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Semi-Live: Aug 18-23. PH, gambling, pools, gambling, shows, gambling, food, gambling

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Darreningreenwood, Aug 17, 2019.

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  1. Darreningreenwood

    Darreningreenwood Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    I think I've only done one TR years ago, so I think I'd better throw another one out there for my upcoming annual summer trip. Love staying at PH, even though the pool is "meh". Here's the setup:

    -Flight: Leave IND at 12:10 on a direct to LAS. Southwest, of course. Paid with points, early bird purchased. So round trip was what...70ish? Sweet.
    -Stay: Comped at PH all five nights. Made diamond last year thanks to badge chasing (twice) and the "doubler" last June. So I'm going to enjoy this while I can. No way I'll get close to renewing without a hell of a run and some tier credit bonuses. Should easily get to Platinum for next year though.
    -Pools: I do love sitting by the pool in 100+ degree weather. I decided that if I was going to be at the PH pool, I'd better get a cabana, so Groupon to the rescue. And look...they had one for Bally's as well. So I've a cabana at Bally's on Monday, PH on Wednesday. $220 combined for a total of at least 8-10 hours of pool time...I'd lose more if I spent that time gambling.
    -Pool Books: I posted earlier for suggestions on pool reading. Ended up getting four books: "Being Oscar", about Oscar Goodman. "Blood Aces", about Benny Binion. "High Heels and Headdresses; Memoirs of a Vegas Showgirl". And "Eyes in the Sky", a new book with a collection of short but true adventures of the old days. Thanks for the recommendations.
    -Shows: Seeing Def Leppard on Tuesday. Not a huge fan, but they fit in quite well with my "I've gotta say I at least saw them in concert" agenda. Also seeing "Love" on Wednesday night for the 6th time. I've no idea what I'll do with my two free diamond tickets.
    -Food: I've my $100 dinner credit. I'll most likely use that at Martorano's. Ate there last year and it was amazing. Gotta do it again, and do it right. I'll probably hit Battista's as well. Yes, I'm a Battista's lover. Sorry not sorry. Earl of Sandwich, of course. I've a $50 MyVegas credit for Excalibur's steakhouse. Maybe sushi, depending on how the gambling goes. Thinking Triple George whenever I end up going downtown.
    -Gambling: Lot's of VP, of course, even though I'll be at CET. I'll stick to BP at the bars, maybe some DDB out on the floor. Going to see if I can find something doable in the HL rooms, maybe some $1 triple play if they have it. Going to focus more on 15-$25 BJ. $25 had scared me years ago, but I'm more comfortable accepting a bad session and living another day. Also going to try and spend some time at Cosmo. I like PH as my favorite CET property, but if El Dorado ends up cutting them lose, I'll need to find a new home. Not sure if the other CET properties really appeal to me as much.
    -Downtown: There will be at least one trip downtown, of course. No idea what day/evening. We'll see if I need to escape the strip.

    So that's the plan. I'll spend today doing laundry, dropping off the pup, watching a couple "Ocean's" movies, then hit the airport tomorrow. I've got the Tapatalk app loaded, so hopefully I'll keep you updated

    If anyone will be around at that time, let me know! Always open to grabbing a drink, food, or lounger at the cabana.
     
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  2. Bigolcamel

    Bigolcamel Low-Roller

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    Good luck! You’re right about the pools. I lasted only an hour yesterday out there.
     
  3. Jkluvvegas

    Jkluvvegas Low-Roller

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    Great plans! Enjoy. I’m currently reading Whale Hunt In The Desert. Very interesting read!
     
  4. Darreningreenwood

    Darreningreenwood Low-Roller

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    Coming to you LIVE from Battistas Hole in the Wall! After an evening of dealing with a home HVAC emergency, I was able to stay up late and get all packed. So far, the only forgotten items are toothpaste, and the money clip I got on my first Vegas trip. CVS helped with the dental care, and a random gift shop provided a new money clip. Maybe I will just get one every 25 trips, since this is trip #26.

    Flight in was normal, though the wifi was broken. Luckily, the only way that affected me was I couldn't follow the plane tracker. No issues getting in, and a cab to PH. I checked my bags, and went right to the Heart Bar for a scotch and video-

    BREAKING NEWS: I JUST GOT SERENADED WITH "BACK HOME AGAIN IN INDIANA" ON ACCORDION. MORE AT 11!

    -poker. Lost that quick, along with more at blackjack. The lesson: check in before going to the casino.

    Nap, shower, and now you find me here. Now if you'll excuse me, imma gonna eat my cannelloni.
     
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  5. JeJas

    JeJas VIP Whale

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  6. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Caesars Diamond Member

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    Did your cannelloni put you to sleep?:snore:
     
  7. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    lol

    Hopefully we'll get a recap @Darreningreenwood!
     
  8. Darreningreenwood

    Darreningreenwood Low-Roller

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    So, yeah...I sorta disappeared there. That will teach me about trying a live report. Some people can do that, but apparently I am one that can't. Don't know if it's ADHD, laziness, or scotch, but...yeah. So, here's a wrap-up for everyone who was hanging on the edge of their seats. Let's just say this was one of my most dispiriting of trips, which could also explain why it's taken me so long to wrap this up.

    Sunday
    • For the record, I do love Battista's. I know it is a hit and miss on this board. I consider it very good Americanized Italian food. Steps above Olive Garden and Buca. Nowhere near Martorano's or your high school friends grandmother's home cooking. For what it is and what they try to be, I love it. It's a great place to have a fun, not too expensive meal with a large group of friends, too.
    • Went off to Cromwell for a bit of VP, but not much was going on there. Wandered through Paris and PH for a little bit of VP and BJ. Unfortunately, my luck from before dinner was the same. Put in money, and by the time my first drink was done, the money was gone. I ended up spending all of my budgeted cash for Sunday. Back to the room and crash by midnight. There's plenty of Vegas to go, and no need to push it.
    Monday
    • One of my favorite things to do is to go to the bar, play a little VP, and have a Bailey's and coffee while I wake up and get moving on my day. I get to the Heart Bar, saddle up to my usual seat, order one of the (many) drinks I was looking forward to...Only to be told the coffee machine had been broken for a few weeks. Over to the other bar (is it called the Extra bar? Whichever one is there when you walk in from the north) and order my drink...which tasted like hot water and Bailey's. Ugh.
    • I had purchased the Groupon for a cabana at Bally's, so I went and packed my bag for that. Walk over, get checked in...and realized that I had left the books I intended to read in the room at PH. So there really wasn't any coffee in that Bailey's and coffee. Other than that, it was a mello Monday at the pool. I enjoyed sitting in the shade, reading my books (I made a speed run to PH and back), texting friends, and sipping my four free frozen drinks. I didn't sit out in the sun much, so I didn't need to worry about sunburn. The cabana experience was nice. I don't think I'd pay full price for it, but it wasn't bad with the groupon. I spent about 5 hours at the pool, had four frozen drinks, a nap, soaked in the water for a bit...all for less than I would have spent gambling during the day.
    • After refreshing in the room, and grabbing a sandwich at Earl of Sandwich, it was a Lyft to Fremont St, starting at Main St. Station for a black chip porter. I find a machine at the Boars Head, order a drink...and get a 4 of a kind within about 5 minutes! Woohoo! While waiting for the attendant, I look around a bit...and see a guy I used to play in a golf league with back in 2006-2009. Of all the gin joints in all the world... We spend about an hour talking, he introduces me to his wife, we have fun, and then I need to get moving since I have some FP at both Golden Gate and The D.
    • Nothing much from my $20 at GG (not a fan of their VP), so I go to The D. Get my $25 match play, my $50 match play for flying Southwest, and verify I have $25 FP on my card. I take the matchplay to a BJ table and get four green to go with my three MP chips. Three hands and...all I have left is one green. Shit. That disappears pretty damn quick. Fuck that, I'm going up to the Vue Bar, my home away from home.
    • LOVE the remodel at the bar. The machines are nice, the bar comfortable. Jason the bartender is there, of course, and hands me an 805. Now, I'm not that memorable, nor that big of a spender. Nobody else in Vegas recognizes me except him.
    • Play some VP, and end up hitting the straight flush progressive for about $130! Switch to DDB, and get four of a kind, then four 3's...then four 3's with a kicker over about the next 45 minutes to an hour. Not bad! I end up leaving up maybe 200, with an eye on playing some BJ with my winnings.
    • Yeah, $200 on blackjack disappears quick (there's a theme here)
    • $25 FP on Goldfish Deluxe...Holy shit, two bonus rounds! I end up turning my $25 FP into $250 cash!
    • Little more VP upstairs, but lose it all after a while. But I had lasted quite a bit, so it wasn't too bad of time. Got many good beers out of it.
    • Back to PH, and done for the night. I'm 42 years old, so much for staying up late. I actually ended up putting both my original Monday money plus some winnings in my separate envelope!
    Tuesday
    • Feeling good about having had a winning night, I spend Tuesday doing some gambling on the strip. So I wander to Harrah's to partake in the breakfast buffet. Nothing spectacular, but it's a buffet.
    • Wander around doing some VP at Harrah's, at Flamingo, Paris, and PH. Tried some BJ as well at Paris and PH. I...ended up giving them my money, and standing up a few minutes later. I mean, just fusking brutal.
    • I had wanted to get some play in at Cosmo, so I decided screw it, let's go over there, it can't be worse! Get my identity card, and try to find some BJ. Just about everything was $25, with one $15 table...at 6:5. OK, this may not be the place for me. Play a little there, ended up with a crappy dealer. Did a little VP, saw they had crappy paytables as well. So...I don't think I'll put Cosmo on my list of places to stay in the future (more on this later). I finish the afternoon having spent most of my Tuesday money, which is never good.
    • Rest up, a quick bite to eat, and it's off to...Def Leppard! Now, I've never been a big fan, but when I saw they were playing, I decided that I needed to get a ticket so I could add them to my "I saw them before they died" list. I will say that it was one of the best sounding concerts I've ever been to. Not only did the band sound good, but the acoustics, leveling, etc. in the theater at PH was amazing. And they did a great job with their set. Solid grade of A, would suggest seeing. Even got a slight contact buzz.
    • Dug into some of the money put aside from Monday. Yeah, some people call that a sin, but if I just touch the winnings and not the original Monday money, that's allowed.
    • More VP and BJ. So...yeah, frack. Four of a kinds are few and far between on VP. Dealer was pulling 20's and 21's out their asses at BJ. I just...couldn't frickin' win. Or even...break even. Time for bed.
    Wednesday
    • Wednesday was another groupon cabana day, this time at PH. Yes, the PH pools are small, a bit crowded...but having a cabana right by the pool is kinda nice. Four frozen drinks were included. And 4-thirty minute flo rider rides (that I didn't use). Again, a pretty good deal (and cheaper than gambling). Read more books, because that's what I do.
    • Wednesday night (I can't remember where I went for dinner. Must not have been that memorable.) was time to go see Love for the 6th time. For this, I was up in the nose bleed section. I've usually seen the show from the 200 level, and once up close. So I thought it would be nice to see it from yet another angle. Well...I have to say I think the show has lost a bit of it's luster for me. For one, the sight lines were not that good; I was almost right next to one of the curtains that goes across the stage, so that made it a little difficult due to the extreme angles. Especially during "Something", which is one of my favorite acts. And during "Lucy" (one of my other favorite acts), there was something that happened that caused them to finish and go off the stage early. All I saw were the hanging, flashing lights and the rest of the song paying to an empty stage. No idea what happened there, but it was disappointing. Other than that...I dunno. I don't really like the revamp they did a few years ago. They took out a bit of the acrobatics and other "nifty" stuff, and added a bit more "interpretive dance". Plus it seems like the overall story in the show has been watered down and you only really get it if you saw the original.
    • After the show, I decided that "today's the day I finally get on track with my gambling". Yeah...nope. More of the same, no matter where I went. Go to a BJ table, and I was usually gone within 15-30 minutes. VP, I'd get maybe one four of a kind to tease me...then I'd look down and have 0 credits left. Flamingo, PH, Paris...same shit, different casino. Frack. Time for bed.
    Thursday
    • Huh, time to do this again. I did not have much planned for Thursday. No cabana, no pool, no shows. I honestly do not remember much of what I did during the day, other than I decided to be a bit stingy with my money, since I'd had mostly bad luck all week. At one point, I DID win $100 playing BJ at Paris. This was literally the ONLY time I won at BJ the entire trip, We're talking 12-15 sessions at least. Yeah. Seriously.
    • After losing a couple hundred during the day, I decided I was going to go to Fremont St. I had hoped to do enough gambling on the strip to at least get to Platinum status for next year, but I could not get on any kind of run, or roll, or break even after a lot of gambling. So fuck that.
    • Lyft to the D, and up to the Vue bar. VP there was better than what I had been experiencing on the strip. Win $100, down to play BJ and lose the hundred. Up to Andiamo and a seat at the bar. A filet, some truffle mashed taters, a nice glass of wine...And about $60 taken off my bill in dinner credits and comps. At least I had that going for me, which is nice.
    • A bit more VP at the Vue bar with Jason. I was able to sit there for about 2 hours, and walked away with the same $100 I put in the machine. I honestly consider that a win. I got a bit hypnotized after playing that long, but to play that much and NOT lose? That was damn near the highlight of the trip.
    Friday
    • Last day, and a late checkout. Thank goodness.
    • Left the room about noon, and loaded up my Friday money, and the leftover Monday money into my wallet. Yeah, you know where this is going.
    • Late lunch at Burger Brasserie. Second time there. First was a good time, second...I had to wait 10 minutes for a waiter to even come take my drink order. Another long wait for my food order. Another long wait for my check. Then to pay the check. And this place wasn't busy at all on a Friday around 2pm. WTF. So, so, so pissed of by this time.
    • More BJ at Paris. More losing.
    • More VP at Paris. More losing.
    • Original Goldfish at Paris....Won $50! Woo!
    • BJ at PH? Losing.
    • VP at PH? Losing.
    • Fuck it. Taxi to the airport.
    • Flight home? It left on time, around 6 in the afternoon. I was due to arrive in Indy around 1am. Apparently, there were storms over the country, and they had to divert around them, which involved south Texas. Didn't land until about 1:50 AM on Saturday. Figures.
    Overall

    So I think you picked up why this was one of the more dispiriting trips I've had. Except for a brief run of luck on Monday at The D, I lost. And lost. And lost. I know that when in Vegas, you will eventually lose. And while everyone has those sessions which are over before they start, they are often matched by sessions where you win. Or at least hang around for a very long time before you lose. I had nothing like that. For the amount of money I lost, I should have played a lot more. If I had lost just as much, but played for a longer time, I'd feel much better about things. But...ugh.

    I will say, Def Leppard was a great experience. Being Oscar was a good book. So was Eyes in the Sky. I've two more that I'll save for my next trip. Love was a bit disappointing, as stated above.

    But speaking of my next trip...I decided on Thursday, and confirmed on Friday, that I'm done with the strip. It just isn't that exciting to me any more, now that I've seen and done a lot of things there. It's no longer exciting to say "hey, let's go spend some time at Ceasars", or speedwalk down the strip to make sure you can see the volcano at Mirage. It's gotten a bit expensive, too. And the gambling kinda stinks (both the VP pay tables, and my luck in the casinos). I still enjoy downtown, and it sort of "fits" where I'm at now with what I want to do with my Vegas experiences. A lot of gambling and relaxing, fewer people, better value. I'll still go to the strip if there's a particular show I want to see, or if I'm with a group that wants to stay there. But if it's up to me? Downtown. Definitely. Diamond status, no resort fees, etc...not worth it any more.

    So, that's what happened to me. I know how exciting these can be to read and to look forward to. I apologize for giving you the buildup and letting you down. I'm going again over Thanksgiving, and staying on Fremont with some friends. I'll write up a after action report for you. Unless my luck continues...
     
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  9. Fet297

    Fet297 113 survivor North Vegas

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    Thanks for the follow up. Sorry to hear it was one of “those” trips.
     
    Vegas, sure why not?…
    Downtown adventures…
  10. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    I appreciate that you eventually "followed through". Never fun about writing up losing trips.

    I agree with you about LOVE in upper section we were there just on Thursday, the seats we had definitely had a bit of an obstructed view. We ended up moving about a dozen seats over and it wasn't as bad. But probably the lower bowl is better.

    And yeah all strip places, including Cosmo, has poorer VP especially at quarters, but overall I think Cosmo offers decent VP for a major strip property. They are better than a lot of CET and MLife.
     
  11. snoopydogj

    snoopydogj High-Roller

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    Good read. I’ve had similar trips. It’s like WTF. It’s bad when you consider a break even session a win.
     
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  12. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Thanks for that review of the Groupon cabanas. Wondered how they would be so it sounds like a decent thing.
     
  13. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Caesars Diamond Member

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    Thanks for finishing up the report. Even though it sucked in the gambling department, I still applaud you for taking the time to write up your experiences!! :thumbsup:
     
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