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The Bartenders Love Me. A CaptainJack Trip Report.

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by CaptainJack, Mar 8, 2015.

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  1. CaptainJack

    CaptainJack Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    Just returned from 4 nights in Vegas...it was my first trip in nearly 72 hours. I've been making a lot of solo short trips into town for various promotions. On the long flight back to Philadelphia from my solo trip earlier in the week, I decided it's been too long since I wrote a proper trip report. The reason I lost the urge to do a TR in the last two years was because my trips were largely repeats of the last. Nice accommodations, nice meals, heavy gambling...since there's no shortage of mid-5 figure credit lines on this forum, it just didn't seem worth it to blog about my trips.

    Background

    My wife would be accompanying me this trip. We'd be staying 4 nights in the Sky Suites at Aria. When she comes with me we almost always stay there. My host takes good care of me. This trip included $350/day in F+B credit and $800 freeplay. I'd also be taking Planet Hollywood up on an offer of $1750 freeplay and $250 resort credit (which we never even used). I'm a machine player, normally $5 & $10 denom video poker. I prefer to play just straight single-line, but I do get sucked into games like Super Times Pay and UltimateX on occasion. I often regret that decision later. My wife is also a machine player...but hates to lose. Anyone who has ever played machines knows you need to be willing to lose quite a bit in-between wins.

    Travel and Accommodations

    We had a longer than usual flight from PHL as there were fierce headwinds that day, but that wasn't nearly as frustrating as waiting a full hour before our bags reached the baggage claim carousel. This is especially torturous when you have to make small-talk with your limo driver for the entire time. By the time we were headed to Aria it was 9 hours since we left home earlier that day. However, once you reach the bliss of the Aria Sky Suites entrance all that stress and frustration melt away. Everything was still beautifully decorated for Chinese New Year and we were escorted to check-in. Before every trip, I remind my host that I prefer a high-floor, end of the hall room. The layout of the one-bedroom suite is slightly larger at the end of the halls. The walk is long, but the reward is worth it. This trip, however, I didn't remind her...I assumed it was common knowledge by now. Well, you know what happens when you assume....I got a relatively low floor (29) right next to the elevators. To be honest, I was too tired to complain. It was still a beautiful suite and sometimes you need to save your luck for the casino. I've posted pictures of the Aria one-bedroom suite in past TR's so I didn't take any new pics of the room, sorry.

    The Five50 Tradition

    Since the restaurant opened, my wife and I have had a tradition of catching our first meal at Five50. We always order the same thing, a Chopped Salad and Margherita Pizza. Since we had a $350/day credit and since it was already nearly 5pm we added a few cocktails after our pizza and relaxed for a while. After that, it was time to do what we've come here to do...gamble! I prefer to play the bartops at the Sports Bar at Aria. It seems like an odd place to play $5 denom, but the game is good (9/6 Jacks) and over the years I've come to know bartenders on every shift. In fact, all three bartenders on-duty were old favorites of mine and shortly after I began my play each of them stopped by to shake my hand and wish me well. My wife decided to play $0.25 denom next to me, but within a few minutes I could tell she was itching to go play some slots instead. I let her head off while I plowed ahead hand after hand of VP. After roughly two hours, I was down $1000 and it was time to get ready for our dinner at Olives. My wife was down $300...and miserable about it. Oh well, the trip was early I reminded her...no need to put much stock in early results.

    Olives

    Due to our flight being late, we were decidedly not hungry when our reservation for 8:30pm at Olives rolled around. Worse yet, the time change and long day were quickly catching up with us. We each chose light dinner choices. My wife went with sautéed shrimp and I chose the ravioli dish. Only one cocktail with dinner and by the time the waitress came back with dessert menus we were just begging for the check. We felt some fresh air might rejuvenate us so we headed out for a couple fountain shows. The cold air did help get us going, and I decided some drinks at the Mandarin Oriental Lobby Bar were the perfect ending to the night. Unfortunately, it was a bit crowded, so we didn't get near a window seat, but with Harmon coming down, the view from the MO Lobby Bar is even better than ever. Their specialty drinks are definitely top-notch. By the time we made it back to Aria, it was time to call it a night. I only managed about $50k coin-in on the first day, about half my usual average. Plenty of time to catch up on that.

    One Of Those Days You Can Only Dream Of

    We did indeed wake up early due to our body clocks telling us we had slept too long already. We each took our time getting ready for the day and then headed to Mozen Café at Mandarin Oriental. If you're staying at Aria, do yourself a favor for breakfast and skip Aria Café and head to the MO. Located on the 3rd floor, Mozen offers a high quality breakfast. Really, it's great. After breakfast we walked back to Aria and I told my wife I'd like to put some play in. She wanted to stop back up in the room for something. I settled in at the Sports Bar and caught up with Carlito, one of the best bartenders in Vegas. We talked about the upcoming March Madness while I mindlessly played my hands. Then, quite by surprise, King Jack of spades turned into this...

    RF1030115.jpg

    Carlito congratulated me and a few seats down someone asked me what I hit. After I responded they said "Oh, a thousand dollars, very nice!" I was ok to leave them thinking it was just that but Carlito quickly jumped in "No, $20,000...this guy plays big!" Getting paid took a little while since I already had taken $4k in markers and decided to let them pay them off before paying me. Once I was done being paid, I tipped Carlito $100 and went off to show my winnings to my wife. It's a good feeling to get such a big hit but I also knew I still had plenty of wagering ahead of me for the trip so it's not a given that I'll come out ahead even with the $20k cushion. My wife was thrilled and we decided to take a walk down the strip to celebrate. We headed south from Aria so she could see the new frontage for Monte Carlo and NYNY. While at NYNY she spotted some Wheel Poker that she wanted to play and I wandered into the High Limit Slot Room where I quickly blew through $2500 on $10 denom. I normally give NYNY some action anytime I'm staying at an MGM property. Not sure why...I haven't stayed there in years, but I always feel compelled to play there. My wife dropped another $200 at NYNY and we chased her losses with some beers at the center bar. Another drink for the road and we decided to head back to Aria to make a spa appointment for the next day for my wife.

    We would be meeting some friends for dinner that night at Javiers, but with a few hours to kill, I decided to go back to the Sports Bar to grind out some more coin-in. The machine I had hit on earlier that day was occupied, but my wife joined me as I took a machine a few seats down from my earlier conquest. We each ordered water to rehydrate after our earlier drinking. No more than 5 minutes into the session, I was dealt 4 to the royal. A fact that is often ignored by those who lament that they never catch the royal when dealt 4 to the royal is that you are 47 times more likely to NOT complete your royal in that situation. Ironically, just two weeks prior, my wife and I were at Borgata in Atlantic City and she was dealt 4 to the royal on a $1 machine, as I explained her 1 in 47 odds, she pressed the button and BOOM...she got it. So this time as I nudged her to look on, she started to mockingly tell me I had a 1 in 47 chance, so I purposely hit the button before she could finish...and wouldn't you know it...

    RF2030115.jpg

    Two $20k royals...just a few hours apart...and really, less than 100 hands apart in terms of play at the Aria Sports Bar. I decided to ask for a check this time since I felt I was getting a little cash-heavy for my needs. One thing I didn't realize at the time is that if you're a credit player, taking winnings in a check precludes you from accessing your credit line again until the check cashes. At this point I had over $40k in cash, so it wasn't a big deal, but I know in the future to avoid that. They sent a slot technician to inspect the machine and the slot shift manager came over to congratulate me and let me know how lucky I was. I tipped the slot attendant and gave the bartender another $60 on top of the $5 I had tipped for the water. He was impressed. Apparently, word spread pretty quickly of my accomplishment, for the rest of the trip, bartenders at the Sports Bar who I hadn't previously met were coming up to talk about my hits. Tyrone, who many on VMB will recognize as the white haired burly bartender who often enforces their ridiculous one drink per 30 mins policy even came up and said they called him at home to tell him about my hit (and probably tips). Oddly, this wasn't the first or second time I've hit two $20k royals in the same day, although it's the first time I've done it in about 10 years. Also, in the past situations the gap between royals was enough of a dip that the net profit was significantly less than you'd think.

    I told my wife I didn't really feel like playing more video poker for the day and if she had anything in mind, I'd gladly accompany her. She said she'd like to play some stupid slots with me. We set out into the casino and settled into one of the new spinning reels Willy Wonka slots. I handed her a $100 bill and slid a c-note of my own into my machine and said that we'd move onto another machine once either of us was up or down $50. I barely got to play 4 hands before she triggered a Golden Ticket Bonus. It landed on Charlie and she was awarded a 7x multiplier on 10 free spins. A few spins in, she got Willy Wonka, Wild, Willy Wonka and the credits started climbing up and up....10,000....20,000...."Hey look, you may get back to even on the trip!"....40,000...50,000....60,000...."What the hell did you hit?!?"...80,000....90,000....100,000..."uh, should we switch seats so I can take the W2G?" It stopped at 100,800...or $1008. You can't tell much from this picture since it resets back to the hand that triggered the bonus, but considering she had bet $1.05, it was a hell of a hit.
    willywonka.jpg

    Javiers

    Needless to say, we were in a great mood when we met our friends for dinner at Javiers. Many margaritas followed (their Jalapeno Margarita is great). The chips and salsa they provide at the table is some of the best house salsa I've ever had. Our friends moved to Vegas a little more than a year ago and have settled into the community nicely. It was great catching up with them and they were very happy for our good fortune. The staff at Javiers let us sit and talk and drink for as long as we wanted. After we said goodbye to our friends, we took a walk around the casino to play any other slots which my wife felt would be lucky. Her radar wasn't quite on track this time however...a couple losing sessions at Elton John, Ellen, and Wizard of Oz and I had just about enough of the slot game. While she was transfixed on Ellen, I hopped over to a Multistrike Poker machine just out of her line of sight. Playing Bonus Poker Deluxe for lack of a better game to play on that machine, I got four 6's on the 4x line for $1600. Unfortunately, my phone was dead. I couldn't take a picture and I couldn't text my wife...you'll just have to take my word for it. The slot attendant was the same that had paid my second royal a few hours earlier. "You again? No royal this time?" Afterwards, I headed up to the room to charge my phone...but those soft Aria beds entrapped me and we decided to call it a night. It had been quite a day...we were only completing our first full day of our trip and I was up $36k. Even better, for me, was that my wife was ahead nearly $500 thanks to one lucky hit.

    Coming In Part Two
    ...will I give it all back?
    ...we celebrate my wife's birthday at Picasso
    ...we discover a great place for high-end cocktails in the last place you'd expect
    ...will I catch up on my coin-in?
    ...what about that room at Planet Hollywood?
    ...what does my host have to say about all this?
     
  2. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    WOW... great start! Lookin' forward to the rest.
     
  3. IanP22

    IanP22 Tourist

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    Spades were friendly - very nice start to the trip! Looking forward to part 2.
     
  4. USCHawks

    USCHawks High-Roller

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    Great trip report so far. That's a hell of a start with two 20K royals!
     
  5. pleepleus

    pleepleus 2016 - The monkey is back

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    Nice. Keep it going.
     
  6. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    Liking the style of this report! Who the hell is this guy with the 30 min cocktail rule?? Avoiding him for sure.
     
  7. Tbone3336

    Tbone3336 VIP Whale

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    Oh hell yes! Congratulations on two amazing Royals! Thanks for the detailed report and pictures, and you should know us trip report junkies never get tired of report with the pics and details that you give! Thanks again and looking forward to part two.
     
  8. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Awesome start to an also awesome trip report beginning. Looking forward to the rest of the report, and I hope the luck continues....

    PS - I think you need a VMB title change from "low roller". :)

    [youtube]2xxugNQUtpE[/youtube]
     
  9. PayTriple

    PayTriple The Cucumber King

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    Very exciting hitting those 2 Royals, almost back to back!
    Enjoying your report very much, thanks for sharing!
     
  10. flyguyfl

    flyguyfl Low-Roller

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    One hella start on this trip. Can't wait to read more. Gotta love those suites!
     
  11. LandryBalla9

    LandryBalla9 High-Roller

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    Looking forward to more while at work tomorrow lol
     
  12. tnyqst

    tnyqst Tourist

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    Let me add to the congratulations and also to the growing list of those who are looking forward to the rest of the trip report!
     
  13. Riders

    Riders High-Roller

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    Very cool report. Love seeing those $5 royals. Can't wait for the rest. Thanks for sharing.
     
  14. tripping

    tripping Tourist

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    You are off to an amazing start! Looking forward to the rest of the report.
     
  15. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Nice, its been far too long without a CaptainJack trip report. Two royals that close together is perfect insanity. Can't wait to read the rest!
     
  16. NJS24

    NJS24 Low-Roller

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    I agree with others, fun read... And congrats on the Wins! But please don't discuss how much you tip. When people do that it seriously makes me cringe.
     
  17. mtrep

    mtrep Tourist

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    Living the dream, Congrats on the ROYALS !
     
  18. fenway68

    fenway68 High-Roller

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    Sweet VP P0rn!!! lovin' it, can't wait for the rest...liked playin at that Aria bar, never much mazel (luck) there tho...small hits but nothin' big like that...congrats!
     
  19. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    What a great start with the Royals! I like that new Willy Wonka machine your wife was lucky on...it was my ATM in December. Looking forward to the rest of your report.
     
  20. Drambler

    Drambler High-Roller

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    Wow congratulations on that great luck. I'm looking forward to reading more. Thanks for the report!
     
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