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Las Vegas Trip Report: Y’all Know What Four of a Kind Threes Look Like, Right?

I finally make it to The Cromwell.  I am insanely excited about this.  I loved this place when it was The Barbary Coast.  Hated it when it was whatever the hell stupid name they tried using after changing it from Barbary Coast.  Am so curious to see what it looks like now.

View from outside:
flamingo cromwell las vegas nevadaAnd some bonus Strip photos since this is my first time on the Strip during this trip.

ballys paris las vegasstarbucks ballys las vegas

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I checked in and they are fancy here.  After I was all ready to go to my room, I am told “I will come around to hand you your key” as if handing to me over the counter would have insulted my “I look homeless”ness.

There is a free coffee station for guests at the elevators.  Since I am paying $60-something in resort fees, I fully intend to drink $60-something in free coffee.  Try and stop me.

The elevator walls beg the question of “What came first, Cosmopolitan or Cromwell?”  (Hint: Cosmopolitan)

cromwell elevator las vegas
I get to my room and it seems even smaller than I remember the Barbary Coast rooms being.  It is much darker, that is for sure.   I am on the side of the hotel with THE wall.  If you do not know what I am talking about, then allow me to explain.

When The Barbary Coast was being redone from whatever the hell they were trying to call it after “Barbary Coast” to Cromwell, they decided the main focus would be Drais night club on the roof.   They added a pool up there and then had to build a support wall. This means that the bulk of rooms on the North side of the hotel face this wall.    I used my zoom to make a fake view, but the wall is indeed there.

cromwell las vegas strip view

cromwell las vegas room view

The room is done very nicely.

cromwell las vegas hotel room cromwell las vegas hotel bed cromwell las vegas room cromwell las vegas room chaircromwell las vegas closet cromwell las vegas bathroom

cromwell vegas roomEven with every light on in the room, it is still dark.  Not sure if the wall played a part in that.  I also didn’t really like the feel of the room.  They have wood floors, which make cleaning easier, but they also mean things echo in here.   I don’t recall ever in my life having so many people knock on doors in the hallway.  But this happened all night long and the knocks would echo through my room.  Finally they stopped and once morning came, housekeeping began creating more echoing knocks in my room.

I dropped my stuff off and went to play in the casino.  I went to get a new card since I did not have mine with me.  I was given $5 free play.  Cool!  I sat down at a quarter Double Double Bonus video poker machine and got four of a kind for the first time in days.  It was glorious!

quarter eights

From here, I went upstairs to take a nap.  When I went to plug my phone in, I realized I left my charger back in Henderson.  No no no no no no no no noooooooo.

After napping, I went across the street to Bellagio to pick up some show tickets I had pre-purchased / redeemed via MyVegas, including for tonight’s performance of “O”, which in case you are somehow unaware, is the water based Cirque du Soleil show at Bellagio.  This is my third time seeing it.  I was able to get Cirque gift cards on Living Social during a Christmas promo where I got a $100 gift card for $72, and a $50 gift card for $36.  Excellent promotion.

The show was great, as always.

Afterwards, I played a bit of Cleopatra Keno at Bellagio.  I like the Cleopatra Keno here.  I sure as hell did better here than I did at Rainbow.  This specific machine plays weirdo trumpety fanfare music when you get the bonus.  I have never heard this before, not even on this machine the last time I was here.

After losing as much as I was willing to lose, I had to walk to Walgreens next to Planet Hollywood to get a new phone charger.  I stopped and played a bit at Cosmopolitan and lost lightening quick.

Walgreens did not have a charger for my phone but they had a USB cord.  It just so happened that my fancy Cromwell room had a USB plug built into the dresser.

usbTip:  Flat screen televisions also have USB plugs in the back.  I used these later in the trip when I was at less fancy schmancy hotels that did not have USB plugs.  The only downside is that you need the television on to make them charge.  So if you do not like sleeping with the television on, you have to suck it up to get your phone charged while  you sleep.  You can also use the USB slot in your laptop to charge.

However, on the way to my room from Walgreens, pre-charging my phone, I stopped in the casino and sat down to play some Ultimate X.   I am playing three hands and am dealt four of a kind threes.  I got the kicker on the one line that had a multiplier (3x).  So I got 3200 nickels = $160.   I took out my phone to get a picture and the battery is completely dead.  Sigh.  Guys, this is the first day in many days where I have wins to take pictures of and I do not have the ability to.  I am so sorry.

I cashed out and put $20 into the quarter machine that gave me eights earlier, and it gave me…four of a kind THREES, sans kicker.   And my phone battery is still dead.  What are the chances of all these threes?  I was pretty psyched.

I went up to the room a tiny bit richer.  I made sure to grab some more free coffee and ate a brownie I had left over from my trip to Smiths grocery store in Henderson.   Plugged in my phone and went to bed.

Gambling Day: + $200
Gambling Trip: + $280
Miscellaneous: (phone charger, housekeeping tip) $20
Comps used: Comped night at Cromwell
Freebies:  Free breakfast, five cups of fancy schmancy coffee at Cromwell, free $5 slot play for reasons I don’t know.

World’s most boring itinerary:

Saturday, January 2, 2016
Breakfast: 
Check into Cromwell
Lunch:
Dinner:

O 9:30

Las Vegas Trip Report: Three Days in Henderson, Nevada

Technically, I spent a total of six days in Henderson.  This covers three consecutive ones where the individual days do not have enough content to be the least bit interesting so I am combining them.

This morning I woke up at Fiesta Henderson at 6:00 am.  This is the latest I have slept since arriving.  This is still a bit ridiculous, but I will take the small victory.  I kind of have to since it is the first thing resembling a victory that I have had in days.

Downstairs to Starbucks.  Iced coffee and coffee cake.  Nature’s perfect pair.

Fiesta Henderson has penny Supertimes Pay video poker.  Woo, I get to play ten play Supertimes Pay!  It was fun even on pennies.  I also hit Aces twice so my wanting to hit Aces every day got fulfilled.  TWICE.  Look at me, all excited about an $8 win. Oh how the mighty have fallen.  At least I have a picture to post of anything.  (I only took a photo of one of them apparently.)

penny aces 2

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I did the Stations daily promotion where you can pick a penguin and win a huge prize.  I did the first part okay, the second part, not so much. I won 1500 Boarding Pass points.   Meh.

Back to the room to pack and check out.  Today I am moving to Hawthorne Wyndham Suites in Henderson.  This was booked via Hotwire.  I actually booked it when I was in Urumqi, China.  I was having a mental meltdown from being on such a difficult trip and decided that I would be going to Las Vegas to spend time in familiar territory.

I picked Henderson for these dates because it is New Year’s Eve.  This not only makes the Strip and Downtown out of my price level, it also makes the amount of people in both those places way out of my “want it” level.

My hotel was one of those “see if after you buy it” places that was described as an all suite hotel, and as having a casino.   It was not an all suite hotel (I didn’t care) and the casino was closed.  I asked one of the employees about it.  It was named “My Casino” and had recently been bought by Dotty’s, and it was vacant for the time being.

I took the bus here.  It should have (and would have) been easy except I got off at the wrong stop.  I was supposed to get off at Palo Verde at Boulder and instead I got off at Palo Verde and not Boulder.  I had to wait half an hour for the next bus.  Sigh.  As cold as it has been while I have been here, today was slightly warm and the sun was burning me.  I had to keep turning because my jeans were on fire and burning my legs.

I get to the hotel and am told I cannot check in because it is not 3:00 yet.  Fine by me, I will just sit here in the lobby until my jeans cool down.   I didn’t even make it one inch towards the couches before it was discovered that I could check in early.  Woo!  My room came with a refrigerator and microwave.  Oh also a DVD player.  There was also laundry facilities.  Which, if you have ever read any Las Vegas message board or Facebook group dedicated to Las Vegas, goes something like this:

The Internet:  OH MY GOD, WHY WOULD ANYONE DO LAUNDRY IN LAS VEGAS?

Me: Well this is a twenty day trip so…

The Internet:  OH MY GOD, YOU ARE ON VACATION.  WHO WANTS TO DO LAUNDRY?

Me:  Well, see aforementioned twenty day trip

The Internet:  OH MY GOD, I WOULD NEVER DO LAUNDRY IN LAS VEGAS?

Me: So…..don’t?

hawthore suites wyndham henderson nevada roomHawthorne Suites Wyndham Henderson Las Vegas Nevada

My total cost via Hotwire for three nights here, which included New Year’s Eve, was $152.45.  No resort fee.  Free breakfast.  It also included free dinner on the night I arrived but I totally napped through that.   This was a great deal.   But the lack of casino bothered me.  I ended up writing to Hotwire about it (it was listed as having a casino) and they gave me an option of being fully refunded if I checked out (leaving me to find a last minute hotel on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas) or to stay and they would credit me 25%.  I took the credit.  Then I used that credit to pay for my last night in Vegas, which I still had not decided on at that point.  Wins all over the place here!  Let’s take this luck to a casino!

I took the bus to Sam’s Town.  I wanted to use my Las Vegas Advisor $10 free play that I was supposed to use on some other day and did not.   When I went to get it loaded on my card, I discovered I am now Sapphire level at Boyd.  Oops, I did not mean to move up a level.  It just kind of happened.   Degenerate gambler strikes again!

sams town las vegas

I lost my $10 and then the free play.  And then I converted all my points into free play and lost that too.  Then I saw that the quarter Keno progressive was over $100k so I had to lose some more money trying for that too.  It was just one of those nights where everything hated me.  It was mutual.

I took the bus back to my hotel.  I almost got out at the Rainbow casino but decided to behave myself.

The next two days, I alternated between Rainbow, Eldorado and Emerald Island.  I won no money in these places.

el dorado casino henderson las vegas nevada emerald island casino henderson las vegas nevadaBut I did get to sing Ronnie James Dio’s “Rainbow in the Dark” so it was all good.

rainbow in the dark casino henderson las vegas nevada
Emerald Island has a promotion where you sign up for a card, earn 50 points and you get a coupon book that includes both a free burger and a free skillet breakfast.   What was even kind of cooler was that I hit the 50 points and someone approached me on my machine to hand me the book.  I didn’t even have to notify them or go back to the player’s club.

I lost the skillet coupon before I got to use it.  The burger was great though.

I played a Keno game that was more like a carnival Keno game than I am used to (and I play Cleopatra Keno nonstop.)  The machine was kind of cool.  You can see how my screen is popped up, it does this when you insert the money.  So you can see better.

keno emerald island casino henderson las vegas nevada

I ate at Rainbow’s coffee shop.  There was a limited menu as it was New Year’s Eve, which was fine by me.  I had a burger and it was fantastic.

Rainbow also has the best Cleopatra Keno pay table I have ever seen.   I play nine numbers always.  Usually the six number hit is worth 40, and the 7 number hit varies from 260 (Red Rock) to 320 (Four Queens) and 400 (lots of places, including Bellagio of all oddities.)

cleopatra keno pay table rainbow casino henderson las vegasOf course, none of this matters if you do not hit the numbers.  Which I didn’t.  So…

Most of what I did for three days was lose my money very quickly, and watch Netflix.  I had planned to spend New Year’s Eve in my room watching Netflix, since I didn’t really want to be around people so much.  But being in Henderson for all these days was like being on a weirdo vacation.  I was in Las Vegas, but I wasn’t because I was in Henderson.  When I was at Hawthorne, I could not just go to a casino. It required getting on a bus.  It felt weird.  I could see the Strip fireworks from my hotel window though, so there was that.

I also stopped at my first Dotty’s casino.  These are all over the place in local neighborhoods.   They are small and have huge comfy office type chairs at their machines. I won $5 here but I did not see a TITO machine and assumed I had to go to the cashier (who also runs the store) and I didn’t want to bother her so I played it until I had zero.  Because degenerate.

dotty's casino

When it came time to leave Henderson, I was more than ready to do so.

I feel bad about how short and boring this is so let’s talk about my bus ride to the Strip.  I take the BHX and transfer for the 202.  A woman sits next to me, turns to the guy next to her and compliments his beard.  Then she turns to me and compliments me on my glasses, and then asks if I like her glasses.  Sure.  She is now complimenting every person on the bus and asking for compliments in return.  Once everyone has received their compliments, she launches into her life story.  She has drank too much Dr. Pepper and is feeling way too hyper.  She loves playing at MGM Grand because her Chinese sign is a lion.  She offered every homeless man on the bus her phone number.  She even asked one where he was going with his luggage and he told her he was homeless and going to a shelter.  She tried to give him money and he would not take it.   This was a very nice person, although a bit crazy.

Then somehow she began talking about sex.  This was extremely awkward.  To say the least.  The homeless men on the bus really seemed to enjoy her though.  I really just wanted to get the hell off the bus already.  I always forget how far Boulder Highway is from the Strip.  In my mind, it is a walkable distance, but in reality, it is at least half an hour by vehicle.

Finally, I made it to Cromwell and am about to begin the Strip portion of my trip.

Gambling Day: -$600 (three days at $200/day)
Gambling Trip: +$80
Miscellaneous: (Dunkin Donuts, a trip to a dollar store, a trip to Smith’s Grocery for snacks for the room/toiletries, and cigarettes): $78.43
Comps used: $25 free play from my points at Sam’s Town
Freebies:  Burger at Emerald Island, breakfast for three days at Hawthorne Suites, $38.11 Hotwire credit for my hotel not having the advertised casino.

Here are the itineraries for two days.  I never had one for New Year’s Day since I figured I might spend it working on my blog (and then didn’t.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Breakfast: 
Check into Hawthorne Suites
Lunch:
Dinner:
Emerald Island Grill half off LVA
Earn 100 points Emerald Island free spin LVA
Jerry’s Nugget:New Member Rewards:
50 points – $5 Comp
100 points – Jerry’s Nugget T-shirt
250 points – $20 Comp
500 points – $40 Gift Card
1,000 points – $100 Free Play on Slots and Video Poker
Joker’s Wild 11x reels, 7x vp

Thursday, December 31, 2015
Breakfast:
Lunch:
Dinner:
Rainbow Bar and Grill
Silver Sevens slots 7x vp 3X
Suncoast 15x pennies, 11x slots, 7x vp

Las Vegas Trip Report: The Day That Started Before Yesterday Ended

I woke up at Sunset Station.  The alarm clock said 1:19 and my first thought was that I slept through the entire night and it was 1:19 in the afternoon. Nope, morning.  My nap had lasted ten hours.  Not 22, idiot.

I got up and played on my phone. Good thing I did not go right back to bed as shortly after, the alarm clock went off from the previous guest.  I could not figure out how to turn it off so I just unplugged it.

What should I do now?  I tried sleeping again but it didn’t take.   So obviously, I went down to gamble.  And had the realization that I never want to be anywhere that is not downtown ever again.  Here is why:

I needed cigarettes and coffee.  The gift shop is not open, Starbucks is not open.  It is negative eleventy billion degrees outside.  Even if I were willing to go out there (I was not) it is one-freaking-something am and I don’t know which way to walk to find anything once I am out there.

I was fortunate that the casino had cigarette machines around ($9.00 a pack, cheaper than New York, that’s for damn sure) but my only choice for coffee in a cup that I could have next to me at a machine was a cocktail waitress.  Of which I saw none.

If I had been downtown, I could have had a choice of Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. Both 24 hours, both a short walk away. If it had not been eleventy billion degrees below zero, I could have went outside.  But I am at a local’s casino with about 89234783 exits.  I don’t know where anything is outside. It is too cold to go exploring. Let’s talk about that for a bit, shall we?

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I go to Las Vegas every December for Christmas, have for at least twelve years.  Save for that one year I went to Atlantic City instead and my waiter at breakfast clearly pitied me being solo and paid me extra special attention, as I vowed to never return due to that extra special pity attention that I most certainly did not require.

Point is, I know it is cold here in December.  I am not one of those idiots who thinks “Las Vegas is the desert!” and shows up during a snow storm dressed for Hawaii.  But this year it is so much colder than normal.  I will remember it always. Like that one year when my sister was with me and it was insanely cold and every time I think about that trip, my first thought is “It was so fucking cold that year!”  I remember being outside Walgreens on Fremont Street and running inside to warm up before continuing my walk to El Cortez.  It is that cold this year.  With a winter coat on, I do not want to go outside because the wind sends pain like knives through my winter coat.

Walking from my room to the casino is down a very long hallway with windows that are rattling from the wind.  This hallways is frozen.  Inside, with a coat on, the hallway is frozen.  So no. I am not going to go outside in the dark and wander around for an hour trying to find coffee.  I am going to instead, give the closed Starbucks inside Sunset Station my patented middle finger as I walk by it on my way to losing all my money.

The casino is as empty right now as it was full earlier this afternoon.  Every machine I touched played so loud that I was telling the machine “shut up already” and it would not.

I played a Buffalo slot.   It is always a good idea to play money sucking slots when you are on a losing streak.  Or if you are an idiot.  Fortunately, sometimes the gambling gods pity idiots and will do things like give you a $120 bonus win. Yay!

I played some Supertimes Pay and hit my favorite hand!  So pretty!

aces kicker

I then went to play Cleopatra Keno.  I wanted to play eight quarters a game, but the machine maxed out at four.  Why?  Why do you do this?  The gambling gods are watching out for me.  Why do YOU care if I want to lose two bucks a game?  Argh.  Stupid casino.

I switch back and forth between Keno and Double Double Bonus video poker until my budget is gone.  And Starbucks has still yet to open.

I have 45 minutes until Starbucks.  I need coffee.  I could probably walk to my room and back to kill 45 minutes, lord knows it is far away enough.  But CASINO!  So I put a $20 from my Buffalo wins into a different Buffalo machine and win $200.  Whoa.

Now I have $400 in winnings and no coffee.  Because Starbucks is still not open.  By now, a cocktail waitress has started stalking me but as any degenerate gambler knows, why on earth would I order a free coffee, when instead, I could gamble until Starbucks opens?  So I do.  And $100 later, Starbucks is open and I am able to purchase the most delicious cup of iced coffee ever.

I head back to my room, mad at myself.  Partly for losing $100, partly for my sleeping pattern, mostly for being an asshole in every which was possible. But how about that iced coffee?  Mmmm.

It is still painfully early.  I hang out in the room for a bit, mostly alternating between typing this report and hitting “refresh” more times on Facebook than I would like to admit.

Finally, 8:00 am rolled around and I went downstairs to redeem a MyVegas buffet for breakfast. Since the reward is good for two people, I tried to again get a second receipt for each so I could give one away, as the cashier at Santa Fe Station had voluntarily done for me.  This cashier told me it is not possible.  Oh well.

I normally don’t pay attention to people because I do not care, but I did notice one woman who had a plate overflowing with toast.  She had about ten slices on it.  She was sitting across from me.  Her husband (I am guessing here) then came and dropped off another ten slices for her.  She was sitting there buttering away during the entire time I ate my breakfast.  I found that insanely odd.

After eating, I played a bit and lost more than a bit.  I lost $200 of my remaining $300 winnings from this morning.  Sigh.   Then I went to the front desk to check out and check back in. I had booked two nights here via MyVegas before they changed the rewards to one per person.  So I am stranded here another night, still reluctant to go outside.  I also have a free MyVegas dinner buffet but probably cannot use it as you are only allowed to use two rewards per 24 hours and I have already used a buffet and a room.  Sigh, should have stuck to my itinerary and used that last night.  Except that I slept through last night.

I came back to the room to try and nap again.  I feel like I have been doing this too much.  I originally wanted to take my first trip to the North Las Vegas casinos today.  I also realized I never used my $5 free play at Plaza coupons from both American Casino Guide and Las Vegas Advisor.  Both expire this week.  But I do not want to go outside. Every time I walk the hallway from my room to the casino, I am frozen.  And this is an inside hallway.  The Plaza coupons are grinding my gears and I suspect I will end up taking a trip to use them.  Because degenerate.  Also because Dunkin Donuts.

I went back out in the evening…to gamble some more OBVS.  I ended up losing the last $100 of this morning’s winnings because of course I did.  Duh.  I had $5 free play from my points and ran that up to $6.25 on a nickel Double Double bonus video poker game.  Then I got that up to $10. And then turned that $10 into zero because that’s what I do.

I ended up eating Subway for dinner. I hate when I do this.  Whenever I am losing so I grab something to bring back to the room to settle in with a book.  It sounds like a good plan but the fact is that I am now paying for crappy food, when I have comps to cover non-crappy food.  But the non-crappy food is in a casino and I need to leave the casino.  So losing costs me even more by paying for food.  Idiot.

sunset station las vegas

Gambling Day: – $0
Gambling Trip: + $880
Miscellaneous: (tips, coffee, Subway and cigarettes) $38
Comps used: NOPE.
Freebies:  MyVegas room at Sunset Station, MyVegas buffet reward for breakfast at Sunset Station

My itinerary for today: Yes, nope, nope, nope, nope and nope.

Monday, December 28, 2015
Breakfast: Sunset Station, 8-11 free MyVegas
Lunch:
Dinner:
Mirage buffet 3-9 free MyVegas
Sam’s Town 20x buffalo, 11x reels, 7x vp (kiosk)
2000 points Longhorn casino (400 = $1 comp) ACG
Longhorn $5 free play ACG
Gold Coast 30x slots (kiosk)

Las Vegas Trip Report: Degenerate Gambler Tries Dollar Video Poker

I am wide awake at the California hotel at 6:00 am this morning.  I shower and get dressed and walk over to The D to use my $10 dining voucher.  Fremont Street is empty except for me and the homeless.

early morning fremont street las vegas

I saw this sign which drove me nuts.  It is a huge pet peeve of mine when people spell “Fremont” as “Freemont.”  I even once saw someone spell it as “Freemount”.  Although I guess since prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, all mounts should be free.  Yet whoever made this sign, must work on Freeeeeeeeeemont.  And here we are.

freeeeeeeeeeemont

Oh hey, the coffee shop doesn’t open until 8:00.  Remember when these things used to be 24 hours?  I have to use my credit today as it will be expired when I return Downtown later this trip.  So I get some coffee from Dunkin Donuts and sit down at my favorite Supertimes Pay machine in all of Las Vegas, conveniently located right outside Dunkin Donuts.

This machine is my baby and I have not played her in a year.  When I was here briefly in September, she was always taken.  I am so glad to be reunited with her.  She isn’t doing too good. Her screen is shot and fuzzy.  Aw, poor baby.

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supertimes pay sevens

I turn $20 to $40 and then lose another $20 to even that out. I play some Keno and lose some more money because LOSER.  Finally it is 8:00 and I head back to The D to get breakfast.  I take the escalator upstairs and at the top is a woman sitting there breast feeding her kid.  In a casino.  Start ‘em off right I suppose.

Breakfast ended up costing me ten cents after my dining voucher / cleared out the remaining comps I have.  My relationship with The D is officially over.

I did stop and play some Sigma Derby.  There are twelve seats here.  Three on each long side, two on each short side. I had the entire game to myself until some man comes and sits right next to me on a short side.  Dude, the fucking game is empty.  No need to sit right fucking here.  So I bet the remaining 20 quarters I had on ONE combo that had 200 odds and lost it.  Oh well.

sigma derby

Back to California where I decide that since I am up for the trip, I am going to go for the $8128 dollar royal progressive.  That is insanely high, someone needs to hit it.  As I am playing, I am talking to the machine.  I am telling it that if it does not want to give me the $8128 royal, it can still give me any four of a kind.   Preferably Aces, but really, anything will do.  It gives me nothing.  But being the giving person I am, this does not stop me from continuing to give to it.  $300 later and I hate myself so much.

Back to the room to pack and get ready for my move to Sunset Station.  I will be there for two nights via MyVegas.  I booked before the one-per-person rule took effect.

I took the HDX bus, it took just under twenty minutes.  As a person who frequents lots of off strip places, I am always asked about renting a car.  I don’t even have a driver’s license.  The bus works.  You can take it should you chose to.  And if you do not want to, then hey, don’t!

BONUS: While I was standing at the bus stop, a homeless man was approaching, screaming very loudly.  It took a bit for me to realize I recognized the words he was screaming.  “Heaven and Hell” by Black Sabbath.  He was just not singing them anywhere near the tune.  Aw, I love Ronnie James Dio.

I got dropped off in front of Sunset Station and went to check in.  I got room 407.  I had to walk down a very looooooooooonnnnnng hallway to get there.  There is a parking lot right outside the elevator area.  Seems like that would be cool for people who drive.  Except you would still have to go all the way to the front desk.  Not sure why this hotel is designed like this.  Let’s put check in nowhere near the rooms.  Yes, that is a great blueprint, let me sign off on it!

The room is a room. There is nothing at all special about it.  The thermostat has seen better days and I have to push all the buttons multiple times to get them to work.  Other than that though, nothing. sunset station las vegas henderson room

sunset station henderson las vegas roomsunset station henderson las vegas bathroomsunset station henderson las vegas tub

sunset station las vegas room view

I go downstairs and gamble.  I am instantly horrified at how packed this place is.  It is hard to find any open machine and when you do, there are people surrounding it.  I had no idea this was such a happening place. I hate happening places.  Not enough to not gamble though so…

I played nickel Cleopatra Keno to balance out this morning’s dollar video poker loss.  I win nothing.

I went back to the room to take a nap.  This is where this day ends because I never woke back up.  Oops?

Gambling Day: – $500
Gambling Trip: + $880
Miscellaneous: (tip, coffee the $.10 The D breakfast!): $6.47
Comps used: The D breakfast
Freebies:  MyVegas room at Sunset Station

Today’s itinerary, really a joke at this point:

Sunday, December 27, 2015
Breakfast:  Fremont 7-10:30 free 250 points ACG
Check into Sunset Station
Lunch:
Dinner: Sunset Station, 4-9 free MyVegas
Jerry’s Nugget:New Member Rewards
50 points – $5 Comp
100 points – Jerry’s Nugget T-shirt
250 points – $20 Comp
500 points – $40 Gift Card
1,000 points – $100 Free Play on Slots and Video Poker
Downtown Grand 2x points promo
Gold Coast 30x slots (kiosk)
Orleans 30x pennies (kiosk)
Joker’s Wild 25x points on first 500 points,

Las Vegas Trip Report: Did Someone Order Aces?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

This morning I woke up at 4:00 am in my comfortable bed at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in beautiful Las Vegas.  I could not fall back asleep so I got dressed and went to gamble.  Obviously.

There is a Starbucks near Orleans but I do not know if it is open 24 hours so I settled for gas station coffee from Terribles next door.  Yes I know you can get coffee for free while playing.  No, I would rather not have to be at someone else’s mercy for coffee.

I wanted to play the nickel Keno machine I had won $940 on a year ago TODAY.  But it is taken.  Because it is 5:00 am so obviously that one machine would be taken.  So I settled for the Double Double Bonus video poker machine that had been kind to me last night.  She was kind once again.

straight flushquarter jacks video poker winquarter aces video poker win orleans

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I now had $350 and could not believe my good fortune.  I started to play all my favorite money suckers, including Ultimate X.

ultimate x video poker threes x 3

The more I kept telling myself to stop it, the more I kept going.  Finally I lost all my wins.  You fucking asshole.  I could use creative accounting and think “Oh hey, I only lost $80 because that is all I brought down” but…well there is no but. I only lost $80 SO THERE.

Breakfast was at the Orleans coffee shop.  My room offer came with $10 dining.   Everyone here was nice and friendly and all “Happy holidays!” and I was all “You asshole, why did you not stop gambling?!?!”

I was back in my room by 7:00 am and went back to bed.

I woke up at 11:11 (make a wish!) and went back out.   First stop was Hooters to use both the American Casino Guide and Las Vegas Advisor coupons for $10 free play each.  The Las Vegas Advisor coupon is straight $10 free play, American Casino Guide is play ten and get ten.  I got LVA loaded and went to play to get the ACG loaded.  I left the free play on my card and put $20 cash into Family Guy. I love this game and you cannot use free play on it.  This machine had been nice to me in the past, but that was not the case today.  I also noted that the “repeat bet” button is still broken, just as it was last year.  Great job, Hooters slot techs.

I put my $20 free play into Cleopatra Keno and got it up to $100.  I cashed out at $75.  I then realized I needed one more single for the bus and rather than break a $5 bill, I decided to put it in Cleopatra Keno and play one game at $1.  I got the bonus and won $22.  I cashed out at $79 to get singles.  Yes, cashing out at $22 would have also gotten me singles, but I AM GAMBLOR.

From here, I walked over to Ellis Island Brewery and Casino to use some more coupons.   I had one for $10 free play from American Casino Guide one for a chance to spin a wheel for $10-$100 free play from Las Vegas Advisor, and a “earn 200 points, get a free entree” coupon from American Casino Guide.

I sat down and played Double Double Bonus video poker. It took me $60 to get the 200 points for the free entree. $60 for $20 free play a $10 meal seems fair, no?

I asked my server if I could get anything on the menu.  They don’t have anything listed specifically as entrees.  She said that it came as a credit and she could see what they took off.  I ordered steak and eggs.  With a root beer, it came to $14.31 and the coupon took off $14, making my soda free as well.  She comped off the $.31 so the entire meal was basically free.  For $60 that is.

After eating, I lost another $40 on Cleopatra Keno because why wouldn’t I?

Next stop: Tuscany casino to use the $10 free play coupon in American Casino Guide.   I put it in a nickel Cleopatra Keno, hit “max bet” and it turns out max bet on here is 80 nickels.  Yeesh.   I hit five balls and won 500 credits ($25) but put that all back in because why wouldn’t I?  I also tried a Flinstones slot, which was terribly mean to me.  Then I left.

I took the bus to Gold Coast from here.  I have two coupons, one for play $10, get $10 free play from Las Vegas Advisor and one for a free buffet for earning 200 points, from American Casino Guide.

I sat down at a quarter Double Double Bonus video poker game where the cards were dealt way too fast and there was no way to change it.  I decided to stick it out and boy am I sure glad I did.  Last hand.

quarter twos gold coast

I still did not have 200 points so I put another twenty in and well….

quarter aces gold coast 1

I got my 200 points.  I went to the player’s card booth to get my buffet coupon (good through December 30) and my free play.  I went back to the same machine and OH HEY.

quarter aces gold coast 2

I feel like I was only in this casino for like fifteen minutes. And I won $500.  Minus what I put in, and then kept putting in (come on now, you know I did) I netted $400.

I took the free shuttle back to Orleans and stopped at the Player’s Club to use some coupons there.  I have play $10 get $10 from both Las Vegas Advisor and American Casino Guide.  I also have $5 free play from my offer.  I have to do them one at a time. The boothling offers I can come right back to him instead of getting back on the line, which is absurdly long.  I come back and only have to wait for him to finish the person he is currently helping.  Only it is not a person, it is a couple.  Because I guess when he said “next” they both went up instead of one person going up and then the other waiting their turn.  They were up there for so long, asking so many questions.  The female half was carrying an American Casino Guide book which annoyed me because you do not need to carry the book.  Fucking cut the coupons out.  I kept growing more and more impatient.  Finally I get the second coupon loaded and decide to save the third one for tomorrow.

As I am walking away, I am thinking about how much I do not like people.  Of course, this is perfect timing for me to spot some woman who is playing a machine, with her feet up on the chair next to her.  Not like on the bottom of the chair, but on the actual chair so that if anyone wanted to sit, they could not.  She was totally relaxing as if this were a chaise lounge. Did I mention she was not wearing shoes?  Because she wasn’t.  I guess she mistook the casino for her living room.  I lost it.  I gestured towards her fucking disgusting feet and told her “YOU ARE FUCKING DISGUSTING” and kept walking.  Then I decided to go back and take her photo, just to be a complete fucking dick.  But as I turned around, I saw her with her feet back under her own chair, where they belong.  She was in the middle of putting her shoes back on her feet.  WHICH IS WHERE THEY BELONG.  So I let it go.

I used my $15 free play in my now favorite Double Double Bonus video poker machine and got nothing.  I tried again to play the Keno machine I won $940 on a year ago TODAY and some dude was on it.   I played around a bit and then decided to go to my room.   The hallways here reek of weed.

I did some stuff like not really packed for a move tomorrow, wrote a blog post and then went back down to gamble.  I lost $80 and called it a night.  I was in bed by midnight.

Gambling Day: + 300
Gambling Trip: +380
Miscellaneous: (coffee, cigarettes, bus fare, tips and some more Diet Pepsi): $47.77
Comps used: Orleans hotel stay, $10 dining at Orleans with offer.  I also had a coupon sheet given to me at check in.  The only one I used was 10% off at Java Coast, which saved me $.31 on an iced coffee.

Today’s itinerary.  I did everything on it except go to Cosmopolitan.  I wish I would have done that.  I am going to miss all the Christmas stuff on the Strip since it will likely be gone by the time I get there.  Oh well.

Thursday, December 24, 2015
Breakfast: $10 credit mailer
Orleans ACG play $10 get $10
Orleans LVA play $10 get $10
Orleans $5 freeplay offer
Gold Coast $10 freeplay LVA
Gold Coast 200 points = free ACG
Lunch:
Dinner:
Ellis Island free 200 points ACG
Ellis Island play $10 spin wheel ACG
Ellis Island $10 free play LVA
Ellis Island 10x
Planet Hollywood / Rio 50 points = free buffet
Palms $25 freeplay with 5k points LVA
Palms $50 freeplay with 15k points ACG (or 2k slots)/strong>
Tuscany $10 free play ACG
Hooters play $10 get $10 ACG
Hooters $10 freeplay LVA
 
Cosmopolitan: Artomatic

Las Vegas Pre-Trip Report: Musings of a Degenerate Gambler

Here is something you should know about people who frequent Las Vegas: They all love to talk about how cheap a trip is, and how you will never find another city in the world where you can go and stay in beautiful hotels and eat fine dining, for even a fraction of the cost as Las Vegas.  Note that I said “they” and not “we”.  I used to be part of that group.  I used to love the idea of staying in a nice hotel that I was comped in, versus paying $150/night for some shitty motel in Anywhereelse USA.

But then something happened.  I started traveling outside the United States.  Guys, I have to tell you something.  The world outside of the United States is so much cheaper.  Sure there are lots of countries you can travel to where the cost is relatively the same, or even higher than travel in the States.  But then I went to Eastern Europe.  And China.  Suddenly, that “Wow, this is such a great bargain!” Las Vegas trip morphed into “Wow, for less than the cost of a two week trip to Vegas, I can spend six weeks in China!”

So I began vowing that every trip to Las Vegas would be my last.  But see, I didn’t tell anyone this, except for my cute little stuffed dog.  He doesn’t judge or hold me accountable for things I say, so I was free to break that vow at will.

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Then I started to tell other people.  I swore up and down that last year was my last trip to Las Vegas, as I was wanting to instead, focus on seeing the rest of the entire planet.

Well that didn’t exactly go as planned.

Last December, I took what I had planned on being my last big trip:  Good bye Las Vegas!  But I ended up leaving dissatisfied.  My trip was only nine days.  While most people love to chime in with “Nine days?  That’s too long!  I am ready to go home after five!,” I don’t really have those kinds of trips.  I have the kind of trips where I do things like visit casinos off Strip and live like a local.  I don’t drink, I don’t go nutso, I don’t do any of the things that make people wish to make it STOP ALREADY after a mere five days.

With only nine days, I felt like I did nothing but travel around and I didn’t really see or do anything.  I was armed with my new fancy camera and got to take zero pictures of the Strip, despite actually staying on it for five days.  I actually got annoyed with myself for having gone degenerate gambling on night one and then spent the rest of the trip frugal gambling instead of going to the ATM.  This should be a “score one for me!” item, but it left me without doing the thing I go to Vegas to do: GAMBLE.

So when I got home, I decided to do one more trip.  For Thanksgiving.  Airfare was only $303, which is the lowest I have paid in many years.  Booked and done.

Then my mind started doing that thing again.  Where whenever I fly to California, I end up checking flights home from Vegas, since I am already going to be on the West Coast.  I decided that fine, I could do this.  I could allow myself 37 hours in Las Vegas en route home from San Francisco.

Then I realized this was never going to end.  My Thanksgiving trip is only five nights.  If nine was not enough for me to get it out of my system, five were not going to be.  Nor were five + an additional 37 hours.  So I started booking a three week trip to Las Vegas, which I leave for on December 23.  That one will be the final one.  For real this time.

Since rebooking my airfare for November would cost more than the entire flight, I am keeping that trip.  And I indeed went to Las Vegas for 37 hours last weekend.  Up next will be that trip report.

Las Vegas Trip Report: My First Stay at Post-Fitzgeralds, Now Known As the D

Thursday, November 28, 2013 – Day Three of Eight, Part Two

[This is part four of a ten part trip report.  To start at the beginning, go here.]

This is my first stay at Fitzgeralds since they did a name change.  The new owners would like us to call it “The D”.  Yeah well I would like them to pick a name that is not stupid, and to also bring back the neon rainbow and pot of gold outside.  So it looks like neither of us are getting what we want.  Fitzgeralds it is!

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Fitzgeralds Las Vegas

Now that exact spot looks like this:

the d fitzgeralds

I have to say, upon walking in, I was impressed.  One huge thing was that they redid the floors.  There is now a solid walkway from the entrance to the registration desk.   No more rolling your bag on carpet (unless you enter from Fremont Street, which to be fair, is not the main hotel entrance)

I got room 2134.  I stood outside the door for a few seconds, really excited to see what was behind it.  I have stayed in this hotel 23947838247 times as Fitzgeralds.   I have seen pictures of the new rooms online and they look fantastic.   I am building anticipation as to what I will see behind that door.

Then I open the door.  And I am really surprised that I instantly hate this room.  The beds look great:

The D (that is a stupid name) bed, Las Vegas Nevada

But the rest of the room looks so weird.  It actually looks hollow and cold.  I am so confused.  Why does this room look so empty?

The D (STUPID NAME) Las Vegas, NevadaThen it hits me.  The super huge entertainment center thingy is gone.  This is what the rooms used to look like:

room

Without that big entertainment center, and with the walls now barren, it just looks so hollow.  I don’t like it.

You also used to be able to take pictures of your room view.  Now, if try, you get this:

wrapBecause of this:

Fitzgeralds The D wrap

The bath products are no longer that vanilla soap I used to overtip housekeeping for extra bars of.  They now have Bath and Body Works products.   Upgrade much?

The wall safes are also gone.  I discovered they do have safes inside  the new dressers though.  I never would have known this if I had not read the Hotel Information book.

I am staying here on an offer for three comped nights, plus $50 in free slot play and $25 dining credit.  First thing I do is go downstairs and play the $50 in an attempt to get bazillions.   It doesn’t work.  Not only do I not get bazillions, I don’t even get to play because my money goes too fast.

I am slot crazy right now.   You can’t stop me.  I will play every slot machine in this casino.   GET OUT OF MY WAY ALL OF YOU.

I decide to play $20 of my real money on an Epic Monopoly slot game.  If you have never played this before, allow me to explain.  There are four games.  If you get a wild symbol or a bonus symbol on the first main hand, it transfers over the the other hands.   There is also a feature where Mr. Monopoly randomly pops up and gives you either wilds, or multipliers.   If you get multipliers and any of them land on the first main reel, those are also transferred over to the next three.

So if let’s say, reel two gets a 2x multiplier, and reel one gets a 5x, you will now have a 7x on reel two because the 5x will transfer over.

I didn’t get any multpliers.  But I did have my boy Monopoly toss out four wilds, all on the first game.   So they tranferred to all three remaining games.  Oh I love you.

monopoly

This win slows me down and I end up with $115 left for today.  Don’t forget I went nutso in the Bellagio this morning as well, so this is a huge deal!

I go to my room at 2:30 for a nap.   I can’t sleep.  At all.   I tried to log onto the internet, it’s not working.  I try reading a book.  Oh hey, this is working.  I am suddenly getting very sleeeeeeeeeep….zzzzzzzzzz.

I wake up a few hours later and go back out at 8:00.  First stop, the 24 hour Starbucks at the Golden Nugget.  I LOVE YOU 24 HOUR STARBUCKS AT THE GOLDEN NUGGET.   I try and get a Caramel Brulee Frappucino but they do not have any brulee.  This is unfortunate because my entire purpose of getting it was to find out once and for all what the hell “brulee” is.  I for sure have no idea. Instead I ordered a Green Tea Frappucino and watched the barista make it for me in a blender clearly marked “non-dairy”.  Sorry vegans.

Tonight I shall visit the Downtown Grand.  This used to be the Lady Luck hotel and casino.  The name “Downtown Grand” is not stupid in any way, so I am allowing it.

Downtown Grand Las Vegas

I signed up for a new player’s card.  New sign ups get anywhere from $3-1000 in free slot play.  I got $3. Naturally.

I played and lost on Monopoly.  Then I found what should have been the greatest find in all of life – Four Card CLEOPATRA KENO!  Oh my god!  I love this game and you are telling me I can play FOUR GAMES AT THE SAME TIME?  GAHHHHHHHHHH!

But alas, this game was not as happy to see me as I was to see it.  It would not give me any bonus, no matter how much I put into her.  Well fuck you then, I’m out of here.

On my way out, I passed one of those Rascal scooters with an adorable Shih Tzu sitting in the basket on the front, while her mommy played slots.  She ruled.  Her mommy, who brought a dog into a casino, I am not so sure about.  That poor baby was inhaling second hand smoke like a mother fucker.

I left here and went to Fremont to play my favorite Super Times Pay poker machines.  I love this game so much, and this particular bank is my favorite in all the world.

The woman next to me was playing five card quarters.  So at six quarters a hand she was playing $7.50 a pull.   I may not have noticed it, but she didn’t have any idea what she was doing. So she would continually ask the man she was with for help.  I wanted to scream.  He kept leaning over her shoulder to push the “deal” hand so the hands would go lightning fast after she drew.  By doing this, he is entering my personal space. At some point, she is dealt a straight and asks him what to do.  He tells her to hold it.  She asks “hold all the cards?”  OH MY GOD YOU ARE PLAYING $7.50 A HAND AND YOU DON’T KNOW TO HOLD ALL THE CARDS.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING.  PLEASE STOP.  OR AT LEAST, PLEASE STOP DOING THINGS THAT MAKE ME OVER HEAR WHAT YOU ARE DOING.  PLEASE I BEG YOU.

Finally I hit a low four of a kind with a kicker. If you do not play video poker, you do not know what I am talking about.  This is a hand worth 800 credits, or $40 if you are playing nickels like I am.  I cash out and head to Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee.

Then I go a bit nutso again.  But this time it’s okay because it is night time and I can lose the rest of my budget because it is night time.  So I do exactly that.

I won on NOTHING.  Sucks to be me!

After I am done with losing the last of today’s budget, it’s off to bed.   The time is midnight.  Good night.

OH YEAH WAIT HOLD ON A MINUTE.  I said I would be posting my itinerary daily to see if I followed it.  Here is what I had planned for today. The only thing I did was check into Fitzgeralds and use my $50 free play.  If I had bothered to look at my itinerary, I for sure would have went to the Gold Coast.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Breakfast: Gold Coast 8-3, free with 200 points LVA coupon
Gold Coast 11x points slots/6x points video poker
Ellis Island 3x points

Check into Fitzgeralds $50 free play/LVA coupon
Lunch:
El Cortez 2x points newsletter
El Cortez $10 free play LVA coupon
El Cortez ATM $30 free promo
Dinner: 
Fitzgeralds $25 dining credit

Want to read more?   Here are parts five, sixseven, eight, nine and ten!

Las Vegas Trip Report: I AM GOING TO LAS VEGAS TODAY!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 – Day One of Eight

Today is Las Vegas day!  I woke up and went to the bathroom, passing the microwave and noticed it was only a few minutes before my alarm was going to go off. So I shut it off blindly and went about getting ready for work, dyeing (dying?  I never know how to spell that) my grey roots, getting ready for VEGAS.  When I was all done, I turned on the television and only then realized that I was a full hour early.   The clock I had looked at was my microwave clock which I never changed when we changed the clocks back.  Son of a bitch.

Spent most of the day at work until I just got really bored and decided to leave early without telling anyone.  I am a model employee after all.   Good thing too because security at JFK was in-fucking-sane.  If I had stayed at work, I would have been really screwed.  As it was, I got through with just 10 minutes to spare.

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As we were waiting to board, an employee tried to check my bag for me.  He actually reached out to grab it away from me which put me in defensive mode. No.  He told me it was a full flight.  Yes, but I’m in the back so I board sooner so there will be room.  Then he tells me it won’t fit on the plane because it is too big.  I tell him it has been on eleventy billion flights and I have never had a problem with it fitting.   He then tells me I have to ask the guy at the end of the runway if it will fit.  IT WILL FIT.  What the fuck, get off me.

Guess what?  IT FIT.

I had an empty middle seat, which was evened out by me being surrounded by babies.  They were all over the fucking place.  Even the flight attendant commented on how many babies there were.

We did not have invdividual television.  The overhead movie projector nearest me was broken.   Both these things also happened to me when I flew home from Istanbul back in May.  It was okay though because the movie was Monsters, Inc.  Really Delta?  I know you pick movies based on flight direction.  But this is a flight to Vegas.  Grown up movies only please.

I can’t sleep on planes so flights are a horrible experience for me.  For some reason, I cannot even keep my eyes closed.  Whenever I try, I start to freak out a bit.  I don’t know why this is.  I can sleep on buses and trains, no problem.  It isn’t even uncommon for me to fall asleep on the train on the way to work and wake up in Queens after I miss my stop.  But planes?  No.

We arrive about 20 minutes early, score!  I take a shuttle to my hotel and for the first time ever in my life, I am the first drop off.  I am starting off my trip at Aria, two free nights via the Facebook My Vegas game.  The check in line isn’t all that long, but it is not moving.  Finally I am at the front and a new check-in-ling comes and starts playing with her computer. Some idiot behind me starts yelling at me to “GO”.  She isn’t open yet you moron.  I hate people.

Finally it is my turn.  I tell the check-in-ling I am here on a My Vegas comp and offer her the printed confirmation.  She tells me she just needs my Mlife card, credit card and ID.  I hand all three to her.   She plays around on the computer for a while and then finally tells me that she is going to be charging $626 to my credit card for the incidental hold ($130/night) and room cost.  Uh, no you aren’t.  I repeat “I AM HERE ON A MY VEGAS COMP, DO YOU WANT THE CONFIRMATION?”   She says “no” again and goes back to playing with the computer.  Finally I am checked in, have my keys and go.  With a quick stop to call my bank and check my bank account because I don’t trust her to have charged the correct amount.  She charged $260 for the incidental hold, that is correct.  Let’s go!

I am in room 11047.  Aria is a HUGE hotel.  My room is second to the last in the hallway.  It is a LONG hallway.  I mean LOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG hallway.  It also reeks of weed, which I personally find disgusting.

I open my room door and all at once the lights go on, the drapes start automatically opening and the television comes on.  I have now been awake for 22 hours and I am a combination of confused and scared.   For some reason, what crosses my mind with all this unexpected motion in the room, is that there is a dog in there.  What the hell.

My room is really fancy.  I am not a fancy gal.  Allow me to channel my inner Trip Advisor idiot review leaver type person.  The room is dark.  Even with every light on, I can’t see.  I am completely dehydrated, I try to drink a ton of water using the glasses in the room but they are oddly designed and keep slipping out of my hand (I am aware how ridiculous my complaints sound, trust me.)

The bed was really wonderful.

Aria Las Vegas bed

The tub/shower set up was a bit odd:

weirdo tub aria las vegas

Also while there was no shampoo in my room, which I am sure was just an oversight by Housekeeping, I did have a sewing kit with pre-threaded needles.  Fancy.  I would have preferred shampoo since I didn’t pack any.

sewing kit

Next morning room view:

aria room view

Now that I am all settled, it’s time to gamble!

I play a Buffalo slot machine.  The one next to me is broken and the bill acceptor has tape over it.  For some reason, people kept walking over, tried to play, couldn’t and then would turn to me and ask if I am winning.  Why do people do this?  I would never in my life walk up to a complete stranger in a casino and ask them if they are winning.  Yes, I have eleventy billion dollars on me.  Please follow me to my room and mug me.

My first $20 gets me $40, my second gets me $50.  I try a bunch of other slots because slots are for degenerate gamblers and I am a degenerate gambler.  My best session was on a new game called “Plants and Zombies”  Who comes up with these game ideas, I don’t know.  I cashed out with $100.  None of the ticket machines are working so I have to go to the actual cashier.  There is Super Times Pay over here!  I love Super Times Pay!  I play a bunch and lose $20.

Now I am done.  I stop at the café for a late dinner.  I ask if they do to-go orders.  They do, but they have to seat you for this.  I order and my food comes in a to-go box.

I am back in my room at 1:30.  I try and do my daily spin on My Vegas before bed.  It takes half an hour to load. My laptop type thingy HATES this game.

Want to read more?   Here are parts two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten!

How a Degenerate Gambler Plans a Trip to Las Vegas

Hello, my name is Jennifer and I am a degenerate gambler.

I have been to Las Vegas a bazillion times.  Because of this, I often have friends ask me for help when they are planning a trip.  You would think that I would be good with giving Las Vegas advice.  But I am not.  I actually feel mental anguish when I am asked.  Why is that, you ask?  Because I am a degenerate and degenerates do not know how to simply book a flight and hotel and go.

I was going to take you through a typical trip planning.  But I was having great difficulty breaking down how I typically plan a trip.  It is way too detailed, even for me.  So then I decided to stick to JUST how I booked this one specific trip that I am leaving for TODAY.  I figured it cut it down a bit since it is only an eight day trip, rather than 21 nights.

But as I got into typing that out, it was still way more detail than any non-degenerate gambler would want to read.  So now I will attempt to just talk about my completed plans.

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The first thing I did was book a flight.  I am going for Thanksgiving.  Flights are insanely high for Thanksgiving.  So the dates worked that I would have to fly home the Tuesday after Thanksgiving or else pay close to $300 more to come home any earlier.  Fine with me!

Once my flight is booked, it is time to book rooms.  I have a lot of comps at different hotels.   People always ask me how to get comped rooms.  The answer to this honestly  varies depending on who you ask.

The shortest possible answer is:  You are comped based on coin in.  If you have $1k coin in, that does not mean you put $1k cash into a machine.  If you gamble one dollar, and win one dollar, and bet that same dollar again, and win a dollar again, you now have run through $2 and you still have your dollar.

Most educated gamblers can tell  you exactly what you need to play in order to get comps.  This hotel = XXX through per day, that hotel = XXXXX through per day, etc.  I cannot and will not do this.  I do not keep track of my play.  This is considered a big error by educated gamblers.  But it works for me. I play what I want to and stop when I want to and then the comps follow.   I do not want to know that if I had just ran through one more $20, I would have made a comp list.   It’s the carrot dangling in front of your face.  Oh we know you lost your daily limit, but just $20 more will get  you a room.  Come on, dig into tomorrow’s budget today.  We know you want to.  NO.

I am a low roller.  My budget is $200/day total for everything.  It covers gambling, food, many iced coffee runs, transportation, everything.  I visit at least one spa per trip.  This also comes out of it, although i tend to just shave $10 off every day and pay for the spa that way, rather than cut $100 out of just that day.  Same with show tickets.  So on typical trips, with a massage and a show ticket, we are down to about $180-190/day to cover everything.  This action gets me enough offers to get me through a 3-week trip.

But back to this ONE trip I am taking TODAY!!!

I am arriving late on my first day.  My flight lands at 10:21 pm  I usually spend my first two nights comped at either Orleans or Gold Coast.   This time however, I changed it up a bit and now my first two nights will be at Aria.

Aria Las Vegas

Aria is a big fancy strip hotel/casino that I have never stayed at.  I would never pay for this room, and I would never be offered any comp here.  Comps here are reserved for people who gamble my entire trip’s budget on one hand of Black Jack.

Actually, let me give you some real numbers here:

At Aria, it takes $10 coin in to get one point on video poker.

100 points ($1000 run through on video poker) gets you $1 in comps AND $1 in free play.

To compare that to a downtown casino, I picked Fitzgeralds (now known as “The D” but I will not call it that since that name is stupid), since I will also be staying here this trip.  

Like Aria, at Fitzgeralds, it’s $10 coin in to get one point on video poker.  Sounds exactly the same, right?  WRONG!

At Fitzgeralds, for 100 points ( $1000 coin in on video poker) you get $1 cash back and $2 comps.

To make that crystal clear: For $1000 coin in at Aria, you get $1 comp and $1 free play.  For the same amount of coin in/points at Fitzgeralds you would get $2 comp and $1 cash back.  Twice the comps.  Cash back instead of free play.

Your comp dollars will get you a lot more at Fitzgeralds than Aria.  For a random example:  At Fitzgeralds, you can get a burger and fries for $10.  That same burger and fries will cost you $16 at Aria.  

So at half the comps and nearly double the price, your money will get you so much less if you play at a Strip property, than a downtown property.

That is even without understanding that downtown casinos have better pay outs.

Lower end hotels also going to send out future comp mailers to people who play far less than the people the fancy strip hotels send future offers out to.

But on this trip, I am indeed staying at Aria.  Why?  Because I am staying here for free via playing the My Vegas Facebook game.  This is a game associated with M Life properties (those would be Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, MGM Grand, New York New York, Monte Carlo, Mirage, Aria, Bellagio and Circur Circus) that lets you earn real life comps for free play on Facebook.

Yes, there is a Facebook game that you play for absolutely free* that gives you real life rewards in Las Vegas.  No it is not a scam.  No, I am not a spokesperson for this game.

*You can also buy credits to play, but I do not see the point.

I had played for close to a year before redeeming anything so I have more than enough points to stay in a fancy strip hotel for free.  Even though I do not like the strip, I can’t pass up this chance.  I also do not like RESORT FEES.  Which you may or may not to pay even if you get the room for free through this game. The jury is out on whether or not the resort fees are mandatory.  It seems that you are supposed to be paying them, but plenty of people have reported that they were not charged.  So it’s a gamble and I am here to gamble so I will take my chances.

I booked two free nights via the game, but I booked them for my first two nights.  This way I am there on my first night, which is a short night since my flight does not arrive until around 10:00 pm.  Most people on vacation would probably not short themselves a stay in a fancy hotel.  Me however, I am there to gamble and I do not want to gamble in a casino where my money nets me half of what it would in a downtown casino.

Then for the next three nights, I am at Fitzgeralds. The Fitzgeralds offer is for 3 free nights, $50 free slot play and $25 in dining (there’s also some match plays in there, but I do not do table games)  As a bonus, there is also a coupon in the Las Vegas Advisor member rewards coupon book that gets you $5 in freeplay for every 50 points run up in a 24 hour period.  So you play however much you want to for 24 hours.  Then you  are given freeplay based on however much points you accumulated.  On my last trip, I did a heavy (for me) day here to take advantage of this.  I ended up with $35 in freeplay (which, on video poker, is 350 points, which is $3500 coin in)  How much did that $3500 coin in cost me?  Zero.  I played with a $100 bill.  I went up and down and up and down and up and down.  I probably hit $150 at my highest, but being a degenerate, I kept going.  Once I was far down, I had a good hit that brought me my original $100 back.  Time to cash out!    Then I played the $35 free play and left with $50 of that.

So to recap:

I budgeted $100 for a heavy day (again, for me) here.

I ended up leaving with my $100, plus an additional $50.  I also earned 350 points, which got me $3.50 in cash back and $7 in comps.  As an added bonus, my play here put me back on the Fitzgeralds radar, which I had dropped off.  Being back on got me an offer for three free nights with $50 slot play and $25 dining.  The mailers are sent out with two months on at a time and I can use it once per month.

Does this seem like too much math for you?  It does for me.  I actually had to ask for help to make sure my numbers were correct because my eyes start crossing when I have to keep track of my play.  So here is a little trick for you.   Downtown = good.  Strip = bad.

So now back to my planning of this trip that I am leaving for TODAY!

The last two nights, I had open for a bit.  I really struggled with this one.  I ended up double booking the Riviera and Orleans.  I love both of these places. Both sent me offers that were minimum two nights.  So I had to book two nights to get the rooms and the associated perks (which as a low roller, amount to $10 free slot play at each, and the Orleans also kicked in $10 in dining).  Most people would think it is the biggest waste of time to check in to get $10.   I think it would be so stupid to not check in and get the $10.  I would be visiting both of these places even if I were not staying at either, so why not take ten minutes to get ten dollars?

Now that the rooms are settled, it is time to work on the itinerary.  This is a crazy thing.  I spend so much time putting this together for each trip.  I figure out where I want to play on each day.  Some of this is based on point multiplier promotions.   These are really a big deal if you go in December.  The week before Christmas is the slowest time in Las Vegas.   A lot of places will offer big bonus point days to get you in their casino.   So if you play somewhere that is offering 5x points, that means that for every dollar you play, you get credit for $5.

My entire itinerary is created based absolutely not at all on things I want to do and see.  It’s created entirely as a guide to maximize comps and coupons.   This most likely sounds insane to anyone who has ever gone to Vegas for PAR-TAY!  But that is okay.  No one has to live their life like anyone else.

I read several Las Vegas websites every day.  I see when new promos are announced and collect tips and stuff.  Since I am gathering this knowledge over an extended period of time, it does not overwhelm me.  But it sure overwhelms someone who is fed it all at once.  Which is completely understandable.

Don’t have comps?  Want some?  It’s pretty easy.  Get yourself a copy of the American Casino Guide.   www.americancasinoguide.com (I am not in any way sponsored by them, I buy my book every year because it is way worth the money)

There are a lot of coupons in there for free play for new sign ups, which don’t apply to me.  There are also cool things like the downtown Boyd properties (these would be Main Street Station, Fremont and California) all have coupons for “play 250 points and get a free buffet”.  Simply go and run that amount through and eat free.  One point at Boyd properties = $1.  So 250 points = you run through $250.  You can easily do this with one $20 bill on video poker.  BONUS, you keep the points so you also have those comps (a whopping $.41).  MORE BONUS: Playing to get these points may very well earn you future comped nights.

Another great example of why degenerates use coupon books: Suncoast has a coupon in the American Casino Guide for 5x points.  You can get there on the WAX bus from downtown, in 20 minutes.  So for every dollar you run through a machine, you get credit for $5.

To put this into perspective:

Here, $1 coin in gets you 1 point on your card.
1000 points = $1 cash back or $1 free play OR you can use 600 points = $1 comp

So normally, for $600 coin in, you get $1 in comps.   With this coupon, you are earning 5x points.  So that $600 coin in gets you $5 comps.

So by running through $1000, here are the totals:
Aria = $1 free play and $1 comp

Fitzgeralds = $1 cash back and $2 comps

Suncoast with a 5x multiplier coupon = $5 cash back or $5 free play.  Or $8.33 in comps.

See that?

To put comp value back into “burger and fries” terms:

A comped burger and fries at Aria will take $16k coin in

At Fitzgeralds, it will take $5k coin in

At a Boyd property with a 5x multiplier coupon, it will take $1k in.

As a bonus, Suncoast is owned by Boyd Gaming.   They own the  Gold Coast, Orleans, Sams Town, Main Street Station, California, Fremont and Suncoast.  Any points you earn at any of these places, are all combined with each other so you have more comps you can use at any one place.  So you do not have to go all the way back to the Suncoast to use these points you accumulated.

I do the bulk of my downtown Boyd play at Fremont.  They have a 24 hour Dunkin Donuts AND nickel SuperTimes Pay, which is my absolute favorite video poker game ever.

Most people do not want to go all over Vegas to collect comps.  Who wants to be on VACATION using coupons??!  While Vegas is not in any way a typical vacation, I am definitely not suggesting that you start doing this.  I am only explaining how I do my own trips.

Here is an example of the craziest day of my itinerary.  This is what I like to call “free play day”.  I have one of these every trip.  I pick a day and spend it going all over playing free play.  I do not care if it is $5 or $10 or $50.  If I have it available, I will go wherever and play it.  I put it on a day where I am not doing any promotions like bonus point days.  I can’t see the point of going to a specific casino to run through only $5 free play when I would rather go there and play heavier on a day where I am collecting a point multiplier.

In theory, “free play day” is supposed to take place when I am mid-trip and should be used to run through and cash out.  So if I play $5 and build it up to $5 cash, I should cash out and run.  This does not often happen in reality though because I am a degenerate.

Yes, I color code my itineraries  Blue = meal, green = coupon/promotion, purple = thing to do (such as a show or spa treatment)

ACG = American Casino Guide coupon
LVA = Las Vegas Advisor “Member Rewards Book”
Mailer = From an offer I received based on my past play

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Breakfast: Main Street Station buffet – free with 250 points (ACG)
El Cortez $10 freeplay (ACG)
Binions $10 freeplay (LVA)
Four Queens $10 freeplay (LVA)
Las Vegas Club $10 freeplay ($5 ACG/$5 LVA)
Plaza $10 freeplay ($5 ACG/$5 LVA)
Fitzgeralds $50 freeplay – mailer

lunch: Fitzgeralds $25 dining credit mailer
Check into Riviera
Riviera $10 freeplay – mailer
Hooters $20 freeplay ($10 ACG/$10 LVA)
Orleans $5 freeplay mailer
Orleans $10 freeplay (LVA)
Gold Coast $10 free play (LVA)
Palms $40 free slot play coupon
Dinner: Orleans mailer $10 dining credit
Ellis Island $10 freeplay (ACG)

See?  What normal person would want to do all that traveling in one day, on public transportation, while on vacation?  That is the exactly my point.  If you have ever asked me for Las Vegas advice and did not feel like I was helpful, this is why.  Because I do this and I know you would not want to.  I do not know how to advise a normal person because I am not one.

My itineraries are basically a very well thought out plan on where to eat and play on specific days in order to maximize my comps.  Don’t get me wrong.  My trips are not scheduled as rigid as it may seem.  Lots of times, the itinerary goes right out the window the second I am in Vegas and see all the pretty lights and get instantly hypnotized by the pretty video poker machines.  There are times when I pull it out and look at it for the first time in days and see things like “Oh hey, I was at that place the other day and I forgot to use my coupon”

There are also days where I wake up and do actually look at my itinerary and think “I do not want to go there/do that today” so I don’t.  It’s that easy.

I have been writing Las Vegas trip reports for years.  This time, I am going to try something new.  I will post that day’s itinerary at the beginning of every day and we can see if I stuck to it or not.

Las Vegas Things That Are No More: Lady Luck Hotel and Casino

In honor of the Downtown Grand in Las Vegas opening TODAY,  I thought I would post the trip report from when I had a stay here back in June of 2005, when it was known as Lady Luck.  This hotel/casino was closed back in 2006, for what was supposed to be less than a year, for renovations.  At this time frame, everything in Las Vegas that was closed temporarily or imploded to build new, came to a screeching halt as the economy crashed.  Vegas lovers sat back and collectively cried at how depressed we were to watch our favorite places go away for no good reason.

Now, here we are in 2013 and while the property has been open for close to two weeks, the official grand opening is TODAY.  I cannot wait to see it in just two weeks.

But for now, let’s take a trip back in time, shall we?

Continue reading

Friday, June 10, 2005

I woke up at the California hotel at 9:00 am and walked over to Main Street Station to play video poker.  This is my new addiction, can you tell?  I won and lost and won and lost and then hit some four of a kinds and ended up with $110.

Today I am checking into both the Riviera and the Lady Luck. The Riviera for some reason, sent me an offer for free nights, which included weekends. I had to book two nights. But see, while the Riviera is my favorite casino on the outside, I have stayed here before and I hate the rooms. So I don’t want to stay here at all. But it’s free, I don’t have room photos, and I get $25 food credit. So I kind of have to book it. But I cannot spend two nights here. So I figured I’d book it for Friday and Saturday and just stay elsewhere for one night. So that’s what I did.

I cabbed over to the Riviera, checked in and dropped off my luggage in the room. While checking in, the woman checking me in kept gushing over what a nice room I was getting. Such a nice room. Nice room. Did I mention how nice this room is? Okay, let’s go see this incredibly nice room.  #6337 in the Monaco tower. I walk in and ugh, I hate the room. It’s not even a bad room. I just really have this thing with hating the Riviera’s bathroom counters. Whenever I touch them, I feel like there are nails scraping on chalkboards. I also think I am the sole person who feels this way. But I cannot get over it.

[Editor’s note: Flash forward to the present time, I am now in love with the Riviera. Gone is the chalkboard feel of the bathroom counters.]

Riviera Las Vegas bedRiviera Las Vegas room

Room view:

Riviera Las Vegas room view Riviera Las Vegas room view

I love the way this looks:

Riviera Las Vegas

I go downstairs to eat at Kady’s Cafe. Then I start feeding my video poker craving. I win and win and win and win and win. Cashed out $210. The Riviera also has a promotion where you play $20 and get $10 free slot play. I use that $10 in a penny Uncle Sam and turn it into $25. This is looking good!

I head to the room, pack a duffle bag for my stay at the Lady Luck and head back downtown.

Lady Luck Las Vegas Lady Luck neon

I check in and get room 307 in the East Tower. The couple checking in next to me were there to celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary. The woman checking them in tried to tell them how to get to their room and the wife interrupted to very happily inform her that they have been here so many times that they know it like the backs of their hands. Both the wife and husband had the biggest smiles on their faces. I couldn’t help but smile myself. 24 years of marriage and celebrating it in “their” hotel in Las Vegas. It was just a very nice thing.

I get to my room. It seems decent with a refrigerator, some nice looking toiletries, including some facial soap that i tried and it really made my skin soft.

Lady Luck Las Vegas bed

Lady Luck tableLady Luck las vegas bathroom

Room view:

Lady Luck las vegas room view

I nap and get woken up by people in the hallway. I began to learn that in the Lady Luck you can hear the people in the hallway, the people next door and the people upstairs. I’m also not too sure what happened here, but as i was getting ready to go out, I suddenly smelled a very strong sulfur smell. It was overwhelming. Then I heard the toilet above me flush. I acted like this was not happening and just headed out. 

I hit Starbucks and went to the Plaza. i did okay on video poker, but didn’t really win anything. I visited a Phone Tag machine and I got a bonus for $51. After, I went over to the Las Vegas Club for a late dinner and lost $30 on my way to the Upper Deck restaurant.

After dinner, I went to the Four Queens for some mindless penny slots. I hit  $25 on a Twilight Zone game and $30 on an Easel Money game. After leaving here, I headed back to Lady Luck where I lost $15.

I got to the room and realized that the alarm clock is on the dresser across from the bed, not next to the bed. It’s also bolted to the dresser so I can’t move it.

alarm clock away from bed

I accidentally hit some button and the alarm starts flipping out. Now I can’t get the damn thing to turn off. I had to unplug it and reset it, This was just so freaking annoying. It was like 4:00 am and this was the last thing I wanted to be doing. In the end, it turned out I didn’t even need the alarm clock as the people in the room next door had theirs set and that woke me up. For all I know, it may have been revenge on me for having my alarm going off at 4:00 am. It was an accident, I swear!!!