ahiromu
ahiromu
Joined: Jan 15, 2010
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September 10th, 2013 at 5:09:37 PM permalink
Preliminary warning: Wall of text & a tad bit of swearing... but anyone on... you know... the internet... shouldn't have an issue with it.

My background: Approximately 14 hours of craps between Bellagio/Monte Carlo/NYNY last trip earned me a 3-night comp at Monte Carlo. I'd say the majority of my play that trip was at NYNY... but I'm positive it was about even between the three. Surprisingly, I wasn't offered anything from any other MGM casino which clearly has lesser property (more on that later). On that trip, I didn't receive a single comp and paid for a room at a CET property.

My life situation: Just so you can get a grasp on how much I lost, comparatively speaking. My disposable income after all necessities, including a hefty food bill & sufficiently large TSP (401k) contribution, is $1400. About half of which goes to entertainment, the other half to non-retirement savings. As such, $1500 was about my stop-loss, but I brought significantly more to help in case I went full tilt (almost did). I flat out refuse to hit up any ATM, even non-fee ones, while gambling. It's a self control thing.

Thursday night, 8/5: Arrive at around 10, wait about 20 for a taxi, wait about 30 to check-in at the hotel. The taxi douchebag tried to long-haul coax me with "Long way or quick way?" - as a note the guy driving me back took me via Paradise without a word. Finally get up to my room around 11:30 (2:30 for me) and play about 3 hours of craps and end up +450. This would be the only good craps session, and only one of two good gambling sessions, of the entire fucking trip. I had drank 6-8 vodka red bulls over the course of three hours, I'm not much of a drinker and the caffeine does well to mask the alcohol. I then proceeded to grab a couple of burgers and headed up to my room. I finished one burger, felt extremely nauseous, then passed out with the other one in my hand. I woke up like an hour later and went to sleep. Vegas.

Rant: Ok so. Between arriving and getting to craps, I had to grab a bite to eat. When I eat in Vegas, it's either food court or expensive ($30+) buffet, nothing in between. This was about 3 in the morning, so obviously I went to the food court. McDonald's, Subway, and Sbarro were open, I chose Sbarro. I picked up a slice then got to the counter and asked for water. The checkout girl said something about "no", so I asked again. She said something about "no" again, I got a weird look on my face. She said it for a third time, and, THEY DON'T FUCKING OFFER A FREE CUP OF WATER. Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously? Fuck this place. I didn't eat there again. The best part is that Mcdonald's and Subway have "open" fountains, but I didn't have a cup to fill with water.

Friday: Ugh. First session, bought in for $500, lost that in about 40 minutes. You craps players know what these sessions are like. PSO, PSO, Point... hit 4 horn numbers... Seven out. Maybe hit 2/12 points. My bankroll allowed me to buy in some more, but no. Not at this table. I then found myself at around 8 in the morning (I don't sleep well the first night in Vegas) without wanting to lose too much more so I decided to go exploring/make a parlay at the Strat. I made a 4-way parlay and I lost it, I'm just leaving it at that. It was a pathetic attempt at winning a long odds bet. I played a bit of craps and slots and then headed to the Monte Carlo buffet. I'm not going to elaborate much on this, don't go to the Monte Carlo buffet. Just don't. Pay $10-20 more for Bellagio or Caesar's. There's a reason there is no line on a Friday night at the MC buffet. Played some more craps after the very disheartening buffet and ended out down around $1000 for the day / $500 for the trip.

Rant: My first legitimate experience with snow crab was at Caesar's AC. In AC, they have full clusters and the little slicing utensils you use to cut through the shell. I love this. You get that full, unbroken, piece of leg meat. Yet, in Vegas, they cut all of them in half. This is blasphemic bullshit. It ruins the experience for me. I learned later, on Saturday, that the way to deal with this is to get meat from a few of these half cut legs into a clump then dip them in butter. At least then you get a semi-legit experience.

Saturday: I started the day off at the craps table. Lost like $300 of my $500 buy-in within the first hour so I decided that I didn't want to get completely destroyed right off the bat. I then ate/played $10 BJ for a couple of hours and decided to make my way to the Rio buffet. Holy shit man, I need to bring a map next time and not just my phone. I couldn't make my way through Caesar's to get to the Rio, so I gave up and tried out Bacchanal (the new buffet at Caesar's). Funny note on this, around the entrance for general parking within Caesar's (Forum casino I think) there's a map. The "you are here" star is WRONG. Like straight up, nowhere near the right place. I saw a bunch of people look at it for a second, nod like "this is where I am", then walk away. It was hilarious. Bacchanal was good. Not $50 good, but very cool. Noteworthy things were: melt-in-your-mouth brisket, Kobe beef sliders (with white truffle oil I think), and the dessert section. The dessert section is amazing. Noteworthy things for dessert were: Ice Cream (might have been gelato), more than just one flavor, and made to order crepes. I like dessert cups too, you know those little shot glasses filled with cheesecake and the such. They have about a dozen of those. Saturday was a bad day for gambling. Along with the earlier $300 I lost, I lost another $500 or so.

This put me down $1300 for the trip... which I can financially handle but if I lost $2000 it might force me have to wait until February/March instead of January for my next trip. Plus, I had a full day ahead of me, redeyed back late Sunday night, and I knew I wouldn't be able to hold back all day especially because I had to checkout at 11. So the gambler in me arose and I put $525 on the Seahawks -3.5 - I'm from Seattle so this was a bet more from the heart than brains. In retrospect I shouldn't have done this, if I had lost, well, it would have been bad.

Sunday: I woke up around 10 and realized that the Hawks weren't on in my room. I check out around 11, give my bags to the bell hop, and head to the sports book. It's packed there. I know some of you are laughing at me right now, but I really didn't think it all the way through. Who woulda thought that the 'book would have been packed on week 1 Sunday? I found a place to stand and watch until the second half. It was then that it really started to hit me. I put way too much on the game last night. I couldn't watch it, too much anxiety, so I went to get some lunch. While at lunch I couldn't just ignore the game, so I started following it on my phone. We're losing at halftime, are you kidding me? It's fucking Carolina. Well, I'll skip ahead, and just say that winning this bet was huge. It gave me the freedom to play more without the risk of having to put off my next trip. I then traveled to NYNY to spend a few hours on the $2 organic craps machine. This machine is awesome. $2, 2x odds, with $3 place bets on the 6/8; $100 can last an entire afternoon. One neat thing I learned about this machine is that after you satisfy the $2 minimum on the pass line, you can buy the 4,5,9,10 for $1 and pay a 5% vig only on the win. I didn't like playing like this, so I ended up sticking with the 6/8 + 2x odds. I played some more craps at NYNY/Excalibur and lost $400 or so. Ok so, the Excalibur has really gone downhill, it's kind of trashy. Their electronic limit boards were broken on the table I played at and they had basically replaced them with cheaper looking non-electronic limit boards.

The trip was -1200, with most of the losses coming from craps.

The good:
- Bacchanal buffet desserts
- Hilton sports book is pretty cool... plus there's +EV VP within the frickin' sports book (Thank you VPFREE2)
- $2 organic craps @ NYNY. Great way to blow time without playing slots
- Monte Carlo drinks. The cups aren't the thin 8 oz things you get everywhere else, they're more like whiskey glasses.
- Monte Carlo & NYNY will serve Jameson.
- All of the craps supervisors (the guy that sits down, sorry if I've got the position name wrong) were really good at tracking play fairly well within the MGM family. Of course I'm used to Trump Plaza in AC where they're pathetic.

The bad:
- Monte Carlo buffet. Just don't.
- Monte Carlo Sbarro. Fuck these cheap bastards.
- The way Vegas does snow crab legs. Even Bacchanal cut them in half, and I think they're the premier buffet in Vegas these days.

The ugly:
- I learned to enjoy penny slots. I'm ashamed to admit this, but some of those side games are really fun.

The odd:
- How can I earn a room comp at Monte Carlo but not Luxor/Excalibur? Mlife must be somewhat based around where you have previous play... but there's no way my original play at Monte Carlo earned me that full room comp.

Either way, Vegas is Vegas. I will be back. And... Go Hawks.
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"
Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces
Joined: Jan 12, 2010
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September 10th, 2013 at 5:26:05 PM permalink
deleted
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!
Mission146
Mission146
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September 10th, 2013 at 5:43:13 PM permalink
Ahiromu,

Excellent trip report, very fun read! I'll probably read it again. I also enjoyed the, "Color," you put into it, but pursuant to the new $10 for each use of a profane word Rule, I believe you owe WoV about a hundred bucks...good thing you won on the Seahawks game.

The $10 profanity Rule is a joke based on a joke Wizard posted in the VIP Membership thread, by the way.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
bigfoot66
bigfoot66
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September 10th, 2013 at 5:47:49 PM permalink
I love it. Very colorful report.
Vote for Nobody 2020!
duckmankilla
duckmankilla
Joined: Nov 25, 2011
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September 10th, 2013 at 5:55:01 PM permalink
Quote: ahiromu


The ugly:
- I learned to enjoy penny slots. I'm ashamed to admit this, but some of those side games are really fun.



To this point, I wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately with my measly, recent college graduate gambling budget, penny slots are more of an annoyance to me as losing $20 here or there is a decent chunk of my $5 Blackjack or video poker budget where I know I have a far greater chance of winning. With a larger budget though, some of those penny slots can be great fun, and as much as I try to convince gamblers new to the scene to take up games like VP or blackjack, if they insist on slots, my advice is to find the brightest, loudest, most obnoxious slot machine you can and crank the volume. You might as well see some flashing lights and loud noises while you lose your $5. The entertainment value alone is well worth it for me, and I must say with the 5 true beginners I have been gambling with in my short gambling career, they are 4 for 5 in walking away with a win using this highly scientific, calculated strategy.

The bad news is, when they win the first time, they expect to repeat these results in the future. And we all know how well that goes.

Great read ahiromu. Thoroughly enjoyed that.
RaleighCraps
RaleighCraps
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September 10th, 2013 at 7:58:13 PM permalink
So how do you really feel about the MC buffet? In 2,000 words or less, what was bad about it?
Always borrow money from a pessimist; They don't expect to get paid back ! Be yourself and speak your thoughts. Those who matter won't mind, and those that mind, don't matter!
ahiromu
ahiromu
Joined: Jan 15, 2010
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September 11th, 2013 at 8:16:46 AM permalink
Thanks for appreciating the report guys, I like writing them. A way to relive the trip of sorts.

On MLife... Yeah I'm kind of feeling ripped off. In 20 hours of craps play (very rough estimate) at $50 an hour (very rough estimate) I've ended up with $20 of express comps. In reality, most of them have probably come from my slot play. Still though, I've only been to Vegas 4-5 times so the Strip still has a certain flare to it. If I'm still gambling in a decade, I'm sure I'll be a downtowner.

On penny slots... What I do is have my "main" bankroll which I round to a hundred then my 20's which tend to go into the slots/VP. I was in that situation (no money, recently out of school) about a year ago Duck, just work your butt off and save some money. It's a different experience when you're not worrying about busting your bankroll every time you go out.

On the Monte Carlo buffet... I'm pretty sure I'm reading into a joke there, but nonetheless I'll just put out a couple of things I remember. It's very, very small... maybe 1/3 the size of Bacchanal/Bellagio (the two LV buffets I have experience with). The snow crab (again, my specialty) is very tiny. It's not just that they're cut in half, it's like when they're dividing up the legs between MGM properties they get the smallest. In addition, some buffets will clear out the obnoxiously small pieces that nobody wants... Monte Carlo didn't do this. This leads to them not getting refilled very often, I had to watch for when they'd refill then fill up another plate. Lastly, their dessert section was pathetic. Soft serve, 3-4 dessert cups, 3-4 other desserts. The one thing that might be considered bad by others, but I find to be "meh" is self-serve drinks. Although I prefer drink service, this allowed me to get away with a 5% tip.
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"
wroberson
wroberson
Joined: May 11, 2011
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September 11th, 2013 at 10:08:00 AM permalink
Enjoyed reading the report. Sorry you couldn't manage even the smallest of wins. I can only offer encouragement for the next time. Hedging might work. Not a hedge bet, but a hedge trip. You plan 2 trips. The first one is the hedge. If you find yourself down too much it time to get some Unisom and sleep off the last 2 days and go for a better return on the 2nd trip. But let hope it won't come to that and may both of your next trips to Vegas be more profitable than the previous ones.
Buffering...
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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September 12th, 2013 at 2:58:27 AM permalink
Quote: ahiromu

Thanks for appreciating the report guys, I like writing them. A way to relive the trip of sorts.



I never would have guessed we would have this site phenom of one person writing a trip report and everybody else enjoying it. Yet I like them too [not all such equally, some bore me] ... I wouldn't know why, but yours was the type I like [ that I have taken an interest in your obviously ambivalent relationship to your gambling explains it partially]. Also, knowing I will write a report that a few will take interest in also helps me enjoy my own gambling. Why?

Quote: ahiromu

hit 4 horn numbers



I don't want to conclude too much from this one remark. What kind of bets were you making at Craps?

PS: another question, did you make this trip by yourself without a friend this time?
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
RonC
RonC
Joined: Jan 18, 2010
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September 12th, 2013 at 3:40:10 AM permalink
Thanks for the trip report...

When I am getting ready for a trip (at this time in two days, we'll be on our way to the airport), I enjoy reading trip reports much more than when there is no trip on the horizon.

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