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Booker's Halloween 2019 Trip Report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by booker, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    Get Away Day
    My afternoon flight left Portland, OR, 20 minutes late on Monday afternoon.
    IMG_2283.jpeg
    Mt. St. Helens. I lived 35 miles due north of it when it erupted.

    Upon landing, I discovered that my Facebook account had been phished and my phone was acting funky. I had stupidly upgraded my iPhone to IOS 13.x shortly before leaving and things immediately went south. Some text messages vanished, and I wondered if some “improvements” were actually bugs. Had my iPhone had been hacked?

    Eventually, I connected with Lyft and off to the Orleans I went. My driver said that she was also having problems with her iPhone after when she updated her IOS, especially with messaging. She was also not a happy camper.

    I checked in for perhaps my last two Boyd comped nights for this vp and live poker player. This trip, I broke some of my rules to “gently” play a few slots in hopes of keeping my funky Sapphire status alive and me on their radar. I doubt that I succeeded.

    I had already used my LVA matchplay coupon on my last trip, but thanks to @Valgal from VMB, I used a $10 matchplay from her AGC booklet. A sweet, young couple on their first Vegas trip who were obviously on a budget, sat down next to me and scrounged in pockets and purse to come up with $20-$30 each for the game. I gave them an LVA coupon from Valgal’s LVA booklet and a couple of others that I had. They were sincerely overjoyed and had no idea that coupons existed. Pay those unused coupons forward!

    First night recap:

    On slots, I lost a little – like under $10 at Lightning Strike and Buffalo. I started winning on both, but gave it all back. On video poker, I lost $7 on 100 hand penny vp, but did well on Deuces Wild machines.
    Orleans vp.jpeg Orleans deuces.jpeg
    Waiting for a 1/3 poker seat to open up, I hit a Quick Hit machine for a whopping $1.40. Note: While at the Orleans, I would slip a bill into a slot machine, often winning a bit, nothing earthshaking. I just can’t get into slot machines, but some of the graphics are cool.
    Quick Pick.jpeg
    Poker ~ Card dead. I played a couple of hours and would go up and down $50 without seeing may flops. When I finally got a hand, my image was so tight that I got no action. Somehow, I managed to quit $5 up.

    It was time to call it a night, But first, a trip for what I thought would be my only craps session.
    Orleans carap.jpeg
    If you don’t play craps, it might be difficult to understand the camaraderie of strangers Everybody, it seemed, would make a couple of numbers. There were no monster rolls. Cheers, fist bumps, and high fives happened with regularity.

    IMG_2294.jpeg
    Craps ~ In for $100 – out for $213

    It had been a long day and I was exhausted, so I celebrated my craps win with with a Rusty Nail. My “free” drink was actually free for once.
    FreeBeer.jpeg
    One sip and I could feel the alcohol. I had forgotten dinner. I took my drink and my tired, buzzed ass to bed.
     
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  2. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    Day 2
    Not much sleep to be had. Hungry, I was off to the buffet. It was free (coupon & comp) and worth every penny that I didn’t pay, which is to say, disappointing. The waffles were dry, the hash salty, but at least my ham was dried out. The scrambled eggs, however, were on point and the coffee hot.

    This was the day I was heading to South Point for their 10am poker tournament, and while there, slip a Benjamin into a 9/6 MultiStrike machine. I heard good things about both from @mjames1229 & @smerrian on VMB.

    My Lyft driver was a fellow poker player, so our conversation made the trip fast.

    Gotta tell ya, if this property was closer to the strip, it would be my new home base. Clean. Well lit. Airy. Friendly staff. Decent vp schedules. What’s not to like?

    Oh, yeah. I don’t like its distance from the strip and downtown.

    MultiStrike (25¢ 9/6) – $100 in, nearly $100 down in no time at all. Why, oh why did I win so much money at the Stardust when MultiStrike first appeared? Like a drug dealer, it gave me a taste of the good stuff and got me hooked. I’m telling ya, I’ll never touch it again. Probably.

    After my MultiStrike debacle, it was off to Poker, and what a nice, well run $60 tournament it was.
    SP table.jpeg
    I made it to the final table with only 6 big blinds.
    SP Clock.jpeg
    At the final table, the very first hand found me under the gun (first to act). I looked down and found a pair of red threes. I shoved all in and got two callers. I was up against Ks-Jc & Ah-Jd. The flop came 3d, Jc, 2c. Sweet! I was going to triple up at the final table. Life was good! … until the turn and river were both clubs, giving the K-J guy a flush. I was kicked to the curb in 10th place. The A-J caller who also busted, had a few more chips than me, so he took 9th.

    I just made it to the buffet before it closed for lunch. I used @Valgal’s 50% off coupon. Excellent selection and fine quality. (Am I talking myself into a couple of nights here in the future?)

    I Lyfted back to the Orleans and took a walk in the cool, sunny day to Starbucks on west Tropicana. I walked past a couple of shady characters on the street, and a couple more hanging out near Walgreens. Returning to the Orleans, a young woman showing a LOT of floppy bosom on this cold day gave me a big smile as she passed me in the middle of the crosswalk. I’m not sure what she wanted, but that poor thing was just asking for one heck of a chest cold.

    Time for a long poker session, but I was felted in 3 orbits. Goodbye $300. For poker players, here’s what happened. I had Ah-Qh. I flopped a queen and two hearts vs. two pair and didn’t improve. Then I flopped an open ended straight, continuation bet, nobody folded, bet the turn but didn’t three-barrel the river. Lastly I ran pocket queens into pocket aces. Sigh.

    I took myself to a bar to sample a Goose Island IPA and to lick my wounds. I was playing video poker and the guy next to me was talking loudly into his cell phone. He was a funeral director trying to sell services to someone whose mother had died. He was fat. He was smoking. He was loud. I took my brew and skedaddled back toward the poker room. Waiting to be called for an open seat, I went on a little vp heater and won a couple hundred bucks. A seat opened before I could I could give it all back.
    59409013848__44619869-08EB-40A0-8612-B674A50A0A3B.jpeg
    I started clawing back my earlier poker loss at my new table, but it broke with me up $45. I got moved to another table.

    This table was COLD! Not because of the hands, but because it was directly under an AC unit blowing cold air. I ran up to my room and donned a hoodie. What is it with Vegas and cold poker rooms?

    The demographics of some poker tables at the Orleans are on the aged side. I am 69 years-old and was one of the young bucks at this table. I was catching cards, but couldn’t get action. The game was like watching paint dry. I called it a night wining $155.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019 at 4:31 PM
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  3. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    Day 3
    The day started off great, went to hell, then recovered with a bang. After rare good night’s Vegas sleep, I loaded up on sugar and fat with a tasty strawberry waffle at the Copper Whisk. Don’t tell my doctor.
    Strawberry waffel.jpeg
    After breakfast, I Lyfted to the Four Queens. My room wasn’t ready until after noon, so I left my bag with the bell desk and discovered that I didn’t have my CPAP machine. Panic! I called Orleans housekeeping and security to no avail. It took me forever to discover how to text my driver. It took him over an hour to reply that he had it and would text me when he made it back downtown. Of course, he was south of the strip.

    Awaiting the return of my CPAP, I made a mini coupon run.

    The D: $25 blackjack. Lost 17 vs. dealer’s 16 when she hit a 5.
    Fremont: $10 blackjack. Lost when my 19 ran into a dealer’s 20.

    At noon, I had asked for a quiet room and checked into one on the 10th floor. It was clean, had battered furniture, and everything worked. After setting up my room, it was time for lunch. I have read good reviews of Le Thai, and they were correct. I had the lunch special Three Color Curry and a soda. Excellent lunch at a good price.
    3ColorCurry.jpeg
    IMG_2306.jpeg
    Shortly before the 4:00pm LasVegas4ever meet, the driver showed up with my CPAP. The $20 I gave him worked as a tip and a Booker stupidity fine.

    The Meet
    Gosh, I liked meeting folks from the boards. Otto’s friend Ian blew me away with his tale of a motorcycle trip from NYC to Alaska. I wish that I could have chatted more with everyone.
    BonnieNickey.jpeg GaryG.jpeg WelchB&Hugh.jpeg Peebles.jpeg Meet.jpeg
    After the meet, I ran into The D and chomped down on a Coney Island Chili Dog *heartburn mistake* then late registered for the Golden Nugget’s 7pm poker tournament. Darned if I didn’t chop it three ways for $510 around midnight.
    GNpokerwin.jpeg Chips.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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  4. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    Day 4 ~ Halloween
    I grabbed a badly needed coffee at Starbucks. Sadly, it didn’t come with a syringe.

    After relaxing with coffee in my room, I made the mistake of going to Denny’s, the one with the colorful, yellow neon at Neonopolis. It didn’t take forever just the rest of the morning, for the waitstaff to acknowledge me with a, “I’ll be right there.” After five minutes and another, “I’ll be right there,” he eventually was right there to take my order. I asked a simple menu question that seemed to irritate him. Whatever. I was hungry and I went with one of the standards. Another minute or so passed, and he returned to ask a question. Another minute or so later, he returned with the same question. “Okay. Bring me the flippin’ food!” I thought. Sometime before my plane left Vegas, he brought my breakfast. If you guessed it wasn’t what I had ordered, you would be right.

    He delivered that breakfast to its rightful owner, then showed up with mine. Remember those questions he asked me? Well, he didn’t. The order was almost right, so I accepted it without further comment. That guy and I are never going to be best buds.

    More coupons. I walked to Main Street Station where I once more lost a $10 matchplay by busting on 12. Then, it was on to the Plaza. I signed up for a player’s card, whereupon I dashed to a blackjack table to lose yet another $10 matchplay. Dirty words were thought. How long could this coupon losing go on? I normally kill it with coupons.

    Next, a miracle seemingly happened. Perhaps someone sacrificed a virgin, it was Halloween after all. I won the Golden Gate $25 matchplay when the dealer busted to my pat 18. Doesn’t winning something after a losing streak feel great?

    This was to be a strip day, so I took a Lyft to Ellis Island to use more coupons. I won the $10 matchplay when I actually made 21 against a 20. While there, I ran enough coins through the slots to get my tennis buddy a *I Wish You Were Beer* t-shirt. After thrashing him at tennis yesterday (Yes, I’m gloating – what of it?), he bought me a beer. Guess the shirt worked.

    After EI, it was on to Caesars where I played the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. I was completely card dead and nothing of note happened. Poker is sometimes like that.

    Looking for a sustenance, I stumbled upon the Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill just before the close of Happy Hour. I had a half dozen chile, beer glazed, Hellfire Wings with blue cheese and a 20oz Boddingtons Pub Ale. Delightful, especially so since comps covered it.

    HotWings.jpeg
    After my beer and wings, I took a Lyft back to take in downtown’s Halloween shenanigans. What a sight for sore eyes. Actually, all the marijuana in the air would make anyone’s eyes sore. I turned my sweatshirt inside-out, wrapped a scarf around my neck, donned a $2.45 drugstore hat, and voilà, instant costume. I thought about coloring my hat for the Cat in the Hat look, but didn’t as that would have taken effort and I am lazy.
    catinhat.jpeg Sweatin'to the oldies.jpeg
    Sweating to the Oldies, I need this outfit for tennis.
    Winner.jpeg
    The $1,000 costume winner. The photo doesn't do the costume justice. Amazing.

    Halloween downtown was so crowded. As the crowd thickened, I again late registered the Golden Nugget poker tournament. This time I lasted a little over an hour before losing all of my chips, so I returned to the Halloween promenade. I made a couple of orbits, a couple of SLOW orbits as the crowd was shoulder-to-shoulder (skeleton-to-ghoul?). Approaching the Golden Gate, someone tapped me on my right shoulder. I turned and nobody was there. I instantly placed my hand on my wallet where it stayed for the duration while walking that night. Paranoid? Perhaps.

    I was hungry and gave up walking with my fellow freaks. I hoofed it down to Le Thai for dinner. The distance is what? Four blocks, five tops to Le Thai from the Golden Nugget? It took me almost 30 marijuana infused minutes to get there.
    TomKha.jpeg
    Tom Kha with Tofu and a chardonnay ~ Excellent! Low key, casual, low cost, and bit alternative/funky, Le Thai has made it on my Go To list when downtown.

    I didn’t know if I could sleep with noisy Halloween revelry, but my room location muted the racket. I popped in some ear plugs, turned on my CPAP that made some white noise, and I got some sleep.
     
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  5. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    Day 5 ~ Last Full Day
    4QueenTITO.jpeg
    A tidy little video poker win to start the day while sipping my Starbucks’ coffee. Then time for another little coupon run.

    Golden Gate, lost $25 matchplay.
    Plaza, lost $10 matchplay
    The D, lost $25 matchplay
    What the heck’s up with my coupons? I was expecting Fame & Fortune, not Wrack & Ruin. The Cal’s $10 matchplay was better. I doubled down on 10 agains the dealer’s 6 and won.

    At the Golden Nugget I played 1/2 no-limit and lost a big pot due to old eyes. From the 8 seat I would have sworn that the 3 was a spade, but it was a club putting 3 to a flush on board. Could I, should I have taken the time to really stare at the board? Certainly. But I need an excuse for losing and nobody else was there to blame. It’s never my fault. Got it?

    I took the SDX bus to the strip and played in the 1pm poker tournament at Planet Hollywood.
    PH.jpeg
    What a Push & Pray fest this was with 15 minute levels and soaring blinds. I made it to the final table with a fair amount of chips only to lose the next three hands in a row, all with good cards. I gets me chips in good against smaller stacks and gets me arse handed to me. Boo-hoo. No love for Booker.

    Following this debacle, I found a wonderful 1/2 table no-limit game at Caesars where I played a few hours. Nice guys all. I really hit it off with the Walmart truck driver from Georgia. He was drinking vodka & cranberry. Since this was my last night in Vegas, I decided to join him. Besides, I live surrounded by cranberry bogs, so I wanted to help the local economy. I’m altruistic like that. (Note to self: Don’t drink and play poker, fool!) I went from $200 up to $200 down in the next hour due to some stupid play when I happily thought that I was invincible. Cranberries do that to a person. That’s why people wish others a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Tail between my legs, I took the SDX back downtown and ended up at the 777 Brewery where I enjoyed the meatloaf with a loaded potato and steamed vegetables paired with a pale ale that I didn’t care for.
    MLoaf&Loaded.jpeg
    I ended the night playing craps at the Plaza where I turned a $100 win into a $25 loss. That happens, and with frequency. I’ve had better gambling days.
    IMG_2366.jpeg
    Getaway day

    I started the day at Magnolias for a light breakfast before packing, then headed to the Golden Nugget for a little morning poker.Here's a photo of fruit and a bagel in case you've never seen one before. You're welcome. (The presentation could have been better.)
    Magnolias.jpeg
    A cooler got dealt to me at the Golden Nugget. I flopped a set of 10s on the button, but the small blind flopped a set of queens. Goodbye!

    It was time to finally visit the Downtown Grand. Nice joint. I signed up for a player’s card, took my $10 matchplay to a blackjack table and promptly lost it. I did, however, book a whopping $45 craps win before trekking back to the Four Queens, thence to the airport.

    Summary
    For me, I really didn’t gamble that much and booked a fairly small loss. I often play long poker sessions where I don't drink. My poker wasn’t stellar, and the tournaments, while fun, had poor structures. Going in, I knew this trip would be low end gambling and poker for entertainment. While I didn’t win, I didn’t get hurt. I made good use of coupons and comps.

    The meet was the highlight of my trip and the reason I went. It’s great putting names to faces. I tried to spot Otto at Caesars and tried to connect with Bonnie and her daughter Halloween night, but to no avail.

    Last notes
    • Does all casino WiFi suck, or is my iPhone screwing with me?
    • I wanted more luck from my coupon play.
    • What’s with me and opening in-room coffee packets? I invariably tear into the coffee, spilling it all over.
    Coffee.jpeg

    • Weed everywhere ~ sure I couldn’t pass a drug test after an hour or more walking Fremont on Halloween.
    • The new canopy doesn’t cut it for me. I mean, the graphics are amazing and the sound system great, but the programing and music leaves much to be desired. I’m obviously not in the target demographic.
    • Halloween ~ Loved seeing it, not sure I’ll do it again.
    • Weather ~ Too damned cold for Vegas. It warmed up after I left.
     
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  6. drac999

    drac999 High-Roller

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    Totally agree! Nice of you:clap:. We were all there at one time!
     
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  7. fabriano

    fabriano Low-Roller

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    Fun report! Still laughing at your Denny's breakfast experience. Great photos, too. Everyone looks happy! Thanks for sharing.
     
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  8. zoey11

    zoey11 Mid roller and Vegas fanatic

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    Nice trip report!

    Too bad I didn’t run into you.

    Glad you had some good parts of your trip and some good food.

    When is your next trip?
     
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  9. Fet297

    Fet297 113 survivor North Vegas

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    Thanks for sharing your adventures. I enjoyed following along.
     
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  10. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty Doing retirement again and happily so....

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    Hahaha. The third pic. That is my wife’s hand trying to find her second martini (thanks @pebbles). Her third back at BHB did the trick. 11 hour siesta. Sorry I didn’t do a face to face. Or did I?:whistle:
     
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    NY giants vs Cincinnati-- y not?
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  11. wasilla

    wasilla Low-Roller

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    Great report.
     
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  12. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    You're a real class act, @booker!
    I hope our paths cross on a future trip! :beer:

    Congratulations on the great times and thank you for the TR!

    RICHARD
     
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  13. robert m.

    robert m. High-Roller

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    Thank you for the report.

    I recognized those single serve coffee packets. I tore into the coffee pouch on one at the 4 Queens.
     
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  14. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    Well … that's the $64,000 question. I hope the "kid" (now mid-late 30s) and former student who got me into poker can go with me sometime after February. It would be great to hit it with him again, it's been a few years and he's my perfect Vegas companion. We always agree on one good dinner and usually one show or comedy club. The rest roundin' poker games.

    I'm looking at March or April, June or July for the WSOP activities. Gosh, I made its home with a bit of a gambling bankroll. Egads!
     
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  15. Astribling

    Astribling VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report! You had me laughing out loud a couple of times.
     
    I Love Christmas + I Love Vegas - Combine Them, Yes Please!
    I Love Christmas + I Love Vegas - Combine Them, Yes Please!
  16. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Great report! Was a fun read!
     
  17. Dutch34

    Dutch34 High-Roller

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    Seems like fun was had!! Great report. Thank you.
     
  18. carolineno

    carolineno VIP Whale

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    Nice report and great details. I do live reports because I’d never remember all those fun extras. Lol cranberries. Next poker game pot i scoop I’m saying “happy thanksgiving” lol
     
    12 hours at Harrahs first, then Cosmo!!
    MyVegas comp
  19. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    As for reports, I tried a live one and I resented the time it took away from the trip. What do I do? Make shorthand notes in iPhone's Notes program and include reminders of my photos and comments that I text to my Vegas/Poker buddies back home. Of course, sometimes I can't decipher or remember my shorthand notes. lol

    And it's cranberry harvest time. Since I'm guessing nobody locally will see tis, I don't think that there would be any cranberry industry without sugar. However, a freshly picked, RIPE cranberry isn't that bad raw.

    IMG_1478.jpeg
     
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  20. Geogran

    Geogran VIP Whale

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    Hi @booker - I got lots of laughs as you maneuvered all around town, great commentary and enjoyed all the pics including the meetup, thanks for a fun read.

    Just one question - where is the dang waffle?????

    upload_2019-11-9_20-37-49.jpeg
     
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