RonC
RonC
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March 17th, 2015 at 9:01:32 AM permalink
Pre-Trip Plan

Here we go! Another trip to Las Vegas with my wife. The planning is done, reservations are made, and we have checked in for our evening flight out.

I don’t think this will be a “live” report in the fashion of many of the epic reports I have read and thoroughly enjoyed lately; I will try to give a few live updates, though.

The Plan
Staying at the Aria for all four nights. My wife really liked this hotel last fall and we decided to “self-comp” since our play warrants only minor attention there. We did get one night and $75 comped on the last trip; we’re starting with one night comped and $150 room credit this time. Truthfully, that may be it because we play wherever we are having fun and don’t play anywhere just to keep up averages—which is the only way we’d ever get comped at a nicer place at our level of play.

Conferences
Both of us will be attending conferences each day. Neither one of them is at the Aria but the prices for the hotels related to the conferences were much higher than the rates we did get at the Aria.

Concerts
We’ll see Jeff Dunham on Wednesday and Olivia Newton-John on Thursday.

Casinos
We’ll go downtown one evening (maybe even tonight), play at Casino Royale at least once (our money always seems to last longer there and you can’t beat the comps to Outback…okay, I guess that is a stretch but it is a meal…), and who knows where else we will end up. Aria will get some play, of course, how much depends on how it goes.

We also have reservations for Friday evening at Top of the World; we’ll see if that happens or not!

If you are in town, PM me and maybe we will run into each other…
RonC
RonC
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March 17th, 2015 at 9:02:07 AM permalink
Trip to Las Vegas

The trip out was pretty easy. We were at Hobby Airport and parked in plenty of time to have snack at Pappadeaux. I had one drink; my wife had two. The flight over was unusual in that it was not full and it was an entirely different crowd than we usually see on the way to Vegas. The flight had 51 folks from UT-Pan American headed out for their basketball tournament. They did nothing wrong and were very pleasant to fly with; it just wasn't the usual drink-swillng crowd we see on most trips. We arrived early....

Presidential Limo

We always do the limo from the airport. The cost is not too bad and it starts the trip off on a good note. Our driver, John Allen, was very good. He grew up in Florida, so we ad a lot to talk about since that is where we grew up also. They gave us a stretch Escalade instead of a normal limo. Very nice and pretty new. We had no stops to make and it is a short trip to the Aria but John made it take a while and we sang along with some oldies (Journey, Foreigner, Starship, etc.) and finished the bottle of champagne before arrival. Great service!!

Arrival and Room

My wife is chatting up everyone--the bellman is engaged in a long conversation with her. He is a WVU grad and I rib him a bit because, well, Maryland fans generally don't like WVU. Nice young man who stays with us through check-in. The thing I like about Aria is the people--good service and no snobby attitudes. We're checked in and on our way to the room in a short time. Nice standard room and not too far from the elevators. That is a good thing. Our bags arrive shortly and it is time to head downstairs.

Tuesday Night

We got our cards at MLife, added $25 in Free Play from MyVegas and we are off and gambling. I find a $15 craps table and my wife is headed for the slots. We have a system to keep her from losing too much on any one slot--she gets a $20 from me and heads out; she comes back to get another $20 when that one is gone. She can have as much money as she wants but she likes this for two reasons--better cash control and more drinks. Table servers are just more easily found that slot ones in most casinos.

I buy in at $500 and the table is cold to lukewarm at best. She is back and forth for drinks and money much faster than normal. The slots are not being kind at all. No wins over $40 the whole evening from what she tells me. She has changed several hundreds to twenties and is pounding the screwdrivers pretty hard. My $500 dwindles but I stay in play for a couple of hours. The table turns over a couple of times and a new crew arrives. I get another $500 in chips. Things look good and the rack is filling; maybe we'll have a turn here.

My wife asks for a reload; I give her a hundred. I don't see her for an hour or more. She comes back and asks for another $20 out of the $100 she just broke. We argue a bit about it; she still thinks she only took a $20. The new players are sales folks from Indiana and they have their HR rep with them. They, too, are up a bit and the HR rep is doing some "fire hydrant" thing with the guys in the group. I don't think HR would like this...

My wife wanders back saying that she had a hard time finding me. I haven't moved for four hours! I'm thinking the drinky drinky is getting the best of her. The table turns bad again and i am quickly down to three hundred or so. There will be no big comeback tonight--I shut it down and help her to the room. She had way too much fun... and that is what it is all about...let loose and enjoy the trip!!

Stats

I don't know my average bet; my buy-in was $1,000 total. I left with $252. Loss of $748.

I looked at MLife this morning; we show 9,801 points or whatever they are. 8,900 or so plus the 10% bonus is what I figure we got.

Win/loss shows $700 table game loss and $399 in slot loss. That is pretty close to my count--just the $48 off on the table games.

Here's to having as much fun and some better luck today!!


We did use coupons for a couple of drinks each...starting to get a Vegas buzz. I love spening 3-4 days not worrying about driving
RonC
RonC
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March 17th, 2015 at 9:02:28 AM permalink
Room Service Breakfast

A nice breakfast in the room. I had Brioche French Toast with Bananas Foster and my wife had a nice breakfast burrito. Really good pot of coffee, too. There goes half of our resort credit, but it was really good!!

Our room has a view of some of the strip. Too low of a floor for a great view, but nothing to complain about!!!
RonC
RonC
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March 17th, 2015 at 9:02:55 AM permalink
After Tuesday night's loss fest, I woke up Wednesday looking forward to a better day at the tables.

Breakfast

We slept in and ordered room service. The food was very good and it was delivered professionally--they do a good job with room service here. I had Brioche French Toast and my wife had a Breakfast Burrito. Both were filling but the Bananas Foster syrup served with the french Toast was almost too sweet. The coffee was great.

After breakfast we lounged around for hours before heading off to my wife's conference. It is at Caesar's...their conference area seems like it is miles from the strip and they are one of the few places that no one seemed to know of a cab drop-off closer to the conference area. Oh well...the walk was good.

Caesar's Gambling

What the hell...I will wait on my wife and play some craps here. I find a $10 table and play for almost two hours on a $200 buy-in. The dealers were okay but not nearly as friendly or efficient as the ones at Aria. It is mostly two hours of nothing. Not too high (never above $300) and never below $100. I ended up at $215.

Took $10 and placed it on the 17 on the first roulette wheel i came to; again the dealer was okay, but he didn't even pull for me to win in spite of both of us knowing it is all luck anyway. Lost $10.

Net gain of $5.
RonC
RonC
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March 17th, 2015 at 9:03:21 AM permalink
The walk back from Caesar's was fine. There seem to be as many or more kids in town as normal. I guess it is spring break in many parts of the country!

Todd English Pub

We stopped here for our mid-afternoon meal. The beer was good and the service was average or better. It seemed like we had two servers but they were not exactly on the same page at all times. We had some mussels with a Thai curry sauce. They were very tasty. I had the Bangers and Mash. Not sure why; I thought of it from watching "Get Him to the Greek" a view times over the years. It was very good an the plate had way too much food on it. My wife had the fish and chips. She likes tasteless breaded fish; it met her needs. If anything has any kind of a fish taste to it (salmon, for example), she will not eat it. Flaky whitefish of some type fits the bill. I sampled it; I thought it was average at best.

Overall, a good meal at around $100 with tip.

Aria Afternoon

Things started much better when my wife brought me a TITO for $126...her first decent slot win of the trip. I also did a little better at the craps table; we are up about $150 after the session and our bankroll for tonight is sound at about $900.

Jeff Dunham--Not Playing With A Full Deck

After a quick shower, we are off on the five minute walk to Planet Hollywood. It is nice to get back there; it was our home on our first three or four trips to Vegas. Good memories! I can still see the negligee hanging from the lamp all weekend after it somehow ended up there... Anyway...back to the present. Grabbed a drink and waited for the doors to open. Quite a good crowd for a Wednesday night. It took a bit to get everyone in and the show started at 7:16 or so.

Fantastic show with Jeff using all of the main characters. He did work some "new" things in and even had a new portion of the Achmed section that he actually read from some printed notes. He said it was brand new (first time) and it did not seem as "smooth" as some parts of the show BUT it was good for the most part and did not interrupt the flow of the show. He did have a section where he tried to hawk his semi-professional puppet; i could have done without that but there were some funny spots in it, too. All in all, a couple of hours of enough laughter to almost be tired from laughing so hard. This is a go-back show especially since it seems that he makes an effort to renew the show as it goes along.

Planet Hollywood Gambling

This is yet another short section. I've felt and loved the vibe at PHo. I like the music. I get how people love to play here. It just did not happen for us. I ran through $150 quicker than ever and my wife could not win on any slots. Her comment was that the slots were not as nice as other places and she noticed more machines not working than we usually see. Maybe next time we will feel the vibe again!!

Aria Evening

This is it. It feels good! Our bankroll is still okay.

Holy crap...can i find a winning table anywhere in Las Vegas? Can my wife just win at slots once or twice? Variance is killing us this week! We had a great time but spun through the bankroll way too fast. I've read all these reports of huge wins and all; I know where some of the money to pay them off is coming from!!

Oh well. It is Vegas, it is my gambling stash, and I am having a wonderful time...but...

My wife wants to do a little hooker role play with me at the table. Subtle, unlike some of the real ones out there. I get her back to the room and....well,and...I have to tell her that I can't afford to pay because I lost my bankroll for the day!

5/50 Pizza

We like the pizza here. A beer and pizza is just the ticket for a late evening meal.

- - - Updated - - -

The walk back from Caesar's was fine. There seem to be as many or more kids in town as normal. I guess it is spring break in many parts of the country!

Todd English Pub

We stopped here for our mid-afternoon meal. The beer was good and the service was average or better. It seemed like we had two servers but they were not exactly on the same page at all times. We had some mussels with a Thai curry sauce. They were very tasty. I had the Bangers and Mash. Not sure why; I thought of it from watching "Get Him to the Greek" a view times over the years. It was very good an the plate had way too much food on it. My wife had the fish and chips. She likes tasteless breaded fish; it met her needs. If anything has any kind of a fish taste to it (salmon, for example), she will not eat it. Flaky whitefish of some type fits the bill. I sampled it; I thought it was average at best.

Overall, a good meal at around $100 with tip.

Aria Afternoon

Things started much better when my wife brought me a TITO for $126...her first decent slot win of the trip. I also did a little better at the craps table; we are up about $150 after the session and our bankroll for tonight is sound at about $900.

Jeff Dunham--Not Playing With A Full Deck

After a quick shower, we are off on the five minute walk to Planet Hollywood. It is nice to get back there; it was our home on our first three or four trips to Vegas. Good memories! I can still see the negligee hanging from the lamp all weekend after it somehow ended up there... Anyway...back to the present. Grabbed a drink and waited for the doors to open. Quite a good crowd for a Wednesday night. It took a bit to get everyone in and the show started at 7:16 or so.

Fantastic show with Jeff using all of the main characters. He did work some "new" things in and even had a new portion of the Achmed section that he actually read from some printed notes. He said it was brand new (first time) and it did not seem as "smooth" as some parts of the show BUT it was good for the most part and did not interrupt the flow of the show. He did have a section where he tried to hawk his semi-professional puppet; i could have done without that but there were some funny spots in it, too. All in all, a couple of hours of enough laughter to almost be tired from laughing so hard. This is a go-back show especially since it seems that he makes an effort to renew the show as it goes along.

Planet Hollywood Gambling

This is yet another short section. I've felt and loved the vibe at PHo. I like the music. I get how people love to play here. It just did not happen for us. I ran through $150 quicker than ever and my wife could not win on any slots. Her comment was that the slots were not as nice as other places and she noticed more machines not working than we usually see. Maybe next time we will feel the vibe again!!

Aria Evening

This is it. It feels good! Our bankroll is still okay.

Holy crap...can i find a winning table anywhere in Las Vegas? Can my wife just win at slots once or twice? Variance is killing us this week! We had a great time but spun through the bankroll way too fast. I've read all these reports of huge wins and all; I know where some of the money to pay them off is coming from!!

Oh well. It is Vegas, it is my gambling stash, and I am having a wonderful time...but...

My wife wants to do a little hooker role play with me at the table. Subtle, unlike some of the real ones out there. I get her back to the room and....well,and...I have to tell her that I can't afford to pay because I lost my bankroll for the day!

5/50 Pizza

We like the pizza here. A beer and pizza is just the ticket for a late evening meal.
RonC
RonC
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March 17th, 2015 at 9:05:42 AM permalink
STATS Update

We are down $1900 for the two days. Most of it, $1700 or so, is at Aria. This where comps can suck--it has been lost relatively fast, so I am betting my theo is lower than usual. As a low roller, having some long sessions, even if you lose in the end, can make a huge difference in what your play looks like.

I looked at MLife this morning; we show 6,249 more points from yesterday. The meal at 5/50 my add some points but I am not sure how many.

Win/loss shows $900 table game loss and $475 in slot loss. That is not consistent with what has actually happened. I may ask what my average bet and buy-in is; I believe someone said in another thread they got that info from the MLIfe desk. The worst they can do is tell me to bug off.

Thoughts...

We are having a losing trip. It is gambling. We've stayed in our bankroll and not had the temptation to chase. That is a good thing. Thursday is another day!!
RonC
RonC
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March 17th, 2015 at 9:06:09 AM permalink
Breakfast at Dupar's

My wife woke up and said that we should go downtown for breakfast. We headed to the Golden Gate. It was a bit of a hassle...neither the guy at the taxi stand here at Aria nor the cabbie knew where the Golden Gate was located. What? Okay, just take me downtown and we'll go from there.

Breakfast was very good...bacon, eggs, hash browns, and toast for me;a patty melt for my wife. We also split a shrimp cocktail. It was also free with a $25 food credit and some comps we had left from previous trips.

Golden Gate

I had $50 in promo chips. Lost both in short order. Played craps on a one dealer table. He had to do everything. The place was dead at 9 a.m. so the craps action went fast and I soon lost $100. Slots were not kind to my wife; she lost $60 or so.

The D

This went a little better for a while. I won two $25 match plays and my wife won $160 on slot free play. That would have been the time to leave. We didn't. We gave about $300 back, so we are still down for the evening.

Casino Royale

This place is pretty dumpy. The dealers are grouchy. The beer is not great. None of that matters. We stayed here several hours and I went from $200 to $450 on the craps table. My wife lost on slots but the combination of our play brought us to almost even for the day.

Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen

This was a great lunch stop. We had the lettuce wrap appetizer. Very good! I had a Caesar Salad that was huge. It was very good and I was barely able to finish it. My wife had some hot wings that were very good. All in all, it was a great choice.

Olivia Newton-John

The show was in the Donny & Marie Showroom. Our seats were right at the stage, at the second table with the two seats closest to the stage. The show was a magical trip through her career which we really enjoyed. There was nothing fancy and minimal costume changes, but she did a great job of singing the songs that she is famous for plus a couple of other choices she wanted to sing. My wife had thought that there was nothing to top Jeff Dunham from last night...but she left this show thinking that it was the best one she has seen in Vegas. The truth is that we have seen a lot of great shows here; it is one of the great things about a trip here.

Evening at Aria

A couple of hours of gambling was next on the agenda. My wife is just not getting any wins on slots here this particular evening. She is having fun, though. She works hard and deserves her fun! I might has well have stood in the middle of the casino and tossed $300 in chips in the air...I lost it so fast on craps that it seemed to disappear into thin ice. I changed tables and it didn't look much better, but then we had a rally and I left up for that table by $275 or so.
RonC
RonC
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March 17th, 2015 at 9:06:25 AM permalink
STATS Update

We are down $2300 for three two days. It is still mostly at Aria, of course.

I looked at MLife this morning; we show 7,500 more points.

Win/loss shows $800 table game loss and $579 in slot loss.
RonC
RonC
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March 17th, 2015 at 9:06:47 AM permalink
This morning was kind of lazy. I woke up and meandered down to play for an hour or so on a $10 table. It wasn't bad; I broke even. Stopped in and bought some drinks, pastries, and fruit and lazed around the room watching basketball until about one. My wife did an hour workout in the fitness center. She enjoys the treadmills there a lot and the staff is very friendly and efficient. Me? I don't even have anything packed to workout in...that was overlooked; something always gets forgotten.

Todd English Pub

We headed back here for some delicious mussels and they also had reuben spring rolls. They were very good. A couple of beers and watching some basketball rounded out the afternoon.

Top Of The World/Stratosphere

This was our event for the evening. We headed down and arrived about thirty minutes early for our reservation (I timed it to be in the restaurant at sunset), so we signed up and gambled for a bit. I played (whoops!) on a "crapless" craps table. The game is different overall, but not so much if you just bet the 6/8, so I stuck with that. I was doing okay; staying about average when it came time to place one last bet and either win or be a few dollars down. I put $30 on the 6 and 8. My wife comes up and I realize it is time to go. She goes to check in for the restaurant; I decide to toss $10 on the "12"...one roll bet...shooter tosses them...they bounce around..."12"...that paid off $290 (beware...Stratosphere has a $1 lower pay table on all the inside bets than the already bad pays on them...most places it would have been $300). Bets down, please...with a nice profit that will pay for dinner!

The view was amazing. We had the four course sampling menu with a wine flight. It was very good. The first course was lobster bisque, which was very tasty. The daylight slowly turned into dusk. The second course was a scallop over some risotto. The scallop was good but it wasn't the best risotto I have ever had. The main course was a 10 oz. filet. It was prepared perfectly and was a decent cut of meat. It wasn't seasoned very much; a bit of seasoning could have gone a long way. The dusk is now turning to night and we're looking down the strip as it lights up for the evening. The last course was a chocolate pudding and some fruit in a white chocolate basket. It was very good. The wines all matched with the food.

The total bill for the meal was $279, which included an extra glass of chardonnay for my wife and a cup of coffee for me. They just started taking 10% off with your player's card here; that made it valuable to sign up right off the bat. With tip and all and the discount, the cost was around $325 when all was said an done. That was what I expected and I felt like it was worth it. The view is amazing and the food was good. They could step that up a bit, and it would be even better.

My wife was totally thrilled by the whole deal. I have pulled it off--she has enjoyed each of our three big events and liked each one better than the one the night before.

We decided to stay and play, since we are not having the best of luck at the Aria. That was a good idea! I played a bit of craps on a table that played even for an hour or so. Everyone began leaving and it turned downhill, so I picked up my chips and moved to the adjacent table. It started out decent and I never went below my buy-in over 5 1/2 hours of play. Two shooters brought me into the $900 range (on a $200 buy-in) at about the 3 hour mark and at about the same time my wife brought me a ticket for $391 for a win on "Planet Moolah"...we are up enough for the day to cover our $450 in meals easily. We played even-Steven for the rest of the evening and headed out at about 1:30 a.m.

Donating to Aria

We spent the next couple of hours playing at Aria and it did seem to go a little better, but we ended up down a couple of hundred overall. Not nearly as bad as the past few nights. The difference in a winning session at craps and losing one for me seems to be that one shooter who lasts through a couple of sets of modest presses and gets the rack full enough of chips that you just know you can't give it all back. This session had no shooter; it was up $100, down $100 all night. My wife had some longer play on the slots but nothing to write home about. Both of us lost in the $100 range. It is well past three...where did the night go?

All in all, one great evening in the books!
RonC
RonC
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March 17th, 2015 at 9:07:10 AM permalink
Departure Day

I was up at 8, took a quick shower, and headed down for what has always been one of my best sessions...I have one many times on my last session of the trip. I guess i should have ran when the dealer told me the table was not going great, but I didn't and lost $50 instantly. I switched to the other table and did a bit better, but found myself down $150 and decided to call it quits. Gambling is done for me for the trip and I am off to get some pastries and stuff for the room.

My wife played later...she packed everything and headed down to play until departure time. I lazed around the room and packed up the few remaining things and headed down with all the luggage. She won about $30 and played for an hour; sadly, that was one of her best runs on the slots at Aria.

The limo driver was on time and we were at the airport and checked in in short order. I ditched my wife at security--I was selected for TSA pre-check and she was not. Sorry, honey, I am not going to strip down for them today! She wasn't mad at all... and said that she would have ditched me if the circumstances were opposite. We ate at the Sammy Hagar place. Average, as usual. Somehow we ended up at the wrong gate but figured out just in time to get to the right gate just as our section of "A" boarders was getting on. No harm done, other than some quick walking through the terminal! Nice flight back and we're home safe and sound!!

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