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Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Pennsylvania
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Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Hello everyone

First off let me just say this, I love Vegas. I have multiple casinos within 45 minutes of where I live and I visit Atlantic City 3-4 times a year. I go to these specifically to gamble. I have stayed in Atlantic City on overnight or weekend trips well over 100 times in my 17 years of being “gambling legal” and a few when I was underage. I visit my local casino once a week or so to play poker and sometimes some blackjack or slots.

When I get to Vegas though, a switch flips inside me. I am sure others have this magical switch too but I feel like a different person. The drinks taste better, the steaks are more tender, the girls are much hotter and the gambling, well that sucks no matter where you go. Most people will only write a review about great times, a terrible experience or how they won. People who had an average experience or lost gambling will usually not take the time to write a review or mention it. Well as both you and I know, 95% of us, if not higher, who go to Vegas come home with less money in our pockets. I would assume that at least 95% of us who read these boards though have great times in Vegas. This was one of those trips for me. I lost and I lost and I lost some more. I barely played because all I did was lose BUT wow did I have fun when I wasn’t gambling.

This is one of the things that makes Vegas so great. When I am in Atlantic City, there is not much to do when not gambling. Sure, you can walk the boardwalk or even take a pushcart to your next location (if you don’t know what that is, look it up). You don’t need to worry about a long haul because the max price for a cab is $13 around the city. There are great restaurants and even many of those that can also be found in Vegas. There’s only one huge problem with all of that, it’s not Vegas.

Well this trip is the 2nd time that a good buddy of mine has joined me on a trip to Vegas. None of our other friends were able to get away from work, wives, girlfriends, money issues or whatever so for the 2nd year in a row it’s just the 2 of us. We are both closer to 40 now than 30 and love to gamble, drink and have a good time. I love my vodka with (insert anything) and good dark craft beers. I gamble on everything in Vegas.

Below you will find a summary of my 4th trip to Sin City, which will be my 2nd TR. Last year’s TR…11/7-11/13 1st Time TR More of a Summary 6 nights 39 Casinos, that I posted on TA can be found

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g45963-i10-k590670…

If you don’t feel like checking out last years report I can tell you it was jam packed. Yes I was inside 39 casinos last year and gambled in most of them. This year was around the same but did not gamble in all and skipped a few. I will not break this up by day but will break up by topic again. I think it’s easier to follow and hope you get more info from it this way. If you have any questions please feel free to ask in this forum or PM.

Again, here are the notes and opinions of The Gupp…

Pennsylvania
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1. Re: Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Flight and Hotel Check in

Flew direct from Philadelphia via US Air on Wednesday 9/11. Departure was supposed to be at 6. Well there was a huge storm I guess throughout the entire US except at the Philly airport. Every 10-15 minutes the pilot would announce that it would be another 15 minutes as they were looking for a new route. We sat on the runway so long that we had to go back to the gate to get more gas. Screwing with my Vegas vacation! About 830pm we finally took off. Watched 2 movies on my ipad and next thing you know I’m in Vegas. We hopped in a cab and next stop was Harrah’s. Being that it was I think after midnight once we checked in there was no one in line ahead of us. Checked into our Premium 14th floor Mardi Gras Tower room. Awesome beds and the tv works. View is of Treasure Island and the Venetian. Closed the curtains so the sun would not awaken me and did not open them again until I was ready to leave. Off to pick up some water, snacks and alcoholic beverages for the room.

Pennsylvania
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2. Re: Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Casinos

The strip casinos that I did not step foot in were Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur and Tropicana. Love the feel of MB but no real need to head down there just to gamble. I would not walk through the Luxor if all blackjacks paid 2:1. Dump. Excalibur is ok but again no need and the Trop, well who goes to the Trop.

MGM – Just walked around for a bit. Wanted to check out Hakkasan but with the Mayweather fight going on that weekend it wasn’t a good time for 2 30+ year old guys to want to check out the club without $1200 bottle service. They are also redoing the signage out front and it looks like they are putting in an Aria type marquee.

New York New York – Played a bit of blackjack and a slot or 2. Went here to use the MyVegas piano bar reward. See the Bar/Drinks section below for more on that.

Monte Carlo – Lots of gambling here. Wanted to get on their radar for room offers after using the MyVegas picnic by the pool reward. Awesome pool area. I read reviews on here that the music is too loud and it’s full of young people. I guess I was there on a day (Friday) that is not like the opinions of many on this board. Sure the music is pumped up a bit after 12 but it’s a fun atmosphere and I was there until 5pm and the ages ran from 8-88. There were more people there at 30+ than under 30. It’s not some young crazy pool party.

The Cosmopolitan – Awesome place to get a few drinks although I would probably never stay here. Place is like a Frat House. Dropped a few bucks here on the slots but nothing too bad. Loved the Chandelier Bar yet again and checked out Bond and Vesper as well. Played some video poker at Book and Stage and of course lost there.

PH – Walked through the Miracle Mile shops for the first time ever so I wouldn’t lose any money gambling at that time (yeah it was a bad gambling trip). Bought a slushy drink at one of the stores. Very tasty. Didn’t gamble a penny here.

Aria – Played lots here. $25 blackjack, slots and poker. Great poker room and it definitely attracts a better game. Johnny Walker Blue comped in the poker room. Wow is all I could say about that. I love this place and may jump the Caesars ship next year for rooms at MC, Mirage or Aria.

Bellagio – Love just walking through here. Played a bit of poker here and that’s about it. Was really busy and hard to get around. The Conservatory was closed on Friday as they were putting up their autumn display. Was back open by Sunday when I stopped back there. Fountains were of course the best thing in Vegas. Watched around 10 shows total.

Ballys/Paris –. . Played a bit in Paris after Gordon Ramsey Steak and as usual came out behind. Did not step foot in Ballys. Their people mover was broke the entire time. Not worth walking all the way back for that place.

Flamingo – Played some VP at Bugsys. Hit a few 4oaks but still lost for the week at that bar. Played lots of 3:2 $10 and $15 tables for all of you who are nervous about losing your $3 on all those blackjacks you are gonna hit. Had a lot of fun here and played here and at the Mirage the most.

The Quad – Walked through here at least 30 times. It’s new and there are $5 tables of everything everywhere. Even on a fight night at 330 am. Saw a few dealertainers perform as we cut through here regularly. Prince was fantastic. Many others you wouldn’t know who they were…

Harrahs – Home base and I barely played here because all I did was lose. Place was constantly jammed and every time I put money in a machine I never cashed out. I played from 30 cents all the way to $5 a spin and my biggest hit was $65. They got barely any play from me since I go no play from them. Had fun playing blackjack up front and the video poker bar was a break even place. The worst collection of poker players ever call this place home.

Caesars – Watched the Thursday night football game here. Did not bet a penny in the casino and still does nothing for me.

Mirage – Love the Mirage. Spent Saturday and Sunday here losing all my football bets. Wasn’t planning on staying here Sunday but when I went to make my bets a fellow Chicago Bears fan handed me 12 free drink tickets. Was going to the LVH to watch the games but instead found a chair and sat here for about 8 hours watching the games drinking for free. Well technically I lost $400 in the sportsbook so I technically paid for my drinks. Played some 3-6 poker here and had fun with that. Hit a high hand bonus of 4-5s for $100.

Casino Royale – I actually did well on the slots here. Didn’t win but atleast I played. $3 craps is always fun when you can get on the table.

Venetian and Palazzo – Hung out here a decent amount. The water was drained from the canal inside for maintenance. Little weird. Played poker, slots and blackjack.

Wynn and Encore – Just a walk through. No gambling here. The rest of Vegas was talking my money and I had none left for Steve to get his hands on.

TI – Lightning did not strike twice for me here. I lost unlike last year but I got lots of play in for my money unlike Harrahs. Had pretty good drink service.

Palms – Never been here and most likely will never go back. Went to see an awesome band play in their lounge on Friday night. This was however the only place that I won money at for the trip. Hey $75 is $75 when you lost as bad as I did!

Went downtown to walk around and only gambled at The D and El Cortez. We both played $5 BJ for hours and hours. Lost of course but had fun. Went upstairs at The D and played sigma derby for a bit which was good random fun. Also played the old school video poker machines at El Cortez.

Pennsylvania
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3. Re: Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Food

Breakfast every single day was $5.50. Starbucks Venti and a banana.

Since our flight was delayed we never made it out for Happy Hour our first night so McDonalds at 1am it was. Can’t believe my first meal was MickeyD’s..lol. Not that I don’t like it (stopped several times for drunken food) but never as an actual meal.

KGB Burger – Absolutely fantastic. I had a cheddar burger with bacon and fries. IMO this place is the best burger joint in Vegas. Check it out. I was blown away by this place 2 years in a row. Service was quick and on top of things. Great burgers.

Holsteins – Had a basic burger with cheddar, bacon and fries. Everything was good but quite pricey and not on the same level in terms of taste as KGB. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a really good burger but a bit of a letdown after KGB.

Gordon Ramsey Steak – This is my 2nd visit in as many years. Last year I thought it was the greatest steak I have ever eaten. I wasn’t sure if I was just caught up in the moment of being at Ramsey’s steakhouse or what so might was well check it back out again. I am so happy I did. It really was the greatest steak I’ve ever eaten and this was the greatest meal I have ever had. The steak actually did melt in your mouth. WOW. We each had the bone in rib eye this time with sides of fingerling potatoes and haricot vert. We didn’t do any apps or deserts since we were going to be out bar hoping all Saturday night and didn’t need that extra weight on us. That meal with a few cocktails apiece was outstanding.

Margaritaville – Stopped here to grab a drink and ended up having dinner after a few too many frozen drinks that had something to do with a Carnival. Evil yet delicious. Tried Conch here for the first time in some sort of appetizer and a pretty lousy French dip sandwich. Will definitely go back for the awesome drinks and the terrible cover band but won’t be having a dinner here again.

Aria Buffet – Always hit a buffet on a Vegas trip and this time I wanted to check out the remodeled buffet. Last year this was closed during our trip so figured to check it out. I was a little disappointed in it. I was not expecting the Bacchanal Buffet but I was expecting a bit more. The food was hot and tasty but not a lot of options to choose from. I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy and there was only 1 type of potato on the entire buffet. The sushi station was not very good either. I would not recommend this place and I will not be going back here.

Lunch was usually a liquid lunch or a slice pizza, food court or whatever.

Pennsylvania
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4. Re: Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Bars/Drinks

Yet again I wrote down tons of places to check out and didn’t get to any of them. From the Mandarin bar to all the happy hours, I hit zero of them. Hard to leave one fun drinking spot for another!

Chandelier Bar – This is my favorite bar in Vegas and it’s definitely not my scene. I would laugh at some place like this in my hometown but in Vegas pour me another $14 vodka tonic and keep them coming. Hung out at the bar on the 2nd level as well as the couches on the 3rd floor. Met some cool people here and it had a great vibe on Saturday night.

Rhumbar – Spent a quality late afternoon here drinking mojitos and slushy drinks while enjoying a cigar. DJ starts around 4 and the place had a nice liveliness to it by 5pm. Always a must stop for me.

Margaritaville – Great drinks. Bozzey, sugary plastic cups of fun. Place was always packed. Was inside twice and walked by 2 many times to count and there was always a large crowd. Fun place with fun drinks.

Piano Bar NYNY - Went here only to use a $75 MyVegas reward at the dueling pianos. Went here last year and hated it but it’s a free $75 worth of booze. Since I have tons of reward tokens from myvegas I picked up this and the picnic by the pool at Monte Carlo. I don’t need room comps although I Mlife may see more from me on my next trip. There is only a cover here ($15) if you want a table. The other side of the pianos was the free standing room only side and that is where all the fun was going down. I take back saying this place not having an atmosphere because it certainly did that night. I had a really great time and met some cool people that we hung out with a few other times on the trip.

Piano Bar Harrahs – Spent some time here on a few different nights. Had a great atmosphere every time I stepped foot in here. Everyone always having a good time.

Had drinks at many other bars throughout town but these were the more fun bars we drank at when not gambling. While gambling the drink service was non-existent. This was not the fault of the cocktail servers but due to the fact that I was getting NO play for my money.

Pennsylvania
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5. Re: Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Gambling

Ugh…

Terrible. I read these TR’s of people winning and I don’t know how you do it. I seem to lose money while I am sleeping. I played blackjack and lost, slots and lost, video poker and lost, craps and lost, poker and lost. Lost 7 straight hands of blackjack after buying in 1 time. Lost on 4 straight 7 out rolls after the come out roll in craps. The biggest slot win I had was $62 and I was betting anywhere from 30 cents up to $5 a spin on a $1 machine. Never have I lost nonstop for 5 days like I did on this trip. Not once did I put money in something or buy into a game and cash out with what I started with or more. It really put a damper on my trip and by Sunday night, after losing for the 4th straight day, I was exhausted from losing.

I hit 2 out of 12 games sports betting. Yes 2 out of 12. I even lost playing poker. Poker is what usually funds my other gambling. Not on this trip. If you tried to lose as badly as I did I don’t think you could do it. I am not looking to retire but I am looking for some entertainment. I was not entertained and I know I put way lose through in coin and play because I couldn’t win to keep playing. My TR and Mlife credits were both super low. Scared to see what happens to my offers although all I did was lose.

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6. Re: Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Miscellaneous and Closing

Hopefully some of you can take something from this and it wasn’t just a 4 hour waste of my writing time..lol.

I used 2 MyVegas rewards. The NYNY piano bar, Monte Carlo picnic by the pool. Had the Monte Carlo food credit but never used it. Piano bar was simple to redeem, they gave you a credit slip to give to the bartender, and we opened a tab on top of that. $192 later minus the $75 we were on our way. Mlife is smart with these rewards. We would have never spent that $100+ there since I would have never gone there if not for the free $75. Well done Mlife, well done.

Monte Carlo pool area was a lot of fun. Bucket of Corona’s and a frozen $2 pizza was the reward. You could have gotten a burger or nachos but pizza made more sense. Easy to redeem and yet again Life got us with a few frozen drinks after we ran out of beer. So another $60 that we would have never spent their staying at Hurrahs. $200 in alcohol purchases from using MyVegas where we never would. Again well done Mlife, well done.

The Strip was packed Thursday-Sunday with the Mayweather fight. Saturday at around 2 am was the busiest I have ever seen. Cab drivers said it was the busiest weekend they have seen in some time.

Street performers and hustlers were all the rage. Dancers and contortionists. Hustlers playing 3 card monte and other variations of it with shills were all over. Stay away if you come across the hustlers.

Accidentally confused a lady of the night with someone who wanted to talk while looking for her friends. She had some choice words for me, oops.

If you are into alternative music check out the cover band Red Eye Radio.

There was no water in the canals inside the Venetian. Doing some housekeeping and will be out of commission for a few weeks.

Watch out for a service fee at Rhumbar. There was a 5% type drinking fee associated with our bill. I asked the waitress and she took it off. Not sure if there is a “drink fee” to start up with all the “resort fees” out there. Just check your tabs.

I love picking up a 25 ounce twisted tea or lime-a-rita for $3.50 at every Walgreens I walk by.

Not sure how I missed on buying all those slushy drinks that you find all over until this trip.

Jello shots served at the Eiffel tower shop outside Paris. Not sure if there is booze in them but they were less than $2 a shot.

For those saying at Harrahs in the future they are doing some upgrades in the Carnival Court rooms. All you coffee maker people could rejoice because the rumor is they are all getting coffee makers. I will still stick to my Starbucks.

Speaking of Starbucks in Harrahs, use the 2nd floor Starbucks and not the one by the check in desk on the casino level. You can thank me later.

Saw Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce walking through the Chandelier Bar on Saturday night after the fight. Quite the entourage with those 2 future Hall of Famers.

The mutant strawberries at Jean Philippe Patisserie are still awesome.

The prices for drinks in all the bars and clubs are not.

1OAK is a club where I did not feel the least bit out of place or old, under or over dressed. Was a pretty fun experience.

The trust fund kids running around the clubs are the once who run the city these days. The cabbies said that everyone from the city bows to them because they are the ones keeping Vegas going these days.

The tables and machines were pretty open no matter where I went. The restaurants, bars and clubs were always packed.

Although I took a beating I am already looking at when to go next year. I’m thinking either early May or October. Still too hot for me.

The Bellagio Fountains is still what Vegas is all about for me

Damn you gambling gods!!!

–The Gupp

Kitchener Ontario...
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7. Re: Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Thanks for the share :-)

Kind of odd stating you think Luxor is a dump but to play in Casino Royal lol.

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8. Re: Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Loved your report thanks

Olathe, Kansas
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9. Re: Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Thanks for your detailed report. Maybe you'll be on top next trip.

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10. Re: Damn you gambling gods...TR 9/11-9/17

Great report.....thanks!