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The Road to Rubusto - JaviSRK's Live Vegas Trip Report (6/25 - 7/01)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by JaviSRK, Jun 25, 2010.

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  1. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

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    Location:
    Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12

    My Trip Report

    Hello all, I love reading trip reports here on this forum so it only should be fair that I make my own.

    A little background:
    As this trip was in the planning stages, the wife and I decided to make a deal 10 weeks before: Eat healthy, minimize going to restaurants and cut out alcohol completely so we can enjoy Vegas this time with (somewhat) reckless abandon... Personally, my beginning weight was 202 lbs. Fast forward to June 24th. I weigh 187 lbs, 2 short of my goal. The first three days of this trip will be heavily poker oriented, then my wife joins me on 6/28 (monday) so we can do more general gambling and eating nice.

    Friday (6/24):
    I wake up at 6:30am for my 9am flight to Vegas from Houston. As Houston has a big airport, it was prudent of me to get there a bit early. I'm glad I did: travelling on a Friday is no joke. I arrive in Vegas at 10am PST, get my rental car, and I'm out on the road by 11am. I head out to Marriott's Grand Chateau (which is right next to Planet Hollywood). My room isn't ready yet, so I decide to take myself to Aria for a little gambool.

    I valet at Aria's North Entrance, there was not many cars at all.
    Since most of my stuff is at the Bell Hop at the Chateau, I go to Aria's
    Player's Club desk and get a card, and walk around while I decide what to play. I notice that there is a lot of foot traffic, but not so many people gambling. It's still early, after all. I wind up playing at a $10 craps table with about 5 people. I buy in for $300, wait for the next shooter. I end up coming in at the right time, as I run pretty good for a while. I originally placed $12 on a six, hit some come bets + odds, and before I know it I have $54 placed on the six. How did that happen? Anyhoos, it was up and down for a bit, I get a call from the Chateau saying my room is ready, so I cash out +150. Check-in, go grocery shopping, and now I am back.

    Not sure what I'm going to do later, maybe hit up the Mirage since I've surprisingly never been there with all my trips to vegas.
     
  2. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    As a bonus, here's the quick tour of where I am staying:

    [YOUTUBE]o1HhM2TO9x8[/YOUTUBE]
     
  3. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    You are a savvy craps gamblester!

    Place looks gorgeous - bring it on!
     
  4. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

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    Congrats on the *clean living* Enjoy Vegas with some abandon now:evillaugh

    lovely suite!
     
  5. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

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    Afer relaxing for a couple of hours in my suite, I decided to hit up the Venetian for some poker at 7pm. At my table (1/2 NL) there were more than a couple of guys who were mainly online tournament players. About an hour into my session we decided to play 7/2 - which means if a hand is won and the guy shows 7/2, the rest of the table pays him. Of course, I run pretty much card dead, but I had more than my fair share of jack and cokes with a guy right next to me. I wound up leaving the V at 3am or so.

    I wake up at 8am, promptly pick up my buddy who arrived, and we're going to the Venetian again to play in their Deep Stack Extravaganza tournament series. More to come....
     
  6. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

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    Saturday (6/26) -
    After dropping of my buddy's luggage, we head over to the Venetian. While waiting for the tournament to start, I head on over to the craps tables where they have a $10 min one going on. I lose about $100, then I go register for the tournament for $350. At the Deep Stack Extravaganza, once you register, they offer a few things - a card protector, a t-shirt, a cap, or a $10 comp. I take the $10 comp as I'll know I'll eventually have to eat. I then have a seat at my table, which is located right between Noodles Asia and the Sportsbook. So as the tournament was going on I was able to have a decent view of the game between Ghana and USA. At the sportsbook there was a decent sized crowd watching the game.

    There were 670 runners for the tourney, with 63 places paid. I'm not going to bore anyone with the poker content, but I ended up busting 70th in the tournament, 7 short of the money. So it started at 12pm - I busted at 12:40am. 12 hours of poker! At the end I just ran card dead and my antes/blinds just bled away. Regardless, it was my goal to run deep in the tournament. Well, after meeting up my buddy, I decided to call it a night and head back to my suite.

    But then the gamble in me perked me up when we hit the suite, so we take a quick walk down to Planet Hollywood. It's Saturday night, so there were plenty of people around. We do a little gambool, not winning anything, and after an hour I'm just dead. My back hurt from playing so long in the tournament, it was time to retire.

    I know this trip report is kinda BLAH so far, but doing only one thing in a day can't be too exciting.
     
  7. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    nice report so far!
     
  8. BackInVegas

    BackInVegas VIP Whale

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    Nice weight loss

    I just prefer to stay fat. Easier on me.

    Surprised you shot so well on the first roll. It usually takes me three trips around before I get the feel of the table.
     
  9. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

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    I find that it's hard to write these trip reports on the fly. When you work with computers all day at your job like I do, it's understandable that I want minimal time on it while I'm on vacation:

    Sunday (6/27) -
    My day starts off early, at 7am. My father arrived at the airport at 7:30am, so I go on 4 hours of sleep to pick him up, and off to the Palazzo we went. Check-in was obviously out of the question that early, so left his baggage at the Bell Hop, and we went to eat at the Grand Lux Cafe to get the breakfast buffet.

    One thing of note: as I've been eating smaller portions these past ten weeks, I quickly find that I get full a lot faster, so I really didn't eat all that much. That's a good thing, I suppose.

    We look around @ the Palazzo to check if there's anything we want to play. Not feeling it, so we took the quick walk to the Venetian. My dad goes right off to the craps table, I take a wander around right quick to the video roulette machines. They do produce points, but it looks like it takes 200 quarters of play to produce a point. I play for about 5 mins, breaking even, then head out to where my father is playing, a $10 craps table. We then proceed to play about 3 hours or so. I lose about $100 with no special rolls to speak of, and my father loses $300+ since he likes to make horn bets and such. We head back to the Palazzo, I run off to the restroom while my father is playing more craps, and when I get back he tells me the room is ready to check-in. At about the same time, my buddy calls me from my room. He just woke up after 8+ hours of sleep (he didn't get any the day before), and he's ready to get picked up.

    So my father is shooting, and I notice some guy in glasses playing next to me. Soon enough, a woman comes and talks to him and I notice she says that they are from the same town and other random things. So I quickly gather that this is someone that is known to people. I look up at this guy and it's Bradford Anderson. You soap opera nuts may know him as Spinelli from General Hospital. I recognize him because my wife watches the show, and I can't help but notice things. So he's a nice guy, I ask him if that's who he was, I take a picture with him because he's cool like that, and I take a picture of him and that woman for him. I thank him, and we're off to pick up my friend.

    First place I think about going is MGM Grand. Friend wants to play 2/4 limit poker to limit losses, so that's why we're off to the Emerald Casino. Dad goes off and play craps. I think "why not" and play 2/4 as well. I lose $80 pretty quick, and 2 hours later my father wants to bolt. He's not doing well and wants to check up on the room to see if his bags got sent up to the room. They were, and we go off to the Grand Shoppes to eat at Wolfgang Puck's Postrio. My father was comped for a fixed meal for 2, and my friend ate a Prime Burger. I had a Ceasar's Salad with an Anchovy on top, Salmon and veggies for the entrée, and some cookie-like thing for dinner. It was good.

    Right after dinner, my father wants to then play at Bellagio. So off we go yet again. My friend wants to play 4/8 limit there, but the line is 21 people long, and all the tables in the joint were full. So my friend watches my dad play craps for a bit, while I actually walk it back to my room to change and freshen up. Sooooooooooooo.....

    From the craps tables @ Bellagio I head out to the southern wing, where the tram awaits me. I take the tram to Crystals, and try to make it across Las Vegas Blvd. Walking through this mall is starting to make me realize that I hate the design of it all. I take a few wrong turns, but finally get to the 2nd level across the walkway. Instead of going through the Miracle Mile, I decide to take the heat (luckily it was evening at this time already) and walk down Harmon back to the Chateau. I then relax a little bit, watch the 2nd half of Hulk (w/ Ed Norton), then make my way back. As I was going downstairs I received a call from them, saying that the poker line hadn't budged at ALL, and my father wants to gamble elsewhere. We decided to meet back up at Aria. Good, less walking time for me. So off down harmon again, across the street, across the shitty mall (though this time is significantly quicker as I now know my way around), and into the casino.

    I wait about 20 mins until I see them, and off my dad goes to the craps tables. My buddy and I go to the poker room. He sits down at a 4/8 limit table without much wait, I wait a little more for 1/3NL. I play for about 3 hours and then my father then comes and tells us that's he done for the night (about 1am), and is taking the car. So I have to walk back again. Great. I play for another hour. I am up $100 or so at this point, but I'm tired of playing, so I cash out. I take a look at the craps table to see if there is any action going, meh. Head back to the poker room to see how my buddy is doing. He's down to his last $80. I tell him we should go. He's drunk and he says that he wants to have fun. "It's only money," he says. Hard to argue. I tell him to walk back, and I'll see him there. On the way back, I decide to hit up Planet Hollywood and see what's going on there. The Pleasure Pit is still going strong, although not as happening as it was Saturday night. $15 minimum craps tables were still on. Really, Harrahs/PH? It's nicer over @ Aria with a hell of a lot more tables. I decide it's not worth it and just walk back to my room, where I retire for the night.

    More to come...
     
  10. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

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    Monday (6/28) -
    I wake up about 9am, after my friend stumbles in at 8am. He gets most of his poker money back, but got lost in the Crystals mall like so many others before him did. So off he drifts to sleep. My father still has the rental car, so he picks me up at about 10am. My wife flies in about 12:30pm, so we have a couple of hours to spare. So off we go to Bellagio. I wanted to play some craps, but there was a spot in a new table for 1/2NL in the poker room, so I decided to play that instead. Nothing of note really happens, I'm down about $30. In between that time, I make a 7:30 reservation at StripHouse in Planet Hollywood. I go pick up the wife at the airport about 1pm, then go back to the Chateau so I can wake up my buddy so he can pack and get ready for his flight out. After packing, we go eat @ Thai Spice on Flamingo, just west of the Palms. We go there at least once every trip because the lady is nice and she can pick out what she deems to be good on the menu.

    After lunch, it's back to the airport to drop off my buddy. I get lost a bit this time because I come from the tunnels, and there is construction around the departure area of the airport. After that, we decided to hit downtown for a bit. I give my wife $100 to play slots, and she decides on a Quick Hit machine @ Binions. I get a players card (and a deck of cards since I'm a new member), and she blows that $100 pretty quickly. So I decide to play some cheap $5 blackjack for about an hour, not losing much. After that we meet up with my father at the Golden Nugget, pick him up, and back to the Chateau for a quick change.

    We wind up at StripHouse at about 8pm. I order the 14oz Filet mignon, father orders the Ribeye, wife orders the NY Strip Steak. This is only the second location I've eaten in Vegas - the other being Vic & Anthony's @ the Golden Nugget - but it wasn't as good as I thought it would be. Vic & Anthony's was way better imo - but I have no other steakhouses to judge on. But that's not really why we came. The reason we came was for the 11 or 12 layer chocolate cake (for my wife). Cake was good, but I'm not a sweets kinda guy.

    After that, we drop off my father @ the Palazzo, and we head back to the Chateau fairly early (A first for this trip). My stomach was losing the battle vs. steak, so we just called it an early night.

    Tuesday, 6/29 -
    We got up at 8am due to a new timeshares presentation by Marriott. Blah blah blah, we wind up leaving the presentation 2 hours later. We go back to our room, where the wife cooks some breakfast. We decide where we want to go. Wife hasn't been to Aria yet, so we decide to walk it through. Of course, we head out about 2-3pm, so it's hot as hell. But we're pretty quick walkers, and before we know it, where in Crystals. Since I know where to go this time, it takes about 5 mins to get to Aria. We then decide to share some Gelato at Jean-Phillipe's pastry shop. It's the same as Bellagio, so we're not missing much here, as it's always good.

    We look around for a bit, and decide to hit the roulette table ($10 min). I buy in for $150, she buys in for $100. Here is where I find out that I won't get rated for my $10 play, but they will jot my name down "just in case". After about 2 hours I blow my $150 wad, while my wife is still going strong. During all this our waitress is giving us rums and diet cokes. After the second, I tell her I taste nothing but coke in mind. Wife agrees, and the waitress said that she will come right back and give us a rum shot; and every order afterwards a double rum and coke. What service! So we play about 4 hours total, and are kinda buzzed. So we hightail it back to our room, and have a little R&R.

    I've done a lot of reading on this board, and many people seem to recommend Firefly. So I'm convinced that this is the place I want to go. So I look up the hours for the restaurant. Closes at 10pm. It's already past 9pm. WHAT?!?!? Fortunately, this was the Plaza Casino location. We wound up going to the one on Koval near Sands, and had about a 20 minute wait. Lots of people around, and real lively. Then we eat. We had:

    Roasted Eggplant Cannelloni
    Chicken & Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms
    Merguez (Lamb sausage and tomato-pepper confit)
    Steak & Mushroom skewers
    Empanada

    I have to say that this was one of the best meals I've had in Vegas, period.
    Everything was good. And pretty cheap, too. Bill came out to be slightly less than $30.

    After the goodness, we go back to downtown for some quick gambool. We walk around for a bit, seeing if the wife wants to play roulette. She's not feeling it, so we end up at Binion's again. I want to play craps, so I play at the cheapie $5 table. I buy in for $100 w/out players card. It's a full table, but nothing goes right and I'm down $50 quickly. I then notice a $10 table go empty, go down to $5, so I jump on, by myself. I usually don't like tables with few people, but my night was going to be a short one if something didn't happen soon.

    $5 on pass line, $2 yo bet. First roll, YO! Ok! nice start. 2nd roll, point is 8. I bet 3 on hard 8. Three rolls later, hard 8! Just like that, I make my money back. I show my appreciation for the dealers and put out a $5 pass line bet for them. Comeout roll is a 7! Pay everyone! I think I hit like 5 points in the span of 10 minutes. Pretty quick when you're playing by yourself. This was happening as the previous table I was on started to empty out. I roll a couple of more times, then decided to call it a night as I cashed out at $180. I give my wife $20, we go back to the room where I had a satisfying sleep.
     
  11. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

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    Wednesday, 6/30 -
    After waking up at 10am (my latest time all trip), I take a shower before giving my father a call. He checks out from the Palazzo at 12pm, so that gives me a bit of time to watch some TV. My wife wants to run on the treadmill, and she'll give me a call later to check where we are at. So I pick up my father, we decide to hit up Bellagio yet again. On the way he tells me what he did on the day before. We notice that the craps tables are full, so we decide to play a little $10 blackjack. My father loses quickly and leaves; I stay a bit more and lose $50.

    I get to one of the craps tables and notice that there is a spot open at one of the tables. At this particular table, I notice that there are two little people there, playing. So I go two to the right (I would be 3rd from stickman's right) of one of the little people and ask the guy next to me if were alright if I played here. He said no, because the little guy would spread chips across the rail when he shoots.

    "What?"

    ...is the first thing I thought. I saw that as kind of a dick move, so I just said "whatever" and waited for a spot on the next table. So I saw the little guy shoot soon thereafter, and I noticed that he literally laid across the rail, had a little table thing to help him grab the dice, and shoot. And I'll be damned if this guy didn't shoot a nice roll. Oh well.

    So I buyin for $300, and over the course of 3 hours I saw my chips go down, down, back to even, down, back to even, down... etc etc. Until my wife calls, and I confirm we're at Bellagio. So we play a bit more, then my father gets a to-go meal from the Cafe while we wait and look at the conservatory, then we're off to the airport to drop off my father. On the way back from LAS we decide that we'll hit the Venetian to go eat, but the wife wants to hit the LV Premium shops to get some sunwear because she wants some sun for her last day. While we hit the shops, I browse on my phone on where to eat, and we decide to hit up Trattoria Reggiano, which is sorta near the Food Court in the Grand Canal Shoppes. Food was ok, the $9 tea I ordered was nothing special. We look for somewhere to play at the V, no go, so we decide to hit up the Mirage instead.

    In all my trips to Vegas, I've never been to the Mirage, so for a bit I take in the atmosphere, and my wife wants to play Roulette, so off she goes. We find a table near the poker room, and she buys in for a $100. She suggests I watch, so I do. She likes to play conservative roulette. Meaning she plays the $10 min, but she does it by playing corners. It allows her to sustain a small loss, but if she hits a number where the corners overlap, she can make a few bucks off it. But she hits immediately, and soon enough she's up $50. I wander off for a bit, checking out the craps tables and the poker room and I like the place. I come back and she's up $100. Meanwhile we a liquoring it up a bit. We leave after 3 hours and she's up $150, after tipping the guy $25. Nice.

    We then head out to Treasure Island to hit up Gilley's. Treasure Island is also a place we've never been, but we're not here to gamble. We're here to ride the bull. We go inside Gilley's, but there isn't a big crowd. We see two women ride the bull, but the wife immediately becomes disinterested, because the person operating the bull clearly is interested in making the bull look orgasmic. So off we go to the other side, across the walkway and into the Palazzo...

    ... or so I thought. We go down the stairs, and end up on the Club Grazie side of the Venetian (near the poker room and sportsbook). Not a big deal, so we walk to the Palazzo. I want to play craps, so I find a $10 table with one other guy as he craps out. I bet $2 on myself for yo, and sure enough it hits. Score! I don't play that long, but I scored a glass of Remy Martin XO and $80 up in craps. Since it's our final night, we call it one at 1am.
     
  12. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

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    Thursday, 7/1 -
    We get up, wife makes some breakfast, I relax, wife gets some sun, then packs, and we're out of our room by 1pm. Our Grand Chateau stays usually mean seven nights, but I couldn't get a cheaper flight than $400, so we're coming back a day early. We decided to head back to Aria for some last minute gambool. Wife doesn't want to risk a nice gambling trip for her, so I play Craps. Not a good idea. Lost $220 in 30 minutes. Sheesh. It's not even 2pm yet, what am I to do? After some needling from the wife, I sit at a roulette table with my remaining $80 in chips and run that up to $180 before we had to leave at about 4pm.

    Off to chipotle for a quick lunch/dinner, I drop my wife off at the airport because her flight is one hour earlier, I go drop off the car. Wife's flight got delayed to where she left only minutes before my flight on Continental left. On the way back, not many people were on the place. I got a seat in my row all to myself, and luckily I had a flight that had DirecTV equipped on the plane, so I watched a movie and some Futurama.

    Last beat: Since I live in Houston, we have two airports. Original plan was to have my wife pick me up after she flew in, but since she got delayed, AND her luggage was on another arriving flight, I had to pay a taxi $60 to get home. Barf. Luckily, she got a $50 travel voucher that she gave to me.
     
  13. JaviSRK

    JaviSRK Low-Roller

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    Odds And Ends
    A few thoughts:

    I really like Aria's casino. I do not like Crystals at all, and I hate that I have to walk through the damned mall to get to Aria. Dealers were nice, and other than Venetian/Palazzo, this is the casino I spent the most time at. A tip: If you decide to Valet, use the North Valet. There was no line at all, and it's really easy to get into the casino - it's close to the craps/high dollar BJ tables. Aria, I love you! Love me back, dammit!

    The Venetian/Palazzo smell wasn't as strong in previous trips. Could it be the hot air? As said before, I put in a LOT of time in this casino. The deepstack tournament, regular poker, craps, a few slots, etc. I hope I can get some decent offers this time, but I'm not so sure.

    I'm starting to warm up to the Bellagio a bit. I like the place as a place to gamble. I put 3-4 hours of rated gaming here, so I hope that this plus my Aria play gets me some love from MGM. I'm wondering if me being rated in poker hurts me as an overall gambler in the respective casinos...

    HET in Vegas continues to get minimal play from me. Ceasar's is too much for me, everything else is too little IMO.

    Mirage is ok, too. I think I may make a stop here and there on my next trip.

    Oh, I only gained 2 lbs for the trip, making me at 189 currently!

    All in all, even though I spent six nights here, I felt like I didn't do as much as I wanted. Which is a first for Vegas. And I want me to come back in December.
     
  14. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Funny you mentioned the healthy thing before your trip - I'm doing the same thing right now.
     
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