ahiromu
ahiromu
Joined: Jan 15, 2010
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August 4th, 2014 at 11:28:22 AM permalink
I attended STLV (largest in the world, although there are some good competitors) this past weekend and had a blast. The convention was at the Rio, however, I stayed and played mostly at the Gold Coast which is just across the street. If you'd just like to read about the gambling, that's at the very bottom.

Room:
- Good size & cheap ($250 total with wifi, Th-Sun)
- AC blew a fuse and it was fixed within 40-45 minutes, guys were professionals and the only reason it took longer than 15 is because they couldn't find the right fuse size. From the sound of it, there are a dozen different sizes they use and they just got really unlucky finding the right one. At one point, I had three guys working on my one problem. This was on a Saturday evening, so although I hated "losing" an hour of my time with them working (I had to change the channel away from Ann Coulter when they were there, just as I'd hope a liberal would turn off Maher in front of me), I felt like this situation was handled well by the hotel.
- Channels were pretty sparse, even for a hotel. It seems like they had around a dozen channels, but forgive me, I don't remember for sure.
- Elevator was unusually slow to close from the lobby floor, but I don't think I had to wait longer than 30-40s for an elevator either up from the lobby or down from my room.
- I'm not a coffee drinker, but it's nice they offer it complimentary.

Food in the area:
- Ping Pong Pang (Gold Coast) and KJ dim sum (Rio) are both above average in terms of quality and surprisingly even cheaper than my dim sum place at home. This is probably one of the best deals I have personally found in Vegas. You pay $10 for an amazing lunch, that's good anywhere (at least where I live). I think this does a good job at bringing in the asians, both casinos had busy baccarat. They beat the shit out of Noodles at the Bellagio (iirc Noodles only gave me 3 pieces instead of 4 as well).
- BK Whopper Bar (Rio) - This is a glorified Burger King, except you pretty much have to get a Whopper (there's chicken). This is another way to get a $10 meal, however, I'd describe this one as just slightly above average (as compared to the dim sum places which were equally amazing).
- TGI Fridays (Gold Coast) - This serves as the Gold Coast's kitchen, they do room service and are open 24 hours a day. It is a TGI Fridays.
- Sonic (quarter mile down the road, west from Gold Coast, near Palms) - Awesome.
- Palms has a food court.
- This is the first time I have ever been to Vegas/AC and NOT gone to a crab leg buffet. I had the time to go if I wanted, but I chose not to. About a month ago, I discovered a local fish market that sells "Jumbo" sized snow crab legs. These are essentially the largest size you can get without it being 3x the price (seriously, look up bairdi crab) and most buffets don't get them larger than "Large". In other words, I can have a better experience at home for a slightly higher price. I'll take it. However...
- I had heard great things about the seafood buffet at the Rio. I was excited to go. Then I found out that they give a 25% discount to locals. Fuck you Rio. If you want it to be some underground secret, giving locals a small discount, fine. However, advertising on your website that locals can show their ID and get a discount is bullshit. Fuck you Rio. Suffice to say, I did not go to the seafood buffet at the Rio. I understand why they are catering to locals, I don't hate you people. Rio is making it so obvious that I'm paying a different price for the same item, and that annoys me. It's like how senior prices are BS. Sorry guys, this is just something that really bugs me.

Convention:
- Lol.
- Times were good, Kate Mulgrew (Janeway), Harlan Ellison (Writer), Terry Farrell (Dax), Brannon Braga (producer TNG-ENT), Casey Biggs (Demar), and the Klingons (Martok and Gowron in costume/semi-character) were the highlights. As you can guess, I'm a big DS9 guy. They had an orchestra play Star Trek scores for a little over an hour. That was amazing, probably the best thing about the entire convention. Shatner was there, he was good (20 minutes narcissistic drone, 30 minutes entertainer), as were a bunch of other people (Nichelle Nichols, the original Uhura) were fun to see.
- The convention ran for 10-12 hours a day in two rooms, however, I only wanted to see 4-6 hours of stuff each day (a lot of people who played one character in one series use this to whore out the spotlight to sell books and whatnot even though I don't really give a damn about them).
- For those out there that enjoyed DS9. Holy shit, I got Damar and Weyoun's autographs.
- Unfortunately Q, John de Lancie, canceled and Avery Brooks (Sisko) is/was incredibly sick.

Gambling:
- Times were good, then times were bad, then times were good. Frankly, it's all kind of a blur, vodka red bulls (you're awesome Gold Coast) do that to you. The only thing I remember specifically is day 3. I lost my butt that day - made an impulsive sports bet that I really shouldn't have made. However, I decided to lay odds the next day on a -150 line to cover my losses from the day before (and I won). I win a good chunk of change on craps/blackjack a few hours before I leave as well. So my losses are tolerable to go with friends in November without feeling guilty. Yay.
- The double deck game at Gold Coast is fun. 50% penetration and a $5 minimum. I did some really bad counting there, but ended up quite a bit at these tables.
- In terms of bubble craps, I had an EPIC weekend. I usually put $40 into the machine, bet the don't until I'm the only "shooting", all for the minimum. However, when I get down to $15, I'll just throw everything onto the hardways or the hop bets. This is a fun action, because when you win, you're The Man. Yeah, I know some of you are like "sucker" - but for me the times you win are worth the dollar or two in EV. Speaking of winning. I did that twice. One time I had $12 on the horn and $6 on the high low. I hit midnight. Another time I had $14 left and threw it all on the hard six. Won the hard six. So I went from almost busting out in both situations to having enough money for another craps session.
- Gold Coast has $.25 9/6 Job. This is "my" game. I can play it in my sleep. It was very kind to me and frankly reminded me why I like having good VP around where I stay.
- I rolled my own 4 point fire bet, being one roll away from a grand, man, that would have been awesome.
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"
AcesAndEights
AcesAndEights
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August 4th, 2014 at 11:34:35 AM permalink
Quote: ahiromu


- For those out there that enjoyed DS9. Holy shit, I got Damar and Weyoun's autographs.


That is pretty sweet! Although I find autographs to be pretty lame. I like pictures w/ the celeb more, but they are harder to get.
"So drink gamble eat f***, because one day you will be dust." -ontariodealer
ahiromu
ahiromu
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August 4th, 2014 at 11:42:41 AM permalink
Quote: AcesAndEights

That is pretty sweet! Although I find autographs to be pretty lame. I like pictures w/ the celeb more, but they are harder to get.



I could have spent thousands of pictures and autographs, but I decided to get those two autographs and a picture with Martok/Gowron in costume. I agree with you, but Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun) also played Shran in Enterprise... as well as Brunt in DS9... and a bunch of other roles. And Damar is Damar. These two guys were very special to canon, they got to make a bit of it up themselves.

Oh and just to put it out there, I paid $319 for a designated seat about 150 feet away from the stage. You can get closer, but they essentially force you to pay for evening parties. The two autographs were $20 and the picture was $70. These things ranged from $20-$100.
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"
HornHighYo11
HornHighYo11
Joined: Aug 30, 2014
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August 31st, 2014 at 9:30:14 PM permalink
was Brent Spinner there? My friends wife paid for a seat in his auditorium 'chat room' in Toronto a few years back (Si-Fi/Comic/Horror Expo). He was VERY concerned about filming during his talk and got quite heated. He targeted some guy in the audience. Anyway, long story short, she got drawn into a flame war with Mr. Spinner on a message board over the incident. He ended it with "Let's agree to disagree" line. He was pushing some web-isodes he was involved in.

Both her, sisters, and her mother collect autographs at these things. Apparently Chakotay(spelling?) was very personable; seemed to genuinely respect his fans.

HHY11
ahiromu
ahiromu
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September 13th, 2014 at 2:46:28 PM permalink
He was, but he was part of a panel with the rest of the TNG cast (that was there), so there isn't a whole lot of directly conversing with fans when they make their big appearance. It was just a bunch of them sitting there being moderated by a guy that makes sure they keep on topic with a few fan questions on the side. There are opportunities to meet these people face to face, but it wasn't worth it to me. The woman who played Tasha Yar seemed to be the most appreciative out of the TNG group, I don't remember a whole lot about Brent Spiner.

The rules at this convention were that you could take a picture of whatever you want as long as you stay in your seat. The catch is that they don't allow you to setup professional equipment (zooming/stability), which is necessary for pretty much everyone except those that pay a thousand dollars (plus or minus) for the full four days. I don't remember any issues arising other than a guy in front of me trying to film it with a stand and the ushers, rightfully, making him take it down. Personally, my issue with people filming it is that it will necessarily block everyone behind you (not stadium seating) which is unreasonable.

The thing about most of these actors is that this was the highlight of their career. A few (read William Shatner) are stuck up, but the mass majority of them at least put on the appearance that they were happy to be there. In addition, you can tell that a lot of them love being adored (Uhura from TOS was probably the most notable).
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"
onenickelmiracle
onenickelmiracle
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September 13th, 2014 at 4:06:36 PM permalink
Shatner is 80 Something. Really can't agree on complaining about a man so old and so classic everything. I'm not big on Star Trek so would have no clue you would be a fan of deep space 9 and it took a minute to even guess what the abbreviation stood for. The local discount would perturb me. It makes sense for everyone but us and doesn't seem fair even if it is in some bs way. I would rather them say pick up a coupon 5 miles away so anyone grabbing one could save and still be mostly local.
I am a robot.
HornHighYo11
HornHighYo11
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September 13th, 2014 at 7:26:31 PM permalink
Yeah, I agree there are a few wing-nuts in the group, but most are fan-positive.

I think "Tasha Yar" did a fan expose called Trekkies. Well received by the fan base.

I tend to do a lot of people watching at these events; much in the same way i like to walk the strip every day & night in vegas. The fans and visitors become less of a side-show and more of an amusement of their own.

One year, my friends wife twisted her ankle so we rolled her around in a wheel chair. She was embarrassed as hell but we got VIP treatment all day!
ahiromu
ahiromu
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September 14th, 2014 at 1:52:45 AM permalink
Quote: onenickelmiracle

Really can't agree on complaining about a man so old and so classic everything.



Well, I still went and assuming I go to another convention, I'll go to his hour again. So, I'm complaining, but it's still enjoyable. Like, on the surface I agree with you, it's amazing he's still going (he's the one guy they get and advertise all year - the rest are announced later). Admittedly, the money might not be an issue at all, but being able to seemingly look over the fact that thousands of people want to hear you speak just doesn't sit right with me. He isn't "my" captain either (Picard, any other answer and you're embarrassing yourself) so yeah.

Any time you get to have a captain answer questions from a crowd is a good time. Kate Mulgrew (Janeway/Voyager) was exceptional and I was sad that Avery Brooks (Sisko/DS9) got sick.

Frankly, it annoyed me that people in wheelchairs got to sit up close. As you mentioned, it didn't seem like they forced people in wheelchairs to buy the expensive seats. They make a BIG deal about seat placement and the difference of 25 feet can cost you an extra $200. I understand the situation and accept it, but it really rubbed me the wrong way.
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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September 14th, 2014 at 2:54:10 AM permalink
Dicey business, being a fan. Sometimes you get a taste of contempt from your idols. Maybe a convention is the way to avoid that, but it wouldnt be for me. You're so surprised!

Thanks for the gambling report.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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September 14th, 2014 at 9:42:55 AM permalink
Have to emphatically agree with ahimoru about Picard. Just wow.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.

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