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July 10 to 15: Top Ten Lists Countdown

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by jhpa, Jul 17, 2017.

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  1. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    So I am back from an awesome trip to Vegas. Five days, just me and my son in law. Monday and Tuesday nights we stayed at the Golden Nugget and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we stayed at the Flamingo.

    Instead of a day by day report - which I tried to do live, but gave up after a couple of day - I decided to do two "top ten lists" One is a list of my top ten gambling moments. The other is a top ten list of non-gambling remembrances. Not sure I will get to all of them tonight...I flew back from Vegas to KC on Saturday and drove from KC to Philly the last two days (1200 miles) , so I am bit wiped out. But let''s see how far I get.

    Gambling Moments:

    Number 10 : The Big Bang Slot Game. I am not a big slot guy, but I love the Big Bang Theory. Thuursday night I threw a Franklin in just for chuckles. Played for about 45 minutes after hitting a few "Penny" bonuses

    Number 9: Bellagio Bartop Straight Flush. I am not much of a video poker guy either, but I was an hour early for a "royal shave". Friday afternoon I slid a Franklin in at the the Bellagio and tried to milk it so I could have a couple of Appletinis before my shave. About 10 minutes in i hit a King high straight flush - a $250 payday. I.had some other smaller wins so I ended up doubling up my money when I cashed out.

    Number 8: Roulette and Slot golf. My son in law and I play these games on slot machines. A bit of competition between us. We started with $50 at each casino. We pick a slot machine and put in $20. You play max credits until you win something. Then cash out. If you hit on your third spin,your score for that "hole" is 3. Low score after 9 holes wins the accumulated winnings. Same with roulette. $30. Most were $5 places. So you pick five numbers. Max of 6 "strokes". Low score takes the pot. I ended up wining both the Roulette pot and the slot pot. This is a great way to structure a casino crawl....we hit 9 casinos and play one hole of roulette and golf in each. Then we gamble and drink before moving on tot he next casino.

    Number 7: Craps at the Cromwell. I spent about 3 hours there on Thursday afternoon. I admit I never thought I would see the value of 100 times odds. I typically start with a pass line and double odds and then a set up come bets. I learned a long time ago that you win when you press your bets But it was frustrating to play a $5 come bet and bump into the double odds max or even the 3-4-5 max. This day I started with a $5 flat bet and $10 odds and pressed $10 every time it hit.(since I always had a come bet active, it would be an "off and on, bump odds by 2). I ended up several times with come bets at 10 times odds or more. Made a real nice profit that session

    Number 6 : My first 4 OK. The title says it all....hit this early tueday morning at Main Street Station

    to be continued....
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  2. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    Gambling top ten continued

    Number 5: Downton Abbey "Carson Bonus: We were trying to get the Total Reward slot "badge" at every casino. So late Thursday we were walking through Paris and saw the Downton Abbey machine. My wife is a huge fan,. So I deposited another franklin and started playing through. I have no idea how it worked or why, but I hit the Carson Bonus....ended up cashing out $250 after earning my 25 points.

    Number 4: Cabana Craps. Thursday morning we rented a cabana at the Flamingo....awesome We started with bloodymaries at 9 and did not look back. Awesome eye candy. Of course, we had to try out the tub craps poolside. What a blast! Of course, it did not hurt that there was some cute young ladies giving out shots of Bacardi
     

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  3. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    Number 3: Craps at Golden Nugget. We checked in to the Nugget about 1 PM monday and I was at the craps table by 1:30. Had a really good crew with a very friendly group of cocktail waitresses. I was taking it easy, going with Coronas and lime. Met up with a couple of newbies and a woman from Dallas. Had such a good time We played until abut 4:30, taking my $300 buy in and cashing out $750.

    Number 2: Rolling at the Rio. Wednesday evening we headed to the Rio to check out the WSOP and have dinner at the Voodoo Steakhouse (Very very good!) Then we went to see Penn and Teller. It was fun and entertaining and funny, but I think I no longer care to wonder "how did they do that?" About 10:30 I finally hit the $15 craps table. My $300 buy was heading down pretty quickly, I was straight out and to my left was a a nice woman from San Diego named Christine. When the dice came to me, she was not sure whether to buy in for more...she had about $80 in her rack, but was not playing heavy. I told her "don't worry . you'll be fine with what you have. I put 2-3-2 on the all small tall and 1-1-1 for the dealers.
    I started rolling and rolling. I am told that I kept the dice for about 45 minutes. The table was packed. I was hitting hard ways, points (I wish there was a fire bet!). Christine was being my wing-girl....people kept trying to buy in next to me, crowding us, but she was keeping them away, nearly coming to blows with one drunk guy. I finally let him in to my right just to shut him up. I hit the small and every number of the tall but the EIGHT! Imagine in 45 minutes, never throwing an 8.
    When I sevened out, I had over $2600 in my rack and easily $800 on the table. Christine had closer to $3000 (She loved the horn bets and I hit plenty of them.)
    I cashed in about 12:30 and headed up to the Voodoo lounge to celebrate....but that is another story.
     
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  4. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    And the number 1 gambling moment​

    Craps at the Flamingo with Roland: .

    After our late night at the Rio, I was still up about 5:30 (call it 3 hours of sleep). I head down tot he Flamingo craps table and buy in for $300 in my usual position straight out. To my left was a guy from Dallas. At the other end were three drunks, stoned or whatever.with a lot of chips in front of them. They were playing very sloppy. $100 pass line and a huge stack of chips for odds, It was obvious that, even though they were winning, it was only a matter of time,. A short, skinny dark haired guy buys int my right and puts $10 on the pass line. He started mumbling under his breath about how they were playing. I told him to relax, they would be gone soon. Sure enough, in about 15 minutes they were busted and left.

    The skinny guy moved straight out from me and took their place. The dice came to me and I rolled for about 10 minutes with no luck. I colored up $153 and decided to head to Starbucks. I pocketed the $150 and threw $2 on midnight and a $1 midnight for the dealers. Dallas next to me hits a 12 and I collect $300. I figured, what the hell, I'll stay.

    Well, Dallas sevened out pretty quick and the dice passed to the quiet guy at the other end.

    I bet my 1-2-1 for the all/small/tall and we get started. My buddy at the other end starts rolling. Very quiet, nothing demonstrative, just taking the dice and throwing. I am doing my typical progression of pressing and am starting to win some serious money. I usually don't pay much attention to what other people bet, but I noticed the shooter has $10 pass, no odds and 2 place bets for the minimum. If one hits, he collects the winnings and moves to bet to another number.

    After a while, it gets pretty exciting. a few more people joing the table. I am killing it and we have every all/small/tall number covered but the 12. I throw a three way 12 to the stickman ($5 for me, the dealer and the shooter). Nothing,. I did it again. nothing. The third time, the 12 hit.

    The table erupted and the dealer paid me. Then he paid the shooter his $150. When he realized I had bet for him, he ran around the table and hugged me . When they started paying out my "all" bet, I told the dealer to pay the shooter half (another $150). Again, he ran around the table and hugged me, this time he was crying.

    As is typical, the shooter lasted two more rolls and sevened out. I colored in $2600 and finally headed for Starbucks.

    As a PS - Friday evening I am at Harrahs. I am playing and notice someone buying in next to me. It was the shooter. He hugged me again. He told me his name was Roland. He was an immigrant from Albania and works as a cook in a pizza place. He told me he won $170 on his own roll - the largest he ever won in a craps session. The $300 I gave him was huge to him and he started to cry again.
     
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  5. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    Tomorrow I will post my top ten non-gambling moments
     
  6. Texas Steph

    Texas Steph A Work in Progress...

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    Loving your Top Ten... #1 was great!
     
  7. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Great story on the Albanian. Your generosity is to be commended.
     
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  8. Geogran

    Geogran Whooo. Whooo.

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    Hurry up! Really loving this TR!
    Kindness begets kindness.
     
  9. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    I love this format, jhpa! :thumbsup:
    Can't wait to see the other list!

    Great cup size in this photo, too! :wink2:

    cups.JPG

    RICHARD
     
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  10. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    I actually forgot one more gambling highlight. On friday my son in law and I had a baseball challenge. He picked 7 games and i picked 7 different games. Then we placed a $10 bet on the winning team in each of our own games. The 15th game was the tie breaker: i picked one team to win and he picked the other. Result: I won 4 to 2 -plus i won the (unneeded) tiebreaker game. My win was $110.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  11. Miller12pack

    Miller12pack High-Roller

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    I hear so many great stories from people playing craps. I have to learn the game.
     
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  12. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    Before I get to the top ten non gaming moments from my trip, let me throw in a different list: Top five food memories from the trip. This was not a big gourmet eating trip (unlike some of my others) so there were only 5 meals that were memorable all week.

    Number 5 - Golden Nugget Pizza. I forget the name of the bar/restaurant right next to the craps tables, But it had really good pizza. The other food looked good too - and since we were there at happy hour, I had an above average apple martini for half price.

    Number 4 Martaranos (in Paris). We were going to skip a big dinner thursday night, but we were on our casino crawl and about 10 PM hopped into Martaranos. We both had chicken parm and split a side of gnocci. Excellent!

    Number 3 Cut steakhouse at Flamingo. Very nice place with excellent service. I had crabcake that as very good, not great (you get spoiled living on the east coast). The lobster bisque was very good too, although a little on the salty side. My New York strip streak was very good . I had it topped "oscar" style - with crab meat, Bearnaise and asparagus. I skipped dessert but my son in law loved the cheescake. Had a Sauvignon blanc that was a little too sweet but a very good Cab. Overall, a little pricey, but worth it.

    Number 2: Breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi - This is a must do every trip to Vegas. I love sitting strip side drinking coffee and watching the world go by. We got a perfect table on the rail at 8 am on Wednesday morning. Food was good as always. I had the special eggs Benedict made with shredded short rib. Outstanding. He had the basic bacon and eggs but the bacon was tuink and very nicely done. We also split another daily special...thin crepes with caramelized pineapple. A perfect way to start the day. I just wish we could have done it on a weekend....it is more fun to watch the kids staggering up the Blvd from the clubs on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

    Number 1 - Dinner at Voodoo Steakhouse. This was to be our one big meal of the week. We headed tot he Rio to see Penn and Teller so we had 6:45 reservations. We were seated promptly and asked if we were in a rush. Not really, but we wanted to check out the Voodooo lounge before the show at 9. No Problem...
    well, there apparently was a problem because we spent until 8;40 having dinner. They were having issues with their computer. At least one group got pissed and left. But we did not care.
    The view is fabulous (50th floor, with the whole of the strip laid out in front of us.) We started with a "seafood Tower". A whole lobster split and chilling on ice, 6 huge shrimp. 2 king crab legs and a bunch of oysters (including two "shooters" - oysters in shot glasses with vodka.) . Then I had a wedge salad with bacon and blue cheese - added some roasted peppers to make it interesting. Then a beautifully done strip (better than the Cut). We ordered the typically huge baked potato that came loaded and also some asparagus to pretend to be healthy. Dessert was out of the question. I had three glasses of wine, (a nice sancerre and two glasses of a very good merlot) two of which were comped due to the food delay. they wanted to comp dessert too, but we were stuffed. The food was very good, the view iconic and the service was as good as it can be considering the problems they had.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
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  13. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    here is some food porn, First two from Mon AMi Gabi and the third from Voodoo Steakhouse
     

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  14. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Your dining on this trip outshines the sum of dining on all of my trips! :feedme:
    Thanks for sharing your lists!

    RICHARD
     
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  15. D in the D

    D in the D Oldest ride, Longest Line

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    Thanks for sharing thusfar. Love the different twist to the TR. Well done.
     
  16. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Enjoying the TR.
    Thanks.
     
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  17. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    When I think of Vegas, I usually think of gambling and eating. But there were a number of memorable activities that did not deal with either of them.

    So here is my Top Ten Memories countdown - (non food, non gambling category)

    Number 10: Penn and Teller. They were fun. They were funny. They did a lot of neat stuff. But I am just not into it anymore. I never felt myself saying "how did they do that" It was entertaining, but not mesmerizing. And their last big bit - which took about 10 minutes and was built up during the entire show - seemed to lay a big egg.

    Number 9 The Verbena Cocktail at Chandelier Bar in Cosmo This was more of an event than a drink. You gotta try it to believe it. A tasty margarita with this little flower bud that you chew. An internet article says "it might implode your face" Pretty good description.

    Number 8 The Golden Nugget Pool. Spent about 90 minutes hanging int he Golden Nugget pool - the adults only one upstairs. Long enough to have a couple of very large Margaritas. A nice way to transition from afternoon to evening.

    Number 7 A royal Shave at Bellagio: Johnny Williams is a master at giving a traditional, straight razor shave. So much so that after I reserved our hotel and our airline tickets in April, my next reservation was with Johnny for Wednesday of our stay in Vegas. It is a relaxing indulgence I have had several times,
    Unfortunately, three days before we left for Vegas, I get a call that he was not available and saying they could accommodate me with the barber at Aria. Ok - I'll give it a go. Then the day before we leave (sunday) for Vegas (SundayI am told that that is not available either. They offered thrursday or Friday. We had other plans for those days so I had to say no.
    On Thursday I thought I would call and see if they had an opening for friday. They said yes, at 2....so they booked me. I show up at 2 PM friday and they have no record of my reservation. I go ballistic. Not the way I want to spend a relaxing afternoon. After about 10 minutes of creating a scene, the manager apologized and told me to come back at 3 for a comped shave.
    I did. The shave was nice. Johnny was his typical masterful technician. and it was free...but it still pisssed me off.

    Number 6 Massage at Flamingo. This was everything it was supposed to be. Nicely done, relaxing, and hassle free. I really like the Flamingo Spa.
     
  18. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

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    Number 5 Guns: I am not a big gun guy. In fact, I have not shot anything since my Lucas McCain Rifleman gun I had 55 years ago. But my son in law wanted to go so what the hell It was fun! A van from Machine Gun Vegas picked us up and took us over. We shot a glock pistol and two different automatic rifles. My ears range for a couple hours afterward, but I had a great time. Blew the hell out of a zombie clown target,

    Number 4 Big Elvis (Harrahs). Gotta love this guy. Very talented and very entertaining and I can not believe it is a free show. This is a must see every trip to Vegas.

    The last three are really close....

    Number 3 Voodoo lounge. With our dinner wednesday at the Voodoo steakhouse we got a free pass to the Voodoo lounge. So after Dinner, after Penn and Teller and after my epic craps roll, we headed up tot he 51st floor of the Rio. We entered about 12:30 and it was not too crowded. about 10 people inside and about 50 outside. We got a couple of Witch Doctor Cocktails (60 ounces each!) and headed outside to see the sights. The dance floor outside was an interesting sight to say the least. Almost as much fun to watch as the incredible view. We hung out until closing at 2 AM (it took that long to finish the drink)

    Number 2 Don't Tell Mama's. Tuesday night we were downtown looking to spend some time without spending cash. The first two days of gaming downtown were less than stellar. We took a walk up Freemont to the Atomic Cafe and had a beer. Then checked out the Container Park (pretty cool!) Then about 9 walked in to a piano bar called Don't Tell Mama's. When we entered, I told my son in law "we will either be here for 5 minutes or three hours". We left just after midnight.
    At first it was just us and two women at the bar - and two bartenders, the piano player and the manager named Henry. The piano guy was great! I must admit he was playing more recent stuff, much I did not know. But as more people wandered in and the night wore on, the songs were a little more familiar. People were singing and drinking. Some were singing at a mike, others just singing along from their seats. And some just drinking It was a night to remember. I think I actually can remember a lot of it.

    Number 1 - Cabana day at the Flamingo. We figured by Thursday we would need a little down time. Two days downtown (Monday and Tuesday) Wednesday (with Mon Ami Gabi, Guns, Spa, WSOP, Voodoo, Penn and Teller, craps and more Voodoo) would take some toll. So we reserved a cabana pool side for thursday. It was pricey - really over priced - but with big wins wednesday morning and evening, I was up for it.
    Cabanas are a good idea....first you get in to the pool without waiting in a real long line. Second, Vegas is hot...and around a pool you need shade. And other than cabanas, there is not much shade. Third, the cabana came with a requirement to spend money on booze and or food. So we did. More of the former than the latter. Service was very friendly and frequent. Finally, the view from our shaded, misted, vodka filled cabana was very very nice. Then to top it all off, poolside craps (and another small win). We stayed until about 3 and then were ready for another later night.

    So that is it folks. Hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.
     

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  19. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Awesome summary!

    But why did you drive from Philly to fly from KC? I hate flying out of MCI. The only airport I may hate more is PHL because I was stuck on the tarmac for hours, and our pilot "timed out", and our group of four thought it was better to rent a car (which took almost 3 hours to rent) and drive back to Champaign, IL because it would be faster than waiting for the next available flight...ugh.
     
  20. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Loved the top ten trip report format!!
     
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