Posted by teddys
May 18, 2011

Day 7 - Reno, Nev.

May 17, 2011 -- Reno, Nev.
Miles travelled: 0
Casinos visited: Harrah’s; Eldorado; Silver Legacy; Circus Circus; Cal-Neva; Siena; Sands Regency; John Ascuaga’s Nugget; Terrible’s Rail City; Grand Sierra Resort; Diamond’s Casino

National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev.

Greetings from the bowling capital of the world. Did you know the U.S. Bowling Championships go on for 5 months, daily, 6:30 A.M. to 2:00 A.M.? There are bowlers EVERYWHERE. This has got to be the greatest convention coup for Reno ever. I haven't made it over to the National Bowling Stadium yet, but I plan to, maybe when I finish visiting every casino for this report :)

Today I started out the day with some free wi-fi at McDonalds, then checked out the casinos downtown. They are, from north to south: Circus Circus, Silver Legacy, and Eldorado. They were all pretty much the same as far as I could tell. Silver Legacy was the nicest. There is a HUGE mining structure in the lobby that is pretty cool, as well as a room called "The Mansion" that is made to look like the house of a silver baron. Silver Legacy also has the best gambling, with 100.76% Deuces Wild (woot!) and Pai Gow Tiles. I got a card at Silver Legacy, and she said I could get a free buffet with 50 points, so I played Deuces Wild and earned 50 points, plus another $4.50 in comps (wow!). Unfortunately, I lost $100. The guy next to me was playing two machines, and I let him goad me into throwing away a wild royal when I had four-to-a-royal with the deuce. That cost me $7 in E.V. Oh, well. Picking up the free buffet tomorrow since it is good for 72 hours.

Next, I went back down to Harrah's to drop off my computer in the room. The promotions desk said they were doing a 6x multiplier for Diamond members (not valid on video poker of course), so I played $10 blackjack for an hour and won $55. It was a single deck game with the "bad" Reno rules (double on 10-11 only, H17, no DAS), and I played with two guys, one betting $150-200 and the other betting $200-300. The first guy ran casino junkets out of Green Bay, and made a train whistle noise with his mouth whenever the dealer busted. He attempted to give the second guy a mathematical explanation of why he never hit a stiff hand against a dealer 7. I don't remember the details, but there was something about a "60% chance." Not sure where he got that number. By the way, he was Seven Stars ;) I did have a spectacular card counting moment, though. I usually don't count cards. However, on the first hand after the shuffle, literally EVERY 4 and 5 came out of the deck. The count must have skyrocketed, and I remembered the Wizard's Ace-Five count, and told everyone to press their bets. No one listened, but I doubled up to $20. I got TWO BLACKJACKS IN A ROW. I felt like a card counting genius. Unfortunately, on the second BJ I had scaled back to $10 because I am a pussy :) Still, nice profit. Oh yeah, the dealer also pushed my bet when he beat my 18 with a 19. After my play, I went back to the promotions desk to find out how many points I had earned. I had 8 points. Whoo, a whole $0.48 worth of comp with the multiplier! F--- Harrah's. (But keep those free rooms coming, please).

Next, I wandered over to the Siena, which is a nice resort on the Truckee River. They had recently remodeled, after changing owners and going through some financial troubles. The casino and hotel facilities were all very nice, and it was kind of sedate. I played $5 Pai Gow with a drunk guy betting stacks of red on the bonus, and another flea grinder betting $5 at a time like me :) The drunk guy had about a $75 bet out, got a flush, and decided to split the flush with an ace king top and pair of 2's behind. Whaat?! He lost when the dealer turned an ace king with 3's back. And that, my friends, is why you learn the strategy for the game and don't play drunk. I had a nice conversation with the fellow flea, and he said he gets comp buffets, free baseball tickets, and other niceities just for his $5 a hand pai gow play. I can appreciate that method :) He seemed to know many of the pit crew and managers. By the way, the lighting in Siena was very bright, but it was a nice soft light. It was nice to see your cards and the other peoples' faces for once. Very pleasant place to play. I won $14.

I walked back to Harrah's to scarf from free snacks in the Diamond Lounge, and then got in my car and drove to John Ascuaga's Nugget. I really like JA's nugget. From the portrait of the Ascuaga family on the wall, to the showroom with Al Hirt and Shari Lewis pictures, it has a really old-school, family feel. The gambling was great; $2 craps with 3x4x5x odds, plenty of full-pay video poker with bonus games like wheel poker and multistrike (even at bartops) and good blackjack rules. I spent a lot of time here, playing all the games, and made about $50. I also got $5 in freeplay ($1.50 net after sucking through a $.05 NSUD machine), and a $5 dining credit, which I used at the noodle bar. I didn't notice until later that they have the Awful-Awful burger here too at Rosie's Cafe. I may have to go back and try it :) Looks like a lot of very interesting restaurants, like a tiki room and a Basque restaurant. The decor was really amazing, too, with random statues of a huge swan, life-size bronze jockeys, and a bunch of other doo-dads. JA's Nugget has a lot of character and doesn't feel corporatized like the other joints. I would recommend it highly.

After maybe 3 hours at JA's, I drove over to Terrible's Rail City. What a contrast! Rail City is a locals joint that is most known for somebody hitting the Megabucks jackpot of $33m there in 2009. They had her picture and name all over the casino. If I were here, I'd keep that private, but maybe she is in Mexico, now, anyway. They had a small pit with a live poker table, and a couple blackjack tables with good rules. I played with "Mohawk Mike" (green mohawk) and Spike, a female dealer from Duluth, Minnesota, with a rattail. The game was $3. Unfortunately, I went through my entire $21 stake (minus tokes), but got to hear some of Mohawk Mike's jokes. Here's an example:

Q: What did Zero say to Eight?
A: Where did you get that belt?

Get it?

Finally, I stopped at Diamond's casino at the Ramada hotel on the way back to finish off the night at the bottom of the barrel. Diamonds is a real dump, but the game was cheap. I played with some national guardsmen and made $10. Oh yeah, I stopped by Grand Sierra too, but couldn't find any good video poker, so I didn't play. I may go back to sign up for their free play.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention two casinos I went to, but they don't really even deserve mentioning. The Club Cal-Neva is really dirty, dark, and sucky. I usually like dumps, but I expect relative improvements in employee friendliness and gambling if the place isn't swank-u-luxe. Cal-Neva fails on all fronts. I went to sign up for the player's card, because there is a huge banner out front that says "Sign Up to get $40 for $20." The nasty woman at the promotions desk told me to fill out an application, like I was getting a passport or something. So I did, she handed me my card, and I asked about the 40 for 20 thing. She said, matter-of-factly, "they canceled that." Well, nice f--- you to you too. So much for truth in advertising. The Sands Regency is another dump on the outskirts of downtown. I can't think of anything nice to say about this place. Just don't go there, even for curiosity's sake.


dlevinelaw May 18, 2011

These posts are awesome. They make for great reading. Thanks.

TIMSPEED May 18, 2011

Glad you liked JANugget!

That SUCKS about the $20 -> $40 at Cal-Neva (Yes it really IS a dump; but it's ALWAYS crowded!)

GSR has some 9/6 jacks...but NOT many (bar near buffet and ONE bank near Mustangs Saloon)

PapaChubby May 18, 2011

I flew into a city that was hosting a bowling convention about 20 years ago. It may have been Reno. It was kinda fun watching all the bowling balls come crashing down the ramp of the luggage carousel!

dm May 18, 2011

Check out Peppermill.

Face May 18, 2011

As someone who is somewhat disinterested in the casino's of the world, I find your blog to be quite awesome. =) I keep checking in semi-daily for the next installment, they've all been a pretty good read. Informative and entertaining. I eagerly await the next review. 4 stars.

FleaStiff May 19, 2011

I finally got that 0 to 8 joke. Took me a while.

Man, I gotta stop doing this web stuff before I've had the morning coffee. I saw that stuff about a guy who runs gambling junkets out of Green Bay and I was trying to figure out why someone would run junkets from Wisconsin to Reno. Long bus ride, long plane ride. Lots of alternative destinations. Then I realized you had simply said Junkets rather than Junkets to Reno, so I guess maybe thats it. Do people really fly from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Reno, NV to listen to Spike's jokes and have a friendly chat at the bannered Player's Desk?

teddys May 19, 2011

Flea - yes, people fly from Green Bay to Reno. Peppermill Wendover also runs flights from small towns all over the West. Somehow they make it work profitably for them.

Nareed May 19, 2011

If you like stupid number jokes, here's one:

Q: Why is 6 afraid of 7?

A: Because 7 8 9.

DJTeddyBear May 20, 2011

>> After my play, I went back to the promotions desk to find out how many points I had earned. I had 8 points. Whoo, a whole $0.48 worth of comp with the multiplier!

Are you sure? It would seem that it wouldn't have been fully recorded that soon...

Love the reports! Keep 'em coming.

Posted by teddys
May 17, 2011

Day 6 - West Wendover, Nev. to Reno, Nev.

Day 6, May 16, 2011.
Miles traveled: 390.
Casinos visited: Four Ways Casino, Wells; Red Lion, Elko; Stockmen's Casino, Elko; Commercial Casino, Elko; Gold Dust West, Elko; Owl Club, Battle Mountain; Nevada Hotel, Battle Mountain; Winner's Casino, Winnemucca; Model T, Winnemucca; Winnemucca Inn, Winnemucca; Sturgeon's Casino, Lovelock; Fernley Nugget, Fernley; Chukar's Sports Casino, Fernley; Alamo Travel Center, Sparks; Western Village, Sparks.

Owl Club, Battle Mountain, Nev.

Greetings from rainy and cold Reno, Nevada and a lot of bowlers. Yesterday, i drove through a LOT of really small, depressing northern Nevada towns. The things I do for this blog ...

I don't recommend a trip to these cities if you are driving down I-80. Forget small-town charm. There are a lot of abandoned motels, mining facilities, and fast foods joints/gas stations. There are a few casinos, but it seems like each successive casino I went to competed for most depressing/dingy. Here in Reno, they seem to put together the worst features of each. Anyway, here goes:

First stop was Wells, Nevada. There was a slots-only casino right off the freeway. I played Beverly Hillbillies slots for about 30 seconds, until my machine all of a sudden turned green. The guy said they were having trouble with that machine. I won $.72. Major score! Wells was actually a pretty cool town, but not by any design. There were a lot of old, abandoned motels that were pretty well preserved, and good examples of 50s-60s googly architecture. The downtown was crumbling as the result of a recent earthquake. I stopped into the chamber of commerce office and talked with the director for a few minutes over coffee. He said when I-80 bypassed the towns in the 70s, it was the beginning of the end. Nobody stops there anymore.

Next town down was Elko. This is a large mining center with a substantial Basque population. I saw one Basque restaurant downtown. The Red Lion casino was right off the exit. It was pretty nice for a town like Elko, but the decor was a little dated -- lots of red velvet and mirrors. I bought in at the double deck blackjack game (bad rules: no DAS, H17), and was given a "blackjack bonus" card where if you hit all four suited blackjacks in 24 hours, you win $200. I am not 100% sure, but I think this is plus E.V. Anyway, I started playing 2 hands of $10, and the dealer just absolutely killed us. I only got one suited blackjack. In the time I was there, though, I saw two other players hit 3 out of the 4, but they could not get the last one. If I could stand the nasty cigarette the anchor player was smoking, I would have stuck around, but as it was I scored a buffet comp and got out of there $220 poorer.

Downtown Elko has two historic casinos, the Stockmen's and the Commercial casino. They are across the street from each other. The exterior is actually pretty cool. The Commercial has a huge statue of a stuffed polar bear out front, and is supposedly the oldest operating casino in Nevada. The Stockmen's had table games, but they opened at 6. They did have pinball, so I played one game and left. Finally, I stopped at Gold Dust West, a new "big box" casino by the I-80 exit on the other side of town. It was nice, but the only thing it had going for it was its newness. It was a warehouse casino. I played $3 blackjack with a guy I recognized from the Red Lion game, and a guy in a cowboy hat who was betting the max of $300 every hand and drinking Canadian Mist whiskey. He was hilarious. These local characters are really great. I won $5.

Next stop was Battle Mountain, a small town of 2,000 right off I-80. If you've read the memoir The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, she mentions living in this town and her father trying to make a living playing poker at the casinos there. However, neither of the two casinos in town, the Owl Club and the Nevada Hotel, had a poker room as far as I saw. The Owl Club was pretty cool. I parallel parked right in front of the front door. It seemed to be the center of activity in Battle Mountain; there was nothing else. The Hotel Nevada has one closed blackjack table, with a pretty serious policy about their comped drinks posted above the table. Guess the locals tend to abuse. I looked around for some good video poker, and found a $.10 cent 8/5 Jacks or Better game with a $1006 progessive jackpot. Whaaat?!? The $.25 jackpot was only a few dollars higher. This is a 100.86% return. I hammered the machine for 30 minutes, trying to hit the royal, but failed. I did hit quads twice, though, for a win of $10. Any video poker advantage players should hightail it to Battle Mountain right now!

Further down the road was Winnemucca. I can't really think of anything to say about this town other than its funny name. They were advertising on the radio that Rio Tinto/Kennecott mining was holding an interview process at one of the downtown hotels for recruiting workers for their new plant in Salt Lake City. I stopped into Winner's Casino downtown and played blackjack for 10 minutes, losing $25. The other two casinos were slots only, but Model T had some freshly installed table games that were closed.

Between Winnemucca and Reno, I stopped in two towns, Fernley and Lovelock, that had slots-only casinos. I mostly just used the bathroom and got free drinks. Sturgeon's in Lovelock was probably the cheesiest casino I've ever been in. There was a huge canoe sitting on the stage with a sign that said "win this canoe." Now that is a casino promotion! I expected to see the guys from the Free Credit Report commercials playing there. In Fernely, I scored a free coffee mug from the Fernley Nugget, which is the only non-smoking casino I've ever been into in the United States Nevada. So, kudos to Fernley Nugget for being the only casino I've ever walked out of not smelling like I've been sitting next to a smoldering campfire.

Finally, I approached the outskirts of Reno/Sparks. The first casino I came to was Alamo Travel Center, which was in a Pilot Petro truck stop. It was a pretty lively, small casino, and all of the gamblers were truckers. They had one poker table, one craps "tub" ($2 min., 2x odds), and a couple blackjack tables with the best rules I've seen anywhere: 1 deck, H17, no DAS, but surrender and 6-card charlie available. I played with a trucker who kept talking about his "runs," betting stacks of green, and admonishing me for hitting 12 against a 3. However, I must have been doing something right since I made $125, and trucker man dropped about $100 in tokes for the dealers and was swimming in green chips. Western Village was next; they are another Peppermill property with the usual Peppermill decor. Can't they be any more creative with their theme? I played with a brick wall dealer on a $2 game for 15 minutes and made $5.

I pulled into Harrah's in the pouring rain. They upgraded me to a "mini-suite." There is a bowling tournament going on across the street. I plan to explore Reno today. I does not look particularly welcoming, though.


avargov May 17, 2011

Couple of comments: I have read that Elko has the highest per-capita income in the whole of Nevada. Guess mining pays well! And the Alamo is a Petro Travel Center not a Pilot...no biggie...but their 3-6 hold em game is the softest in NV. If you can play at all, you could recoup your trip losses inn a few hours.

Fun trip brother! Been on that road 500 times....boring!!!

avargov May 17, 2011

One more thing. I think you said you were a vegetarian (I could be wrong), but if not, you MUST go the Nugget downtown. Go to the cafe in the back and get an Awful-Awful (make sure you are hungry). It is perhaps the finest burger you will ever eat! Will set you back around 9 bucks, with drink.

rdw4potus May 17, 2011

The Fernley Nugget was the first smoke-free casino that you'd visited? Is smoking already re-allowed (de-banned?) at Harrah's Joliet?

odiousgambit May 17, 2011

>The things I do for this blog ...

I know. But your efforts are appreciated!

TIMSPEED May 17, 2011

Just remember the sign-up bonuses I told you about...

Nareed May 17, 2011

Did you see a capuchin monkey in Lovelock? (Fans of Orson Scott Card might understand)

teddys May 18, 2011

Ah, yeah ... forgot about IL. Sorry, no monkeys :)

Nareed May 19, 2011

I seriously did not understand the last comment. So: Orson Scott Card authored a novel with Kathryn H. Kidd titled "Lovelock." The protagonist, named Lovelock, is a genetically altered, sapient Capuchin monkey.

Posted by teddys
May 16, 2011

Days 4 & 5 - Laramie, Wyo to West Wendover, Nev.

Days 4 and 5: Laramie, Wyo. to West Wendover, Nev.
Miles traveled: 511
Casinos visited: Red Garter; Peppermill; Wendover Nugget; Rainbow; Montego Bay, West Wendover, Nev.

Greetings from not-so-scenic West Wendover, Nevada, and the Red Garter Hotel and Casino. This is a two-day update. I spent yesterday relaxing at my friend's place in Laramie, Wyoming. Laramie is a nice little college town, with a little cowboy edge. Ironically, they have a fantastic vegetarian restaurant where I had some of the best vegetarian food of my life. There is also a bar whose speciality drink has a banana pepper in it -- weird, but good. But by the end of Saturday, I felt I had exhausted all that Laramie had to offer and bid my friend farewell, making a run for the Nevada border and legalized gambling!

The drive to West Wendover was exahausting. I've never traveled through so many landscapes. To give you an example, when I left Laramie, there was a light snow. In western Utah, there was a desert windstorm. Pretty scary. I arrived in West Wendover which is a charmless settlement hugging the Nevada-Utah border. There are five casinos in West Wendover: three are owned by the Peppermill Casinos corporation, and include the Peppermill (Wendover variety), Rainbow, and Montego Bay. I can't quite describe how offensive the interior of these casinos are. Somebody must really like purple neon. And all the casinos are decorated this way. It is very googly.

The casinos were packed for a Sunday night. Most everybody was from Salt Lake City, which is two hours away. Some had arrived on buses. Peppermill also does a lot of junkets from places like Missoula, Montana, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska, so there were some of those people too. The other two casinos in town are the Nugget and the Red Garter. They are owned by the family of Nevada senator John Ensign. The Nugget is your garden-variety "posh" theme. They do have a Starbucks. The Red Garter is the resident dump, but it is a charming dump. They have made some improvements such as new carpet, and updated interiors and restrooms, but it is still the obvious low quality option in Wendover.

My own gambling consisted of blackjack, and some video poker. I was shocked to see all of the blackjack was single-deck, with good rules (3:2, no DAS, H17, RSA). The dealers were dealing VERY deeply. For example, with seven players, we were getting two rounds dealt. Nobody seemed to care, and the pit was almost non-existent in their supervision. (The pit at Red Garter consited of one floorperson who spent the whole shift outside the perimeter of the pit chatting with her employees). Another thing that was semi-shocking is that the Peppermill casinos dealers would enter your rating themselves -- i.e., when you bought in, they would turn to the computer, punch in your card and buy-in, and then continue dealing. I thought this was a pretty shocking display of lack of game protection, and more shirking by the pit bosses. Seems like pit boss in Wendover is one of the easiest jobs in Nevada.

Between $5 blackjack and $.05/$.10 Deuces Wild, I just about broke even. Of the three Peppermill casinos, I found the Rainbow to have the most energy, and the "chi" flowed well. To be honest, they are pretty much indistinguishable. The Nugget was pretty dead. I then headed to Red Garter for some serious gambling. Despite avargov's advice, I decided they were my best chance to score a room comp for the night. I bought in for $500 at the single-deck game, and flat bet $25 a hand for about four hours. I did score the room comp, and it was a very pleasurable gaming experience. Apparently the Garter (and Nugget) have an exchange program where they bring in foreign students to deal blackjack in a casino for 3 months on a temporary work visa. So I was dealt to by dealers from Thailand, Russia and Guatemala. These were the most enthusiastic and personable dealers I've ever encountered -- a sharp contrast to the crusty old veterans who usually deal as if dealing were the last thing in the world they'd like to be doing. So I had fun, and made $37.50. The "head dealer" told us that a lot of the exchange students end up marrying other employees and staying. She said the Thai dealer had received a marriage proposal, but didn't want to get married and wanted to go back to Thailand first. I thought that was pretty gossipy of her.

The hotel rooms at Red Garter were pretty bad, but for myself, it was fine. The furniture was old, but the water pressure worked, and the bed was actually quite comfortable. (I prefer the "old" style beds to the new suffocating comforters).


Ayecarumba May 16, 2011

Hi teddys! I am really enjoying your blog. Keep up the great work. I learned something from you today... There are actually other places in Nevada to gamble besides Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe.

At the single deck BJ, what were the table limits?

teddys May 17, 2011

Aye -- mostly $5, but you could find a $3 game at Red Garter and I think one of the purple places.

FleaStiff May 18, 2011

With Utah being a no-gambling, no coffee, no tea, no impure thoughts state, its not too surprising that a few casinos might spring up just across the Nevada border.

The "just about broke even" seems a pleasant change of luck for this trip.

Posted by teddys
May 13, 2011

Day 4 - Council Bluffs, Ia to Laramie, Wyo.

Day 4 - Council Bluffs to Laramie
Miles traveled: 549
Casinos visited: none

Nebraska is long, windy, and boring. That is all. No: Got a flat tire in Kearney, Nebraska. Fixed thanks to Triple-A and Garrett's Treads. Ate something called a Runza. Not worth going to Nebraska for.

Staying with a friend in Laramie tonight, a professor at University of Wyoming. Seems like a fun little town.

Tally: id.


gambler May 14, 2011

I have really enjoyed your travel blog. Of course your casino days are more fun then your Nebraska days. Keep writing and posting!

buzzpaff May 15, 2011

Last time I drove to Cheyenne I saw a piece of newspaper way up in the air miles from nowhere, Wind always blowing in Wyoming, nothing to stop it!

rdw4potus May 16, 2011

Whatza Runza? Who name-brands a pasty...

Posted by teddys
May 12, 2011

Day 3 - Council Bluffs, Iowa

Day 3 -- May 12, 2011
Miles traveled: 0
Casinos visited: Horseshoe, Council Bluffs, Ia.; Ameristar, Council Bluffs, Ia.; Harrah's, Council Bluffs, Ia.

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Council Bluffs, Ia./Omaha, Neb.

Things aren't looking good for our hero, folks. Three days into the trip, and three straight losing days. At least the weather was good today. I spent the day in Council Bluffs, Iowa. recuperating, but unfortunately my bankroll didn't want to do the same.

There are three major casinos in Council Bluffs. My hotel, Country Inn and Suites by Carlson, is literally right across the street from the biggest, Horseshoe. It is about 100 feet from the door of my hotel room to the casino, across the street. Because Horseshoe does not have a branded hotel, they cooperate with neighboring properties and you can use your comps at Country Inn, Holiday Inn Express, SpringHill Suites, or Hilton Garden Inn. I chose Country Inn, which turned out to be the most convenient, besides the Hilton which is actually attached to the casino. Horseshoe is the only land casino in Council Bluffs; the other two are riverboats. At Country Inn, I was upgraded to a suite and they have full breakfast and free internet. Not bad for a comped stay.

This morning I traveled to the Ameristar boat which is about five minutes away. The Missouri River is in the process of cresting and water had seeped into the parking garage and lower lots. Entrance to the boat was on the lower level. I played iTable blackjack and lost $45. I do like the iTable interface, which I was finally able to play after being foiled at the Rivers in Pittsburgh last time. I then played a game called Rabbit Hunter Stud for a little bit. The Wizard does not have a strategy for this game, but discountgambling.com does. It is a very fun and enjoyable game. I hope it catches on. I was down $150, hit a full house for $150, and finished down $15.

I then continued onto Harrah's, which is just up the river. The property is quite nice, with the white, modern, "fresh" look. Once again, I got the McDonald's impression. In Harrah's the Diamond Lounge is called the "Captain's Club" and takes up the entire third floor of the riverboat. It was a unique club because (1) There were gaming machines in it and (2) Nobody seemed to be checking IDs and (3) There was a weird game that looked like shuffleboard, but on a tabletop with sawdust covering it. I'm not sure what it was, but one guy checked out the "pieces" for it and fooled around with it for a while, but didn't seem to know how to play. I'm afraid the game confounded me, but it was nice to see in the lounge. There was also a HUGE projection TV, and a computer with internet access and a printer. I printed out a Wizard strategy :) . The food in the lounge was mediocre -- two hot dishes (meatballs and macaroni), a tiny salad "bar," and one soup. Filled the belly though. I then went downstairs, and dumped $200 in a $.25 10/6 Double Double Bonus poker machine. I hit no quads. I hate these stupid high variance video poker games. I need to stop playing them, no matter what the payback percentage is.

Having blown a large percentage of my bankroll, I decided to walk further up levee and cross over to Omaha on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. This was a good decision. The weather was magnificent, and the bridge is really striking. The river was at flowing at a brisk pace. I waded down to the riverbank and stuck my hand in the current. I suddenly had an urge to build a raft and just float on down leisurely. I also saw some wildlife, like a bunch of deer, a snake, and what can only be described as a herd of toads. It was a regular Jack Hanna adventure.

I walked back to Ameristar, got my car, and drove back to Horseshoe area. After a swim, I wandered over for a meal in the Diamond Lounge at Horseshoe, which was underwhelming. They were serving pretty much the same thing Harrah's was: mediocre spaghetti, and meatballs. However, Horseshoe does comp drinks for Diamond players, and I do confesss I took advantage. I played Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em for a few hours with some "dudes" from Illinois who had come to Council Bluffs for their get-together instead of springing for Vegas. They were quite amusing. I finished up $15.

To sum up, I would rank Horseshoe as the best casino in Council Bluffs, but that is like picking the best hooker at Flamingo: you don't really want to go there, but if you find yourself there, she is the one to choose.

Ameristar: -$57.50
Harrahs: -$200
Horseshoe: +15
Net day: -$242.50
Net total: -$536.25


cclub79 May 13, 2011

I'm guessing you're not counting your WY night as a "I'm not going to have to pay for a single hotel room"? My last xc trip, it was Grand Junction, CO.

DJTeddyBear May 16, 2011

Great reports.

However, I wish you'd do a better job identifying the subject of the photos. On that note, where is that serpentine bridge? It looks fascinating and scary!

teddys May 16, 2011

DJ -- It's the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, mentioned in the end of the report.