Tag Archives: solo Las Vegas trip report

The Surprise Las Vegas Trip Report

Hi Guys!  So I decided to go to Vegas and not tell anyone.  I figured I could handle acknowledging maybe three people doing a smug “I told you so” about me not going back.  I will also let you know I have already acknowledged four of these comments.  So if you must, feel free.  But I am going to ignore you.

I had some vacation time booked from work.  I was going to go somewhere.  I booked flights to and from Vegas.  Then I got buyer’s remorse and cancelled them within 24 hours.

I kept watching the rates and eventually, booked again.  Then came time to book my rooms.

It started with Boyd being a dick.  If you are a Boyd player, you already know the deal.  If you are not a Boyd player, then let me summarize it for you.  Boyd completely stopped their offers for a tiny bit.  Looking back, we now all know they were just adjusting their comp system so your comped nights could be used at all properties, rather than separate offers for separate properties.  But at the time, we did not know this because there was no communication.  I did however, have my Sapphire reward which is three free nights, immediately after making Sapphire.

My Sapphire reward was good at any Boyd property.  My choices for other nights were to stay at Orleans or pay for a room.  I decided I was never going to stay at Orleans again.  I love that hotel and casino but honestly, I never leave it when I am there. It does not matter what my plans are, I can never leave.  I just sit for hours and go degenerate.  Sometimes I try to leave.  Sometimes I even make it outside.  But when I start walking to the bus stop, I get so annoyed at the lengths it takes to get anywhere that I go back inside.

(Yes, I am aware of the free shuttle, which goes nowhere I would want to go.)

So I decided to book and pay for Four Queens on Hotwire.  You can pick out which one is Four Queen because it is the only three star hotel without a resort fee.  It is usually around $30, which makes it cheaper than paying a resort fee on a comped Strip hotel.

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The last two nights were at the Mirage, from a MyVegas reward.  I had to pay the resort fee, but it evens out because by staying at an MLife property, I was able to use rewards that you can only use when staying at an MLife property.  Which means I got to use two rewards for the Bellagio buffet and $25 free play.

I get six rewards because degenerate.  So I booked a bunch of crap, not sure what I would exactly be using.  It ended up being brunch at Excalibur and breakfast at Mirage.  I also got a free candy bar from Hexx.

I really liked having a short and secret trip booked.  There wasn’t the build up, the insane time spent making an itinerary.  It felt light and care free.

I was armed with my American Casino Guide, but had issues getting my Member Rewards Book from Las Vegas Advisor.  They mailed it to me twice, and the post office ate it twice.  I did not expect them to keep sending me books.  But at the same time, I wanted my book.  I knew I could go pick it up, but I don’t drive and wasn’t really into taking the bus there from Downtown.  Luckily for me, they offered to have it dropped off at my hotel.  This company gets a ton of shit for their lack of customer service, but I have to say that they truly went above and beyond for me and I am so grateful.

I booked a flight that left NYC a bit earlier than normal so I arrived a little bit earlier than normal.  This seemed fair since my trip was going to be really short (for me.)  I actually got to see daylight outside the plane window.

view of daylight from flight to las vegas

view from plane window flight to vegasview from flight to las vegas

I landed in the JetBlue terminal, which McCarran likes to call the International Terminal without any consideration for people flying JetBlue who do not know they are now in the International Terminal since why would they be if they are not flying international?  I did not know where to catch the WAX bus here.  The signage was the opposite of helpful. So I took the shuttle that goes between terminals.  As I was getting off the shuttle at the OG terminal, the WAX bus was pulling in.  Wahoo!

As the bus is about to reach Bonneville Transit Center, I remember that I had downloaded “Luck Be A Lady Tonight” to my MP3 player, to bring me luck in Las Vegas.   I quickly put it on, in hopes that I can get through one full play before reaching my hotel.  I did, which was somehow the first time I had ever heard this song in it’s entirety?   It is supposed to be a light, fun song.  Yet somehow I got mad at it, like who the fuck are you to tell me what a lady does and does not do? Yes, there is something wrong with me.

I get off the bus and check into Four Queens.  I let the woman checking me in know that I would like a smoking room, but if she does not have one, that is totally fine.  When you book through Hotwire, they automatically add your preference as non smoking.  The last time i was here, you may remember I begged and begged for a smoking room, I will take your worst room ever, please.  And they gave me their worst room ever.  This time though, I am only going to be in my room for a few hours so I can live with whatever they give me.

She lets me know she does have a smoking room. YAY.  She hands me my keys and my Las Vegas Advisor that was dropped off.   I go to my room.  I unlock the door and inside is a suite.   SWEET!

four queens las vegas suitefour queens las vegas suite roomfour queens las vegas suite bathroomfou queens las vegas suite makeup areafour queens las vegas suite shower

Of course this is completely wasted on me because GAMBLOR, but it was still pretty cool.

I went outside and crossed the street to Binions.  My plan for this trip was to establish myself at both Binions and Four Queens.  Both properties share an owner, with only Four Queens having hotel rooms. I figured one full day of play at each may get me on their radar.  I have danced on their radar before, but fell completely off it. I’d like to try again.

At Binions, i had $10 free play from my Member Rewards book.  Turned that into $100 on Keno. This would be a very nice first night cash out, go to bed and still have a full budget with an additional $100.  But you know, the whole thing where I planned to give Binions a full play day?  That gave me the green light to lose that hundred, plus a full day’s budget, so I could hopefully get on the radar for a comped $30/night hotel.  Because obviously.

I played around for three hours.  I was up and down and up and down.  This was my biggest up:

dollar jacks binions

Binions has a Motherlode promotion.  You get to swipe up to three times a day.  At 5 points, 40 points and 300 points.   I got three swipes.  The first was for a free gift, that I didn’t even bother asking what it was.  The second was for $10 off their cafe.  This is an excellent prize.  The third was for $50 free slot play.  That was incredibly exciting for me.   I played it on a Buffalo slot machine and lost.  And kept going and lost some more.

I grabbed french fries and a coke from McDonalds and was in my room by midnight.  That was when I realized I did not remember to use my American Casino Guide for double points at Binions, up to 500.  I was not going back out to do that.  So sleep it was.

I ended my first night down $100.  Yes, even with the two big wins.  Because possible comps on a $30/night hotel.  Because degenerate.  I didn’t check my little cheat sheet or else I would have stopped earlier.  200 points gets you a buy one, get one offer.  500 points gets you a full comp. I did 400 points.  Great job.  Idiot.

Las Vegas Trip Report: The Day I Was a Degenerate Winner!

Note:  This is an older Las Vegas trip report that I am posting for the entertainment of Las Vegas addicts and anyone else who loves fun.  It was written back in 2008.  Most of this information is now outdated and some places mentioned no longer exist.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 – Day Twelve of Twenty One

I’m up at the Palazzo at 8:00 and out at 8:30. I head over to Encore to see what I missed last night. It’s really nice but nothing surprising.  It appears to be butterfly themed.

Encore Las Vegas butterflies Encore Las Vegas butterfly carpet Encore Las Vegas butterfly light Encore Las Vegas butterfly mosaic tile

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Of course I forgot my Wynn player’s card, which annoys me. In theory I could go to the booth and get a new one AND inquire as to why I used to get email offers at my old email address, but have not gotten ONE since I waited on line for a day and a half just to give them my new email address.  But I don’t.  Instead I walk over to Treasure Island and get a picture of the mountains in the background.  This picture would be so much cooler if not for all the crap in the way:


I go inside and give Slingo one last shot and I lose. Then I play Monopoly – the old school nickel ones – and I get a $50 bonus. But I don’t cash out and I lose it. Idiot.

Back to Palazzo where I try the Survivor slot that paid me yesterday and it won’t do it again. I go back upstairs and shower and check out. I waited foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr for the Deuce bus. When it finally came, it was packed. I decide to wait for the next one. I was literally waiting over an hour. Ugh.  I am now starving since I didn’t eat breakfast.

Once I finally get back downtown, I get a Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwich to go and head back to my room at the Golden Gate and eat and feel better. Time to go back downstairs. I lose and lose.  Today’s budget is gone. So is tomorrow’s. I decide I’m going to go one more day into debt. I figure if I’m going to do this, I may as well play dollar video poker. For some reason I go marching across the street to the Las Vegas Club. I put $100 in a dollar video poker machine and I hit Aces for $800. Really?

I start screaming mentally, I’m so happy and excited. EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS. I HAVE EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS. WHEEEEEE LOOK AT ME I HAVE EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS. Okay I didn’t really mean that, stop looking at me. STOP LOOKING AT ME.

As I’m waiting to cash my ticket, I am doing the math.   I’m three days in the hole and I still need money for today. Funny how that EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS doesn’t seem so big right now, but I’m still very happy about it.

This is the second time I’ve done this on dollars and EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS remains my biggest win. Look at it. It’s so pretty.  And I only held one Ace!

dollar aces

I’m back in my room at 2:45 to take a nap. I can’t sleep, of course. I’m back out at 4:00. I lose all around the Golden Gate. I buy a Diet Pepsi and realize  too late that  it’s a regular Pepsi.   I drink it anyway and the sugar makes me all loopy and gives me an incredible headache.

I go back to the Las Vegas Club and use my 2x points coupon from the American Casino Guide.  Because you know, I did not use it before I decided to play DOLLARS YOU IDIOT.

I play around a bit and then I see video poker with a wheel. Uh oh.  I put in $20, playing Double Double Bonus video poker. Nothing. I put in another $20 and switch to Triple Double Bonus video poker. And that is when I get this:

lvc tdb aces kicker with wheel

This plus my dollar Aces means I’ve now won over $1000 at the Las Vegas Club today. This place has been lucky for me in the past. But as we all know, any casino/game/specific machine that is an ATM one day, can be a bill collector the next. I play around a bit and don’t do too bad, but not good.

For dinner, I eat at The Great Moments Cafe inside the Las Vegas Club. I don’t really want anything on the menu so I order the appetizer sampler and that is my dinner.  My head hurts and I’m fuzzy from the sugar from the regular Pepsi. I play around the Golden Gate a bit.  Won some. Lost some. I didn’t detail this in my notes.

I went back to my room at the end of the night with an extra $120 in my “savings”, on top of the replaced budgets for the next few days.  Whew.  I vow to stay in and I watch Law and Order so I can preserve this moment when I am not a degenerate loser, but a degenerate winner.

I love television.  I used to shun the idea of ever turning on the television in Vegas – I’m in Vegas. The hell do I need television for?  But over the years, as my trips have gotten so much longer, I’ve found myself bolting to my room to see Survivor or the Amazing Race. Tonight it’s Law and Order.