helpmespock
helpmespock
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Joined: Mar 6, 2010
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smoothgrh
March 24th, 2024 at 6:49:03 AM permalink
This year's March Break trip ran Sunday March 10th to Thursday March 14th.

Flight Out

We had a flight change when Westjet and Flair airlines amalgamated and this moved our flight time up from 10:30AM to 8:50AM. This earlier take-off time meant getting up and out of the house at 5:30AM to head to Pearson Airport in Toronto. It felt like 4:30AM given the change to Daylight Savings.

The drive to Pearson was fine, and security and US Customs Pre-clearance was also a breeze. The flight itself was where problems began. It took forever to board because the flight was full and we were flying a former Flair aircraft with smaller overhead bins which meant the Westjet staff was forcing folks to check bags at the gate. This added a bunch of time.

We finally get pushed away from the gate and the pilot fires up the engines only to find that the instruments from one of the engines isnít reading in the cockpit. We end up having to pull into a different gate to have the problem addressed. This delayed the flight by two hours. Once we land in Las Vegas we have to wait on the tarmac for another 40 minutes because there are no gates available to us because we were so delayed in Toronto.

We were supposed to be in Las Vegas at 10:30AM. Instead we are off the plane at 1:30PM.

The Electric Car

Once we grabbed our bag we headed over to the car rental centre.

I used Dollar which I guess is now amalgamated with Thrifty/Hertz. I was a Dollar Express member under the old regime, but I guess it didnít transfer properly since Dollar e-mailed the Thursday before we left to get me to check in through some automated system. They get you to take pictures of your driverís license and a selfie for identification purposes and upload them to their system with the promise that you can avoid the line. I did as they asked and the automated system told me to head out to the garage rather than waiting in line at the counter.

We head out to the garage only to see two huge lines of people: one line for SUVs and the other for sedans. I walk up to the booth and scan their list of names only to find mine isnít on it. I ask at the booth and they say they can look into it, but it would be better to go inside and get them to sort it out.

Why am I a Dollar Express member and why did I use their automated system to check in ahead if none of it works?

I head in and thereís a line in there too, but luckily it moves fairly quickly. They find and print off my rental agreement in short order such that Iím back outside within 15 minutes.

Iíd booked an electric car because everything else was much more expensive and I ask one of the attendants about electric cars and she points at a couple cars, but says, ďWait Iíd better check and see if any of the people waiting in line want an electric car.Ē She yells over to the two lines and only one fellow who was struggling with crutches says heíll take one. Everyone else declined so we grabbed the other vehicle. Itís got a fair amount of damage on it Ė mostly paint scrapes Ė but also the driverís door handle has the part around the key busted off. My wife videos the entire car and we get in to find just 10% battery left giving it just 24 miles of range. I say to my wife that itíll be fine because the Wynn has chargers at the hotel.

The car itself was a Chevy Bolt. A small sub-compact style car. It looks like they tucked the battery in the front of the car because you end up being very far back when sitting in the vehicle.

The drive of the Bolt itself is fine. Itís very quiet because itís electric and the acceleration was very torque-y if you pushed the pedal hard. Coming off the gas behaves mostly like a regular gas car in that it slows down slowly. Iíve heard that other models of electric car have a very noticeable deceleration if youíre off the gas. The driving experience in the Bolt mimics gas cars pretty well.

The Electric Car Ė Charging Experience

The car itself was fine. The charging experience was not. We had 19 miles range when we got to the Wynn self-park and the car is complaining now about requiring a charge.

Wynn does have chargers, but we pulled into the first floor of the self-park and didnít find anything. We decided to head into the hotel, check in, and ask them about charging.

They tell us they have chargers on the 2nd floor so after getting settled in the room we head back out to move the vehicle. We run into a problem getting out of the self-park first floor because our room card key does not open the gate. I have to pull a ticket to get out. Not being able to use our room card key at the Wynn self-park was our experience for the entire trip.

We find the chargers on the 2nd floor but there wasnít a clear way to activate the charger. We end up going back into the concierge to ask how to get the charger activated. The concierge calls Parking Services and they tell them you need a waiver. We go over to Valet to sign a waiver, but it turns out the waiver is only needed if you want the Valet to charge your car. We end up talking with the on-duty manager of Parking Services. He tells us you need an app from the 3rd party vendor Ė AmpUp Ė to be able to charge.

I donít have a roaming data plan with my Canadian cell phone carrier and I canít get a Wi-Fi signal either so we have to head back into the Wynn to download the app. We grabbed some seats in the casino and got the AmpUp app and give them a whole much of information and a credit card number so we can charge the car. We head back out to the car, scan the charger QR code with the AmpUp app, and the app says it cannot process the request until the facilities manager at the Wynn approves which the app claims will take 24-48 hours. Alternatively the app says we can contact the Wynn and get the access code.

Hungry and tried from a long day of travel and frustrated with trying to get the car charged we grab some food first before trying to track down this access code. I call down to Parking Services again and talk with the manager. He tells me he doesnít have an access code for the charger. The company that started AmpUp got taken over by someone else and information about how things work hasnít been forthcoming from the new entity.

At this point, weíve got a car with no way to charge it so I confirm with the Parking Services manager that valet can get the car charged and he assures me they can and Iíve already signed the waiver for them to do it so I let him know that Iíll bring it around to them. He warns me that valet is $40. I let him know that thatís OK because at this point Iíve got a useless car if I canít get it charged.

I head back out once more where I get stuck at the self-park exit gate again and have to use the intercom to get them to let me out. I give the car to Valet where they are expecting me. They take the car and get it to a full charge for me.

Iíd said to folks on the board earlier that the Achillesí heel of the electric car is charging and my frustrating experience with an electric car in Las Vegas certainly validates that.

I will not be renting an electric car in Las Vegas again. Iíll be renting a gas car for sure next time so I can avoid this kind of hassle.

Itís a shame really because the car itself was fine. We used the car to go to Red Rock Resort and Casino, to dinner at Marche Bacchus, sightseeing at Hoover Dam, and a trip to the Four Queens downtown. This was more driving than a normal trip for us in Las Vegas because my wife was determined to make sure we used as much of the full charge as we could since Dollar started us with just 10% battery.

Iím sad to report the attendant wrote 48% on the side window when we dropped off the car.

Sunday Gambling

We headed over to the Palazzo to track down the 9/6 Jacks or better after futzing around with the electric car. The machines are in the high limit room and start at the $1 denomination on the Spin Poker game. We started with $100 and took turns playing. We got down around $25 quite a few times, but a few full houses kept us afloat and allowed us to recover to the point where we ended up $50 overall.

I stopped at the craps table on the way out since it was a $15 minimum. I bought in for $200. I stuck to pass line on this session and no streaks happened. The fellow at the far end from us made two points, but after me and the fellow next to me failed to make a point. Iíd rolled out a few place 6ís and 8ís looking to hit something too and those failed miserably not hitting once. I was down $100 in short order and now down $50 overall. We decided to get some rest after that.

Monday Morning Gambling Sessions

I got up fairly early Ė 7AM Eastern or 4AM Pacific time Ė for a round of craps, video poker, and blackjack.

I had to head over to the Encore for craps since all the Wynn tables were at a $25 minimum. I found the Encore table empty and at a reasonable $15. Iím sad that I now consider $15 reasonable. I miss the Casino Royale table for $3.

The craps session at Encore was also a struggle. The stickmanís birthday was on an even number so I started on the pass line and failed to make my 9. I switched over to donít pass and had a point of 6 that I made against myself. I went back and forth looking for something and finding nothing. Iíd bought in for $200 and had to roll out another $200 just to stay afloat.

I went back to pass line after 20 minutes of back and forth and also rolled out an All, Tall, Small bet. Yes I know extremely high house edge, but I find the bet fun. I managed to hit the Tall for $150 off my $5 bet which helped keep me afloat, but overall I was up a mere $50 even with that big hit which meant being even for the trip.
I wandered back to the Palazzo for video poker and here I got slaughtered in fairly short order. My $100 got absorbed by the machine in all of 20 minutes. I was a strange session where I always had something to hold Ė low pair, 4 to a flush, 4 to an outside straight Ė but nothing hit after the draw. I decided to knock off and try my hand at blackjack.

I found the blackjack table at TI sitting at a nice $10 minimum. I had to make sure I got the right table though. Theyíve got single deck at 6 to 5, a double deck game, and a 6 deck 3 to 2 game with surrender. I prefer the 6 deck game so I joined two other fellows at that table and bought in for $200.

I started out with a blackjack and thought that maybe I was in for a bit of luck. Nope. Dealer also had blackjack so I pushed. I was a strange session where I had a fair number of hands at 17, 18, and 19 but the dealer was always sitting one higher. I ended the session with a split of aces that got to 19 and 20, but the dealer was sitting on a 10 with a 3 behind then drew a 3 followed by a 5 for 21. Ugh! I took my $40 remaining and cashed out.

My morning session was largely a bust to the tune of being down $260 overall.

Monday Shopping

Iíd grabbed a few things at the CVS at TI on my way back to the Wynn for breakfast and we ate in the room.

We made our way over to the Fashion Show Mall where we got a few shirts at Macyís for Men, some face cream and moisturizer at Nordstrom, and they my wife kindly sent me on my way to gamble while she went to Dillardís.

I headed back to TI for another try at the blackjack table. The minimum had jumped up to $15. I rolled out $200 and this time it was a little more back and forth. I got my fair share of stiff hands, but at least I was winning this time on 18, 19, and 20. I won the only double I saw Ė an 11 against a dealer 4 Ė but overall it was a losing session to the tune of $140. Iím now down $400 overall.

I promised my wife Iíd pick up tickets for that nightís performance of Awakening at the Wynn while she was shopping. I got mid-level seats for $120 US a person. I figured thatís going rate these days in Las Vegas. However on Wednesday I got a notification through the Wynnís in-room iPad that they were having a sale of tickets for $50 a person. Oh well.

My wife got back around 4PM from her shopping, and we thought we could fit in a quick dip in the pool since Monday was 23C and going to be the nicest day. We changed into our bathing suit and headed down to the pool at 4:55PM only to find that the pool closes at 5PM. I thought it closed at 6PM. Oh well thereís always next year.

We changed back and because our tickets for Awakening were for 7PM we just grabbed a couple sandwiches from Caffé Al Teatro inside the Wynn. My wife had the Provolone and Mushroom sandwich and I got a Chicken Parmesan. Both were decent, but pricey. It was $16.99 for my wifeís and $19.99 for mine. Itís expensive hotel food so I guess I canít expect too much.

Awakening

Our performance for Awakening was about half full and we had empty seats on either side of us. Weíd seen the old show ĎLe Rêveí and that was a clone of Cirque du Solielís ĎOí. This one is not a water show, but instead features a sophisticated multi-section stage that can be raised, lowered, and rotated. There are a ton of light, smoke, and sound effects. The show itself features dialog, dancing, and acrobatics. There are circus-style elements like trapeze artists. There are some magic/illusion stunts where people disappear out of cages and the like. There is even a bit of singing incorporated into the show. The plot is very video-game like. Think Legend of Zelda. Collect the plot tokens in each area to advance to the final conclusion. We liked the show overall. It might not be to the taste of an older crowd, but I think theyíre aiming for a slightly younger audience than us 50+ year oldís with the plot. Again we enjoyed the show and thought our twenty-something kids would have enjoyed it. The one thing that would have really put the show into the great category is a couple more songs sung. Particularly the end of the show calls for a killer duet. Instead we got a dance between the two now resolved lovers.

Tuesday Morning Gambling -- The Slaughter Continues

I did my rotation again this morning while my wife slept in.

Craps at Encore was again a $15 minimum. This time I got slaughtered almost immediately. The stickmanís birthday was even so I started on the Pass line and failed to make two points. I switched to Donít pass and immediately made two points against myself. Another person showed up at the table so I moved to the Pass line and they failed to make a point and left. I switched back to Donít Pass and finally had a 7-out, but I made a point against myself in the next round. I washed out $200 in all of 20 minutes at the table.

I then moved over to the Palazzo and the 9/6 Jacks or better machine for $1. My $100 actually lasted for an hour. I didnít get anything higher than a flush in this session. A few straights that would bring me back a little, but overall a slow decline in my balance.

I moved over to TI for $10 blackjack again and this morning we had a very sour dealer. I donít know if they woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. The fellow on 3rd base was slightly annoying with his constant commentary, but Iíve certainly seen worse in my time at the blackjack tables. The way the dealer aggressively dealt the cards, their curt answers to questions, and their overall body language screamed, ďI donít want to be here!Ē. Message received. I didnít tip. I also lost 3 hands for every hand I won.

Another notable thing during the session was the fellow in the middle. He was doing everything off book. Heíd stand against a dealer 10 when holding 13 or 14. Heíd hit his 17 against a dealer 10. The strangest thing he did was split 10ís against the dealer 6. He got another 10 so he split again. He got a 7 on the first hand and stood. He got an ace on the second hand. He got another 10 on the last card and split again. Mr. Commentary on 3rd base kept exclaiming that heíd never seen this. His third hand got an 8 that he stood on and the last hand got a 2 so he doubled down on his 12 and got a 7 for 19. Turns out the dealer had a 5 behind for 11, but got a 3 then a 2 for 16 with the final card being an 8 for a dealer bust. Very bizarre.

I walked away with $40 of my $200 buy-in. Iím now down $860 overall. Yikes!

Tuesday Activities

The plan for Tuesday was to have a big breakfast, skip lunch, and have a nice meal in Summerlin at Marche Bacchus so we stopped at Dennyís for the big breakfast. It was 8:30AM Vegas time and there was no line to get in unlike last year with CONEXPO Ė CON/AGG tradeshow in town.

After breakfast my wife wanted to stop by Regis Gallerie which is in the Venetian shops. We hadnít been in since before COVID and weíve bought a few paintings from them over the years. We got some sad news when we went in. The fellow we dealt with Ė Cesar Salas Ė died during COVID and COVID also took his wife a few weeks later. Weíd met her at the shop as well. May you both rest in peace.

Robert delivered the sad news and said he would take us around. My wife was particularly keen to see their Oriental rugs. How does a gallery end up with rugs? I guess one client of theirs closed up their business and owed the gallery for all the display items theyíd liquidated. The client gave them a bunch of Oriental rugs as payment.

Weíve been redoing a couple of bathrooms at the house and the front hallway and my mother had mentioned what the front hallway could really use to set it off was an Oriental rug. This planted the seed and resulted in the visit. He showed us several nice ones. The sheen from the silk makes the rug look different depending on the angle youíre viewing from. The effect is very interesting. My wife picked a rug she thought would work. He showed us a few paintings as well. They had an artist in that we hadnít seen before in the gallery and one of the paintings of Paris caught my eye and we ended up getting that too. Weíre waiting on the items to be shipped and then weíll have to deal with Canada Customs and brokerage across the border.

We headed back to the Wynn and grabbed the car out of valet to head to Summerlin and Red Rock Resort and Casino for some $0.25 9/6 Jacks or better video poker for the afternoon. I find the Red Rock Casino layout to be very confusing and they always seem to move the 9/6 machines around such that you end up hunting around for them. We probably spent 10 minutes just looking for the right machines to play.

We eventually found them and started playing, but the casino layout caused another problem. My wife needed the bathroom about halfway through our session and I pointed her over to the closest set, but it turns out those bathrooms were closed so she had to wander around to find another one. This adventure disoriented her such that she couldnít find her way back to me. She was gone for 20 minutes and I began to wonder if I should send out a search party when she and a helpful security guard arrived. The security guard assured her that this happens all the time.

The gambling itself wasnít very fruitful. My wife plays such that she gets up a little and then prints off a ticket with the winnings and puts her original stake in. I told her $20 was the break point where she could cash out. We each started with $100. I never hit the threshold. My wife printed off 5 tickets so effectively we broke even after a couple hours play.

We then proceeded to Marche Bacchus for a nice bottle of wine and a meal. We picked a Chilean wine from a company called Garage. My wife liked the wine, but didnít love it. I was also underwhelmed. Itíd gotten 95 points in the little review that Marche Bacchus prints off and tapes to the wine racks, but I wouldnít have put it that high. The drinkability on its own was OK unlike the Chateauneuf-du-Pape we had last year. Where the wine did do well was drinking it with our food. I had the soup of the day to start and my wife had the foie gras. The richness of both appetizers went well with the wine. For our main meals, I had filet mignon and my wife had the duck which she doesnít normally like, but found it quite good. I guess she needed a well prepared example. Both of these were also very well suited to the wine. I had the cobbler for dessert and my wife had crème brulee. The sweetness of the desserts didnít pair as well with the wine, but still decent. Weíve found Marchee Bacchus to wax and wane over the years, but it varies from good to great and weíve never had a bad meal there. This yearís edition was between the two and overall very satisfying.

Wednesday Morning Ė Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

I did my morning rounds of craps, video poker, and blackjack on Wednesday.

Craps was $15 at the Encore and I joined two young men who were playing who were buddies, but rolling from opposite sides of the table. My session and theirs at the craps table was horrible. None of us could make a point. One of the buddies left to play blackjack after 5 minutes and the other fellow was chatting with the dealers asking how he could turn his $3000 into $15,000. The dealers helpfully laid him out on all the numbers. Effectively the dealers were doing the gambling for him. He was just rolling the dice with the instructions from the dealers to, ďJust keep rolling numbersĒ. It didnít work out for him. He washed out his $3000 in all of 10 minutes. I switched to Donít Pass after that and still got slaughtered. Iíd bought in for $200. I cashed out about 15 minutes later with $20 left.

When I went to cash out at the cage who should I see, but the two buddies and I find out why one buddy was chasing $15,000. The fellow who washed out asked me how the table went after he left and I told him that bad luck had continued and Iíd washed out. He points to his fiend and says, ďThis guy is on one monster run.Ē It turns out the fellow that left the craps table early had turned $3000 into $15,000 the previous day betting on blackjack. The winning friend told me that he wanted to do it again today i.e.; turn $3,000 into $15,000. He left us and played all of 20 minutes of blackjack and now he was cashing out a colour of chip Iíd never seen. It was a white/ivory colour with a whole lot of markings on it that looked like card symbols, but I didnít get a real close look. Heíd done it again. He must have been betting $1000ís a hand to get that done in 20 minutes.

Video poker was a slaughter as well Wednesday morning. The game we were playing was a Spin Poker variant where you can play up to 9 lines. Weíre certainly not that brave. We were playing a single line. However I managed to hit a flush on the third hand after sitting down and was up $25 from my buy in of $100. I figured we were down so what the heck Iíll play 3 lines. This started sucking money quickly and I ended up putting in another $100 and washing that down to $25. Ugh! I decided to try my hand at blackjack over at TI.

I wander over to the blackjack table and itís a nice $10 minimum and I buy in for $200. There is a different dealer on this morning thankfully and this time Iím on 3rd base with just one other player. I roll out my $200 and I getting a steady diet of stiff hands, but yet holding my own winning 2 hands for every 3 I lose. Effectively Iím slowly bleeding chips. The shuffle comes and my luck changes a bit. I start getting 17, 18, and 19 against dealer 10ís and actually get up $40 after I manage a win on a double of 11 vs. a dealer 10. Unfortunately we hit the shuffle again and my bad luck returns. This shoe I lose a couple doubles and the dealer starts to get blackjack on a pretty regular basis so I donít really get to play. This washes me down to $20 when I walk away from the table.

Now Iím down $1,395 overall.

The Rest of Wednesday Ė Rare Things (or Why am I gambling at any other time besides Wednesday afternoon on the last day of my trip?)

I get back to the hotel room and inform my wife weíre down $1,395 overall for the trip after getting killed earlier. We like to pay for the hotel room bill off the gambling budget. Weíd brought down $3000 to risk and with all the losses weíre close to the line. The room added up to $700 and weíd had a meal, put show tickets on the room, and my wife had gotten a haircut at the salon so weíre on the order of $1300 for room charges.

My wife suggests we get out of town and visit Hoover Dam and finally do the tour. Weíve done 19 trips to Las Vegas in the last 20 years. Weíve visited Hoover Dam several times in that 20 years, but weíve never paid for the tour inside Hoover Dam. We intended to last year, but the elevators were broken. This year we finally did it. We left about 8:45AM and got to the dam around 9:30AM and signed up for the tour. I had a small run in with security as I had my jack knife on me and I was told I could either surrender it for garbage or run it back to the car. I ended up running it back to the car. We just missed the 10:30AM tour tickets by the time I got back and so we were slotted into 11AM.

The fancy indoor portion of the visitor centre is being refurbished so we ended up waiting on the observation deck outside that overlooks the dam. We chatted with others waiting for their tour and one couple we ran into was from a small town just 10 minutes from our house. The wife knew my wifeís mother and aunts and grew up with them. Small world!

The tour itself was very cool and Iím sorry Iíve waited all these years to go on it. They show you the feed pipe for the generators, the generator room on the Nevada side, they let you take pictures out one of the shutters half way up the face of the dam, and end going through the Art Deco hallways that the original tours would come in.

The rare thing we got to see on our tour was the #3 turbine was apart and being refurbished. It had been in operation since 1935 and was due to go back in in a few days time. Hereís a few pictures of the turbine out and the generator room and other dam photos:







I suggested to my wife that on the way back we head to the Four Queens and do some cheap $0.25 9/6 Jacks or better video poker. My wife had hit her only royal flush to date last year on the Wednesday afternoon so she was agreeable.

We get to the Four Queens and search around for the machines. Four Queens has gotten tricky in that there is a bank of four machines where the 9/6 machines live, but they are split up weirdly. On the one side, they are four older machines with the two on the left only offering 8/6 Jacks or better for $0.05 and $0.25. The third machine did have 9/6, but only for $0.25 and $0.50. If you went to $1 the odds dropped to 7/5. I believe the end machine didnít offer Jacks or better. On the opposite side, two newer machines with Ultimate X were on the right, a 9/6 Jacks or better on the third machine directly opposite the other machine, and the last machine was and older machine again only offering 8/6.

We ended up sitting across from each other on the two 9/6 machines. Because we were down so far we figured what the heck and play for $0.50 and risk the W2-G.

Weíre playing all of 10 minutes and my wife is holding her own and Iím at $65 of my $100 buy-in. I then get 4 to a royal in spades where Iím just missing the king so I call across to my wife saying, ďHey Iíve got four to a royal did you want to hit my button? You got your royal here last year.Ē She tells me to wait a second so she can play out the hand sheís on and doesnít lose her place. She then decides, ďNo you go ahead and hit itĒ. I hit the button and pull the king of spades to complete my royal. Iíve gotten a royal flush after holding three to a royal on a 3-play Super Times Pay machine for $0.25 about 10 years ago, but Iíve always wanted to get a royal on a single line machine.

The machine locks up and it takes the attendant about 5 minutes to make their way over to me. She asks for ID and immediately sees that Iím Canadian and she tells me with some trepidation that thereís a 30% withholding because of the jackpot. I tell her I already knew about the withholding and she trundles off to get the paperwork done. It takes another 10 minutes for the paperwork to come back.



It all ended up feeling very anti-climactic as my wife and I debated between the machines about who was going to hit the button and then all the waiting. I was very glad to get the $1400 after withholding as this basically brought us back to even. I let my wife play after that and I headed over to the craps table to try my luck there. Nothing doing and I lost $200 in short order. Thatís gambling!

My wife was feeling better about the gambling budget so she wanted to do a little shopping at Macyís to see if she could get some nice outfits to wear at school. I was shopped out so she sent me off to get in some more gambling.

I thought Iíd try to get in some cheap blackjack at TI. Problem was that it was mid-afternoon and most of the 3/2 tables were full. I spied an empty spot on the double deck game. I fish $200 out of my wallet and the double deck basic strategy printout from the Wizard of Odds site, but when I come up to the spot and ask the fellow on 3rd base says, ďWell Iím actually playing to spotsĒ even though he didnít have any money on it as I was getting things ready.

Non-plussed I trundled down to the craps table at TI. It was a nice $10 minimum, but there was something weird going on. There was a single dealer on the left side of the stick man and 4 players for that dealer. No dealer on the right side. Strange. I guess theyíre trying to save labour costs? I tried to go on the right side of the stickman, but they immediately asked me to move over with the other players on the left. Fine. Itíd been a unique day to this point.

The dice were two players up from me. I started on the pass line and the player shooting made their 9 followed by a 7-out. The next shooter hit a point of 8 and then a 7-out. Iím up a bit of cash as a result of the two made points so I start on the pass line and also roll out $5 each on the All/Tall/Small bet just for fun. I then go on a monster roll of 25 minutes. I hit points of 9, 8, 6, and a 4. I complete the Tall side with the first two points. I hit everything except the 2 with the last two points. The table is going nuts at this point. A whole ton of people crowd on the right side and buy in. The stickman has to switch to dealing on the right, but continues to be the stickman. They have to get the dealer on the left to shuttle the dice over to me because the stickman can only get the dice three quarters of the way to me after each roll. The table is cheering for me to hit the 2 even on the come out rolls. I get a couple Yoís and then a point of 9 again. I finally hit my 2 while looking for my 9 thereby completing the Small/All side.

The fellow on my left had to go to the bathroom while I was on the point of four and says to his girlfriend and I, ďYouíre going to hit this and Iím going to miss it because Iíve got to go pee!Ē Sure enough by the time he returned Iíd completed the bet.

I made my point of 9 and then had a 7-out on an 8 shortly thereafter. I coloured up to the tune of $1600 after leaving a $75 tip for the table. I got high fives from tons of the players after I called for colour. I walked to the TI cage with my first banana.

Iíve said this before and Iíll say it again. There is nothing like a hot craps table in Las Vegas. Itís even better when youíre the shooter.

Iím now up $1,205 overall. What a wild swing.

Wednesday Evening Ė The Sphere

We decided to try The Sphere Experience for our last eveningís entertainment. They get you in about an hour before the show so you can see their tech demos. Itís AI robots that interact with you and show you the technology like their directed sound technology that can do things like broadcast sound in four different languages in areas that are just a few feet apart. The robots turn to speak to you and answer questions in natural language. They asked a child how old he was and when he wouldnít answer they asked him to show the number on his fingers. He displayed 6 and the robot answered correctly. It was just a tad creepy. The Terminator movies seem a little closer to reality now.

The second hour is a movie called ďPostcard from EarthĒ that puts together the sound and visual effects into a 3D movie, but without the glasses. They use a giant curved screen to get the effect. It was very impressive from a technology point of view. They were using a lot of fish eye lenses to shoot the movie so you got a curvature of the images at the sides of the screen as landscape features like trees or mountains rolled past, but overall it was impressive. We were pretty high up in the theatre too as the seats were cheaper. I suspect the 3D effect is more pronounced and you get less distortion of the images if youíre low down in the middle of the theatre in the expensive seats.

The plot of the movie itself is meh. Thereís a lot of environmental moralizing about how weíre ruining the earth. The movie concludes with another video game-style ending, but this time from the Civilization series of games where all the humans decide to leave Mother Earth for space.

Thursday Ė Heading Home

Thursday was our travel day back home. I did my rotation of craps, blackjack, and craps again. Nothing really notable that morning other than I was up modestly in each session which left me up $1400 overall.

Flight Home

Our flight home wasnít until 2:30PM Las Vegas time so we could take our time packing. I paid off the hotel room with my winnings which was nice and we got the car back to the Car Rental Centre by about 10:30AM.

The flight itself left about 30 minutes late as we ended up taxiing around for a runway and the last 45 minutes of the flight had a fair amount of turbulence that jostled us around a fair bit, but strangely the turbulence subsided just as we broke through the cloud deck for landing and the landing was smooth.

Conclusion

I enjoyed the trip overall, but it was a study in contrasts. Frustrations with flights and charging the electric car. Losing Sunday, Monday and Tuesday during gambling only to hit two long shots on Wednesday to flip me to winning overall.

My wife is now saying we must return to the Four Queens on the Wednesday of March Break next year to see if our lucky streak continues.

--helpmespock
helpmespock
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March 24th, 2024 at 8:34:21 AM permalink
Hmmm...the portrait pictures are turned. Sorry.

Windows had them turned when I looked at them. I guess Windows was doing it automatically.

--helpmespock
MDawg
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March 24th, 2024 at 9:18:44 AM permalink
Yes, I figured you would have issues with charging the car at Wynn, but not even in the way I expected.
I tell you itís wonderful to be here, man. I donít give a damn who wins or loses. Itís just wonderful to be here with you people. https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/betting-systems/33908-the-adventures-of-mdawg/
smoothgrh
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March 24th, 2024 at 9:46:03 AM permalink
Congratulations on the royal! Asking your wife if she wanted to push the button caused the timing to be just right for you to get it!

Did the tour guide make the old joke that you can take as many dam pictures as you want?
helpmespock
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March 24th, 2024 at 10:28:42 AM permalink
Quote: MDawg

Yes, I figured you would have issues with charging the car at Wynn, but not even in the way I expected.
link to original post



It has certainly coloured my view of an electric car. I think if I had one at home with a home charger it would be fine for around town and round trip excursions. I'd have easy access to "fill it up" as it were, but using one when traveling seems to be just asking for problems.

Gas for me when I'm back next year.

--helpmespock
helpmespock
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March 24th, 2024 at 10:34:03 AM permalink
Quote: smoothgrh

Congratulations on the royal! Asking your wife if she wanted to push the button caused the timing to be just right for you to get it!

Did the tour guide make the old joke that you can take as many dam pictures as you want?
link to original post



Thanks! Hitting the royal was nice since it brought us back to even despite 30% still being trapped in the US until I can file to get it back. I'll have to do some research there.

They do indeed use the 'dam' joke several times during the tour. They've got a bunch of tee shirts and whatnot in the gift shop with the various 'dam' jokes on them.

--helpmespock
vegas
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March 24th, 2024 at 11:23:03 AM permalink
This is the first I have heard that Flair and Westjet have amalgamated. I flew Flair from Toronto early March and booked through Flair website. I googled and really can't find any info. I am interested because I want to book Flair again in April.


The electric car issue was crazy. Thanks for reporting all these issues and no way I will go electric. Getting a car with only 10% on the battery, I would send head office an email or make a phone call and complain.

Thanks for your report.
50-50-90 Rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there is a 90% probability you'll get it wrong
smoothgrh
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March 24th, 2024 at 11:33:12 AM permalink
I was watching NCAA basketball last night streaming from a Canadian station.

Try the new fish sandwich at Swiss Chalet restaurants!
SOOPOO
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March 24th, 2024 at 12:12:49 PM permalink
Your trip is a summary of why people go to Vegas! Expect to lose, happy to win. Stories (car charging fiasco) to remember.

Itís a ĎCenterí here in the US, not a ĎCenterí!
helpmespock
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March 24th, 2024 at 12:19:28 PM permalink
Quote: vegas

This is the first I have heard that Flair and Westjet have amalgamated. I flew Flair from Toronto early March and booked through Flair website. I googled and really can't find any info. I am interested because I want to book Flair again in April.


The electric car issue was crazy. Thanks for reporting all these issues and no way I will go electric. Getting a car with only 10% on the battery, I would send head office an email or make a phone call and complain.

Thanks for your report.
link to original post



Sorry I have the wrong airline. It was Swoop and Westjet that amalgamated. Westjet started Swoop as an ultra-low cost carrier. Doing a little more searching it turns out Swoop ended operations in October 28, 2023.

That being said I'd be a little careful with Flair. They had some planes seized a few months back that made the news:

https://globalnews.ca/news/10257469/flair-airlines-unpaid-taxes-cra-seizure/

I guess book with a credit card so that you can get a refund if things go awry with Flair.

To be fair to Dollar, we accepted the car. We knew it had 10% battery before we drove it off the lot. My assumption was that we could charge it ourselves at the Wynn. Mistake! I said in the car rental thread that electric car charging is what I think will be the downfall of the electric car. Getting a full tank of gas takes all of 5 minutes. With an electric car, you're talking 20+ minutes to fill up.

--helpmespock
helpmespock
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March 24th, 2024 at 12:22:00 PM permalink
Quote: smoothgrh

Try the new fish sandwich at Swiss Chalet restaurants!
link to original post



8-)

We just got together with my Father-in-law at a Swiss Chalet and he had the fish and chips.

--helpmespock
vegas
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March 24th, 2024 at 12:24:27 PM permalink
Thanks for the update. Ya I know when taking these budget airlines it is a risk. So far I had luck with them but I have heard the stories.
50-50-90 Rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there is a 90% probability you'll get it wrong
helpmespock
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March 24th, 2024 at 12:33:24 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

Your trip is a summary of why people go to Vegas! Expect to lose, happy to win. Stories (car charging fiasco) to remember.

Itís a ĎCenterí here in the US, not a ĎCenterí!
link to original post



Thanks SOOPOO! I'm with you I don't expect to win, but I want the chance to. The spectacle and the thrill are what keep me coming back even if I lose. You see so many interesting folks when you're gambling.

As for 'centre', I typically use Canadian spellings when writing. I believe I spelled 'colour' with a 'U' too. 8-)

Hey SOOPOO as an aside are you still in Buffalo or have you moved permanently to Florida? My wife and I have April 8th off for the total solar eclipse and we were planning on being in Niagara Falls since we'll get a bit more totality there than Hamilton. I'm hauling down the telescope and solar filter for the event. We could get together if you're around. I'm hoping for clear skies!

--helpmespock
SOOPOO
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March 24th, 2024 at 12:53:53 PM permalink
Quote: helpmespock

Quote: SOOPOO

Your trip is a summary of why people go to Vegas! Expect to lose, happy to win. Stories (car charging fiasco) to remember.

Itís a ĎCenterí here in the US, not a ĎCenterí!
link to original post



Thanks SOOPOO! I'm with you I don't expect to win, but I want the chance to. The spectacle and the thrill are what keep me coming back even if I lose. You see so many interesting folks when you're gambling.

As for 'centre', I typically use Canadian spellings when writing. I believe I spelled 'colour' with a 'U' too. 8-)

Hey SOOPOO as an aside are you still in Buffalo or have you moved permanently to Florida? My wife and I have April 8th off for the total solar eclipse and we were planning on being in Niagara Falls since we'll get a bit more totality there than Hamilton. I'm hauling down the telescope and solar filter for the event. We could get together if you're around. I'm hoping for clear skies!

--helpmespock
link to original post



Iím still in Buffalo but will be in Florida during the eclipse. I FULLY experienced the last one in North Carolina with my two sons and a cadre of WoV members. It was perfection. Iím not saying I wouldnít do it again but itís not important for me now!

If you ever get back to NF of course Iíd meet you and wifey.
odiousgambit
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March 24th, 2024 at 12:54:14 PM permalink
I read few trip reports now but this was interesting and fun

Re the EV, I'd just heard recently that the slowdown when you let off the accelerator is due to regenerative braking. Good idea but many people are saying it is very annoying and can contribute to getting carsick if you are prone. So add that to the other reasons not to get one on top of the scariest one, which is to never, ever, accidentally scrape bottom and damage the battery [I had thought about an EV pickup truck till I heard that]

Re Craps, I tell people to never switch from rightside to darkside and back during the same session, often claiming a superstition which isn't really something I believe. But the fact is it is a way to find out that the player is absolutely, utterly unable to guess whether the table will next be hot or cold, and the slap in the face you get when you ponder that your choice to switch, which led to losing when you would have won ... well, I'll say no more.

And it all had a happy ending! Good job!
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: ďThanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!Ē   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
helpmespock
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March 24th, 2024 at 1:17:03 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO



Iím still in Buffalo but will be in Florida during the eclipse. I FULLY experienced the last one in North Carolina with my two sons and a cadre of WoV members. It was perfection. Iím not saying I wouldnít do it again but itís not important for me now!

If you ever get back to NF of course Iíd meet you and wifey.
link to original post



No worries! I've never experienced a total solar eclipse so I'm hoping for good weather which is always a gamble in our area. 8-)

We often do a wine trip in the Niagara region in the summer. Let's see what the summer brings.

--helpmespock
SOOPOO
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March 24th, 2024 at 1:30:08 PM permalink
Quote: helpmespock

Quote: SOOPOO



Iím still in Buffalo but will be in Florida during the eclipse. I FULLY experienced the last one in North Carolina with my two sons and a cadre of WoV members. It was perfection. Iím not saying I wouldnít do it again but itís not important for me now!

If you ever get back to NF of course Iíd meet you and wifey.
link to original post



No worries! I've never experienced a total solar eclipse so I'm hoping for good weather which is always a gamble in our area. 8-)

We often do a wine trip in the Niagara region in the summer. Let's see what the summer brings.

--helpmespock
link to original post



My wife LOVES Niagara on the Lake. Weíll meet there!
helpmespock
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March 24th, 2024 at 4:10:18 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO


My wife LOVES Niagara on the Lake. Weíll meet there!
link to original post



Sounds good. Let's chat again once summer hits.

--helpmespock
helpmespock
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March 24th, 2024 at 4:18:11 PM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

I read few trip reports now but this was interesting and fun

Re the EV, I'd just heard recently that the slowdown when you let off the accelerator is due to regenerative braking. Good idea but many people are saying it is very annoying and can contribute to getting carsick if you are prone. So add that to the other reasons not to get one on top of the scariest one, which is to never, ever, accidentally scrape bottom and damage the battery [I had thought about an EV pickup truck till I heard that]

Re Craps, I tell people to never switch from rightside to darkside and back during the same session, often claiming a superstition which isn't really something I believe. But the fact is it is a way to find out that the player is absolutely, utterly unable to guess whether the table will next be hot or cold, and the slap in the face you get when you ponder that your choice to switch, which led to losing when you would have won ... well, I'll say no more.

And it all had a happy ending! Good job!
link to original post



Thanks!

I hadn't hear the bit about scraping the bottom and damaging the battery.

As for switching light and dark a the craps table, I do it regularly. It just depends how I feel. Normally the way I play I ask the stickman if their birthday is on an odd or an even number. If even then I start pass line. Odd and I go don't pass. That's just where I start though. I'll wander if no pattern emerges.

It did have a happy ending, but I enjoy the gambling even if I'm losing. Not as much as winning for sure, but gambling is a little like golf. To enjoy golf, you've got to enjoy swinging the clubs and being out on the fairways and greens regardless of how you're playing.

--helpmespock
DRich
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March 24th, 2024 at 4:20:03 PM permalink
Quote: helpmespock

Quote: MDawg

Yes, I figured you would have issues with charging the car at Wynn, but not even in the way I expected.
link to original post



It has certainly coloured my view of an electric car. I think if I had one at home with a home charger it would be fine for around town and round trip excursions. I'd have easy access to "fill it up" as it were, but using one when traveling seems to be just asking for problems.

Gas for me when I'm back next year.

--helpmespock
link to original post



i recently made the mistake of renting an electric car. I will not do that again.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
odiousgambit
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March 25th, 2024 at 5:02:16 AM permalink
Quote: helpmespock

Thanks!

I hadn't hear the bit about scraping the bottom and damaging the battery.

As for switching light and dark a the craps table, I do it regularly. It just depends how I feel. Normally the way I play I ask the stickman if their birthday is on an odd or an even number. If even then I start pass line. Odd and I go don't pass. That's just where I start though. I'll wander if no pattern emerges.

It did have a happy ending, but I enjoy the gambling even if I'm losing. Not as much as winning for sure, but gambling is a little like golf. To enjoy golf, you've got to enjoy swinging the clubs and being out on the fairways and greens regardless of how you're playing.

--helpmespock
link to original post

Enjoying the way you do it is the most important thing . I'm quite sure it can be shown it does not hurt the player who switches all the time at all in the slightest.

Except morale ... speaking for myself, not anyone else necessarily. Yet, I'm still waiting for the trip report that details how that switching business really was the ticket for them on some session
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: ďThanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!Ē   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
ThatDonGuy
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March 26th, 2024 at 6:11:18 PM permalink
Quote: helpmespock

I found the blackjack table at TI sitting at a nice $10 minimum. I had to make sure I got the right table though. Theyíve got single deck at 6 to 5, a double deck game, and a 6 deck 3 to 2 game with surrender. I prefer the 6 deck game so I joined two other fellows at that table and bought in for $200.
link to original post


Please confirm: a Strip casino had a 3-2 game.

Please confirm, part 2: a Strip casino had a 3-2 game with a $10 minimum...
MDawg
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March 26th, 2024 at 9:28:48 PM permalink
T.I. (and all the casinos I play at on the Strip) have 3:2 at least shoe. Most also have 3:2 double deck at least in high limit, and T.I. has stand soft 17 double deck in high limit.

T.I. does have low limits but on those low limit games the max bet will also be low.
I tell you itís wonderful to be here, man. I donít give a damn who wins or loses. Itís just wonderful to be here with you people. https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/betting-systems/33908-the-adventures-of-mdawg/
helpmespock
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March 27th, 2024 at 1:12:57 PM permalink
As MDawg said, TI has 3 to 2 blackjack. There is a double deck option at TI that as a few rules tweaks like no surrender to increase house edge and no mid-shoe entry in the area near the roulette wheel. There is also a 6-deck option with surrender which is the one I prefer. I'm getting a $10 minimum because I'm playing at 5 or 6AM Las Vegas time. I'm on Eastern time when I'm in Las Vegas so it feels like 8 or 9AM to me.

Be careful. There is a single deck 6 to 5 game in that area and in other spots around the TI casino.

Wynn/Encore never had their 3 to 2 blackjack tables at less than $25. I believe all of the strip casinos have 3 to 2 blackjack offerings, but minimums can be high. Wynn and Encore were often at $50 or $100 or even $500 in prime time in the evening. Luckily I'm tired by 8:30 or 9PM Las Vegas time again because I'm really on Eastern Time (and I'm older now).

--helpmespock
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