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Hardly Working (thebucket live apr. 25-29) Sam's, Fremont, Mirage

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by thebucket, Apr 26, 2010.

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  1. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    A few details

    Before I move on to the tragic next bit....

    I came up with a few details of my first big game that I omitted in the telling of it. Here they are, in no specific order:

    Though my co-worker opted not to play, we found it great fun to involve her. When I got the cards (which was often since there weren't any heavy-hitting high-rollers at the table for this session), I would bend them up one at a time, facing her, so that I couldn't see them. Her expression would be all I needed to see, and toss them in to the dealer. It was fun, and got her involved. The last thing I wanted was for her to feel bored or left out during her first baccarat experience (not her first high-limit experience - I taught her to play blackjack in high limit a few years ago, completely spoiling her and making her subsequent solo adventures to local $5 tables quite unsatisfactory).

    I was very amused by the dealer who told me "All I know is Caesar". Perhaps it was the odd phrasing, perhaps the mildly eccentric manner of the man in general. It may well also have been the highly profitable result of following his advice to kick it up to $200/hand. Whatever the reason, he sticks in my mind to this day (and probably for years to come), as exemplifying the semi-elitist nature of Caesars dealers, as well as the concept that in that room, nothing else matters. I have firmly decided to utter those words for luck the next time I walk through their lobby... "All I know is Caesar". Heheh.

    I finally felt at ease enough at the game (the scotch helped, I'm sure) to start hamming it up a bit. Previously I had just turned cards, laid bets, and kept my mouth shut so as not to make a fool of myself. In this session, though, I really started to 'feel it', bending cards slowly, calling out "MONKEY!" when I had already turned an 8 or a 9 and needed a face card to make a natural, even rubbing the cards nice and hard on the table when my initial card-bending observation indicated that too many spots might be on there. I was no pro at it, but I had a good time, and the other players got in on it too (when they were betting with me). I felt as if I had become part of an exclusive club. Nothing could have been more right about that session.

    One interesting aspect to my play at Caesars is the Total Rewards system result of such play. Everything I had with them has expired, and I was curious to see what big baccarat play would do to my point balances. Interestingly, my totals are now precisely zero tier credits and zero reward credits. Evidently in terms of credits my hour of $100-$200 play was worth exactly nothing. However, about 2 weeks after my return, I got a glossy mailer from Caesars. Inside was an offer to stay any set of up to 5 weekdays at any Harrah's property, excluding Planet Hollywood and Caesars, for free. Much unlike all other HET offers I have gotten in the past, this offer is not reflected online. Obviously they noticed my action (I had never received Caesars branded mail before), and were rewarding it with free weekday rooms at all lower-mid tier hotels. But no credits at all? How odd.

    At the end, I now knew to ask if there was a private cashier window in there. as last time I headed out to the main casino and stood in the gold-card line at the main cashier, raising an eyebrow as I handed over yellow and the odd orange $20 baccarat-only cheques. There was a private window, and I enjoyed it - it didn't matter what kind of flippin' Total Rewards card you have when you're in the Palace Court. Just being in there, and having cheques, is all it takes. There was a single window, and a buzzer for service. Very nice. I, however, didn't make it to that window right away. But that story is for the next installment.

    Good night, folks, and thanks for reading!
     
  2. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Wow. I saw a bottle of Macallan 30 at a local high-end liquor store the other day. It was over $1K for the bottle.
     
  3. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    And on with the story

    After being colored up from my baccarat session, I rose to my feet and found that I was indeed a bit inebriated from my evening of socilizing, drinking, and playing. Not staggering around or anything like that, but many of you may know that feeling where you don't feel drunk until you stand up, then realize that maybe you're a little more drunk than you thought? That was one of those moments for me.

    As I collected my things from the table, my co-worker suggested that we go find a roulette wheel to play around with for a while. This sounded like a fine plan to me, as I was feeling great from my win and the drinks and the fabulous evening in general. After I inquired as to the location of a cash cage inside the Palace Court and was directed to the window by a dealer at my table, I headed off that way with my co-worker to turn my cool yellow cheques into cash, then head off to the casino floor for a nice relaxing roulette session. Or perhaps back to Mirage, where the evening would inevitably come to an end for us, which would offer single-zero to improve our odds a bit. As we walked toward the cage, however, my lowered inhibitions caused me to take notice of a most conveniently placed roulette station, right there close at hand in the Palace Court. Single-zero even. With European rules. Now that was convenient. Of course, it was a $100min wheel, but hey, what's a hundred, right? I steered us over to it, extolling the virtues of both single zero and European rules. My state of inebriation and feeling as if I were on-a-roll with the evening led me to hand over one of my prized yellow cheques to buy in with, at the $25 minimum chip size.

    The European wheel is really a fairly good game, I had that right. However, I think that my inebriation got the better of me when it came to laying down green inside. Sure, a hit would have been great, but I went through half my stack in no time flat. Knowing that the European rule had no effect on inside betting but helped outside, I decided to get my stack caught back up, the nondenominational nature of the coloured roulette chips helping make this seem rather less foolhardy than it was (normally I play with them worth $1, on occasion $5). I put my remaining chips down on 1-18, waited for the ball... No more bets... And... as the ball spun for what seemed like an eternity, I became more and more aware of the fact that I had $500 riding on a single roulette spin, by far the largest single bet I have ever placed. I felt a bit nervous, but confidant that it would hit and put me right back where I was before...

    And...

    The ball started to lose momentum...

    Began to bounce around on the frets...

    Made its way down to the wheel...

    Jumped up a bit...

    Rattled around a bit...

    And landed...

    I dared not look at it.

    "Twenty Two Black" came the dealer's announcement.

    "Winner Black" (my co-workers rather more fortunate bet)

    Wow.

    I just bet five hundred dollars on one spin. And lost it.

    :faint:

    Wow.

    I headed right over to the cage window with my remaining winnings (I couldn't complain too much, I was still well up for the evening, but had ended up handing back half my substantial baccarat win because I was too full-of-myself to go out on the main casino floor and play a nice normal high-edge $10 wheel.

    Gak. In retrospect, this is precisely why I put most of my bankroll in a safe deposit box before I go out to drink and gamble. So that I won't do precisely that sort of thing. I guess I take some sort of pride in not having chased the loss with the remainder of the yellow, and some sort of pride in having at some point laid down $500.

    Cash in hand (my coworker broke about even, thankfully), we strode out of the Palace Court, the experience having left us richer, happier, and the lucky recipients of quite a fine evening of gaming. I have always taken pride in not being a sore loser (I used to get a bit upset about it, but now that I have a better understanding of variance, the games, and bankroll requirements it doesn't really bother me), and I was glad to find that even at the $500 level, it didn't affect my mood.

    As we walked back out into Caesars, I called our driver (we had gone over-time, fortunately he hadn't left us and charged the credit-card). As we stepped outside into the crisp night air, I drew a deep breath, vowed never again to do something so ill-advised as wildly overbet my bankrolll and then chase the loss, and smiled... Win or lose, I was in Vegas. And it had been a fabulous night.
     
  4. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Something a little bit more comfortable

    We climbed back into the car, with me apologizing profusely for having missed two calls on the BlackBerry from our driver, who had been calling me every fifteen minutes after our charter expired to see if I was still around. He was cool, though, and it was just another hourly charge on top of the basic charter.

    He whisked us back to Mirage, and I handed over the cash for the charter, plus a Benjamin for the driver. That amounted to a little under $20/hour tip, and those guys don't really make much unless they're taking people to strip clubs. His services were well worth it, and he may have gotten a couple of on-the-side rides in while we were in the various casinos (I know how this works thanks to a couple of very-frank conversations with other limo-drivers. I would let our driver know approximately how long we would be in a place while hiring the car on a long charter, and also mention that I would call him well in advance of needing to leave 'in case you have to go run someone else somewhere or take a break or whatever'. Many drivers will take the opportunity to make a run or two for cash, with (as far as the company is concerned) the car paid for already, making the extra runs pure profit for the driver. Sure, they're not supposed to do it. Sure, some do it. And they recognize and appreciate a long-charter customer who 'knows wassup' and makes it easy to do. This can also be useful if you're a person wanting a dirt-cheap limo ride - just look for one with a driver who appears to be just waiting around, ask him or her what it would cost to take you to (whatever destination). They'll either turn you down, quote the hourly rate, quote the hourly rate and tell you that they can't do it but can call in another car, or (ideally), the answer will be "twenty bucks, hop in". If this happens, you're riding in a car someone else has already paid for but isn't using at the moment (the minimum 1-hour charge of $35-$40 the company imposes makes a $20 quote quite indicative of an off-the-record offer). This has taken myself and friends around town at $20/ride on three separate occasions. You just have to know where and how to spot a waiting-limo.

    Anyway, our limo driver left us with a wave and a hearty handshake at Mirage. I thought about having him take me back down to Fremont, but it would just be me... There was no need for a limo. I'd take the bus back. After all, the high-roller evening was coming to a close. And deep down inside, I was really a bus-riding downtown kinda guy. It would be a good note to end up on. Not only that, the likelihood of things taking quite a while to wind down up in the suite was high, and I didn't want to pay for the limo for another hour or two.

    We strolled into Mirage on top of the world, our fabulous evening of semi-high-rolling drawing to a close. I stopped by my usual bar to grab yet another drink for both of us at my co-workers request, and we went up to the suite, encountering yet another stoned-looking sunglass-wearing iPod listening WSOP wannabe type in the elevator. For some reason these guys were always on the Mirage suite elevators. Either that or I was totally off base and actually rode the elevator with a number of extremely famous poker players that I had no hope of recognizing. I kinda doubt that, though.

    We stepped off the elevator, meandering our way to the wonderful double doors with 'Penthouse' emblazoned on the room-number plaque, opened them up, and went back into the room we vacated just a few hours before, and just a thousand or so dollars poorer. The drapes were open, and the view of the strip was truly spectacular. I stood there in the parlor area for a bit, sipping my not-so-much-needed drink and taking in the view as my co-worker retired to the dressing area (yeah, those suites have a dedicated dressing area, very cool...) to 'slip into something a little more comfortable'.

    This was such a cheesy utterly stereotypical sort of thing to say at the end of such a cheesy utterly stereotypical night that I just had to say something lewd. This was a particularly bad idea, and earned me one of the dirtiest glares known to mankind so far. Oops.

    'Something a little more comfortable' was in fact a pair of Mirage slippers, sweatpants, and some sort of pajama shirt. I briefly thought about whistling in appreciation, then decided (wisely I'm sure) that getting my ass kicked (this is a very real possibility, as she holds a black belt in a couple of martial arts and was a lot less inebriated than I) wasn't an ideal way to wind things up, and continued to soak up the ambiance of the room instead.

    We lounged around for a while and finished our drinks, talked about the evening, discussed plans for the next day (when she would be departing), and finally decided to call it a night. Her flight left early, and I promised to be back (at that point within about five hours) to drive her to the airport. My state of inebriation made this quite a challenging promise to meet, and a bit more discussion led us to decide that I should simply crash on the couch at Mirage rather than try to get back downtown on the bus, sleep a couple of hours at Fremont, try to get back up in the morning and get back to Mirage in time to take her to the airport, and generally wipe myself out for the next day (my last full day in Vegas). Crash on the couch I did. Those couches are a bit short, but it wasn't bad, not bad at all.

    And such was the unexpected form of the end of my first 'baccarat' night in Vegas. A good one it was.

    Stay tuned... More soon.
     
  5. pumpkinfish

    pumpkinfish Tourist

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    Phew! I'm all caught up now! :beer:

    What a great night you had!! I was seriously on pins and needles and loved the fact you were able to color up so nicely! I like how it isn't about gambling but more so the experience. Very refreshing!
     
  6. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Indeed, this has always been a key element to my enjoyment of casinos and gaming. If it were all about the win for me, I would have had a very large number of unsatisfactory visits to casinos. Instead, I have yet to regret any casino visit or gambling trip I have made so far. Certainly, things have gone wrong on various occasions, but in most cases it turns out to be interesting in some way or at the very least an educational experience.
     
  7. pass line man

    pass line man High-Roller

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    If you dont enjoy gambling and the surroundings for it's virtues, then you should stop. Because we will all lose in the long run, just need to have fun along the way!
     
    Warm up my January
  8. sabrina

    sabrina High-Roller

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    Excellent trip report! thank you.
     
  9. peanutmnm

    peanutmnm Scotchy

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    Now you tell me! Haha, kidding!
     
  10. peanutmnm

    peanutmnm Scotchy

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    From someone who has had their share and even bought a bottle, it's a lot like gambling. While it's not really worth the money you can't put a price tag on the experience. :thumbsup:
     
  11. Easy Money

    Easy Money Tourist

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    Wow what a great trip report,I love all the little details.Good job.
     
  12. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Let's go lose some money!!! :)

    Indeed, I couldn't have said that better myself. I often preface casino outings with relative-newbie friends by introducing them to the idea that we're about to 'go in there and lose this money!'... This almost always generates a conversation, during the course of which I point out that if we go in with the expectation that we shall lose every dime on our persons and have a great time doing it, we'll be happy with the result no matter what.

    If we happen to win, break even, or only lose to a limited degree, then it will have been a much better evening than we expected. This is a particularly critical conversation to have with typically way-under-bankrolled newbie friends, since the chances of them bottoming out is very, very high in a session.

    On the occasion that a friend expresses shock that I've put in play in the high-limit table rooms, I often ask them if they'd be at all shocked if I played some $1 slot machines. In general they say no... In most cases they have done so themselves. And I get to point out that the bankroll necessary to survive $1 slot play over the course of several hours is in fact significantly higher than that necessary to survive several hours of $100 play at a low-variance table game such as baccarat. Though a foreign concept to many, one of my favorite (and mathematically supportable) claims is that if one is not afraid of a $1 3-coin single-payline slot, one should not for one moment be afraid of big baccarat. :faint:
     
  13. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Thank you! Stay tuned for more... We've got an entire day-and-a-half left to go!
     
  14. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    You're quite welcome, and thanks for the kind compliment!
     
  15. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Though I am not sure that I shall ever reach the level of passion about scotch that I have about gaming (which would pretty much be necessary to invest at that level), I have quite enjoyed my introduction to some of the finer aspects of drinking (thanks in large part to your advice).

    Though perhaps a bit lame, I do rather enjoy a glass of my current scotch-bottle (JW Black) and a session of baccarat or blackjack on Bodog... Sure, it's a far cry from getting the drink comped in Vegas at the tables... But it does make an enjoyable substitute given the limitations of my daily life.
     
  16. Bralo20

    Bralo20 Low-Roller

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    I've been gone for a couple of days but it's always nice to come back and have something fun to read! Keep on going ;)
     
  17. rhazet

    rhazet Tourist

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    Books on tape

    I have enjoyed your trip report so much over this past weekend. My job has me traveling alot ( alot of 4 and 5 hour drives ) so if you would put your trip reports on cds I would be willing to pay for them. You have me hooked.
     
  18. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    I'm glad to hear that it is still entertaining - more to come soon!
     
  19. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Audio Resources

    I wish I had time to do that (I barely have time to write all this out, actually). Between family and work commitments, my schedule stays prett full. In fact, my annual (sometimes twice annually) Las Vegas trips represent the largest amounts of personal time I encounter (even when traveling for work).

    You may well know of this, but for prerecorded Vegasy stuff that's fun to listen to, I highly recommend the following podcasts (I'm sure there are more, but these are the ones I can think of off-hand):

    Five Hundy By Midnight
    (Fun, lighthearted show done by tourists)
    Vegas Gang (Serious (often business related) gaming industry stuff)
    The Strip (Many celebrity interviews, general Vegas stuff)
    Gamblers' Book Store Podcast (Very wide variety, many interviews)
    American Casino Guide Podcast (Wide variety, gambler oriented, interviews)

    Sorry I couldn't help out, but hopefully the above links may yield some interesting listening!
     
  20. thebucket

    thebucket VIP Whale

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    Thursday April 29

    And then I woke up, like two minutes later. The sun was coming out, which struck me as an odd sort of thing for it to do in the space of two minutes. If it really was two minutes, which it certainly felt like. Dang sun. It seriously needs to get a clue, know what I mean?

    As I rolled off the couch with a resounding thump (I'm fairly sure it was resounding, at least it felt that way), my coworker gave me a cheery grin and told me that it was a good thing I was up (no, I wasn't UP, I have yet to find any circumstance wherein lying on the floor in a massively hung-over daze would be construed as UP).

    "I took all your money, don't worry about it", was my co-workers ultimately helpful next remark.

    This didn't seem to me like the sort of thing that I genuinely shouldn't worry about. I mean seriously. Sure I've heard of the tales where some unsuspecting drunken tourist takes some hooker back up to his room and wakes up the next morning with his head pounding, money missing, and no idea what happened the night before. That's one of many reasons I won't do that sort of thing. Instead, I'll go out, gamble, have a fine time of it, and don't particularly mind crashing out on the couch of a suite in my own name in the company of a very long-term trusted friend. Nonetheless, I wake up in the morning, head pounding, confused by the sudden arrival of the sun, fall off the couch onto the floor, and am greeted in my dazed and confused state with a cheery lady standing over me announcing that not only did she take all of my money, I shouldn't worry about it.

    Gak.

    "Umm, umm, what?"

    "Your money, I took it" (this had an emphasis on the 'I' bit of it which made it sounds as if that particular sentence was uttered just in case I might randomly have assumed that a highly organized team of rambunctious elderly semi-pro billiard players from Ohio had taken it)

    "You took it?"

    "Yeah, what are you doing on the floor? Come help me pack".

    Gak.

    "You took my money?"

    "Yes, you left it lying all over the place over there. I put it in the safe. The combination is the last four digits of your cell phone number."

    Oh. Ok. This wasn't a ridiculously confusing version of the woke-up-with-no-money-after-hiring-a-hooker story that for some reason involved helping the perpetrator pack for her departure.

    Umm, ok, time to get up.

    As I contemplated the challenge of this particular task, the sage words of Dean Martin echoed in my head:

    "You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on"

    Whoo. At least that means I wasn't drunk any more. Time to get up. Whoo. Finally on my feet, I wandered to the bedroom and started to stuff random things into suitcases.

    "Hey, that goes in the other one"

    "The other what"

    "The other suitcase"

    "What other suitcase?"

    "The one right over there"

    "Right over where?"

    "Gimme that"

    I don't think that I was really all that helpful in the packing process.

    More soon...
     
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