Poll

5 votes (26.31%)
2 votes (10.52%)
1 vote (5.26%)
11 votes (57.89%)

19 members have voted

Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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January 22nd, 2012 at 4:51:40 PM permalink
I will be celebrating my birthday in March, and I would really like to take a gambling trip to celebrate. My birthday is on a Friday, so I can take Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday as days off, without using any vacation time.

I'm trying to figure out where I want to go, though. I live in Ohio, and the distance to Tunica and Atlantic City are roughly the same (about 9 hours). I've been to both recently, and I can't make up my mind where I want to go. The following options are my pros/cons for each of the four choices. Any extra thoughts are welcome.

CHOICE 1- TUNICA
Pros:
1) There are no tolls on my journey down, so the drive is the cost of gas.
2) Gambling values over the weekend tend to be better in Tunica (lower table mins, good comps).
3) 9-6 JoB, 20x odds on craps (100x at Shoe), lower rake poker, and good promotions (I won a car over Memorial Day weekend once).
4) Good single deck and double deck games (albeit at higher mins).

Cons:
1) I'd have to pay for a hotel room for sure. Want Tunica Roadhouse, and right now, I could get that for 150 (although could end up getting comped; it is Tunica).
2) No Tiles. I'm getting kind of picky about that, which is silly since very few places have it anyways.
3) Double-deck BJ has been kicking me in the rear lately, but I can't avoid the temptation to play it.


CHOICE 2- ATLANTIC CITY
Pros:
1) I could probably get free hotel rooms the entire weekend. I have two nights anytime at Resorts, and two free at Showboat Sunday-Thursday. (There is a con to this).
2) Pai Gow Tiles with banking option. HSI doesn't offer banking, and it's fun to do.
3) More nightlife options, though I rarely take advantage of them.

Cons:
1) The hotel room tax MUST be paid in cash. ($13x4 nights = $52!)
2) The drive costs about $30 each way in tolls, on top of higher gas prices in PA and NJ.
3) Gambling costs more, and the VP is terrible at Caesars properties.

CHOICE 3- CONN. then AC [Here, I'd drive to Foxwood and Mohegan Sun first, then go down to NJ]
Pros:
1) I've never been to the two largest casinos in the world, and I really want to check them out.
2) Though I'd only do one overnight in the area, it would be a fun birthday trip.

Cons:
1) Weather can be an issue up there this time of year.
2) I've never been, so hotel rates are likely to be very high.

CHOICE 4- VEGAS (after my birthday, as I can't get any cheap rooms that weekend)
Pros:
1) All the gambling options I could possibly want, and more.
2) No driving, just flying and cabs.
3) It's Vegas, baby!

Cons:
1) I'm having a hard time booking Caesars for free, which is about the only place I'd want to stay.
2) Gambling at Caesars= root canal x passing a kidney stone.
3) Time change and cost of flight are a lot regardless.

Thanks for your opinions.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
FleaStiff
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January 22nd, 2012 at 5:06:32 PM permalink
You can eliminate Connecticut the easy way: There are two large casinos there. One gets a lot of complaints from players. The other gets far fewer complaints. No matter how many zillions of slot machines there might be you can only play one at a time. So whats the big deal about size.

Tunica hotel room charges??? I thought Tunica comped anyone who asked.

AC??? So if you add up the gas and tolls... is Pai Gow Tiles worth that much to you?

Vegas... There are a half-zillion other hotels you can book particularly if you tell them how you rate at Caesars.
SOOPOO
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January 22nd, 2012 at 5:11:17 PM permalink
Vegas.
Tiltpoul
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January 22nd, 2012 at 5:28:21 PM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

Tunica hotel room charges??? I thought Tunica comped anyone who asked.



I think I'd probably end up getting the entire stay comped, as I pointed out. But I'd have to book at a rate (albeit a lower rate for a weekend). As far as the hotel, I'd only want Roadhouse, as it's the best hotel there, bar none.

Quote: FleaStiff


AC??? So if you add up the gas and tolls... is Pai Gow Tiles worth that much to you?



Kind of. The poker is really good there too... and I like Spanish 21.

Quote: FleaStiff

Vegas... There are a half-zillion other hotels you can book particularly if you tell them how you rate at Caesars.



Agreed, except I want to stay somewhere decent and on the strip if I'm going to stay there.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
boymimbo
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January 22nd, 2012 at 6:38:46 PM permalink
If you're in Ohio, have you considered Niagara Falls, Detroit, or Chicago?

Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are beautiful casinos, but you won't get comped very well there and hotel rooms over weekends are astromical. That leaves you a commute in from Hartford or staying at a fleabag a few minutes away. But if you've never been, it's worth a trip. If travel for snow is problematical in March, AC would also be problematical at the same time.

I like AC for the variety of casinos, but meh, it's March and it will still be cold on the Boardwalk. You're more likely to get a comp there.

Tunica, I've never been, but with no tiles, that might be a big deal. But it will be warmer in Mississippi.

Vegas will always be there but it's a long long way away. But for three nights (perhaps 4, with the time change) it might be worth it!
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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January 22nd, 2012 at 6:47:21 PM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

If you're in Ohio, have you considered Niagara Falls, Detroit, or Chicago?



I like Chicago... I used to live near there, so for me, it's not quite as "special." I could see some friends, so I'll actually think about it... but looking more for of a gambling specific trip.

Detroit is out of the question. The poker rake is ridiculous and the table mins are too high.

Niagara Falls is cool... I went there a few weeks ago, and I enjoyed it, but wouldn't make a special trip out there again.

Chicago is not out of the realm of possibility...
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
toastcmu
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January 22nd, 2012 at 7:02:22 PM permalink
I voted for Vegas - since you've got 4 days, you could technically fly out on a Thurs night even, and make it a 5 day trip. While I tend to like to play the same games you do, I'd rather go to Vegas if I was faced with a 9 hr travel time to AC or Tunica. For me, the 4 hr travel to AC makes it easier to stay on the east coast. DE having Spanish 21 and Good blackjack rules has helped me with my gambling fix as well. If only Tiles were closer to DC....

As for the room, I also wouldn't limit myself to Caesar's - while the price is right, if you're not comfortable, then there should be other places on the Strip that would be great for it. I've seen someone mention Harrah's for tiles, and the renovated rooms aren't that bad - you just have to put up with Toby Keith's party pit! ;)

-B
whatme
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January 22nd, 2012 at 7:13:20 PM permalink
I voted for AC it wont cost much to go and the con about vp is not a big one. If you play 25¢ job there is full pay progresive @ cea.

Without knowing what vp you like I would say go to vpfree2.com and check out whats available.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
teddys
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January 23rd, 2012 at 8:56:13 AM permalink
Tunica is alright. I feel it is too far to drive for what they offer, though. I would hold out for the Vegas flight. Chicago is not worth a drive JUST for the gambling, but if you combine with other things it can be a nice trip.

You won a car? Do tell.-
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
DJTeddyBear
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January 23rd, 2012 at 11:49:52 AM permalink
I'd almost say Conn and skip AC. You do realize that they are about 220 miles apart, right?


Conn pros: You get to see how to make a resort casino look like an overgrown corporate complex (Foxwoods) as well as a very stylish Indian reservation (Mohegan Sun).
Both have poker rooms, although I feel Mohegan Sun's is far nicer.
Both offer PG Tiles.

Conn cons: The two largest casinos are 9 miles apart. And that's "Over the hills and thru the woods" type of 9 miles. I.E. About 25 minute drive.
There are few alternatives for hotels and POIs outside of the resort. I mean, really. Past the property line, there's nothing but trees.


AC pros: You might be one of the first people in Revel. Then again, you might be a couple weeks too early.
You can easily hop from one casino to another.
There's plenty of discount hotels in the area (Yeah, I know you said you'll probably get comped.)
Most casinos have a poker room and offer PG Tiles.

AC cons: Despite the image the city tries to project, it's still pretty ugly.
The last time I was there, several of the poker rooms had very few players.


Review my Mohegan Sun vs Foxwoods Comparison thread and my AC Casino and POI map thread before making your decision.


Should you decide to do either, let me know and I'll give you a couple driving pointers.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Tiltpoul
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January 23rd, 2012 at 12:11:42 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

I'd almost say Conn and skip AC. You do realize that they are about 220 miles apart, right?



Yeah, it would be a one time trip out there, so I don't mind going a bit out of the way to catch both of them.

Quote: DJTeddyBear

Should you decide to do either, let me know and I'll give you a couple driving pointers.



I have driven both the Tunica and AC route. I did a PA casino tour when I did the last AC trip, but there's no need to do it (although a stop in Harrah's Chester could be in order). I will take any pointers though.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
1BB
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January 23rd, 2012 at 12:49:19 PM permalink
I have stayed in Atlantic City a half dozen times since last summer at the Golden Nugget and Resorts. The rooms were comped and there was no balance at check out. There was no $13 tax or any other tax or fees. My most recent stay was two weeks ago and the comps seemed to be more and more generous. At 7AM we were almost the only ones on the boardwalk and I suggest that everyone be aware of their surroundings at all times. Gas was $3.19 per gallon and is pumped for you per New Jersey state law.

There are several hotels near the Connecticut casinos for under $100 and some have free shuttles. Both casinos usually have rooms in the $150 range mid week and the Two Trees Inn at Foxwoods is usually under $100. Those rates can double on weekends. I've made the drive between the two casinos hundreds of times and it's an easy ride even for the first time. If blackjack is your game, Ct. rules are better than AC but Ct. has only 6 or 8 deck games. Up until now the weather has been very mild here in southern New England.
Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth. - Mahatma Ghandi
AcesAndEights
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January 23rd, 2012 at 1:54:16 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

Vegas.


This.
"So drink gamble eat f***, because one day you will be dust." -ontariodealer
DJTeddyBear
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January 23rd, 2012 at 3:50:49 PM permalink
Quote: Tiltpoul

I have driven both the Tunica and AC route. I did a PA casino tour when I did the last AC trip, but there's no need to do it (although a stop in Harrah's Chester could be in order). I will take any pointers though.

If you're heading to CT, I assume you're taking Route 80 thru PA and NJ. Google Maps (and others, I assume) will suggest you take 80 all the way to the George Washington Bridge. I suggest you get off 80 halfway thru NJ, take Route 287 north to NY, then east to the Tappan Zee Bridge, finally to 95 north the rest of the way up thru CT. It'll cost about 5 miles and one minute, but the GWB toll is several bucks more than the TZB. Then again, that one minute is Google's "no traffic" estimate. Add at least 10 minutes during the day if going thru NYC. Much more during rush hour.

I.E. Take the upper blue route in this map:
Admin note: removed image www.djteddybear.com/images/TZ_GW_maps.gif



When going to the CT casinos for the first time, go to Foxwoods first. Take Route 95 almost to the state line, then Route 2 to Foxwoods. It's only about 8 miles along that dumpy Route 2. Every mile or so, there's a sign saying how far it is. You'll get to about 1/2 mile, still wondering where the f--- it is and why you don't see it. Then, like Dorothy suddenly seeing the Emerald City, you make one last turn and it's there.

The alternative is to pass (and see) Mohegan Sun, and miss out on the Emerald City experience. The cost, according to Google Maps, is only about 6 miles and 4 minutes. It looks like a lot more of a detour, but it'd not.
Admin note: removed image www.djteddybear.com/images/Fox_MS_maps.gif

Note that a GPS will probably want you to cut thru Ledyard, directly to Foxwoods. Don't do it. It's not worth the easy opportunity to make a wrong turn.




From CT to AC, same thing. Shortly after getting into NY, take 287 west, over the TZB, to the Garden State Parkway.

You really want to avoid New York City if it's not a destination.


When you get to around mile 52, you'll go on a bridge over a small river, near a marina, etc. Look towards 10:00, and you can see parts of the AC skyline. You're getting close, but you still have about 20 minutes to go.

If you're heading towards Borgata, Harrah's, Golden Nugget, Showboat, Taj or Resorts, take Route 30 (exit 40) rather than the AC Expressway (Exit 38). Despite the traffic lights, you'll save a minute or two, as well as the $1 toll on the ACX.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
JohnnyQ
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January 23rd, 2012 at 6:16:51 PM permalink
I assume you have been to Belterra ? I like it
there because it has a very upscale hotel
atmosphere, and the VP is decent. I usually
play the DW progressive.

I have also heard some good things about
French Lick, IN.
There's emptiness behind their eyes There's dust in all their hearts They just want to steal us all and take us all apart
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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January 24th, 2012 at 6:43:11 AM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

I assume you have been to Belterra ? I like it there because it has a very upscale hotel atmosphere, and the VP is decent. I usually play the DW progressive.
I have also heard some good things about French Lick, IN.



I drive past Belterra to play at HSI. Belterra is a nice resort property in the middle of absolutely nowhere, but the casino to me is very crowded and laid back. I don't play DW, and their JoB offerings are not very good. Their poker room is also a step below pathetic (not entirely their fault, but they could get nicer tables, cards and better dealers).

It's been a long time since I've been to French Lick, but if I'm going to stay in the area and be confined to one casino, I'll just go to HSI.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
boymimbo
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January 24th, 2012 at 7:49:28 AM permalink
The drive from Mohegan Sun to AC would be about 4 hours. When we were living in Westwood, NJ, it was about the same distance to both sets of casinos.

Mohegan Sun is a very nice casino and I like it there far more than Foxwoods, but it's worth a trip to Foxwoods just to see the contrast between the two properties. If you avoid anything but the boardwalk in AC, you'll be safe. I'd vote for AC as they need the business. The thing is with Mohegan and Foxwoods is that once you've been there for 5-6 hours, it's the same.

And I discourage winter road trips as you never know what the weather conditions will hold. It wouldn't take much for a nor'easter to fly up the East Coast and kill all your travel plans -- especially that time of year. For that reason, I like the Tunica choice at that time of year.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
teddys
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January 24th, 2012 at 8:24:56 AM permalink
As much as I hate to add things to your list, have you considered Reno or Black Hawk? I really enjoyed my time in both of those places. Easy comps, good gaming, and reasonably priced hotel rooms (dirt cheap, or in my case, free). Reno has $10 tiles at Silver Legacy and Peppermill, with the banking option. Plenty of good video poker, and single deck blackjack (although the best games are in Sparks). Complimentary airport transportation to EVERY hotel.

Black Hawk doesn't have Tiles but plenty of other games like VP and the best craps games in the country currently. Could be worth a look if you are looking for something new. Not sure how you would get from DIA to Black Hawk. Might have to go into Denver first and then catch a shuttle; or rent a car.

Of course, If you are going to spring for a flight, I would still choose Vegas.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
JohnnyQ
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January 24th, 2012 at 7:03:09 PM permalink
Quote: Tiltpoul

I don't play DW, and their JoB offerings are not very good.



We started out as JoB players, but now the Mrs and I both
prefer DW. I like that getting 4 deuces is not extremely rare,
and that's a nice pay-out when playing 5 x 0.25.

I haven't gotten as far as HSI, but may try to check it out
sometime based on your recommendation.
There's emptiness behind their eyes There's dust in all their hearts They just want to steal us all and take us all apart
SanchoPanza
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January 24th, 2012 at 7:23:21 PM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

If you avoid anything but the boardwalk in AC, you'll be safe. I'd vote for AC as they need the business.


The marina section isn't that bad, especially since the Nugget has been sprucing it up. And the Borgata and Harrah's aren't exactly chopped liver, either.
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
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January 25th, 2012 at 2:55:10 PM permalink
Quote: SanchoPanza

The marina section isn't that bad, especially since the Nugget has been sprucing it up. And the Borgata and Harrah's aren't exactly chopped liver, either.



I like walking the Boardwalk in AC. And the Marina casinos are nice, if not a bit out of the way.

I think I'll be doing the Tunica trip. I really want a jacuzzi suite for my birthday, and Roadhouse is the only way to guarantee one cheaply. I'm pretty sure I could play the birthday card and get one wherever I would go, but on a weekend, I just don't want to chance it.

Now the irony of TR and the Evil Empire... I logged in with my TR number and looked at rates. I could get Harrah's Tunica, four nights, for $60. Then yesterday, I got a mailing for 3 free nights at Harrah's. So I booked under that code... I got the four nights for, get this, $80... I'm pretty sure I can game the system a bit, and I intend on talking with a host when I get to Council Bluffs this weekend.

Thanks for the suggestions... Vegas isn't out of the question yet, but I think I'll postpone AC until May.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
DJTeddyBear
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January 25th, 2012 at 9:02:14 PM permalink
Regarding walking around AC:

Although not populated with people or junk souvenir shops the way the boardwalk is, there is a sidewalk along the water leading from Harrah's to Golden Nugget. And because the road from the marina to Brigantine is rising towards the bridge, there's no traffic to dodge.

My brother walked it when we were there in December. He said it was nice, and shorter than he expected.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Tiltpoul
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February 20th, 2012 at 7:22:47 AM permalink
Thanks for all the suggestions again... the trip is approaching in less than two weeks, so I thought I'd give an update on my itinerary.

I will be driving down to Tunica. On Thursday night, I will be making the Ohio to Louisville leg, roughly 3.5 hours, and staying at my favorite, Horseshoe Southern Indiana. I'm hoping they will see it's my birthday and book me in a jacuzzi suite; I got one for Christmas Eve... heck, I might even try calling down there and seeing if I can get one. I'll get my Tiles fix there, playing at the table, though they don't offer banking or prepaid commission.

I'll leave probably around 10am to avoid traffic and head down to Memphis. That should get me to Tunica around 4pm CST. I've got a room booked at Harrah's for the first two nights, comped. Then for the last two evenings I'm going to book Roadhouse, hopefully for free, but if I HAVE to pay, I'll do one night. I have a couple free rooms at other properties too. Then I'll drive back early Tuesday morning to avoid all traffic in all cities. I'm very much looking forward to this trip.

If anybody is going to be in the area from March 2-5, give me a holler. Perhaps we can meet up and count the single deck games at Horseshoe!
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
teddys
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February 20th, 2012 at 7:29:54 AM permalink
Which way do you go from L'ville to Memphis? A useful driving tip is to take the Kentucky Turnpike (or whatever it's called), avoiding Nashville traffic. Plus, I like the scenery a lot more. If you haven't been to Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame is worth seeing if you are the least bit into that stuff.

If you really wanted to casino hop, you could go Evansville-Metropolis-Carruthersville, which I've done before. Only adds about an hour driving time to the trip.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Tiltpoul
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February 20th, 2012 at 7:35:45 AM permalink
Quote: teddys

If you really wanted to casino hop, you could go Evansville-Metropolis-Carruthersville, which I've done before. Only adds about an hour driving time to the trip.



I've been to Aztar in Evansville, once. I think I could save that for an extended trip to HSI, as it's a bit out of the way to Tunica. As far as Metropolis, check out my blog on Harrah's. The place is dilapidated and sad. When I lived in Illinois, Carruthersville was only a few miles off 55, so occasionally I'd jump off and visit. It's no longer Aztar, and I doubt the new owners changed much about it. It was tiny and poorly laid out.

I would consider checking out Evansville again sometime, but if I never went to the other two again, I'd be okay with that.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
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