The Mrs. and I returned to Las Vegas three months later on Aug. 6 to again enjoy Resorts World and have more Vegas fun. In retrospect, what turned out to be somewhat strange for this trip was that while we had some great new Vegas experiences, some of the excitement we enjoyed on our previous visit weren’t quite re-created.
We woke up at 3:30 a.m. for our flight’s 8 a.m. landing at Harry Reid International Airport. This time we didn’t rent a car, so we used Uber to visit South Point Casino to again play, at 10 a.m., in a $60 no-limit hold’em tournament. We were sleepy, so we relaxed in the Coronado Cafe coffee shop for coffee and breakfast. I noticed the nearby breakfast buffet was $12 (for players club members), so we were determined to not spend more than $12 each at the coffee shop. The check was almost exactly the same cost — but we happily agreed it was better to not walk around to get our food.
The tournament didn’t go well for both of us this time. The Mrs. finished 8th last time, but busted out early when a flush beat her made straight. She said she was tired and impatient. I made it past the first break, but busted out as big blind with K-J, a flop of 5-5-J, and the small blind betting big after the flop. I went all-in knowing the small blind had a 5. It didn’t take a telepath to know that. I’ll admit that I was impatient too. I also didn’t have luck on my favorite Max Action slot, losing $19.60 after putting in $20.
We Ubered to the Conrad, which thankfully had early check-in available to us. We napped, then went downstairs for dinner at Brezza, the Italian restaurant at Resorts World’s The District shopping/dining area. The service was excellent throughout — we were originally going to be seated in the second row of tables near the front with a mall view, but we asked for a back table with a patio view and was accommodated without hesitation. For our anniversary celebration, they gave us a handwritten card and a complementary dessert after our meal.
In a Norma Geli video, she and her friend ordered an estimated $280 in food and drinks, so I was prepared to spend about the same. I thought the dishes would be small, but they had quite large portions. I ordered way too much food, such that we took leftovers back upstairs for the minifridge. I actually enjoyed the cold pasta dishes for my breakfasts later. The dishes were excellent, though I didn’t expect the guanciale (cured pork) in the Bucatini alla Amatriciana pasta to be so salty — and the fried artichokes were a bit soggy.
I was excited that during this visit, Katy Perry was scheduled to perform her “Play” residency show, which would be my anniversary gift to the Mrs., similar to her 2016 J.Lo gift to me. Months before, a problem on their website prevented me from purchasing tickets, but I called the Concierge and a friendly representative helped me purchase the exact tickets that I was viewing on the website — and without ticket “convenience” fees! Tickets cost $221 each. The audience included a lot of girls and young women, many of whom came dressed in costumes similar to those in the show. Most of them were in the $500 front orchestra seats. We were in the rear orchestra, on the side of the middle section, and all the people in our area were “older” couples — my theory is that we went for the intersection of good views and half the cost of front orchestra seats. Oddly, some young people gathered in front of the stage and never left — I wondered if people could just go up there, or were they VIP tickets? Security probably would shoo them away if they weren’t special tickets.
The show was great fun — a bit of Toy Story (as in the scary house of Sid the neighbor) meets Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. As expected of Katy Perry, she made it a fun time. (Though I had to try my best not to be bothered by one rectangular video panel that had a brightness problem, which was apparent that it was not a seamless background.) I’d first learned about Katy through her 2012 documentary bio “Part of Me” and have since been a big fan, but only recently learned she had a daughter about two years ago.
I was impressed that Katy had quite some physical demands from the choreography. This observation was based on attending Britney Spears’ 2009 “Circus” tour, in which lots of activity buzzed around her, but she generally avoided physical activity. The Mrs. and I first saw then-19-years-old Britney in 2001 in her Live from Las Vegas show at the MGM Grand when she was arguably at the peak of her choreography routines. But I digress. Back to Katy Perry: The Mrs. was enamored by the super-cute red bucket hats with white mushrooms that say “Katy Perry Play,” so I was happy to gift her the $30 post-show merch.
We went to the 66th floor to check out Alle Lounge (which we failed to do on our last visit) — it was packed! But we made reservations for Monday night. We went back down to one of our favorite places in Resorts World: the Crockford High Limit bar. I enjoyed an Old Fashioned. We played crappy $1/hand 7-5 JoB to get our comped drinks. My second drink was a shot of Barrell Seagrass: rye whiskey finished in Martinique rum, Madeira & apricot brandy barrels. I did not like it. But I finished my video poker down only $10.
DAY 2, SUNDAY, AUG 7
On this trip, we wanted to enjoy the pool area more. We got down just about 20 minutes before the morning sun passed over the top of the Conrad tower. It’s easy to see how fast our planet rotates to face the sun when you’re trying to enjoy shade!
Our first gambling foray was the noon $35 no-limit hold’em poker tournament at the Westgate. We saw plenty of entertainment not so much from the poker, but rather from a totally drunk guy who made it a point to tell everyone that he won six figures in a WSOP satellite tournament. The first sign was him knocking his beer over at the registration table. He was the loudest guy I’d ever heard at a tournament table, but was not disrespectful to anyone specific aside from his obnoxiousness.
Right before the break, I won a big hand and was feeling good — until I heard that after the break, there’s a $35 buy-in for dealer tips that gives you extra chips. I discovered that not adding on would mean that I would be barely ahead of everyone else, when I currently had twice as many chips as most players at my table. So effectively, this $35 tournament is really a $70 tournament. I figured one advantage of this format would be that if you busted out early, you’d lose only $35.
The Mrs's friend and I busted out soon after the break, but the Mrs. made it to the final table. She said to go back and get our friend’s husband so we could get lunch afterward. I took the cue that she didn’t want to have observers. It turned out that she made it to the final three. She later said that the short-stacked, fifth place player kept suggesting they split five ways and they were all like “Dude!” The Mrs. had a firm grip on second place, but eventually wound up about the same as the third place guy. The chip leader was an old-timer and a longtime poker hustler who had a massive lead. So the Mrs. agreed to chop second and third place for a $341 win!
I noticed the Westgate still has a Las Vegas Hilton remnant of the old SpaceQuest Casino, former home of the Star Trek: The Experience attraction.
For dinner, the Mrs. booked Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab restaurant at the Caesars Palace Forum Shops because she had heard about the famous Florida stone crab. We had a plate of 5 large stone crab claws for $100. I’d never had them before and it was quite tasty. It’s quite the delicacy and I probably wouldn’t buy it again at that cost, but it’s something to try once, especially if you’re living large in Las Vegas! The Mrs. and I also shared a 16 oz. rib eye steak ($65). You can ask for it to be pre-sliced if you wish, so we did. It was the best steak I’d had in a long time! I had been researching steakhouses, and this would take care of our Las Vegas steak dining — half a pound of steak is plenty! And to top it all off, our friends generously treated us!
We got lost trying to find our way back to the Caesars parking garage. Getting through the Forum Shops and the casino has always been confusing to us. Eventually we found our friends' rental car and drove to the Orleans for some cheap poker, including some Omaha. Their poker room has so many bonuses, it was difficult to remember what to look for! Unfortunately, the wait was long, and by the time they called me for Omaha, I had been deep into $4-8 limit hold'em. But luck wasn't on my side and I lost $97. With some free time, I won $3.50 on 8-5 Bonus Poker.
After more morning pool time, we went to Sakana Japanese restaurant, the same place the Mrs. and I visited in May. They make really finely prepared dishes with a "make it when you order it" all-you-can-eat option. What was weird about this trip is that our friends ordered so many long rolls of sushi. On our last trip, I enjoyed the different kinds of nigiri. But I guess they like the long rolls more. I thought it was too much rice to eat!
Afterward, we drove to Red Rock Casino to show our friends the nice place for cheap poker. At first, I was actually doing some work "from home" at one of the empty tables near the back! We have a running joke that the Mrs's friend is super lucky, so we wondered if she would win one of the poker hand bonuses that Red Rock offers. Sure enough, she got one: flopping a set with the day's designated pocket pair! Unfortunately, she finished down overall. I also lost — $16 on $4-8 limit hold'em, then $81 more at $3-6.
Back at Resorts World, we got drinks at our favorite spot: the Crockford casino's high-limit bar. I tried their Hibiscus Paloma, the same drink that's on the menu of Alle Lounge on 66 that we would visit later in the night. In addition to the comped $19 drink, I played 7-5 JoB Ultimate X and won $15.25!
I heard from our friends that Resorts World's $25 free play promotion for new members was no longer: you now had to accumulate enough points (I believe $25 coin in) to get the free play.
After a alcohol-induced nap, the Mrs. and I went to Alle 66 for dinner and drinks with a great view. It's a great spot and I recommend it to anyone staying at Resorts World. The food prices ($15-$28) seemed reasonable, and we ordered several plates like shrimp cocktail, popcorn lobster, and wagyu beef sliders. The cocktails were $21-$25, and I got a Love Note: Ketel One, rose syrup, lychee liquor, lemon, and egg whites.
Back downstairs, I saw a Cashman Bingo slot machine with a board that seemed playable. Apparently I got lucky because I totally did not carefully read the WoV thread on this game. I was betting 75 cents, spun 3 games, won 8 free games, spun 8 more games, got a $22.35 bingo, and won $29.20 overall.
Walking around the Street Eats area, I noticed a pai gow tiles table that I didn't see on our last visit. The minimum was $50, however. I asked if it ever goes down to $25 and was told that it could if nobody is playing and I request it. I came back later and had an amazing experience. The dealer, Daniel, loved talking about the details of the game, including the ways to stack the tiles before the deal and their names, like "Golden Gate." It was very casual — even the young pit boss came around occasionally to check the unused tiles and play along. When it came time for Daniel to tap out, I gave him a nice tip and ended my gambling for the trip, unfortunately losing $77.50 in this session but spending very enjoyable casino entertainment time.
We met up with our friends, who had enjoyed the Michael Jackson ONE Cirque du Soleil show. We chatted then said good night and farewell. Our flight home departed at 7 a.m. I lost $379.15 overall this trip, the most in a long time. Some of the magic from our May trip wasn't re-created, but we had some great new experiences and entertainment.
Nice trip report and thanks for sharing. Having lived in Las Vegas for over a decade, and now live in Reno, I have no desire to return. Northern Nevada so much better.
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I lived in Vegas for over 30 years and don't miss anything about it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed living in Vegas but I don't miss it now that I am gone.
Our flight home departed at 7 a.m. I lost $379.15 overall this trip,
7am flight and track everything to the penny. For me that’s the trip from hell.