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July 4-7, In and Out, craps, LOVE and lots of poker

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by IowaRyan, Jul 11, 2010.

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  1. IowaRyan

    IowaRyan Low-Roller

    Jan 2, 2006
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Just returned from Vegas with th my 22 year old son Tyler.

    Sunday, July 4

    Caught Allegiant out of Des Moines at 2:00 pm, I was pleasantly surprised by Allegiant. The boarding was handled very smoothly and the staff top notch. There was plenty of leg room even when seated in the cheapest seats. Having to pay $2 for a Diet Coke was kinda shitty but the overall experience was quite good.

    Arrived at McCarran about 10 minutes early, cab line moved quickly and we’re off to our one bedroom suite at Villas of Polo Towers. I know many people have poor perceptions of Polo Towers simply because it’s a time share, and I’m quick to acknowledge it’s not for everyone, but overall I think it’s a nice place to stay. I just like having the extra room and being able to have a bowl of cereal for breakfast rather than spend money for breakfast. I realize the fact it does not have a casino on-site is a negative for some, but for what it’s worth I can be inside the casino at Planet Hollywood or MGM in 10 minutes or less; depending on where you room is located at MGM the difference can be fairly negligible IMHO.

    Neither Tyler nor I had eaten since breakfast so we decided to walk over to In and Out Burger and see what all the fuss is about. For regular readers of this board they know I had posted a query about In and Out, getting a variety of responses, after eating there (double stack with cheese animal style) I decided that trying it once was a good idea. Will I plan on going there on every subsequent Vegas trip, doubt it, there is a small chain of burger joints in central Iowa (B-Bop’s) which has better burgers, although the fries at In and Out were better. I’m also glad that I didn’t waste money on a cab, for any person in reasonably good condition the walk from MGM/New York New York is not all that bad, so long as you use the sidewalks. Overall I’m glad I checked it out, it was pretty good, just not hamburger chain nirvana.

    After eating at In and Out we headed over to MGM for our first poker session. My son Tyler loves to play poker (mostly 2/4 or 3/6 Limit) and has decided MGM is his favorite venue. The session was fairly productive for me, winning a fairly steady series of small pots. We played for about an hour and half and quit to go see fireworks. The fireworks were a bit of a letdown. We had been told at time of check in that Plant Ho would be shooting off fireworks so the roof top pool area at Polo would be a perfect location to see fireworks. I heard the fireworks at Bellagio and Caesars (from my chaise lounge I could not actually see them and didn’t care enough to move to a location where I might have been able to) while we waited patiently to see the fireworks at Plant Ho, alas they never occurred; bummer, oh well I didn’t see fireworks last year either.

    We went to Aria after our failed attempt to see fireworks for Ty’s first try at 1-2 No-Limit Hold’em. In retrospect this was the worst decision I made on the trip. I’ve played No-Limit at numerous strip casinos (Luxor, TI, Venetian, Mirage as well as Aria) and have never seen the pre-flop action you see at Aria at those other casinos, not even at the Venetian. Put simply, in my three times at Aria you see a lot of pre-flop raising, the overall atmosphere is fairly serious and the amount of money on the tables, even the ones with small blinds, is impressive. I realize Aria is a high end property but have sat at several tables at Venetian and never seen the type of aggressive play I’ve seen at Aria. Another interesting facet at Aria is the number of foreign players there—the dealers seem to struggle with enforcing the basic rule that English is the only language spoken at the table, particularly during play.

    All of this led to Tyler: a) winning a fairly sizable pot because another player bet big with a crap hand against Tyler’s good hand ; and creating an atmosphere that just was not very fun—gambling should be fun. Factor into this mix two eastern European women speaking Russian during hands, lousy cocktail service, and a rude dealer who looked like a serious tweaker and you end up with a short session that sees Tyler up and me down. A quick word on Crystals: yuck-- a play for big money that misses badly.

    After we left Aria we wandered through Bellagio, peeking into Bobby’s room ending up finally at Bill’s. I’ve always wanted to play at Bill’s even when it was the Barbary Coast. Tyler wanted to see how craps was played. I had a moderately successful run at the Craps tables, winning back all of the money lost at Aria and then some. Walked over to Margaritaville at the Flamingo and listened to a band that played mostly 80’s music, which was fine with me. We tried the Volcano nachos and decided that yes they were awesome and there was too many for two. In addition to Margarita’s I ordered my favorite Rum drink—a Zombie. My server had never heard of it—I said if the bartender was over 30 and/or had some actual training they would know how to make it. Fortunately the bartender did know how to make it and made it very well (i.e.: strong, which is not difficult when using three types of rum). The server himself, who was given a small sample by the bartender, raved about it and said he planned on recommending it to future patrons.

    We left Margaritaville full of nachos and slightly buzzed, making our way over to TI’s poker room; unfortunately the only action they had was one 1-2 No-Limit table that had a waiting list. We decided to call it a night, cabbing it back to Polo.

    Daily Gambling recap: MGM poker +109
    Aria Poker -69
    Bill’s craps +135
    Total: +180
    Monday, July 5

    After getting in at about 2:30 am Tyler is up and ready to play more poker at 7:30. I tried explaining to him that the likelihood of any poker room having enough players to start a limit game before 8 am was fairly low but what the hell—we’ll see. No surprise MGM had, excepting ourselves no one interested in limit poker when we arrived, after his adventure with No-Limit at Aria Ty was not interested in venturing in a No-Limit game. We took the monorail down to Paris and picked up our tickets for Anthony Cools, then over to the Mirage to pick up our LOVE tickets then over to the Poker room for our second poker session.

    Tyler played 3-6 Limit while I split my time between 1-2 No-Limit and 3-6 Limit. I was basically card dead during my No-Limit session seeing my few good hands lose to better hands mostly on the Turn or the River. Down about $95 I switched to limit where the cards improved slightly and I won back a little of my money. For his part Tyler started poorly and gradually improved. When we quit (room broke up the game) he was slightly down and I was in the hole a little deeper than he was.

    We got the Monorail back to MGM and played another long session of---POKER! Tyler made some money and I made $3 over the course of about 3 hours. We walked over to New York New York just to get out of the casinos for a few minutes (hey it takes a good 3 minutes to walk over the ped bridge!) so I could try another craps session. The craps was uh, not good, lost $135 faster than you can say “seven out, take the line, pay the don’ts.†At least with poker you can relax a little.

    After getting spanked at NYNY, we headed over to the Mirage via monorail (got a 24 hour pass and determined to get our money’s worth) for dinner at BB Kings. BB Kings is one of my favorite places to eat in Vegas-the music is top notch and the atmosphere is very nice—the food is pretty good too. I had the ribs while Tyler has a burger he immediately pronounced better than In and Out, although for $10 more it should be better. After dinner went and saw LOVE, which was the first Cirque show I’ve seen—if LOVE is any indication I need to see more—awesome show.

    Checked out the Poker rooms at TI and Venetian but they had no limit games under 4-8. Stopped at Bills for another craps session were Tyler watches while I have some success. The first night we were at Bills we saw a fairly cute southern gal about Ty’s age at the table; she was there again that night and recognized us. She mildly teased Tyler, imploring him to either play or at least throw the dice, at one point jokingly accusing me of not letting him play and calling me “an over-protective papa bear.†Too funny, Ty modestly declined her requests and I sevened out.

    We monorail it back to the MGM for a 4 and half hour poker session that sees Tyler up; I also finished up-- $5, it a good thing I’m not trying to make a living at this. We quit about 4 am, Tyler told me earlier we may as well stay up later and sleep in later since no one else got up to play at 8 am—he’s learning!

    Daily Gambling recap: Mirage -62
    MGM poker (ses 1) +3
    NY NY craps -135
    Bill’s craps +93
    MGM Poker (ses 2) +5
    Total: -93
    Tuesday, July 6

    After the late night session the night before I decided to try to sleep in only to wake up at 7:20, I rolled over and managed to fall back asleep until 9:20. I look into the outer room where Ty is sleeping on the pull out couch to see he’s still dead to the world. Trying to decide what to do when the hotel phone rings! I answer and some way overly perky person from Polo Towers is on the phone wondering if I could come down sometime that day to answer a few questions as to how they could improve their service to me—one of their valued owners! I mumbled I’d have to get back to them—I plan on sending them an e-mail which will say they should NOT call people at 9:20 a.m. The phone call pretty much sealed the deal as far as going back to sleep. I slipped out for a quick workout at the gym there at Polo, when I got back an hour later Ty was up and we headed out for our last full day in Vegas.

    Walked through Coke world on the way to the MGM, when we got to MGM they had a waiting list for Limit games so we signed up for 2-4 and 3-6. I decided to try another craps session, this one at MGM-- surprisingly the minimums were only $5, normally they are at least $10 if not $15. What happened next can only be described as ugly, no points made, lots of craps on the come out roll and the next thing I know I’m walking away $240 down, ugh. Oh well, let’s play Blackjack with the remaining $60 in chips—that too went very fast. You know it’s not your table when you double down on 11 with dealer showing 6 and you get a two—the dealer then turns over her hole card, a 4, and deals a face card to herself. Down $300 we head back o the poker room for about 2 and half hours eking out a microscopic win ($1) for my time there--$1 back, $299 to go!

    We decided to take a brief break from gambling and head over to Nine Fine Irishmen at NYNY. Have a nice beer and appetizer there before heading down to Paris for dinner and the Anthony Cool’s show. Ate dinner a Le Burger Brassiere—good burger, Ty had one with brie. The Anthony Cools show was good. I had seen it once before, had not really changed much in the year since I had seen it but based on his comments I get the impression his show has not changed much since it started—this is not to say it wasn’t very funny, just a little predictable. The people who volunteer to be in the show are what really make it in any event.

    After the show we head back to Bills for another run at the craps table—the cute little southern belle was not there but that didn’t matter much—what was there was a guy who held the dice for over 30 minutes. Put down $100 and walked away up $620. After that very fun session agreed to go back to MGM for one final session at Poker where I made another micro profit--$4 over about 2.5 hours of play.

    Daily Gambling recap: MGM craps -240
    MGM blackjack -60
    MGM poker (ses 1) +1
    Bill’s craps +620
    MGM Poker (ses 2) +4
    Total: +325
    Wednesday July 7

    Nothing really to report, we checked out from Polo around 7:30 for a 9:30 flight back to Des Moines. Flight back was uneventful.

    Gambling recap Sunday +180
    Monday -93
    Tuesday +325
    For the trip +412
    Tyler finished up $150

    Random observations

    Given the choice between spending $270 on a flight that makes me leave home at 5:00 am, has a several hour layover in Dallas or Denver and gets me in to Vegas around 1PM versus a direct flight that costs $320, lets me stay home until 12:30 and has me in Vegas at 3PM, I’ll spend the extra money, give up 2 hours in Vegas and spend less time in Denver or Dallas.

    When you’re traveling companion is your 22 year old son there doesn’t seem to be anything odd with having burgers for dinner 2 out 3 nights.

    There is no place like Vegas for people watching, a theater of the absurd

    105 degrees in the shade with 1% humidity is still better than 92 degrees in the shade with 90% humidity

    People with children, some in baby strollers, shouldn’t be on the Strip at 12:30 am

    Throughout the trip Tyler dragged me though various shops on the Strip and in the casinos looking for a gift for his long time girlfriend. At the very first place we looked, one of those cheesy gift shops next to Hawaiian Marketplace, we saw teddy bears wearing little sweaters that said “Someone who loves me very much went to Las Vegas and bought me this teddy bear.†He rejected it out of hand. At the airport, in the last gift shop in the terminal after going through 5 other shops, he bought the same teddy bear he first dismissed. I knew my wife would like it so I bought one too; she liked it—still waiting to see if Tyler’s girlfriend liked hers.:peace:
  2. BackInVegas

    BackInVegas VIP Whale

    Mar 14, 2008
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    People with Baby Strollers

    should not be in Las Vegas, period.

    Thank you for the report.

    It is easy for me to track my wins and losses by the sports tickets I have. When I am in vegas and table gaming I have no clue. I just know how much money I had when I got on the plane. If I come back with more, yay for me.

    The cabs and tips are killers for me. I am pretty sure I spend WAY too much on tips.
  3. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Jun 25, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    PRECISELY why I am headed there shortly! If there is one thing I can't stand is the 90% humidity where I feel like someone is standing on my chest & I can't breathe! Explain to me why I live here.....

    But we midwesterners must have the same tastes - headed to LOVE again (2nd time) on my trip!

    And have you ever had a Pete's hamburger in Prairie du Chien?
  4. IowaRyan

    IowaRyan Low-Roller

    Jan 2, 2006
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Can't say as I've had, but I'll remember it for the future
  5. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

    Aug 23, 2008
    Chicago & Scottsdale, AZ
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    great report, I think the In n Out being followed by Craps in your title may imply something. :evillaugh

    Couldn't agree more on the humidity/temp commentary---the 104 in Vegas last trip felt about 10 degrees cooler than the 92 and 100% humidity at home.

    I have to wonder, Back In Vegas, how much have I spent in the past 2 years on cabs, limos, and tips? It's got to be at least $15,000. But like you I seem to take it out of the net gambling win/loss so it isn't so noticeable.

    Ten more years of this and I'll be getting spat on sleeping on the bridge by people whose retirement I probably funded.:evillaugh
  6. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

    Mar 26, 2009
    New York
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report.....I go to Vegas mostly for the poker and good food so I enjoyed your write-up. :peace:
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