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Epic Winning Trip to the Borgata in Atlantic City: July 21-23

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by lithium78, Jul 24, 2017.

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  1. lithium78

    lithium78 VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    We got back from our weekend getaway to Atlantic City last night and I wanted to share a trip report because I am freaking ecstatic right now.

    So, originally, we had planned to spend a few days in Vegas to celebrate our wedding anniversary, but my wife ended up getting a new job and they wouldn't give her the time off until she accumulated some PTO. It really ended up working out, because I've been getting really upset lately at the ever-increasing nickel-and-diming in Vegas that's making the place less of a good deal as a vacation spot. Now the resort fees for the nicer hotels cost $40/night plus they have increased tourism taxes and other fees on top of raising the prices for all the meals and drinks, etc. Additionally, they closed a lot of the shows I had been interested in and they are replacing it with touring musicians, which is something I can see any time I want where I already live.

    Why fly five and a half hours when I can basically already get the same experience in Atlantic City, which is only about two hours drive from my house? It was a no brainer for me. We booked a weekend at the Borgata and decided to make that our wedding anniversary getaway.

    We arrived at the Borgata at about 5 pm and checked into our room in the Water Club, which is their premium tower with nice views of the marina. This place is top notch. I think it compares well to places in Vegas like the Bellagio or Caesars. Here's the view from our room (Sorry about the reflection in the window):

    [​IMG]

    I stopped by the MLife desk to ensure my new card worked and had the comps loaded and it did. MLife works in a really strange way at The Borgata. You can earn express comps at the Borgata and use them in Vegas, but you can't use Vegas express comps at the Borgata. That is unacceptable. The entire point of MLife is that your comps are supposed to be transferrable. People who play in Vegas aren't going to play in AC if they can't use the points they earned. This should have been resolved months ago, since MGM had an entire year to plan the transition to MLife. I hope someone loses their job over this.

    Anyway, we had a comp buffet for two at the Borgata Buffet, which was absolutely terrific. So much variety and excellent gourmet food for a buffet. I'd say it was similar to the Aria buffet in Vegas. I had some really nice barbecue chicken and a sirloin steak and way too much dessert. Then, we headed off to play some slots.

    When MGM took over the Borgata, they decided to cut pretty much everybody's freeplay, so I ended up with only $55 that first day. Cheapskates. I turned that freeplay into $88 and then cashed it out before turning to my bankroll. I played for about 3.5 hours playing quarter slots at $1.25/spin and finished up by $30 for the night. I earned only $17 in express comps for my play. I feel like my play earned a lot more in comp dollars under Borgata's old comp system but whatever. MGM owns the place now so they get to make the rules.

    By the way, my level of play got me a host at Harrah's Atlantic City, which just goes to show you how high end Borgata is. I'm like a gnat to them.

    I went to bed at about midnight because I was really tired and then we got up at 8 am the next morning. We had a breakfast buffet -- which was equally good to the dinner buffet -- and then decided to get a parking transfer from the lot attendant and head down to the Boardwalk to go walking. We didn't realize how hot and humid it was going to be on Saturday, so we ended up pretty sweaty by the time we walked from Caesars to the old Taj Mahal on the other end of the Boardwalk.

    Hard Rock bought the Taj and they are pouring about $500 million into renovating the place and turning it into the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City by next Memorial Day. There were banners up outside advertising that you could buy some of Donald Trump's old stuff, but we weren't interested. I jokingly said we should have bought one of the gawdy giant stone elephants to stick in our front yard to get our neighbors back for their awful pink flamingos, but my wife vetoes the idea.

    We did eat at the Hard Rock Cafe, which is the only part of the old Taj that's open at the moment and their burgers were really good. If you are a fan of New Jersey musicians like Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, they have a lot of their memorabilia inside on display. As chain restaurants go, their food is quite tasty too.

    After lunch, we headed back to the Borgata because we had tickets to see Jeff Dunham's show that afternoon. Originally, we had planned to see him at Caesars in Vegas, before we changed our plans and it just worked out that he was going to play Atlantic City anyway, so yay for us. He was really funny. He brought all the puppets from his TV specials like Peanut (Jeff-fah-fah Dun-Ham Dot Com!) and Achmed the Dead Terrorist (Silence! I keel you!) It was a two hour show and we were laughing uproariously throughout.

    The audience was really into it too, which was nice to see. Sometimes, casino shows can be hit-or-miss with the audience because some people just get comp tickets and they're drunk and they don't really care what they are watching. That can be a problem because then you have people getting up and walking around in the middle of the show or heckling the comedian or just being loud and drunk. Everyone was pretty much focused on the comedy and having a nice time, so we were pretty happy with that.

    We had a small dinner at the Borgata Bakery, which has sandwiches and stuff. Then, we went for a walk on the hiking trail along the water outside the hotel. There are all kinds of seabirds and animals and stuff along the coastline of Atlantic City and if you go out to check it out at the right time of the day, you can enjoy some wildlife sightseeing that doesn't involve fat naked guys. You can't really do that on the Strip or Downtown in Vegas.

    In the evening, I decided to go play some more slots, since I still had my entire bankroll and a $10 freeplay thanks to My Vegas. My wife decided to try the skill-based slot game. The skill-based games are something new they've been experimenting with in AC and we really didn't like them when we tried them out at Bally's earlier in the year. It seemed like no matter what you do you can't win any games, so it ended up being a total waste of time. Well, now they seem to have tweaked the games and it's actually possible to win sometimes, so my wife had a lot of fun playing a Match 3 game called Pharoah's Hidden Temple. She can't stand playing slots or card games, but she loves her Match 3 iPad games at home, so this was great for her. She ended up losing a little bit of money, but she had a great time and that's all that really matters.

    Meanwhile, I was about to set out on an epic win of my own.

    I started out playing quarter slots again for $1.25/spin like the previous night, but I burned through my first $100 like nothing. I decided to switch it up to playing 50 cent Big Times Pay at 2 credits a spin (which is the max on the machine), so $1/spin. I hadn't really played that game before, but it looked like an old machine, so I reasoned that MGM may not have gotten around to ruining the payback on it yet. Surprisingly, this machine was keeping things interesting for me. $10 here. $25 there. I wasn't losing money and that was a nice change of pace from how things usually go for me.

    I got talking with the guy on the machine next to me. Back in the day, he was a limo driver in North Jersey and he used to drive all the celebrities down to AC to see the big boxing matches like Mike Tyson. He was telling me about how easy it was to win on slots back in the 80s. He said that one time he got four handpays in one night.

    I told him that I'd never gotten a handpay before. The best I ever did was winning $1000 on a machine at Caesars over on the Boardwalk. The guy had been watching how I was doing and he said he had a feeling that I was going to win big tonight. He could just tell.

    We had a nice time drinking beers and chatting.

    I got a big hit after a couple hours: Two Big Times Pay Symbols and Two Bars, then 8x on the bonus wheel. 64 times pay: $640. Nice! I thought about cashing out then, but I figured what the hey? I'm having a nice time. Let's keep playing.

    About an hour later, I hit this:

    [​IMG]

    My first ever handpay: $3000 jackpot. In AC, sirens and lights go off when you hit a jackpot, so everybody came over to congratulate me. I was high-fiving and fist bumping everyone. People say that AC isn't a friendly place to play, but it didn't seem like that to me.

    The slot attendant came and took my information, then came back and had me sign off on the tax paperwork, then counted out thirty benjamins into my hand. Freaking amazing. I decided to call it a night at that point, because I knew I wasn't going to top that. I cashed out my TITOs at the machine, then headed back to my room with my winnings.

    Total winnings for the weekend: $3565. Check this out in all its majesty:

    [​IMG]

    It was around midnight by this time but my wife was still awake so I shared the good news with her and we celebrated. Then, a couple hours later, once the adrenaline of the big win wore off, we went to sleep.

    The next day, we had breakfast at the Metropolitan, which is a little sitdown place near the casino floor, then enjoyed a massage at the Water Club's spa. The spa overlooks the marina from (I think) the 34th floor, so it has great views. It also has a great co-ed area, so we could enjoy the hot tub and lap pool together instead of being split up like they do at Caesars. We appreciated that, because we really felt like we had something to celebrate.

    Later on, we decided to head home and surprisingly didn't run into much traffic.

    This was only my third winning trip to a casino and this was my biggest yet with my first ever handpay. I'm going to remember this for a long time. Unfortunately, I only earned $32 in express comps and only about 2500 tier credits, but eyes on the prize. I left that place with a whole bunch of the Borgata's money and that's the ultimate goal of any gambling trip.

    Feels good to be a thousandaire! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
    4-Day Getaway to Atlantic City!
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  2. Fet297

    Fet297 113 survivor North Vegas

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    Congratulations. Nice read AND nice hit!
     
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  3. Tex

    Tex VIP Whale

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    Very nice!
    Congratulations.
     
  4. Gino

    Gino "The King of Inappropriate."

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    Feels great, doesn't it? Congrats good for you. Possibly doing AC next summer.
     
  5. debbie d

    debbie d Tourist

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    Congratulations
     
  6. Drewm1972

    Drewm1972 VIP Whale

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    Yeah I totally agree with you on this stupid part ...where we can't use EC over at Borgata ... yet they keep sending me offers free trip; chartered jet & free nights & few hundos for food but can't use EC. Here in my local MGM I accumulate EC on table games which I wanted to use over at borgata; god knows I eat like cow and that few hundos they offer as resort credit will be gone with in a day lol. My wife and I, we like to use it on spa & shows & drinks etc
     
  7. vegas superfan

    vegas superfan High-Roller

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    That was a fantastic hit. Congratulations and happy anniversary!

    Borgata mailed me my new Mlife card, but it has a different number than my normal Mlife card. So I am anticipating problems when I go as the new card should have my free play on it. But the old Mlife card is Pearl status.
     
  8. NCAAHoops

    NCAAHoops High-Roller

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    What a Great hit!!!! Sounds like you guys were having a great time before the payiut so better yet. Where about was that machine?? Is it to the left if you are facing the cage and behibd the tables??? I like to give it a try. I do not play machines just VP so it would be a first. Nice hit I hope you spend some of it on yourself. Thanks for posting
     
  9. lithium78

    lithium78 VIP Whale

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    It's in the non-smoking section between the MLife desk and the entry to the casino from self-parking right along the walking path around the casino. That was one of the reasons that absolutely everybody came over to check out my hit. It was literally the first machine on the floor next to where everyone was walking to get to the restaurants.
     
    4-Day Getaway to Atlantic City!
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  10. Echo27

    Echo27 High-Roller

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    Man, that's a beautiful picture you posted! Glad you had such a great trip. I love AC!
     
  11. biggiesteve

    biggiesteve Tourist

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    Nice hit! Congrats!

    Thanks for the report. My wife and I always talk about going to AC but the plans never materialize.
     
  12. emmas

    emmas VIP Whale

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    Congratulations on a great anniversary trip and the handpay.
     
  13. NCAAHoops

    NCAAHoops High-Roller

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    Next time i am in the B i will put 50 thru it. I know righr where you are talking about. I will report it here if I get any good hits
     
  14. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 VIP Whale

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    Great report and a sweet win. Congrats for taking it home with you. Next year I want to plan a trip to AC.

    Mark
     
  15. Geogran

    Geogran Whooo. Whooo.

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    Congrats on a super nice handpay and anniversary celebration - sounds like a perfect time!
    Really enjoyed reading!
     
  16. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    You know I always like a AC trip report, but I really enjoyed yours because of the big win. Congratulations!

    Gotta hit the Borg get on their radar.

    As for the sightseeing that didn't involve fat naked guys, were these the guys from Montreal in their speedos? After all, it's July.
     
  17. Harry Lyme

    Harry Lyme VIP Whale

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    Awesome win and a great read! I could feel your excitement and smiled when I saw your layout. Nothing like a great win to make you not care about comps!

    And I LOVE the Water Club! Driving into Borgata, period, gives you a great feeling, but WC is just fantastic. As you said, really top notch. I always tell people if they love Borgata, they owe it to themselves to stay in WC.

    Congrats again!
     
  18. lithium78

    lithium78 VIP Whale

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    I got nothing against Canadians, especially since some of my ancestry is Canadian, but, man. They need to lay off the Speedos in the summertime. Few people other than Michael Phelps can pull off that look.
     
    4-Day Getaway to Atlantic City!
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  19. spdandpwr

    spdandpwr VIP Whale

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    I've gotta hit the Borg! I'm getting some serious love in the form of room comps from CET, which is why I don't go. But, since I haven't had a winning trip at Harrah's ever (I've had over 7 trips there), it might be worth a shot.Thanks for sharing!
     
  20. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Beautiful pics!

    Congrats and thank you for your great report! :D

    RICHARD
     
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