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Las Vegas Trip Report: Moving from Bellagio to Four Queens

This morning I am awake at Bellagio at 7:00 and out the door at 7:40.  I decided to go to Monte Carlo for their buffet, using a MyVegas reward.  I am in the spa tower, which is conveniently located near the tram.  But it isn’t running because it is too early.  I walk all around the platform looking for a sign with hours on it and never find one.  Does it start running at 8:00?  Or 9:00?   If I leave, it will be 8:00.  If I stay, it will be 9:00.  I say screw it and leave.

View from the tram platform:
Las Vegas strip view from Aria tram platform at Bellagio

I head outside to walk and end up playing at Cosmopolitan. I stop to check on brain surgery bear.  He is doing better.

Bellagio Las Vegas conservatory brain surgery bear on the mend

His friend seems to have caught his illness though.Bellagio conservatory Las Vegas sick bear Continue reading

Bellagio conservatory Las Vegas Bellagio Las Vegas reception

Las Vegas Strip Paris from BellagioI haven’t been to Cosmopolitan in awhile. They had sent me a teaser offer a couple of years ago and I had intended to focus a lot of play here to try and keep them coming.  Unfortunately, my stay was during a horrible losing streak and even I was unwilling to go that far into future days’ budgets to keep them happy.  So I accept that our love affair is over.  But since I am here, and since there is a Starbucks…You know how it goes.

I went to where the Double Double Bonus video poker games I used to play used to be located.  They are not there.  Where are they?  I don’t know because I never found them.  I thought I did but when I put a $20 into a machine and hit max bet, I noticed max bet on this machine was 100 quarters.  Oh hell no.   But it is too late as my credits are already gone.   You know how this goes too. You think “Okay, this is it.  I will win so much money and have an anecdotal story of how I made a mistake and it paid off and now I am rich!”  Except it didn’t happen. I didn’t even get Jacks or Better.

I put in a second $20 and this time play five quarters.  I hit four of a kind fours.  Look at that pay table.  They short you on the Royal Flush if you are not playing max bet, which again is 100 quarters.  I didn’t realize this until I took the photo.  I cashed out gave the machine the finger and moved on.

cosmopolitan las vegas video poker fours

I played some Ultimate X, some Cleopatra Keno, some more Ultimate X.  And before you know it, I had blown through my entire budget for the day.  Without having eaten breakfast yet.  Because of the stupid tram my degenerate gambling problem.

Ugh.

It is only 8:30 am and my day is basically ruined.

I walk across the street to Planet Hollywood.  Their breakfast buffet is my favorite buffet in all of Las Vegas.  They have a $10 coupon in the Las Vegas Advisor coupon book.  I have used mine back in January.  But I have a second one.  Since you present it at the cashier and not at the player’s club, I get away with using it a second time.  I didn’t really enjoy it because I was so full of self loathing that there was no room inside me to fit any food.

Back across the street to sulk and pack as today is moving day again.

I get an error message when I try and check out on the television.  I get an email to check out online, doesn’t take.  I am not going to the front desk so I don’t check out at all.  I tried.

Outside and across the street to catch the bus to downtown to check into Four Queens.  I let the first bus that comes go, because PEOPLE.   The second one is relatively empty.  We pass my beloved Riviera.   Or what was my beloved Riviera.  I haven’t been here since they murdered her.  I miss her so much.  I gave the new parking lot that replaced her the finger as we drove by.

I get off the bus and walk to finally take this guy’s photo:
Mannekin Pis The D Las VegasI attempt to check in at Four Queens.  They have no rooms available right now (absolutely fine) but no smoking rooms at all (not fine.)  I begin whining, begging, pleading PLEASE.  ANY ROOM.  I WILL TAKE ANY ROOM.  EVEN A BROOM CLOSET PLEASE.

I am assigned the worst room in the hotel.  I do not fault them for this, they tried to give me a better room and I refused it.  For all I know, this room was never intended to be rented out again until after the renovations were done.  Hell, for all I know, this room has sat empty for ten years because no one wanted it.  Except it maybe didn’t because I was told housekeeping hadn’t gotten to it yet, so my key would not be available until 1:00.

Four Queens has a “Going Green” promotion going on that you have to specifically ask about, it doesn’t automatically apply.  What it is, is that for every day you waive housekeeping, you get $10 dining credit.  This is a fantastic promotion.  Dining is cheap here so you could get a completely free meal just for hanging up a Do Not Disturb sign.

I have it applied to my room and off I go to gamble. First stop, Binions.  I lose some more money on both Cleopatra Keno and Double Double Bonus video poker.  Then I pull out a win on a Buffalo machine.  This machine makes a really loud noise when you put cash into it.  The first time I yelled “CALM DOWN” at it.  Every time after that, it would startle me.  No matter how many times I played this machine on this trip, it scared the daylights out of me.

Binions has a promotion named “Motherlode” that is fantastic.  You can swipe your card at three points, first is at 5 points, second is 40 and third is 300.

You can win anything from a deck of cards (of course!) to free play to dining to cash.  I had played long enough to earn 40 points, which gets me two spins. I won $5 free play and $10 dining.  This caused a first world conundrum.  I have $10 dining at Four Queens I need to use today, and I now have $10 dining at Binions I need to use in the next 24 hours.  I am obviously going to use it to get a Binions burger because Binions burger.  I cannot use either for breakfast tomorrow if (a) I am getting a Binions burger today (b) I have plans to go to Santa Fe for breakfast tomorrow.  Life can be hard sometimes.

I lose the $5 free play and it is now 2:30.  I was told I could get my key at 1:00.  And now I am being told nope, 3:00.  I do not want to keep gambling.  Well I do want to.  But I lost my daily budget before breakfast this morning.  I am now playing (and losing) with my winnings.  So I decide to get on a bus and go check out Lucky Dragon.

Lucky Dragon is a new casino located on Sahara.  I took the Deuce and walked over.  This place has a huge distinction from every other casino in Las Vegas that the entrance is actually on the street.  You are walking on Sahara and you do not not have cross a parking lot to enter it. It is right there.

I thought I would continue to Palace Station afterwards but there is a gate type thing that blocks off Sahara if you want to keep walking in that direction.  This may be poor urban planning, this may be a purposeful blockade to keep pedestrians from leaving.  You could always head back towards the Strip to catch the bus.

I sign up for a card and “win” $8 free play.  I used it on triple line Double Double Bonus video poker, nickel denomination.  I don’t like this place.  The machines all have that new machine smell, so the place is burning wire scented.  I did not take a walk around but the place looks tiny.

I lost my money and head back to Four Queens.  I am finally given my room.  The room that I begged and pleaded for.  PLEASE I WILL TAKE YOUR WORST ROOM IF I CAN SMOKE PLEAAAAAAASE.  The more I got “noped” the more I would beg until she finally relented and gave me this room.  It isn’t really fair to judge the Four Queens by this room as she did not want to assign it to me, I begged for it.  But out of the dozen times I have stayed here, this was the worst room I have gotten.  So if you are reading this and considering staying in my favorite place to stay in all of Vegas, do not let my room deter you.  You will likely get a better room.

There is no plug by the nightstand so the alarm clock is on the desk in the corner.  Four Queens Las Vegas desk

There is also this suicide maker, convenient for when you cannot open the window far enough to jump out of:

Four Queens Las Vegas death

That room view though.

Four Queens Las Vegas room view

I drop my stuff and go back out to claim my Binions burger.  It is fantastic as always.

I gamble around Four Queens, which is something I rarely do.  As much as I love being here, comps just do not come my way here.  So long ago, I gave up trying.  I am better off putting my money in a casino that will reward my play.

I lose some more money and give up.  I take a walk to Walgreens to get some water before going to the room.  Some guy says “Excuse me Miss, you dropped…” and as I am looking down, I catch the rest of the sentence “your smile.”  My response: “Ugh, that fucking thing.”

I have a tendency to draw in people who just love to comment on the fact that I am not walking around like a maniac with a smile on my face at all times ever.  So many “It cant be that bad!” and “Smile!  It can’t be that bad!” and just so many, sooooooooo many, complete strangers who are constantly telling me to smile.  Remember this post about that altercation I got into with that guy outside Plaza?  Like seriously, YOU aren’t smiling either, asshole.

UGH.

I head to my room, unable to keep my phone charging near my bed since there is no plug there.  So I set the sun as my alarm clock by sleeping with the drapes open.

Gambling Day: – $400
Gambling Trip: + $90
Miscellaneous: (bus pass, coffee, water, tips): $24
Comps used: $9.99 Total Rewards credits to make my Planet Hollywood buffet free after the $10 coupon, $2 in points at Walgreens that were on my card – does this count?
Coupons: Nope
Freebies: $10 free dining at Binions, $5 free slot play at Binions, $8 sign up promotional free play at Lucky Dragon.

Itinerary:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Breakfast: Planet Hollywood LVA $10 or ACG 20% 7-11
Check into Four Queens
Lunch:
Double Points Four Queens + Binions ACG
Downtown Grand 5x ACG / 500 points = pull tab
Dinner: Four Queens Go Green credit
Rainbow Casino
Emerald Island earn 100 points and spin the wheel
Stations 10x slots, 6x vp
Sam’s Town 15X Buffalo, 11x reels or 7x VP

Las Vegas: Why Do I Keep Winning Decks of Cards?

Thursday, December 23, 2010 – Day Ten of Nineteen

[This is part ten of a nineteen part trip report.  If you want to start at the beginning, go here.]

It’s official!  My trip is more than half over.  This is bullshit.

After my ordeal of moving rooms at the California hotel last night, due to my room being flooded, I actually manage to sleep until 10:30.  That is a record for this trip.

I head out at 11:45

Lost $15 Keno.

I found my glasses case in my bag from when I moved last night. I broke a $100 bill and went back to my room to get rid of the glasses case and to put lucky glitter on my new bills.  Back out, I made it halfway to the Golden Gate before I realized I hadn’t put on deodorant.  Back to room AGAIN.  Oh it is going to be one of those days, eh?

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It’s now 12:15 and my day is finally just starting.

Back to the Golden Gate to have breakfast at Dupars.  I used a $10 comp slip because the Golden Gate insists on using comp slips.  Three cheese omelet, ended up paying $1.08.  This will never stop grinding my gears.  I have comps.  Why am I paying anything in cash?  But they will not let you get a comp slip for $11.08.  It has to be in increments of $5.  If you get a $15 slip, then you lose $3.92 because the overage will not be returned to your account.  Infuriating.

I still play here though.  You know, racking up more comps that will cost me money not only in the machines, but in the restaurant.

I find an old school Moolah slot machine – not to be confused with Invaders From the Planet Moolah.  I play this:

$5-$0
$10-$50
$10-$0

Used my pee pass to take the Deuce bus away from Downtown.

I got off at the Stratosphere and went in for some Starbucks.

I played Double Double Bonus video poker quarters and lost $80.  Then I lost another $20 in a Press Your Luck slot machine.

I walked over to Sahara to take the bus to Palace Station.  Today was the first time I had seen blue sky in many days.

blue sky las vegas nevada

The bus took forever to come.  I could have walked in less time than it took.

At Palace Station, I play nickel full play Double Double Bonus video poker and lost not only $15, but my Diet Pepsi.  Argh.   Topped this off by losing another $100.  This was my first visit to Palace Station in so many years and I am being punished.

I take the bus back to the Sahara to do the daily free pull.  I win nothing.  Sigh.

I play a Barkin’ Bucks slot machine.  This game is so adorable.  I turn $40 into $60.

It’s 4:30, I’m going back downtown.

I do my typical stop at Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee and start playing video poker.  Where?  Damned if I know.  You would think it would be on my favorite SuperTimes Pay machines right outside Dunkin Donuts, but the pictures say otherwise.

too blurry sixesquarter twos
$20-$30 on four of a kind Queens and then $20-$0.

Maltese Fortune slot machine: $20-$20.

Frog princess $20-$0

Back to the Golden Gate to rack up more comps that will just end up pissing me off.  I turn $20-$0 on Monopoly, and $20 to $0 on Wizard of Oz.

Golden Gate has a drawing that you earn tickets by playing.  I stick around since I have several entries and hey, who knows?

They award prizes from smallest value to largest.  One prize is $200.  Some guy wins it and forfeits it as you can only win one prize and he wants a bigger one.  Soon after, a camcorder comes up.  Same guy wins it and again forfeits it to not have to give up a bigger prize.    Finally we get to the grand prize: an enormous flat screen television.  Do you want to guess who won it?  Do you?

Sigh.

The guy’s WIFE won it.  How does this even happen?   Maybe it has something to do with him being a bigger degenerate than I am and had way more entries than anyone else.  Even while the drawing was going on, he was playing slot machines while they were calling names.

I walk over to Binions and play around until I have enough points to do the daily promotional swipe.  I have played enough to get two swipes today.   I further assume I lost a lot of money because nowhere in my notes is what I played documented and surely I would have written if I won.

For the first spin, I win another freaking deck of cards.  STOP IT WITH THE GIVING ME DECKS OF CARDS.  THIS IS NOT A PRIZE. IT IS A BURDEN.

My second spin awards me with $15 free slot play.  Much better.

I get a Binions burger to go and bring it back to my room for dinner.

Fremont Street Experience Christmas show:

Fremont Street Experience Happy Holidays Las Vegas

After eating, I decide to stay in my pajamas and my DRY bed for the night.   Good night.

Las Vegas Trip Report: Binions Shows Me Some (De)Gener(ate)osity

Saturday, December 18, 2010: Day Five of Nineteen

[This is part five of a nineteen part trip report.  If you want to start at the beginning, go here.]

Is it day five already??

Up at 6:30 am at the El Cortez.  I just can never sleep in Las Vegas.  I get dressed and am out at 8:00.

I lose $60 in the quarter Double Double Bonus video poker progressives at the El Cortez that I love so much.

I head out to try the Fremont buffet and it’s not open.  It never is whenever i actually try to go there.  Like seriously for years, whenever I go there, it is closed.  It makes me want to eat there just because I cannot eat there.  Screw you and your mind tricks Fremont Buffet!

Pass through Binions, lose $20 in an Amazing Race slot machine.  Maybe I should actually go on The Amazing Race.  It seems I would have a better chance of winning money that way.

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I go to Golden Gate thinking I can get a comp for breakfast.  But they still use the comp slip system and the slot club doesn’t open until 9:00 UGH.  Two breakfast strike outs in one day.

I play around a bit and lose $20 on All That Glitters 2 and it’s still only 8:49.

Kill some more time and finally get my stupid comp slip and use it at Dupars, which has replaced the Bay City Diner.  Breakfast comes to $11, my comp is for $10.  This system where you have to get a comp slip instead of swiping your card to use your comps is so aggravating.  You can’t get an $11 comp so you end up paying a dollar when you still have plenty of comps left in your account.

Next stop is Fremont for Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, as always.  I stop and play Supertimes Pay here.  Out of all the Supertimes Pay machines in all of Las Vegas, this bank is my very favorite.  I am playing nickels because I am a degenerate gambler who needs to slow down her degeneracy.

$20-$0
Second $20 gets me $35 via hitting four of a kind threes.
$20-$0

Then because I am a degenerate, I run through, $100 on quarters. I get a ten times multiplier and have two pairs. I am sorry every video poker player ever. I only held the Queens.  I ended filling in two full houses and cash out at $200

That win gives me the green light to try another $100 which I turn into $0.

Wizard of Oz, $10-$30

I can’t read my handwriting but it looks like I lost an additional $60.

Four Queens:
$20 into Barking Bucks = $0
$20 Double Double Bonus video poker = $0
$20- $100, hit four of a kind fours WOO HOO

quarter fours

Binions:
Quarter Double Double Bonus video poker: I put in $20 and on my last hand, I hit Queens and cash out when I am back down to $60.

blurry quarter queens

$20-$0

Next $20 gets me four of a kind sixes.

quarter sixes

Before I hit my cash out point, I hit four of a kind fours, bringing me up to $175. Now we’re talking!

quarter fours1

I put in another $20 and hit Aces  for $200.  Things are looking up in Degenerate Gambler Land.

quarter aces

Binions has promo swipe where you can get a free swipe for a certain amount of points.  I had enough points for two swipes.  I won a deck of cards and a $10 food comp.   This was quite a successful session.

I return to the El Cortez for a nap at 2:00, I am back up and out at 5:00.

I am not going to push today’s luck so I go out to gamble with $100 in $5 bills.

Cleopatra Keno, $15-$0

Nickel Double Double Bonus video poker $5-15 9s
$5-$10
$5-$10
$5-$20
$5-$0
$5-$0
$5-$0

Sea Monkeys slot machine: $5-$0
Gold Monarch slot machine: $5-$0
Wild Hunter Shark slot machine: $5-$25 by hitting a $25.75 bonus
I cash out and put in another $5.  I hit three bonuses and cash out with $20.

I have $105, so I am up $5 for this session.

Dinner is at The Flame steakhouse at the El Cortez.  I have food credit with my room and I’m armed with multiple 50% off coupons from both the American Casino Guide and Las Vegas Advisor coupon books.  I am starving and tired.

I feel so out of sorts. I order a Diet Pepsi, which usually cures my feeling like this.  Lots of whining about no one bringing my drink.  Lots more whining after it finally comes and does not cure my headache.

Back out after eating and i check my progressives, everything was hit.   I lose $40 playing anyway.  It is like an investment in my future for when I get that money back tomorrow by hitting a progressive.  Right?

Played a Giant Panda slot machine (why) and lose $5.
Nickel Cleopatra Keno, not my friend tonight. I lose $5.

Okay. You know what? FINE. Screw you the El Cortez, I’m going home. And by “home” I clearly mean my bed, located inside of you. Take THAT!

I am asleep by 11:00.

Best Las Vegas Hotel Room Vs. Worst Las Vegas Hotel Room

I have been to Las Vegas more times than I have been anywhere else in the world.  I don’t keep a running count, but if you held a gun to my  head and made me answer, I would yell out “THIRTY!  DON’T SHOOT!”

I am in the process of a very intense project of uploading so much Vegas stuff on here.  But in the meantime, I will be doing some shorter posts.

Today, we will visit the top best and bottom worst rooms I have stayed in.   Please keep in mind, I am not stating these are the best and worst in the entire city.  Just out of what I personally have experienced.

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I am going to start with the best.  The Bellagio Penthouse suite.  Before my mother passed away, I would take her to Las Vegas once a year.  As it became clear that these trips would soon be ending as her cancer had reached the point where she was no longer going to be able to travel, I decided that I would make her last trip ever to Las Vegas the best one ever.   I booked a night in a Bellagio Penthouse Suite.

The room itself was fancy schmancy.  It had a living room, dining room, wet bar, three bathrooms (one guest, one his and one hers)

bellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite living room - las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite dining roombellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite, las vegas, nevadabellagio bed

But none of this mattered because of the view.  The view was incredible.  Note all the construction that was going on at the time that is now long finished.

bellagio penthouse suite view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite room view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite room view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite view, las vegas, nevadabellagio penthouse suite view, las vegas, nevada

Then there was of course, the fountain view.  Oh except that of course, there is no fountain show going on because I spent more than one month’s rent on a Bellagio Penthouse suite and it was too windy outside for the fountain show to be running.   I am not even kidding.

bellagio penthouse suite room view, las vegas, nevada

My mother and I went outside and across the street and looked up at the Bellagio and picked out our room windows.  She got such a kick out of looking up at this beautiful building and being able to say “I am staying up there!”.  Even now, whenever I go back to Vegas, I always stop and stare at our room and think about that and I get all teared up missing my mother.

Later on at night, the wind died down and we were able to watch some fountain shows from our living room window.

bellagio penthouse suite view of fountains at night, las vegas, nevadaSigh.

Now on the opposite end, let’s talk about the worst Las Vegas hotel I have ever slept in. Binions.  At present time, Binions is not operating at a hotel at all.  But when they were, there were two towers.  One was an actual tower, and the other is what I like to refer to as The Creepy Tower.  The Creepy Tower was what was left over from the old rooms when the hotel originally opened as The Mint back in 1957.  These rooms were accessible via an elevator in the middle of the casino, that you would never even notice unless you were specifically looking for it.  Maximum capacity for this elevator I believe was three people.

When I walked into the room, the first thing that crossed my mind was the episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelai and Rory spend the night at The Cheshire Cat.  The room was so busy and it seemed like every inch was covered in drapes.

(Don’t you hate it when people take hotel room photos with their stuff all over the place?  I used to do that.  I apologize and have since learned the error of my ways)

binions horseshoe - drapes of death - las vegas, nevadabinions hoseshoe - drapes much - las vegas, nevada

Adding to the ambiance of this room were the windows.  When Fremont Street stopped being an actual street, and turned into the Fremont Street Experience, these windows were permanently sealed and painted black to block out the light show.

binions horseshoe las vegas nevada

Even the shower curtain looked  like drapes.

binions horseshoe, drapelike shower - las vegas, nevada

What made this room even worse (yes, there is an “even worse” here) is that as I lay in bed, unable to sleep as I feared these drapes would choke me to death, the air conditioner was partially shielded by…drapes.  The vents were stuck in the up position so I could not get the air to flow into the room.  As the trip report I wrote to go along with these pictures says, that was actually a blessing in disguise since it meant I did not need to use a sheet or blanket to cover me.  The less of this room that touched, me, the better.

binions horseshoe - las vegas, nevada

Binions stopped operating as a hotel back in 2009.  I often wonder if these rooms are completely sealed off or if anyone regularly accesses them.  I picture a Stephen King-esque horror show going on behind these closed doors where the drapes have been growing continually for the past four years.

If you have a weirdo drape fetish and are drooling over the idea of staying here, maybe the hotel will reopen one day and you will get your wish.  Just be sure to pack light as this is the size of the closet.

binions shoe box closet, las vegas, nevada