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11/2 - 11/5: Making Diamond, Chip collecting, Silver Strikes, GGWU, and GAMBOLLLL!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Eric1285, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Eric1285

    Eric1285 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
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    Location:
    SoCal
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    A word of warning...this ended up being longer than I expected and without too much structure. Hope you guys don't mind!

    I finally got through a super busy month at work and told my boss I was taking a long weekend. Just got back home an hour ago, and I'm sitting down to write this before even unpacking =)

    Booked 3 nights at Bally's in a Resort Studio Suite. I ended up booking under the GGWU offer as that was the only offer I had that gave me all 3 nights for free.

    Goals for this trip were to unwind with some gambling and to add to our budding collection of casino chips and Silver Strikes. My fiance and I have been going to Las Vegas together for the past 7.5 years. We've probably made 25 or so trips in that time, but we only just decided to start collecting casino chips last December. We won our first Silver Strikes just this past June, as we don't always venture Downtown every trip. We had previously attempted to win some back when Venetian still had a few machines, but we gave up after dropping $40 into the machine without getting a strike.

    Here's the picture I took of our chip collection before we headed out...I had to reference it several times during the trip to double check which ones we already had. My fiance's the one that cleaned most of these up and came up with the idea to put them in a frame.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We left Orange County at 9 AM on Friday and made it to the promised land at 12:45 PM with just one quick pit stop to fuel up the car. 25 gallons and a bit over $100 got us back on the road (thanks a lot California for jacking up the price of diesel right after I bought our SUV). Thankfully we hit minimal traffic, although we didn't come close to our record of 3 hours and 10 minutes (including a pit stop).

    Was able to check in at Bally's right away, although they weren't able to give us a room on a higher floor like we requested. They offered an upgrade to a Resort Executive Suite for $75 a night extra (I paid $30 a nt to upgrade to an Exec Suite my last trip) but the room wouldn't have been ready right away so I declined. The only difference is having 2 sinks in the bathroom, a soaking tub, and 60 extra square feet. Some pics of the room...pardon our mess:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I really like these renovated Resort Rooms at Bally's. We are used to staying center strip (Cosmo was my home base, pretty much from their soft opening up until all the comp offers dried up this year) so I gave Bally's a shot in June and we liked it a lot. It brings back a lot of memories for me, as I used to visit Las Vegas as a kid with my family when we'd visit them in California. have a snapshot of a memory from one trip when we stayed in Bally's...I very clearly remember my grandfather lining up his shoes along the wall in the room and me taking quite an interest in the fact that we were staying at Bally's and he happened to have a pair of Bally's shoes.

    I think we'll be staying at Bally's for the foreseeable future, at least until the rooms get too beat up or Cosmo decides that my level of play is worth their attention again.

    Anyhow, my arrival MO is to drop everything in the room, hang up my suit jacket and shirts, and head downstairs for some quality degen time. Fiance typically conks out for a nap, and this trip was no different. I bounced around some VP machines...DDB is my poison and I needed 325 TC to make Diamond, so I got to work grinding the points out on a triple play machine. Typical 8/5 CET paytables, although I did find it interesting that the two rows of VP machines upstairs at Bally's (one near Indigo Lounge and one near the gift shop) have different paytables. The machines by Indigo had 8/5 DDB whereas the ones by the gift shop at 7/5. The main VP area seemed to be all 8/5. I don't think I had any big wins Friday night, but I was able to tread water and get the TC I needed for ~$200 or so.

    I went back upstairs to see if the fiance was up from her nap. She was, and we decided to head to the Bellagio to see what their display for the season was. On the way, I suggested stopping in to the Miracle Mile shops to crack open a couple of oysters at the Pearl Factory. This has become a tradition for us as my fiance absolutely loves it. I still find it amusing after shucking 30 or so oysters, and it's a cheap diversion from the casino. We got two, and my fiance picked out a setting for one of them. They're kind of a rip off, but eh...we've gotten to know the sales lady and she's gotta make her commissions.

    We walked out of the Miracle Mile and completely forgot about going to the Bellagio. Oh well, we'll get to it later...we always stop in to take a look and snap some pictures.

    We grabbed a quick bite at Yong Kang Street as neither of us were terribly hungry. I had never eaten here before, although we've walked by it hundreds of times. I thought it was pretty good...not the best dim sum ever, but far from the worst. Price was reasonable for being on the strip in a big resort. Sorry no pics...I rarely take food pics as I find there to be little correlation between appearance and taste.

    After dinner we hopped in an Uber to go check out the Palms. We had never been there together and it's been at least 10 years since I was last in there. Our plan was to collect chips from the Palms, Gold Coast, and Rio. We also checked out Ping Pang Pong, but we weren't hungry enough to eat. Menu looked good though.

    The new renovations at the Palms are really nice. The casino floor is open and spacious, with good ventilation. The shark display at the main bar is really cool...that was one of the things I wanted to go see.

    After doing our walk around the casino floor and buying our chip from the cage, we hopped across the street to the Gold Coast. I had been here once before with my Uncle as he likes to play 3 card poker there. That was about 7-8 years ago, and I don't think much has changed. The table games area was just as packed as I remembered it, although the machines seemed to be a little bit more spaced out than before. We did our walk through the floor, bought our chip, and then headed for the Rio.

    This was my first time visiting the Rio. I've read a lot of comments about it so I didn't have terribly high expectations. I thought it was nice enough...a little dark for me, but in better shape than I expected. We walked all around the casino, including the area where they used to have the Masquerade in the Sky. I know it's been gone forever, but hopefully they'll bring it back one day.

    On our way out of the Rio I stopped for a break at a DDB machine. Managed to hit 4 aces and walk away with $150 profit for a successful hit and run. We thought about walking back to Bally's, as I didn't think the area looked too bad. I know it's a longer walk than it looks, but it looked safe enough to me even at night. I wouldn't attempt it if I were a solo female, just out of an abundance of caution, but I wouldn't worry about doing the walk by myself. Since we'd already hiked around quite a bit though, we took an Uber back to Bally's and called it a night.

    I got started on Saturday around 8 AM. I love that Bally's has coffee machines in the room. The one thing (other than not getting comps anymore) I hate at Cosmo is that by the time I get downstairs to Va Bene, wait in line, and finally get my coffee, the caffeine headache has already started. Coffee is the very first thing in my morning routine (and I'm not terribly picky about it, although I do appreciate good coffee) and Bally's lets me keep that.

    I'm usually up first, so after my cup of coffee I headed to Paris to check out their VP. I realized that I never once went over to Paris to play during my last trip, so I decided to make that a priority this time. Gave triple play Ultimate-X DDB a try for the first time after seeing someone else playing it. I forgot to take pics of some of the hands, but I did remember to get a picture of my quad 4's with a 3x multiplier. Played for about an hour and made back the $200 I lost Friday, plus maybe $50 more.

    [​IMG]

    Fiance was ready for breakfast by the time I got back to the room so we headed downstairs and made our way towards Ellis Island. I made a quick stop at the sports book where I placed my first ever sports bet. I had to ask for help placing the bet, but I managed to put $20 on Michigan:

    [​IMG]

    Ellis Island was great. This was our second time there...we went for our first time last December, but forgot to go during our June trip. I had the steak special at 11 AM because that's what I wanted =) Fiance had the chicken and waffles which were quite good as well. We only played in the casino for a little bit, as we wanted to check out the GGWU before the Michigan game.

    We hiked to Caesars and through the labyrinth of a casino (just seems that way to me as I've never spent much time there, so I'm not familiar with the layout at all), up two very long escalators, and down a very long hallway to get to the ballroom where the great gift wrap up was being held. I wasn't really sure what to expect as I had never been before. Only similar experience was the Venetian / Palazzo event that I went to maybe 8-9 years ago. I know my first comment to my fiance was "Wow, this is pretty big!"

    I showed my fiance the 10,100 point cheapo pearl necklace that they had. She liked it, so I figured I'd aim for a couple of 1,000 TC days to get the remaining points I needed. We walked back to Bally's where I headed for Sully's to watch the Michigan game and my fiance went upstairs for a nap.

    I bellied up to Sally's and popped a $20 in and started playing DDB. The bartenders I recognize by face both moved to the new lobby bar, but the service was great as always. There were a few other Michigan fans there, which was nice. Even better, the machine I was on was on fire! I don't know why, but I seem to have amazing luck playing bartop VP. I didn't take any pics, but I hit 3 or 4 premium quads and plenty of regular quads including my only dealt hand this trip (wish it would have been when I was playing multi line, but can't complain too much!) I ended up cashing out +300-400 after the first half and I watched the rest of the game from upstairs.

    After the game we headed to the LINQ to look for food. We ended up at Sticky Chicken and we split a sandwich, as we had plans to go to Tacos El Gordo since they opened one up on the strip. We also wanted to stop in at Wynn and Encore to get chips.

    We walked up the strip, all the way to Encore. We stopped at TI to take a look around and grab a chip, as we hadn't gotten one there yet. We had been in once before, several years ago. Casino looked liked it had been renovated since we were last there.

    First time to Encore...seemed nice, but a bit too fancy for us. We just walked in to get a chip and headed to Tacos El Gordo, where the line was out the door and around the outdoor seating area. We just grabbed a drink next door and hopped in an Uber to go downtown for some Silver Strikes.

    We got dropped off at the Four Queens but decided to first head over to El Cortez since I heard they only had a single machine. While looking for the machine, I saw a bank of coin dropping DDB machines and couldn't resist. My hope was to actually hit something and cash out winning coins. I got lucky a few hands in and hit a straight, and managed to cash out at least $2 in profit =). Reminds me of when I was a kid and we'd occasionally take trips to AC. My mom would play VP and I remember taking buckets of quarters to the arcade. I changed the coins in the cage since I hadn't seen the machine. The attendant there is very friendly and likes to joke around.

    We found the Silver Strike machine and luckily it was open. I don't remember if we put in $20 or $40, but we ended up with one of each of the blue caps. I wanted one of the clear ones with Bugsy on it, but I wanted to make sure we I had enough cash to get all strikes we wanted at the Four Queens, so we decided to be happy with getting each of the blue caps. On our way out, we stopped by the cage to grab a chip. I have to say, El Cortez is not what I expected...I had only walked by once on our way to the container park a couple of years ago, and from the outside I thought it would be a little seedy inside (kind of like Cal-Neva in Reno). Not at all! I love the wood accents everywhere...it feels like what a nice old Vegas joint would have been. I look forward to spending more time here, and probably downtown in general.

    We headed back to Four Queens where I first signed up for a players card. We found the $40 strike machine open and we ran through a little more than $30 before hitting for the $40 strike! This was our first $40 strike since we only started collecting in June and I hadn't read up on it much back then so we neglected to get the $40 strike. We decided to leave the machine open and headed for the bank of 6 machines where I nabbed a red cap within a minute or two of starting. My fiance got a line hit for $40+ which was nice, but it took her a while to get her first strike. Meanwhile it was raining strikes on my machine! My third strike was another red cap and I probably had a half dozen clears when my fiance got a red cap as well! I couldn't believe our luck, as we got 3 red caps total. Our last trip we only managed a single blue cap.

    Speaking of blue caps, that was our mission today (in addition to the yellow cap). We wanted the halloween puppy one, but it wasn't meant to be. I called it quits after $200 and my fiance put in $100 as well. I collected my comps from the desk - free tshirt and buy 1 get 1 for Magnolia's and we decided to make use of the B1G1 comp. I was very pleased with the food...I had the pastrami sandwich and my fiance had an enormous pasta dish that she could only finish 1/3 of. I only finished half my sandwich so we packed up the rest and Uber'd back to Bally's.

    I think I may have played a bit more VP that night...I found this pic of quad Aces and it sure as hell didn't come Sunday or today, so it must have happened at some point Saturday. I know I put in a 500 TC day but had no plans to go for 1,000 as I wanted to book my winnings. I think I was up a couple hundred (excluding the ~$300 or so we converted to Silver Strikes) at this point, as I distinctly remember having $770 worth of TITOs in my wallet at some point and I only ever have more than $200-300 in my wallet if I've won. Otherwise, I force myself to take breaks by going back up to the room to get more cash. Helps limit the damage, a bit.

    [​IMG]

    Okay, this is getting ridiculously long and I think I'll take a break. Will post Sunday and today's (Monday) portions at some other point.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
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  2. Treb23

    Treb23 Tourist

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
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    Location:
    Georgia
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    Great Report! I love the detail. Can't wait to read the rest.
     
    My 40th Birthday Trip!
  3. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

    Joined:
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    Good luck!

    For Silver Strikes, I hope that you didn't forget the El Cortez! They have "Life is Beautiful" Blue caps in three of the turrets!!
     
    HGS/GGWU - final trip of 2018
    First trip of 2019 - my birthday
  4. VPDeuces

    VPDeuces Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 18, 2018
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    Philly Philly
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    Great report so far, and I really like the idea of framing casino chips! Very clever.
     
  5. vegasnut

    vegasnut VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Netherlands
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    great Tr buddy:thumbsup:
     
  6. Eric1285

    Eric1285 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
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    Location:
    SoCal
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    Thanks! I tend to ramble...believe it or not, I actually made some edits for brevity lol. Will try to post the rest tonight after work.

    Thanks DaiLun! I followed your day trip for the Silver Strikes and we even referenced your thread last night for the detailed info on silver content. We did manage to get both blue caps from El Cortez, but we missed out on the Four Queens blue cap. I'll probably pick one up on eBay or Facebook as my luck ran dry at Four Queens. The machine I was on also started jamming on every Silver Strike and I didn't want to keep bothering the attendants.

    We saw a cool display at the pizza parlor in the shops between Mandalay and Luxor - they had a picture frame full of obsolete and rare chips in the shape of Nevada. Unfortunately, they had it on a far wall and we couldn't actually see the individual chips.

    Thanks for the encouragement!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Eric1285

    Eric1285 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
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    Location:
    SoCal
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    30
    Okay, so here we go with Part 2. Hopefully I have enough left in me to finish it all up...

    So I finished Saturday up around $500 for the trip, which is roughly a day's bankroll. Was feeling pretty good, especially with our haul of Silver Strikes. Sunday morning we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Nosh since neither of us felt particularly hungry. I did grab a pic as I was quite surprised to find that they had star fruit in their fruit platter. I haven't had star fruit in probably 10 years!

    [​IMG]

    I'm sure I managed to squeeze in some VP either before breakfast or afterwards. Probably lost $100-200. Didn't realize it at the time, but it was the beginning of a precipitous fall...

    Still in good spirits and up for the trip, we headed south to collect chips from Tropicana, Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay. I bought day passes (MyVegas was sold out) for the monorail so that we could quickly get to MGM. We thought we might have time to go check out the Westgate and SLS as well, but we never ended up using them again. Oh well. We did our usual rounds at each casino. Tropicana was pretty much as I remembered it - I've always liked their decor ever since they renovated maybe 10-15 years ago? Never stayed there, but did swing by once several years ago to take advantage of their players club promo (the old lose $200, get $200 back in 2-3 chunks).

    Crossed the bridge to the Excalibur where we headed for the Pearl Factory kiosk close to the entrance. Our favorite sales lady actually moved to this store, and we just happened to catch her covering a shift at PH on Friday. We told her we'd be back to see her at Excalbur and we cracked open two more oysters. Of the four we opened this trip, 2 of them had 8mm pearls which are the largest ones we've gotten.

    Took the free tram to Luxor. Not sure if it was the Excalibur or Luxor, but one of them definitely had some minor renovations done since my last trip in. Carpet looked much newer. Both casinos seemed improved from what I remembered them being. Maybe I'm just getting less picky with age. We got our chips and got back on the tram to go to Mandalay Bay where we walked through the shops and stopped for a slice of pizza. I don't remember the name of the place (how many pizza places could there be in the shops?) but they had a neat picture frame with a large (several hundred) collection of rare and obsolete casino chips. Unfortunately, it was hung too far away to actually see the individual chips. It gave me a neat idea for what to do when our collection grows larger though.

    After Mandalay we trammed it back to Excalibur and ended up walking to the Cosmo to check out their new food hall area. We ate at District as we couldn't make up our minds and I noticed they had Kolaches, which I enjoy. We sampled the sausage kolache and a few sliders. The pork belly slider is worth trying, although I think next time I'll try Hattie B's Hot Chicken.

    After lunch I went downstairs to get a couple extra players cards so my fiance and I could play separate machines. I declined to use my free play offer as I didn't want to draw a comp when I didn't plan on doing too much gaming. I think we did maybe $600-700 coin in on slots only and lost maybe $100 or so? We mostly came in to see if there were any interesting changes, as we know the Cosmo like the back of our hands having spent at least 50+ nights there. I never used to have a problem getting 2 free nights in a Terrace Studio / One Bedroom with $75-150 free play based on $5k - $9k coin in per trip (95% slots as I only started playing VP in the past year). After my last Cosmo trip in 2017, the offers stopped. I can't even get a single night anymore, despite putting in something like $8k coin in on my last trip. Oh well...their loss, as I had been reliably dropping my entire bankroll there 3-4 times a year for nearly 10 years. For some reason, I was never able to average much better than 80% payback on their slots (no handpays, ever...although my fiance hit one once).

    Anyhow, I spent most of my Cosmo time playing the Seinfeld machine. I got pretty good play out of $60 or so as I was on the machine for at least half an hour. After Cosmo it was back to Bally's so the fiance could nap, and I could focus on putting in a 1,000 TC day to get that necklace at the GGWU.

    Well, here's where the wheels really fell off the bus. Sunday was an absolute train wreck. I stuck with mostly 3 or 5 play DDB and could not buy a quad for the life of me. The handful I did hit were all regular quads, and on 5 play those only pay enough to cover 10 losing hands. I probably blew through the remainder of Saturday's winnings in less than half an hour, and then tossed another $200 chasing it.

    After making the better part of $500 disappear in less than an hour, I decided to give slots a try so I headed for the high limit slots where they have my beloved Cheeseburger machine. I think it's called Triple Double Diamond Deluxe with Cheese, or something like that...but this is my favorite slot. The only one currently in Bally's is in the high limit room for $3 a spin (I usually play quarters at $.75 a spin). I fed the machine a crisp Benjamin and was rewarded with 33 straight non-winning spins. Seriously, not even a freaking cherry. I did some quick math...if you assume some sort of win on 20% of spins, the odds of going 33 spins without any sort of hit would be one in 1,578. That's the kind of luck I'd have the rest of the day, as I went back to VP and watched the machines swallow my $100 bills. I later came back to the high limit slots to try that machine again, with only marginally better results. I think I got maybe 3-4 line hits (nothing more than $10) and no bonus rounds.

    All told, at the end of the day I blew through all of Saturday's winnings, plus 2 days' bankroll. That's pretty much going full tilt for me. I blew past my record for worst single day loss by probably 50%. But hey, that's gambling and even when losing I find it interesting to go back and calculate the odds and probabilities for what I've experienced....yeah, I'm a bit of a geek. I think I've been working as an analyst for a bit too long.

    By this point I had racked up enough RC for us to stop in the Diamond Lounge. We've been to the Paris one a few times before (back when I got matched to Diamond) and enjoyed ourselves there, so we headed back. Sadly, we were too late for the hot food and the snacks seemed to be exactly the same as what they used to serve. I was expecting a bit more now that they're charging for entry, so we were a little disappointed. Next time we will pay more attention to when hot food is available. We had a drink each, then ordered two Pina Coladas to go.

    Earlier in the day while licking my wounds from the multiple beatings I took, I had swung by the box office to try and get a pair of tickets for "Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man" as my fiance had expressed interest in seeing it. Sadly, they were sold out for the night so I picked X Rocks out of the remaining options. We were lucky enough to be given the option of sitting in the booths at the back, which was very comfortable. The theatre is very small (maybe 100 - 125 people) and most of the seating is in what looks to be folding chairs.

    Both of us enjoyed the show. I really liked the comedian who came out to warm up the crowd in the beginning. She is incredibly quick witted! The rest of the show was enjoyable as well. Most of the girls seemed pretty into it (we tried to help by making lots of noise) and the music was pretty good. Obviously no pictures, but I thought the show would have been worth paying to see.

    After the show I attempted a comeback on VP, but it was just more of the same. I called it quits fairly early and headed back upstairs.

    Monday morning...checkout day. First order of business was to call downstairs and ask for a late checkout. Initially the person on the phone was only willing to give us until noon, but after I asked if Diamond members could get a later checkout he changed it to 2 PM, which was fantastic. Unfortunately, housekeeping forgot to refill the coffee supplies so I needed to find a caffeine fix ASAP. I stumbled out into the hallway and caught a housekeeping supervisor. She said she'd be back in a minute, but I waited at least 10 minutes before giving up and going downstairs to buy my coffee from the lobby bar. Of course, once I get back upstairs I see that housekeeping came back with an enormous bag of coffee (seriously, she threw enough in there to last 2 weeks). Oh well...she said a minute and I gave her 10! I thought she was going to run to the supply closet and just grab 2 packs for me....not round up every last pack of coffee on the floor for me!

    Anyhow, this being our last day we needed to get back to the GGWU to redeem my points. It was a no go on the 10,100 point pearl necklace thanks to the shellacking I took on Saturday. We ended up with a pair of pearl studs and a coin purse instead. On the way there, we grabbed breakfast at Giada's Pronto! No complaints, although I can tell you their orange juice is not fresh squeezed. Everything is obviously pre-cooked, but I thought it was still quite tasty. After breakfast we hiked to GGWU, then back down to Bally's to pack up the room. While my fiance finished packing her stuff, I headed back down to the casino to see if I had managed to shake off the bad luck....NOPE! If I didn't know better, I'd swear my $100 bills were only $10's as that's how quickly the machines ate them up. Luckily I had the good sense to stop when I hit my loss limit for the day and managed to leave with at least some of the cash I brought.

    Before checking out I stopped by the Diamond check in to see a host about my bill. I also wanted to check what they had me down for in terms of theo / actual. Thanks to Sunday, my theo was pretty low - only $800 or so (I'm not sure if that was limited to my action at Bally's, or if it included my play elsewhere...but 80%+ of my CET play was at Bally's). The host first took care of the resort fees (I checked in as Platinum but made Diamond a few hours later...the TR desk told me I wouldn't have to pay fees since I made Diamond the same day). She was only able to take an additional $20 off my bill, plus whatever RC I had. Seems pretty fair to me, as going by the 30% rule I'd only have ~$240 available in comps, and I had a Resort Studio Suite for 3 nights. We didn't charge much to the room as we never once ate a big meal this trip, so the final total ended up being about $150. Not bad for a 4 day trip.

    We left Bally's around 1 PM and drove up to Tacos El Gordo. Our plan was to check out the line at the Strip location, then drive over to the location on Charleston if the line was too long. Thankfully there was no line and my fiance was able to get her taco fix. After lunch we said goodbye (for now) to the strip and hopped on the 15 South to head back home. My fiance offered to drive again (SUV is her daily driver) for the first leg, which ended up being only 30 minutes or so as we decided to make a pit stop at Whiskey Pete's in Primm.

    We usually will make a stop at Primm on the way home for a quick bathroom break or to take a peek at the outlet stores. There's not a whole lot there, but they do have a Kate Spade outlet. In the 20+ times we've been there together (plus maybe 10+ times on my own) we had never once gone to the Whiskey Pete's side. Seeing as I already had a chip from Primm Valley Casino, we decided to take a peek inside Whiskey Petes and grab a chip for our collection. It's definitely quieter than the Primm Valley side, although maybe it was just the time of day. The lady at the cage gave me a big 'ole eybrow raise when I asked to buy a chip and asked me how old I was...I replied "32", and I couldn't decide if she asked cause she thought we were too young to be gambling, or too young to be collecting casino chips, lol.

    So along with Terrible's a few miles north on I-15 (formerly Gold Strike? or Gold Spike?) Whiskey Pete's also has a little free attraction for those who stop by. Terrible's has a move / show car collection including one of the batmobile's and I think one of the Scooby Doo vans. We stopped by to see that one a while back. Whiskey Pete's has the Bonnie and Clyde death car, and they've made a little exhibit out of it with a documentary that plays on a nearby TV and a few other items from Bonnie and Clyde's past. They also had the shirt Clyde was wearing at the time, bullet holes and blood stains included. I didn't realize how tiny he was...the shirt was a size 14-32. You'd have to crush my windpipe to button that shirt up. They had another car from the same era, but this one had been reinforced with inch thick bullet proof glass and lead-filled doors. It had bullet holes on the outside, but you could see that they didn't penetrate the lead filled doors (as opposed to the Bonnie and Clyde car, where you could clearly see that the bullets had pierced the door and nearly come out the door on the other side). A couple of pics of the Bonnie and Clyde car:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And that about wraps it up! Drive home took slightly longer at 4 hours, thanks to some painfully slow left-lane hoggers (70-75 in the left lane, in the middle of the desert?). I drove the rest of the way home and we hit a bit of traffic, but still made it home by 6:30. Our pup Daisy was waiting at home, eager for her walk (don't worry...future brother in law came over to stay with her while we were gone). And then of course I started writing...because I wanted an excuse to show off our chip and Silver Stirke haul =)

    Here's a shot of everything we brought back...13 clear caps (including many duplicates that we'll eventually use towards a $300 strike), 3 red caps, 2 blue caps, 1 yellow cap, plus $1 chips from a dozen different casinos, 7 of which we had never set foot in together before:

    [​IMG]

    Close up of the "premium" silver strikes...pardon my shaky hands:

    [​IMG]

    You may have noticed there are 13 chips in my picture (we brought back chips from a dozen different casinos)...that's because the Downtown Grand happens to have a $5 commemorative chip celebrating their 5th anniversary. There was a sign by the cage that I walked right by, but my fiance pointed it out to me. I can't remember the date they'll have it through, but I do remember mentioning that we were lucky to have just made it.

    [​IMG]

    I liked the Gold Coast chip since it's not one of the standard top hat & cane chips that most casinos have (neither was the Downtown Grand's $1 chip, although funnily enough their commemorative chip had the top hat & cane embossed on it). The Gold Coast chip is the same diameter as any other chip, but ever so slightly thinner.

    [​IMG]

    And here's the chip from Whiskey Pete...both my fiance and I thought it was pretty cute:

    [​IMG]

    Well, if you made it this far thanks for reading! I still need to sign us both up for the Silver Strikers club. We are tentatively planning a return in January for the $300 strike distribution, although I had plans to go in December and 3 trips in 3 months is a bit much for me. We'll see though!

    Edit: Oh, one additional note I wanted to post about the casino chips...some of the chips I get have been quite grimy. It's nice when the person at the cage tries to find a clean chip...I've even had a couple go back and look for a new chip for me. Sometimes it's busy, so I just want to be out of their way as quickly as possible so we often get some real dirty ones.. I've found that a tiny drop of Dawn and an old toothbrush can have them looking like new pretty quickly. Whatever sticker or insert they use seems sturdy enough to be gently washed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
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  8. La$Vega$

    La$Vega$ High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Nice report and your a comedian to boot!
    Good collecting the chips and SS's
    Do you know of any web sites that list the collector value of SS's & chips?
     
  9. Eric1285

    Eric1285 Low-Roller

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    Thank you, glad you enjoyed it! I haven't found an online price guide, but I have seen references to one so it must exist (maybe print only?). I wanted to see how much these red caps go for so I searched for sold listings on eBay. Varied quite a bit, as I saw anything from $25-50. Saw a couple of the Halloween yellow caps sell for $85 and $120.
     
  10. Treb23

    Treb23 Tourist

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    Awesome report! Thanks for finishing it up and taking us along.
     
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  11. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Innocent Bystander

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    Excellent report! Thanks for sharing!!!

    My wife and I have made it sort of a tradition to visit the Pearl Factory on each trip. It all started on our second trip in 2009 at the Luxor. I believe she has 18 pearls in settings, with about 4 or 5 loose ones. The problem is that with each setting, she gets a free pearl!!! We have bought almost all of the pearls from the same person at the Luxor, but she has since moved over to the Excalibur location (the one by the start of the Castle Walk). I usually let her and my wife talk for a couple of hours while I visit the casino.
     
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  12. Eric1285

    Eric1285 Low-Roller

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    We've never gotten a free pearl with a setting, although I think we've only purchased 3 or 4. Is that a regular thing?
     
  13. Texas Rock

    Texas Rock Tourist

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    As far as Chip Values go, the absolute bible of the hobby is a printed book (nothing online though) that can be found at www.thechiprack.com.
     
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  14. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Innocent Bystander

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    I think there is a minimum price for the setting to get a free pearl, but not sure what it is. I don't think any of the settings she has gotten have been under $150.
     
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