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Vegas and Laughlin TR overview

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by dewey089, Aug 13, 2008.

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  1. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    My Trip Report

    "So how did you do?" everyone always asks.
    This is a difficult question to answer, but this time is the first time I have actually taken account of most of my expenses for the trip; I did not take count of tips. I expect I tipped somewhat over $100 this trip, but that is an estimate rather than an exact amount. I also did not count what I bought in stores. That does not seem to be part of a vacation as I spend money shopping at home too. This time I guess I bought about $69 in watches at the Laughlin Riverside Watchman store (4 nice watches) and a few decks of cards for the local poker games. Not much shopping. Too hot.

    I spent 12 days in Vegas, sleeping 11 nights. I decided to figure my average daily expense by using the 11 night figure since one day on each end was cut in half for traveling.

    AIRFARE - This was a free one, earned by the Southwest Rapid Rewards charge card by charging everything possible and paying each month so no interest needed to be paid. There was a $59 a year fee, and a $5 travel fee but I got three free flights this year, so I'll give this trip a $25 expense for air travel or $2.00 a day.

    FOOD - Adding all my expenses for food and drinks (excluding tips) I averaged $3.32 a night. Usually I just eat one buffet a day and snack, but I had so much free food this trip that actually I overate on that amount of money. The "only eat if it is nearly free" diet is usually a way I can do buffets without overdoing, but it did not limit me this trip. Still, I did not gain weight. Go figure.

    HOTEL - My hotel fees averaged just $12 a night. Only two free nights were based on previous play. Those were at the California based on Main Street Station play.

    TRANSPORTATION - My bus ride from the airport could have been a $1.25 expense, but I got the day pass at $2.50. Add in the $109 for the shuttle to Laughlin and back and a $4 river taxi fee and one more bus day pass at $2.50 and you get $10.72 cents a night for transportation.

    GAMBLING LOSSES - In the eleven days I lost $709. This may to some experienced gamblers look like I was lucky in spots or did not gamble very long. I was not lucky. My greatest variance was one VP session in which I dropped $300 and another live 3/6 session in which I lost another $300. Both happened in the same day. The rest of my gambling just about broke even. In fact, if you take off the little bit of slot play I did here and there, I would be even except for those sessions. I gambled probably 80% of my time. Live poker sessions included four all nighters, one ending at 7:30 AM which I had started 14 hours earlier with just one break for a comedy show.

    ENTERTAINMENT - I just did not do much besides gamble, swim, sleep and eat this trip. I spent an hour watching a great jazz band. That was free. I saw a $20 comedy act. So my entertainment expense was under $2 a day.

    So total trip expense without gambling was $28.31 per day.
    Total with gambling losses figured in was $94.76 a day.

    I often have a conversation with non gambling friends who shake their heads at the thought of losing $700 by gambling. I hope this kind of mathematics will convince them that my extravagances are minor compared to their vacations where many will spend $100 on a single meal. Advantage player gambling reduces losses during losing sessions and increases winnings during winning sessions. What is a $700 loss one trip may easily change to a $700 win another because the mathematical mean of my own style of gamblling falls pretty close to break even before comps. And while some of these savings this time are comps or points earned other trips, I also kept up my daily average at Main Street station and seeded the VP at Aquarious and River Palms so that I hope to get some newbie generated free room offers. I walked away from the River Palms poker room with four certificates for free nights good even on weekends. So whatever points I used up this trip from previous gambling may be offset by gambling this trip to establish similar comps next visit.


    NOTE: For more than just a brief overview on this Vegas trip, try my blog
    http://vegasbirthdaybash.blogspot.com/
    and skim for a snippet of interest from these posts: Hotel Overview, Gambling Details, Characters of the El Cortez, Food, Why laughlin?, transportation, hanging art work, Comedy and jazz, meetings with friends
     
  2. PokerrNutt

    PokerrNutt High-Roller

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    Dewey - so glad to see you back - I was wondering about you there....Sorry no big wins, but I'm sure you had a lot of fun still! Now, I'll go read your blog, because I'm dying to hear about your Laughlin experiences!

    Nancy


    Dewey - just tried the link - and it's not working for some reason?????
     
  3. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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  4. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Thanks Dewey. A fine TR as usual. Alomost makes me want to do a side trip to Laughlin.

    later, GVJ
     
  5. PokerrNutt

    PokerrNutt High-Roller

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    Hey Dewey -

    The second link did work - and I got such a kick out of reading your snippets about El Cortez and the characters that hang out there. Some of those players reminded me a lot of the regulars at Binion's - and I'm wondering if they go back and forth between the two places????

    I also liked your Laughlin tales - I'm still trying to figure out the game when everyone goes from Limit to NL in the middle of the hand - that would be so confusing to me.

    I'm really getting excited to get to Laughlin --- 80+ days to go!

    Dewey - don't forget to keep me informed about your Florida travels - I'm really looking forward to playing poker with you!!
     
  6. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Thanks for reading.

    Okay, Pokernutt, we'll keep in touch on Florida and get some table time together. I hope you like Laughlin as much as I did. In some ways it is hard to give up time from places in Vegas where I have enjoyed some history, and meetups are greatly reduced, but with my focus mostly on poker, and my comfort and skill with the spread limit games increasing, that River Palms game in Laughlin is perfect.
    Of course, I know I could go next time and find it totally different. Everything changes so quickly and the changes are rarely good. but I can now play anyone if there is simply one blind and enough free flops to let me play the blind to the flop.

    I think the "over" card game structure will stay. It solves the casino problem of not having enough players for both limit and no limit. So it is very good for the casino. Perhaps when they get enough players with over buttons, they move them to a new no limit. I did not see that happen, but I could see it being part of the plan, but that is not as upsetting of a limit poker game as I have experienced where the 2-4 game is merely a place the no limit guy plays for a bit before getting called for his limit seat.

    I best like stability at tables. I have a great deal of difficulty winning if the players change every little while. By the time I have their game pegged, they are gone.

    And it is a perfect transition to no limit games. In the games I was in, there were aggressive bullies once the no limit rules started, so I never wanted to try, even against the poorer players. The beauty of playing limit first, is that all players strategies are revealed before real money hits the table.

    I did not feel pressure from other players to get a button. I just continued to say that I was retired and my bankroll would not support the no limit game. Also if I though they would believe me, I added that I always lost even at limit, but at least the money lasted a while.
    After that no one wanted me to leave the table, or pushed me beyond a simple invitation. None seemed to express the kind of frustration that I described on the blog with "bad hair day" hatted Princess around my not allowing a kill pot on the Golden Nugget table. Perhaps it is because once two people get "over" buttons, there is always possibility of a no limit game and that may be enough to satisfy them.

    Also, the no limit is surprisingly seductive for poor players. That first time player, a Latino kid, would not listen to me when we were away from the table together, and I advised him that he might better stay with the limit game as the no limit would destroy him. I am sure after his big pure luck win, he will try it again although by the next night, he just visited our table as he was totally broke from some wild gambling somewhere. He has lost the winnings of the early morning.

    I play "no limit" in home games here (I will tonight) with some pretty good players. So I would be up for trying it if the game looked like my home games, or if I began to feel comfortable wtih the patterns of betting. And even my problems with knowing how much to bet would be easily solved simply by watching for an hour to see how much players bet on what cards. Sometimes I will watch a game for a while, but that gets boring too after a while. Finally, playing a bit looser on the limit would break the tight image that always kills pots for me when I try no limit.

    This "over" button game is very entertaining. If you play only the limit, you still get to see a no limit game once you fold. If you are just sizing up the competition to see if you want to join the no limit game, you have a great advantage in both knowing your seat and position and in being entertained by the limit game you are in while you are looking ahead to the no limit game.

    Sometimes I see some of the regulars from the El Cortez at the Golden Nugget. However, most of those folks play at the El Cortez exclusively. It is a very different game and with one blind can be played very tightly. The rake is half the rake of the Golden Nugget. And those regulars know each other and how the others play.

    In a sense they are all waiting for the tourists who are new to the game or confuse it with non limit or other games without the trap on the river. Or they wait for the absolutely terrible players who come along regularly and lose consistently. In another sense, they are a poor person's country club meeting and playing, drinking and smoking, with their club members which often include the dealers as well.
     
  7. mardaho

    mardaho Low-Roller

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    I love the breakdown of cash per day
    that should put some hoity toity vacationers in there place
    I figure a vacation is a vacation whether you choose to spend it
    in Vegas, at a beach, golfing, or going to museums you are still
    spending vacation money :poke:
    I think I'll use this breakdown on my next trip
    Thanks
     
  8. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Thanks, folks, for the appreciative reads. Good luck in every gamble.
     
  9. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    another great report dewey - thanks. I love the detail you go into - some of the stuff in there I may even remember and use when I go next..
     
  10. bluestreak

    bluestreak Tourist

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    A Fine TR

    I encourage everyone to go read Dewey's blog for information and entertainment.

    Vegas- I always like downtown/Boyd stories. So they gave you the old $5 vouchers for food. I thought they went to coupon books? So what was the bremeister's special at MSS? Is the new universal Boyd card going to screw with us downtowners?

    Laughlin-

    Pools, the kids have started to go back to school already out West. You should have them kid free after Labor Day. Did you peak at any of the others? Isn't there adult only hours?

    Rooms- sounds like you were in the old south three story section at RP. Aquarius, they still were trying to upgrade you over the phone? I did not get any hardsell for my coupon booking for July 28-29. They put me in room #1750 in the family tower, a remodeled room. I could do without the kids on the elevator rides. The remodel definitely was better. But it still is the same tub,sink, miirors and commode in the bathroom. They put in MSS style curved shower rods and one foot square tile. The new bed was Sealy-firm with the triple sheeted/five pillow/ comforter deal. I bet you still had the old/heavy bedspread and accompanying 20 year old furniture. My TV was a flat screen, but still had limited fuzzy selection of channels.

    RP food-

    You didn't mention the half off buffet coupon for 100 points, just the coffee shop deal. That self serve deal drink is new since my last November breakfast visit. Did they throw in your coffee shop drink? Is the buffet still the only overnight food instead of the coffee shop?

    RP comps/promos- you earn banked .2% cb and .1% comps. But the kiosk driven coupons are a low rollers friend. That is a fine deal for rooms in the poker room. They used to do a similiar deal for BJ. Any suited (in black) $5 BJ got you a free night, but it was only good for 30 days.

    They have been doing a kiosk daily promo for awhile now, 250 points ($1,250 coin-in on VP) let you swipe. Usually the worst you can do is $2. They have logo item days too. They also do a Club55 deal on Wednesdays, free tourney for seniors.

    Across Casino Drive- you ventured over to In and Out, did you stick your head into the Trop Express to check it out? My visit last trip they were waiting to do live music until 4pm, probably a Summer change. TE was doing a fine promo, letting you clean out your comp account converting it to cash until Sept 30th. I know I have lost comps over there with that silly 13 month use it or lose it rule (like AQ).

    VP- 10/7 DB can suck down a bankroll. Did you see the fine JB9/6-90 game in those Optimums at AQ? At RP there still are FPDW.

    Rumors- the worst news I have heard in awhile is the Boiler Room is going to be outsourced in CB. So no more smoke-free VP/homebrew/good service/food play. CB and Marnell-Sher just lost at least 4 hours of quarter play per trip from me.

    Thanks for taking the time to write that detailed report.

    Bluestreak
     
  11. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    hey, Bluestreak. Thanks for so much Laughlin information before the trip. I really did not expect to end up at RP but the free weekend rooms drew me in and now I am really addicted to that place. I expect my next VEgas trip will be mostly River Palms.

    Did I use a coupon after 100pts for half buffet? I can't remember. It seems to me I had some comps somehow.

    i did not venture into the Trop. One new casino at a time per trip is my motto. As one comp fades I seed another. However, I do have a Trop card from other times so I don't think I am a newby very many places.

    10/7 is my game. I have spent so much time learning perfect strategy that my play is very good and I get confused when I go back to JOB. It is volatile but has a higher EV than JOB as long as you learn some of that counter intuitive strategy. I got it and what I ain't got I look up on my Tomski's strategy sheets.

    However, VP in general is just a way to pass a bit of time in the mornings and it was my source of free rooms. Now that I have found the RP, the only casino in the world that gives free rooms for poker play, I have died and gone to heaven. I will play a lot less VP except at Main Street Station and Four Queens.

    I drank only one beer for 75 cents on Thursday. I am ashamed of myself. I can't remember which one. A dark one. Very good. Time just went too quickly. Sorry the management is changing as I really liked that place,

    Free food at the Belle was pretty nice too. That was the night that I ate at IN-N-OUT. Their burritos were a lot better than the hamburger for lunch and they were free.

    El Cortez for 4 hours of play gives $5 comp every other day. I use mine at Careless Kitty's for prime rib or matza ball soup. If i don't have one I go across the street to Mexican Cuban Mamacita's and their food is great, but I did not make it there this trip either. 12 days is just not long enough even to touch bases once.

    Aquarius hard sold all the free nights. I knew that was coming. The girl was hilarious. I said, "I only need a bed" and she said, "Well, they have those in the newly renovated rooms, I promise." I was laughing so hard I had a tough time saying no.

    I sure noticed the differnece playing poker at our NY Turning Stone today. I had to bring my own Myer's rum in a flask and tip it inot my coke under the cameras. No alcohol sold there but they do have, Don't ask, Don't tell and anything below the cameras eye is fine.

    I had a dream no limit hand. Pocket kings with a king on the flop and pocket aces betting in to me. Sweet win. Played some 2-4 and caught four jacks again with people betting in to me the whole way. When I showed I asked the dealer where my free room was. Imagine. Poker rate at a motel down the road (free shuttle) is $59 a night.

    Tomorrow I take off for Michigan and expect to get at least one night at the dealerless machines at Four Winds. So good luck all, I won't be on board much for a few weeks.

    Thanks again for the interest and the information. Glad you liked the Blog. If you skipped by the El Cortez character post and the old one that is linked in that post, give it some time as that is my favorite writing this year.
     
  12. DebB

    DebB Low-Roller

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    Where was the free jazz, Dewey? You said you listened to it while
    sitting at a slot machine on the way back from the Colorado Belle.
    So was it @ the Belle or where you stayed at River Palms, or someplace
    in between?

    Really enjoy your postings and blog. Thanks.
     
  13. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    The free jazz was just inside an entrance of the Colorado Belle. Most people listening had to be walking by and just pausing to hear a song or two. I tried to connect with the name of the group but there were two groups in advertisements for the Belle and both had very similar names. I do know that the new sax/clarinet player was named Dave.
     
  14. VPmiracle

    VPmiracle Tourist

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    I loved your trip report on your blog and the insight into the players you encountered was
    so entertaining to read. The lady at the Golden Nugget would probably intimidate me. I didn't understand the young latin college guy ending up in no limit when you were at limit or whatever, maybe that was some kind of a kill thing?

    All in all, a terrific read. I can't stay that long, I play too much VP and I end up bumping up in denomination and triple play, then five play and it gets out of control.

    Your a study in how to approach this stuff. Good stuff.
     
  15. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Games at the River Palms have an interesting twist. You join a 2-4 limit or a 2-6 spread limit when no limit is not offered and you can request an "over" button. This means that in any hand once the folks without over buttons have folded, the game morphs into a no limit game.

    Off to the side I tried to discourgage the young Latino from taking a button because he was brand new tot he game, but he told me, " I might be green, but I am not stupid."

    Of course, he proved both stupid and lucky in the end.

    I stayed plahying under the limit rules but I love this abberation:

    First, it kept the low limit games a bit tighter.
    Second, it let me watch my opponents for a couple hours so I could decide to play no limit against them or not.
    Third, especially when I was the last one without an over button, it meant that when I folded the game was much more interesting to watch.

    Unlike that woman at the Nuggest who kept whining through her bad hair day hat about my not being willing to play with a kill, all the players at Laughlin just accepted my explanation that I was retired and did not have the bankroll for no limit. they did not pressure me more than an occasional invitation.

    Glad you liked my TR. thanks for the comment.
     
  16. DebB

    DebB Low-Roller

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