helpmespock
helpmespock
Joined: Mar 6, 2010
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May 31st, 2012 at 3:08:34 PM permalink
This trip report is late, but here it is anyhow.

My wife and I made our annual trip to Las Vegas during March Break 2012. This year March Break was from the 12th to the 16th. We booked our usual Sunday to Thursday trip and stayed at the Wynn. The trip didn't start off well as we had a solid hour of turbulence during the middle of the flight. Both my wife and I are normally OK with this kind of thing, but the intensity and duration of the turbulence had us both feeling nauseous. We touched down at 8:00PM Las Vegas time on Sunday cleared customs, gathered our rental car, and checked in at the hotel by 9:30PM. I was thankful for the quick service all around as we're live in the eastern time zone so it was really our 12:30AM.

Given us being 3 hours ahead, I woke up at 5:30AM Vegas time on Monday got cleaned up and headed to my first craps session at Casino Royale. The table minimum was $3 which I thought was a little odd for that time of day (just after 6AM). The table was just me and two other people. As it was at the beginning of the trip, I decided I'd play the pass line. It was three seven-outs in a row on points of 6 and 8. This chased everyone else off the table and I was left alone. I'd bought in for $200 at the start and I was down to around $80. Given how the table was rolling I switched over to don't pass. I started out conservatively on the don't with $18 lay odds and started winning. I even had what I'd call the perfect don't roll in the middle of that session. On the come-out, I rolled a 4 so I set out a don't come as well and rolled a 9. I had both backed by $30 lay odds and my next roll was a seven. I love it when that happens. I cashed out shortly there after up $50 and feeling pretty pleased with myself.

It was still early and my wife was sleeping in so I decided to play some blackjack at the Wynn. Unfortunately it was $25 minimum, but flush with my recent success at the craps table I decided to play anyway. It turned out to be a big mistake. My first hand was blackjack and then I proceeded to lose 8 hands in a row. Unfortunately this would be a harbinger of all of my play at blackjack for the entire trip.

After my beating at the blackjack table, my wife and I grabbed breakfast and headed over to get tickets for Cirque du Soleil's Beatles: Love show. The half-price ticket place had the show listed as "off" when we checked the boards so we went to the hotel box office. We got there about 20 minutes before the box office opened and were 2nd in line. Good thing too because 5 minutes before the box office opened at 10AM a whole ton of people showed up looking to pick-up or buy tickets. The show is dark Tuesday and Wednesday so Monday was our only opportunity to see the show. Our choice of seats was limited to about 8 spots where 2 people could sit together for the 7PM performance and we ended up on the main floor of the show, but at the back row. The tickets were pricey at $120 a seat, but overall I enjoyed the show. If you enjoy Beatles music it's a worthwhile show. The interpretive dance aspect is emphasized and the circus aspects minimized compared to Cirque du Soleil Mystere which we saw last year. My wife enjoyed the show, but less so than I. Our rating system is how much of the ticket price did we think the show was worth. My wife said $90 of the $120 cost and I put it at $100.

After picking up the tickets we went over to Treasure Island to play some $0.50 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker. We both played for an hour and didn't lose, but didn't win either. This also set the tone for most of our video poker play for the trip as well.

Tuesday morning I again went down to Casino Royale for a craps session. This time no one was there and the table was again a $3 minimum. This time I started on the don't and stayed there. A few people joined in occasionally but for the two hours I was there the don'ts were the better bet. I again bought in for $200 and this time left up $120. This helped sooth the blackjack losses the day before, but after breakfast I made the mistake of playing $1 9/5 JoB Super Times Pay at the Wynn. I lost $200 in about 30 minutes. My wife and I decided shopping was a better way to spend money after that.

Tuesday night I did get up to the Bellagio to play some $10 blackjack on CSMs, but that was a blood bath too. I held some pretty easy hands 18, 19, and 20's, but the cards were such that the dealer would have a 5 up with a 6 hole card and draw a 10 or draw a bunch of small cards to turn their 7 in 20 or 21. It was very odd feeling and everyone at the table was losing. Another couple hundred lost.

Wednesday morning I hit Casino Royale, but the minimum was $5 now. I again started don't pass, but briefly switched to pass for about 3 rolls and then back to don't again. This time I'd lost $50 when I decided to quit. I figured if I lost at craps that morning that maybe I'd have luck at blackjack that day so I went back to the Wynn. This time the minimum was $15 which was nicer. I sat down and immediately got a pair of 7's against a dealer 6. I split and get a 10 on the first for 17 and a 7 on the next one to split again. I get two more 10's for 3 hands of 17. Dealer has a 3 behind and pulls a 10 for 19. All three hands lost. Needless to say that session was a bust.

Wednesday afternoon we hit LVH for some $0.25 9/6 JoB video poker. My wife washed out $100 in 30 minutes and I managed to last an hour before I lost my $100. I've never heard video poker machines go so quiet for so long. I had a brief stint at the craps table at LVH playing pass line at $5, but managed to lose $140 in fairly short order.

Wednesday night we went to Marche Baccus which is a French bistro style restaurant in the Summerlin area. People on the board recommended it to us last year and we had a fantastic meal there. This year the meal was good, but not great. We picked a reasonable bottle of sparkling wine from the wine shop (~$30 this year as opposed to ~$70 last year) recommended by one of the staff. Unfortunately I don't remember what it's name was, but it was a sparkling rose that was quite pleasant. We shared the Charcuterie to savour with our wine. There seemed to be more pates with it last year than this year and they were missed. For my entree, I had the Duck Confit and my wife had the scallops. Both entrees were excellent. The duck was perfectly seasoned and cooked. My wife said the scallops were melt in your mouth good and without being overly oily from butter or the cream sauce. For dessert, I decided to try the bread pudding which is their specialty. My wife ordered the flourless chocolate cake which she had last year. My wife was disappointed as her dessert was not the same as last year's edition. The cake was not as rich and the texture was grainier than last year. I was already feeling full from my entree so I thought the bread pudding was OK. I suspect if I had more room I would have enjoyed it more. Even though it didn't meet our high expectations from the previous year we still enjoyed it enough that we'll certainly be returning to the restaurant next trip.

Wednesday evening after dinner we were both feeling tired and didn't want to walk the strip so I decided to splurge and play $10 minimum craps at the Wynn. I bought in for $200 and started playing pass line and lost twice on two quick seven-outs. The guy two positions to my right had been betting don't pass and when the dice passed to him he continued to bet don't pass. I admire fellow don't bettors who also bet that when they shoot so I joined him. Down at the other end of the table on the hook another fellow bought in and joined us on the don'ts, but he was laying out blacks. We then had an incredible run on the don'ts. That guy on the hook managed to cover all the numbers with don't pass/don't come bets and then a seven came. Boy he was a happy fellow. We probably passed the dice around the table three times before a point was made on the pass line and that was with three of us on the don'ts and four others stubbornly playing the pass line. That guy on the hook raked in an incredible amount and at one point was yelling across to us that he'd never seen it this good playing don'ts. The hook guy started with a half a rack of blacks and greens and by the time I cashed out had managed to fill 3 racks. I cashed out up $220.

Thursday was checkout day, but our flight didn't leave until 10PM Vegas time so we had a long day without a hotel room. I put in one final session at Casino Royale Thursday morning and I again stuck to the don't pass. This time a crusty old fellow wandered in beside me and would only bet don't come. He would never bet on a come out roll. I managed to have a decent run on don't pass, but the don't come wasn't working at all. Either the seven would come immediately following the point or the come point would be made and then a seven out would happen paying the don't pass. The old fellow lost every bet he made and complained bitterly about how others were throwing the dice wrong because they kept throwing to the same spot or how the dealers were running the game. I tired of the cursing and complaining and left after 45 minutes even though I was winning overall and was up $60.

I returned to the hotel room where we packed up, loaded the car, and checked out. We hung around the Wynn a bit where we played that $1 Super Times Pay again and I lost another $200 over an hour. I played a little craps at the Wynn again, but this time I lost $200 trying don't pass at the start and then switching to pass by the end. Nothing worked. From there we both played the $0.50 video poker at TI and my wife managed a small $20 net win, but I lost $80. For our final session, we drove over to the Bellagio. We walked over to the M&M store to grab some candy for the plane ride home and then walked through City Centre and played some $0.25 Super Times Pay at Aria and got killed again. I'd planned to play $10 blackjack but decided things just wouldn't go my way.

With my tail firmly between my legs, we grabbed supper at the Bellagio and then headed home. I've never had such horrible luck in Vegas. Absolutely no winning sessions of blackjack. Modest wins by my wife at VP easily cancelled out by my play at VP. A few winning sessions at craps, but not enough to offset the horrible luck on everything else. My wife and I had negotiated an expanded gambling bankroll for this trip, but I didn't think it would result in such a washout at the machines and tables. Ah well easy come easy go. I'll still be back next year eager to try it all again.

--helpmespock
teddys
teddys
Joined: Nov 14, 2009
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May 31st, 2012 at 4:21:21 PM permalink
Thanks for the report. Losing tends to color a whole trip. Perhaps you could insert more non-gambling activities (which you did, to some extent) to get your mind off it. I've had many trips like that -- just couldn't stop losing. It's a bear to deal with.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
CrapsForever
CrapsForever
Joined: Mar 6, 2012
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May 31st, 2012 at 4:33:27 PM permalink
Excellent Trip Post!
Craps is the most "Jekyll and Hyde" casino game ever invented!
kmumf
kmumf
Joined: Jul 5, 2011
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May 31st, 2012 at 4:37:33 PM permalink
I agree this was a great trip report. Thanks for sharing.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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May 31st, 2012 at 5:14:32 PM permalink
Crappy trip, but great report.

Thanks, and better luck next year.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
UCivan
UCivan
Joined: Sep 3, 2011
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May 31st, 2012 at 5:35:52 PM permalink
What is the average daily losses (or winnings :-)) per visitor in Vegas?
winmonkeyspit3
winmonkeyspit3
Joined: Dec 30, 2011
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May 31st, 2012 at 11:22:40 PM permalink
Great review, wish you had done better but it seems like you and your wife still enjoyed yourselves.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
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June 1st, 2012 at 12:27:53 AM permalink
actually the Craps you played must have had you come out close to even, so the lesson is, just stay away from 21, see? [g]

Quote:

don't pass at the start and then switching to pass by the end



Oh! That never works. I should have put this in the 'superstitions' thread that was going for a while. It is my gut that the dice hate, and I mean really hate, no, I should say really, really, really hate players who switch sides and just go all out to clobber them. Damned if I didn't do that myself though last time I played [and got clobbered too].
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
helpmespock
helpmespock
Joined: Mar 6, 2010
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June 1st, 2012 at 2:38:07 PM permalink
Overall I must admit I did have fun despite the results, but certainly
winning would have been much more fun than losing.

I'd negotiated a budget of about $1500 for gambling with my wife for the
trip. Typically we've been conservative in our gambling and the budget's
been between $500 and $800 and typically the total win or loss on a trip
never exceed $100. Losing, given my biggest bankroll to date, was
disappointing.

We're still looking for our first royal flush in video poker. My wife
claims she jinxed us. She'd bought a video poker app for her iPad and was
playing $0.25 100-hand on the flight down. She hit one royal after holding
two suited high cards and claims she used up all our luck.

I have my own superstitions, but switching between dark and light side on
craps isn't one of them. I generally try to stick to one or the other
during a session, but sometimes I try to go with the flow. It depends on
how I feel. I do have superstitions that I roll way more sevens
than your average person, but that's just a feeling.

I do have questions about comps given all that losing, but I'll put that in
a different thread.

--helpmespock

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