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Excalibur slot tourney and more, live? May 17-21 @ Luxor

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Llew, May 17, 2012.

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  1. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    Actually, I see it as the standard prize being $500 and then some bonuses for finishing in a place that ends with a certain digit. For a free tourney, I think these are pretty good prizes.
     
  2. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    After doing some more work this afternoon, I hit the Player's Life website to play the mini-games for LotR: Two Towers. You can earn miles by doing so, and thus unlock new bonus games (that don't have any better payouts than the previous ones....but whatever).

    The mini-game in question was a jigsaw puzzle, a particularly aggravating one because the puzzle was contained in this tiny Java or Flash box, a major hindrance to being able to pick up the small details you need to put a puzzle together. Each one took me about 15 minutes to do, and altogether I had to do about 15 puzzles or so. It stopped being fun about halfway through the first one. I had already done all but three before tonight, and I was determined to slog through it so that I could play the machine and thus unlock the next mini-game. The tedium of the game and my lack of sleep had my nodding off by the time I finished, and I took a nap.

    My alarm annoyed me to full consciousness a couple hours later, and I dutifully headed to the LotR machine for a few spins. Bonus triggered after about 10 spins, and I chose one that involves free spins and added wilds. One of the spins hit fairly large, and I cashed out ahead by $100.

    Next, it was the high limit room for blackjack. The same pit boss from the previous night, a friendly chap, was working there and welcomed me. I saw other people in the room for the first time in a long time - 3 older guys playing a pitch game and judging by the shouts and cheers, hitting some good hands. I sat down at the shoe game, which despite the 6 decks vs. 2, has a slightly lower house edge thanks to certain table rules. Plus, you don't have to wait for the constant shuffles - 2 decks is already bad, but they only deal half of it.

    I bought in for $1000, bet the table minimum $100, and started off well, winning a double, before starting a downward slide that knocked me down to $500. By the end of the shoe, though, I had won some tough hands and was up $100. Next shoe, I started off trading wins with the dealer, before I went on a brief but epic run of winning 5 doubles in the span of just a few hands - and a lot of them were tough ones, like A6 vs 4 and 11 vs 10. I cashed out ahead $1075 (after tips), bringing my grand total for the trip to -$625.

    I went to the cashier and paid off my last marker with the two bananas. What next? How about a go at the high limit slots? Sheer folly, I replied to myself, before heading over and sitting down at a $5/10/25/50 Top Dollar slot. I put in my ticket from LotR and a hundred and played at $5. One payout - a cherry for 4 credits. Another hundred (just one more). Another cherry. Another two hundred (I won far more than this in blackjack just now). Top Dollar bonus game! Here we go! First offer: 15. Nope. 25. Nope. 30. Nope. 25 and like it, jerk. Fine. And so it went for the next hundred, and the next...I lost count of the bills I was putting in...finally, I'd hit the bonus 3 times and won 25, 15, and 20 credits after viewing all 4 offers each time. I had no normal payouts at all - none - except for about 5 cherries.

    Down to 2 credits, I did the only reasonable thing to do at that point. I put in a $10 for one more spin. Then I started shoving a $100 in, before realizing I hadn't lost yet. I spun, winning a cherry. Another spin, another cherry. At some point I had managed to load the next $100, even though I didn't need it yet. I spun and lost, spun and got yet another cherry, spun and...bonus game! First offer, 25. Grrrr. Second offer:

    [​IMG]

    Yes!!!! By far my largest slot jackpot ever. Now I'm up about $300 for the trip (I put HOW MANY hundreds in that damn machine before it hit?). And I just got a parking permit for the Gold+ Mlifer spaces in Luxor garage. That shade is important!

    So now I'm feeling pretty good. Time to visit the Lion's Share again, I think.
     
  3. Bookoo1

    Bookoo1 Low-Roller

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    nice win! go for that bonus round!!
     
  4. KingBBInLV

    KingBBInLV High-Roller

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    Great trip report, i'm enjoying it even though i live 5 mins away!

    If you get the special parking hang tag that is good for Luxor and Excal you can park under the Porte Cochere at Luxor (The one that faces the road between Luxor and Excal.) I once asked the security guard how long I can leave my car there, he said as long as I wanted to, I said how about a week, he said as long as the hang ag is on the mirror I could leave it there for a month if I wanted to lol.

    Also don't know if you knew but there is a pseudo VIP lounge with beverages at Luxor. It is located by the downstairs check in.

    The hang tag is also good for a whole bunch of spaces at Excalibur too.
     
  5. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Nice hit on the slot!!!!

    Savvy gamblers feed hundred after hundred in to what is clearly going to eventually be a hot machine!!!!

    :)
     
  6. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    No rest for the wicked! I'm still awake, and tonight was a truly memorable night of gambling...but not in a good way.

    First, I stopped by the Lion's Share. Played for a while on $200, getting as high as $227 but ultimately giving it all to the machine. I'm still 5000 or so points away from getting to do the bonus round, and I decide that I will not try to get those points.

    Instead, I head to Paris, because I want to stay there sometime but haven't played enough to get offers. But I've left my player's card at the hotel, and the desk is closed. On to Bellagio. I drop in on a $100 Blackjack table. I'm about to cash out, thinking I'm up $1000. Oops, I am only up $800. I play on. I lose the $800. I lose my $1000 buy-in as I start upping my bet. I buy in again for $1000. I lose that. I buy in again for $1000. I lose that. I buy in one last time, lose $500, then go on a massive streak of blackjacks and wins. After a while, I am only down $1900.

    I cash out and head to New York New York's high limit room, buying in for $1000. It disappears. I buy in for $500. That, too, is quickly gone. I buy in for another $1000 and start my comeback, working all the way up to even (at NYNY, not for the night) after a couple hours.

    I cash out and head back to the Luxor for some more blackjack. I take a marker for $2000 and, after going up $300, lose it all. I take another $2000 marker, lose $1000, fight back to $3000 (overall down $1000), and then lose it all, the last coming when I doubled a $500 bet with my 10 vs dealer 7. Dealer drew to 14, then 20, and my face-down card was a 4. I make a mental note to ask my host for more things. I also have a sudden urge to work and make more money.

    I'm now down about $5500 for the trip, plus I've got this W2G form and low-balled Mlife loss estimates for tonight's escapades. That's about my limit for the trip, so I'm going to have to find other forms of entertainment once the slot tourney is done. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing - I think I've done enough gambling for the whole trip over the past couple days! Make no mistake - 5.5k is a significant amount for me, and losing it sure doesn't feel good. I grew up quite poor, and that part of me is appalled to see thousands of dollars vanish like that...but also secretly revels in the fact that my life is good enough now that I can afford it without any hardship.
     
  7. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Sorry to hear the latest brutal escapades. I blanch at the thought of betting $500 on a hand of blackjack.
     
  8. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    After a couple hours of sleep, once more into the breach that is my bank account!

    I assessed the state of things in the harsh light of slightly later morning: I had $4000 in outstanding markers. I counted up the cash in my wallet and left over from my bank withdrawal: $4001.

    I'm taking suggestions on what to do with the remaining dollar.

    Elsewhere: I've earned about 47,000 Tier Credits, 2600 slot points, and $125 in Express Comps this trip. I've also reduced my tax liability by about $1500, thanks to yesterday's strategic losses. And I'm up a few scotches as well.

    But that's not all that happened this morning! I played Round 3 of the slot tourney, hitting 1 jackpot (these are worth 2400 points, by the way) and earning a score of almost 12000. Even without the bonus round, I'm pretty well positioned for a $500 free play prize (or 2/5k if I get lucky), because...

    Number of players in the tourney: 195
    Number of players in the bonus round: 28
    Prize structure: intact!

    I ran into the talkative lady again before the round began. She asked about my round 2 score, and I told her how I had a terrible round - 7000. She was like, oh, that's what I got. Oops. She's playing in the bonus round, though!

    Scores posted around 6pm, I am told.
     
  9. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    I actually met my host at the VIP lounge to pick up the parking permit. I need to ask her about access - those things are usually Platinum and Noir, and I'm Gold.

    Good info about the parking spots - thanks!
     
  10. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Excalibur has a Keno lounge.

    I'm just sayin'.

    $1 could be all you need. :)
     
  11. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    I woke up around 6:30pm, after 7 hours of much-needed sleep. My head hurt a little (must drink more water and less scotch) and I still felt tired. But I had tourney scores to check!

    But first, here is a picture of the closest I got to winning the Lion's Share last night:

    [​IMG]

    One lion on the payline, and two skulking just below the position line.

    I took my cash down to the casino to get my markers paid off. I might end up taking more later, but it seemed like a good way to put the big loss behind me and start fresh.

    I ran into my host there, and we talked about the tourney. Apparently, the scores were not tallied yet. After I reassured her that I had no need for show tickets or any other goodies, I wandered over to the Excalibur to find out when the tourney results would be in.

    "Soon," I was told after taking the moving walkways between the Luxor and the Excalibur for what seemed like the 100th time. I wish they had chairs in there, so that I could sit and watch drunk girls tottering up to the walkways in impossibly high heels and attempting to board them.

    Amazingly, I still was not hungry, having eaten nothing but a late night meal at McDonalds and a pretzel dog from NYNY since I arrived on Thursday morning. I decided that I had to eat - if nothing else, to pass the time until the scores were posted - and I looked around for a good place. I briefly considered: the Excalibur buffet, Baja Fresh, and American Burger Works. Then I remembered that I liked the Burger Bar in between Luxor and Mandalay Bay - beer floats sounded pretty good right then!

    I snapped this picture in the Luxor on the way over. Who comes up with these themes?

    [​IMG]

    On the way there, I decided I wanted something a little more casual and less restaurant-y, so I hit the Luxor buffet instead. First item: orange juice. Thick and sour tasting - juice that has no need for refrigeration because it's loaded with preservatives. Yuck. I got the raspberry iced tea instead. I loaded up on spring rolls, potstickers, and breaded shrimp, plus some corn on the cob and tortellini. Quality level was a little below what I get at Costco. Tortellini and corn on the cob were both mushy from overcooking. Went back for sushi - standard grocery store quality, with that gumminess that all rice has after being cooked and then refrigerated. I also grabbed some cocktail shrimp, but after 3 or 4 I grew weary of peeling them.

    I should have just skipped straight to dessert. The pistachio creme brulee with a blackberry was delicious, and the bread pudding (I topped it with creme anglais) was solid.

    My stomach was begging for mercy and threatening civil disobedience as I walked back to the Excalibur. Hopefully for the last time this trip! The scores were posted by the Mlife desk. I waited while an Asian woman and bits of her family surrounded the board, babbled, and pointed at her name for about five minutes. Finally, I sidled up through a gap in the defense and stole a glance at an obtuse angle, quickly scanning. Not #1, not #2 or #3...not top 25....hmmm. Mentally calculated my total score...oops, there I am! #13. 2000 points behind #1, who did not play a bonus round!

    I missed out on the big prizes for #11 and #12, but hopefully the $500 free play turns into a jackpot or a royal flush or something. I'm thinking high limit room, crazy high denominations. Any suggestions on where to blow it?

    With only $1 in cash, though, I'm going to have to take out a marker just to use my free play! (Or drive to my bank's atm, or pay a crazy ATM fee...)
     
  12. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    After a few hiccups, I managed to load up my free play on a $5 Double Diamond machine in the High Limit room and play the max of 2 credits/spin. A couple decent hits - 3 single bars twice, once enhanced by a double diamond symbol. I briefly consider spinning the last 100 on a single spin on a $100 machine, but I play it out on the same machine...nothing doing. I cash out with $570, definitely a nice prize for a free tourney.

    I take $500 to the high limit room and sat down for some more blackjack. They say that you need 1000 units to lower your risk of ruin to an acceptable level. I had 5. I started off with a win, then quickly lost 3 in a row. I traded wins and losses, eventually going to up $200. "One more win and I'll color up," I told myself. I lost. I won.

    Again, one win from cashing out, I lost..and lost...and lost. I surrendered down to $150 and offered my last black chip. Victory! I pushed up to -$150, then surrendered again. $300 left, I draw AA vs dealer 10. I split it. $200 on the table, $100 left. I draw another A. Split again, my last chip now in play, my entire tourney prize about to vanish.

    First A: draw a 6. Crap!
    Second A: draw a 7. Crap! but slightly less so.
    Third A: draw a 10. Nice! at least I will survive this.

    I cringe as the dealer flips. 4. I perk up. And...it's...a...9! I do a little celebration, making sure to snatch my chips out of the betting circle before the dealer can continue. "I'm coloring up!" I announce, abandoning my goal of $300 and setting and immediately fulfilling a new goal of not losing my prize.
     
  13. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    hahahha....definitely had a Chrysler K-car with that same feature. My friends will still needle me on occasion with "Your Door is A Jar".....CLASSIC!!!:evillaugh:evillaugh:evillaugh
     
  14. luckylinda

    luckylinda High-Roller

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    what happens now??
    do you have any money today I think the lions at mgm are never going to pay that jackpot.
     
  15. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    Now, I prowl the pedestrian walkways, asking likely fellows if "you need a date tonight, baby?" for blackjack money.
     
  16. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    As I mentioned before, my budget was 8k, and I was down 5k before I cut my losses - I wanted to be able to come back with a decent gambling budget sooner rather than later. I ended up moving my flight up to Sunday and flying out early, since I had gotten gun-shy about gambling after essentially having a losing session or a grind to get back to even every time I played blackjack, and the Sunday night/Monday afternoon scene isn't very ripe for hijinks.

    But, like Gen. MacArthur, I shall return. And beat some Luxor/Bellagio ass. And hit the Lions progressive. Believe it.
     
  17. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    I like the stick it to 'em next time strategy when no momentum

    better Gen. MacArthur than Gen. Custer, right?

    Great report, really enjoyed and damn that Luxor contest pay schedule was a real cocktease. no matter what your always a place or two out of the big money.
     
  18. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    I am looking forward to part 2 of this - Vegas: The Return. I have the feeling there is some unfinished business...

    Thanks for the write-up, really enjoyed it!
     
  19. Ahambone

    Ahambone Tourist

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    Fantastic write up- thanks for posting!
     
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