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Tarpie's April TLC Free Play Run 4/21-4/24

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Tarpie, Apr 24, 2021.

  1. Tarpie

    Tarpie Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Preamble

    I continue to wait until the last minute to book these free play runs. This time I booked the flights five days in advance, miles to fly out and cash to return. And I decided to fly back on Saturday to lower the cost over $100.

    I learned my lesson from the March trip and called my Binion's host before rooms were sold out. She was disappointed that I wasn't willing to stay at Hotel Apache, but she ended up putting me in a suite at Four Queens. I interrogated her about where I needed to play since I was staying at 4Q on a Binion's offer. What I gathered is that the offers are based solely on your average gaming day and the hotel stay is not connected to that. In theory you could stay on an offer, give them no play, and as long as you didn't put your card in a machine your future offers would not be affected. I would take this info with a grain of salt. And of course if you need anything extra from a host in the future they will manually review your play and probably notice what you have done.

    This is a loophole I doubt I would ever exploit. I basically only stay at 4Q/Binion's in order to not trigger gaming days at other properties. I don't really like the rooms at either property, but I do love my free play. 2000 pts of $1 VP takes me around four long hours and doesn't leave time/energy to play anywhere else that day.

    The gambling plan for the trip was to collect monthly $300 FP from 4Q, play enough at 4Q on Thu and Fri to goose my offers, and collect my $600 FP at Binion's Saturday morning and hopefully earn enough points to keep $600 offers coming. TLC's April promotion is 1000 pts for an extra $100 free play, so tack that on to both places.

    Interfering with gambling: eating ($100 food included on offer, and you can now charge to your room from restaurants at both properties), working eight hour days Thu and Fri, and sleeping.
     
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  2. Tarpie

    Tarpie Low-Roller

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    Day One, Wed 4/24

    After work I headed out to IAD for my direct flight to LAS. Had a couple martinis in the United Club while frantically refreshing the upgrade list. I was #1 on the list with the cabin marked as full, but usually someone doesn't show up. Not this time, but with an empty middle it was a comfortable flight. But I had no idea there was no booze in economy, so I went from free booze with upgrade to no booze at all :cry: #firstworldproblems There were also three very energetic kids under age six in the rows surrounding me, but the flight still passed by quickly.

    The 8:40pm CX departed right as we got to the gate and I didn't feel like waiting an hour for the next one. Plus I wanted to get to Chicago Brewing before they closed at 11, so I pulled up the Lyft app. It said driver 3 minutes away, $22ish, but when I clicked reserve ride the wait time went to 20 minutes. Luckily the wait time quickly changed to five minutes. The driver must have been new because he had a perfect 5.0 rating. The rideshare area was pretty empty on a Wed evening. Drive to 4Q was uneventful. And I thought the stadium looked pretty neat at night. But I think it would look even better without the little splash of color in the Allegiant logo.

    IMG_20210421_211632.jpg

    Check-in was smooth and I was in my room within an hour of landing. This was a South Tower corner suite facing Fremont St (631). There was nothing really fancy, but it was very large and had a couple of couches. You're still going to have to touch that grody shower curtain, but at least there are real sinks and a nice counter in the bathroom. The inclined plane and chipped painted counters in the regular rooms gross me out. I could hear some of the Fremont St commotion but I didn't affect my sleep.

    IMG_20210421_213417.jpg IMG_20210421_213449.jpg IMG_20210421_213455.jpg IMG_20210421_213508.jpg IMG_20210421_213620.jpg IMG_20210421_213639.jpg IMG_20210421_213741.jpg IMG_20210421_213755.jpg IMG_20210421_213803.jpg IMG_20210421_213829.jpg

    Had an IPA in front of me before 10. And I got fooled (not for the first time either) by the horrible paytable at 25 cent BP at Chicago Brewing. You see the 8-5 and think, wow!, fullpay BP and good beer, what a combo, even if it is $16/pt. But nope, the quads are shorted to 30. This is some shady Derek Stevens type stuff. Don't try to fool me into thinking it's a good game! :mad:

    IMG_20210421_215255.jpg

    Cowboy bites charged to the room assuaged my anger. And the music was on point, including a song that's been favorite since childhood:

    I was slow playing quarters unrated to drink some beers, so the paytable didn't much matter. "Free" beers came to just $75 :(

    IMG_20210421_215751.jpg

    Chicago Brewing shut down at 11 but I was still amped from traveling. What did now slightly buzzed Tarpie spy? An open spot at a $10 craps table! I bought in in the middle of a hot roll (after a point was made) and cashed out up $173 about an hour later. Even after many IPAs I'm pretty good about remembering to take buy-in/cash-out pics to track results.

    IMG_20210421_230505.jpg IMG_20210421_235910.jpg

    Fremont St was hopping at midnight on a Wed night, and I'm not sure why IPA fueled Tarpie stopped to take a picture of the puppy slot on the way up to the room. Craps winnings made up for the VP losses, so it was a good first day.

    IMG_20210422_000536.jpg IMG_20210422_001922.jpg IMG_20210422_001930.jpg
     
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  3. AyDee

    AyDee is getting too old for this

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    $10 4Q craps sounds pretty nice right now.
     
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  4. Saydeesgoto

    Saydeesgoto Low-Roller

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    More please Tarpie :D Always enjoy your reports. Look forward to the next post.
     
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  5. ffejry

    ffejry #1 Bears Fan

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    YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANOTHER TARPIE REPORT!!!
     
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  6. DaiLun

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

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    Again, we crossed paths. So sorry BFF and I missed you. :cry: Maybe next time . . . .
     
    In search of a retirement spot. On my way to Elko, NV through Reno.
    Sterling night at Cosmopolitan, a day before the Silver Strike tourney
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  7. Tarpie

    Tarpie Low-Roller

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    Day Two, Thu 4/22, Swing and a Miss

    Spent the morning working from the room. There is a decent desk and the wifi is great but the chair leaves something to be desired. The back is curved way too much...maybe it would be comfortable for a petite woman but it was very uncomfortable to me. So far Four Queens and Hotel Apache are on my "can't work from room" list.

    IMG_20210422_091811.jpg

    For east coast time lunch I popped down to Magnolia's. Had to wait 10-15 minutes for a table with the party behind me breathing down my neck the entire time in line :rolleyes2: Country fried steak was great, the hash browns were meh. Total came to about $15 charged to the room plus cash tip.

    IMG_20210422_095311.jpg

    After work it was time to "pay" for the room/comps. Picked up a few quads and got teased with a couple four-to-a-royals in two 505 pt sessions (that's a combined $8080 coin-in). While it wasn't a bloodbath I could have paid for a room at any place in town with how much I lost.

    Dinner was at the newish Salt Grass at Golden Nugget. One guess what my pre-dinner drink was...a Bombay Sapphire martini, a little dirty. I added a house salad to my entree; it was prepared well. The main course was a 12oz ribeye and for the included side I went with broccoli. But don't worry, I added cheese to it. Don't want to eat anything healthy on vacation :) The problem with a 12oz ribeye is that it is very thin. The cooks did their best, but it varied from med-rare to med-well. But the price was right ($75 with tip for salad, steak, side, and two drinks) and the bartenders were fantastic. Think Outback level. It reminded me of the long gone Longhorn Steakhouse in AC :(

    IMG_20210422_171819.jpg IMG_20210422_172129.jpg IMG_20210422_173014.jpg

    After dinner it was off to the the players' club desk at 4Q. Because I had earned over 1000 pts on the day they added $100 free play to my card. IPA was on my mind so I headed up to Chicago Brewing. Side note: it is frustrating that there is no decent beer on the 4Q floor so I am "forced" to go upstairs to play.

    On the plane ride out I studied Double Double Bonus strategy because it is the best game on 4Q bartops. Tonight I decided to take a stab at it. First, I played the $400 ($300 mailer + $100 for 1000 pts). That went reasonably well and $400 FP became $325 cash money.

    IMG_20210422_181516.jpg IMG_20210422_182433.jpg

    Then I decided to take a swing at those juicy DDB quads. I figured I was due for volatility to be in my favor. Why I would think that?!? In 1700+ hands I got quads once (poetically, four queens) while suffering horrible losses. An exciting straight flush was one card away from changing the outcome, but the high volatility of DDB ate me alive this night. Impressively, Chicago Brewing had a bottle of port and a "glass" of it went great with a cigar.

    IMG_20210422_190453.jpg IMG_20210422_200209.jpg IMG_20210422_215308.jpg

    Losing money wasn't even the worse thing. I chatted on the phone for a bit and somehow my ear turned on my phone's flash. I was unknowingly blasting the rest of the bar with bright light for minutes and no one said anything. I felt awful and embarrassed when I finally noticed.

    On that note I escaped up to my room for the night.
     
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  8. ffejry

    ffejry #1 Bears Fan

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    I love the embarrassing moment you had. I might be able to top you in this one.

    On my last trip, with two other buddies, we were on the plane heading to Vegas. None of us were drunk or anything, maybe two or three beers before the flight. So we were well behaved.

    With that being said, there was an older gentleman sitting in front of us on the plane. It was really strange watching him, as he was sitting directly in front of me. Why was I watching him? Because just about every SINGLE thing annoyed him. Keep in mind that COVID-19 was not even a thing at the time (June 2019).

    So, if someone coughed, even 5 rows away, a tiny cough, the guy would shake his head in anger. If it was a coughing fit, he would get more aggressive with his head shaking, even covering both ears. My buddy sneezed, and the guy did the whole head shaking and covering ears thing.

    The stewardess went around asking anyone if they wanted drinks or snacks. Again, he didn't like listening to her, so he covered his ears. He was just an overly, grumpy man who may have been running on 48 hours of no sleep. He was conversing with the person next to him (his son?) about how this was a terrible flight and how everyone was too loud.

    In fact, this was actually one of the quietest, smoothest flights I've ever had, so I did not agree with his assessment. I think he just needed to chill out and take a nap.

    Overall, everyone in our section seemed to be bothered by this guy and went extra measures to be quiet. He even got upset when someone 15 rows ahead got up to retrieve something from his bag in the overhead bin. And someone about two rows ahead of him opened the window, letting some sun in. All these things bothered him. He must not be a plane person at all.

    Anyway, just to put this guy into our memories forever, I went to take a picture of the back of his head. The photo I took did not show his face or anything - just his bald and the head rest.

    When I took the photo, I was unaware that somehow, my camera's settings were somehow changed to FLASH! So my section lit up when I took the photo!!!

    Other people smiled, giggled, understanding our intentions as we wanted to take a picture just to remember this guy. But boy, that was embarrassing, but I was glad other people knew our intentions.
     
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  9. ffejry

    ffejry #1 Bears Fan

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    Found it. It was actually one of those movie pictures things. The actual video is pretty funny but unfortunately, VMB doesn't do videos.

    But you can see how bright it got...

    Screenshot_20210428-133856_Messenger.jpg Screenshot_20210428-133821_Messenger.jpg Screenshot_20210428-133856_Messenger.jpg Screenshot_20210428-133821_Messenger.jpg
     
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  10. Tarpie

    Tarpie Low-Roller

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    Day Three, Fri 4/23, Boom Goes the Dynamite

    Put in another eight hours of work, with an intermission for brunch at Magnolia's. No CFS today, switched it up and got corned beef hash and a side of sausage. Hash browns came out a completely different style than they day before, more scattered than one giant block. It was a change for the better. Bill came to $21 charged to the room, and the cashier didn't subtract the player's discount. I wasn't going to burn the entire $100 anyway so I didn't waste time getting it fixed.

    IMG_20210423_095555.jpg

    Before going back upstairs to finish the work day I decided to knock out 500 pts worth of JoB. I was about $300 down after earning 492 points when this happened:
    IMG_20210423_112014.jpg

    That's right, with just a few more hands to play in the session, this trip went from loser to winner in the blink of an eye! It took my brain a couple of seconds to process what had happened. This broke a looong royal drought. Starting on Nov 11 I had played over 176,000 hands of video poker and hit just a quarter royal. It was brutal stretch.

    The rest of the work day flew by. My luck continued during the next 500 pt session where I came out ahead almost $200. Hit a double-ended straight flush and the gambling gods teased with a lot of close ones.
    IMG_20210423_141948.jpg IMG_20210423_142559.jpg

    I gave back the $200 in the final 400 pt session before dinner. A couple of near misses and I finally got the quad aces I had so desperately wanted the night before at DDB.
    IMG_20210423_155504.jpg IMG_20210423_162200.jpg

    On my walk over to the Cal for dinner I decided to pass through Circa to see it now that the hotel is open. I came prepared with my passport to get around them storing my driver's license in a database. Turns out that they've closed the loophole and took a picture of my passport. So no Circa for me, which is too bad since they seem to be loosening up the VP and it could actually be a fun place to play. And they're doing status matches.

    I joined @Ty and @bubbakitty at the bar at Redwood Steakhouse for dinner. I started with my usual Bombay Sapphire martini which was made competently. And that's the only good thing I can say about the bartender. I have never seen anyone so bad behind the bar. I've had surly and/or slow bartenders, but never one that could not do the job. My anxiety was going off the charts as waiters and other patrons were getting frustrated with him throughout the meal. Hopefully he learns the job or learns that it's not the job for him.

    Other than that the meal was great. With coaching from the three of us, all of our orders made it to the kitchen. The Maui onion soup was fantastic, the wedge salad was enormous, and the ribeye was cooked perfectly. I even remembered to take a picture of the steak's interior.
    IMG_20210423_172535.jpg IMG_20210423_172531.jpg IMG_20210423_175250.jpg IMG_20210423_181704.jpg

    Outside of watching the craziness behind the bar, dinner and company were great. There was a bank error in our favor, the Le Grand Noirs were not on the check. @Ty and @bubbakitty's comps covered all three of us so I wasn't tempted to trigger a gaming day by using Boyd Bucks. Thanks again guys! After dinner I caught the end of the Shakira show. Also, sometimes a cigar isn't just a cigar?
    IMG_20210423_135524.jpg IMG_20210423_190811.jpg

    The final stop of the night was Chicago Brewing. Once bitten and twice shy, I played the 7/5 BP progressive instead of DDB this night. I just didn't want to deal with the giant swings of DDB even though it is the better game. At the start of the night 4 ACES progressive was up 20%, quad 2,3,4s up 27%, and the rest just a little.
    IMG_20210423_191641.jpg

    Throughout the night I went on a nice little heater, poetically hitting four queens for the first progressive (someday I will get a 4Q mug for this). Then hitting four 4s for $261.
    IMG_20210423_194435.jpg IMG_20210423_201243.jpg

    It appeared I was the only one playing the progressive but IPAs kept me from tracking the meter. The port probably didn't help either. I've got to say the glass ashtray is much nicer/convenient than the giant metal spittoon. Also, I had read on here that tobacco comps are handled differently than food so the night before I paid cash. This night I just charged the cigar to my room and my motnly offer food comp ended up taking care of it.
    IMG_20210423_212808.jpg

    No progressive on this sad straight flush. Guess I should have thrown away the 9 :)
    IMG_20210423_220058.jpg

    After many hours of play I finally found the non-royal holy grail.
    IMG_20210423_225757.jpg

    Over $500 for AAAA! Based on a rough estimate of my coin-in and assuming no one else contributed, it looks like the 4 ACES meter grows at 0.3%.

    You could tell it was a Friday night. Two yuppie looking guys came up to order and were very hyper. Discussing whether they needed one or two pizzas: "But we're all on adderall so we don't even need the pizzas!" #vegasisback And I'm not sure 4Q was adhering to 50% capacity; the line to the men's room was out the door at one point.

    I finally cashed out quite a bit up. I didn't even need the royal to finish up on the day, but I gladly pocketed the extra $4k.
     
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  11. Vegas Erica

    Vegas Erica VIP Whale

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    I feel this. Somehow I manage to regularly bump face time, I think it has something to do when I get another notification.
    It's so annoying since most of my calls are WFH with my boss. At this point my boss knows to ignore them
     
    Vegas birthday trip!
    Viva Las Vegas!
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  12. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Hey, it was good to see you again. What's the cigar?
     
    Haven't been in a while
  13. Tarpie

    Tarpie Low-Roller

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    Thursday night was a Romeo y Julieta Churchill. It took me forever to get through it and involved multiple re-lights. Friday night was a smaller Java Latte (pictured on the glass ashtray) that google now tells me is infused with coffee. I didn't really notice the coffee flavor. I am no cigar connoisseur and just pick whatever catches my eye in the display cabinet.
     
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  14. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty Doing retirement again and happily so....

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    Glad to hear you were able to maneuver betwixt the craps tables on your way to Chicago. It was touch and goI after you left us. ?how long til you noticed the ribeye “dash” was on the corner of your lip? I love it as it brings me back to a frat meal.
    Good to see you again....
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021 at 10:28 AM
    Hope Trip depending on Pricks
    B-day low key romp @MSS bar(?) downtown
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  15. Ty

    Ty ?

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    I have some coffee ones I really like, I'll bring some the next time our paths cross.
     
    Haven't been in a while
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  16. Tarpie

    Tarpie Low-Roller

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    Day Four, Sat 4/24, Departure

    The plan for the final day was to collect free play at Binion's and play enough to keep the free play coming in the future. Seems pretty easy to walk between 4Q and Binion's, right? Not before 7am when you have to deal with all night drunks and homeless, but I only had to avoid one nut looking for a fight on the short walk. :rolleyes2:

    $8080 coin-in / 1009 pts cost a bit over $500 which is on the bad side of variance for 8/5 BP. But I did get some quads and near misses on royals. And no one harassed me at the "good" machines...I was a little worried since that's such an isolated area. In two hours of play I never saw a cocktail server. :(

    IMG_20210424_072219.jpg IMG_20210424_075824.jpg

    1000 pts earned me another $100 free play on top of my monthly offer of $600, so after heading to the players' club desk to get it added onto my account I played through $700 of free play. I didn't hit quads in 140 hands of play but still turned the free play into $725 cash money. That more than compensated for the losses earning the 1000 pts.

    IMG_20210424_084650.jpg

    Happily finished with gambling on a profitable trip I went in search of breakfast. Binion's Cafe had a short line but I prefer Magnolia's but when I got there the line was too long for me, so I headed back to Binion's Cafe that now had a long line :( Then I remembered that Saltgrass served breakfast. Only drawback is that I was leaving food comp dollars unused.

    I walked right in to Saltgrass and got an empty seat at the bar. The breakfast menu is not extensive but the basics are covered: eggs, sausage, bacon, steak, omelets, pancakes, and biscuits and gravy. I had a tasty bloody mary. Fair warning to those with shellfish allergies: it unexpectedly came with a shrimp in it. Of course I had to try the country fried steak. It was similar to Binion's Cafe's in that it was an actual cube steak with some chew to it. The breading just fell off and was underseasoned, but it still edges out Binion's Cafe's. Magnolia's is still my favorite. The "cowboy country potatoes" were decent.

    IMG_20210424_091125.jpg IMG_20210424_092646.jpg

    Breakfast was not cheap, the bloody was $10 and the CFS $19. Downright usurious by downtown standards, but Peppermill has similar prices.

    The plan was to pay off my 4Q marker, wash up, pack up, deposit winnings at ATM, and head to the airport. By the time I packed it was too late to walk over to BoA before catching my super-stretched limo to the airport.

    IMG_20210424_120500.jpg

    By the time we got to Terminal 3 the CX bus was my own private limo :) Just like the flight out I missed out on a first class upgrade as #1 on the wait list. :cry: Luckily I was able to get some food at the Centurion Lounge. There's something to be said for leaving on Saturday, flights are cheaper and the lounge was at 30% capacity instead of having a waitlist to get in (which is the usual on Sundays).

    IMG_20210424_124517.jpg

    On the flight back we hit a high altitude of 130,976 ft (over 24 miles high!) and cruised across Missouri at 32 ft. Funny, it seemed we were a lot higher than that (or maybe MO is 30,000 ft below sea level?).
    IMG_20210424_142819.jpg IMG_20210424_162447.jpg
    [picsof altitudes]

    It was a great feeling depositing the winnings from the trip the next morning. That opportunity had not presented itself in awhile.
     
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  17. DaiLun

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

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    Nice TR! Glad you made a comeback!!!!
     
    In search of a retirement spot. On my way to Elko, NV through Reno.
    Sterling night at Cosmopolitan, a day before the Silver Strike tourney
  18. ffejry

    ffejry #1 Bears Fan

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    When's the next trip
     
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  19. Tarpie

    Tarpie Low-Roller

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    Flying back out May 29 to collect 4Q and Binion's FP over Memorial Day weekend.
     
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