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Dec 2019 Trip Report - Two Dozen Nights in Downtown Las Vegas... Minus 22

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by zignerlv, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    Finally got to finish this. The full report is at https://deamonlv.blogspot.com/2020/01/december-2019-trip-report-two-dozen.html

    Selected portions I am copying here.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    For fun, I figured I'd base my title on wasilla's last report title of "Two Dozen Nights" with my own twist. Like his, mine is heavy on play, but unlike his, it's just for 2 days.

    On a different note, I don't know how those that do daily detailed reports to it. For me, it's an effort doing any kind of detail, even after the fact. I'm only getting into this detail level because it was a two day trip. I can't imagine spending the time it took me to put this together for even a four day trip. And doing this while on the trip is simply out of the question for me. I don't even spend enough time doing enough leisurely things that I want to do during the trip, like visit the downtown outlet center, or visit Luv It Custard. So, I'm certainly not going to spend a half hour a day typing up this level of detail when I barely have time to do what I want to do for fun! To those that do, do it, hats off to you! I don't know how you do it!

    The Trip

    I didn't know if this trip would be worth the travel time coming from the east coast for just two days of play. Why would I consider such a thing, flying 5 hours (not to mention an over 2 hour drive to the airport?). A $50 cross country roundtrip airfare with Frontier, that's why! At least the flight was non stop, which made it more doable, saving a few hours of travel vs a layover/connection. This was a solo trip, and I was resigned to enduring hours in a middle seat. My origin airport parking/tolls/gas are the largest expense of the trip. Since this is only two days, downtown, I went without a rental car.

    I was prepared mentally for an uncomfortable first trip on Frontier. I decide to gamble on not reserving a seat, which if I had, would have cost as much at the original airfare! I lucked out by getting an aisle seat way up front. Then, something happened that in my 100 plus flights I have never encountered before. The pilot announced the due to strong headwinds, they had to fill up with extra fuel. Since the fuel tanks in the wing are towards the front of the aircraft, they needed to balance out the plane by moving passengers from the front of the plain to the rear. They needed 8 volunteers! They offered no compensation (not expecting free flights, but how about free beverages and/or food?). We wouldn't be pulling out of the gate until they got 8 of us to move. One by one, a few people volunteered. After about 10 minutes, the 7th person opted to move. They needed one more, but not one was budging. Finally the pilot announced that they calculated that the 7 people ended up being enough to make the plane safe to fly. The bonus was the man in the middle seat next to me, volunteered to move. So, without paying for a reserved seat, I had a single digit row aisle seat, with an open seat next to me! I didn't find the seats to be uncomfortable, although they definitely were less padded than your average seats on other airlines.

    After I landed, I decided to take the WAX bus downtown. This was the first time taking it from Terminal 3. I did some research as to where the bus stop was located, but I ended up only having about 8 minutes to catch the bus once I exited the plane. I made one wrong turn in trying to get up to the arrivals level and that was enough to miss the bus. I caught the next one, an hour later, which was more like 40 minutes later once I finally located the bus stop. Since I was only planning to check in and get right to sleep, the extra wait wasn't a big deal.

    Since I was staying at Main St Station, and after looking at the bus route, I had this idea that getting off on 4th and Stewart would much less of a walk than the prior stop, 4th and Carson. Well, it would have been if it actually stopped at Stewart. What I learned is the Stewart stop is a few hundred feet PAST Stewart, almost to the point of being under the freeway underpass! Now, it's close to midnight, no one is around, and here I am walking a path that was totally deserted, cutting across empty lots, trying to get to a lighted area quickly. I made it to MSS, checked in and settled into the room.

    I have been in town before during this time of year, where the NFR dominates. Since the cowboy type is so foreign to those of us on the East coast, I like to refer to the attendees as "The Hats", since obviously, many of them wear cowboy/western hats.

    Especially on a short trip like this one, I try to stay close to east coast time, so I am up and out at 6am. I stepped out to walk a bit, and was shocked to see/hear this scene outside, which took place about 100 feet from some of the bedroom windows in the Four Queens!



    At the very same time (just before the video was taken) another crew was on a cherry picker, power washing the canopy of the Four Queens, just under the lowest floor windows! There were well into their work, so they had started earlier than 6am! Can you imagine, waking up at 6am and looking out, seeing and hearing water blasting the canopy just under you, while enduring jack hammering on concrete less than 100 feet away, at the same time?

    To rub salt in the wound, the next morning at 6am they were at it again with the jack hammer! I get it, there are less people out and about at 5-6am, but being this is so close to many hotel rooms, you would think they could have started this at say 8am or so, and would be able to get the job done.

    I was there for the downtown Christmas Tree lighting. Not very exciting, and the tree isn't really that impressive, but here is the video of it. They ran a snowflake video on the FSE canopy around this time.







    Playing Santa
    I brought some small gifts, with a good idea of who I was going to give them to. Gifts like these are much more appreciated by casino staff that don't typically get gifts (non hosts). My favorite front desk attendant, and a restaurant employee were the recipients, and seeing their surprised reactions was one of the highlights of the trip.


    The Play

    I started the trip playing Double Bonus, and after the first 10 minutes, I was dealt four Queens. About 7 minutes later I had quad 6's. Four minutes later I drew to 3 queens and hit the fourth. I never get excited about a good start, as some of my worst days of play started with good starts. After cooling off for about 45 minutes, I took a break for breakfast.

    I had a breakfast at Main Street Station buffet, which I do about once every 2 years. They were running a promotion that on weekdays, after earning 10 or 15 tier credits, you get a free breakfast buffet. I played just a bit at non double bonus games to earn the tier points. I was disappointed in that it appeared there were around 1/3 less food items than the last time I ate breakfast there. If you want an omelet, you are in good shape, but besides that, the pickings are slim and of not high quality (mushy bacon, possibly powdered scrambled eggs, french toast sitting under a lamp for 45 minutes, etc). Strangely although it was almost all breakfast foods, they had pizza!

    Upon resuming play, I had played about 90 minutes since my queens, which drove me down to about 100 coins (losing all the prior gains plus more) then, I hit another four of a kind, with four 3s. I was now just over even.

    About 50 minutes later, I was feeding more cash into the machine. So much for my good start! Within 2 minutes I hit 2's. 3 minutes later, four 5's, and I was back to even. Half an hour later, four Jacks boost me, but I'm still a bit in the red. 20 minutes later, 6's and now slightly in the black.

    At the point where I had a few dollars over $1,000 coin in on a full pay double bonus machine, I got up and checked my BConnected Tier points on the kiosk. The results, not surprisingly were that I had earned zero tier points for that play!

    I moved to play some 9/6 jacks for a bit, as after a bathroom break the machines I was playing were occupied. I lost just a bit while hitting 2 quads there.

    When I got back to double bonus, with my target coin in being about 90 minutes away, I hit that dreaded end of day drought. Most of the day, for hours, I was around even, or down and then quickly coming back. But now the machine felt so dead. I wasn't hitting full houses, not even flushes. Before long, I was significantly down for the day. Frustrating! I had about another 20 minutes of play to go when I hit deal and saw the white payline jump up. I was dealt four Aces, now giving me a small win for the day! I locked them up, cashed out, and played the last half hour back on Jacks or Better, preserving my very small win. I had reached my coin in target here, and had the whole evening for couponing and playing elsewhere.

    I started by losing both Boyd matchplays at blackjack.

    Then, I went to play the matchplays at the D which I received on my prior trip with Southwest boarding pass deal. I had three $25 match play chips with me. I like the idea that if I won 2 of out 3 of these match plays, I'd have the whole trip's costs just about paid for. But, I don't have a good history with luck in blackjack, despite being a pretty decent level 2 card counter.

    So, I placed my first $25 bet with matchplay down and got dealt two 9's against a dealer 6. Of course, I split, and the dealer tells me I can play another matchplay along with my $25, on the split hand. I knew exactly what was coming next, a 2! I reached into my pocket and pulled out the other match play chip plus another regular green chip, and double down. I get a 3. No big deal as a dealer bust is still the most likely outcome here. On the other hand I get an 8, for 17. This will probably be either a $150 win or a $75 loss. Here we go! Dealer turns over a 5, then a 9, and bam, a $75 cash loss while losing $75 in match play chips. I shrug my shoulders, as I could tell you a hundred stories just like this one where I lost on the one big hand that mattered in a session.

    I went upstairs to the bar at the D to play some bonus poker, looking to continue to seed this place aiming for some Circa comp rooms when it opens in a year. A man sits down next to me, and within 2 minutes I hear him say whoa! I look over and he has a dealt straight flush. He tells me that he thinks this is the first straight flush that he has ever had. The 25 cent straight flush progressive that he hit was up to $175 at the time, vs the $62.50 standard payout. In my probably close to 18 hours of play in two days, I did not score even a single straight flush, anywhere, on this trip! I held my own at the upstairs D bar though, hitting quite a few quads, and leaving with a small gain.

    For dinner, I used a partial comp, and saved comp dollars from my years of play when Boyd was actually a great place to play, to eat at Second Street Grill.


    Second Street Grill gets Boyded
    Second Street Grill at the Fremont is the last of the quality, high value, Boyd restaurants. Given what they did with their other similar restaurants (Pasta Pirate, Redwood Grill, Billy Bob's etc), I knew something would change soon. What they did is remove the salads from being included with the entree offerings. Since the salads are $13 or so, this in effect raised the price of all entrees by $13 without raising the prices on the menu. Well done Boyd! Rather than spend $13 on a salad, I spent $15 on their wonderful crab cakes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    See the blog link at the top for Day 2 and the rest of the report.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
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  2. DaiLun

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

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    Bummer on the match play. I'm hoping for better luck for you going forward!!!
     
    A quick one day in-n-out to collect Silver Strikes
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  3. Tree DA

    Tree DA High-Roller

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    Thanks for sharing.

    What's the deal with the cookies?
     
  4. julia

    julia (was miss_sonja)

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    That match play loss sucks:-(.

    Agreed-cookies??
     
    Sarah McLachlan! Barry Manilow! First girls trip since 2007
  5. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    Well, I guess I should have pointed out the cookie discussion was a follow on from the Two Dozen Nights in Downtown Las Vegas trip report from wasilla in October. I will update to try to put a link to that discussion, if I can find it in the many pages of comments. Wasilla mentioned his love for the Four Queens Magnolia's restaurant cookies, after which a few other fans of these chimed in. We discussed how good they are, and that they run out often, and, are a good way of using up some more comp dollars if you are looking to use them.

    I added a few lines to the report to explain the reason for mentioning the cookies.

    Thanks for pointing that omission out!


    UPDATE: Here are a few of the posts in the prior discussion on the cookies

    https://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php?threads/two-dozen-nights-in-vegas-down-town-vp-and-beer.167394/page-12#post-1941304

    https://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php?threads/two-dozen-nights-in-vegas-down-town-vp-and-beer.167394/page-12#post-1941521

    https://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php?threads/two-dozen-nights-in-vegas-down-town-vp-and-beer.167394/page-12#post-1941336
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
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  6. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

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    I so agree that posting the "win" pix does not give an accurate gambling day for most of us. I really like the details of your (and Wasilla's) reports. Too often I am thinking "what am I doing wrong?" when reaching for more money for the machine!
    Thanks for the report!
     
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  7. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report! I would rather have longer trips, but we did a 56 hour one thanks to frontier's fares too a couple of years back!
     
  8. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Caesars Diamond Member

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    Imagine that? Keep running back to the restaurant to check up on cookies? Damn, they really must be good to go through all of that.:ssst:
     
  9. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Caesars Diamond Member

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    Thanks for the great trip report. Amazing deal for the Frontier flight. Unfortunately, we don't get such deals here in NYC, where you can fly for $50.00 bucks. Parking in the city costs that much here in a parking garage. LOL And certainly agree on all those video poker hands that some people post. Gets to be a little too much after a while. Must we see every 4 of a kind or a 4 to a Royal that did not connect?:bang:
     
  10. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    Thanks. I did have to travel hours to the airport because this fare was not available locally. It was a bit of a pain, but fun to be able to say I flew, for like you said, at about the price of a day or two of airport parking.

    As I continue to see the royal "almosts" posted, etc, I think about in the future, once, doing a report where I post every single near miss of mine, and my quads (count them above even in this just 2 day losing trip). All that, and yet have the typical trip where I am down 1/4 of a royal for the trip. It might bring down the VMB server for a week long report, but sadly, would probably be more popular than my other reports!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  11. FABismonte

    FABismonte Tell my wife I am "about even."

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    Thanks for the trip report and alerting me that the 2nd Street Grill has now been "Boyd" I used to appreciate that entrees there came with salad and since there was starch and some veggies on the plate, it made a full meal.
     
    Super Bowl Weekend
  12. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    Yes, that was disappointing not having that all included. On my next trip, SSG will be closed on the day I will be there, so I likely will be eating at the Redwood, which already has been Boyded (a la carte menu). Looking at their menu, I'm not impressed with the side salads, nor the veggie side dish choices. Hate the idea of ordering and paying for a side I am not crazy about, just to accompany my steak or seafood! Can they bring back my old Pasta Pirate $22 filet and lobster tail full dinner (salad, starch, veggie), complete with a glass of wine included? ;-)
     
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  13. FABismonte

    FABismonte Tell my wife I am "about even."

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    Just ask the maître d at the place if you can get "grandfathered" , , ,
     
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  14. Valgal

    Valgal Interesting and rude are not the same thing.

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    Thanks for the TR. I’ve flown Frontier once. I would fly out with them if the price was right but probably not on a return flight. The only nonstop flight back are the Redeyes leaving Las Vegas around midnight - a little too brutal for me.
     
    Husband's 60th Birthday!!
  15. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    Sure, no way I would do a red eye coming home on short trip like this one. Fortunately, my non stop return left around 7:30-8am, getting back east in the mid afternoon, close to ideal timing.
     
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