Amazing Lucky Trip to Vegas
Tuesday March 15, 2016 to Wednesday March 23, 2016
Another Vegas trip planned about two months in advance. Once again my wife threatens to divorce me if I go to Vegas and once again she calms down and realizes I too have a right to have some fun in my life. She could save herself a lot of drama and aggravation if she would remember that she does this every time and just get past the anger and threats and move on to the resignation and allowance phase faster. At the time of this trip I am a 51 year old married man who has been underemployed for the past six years. The last trip I wrote about was April 29 - May 3 2012. I took another trip at the end of October 2014 but did not write it up and probably never will (overall gambling loss of about $900, plus trip expenses). In December following that trip my daughter passed away, then seven weeks later in February 2015 my father also passed away so it was not a good time for me. After over a year I needed a new break. I don’t do any fancy dining so if that interests you skip this report. I also tend to write a very detailed report so if you just want a summary report you will want to look somewhere else. I write these trip reports mostly for my entertainment and enjoyment to relive and remember my trips. If you happen to enjoy it too then great!
My gambling has gone down over the years so I do not receive as many offers as I used to. I kept getting told it was a busy time in Vegas due to A) March Madness, B) St. Patrick's Day, and C) Spring Break so that contributed to not getting a good rate on a rental car or great breaks on room rates. Still things worked out overall. I had offers from Boulder Station, NY NY, and Aria. NY NY was supposed to be three nights any time but when I called they said that the whole time of my trip was restricted due to the factors mentioned above. Aria was supposed to be two weeknights and they told me it was good for that week just not on the weekend which was fine. Boulder Station had rates of around $39 a night for that weekend on the mailer they sent me. I went online to reserve at Boulder Station and was shown a totally comped rate for that weekend (Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights) so I quickly booked it. I reserved two comped nights at Aria (besides the hideous, horrible resort fees) for my last nights of Sunday and Monday as I figured that would be the nicest hotel and I wanted to end on a high note. For my arrival nights of Tuesday and Wednesday I checked out many hotel sites to try to find two really cheap nights. After a long search I had Arizona Charlie's reserved since their rates are quite low and they are very close to Boulder Station where I would be right after. Then on a whim I decided to see what offers I could find online with the Total Rewards program even though they had not sent me any offers in the mail. To my surprise I found an offer for two comped nights with them in several hotels (besides the dreadful, horrid resort fees) so I reserved two nights at the Linq, since I had never been there, and canceled the Arizona Charlie's. Rooms set.
I fly Spirit Air because they are the cheapest, even with baggage fees and, more importantly, they have nonstop flights from FLL (Fort Lauderdale) to LAS (Las Vegas) and back. Also their flight names cannot be beat, flight 777 to Vegas and 954 (Broward county area code) on the return flight. I paid $136.18 round trip plus $30 baggage fee each way for a total of $196.18. Flight set.
I had a hard time getting a good rate on a rental car this trip. Rates kept going up so I started thinking about how I could get a discount. I finally checked Costco travel since I am a member and managed to get a rate of $186.98 for the week probably the highest rate I have ever paid but it was with a supposedly very good company, Avis. Vegas transportation via rental car set.
A few weeks before my trip I texted my best friend that I was going to Vegas. He is a big time slots player on the Total Rewards system and gets comped wherever he goes. He lives in New York and I live in Miami so I hardly ever get to see him. He texted back that he would love to go but had work and would have a hard time getting away. Finally his craving for Vegas tempted him into buying a ticket for a quick weekend getaway, leaving Friday afternoon and returning Monday morning so I would see him for two full days in Vegas which was great. Friend set.
I like to go to shows while I am in Vegas. Some of the shows and attractions I wanted to see were: Nathan Burton, Spoofical, Las Vegas Live Comedy Club, Criss Angel, Tommy Wind, LA Comedy Club, David Copperfield, Michael Jackson ONE, Paranormal, Penn & Teller, Murray Celebrity Magician, Matt Franco, Red Rock Canyon, Atomic Museum and Pinball Hall of Fame. I managed to do some of the items on my list with some other things thrown in. My friend paid in advance for the David Copperfield tickets for Saturday afternoon at 4pm and the Michael Jackson One tickets for that evening at 9pm which was quite generous of him. I paid in advance for the Penn & Teller tickets for that Sunday evening and was going to buy the Paranormal tickets the day of the show at Tix4Tonight. We bought the more popular show tickets in advance for fear of them being sold out on such a supposedly crowded weekend. I redeemed some points for a comp ticket for Criss Angel for Thursday night from the MLife slot program they have on Facebook. The show gets horrible reviews but I figured for free it should be fine. I also pre-bought a ticket to the Linq High Roller for Thursday because they offered a coupon online for people staying at the hotel. It brought the price down to $20 from $27. Some tickets set.
I contemplated taking Uber both ways to the airport but got a coupon offer for reserved parking at a very cheap rate near the airport at a place I had used a few times in the past. It made the price just about even to going with Uber yet I would have control of my own car and could leave the house exactly when I wanted to so I decided to go with that option. Miami transportation and airport parking set.
Tuesday March 15, 2016
The night before my flight (Monday) I printed out my boarding pass as soon as it became available and was please to get seat 20A, a window seat. With Spirit you have to pay extra to reserve a specific seat so that was the first small win. I left home around 6pm and parked at 6:20pm at Simple Airport Parking on US1. Their shuttle took me to the airport and I made it through security with no problem by 7pm for my 8:05pm flight. The flight arrives on time at 10:35pm extremely smooth landing, you could barely tell we had hit the ground. I pick up my bag from baggage claim and catch the shuttle to the rental center to go pick up my rental car. I rarely drink at all so drinking and driving is not a problem and I like the freedom of having a car to go wherever I like whenever I like. I always get unlimited mileage and have driven to many different places on some of my trips. Renting a car or going by taxis and public transportation is a personal decision, for me renting a car works out great.
At the Avis rental counter they gave me the usual hard sell to try to get me to buy their insurance even though I told them in advance that both my credit card and insurance company have assured me that I am covered and do not have to buy their overly expensive insurance. They also tried to get me to prepay for gas, threatening that they would charge over $9 a gallon if I failed to return it full. They then asked me if I needed GPS but I told them I had a phone with navigation like most people in the 21st century. I always reserve a compact car because the rates are usually the lowest, they get the best mileage and they fit more easily into parking spaces. This time I got a nice little Nissan Versa that served me very well and was exactly what I needed. I took a video of the car's exterior to forestall any damage disputes and began to drive out, but as I exited the facility I noticed the car was not full of gas, in fact it had a little under three quarters of a tank, and this was after they made such a big fuss about the penalty they were going to impose for not returning it with a full tank. I was very tired since it was close to 3am my time, and not about to drive back into the facility to argue so I videoed the dashboard as proof then drove on to my hotel.
I drive up the Strip and get to the Linq hotel around 11:55pm to check in to my room. The clerk says he only has one non-smoking room left but it is near a club that plays loud music until 2:30am every night. He says if it is too loud I can change in the morning. I decide to try it out and get room number 10920 (I am not sure why but the room number seems to interest some people) and of course I have to go back downstairs to gamble on my first night in Vegas. For the past several trips I have always lost money on my first night, many times quite a bit. I hate being down at the start of a trip because then it seems the whole rest of the time you are just trying to dig yourself out of a hole. I went down at 12:30am and made one $100 bet at craps and won. I should have left then but could not play for just one bet. After about another 30 minutes I left being up $5. I was determined to end with a profit on my first night no matter what so I had to quit at that point and I was in bed by 1:30am. The music was sort of loud but I was so tired it probably didn't make a difference. First day +$5.
Wednesday March 16, 2016
Wednesday morning I am up early by 5:30am since I am still on east coast time (8:30am). I was showered and down by 6:36am and won $110 at craps. Last trip I did a lot of match play. I decided not to do that this trip since it took up a lot of time and I actually lost most of my match plays so I did not even buy the ACG (American Casino Guide, full of many useful coupons including match plays) as I usually do. However, on the plane there was an offer pasted to the luggage racks from the D Hotel in downtown Vegas. It was for $50 in match play if you presented your Spirit boarding pass within 24 hours of arrival. Since I was up so early and had time to kill I decided to drive downtown to take advantage of that offer. On the way I filled up the car with gas, slightly over four gallons for $9.63. I am in the D with a new player's card by 7am and get my match play chips. I put the first one down on the Don't side at craps. The shooter rolls an 8 then sevens out for my first win of $50 ($25 cash bet plus $25 match play). Then I wait until it is my turn to shoot and play the pass line for the remaining chip. I roll a seven instantly for another $50 and it's time to take the $100 win and run. I call Avis about the gas and they say they will make a note of it. They say they cannot take anything off the bill yet since I still have the car but when I return it they will see what they can do. Next I drive to the always exciting Wal-Mart for snacks and beverages as well as a small mouthwash and deodorant that I forgot to pack (durr), total spent $44.04. Back to the Linq by 9:15am and played craps while waiting for Tix-4-tonight to open for a $50 win. I walk out and buy my tickets with the $50 cash I just won (minus $2 per show with a coupon that I printed online for a $46 total cost). I had contemplated going to three shows that day but decided to skip the late show as I would probably be too tired to enjoy it so I bought tickets for Nathan Burton at 4pm and Spoofical, the Musical at 7pm, both at Planet Hollywood (which I call Planet Ho or P Ho for short). I walk down to the P Ho and exchange the vouchers for real tickets at 10:45am. Then I get a call from another old friend and we spend about 15 minutes chatting before I go in to the casino there and win $99 at mini baccarat ($100 minus $1 commission).
So far I have won at everything I played today but then I go on to the Cromwell. This place used to be Bill's Gambling Hall and before that the Barbary Coast. I promptly lose $200 at craps. Then I go on to the Flamingo where I start to play craps. I took out $200 and got mad when that lost so instead of cutting my losses I stupidly took out another $200 and lost that as well. I had actually won back $100 of my original two but kept playing so I ended up down $400 for that session at the Flamingo. It seems I have turned a winning day into a losing day but the day is yet young. At 12:20 I am back at the Linq asking them to change my room which they nicely do to room number 21431. They assure me it is nowhere near the music, being in an entirely different wing of the hotel. I then drive over to the Luxor to pick up my Criss Angel ticket and play mini bac with a really nice guy who is playing for the first time and really enjoying it as I teach him the game. My kindness is rewarded with a $200 win. I drive back to the P Ho where I stand in line for almost an hour to see Nathan Burton. This is a mistake! Do not go early and line up. They put all us early people in a section in the back of the theater and many people who came later got much better seats. It also turns out that I had seen this show before and forgotten it but it was ok as he puts on a decently entertaining show for the price though it got out at 5:15 so it was not that long. I then played more mini-bac making another $210 profit. My notes then have a confusing notation about slot play which I think means I won (43.65-27) $16.65 on some quick hit slots at 6:20pm.
At 7pm I went in to Spoofical the Musical. There appeared to be about 10 paying customers in the whole room so even though the performers tried very hard and gave an enthusiastic performance it was hard to laugh when you are one of very few people in the audience. Overall I think the P Ho tries to put on too many shows so some are bound to be either mediocre or under attended or both. The show was over by 8pm and I was pretty tired by now after only having about four hours of sleep so I drove back to the Linq where I watched a little Hell's Kitchen and was asleep by 10pm. Gambling win for the day +$185.65. Expenses $90.04.
Thursday March 17, 2016
Up at 6:30am I shower, get dressed, pack up and load up my car before I check out of the Linq. After a small amount of arguing they comp me one night of resort fees due to the noise the first night so a small win there. They also comp a small amount of cash from the bill due to my gambling so my total was $29.56. As I get ready to leave I lose $90 on a 777 slot machine then win 10. I then decide to play a craps machine. This is a machine that you put money into, there are dice in the middle and everyone takes turns shooting like in a regular craps game. They seem to be popping up everywhere and I suppose they may be less intimidating for beginners as you do not have to interact with dealers. On this machine I win $90. This extremely lucky pattern of winning a bit more than I just lost amazingly repeats itself over and over throughout this trip.
At 8:30am I drove over to the Rio to ride their new zip line attraction but found out it does not open until 11. I played some slots putting $120 in the machine. I went up and down before ultimately breaking even with $120 out. At 9:15am I went to my preferred game, mini-bac. The first hand I won 7 over 6 but they told me there was some obscure rule that said seven was a push on that table so I jumped up and moved to what I was assured was a normal table where, just to spite them, I promptly won $100.
I had never shot a gun in my life and wanted to try it out. I saw an ad for The Range 702 so at 9:30am I decided to drive over and check it out. Turns out they too were closed until 11 (nothing in Vegas opens early) so I drove over to the Excalibur which seemed to be the closest casino and won $150 at craps. By 11:15am I was back at the Range 702 where I bought a package to shoot 25 rounds (fancy name for bullets) from a machine gun at a target of a zombie for $50. It was interesting and fun to do once. I read in one of their ads that you were supposed to get a T-shirt with that package but they told me that was only if you booked online and I was just a walk in but if I wrote a review on trip advisor they would give me one, so I did and they did. Now back to Rio where I bought the Penn & Teller tickets for Sunday evening. The best seats they had were 5 and 8 in the middle section. They said if you asked nicely the people in 6 and 7 would probably switch with one of us so my friend and I could sit together (which ultimately was the case) so I bought the tickets ($211.50 on credit card). Next I rode the Rio zip line. You go way up to what is a nightclub at night but vacant in the daytime and get in the seat to be whisked from one building to the other and then backwards to the starting point. It was quite thrilling as it goes pretty fast and comes to a fairly abrupt stop at the forward end (cost $27.49).
My next activity was the High Roller back at the Linq. I drove back and parked there again (by the way the Linq's parking garage has got to be one of the worst in Vegas) and fought my way through the St. Paddy's day crowd of drunken revelers until I got to the ride. Turns out it was lucky that I was going that day since everyone who rode on St. Patrick's day received a free T-shirt so there was my second free shirt of the day. It was another activity that was nice to do once alone, maybe I would do it again some day with friends. The whole ride takes about 30 minutes, wheel goes up, wheel comes down, with some peppy narration on video screens to alleviate the boredom.
By 3pm I was checking into my room at Boulder Station. I got room 1102 which seemed lucky and very easy to remember. It was the last room on the right at the end of the hall. I did not mind since it meant I would not be bothered by many people walking past my room and I would get exercise which I desperately need. I placed a couple of bets on that night's Heat game, Miami -4 and over 209 for $10 each, then sat down to play a little blackjack, a game I rarely play. I got lucky that session and won $50 then on to craps where I won an additional $100. The I played the Megabucks because of course you have to give it a shot and won $51. I played three spins of $3 each and hit for $60 so decided to quit. Then I foolishly lost $71 playing other slots.
By now it was 5:25pm and time to depart for the Luxor for my show at 7pm. I arrive with plenty of time to spare, especially as I had a reserved seat so I sat down at a craps machine. The guy shooting had an absolutely amazing roll and starting with just 3-5 dollar bets I left up $127.50. Then I dropped $15 in another slot but who cares.
At 7pm I went in and saw the Criss Angel show (it was over by 8:15). It is not as bad as the bad reviewers say but it is not a great show either, merely average. For a comped ticket it was not a waste of time but I don't think it is worth premium Cirque prices. About $50 would seem fair to me. He does some self promotion but no more than most other performers do during their shows. Played a little more slots and broke even then back to Boulder Station by 9pm. I ate a bit, went downstairs and won another $50 at craps before going to sleep around 11pm.
It is at this point in my trip that I first noted how much cash I still had on me. I know I had 21 hundred dollar bills when I left Miami and I think I had an additional $25 on me but it could have been around $50. So my starting cash was most likely $2125 (let's go with that) and my notes say I now have $2778 which would put me up about $650 besides the cash I spent and other expenses on the credit cards. Gambling net win for the day +$532.50. Expenses $338.50.
Friday March 18, 2016
East coast time woke me up at 4:44am and after trying to get back to sleep I just gave up and got up and showered. Went downstairs and promptly lost the two black chips I was carrying around from the night before for a $200 loss at craps. Uh-oh. I went to Albertson's to pick up a few more snack and drinks $47.68 on the CC. As I drove I wondered: Would this be the day I had a huge downward spiral like many other past trips? No way! I quickly won back $115 at craps then went to another shooting range called Battlefield Vegas (they are located to the rear of Circus Circus and were open by 9am). The machine gun was nice but what I really wanted was to see what it was like to fire a regular handgun for home protection. For $35.32 I got 20 rounds with a Glock and did fairly well hitting the target though they do keep it reasonably close for beginners.
At 10am I bought a ticket for Tommy Wind from Tix4Tonight for $23.42 (I think I paid cash since I have no CC bill for it). Then I went on an expensive walking tour of two casinos I had never been to, Palazzo where I lost $100 at craps and Encore where I repeated that performance. At around noon I eat lunch ($14 cash), then drive to the MGM where I have had good luck on recent past trips. I played baccarat in the high limit room and won $225, hey isn't that just about what I lost on my little walk? At 1:15pm I decided to see the movie Deadpool at the UA theater near the MGM. I bought a ticket then had a nice talk with my wife and son back home before going in to the movie. It was very good, interesting action with a witty anti-hero main character. Lots of violence and swearing but entertaining for adults. By 3:45 I won $16 at another craps machine which paid for the $11 I spent on the movie. Then back to high limit baccarat for a quick two bet banker-banker win for $135. At roulette I break even, then lose $100 on a baccarat machine. 4:40pm and I lose another $100 on slots then walk over to the Tommy Wind Theater to see Tommy Wind. His show started at 6:05 and was out by 6:55pm. I am an amateur magician myself so his show was really not all that impressive to me. He did a version of cups and balls and another trick that I often do for kids called Hopping Spots. He also did a trick called Multiplying Bottles that I own and know how to do. I suppose the reasonable price may be good for families with kids who are easily impressed.
By 7:10pm I was back at the MGM high limit baccarat room where I won $210 (hey, isn't that just about what I lost right before the show?) then $50 up at craps and $60 down at slots (stupid me and the darn tempting slots). It was now time for me to pick up my friend at the airport. I noticed I got a text from him right about the time I started my slot play. I wish I had heard or felt the text when it came in as it would have saved me $60. He was tired from the flight so I dropped him off at Paris (where he was fully comped of course) and drove myself back to Boulder Station where I won $5 playing craps before hitting the sack at around 11pm. Cash count $2854. Gambling net win $96. Expenses $136.42.
Saturday March 19, 2016
I was up at 3:30am and was saying to myself "Not again!" but I finally fell back to sleep and did not get up again until 9:30am for a total decent night's sleep. Did my morning routine and left $5 cash for the room attendant same as I did the day before. I figure if I am willing to gamble hundreds of dollars I can at least tip the room people a measly five bucks per day. They are the hardest working and lowest paid workers in the casino business as far as I can tell.
Went downstairs to play some mini-bac and won $11 then went to pick up my friend at Paris. We drove on to Mandalay Bay to pick up the prepaid Michael Jackson ONE tickets where they told us the tickets were in our phone electronically so we did not have to pick up anything. While there I dropped $9 in slots. Then on to the MGM where we were to see David Copperfield at 4pm. We picked up the tickets by 1pm and then just had to kill the three hours until the show. Played a mini-bac machine and broke even, then won $13 on a Friends slot machine then another $10 on a Share & Win Slingo machine both of which my friend and I enjoyed playing together. He also had some small wins on these machines. Next I won $50 at craps, then we saw the David Copperfield show. The show was decent but it was clear that the way he did many of his tricks was to have planted audience members who would give him the information he needed to have.
6:30pm I drove back to Boulder Station with my friend to eat, and cashed in one winning sports bet for $9.05, the other one lost. At 7pm I dropped $200 at the craps table. We then drove on to Mandalay Bay for the MJ1 show. Being early, I played a bit of craps and won $160 then dropped $20 on Hot Shot slot machine. The show went from 9:30pm to about 11:05 and was very good but not quite great. It dragged at times when they played Michael Jackson songs that were not very popular and only the most die-hard fans probably were familiar with. I then played a slot machine in partnership with my friend and after three spins we hit for a profit of $80 each. I took out mine but he kept playing and a couple of spins later he hit for another $100 or so. I didn't mind and was not jealous at all, I was happy just to take my win.
By midnight I had dropped my friend off and was back at Boulder Station for my last night there. I bought in for $80 to play craps and was up to an even $100 where I should have left but then went and lost it all for an $80 loss at that table. I was so mad at myself that I decided to go play a Megabucks machine again. I put $100 in and on the third spin (at $5 per spin) the wheels came up double bar, double bar, five times pay which was $60 times five for a $300 win or a net profit of $285 at that machine. I giddily cashed out and went to bed. Cash count $3224 which puts me about $1100 up for the trip so far. Gambling net win $309.05. Expenses $5.
My last night's cash plus my calculated win do not add up to tonight's cash (there is about a $60 difference) but I am not sure why. I must have won something else that I either did not write down, remember or calculate correctly.
Sunday March 20, 2016
Up at 8:30am, by 9:30 I had showered, dressed, packed, eaten and my suitcase was in the car. By 10am I played a bit of craps for a $50 win then my lucky Megabucks machine gave me $4 before I drove over to the Aria to get in line for check-in. They took my information and told me I could get early check-in for a fee but I declined. I had to store my luggage with the bell people and wait for a text to tell me when my room would be ready.
Around noon I walked down to Paris to see my friend in his room. He is a big slot player so I played along with him and spent more on slots than I usually would have this trip. We went downstairs and I dropped $100 on slots. He had to pick up an offer of $300 cash that he got just for going to Vegas. It was in the form of three $100 Visa gift cards and he was agonizing over how he would redeem them so I offered to buy one off of him for $100 cash. Then I figured we should ask for comp tickets for Paranormal that day since he had so much in comps coming to him and indeed they just gave him two tickets for free.
We then walked next door to Bally's where the show was scheduled for 4pm. I rolled three points in a row in craps for a $75 quick win and run, then lost $20 on a roulette machine. I also played a huge novelty slot machine and lost another $28 then some mini-bac for $46 win. Then I played alongside my friend and lost $120 on one slot and $60 on another slot. Yikes!
At 4pm we saw the show Paranormal where I am very convinced that many audience members were local actors being paid to give the answers that would make the guy look good because he refused to answer any of my questions after the show. By 5:25pm we played another slot where I won $87.
The text came confirming it was time for me to check in at the Aria so I set myself up in the room and called for my luggage which soon arrived. My room number was 19219 which I consider sort of lucky since my birthday is the 19th. A few words about the room at the Aria. It is the fanciest or maybe most automated room I have ever been in. There is a touch pad that can be used to control all the lights in the room, the curtains, anything you may care to order from room service and the TV, including all channels and pay movies. Back downstairs at the Aria I won $25 at craps then my friend and I drove over to the Rio for the Penn & Teller show. Before the show I played some more mini-bac where I was down $200 before luckily breaking even, then won $7 on a craps machine.
At 9pm we went in and saw the show. It was totally different from the show I had seen several years ago and for the most part I did not think the changes were better. I think they were experimenting with some tricks to see how they would appeal and to my mind they did not rate so well. By 11pm I was back in my room and counted my money. To my surprise I only seemed to have about $2800 and change when I figured I should have over $3000 so I decided to go down and gamble some baccarat at $100 a hand. After buying in for $1,000 I was down to my last $400 until I had a great comeback and left the table with a profit of $115. I later realized my money count was off because I had not counted the $100 gift card I bought from my friend plus $125 in chips I had kept in my wallet. Asleep by 1:30am. New proper cash count $3203 plus $100 gift card. Gambling win for the day $81. Expenses $2 (cash tips to bell people).
Monday March 21, 2016
I was up around 7am. I would have been very willing to drive my friend to the airport for his early flight as I had on previous trips but he said he did not want me to bother and would rather take a taxi so I was able to sleep a bit longer than I might have otherwise. Since the room had a deep bathtub I decided to take a nice long hot bath, something I almost never do except when on vacation. After a nice soak I shower off, leave $5 for the room attendant, then go downstairs to claim my $25 in free play from the Facebook mLife Vegas slot game. I turn the $25 into $14.80 real money and am tempted to keep playing until I remind myself that slots are bad news, so I move on to play some craps.
There is a guy at the table wearing a stained shirt who is playing very heavily on the don't side on the craps table. It is about 9:20am and he claims he has been there since 4am. My eyeball estimate is he has about $13,000.00 in front of him, mostly in the form of black chips. He has arranged them nicely so they are fairly easy to count. He is offering to pay for people's bets if they set up several numbers then seven out since such a roll nets him around $1000 or more and the average bettor is playing around $20-$50. I took him up on his offer and he paid off my $30 losing bet when I sevened out after about three numbers set up. The dice come around to him and he tries betting pass line but of course the dice are still ice cold as they usually are and he loses a little on his own roll. I then start betting on the don't along with him as he seems to be having good success with it and after about 20 minutes I leave the table up $130. The guy was still betting heavily when I left and if I had to guess I would say he probably did not walk away until all his money was gone. I have seen the type before. Instead of walking away with a very decent win they think today will be the day they break the casino but it never happens, the law of averages and the casino edge always catch up in the end.
Time for me to buy show tickets for the day. I find a Tix4Tonight and purchase Murray, Celebrity Magician (4pm) for $25.66, Matt Franco (7pm) $52.42 and Jokesters Comedy Club (9:30pm) for $27.12. With my printed out coupon I get $6 off for a total cash payment of $99.20. I walk over to the P Ho to exchange my voucher for a real ticket one but no one is in the box office yet so I go downstairs and play mini-bac for about an hour and break even. I walk back to the Aria to get my car and drive out to eat lunch ($17 cash) then over to an Albertson's where I pick up just enough snacks and drinks to last me the rest of the trip ($15.14 cash).
Back to the Aria for a small rest then downstairs for another craps session where I lose $200, then high limit baccarat where I make $275. Walking away, I spot the Pai Gow tiles game. I have played it a couple of times before but I am pretty unfamiliar with the rules. I know that it is pretty much a 50-50 proposition that the casino takes a commission on and the dealers will help you so I sat down for a few minutes just to kill some time. I think two bets were a push and two were winners so after tipping the dealer I walked away with a $40 profit.
Drove back to the P Ho for the Murray show and lost $200 at mini-bac. The show was very good for the price. It lasted about an hour and he did some nice tricks while keeping up a fairly amusing banter. After the show I broke even on a craps machine the returned to the Aria by 6pm. I made $75 at craps then went to the Linq for the Matt Franco show. He was the winner of the latest installment of America's got Talent and his show was very good. He did a version of cups and balls but his pattern was very original and entertaining. You could also see he had invested a lot of time to mastering his craft. His sleight of hand was excellent. At about $50 for the show it was well worth the money. Finally, onward to Bally's where I made another $55 at craps before I went into the Jokesters Comedy show. At under $30 you get over an hours worth of laughs which I consider a fair deal, so overall I was very happy with the value I received for my entertainment dollars that day.
Back at Aria by 11pm I once again decided to play the Pai Gow tiles as I passed them. I won two bets in a row and walked away with another $45 to add to my stack. Money count $3305 plus $100 gift card. Win for the day $234.80. Expenses $136.34.
Tuesday March 22, 2016
It is my last day in Vegas and I am determined not to blow my profit so I want to take it really easy in the gambling department for the day. Up by 7:30am I shower, dress, eat, pack and run most of my luggage out to my car in the Aria garage, then just hang in the room killing time until around 10:30. On checkout I have $67.88 that I leave on the credit card after they deduct a small amount for my gambling comps.
I spend about an hour running around looking for something my wife wants me to buy for my son before finally giving up and realizing I could probably get it more cheaply and easily after I got home. I drive on to Red Rock, a hotel I have always liked. I have a vague idea that I may go on to the real Red Rock Canyon and hike a little later on. I decide to kill some time by seeing a movie and get a ticket for 10 Cloverfield Lane. There was some sort of discount for Tuesday so I got the ticket for only$6.10 cash. There was an hour before the movie so I played some craps for a $57 win, then made $14.50 at slots. The movie was above average with a good performance by John Goodman who leaves you wondering most of the movie if he is really sane or crazy. I got out by 2:30pm and played some more craps for another $55 win. I then decided to lock up my win and drove to a Bank of America branch and deposited $3000 out of the approximately $3,400 I had on me. I figured even if I lost all that I would still be walking away a winner. I went back to Red Rock and lost $100 at slots then repeated the lucky pattern of the whole trip and won $100 back at craps on my own lucky roll.
It is now around 4:45pm and I drive to one of the places I regularly visit to eat but they said they were closed because they were cleaning the ovens, even though the door was open and there were no signs saying closed. By 5:10pm I drove down to the MGM Grand where I decided to spend the rest of my time until it was time to turn in my car and fly home. I like the casino there and it is close to the airport. I bought a milkshake at the Haagen Dazs for $8.60 cash then made $10 to pay for it at a craps machine, then another $8 at a baccarat machine. Part of my plan for that last night was to make a bet on the Heat game but I arrived after the game had started. I think sports betting is the best bargain in wagering. You can place $5-10 on a game and, as long as it's not a blowout, you can have 2-3 hours of entertainment for that small investment. By half time the Heat had a huge lead and I was unsure what to bet for the second half. Then the guy ahead of me in line bet the over and I decided that was a good deal so I put $10 on it. While waiting I won $11 at the craps machine to pay for the bet, then won it anyway as it went way over long before the game was done.
I get in my car, buy gas and drive to return it. I tell the guy at the return lane that I have to talk about the refund for the gas I bought way back the first day of the trip. He told me to see the person in the glass booth. That person told me I had to go upstairs and talk to the manager. When I went upstairs and asked for the manager the clerk in line told me to tell him what I needed. I told him the whole story and he took $20 off the rental when all I really expected was $10 that I spent for gas so another win there. By 9:15 I am waiting with the usual crowd to get on the plane for my 10:40pm flight home. I decide to play the airport slots. Those slots are there for the desperate, degenerate gamblers who have to have action every second they are in Vegas, they pretty much NEVER pay out. I put $10 in a machine and hit some sort of bonus round and walked away with $26.82 for a $16.82 profit on the airport slots. I then got extra greedy and tried to win more and lost $5 of that profit but still walked away a winner for an amazing end to the trip. The only bad thing that happened was I got the dreaded middle seat on the flight back.
The flight arrived 30 minutes early into Miami but the shuttle bus from the parking lot took over 30 minutes to pick us up. Retrieved my car and made it home with no further incident. Final money count at home $468 (plus the $3,000 I had already deposited) plus $100 Visa gift card plus eight half dollars I had forgotten about. Quick and dirty calculation 3572-2125=1447 profit plus cash already spent minus expenses.
Totals for the trip:
- Craps: One BE, 22 wins for $1592.50, six losses for $1080, net win at craps $512.50
- Baccarat: Two BE 11 wins for $1623, two losses for $300, net win at baccarat $1,323
- Slots: Two BE, 12 wins for $597.77, 12 losses for $773, net slot loss -$175.23
- Blackjack: one win $50
- Pai Gow tiles: two wins $85
- Sport bets three bets: net win $19.05
-Roulette: One BE (break even), one loss $20
Net gambling win: +$1,794.32
Rental Car$ 166.98
Hotel Rooms $ 97.44
Meals, snacks $146.46
Gas, tips$ 47.39
Net for entire trip (if all my math is correct): +$610.57
This was the luckiest trip I ever had in my life. There have been one or two day periods in the past where I felt I could do no wrong but never have I had eight days in a row where I was up (in gambling) every single day, sometimes for weird stupid reasons. One day I counted my money wrong so went down and almost had a disaster gambling but turned it around. Another time I played a slot out of anger and won $285. I wisely decided not to go to too many shows and thus did not tire myself out too much. I also took many small wins rather than try for a big score. The main lesson is just have fun while in Vegas. Do what you enjoy and hope for the best. There is not much else you can do. Thank you all for reading and best of luck on your trips!
Stayed at The Linq, Boulder Station & Aria March 15, 2016 to March 22, 2016
- Category: 2016
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