Action, Distraction and Wallet Subtraction
Started by McGoo on Tuesday, 18th September 2012 7:18 pm
I had no good reason to venture to Las Vegas this week and it was refreshing knowing there wasn't, nor did I need one. I had no weddings, no meetings, no show tickets or restaurant reservations and no agenda. This trip was a split, 3 nights on the strip at Bills followed by three nights downtown at the Plaza. If you close your eyes and think real hard it will feel like two vacations.
There exist only a handful of people that I will visit Vegas with, my wonderful wife of course and two of my close friends. One of which decided to come along with me for this round. Travelling to Vegas 3-4 times a year creates some interest within my social circle, and friends are forever asking me when my next trip is, then sometimes they ask if they can come along or say "sounds good, I'll see if I can get the time off" as if I invited them. Heck, just yesterday one of my friend said "I am coming with you next time!" Some people have a hard time accepting that I like to do things by myself and don't need company. I just want to do my own thing. I've done the group trips, weddings trips, significant other trips and the guys trips. On the last guys trip I simply could not do what I wanted to do without having a tag along asking me if I was done doing the thing I wanted to do, so that I could help them find a $5 Casino War table on a Saturday night (they don't exist!). Or when I said I will meet them back in the room in 4 hours, only to find them waiting for me outside the poker room no less than 20 minutes later. I was done, I learned my lesson. I have no patience for first timers (Sorry virgins, its best do go with other virgins, so you can figure it out together), people who don't gamble, drink or are broke, you shouldn't be in Vegas if you're broke. I cannot be around people who need their hand held, if you want to do something, go do it. Phew.... rant complete!
My friend J is a great guy to travel to Vegas with, we wake up a different times, and he just meets me wherever I am if he wants to. He trusts my suggestions for food and has no problem making suggestions of his own. He loves poker, likes to drink and he has the money to do whatever he wants, and ladies.... he's single. We live in different provinces, and we decided to meet in Vegas Sept 2-8 for 6 nights of a little action, distraction and wallet subtraction.
This will be long, drawn out, and the ending offers no satisfaction.......Enjoy!!
Day 1 Sunday - I am a fan of anticipation
Early morning flights to Las Vegas are the jam, nothing better than landing at 8:30am with the whole day in front of you. I carried on, all 7 days worth in one small duffle bag. I speed walked through the terminal right on to a Bell shuttle and was the first dropped off at Bills just past 9am, a full hour ahead of what I anticipated. Even my Canadian charm (which simply consists of ending short sentences with "eh" example: I can check in early eh? no charge eh? you have the smile of a hockey player eh) could not avoid the $15 early check in fee that I unbelievably accepted to pay. Now normally I would never pay a fee to check in early, but I am just not as cheap as I used to be. I will pay for convenience, for $15 I get to avoid checking my bag, coming back later to check in and tipping the bell desk. The bill's room had lots of space, larger than usual flat screen, cool stained glass window in the shower that cranked opened (I could look upon Ellis Island while naked) and no bed bugs. All just a quick trip from the strip to the elevator and to our room.
I dumped my stuff as quick as I could (this is always the height of excitement) and ran immediately to the IP (doesn't everyone make IP their first stop in Vegas?) to get into the 2/4 limit aces cracked poker game, but with only one table running and no spots, it was going to be awhile till a seat would open up. I had been in Vegas for near an hour and had yet to have a beer. But I'll will be responsible and get some food first, to the disappointment of my readers and my gut I went to McDonald's. On the way to IP I picked up a three Michelobs from Casino Royale, has anyone tasted these while sober? terrible! On the way through Harrah's I spotted a young guy playing the Texas Holdem pit game wearing dark sunglasses and a hoodie, does he realize this is not real poker? is he picking up tells from the dealer?
I got a seat in the aces cracked game and played for a couple hours, when my friend B came in to start his shift dealing. I gave him a big man hug in front of all his work buddies. Handshakes are for businessmen, hugs are for friends! No aces cracked for me, but great to see B, and work out some plans for the week. I played Paigow at Margarittaville downing numerous landsharks and then hit up the Stage Door for a hot dog and a few beers, whatta joint! By this time I was buzzin', doing the bull dance, feeling the flow. It was time I make my way to one of my favorite places....the Book and Stage at the Cosmo. I walked up and took my seat at the bar, slipped in a hundred and was ready for some drinks. It was an all star cast of bartenders that day, Jenni, Wolfgang and Heather were all there, and it was nice when they each greeted me by name, and asked about my wedding. I wondered to myself what they think of me, am I "that weird guy that over stays his welcome" or someone they actually liked to have around (honestly I'll take it either way). They are an genuinely cool people! I sat and played VP while sipping handcrafted cocktails made by expert bartenders asking questions and conversing about all the different spirits. Jenni was soo disappointed when she turned around to see me drinking a can of PBR that Heather had reluctantly served me to stop begging. It's a taste of home I say! This became my exit strategy for the next couple days, when I was ready to head out I ordered a PBR in the can and they all knew I was taking off.
I had been meaning to check out the newly renovated Tropicana since it re-opened and a $50 slot play coupon I bought online gave me a good excuse. It was bright, clean and welcoming. I wondered the casino and the pool for awhile. I ending up cashing out $60 off the coupon before playing at a lively blackjack table, things where getting blurry now, I needed some more food to soak up the New Castles. Useless personal information alert: I consider myself a connoisseur of club sandwiches (everyone should have a passion in life) and I wanted to try the Greenberg deli in NYNY. As I ordered I built up some rapport with the deli staff and they put one hell of a club together for me, $10 with no sides. It was really good, I just wish I could remember eating it. Everyone always says to me "No restaurant can screw up a club sandwhich" well one time they forgot the turkey, so there!
The food worked and my memory when from black to grey, I took a walk through the Miracle Mile at PH. Shopped at the Penguin store then bought some new sunglasses at Volcom. It was dark outside and I really didn't have any plans for the night. I found myself at the bar in the IP by the poker room during their 10 hour happy hour, still with me? ok good, $2.50 drinks with kinda premium booze, so I ordered 4, and the bartender looked around for my friends. I sat there at the empty bar contemplating what to do next, I was sort of in a half drunk depressed mood, It had been a great day so far, whats there to feel down about, lets do something fun! and when I think fun, I think Casino Royale! Don't you?
I had a blast playing single deck, yes I am fully aware it pays 6:5 and I'm over it. Probably played for two or three hours talking with a couple from Minnesota and who ever else came and went. But during this time I must have smoked 15 filtered Swisher Sweets, atleast I gave 5 away so I couldn't smoke those. In the end I think I lost $30. Some of the best times gambling I've had in Vegas is parking myself at a cheap single/double deck pitch game, drinking, and talking with people. Nightcap consisted of a big bottle of water and a slice of pizza from the Flamingo food court, my makeshift hangover reducer (reducer...not cure).
Day 2 Monday - A glimpse into the Zombie Apocalypse
5am wide awake, can't sleep, lets get this day 2 party started! The strip at 5am is as close of a glimpse into the zombie apocalypse as you will ever see (until the real one of course). It's nearly desolate for exception of bums, hookers and all nighters. I walk past people throwing up in bushes, falling over, making out, sleeping on curbs or desperately weaving their way back to their rooms. Once again McDonalds is the only thing cheap and quick for breakfast. I think by this time my liver and stomach are plotting a revolt. It is a special time in man's life when they get propositioned by hooker for the first time (it means I'm getting older and more desperate looking) She sat next to me at a slot machine in Casino Royale and asked whether I wanted some company, I said I wasn't looking for any company this morning, after a couple back and forth exchanges, she jokingly said "I'm gonna beat you up". I asked her how she expected to attract clients with violence, but maybe some dudes like that, its a tactic I suppose. I think she could have taken me. I slotted around before playing Aces Cracked at the IP until about 10:30am when my friend J texted saying he was on his way to Bills. I picked up, bought two of the biggest beers I could find and waited in the lobby for him. While sitting there I was amazed to see people still coming out of Drai's night club at 11am! I am only 29 but this is no longer an option for me, though I suppose I could have went in a 5am and left at 11am, but that's still 6 hours! Day clubs, Night clubs, what about morning clubs?
We dropped his stuff in the room and did what two guys always do when they get into Vegas, we went shopping. Walked around the Miracle mile so J could replace a T-shirt he bought last trip at the fight shop. Sandwiches from Earl's followed (always awesome). It was off to the Book and Stage to get our handcrafted cocktail drink on! and I would like to announce that....we did! They make such a legit dark'n stormy here, with Goslings Rum and Gosling's Ginger Beer. J hit quad 7's when he was dealt trips for the first time. I love seeing people win especially those I introduce to the crack cocaine of gambling, but they always hit quads in their first session, heck my wife hit quads twice within 10 minutes of her first time playing, turns and says to me "oh I like this, its easy to win" It took me 2 YEARS of playing video poker over countless sessions, over a hundred hours of play to get my first set of quads. Come on people feel bad for me! I was convinced they were as rare as a royal. Which I know is impossible to get. Three hours drinking here and we were near blotto, but ravenous with hunger. Ellis Island Prime Rib was the ticket along with a couple pints of hefe. It's funny you can be soo hungry but by the time you have a beer, salad, and roll, you barely eat half your entree. I mean I would have chewed my own arm off when we first sat down.
Needless to say, we felt great, but wanted to have some more beer and play some no fold'em 2/4 limit hold'em at the Flamingo. At first the cocktail service was nonexistent, but then was constant, we ordered shots and a newcastles, then more newcastles, then more, soon I had one at the table, one under my seat, and one waiting for me on the empty table behind us. Can you believe that when I went to order another, the waitress told me no! I will NEVER play at the Flamingo again! how dare she not over serve me! I finished two and she let me have another. During this time I started negotiating heavily for a older man's O'sheas Card Gaurd, I wanted that thing, and I was willing to pay for it! I offered $15, but his wife had bought it for him, it turned out his wife was also playing on the table as I found out after I made the comment "She doesn't own you, you're your own man" She clearly ran things, so I started dealing with her, she was tough, she wanted $25, and I got up $22. I pulled out every trick, but she stuck at $25 and I walked from the deal.
We wanted to see a comedian of some sort that night, but like most dudes, we poorly planned and didn't actually have tickets to anything. I asked around the table if any one had any Vinnie Favorito 2 for 1 coupons as I had forgotten mine at home. Luckily a very nice lady piped up and said she did have a coupon that she would not be using since she is a local. I told her I buy from her and we settled on $3, I could have gotten it free but the $3 was more of a gesture. I am awesome at negotiating. It was better then 2 for 1, it was free tickets with a drink purchase (drinks were $14, hah!). I took the coupon and ran up and got tickets with 20 mins before showtime (you pay up front for the drink, so the tickets are $14 each. For the price of a $14 drink we were going to order get red bull vodkas, but the Waitress said "No", so I responded "Jack and Diet" she reponsed "Well drink only" so I said "Capt'n and diet" she raised her voice and said "I said well drink only" so I said, "Fine, Jameson and ginger" she shook her head said "I told you WELL DRINK ONLY" and started walking away, I yelled "fine fineYou win....Rum and diet". I am so good at negotiating. Mr. Favorito was decent, alot of canned material but some good cheap laughs, and worth the $14 well drink. But I must admit I am a stand up comedy snob.
Since I had been up since 5am and J about the same, we grabbed some Pizza, chugged some water and went to bed at 11pm or so.
Last response by SalSagev 20th September 7:42pm
lewintn responded on Tuesday, 18th September 2012
Love the report...sounds like a perfect Vegas excursion. I'm a huge fan of Book & Stage...Jenni and Heather are THE best!
Jammer responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
jinx73 responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
I've become jaded on trip reports over time, but I'm really enjoying reading yours. Maybe because it mirrors my trips in many ways. The "Cheers" like comraderie with bartenders and dealers, the constant drinking, the amazement at seeing club goers leaving at 11am and realizing that you don't fit that demographic anymore, etc, etc.
Well done so far and looking forward to more.
Adrian responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
Agreed. More please.
thebig747 responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
Awesome trip review, can't wait to hear more.
Just curious, are you cabbing it around to all of these places?
McGoo responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
I use my feet whenever I can, I am cheap and don't wanna pay for cabs. I will walk anywhere on the strip or within a few blocks
McGoo responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
Day 3 Tuesday - You're next trivia question: What Las Vegas landmark is known as the Platypus?
The day started with J and I enjoying yet another delicious McDonalds breakfast with all the drunks still up from the night before. Back to the IP to play Aces Cracked and enjoy some breakfast blue moons. I left and went to the Love store in Mirage to get a few things for the wife (and me) as we are both Beatles fans. More useless personal information: In May my wife and I attended Love at Mirage, while having a few drinks in the Revolution lounge beforehand I made a deal with her to buy the Beatles box seat and listen to one album every weekend while enjoying a drink that we concocted based on the album or song titles. It has been a blast, and I discovered my love for the Beatles. When we watched the show, she was awstruck, I was asleep. but since becoming a fan I can't wait to see Love again.
I met J back in the room and we headed to Stage door for a hot dog, while enjoying our dogs and buds, American Pie began planning on the Jukebox, a very common song for sure. But then all of a sudden it cuts out mid song and I start to hear the opening riffs of a song I know very well. I am shocked to hear the song "Daisy Cutter" by the band 311, you may say so what, but understand that this is my wife's absolute favorite song, so much in fact should we have a girl, her name will be Daisy. Now this is not even remotely a popular song, 311 does not even play it at live shows. It just seemed like a 1 in a billion occurrence, it was too random. A touching moment listening to that song and thinking about how much I missed her, hard to explain I guess. So we finished our beers and grabbed a cab to the strippers, hold on..... no we didn't! not after that sentimental story, who do you think I am? That's later in the night!
We hung around the pool drinking Summer Shandys for an hour so. At 2:30 we played the Bill's poker tourney and drank some more blue moons and J was able to push his way into third.
Back to the Book and Stage at Cosmo to have some cocktails and play VP, had some classic margarittas, bourbon based drinks and a PBR to go. Introduced J to Cosmo Secret Pizza. We got back to Bill's at 7:30 to meet my friend B, and head to McMillans for trivia night. This is a cool place, much larger than I anticipated. We had our team of 6 Las Vegas locals and 2 Canadians and in the first round they asked 3 questions referring Canada, how random is that. If you haven't had the Irish Nachos while here, I highly recommend. I was surprised at how difficult the questions are. We had a blast, good beer, good food, and good friends and even made some new ones. B said that our team had their personal best finish in 5th place.
Some of the guys wanted to play the Bill's 11:30pm tourney and for $30 this is a why not situation. I think I was the 2nd person out, another testiment to how drinking and poker don't mix, Josh was out soon later and we sat in wild cash game until one of the guys made a interesting suggestion. He screamed out from across the poker table "This sucks, let's go to the Platypus" J and I had no idea what or where the Platypus was but without hesitation our answer was yes. We got into a cab and headed towards the Tuscany and were dropped off at the Platinum gentlemen's club, I kinda had a hunch it would be a strippers. This was a small place with 3, count'em 3 dancers on duty, once we came in they danced one after another continuously until we left. It was hilarious and we had a blast! Stayed for about an hour before heading back to Bills.
I had heard that many soiled doves hang around Bugsy's bar since the Fountana Lounge closed at the Bellagio. While J ran up to the room to use the washroom, I contemplated asking him if he want to go play some VP, have a couple of beers and play point out the pro. But then I received a text from J that was the answer to my unasked question it simply said "Bugsy's Bar?" So we went down played some VP, didn't really see anything happening. The bartender nicely refused to play along and point them out. 4am, Bed time.
McGoo responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
ok more coming here, I missed day 4, hang on
McGoo responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
Day 4 Wednesday - That's my table B*tch!
We woke up at 9am in fine Zombie form. Decided that we should just pack and make our move downtown and get some grub there. Grabbed a cab outside of Bills and said Plaza Downtown, Cabbie says "Ok, where's that?" He had no idea where the Plaza was, asked me for the address and I said it was at the end of the Fremont Canopy by Golden Gate. I thought he had picked up what I was putting down until he pulled into the Golden Nugget valet. I said good enough and tipped him well, why you might ask? He was a nice guy, took the correct way to Downtown and I had a conversation with him about long hauling, he was completely against it and I believed him.
I hate that the Plaza incorporated Resorts fees recently, but they offer a big room for two guys, newly renovated with decent late night dining. The rate was slightly lower than the sold out Nugget with the resort fee, so it was really our best option.
We were friggin' hungry!, I suggested burgers at Binions snack shop. What happened here in line I don't even want to talk about since it gets me all fired up, but I will tell. The snack bar was full, so we started a line and a few others gather behind us waiting patiently (6 or so people) . A table in the front became available, but it had yet to be cleared, it was full of plates and uneaten food. We were thinking of grabbing it, but I wanted to wait until it was cleared. An older lady that was at the end of the line strolled up and took a chair and called her friends up. Her friends called her back due to the line. We stood and waited another few minutes for the table to be cleared. An this lady strolled right back to the table and sat back down again. My fuse was lit, I was crazy hungry, hungover and that was my table, I was next in. I called to her "Excuse me, there is a line" she says to me "So...seat yourself" I replied "have some respect for those in front of you" She says something in french to her friends, gets up and walks towards me, grabs the Seat yourself sign and shoves it in my face and asks me "Can you read? Can you read?" needless to say this infuriated me! but I try to be a polite person but this was too much even for me. I said "I sure can, get your a$$ to the back of the line and have some common decency for people" then of course she starts yelling at me in frenglish, about "You want the table? You want the table?!?!" I said "Yes of course, this is way I am here, to eat" and she screams very loudy "Well sit down then, take the table, TAKE IT" and I say "I will, I am the next in line, this is how this works". I am not going to lie, I then had some very choice words for her as she walked back to her group, and I made certain that I said them loud enough for her to hear. I have never seen anyone so disrespectful, and I feel bad for swearing at her, but it was unbelievable! I am worked up just thinking about it. In the end J had a good time telling anyone who would listen about how I swear at old ladies for the rest of the week, just another story to add to the pile.
Food in belly, I've calmed down. I really needed to hit a pool and try to re-hydrate and relax, try to beat this hangover away. We were denied from the Golden Nugget pool after I showed a room key from my stay in May. The guy was very polite in denying me, saying "oh, that is an older design room key, the front desk must have given you that on mistake, I'm sure they will exchange it for you, and then come right back" I just said "Hey, it was worth a try" and he said "Yeah, have a good one". The plaza pool is kinda cool, it is a basic rectangular pool with a small bar. You enter though a metal bar doors that make you feel like your being released from prison and you cannot immediately see the pool walking through this door. But when you turn the corner you find an immense amount of rooftop with a pool in the middle. If downtown pool day clubs ever great popular there is a ton of potential for something really cool there.
A tradition that started on my last solo trip is the Downtown VP bar crawl. It's easy, play VP at every casino on and around Fremont, have atleast one "free" drink at each and move on. Last year I almost made it to the end before passing out, this time I new my mistakes from last time and I had confidence I could make it through. J and I started at Main Street, moving to the Cal, and so on and so on. Outside of Binions, I actually won $25 in free play from a promotional machine, even the girl was surprised. We kept moving until we got to the Gold Spike, which J liked, they have Shinner Bock on tap. This is where he left to meet up with his parents who where in town. I kept moving and eventually finished the crawl at 8pm or so.
We decided on Sushi for Dinner and went to Island Sushi and Grill at Plaza, this is a good place. Even though it was happy hour, we still rang up a $100 bill. While eating I get a text from my Las Vegas buddy B, that he and some friend were waiting for us at the Plaza casino bar. We finish up and meet them only steps away, they have shots lined up and ready to go for us. Down the hatch, lets occupy that empty craps table. The dealers where so happy to have us play, and I think we gave them more action then they'd seen in awhile. Bets flying everywhere, lots of bets for the crew, since the people we were hanging out with were are all casino dealers/cocktail waitresses. Beers, shots, big shots, hardways..... We were having no luch and finally decided to go play sexy blackjack at the Gold Spike, as we coloured up one dealer said "No, don't leave, please"
The goldspike tables were full!, talked to the pit boss and she's said she would open a table for us but she had no dealers noting that they are never this busy. No biggie...El Cortez!!! Here we got our own BJ table and absolute havoc ensued. Crazy playing, shots, beers, whatever they would bring us. The waitress was visibility irritated as we ordered so many drinks that she eventually had to enforce a one drink per person rule. When we started tripping her $20-40 a round, and she lightened up and was more than happy to accommodate us. I would like to tell you I remember what happened after a couple hours here, I would. But I am not entirely sure, I remember the pit boss putting out a huge pile of beads for blackjack winners, and B instantly putting them all on and dancing around, much to the pit bosses chagrin. I remember being at Glitter Glutch with $40 in $1 bills, in the valet of the Gold Nugget (not in a car), and then at McDonalds in the Plaza. But I do know that we had a hell of a time! Did you know you can get 20 pieces of McNuggets for $4.99? This would easily cost $15 in Canada, that's a ridiculous amount of McNuggets for one person. So I only ate 16 before passing out.
McGoo responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
Day 5 Thursday - Train Wrecked
Upon awaking and thanking science that I was still alive, I ate the other 4 McNuggets. I truly have a McDeath wish. I reluctantly crawled out of bed at 8am and found my way to Main Street Station. It's the same old story, I wake up drunk and at the same time hungover, give myself the same old speech to "Just keep the train on the tracks McGoo" leading to an inevitable trainwreck. I stumbled to Boars head bar where the bartender was initially weary of serving me. I mean my head was slouched down with one eye barely open, both elbows on the bar, and I was having significant trouble putting the twenty into the machine. Can you imagine being denied a drink the morning after? I slugged down 4 or 5 easy drinking Amarettos and decided to go back to the room to die. But J was up and he insisted on giving me a pep talk, he said "Lets get some food and gatorade and make something out of this day! But have a shower first, you smell" This is what good friends do, they lift you out of hangover hell, and insult your personal hygiene. We had some mexican food downstairs at Zabba's (yeah, that sat well!) J wanted to go to the Outlets and I suggested walking (only a drunk man would make this suggestion). But I believe when your in bad shape you just need to get out there and do something, sweat it out. But with each step in the rising mid morning temperatures I came closer to admitting defeat, the vultures started circling. We lasted about 20 minutes, while J was looking at some new shoes, I turned to him and said "I have T-minus ten minutes until complete meltdown", his response was "yeah, I'm at T-minus 5". So we walked back hell bent for a nap, a 5 hour nap. He arose and announced that he was going to the gym (the gym? seriously? I was debating whether I could stand up and this guy is gonna hit the damn treadmill). I laid there in the fetal position and said to myself this is the turning point in the day, sink or swim, do or die, nut up or shut up, get busy living or get busy dying.....I have more if you want to hear them.
We needed some food, but I was in that sort of hungry, but too nauseous to eat state. Decided on Magnolia's in the 4Q's based on the selection and my 2 for 1 coupon. The club sandwich was average but more importantly they kept my water full. We needed to choke some beers down, so we walked to the Spike for some Shinner Bock. After about 3 hard beers each it was obvious that beer wasn't gonna work. It was around 9pm and I suggested we play some Pai gow at Golden Gate. I had $80 USD remaining before I had to exchange the CDN I brought. We had a blast playing with the girls here, they were fun, great to talk to and great to look at, My opinion of these dealers and the Golden gate has completely changed, and I feel bad for letting a couple rotten apples spoil the bunch. These girls don't take S**t from no one, and I love it. We played along side a regular who starts the night off friendly but as becomes more of a dick with each sip of his Corona. These girls know him too well and are not afraid to get in his face and kick him to the curb, it was fun to watch! This really turned the night around for us, we didn't get crazy but we had a great time relaxing, chatting, drinking and playing cards. After playing a bunch of hours, drinking a ton of rum and diets, I lost the last of money and we called it a night at 1am or so. Tomorrow was a new day, our last full day and we wanted to make the best of it.
McGoo responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
Day 6 Friday - Olympic Silver in Quarter VP
Up at 8am feeling great with a decent nights sleep and I need to get some Canadian exchanged, so I head over to Golden Gate where their exchange rate good and they offer 5% back in slot play (this is a great deal my fellow Canadians). I redeemed the slot play and had $10 in comps I earned the night before, that's pretty good for a low roller. With all the hub bub about the pancakes at Dupar's I grabbed a seat at the counter and ordered two pancakes, 1 egg and 2 turkey Sausage for $7.75 and a $3 coffee. These pancakes really were the best I've had, but I am no pancake connoisseur, my field of study is clubs sandwiches. I ran my $25 of free play through a quick hit machines (150 credit max) fairly quickly and decided I was in for a morning of VP at the Boars Head Bar until J woke up which I was hoping wouldn't be for awhile. I was about 2200 points from climbing the letter to Boyd's Sapphire card level (the blue card). I figured conservatively I play 10 hands a minute equalling 600 hands per hour or $750 play per hour on quarter JOB, $1 of VP play = 1 point, so it would take roughly 3 hours reach the 25,000 point mark. Some would say why not play at the $1 level, and save some time. But I wanted to just relax, play and have a couple drinks at a VP level I am comfortable with. I sat at the Boar's Head bar at MSS, my favorite place to play, determined to make it the Sapphire. Almost exactly 3 hours later the machine read out changed to show the words I had been waiting for "Congratulations on m...." the machine would not scroll to fully congratulate me, are you f****** kidding?! Can they not let me have any satisfaction? At the same moment, J shows up, now I've been here for three hours drinking bailey's and coffee, then on to their stout and it's 11am, I am more than half in the bag. J watches my machine as I march victoriously to the players club and claim my shiny new Blue Sapphire Card. I said to the nice lady that I would like to change my card from red to blue. She took a moment to look it up, confirmed it, congratulated me and they all clapped, a nice touch. I received the card and wiped the tears from my eyes.....like an Olympic Silver medal for a quarter VP player.
Congratulatory lunch was held at Pop up Pizza, where the pizza is almost as good as Cosmo's Secret pizza. J and I had some match plays from various coupon books and players club sign ups, so we spent some time doing the circuit, drinking and trying to win on the match plays. We started at the El Cortez, where as we circle the pit, we make eye contact with Sonny, who dealt to us during Wednesday night's debauchery, he looks at us, shakes his head and only says "Oh No". We played $3 double deck while drinking as many rums as they would give us, I got leveled in that game, $100 down in less that half an hour at $3 a hand, oh man how is that possible? We made our way to the Golden Nugget and I was sucked into the "Free Bet" Blackjack table. I see only one lady at the other end with about $500 in chips. As I sit down the pit boss says to me "Hello sir, just let you know the regular blackjack tables are right over there, this is a variation" I said "I've been looking to play this game" and replied with an "Well then welcome and good luck" I thought this was strange, but did think to much of it. I took a seat and ask politely if I could enter mid shoe, she said fine and we conversed about blackjack ethics and such. I played and lost for a bit and so did she. But she soon started to become irritated, belittling me on my play, the dealers play, and making some strange comments. She asked for a dinner comp and while waiting she donked off about $200 more. Things were escalating quickly. She was pissed at the Pit Boss for taking so long and saying he did it on purpose so she would lose. She debated about putting down her last $100 (well all knew she would) talking crazy stats that weren't at all accurate. The dealer instantly warned her that if she lost this $100 and started become verbally abusive she was out of there, no ifs, ands or buts. Well she did lose that $100 and she did become verbally abusive and I wanted to stick around for the show. She opened up with "This is f***** unbelievable, how can you pull....blah blah" "You're stealing my money, this game is rigged...blah..false accusation..blah". The pit boss made the motion and security was ready, he had them standing by. Now she was yelling that she hadn't had dinner and "You can't give someone a comp and throw them out..blah..I want a club sandwich...blah" and the classic "How can you throw a hungry lady out on the street" She was walked right out. I got up to leave the table and the Pit boss called me over and said "brother, I tried to warn you, I knew it would be trouble once you sat down and starting talk to her"
We left and went to one of my favorite places in the world, the Triple 7 Brewpub at MSS. The bartender recognized me (I have always had the same bartender) and we ordered a bunch of different pints, wings and deep fried mushrooms. J and I had a great time hanging out there talking, it was our last night and we reminisced about the trip and what we would change for the future ones. We decided to make this an annual trip. (So that in the future I can proclaim to my wife "Honey, it's our annual trip, it's tradition!") We were buzzed hard and leisurely walked by Glitter Gulch and before we knew it we were inside, it just sucked us right in, nothing like going to a strip club in the daylight. We got our two drink minimum and a stamp for free entry later without drink minimum (No way we are coming back that night). Spent and hour or so in here, but it was quiet and the girls were all over us.
We decided to end the night with a marathon session of Pai gow with the lovely ladies at Golden Gate. Many hands, beers, rums, laughs and bourbons later, it was 2am and I wanted to be well rested for the trip back.
For the final hand of the trip, we had a $25 golden gate match play that they would not allow us to use on Pai gow. So we took the $25 we won together from the match play run and bet it all on one hand of BJ. If we lose the hand we have only lost house money, but if we win, we are up $100. Well the first card was a face, we knew what was coming, we had the faith, just as predicted a beautiful six was placed nicely on the facecard, no sweat, lets make this hand. I elected J to tap the table, the dealer tapped for good luck and delivered a face for 26. We put are heads down, laughed and thought what a great ending to the trip. We strolled out of Golden Gate directly into Glitter Gulch, well what the? Sucked back in for an hour. While enjoying the show I came to the realization that I had yet to eat a Binion's Club sandwich. This is a solid club, all the love they don't put into it is easily made up by all the meat and mayo. It was a beautiful triple decker, with extra mayo (cut me some slack I'm on vacation) and potato salad, I was in heaven! Bed 3am.
McGoo responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
Day 7 Saturday - Vegas can just keep knocking, but not so damn loud, I got a headache!
I awoke at about 5am, and tried to convince myself back to sleep, but I laid there in a sort of half sleep mode worrying that my alarm would not go off. I had no intentions of gambling this day, I was tapped. The plan was to sleep until 10am, pack and hit the airport for my 2pm flight back to Detroit. I eventually got up at 9:30am initially feeling good. But as showered and packed I could feel the onslaught of a seven day Vegas hangover. I drank what ever bottled water was in the room (sorry J) and choked down a very dry granola bar figuring this would be enough solid food to get me to the airport. A tell tale sign of a good Vegas vacation is when your feet hurt, your bloated, your dry heaving on a regular basis and your ready to go home. I was at a bit of a low, I missed my wife and my everyday life....woh now I didn't say i missed my job. I packed, checked out, said goodbye to J (man hug) and caught my Bell shuttle right on time! I was feeling pretty crappy and almost called Ralph on the shuttle bus as it rolled slightly side to side and up and down on the freeway. I needed more nourishment, but couldn't stand the sight of a burger and fries, muffin or pasty or any kind. By the time I got my boarding pass, through security, onto the tram and to the terminal my legs where shaking, I was fading fast. Although near collapse, I chose to be choosy about what I ate, and finally got a small chicken wrap, chips and jug of Fiji water. I didn't even bat an eye (as they were barely open) when she told me $19 bucks, I put a twenty on the counter and hobbled to the closest table, ripped open wrapper with my teeth and ate like never before. People must have been staring at me, but I could have cared less. I chugged all that water and you know what about an hour later I felt pretty good!
When I departed on Saturday, I felt an overall disappointment with the trip, mostly in the moment of feeling crappy, tired and in a poor mood (don't pitty me, these are all my fault). I had absolutely no reason to be disappointed in the trip, J said he had a great time and I believed him. I sat and tried to relive the trip in my mind, and it became clear, wow what an awesome trip, how lucky am I to have such good friends. Had I hit a royal or even four deuces I think I would have been over the moon with the trip, but that's a defeating thought. The trip was amazingly fun with times we will never forget (yelling at old ladies). Gambling is gambling, sometimes you win, most times you lose, but hey the drinks are "free"! Writing these trip reports help me relive (as best as I can remember) my trips to Vegas, and I always use them as a reference for future trips.
I can hear Vegas knocking on my door, it's loud, very loud, but I'm still hungover so the city can keep knocking! I need a little bit more time in between trips. My wife and I have a couple other trips lined up in the next 6 months including our honeymoon. So I am enforcing an almost 7 month Vegas hiatus upon myself, the next round is Easter 2013! Call it a vacation from my Vegas Vacations.
Thank you all for reading and for all the great information you post!, Stay positive and love your life.
Okie21 responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
Great read! Thanks for sharing.
Kurtaz responded on Wednesday, 19th September 2012
Great TR... Hilarious, especially the Chicken Nuggets. I thought the same thing last March when I was in Vegas.
Glad your trip was a blast, and you recalled most of it.
thebig747 responded on Thursday, 20th September 2012
What did you think of the rooms at Bill's? Thanks for the great read!
McGoo replied on Thursday, 20th September 2012
Bill's was perfect for me. It's not luxurious by any means, but it's small with no check in/out line, no resort fees and quick access from the strip to your room.
The room was large, had a larger than usual TV and a pretty good view. I think I have found my preferred hotel on the strip!