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March 31st, 2024 at 8:41:02 PM permalink
I'll collect all of my 2024 trip reports in this thread.

I just got back from my first gambling trip of the year. Here are my thoughts as best I can remember. If anything else notable comes to mind, I'll add it.

5 night at the Linq. All comped, plus no resort fees thanks to Diamond status. It was a 5x tier multiplier week. There's zero chance I keep Diamond status without using multiplier days (I previously got it from sports betting, but they've changed how they award tier credits for sports betting). In total, I earned about 2,200 tier credits, so I'm expecting 11,000 total tier credits once they're credited. I'll need to do one more tier credit multiplier trip at some point to keep status. Maybe get to Diamond Plus.

Room: Acceptable. Below average view (could see part of the Sphere). No real desk area. I had to work a few days during NYC business hours and it was not the most comfortable room for doing so. Safe and fridge in room. Some of the elevators seemed to be out the entire time. Bed was comfortable. I opted out of room service, but the one time I asked for something over the texting app, someone came up in 10 minutes and delivered it to me.

Gambling PGP: On the first night, I was dealt 5 aces in PGP. I don't bet side bets, so I just turned to the guy next to me (only person eligible for the envy bet) and said, "I think you're going to win something." He got $250 envy. I looked after, and had I bet all of the side bets, I think I would have gotten something like $52k. But in 20+ years, I've only made something like $20 total in side bets, so it didn't bother me.

Gambling Craps/Crapless: To churn tier credits, I played a lot of crapless craps. On average 3.5 hours per day. Only bet 2/12 for $25 each. Very low house edge. Dealers at Harrah's started calling me "the 2 & 12 guy". Had some big losses ($500) and some wins (biggest was $450 in a session). Dealers at Harrah's and Flamingo were pleasant. I saw a lot of the same players at the crapsless tables at Harrahs night after night. Some of those players were really friendly. A few fairly big players ($300-400 in action average bet) who were also really friendly and high-fiving me when my random 2/12 hit. Planet Hollywood craps dealers were good too. Paris dealers were expressionless machines. Played a little at regular craps, but mostly nothing notable.

Gambling: UTH. Dealers at that game make a ton of mistakes. I won/saved about $150 just in dealer mistakes (at least 4 mistakes in my favor). Playing pushes, paying losses. That said, had I not been attentive, they would have taken about $150/200 from me wrongfully. But I corrected those mistakes. Some were so bad at reading boards. I corrected several payout mistakes to other players too. It really is a fun game. And to be fair, much harder to deal that a lot of table games. Other players are so timid. Lots of checking Aces, checking Kings that should be 4x. One player insisted on folding 4th pair on the river. One player asked me if I'm always so aggressive when I 4x K/7.

Gambling BJ: I played 2 hands at Park MGM from MyVegas match play coupons. Got BJ on first hand (they paid 6/5 on both the coupon and my real money). Lost the second hand. Otherwise, I won't play 6/5 BJ and everything under $50 was 6/5. Even a few years ago you could get $25 3/2 but that seems gone too on the stip. Years ago BJ was the only table game I played and now I can't play it on the stip.

Gambling Tiles: I played maybe 4 hours total at Paris. $50 minimum per hand is more than I'd like to pay, but my goal was to churn tier credits for the multiplier and the table was only open one day while I was there. I really like the game, but I hate the Paris dealers. They're downright unpleasant. There were only 2 dealers alternating. One was clearly annoyed that I was banking. One dealer was super friendly to a woman who sat down with $6k in purple and was placing $5-10 bets for the dealers. As soon as she got up, he went 180 degrees. I was tipping occasionally as well, but only $1 at a time and he was not happy. I corrected one dealer mistake. I had "Day/8" -- dealer had "Teen/7" for the high hand. I lost the low hand. But the overall hand was a push. The dealer started to take my bet. I pointed out that I won the high hand. She kept pointing at the Teen tile, saying that it beat my Day time. That is true, but my other tile was 8 (gong hand) and her other tile was 7 (high 9 hand). She kept pointing at the teen tile saying a lost until I got her to realize gong beats 9. It was right at her time to switch games and she stormed off after acknowledging the tie.

Casinos Paris: Paris was extremely aggressive about putting your time on pause if you went to the bathroom. You could tell because your name would be highlighted. If you didn't remind them to "unpause" your time when you got back, they wouldn't do it. With the exception of the cocktail waitress (extremely pleasant) and one PGP dealer at Paris, every other dealer had an awful temperament. It's a nice casino and good games that I like (UTH, craps, crapless, tiles, $15 PGP), but the employees are the worst. At best, they are robots; at worst, they are surly.

Casinos Excalibur: Surprisingly nice. The only casino that served cocktails in glasses rather than plastic cups.

Casinos: Harrahs: It has no character, but the craps dealers are pleasant.

Casinos Cromwell: the UTH dealers here made almost all of the errors in my favor. They were so bad. I like the casino a lot and find it pleasant to play there, so I recommend it if you're looking for dealer mistakes in your favor.

Casinos Linq: Playing in the O'Sheas area, you can order a frozen Baileys. That is a delicious drink. Like an alcoholic ice cream sundae. You can't get it sitting in the main floor area, only O'Sheas. Waitresses were very good as well.

Miscellaneous: Salmon at the Ocean One cafe in Miracle Mile was great for $6. Weather was really good. About 70/72 for a high each day. I arrived in the evening of the first Sunday of March Madness, but not too crowded at all. I assume the first Thurs/Fri/Saturday were packed.

Overall result: It was about as dead even as possible. I always do a complete count to start and complete count at the end. I track dealer tips, drink tips and all other out of pocket (food, bell hop tips, etc). I won $20 gambling (closer to $70 if you treat about $50 in drink tips as not gambling losses). Given how many tier credits I churned, I was ecstatic about the outcome. I also started out $900 down in the first 36 hours before making a comeback. I would have been down but for the UTH dealer errors in my favor.
If anyone gives you 10,000 to 1 on anything, you take it. If John Mellencamp ever wins an Oscar, I am going to be a very rich dude.
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April 3rd, 2024 at 3:14:19 PM permalink
Genuinely don't know how a dealer makes more than the rare pure brain fart mistake in UTH or 3-Card Poker. I know the ethical debate is a whole thing about whether to inform the dealer when its in your favor or not, but it really shouldn't be happening in the first place.
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April 3rd, 2024 at 5:33:04 PM permalink
You've reminded me that the real skill that I need to develop in tiles is scanning the tiles fast enough to catch a dealer error!
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