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Thank God for Texas - March 17 - March 21st

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by KingArgyle, Mar 23, 2003.

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  1. KingArgyle

    KingArgyle Tourist

    Aug 29, 2002

    My Trip Report

    Thank God for Texas:

    Well, I think I'm finally recovered from the trip. I didn't have the bank roll that I would have liked to take with me this trip, but with everything that has been going on the last year, the fact that I made it at all is amazing. This trip started out as big guys only trip. Originally had 15 - 20 guys that were up for a trip to Vegas. We settled on the first week of the NCAA tournament, however as the months went by, things came up. The 15 - 20 guys ended up just being two. Myself and a friend I used to work with. He never had been to Vegas before, but was but had visited many casino's outside of Vegas. So I figured I had a vegas virigin along on the trip, so the luck should be on my side. It was and wasn't, up and down the whole trip.

    We ended up staying at the Sahara Hotel. Rates were roughly $39 a night ($42 with sales tax). Best price I could find on the strip. Air fare out of Columbus, Oh was $176 round trip through Orbitz. Thrifty Car rental for the week with taxes was $89 (Blue Chip card member no waiting at all). The Sahara typically gets a bad rap on reports. If you are expecting a Luxor, Bellagio, Mirage, or Mandalay Bay, then you would be disappointed. If you are just looking for a place to rest your head, and some decent low limit games then the Sahara isn't bad. The Buffet is also edible but there are better values for your money on the strip.

    I played mostly table games, and my friend played mostly Slots and some roulette. He wasn't having much luck on either, but did rack on points at Sahara and Stratosphere . I typically am a roll roller. The bank roll for this trip gambling wise is only $200. Yes, that is correct. Gambling for the entire week, not just a day. Did it last, yes. I spent probably 6 to 8 hours a day playing Blackjack at Sahara, Slots A Fun, Westward Ho, Mirage, Bellagio, Bally's, Monte Carlo, and the Orleans. The Orleans is amazing, and I'll probably stay there the next trip I make to vegas.

    Most places on the strip now seem to be only offering BJ were the deal hits soft seventeen. Finding a multi deck game that had the dealer staying soft seventeen was a lot of work. The Monte Carlo has a multi-deck game where the deal stands on seventeen. These tables are near the back of the Casino. I also believe that Mirage and Bellagio had the same rules (standing on all seventeens). I held my own betting $1 - $6 dollars at Sahara,Slots a Fun, and Westward Ho, and a $5 - $10 spread at the other places. First two days I was there, I was up $55 dollars and feeling quite good.

    Then the Gambling Gods struck!

    I was getting a little cocky. I was holding my own and a little ahead, then my friend wanted to go downtown to see Freemont street. I hadn't been down there yet, so we went. Let me just say, that single deck games aren't my friend when there are at least three people at the table. Both Lady Luck and the Four Queens killed me. Sat down at those tables, and less than a half hour later down $80. Ouch! Didn't stay downtown very long. With my tail between my legs, I limp back to Sahara, bound and determined to get some of it back.

    Earlier in the day, I had made a trip to Treasure Island to place a few bets on Thursday's games. Dropped $10 each on 4 games. This was before going downtown. So for the day I was out $120 so far. When I returned to Sahara, I managed to win about $10 back, but that took me until 3am to do so. Tired and frustrated, I crawled my way back to bed, bound and determined that the gods would be nice to me the next day on the basketball games.

    Thank you....may I have another:

    The pain and suffering continued the next day as well. I had placed bets on 4 games. All of them Moneyline bets, and all on the underdog to win. So I knew going in that these were chancy bets, but also the ones that could pay off the most if they hit. I placed bets on the following teams to win: Holy Cross, BYU, Weber St and UWM. Holy Cross was my true long shot the Moneyline for them was +550. Holy Cross kept me on my seat the entire game. They hung in there, but fell up short. Next were the start of my 12 seed bets. One of these guys typically make it through to the next round, but you never know which one. None of these won. I was on the edge of my seat for the UWM and Notre Dame game. Lost by one. In hindsight, I will probably play teasers in the future for these games, but still bet on the underdog, just make sure that the bet has them losing by less then the spread. If I had done this for 3 of the games, I would have been ahead, as it was I was down the $40, so wasn't feeling that great. To top it, the BJ tables still were not being kind, so at this point $200, was now down to $105 for the trip. Conventional wisdom told me to avoid the tables my last day of the trip, and that is exactly what I did.

    A tea party in Texas:
    Friday we checked out of the Sahara, and headed to the Orleans. We had visited there earlier in the week, and really enjoyed the layout of the casino. I had heard stories that the place was nice, but not that it was this good. The Casino has nice high ceilings, little in the way of smoke, beautiful cocktail waitresses, the sports book is nice, and the food prices are excellent as well. The added benefit of having a movie theater and bowling alley will work out well when I take the wife in December. Only thing I wish the Orleans had was a better pool area. But with the new arena opening up and having minor league hockey playing there, it'll make up for that. Almost won't have to travel out of the hotel.

    Friday, I devoted the vast majority of my time to playing penny slots. Yeah, I'm a huge spender, I know, but I can't see playing a multi-line machine on a limited bank roll for anything more. I spent about 2 hours, playing different ones. The Munsters, Alien Attack (I believe), Fortune Cookie, something with Rich in it, and Texas Tea. I actually ended up playing three different Texas Tea machines. The first one I played seemed to be fairly loose. I played 5 lines at a penny a line, and kept hitting 3 or 4 oil wells and the billionaire would show up periodicly giving me a bouns dividend. Soon turned my two dollar buy into 6. The machine started to go dry, but I made a note of it's location and number. Wandered onto a few other machines, but they took the $6 I had just won, and dropped it back to $1.98. Decided I'd give the fairly loose machine a try, again. This time added another $3 and played 9 lines at a penny a line. Again the oil wells, and billionaire were showing up fairly regularly....then it started to dry up. I had been playing the machine about 20 minutes, when all of a sudden, the machine starts beeping like crazy. I look at the screen, and it says I have just won 10,000 credits. I looked on the screen, and on the bottom diagonal, I had hit 5 Texas Tea symbols!!! Cha-Ching!! $100 paid out in pennys!! Back to break even for the trip! The gambling gods have been kind. As soon as the machine paid out the credits, I cashed out. I happily cashed out break even. Maybe I'll play more Texas Tea in the future (of the slots I played, Texas Tea was by far the most fun, and I only played it because of the good things I have heard from the other slot players on this board.)

    So Hurricane Mikey's wish for me to have to fill out some IRS paper work almost came true. I'm just happy to break even.

    I arrived to vegas with $200, and left with that. That money will now go to the credit card to pay for the room and car rental. Thus, I had my first trip to Vegas that I would consider a total break even trip. Thanks to all the tips here on this board, I managed to save a lot of money, and also find some very good places to eat. I would recommend Ellis Island to anybody, especially the Steak Special. It's not the type of steak that melts in your mouth, but for the price, it is a very good value.

    A few notes:

    1. Yes, you can successfully gamble on less than $200 dollars for an entire week in Vegas. I have done it twice.

    2. I personally think the Sahara is a decent value and doesn't deserve the bad rap that I have read about it.

    3. Hitting Soft Seventeen on BJ will become the norm on the multi-deck games.

    4. 6/5 black jack is spreading to almost every place that has a single deck game.

    5. For those that are visiting the Orleans, look for machine 4192. It was very kind to me. I know I'll look for it again when I return.

    6. Get the Orleans coupon book, by far the best value that I received of any coupon book.

    7. Sports, bet the long shots, but play them with teasers to give your self some wiggle room.

    8. Bellagio's sportsbook rocks, but the Stardust has the better atmosphere during March Madness. The sportsbook was huge at the Stardust. No fancy seats, but plenty of room and it was jammed packed!

    Thanks again to everybody that answered questions that I had, and special thanks to Hurricane Mikey for his lucky wish, it helped me break even.

    [ March 24, 2003, 05:54 AM: Message edited by: KingArgyle ]
  2. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Jan 25, 2002
    Southeast of Sin City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Hey Argyle...

    Great trip report!

    How did your Vegas virgin friend end up??

  3. Absolutdrinker

    Absolutdrinker Low-Roller

    Jan 21, 2003
    Nice report, i gambled with around 150 on my trip, and that was good to last for a while. One tends to lost lose more than 20 bucks while playing dollar blackjack. cuz by the time u've dropepd twenty, ur either 1. bored of the gmae and their boring dealers 2. tired cuz u've sat at the table for an hour plus.
  4. KingArgyle

    KingArgyle Tourist

    Aug 29, 2002
    He ended up down for the trip, but did get $40 in quarters from the Stratosphere trying to win the car they had. Also, everytime we went to a new casino, he would always find a couple of credits on a machine that somebody hadn't cashed out. He was overwhelmed the first few days, but by the end of the trip he had settled into a grove.

    Said he'll be back, and be better prepared. He played a little more agressive than he usually does.

    Also, I tried Craps for the first time this trip. Forgot to mention that while I was at Slots A Fun, a guy rolled the dice for a good 20 minutes there. People were hitting numbers left and right. The guy next to me made several hundred off the guys roll.
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