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XXX Trip – Mar. 6-11, 2021 – The (Belated) Rhinoman TR - NOT Live

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by rhinoman7, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Whale-wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,056
    Location:
    Kenosha
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30

    My Trip Report

    Better late than never??

    We thought our last trip in November would be the last for a long time, since we got a new puppy in December. However, I received an invite to the Flamingo Blackjack Tournament, and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play in a tournament where there would only be 3 players per table!!! Seeing as to how our puppy would only be 4 months old at the time of our trip, we really didn’t feel comfortable boarding her, so we asked some good friends of ours if they would be able to puppy sit for us, and they said YES! They have a 2 year hold GSP (German Short-hair Pointer) that is a monster compared to our little Beagle puppy, but we get together with them on a somewhat regular basis, and the two dogs just have a great time together!

    Let the planning begin!!!!

    This was my 30th trip to Vegas! It was our 17th trip together.

    I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of all my stays in Vegas, and at the end of this trip, I have stayed in Vegas for 100 nights total!!! Yikes!!!

    Booking the flight was easy…….flying out of MDW (instead of MKE) since it was only $49 each way, for a total of $196 round trip for the both of us!!! (It would have been almost $500 flying out of MKE!)

    Rental car rates were crazy, but I was able to secure a vehicle from the Executive Aisle with National for $289 for the week. I figured I could get a better rate at some point before our trip, but the rate continued to go UP instead! Glad I locked in when I did!!!

    Since the tournament was at the Flamingo, figured we would stay there during that time. However, we wanted to take advantage of the mLife offer of comped rooms with Resort Credit and Free Play while they were still offering! Chose Luxor, since it was $100 RC (most other properties it was $50) along with $50 FP. Booked our first two nights there in a Tower Elite King Room, with the final 3 nights being at the Flamingo in one of the newly renovated Flamingo Rooms. All nights were comped, only had to pay resort fees.

    I was able to save up a good bankroll, the largest I have ever had for a Vegas trip! Divided up into 5 envelopes, one for each night. As it would turn out, I only had to open the first night’s envelope. Never even touched the other 4 envelopes! Needless to say, it was a good trip!

    We met with our friends the weekend before our trip to go over our schedule with them and make plans on what to bring. All that was left was to finish planning and packing!

    Planning this trip was a bit difficult, since we weren’t going to any shows, and I needed to leave time open in hopes of advancing in the tournament. I really like to plan everything out, but the last couple of trips were the same in the planning area. Ended up making a general outline of plans, and going with the flow most of the time, which actually has worked out well, as it did for this trip as well. Despite that, I still like to spend a considerable amount of time planning the trip ahead of time. That is all part of the fun for me!

    Well, enough housekeeping…..on with the trip!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  2. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Whale-wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Kenosha
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Day 1 – Saturday – March 6

    Since it was Saturday and I didn’t have to work today, we saved most of the packing for this morning. Got that done, and left around 12:30pm to drop off our puppy with our friends. They live in Gurnee, IL, which is on the way to the airport. We needed to be on the road to the airport by 2pm, but we wanted to spend some time with them before leaving. Ended up staying for about an hour, letting our puppy get used to her new home for the next several days. (While we get together with our friends on a regular basis, it is always them coming to our house since our puppy was so young. Now that she has been to their house once, we will start going there more often.) It is always so much fun to watch the two dogs play together and chase each other all over the place. We finally said our good-byes, and were on the road a little after 2pm.

    No traffic, so we were to the airport in no time! Parked our van at the Park-N-Fly, and took their shuttle to the airport. Got checked in, and waited for a wheelchair for my wife. Didn’t take long, and we ended up getting to the gate almost 2 hours before our flight time. Once we got settled, I headed for the nearby Home Run Inn pizza place and got us each a sausage personal pizza for dinner. Very good!

    Turns out there were 22 empty seats on our flight, so we were able to get row 5 to ourselves! Flight left on time, and arrived a little early. Nice smooth flight, and watched several different things on my phone to pass the time.

    Arrived to a waiting wheelchair, which was being pushed by the same girl we had on our last trip in November. Showed her pictures of our new puppy while we waited for our luggage, which only took about 5 minutes. Headed out to the rental car shuttle just as it was leaving, but another one showed up a couple minutes later. There weren’t many people to load, so we were on our way pretty quickly.

    For our trip in November, we came home on a Friday, and when we arrived at the airport, we saw that the line for the rental car shuttle was extremely long!!! I was afraid this was going to be the case for us this time, and I tried asking about this for other people’s recent experiences on Saturdays, but never got any good responses. However, we arrived at the rental car center, headed for the National Lot, only to see that their lot was completely empty!!! There were some cars in the Alamo lot, but not many. We had a full size reserved in the Executive Aisle, and were hoping for a larger SUV (since we were going to have a wheel chair), but this didn’t look good! Talked to the attendant and told her what we were looking for. Turns out they had two larger SUVs all the way on the other side of the lot, and she offered to go get one of them for us. I asked her to get the larger one, and we ended up with a Hyundai Santa Fe. Perfect!!! Loaded our stuff, and were on our way!

    First stop is at CVS to get supplies for the room.

    Now, on to the Luxor! I dropped my wife off at the front entrance, and we left our luggage with the bellman. I then self-parked and walked to the front of the Luxor. I met my wife at the bell desk to rent a wheel chair. Originally, it was going to be $60 for 5 days, but they had just raised the prices a couple days before, so it was now going to be $100! It was still worth it, though.

    Had to wait in line for about 10 minutes to check-in. We had reserved a Tower Elite room, and there was only 1 left in the West tower. I asked about getting something in the East tower, but we would have had to downgrade our room. Didn’t want to do that, since we would lose the fridge! My thinking was that the East tower was more convenient, but as it turned out, the West tower was closer to the parking lot, so that worked out better. Verified our resort credit and free play, and it was off to our room on the 14th floor.

    Got to our room around 10pm, and called for our luggage, which didn’t take long. Got a bit settled in, and my wife was about done for the day! It was definitely a long day for her! Got her tucked in for the night, and headed down to play.

    Even though it was a Saturday night, there weren’t many tables open, and it wasn’t nearly as crowded as I thought it was going to be!

    First stop was the $25 8-deck shoe table. Bought in for $300, and played for about 2 hours. Finished with $500, so up $200.

    Next was the $10 UTH table. Bought in for a total of $205, and after an hour, finished with $205. Even!

    It was now 1:30am, and I was TIRED! Up $200 for the trip so far, so it was a good time to call it a night. Back to the room, and was asleep by 2am.
     
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  3. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Whale-wannabe

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kenosha
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Day 2 – Sunday – March 7

    Awake at 5:30am. 3.5 hours of sleep for the first night is pretty good. Slowly got ready for the day.

    Headed downstairs a little before 9am and got added to the wait list at the Pyramid Café. Was told about 25-30 minute wait, so headed for the mLife window to get our free play loaded. As it turned out, there was only one person working there, and she was working with the people ahead of us for a long time! After 15 minutes, we get the text that our table is ready at the café, so we decided to come back after breakfast.

    Service and food were amazing, as usual! Have eaten here almost every trip for the past 12+ years, and it has never disappointed!!! Charged the meal to our room to take advantage of the Resort Credit.

    Back to the mLife window, and another line! However, it didn’t take very long this time. We were able to get the $25 myKonami free play loaded onto both of our cards, along with the $50 free play from our room offer.

    Spent the next hour slotting around, using up the free play. Ended with $35. Definitely better than nothing!

    By now, it is just about 11am, which is opening time for the Pearl Factory. We decided to check out the one in the Luxor again this time. This was where it all started, many years ago! However, for the past few years, we have been going to the one in the Excalibur. Headed upstairs to find that they were still in the process of opening, and said they would be ready around 11:30am.

    So, we headed over to Mandalay Bay, walking through Mandalay Place and checking out some of the shops. It was so sad to see Burger Bar all closed up!!! RIP!!!

    Headed for the MB mLife desk, and got our myKonami free play loaded, $25 for each of us. Slotted around for almost an hour and ended with $85. Much better than Luxor.

    Stopped at Cocolini on the way back for some yummy gelato! Our second favorite dessert in Vegas! (Our first favorite will be discussed later in the week)

    Got back to the Pearl Factory around 12:30pm, and met a new friend. My wife had her two loose pearls from our last trip that she wanted to get set. Long story short, after about 90 minutes, she had 4 pearls set, with only 1 loose pearl left!! However, I learned something new when I was reviewing the receipt. She was charged $15.99 for a pearl, which I thought were free with each setting she purchases. Come to find out that this has been happening almost every time! Which explains why she is always walking away with at least 1 loose pearl!!! And here I thought the only pearl we ever paid for was the first one we bought back in 2009!!! Turns out she ends up paying for 1 pearl each time she has had anywhere from 3-5 pearls set! Oh, well…..live and learn!!! LOL!!! I must say that I have missed the Luxor Pearl Factory. It is much quieter than the one in Excalibur! It was nice to be back at this one!

    By now, we are both ready for a nap! Back up to the room to rest up for the evening.

    After my nap, I got a little curious about the room we were staying in. It reminded me of the room we stayed in on our first visit back in 2008, which was called a Player’s Suite. I was able to find a copy of our folio from that trip in my e-mail, and it turns out we stayed in room 13204. Guess what room we were now in? Room 14204! Turns out we were staying in the room right above the room we stayed in for our first visit to Vegas!!! I thought that was pretty cool! Of course, we didn’t pay resort fees back then, but we did pay for the room, seeing as to how it was our very first visit!

    Here is a breakdown of our charges from 2008:

    Night 1:
    Room Charge – $134.00
    Local Phone - $2.00
    Tax - $12.06
    Room Service - $45.29 (Dinner)

    Night 2:
    Room Charge - $100.00
    Local Phone - $2.00
    Tax - $9.00
    Aurora Lounge - $0.72
    Pyramid Café - $21.91 (Breakfast)

    (I believe we might have been comped a little based on my play, which is why the Aurora Lounge and Pyramid Café charges were less than they should have been)

    Grand total for this room for 2 nights in 2008: $326.98 (2 meals, no resort fees)

    Grand total for this room for 2 nights in 2021: $95.26 (3 meals, resort fees)

    Anyway….not sure why I included all of this in my TR, but thought it was interesting enough!

    It was getting closer to dinner time, so we got ready to head down for our 5:30pm reservations at Public House. We have planned on trying this place out for a long time, and we actually were seated here for dinner last March when my wife was having pains in her appendix area, which prompted us to leave and head for the hospital. (Turned out to be kidney stones!)

    Arrive at Public House to a little line. Each person was being told it was a 45 minute wait, which made us a bit nervous! However, since we had a reservation, we were seated right away!

    We each got a burger. I got the fries and wife got the onion rings. Food was very good, and so was the service. Guess this will have to do for now since Burger Bar is gone. Charged the meal to the room.

    After dinner, headed over to Excalibur to redeem our myKonami free play. Got that loaded, and went to where the Wild Pirates machines used to be, and had a bit of trouble finding them. Turns out they reconfigured the machines into pods of 4 so they didn’t have to block ever other machine. By the time we played through our free play, we had $65 in the machine, but we love this machine so much we kept playing. Ended up putting another $140 total, which kept us playing for about an hour. After hitting a really good bonus, we were back up to $100, so we cashed out. Only down $40. (Well, $105 if you include the $65 we could have walked with from the free play. LOL!)

    Stopped at Krispy Kreme for some donuts and headed back to our room to enjoy them.

    After relaxing in the room for a while and enjoying some donuts, it was bedtime for the wife, and playtime for me. It was about 10:00pm when I got downstairs for my last night at the Luxor.

    Started at the UTH table, which was $15. Bought in for $400, and was able to play for quite a while, and finally cashed out with $500.

    Next was blackjack. However, they didn’t have the $25 table open tonight, and the few tables they did have open were 6:5 and full. After walking around the tables a few times and confirming this, I finally decided to walk over to Mandalay Bay. They had more tables open, but all three of their $25 3:2 tables were full! After a few trips around the casino, a couple spots finally opened up at one of the $25 tables, so I joined in. Bought in for $300 and played a couple of shoes, and cashed out with $500.

    By now it was after midnight, and I was very tired! Walked back to the Luxor and was back to the room at 12:30am. Asleep by 1:00am. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  4. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Whale-wannabe

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    30
    Day 3 – Monday – March 8

    Woke up at 6:00am, and started to get some things packed up for our move to the Flamingo. To make our move a bit easier, I thought I would see if we could get one more night in our current room, but unfortunately, they were all booked up with that room type, so we would have had to move rooms in the Luxor, which just didn’t make sense. So, we asked for a late check-out at noon to give us a little more time.

    Once we were all ready for the day, we headed down to the Pyramid Café and got added to the wait list at 9:40am. We were told it was going to be a 45 minute wait, so we slotted around while waiting. Made a little money in the process, and got the text at 10:20am that our table was ready.

    Another awesome breakfast at our favorite place for breakfast in Vegas!!! I got the basic breakfast, and my wife got the chocolate chip pancakes. The pancakes were covered with chocolate chunks! It looked amazing! As usual, our meals were spot-on and delicious!!! Used what little I had in Express Comps, and charged the rest to the room to finish up our resort credit.

    Headed back to the room to finish packing, and called for help with our luggage.

    Got checked out, and our final bill was around $95. Not bad for two nights in a nice Tower room along with three meals. We still love the Luxor!!!

    On the way out, we stopped at the Pearl Factory to have the tape removed from my wife’s settings. I took my wife out to the pick up area in front and then went to get our vehicle from the parking lot. It was at this point that I realized we never even used the vehicle while we were here! At one point I thought about possibly shortening our time with the rental car and just using uber/lyft for the beginning of our trip to help save money on the rental car, but once I figured it all out, it was going to be about the same price, so I just decided to get the rental car for the whole trip. Plus, our original plan was to go downtown on Sunday night, but neither one of us really felt like going down there.

    Drove around to pick up my wife and our luggage, and we were on our way. Since it was still rather early, our plan was to go to Casino Royale and play there to kill some time, but we weren’t too keen on parking anywhere with all of our luggage. So, we decided to just head straight for the Flamingo and hope they had a room ready for us.

    Before our trip, I had sent an e-mail to the Flamingo asking if their valet parking was going to be open during our stay, and we were told that it would be. So, we headed for the main entrance, only to find out that valet was NOT open! So, we left our luggage with the bell desk, and headed into the crazy self-parking garage. That has got to be one of the most poorly designed parking garages that I have ever used!!! We finally found a good spot, and headed inside for the front desk. However, we had to pass through the salespeople gauntlet on the way!!!!

    Got in line for the kiosks, and asked about possibly getting help from an actual person. We were told we had to use the kiosks, so we waited for about 10 minutes for one to be free. It took a couple of tries for it to finally accept my driver’s license, and we then started going through the check-in process. There was no option to use a different CC than what we had reserved the room with, so in the end we had to get into a different line to talk to an actual person. After about another 10-15 minute wait, we were finally able to check in. The other reason I didn’t want to use the kiosk to check in is because I wanted to make sure that we could get a room not overlooking the pool area! Since the pools were open now, didn’t want to have to deal with that infernal booming music while trying to take an afternoon nap!!!

    The person that helped us was great! They had two different rooms on the 12th floor that were ready, but we would be charged a $15 early check in fee, since it was before 4pm. Not a problem, since we just wanted to get into a room. We did want a higher floor, but that would have meant taking a 2 Queen room, or waiting until later when a King room opened up. The lower floor was better than the wait, so we took it.

    Because of where our room was, we had to use the main elevators, which were not only close to the front desk, but very convenient for getting from the room to the casino! One tip: When you are heading from the front desk to these elevators, there is a bank of 4 elevators closest to the front desk area, which seems to be where most people stop. This means they are slower and more crowded! However, if you keep walking, there is another bank of 8 elevators literally steps from this first bank which not very many people seem to use. We made it a point to use these during our stay, and we hardly ever had to wait for an elevator, and more often than not we were alone in the elevators.

    Got to our room, and it was a nice room! This was my wife’s first stay here, and she was impressed. Called for our luggage, and it was to our room within 10 minutes.

    After getting unpacked and settled in a bit, my wife was ready for a nap. So I tucked her in, and headed downstairs to scope out the registration area. It was only 2:30pm, and registration didn’t start until 3:00pm, but I thought there might be a line forming already, and I wanted to get registered as early as possible so that I could take advantage of the re-buy in if needed.

    As it turned out, registration was on the third floor in one of the convention rooms. Got there, and saw that they were already registering people! There were three registration tables, so I was able to register really quick! They had me pick from several slips of paper, which contained table and seat assignments. I chose one, and it was for 9:00am (First session of the tournament), and I got seat 1 at my table! That meant I would be last to bet on the last hand! Excellent seat assignment!!!

    Since it was only a little after 2:30pm, and my wife was napping, I figured I would head down to the casino for a while. Stopped at the Mississippi Stud (MS) table, but it was full. Ended up sitting at the nearby LIR table and told the pit boss I was interested in the next open spot at MS. He then proceeded to tell me about the various players there, a couple who had been there since 3am, and that a spot probably wouldn’t be opening up anytime soon. Ended up playing LIR ($5) for about 30 minutes before 2 spots opened up at the MS table! Bought in for $100, and finished with $150.

    Quickly moved over to the MS table, which was $10. Bought in for a total of $450, and played for about 1.5 hours. It was a very fun table, and I cashed out with $700. I was now ready for a nap!

    Headed back upstairs and napped with the wife for the rest of the afternoon.

    We woke up around 7:30pm and were a bit hungry, but we didn’t feel like going out anywhere. Decided to go downstairs to Bonanno’s in the food court and got a couple slices of pepperoni and took them back to the room. Charged them to the room, and stopped at the soda machine on our floor for a couple bottles of pop. Pizza was good, but for some reason, I chipped a crown while eating it! Actually, it was a poorly done fix from the crown cracking a long time ago, and maybe now I can get it fixed the right way!

    After a long day of moving and a good dinner, my wife was ready to call it a night around 9:30pm. Got her tucked in, and headed downstairs. Only played until midnight, since I had to get an early start in the morning.

    Ended up playing MS for a little over 2 hours. Very fun table! Bought in for $800, and cashed out with $1500. Headed back to the room and was asleep by 12:30am.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  5. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Whale-wannabe

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Day 4 – Tuesday – March 9

    Awake at 4:30am! I was too afraid of oversleeping, so just got up. Didn’t want to have a big breakfast before the tourney, so we each had a meal bar to tide us over. Took our time getting ready for the day and just enjoyed the fact that we didn’t have to go anywhere this morning!

    Headed downstairs at 8:30am and found the tourney pit. Found a spot for my wife to settle and watch, and then joined my table a little before 9:00am. Here were the results of Round 1:

    I was in seat 1 of 3, so I was going to be the last to bet on the last hand. The first hand starts, and the lady in seat 2 pushes all of her chips into the circle, gets out of her chair, and starts to put her coat on. Pretty weird, but I have seen some crazy things over the years! She is dealt a 15 against a dealer face card. She waves her hand off, and the dealer makes a hand with the 6 she would have gotten had she taken the hit. Now it is down to 2 players! I guess this is going to be easier than I thought???

    For the rest of the hands, both of us were pretty much betting the $25 minimum. I upped my bet to $50 a couple of times, but by the last hand, I was in the lead by $75. The other guy bets first and only bets $25, which didn’t make sense to me, but who am I to complain! I also bet $25, knowing that no matter what, I was winning this round! As it turns out, he wasn’t really paying attention, and didn’t realize it was the last hand! He argued with the dealer and the pit about this, but there was nothing that could be done. Play stops after hand 17 to do a chip count, and then hand 20 is the last hand, so there is not really an excuse for missing the fact that it was the last hand. I felt bad for the guy, but I was so glad that I wouldn’t have to worry about a re-buy in later today!!!!

    Headed back upstairs to registration to get my table assignment for Round 2 the next day. 9:00am start, and again was going to be in Seat 1. Sweet!!! Since I was done with the tournament for the day, we had the rest of the day to ourselves!!!

    Went back downstairs to walk through the Wildlife Garden, but it was pretty chilly out there, so we didn’t stay out there for too long. Decided to head back up to the room for a nap. Now that the adrenaline rush from the tournament was wearing off, plus the fact that I only slept 4 hours last night, I needed a quick nap.

    After sleeping for about an hour, I headed downstairs while my wife finished her nap.

    For some reason, I decided to give VP a try. Played quarter DDB. Put in $100 and played for quite a while, but didn’t hit very many good hands, so my money was dwindling away slowly but surely. However, I ended up hitting 4 aces, which brought me up to a little over $200! Played it down to $200 and cashed out.

    NOTE: Gambling for the rest of the day was not very good, and I stopped keeping track for the day. So, any results I share for the rest of today are from vague memories.

    Next, stopped at the MS table and player for about 1.5 hours. Bought in for a total of $800, and cashed out with $500. It was a fun table, but just not profitable. Guess I can’t win them all! LOL!

    Headed back up to the room, and my wife was finally awake. We were both hungry, so decided to head out and have a late lunch at Sonic! YUM!!! We did drive-thru and ate in the parking lot. For some reason, the food seems to be hotter and fresher when getting it from the drive-thru instead of the car-hop. We also find this to be the case at the Sonics near us in Wisconsin.

    Now it was time to head for Casino Royale. As we are walking through, I notice there is an Epic Monopoly machine near where it used to be, so I thought they had moved the one machine they had left. However, the other one was still in the same spot near the player’s club! Stopped here and found that we could take advantage of the $20 loss promo again!!! I have lost track of how many times we have been able to take advantage of this!! Got our “new” cards and headed for the Epic Monopoly machine, only to find that it was not active. I asked a slot attendant if they could activate it, but they said they couldn’t at that time. Didn’t understand, since the machine is in the middle of the floor all by itself. Since the other machine was being used, we headed for Wild Pirates! However, we couldn’t find them! There used to be 4 or 5 of these machine, but after looking through the whole casino, we finally found the one and only machine!!! We spent the next two hours playing Wild Pirates, Monopoly Millions, Willy Wonka, Village People Party, Super Jackpot Party, and of course, Epic Monopoly!!! In the end, we broke even!!! That was awesome, since at one point we were down about $160. If only the rest of the day went this well!!!

    Headed back home to our room. My wife wasn’t hungry, but I was. So I headed down and got another slice of pepperoni from Bonanno’s. After enjoying my dinner and chilling with my wife, it was getting a little late, and my wife was ready to call it a day. In retrospect, I was also tired and should have called it a day as well, but when in Vegas, I just can’t seem to do that!!! Tucked her in for the night and headed downstairs.

    Like I said, I didn’t keep track of my play tonight, but I did make some notes later the next day from what I remembered. It was a little fuzzy, since I was so tired! Here is what I remember:

    Started the night with $1000.
    Played Free Bet, $25 table, lost $200.
    Next was $10 MS. Lost another $200.
    Headed over to the Cromwell and played $5 MS. Played for quite a while and had a lot of fun, but lost another $200.
    Back to Flamingo, but the MS table was closed. Played $15 UTH for about 30 minutes, and lost another $250.
    Found a $15 Free Bet table and played for quite a while, but ended up losing the last $150.

    Despite the terrible night, I was still working out of my envelope from night #1.

    Got back to the room at 2:30am, and was asleep by 3:00am. Not sure why I stayed out this late, knowing I had a 9:00am table time in the morning!!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  6. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Whale-wannabe

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kenosha
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Day 5 – Wednesday – March 10

    Despite the late night (or is it early morning??), I was awake at 5:30am. Just kind of chilled in the room and had breakfast bars for breakfast, and then headed downstairs at 8:30am for Round 2.

    There were only 2 per table in this round, and I was in seat 1, so that meant I again was betting last on the last hand!

    Both of us were mainly betting the minimum on most of the hands, but the other player was winning most of her hands, while I was losing most of my hands, so she kept getting further ahead. On hand 12, she bet $25, so I bet $200. Was dealt 11 against a dealer 2, so doubled down. I figured this was my chance to take the lead! However, I lost the hand, so it put me even further behind!!!

    After hand 17, I had $700, while she had $1260.
    Hand 18: She bets $25, I bet $100. We both won the hand. Me: $800; Her: $1285.
    Hand 19: I bet $50, she bet $25. We both lost the hand. Me: $750; Her: $1260.
    Hand 20 – Final Hand: She bets $25, so I go all in with my $750. She doubled down on her 10 against the dealer 5, and was dealt a 5 for a 15. I was dealt a pair of 9s, but couldn’t split since I went all in, so I stayed. I needed the dealer to either draw to 17 or bust. Guess what? The dealer busted!!!!

    Final results: Me: $1500; Her: $1310

    The good thing about advancing in this round is that you are guaranteed at least $700 in casino play!!! Headed back upstairs to get my table assignment for Round 3. Turns out it was going to be at 1:00pm, but I got seat 2 this time. Boo!!!!!

    We were both a bit hungry, so stopped at the coffee shop near the front desk and got a blueberry muffin and cheese Danish to take back to the room. Charged it to the room.

    Chilled out in the room and took a little nap for the rest of the morning. At 12:30pm, we headed back downstairs for Round 3.

    For this round, some tables had 3 players, and some tables had 2 players. Unfortunately, my table had 3 players, and I was in seat 2. Seat 1 was betting larger amounts for the first several hands and won most of those hands, so she took an early lead. Both me and the guy in seat 3 bet the $25 minimum for the first 19 hands. Normally I will bet the minimum for the first 10 hands, and then depending on how things are going, I will take a shot or two when I am betting last. There were two such hands in the second half of the round where I normally would have bet bigger, but for some reason, I just bet the minimum. It was a good thing, because I ended up losing both of those hands. Unfortunately, seat 3 was winning more hands than me, so I was easily in 3rd place.

    Here were the standings going into the 20th and final hand:

    Seat 1: $1360
    Me: $925
    Seat 3: $1175.

    Seat 1 bets first, and only bets the minimum.
    I don’t have much of a choice, so I go all in with my $925.
    Seat 3, after thinking about it for quite a while, finally decides to go all in with his $1175.

    Seat 1 stood on soft 17.
    I hit to 17.
    Seat 3 stood on less than 17.

    (I can’t remember our exact cards, or the dealer’s upcard)

    My thought at the time was that I needed the dealer to have 17 so I would push and Seat 3 would bust out. However I later realized that if that did happen, I still would have lost, since Seat 1 held back more than what I had. The dealer ended up busting.

    Final results:
    Seat 1: $1385
    Me: $1850
    Seat 3: $2350

    Bottom line…..there was absolutely NOTHING I could have done differently (other than betting bigger on a couple of the hands I did win, which I was not in betting position to do) to have changed the outcome of this round. This means I wasn’t left with a bunch of regrets like I have been in previous tournaments where I could have advanced had I made a different decision on the final hand. I was bummed to have lost, but felt good advancing to some money for my second time!!!

    Headed back upstairs to get my $700 in table play. I got 7 tickets which were good for $100 each. I decided to save these for later.

    Headed back to the room to chill for a while and decide what we wanted to do next. The rest of our day was free now that I was out of the tournament.

    We finally decided to head over to the Bellagio and self-parked. Unfortunately, they were in the process of changing the Conservatory over, so that was a bummer. We did however, stop to watch for a while. Pretty interesting!

    Headed back to Café Gelato and got a scoop of mint chocolate chip and a scoop of cookies and crème to split. We learned from the last time that their medium gelato is about twice the size of the medium at Cocolini, so we just got one to split this time! It definitely hit the spot!!!

    Since I had $10 of point play on my card, we decided to use it while we were here. Found a machine my wife likes, but had trouble getting the point play loaded, but an attendant was able to help. Played for about half an hour, but ended up losing $40 in the end.

    Headed back to the room to get a little nap in before our last evening in Vegas.

    After a nice nap, headed out around 4:30pm. Decided to drive down LVB towards downtown to see the new sign near The STRAT . However, since it wasn’t very dark out yet, it wasn’t lit up as much as I was hoping. On top of that, the road was terrible due to all of the construction going on!

    Arrived at the Golden Gate and valet parked. Walked through GG and over to Circa. There was a line to get in, and they were checking IDs. I had heard about this, so we got in line and got our IDs ready. When it was our turn, they just waved us in without checking out IDs. I wasn’t sure if I should feel special or insulted by this! LOL!

    Since it was only 5:00pm, and our dinner reservations were at 5:30pm, we walked around the casino to check it out. Very nice! The sportsbook looks amazing!! Wanted to head upstairs and check out the pool area, but decided not to. We ended up just heading downstairs to see if we could get seated early. We used to eat at N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms back when it was open, and loved Chef Barry! When we heard he now had his own place, we just had to check it out! So, here we were at Barry’s Downtown Prime Steakhouse!!! They were just opening up, and were able to seat us right away. My wife started with the wedge salad, and we got a nice bread basket. We both ordered the filet, a baked potato with all the fixins to split, and an order of fresh green beans. Everything was amazing!!! Of course, we had to finish things up with our favorite dessert in Vegas: the Campfire S’Mores!!! Just as good as it was at N9NE!!! Total bill was around $180, but it was sooooooo worth it!!!! We were originally going to do this on Sunday night, but so glad I moved it to our last night. It was a great meal for a final dinner in Vegas!!!

    Headed back to Golden Gate, and wife wanted to play some slots. Played Simpsons and Little Shop of Horrors for about an hour. Ended up losing a total of $200, but had a lot of fun!!!!

    Headed back to our room, started packing a little, and then tucked wife in for the night. Headed downstairs for my final hurrah!

    Went over to Cromwell to use my table play. Sat down at an empty $25 DD blackjack table. Pit had to confirm that I could use my table play there. Dealer hit to 21 on the first two hands, and I lost my first two coupons!!!! I decided to play the rest at Flamingo later. Headed to the $5 MS table, and played for a long time. Bought in for $400, left with $200. One of the dealers was born and raised in the Kenosha/Racine Wisconsin area, so we had some great conversations.

    Back to the Flamingo, and started at the $10 MS table. There was already one player in the first spot, so I joined in at the last spot. Bought in for $400 and played for about 30 minutes. Cashed out with $600.

    Next, sat at the $25 8-deck shoe table. This table did not have shields, so only 3 spots open at this table. I sat in the first spot, and there was someone already in the second spot. I had $500 in table play left from the tournament, so I was hoping to turn this into something! Didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but once the coupons were gone, I had $400 in chips. Since it was still somewhat early, and I thought that maybe I could do better than that, I decided to stay and play some more. I ended up playing for about 2 hours, and cashed out with $900. A great way to end the night, and the trip!!!

    Headed back to the room around 2:30am and fell asleep.
     
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  7. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Whale-wannabe

    Joined:
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    Kenosha
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    Day 6 – Thursday – March 11

    Woke up around 7:30am after a good night’s sleep! Since neither of us were very hungry, we decided to have meal bars for breakfast again. We then started getting ready for our trip home and got things packed up. I headed downstairs to see if I could have my play reviewed. We had just under $200 in room charges, but between my wife and I, we have over $200 in RCs, so we knew we wouldn’t be paying anything regardless. Got to the front desk and had to wait about 15 minutes for someone to be available to talk with. They ended up calling a host, and after using the $130 of RCs that I had, my bill was about $70, which the host said they would take care of!!! Very nice!!!

    Headed back upstairs to give my wife the good news!!! This was by far the cheapest trip to Vegas we have ever taken, along with going home with more money than any other trip! We were more than ready to get home! We didn’t have the “Leaving Las Vegas” blues that we usually have, and it was a nice change of pace!

    Finished packing up and called for help with the luggage. Headed down to get the car and met our luggage at the main entrance. Loaded up and headed for the Luxor to drop off the wheel chair. Next stop was the gas station to fill up the tank. Only $8!!!

    Dropped wife off at the front of the rental car center, and then went in to drop off the car. Met her at the shuttle, and we were on our way!

    Since the shuttle drops us off about as far away from the Southwest counters as they can, my wife found a seat right inside while I went to check us in, drop off the luggage, and get a wheel chair. Usually, they will let me just take a wheel chair and then I will bring her over to where they take over and take us to the gate. However, we ended up with a real go-getter of a man that brought the wheel chair over to my wife, and then proceeded to barrel his way through the security line! His philosophy was that the quicker he got us to the gate, the quicker he would be able to help the next person, which would equate to more tips! Despite the long line at the security checkpoint, he got us through and to our gate faster than we have ever gotten to our gate before!!! It wasn’t really necessary, since we were plenty early for our flight, but it sure was nice!!!! Tipped him well, and we were at our gate almost 2 hours before flight time! Turns out Nathan’s was right next to our gate, and we were very hungry by now, so we got some dinner from there. YUM!

    Before it was time to board, I got us each a bottle of soda, and a large bag of peanut butter M&Ms to share for the flight. Turns out there were almost 40 empty seats on our flight, so we ended up with row 5 to ourselves again! Took off on time, and arrived about 30 minutes early.

    Since we were going to be getting home a bit late, our friends decided to keep our puppy for one more night, and they brought her to our house the next night and we had dinner together.


    Final Thoughts

    This was our third trip since the shutdown, and despite not seeing any shows, we enjoyed each trip immensely! Not sure when our next trip will be, but I am sure we will be back sometime before the end of the year. Hopefully by then shows will be more back to normal, and we can get back to our “regular” way of doing Vegas.

    We almost went to visit the Rio this trip, but I didn’t think it would be worth it unless we could at least eat a meal there. Unfortunately, nothing was open during the week, so we took a pass. Now that it is going to be taken over by Hyatt, I am really bummed that we didn’t take the time to visit it one last time before it changes over!!!!
     
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  8. Courtney

    Courtney Resident polygamist

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Messages:
    514
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
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    22
    Great report. I’m only slightly disappointed to learn the XXX in the title was Roman numerals.
     
    20th Annual Bleach and Botox tour- hopefully.
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  9. HHW

    HHW Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2018
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    What a great trip!
     
    December fun!
    A Little Legend
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  10. Astribling

    Astribling Alice In Casinoland

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    Thanks for the report! Loved it and I love that you seem to enjoy Mississippi stud as much as I do!
     
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  11. Sparky4

    Sparky4 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
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    Let’s see the puppy!!
     
    Happy birthday to me!
    College Football Fun!
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  12. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Brady, The Goat , repeat LVI- #8

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
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    Location:
    Miramar , Florida
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    Nice report, thanks for sharing.:peace:
     
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  13. julia

    julia Craps, VP & Microbews

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
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    More puppy pix!

    Sounds like you had a great trip-nice finish in the tournament.
     
    Celine!
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  14. HornHighAceDuce

    HornHighAceDuce Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
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    Location:
    South Bay, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    Thank you for the trip info and the detailed play by play of the tournament. Felt like the ABC sports broadcast of days old. Great strategy insight. I went to Rio on a Tuesday-Wed. Quiet and not many tables open but that worked out in my favor-full craps table to myself.
     
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  15. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Whale-wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
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    Location:
    Kenosha
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Here she is:
    Xena.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  16. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Whale-wannabe

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
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    I used to play blackjack exclusively, but I eventually started playing LIR just as a change of pace. I really loved that game, but it slowly but surely is disappearing. A few years ago I have MS a try, and fell in love! I still play blackjack, but MS is definitely my game of choice right now!
     
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  17. WWGB

    WWGB High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
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    Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for sharing!

    Just to clarify, you were able to re-use the lose $20, get $20 in free play promo as opposed to the subsequent lose $100, get $20 in free play?
     
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  18. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Whale-wannabe

    Joined:
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    Not sure about the lose $100 for $20 free play, maybe that was a long time ago??? I know that I have been able to try this $20 loss promo several times over the past 4-5 years. My very first time trying, I ended up winning $100 on the Epic Monopoly slot and walked away. I assumed that I could come back the next day and try again, but was informed that it had to be a net loss of $20. Therefore, I would have had to lose a total of $120 in order to get that $20 in free play. No thanks!!
    I believe that your account becomes inactive after 6 months of no activity. The only time we use our card is to take advantage of the promo, so any other play after that is without the card.
     
  19. VegasBhoy67

    VegasBhoy67 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
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    Location:
    Bournemouth UK
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    great report and congrats on getting to Round 3 of the BJ tourney
     
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  20. cvkelz

    cvkelz Extremely Low Roller- like, I barely roll at all.

    Joined:
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    Monterey, CA
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    Oh my!!!!! She is just too precious for words!!! Those eyes!!!!!!!!!! :love::love::love:
     
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