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Harrahs Tahoe/Reno 10/14-10/16/2016 OK, streak broken. Hand pay!!

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by DaiLun, Oct 15, 2016.

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  1. DaiLun

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

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    What a horrific drive. It used to be that you could leave the Bay Area at 2-3 PM and beat the traffic. No more.

    It took me 4.5 hours to get to Sacramento, where I picked up Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings, a Shanghai delicacy) for my host and dropped off my son at my ex-wife's house.

    Continued on to Tahoe, smooth sailing from there. Made it by about 8:45. Parked the car, my host was across the street, so I dropped off the XLB at the VIP checkin and dropped my stuff off in the room.

    Standard room at Harrahs with 2 queen beds. My buddy Les was coming up tomorrow.

    Put money and excess chips in the safe, took $500 in promo chips down with me, along with a $250 FP voucher.

    I was sitting in a corner when I saw my Tahoe host. I called her over. She thanked me for the XLB, and we chatted for a good 20 minutes. I found out why the Tahoe group were not at the South Bay dinner. The Tahoe hosts didn't have enough members to attend, so the only went to the San Francisco dinner. Apparently at the San Francisco dinner their guests outnumbered the Reno guests.

    Up and down, up and down, down and down. Moved from the "Dragons of Nanking" over to the Hot 8 machine.just about when my last $100 was down to $30, I got a spin bonus.

    Hand pay!!!!! $1839.00!!!!


    I'd always wondered if/when I would see a top end jackpot on one of those machines.

    That brought me up, since I was down several hundred before I hit the jackpot.

    Decided to complete the 1000TC day, and thanks to a minor hit on WWW, an IGT machine, I didn't lose any more, still up over $1000.

    Made a 1000TC day, and (wisely) decided to crash. Tomorrow's another day.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
    • Like Like x 3
  2. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Jan 21, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice hit on the top 8!
  3. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Jul 22, 2015
    The Island
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Congrats on the hand pay, DaiLun! :woot:


    DIAMONDAN1 Tourist

    Oct 13, 2016
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Very nice hit sirrr!
  5. DaiLun

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

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Day 2 part 1

    Day 2 - the quest continues

    So, I woke up at 7:30AM

    Called for my 7* amenity, room service was up within 10 minutes


    Plus two bottles of Fiji water.

    The event I was attending was for ski lift passes. Here is MY invitation.


    I looked at the top and "assumed" that it was an either/or offer.

    The way that I was reading it was that you could get 1 Value Pass or 2 Epic Passes, and additional for 3000TC over the weekend. That wasn't the case. (more on that later)

    To say the least, I was a little confused. Especially since the Value Pass cost $4379 and the Epic Pass cost $849.



    Now, I don't ski anymore, but my best friend Les does, and I offered to get one (or more) for him.

    I have known my best friend Les for over 45 years. We have done many (too many to count) gambling trips over the years, and even after he got married, had kids (that have now grown), we still continu to travel about 4-5 times a year.

    He was free and came up Saturday morning.

    I started on a 1000TC day. Harrahs has "upgraded" their machines, and a lot of the newer machines were there, including Wonder 4 Tower, and Buffalo Gold. No Buffalo Grand though.

    I was up $500 on the morning session, when Les called me and told me he was about 5 Minutes away.

    Since I was "up" and feeling less pressure, I started taking videos of the bonus rounds, and got some good videos.

    Les showed up arounf 10:30 and we decided to drive to Reno to:

    1)Have lunch at Atlantis
    2)Pick up $280 promo chips at Harrahs Reno
    3)Drop off some chive dumplings for the Marketing Manager at the Saturday meet 'n greet.

    Got to Atlantis at about 11:45 AM, and had lunch at the Oyster Bar. We ordered the Crab Sampler, (half a King, Snow, and Dungeness crab), and a bolw of clams. I ordered Hamachi (Yellowtail) Sushi. It was all very, very good, and I used my comps at Atlantis to pay for it.

    Spent about 30 minutes and $4-500 loss at Atlantis. Time to go to Harrahs. I decided at that time that I would do a "hit 'n run", meaning drop off the dim sum get my promo chips, get back in the car and head back to Tahoe, since my play in Reno wouldn't contribute towards, the Tahoe promotion.

    I was using this as a "teaching" session for Les. He doesn't play slots. He's a craps player. He finds slots boring and no strategy involved. I wanted to show him the Buffalo series of machines, and Harrahs Reno has a BIG Buffalo Stampede machine.

    We sat down, and I put in my card. On the second spin, I got

    Buffalo - blank - X2 bonus - 3 Buffalos - 2 Buffalos, which essentially just another s**ty no-pay. Then, I hear the Stampede. Knowing that there was only one reel that the Stampede could fill to may a payout, I ended up with this:


    I pulled three more spins, got nothing, and told Les, "Time to go". On the way out, I saw Karen, one of the Asian Marketing hosts, and told her that I couldn't stay for the meet 'n greet, but I left something for Hiroko (Marketing Manager for Harrahs Reno) at the host office.

    So, Les and I got out of Dodge. Drove back to Tahoe, took a detour through Carson City, got back to Tahoe about 3:30PM, and went to the promotion area. It was pretty much chaos so we decided (for the interim) to focus on me getting an additional 200TCs to get to 3000TCs so we could get a second "whatever".

    It was 4PM, so we passed by the Diamond lounge at Harra's, but typical of 4PM, it was very crowded. We decided to go over to Harvey's and visit their 7* lounge. At Harvey's the 7* lounge is on the 12th floor overlooking Lake Tahoe. Les is my 7* companion, since he is pretty much the only friend that I have that could make use of the card.

    We then decided to go over to Hard Rock. At Hard Rock they had a new member promotion. Tier points are $1.00 each. For 200 points, you get a beanie, for 300 points, you get gloves, and for 400, you get a sweatshirt. The maximum is 1800 Tier Credits for which you get two of each. We both signed up, and were advised that the new member promotion lasted for 24 hours after you signed up. We took note.

    On the way out, I got 25 credits, and was up $50, but it was time to go. Back at 5:45PM, we went to the promo area for find out EXACTLY what the promotion was:

    While we were standing In Line, there was a Gold card holder who was being told that 3000TC was necessary to get a lift ticket. He told his friend (in Chinese) "that wasn't happening". I got this from Les. They left, and the promotion person explained to us what the promotion was:

    I got one voucher for showing up, and subsequent vouchers were 3000TC. The Value pass was one voucher each, and the Epic pass was two vouchers each.

    OK, so that settled, Les figured out that he'd like two, so I needed to acquire 2000TC today.

    Went to dinner . . . . .
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  6. DaiLun

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

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Day 2 part 2.

    Before dinner, Les went back to the room, and I went back downstairs for about an hour. I "spent" more money making about 600 of the necessary 1100TC. Fortunately, that was "up" money, which was starting to dwindle.

    Decided to go to the buffet since I "only" had a $100 voucher for food this trip.

    The dinner buffet with 2 lobsters ($15.00 apiece) fits nicely into a $100 food voucher since no tax is assessed on vouchers/comps.

    We sat down to dinner and strategized about how to make 1100TC. We decided to "slow roll" for the last 900, then Les would retire. He's going to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks anyway, and didn't want to play at the $10 craps table.

    So, I introduced him to:

    Game of Thrones
    Wheel of Fortune
    Dragon's Way
    Dragon's Law
    Aladdin 3D

    It took a long time to explain Aladdin 3D to him.

    On this game, every time Aladdin's lamp comes up on a reel, one of the letters of W-I-L-D is lit above that reel.

    When all four letters are lit, that reel becomes WILD for 4 spins.

    He was getting ready to get up when he had 3 letters lit on reels 2, 3, and 5. He was up at the time, so I suggested he sit and continue playing until on or two the the reels got hit.

    We eventually made the necessary points to make 3000TC, and Les went back to the room, I told him that I would stay down to make the 2500TC day. I had noticed that my offers declined in Dec, probably to some low/no play days when I came up just to pick up promo chips, and I wanted to pump them back up for January 2017.

    So, I finally "ground through" the last 500TC and by 10:30PM, I was done. Slots being what they are, the last 500 TC cost me about $5-600. The worst thing was that I didn't really need them, expect that the bonus for 2500TC is so much more than the bonus for 1000TC.

    At 10:07, I was back in the room. Les was already in bed with the lights out. I said "Pat and Les (our nom de plumes) in Tahoe, in bed by 10:30, 35 years ago that wouldn't have happened.", "Times change." Les said.

    End of Day two
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  7. rycelover

    rycelover High-Roller

    Jan 27, 2016
    One step closer to a casino!
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    LOL, Shirley and I had a similar moment this weekend in AC; it was Saturday night and "only" 11:34 PM, when I turned to her, who was already in her PJs and said "Wow, we're really getting old; it's only 11:30 on a Saturday night and we're both ready for bed". Within 10 minutes it was lights out for both of us!
  8. DaiLun

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

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Day 3, time to go home . . .

    I woke up at 5AM (old guys wake up early), and decided to go over to Hard Rock to see if I could complete the promotiom.

    They had one Buffalo Grand machine, and it was in use the day before. Security was changing out the coin boxes, so I whiled away my time at a Wolf's Run machine prior to that.

    I got two bonuses on Buffalo Grand before security came up and said "no photography", so no pictures/videos after that.

    I worked my way to 1100 TC, and it was 6AM. (I was down about $25) Les should be awake by now.

    Before that, I went into the gift shop to see how much the promo items cost in cash, to see whether it was a "good" deal to try to win them.

    The beanie cap was $20, extrapolating from there, I went on the assumption that the gloves were $30, and the sweatshirt was $40. I was still "up", or rather, even, so I figured "no harm in playing for them".

    Went back to the room. Les was up. I explained to him the situation, and asked him if he wanted to go over. He got dressed and went over with me and we played a little Buffalo Stampede, I played some more Buffalo Grand, and we played several other machines.

    I eventually stopped at 1800 points, the maximum for the comp, and Les stopped at 300 points, since we were told that 250 points gets you access to the daily prize.

    These were the comp prizes.


    Les got an additional pair of gloves, and I gave him one of my beanies.

    Almost time for breakfast . . . .

    Went down (or up) to breakfast and were the first persons in line.

    Went to the check-in and mentioned that the buffets were supposed to be comped, but there was no record of such on my card. I told the cashier, OK, then just charge it to my room.

    We had the same server as the night before, Norma, she recognized us and treated us very well . . . .

    It's a good thing we were there early, because the lines (even the Platinum/Diamond/7*) started to get long shortly after we entered).

    Breakfast eaten, it was time to go down to the gift redemption.

    I am familiar with the Sunday gift redemption, so even as a 7*, I knew to get down there EARLY.

    We waited for the redemption lines to open, and they took 7* first. We found out the following things:

    1) You get the breakfast buffet coupon AFTER you redeem
    2)The person getting the passes must be present, or at least the name and birthday must be known. So, this presented a predicament for Les, and he decided to give it to his son, and bring him up later.

    While I was sitting waiting for Les, and directing traffic, I saw the two Chinese (Gold card) guys from yesterday. They were there just to get the buffet. . .

    As I was sitting there, I was talking to a 7* spouse about the promotion, and she and her husband were under the exact same impression I was before it was explained to them. I will pose an email to Harrahs Tahoe event management about:

    1)The event description should be more detailed, such as:
    2)The comp breakfast coupons are distributed at the redemption
    3)The EXACT terms of the redemption. There was a 7* couple in line with us, and I mistakenly told them that it was 3000 TC to get another pass. In their case, it was 7,000TC to get a second pass.
    4)They do spell out in the fine print that passes are non-transferable, but they don't state that the person needs to BE AT the redemption to get their pass. In this case, Les will need to bring his son up to get the pass.

    This is what a pass looks like.


    While Les was getting his pass, I went down to VIP services with my breakfast coupon to get the charges taken off my hotel bill, which the VIP host was able to do easily.

    Nearly the last thing:

    Now, since Les is my BFF, and I've known him for over 45 years and we have traveled hundreds of trips (including worldwide), and I would have done this for no compensation, just because he's my buddy.

    When we cashed in last night, Les put one of his tickets in the pile and said "keep it". It was over $100. That's the kind of friends that we are and will always be.

    Les surprised me with an amenity "for appreciation" of what I did this trip. He told me today that his son was thrilled to get the lift ticket.

    That done, I went back to the 2nd floor and Les was done. We went back to the room, finished packing, and left the casino. The drive back was very rainy, but not stop and go like when it snows.

    So, all in all the summary is:

    Down $2-300, but got:

    approx $900 in ski passes
    $250 in free food (2 dinner buffets, two breakfast buffets, and a lunch at Atlantis the day before)
    $280 in promo chips for Harrahs Reno
    The 7* amenity
    Approx $200 in swag from Hard Rock casino
    Completed another hand pay

    Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, I now have $1250 in promo chips from Harrahs Tahoe and $810 in promo chips from Harrahs Reno. I am hoping to hold onto these until 2017. I am in no need for additional play (besides what I need to make my room) at either of these properties for the remainder of the year. . . .


    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
    • Like Like x 1

    TIMSPEED Comps on my account, or blood on my knife.

    Aug 8, 2013
    BART Blue Line Train
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    LOL, I live how Tahoe's chips are nice and fancy..and Reno's are the shittiest/cheapest possible.
    It's really terrible that CET is letting Harrah's Reno go to the shitter, but I know for a fact they won't let it go, as it's "property #1"...just a real shame.
  10. DaiLun

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

    Apr 24, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Actually, Kevin Winters, the new GM, is trying to do something about it. The slot machines are starting to change out. As I was saying on another board, there is a Wonder 4 Tower on the hotel lobby side.

    If you're up there on a Saturday, all the department heads are at the meet n greet (2PM in the High Limit slot area) and they really listen. Voice your feelings. Not crazy things like "you should have a VP bank that pays 101%", or "you should change over to Coke products" but if it makes sense and is doable, they will try. I mentioned a "glare" problem on the East Side casino on the slot machines in the morning. The next time I went there, it was fixed!!
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