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.

Vegas solo trip - lowlights and highlights

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by jhpa, Sep 4, 2021.

  1. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12

    My Trip Report

    I gave up a long time ago trying to day day by day trip report. Instead, when the trip is over and I am on the plane flying back east, I put together two lights: The top highlights and the top low lights of the trip. Then I post them in countdown style.

    Quick background: This is my 10th trip to Vegas but my first solo. I stayed at Flamingo on a comp arriving August 31 and leaving September 3. I am into craps and a bit of slots and love good food at good restaurants. Overall the trip was awesome! Don’t be mislead by the lowlights – some of them were a little nitpicky and are more disappointing observations than real problems. - but I wanted to mention them nonetheless

    So here we go with he top (or bottom) lowlights (saving the worst of the worst for last)

    Lowlight 8: Slot variety: I play maybe 25% of my budget on slots. I often play in Atlantic City. On this trip I hit 8 different Total Reward Properties to get my slot “badges” (If you do not know about it, it is a promotion from Caesars). I was pretty disappointed that in general there were fewer slots and mostly the older ones. Buffalo and Dancing Drums all over the place, but a lot of the newer ones I see in AC were no where to be found.

    Lowlight 7: Foundation Room and Lounge: I love the Voodoo Steakhouse and Lounge at Rio. Great view, great food, great service. A friend urged me to try the Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay. Was disappointed. The place inside is dark…dark walls, dark ceilings, heavy chairs. It reminded me of some of the Tudor castles I visited in England – not a Vegas feel at all. The outside area was more of a balcony – not at all like the rooftop open space at Voodoo. Food was good, not great. Service was slow and disjointed – and the place was only 1/3 full. The lounge was small and had the tables all roped off for – something – maybe bottle service.

    Lowlight 6: Aria Free play: Had 2 My Vegas awards for $150 in free play. Should have checked the fine print – you have to stay at Aria to use them. But that mistake turned into a huge advantage. (as you will see in the highlights later)

    Lowlight 5: Craps late field bettors. (If you are not into craps, ignore.) What is it with people who wait until the dice are out and then put money on the field? Please someone who does this explain why you do. It is rude. It is at least against custom and courtesy and against the rules of the table (which the crew seem to rarely enforce. Why do people do it?

    Lowlight 4: Walking. Damn did I walk a lot. On Tuesday I arrived at noon and by 10 PM had walked 15,000 steps. I that was the day I hit up all 8 Total Rewards properties on the strip. Then that night I was playing craps. I made a nice throw, high fived the guys next to me and broke my belt. Seriously, the buckle broke through the leather. Of course, I could not leave a hot table so I played with one hand on my shorts to keep them up. So, the next morning I had to walk to a store that would have my size – not easy. It was 2 miles away. So, I got up early and started the trek. It did not open until 10 so I made a stop at several off-strip casinos along the way, not in straight line. By the end of the day I had put on another 15,000 steps. At least that offset some of the eating and drinking.

    Lowlight 3: The end of diamond lounges. I really missed them. I spend a lot of time bouncing around and walking so it is nice to have the lounges to chill out a bit. Not anymore. Instead, they give you 4 free drink coupons. Thanks, not the same thing.

    Lowlight 2: Masks. I knew they would be required, and I understand. I am fully vaccinated but still understand. But playing craps or slots for 4 or 5 hours at a time with a mask on is a real drag, especially since I wear glasses that constantly fog up.

    Lowlight 1: Flamingo Room Air Conditioner. I have heard complaints about the Flamingo and it being run down. I can honestly say I disagree. I was in a mini suite in the Habitat tower and it was gorgeous. But the air-conditioner sucked. I had it set for 65 degree for 4 days and I am pretty sure it never got below 72. I kept the curtains closed to keep out the sun. I like it cool and I did not have one good nights sleep out of the three. I never did report it or ask to change room

    So that is my list of “complaints.” None of them were deal breakers. Some were just not meeting expectations. But observations none the less.

    Next will come my highlights countdown…a lot more fun!
     
    • Like Like x 19
    • Informative Informative x 6
  2. RedRiverRose

    RedRiverRose VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,366
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Looking forward to rest of your report.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. Lady Fortuna

    Lady Fortuna Blessed with luck and ignorance...

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,524
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Thank you for sharing, @jhpa ! Looking forward to the highlights.
     
    Gimme some Vegas baby!!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. cjcjcj

    cjcjcj VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,362
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Good stuff so far thanks!!
     
    2022 First Escape
  5. billcasa

    billcasa Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    74
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60
    Thanks for posting!
    I just got back and experienced #4 & 5 too. I had my Fitbit up to 27,000 steps on Monday and felt like my feet would fall off. Also had a lot of craps players who just couldn't figure out they needed to put their bets down before the shooter picked up the dice. Sometimes I suspected they did it on purpose just to see how unhinged it makes some of the other players.
     
  6. Calder

    Calder VIP Whale

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    I think it is the intersection of three things: (1) it's a self-service bet, (2) it has multiple ways to hit, and (3) those who play it often bet on 'intuition.'

    The self-service nature guarantees their paws in the layout. This is also true of the Come / Don't Come (and I suppose the big 6/8 in some jurisdictions), but without factors 2 & 3, they aren't a problem. Not too often you tag someone putting out a late Come bet.

    But 16 ways to hit! And double on 2 & 12! How can it lose??

    Ultimately I think it's #3 that's the primary culprit. You can see the beads of perspiration on Late Field Guy's forehead as the stick pushes the dice to the shooter. The nickel chip in his hand is wet with sweat. You can almost hear his feverish reasoning:

    "This guy hasn't thrown a field number in four rolls...it's almost a mathematical certainty that one is coming...but I missed on the last two, I'm down $10 on this guy...haven't seen a 2 or 12 in like a half hour, it's due, and I'd be back even on him again...maybe I should place the 6, it seems like he's in a groove...no, he can't miss five in a row...better get it out there...still time..."

    Chorus: "HANDS!"
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. M0rtyC

    M0rtyC TBD

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,280
    Location:
    North Shore Massachusetts
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    26
    Looking for the highs!
    Thanks
     
    December 2020 ———->2021
  8. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    So thanks for the comments so far

    Ok…so now for the fun stuff.

    The countdown of my top 7 highlights of my three day Vegas trip:

    Highlight 7: The craps stoner at Flamingo. I thoroughly enjoyed the time at Flamingo playing craps. The crew was great. So difficult to understand them – and them understand the players – with everyone wearing masks. But they I always felt they had smiles behind the masks. Several dealers remembered my name from one session to the next. I probably played about 20 hours of craps, mostly at a $25 table. Yes there were the typical knuckleheads who had to put their field bet down just as the dice were in the hands of the shooter. But most of the players were respectful and fun.

    My favorite was one young guy who staggered up to the table late Tuesday night. Looked pretty wasted. He actually walked up into the pit area before being re-directed to the other end of my table. I saw him again Wednesday morning, Wednesday afternoon, Thursday morning, Thursday evening – always looking half stoned or wasted. For three days, every time I walked by the table he was there. He would shoot and stay for the next shooter or two, then ask for a cover for his chips. He would leave for a while but would always be back before it was his turn to shoot. The odd thing, he would never bet much. Pass line, a couple of hard ways and an occasional horn bet. That was it. He was pretty lucky for me, twice hitting a “Tall” for me when I had $5 on it. He also occasionally placed bets ( a hard eight usually) ) for me or someone else while thy were shooting, a couple I won. And as I was checking out Friday at 6 AM he was there again. I talked to him then, telling me he was from Minnesota. Just one of those guys I will probable never see again but will remember.

    Highlight 6 Daybed at Flamingo: With all the walking I did on Tuesday and Wednesday, I needed a down day. I had reserved a day bed at the pool. Great idea. Skipped the line. Directed to my own comfortable, reserved space next to the pool with a (cute) dedicated server. An umbrella for shade. Drinks. Munchies. Some nice – uhm – views. ‘Nuff said. Hung there listening to a book on Audible, drinking beverages, napping and occasionally cooling off in the pool. Four hours later, time to head back. Perfect.

    Highlight 5: Breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi. This is one of my must do’s in Vegas. I was at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris when it opened at 7 am. Requested and got a table right on the railing outside next to Las Vegas Boulevard. I had trouble deciding on my breakfast. I ended up with a very good eggs benedict and a “half order” of crepes covered with bananas foster. Incredible. (I figured I will skip lunch, which I did). They were not overly crowded so I lingered, sipping coffee (I changed to decaf halfway through) and watched the world walk by for an hour and a half.

    Highlight 4: Bugsy and Myers. I had read some negative reviews of this place, but I had a long day on Tuesday (up at 4 eastern, flew to Vegas, hit up 8 casinos and walked 15000 steps). So I walked into the Bugsy and Myers steakhouse for dinner steps away from my elevator to my room. It is the location of the old Flamingo steakhouse, but it is opened up. I am a sucker for a restaurant with a view when I am eating alone. I got a table right on the walkway leading up to the casino, so a lot of interesting sights. Dinner was excellent. An appetizer of Crab salad, a couple of large shrimp and a lobster tail – beautifully plated. Then a very good strip steak perfectly done with a nice Caesar salad. A nice Sancere and a couple glasses of merlot. Dessert was a bit of a mess – “Single Barrel” Caramel Mousse, Date Cake, Toasted Pecan Vanilla Gelato, Warm Salted Caramel Whiskey. Sounds better than it was, but maybe I was too full. Excellent server. Overall – A solid A minus. ( slight deductions for overpriced wine by the glass and no decaf coffee available) But highly recommended )


    These next three are hard to rank…


    Highlight 3: Horn Horn Horn Horn. (If you are not a craps player, you might skip this one). Thursday evening I am playing craps at Flamingo. $25 table. The shooter is on my right. I do not play center bets a lot on a $25 table, but I just had a nice hit so, what the hell:

    · $25 Horn Hi Midnight. Roll ace deuce. Press

    · $50 horn hi midnight: Roll Ace Deuce. Press

    · $75 Horn Hi Midnight: Roll midnight. Press

    · $100 Horn Hi Midnight: Roll ace deuce. Press

    · $125 Horn Hi Midnight: roll an 8

    I still have not totally figured out how much I won, but I think it was about $1300. I also did the math: If I am right, the odds of that happening are like 100,000 to one.

    This confirms what I have always said about craps: In the long run, the house will win. But we do not play in the long run – we play in a series of short runs. And in the short run, anything can happen.


    Highlight 2: Back to back slot wins.: I headed to Aria on Wednesday night for dinner at Carbones. I had a couple of free plays from My Vegas to use so I got there an hour early. Well, my free play was not valid, since you have to stay at Aria to use them. So I headed to a craps table. But they were full. I was going to squeeze in to one, but I only had a short time before dinner anyway. So I wondered looking for a slot machine that I would like. I came across one I had recognized from some on-line play and threw in $100. On the 4th spin I hit some weird something and ended up winning $1010. I texted a friend who said “perfect win! Four figures and under the tax form minimum!”

    I did a couple more spins, then cashed out. Took the ticket to a nearby Wonder Four Tower. Played Wicked Winnings II. Don’t know why, I never played it before. About 5 spins in, I hit a bonus. And the bonus paid off: $3018.75!. I texted my friend and said: “Just had an imperfect win!. I did the paper work and cashed out the over $1000 still on the machine. So I took the $4000 up to Carbones for dinner.

    And the top highlight of my trip…

    Highlight 1: Dinner at Carbones: I made this reservation for a dinner for one as a scouting trip. I am bringing my family out to Vegas in October for an Eagles/Raiders game and I thought we might go there. Wow! With out an exaggeration it was tone of the top three Italian restaurant dinners I have ever had in my life. And I have had some great Italian dinners in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and many other cities around the US and in Italy.

    (Let me say that I must acknowledge that if I were to have dinner at McDonalds after winning $4000 it would probably have felt like the best hamburger I have ever had. But this was clearly special.)

    The room was gorgeous. Whit table clothes, nice silver, great wine glasses. You sit down and they immediately bring out a block of Locatelli and cut off a chunk onto your plate. The menu is pretty broad. The wine has a nice range of wines by the glass. I started with a glass (actually 2) of Sauvignon Blanc to have while I read the menu and to drink with my first course: A lobster meat salad with Fennel slaw. Beautifully done With it they brought out some great bread and some side dishes…. nice salami and some picked cauliflower. They are known for to dishes: Veal parmigiana and rigatoni in vodka blush sauce. I ordered both and – somehow finished both. The veal was perfectly tender. The rigatoni was fresh and the vodka sauce was perfect (I asked for it on the mild side). Went perfect with a glass ( actually 2) of Brunello). I ended with a glass of limoncello. (No way I could have dessert.)

    Everything was perfect. Attentive and friendly service. Generous portions, wonderfully presented. Perfect music (Sinatra, Rat Pack and some 50s doo wop). Absolutely nothing to criticize I am looking forward to a return dinner in October.


    So there you have it. Hope you enjoy reading it.
     
    • Like Like x 21
    • Love Love x 6
    • Wow! Wow! x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. LV2GAMBLE

    LV2GAMBLE Certified LOW Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,163
    Location:
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    29
    Sounds like a great trip and that the highlights sure outweighed the lowlights. Congrats on the wins.
     
    BIG Birthday Celebration
    Second half stay
  10. Tahoejoe2

    Tahoejoe2 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,331
    Location:
    ca
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Outstanding TR. I love Mon Ami Gabi at 7am on the patio. I will be there next Friday at 7am. Eggs benedict is my go to breakfast. There coffee is strong . Love it. That patio is LV. Only people walking the strip are joggers, ladies of the night and clubbers heading home.
    Big Eagles fan. Might come back in October.
     
    Super Bowl Baby
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Mycatspot

    Mycatspot I drink my breakfast and play in my PJ's.

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    21
    Nice pros/cons top list - with several winning stories! I will be there during the Eagles/Raiders game also - just not at the game - will be at Lady Gaga instead. Will have to put Carbonne on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
    March Madness and Son’s 21st Birthday Celebration
    • Like Like x 1
  12. vsop

    vsop High-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Messages:
    524
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    That's why I don't pay too much attention to the minutiae of statistics...When the power of the parlay hits...it is beautiful... from your original $25 horn hi bet, I'm guessing your total horn winnings were $1275...very nice return for risking $25...great TR recap too...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola El Jefe

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8,431
    Location:
    USA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    166
    Thanks for the “lights”. Loved the story about the craps player at Flamingo. Those kind of serendipitous encounters always seem to make great memories, especially in Vegas. Very cool about the presses and pre-Carbone slot hits as well. :clap::clap::clap:

    :beer: :beer: :beer:
     
    Dec 23rd - Dec 26th
    Last Solo Trip of my bachelorhood. Wedding is set for June 2022.
  14. ChickenDinner

    ChickenDinner Newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    Looking to cap off my own solo trip with dinner at Carbonne tonight. Do you know if they serve the full menu (or any food) at the bar? I always feel wierd sitting at a table by myself…thanks!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Love Love x 1
  15. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Don’t know about the bar. If you can get a table for 1 don’t hesitate. But I usually give a bit of a larger tip
     
  16. apezmonkeyz

    apezmonkeyz Tourist

    Joined:
    May 10, 2020
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    UK
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    nice having the trip report in a slightly different style. thanks it was a good read
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. ChickenDinner

    ChickenDinner Newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    Thanks. I’ll give it a shot and see what happens.
     
  18. Dewey089

    Dewey089 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Messages:
    4,643
    Location:
    averill park ny
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    I appreciate your structure. The day to day live reports just generate too many replies to wade through before the next day comes. Thanks.
    The craps reports were entertaining and grand. Thanks for such good detail.
    Good review on the food joints. I'm intrigued to try Carbonne when I head out in October.
    Thanks, again. A great write up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  19. Dr Nostron

    Dr Nostron High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    876
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    I play the horns a lot - only hit 4 in a row once - that's awesome!!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. jhpa

    jhpa VIP Whale

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,140
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Thanks everyone for your comments. I love reliving my trip on VMB.
     
    • Like Like x 1