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Garrman's Affair with the Good Witch

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by garrman, Jul 22, 2009.

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  1. garrman

    garrman Low-Roller

    May 17, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report


    This is my first trip report which took place July 13 to July 21.
    I’ve been to Vegas 6 times previous to this trip. The first trip it was just my wife J and I, all other times it was with our friends C and S (married) except for last year when we when with friends G & T (married). This year there were 6 of us that went to Vegas: Me, J, C, S, and my brother JJ and his fiancée E.

    I’m a pretty decent gambler and make wise decisions. I seek out FP VP machines, I understand the odds of holdem, I play 3:2 blackjack. The one vice that I have is that I like the slot machines. Last year when we went, G bought me a shirt with a picture of a donkey, the word SLOT and dollar signs blowing out the donkey’s nose and labeled me a ‘Slot Donkey’ for my uncanny ability to make money at all other games and then donkey it away at the slots. This year my attempted donkeying would be attempted on the Wizard of Oz machines.

    I’m going to arrange this TR in categories as that is the way I like to read them so you can skip what you don’t like.

    Pre-Trip Stuff

    I basically planned the entire trip for the C, S, J, and I. I also planned getting there and certain activities for JJ & E. Here is what planning involved:

    Coupon Trading – We bought 3 ACGs and traded for extra free play and sign up free play as well as Orleans & Gold Coast Buffets and free drinks
    Sign Up Promotions – Using advantageplayer.com hit a number of casinos they listed with cash sign up bonuses
    Car Rental – Rented a van for the 6 of us for 2 days
    Orleans Rooms – 2 rooms for us and C & S
    Golden Nugget Room – 1 room which the 6 of us packed into
    Group Meals

    Flight There

    Flights out of Toronto aren’t the cheapest, so typically we fly out of Syracuse which is anywhere from $260 to $320 USD (Everything I refer to will be USD unless otherwise specified). This time I found an amazing deal for $400 with Air Canada in December 2008 from our home city Kingston. Flights never got below $600 after that. The times were awesome! 6AM flight from Kingston, plane change in Toronto, then direct to Vegas to get us in at 10:30 Vegas time.

    Our plane out of Toronto ended up being delayed by an hour. We got to Vegas around 11:30 and found out that (for all you hockey fans) Mike Ricci and Bryan Marchment were on the plane with us.

    Getting to the Hotels

    I reserved a limo from Presidential and it was waiting when the plane touched down. The original plan was to drop of JJ & E at the Summer Bay Resort on Koval and then zip around to the Orleans where the rest of us were staying, but JJ & E found out they couldn’t check in until 4PM so they just came over to the Orleans with us. Check in at the Orleans was easy. Asked for a high floor and got one on the 17th with a great view of the mountains which I prefer to a strip view.


    Love – This was the 2nd time that we had seen the show and it was the first for JJ & E. I loved the show first time, and I enjoyed it even more the second time. JJ & E absolutely loved it. Our seats were in the balcony at the very front 305 AA rings a bell. One thing of note is that we left our tickets in the room and went to the box office and they said they would need to do a ‘lost or stolen’ reissue. This means we wait until 10 minutes before the show starts, go up to the front they check the seats and if they are clear they reissue the tickets (no idea what they do if the seats are occupied – I assume remove the squatters). I got the 4 ticket for a total of 281.60.

    Terry Fator – My wife and I were enraptured by Terry when he was participating in America’s Got Talent and now that he is fully polished, the man is brilliant. C, S, J, and I absolutely loved the show. It blended the use of ventriloquism, song, humor to make it spectacular. Although I do feel that any one of these aspects of the show separated out could not sustain as a headliner in Vegas, putting them all together an there isn’t another act anywhere in the world with the same content that could rival it. Another thing that really stood out was that Terry really remembers how he got there and has nothing but appreciation for the fans. Lines like ‘feel free to take as many pictures as you like, the flash doesn’t bother us’ and ‘if there is a part you really like feel free to video tape it, just don’t tape the whole show’ make you appreciate his act more. He also signs autographs after the show until everyone that attended the show and wants has gotten one. Our seats were located at 101 LL 5-8 and we were really happy with the seats which cost $346.72 for 4 tickets.

    KA – C & S went to see this and really enjoyed it. C ranked it just behind O and Love, while S ranked it behind O and ahead of Love. They said that it was a bit more dangerous than the other Cirque shows.

    Sign Up Promotions

    I had a number of sign ups for us to do at a number of different properties.

    M Resort – Free buffet or $10. We chose the buffets.
    Silverton - $20 ($10 from ACG) and a fun book
    Hard Rock - $10 from ACG
    Bellaggio - $10
    Palms - $10 from ACG
    Venetian - $30 ($15 from ACG)
    El Cortez - $10 from ACG
    Four Queens – 2 for 1 coupons from Magnolia’s

    With the sign up promotions we managed to cover the cost of the following:

    Limo from McCarren - $80 incl. Tip
    Cost of the ACGs - $60
    Cost of staying at the Golden Nugget for 1 night - $42
    Cost of Rental Car - $144
    Gas for Rental Car - $15
    3 Buffets at Wynn - $90


    M Resort Buffet – I had read reviews on the Las Vegas Advisor as it was one if their top 10 values. I have to say, of any buffet I have had in Las Vegas the selection was definitely the biggest. Usually I’m skeptical with such a selection as it is really hard to do that much really well, but M Resort pulled it off in a big way! The food was way above average and wine and draft beer was included in the meal. No particular food stands out as being better than another, they were all really great.

    The Orleans Buffet – We ate here several times with the 2 for 1. You can’t beat the value for breakfast $7 for 2. Food was always good (not fantastic, but above average) and plenty of it.

    Gold Coast Buffet – Pretty much the same as The Orleans, Good and Cheap.

    Wynn Buffet – I love this buffet. Everything was great. I was surprised with how good the New England Clam Chowder was.

    Fudruckers – They have one in the Orleans and while I haven’t eaten at some of the other burger joints acclaimed on this board, I really enjoyed it. I had a ½ pound ‘The Works’ (American Cheese and Sautéed mushrooms) and it was excellent. I had another one later in the trip.

    Binion’s Coffee Shop – J & I stopped in here and split a clubhouse sandwich. It was a really great club. We both enjoyed it.

    Magnolia’s – I wanted to eat here after reading so much about it on the boards and I ordered a Philly Steak which was just OK. I would have been disappointed at full price, but with the 2 for 1 it was a decent deal. J had the Spicy Chicken Club and she found it tough in places.

    Battista’s Hole in the Wall – We eat here for sentimental value. It was the first restaurant that C, S, J, and I ate on out first trip together. I ordered the linguini and clams, but it was really bland. J felt her Eggplant Parmesan was mediocre as well. C & S had the same opinion while JJ & E enjoyed their Lasagna. I don’t think we will be going back to Battista’s in the future.

    Canal Street Grill – J & C had the 9 oz Filet, Sally had the special which was a house salad, Salmon dish, and dessert. I had a double Lobster tail.

    I tried some of J’s Medium Filet and it was great (not Delmonico great, but great nonetheless) as was my Lobster tail. S said that her salmon was amazing and if they could make salmon taste like that they would have it more often at home.

    I called up my host and he comped the meal for the 4 of us.


    This is our Vegas downtime, a machine does all the work and you just sit, drink, and enjoy great conversations. We hit 2 one hour sessions a day and we always enjoy it. We ended up winning a few times, so the cost was probably like $30 each for the 8 days. C & I play a friendly game where you basically get a point if you are close to bingo than the other guy. This year I was his bingo bitch.. He said it was because he was practicing all night after I went to sleep.

    J played a ton of poker with no significant wins, I played less than usual live games and was probably down about $200 for the week. I did play 2 tournaments in which I was fluked out of the first with JJ vs 33 when a 3 hit with all of the money all in. In the second tournament I was short stacked and managed to build it up to just above the tourney average when I picked up JJ. There was a raise to 5K, I pushed again with JJ and got into a race with AK. The flop and turn brought Ks and I was drawing dead on the river. I enjoyed the tournaments at the Orleans.

    Video Poker
    Had a couple of hits with 4 deuces with a kicker for $200, had a couple Royals with deuces in deuces wild. Had a couple of Royals on a 2 cent 50 play.

    First off, I have to apologize to my wife as during this trip I fell in love with another woman. Her name is Glinda and she was wild! When I play slots, I play hard and fast, $100 in and max bet all the way. I had a Glinda bonus for $240 and $396 in the first 2 days. Third day while staying downtown I hit the first 4 progressives on a line that paid $100, one more would have been 822K. On day 5 after being hit for $500 on a 5 cent 50 line JoB machine I sat down at Wizard of Oz and Glinda came a callin’ and she painted wilds on reels 1,2,3, & 5 with Dorothy and the trio filling in on reel 4 for 135000 credits or $1350 ($945 once the taxman took his cut).

    J found a machine that was called Shake Your Booty, it was a pirate theme and had some pretty decent bonuses if you could hit them. She wanted me to see the main bonus which she loved (in actual fact it was really really gay).

    While downtown, C & I hit a blackjack table at the Four Queens and I left up $80 and he was up $120. J and I played 50 cent roulette with a $3 inside max and had a great time for 3 hours. She said it was on of the highlights of her trip just sitting and talking to the others at the table and we left up $60 each.

    Played craps for the first time ever at The Orleans. I’ve been studying the game and decided to use the strategy of pass line with double odds and buy the 6-8 unless either is the point then buy either the 5-9 as a replacement. It seemed like every roller was making a point, then a 6 or 8, then a 7 out. Ended up having one decent roller and left with $220 of my $300 buy in. Second time I played, the roller made like 4 points and I left after the first roller (I had to meet J) up 120 after tipping 9 bucks.

    Gambling Summary
    We managed to cycle $55K through the machines and ended up down about $600 each.


    Orleans – Rooms are always decent here and always affordable. I had my room comped all nights except one at $36. I found deals online for C & S for $29 weekdays and $49 weekends.

    Golden Nugget – Booked a South Tower for $42 asked for a complimentary upgrade to the North Tower, but they said there was nothing available.


    $315 in free slot play
    $135 cash earned on cards
    7 nights comped
    3 buffets at the Gold Coast
    $200 comp at Canal Street
    Limo to McCarren

    Flight Out

    Called Air Canada at 5PM to confirm our 11:55PM flights to Toronto then a 3 hour wait for a Toronto to Kingston flight only to find out that they had conveniently changed my flight.. our flight from 11:55PM to 11:55AM getting into Toronto at 7PM forcing us to stay in Toronto over night. I was like SCREW THAT! I’ll stay a few more hours in Vegas. Ended up getting flights to Denver, then Toronto, then Kingston leaving at 6AM the next day.


    The trip was great!
    ACG & Coupon trading probably saved us over $500 as a group.
    The Orleans treats the low-mid roller really decent.
    Spending the day downtown is something that we will definitely do again.
  2. neonmama

    neonmama Tourist

    Apr 8, 2001
    Mid Central Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    I too am a Glinda the Good Witch addict! it seems that they are already cutting back the amt of machines here locally and I saw fewer when we were there in November. She has been nice to me but not as nice as she was to you. Enjoyed your report!
  3. VegasDiva

    VegasDiva VIP Whale

    Apr 23, 2009
    Calgary , Alberta , Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    great trip report

    lol the prices are almost as expensive to fly from Calgary as it is from Kingston!! about the cheapest I can find is 475.00 CDN either AirCanada or WestJet fly direct , its about a 2.5 or so hr flight from here

    closest USA airport I can drive to is Great Falls Mt and its 5 hrs or so
    via Allegiant Air around 250.00 CDN ..short flight times but takes twice as long to travel would be a long long day and then returning , lands back at Great Falls about 830PM don't really want to drive home 5 hrs so would have to get a hotel , so not really saving any money

    I didn't have as much luck with Glinda , I just returned from 4 nights in Vegas on July 4 she was stingy with me lol
  4. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Jan 16, 2004
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Very nice TR. Good job stretching your Vegas budget with all the coupons and freebies.

    later, GVJ
  5. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Jun 25, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Glinda either hates me or I can't even get a seat at one, LOL!!!

    Maybe next week.....

    A note to those that are yearning to try Fuddruckers....If you don't care if the cheese on your burger is a slice, then order it plain and use the cheese sauce from the condiment bar to dunk the burger in. Great for the fries too! I actually love the cheese sauce more than a slice on my burger. And DH uses the spicy cheese sauce to jazz up his a bit more.
  6. PokerrNutt

    PokerrNutt High-Roller

    Feb 5, 2007
    Stuart, FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great TR - enjoyed reading it - and you're not alone with feeling like a donkey with the slots....I'm right there with ya!
  7. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever LasVegas4ever.com

    Jun 12, 2006
    Southern Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice TR!

    Kingston! I have family in Kingston and have been there many times.
    Lovely city!
  8. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

    Feb 18, 2008
    Flusherville, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Enjoyed your trip report!

    I also fly out of K-town to get to Vegas!

    The hopper to TO is usually so expensive... best to try to do it on points, then you can book through from YGK right to LAS.
  9. Kuch1000

    Kuch1000 Low-Roller

    Mar 2, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Excellent TR - always like to see people taking advantage of the coupons/signups to maximize their dollars.

    Marchment's a goon :)
  10. sailor53

    sailor53 Tourist

    Jan 18, 2006
    Pensacola, FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Excellent report - thanks for a great read!
  11. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

    Nov 26, 2008
    Northeast Ohio
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    GREAT report! Thanks for posting! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
  12. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Elvis has left the building

    May 31, 2008
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    He was OUR goon!


    Go Blackhawks!

    Excellent trip report. I have been treated well by the Boyd Casinos for lower limit action (especially slots). Downtown is excellent as is having a car and exploring the valley.

    Great summaries / organization of the report. I'll be looking to try a few of the restaurants listed during my long November trip.
  13. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Aug 7, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    great report, thanks for posting.
  14. Huskermanic

    Huskermanic Newbie

    Aug 1, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report and thanks for posting. I usually stay at the Rio but half my gambling time is spent downtown. I play VP most of the time but LIR is my addictive game.:beer:
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