We arrived in Vegas 11:45 p.m. friday nite with no problems...flight a little bumpy. Van rental from Alamo...everything went smooth as far as check-in, got to the hotel and checked in with no problem, 17th floor with a view of the train tracks and the strip far in the distance. Also could see the Plaza and the beginning of the Fremont Experience. We were not going to sleep... no way, we were ready to gamble!! So here is how the trip unfolded thru the eyes of yours truly...
We headed over to the California Hotel and the group dispersed mostly seeking slot machines to play. Bil (brother-in-law) and myself sat at a 2-deck 3:2 5 dollar blackjack table. I was just so happy to be in Vegas that I drank a little too ethusiastically to say the least. Cocktail service was very good. (A little too good) and we were having a blast with this dealer named Ric. He was very friendly and easy going even though I was making a lot of stupid and dumb mistakes. The part that was cracking us up was even though I made dumb mistakes I kept winning!! Ended up $100 for the session then checked with the rest of the group. We played slots and VP for a while then sleep started to creep in. We headed over to their 24 hr. cafe for something to eat. I had their graveyard special - a sirloin steak with green beans and rice for 3.99. Good deal. It was now 4:00 a.m. so headed to our rooms to sleep.
I got up at 7:00 a.m. and headed down to see if there were any crap tables open. Main Street"s tables were jammed packed (they have 20 times odds) so I headed over to California. I found a 5 dollar table with double odds. Only two people were playing so I bought in for $100. Now I am not an experienced crap player and I still don't know all the aspects of the game but I do know the basics. Anyway my turn came to roll the dice. I started to get hot. I mean I rolled and rolled making all my points. I even rolled 4-7's on the come-out in a row. Now the table wass jammed packed with people tossing chips all over the place. Every one of my rolls would have them yelling and screaming and high-fives were all over the table. I was so nervous I was going to get a heart attack!! Anyway the inevitable came and I sevened out to a lot of applause and comments of "good roll!" This man and lady that were on the side of me gave me money thanking me for the good roll. Eventually the table cooled down and I ended the session up $125. Wandered around the casino waiting for my group to get together. I came across a bank of $1 machines...oh oh...I felt my hand reaching for my wallet and before I knew it I was down $400!! I just love to play those damn dollar machines, especially the red white and blue. Last year the dollar machines were very nice to me...no big wins just a lot of $200 and $300 dollar wins. Oh well.. trip is still young maybe next time. Anyway the group finally got together and we ate at California's cafe again. Now this cafe offers an oxtail soup dish that a lot of us in Hawaii just love. I ordered that and it was just great. The meat was plentiful but just a little fatty. For those of you reading...if you've never tried this you should, it's something different.
We headed out to Sunset Station and the Galleria Shopping mall that is next to it. We did some shopping first ands then went to Sunset Station to play a while. This is a very nice casino with a southwestern motif. Lots of VP and a bunch of the newer video slots. Bil and I sat at a 6-deck 6:5 shoe 5 dollar table. I bought in for $100 and proceeded to slowly die like a rat. Now this time I was not drinking and I was FOCUSED on what I was doing. I got mostly bust hands and when I did have a 20 the dealer got 21. When I got a 19..you guessed it..dealer got 20. This was going on and on finally gave up and cashed out $12.00. First 2 dealers were so friendly and kept the pace of the game at a comfortable pace. Then here comes this female asian dealer who thinks she is speedy gonzales with the personality of a...well let's just say no personality. Anyway I tipped the dealers $6.00 in spite of Ms. asian dealer. By the way Bil stayed on the table and endured further punishment. At least Ms. asian dealer got rotated out and he played with the friendly dealers again!
We then headed over to Red Rock Hotel and Casino. Across from Red Rock is an Olive Garden we wanted to have dinner there but line was spilling out the dooor so we just had something to eat at Red Rock's food court. My Wife, her sisters and neice went to play Bingo while Bil and I just hung around the casino. We didn't gamble here because last year we took a beating at whatever we played here. That and we were still hurting from the beating at Sunset Station. Anyway Red Rock has a very nice bingo hall, it's very modern and clean and has separate rooms for smokers and non-smokers. What was really dissapointing for my wife, sisters and neice was that the lady in charge explaining the games had a strong Hispanic accent and the PA system was loud and came out garbled. My wife, sisters and neice weren't even sure if they were playing the right cards for the right games. I guess it's o.k. for the locals who play there a lot but not for those like us who only visit once a year if at most. Red Rock is a beautiful place but can be confusing to navigate. I went to find T-Bones Chophouse to purchase a gift certificate for my Best friend who will arrive in Vegas on the 10th. He and his wife will be staying here later in the week and will have his birthday dinner at T-Bones. After the purchase I got lost trying to find my way back to the group. Kept going around in circles. Anyway I finally made it back to the group and we headed back to home base.
Back at Main ST./California and all we did was wander around and gambled, playing various slots while Bil goes to play Blackjack. We were literally dragging at this point so we were in bed by 2:00 a.m.
I'll take a break here and post part 2 later. For those of you Heading out to Vegas Good Luck and Have Fun!!!
Before I start with part 2 of my report I'd like to comment a little about our rooms at Main Street. We had a double queen non-smoking room on the 17th. floor. Pretty nice, big room with separate vanity sink from the toilet/bathtub. The hilarious part was that the shower head is only at barely 5'5". I'm only 5'7" and I already had difficulty using the shower especially when you had to shampoo your hair. I can imagine how hard it will be for all you folks that are taller. Anybody know why this is like this? I've read that other hotels have this similar set-up. Anyway I thought that was funny.
Sunday- I woke up at 4 a.m.,could not sleep anymore. Bil called me and we walked around Fremont while the rest of our group slept in. It was a nice and cool nippy morning as we walked in and out of the casinos. So sad to see Binions and Plaza close down their hotel. Even Las Vegas Club looks pretty down and out. Hardly anybody in the casinos. Bil and I walked into Golden Nugget and I mentioned to him about the Lucky Lion fish slot that he enjoyed playing last year. I found it for him and told him to play it while I slipped a $20 into the machine. He played it and hit several bonuses while he was at it. It was so funny because we were laughing and high-fiving each other everytime a bonus would appear. Granted its a penny machine and the bonuses were paying 2 thru 3 dollars max per bonus but you wouldn't have known it by the way we were laughing and yelling in the nearly empty casino. Several patrons came by all wide-eyed asking if we had hit the big jackpot. When they saw how much we won they left smiling thinking we were nuts. What can I say... we were in Vegas and enjoying every minute!!! When the group was up and ready we headed over to Wynn to eat their breakfast Buffet. My In-laws treated me for my birthday even though my birthday is not till thursday. What can I say... the Wynn is a beautiful hotel and the Buffet food is just great, all high quality, fresh, and delicious. But for some reason I felt that the buffet lay-out was like a cafeteria....really, everything was real nice, clean and pretty but the lay-out...I dunno maybe it's just me.
After breakfast we headed over to Paris and got player cards. We have never been to Paris before and I must say even though it's all nice with its faux sky and french themes I wouldn't care if We don't return. We tried their slots and VP machines and they seemed tight. My Sil and neice went up to the Eifel tower observation deck just in time to take pictures of the Bellagio fountains.
We then headed over to Caesars Palace just to visit and and walk around... you know ....do the tourist thing. We strolled the Forum shops and saw the lame Atlantis show then got separated and lost each other in the maze of casinos in that expansive building!! After we found each other we visited Mandalay Bay and Bil and I stayed there while the rest of the group took the tram to visit Excaliber. I played $1.00 VP and $1.00 slots (my favorite Red White and Blue). Lost $100 on DDB VP and $120 on the slots. Bil didn't do any better. He played blackjack and got hammered hard. After the others returned from Excaliber we headed back to home base.
I checked the Main ST. crap tables and they were all crowded so I walked over to California and found the same situation - all tables crowded. I sat at a VP machine and played while watching the tables for any openings. Soon enough a table went cold and everybody left. This one guy buys in and I soon joined him. This other guy joins us and the three of us played for a while. When my turn came to throw the dice it seemed everybody jumped onto the table and bought in. Yep, they were mostly the same people who were on the table when I had my hot roll earlier. Here we go again.... I went on a roll again and people were yelling and cheering asd their numbers came up. I think I rolled for 25 minutes before I sevened out. The table became choppy for a while and then this man took control of the dice and rolled for a good 40 plus minutes. He was hitting all his points, prop bets, everything! The place was literally a mad house! He even had his own cheering squad of about 4 friends who were'nt playing but just standing back all drunk and cheering him on. It was soooo funny watching the pit bosses with their worried faces look on as total mayhem ensued. I always play conservatively and at this point I was up almost $300. I decided to bet aggressively but too late... table started to chill after I got all my bets out and like a dummy I didn't quit when I should. Ended up $70. Good good fun.
I then played 2 deck 3:2 blackjack with Bil. Played with this dealer named Amado. We both remember him from last year...he is so much fun to play with and he is friendly and all but.... he is extremely lucky! No matter what you do this guy will beat you...just uncanny to say the least! I bought in for $100 and fought my way up to $170 then slowly got bust cards until I quit down $65. Drank a lot of screwdrivers which made the session that much more fun. Even the pit bosses were nice, friendly, and easy going. I like playing at Downtown casinos it just feels more relaxed and friendlier. It was now 2 a.m. so I dragged myself up to the room and crashed.
Woke up later today and was out of the room by 7:00a.m. After breakfast with the gang at California's Market st. cafe ( I had oxtail soup again) we planned to visit the Fremont casino. On my way out of California I saw a 25 cent Triple pay 7 machine and stuck a twenty in. After 3 spins I hit triple pay/triple pay/Red seven for a $555.00 pay off. Alright! What a way to start the day! At Fremont I played at a crap table that was not really jumping so I played my conservative strategy and ground out a $70.00 win. After walking around and visiting all the casinos on Fremont St. we headed back to California where I jumped on another crap table and managed a $125.00 win despite the table being choppy....just got lucky. Wow... this Monday in Las Vegas is turning out to be a good day for me as far as gambling goes!
We now headed over to the Mirage Hotel as we have tickets for Cirque de Soleil Love show. It was a very good show, lots of visuals and the performers were very talented. The sound system was awesome too. There is so much going on at once that it is difficult to see everything that is happening on stage. I guess that's why I've read on some reports of people going to see it again to see the parts they missed. Even though the show was excellent I don't think I would see it again.
We headed back to home base and played slots at California and Main St. You guessed it... I tried to get on a crap table but they were all full so I turned in to bed relatively early at 12:30 a.m.
Tuesday - I managed to jump on a crap table at Main St. in the morning...bought in for $100.00. There was this interesting fellow that I've seen playing regularly at the Main St. crap tables all the time while I was there. He must be an avid student of the fine arts of craps because he kept a notebook and recorded every roll and results of his gaming session. I hope his gaming sessions were fruitful because he really looked like he was working hard at it. Anyway I lost my buy-in and tipped the dealers my last couple of dollars. By the way I'd like to mention that I always tip the dealers even though I am not winning... I appreciate their efforts to make the gaming experience fun and rewarding. However I will walk away if any of them tend to be rude or lack any character or personality. Life is too short to deal with these people.
Met up with my Bil and he told me he stayed up all last nite and hit a $1500.00 jackpot on a 25 cent Red White and Blue machine. Although he was down for the trip this win lifted his spirits somewhat. Our group ate breakfast at the Main St. Buffet. It was O.k. but the line for omelets were too long. After breakfast we piled into the van and headed over to Primm to shop at their outlets there. While the group shopped to their hearts content I hung around the Primm casino and yes.... jumped onto their crap table. The casino was slow so the crap table only had a few players. There was this husband and wife couple that asked to learn craps so the crew taught them how to play pass line and play the field. I only wanted to kill time so I just played conservatively but this couple were extremely lucky as far as rolling dice! They wer'nt hitting the far wall but the crew just kinda reminded them but let them do whatever. The remarkable thing was they were just betting the pass line and field because they did't know the other bets and the field is not exactly the best bet to make at a crap table. But they were winning!! So much so that I accrued a substantial profit off their rolls. I was just about to hand them some chips to show my appreciation for their good rolls when I heard the wife utter rather nastily to her husband about me not giving them chips since I was profiting off their lucky rolls. That was it...I clenched my fist on the chips I was going to give them... and just smiled at them as I continued to rake in profits off their rolls. When they finally left I gave them the sweetest smile I could and gave them...just that... the smile. Jerks. If they would have just shut up they would have been 2 green chips richer. And maybe more if they continued to be lucky with their rolls and not "expect anything." Anyway I cashed out $400.00 up.
Headed back to homebase stopping first at Boulevard Mall on Maryland Parkway for more shopping. Dinner tonite was at Redwood Grill at California. I had the Alaskan King Crab dinner and wife had Prime rib. Good stuff. Plenty stuff. By the time we were done we had to roll ourselves out of there. Before dinner I had about a half hour to kill so I jumped on this crap table and bought in for $100.00. Four people rolled their point and immediately sevened out right after. All in a row. Wow. Lost my hundred in less than 12 minutes. My wife and I stuck a twenty in a dollar machine and played it up to $187.00 by playing hit and run with the machines....three spins...no wins...move to next machine.
Good fun but we were tired so we hit the hay at 12:00a.m.
O.K. I'll stop for now and post part three later. Thanks for reading!!
Wed. Nov. 10 - Got up a little later today at 7:00 a.m. Played craps at Main St., bought in for a hundred and finished up $120.00. Headed out to Trader Joe's today to pick up things for our family back home. We then went to the Flamingo Hotel to see if we can buy tickets to Donnie and Marie. Well they were sold out and we should have known. All I remember was telling the group that I suggested we buy the tickets on-line way before the trip but they said we would get it cheaper if we came and went to Tix for to-nite. Lessoned learned. Oh well, next time. We trekked over to Imperial Palace to see if we can get tickets for Human Nature, those guys from Australia who perform and sing Motown music. We scored here so with that taken care of we headed back downtown to Fremont St. and Las Vegas Club to pick up Beef Jerky and other snack junk for friends and family (we Hawaii folks really love this crap), we can't leave Vegas without these things! Hung around the casinos until it was time to see Human Nature. We valet the van at I.P. (boy is it difficult to make a left turn from Las Vegas Blvd. into the I.P. valet area) and headed to the showroom. I must say I.P. is pretty run-down for a strip hotel but I kinda like the atmosphere here and the people in it - reminds me of downtown. Before the show started they were offering cocktails (non-complimentary) and I bought my wife this drink called "My Girl" where you get to keep the glass as a souveneir. Now you would think that since this drink is kinda like a "girlie" drink the glass would be all fancy and stuff. Nope. The "glass" was a big ole plastic beer mug looking tumbler with a cheap picture of Human Nature on it. My wife is a pretty, petite, and very feminine - looking woman and to see her sipping on a mug that would match a 300 lb. Trucker is just not right. And the drink was $16.00 too!! The showroom was pretty dated but intimate - not very big. The show was very good, Human nature is a very talented group and had us standing, dancing, and clapping in the end. I would recommend this show and the ticket prices are reasonable too.
After the show we headed to the Orleans to eat at Big Al's oyster bar. We ate there last year and we really enjoyed their clam chowder and Bil wanted to eat that. Well we arrived at 10:01 and they closed at 10:00. Sigh.... oh well next year.... We ate next door at TGIF and they had Clam chowder so Bil was sorta happy. The rest of us had o.k. bar - type foods. We gambled a bit at Orleans, nothing worth mentioning and then headed toward home base.
When we arrived back at Main St. we were really tired so we just played slots and then went to bed at 1:00 a.m.
Thursday - 11 Nov. My Birthday I felt that since today is my birthday I would get lucky gambling. Well... yes and no. Yes I won and no I didn't get to keep it! But I did have a lot of fun!! Bought in for $200 at a Main St. crap table and went up and down then down down down to $48.00. O.K.... try again. Walked to California and bought in $200 at their crap table....same thing up up then down again to $32.00. Tried again an hr. later... same thing...buy in $200 end up with only $68.00. Time to take a break. My wife and I put $40.00 in the Mega bucks slots and took turns hitting the spin button. Nothing. Not even a "Happy Birthday" from the machine. (LOL) For lunch we met up with my best friend and he took my wife and I to Makino Chaya at the Premium outlets downtown. This place is way better than the one back home. The food is fresh and the place is clean. We will definitely return to this place. My friend then took us to the Bass Pro Shops by Silverton. Really a great place to visit if you're an outdoors person. We hung out a little more then he retuned us to our home base. My friend and his wife will be in Vegas for 4 more days while our trip ends tommorrow.
Back at California my Wife and I played roulette. We each bought in for $100 and played the "11" straight up. I also played "black". The 11 pays 35 to 1 while the black pays even money. My wife was pretty lucky as 11 came up three times and the black came up 12 times in a row!! This session came out great as my wife colored up 97 dollars profit and myself 125 dollars ahead. We returned a couple of hours later and my wife bought in for $40.00 while I bought in for a hundred. Didn't do that well this time as my wife lost her buy-in and I ended up with only 25 dollars left. I did hit "11" 2 times but I put it all back plus "black" did not show up too often this time. Even though we were'nt doing well I really enjoyed this precious time together with my wife, we were enjoying ourselves and each other and the drinks were coming regularly...it was a very memorable and special time.
We had late nite dinner at California's market cafe and of course I ate my ox-tail soup ( I know I've said this before but we Hawaii people REALLY do love this concoction!). After dinner we just roamed around and played machines here and there with small wins of which we put right back in. Fatigue crept in and we were in bed by 1 a.m.
Friday - Last Day. Its funny how the last day in Vegas gives one mixed feelings. I enjoyed my trip immensely and I realize that it's time to go back to reality but a part of me longs for this experience to last forever. You wish somehow it would never end... that you could wake up each day looking forward to playing craps, blackjack, slots, and roaming this great city called Las Vegas. Anyway I was up today at 6:00 a.m. and just hung around downstairs at MainStreet playing a slot machine in front of the 777 brewpub and watching the t.v. inside the brewery. I let my wife sleep in since its our last day and we didn't plan anything today. We need to leave tonite at 11:00 for a 2:15 a.m. flt. back home. Check-out is 12:00p.m. today so we'll just check our bags with the hotel after check-out and hang around till we have to leave. I was literally "crapped" out by now but decided to play one last hurrah. Mainstreet tables were full (as usual) so I trekked to California, found a table and bought in for $200.00. I guessed I strayed from my usual conservative play maybe because it was my last day but I started to bet really aggressively. I caught some really good runs but eventually with so many bets on the table and the shooters sevening out too often I ended up losing my buy-in. I tipped the dealers as I usually do and thanked them for a good time. My crap journey for this trip was over. After checking out and securing our bags the group decided to take the van and do some last minute shopping. Went to Trader Joe's again and several other stores I don't remember just to kill time.
Back at Mainstreet we decided to eat at their Buffet. Tonite was seafood nite. The wait in line was an hour and 20 minutes long. Despite the long wait the buffet was just great. The crablegs were hot and there was a vast variety of seafood dishes. There also were many non-seafood dishes such as carved ham and roast beef, hawaiian style pulled pork, asian and mexican dishes...even pizza! Lots of different desserts too. I like the ambience of Mainstreet Buffet, the room is really pretty with the high ceilings decorated with sparkling fixtures and chandeliers. The curving food stations and the wide-openess between food and tables make this place very relaxing and un-cafeteria like. What I couldn't understand is why people would load up their plates sky high like it was their last meal on earth. I do not like to waste food so I usually take small portions then go back if I want more. These people (for lack of a better word) acted like....pigs. It was really distressing for me to see plates half eaten then see them go and load up another plate that they probably will waste too. Anyway for $16.95 per person this Buffet is a real treat.
After dinner My wife and I along with my Sil sat at a 5 dollar blackjack table with a very nice asian dealer. Another woman joined us so I was the only male at the table. The relief dealer was a woman too! Anyway this was our last hurrah as far as gambling. We had so musch fun, the drinks were coming regularly, and the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. We chatted up, asking where we all were from and sharing stories of past vegas trips. The dealers were very appreciative of our tips as they were saying that business was slow and many patrons would not even tip them at all. Even though we did not win money at the table it was a very nice and pleasurable ending to a wonderful trip.
It was time to go. Return of the rental van went smoothly. Flight home was ueventful. I lost about $900.00 on gambling on this trip. I've lost more in my past 2 trips and my first trip I lost about $700.00. All in all I think thats a good price for the entertainment and fun I experienced. I'm already looking forward to the next trip. My youngest daughter will be 21 next year and we hope we can return for her virgin gambling trip. I mentioned earlier how I wish my Vegas trips would never end. In a way maybe its better this way where we return home to the grind of real life. Anticipation is a wonderful thing...especially when you get a chance to see your anticipation turn to reality. So until my next trip,when things get hard, stressful, and depressing, I'll retreat back to the good times I've had in Vegas, I'll remember the city lights at nite, the addicting ringing of the slot machines, the roar and screams of delight from the crap tables and yes...even the "pigs" who pile their plates high at the buffet! So Vegas, take care of yourself.. I know I will..because we will meet again real soon... For those of you who have read this far...Thank You, I hope somwhere in this report you re-kindled an experience that makes Vegas special to you. Take care everybody, Bless you and Good Luck on your next trip to Vegas!!!
Electroguy from Hawaii