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Las Vegas 1/2-1/5/2019. Happy Birthday to me!!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by DaiLun, Dec 30, 2018.

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  1. DaiLun

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

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    Yellow caps are $40 strikes and contain between 1.25 and 1.5 ozt. of silver. Red and Blue caps are both worth $10 at the cage, but are worth significantly more on the "secondary" market. Blue caps (colorized clad, no silver) are worth between $20 and $25 or more in trade value. Red caps (.999 silver) are worth between $30 and $35 in trade value.

    Blue/Red/Yellow caps also vary in price according to scarcity. Prior to 2009, almost every casino or cruise ship had them. In 2009, when the machines were taken out, there were some strikes that were not "fully distributed" (all 500 were not distributed and the remaining were destroyed). One such is "The Playing Field" at Planet Hollywood. It is almost never seen for sale on the secondary market and when it is, typically sells for $150 or more. I have two, one bought from eBay and one bought when a collector sold off his collection.

    Yellow caps are only a recent introduction at QQQQ (one of the only two casinos to have Silver Strikes, the other is the El Cortez) Their secondary market value is between $70 and $100.
     
    MGM Cotai and MGM Macau along with Resorts World Genting Malaysia
    Make up trip, including GGWU booster & dinner at NoMad with a new FGF!
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  2. DaiLun

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

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    Well, let's see how much I can get done before my flight boards in 30 min. Once again, A-list standby RULES!!!

    So, yesterday, I had lunch at Hobak Korean BBQ on Spring Mountain Road at Jones. (West Chinatown) There were cancellations on both sides, so it was just Tonya and me. She had never been to Korean BBQ, and I have never been to Hobak, so it was "new" for both of us.

    http://www.hobakkoreanbbq.com/

    The banchan (or side dishes), and dipping sauces
    upload_2019-1-5_6-48-39.png
    upload_2019-1-5_6-48-52.png
    upload_2019-1-5_6-49-7.png
    A bowl of pickled radishes in ice water. This is NOT SOUP!!! It is used to cleanse the palate in between meat selections.
    upload_2019-1-5_6-50-23.png
    Steamed Egg
    upload_2019-1-5_6-50-41.png
    And a soup that was delicious (mildly spicy)
    upload_2019-1-5_6-51-10.png
    Now there were subtle differences between this and other Korean BBQs that I'd been to in the past.

    First, this was very service oriented. The servers cooked the meat for you. (I suppose that the "doneness" was selectable, but the default was medium rare.

    Secondly, note the vegetables on the grill, once the meat is done, the server moves it on top of the vegetables, to keep the meat warm but halt (or slow down) the cooking process until your ready to eat.
    upload_2019-1-5_6-54-14.png
    We had two dishes of Beef, and two dishes of pork. The small family serving was $69.99, but everything was covered, including the tea.
    More pictures of the BBQ. The grill was changed 2 times.
    upload_2019-1-5_6-56-51.png
    I believe that the two beef dishes were

    Skirt Steak
    Marinated Short Rib

    and the two pork dishes were
    Spicy pork
    Spicy pork belly.
    upload_2019-1-5_6-57-8.png

    Much of the lunch conversation was about family, and she and I have a lot in common, our sons are about the same age, we both like food, we both drive the same manufacturer of car (hers is newer and nicer).

    I found more things about myVegas, but I'm not sure what I am allowed to "share" with the group. I shared with her my observations and frustrations. She mentioned to me that Playstudios (the company that owns myVegas) has 4 presences. Las Vegas, Burlingame, CA, Austin, TX, and Tel Aviv, Israel. They are #8 in the social gami8ng marketplace, and Playtika is #1. I mentioned to her that I have made the decision to "stop" playing at Playstation and I gave her the reasons why, but I also shared with her some frustrations that I had with Playstudios, and understood that many of them were outside of their control. A lot of them were based on their relationship with mLife.

    Lunch ended with a small fireworks display, they brought out a piece of cake and sang "Happy Birthday" for me. When the check came, Tonya took it and said "It's your Birthday", and gave me a card with an mLife gift card inside. I expressed my gratitude, and we parted ways.

    All in all, I highly recommend Hobak Korean BBQ for those who want to try this cuisine.

    We parted at 3:30PM, and I went downtown. Dinner at 6:30. Plane boards in 5 minutes. Time to shut down and prep to board.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
    MGM Cotai and MGM Macau along with Resorts World Genting Malaysia
    Make up trip, including GGWU booster & dinner at NoMad with a new FGF!
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  3. john1516inny

    john1516inny Low-Roller

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    thanks for the report, Happy Birthday again!! Have a safe flight!
     
  4. zignerlv

    zignerlv High-Roller

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    The 3000 points (they don't have tiers or TCs) at Four Queens are redeemable for cashback or logo-type gifts, and can't be used as comps (there is a separate comp account). 3000 points can be redeemed for $75 cashback, so in effect they are selling the 1oz 50th Anniversary Silver Strikes for $75 in cashback.

    Since you've earned at least 3000 points, if you haven't used any comps, you now have at least $150 in your comp account (comps are earned at twice the rate of cashback). Around what you'd need for Hugo's for 2 (without wine).

    I've been at the casino during one of the Silver Strike trade up events and it was quite interesting. I saw a line of about 50 people snaking through the casino, and learned that they were waiting in line for the exchange event. Quite a few SS devotee's!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  5. DaiLun

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

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    Oh, I should have clarified. The 1000TC was CET. The points were at QQQQ, and yes it's true regarding the Silver Strikers. The $300 strike distribution event has been so "cutthroat" lately that I entered the Slot tournament just to get priority for the Marilyn Monroe strike in January. For Halloween 2018, 148 $300 strikes went in 17 minutes.

    I still haver $376.00 at QQQQ in comp money. I eat a few meals at Magnolia's, but I'm saving up for the time I take an FGF to Hugo's cellar. o_O
     
    MGM Cotai and MGM Macau along with Resorts World Genting Malaysia
    Make up trip, including GGWU booster & dinner at NoMad with a new FGF!
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  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Another nice report! Thanks for taking us along!
     
  7. Merrymeet

    Merrymeet Tourist

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    I don’t gambol at the same altitude you do, being a low roller, but I so enjoy your casino fun, and will try out some of your restaurants which look delish! Thanks for another great report.
     
  8. DaiLun

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

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    OK, now for the finale, my birthday dinner at Mr. Chow's.

    I had dinner with "A" and "J", a local friend. They had never been to Mr. Chow's before.

    The menu
    https://www.caesars.com/content/dam/clv/Dining/Upscale/MRCHOW/menus/clv-chow-dinnermenu-101218.pdf

    Now, I knew exactly what I wanted to order. It is a minimum three people to order

    BEIJING DUCK
    $86 per person { Min. 3 guests }
    Three course dinner Roasted to order in authentic
    Beijing Duck oven for 40 min.

    I have eaten "Peking Duck" (as it used to be called) pretty much all of my life, but I have never had it carved tableside. It was my birthday, and I had been saving my comp money precisely for this event

    I kept encouraging "A" and "J" to pick the other dishes, but they deferred to me.

    So,you select one first course item per person, and one "OF course" per person, rice, and a vegetable.

    We looked at the plates and were trying to figure out what this meant: It was on all of the plates.
    upload_2019-1-5_21-22-39.png
    I am still researching this.


    So, we had:

    Shanghai Little Dragon (Mr. Chow version of XLB)
    upload_2019-1-5_21-11-15.png
    Mr. Chow Spareribs and Mr. Chow noodles (Sorry, I forgot to take pictures before I served myself)
    upload_2019-1-5_21-13-7.png
    For OF Course, Ma Mignon
    upload_2019-1-5_21-15-32.png
    Dungeness Crab. Now you may be looking at this and saying WTF? "A" and "J" had that reaction. I said "taste it". The crab meat had been extracted from the shell and put back in the top half of the shell. I'm sorry that I didn't take a better picture.
    upload_2019-1-5_21-16-4.png
    We also had steamed bok choy
    upload_2019-1-5_21-19-35.png
    And finally, the Beijing Duck.

    On a side note. China never changed the name of their capital. What occurred (in 1949) was that they adopted the Pinyin method of Romanization (transliteration method). However, it wasn't until the 1980s that China began "enforcing" the offical name on flights sea routes and official documents, and of course "Peking Duck"

    Chef Han came out to carve the duck tableside
    upload_2019-1-5_21-31-1.png
    upload_2019-1-5_21-31-17.png
    This was presented to us when he finished.
    upload_2019-1-5_21-32-15.png
    Everything was scrumptious. I know that I use that word with careless abandon, but everything was delicious. The Ma Mignon, it melts in your mouth. The dungeness crab was very tasty. and the duck, oh the duck. I took some leftover duck home to share with my son.
    Now, Mr. Chow served the duck with crepes, green onions, scallions and hoisin sauce (duck sauce)
    upload_2019-1-5_21-39-19.png
    You open the crepe and put a green onion, hoisin sauce, and a couple (or three) pieces of duck, You then roll it up and eat it in on, two, or three bites.

    If you've had Beijing Duck, it is normally served with buns. There are a couple of reasons for that:

    1)Steamed buns are easily made by the restaurant and are CHEAP
    2)The quality of the duck is "lesser". The duck that we were served was superb. Very fatty (the mark of what I consider to be a good duck), and the meat was moist and flavorful..

    Mr. Chow differs from most Chinese restaurants in that they have a dessert cart. Left to right, top to bottom

    Lychee, Grand marnier soaked oranges

    Cheesecake, lemon cake, Creme Brulee

    Coconut Cake, Chocolate cake
    upload_2019-1-5_21-46-53.png
    upload_2019-1-5_21-47-55.png
    We had the cheesecake
    upload_2019-1-5_21-48-27.png
    and the Coconut cake (Thanks to "J" for correcting me.
    upload_2019-1-5_21-48-48.png
    We also had coffee and the sugar was interesting to look at
    upload_2019-1-5_21-49-29.png
    I've provided the itemized menu to show what this cost. I used RCs so there was no tax.
    upload_2019-1-5_21-50-53.png
    So, "A" asked a lot of questions, like "Why do they have a dessert cart", and "why don't they have chopsticks", and "why don't they have rice bowls", and I had to explain to her that, IMHO, Mr. Chow is "Chinese food for White people", and if you looked at the clientele that was eating there, we were one of only two tables that had Asian people. "Where do the Asian people eat?" "A" asked. "Downstairs at Beijing Noodle No. 9", I replied.

    Anyway, I found the dinner to be authentic, flavorful, well done in all respects, and as a summary, simply wonderful, and the company made the dinner.

    If you like "fatty" Beijing Duck, I highly recommend this restaurant.

    Other than the gambling, it was a wonderful trip.

    So, my overall critique (which I will share with CET)

    The Cromwell, is a nice hotel, but I probably won't stay there again because:

    1)Rooms didn't have a comfortable work space. I had to set up my laptop at the makeup desk
    2)Casino too small, and my favorite games weren't there. No Wonder 4 machines, although I could've walked next door to the Flamingo
    3)The Flamingo Rd. side of the property is very loud. I am typically a sound sleeper and never have a problem getting to sleep, I had a little problem (although my poor luck could have contributed to that)

    however, on the plus side . . .
    1)eatwell serves very nice food at reasonable prices (pretty much a sandwich shop)
    2)Giada's is a nice restaurant as well, but I've been there several times, and no FGFs were available this trip.
    3)The TR desk is never (during my stay) busy

    Thanks for hanging out with me . . . .
     

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
    MGM Cotai and MGM Macau along with Resorts World Genting Malaysia
    Make up trip, including GGWU booster & dinner at NoMad with a new FGF!
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  9. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED The biggest Degenerate on VMB

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    I would have been interested to see what your MyVegas host thought of Zynga...as I have a buddy who’s a higher up manager there who keeps trying to get me to go over there
     
    Back with a bundle! (OF CASH!)
  10. StevieNight

    StevieNight Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the report. Excellent as usual, and the food all looks great - especially the duck! Would you mind sharing your win/loss for the trip - I'm intrigued to know what you deem as a bad gambling trip
     
    Annual Easter Trip feat. ACM Awards
  11. meyers67

    meyers67 VIP Whale

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    Nice report.

    I didn’t realize that the Cromwell had a TR desk. Is it one of the windows by the cashier?
     
    April 3-7. First Vegas trip in pool season (hopefully).
  12. Tarpie

    Tarpie Tourist

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    IIRC, the cashier and Total Rewards desk are one and the same at Cromwell. Which means the Total Rewards desk is open 24 hours here.
     
  13. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Patriots #1

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    The Duck looks Delicious. Happy Birthday @DaiLun
     
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  14. DaiLun

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

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    Without going into exact numbers . . I consider $1.00/TC a bad trip.
     
    MGM Cotai and MGM Macau along with Resorts World Genting Malaysia
    Make up trip, including GGWU booster & dinner at NoMad with a new FGF!
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  15. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    And just to be clear for them, this is before bonuses, right?

    I agree that 80% return or less is a bad slot trip. Hope your next trip is better!
     
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  16. DaiLun

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

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    Yes, you are correct. I consider $1.00/TC EARNED a bad trip.
     
    MGM Cotai and MGM Macau along with Resorts World Genting Malaysia
    Make up trip, including GGWU booster & dinner at NoMad with a new FGF!
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  17. StevieNight

    StevieNight Low-Roller

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    Thanks - very useful to know! :)

    Sorry about that aspect of the trip!
     
    Annual Easter Trip feat. ACM Awards
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  18. DaiLun

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

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    Well, you face the same challenges as I did in the 90's. Which company is going to succeed, and which company is going to crash and burn. If everyone wanted to bet on a computer company in the 1980s, it would be the seller of the #1 PC in the country at that time . . . . Commodore Computers. WTF?

    As Jeff Bezos has said, "Companies have short lifespans... and Amazon will be disrupted one day,"

    It's a gamble, just depends on whether you get lucky or not. I know a guy who became a millionaire at Brocade, and then went over to vmWare and did it again, but then there's guys like me, who joined 2 failed startups. There are more guys like me than there are the other guy. I hope you are the former rather than the latter.
     
    MGM Cotai and MGM Macau along with Resorts World Genting Malaysia
    Make up trip, including GGWU booster & dinner at NoMad with a new FGF!
  19. luridludicloco

    luridludicloco High-Roller

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    I am having a little drink, and looking at your photos has made me hungry and I would like to be right now at Mr. Chow for lunch, the photos look good and your report descriptions make it all more appetizing. I have been to Noodle #9 and liked it, but it was not as good as your birthday meal. Thanks for the report.
     
  20. DaiLun

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

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    Sorry, but Mr. Chow is only open for dinner.
     
    MGM Cotai and MGM Macau along with Resorts World Genting Malaysia
    Make up trip, including GGWU booster & dinner at NoMad with a new FGF!
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