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Trip Report, April 7-11, Harrah's

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by letsgo2vegas, Apr 13, 2010.

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  1. letsgo2vegas

    letsgo2vegas Tourist

    Mar 16, 2010
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    This is my first trip report, and I meant to keep notes along the way, but you know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Nonetheless, my memory is rather good, so I have the main things down, plus a couple details.

    I am female, 40, married with a husband who does not do Vegas very well, but this is fine with me, since he stays home with the kids while I go play. I go to Vegas 2-3 times a year, alone or with friends and this time my partner in crime was my friend L, a very stylish and youthful looking lady in her early 60s, recently widowed. I used to work with L for 4 years and our offices were kitty corner. We bonded as she was my HR consultant holding my hand when I had to deal with and fire the employee from hell (but that’s another story). L plays video poker, I play everything. We decided no shows this trip, just going around drinking and gambling.

    Budget for the trip was about $1,800 for gambling and about $500 for food, drinks, cabs, tips, etc.

    DAY 1:
    We left Oakland on Wednesday, April 7 around 5 p.m. I was already tired, cause I had to wake up at 6, and was at the computer at 6:30 (working from home that day), 3 hrs of teleconferences, trying to finish some projects, run out to get a pedi (Vegas style, lots of bling bling on the tootsies) and finally exhausted at the airport. Flight was uneventful, SWA of course, grab luggage and hooray, not a line for the cabs! Take a cab to Harrah’s. L (platinum at HET) has 4 nights comped and we share the room, since I have booked my own reduced rate (I am just a lowly gold HET) at Bally’s for Fri-Sat, for my friend A, who is joining us Friday night.

    Check-in was quick and painless, we get a Mardi Gras tower room, on the 4th floor, with a balcony (main reason we stayed at Harrah’s, although as I found out later Bally’s also has balconies). Room is ok, has a pool view, is clean but smallish, comfortable beds and easy to get in and out of casino. We drop off the bags but notice the safe is left locked from the previous guest and we need another luggage rack. Call downstairs “we’ll send a technician up but you need to stay in the roomâ€, wtf? Why do I need to stay in the room…it was left like that from the PREVIOUS persons, and we don’t need to be in the room for the rack…anyway, arguing will do no good for these people, after all they are just “doing their jobsâ€.

    We say screw it and we go downstairs to eat, since now it’s 8p.m. and we are both very hungry. We hit the Flavors buffet …good food, decent selection, palatable desserts, good service. Overall I would rate it a 7. The crab legs were small, but were steamed, and they also had cold crab claws which were a huge pain in the butt to crack, despite the nut crackers they had available.

    After dinner, off we are to play. The casino was moderately busy and I had my choice of machines.

    I know, I know about the penny machines, etc., etc. I know all about odds, I have an advanced degree in statistics after all, and I can count cards in BJ and play smart craps and good poker too!, but I kind of like the mindless cling cling and the video bonuses too. In any case I do not rely on Vegas to make me rich and I do not wager a large enough amount that would make me feel bad and reckless.

    I played lots of pennies and tried the new Goldfish2 machines. They are ok, rather entertaining, hitting the various fishy bonuses often, but not the main bonus round. I also played some of the hot hot super respin ones…bad machines, ate my money!!! I also hit the jackpot party progressives…I always play them, since I won the big jackpot on them 2 yrs ago….not this time!
    The rest of the time, I just walked around playing my pennies and a bit of quarters and having a couple drinks, and at around 11 or so I went up to the room. L stayed and played some more. I do not remember how much I won/lost that first night but it was not anything significant either way, so we’ll just call it even. I called for the locked safe and an engineer came up after about 10 min. Went to bed and was half asleep when I heard L come in the room. We chatted for 30 sec. and I went back to sleep. I woke up around 3 a.m. because she was snoring, but thankfully I had some cotton balls which I staffed in my ears and it drowned enough of the snoring to let me fall back to sleep and stay asleep.

    We woke up around 9:30 a.m. I get ready first and go downstairs to have my coffee and play a bit while L is getting ready. I think I won something around $40 playing a few penny machines. Since L is in a bit of a fragile state due to her hubby passing away 6 mos ago, I offer suggestions for her and let her choose what she wants. We decide to walk to Paris to have breakfast, or rather brunch.

    On the way to Paris we stop at Imperial Palace where I lose about $60 and then Flamingo and Bill’s where I see the e-craps for the first time. The table was not open so I made a mental note to try it later. Then off to Paris. By that time it is about 11:30 and L goes to get a marker, since evidently her night was not good last night. I play a bit and then I join her and we go to the buffet. Since she is Platinum we do not have to wait in line.

    I LOVE the buffet at Paris. The food is delicious and the desserts are to die for. Only issues…the crab legs are not split and the shrimp is peel and eat, oh, well, I guess I need to go for the smoked salmon instead.
    Also, it is not recommended if you are in the mood for sushi as their sushi selection is very limited (I think they only had about 3-4 kinds of rolls). But they have great duck and the desserts, oh my god the desserts. I am not a big sweets person, but I LOVE their frozen custard ice cream, their crème brulee and their crème caramel. The carrot cake was also very nice.

    After brunch we decided to go to Boulder Highway. We have never been there before. According to CheapoVegas, Eastside Cannery has the best low limits, so Eastside Cannery it is. We grab a cab and go. The casino is really nice…we are both pleasantly surprised. Very airy, clean, modern, quiet, lots of game selections. We signed up for their card and got $5 free slot play. I went to play some hot hot super respin (the ones with the super nudge feature, where when the first reel fills up with the same symbols it respins 2 times and supposedly gives you lots of money). The first machine was really good…gave me about $50 and the second about $30 more. Sweet, I don’t have to use any of my money to play here. I reach the 99 point limit and I go to swipe my card for my “rewardâ€, $10 in free play, not bad. I play some more machines, but I just break even. In the mean time I accumulate another 99 pts so another swipe, another $10 in free play. I end going up to the same machines I tried at first, after my winnings dwindle and yes, I hit a couple nice runs. I am ready to go…$200 richer, and L is done too, so off we go to Sam’s town.

    The walk to Sam’s Town is not bad at all, 10 min max. We were disappointed at Sam’s Town…A bit claustrophobic, low ceilings, smoky and we were not impressed by the machines. Anyway, we got the Boyd card and in a couple hours we were ready to call it a day. We caught the shuttle to Harrah’s, very convenient and very comfortable.

    By that time it’s 8 p.m. and we are getting good and hungry….well, let’s go to the Mirage and have the buffet. No line, we get in and enjoy the food. The buffet is very nice, quality wise and selection wise. A bit funky in terms of the layout, but oh, well. I also like the curvy plates and bowls and silverware there…I would consider having them in my house too. The BIG disappointment is the desserts! Really nothing about 6-8 selections, uninspiring things like cookies and bread pudding and pies and fruit. After dinner it’s time for drinks and gambling. I get a couple of yummy pina coladas, but the machines are not very nice to me or L. Mirage is a favorite place to play poker, but since I am with L I did not play any this trip, since I did not to leave her alone for 5-6 hrs.
    We decide to walk back to Harrah’s, where we proceed to drink and play a bit more (gotta keep the HET points up to get free rooms). Things go pretty well and I am a bit down for the day, but only about $40 or so, which in my book is GREAT. Again I go upstairs around midnight and stuff the cotton in my ears and drift into dreamland.

    DAY 3:
    We had said to be out the door by 9 a.m. and when I told my husband he was “yeah right, send me a picture with you at the door at 9). I call him at 8:30 to let him know we are up but don’t think we will be out the door @ 9. He says “why don’t you listen to me? I know you so wellâ€. Anyway, again I get ready and then go downstairs for coffee and playing while L is getting ready. Again the machines are kind to me and I quickly accumulate about $100. By 9:45 we are out front and we get a cab to Main Street Station.

    We decide to hit the buffet for breakfast. It is decent, nothing extraordinary and NO DESSERTS for breakfast…I wonder why?????? After that we go to the casino…no good, so off we are to the Plaza…no good either, then to California, same thing. Long story short we go to all the downtown casinos, steadily losing, even at El Cortez. By that time it’s 6 p.m. and we have throbbing feet and throbbing brains. Overall about $400 down for the trip, oh, no, me not like it at all.

    We take a cab back to Paris, where we do the buffet for dinner, together with a couple Tylenols. Then we walk to Bally’s to meet with A who is arriving from Portland, OR. We play and drink a bit there, and then meet A. I had booked 2 nights on my name for her, so she could get a discount, so we go to check-in. The clerk asks “1 or 2 beds?†and I say, oh, just one, we are good friends and then turn to A and say “you better not touch me though†and we all laugh.
    I then ask the guy if there are any complimentary upgrades (the rates were $37 for Fri and $57 for Sat) and he says, I have already given you one. So, of course I need to go up to check the upgraded room. It is GREAT! Big, with huge closet, separate vanity, 2 sinks in the big bathroom and A BALCONY!!!!!! What the hell????? I have stayed at Bally’s before, actually 3-4 times and they were always “we do not have any balconiesâ€, and this is the main reason we decided on Harrah’s. Otherwise we would have much preferred Bally’s since the rooms are just huge. Next time I will insist on a balcony.

    Now, it’s time to hit the town. We stop at Bill’s where I try the e-craps. There are 3 more players there and it is a subdued atmosphere at the table. There is a friendly dealer that shows me how to place bets and off we go. I just did not get the vibe and I think it is actually harder to play e-craps. It takes far more time to do things on the screen than say “6 and 8 and 3X odds on my pass line†and throw some chips on the table. Anyway, after about 10 min I get up…the waitress has not even brought my margarita, and I slide into a $10 BJ table. The craps dealer has given me green chips back, so I play $25 a hand. I win 10 hands in a row and I am thinking “why the hell do I keep playing the stupid machines when I can play the game so well?†A couple more hands and I am up about $300 total. There are about 4 guys at the table and they seem impressed with both my winnings and the fact that I don’t have to think about what my moves need to be. I never advertise what I do for a living or my academic credentials in Vegas and I have found that guys in particular think I am just another dumb lady who doesn’t know what she is doing. I cash out and we go to O’Shea’s.

    O’Shea’s is PACKED. We manage to find a relatively empty $10 BJ table and I proceed to lose about $200 in about 15 min…Ha, now I know why that table was almost empty. It was one of those times where you get a 15, struggle to make a 19 and the dealer’s upcard is a 7 and he turns out a 3 and a ten. Or you have 20 and he has 21, or you get 5 12s in a row and you manage to hit them all with a 10. Oh well. We end up at Harrah’s where we play a bit machines…quarter and dollars wheel of fortune, about break even and I continue to be about $400 down for the trip.

    to be continued...
  2. ronc

    ronc VIP Whale

    Dec 17, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Enjoying the report...

    thanks for taking the time to write it!!
  3. klaching

    klaching Low-Roller

    Sep 23, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    cool report thus far -- waiting for the rest
  4. Marky147

    Marky147 VIP Whale

    Nov 27, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report looking forward to the rest, thanks for sharing
    Transatlantic Nomad! First leg of HGS
    Final leg of HGS... Back to the B!
  5. letsgo2vegas

    letsgo2vegas Tourist

    Mar 16, 2010
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    TR, days 4&5

    DAY 4:
    We went to bed around 1 a.m. and said “we’ll meet around 10 a.m.â€. At 10, my cell phone rings, it’s A “Hey guys, where are you? I am waiting for you down in the lobbyâ€. Hmmmmmmm, we are still asleep, but we’ll catch up with you by noon darling. Lovely person that she is says, “no sweat†and we get up.
    It‘s the usual drill…get up, get ready, go downstairs for coffee and playing till L gets ready. The machines are good in the morning. We walk to Bally’s and meet up with A and decide to do the Bellagio brunch buffet. We walk to the Bellagio but the line for the buffet is huge and we are rather hungry, i.e., cranky so we decide to go to the Paris Café. The ladies get lunchy stuff, I get the eggs breakfast with French toast. Eggs are good, but French toast is dry.

    We then decide to split. A and L are going shopping. A wants to shop till 5 or so, L says she’ll meet me later, but before 5. We decide to meet up at Aria, so that A and I will check out the new casino in town. I leave alone and walk to PHO where I play and win some stuff. At some point I put $20 into a 5cent machine, hit the bonus round on the 2nd spin and out comes 1000 nickels. Not bad!!!! I also enter the rapid rewards promotion and then check to see whether I have any messages on my cell. Oh, NOOOOOOO, no cell. Darn, I forgot it on the table at the café @ Paris. Well, I hope the girls did not get it, because if they did, how am I supposed to get in touch with them…I think I can remember L’s number.

    So, back to Paris where they tell me that they have the cell and it was given to the manager. Ok, wait for the manager. 30 min later, no manager and 10 people have asked me and supposedly gone off to find where the manager/cell is. At the end, the bus boy takes it upon himself to find out definitively where the damn phone is and walks me to the lost and found. The phone is right there and I take it and hop into a cab to go to the Excalibur. The cab driver is funny and at the end of the ride says that he is also an entertainer and does famous people singing impersonations, so he belts out the “She’s a lady†tune by Tom Jones for me. He was fine!

    At the Excalibur I lose about $200, so I decide it’s time to change venues and walk to NYNY. Bad vibe there too, so off to the Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo is a weird casino…very quiet, especially for Saturday at 3 p.m. and it has just a weird feeling, and a weird smell, kind of isolated. Anyway, I played some 5cent machine with a weird diamond run bonus, which again gave me about 1,200 nickels at the bonus round. Played some more machines which ate the winnings, but found another one of the same 5 cent diamond rounds and won another 1,000 nickels, so about even for Monte Carlo. I had called L earlier, but she had been losing so she said she’ll take a nap and meet us for dinner.

    Then it’s Aria and I walk all the way through the mall. It is very quiet, almost eerie, I can only hear the echo of my footsteps. I step into Aria and it is slick and modern and kind of dark and also VERY LOUD. I don’t know why but it has this ambient LOUD noise, the music is loud, the sound bounces off, I am not sure what it is but it is bugging me. I play there a bit some of the newer machines I had never seen before, all the while, no cocktail waitresses in sight…wtf?????? I get better service at the El Cortez! I call A and she is just back from shopping, is in the room at Bally’s with throbbing feet and does not care to see Aria. Well, fine…I stay abit more at Aria and then decide to go to the Bellagio, see the fountains and then to Bally’s. Ok, I try to find the exit…where is the frikking exit????? I walk and walk and walk and go down stairs and up stairs and oh, no this takes you nowhere and need to take the stairs up again. Who the hell designed this place???????????????? NO ESCALATORS outside, just flights of stairs. ARE YOU SERIOUS?????? I kid you not, it took me about 40 min of up and down stairs and walking to get out of that labyrinth, so after that I was in no mood for Bellagio fountains. I crossed the street to Paris and walked to Bally’s. I order a divine Pina colada and proceed to play for a bit while waiting for A. A comes down, joins me and plays a bit and then we meet L.

    Dinner will be at the Bellagio buffet. Long line, but we take turns waiting in line and playing, so it seems fine. We also people watch…what are some folks thinking? Why do you think pale pink lipstick and leathery skin and sparkly blue eyeshadow look nice on a 60 yr old???????? Anyway, the buffet is delicious as always and after that we waddle to some wheel of fortune machines…about break even, while L cannot hit a spin to save her life. She decides to go find some video poker and I see some spanking new machines called “greenback attackâ€. Oh, but to hit the bonus you need to wager 150 pennies on this, supposedly penny, machine. Ok, $100 later, I hit the damn bonus which is anticlimactic, since it just gave me about $20. Oh well. We leave Bellagio and walk over to Caesars. We get a drink in the outside bar…they put in lots of alcohol…good!

    Caesars is HOPPING!!!! Chock full of people and we are there just as the show was getting off. Anyway, we cannot all find a seat together so we stay around and I win a bit. We decide to walk back…it’s close to midnight and A has a 7:30 a.m. flight, but she walks with us and buys some trinkets at the store in Harrah’s. We hug and kiss, bye, bye A.

    L and I stay and play. I decide to play $1 machines, since I am down for the trip about $300, but nowhere close to my original budget. I do very well, and within the hour I hit a few bonus rounds which pay off pretty well. I spot L and she has won about $1,000 on a couple 4 of a kind, so I take her tickets and cash them out and keep the money, so she doesn’t give it back. Overall I am about even for the trip. I go upstairs to pack and what not, and L comes up after about an hour and shows me her new diamond card! We chat for a bit and I fall asleep dreaming of little martians dropping ufo offers and instant spins.

    DAY 5:
    Wake up around 10 a.m. and get ready, then go downstairs. I play a bit more and I am up about $40, when I decide to hit the Sex and the City machine. I play 2 games at $1 a pop and within 10 spins or so I hit a bonus round. $267!!!!! SWEET. Time to go get L and get breakfast.

    We get breakfast at the Harrah’s café; it’s ok, although the hash browns are GREAT!!!! Very accommodating and polite staff too. So, it’s our last day and we decide to go to the Las Vegas Hilton. Again it is rather subdued and quiet. The machines are ok, up, down, up, down and then I got tired of the cling cling and decided to play some BJ. I bought in for $200 in a $25 table. The dealer was super funny and at the table it’s just me and another guy. We are happily chatting away, and we are up and down, but mostly down. I take out another $200 and then we decide to ask the pit boss to cut the deck since both of us are doing a lousy job. Indeed, she comes over and cuts the deck and I win a couple of $50 hands and I get a BJ on $100. Another guy joins our table and the dealer changes and the new gal is just dreadful. She takes my money and I become annoyed, so I put my last $150 up and lo and behold I win the hand. I say “that’s it†and cash out. So far, I am about $300 up for the trip.
    We take a cab back to Harrah’s and we have about 45 min to kill before we need to head to the airport.
    So, what to do?????? Play $1 machines of course…$40 in the instant spin machine, and boom…instant spin (2)….$180, not bad. Then on to another machine, break even, the on to a little martians machine, hit the bonus after 5-6 spins…$105. After that I cash out and decide that $600 profit for the whole trip is just great. I call my husband; he says “great that’s two thirds of my new skis!â€.

    At this point I am about Vegased out, but also sad to leave. We go to the airport get on the (full) plane and come home to dreary Oakland.

    Overall, it was a good trip…L was kinda sad at times and her gambling was mostly down, which exacerbated her downward mood. But I think I cheered her up overall.
    Next trip (probably July/august) I plan to take my dad who has never been to Vegas and my friend Mark who is my poker buddy!

    Thanks for reading this loooooooooong trip report!
  6. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Aug 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I enjoyed your TR......congrats on coming home a winner! I became a big fan of the SATC machines on our last trip in December...I won $350 every time I played them, could never get up to $400 before I'd start to lose, but they were lots of fun with lots of bonuses and have now got me hooked on slots.
    I haven't heard much that makes me want to see Aria, think I'll take a pass on that for our April trip.
    Kelly Clarkson and Keith Urban Concerts
  7. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

    Mar 26, 2009
    New York
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Excellent trip report! Sounds like a near perfect trip considering....

    You managed to hit a ton of casinos too.... :peace:
  8. SloppyJoe

    SloppyJoe Tourist

    Aug 8, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I also say "Kitty Corner", but my wife says "Katty Corner". Nice report.
  9. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Jan 16, 2004
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Enjoyed reading your TR. Thanks for posting.

    later, GVJ
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