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TR..Adventures at Biloxi Hard Rock, Beau Rivage & The Grand

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by RebelDiceMan, May 30, 2010.

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  1. RebelDiceMan

    RebelDiceMan High-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21

    My Trip Report

    I didn't know if this should go here or up in the Trip Reports forum. I figure a MOD will move it if need be.


    Warning: Long, very detailed trip report ahead....Read at your own risk


    I had been planning a trip to relieve the stress of testing season for a couple of months and now it was finally time to hit the road. I must have been anxious to get there because the normal 2 hour and 40 minute drive only took two hours and 15 minutes. (yeah, I had that red Charger in the wind)

    I made it to the Hard Rock just before 6 PM and was quickly (3 minutes tops) checked in and riding the elevator to my room on the 12th floor. The room location was both good and bad. The good was that I was directly over the pool and with my binoculars, could check out how many people were down there while looking for a good spot to get myself located. I also like being high enough to get a good view of the gulf. The first thing I noticed was the long line of booms surrounding the Beau Rivage property next door. No oil showed up while I was there but they were prepared in case. The downside of being on the 12th floor was that the HR was remodeling the area that I think the Rise nightclub occupied. That meant no sleeping in until 11 O’clock with saws and hammers operating. Of course the Hard Rock rooms were as great as always. I love their pillow top beds and the six pillows that are scattered across that bed. This room had a nice deep Jacuzzi jet tub that I actually utilized this trip.



    One of the reasons I wanted to come on a Wednesday was the fact that the HR has a weekly blackjack tournament that night that I wanted to play. I was fortunate enough to have a coupon from my monthly mailout for a free entry so I headed down to the Players Club/Main Cage (they are now in the same place) and exchanged my coupon for the voucher to pay my entry. When I registered, they put me in the next scheduled round which began in less than 10 minutes (glad I drove fast). Even though the round was close to starting, I still felt I had time to run up to the Center Bar and get my first Miller Lite of the trip. Once there, I explained to the bartender that I was about to play in the blackjack tournament (showed him my table assignment) and would like to have a beer to drink while playing it. He flat turned me down. “No Beer For You Hombre!†I usually brag on the Center Bar bartenders for their great customer service but that somewhat ticked me off. If I had felt I had time, I would have just fed a machine a bill and then asked again. However, I knew that they waited on no one for the start of a tournament round so I just muttered “the heck with this†and rushed back to the tournament area. In fairness, let me say that for the rest of my time at the HR, I spent a good deal of time at the Center Bar and every other encounter I had with a bartender was highly satisfactory. This little bit of chintziness (a great Southern word) on one bartender’s part was an aberration, not a regular thing. A lot of people brag on the bartenders over at The Breeze next door but I would put the Hard Rock bartenders up against anyone on the coast with regards to friendly and efficient service.



    The first round of the tournament went well. We started with 7 players and the usual $5 minimum bet and no maximum bet. Two of the seven would advance to the semi-finals. Basically, I made small minimum bets while most of the others made more substantial bets. As we got to the last 2-3 hands, there were only 3 of us left and I was easily the chip leader. (the dealer had been pretty hot and kept making hands) When player #3 busted out on hand 14, we didn’t even have to deal the final hand of the round. That was on of the easiest rounds I have played in a while.



    Since they were going to play another section of the first round before the semi-finals, I had time to go to The Center Bar and get that beer I wanted. I fed a C-note into a machine and commenced to play. Within the first 5-6 hands, I looked down at four Queens . Now that is a good way to start a gambling trip. BTW- the Hard Rock Center Bar had 7/5 quarters, 8/5 .50s, and 9/5 dollars JOB. I was on dollars. I was able to play for about 40 minutes before it was time for the semis in the tournament and cashed out $100 ahead.



    When I sat down at my semi-final table, I knew things would be tough. To my immediate left was a guy I knew to be a regular tournament player who had a lot of skills. His spot to my left gave him a positional betting/playing advantage on me for 6 out of every 7 hands. I was not overlooking anyone but he was my main concern. No one made any big moves early but we still lost one player by hand 10 who just couldn’t win a hand. For the most part, the rest of us were pretty closely grouped. Hand 13 (of 15) would be the one hand that I got to bet after the shark. I was last to bet and was happy to see that no one made any big bets as I pushed all of my chips into the betting circle. I won the hand and had about a 2-1 chip lead on everyone. That was a good thing because the guy to my left would be able to size his bet based on mine from here on. The veteran player (shark) went all in on the next hand. Since I had to bet first, I had bet $200 to somewhat correlate my bets with whatever amount he put out. We both won so I still had a decent lead on him. On the last hand (15) and still betting ahead of the shark, I put all my chips but one red $5 chip into the betting circle. I had a few more chips than he did so if we couldn’t catch me if we both won without a blackjack. He decided to take the first low which means he kept enough chips unbet to win if the dealer beat everyone. I was dealt 2 face cards for 20 and he had a 16. He took the chips he could spare and still keep the first low and doubled down. Amazingly, he caught a 4 for 20. We both wound up pushing the hand but I had started with more chips so I advanced to the final table. Whew! I felt like I had really done something because this guy definitely knew tournament blackjack. He played well and was gracious enough to congratulate me on my advancing instead of moaning and groaning.



    The Hard Rock has an unusual format for their payouts in this weekly BJ tournament. First place wins half the prize pool and the other finalists split the other half. First was getting a little over a thousand and 2-7 was getting about $175. There was no reward for finishing second instead of say fifth. That gave the players a little incentive to be a little reckless and they did so. At the end of the 12th hand, we were down to 3 players. On hand 13, I was betting last and pushed it all in. I won and had a good lead going into the home stretch. When we got to last hand, I still had a lead of several hundred chips. I had enough chips that I could take the first high which means I bet enough that if everyone won their hand, I would win the tournament. I even had enough chips that I could keep enough chips unbet to have the first low also. (I would win if we all lost) That is about as good as you could hope for. (Except for some good cards on the last hand J )



    The way it played out was this. The player to my right (betting and playing first) had caught a 10-7 for 17. He stood pat. The lady to my left had an 8-6 for 14. I had an 8-5 for 13. The dealer had an 8 showing. After the guy stood on 17, I decided to stand on my 13 with the idea that if the dealer had her 18 as expected, then she would beat him, me and probably the lady with 14. The lady still had to hit those cards and a 14 is usually a bust hand. That would hopefully give me the win . This move blew up in my face when the lady hit her 14 and caught a 2 for 16. I felt pretty good at that time since hitting a 16 is usually murder on the player. I was wrong as she hit it again and caught a 5 for 21. The dealer did have the face card in the hole and beat the guy and me but the lady secured the win with that pull of a 5. As I said earlier, my second place finish was no more valuable than if I had busted out in 7th place. Oh well, getting $175 from the casino (all winnings since I had a free entry) is better than a poke in the eye any day.



    One thing of note. I had left my players card in the machine at The Center Bar when I came down to play my semi-final round. I went back to retrieve it just before the finals because they needed my players number for the payout paperwork. After the finals, I went back to play some more VP and my card would not work because the HR has this deal where a card is de-activated if it sits in a machine for a certain period of time with no activity.

    So this card I had left in the machine between rounds would not work now. I went to the Players Club to get it reactivated. When I gave it to the guy behind the counter, he made some sort of smart-ass remark about my card saying “Mr. Luckyâ€. He then threw it in the trash and printed out a card with my real name on it. I asked him if he could print me one like I had originally. The answer was no and it was delivered with a real snarky attitude. I did convince him to give me the old one as a souvenir but I was disappointed in his representation of the HR. BTW- I used the Mr. Lucky card repeatedly over the next two days at table games with never a problem. On top of all that grief, when I took the newly manufactured card he made to the Rock Box to print me out a comp to go eat; it wouldn’t work.



    I returned to the Players Club and made sure I went to a different person. She was a young lady who was both cute and sweet. As soon as I explained about the card not working in the Rock Box, she volunteered to print me one out from her terminal. Quickly taking care of that task, she sent me on my way with a big smile and a wish that I enjoy my meal. Now, that is the kind of service that makes the Hard Rock my new favorite on the coast.



    Once at 24/7 (the Hard Rock coffee shop), I ordered a Club Sandwich and a piece of pecan pie to take to my room and eat while I did a little unpacking. The Club was huge and had the best bacon I think I have ever eaten on it. When I was down here Spring Break, I had gotten some pecan pie from 24/7 that was literally a fourth of a pie. It was 6 inches across and I could not even finish it all. (with my appetite, that is amazing) This time I got a more modest piece but it was still just as tasty. I love their pecan pie. It’s “slap yore grandma goodâ€. My bill came to 16.50 and my comp was only for $15. The waitress said don’t worry about it. For such a great attitude, I tipped her one of my red chips.



    Once upstairs, I ate and finally unpacked. By the time I had everything in it’s place, it was time to go back to the gambling challenge. The first stop was Center Bar. An hour or so of VP didn’t produce anything spectacular other than the second appearance of four queens. I did draw with 4 to a Royal twice and that always gives you a little adrenalin rush as you wait for the magic card. Eventually, I cashed out exactly even and started looking for some table action



    Wanting to start out with blackjack, I found a table that had a 3/2 payout for blackjack (don’t play 6/5 blackjack) that only had a minimum of $15. I was going to be betting $25 anyway but I like a table with several players already on it. There is more social interaction and the extra players slows down the game a little which is always a good thing in a negative expectation game. My tablemates were all young guys in their 20’s and early 30’s. They were having a lot of fun and that makes it easy to join in the fun. We had a succession of friendly, fun dealers and it was a good time. Well, except for the cards that is. L I played an hour or two on this table but eventually crossed my loss limit of $300 that will get me up from a table. So I left in search of greener pastures.



    I played VP at Center Bar long enough to drink one beer and get another to walk around with while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do next. Since it was after midnight by now, I started to get that itch to throw some dice. I have a friend who deals dice here at the Hard Rock but she works swing and doesn’t come on until 4 or 5 AM. I hoped I wouldn’t be here when she arrived. The table had an eclectic mix of folks as most craps tables usually do. There were a few young guns and a few grizzled veterans. As is often the case, this table had no ovaries other than the one pair working the stick.



    For the most part, this was a pretty jovial group as they seem to be when things move into the witching hour. Fortunately, some of them could also shoot dice. The table stayed pretty full most of the night and that is usually a sign of a winning table. No one had one of those epic rolls that generates huge piles of chips but there were multiple individuals that had profitable rolls. As for myself, three of my five rolls generated a profit (for me at least) though none were just amazing. By the time the smoke cleared I had won back 250 of that $300 I dropped over at the blackjack table so I left happy.


    profitable rolls. As for myself, three of my five rolls generated a profit (for me at least) though none were just amazing. By the time the smoke cleared I had won back 250 of that $300 I dropped over at the blackjack table so I left happy.


    Not quite ready to call it a night, I went around to the other side of the Center bar and found a three card poker table to spend a little time on. For the third time that night, I was lucky enough to have a fun bunch of people playing on my table. We had one attractive woman about 30-35 who was a notorious flirt with all the male dealers and players. She kept things interesting. Eventually, her husband came along and took her away but she was pretty entertaining while she was there. The game finally dwindled down to me and one other guy. When he hit the 2-3-4 of diamonds, I decided that was a good time to search out my 6 pillowed bed and nod out.

    The next morning dawned bright and sunny. A wonderful symphony of table saws and nail guns supplied a delightful wake-up call to keep me from wasting my time as a sluggard. A glance at the pool thru my binoculars confirmed it as my destination today. Even though I have a system for maximizing my beer consumption at the pool while minimizing my costs, I still realized that it would be prudent to have a few cool ones at a VP bar before taking off on a pool adventure. After a quick snack of some breakfast pastries, I was soon sitting at the Center Bar ready to officially start my day. Sliding a hundy in the slot I began to play. That first $100 brought me no profit and only 51 credits on my players card. Not a good start. The only recordable hand (straights and up) was a solitary full house. When I lost the first 6 hands after putting a second C-note in the machine, I switched to .50s so that I could last long enough to finish a few beers. Once I did that, the cards seemed to come and I played for quite a while on that amount. One odd thing was that I could not seem to draw a flush to save my life. Going back to the previous night, I would bet that I had drawn to a 4 card flush at least 20 times without completing it. When I finally hit one on this 50 cent machine, they started coming at a more normal rate but they were mighty scarce until then. A few other good hands kept me about even for a while. Feeling a bit of a desire for a change in scenery, I waited until I clawed back to 100 credits and cashed out.

    I decided to give the VP bar in the back (over by the bathrooms & Vibe) a whirl. Once again I found a friendly and efficient bartender. What made her stand out was the fact that she looked to be about 7 months pregnant. While I know that walking around behind the bar in that condition had to be uncomfortable, you would never have known it by her upbeat bubbly demeanor. This game was giving up some hands and letting me play. I guess the highlight was the back-to-back flushes. After an hour or so, I felt the pool calling and cashed out with that same $50 I bought in with and took off to my room to change and go enjoy the pool.

    Given the nice sunny weather, I was expecting a nice crowd and that is what I got. The majority of the sun-worshipers were sub-40 but there were plenty of us Classic Rockers out there too. I found me a chair in a nice spot and popped a beer. I had fallen a little behind in reading my Card Player magazines (they come every 2 weeks) and this was a perfect opportunity to catch up on my poker reading. So the next few hours would be devoted to people watching , beer drinking , and reading about cards . For me, a relaxing afternoon at the pool is one of the most enjoyable aspects of casino vacations. The pool bar was open but I don't remember seeing any cocktail waitresses working the pool. I might have missed them since I wasn't making use of their services. I did get one beer from the bar at $4.00 a pop after I ran out of mine. One of the most amusing things I watched was this young guy (24-25) who was drunk as a coot and trying to integrate himself into a group of 6-8 people of a similar age. The group included at least 5 quite attractive girls who I am sure supplied his motivation to join them. He was constantly talking to them with this funky French accent as he continually tried to move a little closer to them . They were too polite to just tell him to be gone. Instead they would slowly back away as a group as he persistently followed along from one end of the pool to the other. Once he would get them cornered at one end of the pool, they would out-manuever him and start slowly backing their way to the other end of the pool. I don't think he ever realized that they were backing away. This went on for an hour. He was talking loud enough that I could hear his story that his Mom was from France and his Dad was from the USA. That might be the case but I thought it was at least as likely that he was a college student who had a French major or minor. When he shared that Brett Favre lived 20 minutes from his house, I narrowed it down to USM. His drunken ramblings in French while chasing the other youngsters in the pool was immensely entertaining.


    One thing I did notice about the HR pool was that it seems like you might have to reserve one of the round suspended beds if you want one. All three of them had reserved signs on them although I only saw one with people actually using it. The cabanas seemed pretty popular as 4-5 of them were in use that day.

    After all that beer and sun, it seemed like a good time to go up to the room and try to get my second wind. Once on the 12th floor, that big deep Jacuzzi tub beckoned. Once I had the jets going, it was delightful. In almost no time, I was extremely relaxed and just floating away. I enjoyed that for a while. When I noticed that it seemed to be getting dark outside, I got out and prepared to take on the gambling challenge again. Amazingly, my energy level was restored and I was ready to roll. That tub had done the trick. Usually the tub is The Baboo's domain but she was at home and that duty was left to me. A little after dark that night, I was grateful for it. Down to the casino floor I went.

    As usual when I am trying to plan a course of action in a casino, I wound up at a VP bar making my plans. My notes are a little skimpy for this period but I know I played VP at the Center Bar for a couple of hours. The bar was pretty busy with a lot of people (mostly young) there listening to a very talented band. Most of the tables surrounding the CB were full and there were a fair number of folks having (or choosing) to stand while enjoying the tunes. Once I had enjoyed my fill of the band, I went to try and achieve my goal of hitting a straight flush at 3 card poker. My bankroll did not fluctuate over $100 either way during this VP session. As I walked up to the table , who did I see but the same lady who had been so much fun the night before. I guess 3CP is one of her favorite games too. Tonight, she was mostly keeping her flirting restricted to one dealer in our rotation and the guy sitting right next to her but she was still lively and fun. As 3CP can sometimes do, I was slowly ground down and found myself down $200. Realizing that the noon start to my beer drinking and the sun out at the pool had impacted my energy and concentration level, I made the wise decision to get up to the room and get some rest. After all, I had to change hotels the next day.

    But before giving in completely to the siren call of the Rack Monster, I made a stop by the dependable Rock Box (another thing I like about the HR) and printed me out another $15 comp ticket for 24/7. Tonight I went with the Philly Swiss with the mandatory piece of pecan pie. Man, I like their pie.
    Both of them were absolutely delicious although the Philly had me debating at 4 AM the wisdom of eating all those onions just before bedtime. Now, where did I put those darn TUMS? I guess that is the price you must pay.



    The next morning, my concert of nailguns and saws didn't start until almost 10. (actually it was after 9 both days before I heard any noise) Among the many things I like about the Hard Rock is that they recognize the fact that many of their patrons are going to be enjoying some late hours and probably a great many libations. It doesn't seem like an hour would make that much difference but the noon checkout at Hard Rock as opposed to the 11 AM checkout that most of their competitors use can give you just enough time to recover from your late night shenanigans and make the following day actually enjoyable. That was the case this morning. I just lazed around dozing from 10 until 11:30. I wasn't too spiffy at 10:45 but by the time I walked out of the room at 11:59, I was in somewhat presentable shape. Thanks for that extra hour Hard Rock!

    One of the things I had planned for Friday before I ever left home was to take a few shots at that quarter million dollar Caribbean Stud Poker jackpot over at The Beau. (if it hadn't been hit since I was down here Spring Break) Knowing that my walks at home usually invigorate me instead of tiring me out, I decided to walk over to the BR since, despite that extra hour or rest at the HR, I could still use some invigorating. A pleasant walk it was even if it was a little warm. Once inside the Beau, I saw that the CSP table was not open yet and just continued on a few more steps until I reached the Breeze Bar. Finding an open seat, I fed in a hundred and saw that the pay tables were 8/5 regardless of denomination. I settled on the .50s and commenced to play. I was hoping that a few of those Hair of the Dog Miller Lites might complete my rejuvenation process. The first one brought to mind the eternal mystery of why a beer at 1 PM never seems to taste quite as good as that same brand beer at 1 AM. In almost no time, I had hit another 4OAK. It is always nice when you hit a good payout like that early in a session because it seems to take all the pressure off you for a while. After a while, I noticed that they were getting the Caribbean Stud table ready to open. I kept a close eye on them as they made sure the chip rack was correct and inspected the cards. It was at least a 20 minute process but once done, the dealer took her stance that said "I am ready..Come and get it". I kept on playing VP for a while since I was hoping someone else would be the table virgin and open it for business. After about 15-20 minutes of waiting, I decided to take on that responsibility and cashed out. I had run up about 150 players points and cashed out $25 ahead so I was satisfied.

    Again I was blessed with a dealer competent at his job and skilled at customer service. The Beau was giving away a beautiful Chevy Camaro in a drawing and it was parked about 20 feet behind my dealer. With that as a conversation starter, we got into a long discussion about various cars we had owned back "in the day". Turns out that he was a Mustang guy while I had two Camaros in H.S. and college. Usually when one player breaks the ice on a table, others seem to be happy to join you. That wasn't the case today as we played heads up for at least an hour. As it turns out, that wasn't a bad thing as I caught a few hands and built up my chips. The most memorable hand was when I looked down and saw 3-3-3-7-7 for a full house. WOW! The pit critter happened to be standing there so I told her to go get the clipboard before I ever revealed my hand. With a smile as I was getting my black chip bonus, she told me not to be making her come back over there every time she turned around. She told me to go ahead and hit one of the big jackpots and someone else would have to come do the paperwork. I promised to do my absolute best to follow those orders. The only down side of this hand was that the dealer did not have a hand to open and I did not get the 7-1 payout on my doubled back bet.

    The table was eventually joined by a few other players but we never had over 4 at the table the entire 3-4 hours I was there. I was in my second go-round of the dealer rotation when I got one of those Horseshoe Hands which was the 5-6-7-9 of Diamonds. If I had seen the 8 of Diamonds also, I would have had the Straight Flush that would have paid me 10% ($27,000) of the big jackpot. Oh, where is that 8? After the hand, the dealer did a little rabbit hunting and found the missing 8 about 10 cards deeper into the deck. So close, yet so far. Later on, the guy to my right had a similar hand when he had four to a Straight Flush also. He needed the 5 of Diamonds. Sometime in that third hour, I did something I had never done in a CSP session. I hit my second full house in a single session. This one was even better than the first one because the dealer opened and I got paid 7-1 on my back bet. That hand was worth over $250. All good things have to come to an end and I realized I needed to get on down to the Grand if I was going to get any sun at the pool today. It had been a good decision to walk over here. I had won a little at VP and some more at CSP. I'll make that $200 stroll anytime. BTW- I don't know if it was the walk or the Miller Lites, but I felt sufficiently invigorated now.

    Making the quick trip down to the Grand, I enjoyed seeing some of the offshore power boats that were down here racing in the "Smokin' The Sound" boat races. There were several in static displays and they looked like they could flat out fly. They were doing time trials and practice today. You could hear them out from shore because they really roared with those uncapped headers. I would like to have stayed thru Saturday but had obligations at home. The friendly CSP dealer was telling me that each of the racing boats in the biggest classification would have their own helicopter flying overhead relaying instructions to the 3 drivers down in the boat. According to the dealer, he had more fun watching those helicopters and their aerial acrobatics than he did the boats themselves. The races went off without a hitch as there was no oil to be seen anywhere and the crowds were there to watch.

    Check-in at the Grand was slightly slower than the Hard Rock but was still only about 5 minutes. I quickly changed clothes and rigged my pool bag before rushing down catch some rays. I grabbed a chair and carried it over to that corner over by the hot tub that I knew from experience would be the last place getting sun as the day waned. I immediately noticed one difference in the Grand pool and the HR pool. There was more of a presence of children here at the Grand. The Hard Rock pool had only had like two kids. The Grand was no where close to being over-run with kids but they definitely had more family groups here. Though there were more kids than at the HR, there really weren't a lot and the ones that were there were very well behaved. I never saw hide-nor-hair of a cocktail waitress so it was a good thing I was well supplied. It seems that the people who did want a drink were walking down to the Lobby Bar and ordering their Daiquiris and Margaritas from a window similar to a drive-thru. Every time we would hear the roar of engines to the South, some of the kids (and some adults) would run to the wall to catch a glimpse of the boats as they screamed by.

    Once back in the room, I enjoyed a quick shower and got ready to gamble. When I hung up the pants I had worn from the HR, three $25 promotional chips from the HR fell out. I had forgotten to play them that last night. The way I saw it was that I already had a start on my gambling bankroll for the next Hard Rock trip. I wasn't stopping back by there just to play them on this trip.

    My two goals here at The Grand were to maximize my profits and also build my reputation (actually my ADT) back up in the HET Empire. I had pretty much stiffed them in New Orleans during Super Bowl weekend and needed to have a trip to show that I still gambled.



    As I was finalizing my plan, I stopped at The Stage Bar (which hardly ever has anyone on stage anymore) for some VP. I was playing dollars and they paid 8/6. The bartenders here were very liberal with their drink policies. They were taking my drink order before I even sat down and had it in front of me way before I could get my money and card in my chosen machine. I don't think I ever saw them turn down a drink request. They did tell some people that they would have to be playing before they could get another one. It reminded me of the good ole days when you could pretty much just walk up and ask for a drink at the bar. They could probably afford to be liberal with the drinks the way the machines were sucking down my money. I got no recordable hits out of that first hundred dollar bill and only had 20 TR points. Heck, that is only $200 coin-in. I switched machines and this one was much more cooperative. I played for a pretty good while on this hundy and caught 4 straights, 4 full houses, and 2 flushes. Those kept me in the game. Before my credit meter went belly-up, I had run close to $1,500 thru this machine. Still, the bottom line was that I had dropped a couple of hundred at the Stage Bar.

    By now I was ravenous and knew I needed to fuel up if I was going to make a late night run here. I had free buffet coupons up in the room but was too lazy to go get them. I just showed the buffet cashier my TR card and had her take the charges out of my account. That is one thing I really like about HET. The Rock Box is very easy with the self comping but it is even easier to just hand the clerk your card and go eat. I go off my low-carb diet whenever I am on a casino trip and I usally want a bunch of vegetable, bread and dessert. This trip I wound up with black-eyed peas, mac & cheese, 2 kinds of corn (OTC and creamed), mashed potatoes, baked beans and wild rice. The only meat I got was a big pile of friend shrimp. (they may be real expensive soon ) For the life of me, I could not find any of my favorite bread (cornbread). Hey, was this actually a Southern buffet? I had to make do with some rolls, a biscuit, and four hush-puppies. (they are sorta bread) Everything was delicious except for the mashed potatos which were only average and the hush-puppies...(too small, which made them very hard). The biscuit had good flavor and texture but was cold. Who knows, it might have gotten cold while I was eating other stuff. Anyway, I did a tremendous amount of eating and thoroughly enjoyed it. In an amazing display of self-control, I avoided the dessert section even though it is usually my favorite area.

    On our last two trips together, the Baboo and I have made such piggies of ourselves at the buffet that we had to go to the room and lie down. Thankfully, I was full but not bloated. It was time to gamble.

    I figured the best way to have a decent chance of winning and still bump my ADT up was to concentrate on blackjack. I found me a nice $25 table that had only one player sitting down at third base. I use a positive betting progression when playing blackjack (yeah, I know that it won't change my long term expectation but it sure does make a night of blackjack more exciting for me) and tonight I would be starting with a $30-$40-$50 progression. Things went pretty well for our table that first hour and a half. I found myself a little over $400 ahead and switched my progression to a $40-$60-$80 ladder. But on this table, that was peanuts. The guy on third base was an Asian guy about my age. He had a good stack when I sat down and had been winning while I was. He had two tall towers of green chips about 8-10 inches high. I estimated that he had over $1,500 in each tower. He bounced his bets up and down with no apparant pattern but just about always kept it between $200 and $400 a hand. When I bumped my bets up, he was starting to build on his third tower. Every dealer that came to the table tried to color up all that green but he was having nothing to do with that. He wanted green and green only. We eventually hit a dry spell as the dealer starting making all sorts of hands and he lost down all the way to about half a tower. Luckily for him, he made a comeback and played with anywhere from one full tower to almost two full towers the rest of the night. Remarkably, he was not the whale of our table. As we moved past the midnight hour, a relatively non-descript (30ish, clean cut) player joined us at the first base spot. He sat down and got out two grand in Franklins and requested all black ($100) chips. He started out betting $200 a hand with occasional random jumps up to $300 or $400. He initially had good fortune and slowly built up his stack until he was getting close to doubling his money. Then the tide turned and that stack started shrinking. As he continued to lose, he quit betting the $200 and started consistently betting the 3 or 4 hundred with an occasional $500 bet thrown out. He eventually busted out. Non-plussed, he reached back into his wallet and got another $2,000. This time he wanted four Barneys (purple $500 chips) to play with. He caught a few hands and actually got within sight of being even. Of course I was hoping he would get even and get the hell home. No such luck. A few losing hands in a row left him chipless again. For the third time, he went to the wallet and brought out $2,000. This time he wanted two yellow bananas. ($ 1,000 chips). He bet them one at a time. He won the first hand and again I was hoping for a run on his part. It didn't happen and within 5 hands, he had lost another two grand. Without a word to either of us at the table or the dealer, he got up and just walked away. I had been at least treading water or maybe winning a little while he burned thru that 6 grand and almost (but only almost ) felt guilty about holding my own while he was getting killed. As he walked away, Mr. Green Chips and I just looked at each other and shrugged. There was nothing for us to say. Knowing that I had to drive home the next day and aware that it was getting late, I cashed out and counted my blessings to be a little ahead after several hours of blackjack. It was less than $300 but after seeing the bloodbath that Mr. First Base had taken, I was darn happy with the outcome.

    I was on my way to the room when I noticed that The Lobby Bar still had a bartender. When questioned, she confirmed that she would be open for another 15 minutes. Hey, here was an opportunity for a nightcap. BTW- I don't drink a tenth of my casino consumption when I am home just in case you have noticed my fascination with beer when on vacation. This friendly and good-looking bartender even informed me that I could get a late night snack if I hurried. When I remarked that I did not want to hold her up, she explained that she was going to have to be here a while cleaning up. I quickly put in an order for potato-skins and a beer. After all, it had only been 4-5 hours since I was as full as a tick when I left the buffet. The appetizer (4 of the skins) hit the spot and I was truly ready for sleepy-time.

    The next day I did express checkout and was on my way home. Today was race day for Smokin' the Sound and there were lots of people out on the beach and in the VIP viewing areas. It looked like they were in for a wonderful day as the weather was great.

    I hope you didn't fall asleep reading this. I know it was real long but I have such a hard time leaving things out.
     
  2. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    4,981
    Location:
    Illinois
    No, I didn't fall asleep. It's nice to get a different perspective with a non-Vegas TR.
    As a BJ player, I enjoyed it, especially the detail on the tourney.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,713
    Location:
    Austin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    67
    Most enjoyable! Thanks for taking the time to entertain us.
     
  4. Gino

    Gino "The King of Inappropriate."

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    612
    Location:
    Tampa, FL.
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23
    The wife and I were going to go to Biloxi and stay at the Beau for the 4th of July...Until the oil spill. We had plans on spending a few days fishing, jet skiing, and at the barrier islands. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that by July 4 that may not be a possibility. Long and short of it, Vegas is a better option for us, if the water/beach activities are going to be ixnayed. Great TR. Tha Hard Rock Biloxi is a real casino, unlike the joke thay have ste up in Tampa - our local "casino."

    Gino
     
  5. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    6,158
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Thanks - I love trip reports from anywhere! I have been spending evenings on Blonde's site going thru the trip reports from places other than Vegas. Keeps me moving, as I love to travel anywhere!
     
  6. RebelDiceMan

    RebelDiceMan High-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    Gino, as of today (June 7), we still haven't had anything hit our beaches. Some tar balls were found out on the South side of the barrier islands but they are miles off shore. That could change but so far we have been lucky in MS. Yeah, I love the proximity of the Beau and the Hard Rock. That is a very short and quick walk for anytime you want a change of scenery. The HR is probably my home casino now but the Baboo (GF) is still more of a Beau person. We can get our fill of both since they are so close to one another.
     
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