teddys
teddys
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July 27th, 2010 at 11:31:38 AM permalink
I visited some people in Chicago this weekend, and took the opportunity to end my self-imposed moratorium on gambling. I visited all the casinos in the Chicago area on the way up there. Thankfully, I didn't do too badly and had fun. Here is my report:

Majestic Star, Gary, IN (11:00 A.M.): Majestic Star is a boat that is moored in the Gary, Indiana harbor. There are in fact two boats, one that was the former Trump boat. Driving through Gary was absolutely eerie. The city is almost completely abandoned. I hear they are going to put a Michael Jackson museum there. As a casino, Majestic Star was kind of blah. It just wasn't very exciting. I played 9/6 JOB video poker for a while, and lost about $50. Then a played Spanish 21 for a little bit and won a few bucks. The dealer had Tourette's Syndrome and kept shouting out little outbursts like "paint it!" or "coming out!" every time he would start to deal. He was entertaining. I did not sign up for a players card here. The line was too long. I would have to say Majestic is the least attractive of the Northern Indiana boats.

Ameristar Casino, East Chicago, IN (12:45 P.M.): Ameristar is within swimming distance of Majestic Star. It is a smallish boat with a little more infrastructure than Majestic. I liked it. The players club had no line, so I got a card. The boothling said I could get a free buffet for 10 points once per day, everyday. It was 4 dollars coin in per point, and the buffet was $10.99, so it was almost like gambling for "free." I played blackjack in the high limit room (S17, six decks, no LS or RSA) at $25 a hand for about 20 minutes, and earned 12 points. The buffet was good; about the level of a HomeTown or Golden Corral-type restaurant.

Hammond Horseshoe, Hammond, IN (2:30 P.M.): Horseshoe is by far the nicest of the Chicago-area casinos. It is also the biggest. I had to drive through the ArcelorMittal plant to get there since Cline Avenue is closed. It is literally right over the border from Illinois, so it gets the most business from Chicago-area patrons. I already had a Total Rewards card, so I didn't get a new one, but they also had a free buffet promo. However, the amount of base points required was 25 and coin-in was $5 per point, so it was a less attractive deal. I did not look at their buffet area. I played blackjack in the high limit room at $25 a hand (6 decks, S17, no LS or RSA) and won about $75. Then I played big table baccarat in the "Asian gaming area" which is very nice; probably the best Asian area I've seen anywhere, including Atlantic City. It was very crowded, but the interior was very nice and reminded me of those Shaolin temples from the kung-fu movies. There were separate alcoves for VIPs and a noodle bar in the back. There was also self-serve coffee and iced peach tea, but no hot tea. They run buses to the Chinatown in Chicago very frequently. Unfortunately, I lost $200 at the big table bacc but had fun and got to handle the cards.

Empress Casino, Joliet, IL (5:00): Joliet is a small satellite city of Chicago that doesn't seem to have much going for it. Empress was disappointing. The boat is nice, but the games weren't that great. All blackjack was H17. I didn't bother getting a player's card (It was a Penn National Hollywood property), but I played craps at $5 with 5x odds for a little bit, and lost $200.

Harrah's Casino, Joliet, IL (6:00 P.M.): Harrah's is in downtown Joliet and the traffic patterns and parking are absolutely horrible. It was very crowded here. There was nothing I would consider playable, but the craps game had 500x odds! Never seen that before. I played $25 minimum craps with one bet on the passline, and an elderly gentleman made 6 passes in a row, including four naturals. Then I got the dice and passed twice. I had made $200 in about 10 minutes, so I left.

Hollywood Casino, Aurora, IL (7 pm): I was excited to go to Aurora because that's where one of my favorite movies, "Wayne's World," takes place. Unfortunately, they must have filmed it somewhere else because I didn't see Stan Mikita's donut shop and nothing in the city looks like the movie. The casino is right downtown on the river, which happened to be flooding at the time. The parking garage is across the river from the casino and you have to walk a ways to get there. Once again, it was very crowded, and I didn't bother getting a card since I already had a Hollywood card. I played $25 blackjack (S17, six decks, no surrender) in the high-limit room for about 40 minutes and won $125.

Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin, IL (8:30 pm):The drive from Aurora to Elgin is nice and follows a scenic river. The Grand Vic is a new-ish casino boat that I think recently replaced an older one. It is very nice, but again, cramped like all the IL casinos. I had to wait 10 minutes to get on while the supervisor checked my ID. (I had recently gotten a new driver's license). Almost every gaming position was taken (it was Saturday night). I sat down to play big table baccarat but the dealer wouldn't take my buy-in before the pit checked my ID AGAIN. I decided I didn't need this treatment so I left.

On the way back, I stopped at Horseshoe again and played some more Blackjack where the dealer mispaid me on a push right before he left for break (I had 20 and he had 7-5-8). Then I played Pai Gow tiles for 20 minutes. The dealer said they just got the game, and they are the only casino in the Midwest that has it. She said it took her 12 weeks to learn it. (She was not Asian). I broke even minus commissions. Then I stopped at Ameristar and played Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em for 50 minutes, winning $40 and earning 19 points plus another buffet. It was a nice fill up for the drive home.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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July 27th, 2010 at 1:38:22 PM permalink
Quote: teddys



Majestic Star, Gary, IN (11:00 A.M.): Majestic Star is a boat that is moored in the Gary, Indiana harbor. There are in fact two boats, one that was the former Trump boat. Driving through Gary was absolutely eerie. The city is almost completely abandoned. I hear they are going to put a Michael Jackson museum there. As a casino, Majestic Star was kind of blah. It just wasn't very exciting. I played 9/6 JOB video poker for a while, and lost about $50. Then a played Spanish 21 for a little bit and won a few bucks. The dealer had Tourette's Syndrome and kept shouting out little outbursts like "paint it!" or "coming out!" every time he would start to deal. He was entertaining. I did not sign up for a players card here. The line was too long. I would have to say Majestic is the least attractive of the Northern Indiana boats.



Do they still have the odd thing of MS II H17 and MS 1 S17? I think Spanish is the same either place...

Quote: teddys


Empress Casino, Joliet, IL (5:00): Joliet is a small satellite city of Chicago that doesn't seem to have much going for it. Empress was disappointing. The boat is nice, but the games weren't that great. All blackjack was H17. I didn't bother getting a player's card (It was a Penn National Hollywood property), but I played craps at $5 with 5x odds for a little bit, and lost $200.

Harrah's Casino, Joliet, IL (6:00 P.M.): Harrah's is in downtown Joliet and the traffic patterns and parking are absolutely horrible. It was very crowded here. There was nothing I would consider playable, but the craps game had 500x odds! Never seen that before. I played $25 minimum craps with one bet on the passline, and an elderly gentleman made 6 passes in a row, including four naturals. Then I got the dice and passed twice. I had made $200 in about 10 minutes, so I left.



That's too bad about those casinos. They used to offer a great 6-deck game... S17, RSA allowed. I figured Harrah's would change and whoever went first the other was sure to follow.

Quote: teddys



Hollywood Casino, Aurora, IL (7 pm): I was excited to go to Aurora because that's where one of my favorite movies, "Wayne's World," takes place. Unfortunately, they must have filmed it somewhere else because I didn't see Stan Mikita's donut shop and nothing in the city looks like the movie. The casino is right downtown on the river, which happened to be flooding at the time. The parking garage is across the river from the casino and you have to walk a ways to get there. Once again, it was very crowded, and I didn't bother getting a card since I already had a Hollywood card. I played $25 blackjack (S17, six decks, no surrender) in the high-limit room for about 40 minutes and won $125.



Worst Hollywood casino of the bunch...

Quote: teddys


On the way back, I stopped at Horseshoe again and played some more Blackjack where the dealer mispaid me on a push right before he left for break (I had 20 and he had 7-5-8). Then I played Pai Gow tiles for 20 minutes. The dealer said they just got the game, and they are the only casino in the Midwest that has it. She said it took her 12 weeks to learn it. (She was not Asian). I broke even minus commissions. Then I stopped at Ameristar and played Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em for 50 minutes, winning $40 and earning 19 points plus another buffet. It was a nice fill up for the drive home.



NOT TRUE ABOUT PAI GOW TILES. Horseshoe Southern Indiana also offers it, and nearly EVERY dealer who deals it is White (or at least, not Asian). Furthermore, HSI told me I was only one of two white people to EVER play the game there.

Great report... I miss the casinos up in that area; they have a feel to them unlike anywhere else.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces
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August 13th, 2010 at 9:34:22 AM permalink
deleted
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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August 13th, 2010 at 10:09:51 AM permalink
So when you had the opportunity to go to 500x, how far did you actually go? At 25.00 for the flat bet, I'd be scared to go even 1x and would certainly never go beyond 2x.

I think the term used in the film industry is "establishment shot". If you want to see the downtown Aurora as filmed in Wayne's World, you have to go to Covina, California. Its cheaper to send actors and technical people to Covina than to the real Aurora. One popular cable show supposedly takes place in Palm Springs, CA but Scoundrels is actually filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Amazing what a few background shots of the real Palm Springs will do to fool the audience.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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August 13th, 2010 at 10:45:26 AM permalink
You hit all those casinos in one day? Wow.

Sounds like a great deal at Ameristar for the buffet.

Joliet might not have anything going for it, but it's where Jake was incarcerated, and was used in the movie. Any Blues Brothers branding or memoribilia?

I wouldn't have expected you to see Stan Makita's Donut Shop. Stan would never have been able to afford the price of the product placement advertising. Stan, and the donut shop, were part of the writer's imagination.

Grand Vic proofed you TWICE? How old are you?


Great report!
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
pacomartin
pacomartin
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August 13th, 2010 at 10:51:48 AM permalink
Quote: teddys


Harrah's Casino, Joliet, IL (6:00 P.M.): Harrah's is in downtown Joliet and the traffic patterns and parking are absolutely horrible. It was very crowded here. There was nothing I would consider playable, but the craps game had 500x odds! Never seen that before. I played $25 minimum craps with one bet on the passline, and an elderly gentleman made 6 passes in a row, including four naturals. Then I got the dice and passed twice. I had made $200 in about 10 minutes, so I left.



Am I to assume that is 500x with a $25 minimum bet? I think Harrah's is pretty safe with this game. I can't imagine anyone walking in to a normal casino and wagering that kind of money.
teddys
teddys
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August 13th, 2010 at 8:13:06 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Quote: teddys


Harrah's Casino, Joliet, IL (6:00 P.M.): Harrah's is in downtown Joliet and the traffic patterns and parking are absolutely horrible. It was very crowded here. There was nothing I would consider playable, but the craps game had 500x odds! Never seen that before. I played $25 minimum craps with one bet on the passline, and an elderly gentleman made 6 passes in a row, including four naturals. Then I got the dice and passed twice. I had made $200 in about 10 minutes, so I left.



Am I to assume that is 500x with a $25 minimum bet? I think Harrah's is pretty safe with this game. I can't imagine anyone walking in to a normal casino and wagering that kind of money.

Yes, but they also had $10 games with, I assume, the same odds multiple. They might even have $5 occasionally.
Quote: DJTeddyBear


Joliet might not have anything going for it, but it's where Jake was incarcerated, and was used in the movie. Any Blues Brothers branding or memoribilia?

I forgot about that! The only thing I kept thinking of in Joliet was the opening scene of "The Sting," which takes place there -- when Hooker and his partner con the numbers runner.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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August 14th, 2010 at 2:06:59 PM permalink
Quote: teddys

Yes, but they also had $10 games with, I assume, the same odds multiple. They might even have $5 occasionally.



I would be hard pressed to think Harrah's Joliet would EVER have $5 craps. The only place you MAY find that min. is at Majestic Star and that's only during the day. Sometimes Ameristar might have it, but most likely not.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park

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