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Super Bowl Weekend - Feb 2 - 5 at The Linq

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by mjames1229, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    My Trip Report

    The middle-aged man walks alone, sheepishly into a room at a local community center. He takes his seat on a cold, metal folding chair, formed in a semi-circle with other like-minded people also uncomfortably seated. "Maybe the seats aren't uncomfortable", thought our hero. "Maybe the subject is uncomfortable".

    "Why am I here again?" he queries further to himself as sporadic discussion from the other attendees is halfheartedly heard.

    "I see a couple of new faces here" says the hopeful lady at the front of the room. "Sir? Would you mind?"

    "Hi. My name is mjames1229, and I have an addiction to slot machines".

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That could be the theme of this trip report, but that would be a major downer, so let's all just forget we read about that, ain'a?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This report actually begins in September, shortly after returning from my poker trip. For various reasons (one of which - seriously - is that three trips to Nevada each year is a lot and somehow I have to cut it down to two. It'll never actually happen, but I have to at least keep saying it) I had been resigned to not going to Vegas for the Super Bowl this year. So like a good gambling addict, I was absentmindedly looking up airline prices for early February. I was certain that they would be too high and "I couldn't afford it" would be my way out.

    Within an hour, I saw (and booked) this without permission...

    Capture.JPG

    $168 RT from O'Hare to Vegas and a comp at most Caesars properties... I mean... yeah...

    Throw in a car rental from Alamo for three days for $61 all-in and it cost me $400 total for the two of us be in Las Vegas for a weekend (OK, $450 if you include gasoline and parking at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare). I know people who paid that much just for Super Bowl Party tickets.

    When I write my poker trip reports each fall, I time stamp them... don't know why, it's just that thing I do. But when my wife and I went to Reno/Vegas last summer, I tried to write it essay style, however I missed so many details that I had to write practically another trip report just to summarize the stuff that I had missed. So this time, I am going to try to write a wife-based time-stamped trip report. Wish me luck. (All times are PST unless noted).

    Saturday, February 2 at 1:00 PM CST - We left the house for the weekend. That means that vacation started, therefore the trip report started. You guys like photos, well, here you go.

    20190202_130000.jpg

    I have held season tickets for the Milwaukee Wave indoor soccer team for almost a quarter century.. Not going to miss a game because of a flight leaving in 7-1/2 hours.

    2:00 PM CST - Between Wave season tickets and the 40 Milwaukee Brewers games that I attended last season (and taking into account my tremendous weight loss) I have gotten pretty good at going into an arena or stadium and not spending a penny on concessions. But I am on vacation, you know.

    20190202_140000.jpg

    Why, yes, that is cookie dough ice cream in a soft waffle, topped with pecan, sprinkles and caramel sauce.

    3:15 PM CST - The game ends with the Wave beating Baltimore 4-2, and we head south on I-94 towards Chicago.

    5:00 PM CST - My wife chose dinner. When I think of Chicago and dinner, a lovely deep dish from Pizzeria Due or Lou Malnati's comes to mind. But she chose Moretti's in Rosemont. I asked her to explain how she came up with that, but I tuned her out when she actually started explaining. However, I was impressed with their thin crust pie (despite it being overpriced). I also later found that they are part of the Southwest Rapid Dining program, so I got about 100 miles out of it.

    7:17 PM CST - We arrive at our gate, seventy minutes before departure. To my wife, it means that she has plenty of time to relax, grab a soda, read a bit, and be ready to go when it is time to board. To me, it means we got there about 40 minutes too early.

    20190202_191827.jpg

    8:15 PM CST - We are loaded on the plane and despite paying for "Main Cabin Extra" and choosing (and paying even more for) our seats, they seemed awfully squishy across. Legroom was fine, but even skinnier me felt cramped.

    A little while after takeoff CST - As I am fidgeting with my DVD player, some video screens drop from the overheads and a movie starts playing. I really didn't pay too much mind as I had brought my own entertainment, but I did look up to see that Bohemian Rhapsody was the movie. I quickly put away my DVD player and put my headphones into the armrest jack. This was going to be a great flight!

    About an hour-forty after the movie started -



    10:20 PM PST - We land and sit on the tarmac with the terminal in sight. Apparently we arrived too early and there was nobody available to direct us to a gate and move the jet way. Las Vegas was so close, yet so far away. But after the longest 10 minutes of my life...

    20190202_224134.jpg

    We uneventfully get our bags (we only had carry-ons, but we gate-checked them due to the full flight) and get to the rental car center. I had rented a midsize and I had checked-in from home, so I walked into the garage and to the attendant, letting her know that I would graciously accept an SUV. Instead she offered me a choice of two vehicles. A white one with a message on the window in grease pencil "NO KEYS", or this one.

    20190202_232510.jpg

    It looked new.

    20190202_232640.jpg

    It WAS new!

    11:45 PM - Although we had finished a pizza just eight short hours earlier (and also one smidgey pack of airline pretzels) we were both a touch hungry. Just after landing for our poker trip last August, one of my buddies and I went here for a bite, and I think that this now will be a traditional "Just off the plane" snack...

    20190203_000416.jpg

    Just one problem. See that empty restaurant and a guy in a red shirt at the entrance? It was his job to tell us that the restaurant was closed. I had heard that they had actually moved "a few blocks down" so I pulled out of the parking lot to try to find it.

    30 seconds later - I found it! Basically it was 100 ft from where I was standing to take the photo above. So I drive around the block to the other parking lot entrance and park in the same spot.

    20190203_000444.jpg

    Sunday, February 3 at 12:05 AM - Having saved face in my promise to get my beautiful bride some nummilicious tacos, I explained the Tacos El Gordo ordering process, of how you have to pick your meat, then go into that designated line to order. She got in line for Asada while I first went for the Adobada and then for the Suadero.

    20190203_001117.jpg

    My wife's steak tacos are on the left, with this beautiful avocado and cilantro on top. Looks so good, I could almost eat it. Well, I did eat it because my wife likes neither avocado nor cilantro. I picked off as much as I could so that she was left with just steak and taco. She said that she ordered it that way (and I am sure she did order plain), but when I asked why she didn't send them back, she said that she didn't want to make trouble. So her settling was my benefit, as I love avocado and cilantro.

    12:40 AM - We work our way behind The Linq and The Linq to get to the valet, however a full days rain and flooded The Linq parking garage. The security guard said to park at Harrahs and so we did. I asked the Harrahs attendant the quickest way to get to The Linq, and he gave an answer that would make Julia Sweeney blush.

    12:45 AM - But the directions were brilliant. We check in without a line, and as we head to the room elevators, we decide to have a brief gamble. At this point it equates to about 3:00 AM back home, but... Vegas!

    1:30 AM - I first put $20 into this, then $20 into that, then I find a Buffalo which gives me over $100. Not satisfied, I played that out trying to get a real hit. After losing about $100, I put "one last $20 then I'm done" into Napoleon and Josephine. Quite quickly, I get three Josephines (one with a +5) and on the very first spin get three more Josephines (with another +5) for a total of 30 spins. Along the way, I get two really nice screens filled with Napoleons, and when the bonus is over my cashout ticket has garnered me a profit of over $100. My wife is practically asleep on the seat next to me while I play out that bonus game, so I take the hint that the day is over and we head up to our room.

    Morning came and evening followed, the first day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
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  2. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good start!
     
    MyVegas lets us stay again? Okay!
    Thanks Wynn slot app! M's birthday in style!
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  3. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

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    I have walked by the taco place, but not eaten there. Thanks for explaining how it works! Enjoying your report, as always!
     
    Going to see Journey!
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  4. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Joined:
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    I found this photo on-line. You can see the small hanging signs for each meat. Once you have all of your tacos from all of the lines, the cashier is opposite of the lines.

    Tacos_El_Gordo_menu.jpg
     
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
  5. Tahoejoe2

    Tahoejoe2 VIP Whale

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    Does SW fly out of Chicago? Free SW miles easy to get. $69 annual fee. Cancel before one year.
     
    NFL Football
  6. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Joined:
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    Southwest flies out of Milwaukee, too, and I've never seen a fare disparity so great to go all the way to Midway to fly.

    I may do the credit card shuffle eventually. I've got two new cars and my wife's student loans to pay down. My only current credit card is so old that it helps my credit rating and the last thing I need is another avenue for revolving credit card debt just to save a few bucks on an airline flight.
     
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
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  7. Slidey1

    Slidey1 Low-Roller

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    I have come to love the Linq so much. Great fun little place. Although now that they shuffled the Wonder Woman machines around a little (back to the right of the bar by the walkway to Harrahs) I can’t get a bonus if my life depended on it. Best of luck to you sir! Here’s to many bonus rounds!
     
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  8. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Looks like you had a great start to your trip!
     
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  9. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Joined:
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    Sunday, February 3 at 7:00 AM - Good morning, Las Vegas!

    20190203_065845.jpg

    8:00 AM - We've got our day planned with military precision. At past Super Bowl parties at South Point, I've watched the game from the Grand Ballroom and in both past years when looking for a table, my buddies and I saw many, many instances of tables being saved with nobody around. Many.

    Also in previous years, it looked like the Showroom was the place to watch the game, so the plan was for my wife to stand in line to reserve seats prior to the doors opening at 10:30. But before that, a treat in eatin' was a-foot.

    20190203_083517.jpg

    8:35 AM - Like I've said about In N Out Burger (as well as in other cities in regards to Waffle House) sometimes a chain restaurant is so good that I will ignore that it is a chain if I don't have a local location. And I know some of you think DuPar's pancakes are the bee's knees, but I believe the honor of best pancakes in Las Vegas goes to Black Bear. And if you want to consider that it may be a tie, their hot Italian sausage patties are the tie-breaker that awards the win to Black Bear.

    20190203_085104.jpg

    8:50 AM - See the sausage patties? Just under each one is a little sausage run-off. We foodies call that "goodness".

    9:30 AM - We arrive at South Point and I plant my wife in line (with a chair, because I am a hell of a guy). Meanwhile, I make a couple of runs to the sports book to place our bets.

    20190203_094219.jpg

    9:40 AM - Although the line at the window was about five people deep, it went relatively quickly. Nobody (except me) was making 70 bets.

    10:00 AM - I've got all of the bets made and I've checked on the missus, and I make it back to the Poker Room for the morning tournament (50 entries at $60 each).

    20190203_100607.jpg

    10:30 AM - It strikes me as odd that the Poker Room has got at least 10-12 tables going already. I don't recall this much early activity in prior years.

    20190203_101849.jpg

    10:45 AM - I get a message from my wife that our seats are saved, and they are pretty good ones, too.

    11:00 AM - I am not getting a lot of cards to play, and I can't seem to win any pots with cards I do play... Well, except this one in which I looked like an idiot.

    In the Big Blind I am dealt Ah3h. I raise a limped pot with two callers. The flop is Ks-3s-6d. I check, one guy bets, I call, the other folds. Turn is a 3c. With trip-3s and a flush draw on the board, I size my bet a little higher than I would if there was no flush draw, and he calls me. The river is 6s. Despite three spades on the board, I am still in love with my trip-3s so I make the same sized bet and my opponent raises me. I gulp, call and he shows two spades for a flush. Damn river. The dealer shoves the chips the other guy's way when another player noticed my full house. Its one thing for the dealer to miss it, but man did I miss an opportunity. He bet his flush heavy and I didn't even see that my hand beat him. I won the pot, but needless to say I felt about four inches tall, and some of the people at the table were on me pretty good.

    11:30 AM - The hidden full house that was right under my nose gave me an above average chip stack heading into the break. I noticed an urge to play poker, so...

    20190203_124009.jpg

    12:30 PM - Hemorrhaging chips and starting to become affected by antes and the blinds increasing, I go all-in in first position with AsQs. Folds around to a lady in the big blind who *loves* her hand. After thinking about it a bit, she calls and shows 88. I don't improve and I fall out in 12th place. On one hand, I really struggled to get cards to play and was fortunate to get that far. On the other hand, there were also short stacks that I felt that if I could catch one more hand, I could slide on into a cash. But alas.

    12:50 PM - I go to check on our seats, and all is swell.

    20190203_130710.jpg

    20190203_130650.jpg

    Do note that not every booth or table has someone sitting at it to reserve it.

    1:00 PM - I get a text from my wife that she decided to play the Bingo session. I leave the Showroom to go find her and check in. We chat in between bingo games and then I go to gamble for awhile.

    2:00 PM - I'm not a big fan of blackjack, but the Pai Gow Poker and craps tables are full and I just didn't feel like shredding bills into slot machines, but I find a $10 blackjack game with friendly people and I sit for an hour or so. By about 2:15 (an hour before game time) I am noticing many people at many tables cashing out, so I take that as my queue to head to the Showroom and get some food before the game starts.

    2:19 PM - As I am in line at the cashier, I get a text from my wife "Someone took our seats. Now what?" Shit. I meet up with her and there are four big guys at our table, with our coats and papers and stuff on the floor about 50 feet away.

    I have some definite thoughts about this situation. This is on South Point, but I also feel that this is on the culture about how some things are "saved" (from spots in any line to Southwest airline seats to free Super Bowl Party seats at South Point).

    For those of you thinking that we were naive (and quite ballsy) to be the couple who were trying to save a table in the Showroom without either of us in the room, well, you are right. But as I mentioned earlier, for the past two years we saved seats in the Grand Ballroom, and there were LOTS AND LOTS of tables being saved with just a "reserved" sign... or with coats over chairs... or chairs half tipped over, etc. To me, that was SOP and acceptable. What else would I think?

    My wife said that she never heard any announcement regarding sharing while in line, nor in the 2 minutes she was in the Showroom from the time she grabbed our table and the time she left. About 1:00 when I busted out of poker, I went to our table which still had our stuff on it. When I saw that all was cool (at the time) and also hearing no announcements, I went out to gamble some more.

    Bottom line is that if an announcement was made (and I am NOT disputing that there might have been) we weren't in the room to hear it... and our bad for being so scarce as to not know the saving rules. But my point is that it appears that both venues (the Showroom and the Grand Ballroom) apparently have different savings rules. THAT is my contention, and somehow there needs to be some awareness about what is acceptable and what isn't. It could easily be handled with signs on the door on on the tables. If the rules were known, my wife and I would have abided.

    Again, all on us for being part of the problem, but if we knew the rules, we wouldn't have been panicking at the last minute.

    2:35 PM - And panicking is the right word. We ran up to the Grand Ballroom, but everyone was taking their seats and getting food... there was no way to try to determine if there were any tables with two seats. There weren't even any spare chairs at the back of the room, either.

    20190203_143514.jpg

    3:00 PM - We've gone around to the far back of the property to the the Exhibit Halls, and that was almost the same scene with a mass of people in an even more massive room. My heart was breaking, not only for my wife because she was in line for an hour (still with a bad knee) for naught, but because I just didn't know our next move. I was really thinking we'd end up watching the game from the Poker Room without any sound.

    20190203_144800.jpg

    3:10 PM - In this photo just above to the right are the food stations, but right behind me was an open door. Intrigued, I walked through it. I was amazed that I was so alone, but I had stumbled on the solution to our problem. The Equestrian Arena!

    20190203_145518.jpg

    This was perfect. No struggles to find a seat, no sharing tables with people, lots of room to stretch out, the second largest screen on the entire property, and enough sound to hear the play-by-play and the commercials. Some times the silver linings can be pretty bountiful.

    20190203_161625.jpg

    3:35 PM - Time for the action to begin.

    20190203_104352.jpg

    By now you probably assume that I liked the outcome.

    4:15 PM - I was thrilled by how it was going.

    20190203_160035.jpg

    5:00 PM - Actually, the game was a little too low scoring, but I'll get to that in a minute. My traditional halftime entertainment is to avoid the Super Bowl halftime entertainment. I hit the casino floor with a mental stop time of 40 minutes. I play a little of this and a little of that, and I stumble onto a 3-play Quick Quads machine. I've seen Quick Quads in other trip reports but not consciously in person.

    20190203_172145.jpg

    I am not a big fan at all of 3-play and 5-play games, as spending almost $5 on one hand is a little steep, and I just never seem to get big hands on multiple lines. It's a big money drain. Even this hit put me only $40 ahead, and it took nothing flat to get to a $60 loss before I had to get back to the Arena for the rest of the game.

    6:00 PM - I am starting to get worried. I did have this pegged at a low-scoring game, but I had individual bets for things like NE 24 pts, NE 28 pts, LA 17 pts, LA 21 pts, Total between 41-49, Total between 50-56, Exactly 5 and Exactly 6 touchdowns. For all the good that my "under" bets were doing, such a low scoring game never even got me in the ballpark of these.

    7:00 PM - With the score 13-3 and the Rams driving in garbage time, my Exactly 3 FGs bet is in peril. Luckily, the Rams kicker gacked, saving me at least one of those. But I did hammer NE and the under, and the following prop bets...
    • NE -3 (+110)
    • NE -3.5 (+135)
    • NE -6.5 (+180)
    • NE -7.5 (+245)
    • UNDER 51.5 (+200)
    • UNDER 47.5 (+340)
    When it comes down to it, I put out a total of $720 into action and my cashout at the pay window was $986. I was quite happy, but it could have been so much better with a little more scoring.

    7:30 PM - We didn't bother cashing the tickets quite yet, but we bopped around some slot machines for awhile. I had made reservations with the expectations that the Patriots were buying dinner.

    8:00 PM - We arrive at Primarily Prime Rib for dinner. We first ate here in 2009 and really enjoyed it (and we couldn't believe the prices) and considering that I seem to get to South Point for every poker trip, bowling trip and Super Bowl trip, I was amazed that we hadn't eaten here in 10 years.

    20190203_200446.jpg

    20190203_203752.jpg
    My English Cut (12 oz, thinly sliced)

    20190203_203803.jpg
    Melissa's filet medallions.

    We each really loved the meat, though there wasn't a noticeable crust on the prime rib. I am not sure if that is consistent with them or if it was just that particular cow that wasn't crusty (I guess I'll have to come back again to check). The potatoes were a disappointment, as they were just glopped into a bowl, and they had no discernible taste. Luckily they gave me a generous portion of horseradish so that I could pep up the potatoes.

    20190203_205924.jpg
    And what's a fine dinner without an espresso at the end?

    20190203_210030.jpg

    A little surprised that my drink was almost as expensive as my entire meal, but again, the total bill was less than planned, and the Patriots had paid for it anyway! We'll have to try to get up there again before 10 more years pass.

    9:30 PM - The line at the sports book was almost nil so we cashed out our tickets. I was flush with cash, so I talked my wife into playing a little Pai Gow Poker. It didn't go very well, but one hand in particular.... right as I was about to leave, I was dealt a J-high Pai Gow. Frustrated, I kinda slammed my cards down into position. The dealer said "Don't get mad, you may win". Then she rolled over 9-8-7-5-4-3-2. The perfect Pai Gow. Impossible for there to be a lower hand. When I saw it, I think I squealed like a school girl.

    9:45 PM - Casinos don't have a sense of humor. They got all that money back plus the rest of my buy-in within four hands. Sigh.

    10:30 PM - We drive back to The Linq, and I have every intention of going to pay Mr. Caesar back for my comped weekend, but while my wife was in the bathroom, I collapsed on the bed. I am pretty sure I got undressed for bed, but I was too wiped out to go back and gamble some more.

    (Early) evening came and morning followed, the second day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
    • Like Like x 3
  10. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

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    Next year let's exchange info pre-trip. We had four seats at our table in the Exhibit Hall that went unused until a couple asked in the 4th quarter is they could sit with us.
     
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  11. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

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    I tried so hard to get it right, but my wife noticed one glaring error.

    While watching the early part of the Super Bowl, I was cheering a missed FG and a Delay of Game penalty that would eventually result in a scoreless first quarter. While I was wrapped up in winning my little bet, my beautiful bride was sweating out her own action. She had bought a square in a $50 pool (in which she then hedged by selling half to my son) and, well...

    20190203_160037.jpg

    She did alright for herself this year.

    The rest of the TR follows tomorrow... was too busy to finish tonight.
     
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
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  12. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

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    Monday, February 4 at 6:30 AM - Having fallen asleep too early (by Las Vegas standards, anyway) and with the wife trimmin' tree trunks in her sleep, I ever... so... quietly... head... down... to... the... casino.

    7:05 AM - I blame Matt Bridger @mattjb. I started watching his recent Trip Report vlog, and was intrigued when he mentioned that if you play Lightning Link at $0.10 credits ($2.50 min per spin) the Mini Jackpot starts at $100 and the Minor Jackpot at $500. And if you watch a little more, he has significant success at Lightning Links, too. So I slide a hundy into one.

    7:06 AM - That Linq stole it like Lightning. Better try another one.

    20190204_070709.jpg

    Great... at that point down only $40. Needless to say, that didn't last long.

    8:00 AM - Just nothing cooking in Slot World.

    8:10 AM - But I don't let that stop me!!

    8:30 AM - My wife and I are meeting someone for lunch, so we don't want a heavy breakfast. We stop in at the Corner Kitchen and Donuts for a quick bite.

    20190204_083303.jpg

    Trying ever-so-hard to occasionally eat better on vacation, my wife had a bagel and fruit salad while I had quite an enjoyable Acai Bowl with granola and peanut butter. It was insanely pretty good, and now I have a feeling that I'll be searching for more of these locally.

    9:00 AM - Back to slotting, and I found the Monopoly game that is all the rage. I sat on one side and my wife at an angle to me. Seems like every third spin she squeals "Look, another bonus!" as I get the Wild Cards that have a bunch of 9s that don't actually connect to anything.

    9:30 AM - Discouraged, I go up to take a shower and get ready for a day's adventure.

    10:15 AM - Our lunch appointment was in Henderson, so I decided to informally make this a Chip Day, where I try to get as many new $1 chips as possible in casinos in which I've never played. I also have my fist ever Las Vegas Advisor coupon book, so we're doing a combo "Chip N Coupon" day. Stop number one was Fiesta Henderson. A quick look at the LVA book... A BOGO buffet and $25 off fine dining. I guess we're not couponing here.

    10:30 AM - With all the willpower I could summon, I avoid the slot machines and find a Pai Gow table with a whole bunch of little old people. Little old degenerates is more like it. The ring leader, Sophie, was on my immediate left. She was the table captain, making sure that everyone had their action on the Pai Gow Insurance bet and the Fortune Bonus. I play the Fortune Bonus (knowing its a high house edge) just in case I hit a bingo and can score on a royal flush. Sophie immediately chides me for not playing the Pai Gow Insurance and almost as if ordained, I get a Q-high Pai Gow. The dealer plays the hands and Sophie again tsk-tsks me as the dealer reveals the cards of the guy to my right... who had a J-high Pai Gow and was paid $35. "See?" said Sophie. "You've got to play it every hand."

    10:35 AM - Hand number two is a straight so I win the hand and a little on the bonus, then I declare that this third hand would be my last. I am dealt AA on the bottom and 88 on top, and I am quite happy with my score, when the dealer flips 4s full of aces. I lose. Total loss for three hands is $17.

    10:45 AM - And how does an addict cope? I plunked a fast $20 into a slot machine, then headed to find the wife. I had to get to the cashier and trade in my chips, but I see the craps table in the middle of roll, so I put down $22 inside. A few rolls later the shooter makes his point and I pull everything down and book a $20 profit. Why do I play slots?

    11:00 AM - We pull into the parking lot of the Rainbow Club Casino (no LVA coupon) but make a quick dash across the street to the Eldorado (no LVA coupon there, either... what the hey?). Being a chip run, my intent is to gamble (my rules... one wager of any kind counts as a gamble) and look for the table games.

    11:10 AM - Finding none, it doesn't stop me from losing $20 in a video poker machine. Frustrated at myself, I gather Melissa and we go back to the Rainbow.

    11:30 AM - Our party was a little early and we took a seat in their diner. One of the guys who we met with was a former supplier at a previous job who had heard that I would be in town at the same time as he. He and his buddy were staying at Sunset Station and said that we could pick lunch. I over thought it and threw a dozen suggestions at my wife. I am not sure how the Rainbow Club coffee shop became a destination, but here we are.

    12:00 PM - The lunch special was lasagne for $6.00. I am pretty sure I will never be back to the Rainbow Club Casino, but if I do end up there, I'll hit that coffee shop again. It was dynamite.

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    My $6.00 lasagne special.

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    Melissa's turkey and mushroom burger, which I believe was $6.99.

    1:00 PM - The Rainbow Club doesn't have any tables, either, but we decided to sign up for their player's card as it came with $5 of free play, and when you gamble $10, you can swipe at the kiosk for more free play (I got $3, my wife $10). Since I am really, really good at spending free play with nothing to show for it, my slot loss here was only $40.

    1:30 PM - Heading north on the Boulder Highway, our next stop was the Skyline Casino. They had table games - three blackjack and one or two for live poker - and they had an LVA coupon for a $10 blackjack matchplay. But the table games were closed at midday on a Monday. Not a lot of value in this coupon book yet.

    1:45 PM - I am not sure what it was about this place, but I had the feeling that I could lose myself. Maybe it was this nook...

    SLOTS_11_sml.JPG

    The newest Video Poker game in this section predates MTV. I played for quite a while on $30, but never had a hit worth photographing. I was dying to find out how a photo of a curved, out of focus CRT showing four of a kind in various shapes and colors would turn out.

    1:55 PM - I again find my wife and we head out. On a whim, I go to the cashier who gladly sells me a $1 chip for my collection. I turned around to find my wife admiring this...

    20190204_134140.jpg

    I hadn't even noticed him there, but I did walk around and see this guy who spoke to me....

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    2:15 PM - A stop at the Longhorn Casino (no LVA coupon) next, and they did have a blackjack table open. I sit down and buy in for $40 or so. There are two other guys at this $3 table, including the guy on 3rd base playing $6 a hand (quite a big shot, apparently). A couple of hands in, I get a 12 against a dealer's 2. I take a hit, its a 10 (natch) for a bust. But the 3rd baseman was all up in arms about it. "Why did you take the dealer's 10?" Which didn't matter, because the dealers's down card gave him 11 and he hit a 9 for 20.

    2:20 PM - But this guy was besides himself... some tourist hitting 12 against a 2... the nerve. Both the dealer and the other player said it was the right move, but he was having none of it. The very next hand, I am dealt A7 against a dealer 6. I immediately grabbed for chips to double "You're hitting 18? Where did you learn how to play?". I won, the 3rd baseman lost, and he stomped off... didn't even color-up. Now mind you, this was the only table open so if he wanted to play blackjack, this was his only place.

    2:30 PM - I didn't have any plans on playing too long, but this guy was standing to the side, likely waiting for me to leave. That just motivated me to stick around.

    2:40 PM - Usually my base bet is $10, and with every win I up it $5. I had a $25 bet on the spot when I was dealt AA against a 7. There is only one move to make, and I don't think I have ever won both hands after splitting aces. My luck, I get two undercards and the dealer draws to 20. That frustrated me, but I really had planned to go anyway so I left with a $20 profit. I no sooner walked away and that guy took his birthrighted space on third base.

    2:45 PM - I find my wife, and how do I celebrate my $20 blackjack win? By pissing $80 into video poker.

    3:00 PM - We go across the street to the Eastside Cannery for the last stop on our Slummin' It tour. Furious at myself for continually feeding slot machines, I look and see the only LVA coupon is for $10 in slot play after earning 250 points... like I need to spend even more money on slots. I don't care how few dollars are required per point, I would lose $400 trying to get that $10 slot play. Another unused coupon.

    3:02 PM - I make a bee line to the craps table. I buy in and even though there were other shooters at the table, they hand me the dice. I have a nice roll, making $44 (but I had Come bets with 3x odds on all five numbers... if I could have just hit a couple more...)

    3:15 PM - I love my wife, but guess what she was playing? Right. I sidle up to her and slide a $20 (and then another) into a slot, while watching her get some sort of bonus every few spins. So frustrating.

    3:30 PM - We are about to leave when I check my Henderson stats. In four hours, we played at six different casinos...
    • Pai Gow Poker -$17
    • Blackjack +$20
    • Craps +$64
    • Video poker -$150
    • Slots -$80
    Explain to me exactly WHY I don't exclusively play table games? Anyone?

    4:15 PM - I had promised my wife that we'd hit the Bellagio Conservatory, and we decided to do so before dinner. As we're driving, it starts raining pretty good. I find it interesting, but Vegas gets about 623 sunny days each year, and this is the third time in three years that my wife and I had significant rain during our visit.

    4:30 PM - I self park and tell my wife we have 59 minutes to enjoy the Year of the Pig. GO!

    20190204_162910.jpg

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    20190204_163140.jpg

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    As I am stopping to check out how this particular photo turned out, my wife took her ONLY photo of me during the entire weekend.

    20190204_163504.jpg

    That's it. One photo of me... looking at my phone. Thanks, Darling.

    5:00 PM - Back in August when I was in Vegas for our poker weekend, the Chicago Bears had just traded for Khalil Mack, and while walking through the Bellagio I saw that they hadn't yet moved the line on the Bears to win the NFC North, so I made a bet on it. I run to the sports book to cash my winning ticket, and on the way back... I know... slot machine addition.

    5:05 PM - But Cleopatra paid me $50 on my one and only spin. THAT's why I play slots... Risk $1.20 to win $50. (Side note, I am kinda glad I figured it out... it was starting to haunt me).

    5:30 PM - We get out of the parking garage in plenty of time (BTW, no LVA coupons, but then again, this is the Bellagio) and head to our dinner destination, Ellis Island. (Another side note; hitting the Longhorn, the Bellagio and Ellis Island in a two hour span is sort of jarring).

    5:45 PM - We had to get to a show at 7:00, so we didn't have a lot of time. We were going to eat (successfully using my first ever LVA coupon), then play my LVA slot play and $10 table game match play.

    20190204_172812.jpg

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    My BBQ 1/2 rack of ribs

    20190204_174047.jpg
    Her BBQ 1/2 chicken.

    The corn was a bit mushy and the garlic bread seemed out of place when corn bread would have been more appropriate, but this was another very good meal (considering my three meals were an Acai bowl, coffee shop lasagne and small casino BBQ, I had a hell of a food day).

    6:00 PM - I get my slot play put on my card, and like a bloomin' idiot I find a Lightning Link and set it at $0.10 per credit. My free play gets me $2.00 in winnings. I blow a $20 bill on top of it, too. That'll show 'em.

    6:10 PM - I didn't have a lot of faith in my blackjack match play. With reason. It lost.

    7:00 PM - Luckily Planet Hollywood was close by as we had tickets to Vegas, The Show. And it was really, really good. I had friends that saw it, but other than the tagline "A Vegas show about Vegas", I didn't know what to expect. But it was 90 minutes of singing and dancing, spanning the era from burlesque, crooners, the Rat Pack, Elvis and current day. It had showgirls, skimpy costumes, a band on stage, and a juggler that juggled two bowling balls and one peanut M&M. Dinner and the show was a Christmas gift from my wife, and it was a bulls-eye. She may sometimes struggle for ideas (I mean, the Rainbow Club in Henderson for lunch when we have all of Las Vegas at our disposal?) but she is now 2-for-2 in choosing shows, with the other winner being the All Shook Up Elvis tribute a couple of years ago.

    9:00 PM - I could see my wife fading, but if we went back to the Linq, she would go to bed and we can't have that, so we decided to shred some money at Planet Hollywood. Slots, of course. A loss, of course.

    10:30 PM - We've got a (very) early wake-up for a flight, so I took $100 to blow in the casino as my last gamble before we leave. The first fifty goes pretty quickly, then I get back to even, then it goes, then it comes, then it goes.

    11:00 PM - As my money is coming and going, I am playing some nondescript volcano bubble slot, and a nicely dressed woman sits at the slot next to mine, slides in a ticket, and mentions how the machine I am playing is her favorite. Without engaging with her too much, I asked her if she wanted it, but she instead started making small talk about me being in town for the Super Bowl with my buddies. I noticed that she never started playing her slot machine. I figured it out.

    I mention that I was with my wife, and that "she was around here somewhere. I am not sure where, but my guess is that she would be around soon for a reinforcement of spending money". This lady (very nicely) tells me to have a great time (and good luck) while taking her cash out ticket and walking away. This lady was approaching middle age, so she was clearly assigned to the older gentleman. I do kinda wish I had strung her along to try to determine what I could get at what price...

    11:25 PM - I am surprisingly holding my own, and in an hour I am still right at even. It means I am due...

    20190204_232553.JPG

    I love the Three Kings slot, and I really love it when I get the three green lions and the 67 free spins. I would have thought I'd have won a little more, but still a nice little hit.

    20190204_232555.jpg

    11:35 PM - Because I know how slot machines work, once this bonus was complete, I make exactly three more spins, then cash out. I find a Gigantic 7s right around the corner from it, so I give that a go. Doesn't take too long before this.

    20190204_233235.jpg

    Just like that, I am up $450. It's bedtime, right?

    Tuesday, February 5 at 12:30 AM - Hell no. I cash out with $200 left on my ticket for a hundred dollar win, but I really quit because I had to leave for the airport in four hours and had to pretend to get some sleep.

    Evening came and (an insanely early) morning followed, the third day.

    But shall we continue?

    3:45 AM - There is something unholy about seeing this time on the other side of the sleep cycle. I've seen Las Vegas many times at 3:45 AM. But to get up that early just to leave? I guess there is a down side to really, really cheap airline fares.

    20190205_035227.jpg

    4:15 AM - I can't not stretch out a ride to the airport and flight home, can I? I stop for gas and it is cold and rainy and raining sideways. It's like Milwaukee in early-April. And in 24 prior trips, its the nastiest weather I'd witnessed. I was sure our plane would take off, but it was going to be a bumpy, bumpy flight.

    5:10 AM - The car is returned and we're at the gate... but I need breakfast. Considering I had never had an Acai bowl prior to the day before, I found another one at whatever little breakfast nook I found in McCarran. It was just as good, though I was missing the peanut butter. While eating, they beg for people to gate check their carry-ons, so my wife decides to turn over our luggage.

    6:10 AM - It was a very bumpy takeoff. I hadn't had one like that in awhile.

    11:30 AM CST - I schlep over to baggage claim, only to find that my bag had been damaged. But it wasn't just any bag. It was a Total Rewards giveaway from the Horseshoe Hammond. Other than it being kitschy, it was pretty shitty quality (fine for a carry on, not so as checked baggage) so I wasn't surprised that it was cracked as if it was thrown against a post. My concern was that American Airlines would look at it and say "That crap? We did you a favor". But instead, the agent was most kind, and she offered a new bag that they had in stock. I was dreading what the offer was, but I didn't like the alternative (sending it to Dallas to be matched), however she came around with a really nice hard-sided bag that was easily 25% larger than my Total Rewards freebie, and infinitely more durable.

    1:00 PM CST - I only include this last one because my wife and I were so hungry that there was no way we'd make it back to Milwaukee without food, but I couldn't find anything on Des Plaines River Road (though we considered stopping in Rivers Casino when we drove past). Finally my wife said "Just pick something" so I turned left on Touhy and something immediately caught my eye...

    20190205_124803.jpg

    Any restaurant with Christmas decorations on the window in February's got to be good. And the Sunrise Grill was spectacular. Found out that the owner is a chef who has special menus and also caters. Check out the prix fixe for Valentine's Day.

    And so goes another trip to Vegas. My 2-1/2 day loss was about $750, with about $1000 of that lost in video poker and slot machines. If I could just learn to avoid them.

    Maybe when I return in April...
     
    10th Annual POKER trip!!!
    • Like Like x 3
  13. RedChip

    RedChip VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    1,037
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Thanks for the report! Vegas, The Show sounds like something I'd like. Nice win on the replacement suitcase!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Gmoney10

    Gmoney10 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Hawaii
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    I too have to thank Matt Bridger for showing his Lightning Link vlogs. Luckily I was at the Downtown Grand and hit the minor for$500.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. tomgos

    tomgos Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2018
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Brookyln, NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    Fantastic, detailed TR, thank you for sharing. I also am going to do the 0.10c trick with Lightning Link next time im in Vegas, I had no idea the jackpot shifted up so much with the higher denomination.
     
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  16. stlguy197239

    stlguy197239 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    I am in a $100/square pool where the end of game winner get $4400. Well, because of the way things worked out this year with the scores, reverse scores, etc., the winner walked away with over 6k in our pool with 3/3. The missed FG by the Rams cost a former co-worker the $4400 winning numbers. I swear if the guy sees Greg Zuerlien walking down the street he is gonna hit him with a car.
     
    2nd Solo Trip in 2019
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  17. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Patriots #1

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Miramar , Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Gostkowski missed one too.
     
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  18. stlguy197239

    stlguy197239 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2018
    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    Yeah, no one remembers that one only the ones that cost them money in the last minute of the game :)
     
    2nd Solo Trip in 2019
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  19. tfcoach72

    tfcoach72 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    Hotlanta
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    Thank you! Fun read!
     
    Halloween Downtown
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  20. Horseplayer1

    Horseplayer1 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
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    343
    Location:
    West Coast
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    Amazing trip report. One of the best I’ve ever read. Thanks!
     
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