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TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

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Scottsdale, Arizona
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TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

I wrote my first trip report in April of 2011 - "7 Nights, 3 Hotels and 1 Jackpot." After writing about staying at the Cosmopolitan, Mandalay Bay and Caesars Palace and hitting a big win on a Wizard of Oz slot, I wrote "Probably will take another nice win to generate a 2nd TR. I hope there will be a 2nd trip report." Well, it's been 30 months and a number of trips but here is my 2nd trip report.

The 7 nights were Thursday, October 24th through Wednesday, October 30th. The 3 slot tournaments were 1) Mandalay Bay's $100,000 Drop Dead Gorgeous Tournament on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and 2) Flamingo's $150,000 Goblin Gold Tournament overlapping on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and 3) Flamingo's $75,000 Spooktacular Tournament on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

To eliminate any suspense, we (J and I) came in the bottom half of all 3 tournaments and the 2 hand pay wins were $1,403.75 and $1,608. If you want to read details about any of this, here comes a whole bunch of details. Besides the tournaments and hand pay info, I'll throw in some sights, sounds and tastes we experienced.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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1. Re: TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

Mandalay Bay's $100,000 Drop Dead Gorgeous Slot Tournament

Based on our prior play, we were invited to this slot tournament with 303 other hopeful people. The prize pool of $100,000 is all in free play added to the players' accounts. There was no buy-in. It was "free." Nothing is really "free" in Las Vegas.

Tournament machines were set up on the casino floor. They are all the same type. The top symbol is an M with a blue wave. Line up 3 of those and it is good for 1,000 points. The symbol is also wild. We've played in a tournament at Mandalay Bay before so we knew it would take about 43,000 points for a chance at 1st place and $35,000 in free play.

J played twice on Friday and twice on Saturday. Each session lasts 15 minutes and players hit the spin button as fast as they can. The lowest of the 4 session scores is discarded and the other 3 session scores are added to determine the outcome.

Evidently, J needs more practice hitting the spin button. We came in at 169 out of 304. We had 36,137 points. 1st place with 47,577 points got the $35,000 in free play. We, along with everyone from 101st to 304th, got $150 in free play.

We stayed 4 nights at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. A plan has been in place to renovate THEhotel and rebrand it as Delano but it keeps getting pushed back. Currently, it is supposed to begin to happen in mid 2014.

THEhotel offers real suites - a living area with a separate bedroom. There is a half bath off the entry and a large bathroom with a walk-in shower, soaking tub, 2 sinks, separate WC room and, vitally important, a tv in the bathroom mirror. There is a wet bar in the living area. Our request for a high floor looking North past Luxor provided a great view of the Strip.

While at MB, we enjoyed their dinner buffet, using a MyVegas award. On Saturday, there was a fine awards banquet in one of the ballrooms. About 100 of the 600 people were in costumes. There was a contest and 5 people won $1,000 in free play each.

We visited the Shark Reef at MB. It is a lot more than sharks. Komodo dragons, crocs, turtles, stingrays, piranhas and some of the prettiest and ugliest fish around.

Think about going to the Foundation Room at the top of the resort or Mix at the top of THEhotel for drinks and/or dinner or just get up there to get one of the best views of the strip and the city.

Ft Myers, FL
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2. Re: TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

Keep going :)

Columbus, Ohio
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3. Re: TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

Great start, can't wait to read more

Scottsdale, Arizona
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4. Re: TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

Flamingo $150,000 Goblin Gold Slot Tournament

Since this Flamingo invitational slot tournament overlapped the one at Mandalay Bay we were able to play in both on that weekend. Well, I played at Flamingo and J played at MB. Since the two places are owned by two different companies - Caesars and MGM, we were able to do both at the same time.

Here's my Flamingo room check-in story: The room type and location did not matter to me. I will be sleeping at Mandalay Bay and using this room just before, and in between and after tournament session times. So, of course, the lady says " I have a great upgrade for you." Fine. I go to the room and insert the key card. I pushed the door open and it hit an ironing board. Two ladies in the room, one of whom was not fully clothed. sceamed. There might have been a scream from me as well; I don't recall.

When I immediately returned to registration and told the story, the lady apologized and put $30 resort credit on my account. I suggested she call the two ladies and offer to put $300 resort credit on their account. The check in lady was not done with me yet. She gave me a great room - fridge, remote control drapes, tv in bathroom, strip view directly across from Caesars. BUT she didn't tell me I was on a "dog friendly" floor.

Don't you think a guest should be told he is being placed on a dog floor? I wondered about the issue of barking noises (from dogs) late at night.

On Friday in between hotel check-in and tournament registration I enjoyed the Flamingo Diamond Lounge for drinks and snacks. On Saturday in between play times I went to Harrah's, the home of the best mudslides in Vegas, maybe the world. By the following Monday Harrah's Diamond lounge was closed for renovations. But we could get comp drinks across the hall at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill.

My skill at hitting the spin button on the slots was as poor as J's was at MB. I came in 231 out of 460 with 21,295 points good for another $50 in free play. 1st place with 36,670 points got $25,000 in free play.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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5. Re: TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

Flamingo $75,000 Spooktacular Slot Tournament

While I was invited to the $150,000 weekend tournament (no buy-in), J was invited to this $75,000 tournament on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We checked out of Mandalay Bay at 11 am and drove to Aria. Enjoyed the lunch buffet "free" thanks to another MyVegas award. Then to Flamingo so J could check-in.

We got a room on the 26th floor (there are 27) facing the strip and Caesars with a clear view to the north of Bellagio and its lake. The 26th and 27th floor jut out from all the other floors so the rooms are a bit bigger. But our bathroom was very small and not renovated as the room had been. Also the top two floors don't have that wrap that turns building facades into huge billboards (in this case Donny & Marie). So the view is clear; it doesn't seem as if you are looking through mesh.

J registered for play times - twice on Tuesday and once on Wednesday. She paid any entry fee of $99.

On Monday night it was very good we were in Harrah's showroom watching "Million Dollar Quartet." It's a musical set on December 4th, 1956 when Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis all ended up in the same Sun Records studio run by Sam Philips in Memphis. There is a recording of their jam session.

It was good we were there, not only because it is an entertaining show, but it kept me from watching Monday Night football. Seattle Seahawks vs St. Louis Rams. I had a number of silly bets hanging on the outcome. On Saturday I made "super teaser" bets - a kind of parlay bet. All of the games that were part of my bets had turned out right on Sunday. Everything depended on the Seahawks winning by at least 5 points. After the show I learned that Seattle was up by 14 to 9. The Rams had the ball for the final 6 minutes. They were 1st and goal to go and did not score. The Seahawks won by those 5 points and I collected on all those

"super teaser" cards. Best I avoided that excitement. (I didn't avoid the excitement of last night's game - Colts vs. Texans. Final thing I did in Vegas Wednesday night was to bet on the Colts, -2 1/2. Colts won 27-24. First thing I will do next time is visit the sports books and collect on this bet and others from Sunday.

J still needs more practice in learning the intricacies and strategies of hitting the spin button on the tournament machines. We finished 273 out of 330 with 19,341. Everyone from 251 through last place of 330 got $50 in free play. While 1st place with about 32,000 points (after 7 nights of keeping track of numbers I am a little hazy here) won $10,000 in free play.

On Tuesday we had dinner at Caesars Bacchanal buffet. Dinner for two was $89.98 (plus tax if you are not using Total reward comps). As a self-described buffetologist (that is with one t - a buffettologist with two t's studies Warren Buffett and his investments), I study buffets. I think Bacchanal after 13 months remains as the top daily buffet. People write that buffets start strong and then pull back. Here things remain strong...except....the man at the carving station said they no longer serve tomahawk ribeye steak, a staple of mine.

I spotted Chef Scott Green having dinner here. He put his heart and soul into creating this buffet and then within a few months of opening switched teams to be the executive chef at the Wynn buffet. I bothered him while he was eating and said I had a lot of questions about the switch but "it is none of my business." He did say there were "many reasons." Obvious from seeing him eat there, he still has friends at the buffet he created.

There are things as frequent visitors to Vegas we just accept. But 1st time visitors should know not everything about Vegas is great fun. I am thinking about our Wednesday afternnon walk from the Flamingo on the NE corner of the Strip and Flamingo Road to Bellagio on the SW corner. An easy walk, right?

First, there is all the litter on the sidewalk near Flamingo and old Bill's. It is just not the fault of the porn slappers handing out cards with escort service numbers. It is mainly the fault of all those tourists who feel obliged to take handouts and then immediately toss them on the ground, rather than take a few more steps to a trash bin.

Then there's the scaffolding to negotiate. And there's always a strong probability one of the escalators to the pedestrian crossbridge will not be working, as one was not on Wednesday. There are the panhandlers, musicians. Saw one guy with a sign "need money for weed." When we got half way there - street level in front of Bally's it was tough to get through the crowd of about 100 watching really bad breakdancers dancing to, I kid you not, Celine Dion music.

Then, on the final leg of this gauntlet, the bridge from Bally's directly into Bellagio there's a 3 card monte scheme going on. You'd think every adult would know about this scam but you'd be wrong. Some guy who must have just lost money to these crooks was yelling obscenities at the top of his voice.

Once inside Bellagio, the good Las Vegas re-emerged. Visited the Autumn Harvest at the Conservatory. It is impressive what a 100 talented horticulturists and wheelbarrows of money can accomplish. The display continues to November 30 and the Holiday one begins December 6th.

We visited the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts showing "Warhol Out West." This runs to the end of the year. Includes paintings, photos, sculptures, even wallpaper and mylar balloons.

Thanks to another myVegas award redemption, we dined free at the Bellagio dinner buffet. This final night,

Wednesday we placed all kinds of bets on NFL games. So far, so good. Think Green Bay winning by at least 11 points tonight.

I'll finish up with a post about how we came to love the Ultimate X Video Poker machines and a couple of other machines (out of 85 machines).

Nassau, New...
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6. Re: TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

Thanks for your report! Rooms with a view are great, and your story of the ironing board ladies is hysterical - thanks for the laugh. Wish you'd taken a pic of the 'weed beggar' - good one. Also like reading your buffetologist experiences :) Oh, and Congrats! Sorry your wins weren't as much as you would have liked, but whose are?!? lol Thanks again for sharing... and looking forward to the rest!

Scottsdale, Arizona
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7. Re: TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

Sailexuma of Nassau - Thank you for your comments. Especially appreciated "looking forward to the rest!"

I had given up that there was one soul out there in the huge world of Trip Advisor who wanted to read about my 2 hand pay slot wins. All it took for me to do this final chapter of probably what was too long a trip report is that.

We were at Mandalay Bay from Thurs, Oct 24th through Monday. On Friday we were at an Ultimate X Video Poker machine. There are but two of these on the floor. We were playing a quarter machine with the Double Double Bonus Game with three lines.

We ended up with 4 Aces on one line with a muliplier of 8. The prior hand was a straight so that is why this hand had 8x. That is 800 quarters x 8 plus a little more from the other 2 lines for a total of $1,608.

Then on Sunday on that machine we were dealt 3 2's. One one line was a 2x multiplier , another 3x and another no multiplier. We got the 4th deuce on the two lines with multipliers. And we had a low kicker on each of those lines. So that netted $1,403.75.

If you have slogged through any of the other posts, you know we were in the bottom of all the slot tournaments. But this made that weekend to be in Las Vegas at the right time at the right place. We finished by using the $150 free play from the slot tournament at a new to me Buffalo Stampede machine with awesome graphics.

We turned our slot tournament "win" into $850 at that machine with 3 great bonus rounds. I don't think there is much need to detail the many, many, (many) machines that gobbled up the bills, is there?

Victoria, Canada
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8. Re: TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

Great report! Thanks for taking the time to post!

Just read it from start to finish today after I got home from work. Really enjoyed the detail, also your excellent writing style including the nice paragraphs....lol. Makes it so easy to read :-)

I've never been to an invite slot tournament so your report was very informative. The tournament at MB sounded like it was worthwhile.

albuquerque
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9. Re: TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

I enjoyed the read. Congrats on the "hand-pay wins"!! Thank you for taking the time to write up a trip report. You must have a load of patience, regarding the slot tournaments.

Crandon, Wisconsin
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10. Re: TR: 7 Nights, 3 slot tournaments and 2 Hand Pay Slot Wins

Glad you finished!! I usually don't go back to read, but did enjoy your wins! congrats!