Posted by FinsRule
May 21, 2010

Monday May 3

Yes, my trip is still going on. It's Monday May 3.

I wake up, lose a bunch of money playing $1 Shufflemaster Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em at Mirage. I hate those electronic machines. I like feeling real cards. I know it's paranoia, but I just don't trust those machines.

Then it's time to go rock climbing! I've never been rock climbing before, but the Wizard has inspired me. After all, if his son can do it, I'm sure a 28 year old adult, his wife, brother, brother's girlfriend, and brother-in-law should be fine.

So we head out to the Red Rocks. We don't bring the Wizard's guide, mainly because we don't have GPS, so couldn't follow it anyway. I figure it'll be easy enough.

We go to Calico 1. It's the first hike after you start driving.

We go off the trail and start climbing everywhere like a bunch of little kids. We had the time of our lives! Of course we didn't have any gear, but we figured, if it was unsafe, we wouldn't be able to do it. And, we were wrong. What we did was unsafe, and stupid. We climbed very hard, and I incorrectly assumed that going up is harder than going down. No, going down is scary, and with all of us not knowing what we were doing, we were very very lucky that no one got hurt other than some rocks being kicked into my back from 20 feet above me.

There were a couple points when I thought I could go higher, but I wasn't sure, and then I looked down, and there wasn't much of a ledge underneath me. If I took one bad step, I could actually have died. So, in conclusion, be careful when rock climbing.

After the scary moment, we decided to just take it easy, and go on large rocks that we had nothing to worry about with. So we walked around for about 2 hours, and it was really fun. We will definitely go back next time we're in Vegas. Maybe we can try to actually go on the Wizard's path, which seemed safer and more fun.

Then we headed back to the Venetian for lunch. I ate at Bella Panini, which is pretty much one step above Panera Bread.

Then we went to the Mirage pool for an hour or so. I like my pools with stuff in it - i.e. Golden Nugget waterslide, MGM lazy river, Mandalay Bay wave pool and lazy river.

The Mirage just had the standard waterfall, which was nice, but not my thing.

So we changed, and I went to the sportsbook for a while before dinner.

Dinner was at Mon Ami Gabi, one of my favorite places. However, for a vegetarian, there was not much for me. They have a lunch crepe, which they refused to make me for dinner, because their crepe machine was turned off. (Why don't you turn it on? I never asked that, because it's rude). They had this amazing baked cheese dish, probably my favorite appetizer of all time. Everyone loved the meal, and we got to watch some more Bellagio fountains from our amazing table.

Then we headed back for some more late night Pai Gow. Nothing really special. Monday May 2 doesn't seem like we did much, but the rock climbing may be my favorite part of the trip. I have a good picture, but I don't know how to upload it.


DJTeddyBear May 21, 2010

Love the blog entries, but I gotta ask one question...

Quote: FinsRule

Yes, my trip is still going on. It's Monday May 3.

Um, it's May 21st.

Are you done with the trip, but entering a page from your diary every day or so?

FinsRule May 21, 2010

Oh shoot, it's not May 3? Haha, yes, I do know what day it is. My trip was 3 weeks ago, and I'm trying to re-live it.

Posted by FinsRule
May 18, 2010

Sunday May 2

My trip report doesn't have a lot of gambling in it, and that's not because I didn't do a lot of gambling. It's more because nothing really noteworthy happened. I made a lot of NHL and MLB bets, and got below average luck. Anyway...

We woke up and went to the Dolphin & Tiger Habitat at the Mirage. I really enjoy going there. It's peaceful, and the alpacas are pretty funny. If it was $10 to get in instead of $15, I would be able to recommend it.

After Dolphin/Tiger, we headed to Venetian again for lunch. We ate at Enoteca San Marco, because there was a $25 gift certificate for it on (which I recommend by the way). The meal was really good. It was cauliflower heavy with fried cauliflower for an appetizer, and cauliflower rigatoni for lunch. My wife had marinated olives for an appetizer and a pizza for her main course. It was nice being in the middle of the square, and seeing the performers.

Everything was good at lunch, until it was time to pay. The coupon stipulates that $50 must be spent (not counting alcohol) to use the $25 gift certificate. We spent exactly $49.00 before tax (plus a glass of wine for my wife). The server said that we had to spend $50, and we were a few dollars short. I asked politely to see the manager who I was sure would accomodate the tiny request.

Request denied. It's very upsetting to me that the manager made that decision. Losing a customer over $1 seems awfully silly. We ordered a full meal, and we were not trying to abuse the coupon by any means.

We were planning on getting a gelato at the Venetian anyway, so we just got a dessert at the restaurant to use our coupon. It did put me in a bad mood, but I got over it. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend Enoteca at Venetian because of that one fact.

After lunch, it was time to see the strip. We took the monorail, which I love for some reason, to Bally's where I played three card and won $250. (I would have won more on that 6 card sucker bet, when I had 4 of a kind) Then we walked over to Paris and PH to enjoy the scenery.

(Funny side story) My brother brought his girlfriend on the trip. She had never been to Vegas, said gambling was for suckers, and that she planned to gamble less than $50 on the trip. Well, we taught her Pai Gow Poker, and she was hooked. After my brother and I lost at Texas Hold 'Em Bonus (An underrated game), my brother went looking for her. Where was she? Sitting by herself at a $15 Pai Gow Poker table. "But I'm not playing the bonus, that's where they make their money" Uh huh.

After PH, we crossed over to City Center. I was excited to see it, as it felt like it was being built forever. And I was disappointed. The minimums were too high, it was dark, and it just wasn't special. I'm sure the rooms are nice, but there are many other places I'd like to gamble/stay at. I didn't get a chance to see the sportsbook, but I'm guessing it was not special.

Then we headed over to the Bellagio. We saw the conservatory, which was beautiful of course, then headed over to the Bellagio buffet. 6 hours had passed since lunch, time always goes by fast, even though we didn't cover much ground, because each place we went, we usually gambled for about 30 minutes.

I LOVE THE BELLAGIO BUFFET. I've ate at the Rio, PH, Mirage and Wynn buffets in Vegas, and the Bellagio is so much better in my opinion, it's not even close. The others aren't in the same category. Now, I must preface this by saying, I'm a vegetarian, so there was plenty of stuff I didn't eat. But the things I did eat were all amazing. There is not one food in that buffet I wouldn't eat again. $25 seems a lot for a buffet, but it is actually a great deal. My brother is an adventurous meat eater, and he agrees that the Bellagio buffet ranks up there as one of the best meals he has ever had. I just can't say enough good things about it. My wife had to roll me out of there, and it was hard not to go again the next day. If there is one place you need to eat at on your trip to Vegas, trust me, it should be the Bellagio buffet.

Anyway... Next was the fountains. I love the fountains. But it's all about the music. If it's Celine Dion, I'm not happy. We stayed for 3 shows (mainly because we could barely move with all the food in our stomachs). We were ready to head to Caesars, but decided to stay for one more. And we were lucky, because my wife and my favorite song came on, Andrea Bochelli. (I'm sure I spelled his name wrong) I love that song with the fountains, it just puts me in a good place.

Next was Caesars. I don't remember anything we did there, so I'm not going to make anything up. Caesars does have my favorite sportsbook though. It's just massive.

We headed back to Mirage, and met back up with my brother who saw LOVE. He liked it of course.

I haven't been to any Cirque shows in Vegas. I'll probably have to do that next time.

I stayed up late playing Pai Gow Poker Sunday night with my brother. We headed over to TI to play a little, because they had the bonus, which Mirage inexplicably doesn't have.

Our first dealer seemed like he was on speed. Seriously, I think he was high. He kept talking and wouldn't shut up, and most of the things he said didn't make sense. I was up $10, and ready to go, and my brother and girlfriend wanted to stay. So of course I proceeded to lose like 6 $15 hands in a row, and then I was really ready to go.

I then went up to bed and tried unsuccessfully to wake my wife up, who was drunk. So I went to bed.


gambler May 18, 2010

Another excellent trip report. I would have to agree with you the the Bellagio Buffet is excellent, as well as the fountain show. You really should consider seeing one of the Cirque shows the next time you are in Vegas. I have seen almost all of them, except Elvis and Zumanity, and have to say I have enjoyed them all, with O and Ka being my favorites.

Why were you trying to wake up your wife in the middle of the night? Laugh.

DJTeddyBear May 19, 2010

Another great report! Keep 'em coming!


Why were you trying to wake up your wife in the middle of the night? Laugh.

I was thinking the same thing!

Posted by FinsRule
May 18, 2010

Done with Lumiere Place

Lumiere Place in St. Louis had a promotion where you would get $10 in free play when the Cardinals win a home game. They sent out the May promotional materials with that promotion on there.

I go today to collect, and the promotion has ended. Instead, you get a buy one get one free buffet coupon. (Their buffet is pretty bad). It's fine if they don't continue the promotion in June, but if you send something out telling people they will get $10 if they come in, it's wrong not to give them the $10. So, I am done with Lumiere Place, I can play my Pai Gow Poker elsewhere.


FleaStiff May 19, 2010

Casinos hurt themselves horribly when they have late mailings or offers that fail to disclose significant details. It is better for a casino to not make any special offers than to offer some useless trinket. However, if the buffet coupon was to make amends for their failure to adequately publicize the end date of their Cardinals Offer then atleast its something rather than nothing.

Posted by FinsRule
May 17, 2010

Saturday May 1

Woke up at Golden Nugget, and headed to Plaza to make my $25 World Cup bet. LVA had a 50% match so it was actually a $37.50 bet I made on Argentina. Why Argentina? They seem pretty safe to make the elimination round, and the 7-1 odds aren't bad.

Lunch was at the Chicago Brewing Company at the Four Queens. I try to go there everytime we go to Vegas. I love the Chicago deep dish pizza. I'm from Chicago, and it's definitely Chicago quality.

It was derby day, and my wife and I had handicapped on the plane. It was nice, because all the Churchill races were on ESPN, so we got to make our bets at the Nugget for a few races, and watch them all throughout downtown. My wife won three races in a row, I didn't cash one ticket.

Then we headed to the Mirage, where we stayed the next three nights.

We had 3 rooms booked for the 6 of us, so I tipped the woman at the front desk $20 for three strip view rooms close to each other. We did get three rooms on the same floor, so I think it was well worth the $20, even if she might have done it anyway without the tip.

The room was great, of course. We had a view of the volcano, and everything in the room worked perfectly. Bed was comfortable, TV was large, window opened slightly which freaked out my wife. We were on the 17th floor... The bathrooms are OK, I hear the deluxe rooms have upgraded bathrooms.

After we were all checked in, we headed to the Venetian to watch the Kentucky Derby. I love horse racing, and I love the excitement in the sportsbook on Derby Day. Also, horse racing is the unknown gem of Vegas. You can sit in almost any sportsbook, make a couple low limit show bets, and get unlimited free drinks and watch sports. It's probably my favorite part of going to Vegas.

So, my wife hit the Exacta on the Derby. And since we are low limit gamblers, she did a $1 exacta box. That gave her a nice $75. I don't know why she is so good at handicapping, considering I taught her how to do it, and I did not cash a Churchill ticket.

After the Derby, we went back to the rooms to change, and slowly headed to Mandalay Bay. My wife and I ate at Border Grill, which I really enjoyed. My sister in law and brother in law ate at Aureole, and they said it was amazing. My brother and his girlfriend went to Lance Burton. They said it was pretty much what they expected, which was okay.

After dinner, I decided to splurge and spend $100 on two tickets to watch the Mayweather/Mosley fight at the Mandalay Bay arena. I also put $50 on Mosley to win at +280. The $100 was well worth it, because it was a very electric atmospehere. The crowd seemed pro-Mosley, and I lost my voice screaming in the 2nd round when it looked like Mosley had an actual chance to win. Then Mayweather won the next 10 rounds and easily won in a decision. It was fairly anti-climactic, but fun.

We walked over to MGM to monorail back to Mirage via the Harrah's stop. We got there as people were emptying out of the fight. Apparently there was a famous person right next to us, but I didn't know who it was.

I then played some Sigma Derby, which is another thing I have to do every time I go to Vegas. I just love screaming at plastic horses. Everyone at the table always looks at me funny, but they eventually get into it also. My wife has learned to deal with the fact I will embarrass her. The Sigma Derby is another great way to get free drinks...

Got back to Mirage around 12, played some Pai Gow Poker until around 1:30. I lost of course, which was a pretty constant theme for the trip. But at that point, I was probably only down around $200 from gambling, which was ahead of budget.

I'll get to Sunday soon.


cclub79 May 17, 2010

Any time I'm having a bad run at Craps or BJ or any other money sucking game, I can go to sports book with one green chip and have fun for at least an hour. It is the perfect break for anyone who is getting creamed and needs to slow down. It's exciting, the free drinks are still there, and it's cheap! Definitely underrated.

gambler May 17, 2010

Sports betting is always fun, and a great way to spend the afternoon or evening. Great trip report and can't wait to hear more.

Posted by FinsRule
May 13, 2010


Back from my Vegas trip. It was so much fun, I can't wait to go back. Of course I lost money, and I don't remember how, because I didn't gamble that much.

Anyway, here are some highlights from my first night:

* Alamo rent-a-car was out of minivans, so they gave me a mammoth sized Suburban. I paid for the gas upfront, which probably ended up costing me $20 extra. I know not to make that mistake again. It was my first time driving in Vegas, so I was nervous. Being in the beast of an SUV did not make it easier. We arrived on Friday night, and the drive from the airport to Golden Nugget was intimidating, but we made it without any issues.

* We stopped at In-N-Out burger on the way (They don't have them in St. Louis) I'm a vegetarian, so it wasn't my thing. My traveling party thought otherwise.

* Golden Nugget was a FREAKING disaster. They wouldn't let me park in the garage without showing them my room key. That is the dumbest policy I have ever heard of in my life. So, I had to leave the car with my wife in it while I went to check in. And of course, two people were working, and check in took about 30 minutes. By the time I go out to my car, the security guard says that it's ok, we've been waiting for 30 minutes and we can just go in the garage. Of course, I had the room key at that point.

* Get up to the room, for $69 on a Friday, it's a great deal. Everything is clean, and the memories of the drive/check-in are behind me.

* Walk around Fremont Street. I had been there before, so it was more for everyone else's benefit. I'm not a fan of "Old" Vegas. Yeah, the minimums are lower, but besides that, nothing good about it. I lost like $75 walking around and playing a couple hands of three card and paigow poker.

* Played poker, lost $50. Didn't win a pot.

* Played $3 electronic shuffle master 3 card poker, won $75. Kept getting straights and flushes, it was nice.

* Went to bed around 2:00, 4:00 central, so I was pretty tired.

I'll move on to day 2 of my trip tomorrow.


gambler May 13, 2010

I have to agree with you about not being a fan of "Old" Vegas. I keep telling myself that I should stay a couple of nights downtown to get the experience, but I always stay on the strip or in Henderson.