ahiromu
ahiromu
Joined: Jan 15, 2010
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February 11th, 2014 at 2:41:17 PM permalink
I recently spent 2 days, 2.5 nights (Arrive 6pm Fri, left 11pm Sun) in Vegas at NYNY. I was going to give Downtown a try, but I had a Vegas virgin come with me so I wanted to make sure and give him a place on the strip. This is my 6th or 7th time in Vegas.

The Stratosphere - In all my trips, I had never even considered going to the top of the Strat. I've been there, gambled there (most accessible 11:1 4-way parlay), but never bothered going up. I'm from Seattle, I've gone to the top of the Space Needle many times, and found it to be a HUGE waste of time. If you're reading this take note: There are dozens of things more entertaining than the Space Needle in Seattle. However, I must say, the Strat was definitely worth it. You can see the entire city, about 75% of the strip casinos, and all of downtown. In addition, there are a bunch of really weak rides, but the fact that I was up so high scared me shitless (figuratively). I had a drink and my friend finally convinced me to do one. All in all, I highly recommend going to the top, it was expensive ($18) and the rides were a huge ripoff ($15), but the experience was worth it. You can buy a package that includes going to the top and multiple rides, however, please keep in mind that you might pussy out. If you have any fear of heights (I do) - these rides might be a little too much for you, two of them go over the edge (I chose the third).

Buffets - I believe it's kind of accepted that the two standouts are the Bellagio and Caesar's buffets, in terms of pure quality, not considering cost efficiency at all. I have a slight preference of the Bellagio, but believed Caesar's would be the best one for my friend. I know how to play the game with buffets, you arrive there 30-45 minutes before dinner starts so you pay lunch and eat dinner. I got to Caesar's maybe 45 minutes early... looked at the line and saw that nobody was there. "Great!" I said. Then, I look closer, and notice there are a bunch of computer stations. On them it states that the wait is 60-80 minutes. Shit. Disappointed, and realizing that the $ difference between Bellagio Lunch (eating mostly dinner) and Caesar's Dinner was most likely $10-20, I decided to drag my friend to the Bellagio. We get in rather quickly, the line was pathetically short, then proceed to spend two hours there, filling our stomachs to capacity a couple of times. Just a note, the shu mai was actually pretty damn good. The next day (Sunday), we planned ahead and arrived at Caesar's a little over an hour ahead of time. "It's Sunday, people are leaving" I said to myself. Nope. 90-120 minutes. Fuck this voucher system. It punishes people who are willing to stand in line for an hour and rewards the less serious buffet goers. I didn't know my opinion of CET could get any worse, but mess with my buffet experience...

Craps - Ok, so this has been my game of choice since I started gambling. Let's just say I went -1000 really quickly, right off the bat, within less than two hours. This has happened to me over the past few trips, the fact of the matter is, as much as I love the game, the variance of craps is just too high. I have to bet more than just pass/dp and by the time I take/lay max odds (On a $10 table I build up to max odds off of place bet wins) I have $40-60 on the table for just a single number. In order to get my thrill, I usually end up having $100 on the table by the time of a seven out. I start around $50 and press up to $100. I played craps a little bit more over the trip, but to be frank, I have started to accept that I just can't play this game seriously anymore. I need to bet too much, am uncomfortable losing what I need to at my playing level, and the game moves too fast. I will continue playing craps, but it cannot be my game of choice anymore. On the brightside, I did hit a $5 "all or nothing bet" off of a don't bettor :D - but considering I hedged it with a lay bet at the end, it was only about a $400 win. Should I have hedged? Probably not, but I wanted a fucking session win because I had gotten destroyed up to that point.

Roulette - I spent more time at this game than I usually do. Any time I make it to a casino, I make sure and place a few bets at roulette. It tends to be on the order of buying in for $20-50 and hoping I can make a few hundred dollars quickly. I never win, ever, but I like the quick thrill. This time around, however, I spent maybe 2-3 total hours playing with a $200 buy-in. I was actually up at the end by a hundred dollars or two. I still can't believe I actually won at roulette over a prolonged period of time. I played again on my final day and won like $50 there too.

Slots - This is something I have started to grow into. I will play every penny slot at the casino I'm staying at that has a major/fun bonus game. I'll bet the minimum (30-90 cents, I never go above a dollar) until I get a bonus game and then leave after that. My favorite one to date was a Star Wars Trilogy slot machine that was at the Atlantic Club before it closed. That bonus game was exhilarating. However, it seems that I am either blind or most Vegas casinos have already had their licensing agreements lapse. Note: Disney is not letting casinos renew their Star Wars slot agreements on some level, I have not researched it too thoroughly. This is an activity that lasts me a couple of hours and rarely costs more than $100 total. I think I actually made a few bucks on slots this time around, a $40 win off of a single bonus game of LoTR saved my butt.

Baccarat - Every time I visit Vegas, I do something new. I know some people come to Vegas and just do everything at once, but that isn't me. I know what I like to do and somehow make time for one new thing. Two times before it was the Caesar's buffet, last time it was downtown, and this time it was Baccarat. I walk around the table a few times, watching a few Asian guys scribbling on their history paper and whispering to each other. I decide that this isn't the best time for a new, white (I'm half Japanese, but am very light skinned) guy to come in and ruin their flow. So I wait until there's just one other guy there and sit down. I spread $15-25, switching between banker and player at random times, with surprisingly helpful input from the other guy who's "tracking" the results. After losing 4-5 hands in a row, I found myself betting big, however I didn't notice it at first. At first, I stepped it up to $40/lossed, next it was $80/lossed, (you guys can see where this is going), then it was $160. Again, I didn't even realize I was doing this until after I threw out $160 and the dealer mentioned to the supervisor/pit "Big bet". I won my $160 bet, grinded myself back down to being even, and walked away after a session of about 90 minutes. I ended up around even at Baccarat, went completely bust once and nearly doubled my buy in another.

Let me state two things about Baccarat:
1. This game is surprisingly fun. The gut wrenching decision of whether or not to go player or banker is entertaining as hell. Did I think I could predict the outcome? Yes, that's part of the fun. However, I did see a series of: 6 player wins, 1 tie, 5 player wins. I didn't make a whole lot of money off of it, but by the end I couldn't bet against the player. I think I made like $50-80 off of it.
2. This game is scary. I'm a pretty composed gambler, I might overbet my bankroll sometimes, but that's just how I play. Very rarely do you see me putting $200-300 when my average bet has been under $30 (chasing my losses). However, I found myself regularly (maybe 3-4% of the time) betting three figures, trying to make my money back.

Edit: I ended up being down $1500; considering I was down $2000 after the first 24 hours, this is a huge plus.

tl;dr -
Stratosphere - Worth it
Buffets - Really long weekend waits at Caesar's, hard to plan around paying lunch and eating dinner
Baccarat - Deceptively fun

I have one question: When taking a taxi from NYNY to Caesar's two times, both times I was taken via the freeway. Was I long hauled, or is this a "proper" route? Before anyone asks, I know that it's a reasonable walk, but there were extenuating circumstances for why I took a taxi.
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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February 11th, 2014 at 3:06:32 PM permalink
I refuse to spend 2min waiting in any buffet line
in Vegas. Two night we got to the GN buffet
at 8pm, no line. $42 for 2 people, food was
excellent, I even told the chef it was as good
as any Strip buffet in that none of the food was
over or undercooked.

2 nights we went to the buffet at the Fremont. 8pm and no line. $32
for 2 people. Paradise Buffet. They have a classic 60's decor,
food VG, they even had smoked salmon which
is very expensive. The 2nd night they had prime
rib and it too was superb. The seating is laid
out in a way that you feel like you're having a
private dining experience even thought the place
is crowded.

"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
SlangNRox
SlangNRox
Joined: Jul 19, 2010
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February 11th, 2014 at 3:13:00 PM permalink
Quote: ahiromu

I I have one question: When taking a taxi from NYNY to Caesar's two times, both times I was taken via the freeway. Was I long hauled, or is this a "proper" route? Before anyone asks, I know that it's a reasonable walk, but there were extenuating circumstances for why I took a taxi.



I'm not sure, but I always try to take a taxi going the correct way down the strip and not opposite. Freeway might have been a longer, but faster route.
Mission146
Mission146
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February 11th, 2014 at 3:54:35 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob



2 nights we went to the buffet at the Fremont. 8pm and no line. $32
for 2 people. Paradise Buffet. They have a classic 60's decor,
food VG, they even had smoked salmon which
is very expensive. The 2nd night they had prime
rib and it too was superb. The seating is laid
out in a way that you feel like you're having a
private dining experience even thought the place
is crowded.



How does the buffet at Fremont compare to Golden Nugget, in your opinion? If it compares unfavorably to Golden Nugget, how does it compare to Main Street Station?
Vultures can't be choosers.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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February 11th, 2014 at 4:15:59 PM permalink
Quote: Mission146

How does the buffet at Fremont compare to Golden Nugget, in your opinion? If it compares unfavorably to Golden Nugget, how does it compare to Main Street Station?



GN has a wider variety of choices of entree's, Fremont has a better
choice on salad and seafood bar. The food is equally good in quality.
Paradise has better ambiance and price. It has an almost 50's feel
to it, a bygone era. Haven't eaten at MST in 10 years and don't
remember it.

The Fremont was renovated about 40 years ago and the buffet dates
to then. Definitely a 60's throwback. It hasn't really changed since
the renovation, I prefer it over any buffet in Vegas because of food
quality, choices, ambiance, and price. Add all those together and you
can't beat it. For instance, Wynn has better food and choice, but sucks on
ambiance and price.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
Mission146
Mission146
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February 11th, 2014 at 4:36:43 PM permalink
Bob,

Awesome, thanks for the breakdown! I think I'm going to pencil in Paradise buffet for Monday night. M-T-W are going to be three buffets, Monday & Wednesday night and probably Tuesday during the day, the non-buffet meals will consist of eating like a reasonable human being. I have to eat at Downtown Grand on Sunday, twice, and then I don't know what I am doing Thursday, but not a buffet having to fly the next day.
Vultures can't be choosers.
Beardgoat
Beardgoat
Joined: Apr 2, 2012
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February 11th, 2014 at 4:50:19 PM permalink
My wife and I have gone to the stratosphere and did a package where we got to ride two of the rides at the top. It was actually really fun and the view was great. I'd recommend it as well, even if just going for the view
Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces
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February 11th, 2014 at 4:57:52 PM permalink
deleted
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!
Mission146
Mission146
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February 11th, 2014 at 4:58:18 PM permalink
Thanks, how long do you think it will take to walk there from Downtown, and how much is it?
Vultures can't be choosers.
ten2win
ten2win
Joined: Jul 27, 2010
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February 11th, 2014 at 4:59:03 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob



That picture is EXACTLY how it looks.

We usually go at least once on every visit.

It has a very Hawaiian feel.

I used my Boyd points to splurge and "buy" lunch for my daughters on our Spring visit in 2013.
I don't know everything but I know a lot.

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