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Vegas the HARD Way: 36-Hour Capsule TR for 6/18-19

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by spinette, Jun 22, 2017.

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  1. spinette

    spinette True Aficionado

    Jun 2, 2014
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report


    Sometimes you just have the itch to go to Vegas--and that's what happened at about 9:20 A.M. on 6/18. I thought about going to my local tribal option (again...), but I needed a break. And with other players (and employees) suggesting I go to Vegas anyway, I thought why not just go! Besides, it was Sunday and traffic was expected to be light.

    I did not know there was record heat coming into the area. In fact, it is so hot that the area is making national news: Death Valley got to the mid-120s several days in a row. Las Vegas was in the hundred-teens.
    And I drove the entire way without air conditioning and with the window down 95% of the time. There was a Dairy Queen that I wanted to stop at in Baker because of their Blizzards--basically cold stone in a soda cup. It was Good! and I'm glad I stopped because it turned out I would have had a fetid, sordid, squalid, and very morbid explosion in the back of my pants. BAM!

    Hmm. I guess if you've read to here, you might think this TR could be called "Vegas the Wrong Way." But no, it gets a lot better, promise.

    Casino Binge

    When I got to South Point, I figured the real motivation for this trip was a casino binge. And it turned out that way! Stay tuned.

    The first real boon came right inside the door: A/C BLAST. Yes, I understand South Point has air conditioning. And they have ice cream, which I did not have. But I did have the ACG, and there was a coupon in it for a free buffet after $300 coin-in. Okay, then. The slot club staff were friendly and so were others. That's one thing about the indian casinos here...the staff just aren't as friendly. So the change was appreciated, and, in fact, I put in some of my own to the 5c multiplay JoB right near the Oyster Bar.

    An excellent machine: low variance and pretty good return. Because it was a 5c, I was able to play 10 hands without concern (when instead 1 hand at 50c would have been a concern!). I just watched the meter on the machine and when it got to "300", went back to the club and got a voucher for the buffet, which I took with me.


    So where are all those loose machines, anyway? Well, the ACG gave me at least some information and, along with the messages on VMB, I decided on a trip up the Boulder Highway starting at Green Valley Ranch.
    First stop: GVR. Now Google Maps would get me lost several times. This was (almost) the first time since it seems I went to a rear entrance (made for freight trucks?) and had to go up a ramp to park.

    Another A/C BLAST. Very inviting in mid-hundred-teens heat. I signed up for Stations' club card, got my 3x multiplier, played some silly game on a kiosk, and then went to the non-smoking area and played 10/7 DB.
    Great machine! But I didn't know how to play it and relied on luck more than usual. One quad came out and I decided to play a 6/5 BP wheel poker closer front. Interesting machine that lets you spin a wheel if you're dealt 3OAK. Happened once (30-coin bonus) and then twice the very next hand (with 3A dealt). But no jackpot. Darn.

    Good. So Starbucks was like a jackpot in reverse and I paid $4 for some red iced tea. But the weather compelled it and the lady was very helpful giving me directions to Sam's Town on the back of a receipt with Sharpie marker. Unfortunately, the information was very dense for me and I decided to use Google, which almost got me lost.


    Sam Boyd's Town was something I always wanted to visit. Were the machines really that loose? How was the bowling alley? Is the food any good? And will somebody smash my windshield? Hmm.

    So I go in and walk down a long corridor to an escalator. Downstairs I see lots of tables and a few Wheel of Fortune clones. I decide to play the clones and lose $40 almost instantly. I think the machines had a progressive which I would learn would mean bankrupt for me. But the 10/7 video poker in the back was good! And after I got a 5-K quad, I left ahead.

    Before that, though, I noticed the arboretum/"bar-boretum?" in the center. Yes another a/c blast and plenty of water. They had a bar, too, but I just walked around the path and over the bridge that's over the aqua-jets for the bi-hourly show.

    I took in some bowling and did not break 100 over 3 games. They had some cosmic bowling thing where they turned off all the lights except for these laser strobe lights that may have been blinding, and this could have been it--of course. Normally I'll see a 130+ and rarely do I bowl below 100, but my throw was just off.

    Great, so now it's time to return to the car and get blasted with more record heat!

    Boulder Station

    I wanted to come here because I heard this was one of the more rough-and-tough casinos. Good machines, and a rough-and-ready crowd. There were a couple rough and reddies right outside the east wall smoking (which I don't care for) what seemed to be trolling for something (or someone) to roll. Now that's rough and ready, but I kept walking because I thought they were looking for something easy to boost. They just seemed like the type and wanted to get indoors quickly!

    Okay! Inside now, and there are a few more wheel of fortunes! And this one paid! $6. Now the more fantastic part of this trip was Butterfly Sevens at 5c. I decided to try the Butterfly Sevens. And a bit later, I heard Bing, and then Bing!, and then BAM a white butterfly seven! That was $35 and I was accumulating money like mad!
    But their Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild were not paying, and I lost most of it. Oh well...time for Arizona Charlies.

    AZ Charlies...NOT!!

    VPFree had a bonus deuces machine listed for AZC. But it was the Decatur casino and not this one, which only had a game called Airport Deuces, which is a 98% machine. So instead of going in, I just kept on trucking.


    Now it was getting dark, and I wanted to walk around some, so I went north to downtown!

    The Cortez

    I was told to use Cortez's valet because of excessive quantities of thieves trolling around the cars. The thieves seem to love to try locks, ignitions, and smash windows. So I thought I would ditch all that and go to the valet. The man there said Okay Okay just leave the keys in and window down, but I had to tell him the door lock didn't work and that if he put the key in the door, he would never be able to get it out. I was going to tell him to use the club next, but he stopped me and said "nah I don't want to do this...my man wouldn't know what to do." Whatever! So I backed out onto the street, tried a garage that was meant for hotel guests, and had to back out onto the street again.

    And the Cortez makes you pay for parking in the other garage now, so I paid $5 basically to give the thieves street cattle. Great! We're really doing well. Here comes the good news!

    Signed up for their player's card and was told about some dinky blah blah bonus after some very high amount of coin-in, but I was really there for the ATM special, which I took max advantage of. I must have rattled their cage (no pun intended) because the guy there peppered me with questions like Is this your first time? Did you earn 1500 points? Have you done this before? Basically, are we actually giving something away? But yes, I did get my free play certificate and yes! I did have some luck.

    Thank You for the jackpots, Cleopatra! It all started with 3 scatters. And then it started again...with four scatters during the bonus! Yessss...that's right: 7 scatters. You will see that Cortez management was very scattered indeed in just a moment.

    Now instead of walking away a winner, I saw a lady with a very nice Kicker on a $1 triple double bonus machine. Her Kicker was excellent and she was playing another machine with some very lucrative-sounding music. I decided to grok some of her luck at Turkey Hunt. (Wait a minute...I almost forgot to talk about bowling at Sam's. Forthcoming!) And grok I did! I got ALL TARGETS on Turkey for another $30 takeaway. And then, I heard some gobbling from the management.

    Some...Turkey, yes...comes up next to me and, in the midst of his muttering, says "Sometimes they get lucky." Now I don't know about you, but I read that as kind of a complaint. So basically Turkey Hunt gives me $30 and you're effectively saying you don't have enough money to bank a 20-cent machine? Anyway, nevermind. I learned on VMB and other places that getting backed off at the ElCo is like a right of passage, so I just decided to sew on that merit badge and leave.

    Fremont St.

    The Gate

    The ACG had some good dining coupons, I thought, so I went to Fremont, the Gate, and Binions. Stop #1 was the Gate. They gave me scissors and had me cut out the coupon myself. Nope. No front-end comps just yet. Not until I cut the coupon. So here is my match-play coupon, ma'am. And here is your giant poker chip, sir. I went to roulette and said Here is the poker chip, on red. Here is $25, on black. "You can't do that, sir." Well, why? I learned that that's not how a match-play works. So I went to blackjack, doubled to 14 or 15, and lost to 19. Darn.

    To the woodshed! They had an 8/6 bonus deluxe, which is (98.5%, 31), and I had a cab made. Nice full glass! But I didn't drink it all and decided to play a few slots because of their $25-for-$200-in coupon. Was that a mistake! WoM (wheel of misfortune) took about $80 and the others took another $20. I did not think downtown slots were set to the maximum difficulty. Maybe that's just the Gate. Another put-off was the "party pit" which seemed almost like a Chuck E Cheese...the dancing seemed just too staccato and forced, like they really didn't want to be there. But okay, that's just one venue.


    Came for their $10-for-$25 coupon and got a deck of cards with it. Very rediculous. Told they had coin droppers there and changed $80 into quarters and got 8 rolls. So I went to the back and put the money in, and it just dropped into the hopper. Maybe they didn't fill the machine? So I tried paper money and that didn't work. Definitely a loading issue, and they were dumping hundreds of dollars into another machine, just not this one. So I went to another cage and they changed the money in a special area toward the back. I played an 8/5 BP instead and considered it kind of a chore to scoop up all those quarters (at a loss).


    This was actually one of the big reasons I came downtown. I wanted their binions burger and had a coupon for a X2. So after peregrinating for awhile (tom-tom, please), I found the Cafe and got two plates. Finished them both, asked for the check, and basically paid full price thanks to a drink and tax.

    The burgers were actually not that great and seemed like something you would get from a McFry. It just seemed too basic and I thought it was a 1/2 lb each. Seemed a lot less than that! Alright, passing grade.

    It seemed "busy" on Fremont but not jam-packed. It was Father's Day and maybe school had not yet gotten out and that meant a drop in traffic. That's good for me since I hate running into people and try to exercise care in that regard.

    Back to the lot, and the car's still there.


    Getting late now: it's midnight. I parked in their lot after getting bad directions from the guy taking $5 at the Cortez (go left at Main. No, should have told me to go right!) The draw here? Good listed games on vpfree2 and good bartops. But of course they had a WoM and even though the guy next to me was spinning like crazy, I lost $50 instantly. Bar was good though (in stark contrast to our in-state options here...) and the barkeeper made me a cab.

    Now what about those scratch cards? Here comes a quad, and so I stop playing and turn on my light. The slot attendant came and watched me scratch off a $2 card, and I went back to playing before losing some more.

    But the BIG trouble came later. I thought I had my parking ticket, but no, it wasn't anywhere. Wasn't in the book, wallet, or on the bar countertop. I made 1,000 points and asked if they could get me out of the lot. They just seemed kind of rude and gave the kind of lip service that is in heavy supply at some of the tribal options here. And the new bartender wanted to join the chorus which made me want the whole lot of them to eat it.

    So, hmm. $25 for a lost ticket. Thank goodness the gate operator was sympathetic and let me out. I fumbled a little bit and found a "ticket" in my wallet, but he didn't seem to want my "ticket." I was very grateful and that made the experience a plus.

    Treasure Island and The Walk

    Now it is 2 A.M. and I am parked at TI (for free, by the way...most places on the strip charge for parking now). I had some coffee earlier and was totally wired, yikes. So I decided to walk down to the strip and then to the Cosmo to (1) see what the City is like after "last call," (2) to see what a casino based on a cosmopolitan city is like, and (3) to see if there is "last call" on the strip now here in the year 2017.

    I found it odd that a fair portion of the strip was turned off and traffic was very sparse. Isn't this the 24 Hour City? That's what I was told at the San Remo. But maybe 2-6 AM is break time now. I just haven't kept up.
    Strange company, a man questioned by the cops with patrol cars x3, empty(!) casinos, and hot weather. I went in and out of a few places and decided to mention Planet Hollywood because (1) Six quick hits! and (2) rumor, at least, or a very good ultimate X. But otherwise, why am I out this late...


    Right! To go inside Cosmopolitan. Now the Cosmo wasn't totally dead: the Chandelier bar had a number of people there along with a smattering of yakkity-yaks that I didn't really want to speak with. I was cozied by a lady in back of me (I really like your hair...backscratch...do you have a girlfriend...backscratch...we should do something together...backscratch). While flattered, I thought it a little off-board and told her I wanted to see if the bartender would make me a hard to make drink. (She wanted a martini I think, can't remember...)

    Bartender, if I play the machines, will you make me a Fuzzy Navel? Sure. Okay, fine, I'll play 6/5 Bonus for that. Here it comes (that was quick...) and yeow! too sweet. I thought it would be harder and it just didn't seem right. Blingadingadingadingading, ticket, here's your dollar, goodbye.

    Now as I was sipping my OJ, I found a penny top dollar. I've always wanted to play top dollar, and this was accessible, so in the money goes! Ding ding ding! Then the sound of a crazy flute and it's time for top dollar. My third offer was 500 credits. Winner! So great, that was the cosmopolitan at about 3:45 AM and hats off to the juice bar...next time make it a Welch's, pal! Grapes of wrath, oy vey.

    The Shower

    I walked back to my car and 5 AM came soon. Now this trip wasn't supposed to get this crazy, but I am reeking like mad and can't get the a/c to work. Aha! I have a 24 hour fitness membership and if I find a place with towel service, I can shower at least. So I went ALL the way away to find a shower (and got badly lost on the freeway), and eventually found the place. Yes, it was worth it: I showered and stunk a lot less and decided to stay until evening because the heat on the way back would be oppressive.

    Red Rock

    I drove to Summerlin and had an early gamble at Red Rock. It was 7 A.M. and I bought the most expensive coffee in my life: their little cafe was over $4 (Starbucks would have been cheaper). It was empty and I found a triple bonus near some tables. Some decent luck there with multiple 5-K quads over 2 hours. Not so decent luck in the high limit room playing 8/5 BP dream card. Dream on...$200 gone in about 5 minutes. Oh well...that's dream card and is the case with many video poker features.

    Sammy II

    Back to Sam's for a buffet out of the ACG and some video poker. Excellent luck within about 15 minutes with 2 quads and I'm back up for the trip! The buffet probably should have been called "chez buffet okay" because it was just okay. Some stuff was very cold and the Firelights (heat lamps) were not firing up the food enough. Seater wanted me to sit in the back in some sad corner away from the food and I insisted on being put closer, which she did. I passed on dessert and felt that I got my money's worth.

    Now Sam's has a theater which was an excellent way to pass the heat. I saw Cars 3 and felt (no spoilers here) that it just wasn't as good as Cars 1 and 2 and that Disney wanted to kill off the franchise as some scenes seemed purposely poorly done--and not at the direction of most of the creative staff. But it was fun and, importantly, cool.

    Joker's Wild

    I thought they had a very good machine here, but I couldn't find it, so I just left.

    Emerald Island

    This is an interesting place. It is part of a triad of casinos: El Dorado and Rainbow Club are the other two. I came here specifically to play their penny video poker since the games seemed quite good. After pulling into the lot from the back and parking, I signed up for a player's card. After playing the machines for about 5 minutes, they gave me a card with coupons in it for some food nearby, but I thought I would go to South Point instead toward the end of the trip and eat there.

    The penny VP there is good: 1c, 2c, 5c and 5-30 coins per hand, 3/5/10 play. They have good JoB, good deuces, and good bonus. No multipliers, though, although it seems like a decent place to get some small gifts. I played 60c x 10 and hit the deuces, but I was chasing the royal and ended up giving the machines $300. There was one really annoying thing: this constant smell of fish. It smelled like fish the whole time and to add to the fishy smell was this fishy guy smoking like a choo choo train out of a vaping device. So I had the smell of fish and dirty menthol in my face most of the time and when I was done, I smelled like fish and eucalyptus with tar.

    I did lose, but the machines are pretty good and I will return so long as that fish and menthol smell are thrown out the window.

    The M

    This was not planned, but there was a sign saying heavy traffic in California. (I found out later that it was road work in two places and that the delay was about 45 minutes.) M had a $500 loss rebate running, but I didn't think I would be able to come back when they said if I lost so pass. Despite good games inside, I could not find them and sat down at a bonus poker and lost about $20. But later, some good news at a 10x pay where I turned the loss into a $30 win. Friendly CWs and coffee service.


    The drive back was at night and I made it home at about the stroke of midnight. A good trip with plenty to do, and I enjoyed it very much. Nevertheless, this was Vegas the Hard Way and my next trip will be much more carefully planned!

    TIMSPEED Comps on my account, or blood on my knife.

    Aug 8, 2013
    BART Blue Line Train
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report..reminded me of Big Empire style..very nice.
  3. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

    Apr 22, 2014
    South Jersey
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I enjoyed reading your whirlwind tour. Wow. How many hours were you up without sleeping? Did you grab a nap in the movie theater? Sounds like a trip I would have made at around 24 but now that I'm 58 I couldn't do it. I need a bed on a regular basis. :snore:
  4. Geogran

    Geogran VIP Whale

    May 1, 2014
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    That was some road triip! You really hit a LOT of casinos - wish I had that much stamina.
    Thanks for taking us along.
  5. john1516inny

    john1516inny High-Roller

    Aug 19, 2008
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Wow, that is some trip. really cool report!
  6. BobLasVegas

    BobLasVegas Low-Roller

    Jan 30, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Wow. You did a lot. I am tired just from reading about it! LOL
    • Like Like x 1
  7. MiamiDave

    MiamiDave You Can't Handle the Truth

    May 13, 2017
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Haven't read through it all yet, but what jumped out at me so far was: why don't you just fix your car?
  8. D in the D

    D in the D Oldest ride, Longest Line

    May 21, 2013
    Canton, MI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Wow, just reading that report made me tired. Nice job on this write up. Thanks for sharing.
    Annual Mom's Birthday Trip
  9. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Caesars Diamond Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    brooklyn, ny
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report. You really moved around!! Kudos to you, I would never be able to do that. My vacation to Vegas means checking into a hotel on the Strip, pool, gambling, food, alcohol:drunk: and back to sleep for a few hours. Hate changing hotels or driving all around. Need to relax on my vacations!!
  10. spinette

    spinette True Aficionado

    Jun 2, 2014
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    For a moment. The film just didn't perform well. That and the all-nighter plus the cold a/c made it tempting to rest for a while!
  11. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

    Sep 19, 2010
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Driving through Baker with no AC is punishing, can't believe anyone would do that.
    Summer at Sam's
  12. vegaskid74

    vegaskid74 VIP Whale

    Jul 5, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Wait a minute - you think you were backed off from slots at El Cortez for being too good? They don't call it "The Sweaty Spaniard" for nothing, but I've never heard of a player being barred from playing slots, at the ElCo or anywhere else. And you drove all the way out to Joker's Wild without playing some craps with the world famous surly locals? For shame!
  13. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Jul 22, 2015
    The Island
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nicely done, spinette! :thumbsup: Way to go!
    I feel like a nap and a shower after reading this! :faint:

  14. Funstuie

    Funstuie Low-Roller

    Dec 30, 2016
    Bay Area
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Good report.
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