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.

Tropicana Trip Report (12/13/03 - 12/17/03)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by cruiser, Dec 19, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. cruiser

    cruiser High-Roller

    Feb 5, 2002

    My Trip Report

    Brenda and I returned from 4 days/nights in Las Vegas Wednesday afternoon staying at the Tropicana 12/13 - 12/17. This was our sixth trip to Vegas since May, 2002 and we had a great time.

    As a result of the amount of gambling we've done on our earlier trips to the Tropicana, our host comped us up front for room/food/beverage for these four days/nights and this included an entry into the "$75,000 Holiday Wishes" Slot Tournament 12/14 - 12/16. Details of this tournament will be included in this trip report. Our host also arranged to have a limo pick us up at the airport when we arrived in Las Vegas.

    Day 1 (Saturday, 12/13):

    We're up at 5 am and neither of us had gotten much sleep - not much of a surprise there. We left the house heading for the Austin-Bergstrom airport at 5:44 am. We flew Southwest Airlines and brought three full books of drink coupons.

    We get to the airport and while Brenda is parking the car, I do the curbside check-in. Even thought it's 1.5 hours before departure, we had to settle for one boarding pass in Group A and one in Group B. Fine, Brenda can grab a sit for me as I wait in Group B. We head down to our gate and pick up a couple breakfast sandwiches. Unfortunately for me, I had stomach cramps all night and I'm still not feeling too well. I sure am glad I got a flu shot this year.

    We board and I have one double baileys and coffee, costing me 8 of 36 drink coupons we brought with us. I would have had another but I'm still not feeling well. We land a few minutes early and head towards baggage claim. Our limo driver is waiting for us at the bottom of the escalator. We pick up our bags and head to the Tropicana. We arrive at the Tropicana at 9:15 am
    and head over to VIP services for our check-in. While I see about checking in, wifey makes us a couple coffee and baileys drinks. We weren't surprised to find our room wasn't ready yet. Actually, it's occupied (Paradise Tower, room 1726). That's okay - we had already dropped off our bags, along with our coats with the bell cap guys. Brenda heads over to one of her full pay deuces wild (FPDW) video poker machines and I scout out the blackjack tables. By 9:30 am, I'm sitting down at a blackjack table. By 10 am, I'm down $500. By 10:30 am, I'm down another $500. What the hell??? Time to take a little break. Walk a bit and I sit back down 20 minutes later. Within another 30 minutes, I'm down another $500 - that's $1500 in only 90 minutes of play. Damn, this is looking like the worst trip ever. About this time, wifey comes by with our room keys.

    We head to the room and check to be sure the room safe is working. On our last trip, we had a broken safe and since we were already unpacked, we chose not to change rooms. This time, we made sure the safe is working before calling down to the bell cap desk to have our luggage brought up. Our room is very nice. It faces Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur. We unpack in no time at all. Decide to grab a light lunch at the Legends Deli. Wifey has the 99 cents shrimp (w/ coupon) and I choose the fruit salad. I'm still not feeling quite right. Damn stomach cramps. It couldn't have been due to the two tall Shiners I had last night at Outback. Nah, must have been some bad coconut on my Sinful Sundae.

    We take our small suitcase with wheels out for a brisk walk down to Walgreens. We pick up a 12 pak of diet 7-up and three 6 paks of water. Also pick up a 12 pak of beer. The suitcase makes it so much easier to bring drinks back to our room. We get back to the room and load up the small refrigerator. It's almost 1:30 pm. I'm going to lay down for awhile. Wifey heads out to play some video poker and comes back to the room at 4 pm to get ready for dinner. There's a knock on our door. Here's our basket with a bottle of wine, assorted nuts, cheeses, crackers, sausage, and apples.

    We have dinner reservations made via our host at Pietro's for 6 pm. Our host normally works Wednesday through Sunday, 4 pm till midnight. About 4:30 pm, the phone rings. It's our host - uh oh, today is 12/13 and Pietro's is closed 12/7 - 12/26, re-opening 12/27. Our host did make us dinner reservations at Savanna Steakhouse Monday evening at 6 pm but we currently do not have reservations for this evening. We decide we'd like to dine at Savanna's tonight as well as Monday evening. Our host tells us it's not a problem. Great! Wifey actually likes Savanna Steakhouse better than Pietro's while I prefer Pietro's.

    Wifey heads down to the casino at 5 pm to look for a vacant full pay deuces wild machine while I get ready for dinner. I head down to the casino and stop at the promotions desk to check my pitiful blackjack play from this morning. So far, just under 1.5 hours of play. I forgot to bring down my coupon for a free deck of cards. I'll get it later. Pick up wifey at 5:45 and we head to Savanna Steakhouse. We get right in. I ordered the shrimp cocktail w/ cocktail sauce and for the soup, I ordered the dungeness crab bisque and Brenda ordered the french onion. For the main course, we both ordered the surf and turf (lobster tail and filet mignon). For drinks, wifey starts off with a lime daiquiri, then orders a glass of red wine with dinner and I go for a glass of champagne with dinner. I'm feeling quite a bit better now. Our host stops by our table about 6:15 pm to say hello. No room for dessert tonight and we take the leftover steak and lobster tail to our room to put in the refrigerator.

    While wifey looks for one of her deuces wild machine, I grab a couple bottles of water and head back to the blackjack tables. I sit down to play at 7:45 pm. In an hour, I'm down another $500. Sh*t! Reach into my pocket for more $. If I lose another $500, I'm heading back to the room and will call it a night. I'm holding my own and slowly make back what I lost earlier in the day. Our host stops by my table about 9:30 pm to see how I'm doing. Wifey was tired and had just gone to bed. Tommy (my host) wishes me luck and leaves. He's back 30 minutes later with a gift for the wife and I. It's a four bag ensemble, including a travel suitcase (55 x 39 x 14 cm), a beauty case (27 x 18 x 16 cm), a square end bolster bag (50 x 32 x 30 cm), and a toiletry bag (26 x 15 x 10.5 cm). I take the gift back to the room and grab a couple more waters. Wifey is still up watching TV. She can't seem to sleep but the casino gets too noisy for her in the evening. She prefers to play in the early morning hours. At this point, I'm up about $200 for the day after winning back what I had lost earlier but I'm not ready to call it a night. Hey, I'm only here four days/nights! Back to the casino. I've been drinking baileys on the rocks since dinner and I'm kicking butt. At 2:15 am, I leave the table with $5500 in chips. Head to the cashier. I love it when they have to call a supervisor to verify that I really did just leave the blackjack area with all those chips. Back to the room and wifey is still awake - she can't seem to sleep but is very tired.

    Day 1 Gambling Summary:
    Blackjack - up $3000
    Video Poker - down $370 (three 'Wild Royals')

    Day 2 (Sunday, 12/14):

    Wifey didn't sleep more than an hour last night and is out the door at 6:30 am. I was able to sleep a bit but I'm exhausted. We plan to meet for breakfast about 9 am. I can't get back to sleep but hey, we've in vegas!!! I get up, and leave the room just after 8 am and head over to the promotions desk to check my blackjack play and wifey's video poker play. I like to check at the promotions desk a few times a day to be sure I'm getting the proper time credited to our joint account . Grab wifey and head over to Calypso's for breakfast.

    After breakfast, I play blackjack for about 2.5 hours and lose $1500. Wifey isn't winning at video poker so we both decide to look for wifey and daughter gifts. We found a really neat gift for our daughter and another gift for a close friend in Florida. We pay to have both gifts shipped and they arrive in CT and FL three days later. Not bad for this time of year. We were planning to see the comedy show Monday (tomorrow) evening but hadn't talked to our host yet about getting us tickets. We decide to walk by the comedy show and find that they're closed tomorrow. Tonight is the last night until after Christmas. Good thing we checked while we were out shopping. I called and left a message for our host. He doesn't get in until 4 pm and we want to go to the early (8 pm) show. I asked Tommy to give me a call. Time for some more gambling. I play from 1:30 pm till about 4 pm, another 2.5 hours and I'm up $300 this session.

    About 4 pm, I head over to the South Pacific Ballroom in the Island Tower to register for the tournament, pick our session times and pick up our welcome gifts - a painted ceramic platter, a set of four dessert bowls with the same pattern as the platter, and $25 cash. There'll be two 15 minutes sessions tomorrow (Monday) and one on Tuesday. We count all three scores from the three sessions. I picked 9 am and 2:00 pm on Monday and 9 am on Tuesday. On the way back to our room, I spot Tommy and ask if he could get us two tickets to the comedy show this evening. He was on his way to check his messages. Tommy said no problem - tickets will be waiting for us outside the comedy show. Fantastic! If I hadn't heard back from Tommy, I would have simply charged the tickets to our room, knowing (based on how much gambling we've done up till now) that Tommy would take the cost of the tickets off our bill.

    The welcome dinner (buffet style) is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30. We get there at 5:30 pm and load our plates. They had prime rib, beef tips, broiled swordfish, chicken, and a lot of other stuff I can't remember and of course the desserts had there own little corner of the room.

    After dinner, Brenda and I once again split up. She goes to play her video poker and I head back to the blackjack tables. I play about an hour before the comedy show and drop $400. Head to the comedy show which was excellent as they usually are. I always laugh so hard, it hurts. After the comedy show, it's back to the casino. Today has not been a good day for me so I decided against playing one on one with the dealer. Instead, I waited around till about 11 pm and took a seat at a table with four other players. Wifey played for a little while after the comedy show, then called it a night. I played till 3 am and dropped another $800 this session.

    Day 2 Gambling Summary:
    Blackjack - down $2400 for the day, up $600 for the trip
    Video Poker - down $160 for the day (one 'Wild Royal' and one '4 Deuces'), down $530 for the trip

    Day 3 (Monday, 12/15):

    We both carry our cell phones which is great if we need to find each other. We head over to the complimentary (part of the tournament festivities) breakfast buffet in the Tiffany Showroom. We both ordered omelets made to order, a dish of mixed fruits, juice and coffee. Breakfast was excellent. After breakfast, I play blackjack for an hour and I'm up $600 this session.

    Wifey decides that I should play all three sessions of the tournament. She doesn't enjoy pounding away on the spin button for 15 minutes straight. I love it! My first session is at 9 am. I have to be there 15 minutes early to pick my slot machine for that session. There's a roped off area near the harbor bar with about 70 machines used in the Slot Tournament. I pick #55 and end up with a score of 13,301. That's not bad. While I was playing my first session, Brenda was playing her deuces wild video poker. I didn't want her to worry about not watching me since she might lose her machine.

    Back to a blackjack table for a 4 hour session (9:30 - 1:30 pm) before my second slot tournament session. I'm up $800 this session. Head over to pick my machine for session #2. I pick machine #4 and end up with a score of 14,483. About 7 pm this evening, they'll post the scores for the first two sessions.

    I play more blackjack from about 3 pm till 5:45 pm and dropped $800. We head over to Savanna Steakhouse where we had reservations for 6 pm. We both start with the shrimp cocktail w/cocktail sauce. For the soup, I order the dungeness crab bisque again. For the main course, I ordered the surf and turf (king crab legs and filet mignon) and Brenda ordered the prime rib. Of course, wifey ordered red wine and I got a glass of champagne. We ordered one serving of key lime pie for dessert. We've had much better key lime pie in Florida. And once again, we take some leftovers back to the room.

    After dinner, we head back to the casino. Wifey plays a bit then stops by the blackjack table to let me know that after two sessions of the slot tournament, I'm in 50th place (out of about 635 entries).

    Here's the prize structure.
    1st place $30,000
    2nd place $10,000
    3rd place $5,000
    4th place $2,000
    5th place $1,000
    6th - 25th $300
    26th - 75th $100
    76th - 250th $25

    I play another 2.5 - 3 hrs of blackjack and drop $1500 during this session before calling it a night.

    Day 3 Gambling Summary:
    Blackjack - down $900 for the day, down $300 for the trip
    Video Poker - down $190 for the day (ten 'Wild Royals'), down $720 for the trip

    Day 4 (Tuesday, 12/16):

    This is our last full day. Wifey left the room about 5:30 am to play her deuces wild and will call me at 6:30 am. At 6:30, the phone rings and rings and rings before I finally hear it and get up. I'm tired but pick up wifey and head to another complimentary (part of the tournament festivities) breakfast buffet in the Tiffany Showroom. We both ordered omelets made to order, a dish of mixed fruits, juice and coffee. Breakfast was excellent as usual.

    After breakfast, I pick my last machine (#29). I score a 12, 327 for a three session total of 40, 111. This will be good enough to win $100.

    After my third and last session, it's off to the blackjack table for me. I play from 9:35 am till 5:35 pm at the same table for 8 full hours. During this extended session, there was an incident at our table. There were 5 players and on one particular hand, they dealer thought she had busted with 22. Right after she paid everyone, she realized that she had 21, not 22. She explained this to everyone and asked that everyone put the chips that she just paid us back next to our initial bet since the dealer actually beat everyone at the table. Everyone put their chips back except one older gentleman who's been going to the Trop for years and years. This gentleman was asked again to put the chips back and he said NO! The dealer tried explaining to him again that he needed to give up some chips and he again said NO! He went on to say he didn't remember placing a bet. At this time, these discussions were going on, this guy had four green chips in the betting circle but no one knew how many chips were bet on that hand in question. I even asked him if after the dealer paid him, did he press his bet or take the chips back. Again, he said he didn't do anything and wasn't giving up any chips. One of the supervisors told the dealer to continue dealing but then other players said if this guy isn't giving us his chips, we shouldn't have to either. Okay, call over the shift supervisor. Still this guy wouldn't give up any chips. It was decided that we wait about 5 minutes so they can change tapes upstairs before we continue and in the meantime, they would review the tape of the last hand. Well, 30 minutes later it was confirmed that what happened was this guy had bet two chips and when the dealer erroneously paid everyone, thinking she had 22, this guy had pressed his bet with the 2 chips the dealer had just given him. So, when the dealer took his 4 chips after realizing her mistake, that included his two chip bet plus the 2 chips the dealer erroneously paid out. So this guy was correct in not giving up any of his chips when the dealer asked him to slid some chips forward from his chip pile. I'm up $2300 for this session.

    I find Brenda back in the room and we head to the awards dinner in the South Pacific Ballroom in the Island Tower. This was a buffet style dinner which was very good. While we were having our dessert, they announced the top 5 award places. Right after that, I headed over to the 'cash' desk and picked up my $100 prize.

    After dinner, we head back to the casino for some unfinished business. Wifey plays a couple hours and I play for about 4.5 hours (7:30 pm till midnight). While at this session, I asked to speak to the host on duty and request a limo for the short trip back to the airport in the morning. Not a problem. Also during the evening, I left a copy of our flight itinerary with a note for my host (he's off today) asking if he could check if we qualify for any assistance with the airfare ($430). I dropped $2000 this session. It was very fustrating. At this point, I'm even for the trip in blackjack so it's time to call it a trip.

    Day 4 Gambling Summary:
    Blackjack - up $300 for the day, even for the trip
    Video Poker - down $505 for the day (eight 'Wild Royals'), down $1225 for the trip

    In case anyone was wondering how long we gambled over those four days/nights, here are the numbers:

    Blackjack: 41 hours (average of 10 hours 15 minutes per day)
    Average bet = $130

    Video Poker: 35 hours (average of 8 hours 45 minutes per day)
    Average bet per minute = $11.46 (550 hands per hour)

    Everything (except airfare) was comped including the comedy show tickets and the limo, less tips and I also won $100 in the Slot Tournament.

    [ December 22, 2003, 08:59 AM: Message edited by: cruiser ]
  2. Billy from TX.

    Billy from TX. Tourist

    Jan 6, 2002
    Wylie, Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the report...Just one question.
    Did you and your wife ever leave the Tropicana?
  3. SH0CK

    SH0CK Stylin' and Profilin' Quasi Tech Admin

    Nov 2, 2001
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    once again, the great blackjack king cruiser returns triumphant! (well, I consider a trip where you break even a good thing)

    Did you get to find out anything about the pending implosions at the Tropicana?
  4. cruiser

    cruiser High-Roller

    Feb 5, 2002
    My wife and I left the tropicana only once and that was after we were unpacked the first day, we took a walk to walgreens to pick up some drinks for our in room refrigerator. There was no other reason for us to leave the Tropicana until we left for the airport at the end of the trip.

    I did ask a couple pit supervisors what the deal is on construction at the Trop. No one seems to know what's going to happen. One of the guys seems to think that the Trop is looking for a partner since they supposedly don't have the $$$ to do any construction/reconstruction themselves. Another guy seems to think they'll move the casino to the convention center that I believe in in the Island Tower while they implode the Paradise Tower and the rebuild the main casino. But this wouldn't happen before 2005.


    [ December 22, 2003, 08:05 AM: Message edited by: cruiser ]
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.