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TR: 6 Days in Vegas w/ Way too Much Work and Way to Less Play

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by TylerH50, Sep 19, 2012.

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  1. TylerH50

    TylerH50 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    293
    Location:
    The Great State of North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19

    My Trip Report

    I've been swamped at work since I got back from Vegas, or I would have gotten my Trip Report out sooner. I guess better late than never. This trip for me was 70% work and 30% vacation. One of my responsibilities at work is to plan and run a 75 person annual conference. For the past 5 years, we have run this conference, and as the 'event planner', I have always chosen Las Vegas. This year, I was at the New York- New York.



    Day 1 – Sept. 2

    The wife and I had a 7:15am Flight out of Raleigh-Durham. So, we were 98% packed for the trip the night before. We got up around 5am, and were out the door to RDU (15 min. drive) at 5:45. There was no line at the Delta counter at RDU, so 5 minutes and $85 later (checked 3 bags) we were on our way to the gate.

    Our flight went off as scheduled to Atlanta and no delays on the 2nd leg to Vegas. Luckily, the flight from ATL to LAS was in one of their newer 757s, w/ the personal TVs in the headrest of the seats in front of us. I watched Dark Shadows (very entertaining) for $6, and ESPN for the remainder of the flight. Before the trip, I made a purchase of 10 Delta Drink tickets for $35 on Ebay, which is ½ price beverage service. The wife slept the majority of the way, and only used 1 ticket. I used 6, and now have 3 drink coupons for my next trip on Delta to San Jose in November.

    Our flight was 10 mins early to McCarran, around 11:15. Once we walked off the plane, I would say we spent 20 mins max in the airport. We quickly made our way to the tram, and to baggage claim. After we grabbed our luggage, the hotel limo was waiting for us. [Aside: I negotiated the Limo transfer w/ the hotel for a conference I run, so my Limo ride was not because of my status as a player].
    We were off to the NYNY, and after the 5 min. ride, we were ready to check in.

    Since this was the middle of Labor Day weekend and my contract w/ the NYNY guaranteed me a Marquis Suite, I saved my $20 at check in by not asking for an upgrade. Unfortunately, because it was 12pm, there was only one Marquis Suite available. So, we were given Rm. 554, which was right off the New Yorker Elevator Bank. We had a Cabana booked at the Pool. So, after our bags got dropped off, we were down at the pool by 12:25. The cabana was nice, and we hung around the pool until 4 or so. The wife had a spa appt. So, I had a few hours to get my feet wet at the tables.

    I headed directly to the Monte Carlo. This is my favorite casino to gamble, and also has my favorite Poker Room. After surveying the casino, there weren't many seats available at 3 Card, and the Craps tables weren't hopping. So, I headed to the Poker Room to set $1/$2 NL. The table was relatively tight and not a tremendous amount of action. My biggest win was $75 when I flopped the Nut Flush. I cashed out +$40 after 90 minutes or so.

    I headed back over to the NYNY to gamble a few more minutes before the wife got back from the spa. This was my first gambling sessions at NYNY for the week, and ALL of my gambling sessions at the nYNY ended the same way. I Lost, most of the time, very quickly. In this particular session, I lost around $250 at 3 Card and Blackjack in about 30 mins.


    After my beating at the tables, I met my wife back at the room around 7:30. We went down to Chin Chin for a quick bite of Sushi before heading to The Mirage for the Ron White stand-up act at 10 that night. This was my first time eating Sushi at Chin Chin. They have a small Sushi Bar at the front of the restaurant, and quite honestly, it was very average. I had a couple of rolls and some Yellowtail nigiri. The rice to fish ratio was way too high, and being Vegas, they were overpriced. I doubt I will ever go back to Chin Chin for Sushi again.

    After Dinner, we headed over to The Mirage. We had 30 mins to kill or so before the show started, so we sat down at a $15 min BJ table. The wife won $120, & I won $30 over that session. We got to the Terry Fator theater shortly before 10pm. The opening act was Geechy Guy, who was only on stage for 15 mins, but he was hilarious. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing on several occasions. Ron White took the stage after him, and he was not nearly as funny as I've seen him on TV or heard him on XM radio. We were both looking at our watches after 30 mins of his act. [ASIDE: Last year, we went to see Carrot Top , and he was incredible. The funniest comedy show I've ever seen. Ron White's show palled in comparison.] After leaving the show, I was amazed at how crowded the Mirage casino was. This was my 17th trip to Vegas, and I cannot remember any casino ever being as packed as it was that Sunday night.

    After the show, being up for 20+ hours plus no stop Coronas, we decided to go back to the room, and get ready for an AM poker tourney and our Cabana at the pool the next day.

    Day 2 – Sept. 3

    I always rise early in Vegas. I was up at 5:45. I showered, and headed downstairs to breakfast at America. My Corned Beef Hash, eggs and hash browns were good, and my bill was $15 w/ tip. I was playing in the 8am NL Poker Tourney at Harrahs that morning, so I decided to head over around 7am, and put some points on my Total Rewards card before the tourney started. When I got there, I played the GhostBusters Video Slot game, and within 5 mins. I took my $40 buy in to $75, and I decided to cash it in before I gave it back. I headed over to the Poker Room to buy in to the tourney only to find out that Harrah's no longer has an 8am tournament. I guess I should have checked the AVP or Harrah's site before taking that $12 cab ride up the strip.

    Instead of sticking around Harrah's, I decided to Casino Hop on the way back down to the NYNY. I first stopped at the Margaritaville Casino. The bar next the sidewalk was slammed w/ patrons in the 20s who had obviously been up the whole night before. I didn't play there, and headed into the Flamingo. This was my first visit to the Flamingo in probably 8 years. I'll say it was pretty vibrant for 8am. I played some more Ghostbuster's, and dropped $30 in about 15 mins. Next, I ventured over to the PH. I sat down at a $5min 3 Card table. I bought in for $140, grabbed a Bloody Mary, and hit a couple of straights & flushes. I cashed up $40, and headed back down the strip. Next, I walked through the Cosmopolitan. It was my first time here. The Chandelier is very impressive. I headed back down the strip around City Center which is a pain in the ass if you don't like climbing stairs. I grabbed a beer when I got back to the NYNY and went up to wake the wife.

    After getting prepped for the pool, we headed out and grabbed our Cabana. The rate for Labor day was $275 (it's $225 for normal weekdays there) which is reasonable. We stayed there from around 10:30 – 3:30. After the pool, I placed a $50 bet on Georgia Tech (+4) for that nights game at the sports book, and headed over to The Sporting House at the NYNY to watch some of the game w/ a couple of my colleagues from work. I watched the 1st half, and met the wife back at the room for our big night out at Gordon Ramsey Steak. Our reservation was at 7:45, and we got to Paris with 5 mins to spare.

    I was a big fan of Les Artistes Steakhouse before GRS moved in, and I hoped that the dining experience would be as good as it was before. I know GRS has gotten some mixed reviews by other board members, but I'll tell you that this place is incredible. The general vibe of the restaurant is upbeat. The beverage menu on the iPad is a very nice touch, and the food was just awesome. I started w/ a Whiskey and the wife got a Strawberry mixed drink off of the iPad menu. We both got soup for our starters. The onion soup was very good, and the wife got the Asparagus soup. I've never had Asparagus soup before, and it was very light and refreshing. We both got the Beef Wellington for 2 for our main course w/ the loaded baked potato and the Asparagus. The wellington was as good as advertised, and the Asparagus was very good as well. After a couple more glasses of wine, we skip dessert, and head back to the NYNY. Our bill w/ tip was a little over $300. To me, it was money well spent.

    It was still relatively early, 10:15, when we got back to the NYNY. I took another try at the 3 Card Poker table while the wife played some BJ. I lost another $200 over 45 mins, and the wife broke even. We called it a night around 11, and headed back to the room.


    Day 3 – Tues. Sept. 4

    Unfortunately for me, my conference was starting today. I got up at 6, caught up on some work in the room, ate breakfast again at America, dropped $140 at the 3 Card Table and headed over to our conference rooms around 10am. Today, was going to be a long day. Conference and meetings from 12 – 6pm.

    After the work was done, a large group of us headed over to Gonzalez y Gonzalez for dinner around 7. The Margaritas and Pacificos were very good, but the food was just ok. I had the Chicken Tamales, and I have certainly had better at the local Mexican place in NC. During dinner, we decided to venture out the Hard Rock. Our group of 12 or so met up at the Taxi Stand at 9:30, and headed over to the Hard Rock.

    As hopping as The Mirage was on Sunday night, the Hard Rock was as slow as I've ever seen it. Instead of heading elsewhere, we decided to gamble here. There were 2 - $10 BJ tables going behind the Center Bar. Most of our group grabbed a seat at those. Play at that table was very choppy for 30 mins or so. In the best move I made all week, I convinced one of my buddy's to join me at the 3 Card Poker Table.

    [BIG WIN ALERT]

    The minimum was $10, and this table was also had the Progressive Jackpot for an extra $1 ante. After about 15 hands of up and down play, it happened. I put up my $10 Pair Plus, $15 Ante bet, and $1 on the progressive bet. My cards were dealt, and I looked down at the K of Hearts. [ASIDE -The way I play 3 Card is I look at one card at a time after the deal. If I see a A or K on the first card, I don't look at any other cards in my hand. If I get a pair from the 1st two cards I see, I don't look at the 3rd card. I find this way more suspenseful with the dealer slow rolling the blind cards.] So, after seeing the K of Hearts, I put down my $15 Play bet. After the dealer shows her hand (she qualified), she slow rolls the next card, Q of Hearts, and then, the money card, A of Hearts. BAM. I win $400 on the Staight Flush, $90 (or so) on the ante bet and $30 on the Pair Plus. Also, since I hit the 2nd highest hand on the Progressive, I made another $500 on top. $1000+ win for me. This is my 3rd Largest table win in Vegas. For all the beatings I would take at the NYNY tables this week, this win put me in the positive.

    After the win, I played a little more, and ultimately cashed $1100 at the window. Half of our group decided to head over to the PH for a little more gambling. I ended up at the Craps table, and ended up cashing up $80 or so. We hiked it back to the NYNY from there, and headed back to the room after a quick stop at the Bar at Times Square for a beer.


    Day 4 – Sept. 5

    Another Full day of work for me. The wife took a side excursion and went Sky Diving. She went with Vegas Extreme Skydiving, and the cost w/ the video was $275 or so if any of you are interested. This was another long day for me. I was in the NYNY Conference Center from 8:30am – 7:30pm. This included meetings and a cocktail reception at the end of the day.

    After work, the wife and I took a small group over to the LVH to eat at Benihana's. Benihana is a Vegas ritual for the wife and I. It was excellent as always. This, however, was our first visit to the Las Vegas Hotel after the changeover from the Hilton. Inside the hotel, it looks exactly the same. We hung around the tables for 30 minutes or so. I dropped about $200 between BJ and Craps. Around 11 or so, we headed back to the NYNY. Once we arrived, I sent my wife to bed, and I decided to take another swing at the NYNY tables. After 1 Hour and donating another $300 to the casino, I headed back up to the room

    Day 5 – Sept. 6

    This was my last full day in Vegas, and unfortunately, I spent the longest day of the trip working, 8:30am – 9:30pm, which included an awards dinner at Nine Fine Irishmen.

    After Dinner, I dropped another $250 at the NYNY Craps table, and I headed back to the room to meet the wife. She wanted to go to the Stratosphere , for Sky Jump, and considering, it was our last night in town she gave me the night alone. So, I headed over to the Monte Carlo. Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend as much time gambling there as I wanted to, but this last session proved to be profitable. I grabbed a chair at a $10 min 3 Card Poker table w/ the computerized Progressive game. This progressive was different than others I've seen. If you haven't seen it, instead of putting your $1 chip on the red circle above the Pair Plus bet, you have a display in front of you where you can bet up to $5 per hand on either your hand, the dealers hand or both for the progressives. The Dealer deals all the hands and puts an additional 2 cards to the side of her hand. If you play, you can use the 2 side cards to make a 5 card hand. In order to qualify for the bonus, you must have a 5 card flush. The guy playing next to me hit one on my last hand playing for $50. The progressive was for a Royal Flush, and at that time would have paid $61K. I played for about 45 mins, and then, BAM, i hit Trip 10s. W/ my $10 Pair Plus, Ante and Play bets, I won about close to $400 on that hand. I cashed about 30 mins later w/ $560 (included at $120 buy in). The wife had gotten back from Sky Jump (yes, she is an adrenaline junkie), when I got back to the room, and we headed to bed around 1am.


    Day 6 – Sept. 7

    Our plane back to Raleigh was leaving at 1pm. After spending a couple of hours getting packed and shipping boxes in the Business Center, It was approaching 10am. I grabbed some danishes at the Il Fornaio bakery (they were awesome). I stuck my last $20 into a machine at the NYNY, and you guessed it quickly lost. We grabbed out Limo back to McCarran at 11am, and our flight left on time from there.

    All and all, it was a very hectic trip than years past. I didn't take a couple of extra days in town that I usually do to actually enjoy a vacation. Here's some things I'll definitely do and not do in future trips back to Sin City. My next trip will be in May with no work involved at all:

    Do's
    Gordon Ramsey Steak
    Gamble more at Monte Carlo
    Il Fornaio Bakery
    Minus 5 (Didn't get to go as I planned to prior to the trip)
    Buy Drink Tickets on eBay

    Don'ts
    Gamble anymore at NYNY
    Go to Chin Chin or Gonzalez y Gonzalez (there are plenty of other places to eat that are way better than those places)
    Spend as much time working in Las Vegas.
     
  2. Tbone3336

    Tbone3336 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Thanks for the TR. I guess even having to work, it helps if that work is in vegas where the afterwork fun is all around you. Beats commuting back home after a long day at a conference. :)

    We are going to try GRS on our trip in Dec. Thanks for the info on it as well. Thanks again for the TR!
     
  3. Dpin300

    Dpin300 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Good TR. Thanks for sharing and thanks to you I've now also decided to eat at Gordon's when in Vegas!
     
  4. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
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    thanks, great report! It will be nice to have a "no work" trip in May!
     
  5. TylerH50

    TylerH50 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Great State of North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    No Problem. It's definitely a dining experience at GRS. Also, forgot to add, We checked in on time for our reservation, and were sent to the Bar. Our wait time was 5 mins at the bar. We got a chance to look at the Bar food menu, and it is the same as the Appetizer menu. Didn't get a chance to order, but the Bar ambiance was very good to. I think it's a good place to hang out to grab really good grub and some good cocktails if you're not in the mood for a full meal.
     
  6. Dpin300

    Dpin300 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
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    Excellent tip! Often on holidays we make great plans to do or eat something but are sometimes too hung over to make it. Knowing this we could still check it out. Thanks!
     
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