1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Thanksgiving at Cal/MSS

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Joe, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    13,957
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    175

    My Trip Report

    Our Thanksgiving trip SWA non-stop both ways out of Milwaukee. No problems either way except those cheapos at SWA have eliminated the free drinks on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Bastards! :cry:

    Limo driver was waiting and we got to Cal by 12:30pm and were at Boar’s Head by 1:30. Room 2135 in the West Tower. I think we have been in this room 2 or 3 trips now. It faces the parking structure.

    room 1.jpg room 2.jpg room 3.jpg room 4.jpg

    Thursday, the line for the Thanksgiving buffet was just like last year. Out of the room, down the length of the BHB to the valet door and then to the escalators. It stayed that way for hours. We waited for the 3rd NFL game to end and walked right into the 777 and ate at the bar.


    I will start with the good gambling. I hit this on Friday

    Royal Fri.jpg

    and then this on Monday

    $1,000 royal.JPG


    Besides the getaway, our other goal was to make Emerald for one more year and we accomplished that by 238 points. We had a backup trip booked in 3 weeks for two nights in case we fell short. Since it’s SWA, I was able to move that trip to April. Otherwise, that would have been our 9th trip to Vegas in 2018. Too many even for us.

    The only drawback was my wife was still my Companion for 2018, so we lost that and her air costs $400 for the April trip. They did refund the $50 EB for her. No problem just moving mine.

    I started out decades ago as a craps player and now have migrated to VP. Because of the Emerald goal I did do 3 short, $5, slot sessions. Would you believe my first time playing a reel slot machine in Vegas in 40+ years, if you don’t count Powerball.

    Since the slots accumulate Tier Credits at a rate of 1 per $5, that helped get us over the 15,000 mark for Emerald. I actually came out ahead on the slot play. +300.

    Board member WWGB mailed me his card and $5 and I played one pull and his Tier Credit went up by 1 point, so he’s good for 6 more months. We’re back in Jan & Feb if anybody else wants that done, PM me.

    I’ll get back to the gory gambling details later. Here are just some miscellaneous notes.

    Friday, we had a delicious meal at Redwood as usual.

    Prime rib and mushrooms for me

    mushrooms.jpg prime.jpg


    Lamb chops for my wife

    lamb.jpg


    Saturday, we met board member @bubbakitty for another great dinner at Second Street inside the Fremont. He again also provided us with 3 large bags of pecans that he gets on his golf course back in TX. Thank you again!

    I forget which day, either Sat or Sun, one of the brand-new escalators at Cal was broken most of the day. That again complicated the elevator situation.

    Sunday, I think it was, we met VMB member @Ty and his wife. Very nice people. I was also supposed to meet @jimboguy at BHB, but we just missed each other.

    Sunday, we walked over to Chicago Brewing at 4Q and watched football in the morning since the Packers didn’t play until 5:30PST. We grazed there on a weekend football special platter. Wings, 2 sliders, 4 potato skins, cheese curds & 4 chicken strips all for $16. There are other choices, but that is what we chose. A bargain and very good. We could not finish it.

    MSS now has guard behind a podium at the elevators checking room keys. I didn’t walk all the way down there to see if he was actually swiping them, or people just flashed them.

    At Cal, there seemed to be a guard on the casino floor of the West elevators, but never saw one on the mezzanine level the entire 5 days.

    With Vegas Club gone, we heard some bass thumping late night, but not awful. Not nearly as annoying as a car alarm going off at 3 AM in the parking structure.:nono:

    Holiday weekend, so the only construction noise from 18 Fremont was on Monday. Nothing dramatic and I didn't take any pictures because it doesn't look much different then the last ones posted.

    Now for the gambling details. We were gambling from Thursday at 1:30 PM through Monday night. Except for food, mostly non-stop. I was either playing $1 DDB or 10 hand STP DDB (8/5) or 10 hand DDB (9/5). The 10 hands were quarters, so $12.50 per hand.

    My wife played quarter DDB and for the trip lost $700.

    Thursday, I had 6 scratch cards and not one premium hand.

    Friday, along with the Royal, 20 scratchers, but no premium ones.

    Saturday, 5 all day.

    Sunday, 15 cards

    Monday, the $1,000 Royal and 4 cards.

    I’m torn on how to report the results. Two Royals totaling $5,000, in house money and I came home with $1,000 less then I started with, plus, 30 scratch cards. Did I lose $6,500+ or $1,000+? What say you? If I was still working and my co-workers asked, I’d say I lost about $1,000. :D My wife says don't count the house money you gave back. I like her way of thinking. :thumbsup:

    I honestly don’t know where it all went. Granted an extra day then normal and all those $12.50 vp hands, that’s also not normal.

    I did look at some of the "free" cruises as an Emerald member. Inner cabins and taxes and fees totalled over $100pp. Not bad for 7 days but I didn't get into more details. Food, drinks etc. I did ask how much for a 7 day out of Ft Lauderdale with a patio cabin. That totalled up to $640 pp for the upgrade. Of course we would have to pay our own airfare and probably a hotel on both ends.

    We have never been on a cruise and frankly not that interested, but If we did it, it would have to be in 2019 because we will never see Emerald again after that unless they change the Bconned rules again. I don't see that happening. If we do it next year, I will come back and tap into the cruise experts for opinions.

    Hope I didn't bore you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
    • Like Like x 10
    • Love Love x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. duffer1991

    duffer1991 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Great trip report! I sometimes wonder where all the money goes too. At least it was offset by two royals!! I am still looking for my first.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    13,957
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    175
    Royals # 27 & 28 for me, but still chasing my wife at 38.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Wow! Wow! x 1
  4. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Patriots #1

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,067
    Location:
    Miramar , Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Nice report and informative details.
     
  5. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    2,491
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    how far away are you point wise from CP?
     
  6. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    13,957
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    175
    @The Rumor What is CP?
     
  7. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    2,491
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Companion Pass
     
  8. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    13,957
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    175
    It's going to reset Jan 1, so a long way away. I have two SW cards and got one of their mileage bonuses within the last two years. I'm going to have to work on getting my wife two cards in 2019 and try and be her companion. But not sure if I can do that since we share one of my cards right now?
     
  9. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    2,491
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    https://thepointsguy.com/2018/02/as-an-authorized-user-can-i-open-my-own-account-for-the-same-card/ Go read the Ts and Cs specific to the SW cards, but you may be able to make it work without canceling her current cards. If you want to be safe, cancel her as your authorized user and wait 30 days to apply for a card (the logic being that they could simply reopen her AU card otherwise.)

    A few things to note:

    - Now is the time to have her start working on the cards for the cards so the bonus hits as early in 2019 as possible - this is important because her companion pass would then last through 2020 under the current rules where you get the pass for both the current calendar year in which it becomes effective PLUS the following year. Just make sure you don't hit the spending requirement on any new card before year-end 2018!!!
    - https://thepointsguy.com/news/new-restrictions-southwest-credit-cards/ You can't get two Chase personal bonuses anymore on SW - the 24 month rule applies collectively. The workaround now is that you'll have to get a business card as her and also a personal card, as those are considered different bonus categories. You can apply for a business card as her using her SSN as the tax ID and her name as the business name (first name last name.) You'd be surprised at how easy they are to get even if you don't have a business. Please do some reading, though, about how to apply for them and what to do if you don't get an auto approval. I'll answer questions via PM if you have some.
    - If she's an AU on two personal cards of yours, have her start with a business card, especially since it has the best public offer right now. For safety, you could then cancel her authorized user cards on your personal accounts. This would presumably give you 30+ days where she had no personal card, alleviating concerns about her not being able to get a personal card because she already has one as an authorized user.

    The best plan is to:
    1. https://creditcards.chase.com/small-business-credit-cards/southwest-premier-business get that, it's clearly the best SW card right now from a signup bonus standpoint
    2. Do the in airport signup bonus for a SW card (if possible); if not, pick whatever public bonus you want with at least a 40k bonus (https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/southwest/Dual60kNonAEP?CELL=6RHZ). The extra 20k points for spending another 12k is alright, but it's overkill for CP, and you may not need quite that many points unless you fly all the time

    Note: The easiest personal offer to hit is a 50k offer that is offered in airports. It has a lower spend requirement than the 60k personal offer

    This would get you CP in her name for 2019 AND 2020. Then you'd play this game as you to trigger a new companion pass in your name in early 2021.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. zoobrew

    zoobrew High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    512
    Not sure if I like those 2 chairs in front of the beds, I would most likely crash into them during my early morning bathroom visit.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. JeJas

    JeJas VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,632
    Location:
    NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    Great report @Joe !
    And nice royals.
     
  12. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    15,488
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Nice report! And congrats on Emerald for one more year! Glad the slots treated you well too.

    As for reporting it's definitely -$1000 imo. Its a bummer that a dollar royal and a quarter royal wasn't enough to keep you ahead, but if you're missing a bunch of premium quads it adds up. You played enough where you probably should have got at least one AWAK, which is worth a half a royal alone.

    On my last trip I left up about $450 with a $1000 royal, but for the rest of the trip, there was little to be found. No premium quads at all, just one other straight flush. If I played at your volume, I probably would have burned through all the royal winnings too with the hands I was typically getting.

    But it was still a winning trip for me and am very happy that royal came!
     
    • Love Love x 1
  13. Miller12pack

    Miller12pack High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2013
    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Nice trip report. 8 trips in one year would be way to much for me. 2 trips a year for over 40 years, but I am thinking about bumping it up to 3. I would love to run into you and your wife some time.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,031
    Location:
    Austin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    67
    You lost $1000 for the trip.
    The big wins are really no different from the hundreds of little wins that you constantly get. You win $10, but then lose it. Is that an extra $10 you lost for the trip? No, of course not.
    My wife will ask me how much I won on my trip when I get back. I always tell her something like, "$10,000! But I lost $11,000." And that is probably close to the truth. Playing blackjack at $25/hand I probably win $700 an hour, but lose $750 an hour.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. kkinwi

    kkinwi High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    Northern WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    80
    Thanks for the report....where did you watch the sad Packer game? I am interested to see what the noise factor is in January at MSS...I sadly got into the whole escalator mess at the Cal in October and was turned off.
    I am jealous of your direct flight choices.....nice!
     
  16. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,031
    Location:
    Austin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    67
    I'll answer that. The noise level is HIGH in the 777 bar during the games. I'll say it again...HIGH!

    But it's business as usual at The Boar's Head Bar.
     
  17. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    5,302
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Thanks for your trip report and no, it wasn't boring.

    Those pics of the prime rib and mushrooms at the Redwood looked awesome!

    And congratulations on your Royals and maintaining Emerald for next year.
     
    Days left before being Bconned!!
  18. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,857
    Location:
    Central TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Not boring at all! That room at the Cal looks pretty nice, and congrats on 2 Royals.

    I always calculate my win or loss against original bankroll, so you’re only down $1000 in my book.

    Our trip this weekend is mainly to ensure we maintain status for 2019, so I can relate.
     
  19. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    13,957
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    175
    @kkinwi We debated between the new Cal sportsbook and MSS at Boar's Head. Cal would be nicer but we are more comfortable at MSS, so that is where we ended up.
    The quietest rooms at MSS are those with low, odd room numbers. 1501, 1401 etc. Bonus-those also have been remodeled with walk-in showers. If you end up with even numbered rooms, then you face the freeway and trains. We always got a suite at MSS and those are only even numbered. Unless you are a very light sleeper, noise isn't that big a deal. The freeway is a constant drone all night and you'll get a couple of train whistles. The only reason we switched to Cal is the completely remodeled rooms & walk-in showers. We still do most of our gambling at MSS.
     
  20. bluesdude

    bluesdude High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    Messages:
    957
    Location:
    Midwest
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    31
    We were at Cal/MSS just a couple days before you Joe. I sat at your machine and had some mild luck but nothing like what you had. Congrats on the RF's!!! I am curious, what slot machine(s) did you decide to play?
    One more thing. My wife likes to play on the bank of nickel progressives right by the escalators at MSS. When we were there, I think it was Sunday night, the jackpot for the RF had crested at over $800! Did you happen to notice what it was when you were there?