Tag Archives: Atlantic City

Atlantic City, New Jersey: Full Day of Degenerate Gambling

I woke up at 6:15 am.  I was tired and thought I should go back to bed, but we all know how this goes, right?  GAMBLE.

I went out to get some iced coffee at Starbucks.  I meant to time the walk, but forgot.  My guess is that it is about ten minutes?   I got a trenta iced coffee (that is a size up from large) and a McDonalds breakfast sandwich and went back to the room….where I immediately dropped my trenta iced coffee.   It landed upside down, which was good in that it didn’t all spill out since the top was on it.  But was bad because it made the straw shatter and there were a million tiny green plastic pieces now floating in my coffee.  No no no no no no no no noooooooooooooooooooo.  NOT MY TRENTA ICED COFFEE YOU BASTARD.

UGH.

DEATH.

NO.

BAH.

BAD.

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So anyway.  After eating my breakfast with no iced coffee, I took a shower and headed downstairs to use my Caesars $10 free play.  I also had a promotional offer to swipe my card and get a multiplier on points.  Of course, zero of the kiosks were working, and the Total Rewards Center was not yet open.   Of course.  So I played anyway, because degenerate could not wait until later.  Fortunately, I hit this:
ultimate x video poker quad twos x 2I took the Jitney, to The Borgata.  The Boragata actually has a Starbucks, so I got to get another coffee.  But I still will forever mourn my OG dead coffee.  RIP OG dead iced coffee.  I miss you.

I had $10 free play here, from a mailer and also $10 from MyVegas.  I stopped to get the MyVegas free play loaded, and the woman at the booth let me know I had $10 more, which I already knew…but we’ll get back to this in a minute.

I tried to use the free play on a quarter Cleopatra Keno and nope, it will not let me.  So I play $20 through and then try again.  Now it lets me.  But it is only showing I have $10, not $20.  Maybe I have to play the $10 and then I can get the other $10?  Nope.  Nothing I do will make the second $10 show up.  Back to the booth I go.  She confirms she can still see $10 available on my account and suggests maybe I use the slot machines near the booth since “they usually work pretty well.”  Um, shouldn’t ALL the machines work pretty well?  Or even maybe just the one that let me use my first $10?  How annoying.   I ended up losing the $10 on some crappy slot I played just because it let me download the free play.

Then I went back to Cleopatra Keno.  I kept doubling $20 bills on here.  It was so cool.  I love this game and it has been a long time since I have actually won playing.  I won enough that I was able to play nickel Ultimate X video poker.  The machines here do not let you choose hands so you must play a minimum of five hands, which is 50 coins per game = $2.50 on five play nickels.  My first nice hit was this:

ultimate x video poker borgata atlantic city

Shortly after, I hit this, which seems really cool.  But I felt like had JUST sat down to play and wanted to play.  I didn’t want to cash out and not play.  So I played down to 1200 credits = $60.

ultimate x borgata 990 win

As I was cashing out, I noticed a game named Carnival in Rio.   I thought “Hey!  I want to go to Rio!  I should play that!  So I did.  And I hit a $205.60 bonus.  Sweet!

carnival in rio slot machine win atlantic city

I left Bogata up $100.  Then I took the Jitney to Trump Taj Mahal.

6tag_280416-123537I lost $40 on video poker but then won $80 on a Buffalo slot machine so I was up.   When I was in Las Vegas in December, the bulk of my wins were on Keno and Buffalo slots.  This is not supposed to happen, video poker is where it is supposed to happen.   Guess I got lucky!

Once here, I got my $20 free play and $20 dining credit from my Groupon.  I was told I could just charge my meals to the room and the $20 would be taken off when I checked out.  Great!  But I am not staying here?  I ended up with a voucher.

I get a large iced coffee from the Dunkin Donuts in Resorts.  Every casino should have one of these.  So good.

I turned my $20 free play into $50 on nickel Supertimes Pay video poker.  Then I lost the $50.  Then I lost $20 cash.  Then I decided to stop playing and eat.  I wanted to try their new restaurant, Burger Bar, but it does not open until 4:00 and it is not even 3:00 yet.  So I went to Breadsticks cafe, which has now moved upstairs to make room for Margaritaville downstairs.

I sit down, place my order and never see my server again.  I played on my phone, including taking a photo of this tram going down the boardwalk. I have never see this before:

atlantic city boardwalk tram

Rainy Boardwalk:

atlantic city new jersey rainy boardwalk

I play some more on my phone, check Facebook, respond to an email.  I get bored and start writing in my journal.  Finish that and realize that the couple next to me, who were seated after me, are now on desert and my burger is still not here.  Quick check of the time and it is 3:45.  I have been here for 45 minutes.  Where is my food?

Another server asks me if someone is helping me.  I say yes because the answer is yes.  I should have elaborated that while I do have a server who took my order, I haven’t seen her in 45 minutes.  The next time he passes by, I do say this.  He then goes in the back and out pops my server with my burger and fries, which have been sitting somewhere for all this time, as they are now cold.

I am starving, I eat the cold burger.  The second server comes over and apologizes to me, tells me the first server had gone on lunch.  But it is okay, he is going to be helping me now.  I tell him that my food was sitting somewhere, show him the cold fries.  He offers me new fries, I tell him I have already been here over an hour, please give me my check.   He does.

I obviously do not want to tip.  But now that I have a new server, do I have to tip?  I don’t know the protocol and I do not want server #1 to get a tip so I don’t leave one.  Sorry server #2 but I am not taking any chances here.

I leave and walk past Burger Bar, where I originally wanted to eat.  It is now after 4:00 so they are open.  Sigh.

I  walk back to Caesars in the rain.  I stopped at Ballys to use my $10 free play and lost that and a $20.  Over to Caesars where I did the promotional swipe to get a multiplier on my points today and got a 10x. I also had this promotion available at Ballys but I had forgotten and was not going to go back.

I take a nap and when I wake up, I am not sure what to do.   It is 8:00 pm, I do have $100 left for today’s gambling budget.   This is shocking after the beating I took at Resorts.  I want to go back to Borgata.  But maybe I shouldn’t.  $100 could go in five minutes, do I really want to go all the way there for five minutes?  What’s to stop me from going degenerate if I lose all my money before I finish an iced coffee?  Maybe I should just stay here.  But gambling.  But you can have an extra $100 for tomorrow if you don’t go.  BUT GAMBLING.

I flipped a coin and it told me that I should stay in my room.   Oh yeah?  Screw you stupid penny on tails, you can’t tell me what to do.  You’re not my real mom.

And off to Borgata I went.

I wanted to play Cleopatra Keno so bad but obviously, all four of them were occupied.  I tried playing the bank behind them and lost $40.  Cleopatra Keno was still occupied.

I walk past the Carnival in Rio machine I won $200 on earlier, and it takes my money.  I walk back to Cleopatra Keno, still occupied.

I walk further into the casino.  Guys, Borgata’s casino is so enormous.  You can walk forever in here.  And I did.   Until  I found a four game slot machine, where you can pick the four games  you play.  I don’t remember what I started on, but I was losing. So I ended up moving down to two games of Buffalo and then this happened:

buffalo slot machine borgata atlantic city 33440 win

Sweet!

I cash out and try to walk back to Cleopatra Keno.  This took so long because I got so lost.  I had no clue where i was for at least twenty minutes.  Finally I got my bearings and made it back to Cleopatra Keno.  Still occupied.

I go back out and play some video poker.  I saw a guy waiting for a handpay, he had hit a Royal Flush on Ultimate X with a 2x multiplier = $2000.  I did not hit anything.

Back to Cleopatra Keno.  STILL OCCUPIED.

I tried to find the Buffalo game I won on and could not find it.  I didn’t know where I was when I was playing it, I most certainly do not know where I am now.  Where am I?  Why is this casino so HUGE?  Oh my god, is there like a trick door and I am in another casino and just don’t know it?  I walked all over just half an hour ago and none of this looks familiar.  Oh hey there’s a different Buffalo slot machine yay!  And then this happens:

buffalo slot machine 34450 win borgata atlantic city

Seriously guys.  Slot machines have terrible pay outs yet Buffalo keeps paying me.  I want to play Buffalo slots now and forever.

I cash out and try and find Cleopatra Keno again.  I managed to accidentally happen upon Starbucks so I had a guide.  Back to Cleopatra Keno.  STILL FUCKING OCCUPIED.  ARGH.

I play a couple of slots, nothing.  I check Cleopatra Keno, still occupied.  I sit down at Ultimate X and play this for a bit, losing money.  I start to put another $20 in, then realize I only have one $20 bill left.  The rest of my money is in hundreds.  I need to either break another hundred, or leave NOW with this last $20 as I need it to buy something to drink on my way to the room.

I start reasoning with myself.  Dude, you are throwing money away just so you can throw more money away if those people ever leave the Cleopatra Keno machines you are stalking.  Stop being such a fucking idiot.  You know what, I am right.  I will stop.  I get up, start to walk to the Jitney, which is a course that takes me past Cleopatra Keno…where holy fucking shit, SOMEONE IS GETTING UP FROM ONE OF THE MACHINES!!!!  WHEEEEE!  GET OUT AND STAY OUT.

I sit down.  I play.  I hit a bonus, I win $400.  BAM.

I cash that out,  I go to put another $20 in and remember I have no more $20’s left.  So I cash out knowing that if I leave to break a bill and come back, this machine will be taken.  And I am okay with that.

I leave Borgata with $700.  Not too shabby.

While waiting for the Jitney, I saw this ad lit up on Golden Nugget across the way.  Chachi.  I have no idea if this is a current celebrity, but I hope as all hell it is Scott Baio coming out on stage with a handkerchief tied around his thigh.

chachi

I went back to Caesars and decided to let myself go nutso with $100.  I do have a 10x multiplier on points, plus I am a degenerate.  It took me hours to lose that $100.  I kept going between Buffalo, Supertimes Pay video poker and Ultimate X video poker.

Bed time!

Trip Report to Atlantic City, New Jersey: Travel Day

Once upon a time I was booked for a trip to Europe, for a fest.  As it got closer and the lineup didn’t get anywhere near as great as I had come to expect it to be, the less I wanted to go.  Finally I threw in the towel, but decided to keep two days off work to get a break.   Where oh where should I go with this newly found free time?  Oh hey, GAMBLING sounds good.

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I tried to stay at Borgata, since they have been sending me two night offers.  Problem is, they were not available on my dates.  I could use them if I wanted to go a week later.  But once I got the idea in my head that I was taking a break from work and going gambling, the idea of waiting a whole other week seemed too long.  So I booked a CET comp.  CET owns three properties in Atlantic City and all three properties came up as comped for me.  Ballys was immediately crossed off my list because there once was a time where no matter what room type I would book, I would end up in their crappy Claridge Tower.  Thing is, that building is now a completely separate hotel so you no longer run the risk of being put there.  But I am still mad, so no thank you.  That left me to choose between Caesars and Harrahs, the latter offering me a suite.  Pretty tempting.  But I chose Caesars instead.  Let me go on a little rant here.

If you have read my reports over the years,  you know I love gambling with a large iced coffee.  None of the CET properties have a Starbucks.  Or a Dunkin Donuts.  Harrahs has nothing in walking distance.  Caesars has both a Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts in walking distance.  Although some will argue with me about it being too scary to walk a few blocks off the Boardwalk.  Please, don’t.

It was really sweet when Trump Plaza was open, as they had a Starbucks.  It kills me that it went away when the casino did.  So now I will stay at Caesars and walk to either Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks.  In case you care (you shouldn’t) I prefer Dunkin Donuts but I have a bunch of money on my Starbucks gift card (god bless everyone who gives Starbucks gift cards as holiday presents) so that is that.

If you want to respond and tell me that Caesars and Ballys AND Harrahs all have places that sell coffee on their properties, I will save you the trouble.  I do know this.  I also know that zero of them have super sized iced coffee.  I promise you, this is not my first caffeine infused rodeo.

I have free play at both Ballys and Caesars, $10 each day so $60 total.  I also have $20 at Borgata, $10 from my offers and $10 from MyVegas.  I also purchased a Groupon for Resorts.  For $30 I get $20 free play, $20 dining credit at any restaurant and $20 to play on their online casino (which I cannot do until I am in the state of New Jersey.)

I also got $25 free play from the casino bonus for riding the bus.  I had to work for this one.  Normally, I buy bus tickets online, and they do not have an option to print at home, so I pick them up at Port Authority.   Greyhound now allows you to print at home, so I did.  And there was no casino bonus.   I got to Port Authority an hour and a half early to deal with this.  Have you ever spoken to a Greyhound employee at Port Authority?  Here’s a tip: Avoid this at all costs.  It is not their fault at all they are curmudgeons.  They deal with assholes all day long.   Like the guy who refused to believe he could not get a refund on a non-refundable ticket, or the guy who cut the line, got denied cutting the line, started yelling about coming back with his AK, and so on.

Finally it was my turn.  I explain my dilemma and am told that I needed to book a ticket to the casino, not the bus terminal. But I did, see?  Caesars.   Then it was that I must have picked the wrong ticket type.  Nope.  Finally she stops making suggestions and just looks up the ticket type for me.  Oh hey, I booked a discounted ticket so that is why I did not get the bonus coupon.  Except that I did not book a discounted ticket. She looks again.  “Oh, you did purchase the right ticket type, why didn’t you get the casino bonus?”  Exactly.  She voids my ticket and reissues me a new one, with the bonus.  SCORE.

I will never print at home again.

My bus was only half full, so I had two seats to myself.  It makes me laugh that there was a point in time where the 2.5 hour ride used to seem absolutely unbearable to me.  After a 26 hour flight to China, this was a walk in the park.

We get to Caesars, I get my bus bonus.  They have changed the rules on this.   You now have to wait half an hour before it hits your card, and it is only good until 5:00 am.

I took a walk to the gas station about a two block distance from Caesars to get water and soda.   Then I checked in.   I get asked “Are you interested in an upgrade?”   Um, I don’t know?  “Well we have suites available at a discount……..”  Yeah, no thanks.   I get room 7503 in the Ocean Tower.  Don’t let the room number fool you, it is on the fifth floor.

I get to the elevator, it opens and there is a man in there who cannot figure out at all how to get the elevator to work.  You have to put your card into a slot, and then push your floor.  Nope, this is too complicated for him.  So I put my card in, pick my floor and tell him to pick his while the light is still green. He does.

The elevator stops at the third floor and some guy gets on.  Then we stop at the fifth floor and I need to get off.  OG dude has his suitcase almost completely blocking the door, newbie is blocking the rest.  I say “excuse me” and neither move.  I yell “EXCUSE ME” and newbie turns sideways, but he is the same width sideways as he was front ways so this does not help.  OG dude grabs his suitcase handle but does not move the bag.  I yell “I NEED TO GET OFF THE ELEVATOR!”  No one moves.  I am getting so annoyed thinking the door is going to shut and I am going to have to go to both their floors, which OG would never have even gotten to push the button for if not for me, if one of these fucking assholes does not let me off the fucking elevator.  I am getting off this elevator.  Just ask that woman who I accidentally knocked down in Las Vegas when she would not move out of my way when I tried to exit an elevator.

I ended up wrapping my foot around OG dude’s suitcase and pulling it with my foot, out of my way, while squeezing past Newbie on my way out and yelling “ASSHOLES.”   That’ll learn ’em.

I had booked a premium ocean view room.  We all know that you are not guaranteed a room type so I was not surprised that my ocean view looked like this:

Caesars Atlantic City Premium Ocean View room

I did have a Jacuzzi, or as my buddy Royal Flusher likes to call them, a Jizzcuzzi.

Caesars Atlantic City Premier Ocean View room jacuzziOh and no Do Not Disturb sign.  But don’t worry guys, I will spare you the rant that I normally make when this happens to me.  If I still have your attention after the elevator story, I would be pushing my luck ranting any further.  And if I am going to push my luck, it is going to be on a video poker machine.

My plan is to use my $25 bus bonus, $10 free play at Caesars from an offer, and $10 Ballys from an offer.  Zero cash, just the free play. Then I will get dinner to go and watch Survivor in my room.

I lost the $35 in Caesars on a Double Double Bonus Ultimate X video poker machine.  Then I lost a $20 in cash, because I said I was not going to play cash.  Over to Ballys, where I lost the free play and $60 in cash (didn’t I just say zero cash?) before this saved me:

four of a kind nines

I cashed out, got some Johnny Rockets to go and went to the room with zero damage done.  I watched television, because I love television.  Then I played the $20 free play at Resorts online casino, that I got from the Resorts Groupon I purchased.  I played quarter Double Double Bonus video poker.  It was weird to realize I was gambling in my room, in my pajamas, while watching television.   I never hit anything significant, but the $20 lasted about half an hour   So there is that.  You get a bonus for depositing money.  I am not sure if it was a new sign up thing.  But I had an offer to double my deposit.  I will say, gambling twice as much money in my pajamas and never being around people, sounds kind of sweet.  But I knew it could also be dangerous so I didn’t do it.

I didn’t want to go back out since I had almost broke my budget in less than an hour, so I went to sleep to prepare myself for winning a bazillion dollars tomorrow.

My Last Stay at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City

I made two trips to Atlantic City this past summer.   I never posted about either of them because I am the world’s worst blogger.  I am now going to post some pictures from this trip before I get to posting about a third trip last weekend.

For both summer trips, I stayed at Trump Plaza and both times were my last times staying here as this hotel and casino closed soon after.

Trump Plaza Atlantic City New Jersey

You know what else closed too?  These guys, Showboat and Revel:

Showboat casino Atlantic City Showboat House of Blues Atlantic City Continue reading

Revel Atlantic City

Taj Majal will likely be next.   This is my choice for prettiest Atlantic City casino.

Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City New Jersey Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City Trump Taj Mahal casino Atlantic City Trump Taj Mahal hotel and casino Atlantic City New JerseyHilton closed earlier this year.  Caesars Entertainment managed to close the casino at Claridge without much news about it.  It is now used as just a hotel for Ballys and Caesars guests.  I have stayed in this tower, it is horrible.  Mind you, I am not a cul de sac namby pamby who requires a fancy hotel.   But the lighting in my room was horrible.  I was trying to write in my diary and it was too dark with all the lights on to see what I was trying to write.  That kind of horrible.

Sands used to be next door to the Claridge.  It was demolished to make way for a new property that was never even started.  Somewhere along the way, it was made into a fenced in park with positive words scattered around it.  I personally think it is stupid.

weirdo park

When I checked into Trump on one of my trips, the line was not moving at all.  I stood there forever wondering what is it that people do when they are checking into hotels at casinos that they stand there for 238743 hours talking to the desk clerk.   I mean seriously, every freaking time I check into a hotel attached to a casino, it takes every person in front of me a ridiculously long time.  Yet it only takes me about three minutes.

Finally it is my turn to check in.  I say “I don’t care about anything except that it is a smoking room.”  He says back to me “you are the easiest person I have had in…” and completely drifts off to the point I think he is never going to finish the sentence.  Then he snaps back to reality and continues with “ever.”

He gives me my keys and off I go.  OH HEY.  I got a suite!  How exciting!

Trump Plaza SuiteTump Plaza suite living room Tump Plaza living room suiteRoom view:
Trump Plaza viewAnd a filthy telephone:
Trump Plaza dusty phoneI guess if I needed to call someone and did not want to use that phone, I could just use the house phone by the elevator.  Oh wait…

WP_20140811_001[1]Here is Bally’s Wild Wild West.  This will be the new prettiest place once Trump Taj Mahal closes.

Ballys Wild Wild West Atlantic City boardwalk Atlantic City Boardalk Caesars Wild Wild WestBallys Wild Wild West Atlantic CityBally’s casino:
Ballys casino Atlantic City New JerseyBallys Wild Wild West Casino Atlantic CityAnd back outside we go…

Caesars Ballys Claridge Atlantic City New Jersey

Atlantic City sand sculptingSteel Pier amusement park Atlantic CityAtlantic City beachAtlantic City beach at sunsetAtlantic City Beach New JerseyI would tell you more about the gambling portion of this trip except that it was so long ago I don’t remember any specifics.  I know I lost both times, which may be the real reason why I don’t remember.  Sorry guys.

Winning Weekend in Atlantic City, New Jersey

So I love gambling.   If you are unaware of this, then this must be your first time here.  Welcome!

I wanted to take one last trip to Atlantic City as once March hits, I have way too many travel plans that I will not be able to fit a gambling trip in until September at the earliest.  This does not include the fact that I will be in MACAU in May.  But that will not be a true gambling trip since you know, I should actually see the city.

So I picked the dates I wanted to go – next weekend.   Oh hey what is the one weekend that is not coming up comped for me?  That’s right, next weekend.  Fine, I will gladly go this weekend then.

I left work early and went to Port Authority to catch the bus.   As I typically do, I happen to find a penny on heads in Port Authority.  I am really good at finding pennies on heads when I am gambling.  This particular penny happened to be next to a dime on tails.  I couldn’t decide if picking up the dime would undo the penny’s luck.  But I am a cheapo weirdo who must pick up ALL CHANGE EVER (except pennies on tails obviously) so I grab that too.

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The bus ride was not so bad.  I remember way back when I could not handle the bus ride to Atlantic City because it was too long.  Now that 2.5 hours seems like a breeze.

I have to get off at Caesars, even though I am staying at Trump Plaza.  There are no longer buses to Trump Plaza.   When I arrive, it is freezing outside.  It was likely single digits with the wind chill.   If you have never been to Atlantic City, the casinos and hotels are on the beach boardwalk.  They are not near the beach, they are on the beach.   So you have that frozen ocean air to deal with as well.

The last time I was here, I had a horrible time trying to buy a bottle of water.  The Trump Plaza gift shop had closed at 5:00 (really).  When I went next door to Caesars, the gift shop was behind a roped off area for late night cleaning.  I could not buy water.  It was ridiculous.

So this time, lesson learned.  I walked from the Caesars bus depot to a gas station two blocks away and got my drinks for the room.  Then back past Caesars to Trump Plaza to check in.  As I was walking, I said out loud to my cute little stuffed dog, who was in my suitcase, “I wonder if I could stay in that tower” and pointed to the tower that I have never been given a room in.

Oh yeah, I talk to my cute little stuffed dog.  Some may find this insane.  I personally find it a great pleasure versus talking to actual people.  That THAT human race.

I go to check in.   Now you know how smoking is gross and disgusting?  Well I love cigarettes.  I have battled with quitting for 3.5 years now.  Sometimes I do well, sometimes I don’t.

Once I started planning my upcoming China trip, I decided that this was it – it’s crunch time.  In addition to the expense of this trip, I am going to be in Tibet.  The high altitude makes it very hard for anyone to breathe.  Why on earth would I want to add smoker’s lungs to that equation?   So I quit for real.  But then I decided that if I was going to have one last gambling hurrah, I was also going to have one last smoking hurrah.  So I ask for a smoking room.

There are no smoking rooms.

So I do the thing that I have learned from being told many times in my past that there are no smoking rooms, and I simply say nothing.  Once you say “fine, okay, I will take a non smoking room” the conversation ends with you getting a key to a non smoking room.  But when you say absolutely nothing, the check-in-ling types a bit and manages to find you a room that they promise you “it’s the last smoking room we have available”.   I have been given every “last smoking room available” from a room with a Murphy bed (why do you even have these?) to a room with cement walls that was so dark that even with EVERY LIGHT IN THE ROOM TURNED ON, I could not make out the pages of the book I brought.  I have also been given a room with a ginormous whirlpool tub in the middle of the room and a high roller suite.

Tonight’s “last smoking room available” is in the East Tower.  Oh hey, I was just saying to my dog that I wonder if I will be given a room in the East Tower!  I don’t tell the guy this though.  Because you know, well you just know.

I go to my room.  My view is of a building wall.   It’s very hard to get a room in Atlantic City without a good view.  In one direction is the beach, in the other is more pretty water views.  I got the one room without a good view.   But I can smoke, so who cares?

My room is on the fourth floor.  You need to swipe your key card to select your floor.  I would estimate about 50% of the time, the elevator took about 23894723897438374 swipes to read my card to allow me to select my floor.  Each and every one of these times, I could not get it to go until we were past the fourth floor.  So I would have to continue up until every other person got off on their floor, and then go back down to my floor.

My plans are:  Starbucks for a Green Tea Frappucino, then to Caesars to play the $25 credit I got for taking the bus, then back to Trump to play my $20 free play and then to bed.  Do I do this?  Well yeah.  Except for the bed part.  Because you know, degenerate gambler,

(Side note here: I am actually proud that if you Google “degenerate gambler” my blog comes up on the first page.  WOO HOO I AM WORLD WIDE BABY!)

So Caesars.  I want to play the $25 in Double Super Times Pay video poker, but it’s taken.  So I try Ultimate X Double Double Bonus video poker, nickels.  I lose the $25 and attempt to head out but now Double Super Times Pay is open.  Son of a BITCH.  So I have to play with my own money.  At one point, I am dealt four to the royal flush and on the top line, I get the fucking 9 for a straight flush.  I hate when that happens.  This gives me $12.50.  Had it been an Ace, it would have been $200.

Back over to Trump.  I am going to play my $20 free play in Cleopatra Keno.  Someone is on my machine.  Oh fucking christ.  So I play the only other Cleopatra Keno machine in here.  This one mostly hates me.  But there was ONE night it paid me well.  I download my free play and get going.  I hit a bonus relatively quick but the numbers are off.   Oh fuck I am playing ten numbers instead of my normal nine.   So the win amounts are different.  Once the bonus is over, I can correct this but I have an OCD rule that you cannot change ANYTHING while you have credits in the machine.  You have to be on a brand new bill.  So I keep playing and then hit zero at the exact same time the guy on MY machine gets up and walks away.

Well now I have to play it with my own money.  It is MY machine after all.

I play and I turn $20 into $40.  Slot machine time!

There is a slot called “One Red Cent” that I like a lot and didn’t get to really play the last time I was here.  So I go there and am doing very well.   Then I hit a progressive for $117.  This gives me the green light to keep going.

I walk over to a bank of video poker.  I decide I want to play THAT machine.   I go and get a clean ashtray, sit down and put my card in.  I realize I have earned 40 points tonight.  If you get 20 points, you can do Trumps $25,000 Macy’s promotion.   I didn’t understand exactly HOW you won at this point.  I just knew if you hit 20 points, you have to go to a Player’s Club kiosk and print a voucher.  So I get up and go do that.  Then I come back and someone is next to MY machine that I just picked and set up with a clean ashtray.  I left only to print the Macys promotion voucher DAMMIT.

In theory, I can still play MY machine.  But I hate when I am playing in a bank where there are empty machines but someone chooses to sit right next to me.  So I extend the courtesy of not being an asshole and I do not play MY machine.  I play next to it, leaving open space between me and this person.

I lose $20 at the same time this person loses their money.  I should get up and stop playing since I am playing with my real money and I am not supposed to be.  But see, I want to play MY machine and now I can. So I am going to.

I put in $20.  I play.  The game deals me a pair of 8’s for like the first ten hands and never gives me anything else.  I am mad.   Then all of a sudden, I hold two Clubs.  I hit “draw” and get a flush.   But the credits keep going.  What the hell.  The screen is so full of glare I can’t really see the cards (always good when playing video poker mind you) so I stand up to see if I hit a straight flush.  No, no I did not.  I hit a ROYAL FLUSH.  My first ever Royal Flush on quarters.  ONE THOUSAND BUCKS.

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I don’t even really get excited or anything because I am mostly in shock.  I am typing this up three days later and I can tell you that I never once felt excitement since hitting this.  I did feel relief in knowing that I now have a huge cushion for my upcoming trip to China.   This came at a perfect time since the expenses for that trip are really adding up.

I kept playing until I was down to $1000 even and cashed out.  I then figured I had a green light to put the rest of my weekend’s budget into machines, because even if I lost it all, I would still have $1000.

So I did that.

I lost the rest of my money and went up to my room with $1000.  I considered packing and going home immediately to make sure I went home with my entire win.  But I was too tired to go home.  So I went to bed.

Woke up Saturday and realized I am a complete asshole.  Sure, I have a thousand dollars.  But I didn’t leave myself any gambling budget.  So I have to either leave NOW or dip into my $1000 to play today.  What do you think I picked?  That’s right. I took $100 of my winnings out with me.

Breakfast was at Trump 24 Central Cafe.  It was barely okay.  Next stop was Starbucks.  Then I walked to the Tropicana.  I have not been here in many years and decided I should try my luck here.

The line for the Player’s Club was LONG.  I waited on it, got my card and got going.

I played some Double Double Bonus Video Poker.  The pay tables her are horrible but I got three four of a kinds, vs ZERO four of a kinds on my play on games with better pay tables so far at Caesars and Trump.

Then I moved to a new (to me) slot machine called Goldang. It is a new version of Invaders From the Planet Moolah.  As I got down to almost nothing, I got the bonus and got up over $100.  Played down to $100 and ran.

I tried some other slots, I wish I could remember the name of one of them.  It gave me $80 on my first try.

I went back to Trump with $280.  This lets me replace the $100 I took out of my Royal Flush winnings and still have $180 left over.

Again I consider going home with my winnings in tact.   Again I continue on not going home with my winnings in tact.

After dinner, I play a bit.  I cannot catch a damned thing at Trump.   I walk over to Caesars and play Ultimate X video poker.  I love this game but it is very volatile.   If you can get it going, you can have so much fun.  If you cannot, you end up wanting to kill yourself for being stupid enough to ever think you could win on here.

Twice I got dealt flushes that were four to the Royal Flush.  Here is the problem.   On a normal game, I would probably go for the Royal.  But on Ultimate X, you are given multipliers based on the hands you have.  So for a regular dealt flush, your next game will have an 8x multiplier on every hand you ended your current game on a flush.  So then if I did not draw the fifth card, I would lose not only the dealt win for each hand, but the possibility of 8x on each hand of the next game.

I struggled with this both times.  And both times I kept the flush.

Overall, I did well. My favorite hand was this one:

4s kicker 3x

That’s a $120 win.

Eventually I ran out of cash and had to cash in my TITO tickets.  I had $200.  I didn’t want to give up my machine.  The TITO machine is maybe fifteen feet away.  I decide to light a cigarette and leave it burning in the ashtray (Atlantic City has designated smoking sections, there was no fear of a non smoker having to stumble across this)  Hopefully that + leaving my card in the machine + only going fifteen feet away will mean I can do this.

WRONG.

Some man swoops in, moves my ashtray to the empty machine next to it and starts playing my machine.  This is happening as I am on my way back, like ten feet from the machine.  I ask him if that is my card in the machine.  He then seems to realize that oh – someone was playing this machine.  I think he started to offer to get up and give it back.  I want my machine back but I am just aggravated because I know if I take it back, I will lose and then curse myself because here was the opportunity to walk away.  So I walk away.  And lose elsewhere.

Then the dude leaves and I go back.  I am still convinced that my machine will be jinxed if I take it, so I take the still empty one next to it.  I could have just done this with the guy sitting at MY machine, but I did not want to be close enough to see what he was doing on MY machine.

The guy on my right is playing ten hands on dimes.  This game is ten credits per hand.  So ten hands = 100 credits.  At dimes, this is $10/hand.   I continue playing three hands on nickels = 30 credits per game = $1.50.

I am doing okay.  I am not really winning but I am not losing either.  Most importantly, I am playing.

The next thing I know, the guy next to me throws his hands up in the air in what looks like frustration.  I look over and see his screen.  Jesus Christ.  This guy is playing ten hands.  He has multipliers on all of them, the bottom line has a 12x multiplier.  He has been dealt a four of a kind – I believe it was Jacks.  As I watch, he hits “draw” and BAM “Hand Pay $1200 – Call Attendant”

Sigh.

I eventually cash out and head back to my room.  AGAIN I consider going home.  But it is 11:30 on a Saturday night.  I am fearful I will be trapped on a bus with party people.  It is so weird to me to see young adults using Atlantic City like Las Vegas.

So I agree to stay for one more night and go home early in the morning.

I set the alarm for 5:00 am to get some gambling in before I leave.  In retrospect, this was stupid because Starbucks does not open until 6:00 am.

Over to Caesars and Ultimate X video poker.  I am doing really well.  I didn’t take any pictures because I had left my phone in my room.  But first I got Aces on the bottom line (800 credits on nickels = $40)  Then I hit Aces with a 3x multiplier = $120.  Then I got Aces with a kicker with no multiplier (whine) for $100.

I got so many four of a kinds with multipliers.  I got my $40 all the way over $200.

Then someone comes and sits next to me.  I can tell without even looking that it’s the $1200 winner from last night.  I recognize the scent of his cigar.

He starts playing ten hands on dimes.  Not long into this, he does that thing where he appears to be putting his hands up in frustration.  I look over.   It appears he had been dealt a flush on his previous hand because every hand on this current play has an 8x multiplier.  He was dealt four of a kind Queens = $2000 hand pay.  Way to go.

It is now time for me to leave.  But I say fuck it and run $100 through dollar video poker.  Of course the machine I pick has buttons that are all stuck.  I cannot cash out and go to a different one because my OCD will not allow it.  So I play and am miserable because of the stupid buttons.  I lose the $100 quickly and go.  Yet I am out of the casino with my $1000 in tact.  Whew.

I just missed my intended 8:30 bus home.   That’s okay.  There is one next door at 9:15.  That never shows up.  As we are standing in line at a gate that is COVERED in pigeon poop.  Maybe I should have gotten vaccinated before coming to Atlantic City.

This is not my bag, that is not a design.   It is someone’s bag sitting on a ton of pigeon poop.

crapThe 9:15 bus simply never shows up.  Fuck you Greyhound.   The next bus is 9:40.  There are now over 100 people waiting.  Everyone intending to take the 9:15 are at the front of the line, the poor people intending for the 9:40 are at the back.  The 9:40 bus shows up at 10:00 and a whole lot of people got left behind.

I spent my entire ride home Googling China information.  I discover that some of the vaccines I need are expensive and not covered by health insurance.  This is news to me.  There is one for Japanese Encephaliltis where the only prices I could find were from someone who posted information back in 2011 – the cheapest option being $425.  I don’t know exactly what vaccinations I will be getting since I have not yet been to see my doctor.  Even so, my $1000 win seems a lot smaller than it did just a couple of hours ago.

Las Vegas Trip Report: Las Vegas by Way of Atlantic City

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Today I am traveling to Atlantic City, to catch a flight on Spirit Airlines to Las Vegas.  The total cost of the flight was $81 round trip.   I have never in my life paid that little for a one way, let alone a non-stop round trip.  What a great deal.

Another monumental event in today’s trip is that I had ZERO problems at all getting to the airport/getting to Vegas.  This has never happened to me before.   What a smooth trip.

Continue reading

I left my apartment at 10:00 am and caught an 11:30 bus from Port Authority to Atlantic City.  I use Academy Bus and with every ten trips, the 11th is free.   Today is double swipe day so I only need to go one more time to get my free trip.   Woooooo.

I get to Atlantic City after taking a very scenic route (the driver got off an exit early and drove us all through Absecon and then all over Atlantic City before stopping at the Taj Mahal).  I got off and got my $20 cash back.   My plans were to shuttle from Showboat over to Ballys to collect my whopping $5 cash back, and then to see if I had any cash at Trump waiting for me.    I waited for the Ballys shuttle at Showboat for 20 minutes and it never came.  There were a LOT of people waiting and I figured that even if it did come, I wouldn’t get on it.   So I decided instead to play at Showboat, knowing this would be a huge mistake.

One $20 in, nothing.   Second $20 in, nothing.   Third $20 in, nothing.   This all took place in about five minutes.   Showboat was having a promo where every fifteen minutes, they were giving away $2008 – so five people got $502 each.  I was entered into the 3:15 promo and it was 3:03 and I had already lost $60.   I went outside to smoke and came back at 3:11 and decided one more $20 would be acceptable so I could try and win $502.

Well I didn’t win the $502 but I got four-of-a-kind 3’s with a kicker – $200.   Yay!   I should have stopped right there but of course, did not.   I ended up losing $100 out of my winnings, leaving me with the exact amount I left my apartment with.  So I guess my bagel and soda and bus ticket were free.

I headed off to the airport cursing myself because I know better.  Somewhere in there, I got a straight flush, and it was only my second one ever.   But even with that, I suck and ended up only even.   Okay maybe flying out of Atlantic City isn’t a good idea!

I got to the airport and had the perfect amount of time to smoke, go through security, get something to eat and get on the plane.   Except the plane was late.   Not by too much, but it ruined my perfect timing.

On the plane were two dogs (one was a working dog; the other was a cute little mutt who seemed to just be going on vacation).    I wish they had been in the seat in front of me, but instead I got three men who spent the flight talking louder than the sounds of a baby’s scream.   When the pilot came on to update us on time and weather, I could not hear him over these three idiots.

The middle seat was empty.  I have a knack for this.  I can be on a full plane and still manage to either get my own row or at least, an empty middle seat.

The flight was non-eventful and I ended up landing like ten minutes early, woooooooooo.   I love saying that.   To me, it’s totally worth traveling alllllllllll the way to Atlantic City to arrive on time in Vegas.

I took a shuttle to Sahara.   I’m here on an offer for three free nights.  I got room 2070.   It’s located right next to the Pepsi machine, which rules!

My room did not rule though.

Worn away desk Sahara Las Vegasdust on nightstand Sahara Las Vegaspeeling wallpaper Sahara hotel Las Vegaspeeling shelf paint Sahara hotel Las Vegasleft over new year's eve festivities Sahara hotel Las VegasRoom view.  Look how dreary it was outside. I love when Las Vegas looks like  this.

Room view of Fontainebleu - Sahara Las Vegas

[Editor’s note: This construction was the Fontainebleau Hotel, which was only 70% finished when it was abandoned in 2009.  Now it sits empty on the Las Vegas Strip, just wasting space.]

I went downstairs to get a new player’s card and the boothling couldn’t find me in the system.  I mentioned I know I’m in the system because I’m here on an offer.  She then said maybe I’d have to go up to the room and get the mailer so she could see my account number.   I’m not doing that.  I traveled all day and my room is at the complete opposite side of the casino from the slot club.  Finally she finds me.  whew!

Sahara has a promotion where every day you can swipe your card and win either free slot play or show tickets.   I did this every day and got nothing, but I still LOVE free promos like this.   Just the idea of possibly getting something for free excites me.

Now it’s late and I’m tired.  I know myself and I KNOW that the whole excitement of getting to Las Vegas always overcomes me. I always spend the first night losing but I can’t seem to ever stop because I just got here and want to stay out and play.   I allow myself a small budget and the first $20 lasts forever on a nickel triple line Bonus Poker machine. This is a good sign!   But it doesn’t last and soon I’ve lost $75.  I recognize the pattern here and I remind myself of how I didn’t stop when I was back in Atlantic City and how I regret it.  Somehow this worked to convince me to go to bed.

Want to read more?  Here are chapters two, three and four