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Tropicana Trip Report (9/26-10/2)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by cruiser, Oct 4, 2002.

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  1. cruiser

    cruiser High-Roller

    Joined:
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    My Trip Report

    Brenda and I returned from 6 days/nights in Las Vegas Wednesday afternoon staying at the Tropicana 9/26-10/2. This was our second trip to Vegas this year and we had a pretty good time. We probably would have considered it a great trip except for the last day which I'll get to further down in the report. Beware - this will be a rather long report.

    As a result of the gambling we did on our earlier 6 day/night trip to the Tropicana back in May/2002, our host comped us up front for room and food for the entire 6 days/nights and this included an entry into their 'Days of Wine & Roses Slot Tournament'. This is their top Slot Tournament of the year. Details of this tournament will be included in this trip report.

    Day 1 (Thursday):
    We're up at 4:30am to leave the house by 5:15am. Trip officially begins at 6:17am when I find a chocolate donut for Wifey. Arrive in Las Vegas at 8:15am. Grab a shuttle bus and get to the Tropicana by 9am. Dropped luggage off at the Bell Cap area between the curb and the front entrance. Tipped these guys $5 for three bags.

    Went directly to the 'Winners Club Gold' check-in desk and was directed to VIP Services just around the corner. Our room is still occupied so we're given a comp to their 24 hour restaurant, Calypsos and told to check back after 12 noon. Decided to walk around a bit before we eat or gamble. We found where the chickens play tic-tac-toe but they don't accept challenges before 10am. Wifey and I verify that her FPDW (full pay deuces wild) machines are still in the same locations. Called our host to let her know we arrived and to see when we could meet. Today is a hectic day as 1000+ people are coming in for the Tournament. We decide that today is not a good day to get together. We'll be in touch.

    Okay, we decide to gamble for a couple hours before we eat. After two hours of blackjack, I'm up $1300 and Wifey is down slightly with her video poker. About 12:30pm we check back with VIP Services and our room is vacant but not yet cleaned. We head over to Calypsos for lunch. Wifey has a salad and I had a chicken sandwich. Not great, but it was okay.

    Since it's after 10am, we head over to challenge the chicken in tic-tac-toe. Of course, we each lose. I don't plan to try this again. We gamble another hour or so and I'm up $1500 more in blackjack and Brenda is up $80 in video poker.

    Room is now ready so we check into the Paradise tower, 4th floor. One thing strange up to this point is that when I parked the car at the Austin airport, it was in row C16. When we landed, we came in at gate C16. Our room back in May was 1620. Room we just checked into is 416. What's the deal with all these 16's???? Could this be an omen that I'm going to get my butt kicked at the blackjack tables??? We call down to have our bags brought up and get unpacked and settled in to our home away from home. It looked like the room didn't have a small refrigerator or safe but it was my mistake. They moved them into the closet.

    Here's the schedule of events for the 'Days of Wine & Roses Slot Tournament':

    Thursday, (9/26):
    Registration: 3pm - 7:30pm, South Pacific Ballroom, Island Tower
    Welcome Dinner: 5:30pm - 7:30pm, South Pacific Ballroom, Island Tower

    Friday, (9/27):
    Breakfast: 7:30am - 11:00am, Tiffany Showroom
    Late Registration: 8:00am - 10:00am, Tournament Area, Near Harbor Bar
    Rounds I & II: 8:30am - 4:30pm, Tournament Area, Near Harbor Bar

    Saturday (9/28):
    Breakfast: 7:30am - 11:00am, Tiffany Showroom
    Rounds III & IV: 8:30am - 4:30pm, Tournament Area, Near Harbor Bar
    Awards Dinner: 6:30pm - 8:00pm, South Pacific Ballroom, Island Tower

    There are lots of rules but here's the basics - you must play all four 15 minute rounds in order to qualify for prizes. They will drop the lowest score and tally the remaining three for your final score. I counted 85 machines that were used in this tournament.

    We head down to registration and sign up for our four sessions. Although both of us could alternate on who plays each session, we decide this is Wifey's tournament. She picks her sessions for both days and picks up $25 cash and two very nice gifts - a small red suitcase and a day planner. We decide to take the suitcase for a walk down to Walgreens and pick up some diet 7-Up and a couple 6 paks of water. Load up the room refrigerator with the drinks. Since the entry into the tournament includes dinner tonight and Saturday night, we make dinner reservations for Friday evening at Savanna's Steakhouse and Sunday evening at Pietro's. Time to review the tournament rules before heading down for welcome dinner.

    The welcome dinner was in the South Pacific Ballroom in the Island Tower. It was a buffer style dinner and the food was great. Just don't ask me what they served. And of course the desserts were fantastic, especially those little cream puffs. After dinner, we head out to gamble a bit more. Lot's of Bailey's on the Rocks this evening. I stand around for a good 30 minutes or so waiting for position 1 or 7 (third base) to open up. Finally sit and get punched in at 7:20pm. By 9:30pm, I realize I'm dehydrated - damn! Wait for next shuffle and head up to room to grab some water. Alarm clock is going off - must have been set by prior room occupants. Grabbed the water (should have grabbed two) and back to the blackjack table. Wifey decides to call it a night at 10pm while I play till around 12:30am. This session, I'm up $3700. Cash in chips and head back to room.

    Day 1 Gambling Summary:
    Blackjack - up $6510
    Video Poker - down $136

    Day 2 (Friday):
    Wake up at 5am to find Wifey quietly getting ready to start her day. Since I got back late, she didn't want to wake me too early. She's out the door at 5:30am and I can't get back to sleep so I get up and I'm out the door by 6:30am to find Wifey and play a little blackjack. Did I mention the wine/cheese/fruit basket that showed up in our room sometime Friday evening? I play blackjack for an hour and I'm even for this session. We have the buffet breakfast in the Tiffany Showroom. Made to order omlettes were excellent. Gamble a bit more before Brenda's first session of the tournament. I'm up another $450 in blackjack.

    First session of tournament for us (10am) has arrived. About 15 minutes prior to each session, you pick your machine and get a small gift. It was a little semi-soft ball that you can use to hit the spin button on the slot machines. Wifey plays her round and I'm right there rooting for her. She gets between 12000 and 13000 points. This is not a great score. Her next session doesn't start till 2:30 this afternoon.

    Play another 3 hours of blackjack and I'm down $2000 this session. Time for Round II of the Tournament. After picking her machine, Brenda receives a small gift of chocolate and candy. Again, Wifey ends with between 12000 and 13000 points. Play an hour of black (down another $350) and head back to room to get ready for dinner at Savanna's Steakhouse. Wifey orders the Filet Mignon and Lobster Tail and I order the Dungeness Crab Bisque and Twin Lobster Tails. Excellent dinner. We charged the dinner to the room. In fact, all our food not offered as part of the Tournament package was charged to the room. Played another 4 hours of so of blackjack and lost another $500.

    Day 2 Gambling Summary:
    Blackjack - down $2400 for the day, up $4110 for the trip
    Video Poker - down $94 for the day, down $230 for the trip

    Day 3 (Saturday):
    We're both out of the room before 6am to gamble a bit before breakfast. After 2.5 hours of blackjack, I'm up $2100. Wifey is down a bit at her video poker (FPDW) machines. Time for Round III of Tournament play. When Brenda picks her machine, she received another small gift of chocolates and candy. Brenda hits between 12000 and 13000 for Round III. After the first two rounds of Tournament play, scores were posted Saturday evening. There are roughly 605 entries in this tournament and Brenda is sitting at 305th place after the first two rounds.

    Here's the prize structure:
    1st Place $30,000
    2nd Place $10,000
    3rd Place $5,000
    4th Place $2,000
    5th Place $1,000
    6th - 25th $300
    26th - 75th $100
    76th - 250th $25

    Get in a couple more hours of gambling before last round of the tournament. I drop about $3000 in blackjack while Wifey hits a Royal Flush ($1000) on her Deuces Wild machine. She also hits 4 dueces twice.

    Round IV of the Tournament and again Brenda hits between 12000 and 13000 points. She's no where near the cash prize cut off of 250th place. That's okay - this is our first real tournament we've entered if you don't include tournaments aboard cruise ships (they don't compare).

    Gamble a couple more hours before the Awards Dinner. I'm down another $700 in blackjack. As we entered the Ballroom, all the ladies received a single red rose. I was wondering if we'd finally meet our host and we did. I was checking name tags for hosts and found ours. We introduced ourselves and since out host was off on Sundays and Mondays, and we were leaving on Wednesday, we would call our host on Tuesday.

    Dinner was nice but the food didn't compare to Savanna's Steakhouse. Here, we had Filet Mignon and Lobster Tail but it wasn't anywhere near as good as Savanna's. But then again, they were feeding over 1000 people tonight. Gamble a bit more after dinner before calling it a night. Oh yeah, while I was playing after dinner, I was sitting in position 1 and as I looked to my right I noticed a yellow post-it on top of a pencil sharpener. You might think that's no big deal except my name was on it. I asked one of the supervisors what it meant and she said she didn't know and walked away. I did find the guy who put it there and he said not to worry, it was just a reminder to him of all the money I was losing that day. Wonderful! Later that night someone opens a door inside the pit area and I see a clipboard hanging there. Now there are two entries on this clipboard and guess who's name is listed there twice. MINE!!! Maybe I'm just getting paranoid. I need some sleep.

    Day 3 Gambling Summary:
    Blackjack - down $3018 for the day, up $1092 for the trip
    Video Poker - up $1020 for the day, up $790 for the trip

    Day 4 (Sunday):
    Today I only gambled about 4 hours and dropped about $2100 at blackjack. Time to take a break from gambling. These last three days I'm getting my butt kicked at the blackjack table. We decide we're going to take in the comedy show at the Tropicana. We already made dinner reservations for Pietro's at 6pm so we got a couple tickets to the early (8pm) comedy show at the Comedy Stop. Brenda had a Pasta dish and I had the Lobster Bisque followed by Twin Lobster Tails. Dinner was very good but not as good as Savanna's. After dinner, I laid down for a bit before the comedy show. The show was great and I called it a night afterwards. Wifey went to play some video poker. Sometime during the day, Wifey hit 4 Deuces.

    Day 4 Gambling Summary:
    Blackjack - down $2100 for the day, down $1008 for the trip
    Video Poker - up $132 for the day, up $922 for the trip

    Day 5 (Monday):
    In the early morning, a 4.5 hour session at blackjack nets me $1610. Wifey hits 4 deuces twice today. We decide to have lunch at Calypsos today. This morning when I got up, I noticed that my left ankle was a bit sore. I didn't remember hitting it the night before. By the time lunch rolls around, the ankle is really getting sore, and I'm walking much slower because of it. After lunch, I hit the blackjack tables and drop $1300 after another 4.5 hour session. Time for dinner at Savanna's. Did I mention we love Savanna's? Brenda has the Filet Mignon and I start with the Dungeness Crab Bisque soup followed by their Capellini-Angel Hair Basilico.

    After dinner, we decide to see the comedy show again. Since it's Monday, they'll be a new group of comedians to start the week. My left ankle is really hurting but I decide not to worry too much about it until we get back to Austin on Wednesday. Wifey takes a walk to Walgreens and picks me up a walking cane. It's the kind with a base having four short legs. I opt not to use it unless my ankle gets really bad. We have a cocktail before the show in the Celebration Lounge. We head over to the Comedy Stop for tonight's show. I tip again before we're seated and once again we are given pretty good seats. The show was great but my ankle was getting very uncomfortable. At this point, we're still assuming it's just a bad sprain. Back to the blackjack table. By the time I finally called it a night at 2:30 in the morning, I was up $700 for this 5+ hour seesion.

    Day 5 Gambling Summary:
    Blackjack - up $1010 for the day, even for the trip
    Video Poker - up $16 for the day, up $938 for the trip

    Day 6 (Tuesday):
    I had gotten back to the room at 2:30am and could barely walk. Ankle is very sore and swollen. A little after 5am (I couldn't sleep), Wifey called down for a wheelchair and a cab. Time to go to the ER at Desert Springs to get the ankle checked out. Waited several hours in the waiting room before they brought me in. When one of the nurses saw my foot the first thing that she thought it could be is gout. Not sure at that point if that was good or bad. The nurse asked if I had recently eaten seafood. Well, I just had lobster tail three nights in a row, throw in a couple bowls of dungeness crab bisque, a bowl of lobster bisque, and toss in a half dozen or so shrimp and yeah, I'd say I ate some seafood recently.

    Finally, I see the Doctor and he saids it could be gout. He ordered x-rays and blood tests. Damn, I hate needles... They took out this big f'en needle and stuck it in my butt, then proceeded to draw 4 vials of blood from my left arm. I remember my Wife telling me they were done and I suddenly felt very warm and told her so. The next thing I remember is seeing a couple Doctors standing over me asking me my name and if I know where I am. Apparently, there's a minute or two that I don't remember leading up to my convulsing a few times before passing out. I found out later that Brenda screamed for someone to help and then she just got the heck out of the way. She said they called for a crash cart but they were able to wake me before needing to paddle me. Scared the sh*t out of Wifey. They hooked me up to lots of electronic gear for the next 30 minutes or so before wheeling me out to x-ray the ankle. A couple hours later the Doctor reviewed the test results and confirms it's gout. He gave me some pills for the gout and some pain killers (great stuff) for the pain and sent us on our way. We were in the Desert Springs Hospital almost 6 hours on the last day of our stay in Vegas.

    We take a cab back to the Tropicana and I get cleaned up while Brenda walks to Walgreens to fill the prescriptions. She's back and we head down to the casino. The correct thing for me to do would be to go to bed since the pain killers would at least let me sleep. But no, I decide to gamble a bit more. First, we head over to VIP services to see about getting me a motorized cart. The guy at the desk contacted our host who then spoke to my Wife, Brenda. Our host will pick up the cost of the motorized cart and will meet us at VIP Services at 8am the next morning (Wednesday). Our host also arranged for a limo to take us to the airport at 8:30am. Cool! While waiting for my wheels, I make myself a tall Bailey's on the Rocks. I guess maybe I shouldn't have since I was taking pain killers but that didn't occur to me at the time.

    I play blackjack for a couple hours and I drop $1500. Now, I go back to the room and lay down before dinner. Our last night is back to Savanna's Steakhouse for dinner where we both order Steak. It was excellent. After dinner, I packed since Brenda had packed up earlier. Just as I finish packing, Brenda comes up to the room. Her machines just won't give her any money back. We both head down for our last bit of gambling this trip. Brenda plays about an hour and calls it a night. I stay up another couple hours and drop another $1700 at the blackjack table.

    Day 6 Gambling Summary:
    Blackjack - down $3200 for the day, down $3200 for the trip
    Video Poker - down $355 for the day, up $583 for the trip

    Overall, we are down (gamble-wise) this trip $2617 but we were up $3744 on our last 6 day/night trip back in May/2002. So for two trips this year (total of 12 days/nights), we are up (gamble-wise) $1127.

    Day 7 (Wednesday):
    Call down at 7:30am to have our bags picked up. Still have a few minutes before meeting with our host so I head over to the promotions desk to get the totals on our playing time.

    Blackjack: 3139 minutes (52 hours, 19 minutes)
    Video Poker: 3038 minutes (50 hours, 38 minutes)

    Met our host at VIP Services. Our host took care of everything. Room, food, drinks, motorized cart for a day, limo to airpoirt, two comedy shows (that all we saw), and even picked up our airfare. The only thing we had to pay for in Vegas (other than gambling) were tips.

    Limo is here - I ride the motorized cart to the Limo (my host gets to ride it back inside). It's a short ride to the airport but still very nice. Grab a wheel chair at curb side while Wifey checks the bags curbside. And away we go... Southwest has someone to take me to the gate. Security wasn't too bad until this guy tried to pat down my swollen ankle twice. I guess the first time I said don't do that he thought I was kidding. Finally, he got it. When we landed, they had a wheel chair waiting for me and again a Southwest person brought me over to baggage claim so Brenda could gather up our bags. I was pushed outside and sat on a ledge wait Wifey went to get Sparky. Stopped on the way home at Wendy's and finally home sweet home.

    Thursday morning I met with my regular doctor who decided to give me something stronger to get the swelling down on my ankle. I go back to my Doctor on Tuesday and he will probably want some of my blood. Did I mention that I hate needles...
     
  2. MadBiochm

    MadBiochm Tourist

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    My sympathies regarding your diagnosis of gout. I suffer from this as well (inherited it from my father's side) and will be on allopurinol for the rest of my life. Ain't that first attack a doozy? Like you, I initially thought it was just a sprain, but couldn't figure out how I could have hurt myself (I got it in the classic place, the big toe), and also like you, it happened while on vacation. I had to go to the hospital at my vacation destination too, but they misdiagnosed me (tendonitis? yeah right) and I had to suffer for several more days before getting home and having my family MD take care of it. I hope that attack was your last!
     
  3. maxpiette

    maxpiette Tourist

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    Cruiser... what kind of money do you play at the BJ tables...
    These numbers seem to add up very fast...

    Great report!!
     
  4. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Wow! I had my first gout attack in Las Vegas as well.............could it be the food? I limped around for a few days thinking I may have wacked my big toe in my sleep or something.

    It wasn't until a second attack later in the year that it was diagonosed, tested and eventually went onto allopurrin for life. Haven't had an episode since I started with the pills though. I missed the big needle in the butt though, fortunately! Hope you are ok now!

    Jim
     
  5. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

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    Glad to hear that you enjoy the Tropicana. I sure hope your ankle is better and you are feeling better too.

    I'm so glad that other people get to see their hostess at the Trop. When I was there in April 2002 (my first time also) we NEVER saw our host. We tried but never saw him and he never contacted us either. I'm not a heavy duty gambler but I do my fair share and my husband did too. We do not gamble at the tables, only the slots. Maybe that is why we don't get noticed. I've been reading these trip reports since I came back. I notice that people get comped when they play the tables more than the slots. :rolleyes: Personally I feel our slot play is just as important as table play. Oh well, it will be a number of years before we get back to Vegas, LOL.

    Again I hope that you are better and that was a good trip report.
     
  6. cruiser

    cruiser High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Maxpiette,

    My bets in blackjack ranged from $50 - $150 with very few bets being over $100. In the end, they had me down for 52+ hours over six days/nights and an average bet of $91. My total playing time was within two minutes of my playing time back in May when My Wife and I spent six days/nights at the Tropicana but my average bet was a bit less. My Wife also had 50+ hours of video poker at max coin ($1.25) per spin. She loves deuces wild a heck of a lot more than playing slots.

    Jim,

    It must have been the food. We think it was all the fish I had the few days before. My ankle is much improved today and I see my doctor again in the morning. I think he'll want to take blood to determine if I need to take another pill for the rest of my life. I'm already taking Lipitor for my high tryglycerides.
     
  7. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I also take my daily lipitor as well as a low dose aspirin and a garlic tablet. I asked my doc about the garlic since someone told me yu shouldn't take it with the cholestorol meds. He said that that wasn't a problem and while there was absolutely no evidence that garlic really did anything for you, there was no evidence that it hurt yu at all either. So, although I hate pills and avoid vitamin pills and all other supplements I do take my garlic pill everyday and seem to not be bothered by many colds or other minor stuff even though I work with the public. Maybe it helps and maybe it doesn't but I have done better since I started taking them and they are certainly cheap enough.
    Good luck with the blood test. As we age we get to be pin cushions and pill repositories it seems.

    Jim
     
  8. cruiser

    cruiser High-Roller

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    Doctor's appt. this morning went well. I'm back to walking without a cane. Took more blood and should have the results by the end of the week. My guess is that I won't have to take a pill to keep down the level of uric acid in my system but I'll know better by Friday. Even if I don't have to take medication now to prevent gout, I may have to if I have another attack. Apparently, I overdosed on protein. Inactivity (sitting at the blackjack tables) and alcohol were probably contributing factors.

    On a happier note, Wifey and I are heading back to the Tropicana for 4 days/nights the first weekend in November. This will be my first time playing in a blackjack tournament in Las Vegas.

    Only 24 more days!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  9. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Stay away from the seafood on your next trip!! Hope you do well in the tournament!
     
  10. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

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    Glad that you are better. Good luck in the BJ tournament in November.
     
  11. Flipster777

    Flipster777 Tourist

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    Cruiser, I've love reading your trip reports about you and "wifey", and your win/loss stats! ha ha! Wish I had that much organization of my $$$ while in Vegas!! [​IMG] Sorry to hear about the ER trip tho.. glad you are feeling better :D
    Good luck in that BJ tournament.. and win it... but not all! We will be in Vegas in Dec!! [​IMG]
     
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