Posted by FinsRule
Jun 13, 2012

5/27 Vegas

Ok, on to Sunday 5/27.

Checked out of my room at Flamingo (with no problems) and started the day at Hash House at Imperial Palace. As everyone knows, it's a ton of food, and it's pretty good. I don't think it's as amazing as everyone says, but I'm not a huge breakfast person.

We then headed to Paris, because my friend needed to pick up his Jersey Boys tickets. I stayed and watched the end of the Indy 500. I had Tony Kanaan at 9-1, he was leading with 6 laps to go and finished 3rd. Oh well. Broke even at Pai Gow Poker there also. I like playing at Paris a lot.

After Paris, we headed to the MGM to finish watching some of the baseball games that were in progress, and I played some Sigma Derby. I hit a 77-1 to 1 shot so I actually ended up like $10 at Sigma. I love that game so much. The sports betting was pretty flat for the trip for me.

We then checked into our room at Mandalay Bay. Check-in as 30-40 minutes. I don't know why the heck it takes so long, this process should be way more automated.

Regardless, we had a 1500 square foot, 2 bed, 2 bath suite booked that I was very excited for. At check-in, I asked if they had any of the suites with 3 beds available, because we had a 5th person in the room. They did, so I gladly tipped $20 to the front desk person. The room was unbelievable. If traveling in a big group, it's the perfect room to get. My brother was staying at Mandalay (upgraded to Four Seasons) in a different room. My sister was staying at Luxor. The suite allowed for everyone to meet in our room and have room to sit and watch TV. I can't speak highly enough for how great Mandalay and that room is.

My wife and I went to Fleur at Mandalay for dinner. It's a tapas style place, with lots of vegetarian options. It was the best meal we had on the trip, and one of the best meals I have ever had. The portions were huge for tapas, and the food quality was great. We just kept eating and eating. The onion soup shooters were probably my favorite. We ordered probably 10 things total (which was way too much) and everything was good.

After Fleur we headed over to MGM to see KA, the Cirque show. Our seats were $85 and definitely good enough to not be upset about getting the more expensive seats. The show was good. The stage/set was unreal. Everything was just very impressive. I'm not a huge cirque fan, but the acrobatics kept my interest even though I'm just not good at following the "plot" I'd rather be entertained by a stand-up comedian, but there were none I was interested in that weekend.

After MGM we headed back to Mandalay to play some Pai Gow Poker. Pai Gow Tiles had a $100 minimum every minute I was there, so I was stuck playing PGP. Nothing too memorable happened. I got a 7 card copy though. That was tough to look at. I don't remember if I wrote about that in the last entry, because I don't remember if it happened Saturday or Sunday. I think I lost about $100 and was down about $150 for the day overall.

Thanks for reading!


Tiltpoul Jun 13, 2012

Interesting that check-in took 30-40 minutes. I've always wondered why some of these mega-resorts can't streamline their processes a little bit better. I like having a Diamond card at CET for that reason.

RaleighCraps Jun 13, 2012

I'm surprised that some bean counter hasn't figured out the casino's loss of revenue, due to would be casino players spending 40 minutes standing in line.

My wife and I agree that Paris is the place we love to play at the most too.

Posted by FinsRule
Jun 07, 2012

Vegas 5/26 - 5/30 Trip Report

The whole trip is too much for one blog post, so I'll do 1 or 2 days at a time.

Saturday 5/26 -

Flew in from Midway on Southwest. I don't care what anyone says, I've never had a bad experience on Southwest.

My wife won about $40 playing Twilight Zone slot in the airport waiting for bags. It's her favorite game, and hard to find.

We took a cab from the airport to Flamingo, where I was staying for one night. My wife stayed at Harrah's, we had a group of 12, and the first night the guys and girls were separated.

Check-in at Flamingo was great. Total Rewards guests got their own line, so it took me 5 minutes to check-in. I was comped a Go strip view room which was real nice. Had a view of the Bellagio fountains. Just 4 dudes sleeping in a room at the Flamingo, nothing wrong with that...

We monorailed over to Harrah's and bought a 1 day pass for $9 which I got decent use out of. My wife had a bad experience checking in. They gave her a room with no air conditioning, so my wife complained and got upgraded to a bit of a nicer room. I was expecting the rooms to be worse than they were. So Harrah's is not a terrible place to stay at for a night.

By the time all 12 of us were settled, it was around 7, and we walked over to Stripburger, located in the Fashion Show Mall. We got seated fairly quickly and the restaurant was nice. One big problem - They were out of Veggie Burgers! Ridiculous. So, I just ate fries and a salad, and was angry about it. I'll never go there again obviously.

Walked back to Flamingo, saw the Mirage volcano for the 10th time or so - still unimpressed.

The guys drove down to Fremont Street for the night.

I got carded playing Dan's paigow at the Golden Nugget, no big deal. Then I stood up after I was done playing and watched my friend play. The new dealer wanted my ID while I was standing 3 feet from the table. I'm 30, and I look it. I thought that was ridiculous, so I stood there. She refused to flip over her hand until I showed her ID. So we were at a standstill until I walked away, never to return. I did win $5 though.

We went to Golden Gate where my friends and I had two $25 match play coupons. We lost the first playing craps. The 2nd time a 10 was rolled, and we were sure it was over. But then another 10 came to save the day. We took our $50, and the dealer said "Why are you leaving this (the matchplay chip) here?" Who are we to argue, so we grabbed it and went over to BJ where the dealer busted and we had each made a little money on the coupons.

We finished up at the Four Queens - Chicago Brewing Company with a delicious slice of pizza and sitting and playing the Greyhound video game while we ate.

Saw the Fremont light show twice - boring.

Drove back to Harrah's. Played $10 pai gow tiles. Held my own until the dealer went on a crazy run. I lost about $100 - I was playing $15-$20 a hand.

While the guys were doing this the girls were at a nightclub at Paris. They had fun.

That ended Saturday night, I was down about $100 overall, because I lost on the UFC fight that night.

I'll report on 5/27 - 5/30 soon.


RogerKint Jun 07, 2012

Nice trip report. Which fight(s) were you betting?

Tiltpoul Jun 07, 2012

Fun report, sounds like a good time.

Why on EARTH were you upset about being carded? I'm your age (29 and 16 months to be exact), and I only got carded one time, after I got a shave at the Art of Shaving. It was the happiest moment of my trip... (well, that and all the WoVCon stuff)

rdw4potus Jun 07, 2012

Great report! I like the idea of doing a guys/girls night. Otherwise, it's too easy to get stuck doing things you don't want to do and wasting precious Vegas time (in my case, at least) shopping or watching the free outdoor strip attractions.

About being carded: I went to my local at lunch today to churn through some freeplay. They carded me on my way in. I'm a regular player, I'm 31 & look it, and Minnesota is an 18 year old jurisdiction. I'd be the most pathetically featured (balding, graying, widening...) 17 year old ever...LOL.

TIMSPEED Jun 07, 2012

Lol, join the club...Im 29, but look 16, lol.

FleaStiff Jun 08, 2012

Don't you just hate it when your wife breaks all the rules... Don't Play at the Airport Concession, Don't Play Themed Games (they pay for the rights to Twilight Zone names and characters out of player's losses, .......... and she wins!!

Yeah carding is arbitrary and capricious and all casinos seem to be flexing their muscles randomly as violence increases.

teddys Jun 08, 2012

I've got to say I've had the lamb burger at Burger Brasserie at Paris twice this trip and I'm confident in saying its the best burger I've ever had. Must try. I also went to BLT Burger at Mirage but BB is better.

teddys Jun 08, 2012

Oops -- just figured you might be vegetarian. BLT Burger does have a decent felafel burger.

odiousgambit Jun 09, 2012

100% of the time when getting carded is ridiculous, that means they just got busted for not carding some 16 yr old, or an affiliated part of their company did, or for some other reason the heat is on. The people who have to enforce it never handle it well, they are irritated about it just as much as you.

I always try to remember this, but I too can still get miffed. There is a bar in DC I won't go back to after the bar-maid carded me in a remarkably nasty way, and I was 57 at the time. I think one thing that bothered me was she looked 16, way too young for a bartender.

FinsRule Jun 13, 2012

Responding to comments -

Roger - UFC something. 143? I don't know, I just like betting underdogs when I don't know what's going on.

Tilt & General Carding Comments - I'm ok being carded. Being carded while I'm not playing is annoying.

Teddy - Ok, I'm trying the falafel burger next time. That does sound good...

Posted by FinsRule
May 07, 2012

Horseshoe SI and Derby Trip Report

Just returned yesterday from my family (our first family trip) trip to the Kentucky Derby!

Wednesday we left Chicago around 2:30 heading toward Horseshoe SI. It took us around 5 hours, and we made it without stopping. We ate at the Horseshoe hotel snack shop which was not bad for a snack shop. The hotel room was pretty nice, and free (Thanks Caesars). There was also a little walking path around the back which was nice for us to stretch our legs.

After the wife and baby went to sleep, I went to visit the casino. It was a pretty long walk between the hotel and casino, which I didn't mind too much. The casino is a boat. There are 4 decks with the table games mostly on the 3rd deck. I went looking for Pai Gow Tiles and was informed that they did not currently have it. It was either gone, or only open on Fri-Sun, I heard different stories. That bummed me out, so I went to play Pai Gow Poker. It was $20 minimum, and they used $20 chips which I had never seen before.

I won $125 with a dealer who was rude (old, white, female for those who keep track of that sort of thing). I won it pretty quickly for playing $20 hands, so I left. Played one hand of pair plus 3 card poker for $10 (lost) and $40 lost at Wheel of Fortune .25 slot. Got two wheel spins - 50 & 75 credits, bleck. So finished up $75 for the night in about 75-90 minutes of play time. Overall, Horseshoe SI is okay, but I was expecting more based on some of the comments I read here.

Thursday we drove to Lexington to tour some horse farms. The drive was about 90 minutes, and nice. We saw a lot of famous horses, and I got to touch 2010 champion 2 year old Uncle Mo (you're not supposed to touch them, but I couldn't resist) We headed over to Three Chimneys Farm where they were giving away posters of a horse running in the Derby, I'll Have Another. We took a poster, and my wife asked if I wanted to get the autographs of the owner, trainer, jockey, who were graciously giving up their time. I said "Nah, they have no chance of winning, I don't need their autograph"

Friday we went and toured Keeneland on Oaks Day. For anyone who loves horse racing, Keeneland is a must see. Even though there was not live racing, the place was like a party. A live band, all the concessions open, it was great. A beautiful track that I would love to see on a live race day. We bought some souvenirs, lost some money, had a good time. They even had drive-thru wagering which I thought was pretty cool. Oh, we ate at a restaurant called Alfalfa which I highly recommend.

Saturday was the Derby. I underestimated the chaos, and overestimated our parenting skills as we brought our 9 month old to the track. Thankfully, our seats were not in the sun, or the day would have been a complete disaster. Everyone we passed said "Bringing a baby to the Derby? You are brave"

We ended up breaking about even on all of the undercard races. We couldn't really see much, just the beginning and end of each race. And couldn't really hear what was going on either. We lost a couple hundred on the Derby as I'll Have Another stormed home. I had 7 horses in my exotic bets, I had the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place finishers, but not the 1st. You can't win anything that way...

I'm glad we ended up going to the Derby, but I don't think we'll go back until the kid(s) are grown. We'll just have a Derby party at home next year and really get to enjoy the races.

Our Vegas trip (without the baby) is in less than 3 weeks, so we're looking forward to a more relaxing vacation than this one.

Thanks for reading!


Tiltpoul May 07, 2012

Very good report. It is sad that Tiles was taken out at HSI. The problem isn't the game, it's that the casino doesn't know what to do with it. First, it was on the floor, but at too high of a minimum to attract anybody but High Roller Asians. Then they put the game in the Asian room with an even higher minimum. Few people (Asians included) knew what happened to it. Then they put it back on the floor at a lower minimum (good) but took a valuable BJ spot (bad, to the casino). I don't blame them for taking it out as it couldn't have been profitable, but many supervisors believed it was the poor management the game (and a new TG director who hated it) that ultimately killed it.

I imagine the Derby is fun. I want to go someday, just to see all the crazy fashions. What was your outfit of choice??

Posted by FinsRule
Feb 05, 2012

My Superbowl Prop Bets

This Superbowl just isn't that compelling to me. I really don't care who wins. I have a little bit of money on it through various contests and squares and small future bets, so I have decided not to put an actual real bet on the game. (Actual for me is $50-$100)

But I had some extra dollars lying around my bovada account, so I made the following 3 prop bets for $1:

Will the Giants score exactly 36 points? 80-1
Will the Patriots score exactly 36 points? 75-1
Will the Patriots score exactly 43 points? 100-1

So I guess I'm rooting for Patriots 43 - Giants 36...

Posted by FinsRule
Sep 06, 2011

It's been a while

I know, it's been a while.

A lot has happened in the last 3 months.

1) Today is my 2 year anniversary.
2) My baby daughter is turning 50 days tomorrow.
3) Haven't had any significant gambling wins/losses.
4) I'm gearing up for Breeders' Cup

1 - Been married 2 years. Nothing special about that but I'm really happy.

2 - Having a baby is an unreal experience. I've always said that the meaning of life is procreation. Because there really can't be another answer. Imagine if no one had any babies for 50 years. That would be the end of human life as we know it. I think we have a responsibility to have at least 2 children to keep our civilization alive. Why keep our civilization alive - not sure, but it seems like the right thing to do. I'm so happy to have my daughter and thankful I didn't have to give birth. I could go on and on about it, but I won't.

3 - Nothing too significant in the gambling world. BUT - I must have gotten placed on the wrong list at Horseshoe Hammond, because they invited me to a VIP celebration where they gave me a diamond necklace that they say is valued at $600. Now, I would never have paid $600 for it, but I suppose I might have paid $200-$250... I think next time we're in Vegas we'll head over to the Pawn Stars store and see what they will offer us for it, before saying "no thanks".

Horseshoe also sent me free $105 table game bets. After I ran in, won the $105 and left, they sent me coupons for $60 for this month. I went back later in the month to actually give them some of my sweet green chip action for 2-3 hours, but I don't think it's enough for them. Soon they'll see the error of their ways, but the high roller treatment was fun for a couple of months.

4) Finally - I do see myself as the resident horse racing expert on this site. I enjoy future betting because you can invest a little up front for a potentially huge payout down the road. In horse racing, the "road" is the problem as horses can become injured literally any day. The Wizard says future betting is one of the worst sports bets you can make, but I don't think that is necessarily the case for horse racing.

Last year, I won my Breeders' Cup future bet by betting on Blame at 20-1 to win the Breeders' Cup Classic back in June after his big win in the Stephen Foster. This year, I have made three selections. I will make public two of them, and keep one of them off this blog, because it seems like when I post, the odds get cut. I know, it's probably coincidence.

1. I put $10 on Shackleford to win the Breeders' Cup Classic at 50-1. At 50-1, he's an okay bet. He's now down to 25-1, which is not so good. I think if he races in the Classic, which as of right now, I would guess that he is, he'll go off at around 20 or 25-1. So I'm not too upset about having him at 50-1.

2. My 2nd selection is $15 on Tizway to win the BCC at 10-1. Tizway is the best male horse in the country. He'll probably go off as the favorite in the BCC at around 4-1. 10-1 on him is a steal. We're less than 2 months from the race, meaning he probably just needs to survive one more race and training to run. This one is less flashy because 10-1 isn't a huge price, but it's better than you'll get on race day.

3. I can't post my 3rd selection because it's so good that I'm worried it could leave any second. I have put $35 on the horse so far, and I'm thinking about putting another $150-$200. If anyone really wants to know it, I'd be happy to PM it. The key is getting the horse to run in the race, but that is what makes these bets so exciting.

I'll blog again in a few weeks when I turn 30, and I can talk about how depressing it is to be old...


FleaStiff Sep 07, 2011

>when I turn 30 and can talk about being old ...


It seems that that "wrong" list error was quite enjoyable for you. May it continue. You've been winning so much money they want it back and are willing to lure you in with larger and larger bait.

I understand that by "future" bets you mean a very distant timeline. After all, aren't all bets for events in the future, it being rather difficult to get someone to accept bets for a past event. If a horse is not even entered in a race, I imagine the bookie has to give the bet money back to the player so I would think there is no risk that way. The risk is that the horse will indeed be entered into the race but will not finish it in the money.

It seems there is opportunity for many events when the betting lines are first posted whether it be horses, football or whatever.

buzzpaff Sep 07, 2011

– So You Think, winner of three Group 1 races this year for Aidan O’Brien, most recently the Irish Champion, is the current favorite at 6-1. Twirling Candy, runner up in the Pacific Classic, and Havre de Grace, who just beat males in the Woodward, are next in line at 8-1 and 9-1. A few others of note include Tizway, winner of the Whitney and Met Mile, 10-1; Stay Thirsty, winner of the Travers and Jim Dandy, 12-1; Flat Out, runner up in the Woodward and Whitney, 15-1; and Blind Luck, winner of the Delaware Handicap over Havre de Grace, 30-1.

Where's the bargain in future betting. Hope Tizway starts for you, at least

FinsRule Sep 08, 2011

The next day, my 3rd selection (Havre De Grace) went from 22-1 on Bodog to 9-1. I had $35 on her at 30-1, and I missed putting additional money on her. At 22-1 she was a great bet. At 9-1, not so great.

So I'll be rooting for Havre De Grace, then Shackleford, then Tizway.