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The D, NYNY and big wins!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by gambler, May 23, 2013.

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  1. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    I'll be doing this trip report in 8 installments just to keep the pics together. I'm going to try to post it all tonight but may have to finish it in the morning if the pics give me any problems. Hope you enjoy.

    My husband and I went for a 4 day trip to Vegas, staying at The D for 2 nights and NYNY for the remaining 2 nights. We’ve done a couple 4 day trips before and always felt it was too long but decided to give it another chance.

    We had a 4 hour drive to the Bellingham airport for our cheap flight ($200 each on Alaska Air) and arrived with a couple hours to spare. Bellingham has a very small airport so when we got there, we lucked out and got a spot about 40 yards from the door. On the way inside, we looked up to check what row we were in and realized we were parked in Row I1. Row "I won" just seemed a fitting start to this trip.

    After some arguing with the cab driver over what route to take, we told him to skip the tunnel and we ended up paying $27 plus tip for our trip to the D. The tunnel usually runs us about $40 including tip so we were glad we won the battle.

    The D had no line up so we were dealt with right away. We had reserved a room with 2 Queens but since none were available, we were given a room with a king, a couch, fridge and jacuzzi tub (not sure if this is what the D refers to as a suite). It seemed like a nice room so after desperately looking for the safe and finally finding it tucked in a drawer, we headed out. Talking to another guest in the elevator, she mentioned she didn’t have a safe. Apparently all rooms do have safes so if you’re not the type to unpack, it’s possible you’d never find it.

    I’ll post some pics of the room but I’m just sorry I never took a picture of the tub. It was a very large jacuzzi tub with a shower in it. The next morning we just about killed ourselves taking a shower as there was a big slope in the tub where the drain is so we had to stand about a foot back from the drain and do a back bend in order to have any sort of solid footing.
     

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  2. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    As is our tradition, our first stop was the Four Queens back bar for a drink and some VP. My husband has been playing Deuces Wild for years and for the past year or so, I’ve been gently trying to persuade him to switch to Double Double Bonus Poker. He’s done well with Deuces Wild but it just doesn’t have the little wins that keep you in the game. After hearing all the good stuff on this board about DDBP, I thought he might do better with it. We both practiced a bit before leaving home so we had some idea of correct strategy. It didn’t take more than about ½ an hour before he started getting 4OAK. He was loving this game!

    I headed over to the D to play BJ while he stayed playing VP at 4 Queens. It wasn’t long before he joined me at The D to show me his $750 winnings (and $1.25 – don’t have a clue where that ticket came from). He went to the Long Bar and I think I played BJ for a couple hours and was finally on a good little winning streak when my husband ran up behind me and said I needed to come and see something. I grabbed my chips while another player and the dealer asked why I was leaving when I was in the middle of of hot little roll. I said something big must have happened and I just HAVE to go! Sure enough, after about 10 years of playing VP, my husband got his first royal flush. You would think the way we were carrying on that Derek had given us the keys to his place! You know, it wasn’t so much the win (although $4000 is one hell of a win) as it was the fact that my husband FINALLY, FINALLY got a royal flush. I’m sure all VP players can relate to that feeling. Hector, our bartender, was included in the celebration and poured the best drink you could imagine. It took an hour of sipping to get the drink down and we were off to bed. What a night! :drunk:
     

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  3. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    After risking our lives showering in our room, we went to Hennessy’s Pub for breakfast (Two Timin’ Tuesdays – 2 for 1 breakfast and burgers). We both had bacon/sausage and eggs, lots of hashbrowns and toast for around $10. It was good food and atmosphere with friendly servers. I’d definitely recommend it. They have some other interesting items on their breakfast menu so I took a picture to share.
     

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  4. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    After breakfast we were planning on walking around Fremont East to see the updates. Ever since I read the wiki article on Zappos.com (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zappos.com), explaining the way Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) operates his business, I’ve been facinated by what he’s been doing with his Downtown Project. He seems an interesting man with some different thinking and his social experiment is unique for the size and scope of what he’s trying to accomplish. The fact that he’s putting 350 million of his own money on the line to create this neighbourhood and his own social vision, makes it all the more interesting. Anyhow, since we were both feeling a bit impaired (we remembered at this point we’d forgotten to have dinner with all the excitement of the previous night) and the temperature was about 100 degrees, we decided to skip Fremont East and go with Plan B.

    For Plan B, I had noticed earlier that board member sammasseur was visiting just after us so, without his knowledge or agreement, he became Plan B. Thanks Sam for updating the Gold Spike thread. I just knew I could count on you and you didn’t disappoint! :beer:

    We spent the rest of the day checking out MSS where we won a bit at the bar (and tried 2 new cocktails from the drink thread – free). MSS doesn’t have Deuces Wild at their bar so we’ve rarely spent time there. Now that hubby’s playing DDBP we were able to enjoy the quieter location and spent a couple hours chilling out. Whenever my husband has a big win, I always buy some cheap necklace or bracelet to commemorate it. This time I hit the gift store at MSS and was disappointed to see their stock has changed. Still, I managed to find something and after his royal flush win last night, I was able to increase my budget to $18. Big score for this thrifty lady! We also checked out the Vegas Club (I really don’t know what to say about that) and the Plaza. For once, the Plaza actually had quite a few players there. It may have had something to do with the dancing girls doing auditions. There were about 30 girls in skimpy outfits doing dance auditions in the casino so I asked the bartender what it was about. Sorry to say he knew nothing and wasn’t offering any theories either. Hmm. One thing the Plaza could do immediately and without costing any money is to turn up the music…not loud…but so you can at least have some semblance of life in that big casino. Even with more people there than I’ve seen in years, the place is like a morgue.

    I have to talk about about Fremont Street. We were expecting the worst because of things I’ve read. Yes there is construction but I’d be hard pressed to say it interfered with our vacation. Walking to Hennessy’s took about 2.2 seconds longer than if there wasn’t construction so it was no big deal. There certainly were no crowds on that day and I wouldn’t even say the construction was an issue of any sort. It was just there…walk around it…and carry on. As for street people and entertainers, yes they were there. The only "entertainer/vagrant" that bothered me in the slightest was the man in his underwear. He just didn’t look good so I looked somewhere else. It was that easy! We didn’t notice more street people this time compared to other times and not once were we approached by anyone. The construction in front of the Golden Gate was the least intrusive of all. It’s not like there’s hoards of people waiting to cross to the Plaza or jockeying for position to get into the Vegas Club. Since there were very few people walking there, there was plenty of space.

    As to the changes caused by Tony Hseih’s Downtown Project, I’m all for it. I don’t really see how what he’s doing is having any effect on the downtown gambler – other than the Spike closing. From the Plaza to the beginning of Fremont East, I didn’t see any changes brought on by the Zappo’s crew. The casinos and restaurants were not filled with "hipsters" threatening to invade our space. They have Fremont East and we gambler’s have the Fremont Street Experience.

    In my opinion, I think it’s far more likely that Tony Hseih’s employees may turn into degenerate gamblers rather than us gamblers turning into Zappo’s hipsters! I’m looking forward to coexisting with them and don’t mind the progress one bit. It will be nice to have some eateries to go to on Fremont East when you need some downtime.
     

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  5. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    His first royal was dealt? Wow.

    And awesome pic of Hector. :)

    Good start!!
     
  6. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    We had about $100 in Binions comps so we went to the Steakhouse for dinner. I went up around 6 to reserve a window table for 8 o’clock but even the host said it wouldn’t be necessary. It wasn’t that busy. We’ve eaten at Binion’s before and had a really good meal. This time, the steak was huge as usual but pretty tasteless. We each had one drink, split a ceasar salad, 2 filets and a lobster tail for around $130. Portions are huge and we left half our salad, half of the largest lobster tail we’ve ever been served and half our steaks. Such a waste really but they are known for large portions. The view was really nice (boy the Stratosphere looks close enough to touch) but I don’t think we’d go back.

    I had noticed a sign saying the pool was closed for the season so took a side trip to check it out. Doors locked up tight. If you’re staying at the 4 Queens and planning to use Binion’s pool, you may want to phone for an update.

    After dinner, we headed up to our room. We had changed rooms earlier and got a proper tub and shower in this one so we were much happier. The D has nice rooms and the only drawback was the noise level of the air conditioner (in both rooms). It kept me up till 4 a.m. so it’s not a minor issue in my mind. I’d be curious for feedback about the air conditioner noise from others who have stayed at The D. Maybe not all rooms are the same? Other than that issue, we’d stay there again for sure. (Love the art work – so much nicer than flowers!)
     

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  7. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    We had food credits at the D so had breakfast the next day upstairs at the D Grill. The food and service were very good. I get the impression that employees like working at The D. We had positive experiences with everyone except the one lady at the front desk. The employees all seemed pretty happy.

    As this was our last morning downtown (and we didn’t want to leave), we headed over to the Golden Gate. My husband had $80 in free play so he settled at the bar while I checked out the tables. I was getting my money out and hadn’t even decided where to sit, when after 3 plays using casino money, my husband won another $2000! He sure was loving this new game!

    The casino deducted 30% of the win for tax withholding. Since we know we can get it back it wasn’t a problem. Now since coming back to Canada, we’ve tried to find the form we need to apply for the tax back. Navigating the IRS site is not easy!
     

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  8. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Ya, for a moment there he just stared at it. After all those years to just have it handed to you seemed unreal. Good thing the party started after or he might have had fuzzy eyes and missed it! Naw, you could never miss that.

    Hector's buddy was pretty happy too!
     

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  9. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    We ended up going to NYNY around 3 pm and had a 5 minute wait checking in. We’d booked a Park Avenue room for $64 plus $20 resort fee. This was the cheapest room available to us at NYNY and it was everything we needed. Plus, the air conditioner was very quiet. We overlooked the pool and the roller coaster. We didn’t hear any noise from the coaster or the rooms beside us.

    Over the next 2 days we had some minor wins to keep us going. We visited Excalibur, Monte Carlo and MGM (lost $100 in the Lion’s Share).

    We ate at some forgettable food places at NYNY and had dinner one night at Gallaghers. We had no reservation but were seated immediately when we arrived around 6 pm. We were dressed casually in jeans and nice shirt and didn’t feel at all out of place. We each had a steak and split an order of mushrooms and asparagus (no drinks). Total with tip was around $140. The steaks were very good (much better than Binion’s) but the asparagus was soggy and oversteamed. Could have just been a mistake so we’d eat there again. Dinner is served with more bread in a basket than we could have eaten in a week and the service was very attentive. Highly recommend it.

    Blackjack – All the tables I saw at NYNY paid 6/5 so I played mostly at Excalibur. They had 3 tables open with CSM paying 3/2, DOA, DAS, H17. One night, I sat with a man who was playing with $500 which he quickly lost. He pulled out another $300 and was dealt a pair of 2’s against the dealer’s 4. He split those and was dealt another 2 which he also split. During the play, he made the comment that he didn’t know why he was splitting the 2’s because it was the wrong play. He lost all three hands and left the table.

    At this point, the dealer commented to me on how the man had made such a dumb play. I commented that I thought it was the correct play as you should split 2’s against 2-7. We kept it light hearted but the dealer informed me that I should really try looking at a BS chart one day so I’d know the correct play is to split 2’s only against 5 and 6. I told him I wasn’t in the mood for arguing with him but that we would just agree to disagree. We played for about 15 minutes more when I lost 4 hands (my arbitrary quitting point) and left the table up about $100. As I was leaving, the dealer reminded me that if I ever found a BS chart that showed anything other than splitting 2’s against 5 or 6, I should bring it by and show him. I gave him a fake smile and held my tongue.

    Now, I know I’m not perfect so I couldn’t help but wonder if for some reason I was wrong about this. Maybe there was some rule at this table I didn’t know about? Some special reason for not splitting 2’s against 4’s? I keep a chart in my room but wasn’t about to go check it out. I mentioned it to my husband and he agreed with me so I chalked it up to a new dealer.

    Later that evening I was playing at another table (with my husband) and starting with $10 bets had worked my way up to about $300. I was playing $10, 15, 20, 30, 40… progression. I was dealt an A8 against a dealer’s 6 and promptly went to double down. Both my husband and the dealer said NO, NO, NO, with the dealer insisting you should never DD on this hand. Again I disagreed and explained that it’s the one anomaly you do with an A8 otherwise you stand. Again, I doubted myself and decided to just stand. Dealer took my ten and then busted out so it was all good.

    A couple hands later I was dealt a pair of 2’s against a dealer’s 4 and deciding I’d had enough of dealers telling me how to play, I split the 2’s. The dealer sighs and asks if I’m really sure I want to do this. I replied that I was ABSOLUTELY sure I wanted to split them. Shaking her head as if she’d given me fair warning about how stupid I was, she dealt me a 10 on the first 2 so I stood, second hand saw me with another 2 which I split and then got a total of 14 on the second hand, then an 8 to the third 2 which I doubled on to get 20. I had progressed my bets up to about $60 a hand at this point so I had $240 in bets on the table and only about $80 left behind. It was one of those do or die moments.

    As anyone who’s played a bit of blackjack knows, there comes a point where you get on a roll and just [STRIKE]think [/STRIKE]know that you’re going to win the next hand. And we all know it can work sometimes and sometimes not…. Dealer drew a 7 to her 4 and I’m thinking she’s going to get the last laugh, then she draws a small card and then a big card to bust! That was one of the most rewarding hands I’ve ever played. Sure I’ve played hands like that before but never when I’ve had a dealer treat me like I’m an idiot. Four winning hands for sweet and total vindication and I loved it! Played about half an hour more before hitting my loss limit and left the table up about $700!
     

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  10. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    The next morning before checking out , we went to the Mlife counter to have our bill reviewed. We had prepaid one night so they took off the second night and 2 nights resort fee for a value of about $116. I can’t complain about the comps for a 2 night stay. As a $10 player who table hops often, I rarely receive comps for my play although my husband’s play on dollar VP gets us what we need. I thought that was pretty generous considering all the drinks they comped us as well. We definitely drank our share.

    Two other observations I wanted to add that didn’t fit in the story…

    Some interesting dealer "profiteering" happened on this trip. My husband and I were getting ready to leave a BJ table. My husband put his last $10 out and put out a $2.50 tip for the dealer (change from a blackjack hand). He won so the dealer paid him 2 $5 chips and then took 3 $5 chips for herself. She put the original $2.50 back in the tray and dropped her $15 in the toke box. All while the pit boss was standing directly behind her. Pretty smooth….

    One more…Not sure if this happens at all airports but while coming through Bellingham airport security, I noticed 3 ladies wearing long dresses. They look very comfortable to travel in but all 3 had to be pulled aside for a pat down. This required waiting for a female officer so they were held up for awhile. Just a suggestion, if you don’t want the pat down search wear something else on the plane.

    In hindsight, it would have been better if we had have just gone for 3 days. We probably lost around $1500 killing time the last day and we had both run out of steam. I had one good win at Monte Carlo but it came at a time when I was short of funds so I had just switched to quarters at VP. As it turned out, we managed to almost double our gambling fund. We needed the boost after 3 losing trips.

    We’ll go back in the fall but will probably just stay downtown. Nothing against the strip but it just doesn’t offer as much for us personally. Having the option to change casinos easily is just more important to us as gamblers than anything the strip has to offer. And for this trip, the amount we won downtown just doesn’t compare to anywhere else!
     

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  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Dealers don't typically learn basic strategy accurately because they stare at ploppies all day who give the house 2% or more when the play...lol

    Your instincts were correct on all of those.

    Split 2s vs. 2-7...splitting is 0.11 units better (significant...stupid dealers)
    Glad this play worked out for you!!

    Double Soft 19 vs 6 (H17 tables only)...doubling is 0.01 unit better in a 6 deck game. I would stand on this sometimes in the heat of the moment for sure though.

    And although it sounds like you know it well enough, you can have a printed strategy card with you at the table. I did this 2 weeks ago trying "Free Bet Blackjack" at Mirage.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  12. derek33

    derek33 Tourist

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    Great TR....amazing that both of your husbands big hands were dealt, no draw necessary. Great Wins and Congrat$$
     
  13. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Very enjoyable report, and thanks for the pictures.

    Really nice dealt hands... :)
     
  14. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Thank you for that post. A little part of me was still thinking I'd made some mistake. It's a great relief to know someone agrees with me! :beer: The only way to get ahead is to take advantage of the splits and DD's (and hope like hell it works). I hate to see any get by me.

    You are correct that A8 against 6 is only doubled on H17 tables. These are the same rules used for both The D and Golden Gate.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  15. sunny123

    sunny123 Tourist

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    ddb

    Great story - thanks for posting - am a huge DDB fan myself. :beer:
     
  16. g-didi

    g-didi Low-Roller

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    Are there walk through metal detectors in use at Bellingham only, or body scanners too? Wonder if they used the body scanner wearing dresses if they would avoid the patdown?

    Thanks for the report! Very interesting.
     
  17. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Good point g-didi, I hadn't thought of that. They are walk through metal detectors at Bellingham. The body scanners should be able to show what's under the dress, so the pat down probably wouldn't be needed.
     
  18. KyleB

    KyleB Low-Roller

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    Great wins, congrats! Thats actually the first picture I have seen of a dealt royal, im sure he was real excited to see that come up
     
  19. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    The dealt royal is a beautiful thing! Ballsy the way the dealer overpaid herself! It is always surprising to me how many dealers don't know BS.
     
  20. Alhanalasa

    Alhanalasa Low-Roller

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    Yep, I usually wear a dress on planes, as I find it much more comfy. I did usually have to get a pat down when there were just metal detectors, but now with the body scanners, I just go through those like everyone else. :)

    Great report, thank you for sharing! Congrats on the wins!
     
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