I won't go through the whole trip, rather just some highlights. I love going to the places that you know are not going to exist for long (and they never do). In past years we'd make sure to visit the Klondike -- plunking down $20 and getting 200 10 cent roulette chips, feeling like the Duke of Donuts with a big stack of chips, getting free drinks and just having a blast, the Gold Spike -- when they had the 'Copper Mine' and you could still put pennies in the machine and it paid out pennies (my wife hit a 'big' jackpot of 500 coins, yes, five whole dollars, and you should have seen the people coming over to congratulate her, it was great), and sadly, yes, the Western......where most food items were $1 and the limits were insanely low. Even though these visits were short and just a very short time of our stay in Vegas, I felt it was important to go there and to show the kids something that was disappearing (many of you may say for good reason, but I don't feel that way).
We always get a car when we go (love pulling up to the port cochere of nice hotels and entering that way) so we have flexibility in terms of where we go. The first place we went (even before checking in) was to Jerry's Nugget in North Las Vegas. I have to say that on the way there, passing about 200 what seemed like homeless people on the sidewalk, I was starting to have my doubts but was pleasantly surprised by what a great casino it is. They had 50 cent roulette, $1 craps and $2 blackjack. Was only going to stay for an hour or so but we had so much fun (and won a bit) that we stayed for about 4 hours. Also ate in their restaurant which was kind of like a throwback but was very clean and the food and service were very good.
After that, went to check in at the Golden Nugget, my favourite spot (yes, we've stayed on the strip many times, but I LOVVVVVVVVVVE the Golden Nugget).
As I said, I'm not going to recount everything, just some of the highlights/lowlights I'd like to share. On Friday we took in the Cromwell (was verrry impressed and we were asked our names and each time we went in, the staff remembered, I have no idea how, but they did). Was also impressed with the remodelling of the old Imperial Palace (Linq), thought they did a pretty nice job.
We whipped over to Caesar's for the Bachanal Buffet and we weren't disappointed, was fantastic and I'd recommend it to anyone going to Vegas. Finished lunch and whipped over to Harrah's as I wanted to see Big Elvis. I had tried to see him the last two trips to Vegas and both times he wasn't performing those days. This time he was off sick, so even though it's a small thing and maybe laughable to many, I really wanted to see him. I appreciate his voice and his efforts to lose an amazing 500 lbs....think of that...man oh man!
That evening we did some typical sightseeing, Bellagio fountains, conservatory, etc. but also went on the 'High Roller' which again, I would recommend to anyone visiting Las Vegas. Blah, blah, blah....usual stuff, gambling, eating etc. for the rest of Friday.
Saturday spent down on Fremont and had a TERRIBLE lunch at Main Street Station buffet. The room is beautiful but the food was almost inedible (and I'm really not that picky). The bright side is I was playing a 10 play video poker and got dealt 4 jacks....so that was nice...had 4 jacks on all ten hands! Surprised my wife with a spa treatment at the Golden Nugget and went to play poker in the GN poker room (5/10 no limit hold em). Kept asking the time because I had to leave by 5 to meet my wife back in the room because we were going for a helicopter ride over the strip that night. At about five minutes to five (just before I had to leave) I get dealt a pair of sevens on the button. No big deal and the $10 blind was only raised $10 so I stayed in just hoping. WELLLLL, the flop comes 7, 4, 7 with two hearts. First to act (to my immediate left) bets $30......two guys call and I just call, waiting to see where this is going to go. Turn card is a heart, perfect I'm thinking. First to act bets $30 again, the two guys stay, I raise $45 and two callers decide to continue playing. River is another heart.....perfect I'm thinking because if someone had AA with one of them a heart, they'd have the nut flush, even though the board is scary for a potential full house. First to act leads out with $60, one guy calls, I go all in (I had about $200 left)........first to act calls, other guy folds. I said "You're not going to like this". They had a full house and couldn't believe when I showed the four sevens. I also got a $75 bonus from the casino for having some kind of 'high hand bonus'. I played one more hand and then truly had to leave. So didn't look like a dick leaving after a big win, not that I'd really care, since I don't know anyone anyway, but....you know.
We whipped over to North Las Vegas airport to catch the helicopter ride. We'd never been on one before and it was sooooooooooooooooo cool. This is a way better place to catch the ride than from McCarran. When you take one from McCarran, the ride to the strip is only a few seconds and then you're immediately there. With the ride from the NLV airport, you travel for about 10 minutes before getting to the strip so it's a longer flight and it's so cool as the strip looms up before you. Can't believe how close the pilot passed to the Stratosphere....was like you could reach out and touch it.
Whipped back to the hotel, changed and went to Mandalay Bay for dinner at the Aureola restaurant. Was a great place and great dinner. After dinner went to see 'One', the Cirque de Soleil Michael Jackson show at Mandalay Bay. We had great seats, eighth row, centre. Was fantastic.....after 10 minutes I turned to my wife and said "How could you ever explain this to someone?" Then headed to the top floor to the 'Foundation Room' club which has great outdoor views but was wayyyyy too crowded and playing crappy '13 year old girlie' music so we headed on out.
On Sunday we bopped around for awhile knowing we were going to head out to Valley of Fire State Park later on. So far I was down probably about $800 for the trip. I haven't mentioned it in this report but I play a lot of blackjack, craps, roulette, pai gow poker during these trips.....low levels but I love playing.
Valley of Fire was incredible....only an hour drive from Vegas. If you're visiting Vegas and have a car, go, you won't be disappointed. We get back and head to Fremont Street knowing we only have about 3 hours before it's time to head to the airport for the trip back home. My wife wanted to do some shopping for trinkets for the kids (young adults now) so I said I'd meet her back at the big Christmas tree on Fremont Street in about 1 1/2 hours. And then.....BAMMMMMMMMMMMMMM...it started. Not huge dollars, so I'll warn you now, but I could not lose. I whip down to the El Cortez (love that place, in fact my dad's ashes are spread there because he loved it too) and for fun play some quarter roulette. I turn $20 into $100 in about 30 minutes. Do you know how hard that is to do? Unreal streak of luck. Whip up to the Four Queens and am passing this slot machine that has two big real dice in a globe on it so I think, ahhh what the heck, I'll throw $10 in it. I win this bonus and I keep climbing this bonus ladder, but it gives you a chance to totally cash out, cash out some and drop back down the bonus dollar value ladder, or to just keep going for the big bonus at the end. I decide to keep cashing out some... and I keep doing this. You only lose if the dice come up as a seven. If not, after each spin and the dice are not a seven you keep progressing up the cash ladder. Well...I keep going and going and finally lose after cashing out some of the bonus money a number of times. I'm thinking ok, how much am I up and I'm thinking it's a penny machine......"Oh, it's about $11 I'm up". Then I notice it's a 25 cent machine....."NO...WAIT......I'm up $275....yeahhhhh....nice". Go to meet up with the wife and pop into the Fremont. Play this nickel video poker game that's a 10 play. Put $10 in and I'm playing and my wife says "What's this button for". I say it's for a bonus and you have to play max bet for it to be initiated. I say, what the heck, let's try it. First hand I get dealt 3 2's and then these bonus numbers start to appear....on one hand it's a 2x bonus, on another a 3x bonus, on some no bonus at all...and there's this one that says a 10 or 12 times bonus (can't remember) and isn't that the hand that I get the four deuces on!!!! So that was about a $245 win or thereabouts. Go to this other bright machine (I'm a sucker for bright lights -- hence the love for Vegas) and win about $70 in 5 minutes. Whipped into Tony Roma's at the Fremont for a quick bite to eat now it's time to get the car (parked at the GN) and head to the airport. As I pass the BJ tables I see that game where the casino places the bet for double down for you for free (I think it's called 'Free Bet Blackjack") so I stop and take out $100 and give it to the dealer. He goes to give me 4 greens (it's a $25 table) and I say, no I'm just going to make one bet, give me a black chip. I get dealt 10 and (I know this sounds like I'm nuts) immediately I forget I'm at that kind of table where the double down is free and start looking at my wife (who now has all of the money because I've been feeding it to her as I've been winning) kind of hinting that another $100 would go good right about now. The dealer coughs, gets my attention and points to the sign.... I say "Oh yeah....I forgot" and start laughing. He says "You have to ask for it" so I do and he puts out a marker and I get a King for 20. He busts and my hundred turns into three hundred. I'm himming and hawing...and then decide to place the three hundred down. I get eighteen. Dealer has a seven showing (I'm the only one playing at the table). I'm saying "C'mon, big one, big one" and he flips over a King for seventeen. Yeahhhh......$600 (remember, I love gambling and playing, but I'm a small stakes guy). Now I'm playing with the 6 black chips, making my wife nervous, thinking...."Should I?". I hand her $500......give the dealer the remaining black chip, ask for four greens....throw him one green chip as a tip and then decide to give another $50 to my wife. I only play $25 (the minimum) and get 13 against dealer Queen. I draw and bust. Great timing as I'm the only one at the table and that's exactly how the cards would have played out if I had bet bigger. We get up and leave, get the car and head to the airport.
Almost finished, sorry. While waiting at the gate to board, I can't resist. I only have $20 in my pocket as I've given all the rest to my wife for safekeeping (safe from me) and I throw it in a machine and immediately turn it into $40. Then they call us for boarding. Was a great ending and it's one of the times when for a very short period of time, I couldn't lose. I guess that happens sometimes, same as when for short periods you just can't win. The end....almost.
I ended up winning about $350 for the trip, which for me is good because I typically lose the entire $1,200 ($300 a day) I usually take with me for gambling.
Thanks for posting the TR, I like a good story, I like a good 'winning' story even better.
Doesn't have to be big wins. Wins are wins. Coming back a bit for a win, super!
After dinner went to see 'One', the Cirque de Soleil Michael Jackson show at Mandalay Bay. We had great seats, eighth row, centre. Was fantastic.....after 10 minutes I turned to my wife and said "How could you ever explain this to someone?"
ALSO a show on my List of Things to SEE and DO. Best wishes.....
One question. If you consider yourself a low roller and play smaller games, why 5/10 no limit hold em?
To answer: A couple of reasons. Poker is my favourite game and the one that I can fairly consistently grind out a small profit or small loss while still being able to strike a big win. I find this to be unlike $5 - $10 craps or BJ where you may go on a bad streak and lose $150 in a sitting in just a few minutes. Yes, it's true that you can also go on a great streak and win $150 in a few minutes but I feel that poker is more in my control. I can play 8 hands for free while waiting for the blinds to return to me. While it's possible to get sucked into an 'all in' call with second best hand or to get unexpectedly beat on the turn or river it always remains my decision to play slow and cautious or to be aggressive while still only playing at a $5 - $10 game.
I realize the house edge is probably the same or higher, given the table rake, but if there are inferior players at the table (and they don't get lucky) you have a good chance to beat them whereas in craps or BJ it's how the dice/cards fall. I know this probably makes no sense from a mathematical perspective or to some of the great minds on here (that always astound me with their knowledge of math, chance, odds, etc.) but I guess it probably comes down to my comfort level. I don't mind getting involved in a big hand if I feel pretty certain (or it's for sure) that I have the best hand. Putting out a larger bet on craps/bj when it's still just a roll or deal seems to be too chancy for me to bet big. Hence, that's why I'm a low roller.
The other thing is that in the smaller games ($1-2 NL) there are too many people just hanging in to see what they can catch because it only costs a buck or two. And because there's more players in the game, there's more that get lucky and catch a straight, staying in with 3-7 OS (or something like that).
Really enjoyed the report, especially riding along with you on the winning streak. Glad you got good news as well!
As an aside, has anyone seen or played the "catch the lobster" game at the Vegas Club? It's like one of those games where the claw drops down to get a teddy bear or something except this one is with live lobsters. If you catch one, they'll cook it for your for free at the nearby restaurant. What a riot. Then I see some people posting stuff about cruelty to animals etc......really? They're lobsters....and there's no cruelty...they're going to get cooked and eaten, just like what happens thousands of times every hour around the world. Geez!
You see, they've already been caught, they are headed to a pot of boiling water that ends their life. Then they will be eaten by carnivores with an appetite, an appetite for many things, things like lobster, and gaming/gambling. What if you were the lobster? You are SOL already. Now you get to watch the 'masses' of carnivores lose their money while trying to win a chance to eat you. I think I would jhit in my pants, just to be spiteful.