Delta mobile website. Can’t rebook until tomorrow? Thanks SW, we already knew that. So you will put us up in a hotel if we take that flight, right? No?! Classy.

    In the meantime, Delta’s crappy web programming lets me put in a Canadian postal code and address despite the US selection so maybe this will work ….

    Southwest isn’t pulling bags, even though they have basically conceded they are not flying anyone anywhere today. Some rigmarole about bags meeting you at your destination. Which is great, but might we not need our bags TONIGHT at the hotel you aren’t paying for.

    Address entry completed, and I try to buy and ………. no dice. That’s not your billing address they say. YOU WON’T LET ME ENTER MY F’ING BILLING ADDRESS I yell. “Mommy, why is that strange man yelling at his smartphone” a nearby child asks plaintively. “Because he can’t get to Vegas, dear”, she replies lovingly.

    Ok, so, don’t want to book the refund from Southwest until we know we are getting out on Delta. By now, SW has conceded the obvious and pulled bags, so we head down to baggage claim. And I get out the tablet to see if Delta only ***** over iPhones. Nope, all credit cards have US billing addresses. Known fact. Stop being crazy.

    By now, the 8pm is sold out anyway. There is now a 4:30ish option at about 570 US each (ouch), and we still have no guarantee we can get our bags, recheck, etc, before it takes off. But that is the EASY problem. First, how do I buy a ticket from Delta? Eventually have to call their reservations line. Not the easiest conversation as I have to cut her off multiple times when I can’t hear over loud baggage announcements. Eventually we manage to buy tickets as I yell my credit card number over the phone in a crowded baggage claim area.

    I leave player 2 collecting bags, while I head up to Southwest to arrange the refund. There is a long line at the counter, so I try to race it calling the Southwest toll free number (thank you Koodo unlimited roaming package). The toll free line wins, I set up the refund, and head downstairs.

    From there, things go more or less smoothly , albeit expensively. My regular bag is just carry-on size by a nose, so we are only paying for 3 checked bags (bargain), with the plan being to gate-check mine for free anyway. We check bags (again), breeze through security (again), and get to our gate. They offer up the gate check as expected, and we board. In all the rush, I have never bothered with seat assignment, so we end up with middle seats in successive rows. Player 2 lucks out and there is no aisle assigned beside him, possibly the only empty seat on the flight.

    The flight ends up delayed slightly but makes up for it by filing the quickest DTW-LAS flight plan I’ve ever been on … maybe 3.5 hours or so. And Delta has TV screens with broadcast TV, so we get to spend the flight watching Green Bay - Washington.

    We get into Vegas only about 2.5 hours later than the original SW flight was meant to arrive, and shuttle off to the Rental Center. We have reservations though Costo for an Elantra-class car through Budget. And apparently so does everyone else. The rental center has about 10 empty rental company desks, and about a 15 person line for Budget. Grrr.

    We make our way through, and discover that there will not be cheap options to upgrade to a larger car (Player 2 has borrowed the largest golf travel case ever … and it did not even fit in his Fusion when assembled). We also discover that Costco “free additional driver” only applies to family and/or spouse. So now I’ll be doing all the driving. I have to stay relatively sober and alert for large chunks of the vacation. D’oh!

    We get our car, a Corolla, unpack the golf bags, and load the car, and everything fits, and we are off to the Downtown Grand (“it’s been a long bumpy ride getting back in the saddle ….”), with a quick stop at the In N Out for dinner. Check in is a relative breeze despite coming in on the 3rd street side instead of the Valet side, and therefore encountering no bell people. Easily resolved.

    Pics of our chariot, a quick stop at the LV sign (first time I have bothered), and our room:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  5. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Already had, but thanks. I do my trip reports dead as a doornail. Although this one took awhile ... may do live next time. I'll be updating as I go the next few days as I finished. About half done and being pasted in right now ...
     
  6. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    1.2: Can’t run as bad in the gambling as we did at travelling can we?

    NOTE: We are in Vegas now, you can start reading!

    I had booked the Downtown Grand under their “Gamblin’ Getaway” rate. Their lowest rate had been $5/night cheaper, but this rate include $25 free play. I was going to be doing low variance VP free play for value to exchange the At Par promotion anyway, so doing this seemed a better deal. We’d just play this on the same machine, and split the proceeds against the room cost.

    On check-in, I find the front desk has already pre-created a player’s card for me, and has a voucher for me to give the cashier for the free play. So we drop stuff on in the room, get cleaned up, and head down to the casino with 500 CDN each.

    What follows is a mostly good news clarification with the DTG Cashiers. Yes, we can exchange 500 each every day of our stay. Yes, a new day starts a midnight. 500 CDN each at a 69 cent exchange rate along with the promotion nets 470 each in freeplay.

    We collect it and head off in search of 8/5 Bonus Poker, which my VP newb research had suggested was probably the best deal for low-variance free play conversion. Takes awhile before we find a group of 4 machines near the bar with that pay table. We settle in, load up the free play, and get going.

    Highlights of the session:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The top ticket is the result of the $25 room offer free-play, the bottom one is what I got out of the first $500 Canadian. Player 2 was less successive, narrowly beating the exchange rate by getting about $360 US. Still, we’re doing pretty well, and feeling better, so its off to the Plaza to try their $500 on us promotion.

    We get to the Plaza, and after surviving the initial blast of the worst casino perfume ever, we locate the players’ club desk. We sign up for players cards, and there is a fair bit of confusion as the two employees attempt to explain to us and each other the rules of the promotion. Can the free play be used at Video Poker? No, says one. Yes, says the other, but not all machines. I am pretty sure from VMB that it is meant to be yes, and everything but wide area progressives.

    But there is another point of concern. They have given us little cards for the promotion for the date and TIME of the loss (should we have one). I had been counting on the promotion being simply getting half the free play the next Calendar day, and the other have on the following Calendar day, but it is starting to look like you need to wait 24 hours each time.

    That could be a bummer, and we are weighing whether to change out play strategy. My win goal is certainly going lower, and we both may play a bit less. I am particularly concerned about player 2, as he brought less than me, got less out of the dollar at par, etc. I half expect him to balk and not want to do the promotion at all.

    But in the end we both decide to give it a shot, and settle in at machines with 9/6 DDB. The plan is to go higher variance for the loss and then lower if we are getting back the free play. We put in $100 each, and my balance is sinking like a stone with few real hits … Then, right as it gets to $45, I hit this:

    [​IMG]


    Win goal achieved and then some! I immediately hit cash out and wait for Player Two. It would be a bit of a bummer to see him whiped out and having to come back for his FP after I made that hit, but a short time later, he gets his own Quads for a 250 payout, and that is good enough. We both cash out.

    We make our way to the Golden Gate for some fun 5 BJ and drinking. We play for maybe half an hour, and I pack it in, up $10 and 3 beers. We go back to the downtown grand. In the room they had a $10 match play and $5 FP. I got the match play and Player 2 the free play. Went to play the match play and …. lost 10 dollars. Boo, match play. That’s not how you’re supposed to work.

    We have a couple more drinks in the room and then turn in at about 1am. We have an 11:00 tee time the next morning at Paiute Sun Mountain, and are pretty worn out from the travel day.

    A note on Canadian at Par accounting: While keeping score of my win/loss, how to account for the Canadian at Par promotion has been a bit of a conundrum. But since we are buying in with Canadian Dollars, and we are only playing these machines as a way to beat the exchange rate, I am doing it based on the net gain or loss vs the expected converted value of the money in USD. For all three days, the exchange rate was 0.69, which means expected value of 345 exchanging 500 Canadian.

    I tracked this separately to be able to distinguish from ‘real’ wins, but it seemed better than counting potential playing losses, and $125 promo giveouts. I also ignored the $25 free play as a reduction in room cost rather than play.


    1.3: Day 1 Summary:

    DAY
    Gambling - UP $745
    At Par - UP $96
    Total - UP $841

    I rathole enough of my USD to be able to fund the next couple days of eating/golf etc with cash, and head to bed.
     
  7. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Day 2:

    On tap for today was a round of golf in the late morning and the Maverick Helicopter MyVegas reward in the evening.

    2.1: Fried Chicken Coronaries, High Winds, and Terrible Golfing.

    I wake up around 8ish and can’t get more sleep. I get showered and ready for the day. Player 2 is a slow waker and also not a breakfast person, so I leave him to get him at his own place and go off in search of breakfast. Since I’ll be golfing through noon, I want a brunch sized breakfast, so I head to Hash House a Go Go, and they give me a 5 brunches sized breakfast. This is the Sage Fried Chicken with 2 Eggs, Bacon, fruit, biscuit, and enough mashed potatoes to fill a football.

    [​IMG]

    I take my time with it, finishing just about everything but the potatoes. The chicken is a slightly less obscene amount of food as it appears, since it is cut thin so they can batter twice the surface area. Mmm, healthy.

    Overstuffed, I head back to the room, and Player 2 is just about ready to head to the course. We hop in the car (“round ‘em up, round em’ up, let’s go ...”) Paiute is easy to find from Downtown. Get on to highway 95 and it takes you right there. The scenery is what you’d think of when picturing desert golf. Stark but beautiful. The clubhouse is nice, and the service is good. We were able to book a rate at the Sun Mountain course for $63 each through Golfnow ($5 fee)

    The weather, on the other hand, is iffy. We came prepared with many layers, and good thing. It is about 48 degrees before the wind chill, and the winds are blowing HARD.

    We are paired with some lady golfers from Great Britain, who have come to Vegas after staying with friends in Arizona. They were excellent company for the round.

    Being Canadian, myself and Player 2 have had 3 months to forget how to golf, and forget it we have. Our handicaps are normally around the low teens, but on Paiute we are having a parade of triple bogeys. By the 4th hole I am wondering if I packed enough balls. When I get the driver going, it is a thing of beauty, but when it is not working, it is complete disaster.

    The front 9 is unmitigated carnage. I shoot 53 with a single par, and Player 2 (normally the more consistent of us) shoots 56, and begins contemplating going over 110, when he hasn’t failed to break 100 anywhere in more than a year. To make things worse, breakfast is sitting in my stomach like a lead plate with a helium baloon under it, and makes the first six holes profoundly uncomfortable.

    On the back, I still can’t hit the ball to save my life, but the breakfast regret has passed, and I am back in fighting shape. Instead of triples, I am scrambling for bogeys. I manage one good drive, and get some nice hybrid tee shots on shorter holes, but get about one more par, and scrounge up a still-bad-but-not-humiliating 46, to break 100 by the skin of my teeth.

    Player 2 gets a couple pars late to keep him under the dreaded 110 mark, but has an ugly 9 on the card, and finished the day at 105.

    So all in all it was a beautiful day of horrible golf. We were cold, and the temperature wasn’t that good either. We get back in the car (“ … that’s the state of my, state of my, state of my head …”), and head back to the hotel.

    [​IMG]

    beep beep
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  8. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    2.2: Where dinners are snacks, the waits are long, the flights are short, and the Irish are scared.

    We get back to the hotel without that much time to spare to clean up and find dinner. Player 2 has hardly eaten all day. We need to be at the hotel by 5:30 for the shuttle pick up for the Maverick helicopter tour at 7.

    I decide we just have time to get to 777 for happy hour, and back to the Grand for our pickup. We walk over, and I order the porter and the potstickers. The savvy plan after the giant breakfast is to just have a little to eat now, and some more later once we return from the flight. Player 2 orders a couple bigger apps.

    [​IMG]

    We polish it off and make it to the Downtown Grand in time for our 5:30 pickup, which I called to confirm while we awaited our food.

    5:30, no pickup. 5:35, no pickup, 5:40 no pickup. I tell Player Two that I will call if they are not there by 5:50 … 5:45 no pickup. 5:50 I get out the phone and call. Player Two points to the shuttle at a nearby stoplight moments before the operator tells me the driver is almost there.

    The driver pulls in, picks us up, and apologizes for the delay while making it very clear that he is not “our driver”. Apparently in the midst of rush hour traffic, that guy got caught up somewhere and they dispatched this guy at the last minute. He swings by Wyndham to pick up a group of four Irish lads. They get on, and one of them asks us if we are scared by the flight. Player 2 helpfully explains that we are more likely to be killed on the shuttle ride then the flight, which hopefully was not taken as a dig a the driver.

    Checking in there is a relatively painless experience, and then give you a cup of ‘champagne’ (the Spumanti Bambino-est stuff you’ve ever tasted) while you wait. The lounge you wait in is fairly nice and comfortable though.

    The helicopters can take 6-7 apiece, so you get little numbers corresponding to your flight, and then the pilots come in and call the people for their flight. They take you out to the helicopter, give a brief safety spiel, and then load you in. 2-3 go up front next to the pile, 4 in the back. The flight takes off along a McCarron runway, heads north on the MGM (east) side of the strip, goes around the Stratosphere , and then heads back south on the west side. We are in the back, and Player 2 has the left window, which is the ideal one for taking pictures.

    The headphones for the passengers all have linked audio, so we can hear the one nervous Irishman not handling things particularly well when the helicopter banks to turn. All in all, a short flight, a nice view, and while one of our fellow passengers clearly has heights issues, at least he wasn’t sick on anyone.

    Some pics from the flight:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    edit: I may add more photos if Player Two passes his on ... he had the prime location and was able to video the whole thing and take pictures

    We have our own shuttle back to the hotel as no one else is headed back downtown. The post flight experience is a bit awkward as no one told us the shuttle drivers were already waiting. So we are killing time in the gift shop, buying nothing, with no idea that we could already be going.
     
  9. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    editors note: I'll wrap up Day 2 later tonight, and add a few more days tomorrow.
     
  10. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    Great so far!!
     
  11. VegasBaby!

    VegasBaby! Tourist

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    Your 'list' made me chuckle!! Have a great trip!
     
  12. ajumn311

    ajumn311 Tourist

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    Damn fine work only netting a 2.5 hour delay on the cancelled flight!
     
  13. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Loving the report!
     
  14. sammowhammo

    sammowhammo VIP Whale

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    Any trip report with a Shinedown soundtrack is going to be great.
    Nice VP hit!
    Continue please!
     
  15. BobLasVegas

    BobLasVegas Tourist

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    Great reporting! Love your writing style! Good humor!
    Dead reports are better and more
    Well thought out!
    When I go, I won't have time to
    Screw around with a live report!
    I don't see the point. It's mostly all
    Read later. Does anyone really
    Eagerly anticipate the next part of
    A live report? Maybe, but I would rather be able to read it all at once.
    I got off topic, but anyway, awesome
    Trip report!
     
  16. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    2.3: The crazy couponers gambling tour.

    While I’ve been downtown a few other times, and spent a night downtown last trip, I had never really bothered signing up for players clubs. Downtown was for drinking and cheap play, and I wasn’t even playing particularly long.

    The upshot of this was that, in looking at the coupon list for ACG, I saw a lot of potential value there. Since we wanted to split our stay and enjoy downtown anyway, it would be easy to use the coupons, and the match plays at the D and Golden Gate should more than pay for the book in expected value. I had discussed it with Player Two prior to the trip, and we ordered a book each.

    And tonight was to be the night for using those coupons. I had grand plans for the push on 22 coupon in particular, doing some aggressive hits to get an edge until I finally hit a 22, and potentially getting more than a $25 edge.

    But first, we had some Canadian at par - ing to do. We headed back to the room and picked up $500 canadian each, and headed back down to the cage to load up our freeplay. Back to the same quarter BP machines we go.

    This time Player 2 has the quad magic, and in fact turns his 470 freeplay into a little over 500. I don’t do as well, but still beat the exchange rate handily.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next we head to the D, where we sign up for cards. The idea is to play a fair bit of $25 BJ here, depending on how the game is going, and how fast we use our push on 22.

    We both win our match plays on the first hand. Nice start. Next hand, I have 15 against a 10, and draw a 7. There goes that push on 22 coupon …. I keep playing for awhile while Player Two waits to use his coupon, but after the nice start things are a tad choppy. He gets his push in about 5 minutes later at the same time I climb back to even on the session, and we decide to move on.

    We go to the $5 craps table next. I have mentioned to Player Two that the D and Gate have 10x odds on their $5 tables, and that MSS has 20x, compared to 3x4x5x on the strip. So we start playing, and I start someone cautious, backing up with just 3x odds. Player Two asks why 10x matters if I’m only playing 3x. The first few rolls don’t go very well, with maybe one point hit and one place bet amid many seven outs, then the dice pass to me. I set the point (a 5 I think), and say to Player Two, HERE is your 10x odds! putting 50 behind. Roll 9. Roll 6. Roll 7. Ouch.

    The shooter after me hits a couple points, but no one else at the table is getting a thing going. After maybe 15-20 minutes, we decide to walk away and I’m down 141. DAMN YOU CRAPS!

    We start making our way to Golden Gate, but Player 2 realizes that he does not have a BCONNECTED card yet, and there is a play 25, get 10 ACG coupon for Fremont for new members, so we stop off so he can play that while I take a pitstop.

    Our Golden Gate coupon is strictly hit and run for $25 level play, but it’s a pretty fun place to play anyway, so we may stick around for some $5 BJ if the scenery is nice enough. As we don’t want to debate that matter in front of the scenery we come up with a clever coded system to decide whether we are staying to play there or just hit and running the coupon and going back to the grand. Simply put, if you approve and want to stay, comment about the dealer’s name on her choker thingy, or on the absence of one if she is not wearing it.

    We get our players card, along with a deck of cards, and our Golden Gate Calendar (THANKS ACG!) and the first table back from the club has open seats. “You’re name is Chris? Is that short for Christine?”. Yeah, we were going to play awhile. And FWIW, her name is not Chris. She has some wonderful unique latina name which escaped me even then as my hearing in a noisy casino is spotty at best. But definitely not Chris.

    Anyhoo, this time the match play is a dud for me. Player 2 won again I think, but not sure. So we dial it back to $5, and the session goes pretty well. We stick it out for 3-4 drinks, because ‘Chris’ has yet to rotate out, and in that time I go from down the initial 25 to up 50. Why do I always kill it with my smallest bets? I stop at that point and colour up. Player Two plays a few more hands and then colours up as well.
     
  17. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,188
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    2.4: Friends and midnight loophole.

    So now it is getting close to midnight, and rather than attempt to do my Canadian at par in the morning on checkout day, I decide to do it tonight. Player Two only brought 1000 CDN for the promotion, so he offers to wash through 500 of mine at the same time. We go back down to the cage, and have no problem getting the free play put on. The rate has stayed the same the whole time so it is still 470 in free play each.

    Here are the results:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Player Two did far better for me than I did for myself, but all in all another moderately successive exchange.

    After that, we decide to turn in for the night. This is around the time I recall that all I had for dinner was Potstickers, and I never got around to eating more. The stomach growls all night, but I manage to get at least some sleep ...

    Day 2 Summary:

    DAY
    Gambling - DOWN $91
    At Par - UP $170
    TOTAL - UP $81

    TRIP
    Gambling - UP $654
    At Par - UP $266
    Total - UP $920
     
  18. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,188
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Day 3:

    3.1: Going to California


    I wake up for day 3 positively starving after my massive appetizer dinner the night before, but with little time to remedy the situation. We need to get the car loaded up and check out, and drive to Primm in time for a 10:30 tee time. Golfnow had a special 39 dollar rate for 10:30, which was great, but left little time for dilly dallying.

    I take some small items out to the self park garage and pull the car around, and we load it up. And then we are off to Primm Valley in our trusty vehicle (“oh, my eyes are seeing red …”). We stop at a McDonalds drive thru along the way for sustenance, and make it shortly before our tee time. I tell Player Two that our goal must be to have at least one of us break 90 (we should both be doing it, but baby steps after yesterday), and a second goal is one of us needs a birdie today.

    Primm Valley is just across the border in California. It has two courses, although one of them was temporarily closed for maintenance. We were playing the Lakes course. It was a very pretty layout in overall decent shape apart from the slowness of the greens.

    Player Two is toying with the idea of looking for Powerball tickets while we are out of Nevada, but once we hear about the lines, we nix that idea pretty fast.

    We get paired up with a couple of guys coming in from Vegas, and it is a fun pairing. One of them mentions during the round that he is GM for a restaurant at the Wynn - La Cave, and that his group also have a restaurant at MGM called Crush. He leaves me with his card in case we want to try out one of them for dinner.

    As for the golf, I start out the opposite of the day before, I am hitting good tee shots and decent irons, and simply not scoring all that well at first. Bogeytown. I notice right away that chip shots from anywhere are stopping near dead on the greens, and it only takes a few holes to realize the greens are comically slow. That suits my game just fine, but I worry about its impact on my putting for the next day.

    Towards the end of the 9, I start putting things together and close the front with a 42. My approaches are still spotty, but I am Mr Up and Down today, lofting chips at the pin and stopping dead for tap in after tap in.

    On the back, however, my tee game abandons me yet again. Could have been very costly, but the course is delightfully wide open, so my snap hooks are short but in play. And as mentioned previously, I am scrambling quite successfully. I put together a 45 with smoke and mirrors without solidly hitting more than 1 or 2 full shots, for an 87 on the round. Player Two started the day slower, but came on on the back for a matching 87. If not for a couple of ugly crooked numbers, he’d have been significantly better, as he is racking up the pars. Neither one of us manages a birdie, though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We say our goodbyes to our playing partners, and load up for the drive back to Vegas. (“... That’s the state of my state of my, state of my head …”)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  19. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,188
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    2.2: That’s a wrap, MyVegas.

    We head back into town to check in at The Mirage. While we are generally the self parking type, I make an executive decision that with all the small annoying luggage we’d have to bring it, we may as well Valet and have the Bell desk take our bags up.

    This reservation was made through the MyVegas game. I had turned Player Two on to the game, having successively gotten rewards myself on previous trips. And we accumulated mountains of LP (Player Two initially had a fall trip planned, which fell through), only to watch the rewards quality slowly erode. Hence Monday night’s helicopter ride. For the remainder of our LP, we arrange a comp night each at Mirage, $25 free play each, and the Mirage Buffet reward.

    They would not allow us to link the two reservations beforehand, so we had to do it at check-in. All in all though, this proved to be a snap. We head up to our room, and we are at the end of a veeeerrrrry long hall. I paced it off and it was a respectable length par 3 from the foyer to the room. Also, there was plastic down for some room renos at the start of our hallway, which did not get in our way, but did keep me looking over my shoulder for a man with a silenced gun …

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My caddy says this is about a 9-iron
    [​IMG]



    We call for our bags, and get settled. I take a quick look at tee times for the next day. I booked in the next day’s round of golf at Reflection Bay, a course that had been recommended by both sets of playing partners we had had over the last couple of days. And I’m biased towards a good sleep in, so we set the time for 11:30. After that we headed down to the player’s desk to get our free play loaded, and get our buffet.

    The Mirage Buffet includes unlimited beer and wine, which is great for me (in spite of mediocre beer selection), but did little for Player Two, who is more of a mixed drink type. He still fights his way through one beer, because darn it, he needs to get his $0 worth … The buffet food was quite good, and I did a much better job pacing myself than I normally do at a buffet.


    2.3: Skill is for suckers.

    After dinner, we go to run through our free play. I have decided after the Plaza that I am the king of DDB, so we find the best paytable we can and sit down. $25 free play becomes $50 cash. No pics of the session, I’m afraid.

    Afterwards, I am off to the poker room for some 1-2 NL, and Player Two wants to take explore around the Fashion Show Mall and Wynn. I ask him to looking into picking up John Fogerty tickets for the next evening. That was part of the plan, but up until recently there was still a decent selection online, so we have not bothered getting them yet.

    The poker session was pretty forgettable. I played there for a couple hours, and the best hand I picked up was AJ once, and maybe an A9. I had some low pocket pairs which never hit anything, and my $200 buy-in just slowly eroded. Normally my poker recall is quite good, but from this session, I can’t even recall the hand that finally busted me.

    The one thing I do remember from the session is Player Two texting me, and saying that Fogerty was sold out except for the most expensive seats. Guess that show is out. He is playing Friday and Saturday too, but we are due to watch Norm MacDonald Friday, and we have the slot pull on Saturday.

    I’m pretty worn out from lack of sleep, and I’ve had a few drinks, but I’m on the strip now and it’s time for some proper gambling. So I went out in search of a blackjack table to play some green chips. I walk to a nearby pit and it is all $10 tables. The felt announces a hit on soft 17 but nothing else, so I find an appropriate table, sit down, and buy in for $300. I play out a shoe or so, and am doing fairly well.

    Around this time, I hit my first blackjack, and discover that I’ve made a terrible rookie mistake, as the dealer hands me a green and a red. I pull my bet back and look around frantically for the telltale sign. And there it is. A tiny stainless steel marker underneath the sign displaying the limits, whispering to the world “blackjack pays 6:5”.

    Embarrassed, annoyed, and thinking that if I’m this out of it I probably had no business in the poker room, I immediately color up. The offending red chip is left to the dealer, and I go off in search of some REAL blackjack. I finally find a pit where the little stainless markers have the right message on them. A few of the tables start at $50, but there is one dealing $25 with one other player on it.

    Things start off pretty rough but soon stabilize. The other player leaves and the game starts to turn back for me. After about 45 minutes I hit the magic number, up $200, poker losses erased. I colour up and walk to the cashier. This is where I am meant to show you the pretty $500 chip. The one it occurred to me to take a picture of 10 minutes later. Oops.

    I head back to the room and start looking online for reservations for SW Steakhouse. Wow. We can pretty much only book 5pm, which likely won’t work for our tee time. Player Two is already asleep so I leave the problem for the morning.

    Day 3 Gambling Summary:

    DAY
    Gambling - UP $50

    TRIP
    Gambling - UP $704
    At Par - UP $266
    Total - UP $970
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  20. TXactuarial

    TXactuarial Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Iowa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Did they ask you for your passport when exchanging CAD for USD Freeplay?
     
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