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Live and Unexpectedly Solo at MGMs Grand and Park

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by diplomatic, Aug 1, 2021.

  1. FormallyTD

    FormallyTD Big Time

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    Ye feast fit for a King!!

    You know, I don't think it's right that you can only rate a post once. I'd be hittin' that Love button on through the night.

    Never seen such delicious plates in all of the years of people posting them, Dip. You're the man!
     
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  2. 625LORI

    625LORI Tourist

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    Hi Diplomat. I have a question I hope you can answer. My husband is a big horse bettor and the last time we were there (April 2021) he couldn't find a race book that would take wagers on Mountaineer or Charles Town. That is the first time that has happened (we haven't been there since 12/2019). He asked at the Mirage but they said they had no idea why these tracks were eliminated.

    Do you have any info on that?

    Thanks
     
  3. diplomatic

    diplomatic Always looking for drink tickets

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    It’s funny you ask, because the same thing happened to me! I asked them to put Mountaineer on the screen at the Mirage the other day and they told me that they don’t take bets there. Something about not renewing the parimutuel contract. I don’t know why, but I’m sure it has to do with money. They still have most of the tracks available.

    A bigger worry is that horse racing in general is going away. They don’t take horse bets at Park MGM or at Circa, and I don’t think William Hill takes horses either. Bad trend.
     
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  4. Johnny Bollocks

    Johnny Bollocks Never mind the Bollocks...

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    There's got to be something up because the hold on race wagering is typically a lot better than other sports betting. There's a reason most of these places will give me a drink ticket for a $10 exacta bet but if I plunk $50 down on the Royals and ask for a drink ticket, they look at me as if I asked them if they wanted me to drag my nuts through their guacamole.
     
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  5. emmas

    emmas VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the review of Best Friend. I have a reservation to go there on my next trip and was eyeing both the slippery shrimp and the Korean bbq taco.
     
    Start of a hopefully lucky week in Vegas.
    Thanksgiving in Vegas
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  6. diplomatic

    diplomatic Always looking for drink tickets

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    You absolutely have to get both. You can get just one taco instead of the full order, but you should get the full order. The portions are not massive.
     
  7. emmas

    emmas VIP Whale

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    Thanks for letting me know. I wasn’t sure how much food it was.
     
    Start of a hopefully lucky week in Vegas.
    Thanksgiving in Vegas
  8. diplomatic

    diplomatic Always looking for drink tickets

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    But the food comes out fast, so if you’re not sure, you can do it piece by piece, too:
     
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  9. diplomatic

    diplomatic Always looking for drink tickets

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    Well, sports fans, it’s been a good morning. And afternoon?! Jesus how is it 4pm already?!

    I made about a million bets on horses and was keeping my head above water, but down a bit.

    42DF1A3A-9C40-4663-A17B-A78A4D9892A3.jpeg

    I got a lot of drink tickets.

    75CAE4E9-E433-4FB0-949A-C10FA8D135E7.jpeg

    I figured I was down about $100 by the time the last race at Saratoga rolled around. My dad said he loves the 1 horse, trained by Chad Brown. It was even money. We call the last race on he card the Get Even Stakes for a reason. Give it all to me!!

    $100 on the nose, and Irad Ortiz brought him home. Beautiful.

    0CA7557C-BAC4-4E23-B4F0-A0253BABDB44.jpeg 462FB2E1-333D-499D-87F1-6B9FABEBCFEE.jpeg

    The ticket writers at Aria are pretty good. Very loose with drink tickets if you’re betting horses (and tipping, natch.)

    The WhiteSox tied the game dramatically in the bottom of the 8th with a 3 run bomb, but then gave up a two run home in the 10th to lose the run line bet I had. Sad.

    But it was an excellent and relaxing day. Why don’t I do this every day I’m in Vegas?!?
     
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  10. 625LORI

    625LORI Tourist

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  11. 625LORI

    625LORI Tourist

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    You're right. Horse racing is going the way of the dinosaur. It's a dying sport. Race tracks are empty. Used to love going to Belmont but there;s no one there anymore Sad.
     
  12. diplomatic

    diplomatic Always looking for drink tickets

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    Bellagio.

    What does a winner look like?
    B90121EA-953D-47EB-8CDC-FA2264CEB298.jpeg E0CD2EDA-A6B7-449C-964B-C1E77C2A91CD.jpeg 3A18D760-93D9-4377-B9C7-B38978194D2B.jpeg 01520839-269C-4DEB-A3E9-6BB50027CEC2.jpeg 1BCF0DBE-EA42-4664-A42E-AC98FAECF88D.jpeg A74275B5-98BC-4751-84AE-34A717DC6620.jpeg 4C703C1D-F9E2-4E27-B104-F14410021E97.jpeg AE30D7BD-8902-48F0-8C99-D908A8F62E59.jpeg 9C9DBB67-9034-469F-BFCD-84F1AF4CC4CF.jpeg

    This Sportsbook is bigger and objectively fancier than Aria, but the ticket writers are not nice and not as good at their jobs. It was a fun change of pace, but I prefer Aria in every way.

    This guy was playing the Charlie Brown song. Wild.

    B15F1FD4-0501-4240-A664-FA5EAA5FD3E0.jpeg
     

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  13. diplomatic

    diplomatic Always looking for drink tickets

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    Okay, so where does that leave us?

    At Bellagio, drunk and starving at 5:30 (having not eaten since the buffet-formerly-known-as-round-table) I was faced with a terrible dilemma: do I eat a big, fancy meal, knowing full well that it would probably put me into a coma and end my last night prematurely? Or do I grab something light, not fancy, and try to make the night last?

    I went with the former. Glad I did. Welcome to Carbone.

    4A503003-9BD5-435D-A0CA-55EC04C38EE7.jpeg 45E8F6CB-466D-488E-B5EE-2D8A5BDDE589.jpeg EE1CF1E8-3974-4D66-BAF9-5F8DD56F7E11.jpeg

    This had been a glaring item on my wish list for this trip. It surpassed all of my expectations. I didn’t have a reservation, and was pleased to have no problem getting a seat solo at the bar. The place was suspiciously empty. Granted, it was only about 6:15, but still, it’s a Friday.

    Every good thing you’ve heard about this place is true. The decor is stunning. The service was exceptional (Bernie behind the bar is very, very good at his job.)

    And the food. Oofah. So good. As I mentioned before, I am a tough person to impress with Italian, but this was other level. The Parmagianna and bread they give you to snack on pre-meal by themselves are better than almost anything else you’d get at another restaurant. The baked clams were great. The veal parm is otherworldly (Rao’s shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath.) And the spicy rigatoni, as others on here have noted, is perfect. Getting a half portion was no problem. This is the kind of place where they want to make you happy, so they do what it takes. It’s not cheap, but if you have the means, you should go here.

    F8B96FA0-3E6A-434E-8C1F-68C48A97B812.jpeg F74D698C-CC53-4783-9AB8-7A626B83C22A.jpeg 18DBD435-8DE0-4028-9B53-874C40A874F8.jpeg

    I started a conversation with the couple next to me who, apparently, are sort of Vegas celebrities, “Doc” and Amy. They run several of Vegas’ hospitals and eat out at fancy restaurants every single night. Everyone in the place, from waiters to busboys to other regulars to managers, came by to say “hi” and treated them like they were family. Absolutely lovely couple. They invited me and my wife to visit them next time we’re in town and go to dinner and to a Golden Knights game. And I got the impression that they weren’t just saying so.

    Amy started giving me bits of their dinner to try, and they REALLY knew what to order. The beef carpaccio is probably the best thing I’ve ever tasted. The meatballs were perfect (a little fennel makes all the difference.) You’d think that a caprese salad can only be so good, right? Wrong. This was great. Bernie poured me some of the Barolo they were drinking and it was like sipping on velvet.

    After they said their goodbyes, I saw Amy whispering something to Bernie and he came back with a giant slice of one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had.

    0C6888BA-6051-494B-B8D7-F871E1B2C697.jpeg

    As wonderful of a meal as I’d just had, my stomach was in absolute distress. Between the Excal abuse in the morning, the million plus drink tickets, and now the Carbone onslaught, I felt like I was going to explode in about six different ways.
     

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  14. diplomatic

    diplomatic Always looking for drink tickets

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    As I feared, it was an early night, but we’ll worth it. I walked back to Park and played some craps. I was on a table with two other people who were playing the “don’t” so I joined them and we had a great time running around and high diving each other every time we sevened out. Eventually some other people joined the table who were betting pass line and didn’t seem to appreciate our antics, so I left. I tried my hand briefly at black Jack again, and again got wiped out. Most of my baseball bets lost too. Oh, but I also got this:

    A1A3CE58-3A41-45F4-9AFE-66DDB61F5786.jpeg

    Despite my horse playing heroics, it was another bad loss day financially, but I didn’t mind a bit because it was a perfect close to the trip. I went up and packed and tried to get some sleep before an early flight.
     

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  15. diplomatic

    diplomatic Always looking for drink tickets

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    I don’t think the sport is going away, I just think it’s becoming more niche. There’s still plenty of money in the game and lots of people still bet on horses, but the experience of going to the track or the racebook is being replaced by betting on phones.

    MGM is REALLY pushing their app. Every Sportsbook I visited had multiple people with iPads trying to sign everyone up for the mobile app. I didn’t do it because there’s no signup bonus in NV, and I want to collect the VA bonus when I get there in a few weeks.
     

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  16. diplomatic

    diplomatic Always looking for drink tickets

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    Took a cab to McCarran with no trouble. There is so much smoke here from the California fires that you can barely see the tops of the building youre standing beneath. Scary shit.

    I finally got to visit my Priority Pass lounge. They have moved the one here in Vegas and it’s now much bigger and nicer (not that that’s saying a lot…the old one was a closet.)

    Now waiting to board. My body feels like it’s been in Vegas for a week, which is to say, shitty. But I’m so excited to see my wife and son. I’ll probably come back with some final thoughts, but I appreciate you all following along and hope you enjoyed.

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  17. klevegas

    klevegas Low-Roller

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    Thanks so much for your report! Safe travels home.
     
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  18. julia

    julia Craps, VP & Microbews

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    I did not know about the Stay Well checkin perk for the MGM credit card! Good to know!
     
    Celine!
    Fingers crossed for a belated 21st bday trip
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  19. emmas

    emmas VIP Whale

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    That Carbone meal was an excellent last night in Vegas repast.

    Sad to see the trip report end. Really enjoyed following along.
     
    Start of a hopefully lucky week in Vegas.
    Thanksgiving in Vegas
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  20. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Yeah, smart move. The sign up bonuses in other states are ridiculously more generous.

    M and I have signed up for every sportsbook in Illinois. The bonuses are certainly worth it.

    Great report! Thanks for taking us along!
     
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