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Solo Trip to Vegas--came home ahead!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by meriH, Mar 30, 2019.

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  1. meriH

    meriH Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12

    My Trip Report

    I started my trip at the AmEx Lounge at Seatac with a glass of Champagne and some breakfast. Sometimes I love being able to afford these niceties! I flew in seat 1A --with another glass of Champagne and cranberry juice plus a protein plate. My seatmate wasn't very social (and I'm a chatty flyer), so I listened to a book on Audible and knitted a bit.


    I put $10 into a slot machine while waiting for my bag--and turned it into $13.13. :) A good sign!


    My Uber to Park MGM came quickly, and it took less than 15 minutes to get there.


    Having MLife Gold Status, I was first in line at the VIP desk, and got squared away in a requested room facing the pool to avoid noise. It happened to be an accessible room, so my review of it may have slightly different than a normal king room. The room was clean. But, I agree with all of the reviews I've read about the sparseness of the room. It's possible the rod was low for wheelchair access, but it was so low that I couldn't even put my suitcase on the rack in the closet--because I had to hang clothes on the six hangers, and they hang just above the floor. I moved the luggage rack into the room and put my bag there. There was no sofa in the window, but a dining-style table with two leather chairs. The bed was firm-enough, just on this side of firm enough for my preference, but I wouldn't complain about it.


    The walls are truly paper-thin. I could hear the Minnesota accents of the people on the phone on one side, and the relations of the people on the other. I had packed a white noise machine, so I was able to sleep with little issue. Sadly, part of what I love about my solo Vegas trips is watching ridiculous TV at 1-2 am after coming back. Since the walls were so thin, I didn't feel comfortable doing this: I didn't want to bother my neighbors. So, I didn't get to do that for the whole TRIP! I also couldn't do it with my laptop--because, I was never able to connect to the functional Wi-Fi. I decided not to let it upset me, and just enjoy everything else about Sin-city!


    The first night, after a quick nap, I went to the Flamingo for a $65 poker tournament after going to In-n-out and Honolulu Cookie Company for stuff for the kids. I made it to the final table, but didn't cash. I hit a good spin on Buffulo Wild for $120 after playing some slots.


    Since I had a spa appointment at 9 am, I went back to my room and slept at about 1 am. My white noise machine saved the day, because I did sleep quite well. From my $300 bank roll for my shortest day on my trip, I I had $200 left to put into my Monday Envelope. (I put an amount in one for each day, then seal the total in at the end of each day to see how I come out at the end of my trip).


    My manicure, pedicure, and massage were great. Given my initial impression of the Park MGM, I almost canceled the services, because I wasn't very hopeful. I'm guessing that the presence of Nomad keeps the standards of the spa much higher than the Park. There was a bit of confusion about when my services were and when I was expected to arrive for those appointments, but since the elevator to my room was steps from the Spa, I wasn't too miffed. I totally recommend trying their spa! The hot stone chairs are amazingly relaxing.


    Afterward, I had a nap, and early Aria dinner buffet (courtesy of MyVegas). Then, I played a tournament at Excalibur. My husband and I got married there, so it holds a special place in my heart--despite it being kind of grimy and smoky. After that I went to Mandalay Bay and played cash poker for 3-4 hours. I left there with $580 from my $300 starting stack. :) After the walk back through Luxor, Excalibur, and New York, NY--and many breaks at slot machines, I found myself back down to the $400 Tuesday Bank Roll. Ha! It all went back in the envelope!


    Wednesday, I started with an early lunch at Eataly. It really does look lovely--very much like the marketplaces we saw in Rome. It’s fresh and bright. I ordered the gnocchi from one of the stands for $21. This seemed downright outrageous for standing in a line, finding a table, and waiting on a buzzer to go off. I am not cheap--but, I like a good deal. I figured I shouldn’t mind since it was covered by the food and beverage credit. As I sat, I watched them rolling out fresh pasta--and was impressed. When they called me to get my food--they handed me a bowl that had my serving of gnocchi plopped in it--with a drip of sauce smeared in the dish. There was no garnish on it. The presentation was awful. By simply adding a basil leaf and some shaved parm, it would have upped my initial impression by three times. When I asked the guy where the finish was, he said, ‘There’s a container of parm over there…” I was kind of appalled. It was actually pretty good parm, though--and it had a time stamp for how many hours it could sit there.


    The gnocchi was AMAZING. It had such a rich flavor and the ragu was authentic and delicious with tender short-rib. I recommend looking past the kind of mish-mash serving and enjoying the food. It reminded me so much of a little place in Rome we went that had grandmother-type ladies making gnocchi in the window by hand.


    I decided to just play cash poker all day. The tournaments weren't doing it for me. I played at Mandalay Bay most of the day. With my $300 max to start (+$100 to make $400 for the day), I walked away with $700. I headed back to ParkMGM for a 45 minute nap with my white noise machine--and tucked away the $300 I was up in my envelope. Afterward, I went to the Bellagio Buffet for dinner (on MyVegas). My husband encouraged me, via text, to head to Bally's for cash--as he had heard there are a lot of tourists there, who don't know how to play well. It turned out that most of the people there were grinders--and I experienced my first cash-game loss! After a couple of hours, I'd lost my $300 buy-in. I was MAD! I am a good poker player (as demonstrated by my previous play), and i felt like I was being devoured by a pack of lions! I went and put my remaining $100 into the Dancing Drums machine, and won $470 on my second spin at $5.28. I decided then, at 11 pm, that it was time to go to Caesar's for a $100 midnight tournament.


    This was actually quite fun--we had a great group of people, and I was reminded that I did NOT suck at poker. I was kicking some major butt until we got to the final table--I had more than half of the chips on the table. It was 3:15 in the morning, and I was exhausted. Everyone was settling in with Red Bull and Cokes--talking about the endurance required to play in a midnight tournament. I guess I didn’t plan for a tournament to drag into the wee hours of the morning. Thursday was my last day, and I didn’t want to sleep the day away because I was out until 6-7 am. I decided to bet big to either take everyone down in a few hands, or just lose and get back for some sleep. I ended up busting out on the bubble at about 3:45. I was cool with it. I got back to my room with about $400--all went into the envelope.


    I started the next day at 11 am--that white noise machine saved my trip! :) I walked back through New York, NY and had Popeyes at Excalibur--on my way to Mandalay Bay (which I’ve decided is one of my favorite card rooms for cash games). I left there at about 5 pm (up a couple hundred) and headed back to ParkMGM. I packed up my bags and had them ready to go for my 9 pm flight. I added up all of my envelopes.


    I had $2117 total from my original $1500 bank roll. :) I put $1900 back into one envelope and went to play more slots. It was kind of a DISASTER! :) Such is Vegas. I went into the high limit room and $8.88 a spin on the Dancing Drums machine and lost $200. Then, I was up a good bit with Buffalo Gold.


    I played a little heart-pounding BlackJack and remembered that I hate it. I managed to leave there $50 down from the $300 I put on the table. Not terrible. When I left the Park MGM, I had $1975. So, I played and played and played for 3.5 days, and was up $475. NOT BAD AT ALL!


    I stopped at the MLife desk to check on my comps--and they took $36 off of my room charges.


    For my hotel stay--including resort fees (the room was comped for four nights), a manicure, pedicure, massage, a few charges from the snack shop (for water, a bottle of milk, and a muffin) by the elevator, some gelato at Bellagio, plus lunch at Eataly--my total was $406. They used what they’d said was a $50 Food and Beverage credit against my spa services! I was excited about that, because I didn’t really want to eat in a sit-down place. I will also get $60 back from AmEx for charging $300 at MGM--so, it’s really $346.

    I got back to LAS, breezed through check-in, baggage, and TSA pre-check in about 8 minutes, and headed to terminal D for the AmEx Lounge. I had a delicious 'free' dinner of roast chicken, salad, and veggie curry with rice along with a cocktail and a cookie. I headed to my gate and arrived just as they were boarding first class passengers. I love it when the airport experience flows like that! I had another cocktail once we got in the air--and had a super friendly seat mate. He and I had very differing political opinions, but we still had great conversation the whole trip.

    Overall, it was a good trip. I wouldn’t stay at the ParkMGM again. It wasn’t horrible--but, it wasn’t what I like in an upscale hotel. If you’re traveling on business or have a group of people and don’t want to have any kind of romantic-time or something, I’d totally recommend taking them up on their free nights.
     
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  2. Ezzy711

    Ezzy711 VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Great report! Thanks for writing it. Lots of good info.

    Not a poker player but could follow along. Congrats on a good winning trip. Sorry the hotel left something to be desired. Several people here mentioned the thin walls. That is so disappointing after such a full renovation. You certainly got around!

    I fly first to Vegas too as it really adds to the escapism I go there for.
     
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  3. 3544quebec

    3544quebec High-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Great report - does your husband also hold a special place in your heart - despite him being kind of grimy and smoky?
     
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  4. gailtherese

    gailtherese Upper Middle Class ?!

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
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    Location:
    Minnesota
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    26
    Fun read! Glad you came out ahead! Can’t wait for my trip this spring!
     
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  5. Astribling

    Astribling Alice In Casinoland

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Great trip and congrats on coming home ahead!
     
    Start of a 10 day trip, 2 nights FREE at Wynn!
    3 nights Plaza, Rudies Weekend + 4 nights Bally's Girls Week!
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  6. 93 Octane

    93 Octane Chief bottle washer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
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    Location:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    37
    Excellent poker playing! Tried to play at MB twice over two trips but they never had a game going:(...

    Always great to go on vacation and come back with more money
     
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  7. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Congratulations on coming home a winner!
     
    Kelly Clarkson and Keith Urban Concerts
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  8. JeJas

    JeJas VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Nice report!
    So glad you can recognise the Minnesota accent.:D
     
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  9. julia

    julia (was miss_sonja)

    Joined:
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    Enjoyed reading your report! Sorry you didn't like Park....I wasn't in the room enough to notice much noise, but I can see how it would be an issue. Loved the poker...I would love to try live poker in Vegas, but I haven't gotten my nerve up for that. Great bankroll management, too:).
     
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  10. ant1433

    ant1433 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Just curious as I am thinking of getting one for the same reasons you gave- what brand and cost of the white noise generator do you use.
    Thx
     
  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Nice report!
     
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  12. Vegasworm

    Vegasworm Finger Clicker Extraordinaire

    Joined:
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    Great report and awesome you came out ahead on your trip! :thumbsup:

    Vegasworm
     
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  13. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Nice TR. Bummer to hear that after all the time and money put into Park MGM that the noise in adjacent rooms is such an issue. I suppose there isn’t a whole lot that can be done about it but I always feel bad for VMBers who report about it being an issue during their trips. Congrats on the win!! I like that you swung for the fences at the end of your trip but still locked up part of your win. :clap:

    :peace: :beer:
     
    Birthday Week in Vegas
  14. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Enjoyed your details....my white noise machine has traveled along for several years now....love it!
    Nice hit on DD.....I love playing it, but can go thru hundys pretty quickly. I am in awe that you play poker well.....I am such a terrible liar that everyone would know when I didn't have cards!
     
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  15. emmas

    emmas VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Congratulations on a nice trip and going home with winnings.
     
    Looking forward to having a great time.
    Winning!
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  16. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Thanks for sharing. Good reviews on a variety of things. And congrats on coming home a winner!
     
    Oh yes
    One more
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  17. Dentastic

    Dentastic Stripburger!

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Congrats on a winning trip! I stayed at Park MGM about 6 weeks ago. I didn't notice voices/tv/music from the adjacent rooms anymore than in other hotels, however, when then opened or closed their blinds/curtains, it literally sounded like it was coming from our own room.
     
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  18. meriH

    meriH Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    First is a great value--especially on Alaska! :)
     
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  19. meriH

    meriH Tourist

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    Yeah, I'll keep him--grime and all!
     
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  20. meriH

    meriH Tourist

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    Anticipation of the trips is half the fun!
     
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