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Vegas on $200 or less

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by rugbysteve, Apr 6, 2011.

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  1. rugbysteve

    rugbysteve Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    My Trip to Vegas with a $200 bankroll

    Hello fellow T2V people. I have been coming to this board for years and it is always a great place to get Vegas information and share stories. I used to be a frequent contributer many years ago... but my two small girls have slowed down my Vegas ways. Anyways, I thought I would share my recent trip with you.

    My name is Steve and I’m a Vegasaholic .... (everyone: Hi Steve). I’m 42 years old and I have been addicted to Vegas since I was 19. This was my 40th trip.

    Our story begins when my older brother calls up and says he has to hit Vegas for a conference and has a room at Bally’s, and he wanted to know if I could join in the fun. Our other brother Mike had already committed to join the fray. Well, I figured out a way to make it work. We were all arriving on Wednesday March 23rd from various parts of the country. Older brother Jim arrived early in the am and attended his conference for the day. I arrived about 9pm and discovered my brother Mike and his wife had been delayed and would not land until 11pm. I decided not to wait for Mike and jumped a cab to Bally’s .. no tunnel please. $14.50 plus tip.. ohh just keep the $20. Ok, my $200 bankroll is now at $180. Don’t worry, I have my trustee ATM card (that machine is always paying out in Vegas)... But I’m gonna see how much fun I can have on $200 Bucks.

    I grab a beer and head up to the room, My brother is already in bed.. claiming some lameness about an early morning the next day.. Ok, whatever.. drop the bag and head out. I immediately walk up to Casino Royal to get a couple of $1 michelobs, but first I spin the gimmicky slot machine out front for the guaranteed 2 for 1 on the beer voucher so that every two beers is $1 plus a dollar tip.

    I drink a few and just kinda wonder around soaking in the vegas vibe and start to enjoy my Wednesday night. My brother Mike calls and he has finally arrived, but he is staying at The El Cortez and is gonna head there with his wife Alissa for the night. Ok, no worries.. I can find some fun... I buy into the casino royal $3 craps table for a mighty $60 bucks. I quickly turn that $60 into three absolutely free captain and cokes. Ouch, that kinda hurt. I finish my captain and coke and grab another 2 michelobs and start wondering back towards Bally’s.

    I like to play poker and I play a bit online, so of course I think I am a decent player. Although, I will say that everyone thinks they are good at poker.... and sex. I check a few poker rooms and most have a $1-$2 no-limit game going. I jump into this game at O’Shea’s. This drunken $1-$2 game is classic. People are whipping money around like they are playing $100/hand blackjack. I decide to buy in for $80 and hunker down and wait.... it only costs $3 every time around and I am enjoying the scenery, as the tables are right up in the front of the casino in the center of the action. I immediately make friends with my waitress and inform her that I would like a capt’n and coke every trip out and tip her $3 to let her know I am a man of integrity. She brings them to me swiftly, as i continue to get bought out of all my poker hands. These people would make a $20 raise with $5 in the pot like every hand. It’s entertaining, but i’m not seeing the river much. Anyway, I finally get pocket aces, I am just left of the button, so I limp in for $2 and by the time it gets back to me... four people are all in, I am too... with my entire $38. My aces hold up and I win a nice stack of about $200 chips.

    Two hands later I am the big blind with ace, queen. It comes to me raised to $10, I raise it back up to $20 and get one caller, the kid who I just cleaned out to my left had re bought back in for another $100. The flop comes queen, 6, 7. I bet $20, he goes all in.. I call. He turns over Queen, 6 for two pair.... Damm, I called that kinda quick I guess... 4th street is a 2, and the river brings another 7 pairing the board and making my ace kicker the winning hand. So, I cleaned the kid out again, in less than 5 minutes. I told him that if he wanted to punch me in the face I would understand. He pulled another $100 from his pocket...and the game continued. Eventually I got up to pee and realized I was knackered, so I got a rack and cashed in $300 in chips... less my $80 buy in, that was a nice $220 profit.

    The next morning, I went downstairs to get some food, I had not eaten since yesterday afternoon. While deciding where to eat, a girl asked if I wanted to watch a tv pilot and answer some questions about it.. it would take an hour total and they would give me $15 cash. Ok, I did it... the Pilot was actually pretty entertaining. I took my $15 â€winnings†and treated myself to the Paris breakfast Buffet $15.99. I like a breakfast buffet because you can get coffee and juice and more juice and milk after a hard nights drinking. Well, of course I ate way to much food... the Paris buffet is very good.

    Ok, time to start drinking again, I wonder back up to Casino Royal for the $1 michelobs... I meet up with my brother MIke and his wife there. We grab some drinks and then catch up with our other brother Jim. We play some switch Blackjack at casino royal. I like this game, you can play for awhile because you can usually switch to at least one winning hand. I eventually cash out up $20.

    We walk over to the Venetian so Jim could get the free $25 in slot play with the ACG voucher. Jim hits em for $60. Mike and I have already gotten the free money and they denied us. We also watch the Uconn game here and each hit our basketball bets for the day +86 for me.

    We decide to walk to Ellis Island to get the Steak Dinners (a great $7.99 steak dinner with salad and a beer). It’s good as always, we also each had the ACG voucher for 4 free drinks each. So, we are feeling fine. They also give you $10 free in the slots, but you have to come back to collect them the next day.

    After Dinner Jim and I hit Bills Place for some craps and blackjack. Mike and his wife head back to Fremont Street. I lose $60 at craps and buy into the BJ for $40 at a $5 table. I just can’t seem to win a hand.. I have exhausted all my luck. At one point a guy to our left bets all his remaining chips ($120).. he gets an eleven and the dealer has a 6. He wants to double down, but does not have any cash and asks if he can go to an ATM... the dealer says no.. My brother says he will bet the $120 on the double down and keep the money if he hits... ok, well, you know how this is gonna go... the dealer pulls a 5 card 21 and beats their 19. Ouch.. we stumbled back to Bally’s about 4am.

    We wake up, check out and check our bags at Bally’s (we are moving to the Las Vegas Club in old downtown for the night). As Jim’s company was no longer paying for the room, and they are much more expensive on the weekend of the sweet 16 basketball tournament. Plus, I love spending a night in old vegas. We walk back to Ellis Island for breakfast, with a 2 for 1 from ACG the total is $7.95. We each get our free $10 in slot play.. I lose it all, but I do redeem another 4 free drink voucher.. so we are getting the morning started anyway.

    Next we wander across the street to the Tuscany for a Free $5 and a $5 free-play .. none of this went our way. We then walk to Terribles and then to the Hard Rock for their free play offers. Now, as you can tell.. I love to get all the free plays and cheap drinks.. thats part of the fun of vegas to me.. so i will stumble about anywhere for some free play or matchplay or even just cheap booze. Anyway, at the Hard Rock it’s happy hour at the Pink Taco and they have $1 margarita’s and $1 Taco’s. Well, we dropped a quick $10 there.. (3 Margarita’s and two taco’s each for those of you keeping score at home). Jim loses another matchplay and recovers it from the slot free-play and we head back to Ballys.

    We jump on the Deuce with our luggage and get to Fremont Street. We check in at the Las Vegas Club and meet up with Mike and Alissa at the El Cortez. Of course we each get the free $10 in slot play and sit at the bar in the El. This is a great place to sit and have a few drinks... they comp you drinks wicked easy.. the way it should be.. with a minimal amount of video poker play. We drink, share stories and get fully lubed up for our night in old vegas.

    We walk around and play the free-plays and whatnot. Jim and Mike did the zip-line down Fremont Street.. There is a 250lb weight limit and umm, let’s say I decided not to do it. The cost $15 before 6pm and $20 after. They seemed to enjoy it, it was about a 40 minute wait before they actually rode it. The Golden Gate is giving out calenders of their “hot dealers†.. I got one as a present for my wife (some of you may remember a moon/star thingy gift from a previous trip report). I had one of the girls autograph it, just to make it extra special. We ate at Binions counter (great burgers) with a couple of 2 for 1’s they give you when you get your free picture taken with the million dollars... I probably have over 20 of there pictures thru the years.. but still can’t resist getting one.

    One thing I am loving about the new changes in vegas is the “fetish pit†dealers that have sprung up everywhere. After midnight on Friday night the Vegas Club and The Golden Gate are basically running strip clubs with blackjack dealers.. The music is cranked, there are girls dancing onstage right behind your dealer who is dressed as a school girl... c’mon.. there is no better place to be. Yes, it is a crappy game as the BJ’s pay even money, but to me.. it’s worth it. My luck however continued to be very poor and I could not win a hand at blackjack.

    Saturday Jim and I had brunch at Main Street Station with a 2 for 1 .. $11 total for 2. Very good selection... I really liked the Beef Brisket they offered. Jim left about noon for his flight home. Mike and Alissa left about 4 for there flight. My flight was the red eye at midnight. I did some souvenir shopping for my little girls and some cheap drinking at La Bayou. This is a great place to grab a quick refill as they generally bring you a drink in less than a minute.. I wandered in there so many times, the waitress was referring to me as her boyfriend. On one visit I found a $20 bill on the floor and decided to gamble it away in La Bayou as a token to positive gambling chi. Another bonus, I had all kinds of beads to give my 4 and 5 year old daughters.

    For dinner, I went back to Binions and had another burger, this time paying with the few comp dollars I had accumulated there and the rest of the cash in my pocket. I actually had to go to the atm so I had money to get to the airport and tolls and whatnot on my way home. Basically though, I had 72 hours of fun, about 100 drinks, and a few meals on $200. I love Vegas.

    I jumped on the new airport express bus from the Fremont street deuce stop and was at the airport in 20 minutes for $2. (it runs every hour, the schedule is clearly posted there). This is the absolute value way to get to the airport from Downtown. I landed the next morning in Boston and drove straight to my 4 year olds birthday party with my hands full of Vegas trinkets as gifts.

    Final thoughts:
    I really do enjoy Vegas, It’s fun for me to try and exploit all the deals and free-plays.

    I am already booked with the wife at Bellagio for 3 nights in June to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary... What can I say, USair had a deal I couldn’t resist.

    If you have any low roller questions about Vegas, ask away, I would be happy to help.

    Thanks for reading.

    Steve
     
  2. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    Sounds like you had a great time!
     
  3. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Great read, thanks!
     
  4. raisingoo

    raisingoo Low-Roller

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    Great trip report, thanks for posting it. I, too, am a low-roller and on my next trip I plan on spending half my time on the Strip and half my time downtown. As I was reading it, I realized that I'm going to be doing pretty much everything you did, too! Especially the ACG coupon usage.

    Thanks for the part about Ellis Island and their freeplay. I didn't know that I would have to visit a second time to redeem it. Good tip.

    One question-- how did you find your room at the Vegas Club? I'm thinking of staying there for two nights in June. Orbitz is showing a rate of $14 plus tax, so this is pretty low. I'm not expecting luxury there by any means, but was your room at least adequate, functional, and somewhat clean? That's all I ask, really.

    Thanks again for a great TR!
     
  5. raisingoo

    raisingoo Low-Roller

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    Oh, one more question, where exactly do you get the WAX bus downtown? Where is the stop?
     
  6. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Cool report, I can definitely see the fun in trying to see how things go on a budget like that. Last trip after a couple brutal days, I slowed it down in a similar manner and just enjoyed the time on the strip. I have to agree it's a nice way to spend some time out in Vegas, and if you win and keep the budget going all the better.
     
  7. rugbysteve

    rugbysteve Low-Roller

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    Hi Raisingoo ..
    to answer your questions.. the Wax bus can be picked up at the bus/Duece stop just outside Binions at the intersection of Fremont and Casino center blvd. The schedule is right there. it's $2 bucks to ride to the airport.. it makes like 3 stops, and only took about 20 minutes. I would take this from the airport to downtown as well. You could also take it to the strip if you are staying on the southern end of the strip like at the MGM Tropicana or Excalibur. Here is the link to the WAX bus website.

    http://www.rtcsnv.com/transit/route/westcliff/westcliff(11-07-10).pdf

    As for the Vegas club ... it's a great deal ... two beds, an old crappy tv, a bathroom from the 60's... what do you expect for less than $20. This was my second time there and I was content with its value both times. I will say that if I am going with my wife, I stay somewhere better.. I would suggest the Golden Nugget downtown. If I am going with my brothers or other friends .. then the Vegas club works just fine.
     
  8. agentq

    agentq Low-Roller

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    Great report! The thought of even money BJ makes me shudder, though :eek:
     
  9. BackInVegas

    BackInVegas VIP Whale

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    Entertaining read

    Thanks for the report.
     
  10. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    So much fun!!!
     
  11. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

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    Cheap trip, but GREAT fun! Awesome, Steve!
     
  12. Chuppa76

    Chuppa76 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for posting I enjoyed reading it! I always wonder how people can do Vegas on the cheap... and you gave me a great insight! Thanks

    Chups :wave:
     
  13. tcocona

    tcocona Low-Roller

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    Economy tripi

    Steve ; You're my sort of guy!!!Loved your action and attitude.
     
  14. sammowhammo

    sammowhammo VIP Whale

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    Loved your TR.

    I think one of the most fun trips I ever had was doing a lot of what you did - Vegas on the cheap. Because no matter if you win at the tables you feel like you won by getting so much for so little. And it reduces the anxiety when you lose. Thanks so much for your TR, it reminded me the fun is in the game not the amount of the wager.
     
  15. Liondownnow

    Liondownnow Tourist

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    I don't know why but the "cheap" reports are always more enjoyable to read than any high roller report. Awesome fun!
     
  16. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    Thank you for your trip report. You had the kind of trip I like. Ours will be similiar to yours this summer.:beer::beer::beer:
     
  17. DOUBLE B

    DOUBLE B Tourist

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    Uh---$200 per hour? O.K. ..I'll give it a shot but I can't promise I will not go over budget.
     
  18. Bottom9th

    Bottom9th Tourist

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    Great read, thanks for sharing!
     
  19. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    Great report and pretty funny.

    I am now interested in the $2 bus from downtown to the airport.
     
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