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Vegas VP Trip 4/21-5/3

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by higgiel, May 12, 2016.

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  1. higgiel

    higgiel Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Canton, OH
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    My Trip Report

    My husband B and I planned a trip to Vegas to join my sister-in-law C. She lived there with my brother for 12 years, but relocated to WV last year after he passed away. She still loves Vegas and likes to visit with us. While we were there, B’s two sisters and their husbands from Florida also came for a weekend visit. B and I spent a few nights at the Rio, then joined C at a Marriott time share across the street from Planet Hollywood. We were in Vegas for 12 days. That was our typical trip duration over the past several years, but recent health issues have made that more difficult for me. Future trips will likely be shorter – not the three or four days that some people spend, but maybe 8-10 days.

    TRANSPORTATION
    We flew on Southwest Airlines from Akron/Canton thru Atlanta. The trip was partially paid for by a voucher earned when B gave up his seat on an oversold flight last October. In the past, we always rented a car, but during our last visit, we left our “home” casino only a few times and the car spent most of the time in the parking deck. A rental for the two weeks would have been $650. We knew we could take lots of cabs for that sum. I arranged for Belltrans airport shuttles because we would be arriving late and leaving early. Then I looked into Uber. I knew they were operating in Vegas and decided to give them a try. It was a resounding success and I will plan to use them on all future trips. Our first Uber driver also drives for Lyft and with his referral, I got $5 off each of my next ten rides. That made most of our rides cost under $3. Pickup was quick, drivers were pleasant, cars were clean and the payment process was simple. What more could you ask for?

    WEATHER
    The weather was unseasonably cool while we were there. And Vegas had rain for three or four of the twelve days we were there. It was a family joke with my brother and SIL that it rained EVERY time we came to visit. It was in the 60s and low 70s while we were there. It finally hit the 80s on our last day in town. Oh well. It never rains inside the casinos.

    DINING
    At the Rio, we had breakfast at the Hash-House-a-Go-Go for two mornings. Their servings are huge and I can never finish everything on my plate. One morning we decided to go to Burger King for a quick breakfast sandwich, but were surprised to learn that the BK on the second floor was closed. No one I talked to knew what was going in its place. So we walked over to the café (correction: TGI Fridays) at the Gold Coast. The next day we had a bite at the café by the Rio sports book. Once we moved to the Marriott we had yogurt, fruit and muffins that my SIL picked up on her way.

    Dinners at the Rio and some at Planet Hollywood were at the Diamond Lounges. Fare at these locations is quite limited compared to the Caesars Windsor DL where we frequently dine. We had a few dinners at the Planet Dailies café at Planet Hollywood. We had dinner once at the Gordon Ramsey Burgr restaurant at Planet Hollywood. We also ate at the Gordon Ramsey Restaurant at Caesars. A couple of our dinners were more interesting. We had BBQ at Ellis Island. It was quite good and service was lightning fast. We had a fabulous dinner at Hugo’s Cellar at the Four Queens, to celebrate the birthday of one of B’s sisters. C and I also used our annual Total Rewards Diamond $100 dinner certificates at the Ruth Chris Steakhouse at Harrah’s. Let’s just say we never went hungry.

    ENTERTAINMENT
    We attended only one show – Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn on the first night of their 2016 series of shows at Caesars Palace. We had seen both acts separately at Caesars Windsor years ago. The joint show was quite good, with selections by each and other songs together. My one complaint is the way the lighting crew flashes blinding lights out into the audience. I HATE that. It seems to be the thing at all music concerts these days. My eyes are sensitive to lights anyway and it was an annoying problem even with my sunglasses on. To make matters worse, I have pinched nerves in my neck that cause intense pain with certain head movements. And there is nothing like a bright light in my eyes to make me move my head in the wrong way. So I spent much of the show with my head in my lap. At least the music was good.

    GAMBLING
    Now for the really important stuff

    I play video poker 95% of the time, with the rest spent on Let it Ride. I am mostly a quarter player, but sometimes will bump it up to $.50 if I’m on a roll. This trip I played High Card Flush for a while. I never hit any of the big hands, but I was there at the Rio when a player got a 7-card flush (for $1500) and he had to go to Planet Hollywood to get his ID before he could get paid. It takes some getting used to evaluating a hand only for its flush value. Four of a kind – nothing. Full house – nothing. I would play it again when looking for a diversion from VP.

    My video poker results were mixed – as usual. I played some DDB, DB, TB+, TDB, DW and Super Triple Play. Sometimes I got the right hand at the right game; other times not. So I got 22224 at TDB ($500), I got AAAA4 at Super Triple Play DDB ($1000), but I got 4444A at DW ($5) and 44442 at DW ($18.75) instead of the $100-$500 it could have been in the other games. I had some really good days and some not so good days. I hit two royals at the Rio – both progressives - one for $1025 and the other for $1084.

    THURSDAY 4/21
    Our first day at the Rio, I played some DDB and TB+ with so-so results. I hit 9 quads all day, only one of the bonus types: 2s at TB+ for $150. The guy next to me hit a royal. This was the only other royal I saw for the whole trip besides my own.

    FRIDAY 4/22
    Once again I played DDB and TB+. My game choice was decided by which bank of machines I was playing. The Rio has two banks of slant-top progressive machines. At the bank near the sportsbook, I played 9/5 DDB (97.873% ER, plus a little more for the progressive RF). But the DDB near the Masquerade Bar is 8/5 (96.786+% ER), so I played 7/5 TB+ (97.673+% ER) on those machines. I would usually play whichever bank of machines had the highest progressive payout. I hit quad Aces twice at TB+ for $300 each. I also hit a diamond royal at DDB, holding just the AK. Very nice way to start the trip. Quad count for the day: 11

    SATURDAY 4/23
    I started out playing TB+ because the royal progressive was higher (since I had hit the other one the day before). I hit quad Aces twice again and then hit a club royal, holding the AJT. This was the same machine I had hit a club royal on last November. Quad count for the day: 7

    SUNDAY 4/24
    We played for a few hours at the Rio before taking our first Uber ride to the Marriott Grand Chateau time share. After connecting up with my SIL and checking in, we went over to Planet Hollywood. We played for a while at the VP machines that had been so generous last fall, but they were ice cold. I didn’t hit a thing. Quad count for the day: 5

    MONDAY 4/25
    We returned to PHO for a dismal day at VP. I got my first and second dealt quads of the trip (6s and 8s), but only one other quad all day. It was awful. I tried escaping to Let it Ride for a while, but couldn’t hit anything there either. I considered returning to the Rio where I had done better, but I know that previous results do not guarantee future results, so I stayed put.

    TUESDAY 4/26
    We returned to PHO and I tried VP again. Here I played mostly 9/6 DB (97.806% ER) vs 8/5 DDB (96.786+% ER). After playing a short time I was dealt quad 3s for $100. Maybe things were picking up. Then I got quad Aces (with a kicker that didn’t matter in this game) – frustrating when that happens. Then I got quad Aces again for another $200. That time I was dealt AAA33. I dropped the 3s and drew the fourth Ace. Nice! So I bumped it up to $.50 and got quad Aces a third time for $400. This was much better than the past two days. I tried some DW for a while – and hit a natural quad, another of my least favorite things. Quad count for the day: 6

    WEDNESDAY 4/27
    Another typical day at VP. Hit Aces w/k again at DB, and two more natural quads at DW (dang!) Played DDB for a while but couldn’t hit a low quad with a kicker. Just for a change of pace, I decided to try some TDB. I don’t play it very often because it can make a huge dent in your bankroll. The fact that it was an 8/5 game (ER: a pitiful 95.969%) makes it even worse. But on the second hand I was dealt 22244. I made the correct play, holding 2224 and drew the other 2 for $500. Quad count for the day: 12

    THURSDAY 4/28
    We played for several hours at PHO. I played DB with no quads. Then I tried some Super Triple Play. Their DDB game is 7/5, but quad 5-K pays 500, 2-4 w/o/k pays 800, 2-4 w/k and Aces w/o/k pays 1600, Aces w/k pays 4000 and a SF pays 700. All other payouts are as in a regular game. The game requires a 6-coin bet for this added payout. I since learned from the Wizard of Odds that the ER for this game is 96.5462%. The Video Poker for Winner software allows you to change pay tables on games, but I couldn’t find a way to set it to require a 6 coin bet per hand. (If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know. I set up the game, but with a 5-coin bet. I’m not sure if the strategy would be the same for 5 vs 6 coin bet. Does anyone know?) So even though I wasn’t sure about the correct strategy, I played it and had some luck, hitting a SF and 2s and 3s w/k. The machines where I initially found the game are upright machines just outside the Planet Dailies Café. Uprights are hard on my neck & shoulders, so I didn’t play long, but I kept wishing they had it in a slant-top version. Three days later, I found them. (More on that later.) We quit early that day because we headed to Fremont Street to meet B’s sisters and their husbands. Before dinner at Hugo’s Cellar, we played some LIR at the Golden Nugget. The family took up the entire table. The birthday girl won nicely, I broke even, but the rest of them lost. After dinner we headed back to our time share and turned in for the night.

    FRIDAY 4/29
    We returned to PHO where I played 9/6 DB all day. I had a nice run of quads, including two SFs that were 9-K of Diamonds. In neither case did I save the 9 (although I would have if it had been included on the deal), but it was tantalizing close to a royal. It was the best run of quads I had all week, with a total of 15 for the day.

    SATURDAY 4/30
    I found some slant top triple play games in quarters and had some luck. I was dealt a SF – again the 9-K of diamonds. It was a little tempting to toss the 9, but I kept it. I also got another SF and several quads. I also played some single line DDB and hit Aces and 4s w/o/k. Quad count for the day: 11

    SUNDAY 5/1
    I played some single line DB and hit 2s, 3s and 4s. Fortunately, (because of the game I was playing), there was no kicker on any of them. I tried some DW again – why do I do that??? I hit 4444A for 20 credits! Then my SIL let me know that she found some slant top Super Triple Play machines. I had a terrific session, first hitting quad Aces w/o/k. A short time later I hit Aces w/k for 4000 credits. I also hit several more quads. I would like to say I walked away with a grand, but that was not the case. That 6th coin takes a toll. And the 7 payout for the FH also takes a toll. Then you hit a quad and you get a boost. And then you pay the toll and pay the toll and maybe hit another quad. I feel like I’m having an extra dose of adrenaline pumped through my system when I play it. And I have to admit that single line play is a little boring after. I don’t know how it will be to play single line games exclusively in the future when that game isn’t available. Quad count for the day: 14 (not counting DW hit)

    MONDAY 5/2
    I played more Super Triple Play at PHO and got killed. I hit a couple of quads and a SF, but mostly I just fed the bill acceptor. So I moved to single line play and had a nice run of quads, including Aces. I can’t believe I did it, but I tried DW again – and again hit 4444x. I’m swearing off DW for the foreseeable future! Maybe if I hit the Deuces once in a while it would make up for that, but it’s been years. Quad count for the day: 12 (not counting the DW hit)

    TUESDAY 5/3
    This was out last day to play. I played the usual suspects: DDB, DB and Super Triple Play. I hit 2s and 4s at STP, a SF at DB. But again I fed those STP machines. They are fun, but tough to win. Quad count for the day: 11

    VP Summary

    Royal Flush: 2

    Straight Flush: 9

    Aces w/k: 5 (but only once when it counted)

    Aces w/o/k: 8

    2,3,4 w/k: 8

    2,3,4 w/o/k: 25

    5-K: 72

    Natural Quad at DW: 7 (Dang!)

    Total Quads: 118

    Dealt Quads: 4

    Quads from holding 1: 5

    Quads from holding 2: 66

    Quads from holding 3: 43

    Four to the royal: 97


    I got a fair number of quads, many more SFs than expected and two Royals. I had quad 4s an amazing 15 times (including the two at DW). If I had avoided the table games, I probably would have come out ahead. But they always tempt me because they are easier on the eyes, neck and shoulders than vp. So it was a losing trip, but not terrible. Certainly not a loss that would make me reconsider going to Vegas!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  2. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

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    The Cafe at the Gold Coast has been closed for years. TGI Fridays? Nice log of quads. I like that.

    Nick:beer:
     
  3. higgiel

    higgiel Low-Roller

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    Nick, how right you are. It was TGI Fridays. :wave:
     
  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report. Almost all VP, a trip I can relate to.

    9 straight flushes, very impressive! The nine through king SF is always a tough call. I've gone both ways but never hit the Royal throwing away the nine.
    How was Hugo's?
     
    Christmas
  5. higgiel

    higgiel Low-Roller

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    Joe: I'm glad you enjoyed the report. I would play vp all day every day if I could. I've certainly found my new obsession with the Super Triple Play games.
    Hugo's was fabulous. One of the three waiters assigned to our table was always there when you needed something, but never in the way. The individually prepared salads at table-side were very nice. My Chilean sea bass was wonderful. I had a bit of my husband's prime rib and it was yummy. We ordered a couple of Bananas Foster desserts. Even though we were all quite full from our meals, we passed them around and I got more than my share. :rolleyes: It had been years since I was last there. We don't usually spend that much on a meal, but a special occasion with family was an exception.
     
  6. kbennett1oh

    kbennett1oh Low-Roller

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    I keep track of all of my quads - but you have it down to a science! Love that! interesting stats on holding 2 vs holding 3, that's a lot more than I would've expected....

    and your straight flushes - WOW!

    Congrats on a great trip!

    out of curiosity, do you play VP downtown at all? with all of your EV #'s, I would think you would prefer downtown for better payback....Just an observation
     
  7. higgiel

    higgiel Low-Roller

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    kbennet1oh: Years ago, when I was still working and spending lots of time working with Excel spreadsheets, I joined a different Vegas board and that seemed to be the perfect vehicle for keeping track of my quads. As the years progressed, I started adding more info, such as the number of cards held - that was sort of provoked by a poster on that other board who complained about the number of times he held trips and failed to connect. And the frequency of near misses - four to a royal - got my counting those as well.

    Our playing locations have changed a lot over the years. When we first went to Vegas (2002 - 2005), we played almost exclusively on the strip. When my brother moved there, we played a lot at Suncoast and Red Rock near their home. But while he and my SIL worked, my husband and I would travel around - Fremont Street, Sam's Town, Texas Station, Sunset Station, Green Valley Ranch. After my brother passed away and my SIL moved back to WV, our trips have taken on a new angle, based mostly of available offers. Last fall we stayed at Sam's Town, Rio and the Marriott Grand Chateau time share near Planet Hollywood. And since we didn't have a car this time, we were less inclined to move around, even though we found the ride-sharing services quite convenient. I'm more inclined to want to go somewhere else if I'm losing where I am. But those times invariably seem to coincide with either my husband or my SIL being on a winning streak and not wanting to leave. So we stayed put. I've always liked playing at Main St Station, the site of my first Vegas royal. Some day we will stay down in that area again. :wave:
     
  8. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    You know a trip report is great when you read it 2x..Thanks for posting!
     
  9. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report! And of course I love all the stats. I've kept track of quads+ via pics since late 2013. I never got into the habit of tracking all the 4 to a royal misses though. But your number looks in line vs. quads this trip. The number that sticks out the most of course is almost one more royal than expected! :beer: As for the deuces quads could be worse. My last Vegas trip had 5 of 12 natural quads being on deuces wild at 20 cents each! :grrr:

    Couple of other things...PHo has 9/6/5 Double Bonus (97.81%) for quarters??? It's not 9/6/4 (96.38%)? I made a mental note that 6/5 Super DDB (97.69%) was the best quarter choice (except Cromwell's "full pay" games) for everywhere I checked for CET properties on the strip ever since they yanked 7/5 Bonus for quarters. But I really didn't check PHo's floor last trip.

    As for Super Triple Play DDB strategy, Inputting the paytable "as is" into a trainer and only wagering 5 per hand will still yield the correct strategy for that game. It just creates a payback that you would love to see in a casino. :wink2:
     
  10. higgiel

    higgiel Low-Roller

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    jamesxnj: I'm glad you liked the report. Since I've retired, it's about the only outlet I have for writing. :wave:

    trignlomane: Glad you liked the report. I used to take pictures of all my quads, but I stopped that a long time ago - I just had too many pictures. (I know, that's a good thing.) Now I just preserve the royals. I had hoped to repeat the results from our fall trip when I hit three royals. But I know I'm lucky to have gotten any. It usually works out that if my quad count is higher than the 4-to-a-royal count, I've had a good trip.

    I'm almost positive the DB at PHO is 9/6/5. I didn't really check out all of the available games, since I don't play most of them. But I remembered played DB there last fall after playing it a lot at Sam's Town on the progressive bank that has the royal that resets at $1500. Normally, it's not my first choice game. It's disappointing when you get one of the bonus quads with a kicker. But my first two days of play there I got no quads at DDB, so I was looking for something else. And once I started hitting at DB I would switch back to DDB and get nothing. Those machines just played better for me at DB.

    Thanks for the clarification on the strategy. I thought that would be the case, but I wasn't sure. Those payouts on a 5-coin bet make that a 108.144% game. If only.... Two strategy plays that surprise me: It's still correct to hold 2 pair going for that measly FH than to just hold the high pair and hope for a quad. And it is still correct to hold four to a flush over a small pair. I haven't played it much on the computer, but the only strategy differences from regular DDB that I have found so far is related to the SF. With (345)5J you save the (345) rather than the pair of 5s.
    :wave:
     
  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Hmmm...I don't think it computed correctly.

    Here is the Super Triple Play DDB strategy assuming the payouts are the same and when you pay 5 credits a hand. It says you do break high 2 pair, and hold 22-44 over four to a flush.
    http://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/strategy/a-1-b-57-c-1-d-0-d-1-d-1-d-3-d-4-d-5-d-7-d-100-d-160-d-320-d-320-d-800-d-140-d-800/

    It's 115.8555% for a 5 credit game. 115.8555% x 5/6 = 96.5462%
     
  12. Big dan

    Big dan Low-Roller

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    "Oh well. It never rains inside the casinos."

    Unless your at the plaza.:D
     
  13. kbennett1oh

    kbennett1oh Low-Roller

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    Did you used to frequent Vegaswatch message board? i thought your name seemed familiar....I used to post there as well...I'm a MSS fan, that's where we always stay...more curious than anything....

    so you use a spreadsheet to capture your hits? that sounds interesting...what works best for us is an index card, one per day...I use one side for me, one side for my husband, I record time and what it is and I put a notation if it's dealt. The size works well as I keep it in my pocket...I've learned to write small, my husbands record is 23 4oak's in one day :)
     
  14. VPguy

    VPguy Tourist

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    Great report as always as I remember reading your reports over at Vegaswatch for many years. In fact I still have a copy of your spreadsheet that you emailed me years ago. Sounds like you had a lot of fun on your trip which is always the most important thing. That flashing light at the concert sounds like it could be a problem for some folks but as you said at least the music was good. Will have to try out Hugo's one of these days as I have never been. Thanks again for a great report and I enjoyed reading it very much. Hope you are able to go out again very soon.
     
  15. Chump

    Chump Tourist

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    Funny, I recall reading many fine TR’s posted by another higgiel on a now defunct board. We and our spouses connected once at a Meet at Bellagio’s old Fontana Lounge. That higgile was no Stripper though. Rather, she loved her casinos in Summerlin and Henderson and would visit Vegas for two weeks and not even go to the Strip once. I think she still holds the world record for the most SF’s. She also had a pancake and Nanaimo bars fetish but I see no mention of those in this TR. Could you possibly be the same higgiel?


    You hear more about Uber all the time but I am surprised it has been allowed into Vegas given the pull the taxi companies have there. What a deal you got using it, so much for a car rental. Good for you on all of your great VP hits! I think you have convinced me to avoid DW altogether in the future. I only played it sparingly anyway on our sequential machines here. I hit quad A’s w/k this weekend on BDlx and even that hurt a lot. You would have been proud of me when I was also dealt a straight yesterday containing four clubs. I needed to swap out a 9 of S for a 9 of C and by golly it happened for a SF on dollar SDB. Will you stay on the Strip exclusively next time too? Hugo’s Cellar is a real step back in time but it still has a charm about it. It must be time to go back to Windsor, you haven’t played VP for a week now. I was happy to see your report posted.
     
  16. higgiel

    higgiel Low-Roller

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    kbennet1oh: Yes, I used to post on VegasWatch. I like your idea of using index cards to keep track of quads. I'll have to try it some time. :wave:

    acekicker: Glad you liked the report. We always enjoy our Vegas trips, even when we don't win. There is just a fun feeling there that you don't find anywhere else. And I didn't even mention one of our favorite pastimes: people-watching. :eek: :wave:

    Chump: Glad to see your old self figured out how to use a new web site.:p I did have some pancakes at Hash House & TGIF. No results after the huge pancake at HH but I did hit my second royal after the pancakes at TGIF. Folks here won't understand the pancake connection. But once in Windsor after a breakfast of pancakes and I think it was about a dozen strips of bacon I hit a royal. I'm inclined to think it was their generosity with the bacon that paid further dividends - a royal and a bigger butt. And Nanaimo bars are a favorite dessert I find in Windsor. They are named after a town in western Canada. Nice hits on your Aces and SF. Not sure if our next trip will be on the strip. That has been driven by my SIL's time-share location. But I don't know if she will be there next time (we're contemplating a fall trip). She indicated that she will likely only be able to make one trip a year. So if we are there on our own, our location will be driven by which casinos make us an offer. As a matter of fact, we were in Windsor two weeks ago and I am heading back there on Friday. I haven't written a trip report on that one - too many other things going on. But I did hit a royal while I was there, so it was a good trip. :thumbsup: Say hi to BG! :wave:
     
  17. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Low-Roller

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    After eating a bunch of pancakes and eating a dozen bacon strips, a Royal Flush would be the last thing on my mind. The only "flush" I would be doing has nothing to do with cards!! :vomit:
     
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