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Trip Report July 2-5

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Aaron, Jul 7, 2004.

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  1. Aaron

    Aaron Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Chicago

    My Trip Report

    This is my first trip report and I hope it is enjoyed by all.

    In early May, two of my friends from college and I discussed the possibility of going to Vegas over July 4th weekend. We researched fares and found them to be reasonable, particularly in my case ($175 roundtrip from Chicago). One friend would be coming from Boston (P) and the other from New York (J). They both planned on connecting in Chicago so we could arrive in Vegas together.

    With tickets confirmed, we set about researching hotels. Originally we reserved a rialto suite at the Venetian for $249 a night (3 nights) but after some discussion, thought we would have a better time at the Mandalay Bay. Plus, I have stayed at the Venetian before and wanted to stay somewhere new. My friend, P, from Boston had received and offer from THE Hotel which also included a couple free admission passes to the spa, 10% off a spa treatment, an art of shaving gift, and something else.

    Well, July 2nd finally arrived and after work, I went straight to O'hare. It turned out my friend P had to reroute his flight due to it being delayed significantly in Boston. He was confirmed on a later delta nonstop from Boston to Vegas and would arrive only about an hour later than my J and I. J and I both upgraded to first and took full advantage of the free alcohol. The food wasn't too bad either and I especially enjoyed the ice cream sundae served in real glass bowl.

    Upon arriving in Vegas, J and I took a taxi to THE Hotel (which does have a separate porte cochere if you're wondering) and checked in to our suite.

    I was rightly impressed with our suite. It resembles a nice one bedroom apartment with a separate living room and bedroom. There are two bathrooms. The larger one has a nice flat screen mounted on the wall, two sinks, a large soaking tub and a glass enclosed shower. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

    Our friend P arrived a short time later and we did a little gambling that night but nothing memorable occurred. We did each make a little money and decided to share all our winnings/loosings to minimize risk.

    Saturday we woke up and hit the Bathhouse spa. I must say it is a pretty cool place. The exercise room was good and the locker room was nice and had fruit, juices, and muffins. Also, the spa has exercise clothes for you if you want (white t shirt and gray shorts). They also prvoide flip flops, bathrobe, etc which I'm sure is the norm for spas.

    After the spa we hit the sportsbook and I made a small wager $15 to win $10 on my beloved St Louis Cardinals. We decided to grab a quick bite at the Turf Club deli adjacent to the Sportsbook. The sandwiches were good and we were able to watch some of the baseball games.

    We next decided to walk over to the Luxor where we had heard there were Texas Hold em classes. Even though I know how to play, my friends wanted to learn. As we arrived, several tables were conducting classes. We joined one and after about 15 minutes, it became a 1-2 game. I got pretty much junk cards until I was big blind and was dealt pocket aces. I raised and another ace fell on the flop. I kept betting each round knowing full well I would have plenty of callers at this level. I won the hand and made about $25 or so which was nice. We didn't play much longer and I told myself I would try the 4-8 at the Mandalay later in the trip.

    We decided to head back to the Bay and hit the pool. It wasn't too crowded and we went in the wave pool and rode the waves (if you can call them that) for awhile. Went back to the room, showered and headed to the Mirage for dinner at Renoir.

    Renoir was good. We each had the prix fixe meal which had plenty of choices for appetizer, main course and desset. Fish seemed to dominate the menu and we each had the buttered monkfish which was excellent. For my appetizer I had some crispy langoustines on a bed of mango corn relish which was really good. For dessert I had a chocolate trio whic was a miniature chocolate shake, a chocolate souffle, and dark chocolate raspbery cake. This was also amazing. All in all, a great meal and the artwork wasn't bad either.

    After dinner, we decided to hit the tables. While walking around, P spotted this game called Crazy 4 poker which I had heard about. Basically, you receive 5 cards and can use 4 of them to make your best hand. Before receiving your cards, you can make 3 different bets. One bet pays only if you have a pair of queens or better. Another is a bonus bet that pays for a straight or better, however, on this particular bet, if the dealer doesn't qualify (he/she needs a king high or better I believe) or you beat the dealer, you push on this bet. The other bet is the ante. If you're dealt aces or higher, you can triple your ante. Otherwise you can just match your ante.

    So with this knowledge I sat down and was immediately dealt pocket aces. The dealer qualified and I won $50. I was playing $10 on my bets (table minimum I think). On my next 5 or 6 hands I was dealt great hands from high pair to 2 of a kind to 3 of a kind to a straight. In a short while, I turned my $200 buy in into $800, which was good since J played Caribbean stud at the table next to me and lost his entire $200 buy in.

    After coloring up, we walked over to Caesars where I was looking for these full pay Jacks or better 50 play machines for $0.25 but couldn't find them. I ended up buying a pair of jeans for 50% off in the forum shops and they were nice enough to deliver them the next day to THE hotel for no fee. We decided to head back and take it easy.

    The next morning we hit the spa again. My buddies both got massages but I decided to work out and hit the whirlpool and steam room. We than hit the sporstbook and I collected my winnings from the Cardinals victory and again bet on them to win. Once again they didn't disappoint. We grabbed a bite at the deli again and hit the casino for some blackjack where we each made about $100 or so.

    At about 6pm, we grabbed a taxi over to the Palms where we had dinner reservations at the steakhouse N9NE. Since we were early we hit the casino. We first scoped out some good vp machines and played there. We than decided to up the stakes and play some $50 double deck blackjack. I decided to play on behalf of the 3 of us and bought in for $400. I don't count but do use basic strategy. Well, the people at the table were cool and the cards were hot. After about 30 minutes, the $400 had turned into a grand and we had made more than enough to pay for dinner.

    Dinner was great again. For those that haven't been to N9NE, it's really trendy. My friends and I also saw what looked like an endless parade of models which made for good people watching. We even saw George Maloof hanging out by the bar while we were waiting for a table. I made eye contact with him and nodded and all of a sudden the host appeared and showed us to our table. I think this was just a lucky a coincidence.

    Our waiter, dean, was very knowledgeable and recommended teh 24 oz Bone in ribeye which we each ordered. We split a nice bottle that was mix of merlot and cabernet if I remember correctly that was also good. I had rock shrimp as an appetizer that was breaded and served piping hot in a quasi cone with thai chili dipping and a more mild sauce. No room for dessert this time. The food was outstanding.

    After dinner, we did some more gambling at the Palms and won a liitle more playing blackjack. To say blackjack is a streaky game is a serious understatment. We each sat down at a $10 table with a hundred a piece and J eventually turned his into close to $1100. We were now up about $600 each for the trip. We had some drinks and headed back to THE Hotel.

    Woke up monday morning a little later and requested a late checkout which wasn't a problem. We grabbed breakfast/lunch at Raffles. I had some tex mex chicken salad which was good. At this point we decided to each throw in $300 and play a little $100 blackjack. Well, I gathered our $900 and sat down for a little heads up action against the dealer. The plan was to progressively bet (add $100 for each win and go back to the minimum ($100) after each loss).
    I won the first hand and lost the second. I than lost the next 3 or 4 and was down to either 3 or 4 hundred and decided to play one more hand. Well I won, bet $200 and won again. I bet $300 and won again. I bet $400 and was dealt
    8 2 against the dealer's 8. Well, I took a deep breath and slip another $400 out there to double and was dealt a 2 for less than stellar 12. The dealer flipped over a 4 for 12 and drew the best looking 10 I've ever seen and $800 more came my way. I next bet $500 and won again with 19. We decided to keep it at $500 and lost the next one. I stopped for a moment to evaluate my chips and discovered we had turned our combined $900 into $1800. We decided to cash out at a profit of $300 a person for the session. I still wonder what would have ensued had I continued playing but that was a great win.

    For the rest of the trip, we played a little here and there and blackjack luck turned for the worse and we gave back some of our winnings. We ended up winning about $700 each. It was getting late so we had chinese at Pearl at the MGM which was ok. We split peking duck which I normally really like but it was kind of fatty and there were bones everywhere.

    Since P's flight left earlier in the evening, he left for the airport while J and I wandered over to Coyote Ugly for some drinks. It was ok and there wasn't a cover which was nice. After an hour or so J and I went to get our luggage and took a cab to the airport for our red eyes. and I was back in Chicago before 6am tuesday.

    Random Thoughts:

    I always have fun in Vegas win or loose

    I'm bummed I didn't play more poker but my friends weren't really into it. Next time, I'm playing more

    It wasn't very crowded over 4th of July.

    We completely missed the fireworks display for the 4th. We weren't the only ones
     
  2. Typhinie

    Typhinie Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Great Trip report and Congrats on your winnings! I am considering staying at THEhotel next month. Do you have the option of getting 2 queen beds? I know a lot of suites you can only get one king. It sounds like you had a blast though! [​IMG]
     
  3. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,838
    Location:
    Southeast of Sin City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Hey Tiff--

    LV Dawn had a suite at THEhotel when we were there in March. It came with 2 queens. And the biggest damn tub I've ever seen.

    Mikey
     
  4. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    Messages:
    11,671
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Bitin' my freakin' tongue off here...
     
  5. Typhinie

    Typhinie Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks Mikey!
     
  6. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    3,944
    Location:
    VA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Doc.... you're obviously think like me...lol ~ Dino :cool:
     
  7. Dougie

    Dougie I am IN!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Messages:
    6,360
    Location:
    Idaho
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    Hey Doc and Deano, either way you look at it, you are not far off base!
     
  8. fadedfilms

    fadedfilms Tourist

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    567
    Location:
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    How much did you have to pay a night at The Hotel, if you don't mind me asking?
     
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