smoothgrh
smoothgrh
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unJonMrCasinoGamescamapl
July 1st, 2022 at 3:11:35 AM permalink
Day 1: Sunday, May 22
Thanks to the Southwest Airlines points that I earned from this year's family spring break trip, the Mrs. and I were able to fly basically for free into the Harry Reid (formerly McCarran) International Airport. I chose this weekend because I figured most of the major expenses would be cheaper the Sunday before Memorial Day Weekend.

The theme for our last Vegas trip was "Dive/Historic" casinos, so my loose plan for this trip was "Internet/Vlogger Vegas." I wanted to visit the places I've seen highlighted by vloggers and other internet personalities.

We flew in at 11:30 a.m. and took the shuttle to the car rental center. I recently signed up with Hertz and got "skip the counter" privileges as a Gold Member. Total cost for 3 days was $260 deposit + $105, or about $120/day for a Ford Escape. This seemed expensive compared to my $40/day car rentals in the 1990s!

Our first stop was Yummy Rice in Chinatown, which was one of the places that food vlogger Mikey Chen visited. Great meal to start to the trip! It starts with a savory steamed egg custard and a pickled cabbage salad. Then comes the clay pot with crispy rice, meats, and veggies. Delicious!



We went back south to the South Point Casino for their 1 p.m. $60 no-limit hold ‘em tournament. I remember seeing the South Point on NBC's Poker After Dark, and expected the casino to be nicer. It's nice, but feels older than I expected, with a lot of the early 2000s IGT slot machines that I do enjoy. It was crowded, and the Mrs. and I needed a bit of luck to find two seats at the sportsbook bar for some video poker, a glass of wine for her, and a Guiness for me. I put in $20, played 8/5 Bonus Poker and lost $5.



In the poker tournament, I did pretty well early, but slowly started to whittle away. I busted out in the most ridiculous way. After the sixth round, there was a break, and I went just outside the poker room to play a rarely seen, silly IGT slot from 2002: Hot Flashes. Its theme is romance novels and "women's" paraphernalia — I saw it on YouTube and wanted to try it for myself. Well, instead of inserting my $15 voucher into the ticket/bill slot, I somehow shoved it into an opening in the machine! I pushed the Service button, but not a slot attendant was in sight. The poker tournament break was over, so I went back to the table, but I was so rattled by my missing $15 that I wound up going all-in with ace-9 offsuit on the flop with just ace high. The guy who called me also had ace-9, but he flopped four diamonds. Not surprisingly, he rivered the fifth diamond and I was out.

I went back to the slot machine and eventually an attendant got the ticket out. I played Hot Flashes for awhile and finished down $5. I went over to another old IGT favorite, Max Action. In direct opposition to Hot Flashes, this game exudes beatnik masculinity, including womanizing, dance music, smoking, and alcohol. I finished up $30.10, so altogether on the machines at the South Point, I won $10.10.



The Mrs. was still going at the tournament, so I walked over to the bowling tournament area. As a former bowler, I was amazed at the setup — grandstands to watch the bowling, big scoreboards, and more bowling equipment shops than I'd ever seen! I bought a Welcome to Las Vegas light-up sign from a woman who sold mostly non-bowling clothing and tchotchkes. She said the shops are there during tournament season, which I recall she said was from March to July.





By 4:30 I wandered back to the poker room and was excited to see the Mrs. still playing at what looked like the final table. But apparently she was on a short stack and soon went all-in. It sounded like she had been getting outdrawn by the same guy, and it happened again on her last hand. But at least she finished 8th for $128!

I made a big blunder on arrival to Resorts World. Normally, we use the self-parking garage, which was easy to find. But we were confused at why they would build it so far away from the casino property, forcing us to walk about 6-10 minutes through the Vegas heat. Turns out there's also a "Hotel Parking" garage, which is connected to one end of the casino. Doh!

Only two front desk folks checked in about ten guests ahead of us in line for the Conrad hotel, so we waited about 25 minutes. We were informed that no king room was available as we had booked, so to make up for it, they gave us a $100 food credit for our two-night stay.

As we expected from the many YouTube reviews, the room was very nice. We had a 57th floor view of Circus Circus, the aging casino that nonetheless makes me feel happy. The Conrad room comes with two robes that have a cotton liner, which make them super comfortable. It has a minibar fridge but also an empty refrigerator (which is really nice) and a safe. The bathroom has a a stylish light-up, asymmetrical mirror; a 2-head shower; three pump bottles in the shower that dispense shampoo, conditioner, and body wash; and a little below-counter area that lights up when the main bathroom lights are off, which is a cool effect. We called housekeeping to ask if they had a humidifier — they did, and even brought it up already filled!



We went down to the swimming pool at 7 p.m. when the sun had nearly set, so it was still warm and bright but mostly shady. The pool area is gorgeous, and we relaxed until the 8 p.m. closing. I ordered a strawberry daiquiri with my food credit for $19. The bar required some kind of ID to charge the drink to my room, and I didn't bring any. I managed to find a photo of my Covid vaccination card on my phone, and it was good enough for them. I didn't expect much from the drink, but it was good — and strong!






Pretty much all the Vegas YouTubers have done videos of the Street Eats food court. Most restaurants are Asian themed. I saw Norma Geli's video of her eating something from each of them! The Mrs. ordered two dishes, chow fun and roast pork, and I ordered two dishes: duck tacos from Fuhu Shack, and the sisig panini from Pepita's Kitchen — roasted pork, calamansi aioli, pickled vegetables, and provolone cheese on a ciabatta.



We enjoyed seeing the Golden State Warriors take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals as we dined. I really enjoyed the duck tacos and gobbled up the three of them. The panini was also good but with one major complaint: too much cheese! If I were to order it again, I'd ask to hold the cheese. I saved most of the sandwich in our room fridge, and ate all our leftovers over the next two mornings.






Back in 2016, the Mrs. and I visited the ill-fated Lucky Dragon Casino, which also had a "street food" concept in what they called "Dragon's Alley." In comparison, Street Eats has far and away a better vibe, but the food at Dragon's Alley might have been slightly better — i.e. more authentic — based on my memory. We said the Resorts World food is good, but not as good as at Chinatown restaurants. But if you're stuck in the resort though, Street Eats definitely has decent options. We slept well.
AxelWolf
AxelWolf
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smoothgrh
July 1st, 2022 at 8:48:36 AM permalink
I have played Hot Flashes a number of times during promotions. To this day, I can't believe someone thought to themselves it was a good idea, along with a number of others that thought the same, and it actually got made.
♪♪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♪♪
unJon
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smoothgrh
July 1st, 2022 at 12:54:34 PM permalink
Super enjoyable trip report.
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.
MrV
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July 1st, 2022 at 1:19:36 PM permalink
How busy was the traffic at RW?

Do you get the impression that people like it and will keep coming, or might they be teetering on the brink?
"What, me worry?"
smoothgrh
smoothgrh
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July 1st, 2022 at 1:34:30 PM permalink
Quote: AxelWolf

I have played Hot Flashes a number of times during promotions. To this day, I can't believe someone thought to themselves it was a good idea, along with a number of others that thought the same, and it actually got made.
link to original post



And the bonus game is called "Mood Swings Bonus" and the song playing is "In the Mood"! :D
smoothgrh
smoothgrh
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July 1st, 2022 at 1:43:27 PM permalink
Quote: MrV

How busy was the traffic at RW?

Do you get the impression that people like it and will keep coming, or might they be teetering on the brink?
link to original post



It was not busy, but we wanted it to be that way by coming the weekend before a holiday weekend.

I think the hotel and casino will be fine, but I worry about the shopping area ("The District" they call it), especially upstairs — they need to have a reason to get foot traffic!
smoothgrh
smoothgrh
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camapl
July 3rd, 2022 at 7:05:35 PM permalink
Day 2: Monday, May 23

Morning coffee was from the coffee counter at Sun’s Out Buns Out not far from the Conrad elevators. I also got a chocolate donut for an afternoon snack. We explored Resorts World's The District shopping area — most shops were closed Monday morning. Not much to see upstairs, but we did have a few laughs peeking into the Pepper store. Their website says "We bring you the best in class lifestyle products, apparel, and toys, while providing information that encourages closeness and new channels of connection." (Side note: my mom once worked at a Naval Supply Base, and she told me the ladies would giggle when they processed shipments of "prophylactics.")

The one store we did enter was the Amazon Just Walk Out store, where you enter by using a credit card, picking up whatever items you want, and then just walking out. There were no prices on any of the items, so I assume that means they use "surge pricing" to increase prices during busy times. The Mrs. got a bottle of water just to get something. She glanced through her transactions a week or two later and thinks she was never charged for the water.



We noticed a Fortune Cup machine between Gatsby's Cocktail Lounge and the balled-up VW Bug sculpture, so we played for awhile. I won 75 cents total, and the Mrs. won $9 on an 8x and 28x pick for one race with $0.25 bets. I've been a big fan of Sigma Derby for years, but the past three Vegas trips, I've made no effort to go to The D. Perhaps I've walked that path enough times. Fortune Cup is slick and fun, but a bit too fast, and not better than Sigma Derby!

We decided to check which shows were scheduled, and I saw from Google Maps that there supposedly was a discount ticket stand at Circus Circus. We tried to walk over by finding a shortcut, but got stuck in a Resorts World construction planning yard instead. We must have walked around for 20 minutes in the sun before we decided to just drive over.

When YouTube suggested to me someone's video of a walkthrough at Circus Circus a few years ago, I took a look, and thereafter was hooked on Vegas YouTubers. I had never been to the back of Circus Circus, where the steakhouse, hotel registration, and all the shops were — and I was fascinated! So when I finally visited those areas on this day, they felt familiar. However, Google Maps betrayed me — there was no longer a discount ticket kiosk. Some folks did ask me which show I was interested in, but I recognized them as timeshare representatives.

I remembered there's a ticket kiosk next to Casino Royale, and thanks to the YouTubers, I also knew there was free parking back there (plenty on this day). None of the show tickets sounded appealing, so we gave up on that idea. We went to the Players Club desk to learn about their "First $20 on Us" promotion. We waited behind one person, and I noticed that on a side television they show a video of my favorite Vegas YouTuber, Pompsie, and his review of Casino Royale. His video giving a good review to Casino Royale ($102/night total on St. Patrick's Day with no resort fee) came immediately after he posted a review of a $10,000 Cosmopolitan Hotel penthouse! I wonder if Pompsie knows that they're doing that. So the promotion is that if you play $20 and lose it, they'll give you $20 of free play. We decided to go elsewhere.

We walked to The Venetian, an old favorite. The casino was crowded — especially so compared to Resorts World. The tall slot machines felt like a forest and contributed to the cramped feeling. The Mrs. played some blackjack. No luck. When we got back to the parking garage, I noticed a couple topless "showgirls" walking to the back of the Casino Royale. As we drove toward Las Vegas Blvd, and waited for the pedestrians to pass, we saw two fully covered "showgirls" — and some European-looking dude peeling off $20s for them.

We drove through a sketchy area to get to our next destination, and I kind of chuckled to myself when I noticed Siegel Suites, which I learned about from the WoV forum. I wondered if it still has a slots area.

Though we had decided before our arrival to try every restaurant featured on YouTube videos, we broke that pledge because a friend had recommended a restaurant, and she is the master of finding the intersection of high quality and excellent value. So we ate at Sakana Japanese restaurant on Maryland Parkway. Lunch has an all-you-can-eat option for $26 and though I hadn't anticipated eating AYCE, we trusted her advice. It was good advice — the servers were super patient, explaining everything, and the sushi, especially the nigiri, was outstanding. I would say better than San Francisco Bay Area restaurants! You order a few pieces at a time, and they bring out your dishes. The only dish we didn't like was a roll that had too much sweet sauce drizzled over it. We mentioned that, and the response was something like that's how most Las Vegas restaurants serve it. So ask to go light on the sauces!




Afterward, we walked over to Target for some bottled water. We were clearly among locals — one person walked in still wearing a hair cover in the middle of getting her hair done. The Mrs. wanted to check out the nearby Ross store, so I walked over to the Seafood Village supermarket shopping plaza. It's a hub for Filipino hot food, groceries, and services.



When we got back to Resorts World, I discovered the Hotel Parking garage. Very convenient! The Mrs. went upstairs to rest, and I played $1-$3 no-limit hold'em. I bought in for $120 and built my stack to about $150. I thought "one more win" and I'll go. (You know where this is going.) In late position, I got pocket 4s. I limped in and flopped a set: J-4-3. A guy in early position bet $25, so I raised to $50. He called, and the turn was no help to either of us. I bet another $50 and he called. The river was a jack, giving me 4s full of jacks. He checked. I didn't like that card, but with less than $50 left and him checking, I decided to go all-in. He had been somewhat of a jerk earlier, and someone called him out on a questionable play, so I took his comment "you got a boat?" as not being positive intent. I turned over my 4s, and he showed J-3 for jacks full of 3s. Replaying the hand in my mind, I decided that I should have raised pre-flop to drive out the big blind — it might have helped.

The Mrs. came down and we played some table games together. I watched her play $15 blackjack, and she finished down a bit. We played $10 Three Card Poker with a very chatty dealer. We talked about how side bets had taken over the main games. The Mrs. finished down a bit again, but I won $30.

Earlier, we had signed up at the Players Club and went to a kiosk to get free play, from $25 to purportedly $500. We both got $25 of course. We had passed by the Crockford's Casino within Resorts World a few times and thought it looked really nice. It's named after Resorts World's high-end hotel, but it's really the same as any casino's high-limit room. They had plenty of open seats at their bar, so we sat down for video poker.

We both got glasses of wine comped from our play. I played $1 at a time on 6-5 Bonus Poker (96.8% return). I figured we'd have our drink, maybe win some bucks with our free play, and be on our way. But the bartender came over and asked if we'd like something else. So I asked if they had any unusual whiskeys. He showed me a bourbon he said they just got in, so I said yes, please! It was amazing — so smooth, unlike the mass-produced whiskey that I usually swill. We wound up staying for at least two hours nursing our drinks, chatting, and slowly playing video poker. I had some good runs and eventually finished with $34. The Mrs. got quads twice and finished with $50. I noticed the receipt the bartender leaves in a glass in front of me said the comped bourbon was $40 and the Mrs.' wine was $22. I still can't believe that if we were to have just walked up and ordered, our drinks would have cost that much. This was about as AP as I get!




One thing at the Crockford Casino that I'd not seen before is that some slot machines are in somewhat of a booth with a television to the right. So high rolling slot action while you're watching sports? It's here! In addition to the elegant exterior, the Crockford's Casino also has a beautiful bathroom in the back. When I went back there, I noticed an exclusive (currently unused) high-limit room and also a poker room where it looked like a high stakes game was going. Cocktail waitresses came and went from the room.





It was almost 7 p.m., so we went to the pool area like we did the previous night, but we heard an announcement that the pool closed at 7 p.m. for a private event. Normally, I'm a rule follower, but we were sloshed, I felt betrayed because yesterday's announcement didn't mention the early closing time, and I knew we didn't HAVE to be out by exactly 7 p.m., so we told the young lifeguards that we would leave soon. They left us alone for awhile, but came back at about 7:15 p.m. to more urgently shoo us out. They probably were disgusted by these "old" drunk people!

We went back to the room and napped the entire night. We woke up at midnight and the Mrs. was amazed that I was ready to go out. She found an all-night Chinese dim sum restaurant at the Gold Coast Casino. So at 12:30 a.m., we found ourselves at Ping Pang Pong restaurant. The ambiance was decent. It was quite busy for that time, but unfortunately, most of the dim sum we wanted to order was unavailable. And most of the food was average to below average. We actually sent back the hot and sour soup — it was way too sweet and not sour at all. I wondered "don't they taste the soup before they send it out?" We walked around, the Mrs. played some blackjack, and we went upstairs to look at the closed bowling alley. On the way out, I showed the Mrs. how Ultimate X works, as I finally learned what the game's all about. On my last hand, I played the normal 5/credits per hand with three multipliers to finish a $15 winner.




We went to Palace Station to check the pai gow tiles scene. Their oyster bar had a long line, and I noticed they finally had created a waiting area, instead of just having people queue in the middle of the casino floor. Two pai gow tables were going: $25 and $50 minimums. Alas, the days of $10 pai gow at Palace Station appears to be over. One guy was at the $50 table and the $25 table was nearly full. I wasn't feeling it, so we just went back to Resorts World.

Before we went up, the Mrs. had one more Fortune Cup session and hit a big one: 3x and 54x for a $14.25 on two $0.25 bets. We went back to sleep at 3 a.m. feeling like winners.

Last edited by: smoothgrh on Jul 3, 2022
ahiromu
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smoothgrh
July 4th, 2022 at 12:35:40 AM permalink
Ping Pang Pong remains one of my favorite dim sum places anywhere. Consistently good (for at least 5-6 years) and the fresh drinks are excellent. I usually go every day I'm in Vegas.

As with all good dim sum places, you either get there 10 minutes before they open, or wait in line (at least on weekends). I think it's worse, busy-wise, because Gold Coast seems to attract a lot of local Asians gaming-wise. I highly recommend you give it another try at proper hours if you go back.
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smoothgrh
smoothgrh
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July 4th, 2022 at 1:54:05 PM permalink
Quote: ahiromu

Ping Pang Pong remains one of my favorite dim sum places anywhere. Consistently good (for at least 5-6 years) and the fresh drinks are excellent. I usually go every day I'm in Vegas.

As with all good dim sum places, you either get there 10 minutes before they open, or wait in line (at least on weekends). I think it's worse, busy-wise, because Gold Coast seems to attract a lot of local Asians gaming-wise. I highly recommend you give it another try at proper hours if you go back.
link to original post



We did order some dim sum and I don't remember anything about it, which probably means it was good — but not outstanding nor bad. The lettuce cups that I posted a picture of were tasty, but super oily. A stream of oil ran down my arm as I ate one!

I had a coconut water, which I enjoyed — but I'd expect something simple like that to be fine!

JohnnyQ
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smoothgrh
July 7th, 2022 at 7:14:37 AM permalink
Quote: smoothgrh

Casino Royale..... So the promotion is that if you play $20 and lose it, they'll give you $20 of free play. We decided to go elsewhere.

I did this promo last year and ended up ~ $ 160. So I enjoyed it, and thought it was a nice deal/diversion for a casino on the Strip to offer.

Like the castle in its corner In a medieval game; I foresee terrible trouble And I stay here just the same

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