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February 2020 Trip Report - Bally's, Four Queens, The Front Yard, and more

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by zignerlv, Feb 12, 2020 at 7:30 AM.

  1. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    As always, I create my trip reports first on my google blog, https://deamonlv.blogspot.com/2020/02/january-2020-trip-report-ballys-four.html , and then copy portions of it here. It's more effort than you think to copy the content over here and make it look right. I am copying here to this board about 60% of the report, and half the pictures. You can see the full report on the blog.



    No More CNY Wallets at Cosmo


    [​IMG]
    Chinese New Year display at Cosmopolitan

    I thought this was a good picture to start the report with, although I didn't spend much time at the Cosmopolitan. I went in search of the Chinese New Year $2 bill wallets that the Cosmo was "selling" at face value. $100 in $2 bills plus your choice of red or purple wallets, for $100. I tried to purchase one, but the wallets were sold out.



    [​IMG]

    These are no longer available, so don't bother trying to purchase one!





    Roomy Accommodations at Bally's

    Keeping my Caesars Diamond card is now something I have to weigh each year, now that even half decent VP seems to be disappearing at Caesars Resorts. But, I had an offer that added about .4% to my play there. Still not great, but maybe worth playing, in part due to the offer, as well as the February double Tier points promotion. I booked a room at Bally's, and like a few others have recently reported, I found the rooms to be far superior to those at Paris, which are typically harder to book as comps as compared to Bally's. This Bally's room was probably close to twice the size of the standard room in Paris.


    Beat the Clock Happy Hour Tacos

    My flight landed just about 15 minutes late in the late afternoon, not too bad, but timing was very tight, as I was trying to catch a happy hour, ending at 5pm, at Bally's Mexican Restaurant, Tequila Taqueria Bar & Grill, plus visit the Paris Diamond lounge before they stopped serving hot food at 6pm. I checked in at Bally's, dropped my bag in the room, and immediately headed down to the restaurant bar to have some happy hour tacos. $3 each. Two pork, and two chicken. The pork were fine, the chicken were excellent.


    Caesars Beats Paris, No Contest!

    After reading some reports where people said that they preferred Paris' Laurel (Diamond) Lounge over the lounge at Caesars, I was looking forward to trying it out, as I've been a 100% Caesars Lounge person up to now. Well, I was disappointed. After waiting 20 minutes to be seated, I got to the hot food before it closed down only to find the number of food items to be significantly less than I usually found at Caesars. The food area itself looked like a bomb hit it, with drips and scraps all over the buffet area. The room was tight and crowded, with tables squeezed closer together than Caesars. The server came by for a drink order. Then, I waited about 10-15 minutes to be served. When I tasted my drink, it wasn't at all like the same drink was at Caesars. In fact, I didn't even want to drink it. The servers were doubling as bus people, clearing off tables in their very nice waiter outfits, and overworked. I tried to find my server to order another drink, but I couldn't see her anywhere. I then went to ask the bartender for a simple drink, just to get something quickly. He told me if I was at a table that I needed to ask my server. That was all for me! I left, after a few soggy chicken wings, and two sips out of one drink that I didn't have more than an ounce of. I'll head over to Caesars Laurel Lounge again next time, as the service there is always excellent, and they are well staffed!


    I played much of the first night at Bally's hitting the coin in goals that I had set, and had only a very small loss at the end of the night, despite playing their pretty crappy VP. I didn't note any noteworthy hands or experiences in my play. I just grinded it out mostly on non bonus games.



    Last Nog of the Season

    [​IMG]


    One of my goals for this trip was to again have a taste of Ellis Island's holiday egg nog, which I have been fortunate to have a few times before. This year, they still had some bottles remaining in February, and they advertised a cut in price by the glass, and by the bottle, to finish off this year's supply.



    Quiz time:

    What's the most unique thing you see in the photo below? (not really a difficult find) The Quiz answer appears later in the report.

    [​IMG]




    Ellis Island Scoop?

    Now I have what I consider a scoop on the Ellis Island addition, the "Front Yard". Maybe this has been mentioned elsewhere, but if it has, I haven't read about it in any article, trip report, or post that I have seen!

    This started when I entered the Front Yard in the mid morning, just after it opened. It was a very cool morning. As I entered, there were stationary gas heaters running, and the whole area felt about the same temperature as outside. It was freezing in there! I looked up and saw that there the area between the roof and the walls had significant open air sections. This was not an enclosed building! I asked the bartender, noting the A/C ventilation pipes inside. Is this place really not enclosed? No, it wasn't, he replied, that's why it's so cold inside. I pointed to the A/C pipes and asked. Do you mean that on 110 degree days in the summer, that they will be running the A/C with much of the cold air escaping through the open areas to the outside? Yes, he said! I can't wait to hear the first daytime reports in June-September about how the A/C probably won't keep the room cool enough.

    What about rain? They get wind blow rain in the desert. When that happens, many times it's going to end up blowing rain into the room! It should be interesting.


    [​IMG]

    The arched area above the far wall, and under the roof, has no glass, and is open to outside!

    I have to wonder if there is some reason that they didn't fully enclose the place because it seems so silly to build such a nice addition, yet not enclose it. Tax benefits? My bet would be zoning regulations, since the Front Yard replaced what was a formerly a tent in that area, where BBQ was served at tables. I'll guess that by this room not being enclosed, it qualifies as a non enclosed structure, like the tent did. This is just my guess.

    Anyway, I'll go on record right now, that the idea of building this place without enclosing it, in such a climate like Las Vegas is ridiculous. As it was, on the day I was there, no one would be wanting to spend time in the sub 50 degree room temperature, even with the space heaters running! With those heaters running, I felt both hot and cold at the same time (if that makes sense). Yes, on the many mild days, it will feel great in the Front Yard, but how about the rest of the year?



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    Hand of the Trip

    My favorite hand of the trip was when I decided to play a multi-line machine. I usually avoid these because they tend to have lesser payscales, but in this case I played an 8/5 Bonus 5 play machine. For the day, I got destroyed playing this game, I was shocked how few four of a kinds I managed to get while holding a pair. Holding a pair, I was hitting as many four of a kinds on these 5-plays as I would expect from a single line game! But this one particular lucky hand was special enough to single out. Of course, being dealt a straight flush is a rare event, and even better on a multi-line machine. But, what made this hand even more personally entertaining is that there is a trip report blog that I follow where the writer, for some reason, refers to this hand as the "ultra dreaded Ace-low straight flush". Of course, what makes that comment comical is that any straight flush is the second most rare hand, and in many cases, the second highest paying hand in the game. Why anyone would refer an Ace low version of it to be "ultra dreaded" is beyond me. So, I had a good laugh having this hand dealt to me on a 5 play!



    Four Queens Day

    This story probably wouldn't have made the cut, but since another trip report mentioned seeing the likely the same person on the same day, I'll mention this. (I would link to the report I am referring to, but I can't seem to find it). Apparently the same girl that was extremely drunk and vomiting at the D, mentioned in another trip report, made it over to the Four Queens a bit later, late afternoon. I walked by and saw her sitting very slumped on a stool in a slot machine area, surrounded by no friends, but instead, about 5 EMT workers. I figured this was an overdose situation, but when I walked by a second time, minutes later, the EMT workers were checking their shoes and the carpet as if she had just vomited again. I don't think she could even speak. She was just sitting there, totally out of it. I didn't stand and gawk so I don't know, but I would imagine they would have needed to take her to the hospital.

    My comments on the cookies sold at Magnolias on a prior report surprisingly seemed to get the most interest, so this time I made sure to get a photo of the supply at the cashier. I purchased (with comp dollars) my complement of white chocolate macadamia, peanut butter, and this time had a chocolate chip thrown in. I should have taken a picture of a cookie cut in half, as the amazing part is that they are about a half inch in thickness! The white chocolate macadamia variety took first prize.


    [​IMG]



    A Rat to the Rescue?

    Well it was the last day of the trip, each of them losing, including this last day at the Four Queens. Last February, at the end of the day there, I redeemed my offer for a free jeweled Chinese New Year Jeweled Pig, and proceeded to hit 6 royal flushes (including 2 in the next 2 days https://deamonlv.blogspot.com/2019/02/february-trip-report-featuring-pig-and_19.html ) in the next 5 trips to various casino locations, and I gave credit to the Pig, until after about 6 months, when the luck of the pig apparently wore off.

    So, this time, as soon as I qualified for it, I redeemed my offer for a free jeweled Rat for this Chinese New Year, hoping that with the bit of play I had left in the day, the Rat would perform the same magic as the Pig did last year. Well, unfortunately the Rat was no help at all. This means the Rat will not be travelling with me on future trips, unlike the Pig which was a mandatory packing item for most of the year.



    My Reputation at Stake

    There was a big concern building throughout the day. In a prior report I said I challenged anyone to spend an entire day in the Four Queens without hearing the song "Bette Davis Eyes" over the casino sound system at least once. https://deamonlv.blogspot.com/2019/06/may-2019-trip-report-featuring-testing.html#Bette Comically, on my next visit, I heard the song after spending just 10 minutes in the casino. Yet, on this day, as of late afternoon, I hadn't yet heard the song. I was now risking my reputation if even I could spend a day there without hearing this damn song. I was concerned that by going to Hugo's for dinner that I might be missing it being played during dinner. But, I couldn't go that far to skip a nice dinner just to keep my Bette streak alive.

    I had set my alarm for 3:45am for my flight home, so I was going to sleep relatively early this last night. I stood in the middle of the casino and took my last look around before heading upstairs. I cashed in the freeplay that I had run through for a small profit. Then, just as I started heading to the elevators, I heard some hand clapping over music in the distance.... Was it? Could it? I stopped to listen more closely! It was! Bette Davis Eyes was playing in the Four Queens! Life could now continue in proper fashion, and the Earth could now continue to spin, as nature's Bette cycle was now complete. I could now rest and safely return home in the morning, knowing the world was still safe, for at least one more day!







    71 million views? Really? My favorite YouTube comment on this video that I saw is "This was way too 80s...even for the 80s".





    Quiz Answer:

    Kudos to the California Hotel and Casino for maybe being the only hotel that I know of that is built as part of a casino and which has a 13th floor! This aversion to "unlucky numbers" gets silly (I lost in the casino because my room was on the 13th floor? Really?), and in the Wynn/Encore, not only is the 13th floor omitted, but also, most/all floors with 4's in them, so there are no floors in the 40's there! And yes, here, in addition to the pool and gym, there are hotel rooms on the 13th floor at the Cal.

    Keep in mind, the 13th floor still is the 13th floor, even if the casino labels it the 14th!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020 at 8:34 AM
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  2. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    Nice report. EI were a bunch of idiots to leave the roof open for the Front Yard. Bet they'll end up patch-closing it within a year or two.
     
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  3. DaiLun

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

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    Excellent TR!!!! I made a note to use more spacing in my next TR!!!

    Note that the casino at MGM Cotai has a different floor layout due to the design, and the different Chinese good and bad luck numbers.

    [​IMG]
     
    Osaka, Jeju Island, Manila , Angeles City, another whirlwind tour!
    June Silver Strike tournament - place to stay TBD
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  4. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    Excellent report and a Scoop on the Front Yard. Thanks for reporting.
     
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  5. FABismonte

    FABismonte Tell my wife I am "about even."

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    @zignerlv thanks for the trip report.

    I see from your more detailed blog that your had this interaction at The D:

    Free Play D.PNG

    I just wanted to tell you that during the "Big Game" weekend I also went to The D and showed my Southwest boarding pass to get $50 matchplay as well as my regular $100 monthly free play offer. I asked the booth guy, Miguel, if getting these free plays without playing would mess up my offers as I did not plan to play today. Like your boothling, he said "no." His response actually was "No, gettting these will not be a playing day. You can play tomorrow, or two weeks from now if you like, its whenever." But he did say that due to the Super Bowl, there was a blackout on my $100 free slot play offer at The D.

    I will monitor my offers to see if it does dilute my offers. I am also expecting to visit Vegas in March but since I am staying at Ceasars, I may just pick up my matchplay for then as well.

    Finally, you say that you lost three matchplays on a single hand after you split and double. When one is in a split and double situation in BJ, one is at an advantage, so if possible consider just using real cash chips on the split and double so you can get more net profits. Obviously, that would have backfired here since you lost, I welcome corrections but I like to put more money down when I have the best of it and I think this is the better move.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020 at 10:30 AM
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  6. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    You are probably right on that. So many times in the past, at various casinos that had matchplay, they would only allow me to double or split betting the cash part of the bet, and not a true double, not allowing you to double the matchplay part as well. So, I was thrilled that they allowed me to put up two chips of any type up (one cash one MP) to double and split. In fact, I was thinking that allowing even this was a mistake, and so didn't want to call to the pit boss's attention that she was allowing me to bet anything more than doubling the cash type chips on the table. Questioning if I could put two cash chips up would have brought more attention to my hand.

    If this is how they work, and it is blessed by management, I'll put up all cash chips! Thanks for bringing that up. I hope I get "lucky" enough to implement it, and they let me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020 at 1:14 PM
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  7. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    Thanks. I was shocked that in the 5 or so tweets and posts that I've read about the Front Yard after it opened, that this wasn't mentioned. The only thing I can think of is when it opened that the initial reviewers were there on mild days/evenings, and so didn't notice.

    I can't believe that they would not fully enclose it in order to save on construction costs. How much more could it have cost to close in those sections, compared to the cost of all the A/C that is going to be going right out the window all summer? This is why I think there is more to the story, for instance, it may be due to some zoning issues.

    Being that it has been open over two months already, I think we are getting close to ruling out "oh they ran out of time (or the glass hadn't come in yet) for that part of the construction, and that part will be completed soon" kind of excuse.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020 at 1:20 PM
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  8. FABismonte

    FABismonte Tell my wife I am "about even."

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    Or at least Ellis Island could have set up walls where panels could be inserted or lowered during hot or cold weather.
     
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  9. FABismonte

    FABismonte Tell my wife I am "about even."

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    Good point. I will try betting cash chips the next time I have such an opportunity and see what happens.
     
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  10. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    Right, and if they don't, it gives me more reason to believe they aren't allowed to due to some zoning issues. I would expect by mid-June (100 degrees daily) we should be able to tell if they plan to do anything or not.
     
  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report!

    Congrats on the food credit!

    And I definitely noticed the 13th floor. What's more crazy is that it's devoted to the pool!

    I am not 100% sure, but I thought the old IP also labeled floor 13. But I think the Linq remodel fixed that.

    And as for the "dreaded" Ace-low dealt straight flush, that's obviously because it's got an Ace in it, and it's usually worth 16X less than the dealt Ace-high straight flush.

    I've been dealt both; I liked one a lot more than the other.
     
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  12. BoVegas

    BoVegas Tourist

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    Thanks for the TR.
     
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  13. btodd

    btodd High-Roller

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    We waked around Ellis Island last Sunday, had the steak and eggs special as per usual and peeked into the Front Yard around noon. No patrons, heaps of staff and what appeared to be the "biggies" having meetings. Lots of suits. It was a coolish day and it was very cool in the place too. I wonder if it will be a hit? Temperature control will be an issue for sure! We stayed at the California, I noted the 13th floor every time we were on the elevator. There are rooms on the floor ...……..along with the pool and gym.
    Thanks for the report!
     
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  14. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the validation! Suits, at EI? Surprising! They seem to be a family owned place with little of that suit type management atmosphere. Pure speculation, maybe some of the suits were non EI people. Bankers, etc.

    Because they are a small outfit, I've always had this opinion that they were kind of half assed in the way they manage/run the place (that doesn't mean I dislike it). Best example, they broke ground on the Front Yard in July 2017, and it was initially supposed to be completed by the END OF THAT YEAR!. Instead, it took almost 2.5 years to build what was basically a non fully enclosed atrium addition! For perspective, the entire Bellagio was built in almost exactly 3 years! Not fully enclosing the Front Yard after a 2.5 year construction project fits how I view them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020 at 7:11 AM
  15. voltin

    voltin Low-Roller

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    I had a stack of MP chips last time I was there and ran into the same situation. The Pit Boss was right next to the dealer when I got a split and he confirmed that I could use a match play chip in addition to a cash chip. My memory is fuzzy but I think I got another double or split and covered the full bet with cash chips too. The D seems to be pretty liberal with their MP policy.
     
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  16. petnel

    petnel Tourist

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    If I remember correctly the old LV Hilton, now Westgate, had a 13th floor. Don't know if Westgate still does. Great TR--thanks.
     
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  17. wasilla

    wasilla High-Roller

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    I've been kicking myself for forgetting to get my jeweled pig ever since I read of the magical VP powers that yours once possessed. I'm definitely getting that rat whether it is currently lucky or not. No more lost opportunities for me.

    I swear on my soon to be acquired Jeweled Rat that I once gambled an entire day at QQQQ's without once hearing Bette Davis Eyes. I thought that they may have taken it out of their rotation. What a relief!!!
     
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  18. FABismonte

    FABismonte Tell my wife I am "about even."

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    The Jeweled Rat I earned at Four Queens is ugly, but it was lucky as I hit this hand at Chicago Brewing Company

    98FF222E-2FCD-4305-B949-52A50B48DC73.jpeg 99A39384-14DE-453D-9FBD-37071D80A548.jpeg
     
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  19. zignerlv

    zignerlv VIP Whale

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    Not as ugly as it could be! Note the big, mouse-like ears! I was going to post a question to DaiLun on that. We brought up the fact that seems like most figures/pictures of the Chinese New Year Rat look more like a mouse (trying to make it look cute). A Chinese associate that we know says that is because in China they don't have what we know as Rats, and this is what a "Rat" looks like there (relatively cute and mouse like)!

    Anyway, congrats on the handpay. Maybe you got the lucky figure this year!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020 at 7:49 AM
  20. rcbeamer

    rcbeamer Low-Roller

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    As for the comments about hearing "Bette Davis Eyes" at the Four Queens, I hear "Rumour Has It" by Adele almost every time I walk through the D as well.
     
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