ams288
ams288
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Thanks for this post from:
TigerWuRSJoeman
September 10th, 2018 at 1:50:56 PM permalink
I’ve never done a trip report here, but it’s a slow day at work for me so what the heck…

Stayed at the Encore last Sunday through Friday (9/2-9/7). I had stayed there once before for one night with a buddy before we moved on to a cheaper hotel for the rest of our trip. I typically stay at MGM properties where I have the best comps, but earlier this year it appeared my comps were drying up so I decided to “splurge” for this trip and try somewhere outside of the MGM properties. I have no standing at Wynncore, so I booked it through a mystery deal on Hotwire (I was 99% sure that I was booking the Encore thanks to BetterBidding.com). I paid $675 for the 5 nights (that includes taxes, but doesn’t include those damn resort fees).

Early flight out of DTW on Delta. Paid $200 to upgrade to first class. Flight was uneventful and on time. Arrived at the Encore around 10:30 to check in. The lady at check in was very friendly (EVERYONE at Wynncore is very friendly, as far as I can tell). No rooms were ready yet so she told me I’d receive a text when one was. I left my bags at the Bell Desk and wandered the north strip for a while. I was back at the Encore around 12:15 as they were opening their Pai Gow Poker table. Pai Gow is pretty much the only game I play these days (as you’ll see in this trip report…). It was a $15 table so I decided to play for a bit (I had assumed I’d never see a Pai Gow table below $25 at the Encore. It seems it’s always $15 right when they open it and then they raise it once a few players sit down).

By 1:45, I still hadn’t received the text that my room was ready so I went back to the front desk to see what was up. The guy said the room she had picked for me wasn’t cleaned yet, but he’d get me in a different one that was ready. They warn you at check in that the strip facing rooms at Encore get a lot of noise from the beach club and the night club. I always bring ear plugs with me to sleep with a night, so I didn’t mind. I headed up to my room on the 50th floor (which is more like the 40th floor since they skip the 40s).

The room was very nice. Everything seems very well kept and recently updated. The hallway smelled like fresh paint. I had had a dealer tell me before that Steve Wynn demands they change the carpet every few months so it doesn’t get worn out. Seems like they’re still keeping it up to his standards even though he’s not running the place anymore.

View from my room:



The Encore in general:

I was really impressed with basically everything here. The staff was great (besides some clueless dealers). The rooms, public spaces, casino, pool, etc. are all first class luxury. The Encore pools aren’t very big, but there was always plenty of chairs open and hardly anyone in the actual pools. This was a nice change compared to MGM and Mandalay, where I also stayed this summer. You basically have to fight people to the death to get a chair in the afternoons at those hotels.

Prior to staying there, I was a bit worried about the location of the Encore. It is farther north than I usually stay, and just to get out of the Encore it a long walk through the Wynn. Thankfully, it never really bothered me.

In the mornings I’d usually take a Lyft down to the center strip. I had 3 or 4 of those self-driving BMWs this trip. Lyft is really pushing those things. Of course, they aren’t really self-driving yet. There is a driver there to grab the wheel in case the car is about to do something crazy and there was always a 2nd person in the front seat with a laptop doing some sort of safety analysis. And as of now, they can only go into autonomous driving mode on the public roads, on the hotel properties they have to be in manual mode. Seems like there is a ways to go until they’re actually “driverless.” The cars themselves were neat, but they told me I couldn’t take pictures of the inside of the vehicle.

Food:

I’m not a big eater. I usually just have a breakfast sandwich for breakfast, a protein bar for lunch, and usually something from the food court for dinner (in addition to all the alcohol I drink while gambling, of course).

For breakfast, I am completely obsessed with Eggslut at the Cosmopolitan. I ate there three times during my trip. Their breakfast sandwiches are SO GOOD. There is always a line you have to wait in, no matter what time you go.

The Fairfax:



I’m staying at the Cosmopolitan in November and will likely eat there every morning.

I did eat at the Excalibur buffet one evening (free from MyVegas). It was nothing special, as you would expect from the Excalibur. And I ate at the Mirage buffet one night as well (also free from MyVegas). I like the Mirage buffet. Free beer and wine, too. The other nights I mainly ate food court stuff (I had Chipotle twice). Like I said, not a big eater…

The Encore spa:

I always use the spas when I’m in Vegas. I love to detox in the steam room and jacuzzis in the mornings and evenings. I was excited to try out the Encore spa as it’s supposed to be one of the nicest in Vegas. As you would expect, it is a great spa. Gorgeous décor, smells amazing, very nice amenities. Loved the waterfall showers. I do have two complaints: the sauna was broken the first two days I was there. They didn’t really seem to be in a hurry to fix it. And the steam room just was not hot enough for me. I like a HOT steam room. This one just didn’t cut it, and whenever somebody would open the door, it would just suck all the hot air out and it felt cold in there. I think I’d prefer the Bellagio spa overall.

Gambling:

I didn’t play anything other than Pai Gow Poker on this trip. In the morning after breakfast, I’d low roll and play $15 games at Harrahs, The Linq, MGM, NYNY, etc.

Most days I’d also play at Encore for $15 right at noon when they open their table. Honestly, the dealers at Encore weren’t that good. I was surprised. (The Wynn Pai Gow dealers were much better). One dealer kept a pair of sixes and eights together with just a king on top. That seemed weird to me, and I asked why they’d keep them together without an ace on top. She said that was their house way. Okay. I lost that hand because of how she set it. Then when her relief was there, the relief dealer had the exact same hand and split the sixes and eights. I told her the other dealer had set that same hand differently and she rolled her eyes and called the pit boss over. He gave me back my $15 that she took earlier and apologized. Said they had a bunch of new dealers from all over the place and some of them didn’t know what they’re doing. It seemed to me that based on how quickly they believed me that they already knew she wasn’t very good. I had a few losing sessions. Lost $100 at Harrahs one morning over the course of 3 hours. Lost $100 at MGM over a few hours as well. Lost $100 at Encore in just a few hands – that session sucked. If I’m gonna lose, at least let me play for a while and get some entertainment out of it. Had a ton of sessions where I basically broke even and left after a couple hours.

In the evenings I’d play $25 PGP at either Wynn or Encore, depending on how the vibe seemed at the tables. I don’t think I had one losing session in the evenings (I didn’t win much, maybe $50-$75, but I also didn’t lose). Drink service was very good at both casinos (although their margaritas did not taste good to me. I stuck with Long Islands, White Russians, or Daiquiris – I’m not a beer drinker). Got to know some of the other Pai Gow players who were staying at Wynncore over the course of the week. There was one lady who would shout “Hey, Michigan!” whenever she saw me throughout the property. There was one grumpy high roller who’d get a $10k marker, play for like 10 minutes, decide he didn’t like the dealer, and leave. Saw him do that three times.

For the trip, I ended up down $235 dollars, which is a completely acceptable loss for me. Before checkout I went to the Red Card desk and asked if they could take off any of the spa charges or resort fees. Having only played $15-$25 Pai Gow Poker, I was half expecting them to say “This is the Encore, what are you expecting? get out of here!” But they took $80 off my bill, which I was happy with.

Overall:

It was a lovely trip. I was really pleased with the customer service at Encore and am already trying to figure out when I can stay there again.
Lock him up!
SOOPOO
SOOPOO 
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September 10th, 2018 at 2:09:29 PM permalink
Quote: ams288

I’ve never done a trip report here, but it’s a slow day at work for me so what the heck…
Before checkout I went to the Red Card desk and asked if they could take off any of the spa charges or resort fees. Having only played $15-$25 Pai Gow Poker, I was half expecting them to say “This is the Encore, what are you expecting? get out of here!” But they took $80 off my bill, which I was happy with.



I had a similar experience. I played maybe a little longer and for a little bit higher average, and they comped me a decent amount. For a similar price I like it better than Caesars.
TigerWu
TigerWu
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September 10th, 2018 at 2:18:57 PM permalink
I hear a lot of good things about those Wynn properties but man, they seem really expensive in a lot of aspects.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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September 10th, 2018 at 4:11:50 PM permalink
Quote: TigerWu

I hear a lot of good things about those Wynn properties but man, they seem really expensive in a lot of aspects.



They are expensive if you think about what a similar product would cost you at a middle or lower tier property, but a lot of what you are paying for is the window dressing.

Thanks for the trip report AMS! I found it very interesting.

Was the noise from the day club/night club onerous?

After Labor Day, things seem to slow considerably at the pool. Maybe that is why it wasn't very crowded?

Did you request self driving Lyft rides, or did it just turn out that way?
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ams288
ams288
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September 10th, 2018 at 4:45:20 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

Was the noise from the day club/night club onerous?



The first night it went till well after 3am. It didn’t bother me, but I can absolutely see how it would upset some guests. After that first night, I never heard anything.

Quote:

After Labor Day, things seem to slow considerably at the pool. Maybe that is why it wasn't very crowded?



Probably. The first day (Sunday 9/2) was the busiest at the pool. After that, there were rows and rows of open chairs every day.

Quote:

Did you request self driving Lyft rides, or did it just turn out that way?



I didn’t request them, they just always seemed to be close by. For a while, they were giving your first self driving ride for free. I’m not sure if they’re still doing that.
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PokerGrinder
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September 10th, 2018 at 4:56:42 PM permalink
Very enjoyable TR AMS. It’s funny every time I see your name I think of my grade 1/2 teacher Mrs Ames. I even pronounce your name that way when I see it lol.
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. — Amarillo Slim Preston
HornHighYo11
HornHighYo11
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September 10th, 2018 at 8:24:59 PM permalink
Fun to read. Thanks for the TR.
ams288
ams288
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September 12th, 2018 at 10:32:33 AM permalink
A couple more Pai Gow thoughts I remembered:

I didn't get any envy hands the whole trip. That's unusual for me. Usually I'll get a few four of a kinds and a straight flush or two (it's been a few years since I've gotten a royal). In fact, I didn't see ANYONE get an envy hand besides the dealer. One dealer at the Wynn dealt himself four kings (I managed to push that one by keeping my two little pairs together on the bottom while he split the kings).

On my last morning, I decided to lowroll at The Linq until I had to leave for the airport. One hand the dealer had 6-6-6-6-A-J-2. At first she set the hand with the A-J on top (which seems like the proper play to me). But she said she wasn't really sure and checked with the pit boss, who told her to ALWAYS split four of a kinds no matter what. So she played a pair of sixes in the high and low hand. That seems crazy to me. Anyone know if this is actually their house way or was the pit boss wrong? I had a straight with no top, so I actually ended up pushing where I would have lost had she kept all the sixes together - so I wasn't going to question it.
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PokerGrinder
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September 12th, 2018 at 12:19:12 PM permalink
Quads are a split unless you have a pair to put up.
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. — Amarillo Slim Preston
AxelWolf
AxelWolf
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September 12th, 2018 at 12:49:27 PM permalink
ams288.

I'm disappointed you didn't invite all the Vegas righty WOV members to dinner.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪

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