helpmespock
helpmespock
Joined: Mar 6, 2010
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Thanks for this post from:
LuckyPhowAcesAndEightsJoemanRomes
March 25th, 2018 at 8:11:41 AM permalink
Flights

This year we, again, travelled down to Buffalo, NY on Sunday March 11th to fly to Las Vegas instead of leaving from Toronto. My expectation is that a direct flight at decent times i.e.; no red-eye or late night flights costs about $600 per person. Air Canada and Westjet out of Toronto were 50% to 100% more expensive for those direct flights hence we booked Southwest out of Buffalo. The drive takes a couple hours from home and was smooth an uneventful. The border crossing and getting through the airport bag check and security was very quick -- less than 30 minutes. We only had one snag at the Buffalo airport. We first tried to park in the preferred lot, but couldn't find a spot. Eventually one of the attendants flagged us down to let us know that no spaces were available so they were closing the lot, and to head to economy instead.

I checked on the Tuesday before our trip to see that the flight on the way down was sold out. Given it was Southwest, we broke down and did the Early Bird check-in to avoid getting stuck with a 'C' or worse cattle call designation. We ended up with 'B19' and 'B20' so had no problem finding a window and middle seat together. Good thing too -- the flight was oversold by one seat and the Southwest people were asking someone to take a flight two hours later in exchange for a $700 credit. We flew out of Buffalo about 10 minutes past our advertised 12:55PM departure, but ended up landing at 2:20 -- 30 minutes early -- in Las Vegas thanks to a speedy flight. Unfortunately all of Southwest's gates were full when we landed so we had to sit on the tarmac for 10 minutes for a gate to open.

During the week we just got lazy and also used the Early Bird check-in for our flight out on Thursday at 8:10AM. On that early Thursday morning, it looked like the airport was committed to not getting backlogged so everyone got TSA pre-clearance treatment and the vast majority of people did not have to go through the body scanner.

Overall I like flying out of a smaller airport like Buffalo. There is less rigmarole. You are much quicker getting to your gate than at a large airport like Pearson International. However the convenience of being closer in Toronto plus the U.S. customs pre-clearance at the airport means that if the money was equal I'd always pick Pearson.

Car Rental

I signed up for a "mid-size or better" through Dollar Express. There was one catch though and it was my fault. I got a new driver's license last summer so the expiry date has changed, and I didn't update my records in the Dollar system. This meant that "See Agent" was displayed by my name and took about 20 minutes to sort out mainly because we had to wait for an attendant to become available. Once that was cleared up we were pointed at a row of cars and told to choose. We ended up choosing a nice silver-coloured Hyundai Sonata with about 20,000 miles on it. I was impressed with the trunk space as it easily fit both our big suitcase plus my golf clubs still in the travel case.

I only found one thing odd in that an 'ECO' option was lit on the dash and when I was accelerating up that hill on Spring Mountain Road towards I-15 it felt really gutless before something would kick in to give it more power. It did appear that the 'ECO' option did save us some gas. We had a trip to Red Rock Canyon, two trips out to the Summerlin area, and a couple trips south around the airport, but we only used up just over a quarter tank.

Hotel

This year we stayed at Treasure Island for the entire trip instead of the Wynn/Encore where we've stayed since 2009. We booked the room through a casino offer we got based on a single night's stay last year. It was on a non-smoking floor with a King bed overlooking the strip. The TI rooms are a decently appointed with a chaise lounge, desk, television, safe etc. One nice touch was that there is a fridge available for your use and it's not crammed with airplane bottles of liquor or other overpriced snacks.

I must say I missed the Wynn/Encore floor-to-ceiling window when compared to TI's standard window configuration. The TI bathroom is pretty standard as well -- a single sink and toilet with a combination tub/shower. My wife prefers the Wynn/Encore bathrooms with his-and-hers sinks, the separate tub and shower, and the separate room for the toilet. The Wynn/Encore also offers more in their bathroom kits -- a shower cap, cotton swabs, make-up pads, shoe shine cloth, shower gel -- where as TI just gives you the standard soap, shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer.

The only nitpicks about the room are that we smelled cigarette smoke for about 10 minutes one night when we were getting ready to go out, my wife thought the bed was a tad soft, and the bed and bath linens aren't nearly as nice as the Wynn's. Overall the room was fine, but pretty much like every other hotel room we've ever stayed in.



Weather

The weather we got was what I would consider unusual for Las Vegas. The high for temperatures hovered between 20-24C and the lows 10-13C. That in and of itself isn't surprising, but what I found out of the ordinary was the large amount of cloud cover. Normally our trips have either completely clear skies or those high wispy clouds.

This time there was either a good mix of lower clouds to give that mix of sun and cloud or complete cloud cover. I even got a few drops of rain during my round of golf and it was full-on raining when we flew back on Thursday morning. The types of cloud cover reminded me more of what we get back home in Southern Ontario rather than the desert of Las Vegas.

My golfing partner was actually happy with the complete cloud cover as it was out-of-the-ordinary weather-wise. My wife and I were a tad disappointed with the weather, but it was still warmer than home.

Activities - Hiking

Monday afternoon we did a hike at Red Rock Canyon. Man was it busy at Red Rock that afternoon. They had four booths open to get in each with 5 cars waiting. Also the price has gone up. The last time we were there two years ago it was $7 and it's now $15. Yikes! I did see that they re-paved the scenic drive which was nice. Perhaps that's where the money is going.

The first two parking lots on the scenic drive were jam packed with cars, but luckily we were going further in. My wife didn't want something too strenuous so we did Lost Creek Trail/Willow Spring Loop which is about two-thirds the way through the scenic drive.

It is a mostly flat and easy hike that was a very pleasant way to spend Monday afternoon. The seasonal waterfall was there, but it was only a small trickle of drops that we just couldn't photograph. Here are some photos from the hike:







Activities - Golfing

I booked a tee time at 6:50AM on Tuesday morning at Arroyo Golf Club in the Summerlin area. The way dawn and dusk work in Las Vegas is very different from home. I pulled up at the clubhouse at 6:30AM and it was still completely dark, but by the tee time things were fine.

I got matched up with Gary who was a former member, but his golf game fell apart last year so he dropped his membership. Gary marshals at Arroyo one day a week in exchange for a round of golf a week. We were joined by a nice Korean couple who retired to the Las Vegas area.

Luckily we were of similar skill levels, and we played ready-golf to keep things moving. Thank goodness I had people familiar with the course because the course layout is a rabbit warren tucked into a sub-division with houses all around. In some cases, you had to drive along streets to get between holes. I ignored all that and let Gary show me around.

I shot 101 which isn't bad for my first round of 2018. It was a brisk 12C with thick cloud cover when we started and I forgot my jacket. Gary kindly offered me a wind breaker he had in his bag, but I politely declined thinking that once the sun was fully up that the clouds would break up and I'd be warm. No such luck.

The course was in OK shape. It looked like it had been played a lot and the fairways were pretty chewed up where people had taken their second shots. The greens were in decent shape, but not outstanding. I did like the scenery as we were nestled against Red Rock Canyon, but I did put a few balls close to people's backyards. I would play this course again, but I think I'll be giving others a try first. Between Arroyo and Bali Hai, I would say I preferred Bali Hai.

Activities - Shopping

I didn't do any shopping this trip. My wife however warned me before we went down that she'd be looking for a pair of cowgirl boots. Her target was Boot Barn and there was a store down by the airport.

We headed there Monday morning around 10:30AM. The store itself is split into two buildings at that location -- a work wear building and a Western wear building. Going into the Western wear building my wife was faced with rack upon rack of boots to choose from. She corralled a salesperson and they went through any number of pairs and marked a bunch that my wife wanted to try on in her size.

She was disappointed that one brand that she really liked the styles of -- Shyanne -- just did not fit her foot very well. She eventually settled on a very nice pair of Old Gringo boots, and a nicely priced set of Corral boots which I believe is the Boot Barn house brand. For the two hours we spent there, she really enjoyed herself. We just don't have the level of selection in Canada that folks in the U.S. enjoy.

My wife did shop at the Fashion Show Mall while I was golfing, but that was a much smaller venture. She bought a couple outfits to go with her new boots and also picked up the sister fragrance -- Giorgio Armani's 'Acqua Di Gioia' -- to compliment 'Si' which she bought last year.

Activities - Restaurants

Sunday night I dragged my wife up to the Peppermill for supper. I heard that the wings were really good there and I'm a sucker for wings. I got an order of medium Buffalo wings to start and then a New York steak. My wife got the Happy Hour nacho chips and dip to start and the Cobb salad for her meal.

The wings were excellent and if you like wings I recommend that you go out of your way to stop by and have some. Everything else left something to be desired. It wasn't bad necessarily, but the other items were very run-of-the-mill.

The ambiance is a very older Vegas feel -- lots of pink and purple neon with diner-style booths for seating and mirrored tile on the ceiling. It was worth experiencing once for sure, but my wife isn't keen on wings so I doubt we'll be back.

Two interesting notes on the way back to TI from the Peppermill. First was that we were witness to a dine-and-dash at the Denny's just south of the Peppermill. Two young gentlemen were high tailing it north just as the poor waitress came out the door to yell that they were jerks and they'd got them on camera. The second was that heading up to the Peppermill the line-up at Tacos El Gordo was to the doors, but on the way back the line-up was wrapped around the outside seating area and this was around 6:30 or 7:00PM.

Monday morning we had our now traditional breakfast at the Denny's beside Casino Royale. You certainly know what you're getting with Denny's. The one good thing is that we got there late around 9AM, but because of the expansion a couple years ago they easily sat us right away.

Monday night we went to Marche Bacchus because we were on that side of town after the hike at Red Rock Canyon. We didn't have a reservation, but they easily accommodated us. We picked a California sparkling wine that was under the Louis Roederer label from the wine shop at the front. It was very nice and cost under $30.

I had the Lobster bisque soup to start and my wife and I shared the charcuterie to go with the wine. For entrees, I had the Braised Beef and my wife had the Bistro Chicken. For dessert, I had the Creme Brule and my wife had the Chocolate Lava Cake.

All the items were good, but I'm afraid to say Marche Bacchus has slipped a little. They've split the charcuterie into one for meats and one for cheeses. It used to be a sampling of both. My wife preferred the old sauce that went with the chicken instead of the newer Lemon Beurre Blanc. Each dish was prepared not quite to the level that we've had in the past. As I said, all were good, but we've had some really excellent meals there.

The company we kept, however, was excellent. We were seated with two other couples at the far end of the outdoor seating area. One was a retired couple originally from Chicago who relocated to Las Vegas a few years ago. They were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary. They decided to move to Las Vegas a few years ago after he climbed out to the picnic table in the back yard and jumped off it into waist-deep snow then declared to his wife, "We're moving to Las Vegas!" He was a ex-police officer and she was a former kindergarten teacher.

The other younger couple was born and raised in the Las Vegas area, and were celebrating their 7th wedding anniversary. They are due to move to California as she starts a professorship at a college this Fall. He is a Biology teacher at a local Las Vegas high school.

My wife currently teaches 5th grade. You get three teachers together like that and a lot of shop talk happens. My wife thoroughly enjoyed her evening chatting with those folks.

Tuesday night we headed up to Tacos El Gordo for supper. We made it there by 4:30PM after seeing the big line-up on Sunday night. Even then the line for Asada/Chorizo was still seven deep. The spicy pork line was only three deep. We grabbed three spicy pork tacos, four steak tacos, my wife got a steak quesadilla, and we also got the peppers and onions. Mmmmm...I'm still craving those tacos. They were excellent and the price is such a contrast to a meal at a strip restaurant.

Wednesday night we were split. I wanted try out Flock & Fowl -- a Chinese chicken rice joint -- downtown, but I tried to call to get a reservation and the number was disconnected. I also got a restaurant recommendation from my golf partner Gary for Rhythm Kitchen which is a Southern Louisiana-style restaurant. Rhythm Kitchen was on Open Table so I booked a reservation for 5:30PM.

I'm not a fish guy at all and my wife isn't keen on crawfish/catfish so the menu was somewhat restricted for us. I got the Cashew Vinaigrette Salad and my wife got the Spinach Artichoke dip but without the barbecued crawfish. For our mains, I had the Rib Eye Steak and my wife got the Jambalaya with chicken. Everything was very good and we'll certainly be going back even though the menu choices are fewer for us.

Activities - Show

Our show this year was "BAZ -- A Musical Mash-Up". They've fiddled with the title of the show. It used to be called "BAZ -- Star-crossed Love". I get the impression that they're having trouble connecting with an audience hence the name change and I understand they changed venues to the Palazzo Theatre as well.

The theatre is split up into two sections. The front section is more Cabaret-style where you're seated at some form of table and the stage and seating is inter-mixed. The back half of the theatre is regular rows of seats. The venue overall isn't very large and there really wouldn't be a bad seat in the house to see the show from. If you want the singing and dancing to be in and around you then pay the extra to be in the front section otherwise enjoy a cheaper seats at the back.

The show itself matches the "A Musical Mash-Up" title where they combine speaking, singing, and dancing tying together with the stories from Baz Luhrmann's movies "The Great Gatsby", "Romeo + Juliet", and "Moulin Rouge". I wasn't familiar with all the tunes they mashed-up, but the cast is high-energy and certainly gave it their all even for a half-full Tuesday night.

My wife and I want to single out Allie Trimm who plays Daisy. She has a fantastic voice and even though the actors are mic'd up it wouldn't have mattered. She has a powerful and clean voice. I mentioned to my wife that it wouldn't surprise me to find out she had opera training. For dancing, we'd like to highlight Kiril Kulish who played Scott. His dancing was impeccable. Not a step out of place and he beautifully highlighted any lady he was paired with. We hope they continue to find success in the performing arts.

Overall we enjoyed the show, but it doesn't rank among our favourite Las Vegas shows -- David Copperfield and Cirque du Soliel 'O'. The problems are two-fold in our opinion. First is that for many roles you need triple threats -- someone who can act, sing, and dance. It's tough to be good at all of those things. The second problem is the nature of the material, and this is where the old title "Star-crossed Love" comes in. There are no happy endings in any of the stories. You get three tragedies. That's just the way those stories are. The way my wife put it was, "It's all a bit of a downer" despite the high-energy presentation.

Don't get me wrong. The presentation is very good and the price point at which they currently offer the show makes it a good deal so I would recommend the show. However it doesn't rank, for us, among the best shows in Las Vegas.

Gambling - Blackjack

My first session of blackjack was early Monday morning around 7AM. TI offers 3:2 blackjack on all multi-deck games. I played the six deck game where the dealer hits a soft 17, you can double after split, re-split aces, and late surrender. They do offer a double deck game with slightly altered rules. Beware they do offer a single deck game in the front part of the casino, but it pays 6:5 on blackjack.

The minimum was $10 when I sat down at first base and bought in for $200. The cards were flowing well for the first shoe and I won 2 hands for every hand I lost. I had one split that I won, and a couple doubles where I lost one and won one. I didnít get any blackjacks on that first shoe. Given my good fortune I moved to $20 a hand by the end of the shoe. I continued with $20 a hand into the second shoe, but this time things were much choppier. It was win one, lose one on straight up hands as well as doubles. No splits or blackjacks in the second shoe. The third shoe was back to better results. I lost slightly more on straight up hands than I won, but several double opportunities on a total of 11 and a couple splits put me solidly in the positive for the session. I finished the third shoe with a blackjack and coloured up for $360 after tipping.

The next session of blackjack was on Tuesday after my golf game while I was waiting for my wife to finish her shopping at the mall. I again bought in for $200 at a $10 minimum table, but this time it was a blood bath. I tried the Wizardís Ace-Five count and despite the count hovering between 2-4 most of the time the dealer would turn their stiff hand into 19, 20, or 21 with small cards. All the playerís stiff hands would get a 10 to bust. I had to buy in for another $100 just to stay afloat. Needless to say I walked away down $280 after tipping the dealer.

Wednesday mid-morning my wife and I both played blackjack at a $5 table. I guess there wasnít enough traffic that morning so they lowered the minimums to attract some players. My wife bought in for $100 and I was in for $200. My wife got brave half-way through and would oscillate between $5 and $10 per hand. I stuck to $10 to keep blackjack and surrender even.

My wife got several blackjacks during play and ended up using the $1 chips and $0.50 pieces to tip the dealer at the end. Again I wasnít as lucky and had a lot of stiff hands that I busted out on. She ended up down $5 after an hour despite those early blackjacks and I was down $150.

Unfortunately our enjoyment of the cheap blackjack was curtailed by a gentleman on first base who presented as having Aspergerís. He complained about us following basic strategy. He didnít like that we would wish him luck on any Ace that he would get and eventually complained that, ďEvery time you wish me luck I lose. Stop wishing me luck. Why donít you wish the dealer luck so that they lose?Ē

The next time the dealer turned up an Ace I made a point of wishing the dealer luck and the fellow immediately thanked me. The dealer didnít have blackjack, but they did turn their Ace-2 into 21 with a 3 and then a 5.

I was hoping to get another session or two of blackjack on Wednesday given we were flying out early Thursday morning. I got one in late afternoon before heading out for dinner. Things were starting to get quite busy with all the NCAA fans rolling in that afternoon. There were only 4 tables of blackjack open in the area by the cashier cage and one open in the front of the casino that was not 6:5.

I had to squeeze in at the last seat on First Base on the only table with space. Two fellows who would have normally played in the High Limit area were camped out at third base because of a lack of dealers. They were betting $150 a hand however the table was still just a $10 minimum when I bought in for $200.

This session was also a losing one. The dealer had 10 showing almost always through the first two shoes and hardly seemed to bust. Any time I'd end up with 11, I wouldn't get to double because the dealer had blackjack. I got one blackjack and a split that I lost.

The third shoe I was almost down to the felt. I moved to $20 a hand near the end and was sitting with $30 left. I put $20 out expecting to lose and walk away, but I ended up with a pair of 3's against a dealer 2. I have to dig into my wallet for another $100 for the split, and I get another 3 so I split again. The first hand I get a 10 for 13, the second hand I get a 4 and then a 10 for 17, and for my last hand I get an 8 for 11 which I double and get a 4 (boo!). Luckily the dealer had a 7 behind and then pulled a 7 and then a 6 to bust. That luck was temporary however so I knocked off for supper after a few more hands. I ended up down $150 overall.

My last session of blackjack was Wednesday evening. By this time, the casino was really rolling, but luckily TI had brought in a bunch more dealers on the regular floor and for the High Limit area as well. I still had a hard time finding a spot at a table. I had no luck for my last session either. I got a fair number of 17ís and 18ís, but the dealer always seemed to end up one higher than me. I knocked off after getting down $100.

Gambling - Video Poker

Our first session of video poker was on the TI $0.50 9/6 Jacks or better machines that are outside the High Limit area on Sunday night. I quickly washed out $100 never getting anything better than a flush. I knocked off because I wanted to get in a little craps. My wife managed to fare a little better cashing out anytime she was $15 or more above her starting point. She managed to hit a full house, several straights, and three-of-a-kinds, but overall she lost $15 at the end of her play.

We played again at TI on Monday morning, but this time we had better luck. I hit many dealt two-of-a-kinds with one that turned into a Full House, lots of 3-of-a-kinds, a straight, and several flushes. I printed off probably 4 tickets with small wins of $15 or more. My wife also had good fortune with a Full House, a number of straights, and a 4-of-a-kind as well. She printed off 5 tickets with small wins. Together we were up $150 for the session and quit to go boot shopping.

Monday afternoon after our hike at Red Rock Canyon we stopped at Red Rock Casino to play $0.25 Jacks or better, and I wanted a crack at the Full Pay Deuces Wild as well. We struggled to find the machines as theyíve shifted them all around and they seem to have fewer banks of the machines advertising the ďup to 99.8% paybackĒ and ďover 100% paybackĒ compared to last year.

Neither of us had much luck. My wife lost her $100 on the Jacks or better. I fared a little better on Jacks or better. I managed to print off 3 wins of $15 each before taking a ticket of $60 over to the Full Pay Deuces Wild. I managed to get 3 deuces early on, but didnít hit the fourth. I managed to hit one 5-of-a-kind, but then a steady diet of 3-of-a-kind or nothing washed me out. Together we lost $155 on our play at Red Rock.

Tuesday afternoon we again sat down at the TI $0.50 9/6 Jacks or better machines. This time our luck was very good. We both got way down on the $100 weíd put in before pulling out of the nose dive.

My wife got a 4-of-a-kind to bring her back and then managed to print off a couple small wins. I also hit a 4-of-a-kind, but I wasnít down as much as she was when it hit. I got a great mix of straights, flushes, and Full Houses after that and hit two more 4-of-a-kinds in that session. My wife started getting me to hit her button every time she held 3-of-a-kind. I printed off 6 tickets will wins on them and we were up $140 overall for the session.

Wednesday mid-day we headed to South Point Casino because we wanted to give the $0.25 Multi-strike Jacks or better game a try. We played it last year and had some fun with it, but didnít have the proper strategy. This time Iíd printed the proper strategy from wizardofodds.com.

My wife and I shared $100 on the machine. She didnít have much luck, but I managed to hit the 8x level several times and I cashed out for $131.25. We would have played longer, but a couple gentlemen on the Super Times Pay machines beside us were heavy smokers and that drove us from the machine after only 20 minutes.

My wife wanted to practice Deuces Wild so I set her up on a $0.05 Super Times Pay Deuces Wild machine, but it had a poor pay table. She risked $40 and lost while I wandered off to play craps at South Point.

I did get in a last session of video poker early on Thursday morning before heading off to the airport. This time I went to $1 on those TI machines hoping to hit something big. I briefly got up $20 early before washing out to the tune of $200.

Gambling - Slots

I do a couple long shots in Las Vegas every year. One is that I put $20 down on the New York Jets to win the Super Bowl. The other is we play a slot machine. We used to play the Lionís Share when it was still around, but this year I looked up the jackpot trackers on Wizard of Vegas looking to win $1 million or more. I decided that weíd play the Wheel of Fortune slot machine for $1 and we did that at South Point Casino.

I put in enough money for 7 spins each and we let any small winnings ride. My wife managed a small win that gave her 8 spins total before I took over. I got to my sixth spin when I managed to hit the bonus game where the Wheel activated. It looked like the bonus was going to hit one of the smaller amounts under $100, but then stopped at $400. My wife and I were pleased, and quit while we were ahead.

Gambling - Craps

Craps was not kind to me this trip. My first session was Sunday night and there were two tables open for a $10 minimum. One was hopping and completely full. The other one was completely empty. I jumped on the empty table.

The stickmanís birthday was even so I started out on the pass line and immediately lost a couple points. I switched to donít pass and managed to 7-out before the point on a couple rounds before other people showed up. It then went choppy. I stayed on donít pass, but it was win one, lose one which meant I was bleeding chips slowly due to the bigger lay on the donít. I knocked off down $140 after about 30 minutes hoping to get in a session of blackjack that evening, but I couldnít find an empty seat.

Monday morning I was up at 6AM to get some craps and blackjack in at TI while my wife rested. I was pleasantly surprised to see a single table open and empty for a $5 minimum. I asked the floor person about the minimum and he said that they had no players since their shift started at 3AM so they lowered it to attract players.

The stickmanís birthday was odd so I started on the donít pass and resolved to stay there this session. I managed to 7-out on three of four points before other players started showing up. The new faces didnít change how the table was rolling however. It was choppy, but the donít was a better bet overall for that session.

One fellow shows up about 40 minutes into the session, parks beside me, and pulls out $500 from his marker to place all the numbers -- $30 for 6, 8, 5 and 9 with a $60 buy bet for 4 and 10.

Iím camped out on the donít pass and Iím winning while heís losing. He had to go to his marker two more times during this stretch and started making comments to the shooters like, ďLetís make that 10 to get this guyĒ referring to me camped out on the doníts.

When the dice came around to me I stayed on the donít, and he gave me a funny look. I told him, ďMy superstition is that I roll a lot of sevensĒ. I proceed to roll a couple 7ís to lose my donít on the come-out then I get a point of 8 which I had a 7-out on about 5 rolls later. He failed to make his point when the dice passed to him. Poor fellow. I came out ahead to the tune of $120.

My next session of craps at TI was Tuesday after golfing. This time the table is already going on a $10 minimum, and I try the pass line to start, but two shooters failed to make a point. I switched to donít pass and it was a couple 7-outs for every point made so that I recovered a bit.

The 7-outs chased everyone else away from the table, but then I started to make points while on the donít so I started switching back and forth. Whatever I tried for the next four points was the wrong way to go.

Meanwhile the fellow from the previous day came by craps table and was watching me zig and zag to no avail. He yells across the table in a Southern drawl, ďYou canít win for losing boy!Ē

It happened that I was on the pass line at the time and I replied, ďHey Iím on your side this time!Ē pointing to my pass line bet. He comes down to my end of the table and is extolling me on how craps players should play together against the house on the pass line. I pointed out that there is a house edge in either case Ė pass or donít pass. The fellow then says to me jokingly in his Southern drawl, ďYesterday boy I woulda killed you if it was legalĒ.

I had a good chuckle, shook his hand, and told him that Iíd leave him on the table to play his way. I was down $200, but I walked away from that session with the story of my first death threat at the craps table. Iím going to tell that story forever.

Wednesday morning I hit the TI craps table around 7AM. It was a $10 minimum. I was alone so I was zigging and zagging between pass and donít pass, but this time I managed to hold my own. I would lose, switch, and recover then lose switch back, and recover.

Given all this, I got too brave. I asked about the buy 4 and 10 and was told that they only charge the commission on wins which makes it an OK bet. I moved to the pass line, got a point of 8, and put out a buy on 4 and 10 for $20 and a place on 6 for $12. I managed to hit a couple 6ís and pressed the second win. I then made my point of 8, but had a 7-out on a point of 9 to clear all my chips.

Feeling good, I tried it all again this time on a point of 5. I rolled out a $20 buy on the 4 and 10, and $12 each on the 6 and 8 so Iíve got everything except the 9. Of course, I start rolling 2ís, 3ís and 12ís with a yo mixed in over the next 5 rolls.

At this point, my Southern friend shows up and I say to him, ďHey look. I switched from donít pass to this!Ē and he replies, ďNow youíre working boy!Ē and he grabs his customary $500 from his marker and joins me.

The next few rolls were promising. I hit a 4 and a 10 followed by several 8ís. Unfortunately the run ended there on a 7-out and the dice passed to my Southern friend. He puts out his customary bets with a point of 6, but fails to hit any of the numbers before his seven out. I had the buy 4 and 10 and an 8 out as well. We go two more times between us with 7-outs on the pass line which cleans me out. I tip the dealers my last $10, wished my Southern friend luck, and Iím down another $200.

Wednesday afternoon I got in a session of craps at South Point Casino. They had a nice $5 minimum, but it is only double odds. I decided to play pass line, and because of the double odds I also rolled out a come bet backed with odds. Things went OK here, but it seemed like I would hit the come bet, but then lose the pass line or vice versa. I think I only hit both bets once. I only played a short while and was up a measly $25 before my wife and I decided to head out.

I never got a session of craps in on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning because the tables were filled up with the NCAA crowd.

In Summary

It was a good trip for us this year. The weather was different from our usual trips, but itís better than snow back home. The restaurants we tried were hit and miss, but overall it was fine. My wife is very pleased with her new sets of boots and clothes. I had a lot of fun gambling.

Overall though we felt the trip was very compressed. Normally we get Sunday evening to get warmed up in Las Vegas, three full days Monday through Wednesday, and then weíve got part of Thursday to pack, relax, and get in our final gambles. Not so much for this trip as it had us flying out early on Thursday morning.

Overall I lost about $800, but on the flip-side I went to the TI Playerís Club desk and they had a host knock off a couple days worth of the resort fees from my bill. Thatís the first comp like that Iíve ever gotten in Las Vegas.

Weíll be back next March Break, but next time Iíll pay attention to getting a little more time in Las Vegas instead of the 3 days plus Sunday evening that we got this time.

--helpmespock
HornHighYo11
HornHighYo11
Joined: Aug 30, 2014
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Thanks for this post from:
helpmespock
March 25th, 2018 at 8:53:18 AM permalink
I will give this richly detailed TR a closer look when I have time. I was interested in the Buffalo flight plan, as I'm in the same boat with YYZ. I've considered it but have slowly gravitated toward convenience, in so far as now choosing a direct flight and handing over the extra $100-200.
Also curios if any pools were open this time of year. I need that option to add value to any resort hotel I stay at, but I've only visited Vegas in Sept & Oct.

I'll give it a full read later. Thanks in advance for the TR!
PokerGrinder
PokerGrinder
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helpmespock
March 25th, 2018 at 10:33:31 AM permalink
Great TR as always!
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. ó Amarillo Slim Preston
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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helpmespock
March 25th, 2018 at 11:03:00 AM permalink
Great report.

Open offer to HelpmeSpock. If you want to golf around Buffalo, or Niagara Falls, I can advise as to what courses are worth it. If you come we can golf 36 in a day, then the wings will be on me (Duffs).

The only thing that disappointed me about your trip report was......... you bet on the JETS?????? I grew up near Shea Stadium and still couldn't tear up a $20 on them!
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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Keeneone
March 25th, 2018 at 11:08:33 AM permalink
Funny about the airports. For international YYZ is GREAT! Fiancee and daughter are flying to Dublin and cost was around $1000 less to fly out of Toronto (for two), as the flight from Buffalo of course would need a connection and the flight from Toronto is direct. So the 90 minute drive is worth it.
helpmespock
helpmespock
Joined: Mar 6, 2010
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March 25th, 2018 at 4:12:03 PM permalink
Quote: HornHighYo11

I will give this richly detailed TR a closer look when I have time. I was interested in the Buffalo flight plan, as I'm in the same boat with YYZ. I've considered it but have slowly gravitated toward convenience, in so far as now choosing a direct flight and handing over the extra $100-200.



We go Sunday to Thursday for our trips. WestJet has a nice flight out of Toronto at 10:15AM on Sunday with return on Thursday at 12:45PM, but the cost hovered around $850 per person most of 2017. Checking for this June for a Sunday to Thursday trip it looks like it's running $700 per person. Air Canada has similar flights for 10AM Sunday and 12:45PM Thursday for $900 per person. We got our Southwest flights for $580 per person.

If you're willing to suffer a later night flight and red-eye return you can do cheaper. There are flights from both companies out at around 9PM landing 10:30PM Vegas time, but I always feel super tired getting in. Then red-eye back leaving 11:45PM getting into Toronto at 7:00AM. That'll run you about $540 per person.

A fellow I play pick-up soccer with claimed that there are direct flights out of Hamilton from WestJet, but I haven't searched closely for them yet.

Quote: HornHighYo11

Also curios if any pools were open this time of year. I need that option to add value to any resort hotel I stay at, but I've only visited Vegas in Sept & Oct.



Pools are open when we're there in the second week of March. Getting out of the pool when it's 23C with that dry Las Vegas air can be quite chilly!

--helpmespock
helpmespock
helpmespock
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March 25th, 2018 at 4:21:56 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

Great report.

Open offer to HelpmeSpock. If you want to golf around Buffalo, or Niagara Falls, I can advise as to what courses are worth it. If you come we can golf 36 in a day, then the wings will be on me (Duffs).



I might take you up on that golfing offer one of these days. My wife and I sometimes go to Niagara Falls around our anniversary in July to buy wine and I get in a little gamble at Casino Niagara.

Quote: SOOPOO

The only thing that disappointed me about your trip report was......... you bet on the JETS?????? I grew up near Shea Stadium and still couldn't tear up a $20 on them!



As for the Jets, I've been a fan since 1980 when I was a young and impressionable lad and they had some success. Richard Todd, Freeman McNeil, the Sack Exchange!

I also had to live through Buffalo being good in the late 80's and early 90's. Back then, I'd hardly ever get to see a Jets game on TV except when playing Buffalo.

--helpmespock
helpmespock
helpmespock
Joined: Mar 6, 2010
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March 25th, 2018 at 4:23:48 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

Funny about the airports. For international YYZ is GREAT! Fiancee and daughter are flying to Dublin and cost was around $1000 less to fly out of Toronto (for two), as the flight from Buffalo of course would need a connection and the flight from Toronto is direct. So the 90 minute drive is worth it.



I'm in agreement here. We used Air Canada out of Toronto to fly direct to Edinburgh, Scotland for our 25th wedding anniversary a couple years ago.

--helpmespock
GWAE
GWAE
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March 25th, 2018 at 5:05:22 PM permalink
I would have been all over that 700 for getting bumped. Especially for 2 hours.
Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed. I AM NOT PART OF GWAE RADIO SHOW
Laymedown
Laymedown
Joined: Nov 15, 2017
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March 25th, 2018 at 5:24:48 PM permalink
Cheapflights website

I find an average price of $650 CAD includes Flight, Hotel, Taxes, Fees. (Per person)

Leaving from Toronto, Ontario
Sorry for my many daily posts. I am a retired professional and I love to chat about gambling. I also enjoy reading and can't help but to reply to some fantastic articles.

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