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Three good nights and a better-than-average Monday morning

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by doctor_al, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    In short - three great nights and a far better Monday morning than the usual.

    Night #1: Friday - In the Company of Men

    Mikey was good enough to pick me up at the airport and ferry me down to the El Cortez, where I was staying that night. I got to show him the "value play" that is an El Co tower room (if you don't mind the tiny pink-tiled bathroom). Got set up on the "penthouse" floor - well, fifteenth floor anyway - but facing north so instead of the Strat and the strip after dark I got the twinkling lights of North Las Vegas emergency vehicles.

    We went down and found a wide open $3 craps table - well sure, if you insist. That I haven't played craps live in a while was immediately obvious - almost got hit by the dice, couldn't remember odds... as Charles would say, it was turrible, jus' turrible. But after I got straightened out, we both had a couple of pretty good rolls. Didn't walk away with all of it, but as Mikey pointed out, we got enough for a *good* bottle of wine.

    Turns out they have a two-for-one martini happy hour at the Elco, which is a genius idea. So we sat up in the lounge listening to the tinkling of electronic ivories and working through a couple sapphire martinis each. Not much call for those at the Elco I guess, because the bartender didn't even know what to charge us. Plus it was more than the regulars up at the bar could stand to watch him swirl vermouth in the glass and then pour it out - I mean, do you have to just waste that... lol.

    Next stop was the main event - a trip to Roberta's (sorry, I mean Flame Steakhouse - bleh) for a giant slab of prime rib with proper horseradish - the kind that will bring a tear to your eye. The waitress talked us into a robust Cab to go with that slice of heaven. We invited her to join us for a glass, I even looked around for the eye in the sky, and finding none, pulled out the best George Clooney I could muster under the circumstances: "no cameras in this room..." Oh, and of course there were some prawns and french onion soup for starters. It wasn't Charlie Palmer maybe, but it always works for me.

    After dinner we headed down Fremont, aiming more or less at Binions. Considered stopping in at the Griffin (although it's probably No Country for Over Forty), but between all the gin and wine and a pound or two of red meat, the walk sounded better than another cocktail just then. In the back of Binions they've enclosed the back bar and made an awesome cigar lounge. Where we proceeded to light up a couple of Partagas. The downside is, apparently they'll let anybody in, because mikenhe joined us a little while later, with his buddy Pete. Hilarity ensued. But they had just gotten in and were getting started and in the mood for some cards, so back we went to the El Cortez for Pai Gow.

    While Soccer Mike and Pete hit the "loo", a couple seats opened up at the one Pai Gow table, so Mikey and I jumped on em. Then a little while later another one opened up for Mike, but the rest of the folks were apparently in for the long haul, leaving Pete just watching. I was up a little, down a little, up a little (it's pai gow) so I cashed out and gave Pete my seat and headed over to a neighboring blackjack table. Of course Pete's first hand in my spot was - a straight flush. Bastard.

    We played a little more, I lost some at blackjack and made some back at Pai Gow a little while later, then called it a night. And that was pretty much it - all good times must come to an end. Well, not for Mike and Pete, I understand they carried on a while longer... but that's someone else's TR.

    Night #2: Saturday - I left my heart in the Hilton Theatre

    Actually this whole trip was Ross' fault. If he hadn't said he was heading out, and had a great rate at the Hilton, I wouldn't have gone. lol - that's my story anyway. Even better tho, he found out Tony Bennett was going to be there Fri/Sat, and so called until he found a casino host there, and worked out a great deal for something like eighth row seats. Sweet.

    Must've felt lucky, because Sat morning we tempted fate and stopped in at the Gold Spike and the Western. The Spike really looks nice inside, all new machines and a nifty interior-stonework look. But it's also only about half done on the casino floor, giving it kind of the feel of a job getting done one trip to Home Depot at a time (more progress than is currently being made at Echelon, however!) And the machines, well, you've heard of coin-in coint-out and ticket-in/ticket-out -- this is coin-in/nothing-out. Everything is a hand-pay. Eh. And the Western is... still the Western. although it seemed a little re-configured with a lounge area off to one side. At least this time I was smart enough not to try to cash out twenty bucks on a nickel coin-out machine.

    Given we survived that we pressed our luck and headed to the Riv to meet up with Mike and Pete, and also Reed and his girlfriend (who wisely kept her distance from this ill-mannered group). We drank and talked a bit at the casino bar then split up as Mike got a hankering for poker and Ross said hey, lets go throw dice at the Slots a Fun again. Except when we got there, he didn't buy in, but wandered off to play slots, getting a handpay jackpot on the second pull (while I was pissing away chips on a cold $5 table - I may be done with SAF). Actually Ross had been hitting since he got in at 10pm the night before. He even got a call from home while we were there, to tell him he'd won a chunk of change on a drawing back home.

    Anyway, back to the Hilton - a couple of comped dinners at the buffet and it was off to the Hilton Theatre, and just in time. Turns out the guy on drums was a guy Ross had seen go thru the VIP line at the buffet while we were waiting to be seated... and according to Mr. Bennett, was Count Basie's favorite drummer. Tony's daughter opened the show, and out of respect to her father, I'll just say she sang some of my favorite songs. Then Tony came out, and boy does he still have it. He can still muster quite a bit of power in that voice at eighty-two. But the timing, the interpretation - just outstanding. And the band (just four guys, piano, guitar, string bass and drums) was terrific as well. By the end I was speechless. Ross - :nworthy:.

    Night #3: (feelin kinda) Sunday

    Sunday during the day I went back down to the Hilton Theatre for NFL, having made a few [STRIKE]bets[/STRIKE] donations beforehand, so I could experience the joy and wonder that is watching the Colts win by four when you have them at -4.5. Only Atlanta saved my day from being a total disaster. Although betting on Oakland is nobody's fault but my own. And watching the Packer game go down as it did just helped me get my butt out of the seat when I needed to go check in at Bellagio anyway.

    While I was doing that, however, Ross had gotten in on a golf excursion with Ken to Paiute (Wolf, I believe) for some ridiculously low green fee. I got in on the post-golf excursion out to Metro Pizza with the golfers and spouses and even family - including a couple folks I'd met at Ken's Isla mixer back in March. Excellent pizza and great conversation, although the irony is that we were drinking draft Coors Light and I only noticed later they had a promo going for Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel, of which I've been known to uncork a few. Oh the humanity. Anyway no wild stories, just good food and a great time, and like a proper LVA gathering it was done by 9:30pm (lol). Many thanks Ken for putting that all together, and for giving me a ride back to the Aladdin, and for showing me where your personal VP machine is...

    Monday Morning

    ... usually sucks, but that's because it usually doesn't involve waking up at Bellagio, a leisurely breakfast in the cafe, some quiet time by the pool... you get the picture. I can deal with Mondays like this. I've managed to hit Wynn, Bellagio and Caeasars (Augustus) in this December-deals period, and I think I'd rank them in that order. Particularly for cafe breakfasts. Cafe Bellagio scored well on the eggs benny with a slight demerit for fairly ordinary canadian bacon and a full demerit for diner coffee, but the OJ was fresh, and the lightly sauteed tomato wedges were a nice touch. And the Bellagio pool area hardly gets any sun now with the Cosmo going up next door.

    I thought about hoofing up to Wynn, but I was short on time so I went back over to Aladdin. Figured I'd take a benjy and play a little, at least break it down to a few twenties for "spending money" on the ride home. Started on another double diamond machine - I'd gotten some action from them at times over the trip, but nothing significant - and I still wasn't getting any love. So I said forget you Jobu, and moved over to a Red/White/Blue quarter machine. It paid off in small, strange, undocumented ways (at least as far as the signage went), before rolling out three white sevens for a small jackpot which was nice 'cuz honestly I don't hit shiat. I took my winnings and headed over to Ken's VP machine, which I knew was unguarded as Terri and he had left early that AM. Hadn't played long before I got two kings, then drew two more. sweet. Being DDB, could've been better, but I wasn't complaining - plus a few more minor hits and minus a little penny slot play, I came out with an extra hundy.

    Which is a nice way to leave Vegas.
     
  2. SH0CK

    SH0CK Stylin' and Profilin' Quasi Tech Admin

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    Nice write up Al. Nothing like hitting some wins on your last day. But I gotta wonder...
    Did Ken drive you back to the Aladdin in his flying Delorean :evillaugh
     
  3. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    I never tire of your reports, Al. Had me chuckling the whole read.
     
  4. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Nice TR. Thanks for posting.

    later, GVJ
     
  5. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    Thanks Doc. :nworthy:
     
  6. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Good to see you there, Doc, and you're welcome. Have you recovered from Ross's, umm, special nighttime habits?????

    Good on that quad. Terri slayed that machine the day before. Think she was dealt treys thrice, and had nine or ten quads overall in that one session. I hit two more quads that night after you went looking for Double Diamond and on Friday "my" machine coughed up several bonus quads and a couple of the regulary variety after a very slow start -- as in on my very last 1.25 on my second hundy in I hit four ladies and never looked back. But the BJ Gods continued to frown upon me. I guess the rule is never play dime tables on the Strip.

    Anywho, thanks for the write up. You should be expecting a call from the Malevolent Order of LVA Bluehairs at any time. lol
     
  7. angel81chick

    angel81chick Abuelita

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    Nice TR Doc...glad you survived your trip! Well...barely ;)
     
  8. atcmurph

    atcmurph Watcher Of The Skies

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    I don't care who you are, that's funny right there :kill:
     
  9. peanutmnm

    peanutmnm Scotchy

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    Always an enjoyable read.
     
  10. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    You know, it occured to me this morning that I might have wrote that, but I didn't go back to check. Aladdin was very much on my mind because I went to sign up for the "A-list" slot club and they told me I was already in the system, leftover from when I signed up to get the Aladdin coffee mug freebie shortly before they were due to re-theme. Then that started a bunch of other Aladdin memories, further reinforced when I went into one of the (un-redecorated) cans and flashed back to the time I stumbled upon security rousting some drunk out of that very lav in the wee hours.

    Long story short, it's still Aladdin in my mind.
     
  11. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Thanks

    Loved the TR! I still slip up with the Aladin thing.
     
  12. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    I always love your reports; and going from the Elco to the Bellagio is quite the culture jump.
     
    Back where we belong
  13. FoolsGold

    FoolsGold Tourist

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    Yes. I thought it was interesting that the El Cortez and SlotsAFun are considered low dives (even though there seem to have been some real changes at the HxxxCortez) and yet the Wynn and Bellagio and Caesars were also featured in the various side trips or contemplations.

    I think its good to be able to straddle both worlds. Personally, I would never have gone to a cigar lounge since I don't smoke at all, but it was still a fun read!

    Tnx.
     
  14. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    good seeing you again al... hope you didn't spend the tip from pai gow all at once....

    nice waitress you'd arranged at binions ... :thumbsup: if I hadn't needed to play cards I could have.... well never mind...
     
  15. Jack21

    Jack21 Guest

    Your TR was a very comfortable read; had a certain cozy equilibrium to it...nice steady-state. Peaks & valleys are for the young.

    Sorry the dice weren't kinder....we'll throw at MSS in March.

    E
     
  16. Reed

    Reed High-Roller

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    It was nice to meet up with fellow board members!

    Wish I could have hit up Slots A Fun with you and Ross, but I have learned not to prolong the wait for a pregnant girl who demands food.:evillaugh
     
  17. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Glad you could make it Reed. :thumbsup:
     
  18. Beach Crazy

    Beach Crazy Hostess With the Mostess

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    Sounded like a nice trip. Thanks Al.
     
  19. RossW

    RossW North of the 49th

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    Hey!! Al was the one making all the racket at night! Lucky I had my ear-plugs. :poke:

    Always good to see you Al. :drunk:

    Tony Bennett was outstanding as you've mentioned. At 82, the guy can still sing a song. He truly loves being on stage as well. A perfomer that truly appreciates his audience.

    8th row for a show like that was a great vantage point for sure. I'm glad you enjoyed it. The TB show would be a highlight for me as well as the golf with Ken at Paiute. Being able to play a high end spot like that was sweet! Thanks Ken!!:nworthy:


    A good trip all around. Nice to meet a few other board members, mikenhe and Reed. bigbooner was supposed to show, but I think our wires got crossed or he and his bride may have been at a different bar at the Riv.

    Again, good to see you.

    Any other night-time habits I may have, I guess I don't know about - I'm sleeping at the time.......:snore:
     
  20. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    Very enjoyable read. Thanks for posting.

    It will still always be the Aladdin to me too...
     
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