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IP, MGM, Rum, rum and more rum 10/2 through 10/8

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Jinx, Oct 15, 2008.

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  1. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Aug 7, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    So third trip of the year for me, all told it’s been quite a year for Vegas adventures, from getting stuck in Vegas in March due to the Cleveland blizzard, to smoldering in the July heat. All told, I’ve added it up and after this trip I’ll have spent 20 full nights in Vegas. Dang, that’s a pretty good amount. I don’t even want to think about how many drinks that is or how much I spent for all those free rooms. I do know however that regardless of the gambling losses, all told these three trips were pretty reasonable compared to spending for car rental, hotel, etc anywhere else.

    Well that’s some of my background, the rest, my reports tend to be very long, I try to include some humor, tips, anecdotes, and overall thoughts on vegas where I see them. If you’re a vegas fanatic, you’ll probably like my reports, if it’s a casual spot for you, it might be a bit long, you’ve been advised. Also, I refuse to look over grammar, run on sentences or anything else for something like a trip report, so it’s really just a collection of thoughts with paragraph breaks for easier reading, hopefully in my breaks in typing it, I don’t get to confusing with my comments

    Flight out was on SW in the late afternoon, connecting through Midway. Outstanding flight, I was off my flight and in line for my connection within 15 minutes, and everything was on time, great excuse to stretch legs and grab something to drink. Timewise it felt like a straight through flight. First (only win) of trip, had a drink coupon, flight attendant brought me 3 rum and cokes and kept telling me to give her the coupon next time, she never retrieved it, so a nice start for next trip.

    Off plane and grab luggage, head to cab line, not a lot in line on a Thursday night (7pm), get to IP, and with the new drop fee, wait time fee and mileage costs, it was $17 (not tunneled either just new fares), $22 for the ride and driver gives me his number to “get into strip club, no cover, limo, etc†thanks but no thanks, if I want to go I know how I’m getting there.

    Check in and get assigned a room in the front tower, opposite Carnaval Court, 14th floor, this is the bank of elevators you want if you are staying here, quicker and less crowd, no issues with room. IP deluxe room. Booked for 4 nights, staying for 3, at $70 total. Good deal for a weekend rate. Order a reuben from room service and unpack. (one thing I love about IP, is their room service, prices aren’t outrageous, only a $1 service charge to the room, and no auto gratuity, sandwich is like $9, and with tip, I was out like $14 affordable meal for 1st night. Call brother who is in town as well, but he decided to stay over at the Hilton tonight, no issue as Im planning on calling it an early night anyway due to work in the morning. I head off to pick up a bottle of booze for the room. My original plans were to stay at the Rio for the first four days, the room rate was comparable, but IP came down two days before the trip, and being on the strip vs having to shuttle it over, won over despite the fact that I love trying new places that I haven’t stayed in. Anyway, I had planned on going to the Gold Coast for some booze, but that was out as I wanted to get back quickly, so I headed to Batistas and picked up a bottle of rum. Not bad prices, higher then home, $14 for a pint, but heck it beats buying 1-2 drinks at a bar, or throwing x amount in a vp machine.

    Walk back to IP, and stop by sportsbook and pick up forms and parlay cards for Sundays game and retire to the room to chill and sleep. I have to admit at this point, I was seriously just not feeling it for the trip. Being in Vegas for so many days, makes me acutely aware of the fact that Vegas is basically just a slick reverse ATM, everything has a charge and everyone has a hand out. It usually hits me a couple days in, but it was there from the start this trip. Luckily my brother was in town, and I could just hang out with him, as a solo trip in this state would have been a little rough I think. It didn’t help that I was getting over a week long cold at the start of the trip either, but I did settle in nicely for the trip.

    So up at 4:30 on Friday morning, I work east coast time, and work from home, so bringing the laptop, lets me work a quick half day and save a half day vacation time. It also lets me try and adjust to vegas time a bit. So got done with work and called bro, who had just won 1k at the craps table. Cool, always nice when your with someone for them to get up early. Decide we’ll meet up around 4-5 today, as I’m off to Qua at Caesars for a relaxing day and massage.

    11am appt for Caesars and I get there about 10:30 and get situated, Great massage as usual from the therapist at Qua and then relax for a good 3-4 hours in the roman whirlpool area, waterfalls, heated chaise loungers, etc. I seriously drifted in and out of sleep for about 2 hours, feeling as refreshed as I have felt in many months. I wish I could tell you that the spa here sucks, because in truth I don’t want it becoming to busy, and them making it hotel guests only, but in reality I’d seriously be lying, it is far and away the best spa in Vegas, hands down, however you will pay for it in the treatment fees ($20-40 extra) and day pass ($40 vs $20 at most other places). Between the mineral pools, wide selection of juices, water, fruit, steam room, artic room, etc, it’s just a fantastic experience, plus a great chance for me to hydrate early. The only thing that upsets me about it is going there, almost guarantees I want to spend 5-6 hours there, which seems like an eternity for vegas time, so I tend to limit it to once a trip.

    Back to the room, call the family and off to meet up with brother. IP doesn’t get AT&T phone service in most parts of the casino, but we meet at rapid roulette and stay awhile, drinking a few and I get up a quick $50, a nice start for first gambling. We decide to head to Carnaval Court, as brother had never been there. I have only been once previously, last trip (quite an interesting time, if you check out that TR), so we settle in with shots and drinks to start and I decide to double up and have a second round of rum and coke and jager. Yikes, hadn’t really ate today and it hits me immediately, one look at my brother and I let him know, drunkland has come and come quickly, he suggests I head out to the dance area and burn it off. Quite a good idea and I’m off. Yes I’m a dude, but in truth have no issue dancing by myself, actually when I was younger, it was a great way to have women approach you, as long as you don’t make a fool of yourself, it’s actually some decent exercise too.

    And work it did, alcohol started to rear back a little into a nize buzz, however, I did attract the attention of a cougar, who decided she wanted to dance with me for a period of time. Which for the start was pretty harmless, but she did become a bit more aggressive and I noticed my brother had left!!!! Uh oh, so while the attention is flattering, part of the reason I get permission for solo trips and trips with bro, is I know my boundaries and am respectful of them. So step off to smoke a quick cig and quick text to brother to find out where he is. I compose myself from the alchohol and excuse myself, he headed off to Toby Keiths, but the line was outrageous, both of us starving at this point, I suggest the IP coffee shop. Good food, bad service and it lives up to reputation, but we finally get food and the bill is the right price. $20something for two people for dinner. Not high end, but not IP buffet either, and compared to some of the other coffee shops on the strip, I’ll put it in the top 5 for food taste.

    Brother, is beat and decides he’s going to head back to Hilton, I head back to Carnaval court, listen to the rock band a bit and then back to IP and play some vp, with no wins to speak of and then off to bed.

    So pretty solid drinking day, light gambling, with some drunken losses to finish the night Not tilt but probably not the best time to play, I debated with myself to just wait until morning and probably should have as I lost what I played quick. When I’m going well in Vegas, I usually listen to myself in these situations and just would have went to bed or taken a walk, obviously at this point, I wasn’t listening to myself. Eventually make it up to the room and to bed, think I actually slept 6 hours too, which might be a new record of straight sleep in Vegas.

    So on to Saturday, I decide to lay a couple college football bets, 2 $20 bets and one $10 parlay. I won one, pushed one and lost the parlay so I was up like $10. I played some Monopoly up up and away, a favorite of mine, jammed to the ipod and played some .25 vp and basically broke even for the day. Called the brother around noon, he was hanging out to see if he was picked for the wild card round of the tournament, we decided to talk later. I headed down in search of lunch, and in the direction of Palazzo.

    I really hate the Palazzo/Venetian, accessibility from the strip,it sucks in my opinion and once inside, getting somewhere is some of the worst navigation ever. I’m always amazed at those that complained about Aladdin’s layout, when I think the Venetian suffers worse in most senses. I hadn’t been into Palazzo before and really only made it in there as I navigated the mall. My intent was to find some Sushi and I was hoping to find Sushisamba but if something else came up first, I’d have done that, as each step I took through the property only made me realize how much farther it would be to retrace. But alas I found Sushisamba. I will say this if I stayed at the Venetian, I’d probably not leave the complex for a day or two as long as I could find some solid gambling. Aladdin/PH is the same way, I just hate the fact that if I don’t stay there, getting it is like getting into a prison.

    And let me say I’m so glad I did, by far one of the best meals in Vegas I’ve ever had. Better in Social House in my opinion by far, fish was very fresh and for me to be able to tell, is quite an accomplishment as after all I live in Cleveland. I wound up with a Spicy tuna roll and one of their signature spicy salmon sashimi. With some fruit infused rum cocktail. I was in and out for $50 total with tip, great service and enough options on the food to really want to come back or visit a couple times a trip. I also love the layout of the place and the décor, not big things, just felt right. Pretty sure I saw Wayne Brady getting seated as well, but not positive, but his first seat offering which would have been near me, he asked the server for a more isolated spot. For those that don’t know, Sushisamba is a Fushion style place, Pan Asian/Brazillian.

    Back to the hotel and a quick nap, call home, and then call bro to decide plans. We decide to head over to Monte Carlo to Diablos. I lay a quick $40 bet on Ohio State to cover (which is always hit and miss for me) and walk up to Diablos, brother is taking a cab there. I grab a quick drink and am off, I love walking the strip, or at least I used to, it’s just way to crowded anymore to enjoy it, with the construction over hangs and peddlers out anywhere, its really just one big cluster to walk. I used to walk it late at night, but the last couple times I’ve tried, there’s been way too many pedestrians just hanging out, with assorted whispers for my drunk walking ass. So I’ve pretty much stopped doing that too. Anyway, make it up to Diablos and it’s packed, but since we are getting food, they sit us at a bar table. I get the triple decker quesadilla which was outstanding as always and a great alchohol soaker, in addition, I get about four twisted sisters (cable cars). And brother is taking our pretty waitresses advice and tried just about every specialty drink there is on the menu.

    We stayed here probably about 2-3 hours, watching Ohio State cover and getting a nice buzz on. Brother picks up tab and I covered tip, thanks bro, that craps win came in handy. Before tip, bill was about 170, yikes, a lot of drinking, but some quality stuff.

    We did run into my dad’s best friend who was in town for the mining convention, and 1 or 2 rounds of him and his girlfriend were on that tab as well. Nice to catch up with them for a bit, we were trying to figure out where to fit that in, and it worked out that we met them there.

    So we head back to PH, to play some, me some VP at the heart bar and brother some assorted pai gow and craps. Drink service at the PHO heart bar is top notch and paytables for .50 and .25 vp is 7/5 for bp, not bad compared to other places, we stared at the Pleasure pit girls for a bit and after a couple hours, decide to head back toward IP and stopped at Flamingo, brother decides to play some pai gow and against my feeling I play some baccarat and lost a quick 200. It’s about 2am or so now, and brother decides to head back to Hilton, as we plan to get up and watch the games in the morning.

    Side commentary on PH. They moved the poker room,while it’s been sometime since I sat down and played poker, I always loved that they built a real poker room and gave the guests some space. So much for that, the poker room is wedged in on the floor now, with the high limit tables where the poker used to be. Nothing is left upstairs. While I can understand the change to move the high limit tables somewhere else, it’s a shame it was at the poker rooms expense. I hope the current area for it is just temporary, and they figure out a way to utilize the upstair space as well. I still would have liked to see them put a Hilton style sportsbook up there, especially since they designed the one they have so nicely, oh well though, looks like they are still working through things though.

    I was fully intent on heading back to the room, but noticed a favorite bartender of mine at the mai tai bar, so stop in and say hi and get a drink, we talk for a bit, but bar is pretty crowded, so he’s pretty busy, I wind up striking up a conversation with a gentlemen from Great Britain, getting into the sticky issues and discussions, that too inebriated guys can do, gaining some insight from across the pond and vice versa. A really cool conversation with some great perspective from him, I tend to try and keep up on world news, so always enjoy a good discussion. Halfway through our conversation a petite African American girl came over and sat down, announcing herself and saying it looked like a good place to sit and chat. Leopard print top, tight, tigh clothes, and extremely attractive. My bartender friend came over and checked her id, and gave a knowing look, and she ordered some wine. I continued talking with the gentlemen from GB, but he eventually retired for the night, after strategically moving from in between her and me to my outside. Scary scene then happened woman on the other side of the bar, passed out cold, they couldn’t even bring her to with smelling salts, she didn’t appear overserved and wasn’t with anyone, we all just commented on how unusual it was as she had just been conversing with no strong alchohol effects showing and how crappy it would be to wake up the next morning in a hospital in Vegas. So after that security incident, I continued to hang out, not sure why, but just people watching and started conversing with the girl sitting next to me, who had shown up before. Getting into discussion with her, and she leaves to run to the restroom, and talking to the bartender and at this point, we both are flabbergasted, because we were sure she was a working girl, but after talking to her for a bit, we finally conceded that she definitely was not. My bartender friend was highly interested, but seemed to think she was into me, which would have been just fine if she was single, so I made it a mission, to 1. confirm that she wasn’t a working girl (alchohol can let you ask those kind of questions) and 2. if possible help steer her towards my friend. So she comes back and we talk some more, and I point blank ask the question, and she answers in the negative on it, that with her entire back story and I’m sure at this point she is (again alchohol makes you a little slow as well).

    So let me take a second here on the reasons why we thought she might be a working girl. Leopard print top, skin tight pants, African American girl, by herself in the IP, at about 3 in the morning, sitting down at a bar, predominantly filled with guys. She just wasn’t dressed for the place and even if she was a club goer, she was far away from any real club, not to mention, girls that look like that rarely are by themselves, and if they are don’t typically engage a group of guys in conversation. Ok enough of the rant here, but I thought it was a fun story. By this time, there are a couple of party girls that are on the other end of the bar, and my friend is closing the bar for the night, so they yell over that we should all come to the back vp bar. I say goodnight to our new friend, having assured her that if she was interested in my friend that she should stick around, as the feeling was mutual and she did stick around, unfortunately I didn’t see him again to hear how it went. I hung out with the other girls for a bit, but it wasn’t my scene and was about 5:30 am and about 12 hours drinking in, so I head off to the room and finally fall asleep, set to get up at 9 to get over to the Hilton for the games. I tend to do one all nighter in vegas, but this was a bad night with the games the next morning, as fun as it was, I’d rather have just retired a bit earlier, but hopefully it made for a good story.

    Up the next morning at nine and for like the second time ever, I’m still drunk, usually 3 hours would be plenty to sleep it off, and I’m hurting a bit as well, shower, drink about a gallon of water, and decide that if I’m going to be any use, I might as well take some hair of the dog, so I grab some rum for a good drink. Ah that’s better, I have never in my life drunk in the morning to get rid of a hangover, and was a bit worried at how well I’d recover the next day, but for the most part it was fine. (I’ve drank in the morning before, but just haven’t been drunk save once when I was younger when I woke up.)

    Head up to the book, as I want to lay some bets on the Denver afternoon game (loss on spread and over, stupid broncos). Have my other bets for the morning games already laid. Ten, Indy, SD (dumb), and Giants. I really wanted to go heavy on the Giants, but talked myself out of it, when it got to like 35-0 early in the 3rd just kept kicking myself. The chargers hurt, ten pushed, and Indy made an amazing comeback and covered, so a fairly productive morning. I was up, which included all the losing parlays that I had that day as well, but up only about 30-40 or so.

    I headed to the Hilton, we stayed in the theater for a bit, but quickly got bored, sitting watching games is just rough for us, when in Vegas, so we headed to a VP bar, drank, and played and watched the games. Once the morning games were done, my brother headed off to check out and up to Ballys to check in for his moving day. I headed up to the MGM to check in, taking the monorail up there, my room was ready, which kind of sucked, as I didn’t have my bags. I keep my room the extra day at the IP to not worry about not having a room, since it’s free it works out, on top of the fact that so many times I can’t check in til late at the new place. However last two times at MGM, have gotten in at about 1pm both times, which sucks only because then I still have to make a trip back to the hotel for the bags. Anyway, it’s a 3 night free offer in the west wing room. Which for a single traveler is nice. The beds in the rooms are awesome, but the room is extremely small, if I was traveling with wife, I’d consider somewhere else, as it just seems too small. But for the price it’s right and after staying at MGM once, I’m starting to get an affinity for it.

    Back to the IP, try to catch a nap, but can’t sleep. Pack my crap and lug it back to MGM, all on the monorail, nice easy trip. Call the family and then brother, who isn’t feeling well, so he’s going to hang out at Ballys a bit and call if things look up. So I decide to play some at MGM. VP at the .50 and .25 level has been downgraded at the bars from 7/5 bp in july to 6/5 now. Single zero roulette games (video) are now double zero roulette (this was true at all MGM properties that I saw). While I don’t believe casinos up payback % on slots on a whim, that’s a heck of a lot of machines to change paytables on and at least 6 roulette machines per property that they changed programming on for roulette, in 3 short months, makes me think that changing the eprom on a slot machine, would be just as easy if they wanted to.

    Let me say this though, MGM’s bars have the best drink service in Vegas in my opinion, at least top 3, Im sure Wynn and Bellagio are up there, but I always get quality poors and quality booze when Im playing at the bars. After drinking the rotgut at HET properties, it becomes pretty easy to tell.

    So I play a bunch of VP, and then some of the video roulette. Get up $200 on video roulette, but since I’m sort of waiting for brother til at least 11 by staying at MGM if he decides to come, I lose that 200 and the 100 buyin, to make matters worse he shows up about 10 minutes later, feeling better and deciding to come out. D’oh my bad, not in my groove, otherwise I walk with 200 plus to do something else for awhile, now I’m actually 100 down.

    We decide to play some VP at Rouge, great drink service, never a wait and I get to see the Jags, screw me on two bets. Points, and carries for Jones-Drew. So after a good morning on the games the Jags and Broncos have now killed me for football. Oh well at least I don’t have to go back to the IP to cash tix.

    After awhile we decide to walk toward Excal. Brother is interested in learning min bac, and we actually find a table in their “high limit area†that’s $15/hand, so I show him the ropes, telling him it’s a game of streaks and I hit a huge player streak to start, pressing bets and making money, while he’s on the opposite end the whole time. However my luck sours quickly and I wind up losing $300, brother gets down to the felt and makes a comeback to break even on the game. I’m still trying to figure out where my winnings and buy in went, but alas just not having a lot of luck gambling or with money management. Which I sometimes do when Im gambling with someone. I have to work on that.

    We play for awhile, brother decides to play craps but my bankroll is down a bit for the trip, so I watch for a while and decide to head back to get some rest. Best intentions though, I wind up back at MGM for a bit and play video bj of all things, and get up a $250 after losing 100 on vp. So I’m up a 150 for this session, and decide to walk back to Excal, but brother is gone for the night. So I head over to Trop, just to go and because I never go there. I play vp for awhile at the bar, and switch to bailey’s and coffee to try and fight the buzz a bit. Quite an interesting place the Trop, don’t really know what to say, tons of hookers by the entrance doors, some old school bartenders, with one in particular who seemed to pontificate a bit to some foreigners at the bar, an interesting side trip to say the least.

    Back to MGM and to bed. Up Monday and off to Ballys to meet up with brother, he comes down after I hit a 4oak 2’s on .25 vp, damn should have been playing dollars, oh well. So we can’t decide on eating, so we decide to go up through Paris, deciding that we’d take some of our bankroll and play some video slots for the day as something mindless. So we play some in Paris and decide to walk up to PH, figuring we’d hit Hawaiian tropic zone for lunch as I picked up a couple buy 1 get 1 free drink coupons. We make it up to PH, and were looking for the new Monopoly games but they are full, I remember that the Deal or No Deal game there is 1.25 max bet with a nice progressive, to my surprise, they have new machines (same game, new version) which for a 1.25 bet has the new 243 ways to win. (if you don’t know what it is, all I can say is it’s very cool for video slots, no more worrying about whether something is on a line, if you have a symbol in each column, you are going to win something). However the bonus round just won’t fall for me, and I’m a bit stubborn so I’m feeding it pretty good, getting some good hits, but nothing great, brother went through like three bonus round all ready, so I burn through a hundred and he says he’s moving machines, if I want to play his, I say no I’m playing this damn machine till I get the bonus round, two spins in on the new 100, I get 3 of the jackpot symbols and 2 wilds across for a 50000 credit win, $500 that helps the bankroll, after playing a bit, I’m like wait shouldn’t have that been the progressive of 1500.00? Checking the paytables, no it only happens for naturals. But still a nice payout, I actually recoup my 100 too trying to play it down to an even number, but still no damn bonus round. Oh well.

    We head off to PH, and it’s on me. We each decide on BBQ spring rolls, 2 drinks, and the portabella fries. The portabella fries are out of this world and worth the trip here itself, it’s basically a fresh fried mushroom, but a very light batter. Had a beautiful waitress, who’s waitressing skills were a bit non-existent, but a good meal nonetheless, we sat on the patio and actually had some shade, so a relaxing time.

    Beautiful latino girl behind me asked for a light, and I noticed she was smoking djarum cloves, which I used to smoke back in college, mentioned it to her and she was kind enough to give me two, which was greatly appreciated for some nostalgia. Thanks again.

    We decided to head back call the families and then get back together in a bit, as our plan was to head to red square and rumjungle for some flights of alchohol.

    So we head back to our places and get cleaned up and then meet up at MGM, take the tram over to MB and settle in at Red Square, brother loved the vodka flight he had, he also wound up with a new picture for his description on my iphone. Then we headed over to Rumjungle, let me just say the extra 3 years on my brother are catching up with me, as I needed more help on my flight then he did on his, however I will say that the bartenders at Rumjungle were outstanding, in discussing rum, my bartender mentioned her affinity for Cruzan black strap, which is one of my favorites, and doesn’t seem to be well known, from there on, she poured free on at least 4 other types of rum outside of my flight. I tried the Mount Gay flight and loved the first three, whereas the fourth wasn’t really my style. I did come to the realization though, that besides the free pour pyrate rum she offered, that rums just don’t fit into a flight like scotch or even vodka for that matter. Which is unfortunate, as there are those that can be done straight up, but it’s a far better mixer for the most part.

    After settling up, ensuring a nice tip for my rum loving bartender, we headed out to gamble a bit and ran into a brick wall. Drinking was setting in, so we headed up to Burger Bar, and got seated right away. Had the Ridgefield with the fried zuchhini, the zuchinni was the best frozed zuchinni I’ve ever had, it had taste and texture, which typically it doesn’t from being froze, how did we know it was frozen, well it just had enough taste to make us think it was. But the food was good and did what it was supposed to do, soak up the alchohol. We then passed -5, and let me just say, there wasn’t anyone there, nor anyone interested, a girl in a half parka standing outside passing out brochures, now mind you it’s a Monday night, but I wouldn’t be encouraged with what was there. After talking to the bartenders at Rumjungle, I was curious whether the nightclub business for them is down do to all the new spots in Vegas, and she confirmed it was, as they used to be open 5-7 nights for the club and were down to 3 and had closed down part of the space for the club on the open nights anyway. They were also a bit concerned about -5, which after seeing the outside, doesn’t appear to be warranted at this point. -5 is a nice concept but with one vodka bar on the premises, I have to wonder if they wouldn’t have been better served from setting it up at Monte Carlo or MGM for some space between spots. Plus 30 bucks to get into the ice room, in full parka and not allowing pictures that you take yourself seems excessive, I wonder if they will adapt that format.

    So the purpose besides are assorted flights, was to go to HOB Rockstar Karaoke, which they’ve held on Monday nights for at least 2-3 years. We played some video roulette and lost and saw that they had a MNF party in there, but no signage for Rockstar Karaoke, so I went in and asked and last week was the last week they held it, damn, well at least I got to go once, but keep kicking myself for all those Mondays I missed, as it was something pretty cool to do.

    We gambled a little bit, and I think I got my brother addicted to the new Monopoly slots as he played the hotel one and ran through a bonus for about 15 minutes, they don’t pay a ton, but some of the best bonuses I’ve seen on new slot games. We eventually got bored and headed back toward MGM. Taking the tram, there was one particular confused patron on the tram though as we too the tram through to Excal, and at the Excal stop, this person was inquiring loudly why it didn’t stop at Luxor to my brother, who played nonchalant saying he didn’t know, his reasoning was he didn’t think he could explain it to the guy even if he tried. Gentlemen was a bit unkempt and definitely half in the bag.

    So over to NYNY to see about some gifts for the little ones and maybe some more video slot play. We wander around the store a bit and don’t find much, another pet peeve, I swear every Vegas souvenir store (HET, MGM, PH) has the same crap. I know I’m not a typical tourist but couldn’t they have some interesting stuff, even the malls seem to have the same stuff, just looking for some variety. As an example, I keep looking for a music box for the little one, been through Forum, Miracle Mile, Excal, etc, none have anything but a jewelry box at FAO Schwartz that plays while open rather then a wind up one. Now granted it’s not the most common thing, but with all the variety of shops I’d figure I could find something like that, rant over.

    So we head down to the casino at NYNY. Now I’ve never been fond of the casino floor here, too crowded and packed in for my liking, but oh what a mistake ROK Vegas is, in the casino floor now, is a circular wall that has posters for the club behind it. For one, a center club makes no sense for the already crowded casino floor, and two the walls look temporary and crappy, although I do believe they maybe the permanent ones. This giant club dominates the center of the casino in my opinion and creates no ambiance at all for the casino floor. Beyond that, it seemed that the slots and vp are now pushed even farther together, which isn’t a huge deal, except when you factor in the foot traffic this casino gets (in my opinion maybe more then any other due to the theme) on top of that, the areas that are in corners are inaccessible to cleaning crews, we sat down at the Star Wars slots in the corner and the amount of trash and cups here, was pretty severe, so much so I really didn’t want to play in the area, and honest to god I’m not one who typically would care that much if there was some empty cups in the area. Claustrophobia is my new word for this casino, more so then before.

    It’s too bad too as they have some different offerings then the other MGM casinos, namely the Star Wars rebel assault game which is one of the new 243 ways to win type, it’s a 3.00 bet, but in some senses that’s pretty good for MGM properties (heck MGM has .5 Monopoly slots, which is like a $4-5 bet for max spin). I didn’t play long on the SW game though, just too messy and cramped, I did find the old deal or no deal game though, and again unlike other MGM places I’ve seen it this was the penny rather then nickel machine.

    So we finished up here, and by this point we were pretty beat and decided to call it a night, even though it was brother’s last night, the previous days and nights had really caught up to us. Plus he had cured his gambling jones and was actually going home with some of his initial cash, not break even, but pretty good for one of his trips, so we bid farewell and head back to our hotels. I might have played some more VP at MGM, but if I remember correctly, I think I just crashed in that awesome bed.

    So next morning rolls around, and due to an early night (11pm or midnight) I wind up getting up around 5 and continue ‘trying’ to sleep but it’s just not happening, so while trying to lay there and fall back asleep I wind up finally up and out the door around 6:30, my last full day. My bankroll has been ok due to the win yesterday at PH. I have a thing now, where I can’t stand being down to the felt on my bankroll so even if I get close by a couple hundred, I want to take out some cash for comfort. So I’ve made two atm withdrawals the last two days just in case, which if I get through today with none, I’m ok with. Anyway I’m trying to decide to eat breakfast, which I haven’t really done all week, or just grab the ipod and play what I want for awhile, sipping on starbucks and numerous Bailey’s and coffee. Well playing won out, I just have never been enamored with MGM’s coffee shop and I didn’t feel up to going all the way down to Venetian for Bouchon, which is what I really wanted. I figured if I get up a hundred or two, I’ll go to Bouchon and maybe get another massage, it wasn’t to be though.

    So I head down to the MGM casino, I needed to put some points on the card anyway though, as I don’t plan on playing any baccarat here this trip and haven’t gotten quite used to staying here, so while I don’t particularly care if my points measure up, I’m going to play anyway and it might as well be here. So looking around, I decide on the multi-hand bj game, I’ve seen this all over and have wanted to play for awhile, but knew that it probably wasn’t the most favorable bet. The game lets you play 1 or 7 hands against the dealer. All bets at same level $1-$10. So I decided on $2 a hand, or 14 per session. It’s not the worst game in the world, but you do get the bad video bj rules, 2-1 on bjs (which is just a regular win, as all wins technically are 2-1 as you get your original bet back on a win). 1 card on split aces. Dealer stands on S17. I liked it, but it suffers from the same issue I have with Video bj, in playing hands so quickly, honestly I become amazed at the hands the dealer will make on a regular basis, I’m sure it’s the same for real bj, but 1 hand every minute or 2 vs, 5 in a minute doesn’t make it show up as much. Plus, when the dealer hits a bj, losing all 7 bets suck. If they just increased the payout on bj and made it a bit more of a fair bet, I’d probably play more, as it is, I lost a hundred over an hour or two of play. Nice diversion and haven’t made up my mind on whether I’d play again, I like the concept, just not something I see a way to win a ton on (say $100) as it’s similar to multihand vp, except you don’t have the benefit of winning big on a dealt hand.

    So then I hit some $1 vp at the bar, went back and forth on $200 for awhile, but eventually lost it, well 3 hours in and I’m down $300 not a great start to the day. Ok I need a change of scenery and it’s about 9:30, so run upstairs grab a Gatorade and some more cash and decide to head to PH, at least I’ll play something I like if I lose, the new Deal or no Deal game and besides I still need to hit that bonus round.

    So off to PH, sit down at the game (different machine then day before) and play for a bit, start out with a straight up captain, to dump in the Gatorade bottle, and hit the bonus round, get up $50 above my $100 buyin but keep playing for some reason, to see if I can get up a little further, of course that doesn’t happen and by the time I want to stop, I want to get back to $150 or $100 and that doesn’t happen either, so I lose the initial buy in, oh well, getting hungry so head to HTZ for lunch. Grab a 2 for 1 drink coupon from one of the girls passing htem out and grab seat at the bar.

    Bartender was gorgeous, seriously I’ve looked at a lot of women, and if she had flaws I couldn’t see them, plus she was a pretty solid bartender too, mixing up 2 decent mojitos to go with the sliders and mushroom fries I ordered. Finish up about noon and concerned about what to do, bankroll for the day is just continuing to go down and a long way to go, so I just decide heck with it, I’ll lose up to $200 more here and then figure out what to do, so I head to high limit slot room for some $1 vp, I broke up $20 at this point into singles for tips for the day. And started to play, well 8 hours later, bouncing between vp, video roulette and deal or no deal, I had played on that same $100 and recovering 200 of the money I lost earlier in the day, in addition, I got $72 cash back from PH, which I cashed out as well. I’d bounce from those three areas when either I lost a hundred or broke even, and I drank like a fish, by the time it was done, I was out the $20 in tips and had gone through another 10, at $2 tip a drink, it was 15 captain and cokes, along with the 2 mojitos, and 5-6 baileys and coffees that morning, non stop from 6:30 to 8:30, quite a run.

    So I finally broke free from PH, in actuality gambling for 12 hours straight is not something I usually do, but then again, I usually don’t bounce from machines as well, but it just seemed to work out today, and with the bankroll on a respirator it worked out nicely. I was receiving offers from PH, during the remodel for free rooms and really began to like staying, unfortunately either I screwed them on play on my last trip, or their numbers went up (can’t remember which) so free room offers have been non-existent from there. I hope my days play generates some though, as I really love what they’ve done with the place. They’ve created a pretty solid resort, with a lot of options, some good gambling conditions, and generated a good crowd. I know there are differing opinions on what it looks like, but the atmosphere is pretty solid in my opinion without any real pretentious feeling. I think they are doing a lot of what people have been clamoring for in a resort, especially from a gambling condition area, now not all rules are great, some of their table rules suck and their video roulette single zero straightup number is an atrocious 32-1, but there are some solid gambling options here . And compared to some of the redesigns that MGM has done in trying to be ‘hip’ I think PH manages to do it without so much emphasis on telling you that they are. MGM could take a lesson, take for example there do not disturb signs, which say ‘recharging’ ok we get it you are hip and cool, sure.

    So I walk back to MGM. Now I figured for sure, I’d be a stumbling mess, but honestly floor drinks at all the property seem to have negligible affects on me and proved true here, I was going to eat again at Hawaiian tropic, quick appetizer and another 2for1, but decided against it, as there price jumps for the same stuff for dinner, seemed unreasonable to me, so I just grabbed some pizza from the MGM food court and headed up to the room, grabbed some soda and chilled for an hour or two and watched some TV. Still planned to gamble more as I had free play from MGM to clear, but rested and then took a shower to head back out. Unfortunately while the alchohol didn’t make me drunk, the amount of smoking, drinking, and bad eating, definitely gave me some heartburn and my normal ways of mediating it, some pills, antacids, didn’t seem to be working.

    Alas I still headed out though, played some VP at Rouge and had one drink and tried another but couldn’t finish, and then decided to walk toward NYNY. I grabbed a coffee at Starbucks, as the latte’s milk had to be better then the alcohol in the shape I was in, I decided to play some deal or no deal a bit at NYNY, but after feeling like a sardine for 20 minutes, gave that up and decided to head back to MGM to call it a night, grabbed a couple small souvenirs for the little one at Rainforest souvenir shop (finally something different) and headed up to room. A little disappointed as I love the late nights in vegas and the last 2 have really been early for me, especially love the nights on my last couple days, but didn’t feel too bad, as I had definitely filled up my daytimes. So off to bed and slept til about 6, which for Vegas and me was pretty good and got packed up.

    Again the dilemma. If I don’t gamble anymore I go home with about $150 of my original budget and the atm withdrawals I made, not great, but good compared to 2 days ago, plus since my bankroll was less for starting out this trip, it wouldn’t be horrible for the trip. All I needed to do was grab some breakfast and then head to the airport. Best intentions I know, but I decided to forego breakfast, I could eat at airport, and just go play some $1 vp, if I hit a 4oak quick, I’d stop, or I’d play down $150 and be set. Well I hit a horrible run on $1 vp, and was quickly down $200. oops, moved over a machine and played and got it back up some, and then played on $100 for 3 more hours, leaving down a $100 for the session, but at least givng me more then 10 minutes of play time. So off to the airport, down for the morning, but at least not in bad spirits about it.

    Grabbed some grub at the airport and boarded on time, no issues on the plane ride home.

    Final thoughts:

    1. I need to figure out how to gamble with other people on a trip. I think I need to take a separate friends bankroll for when I do, as mixing it with my bankroll changes my decision making process.
    2. Getting very used to staying up in the MGM area, I was always a center strip person, but Harrahs just doesn’t seem to have anything I like to play anymore, besides some limited VP, if given the choice too, MGM rooms are superior to all the rooms I’ve stayed at, at Ballys, Flamingo, IP, Harrahs, and even Paris.
    3. PH is pulling me back. I like the options there, some fun dining options and good food, and solid gambling.
    4. Disappointed that HOB canned Rockstar
    5. I got my brother to try a bunch of new things this trip, but I didn’t do many new things, this was sort of a repeat of previous trips, which is nice in that I have found some new things I like to do every trip. (HTZ, Diablos, Rouge). But I need to explore again and find some other things to do.
    6. Unfortunately I didn’t get to check out any shows or Frightdome, brother just wasn’t into it early and by the time he was, I was in the mode of not wanting to waste time on discount tickets or trying to shoehorn something into free time. Next time need to hit a couple things I want to see.
    7. Drinking, god I drank a lot again this trip. While it’s no big deal, I really prefer some of the premium stuff and have to stop drinking the rotgut of some places. Since I’d rather be drinking a starbucks anyway, I think next trip I need to try and say no to the cocktail waitresses at least for part of the day.
    8. Broncos and Jaguars you both suck
    9. I’m finally at the point, where I feel like I can go awhile without going back to Vegas, each trip I leave a little differently, bad trips usually have the damnit I don’t want to go back, good ones I can’t wait to go back. Now I want to go back and we’ll plan a trip soon to have something to look forward too, but it’s not pressing. On top of it, if something else came along trip wise, I’d probably put Vegas off too for awhile. It just tends to work out for a solo getaway, where the wife isn’t looking to leave the baby, and the free rooms make up for a lot of it.
    10. Hope you enjoyed the report and thanks for sticking around for it.
  2. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Jan 16, 2004
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Yes, it was long. But, I enjoy the long detailed reports. Enjoyed the read. Thanks for posting.

    later, GVJ
  3. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

    Mar 9, 2006
    Katy, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Took me a while to read (while at work), but well worth it! Thanks for taking the time to post.
  4. gette69

    gette69 Tourist

    Sep 28, 2008
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    a very detailed report
    I am glad that you had a good time
    I stayed at PH in March and I really liked it there.
    We went to MGM last Saturday, and It was too packed even more so than NYNY. I really didnt get a chance to go all over the MGM. but yes the drinks were good there!
  5. mebetj15

    mebetj15 Tourist

    Mar 14, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Probably one of the best reports I have read in a while. A lot of detail and a few rants and mucho gambling...liked the format and all the info...thanks!
  6. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

    Jul 8, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    That was good report and I enjoyed it. It helped make a boring work day a little easier to take. I, too, like what they've done to PH. I didn't like the drink service there it seemed like there was only two waitresses servicing the whole casino. I did like the whole remodel and the slot selection was good. I also don't particularly care for the slot selection at HET; they never seem to have any new slots and our favorites are dissapearing.
  7. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Aug 7, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    thanks all for the kind words. gmoney, I'd definitely agree, that even being there the whole day, I felt like service had slipped a little bit for drinks at PH. I definintely got the feeling it was a bit understaffed during the day. I used to play vp in the high limit room in the mezz, which was always great as noone played there and a steady tip usually brought the waitresses back almost too much.
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