Trip Report: 06/23/07 to 07/01/07

'Yahtzee's 5th Annual Crapsfest'

It has been 6 months since my last trip to Vegas, which is one of my longest dry-spells in a few decades. I suppose life is just a little more complicated and diverse now than it used to be. Next week, I'll be going to the East Cape of Baja (in between La Paz and Cabo San Lucas) for a fishing tournament. So, to tell you the truth, my mind has been more focused on the Mexico trip than this Vegas trip.

For the past few years, Vegas is just not as fun for me as it used to be. It's just like anything else. Too much of anything will eventually get old. Don't get me wrong. I still have a great time when I'm there, but the thrill is gone. I remember back in the 80's (and even as recently as the early 90's) when I used to drive into town, came over that last ridge, and saw the lights of the strip, the feeling of anticipation and excitement was hard to contain. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know some of you are mentally comparing it to sex. Perhaps, but I look it like ice cream. It's still enjoyable, but not as often.

In a nutshell, I stayed 2 nights each at Main Street Station, Caesars Palace, Paris, and Silverton, all on some sort of free offer. I didn't eat as many buffets as usual, but still ate plenty. Saw some decent shows. Walked around a lot. I didn't gamble as much as usual, but gambled enough to take care of my jones for a while.

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jones (jOnz) n, vt. A habit of an activity, a craving or urge to perform an act often to the point of excess. An addiction, esp. to drugs, sports, gambling, and other enjoyable actions. Borrowed from the cartoon 'Fat-Albert' and the drug-ladened 60's and early 70's.
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For some reason, there weren't as many promos going on. Without a doubt, the match play opportunities have certainly gone downhill.


SATURDAY June 23, 2007 (Day 1)

Grabbed my beef jerky and sunflower seeds, and headed out the door at 6am. Zero traffic. Movie of the day was Titanic. Got to South Point by 10am. By the way, the Silverado Ranch exit (going north on 5) is now open. I only used 1/3rd of a tank because of a strong tail wind.

Headed over to Main Street Station to check in. Everything went smooth and I got a high 01 room. Ran into one of the hosts, who offered me some food up front. Yes, I was hungry, so I hit the buffet.

MAIN STREET STATION GARDEN COURT BUFFET - Weekend brunch

Overall rating of this buffet has stabilized over the past 2-3 years. It ranks in the middle of the 'value' buffets in town and is certainly the best 'value' buffet in the downtown area (-2).

Standard prices are $5.99 for breakfast, $7.89 for lunch, and dinners from $10.99 to $15.99.

(10/10 is perfecto, 7 = good, 5 = marginal, 3 = not fit for human consumption)

Atmosphere/layout/clientele = 7.5
Service = 8.0
Mean Food Quality = 6.36
Selection = 6.5
Value = 7.5
Overall average = 7.2

1. Spicy Tofu (6.5)
2. Orange Chicken (6.5)
3. Shoyu Chicken (8.0)
4. Kalua Pork (8.5)
5. Macaroni Salad (7.5)
6. Bacon (2.0) (nice and crispy)
7. Chow Mein (7.0)
8. Roast Beef (4.0) (overcooked)
9. Roasted Chicken (6.5)
10. Custom Omelet (8.5)
11. Eggs Benedict (8.0) (finally, a decent EB)
12. Hash Browns (6.5)
13. Fried Chicken (6.0)
14. Portuguese Sausage (3.0) (nasty!)
15. Soft server ice cream shake (7.0)

After that filling meal, I hit the 8/5 bonus triple plays for a while (+100) (+19 scratchers) (S 41396). Time for a siesta before the concert at The Cannery.

After that well-needed nap, I headed over to The Cannery for one of the best deals of this trip... $12.95 for Missing Persons, Flock of Seagulls, and Naked Eyes. After taxes and fees, the ticket was about $18, but it was still a steal.

Killed some time playing craps (-40) and FPDW (+20). Lost a match play on BJ (-10). They've been real tight lately with MP's, but it's starting to get ridiculous.

Prior to the show there was this chick on meth behind me in line at the cage. The line at the cage at Cannery is always long, which rail-head chick pretty irate. I could have bought her chips from her, but I decided to be entertained and talk this nervous chick instead. It was comical. It was only 7:45 and '...all my friends are waiting for me to go to the concert!'. I tried to tell there that there weren't any lines and there are only a few hundred in attendance, so she should chill. She exclaimed, 'I don't know why I'm talking to you'. Okey dokey. There was more to that interesting conversation, but she knew that I knew that she was high. If any of you have ever done crystal, you know what I'm talking about. It's the worst substance ever to hit the streets.

To the concert... Naked Eyes opened with a bunch of unknown songs. Their claim to fame was 'Always Something There To Remind Me'.

Next up was Flock Of Seagulls. I'm sure most of you have heard a lot of their songs. They filled their 1 hour slot with their few hits like 'I Ran', 'the More You Live, The More You Love', 'space Age Love Song', 'Wishing', and 'telecommunication'.

In between shows, they were playing some very memorable stuff from the 80's, which brought back tons of great memories from a simpler time in life. I really miss those days.

Missing Persons was quite interesting. Dale Bozzio (lead female singer) just wasn't right. It seemed like she was drunk, but talking to one of the stage hands after the concert, I heard that she was medicated and out of practice. She even screwed up 'Destination Unknown', which is one of my favorite songs of theirs. They appropriately opened with 'Mental Hopscotch'. That got me dancing right up to the stage, dead center. I found my new home in the front row in an unoccupied seat. 'Words' was quite enjoyable, but their later marginal songs were not quite as exciting. They wrapped up with 'Walking in LA'.

What a great deal. I still can't believe I saw Flock of Seagull and Missing Persons front row for $18. I guess they're no longer in demand.

Back over to MSS. I had to hit the Brewpub to use up a $20 comp, so I had a cheese burger and fries, and got a cheese steak sandwich and a side of onion rings to go (-4)

Finished up playing 8/5 bonus triple plays (-300).


DAILY TOTALS
VP: -161
BJ: -10
CRAPS: -40
MISC (Food, accommodations, entertainment, gas, transportation, tips, etc): -24
FREE STUFF: MSS buffet, MSS Brew Pub dinner.


SUNDAY June 24, 2007 (Day 2)

Plans for the day were simple. Meet James Stungazed at Cannery for the Sunday gift card promo and wrap up the day at MSS.

Up early by 7am. After checking my email at the free wi-fi spot near the players club, I hit the 3 play 8/5 bonus for a quick session (+50)(+5). Got a call from James and I headed over to meet up with him at The Cannery. Our play here is always pretty much the same. Well, mine is at least. James has elevated his play to the 5 play game, while my budget can only be maintained with 3 play. That good enough for me. After only 10 minutes into the session, he hits a frickin' royal on line 4. What a lucky son of a bitch. I refrained from kicking his ass. You've got to understand that he's been on a year-long tear on both craps and VP. When is it going to be my turn?

We got our gift cards and headed over to Fiesta Rancho for their buffet and to use a MP (-25).

FIESTA FESTIVAL BUFFET (Standard lunch)

This buffet is coming back a little bit (emphasis on 'little'). For the past 6 years, the quality has slipped significantly from the Maloof days. Now there are plenty of decent dishes for the average gluttoneer (-2)

Standard prices are as follows: Weekday lunch $7.99, weekday dinner $9.99, weekend dinner and brunch $10.99.

(10/10 is perfecto, 7 = good, 5 = marginal, 3 = not fit for human consumption)

Atmosphere/layout/clientele = 7.5
Service = 7.5
Mean Food quality = 6.89
Selection = 7.0
Value = 7.5
Overall average = 7.28

1. Snow crab (7.0)
2. Eggroll (6.5)
3. Bacon (6.0)
4. Pork and Cabbage (7.5)
5. Orange Chicken (7.0)
6. Chow Mein (7.0)
7. Chinese Veggies (7.5)
8. Vegetable Soup (6.0)
9. Won Ton Soup (7.0)
10. Quiche (6.5)
11. Fried Chicken (7.5)
12. Pizza (combo) (7.0)
13. Stuffing (6.5)
14. Soft Serve Ice Cream Shake (7.5)

After that decent meal, we headed back to our home casinos to give them some play. I had a long session on the 3 play 8/5 bonus (-200), and ended up trying to catch lightning on single line 12/8 Loose Deuces (+12) (E 59320). I was bushed so I called it an early evening by 11pm.


DAILY TOTALS
VP: -133
ROULETTE: -25
MISC (Food, accommodations, gas, gift cards, transportation, tips, etc): +18
FREE STUFF: FR Buffet


MONDAY June 25, 2007 (Day 3)

Plans for the day included a move to Caesars Palace, Pinball Hall of Fame, and some play at Fiesta Henderson.

Was able to sleep in until 8am. Took a leisurely stroll through downtown to keep some points active and end up at The El Cortez for some free breakfast.

Golden Gate: Used an ACG free deck of cards coupon for some dice.

Binions: $25 comp balance. 18 month expiration. Cycled for 1 point (-2). $3 min with 5x odds on new beige microfiber.

4 Queens: Cycled for 1 point (0). $5 with 5x on empty tables. Bal = ?

Fitzgeralds: Balance got zeroed after 13 months. $5 with 3x4x5x. No reason to play here except for the free dinner bonus on 8/5 bonus on special back near the gift shop.

El Cortez: Balance = $2. Turned in the ACG funbook coupon. Got a BJ with the MP (+15). Used $5 dining coupon for $4.95 breakfast (-1). Craps is $5 with 5x! WTF?

Back over to MSS to pack, check out, and check in at Caesars Diamond check in (thank God, as the regular line at CP was at least an hour). I was suppose to have a deluxe room in the newer Augustus tower, but was happy to take a mini suite in the Palace Tower, which overlooked the pool. I was on a way high floor, so it didn't matter, but the 2 bathroom suite with a Jacuzzi was more than plenty, if not a waste. Funny thing about the TV. Their wall-mounted TV was only a 32 incher, which is pretty small for a suite. Not enough good channels. Since I wasn't going to be playing one single penny in this joint, I wasn't complaining. This place was totally gutted of anything playable late last year... frickin' HET.

James picks me up and we head over to the Pinball Hall of Fame to do some bankroll preservation (-4). Playing pinball for hours really works out that middle finger, which you are reminded every time you wipe for a few days afterwards.

We then headed over to Fiesta Henderson for some 3 play VP with 5x action (-199). I bounced back and forth between 8/5 bonus and NSUD. I'm getting good at playing totally different strategies, but it pissed me off when I hit deuces while on bonus or natural quads while on deuces. No, the machine is not $%#&ing with me. It just happens. It's just like when a card flips to the correct value but with the wrong suite. I know, it's selective memory, but that sort of stuff was happening to me more frequently on this trip than ever.

We checked out the craps table and decided to buy in on the decent $3 10x game (+104). It could have been a sweeter session, but I lost a $25 MP bet on a pass line roll. Hell, that's a $75 swing. I was down a bill until James got on a good roll and got me back in the black.

Time for some trusty Feel Good Soup from The Baja Beach Café (-2). James picked up the tab with points. We both have a ton of points here because they carried over from the Reserve days when they were even giving points to table players and we still keep playing on 5x days.

After that tasty meal, we stopped by to see our host and chatted for a while with her. She was telling us how much management has been cutting back on the discretionary comps since the partnership with the private equity buyout. Whatever the case, it appears that Fiesta H is taking themselves out of the running for next years Crapsfest. ('Head First' by The Babys. Haven't heard that one in over 20 years).

It was getting later than we thought, so we headed back to our home casinos to call it a day.
When I got back to my room at Caesars, the bed was turned down and a half-dozen chocolate dollar coins were provided palatial enhancement. I took a late night Jacuzzi just because it was there.

DAILY TOTALS
VP: -201
BJ: +15
CRAPS: +104
MISC (Food, accommodations, gas, transportation, tips, etc): -7
FREE STUFF: Pair of GG dice, Elco breakfast, Fiesta Feel Good Soup.


TUESDAY June 26, 2007 (Day 4)

Slept in until 8am and checked out the pool before it opened. Nice area. I had no play obligations and my plans were very loose today. I did sort of plan on checking out the Westin Casuarina, and doing the buffet at either IP or Bally's. Other than that, there are simply not many promos to chase around on the strip.

After stopping in at Flamingo to pick up a couple of free tickets for Society of Seven (Diamond benefit), I headed over to Bally's Big Kitchen buffet for a late breakfast and early lunch. They wouldn't give me half price using a 2/1 coupon, so I found a full paying guest who paid me 1/2 price. I used points, of course (+7)(-2).

BALLY's - THE BIG KITCHEN BUFFET (Standard weekday breakfast and lunch)

Notes: I've heard that this buffet was very good. It's sort of tucked back in the corner and upstairs, so I would imagine the lines to be much shorter than the more popular buffets on a busy day. Today, only half the tables were occupied. The atmosphere and overall ambiance was excellent. There is a slight view of the strip and CP. Huge windows. Very friendly staff. Seamless transitions (no gaps between meals). Medium selections

Standard prices are as follows: $12.99 for Breakfast, $14.99 for Lunch, and 18.99 for Dinners and Brunches.

(10/10 is perfecto, 7 = good, 5 = marginal, 3 = not fit for human consumption)

Atmosphere/layout/clientele = 7.5
Service = 8.0
Mean Food Quality = 7.08
Selection = 6.5
Value = 6.0
Overall average = 7.02

1. Bacon (8.0) (crispy with good flavor)
2. Biscuit and Gravy (8.5)
3. Lox (7.0)
4. Hash Browns (7.5)
5. Coffee and juice (8.0)
6. Breakfast Burrito (6.0)
7. Egg and Cheese Croissant (8.0)
8. Maple Sausage (6.5)
9. Corned Beef Hash (6.0)
10. Chorizo (7.5)
11. Honey Chicken (7.5)
12. Eggs Benedict (6.5)
13. Shrimp and Mango Salad (6.0)
14. Churro (5.0) (way hard)
15. Fresh Spinach with Balsamic Vinegar (8.5)
16. Creamed Spinach (8.0)
17. BBQ Pork (8.0)
18. Chow Mein (7.0)
19. Beef and Green Beans (7.0)
20. Fried Shrimp (7.5)
21. Ravioli (6.0)
22. Sweet and Sour Chicken (7.0)
23. Eggroll (6.0)
24. Soft Serve Ice Cream Shake (7.0)

After that tasty meal, I headed to Westin Casuarina. It was already about 110 degrees out. I signed up for the players club and took advantage of the 40 for 25 bonus. Found a slant-top 9/6 JOB, cycled it in a few minutes, and cashed out (+20). Now, this is how promos are supposed to work. I was going to do their win-card promo, but their craps tables don't open until 5pm. I can't see how this casino can be profitable. It was totally dead at noon, and it's near the strip.

On the way back to Caesars, I stopped in at Bill's (formerly Barbary Coast). It's funny how they still have the BC logo on all the windows. Maybe it's stands for Bill's Casino? Whatever the case, I signed up for their players club just so I can have a few cards which may become collectors' items in 20 years. Yeah, whatever. I'm trying to kill some time here.

After my short nap, I decided to take a long walk to Luxor to redeem a mailer for $20 in promo chips and do the Wincard promo at Excalibur (+10). The 5 mile walk yielded a grand profit of $10. It was smokin' out and the porn slappers were in high gear. I asked a few of them where they were from. The majority of them were from Mexico and they made anywhere from $8 - $12 an hour. Not bad, considering they would make about $8 a day for a maquiladora in Tijuana. I doubt if any of them signed the guest book before entering the U.S.. I think it's screwed up that we just can't pull up the INS van and stop the porn slapping problem. Hey, what a good idea!

After that walk, I met up with Dead Cat at Caesars. We had very interesting discussions about the old days with the CP dealers. Many of them were there since the 60's. After watching some extremely high-roller with his bored girlfriend get his ass handed to him on a private table, we headed off for dinner at the Diamond Lounge (-2). Might as well. I've only got 9 months of Diamond privileges remaining.

We stayed at the DL until closing. I don't understand why the DL would open so late and close so early. I think it's like 4pm to 10pm. I think Caesars DL is one of the nicest. It's never crowded, they have 4 or 5 free internet terminals, the service is excellent, the 'common' foods are good, the fruits are well above average, and the desserts are different than the other HET joints.

Time to walk off the meal. We walked over to The Aladdin (now Planet Hollywood). This is the first time I checked it out since the Aladdin days, and let me tell you, it's appears much nicer now. The old fake looking lamp and gaudy jewel décor just didn't work. I turned in the $10 free play coupon (+5), and checked out every single VP game in the place. The best quarter game I could find was 8/6 JOB (or was it 9/5?). The best game was 8/5 bonus or 9/6 jacks at the dollar level in the high limit area. Craps was standard $10 with 3x4x5x on a nice looking black microfiber surface.

That was pretty much it for the day.

DAILY TOTALS
VP: +25
BJ: +10
MISC (Food, accommodations, gas, transportation, tips, etc): +3
FREE STUFF: Bally's buffet, DL food.


WEDNESDAY June 27, 2007 (Day 5)

Again, I didn't have much planned for the day except for the move to Paris and Society of Seven show at 4pm. To keep my ADT up there, I wasn't going to play today and do 10k tomorrow for the Nikon camera promo.

After gathering my stuff, I headed over to The Orleans for the breakfast buffet. As it turned out, I got there at exactly 10am and they stopped letting people in. As you know, Coast buffets are not seamless. They actually close the cashier for an entire hour until the previous meal is completed. I consider this practice absolutely stupid and actually think they lose business by doing so. They lost mine (not that I'm a good customer). I was going to use a 2/1 and points.

Time for an alternative plan. Hmmm? Where can I score a free buffet? GVR, here I come. While making my way to the 15 on Trop, my car somehow pulled into Jack-in-the-Box. Instead of driving all the way to GVR, I'll just use a 2/1 coupon for the Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich (-2.36). Man, what a meal! That was probably more calories than the buffet would have been.

Check in at Paris Diamond registration was quick and easy. I'm going to miss this Diamond stuff next year.
Went up to the room to relax and finish up the breakfast sandwiches. Dem be some tastyass sandwiches.

I was supposed to meet up with Bernie from LVT at 2pm, but he was a no-show. Time head over to The Flamingo and meet up with James for the Society of Seven show. I had heard some good things about this show. With the exception of the hot chick singer, I thought most of the show was cheesy and lame.

After the show, we had nothing to do, so we walked over to Harrah's to see if Carol was working. Nope. We headed over back to Flamingo to pick up some free Vinnie Favorito tickets for tomorrow night. While walking past the midget in front of O'shea's, I was sort of wondering how much he was getting paid. Then James comes up with some sort of comment about throwing the midget. WTF?

'It's happy hour 24 hours at day at O'shea's. Get your 99 cent Miller Genuine Draft right here, right now at O'shea's because it's happy hour 24 hours a day at O'shea's'.

Enough of that. We headed over to Bill's Casino to watch Big Elvis. I can't stand to watch him any more.

Walked over to the DL at Paris for dinner (-1). This is a nice DL, but it only has one internet terminal.
While in line for the food, I caught this guy licking his fingers and grabbing the tongs for more food. I immediately made a scene.

MIKE: 'Come on!!!! Don't be grabbing the tongs after licking your fingers!!!'
FAT MAN: 'uh, uh, uh, what are you talking about?'
MIKE: 'I saw you. You were licking Ranch dressing from your fingers'
FAT MAN: 'uh, uh, uh, sorry'
MIKE: 'Waiter! New tongs please!'

His wife was totally embarrassed and didn't say a word. Perhaps I shouldn't have said anything, but that just wouldn't be me.

That was it for the day. James went back to play some more at CC and I called it an evening by 10pm


DAILY TOTALS
MISC (Food, accommodations, gas, transportation, tips, etc): -3.36
FREE STUFF: Society of Seven show, DL food.


THURSDAY June28, 2007 (Day 6)

Today's plan was simple. Run 10k for a Nikon 5MP camera and digital picture frame. I didn't need another camera, but since I hadn't gambled for the previous 3 days, this would be one way of optimizing my EV.

I was up at 5:30am and headed down to play 8/5 bonus (-350). While mainly playing at the 25 cent level and a little at the 50 cent level, it took me 8 hours to run the 10k. I wasn't happy with the results, but I guess it could have been worse. What the hell, $350 for a digital camera and a digital frame. After all, I've got to play somewhere.

Oh, look. It's almost 3:30pm. Just in time to catch the lunch buffet for dinner at the Paris buffet (-2). This wasn't planned. It just happened. Once again, I used the $10 POV coupon and used points to cover the balance. Thank goodness for my timing, the coupon, and points because $25 for this dinner buffet is actually a very bad deal.

PARIS - LE VILLAGE BUFFET (Standard Weekday Dinner):
Standard prices are $14 for breakfast, $18 for lunch, and $25 for standard dinners and brunch. This was my 4th time at this buffet and I am here to tell you that it has gone downhill since my last visit. The reason to pay a premium price for a buffet is for their little extras, such as fresh sushi, Alaskan King Crab (instead of Snow Crab), filet instead of sirloin, hand scoop instead of soft serve, etc. Well, the HET buyout is evident here. No more King Crab. No more grilled asparagus spears. Sirloin was their best cut of beef. Are you getting the picture? I now consider this on par with 'sTN' and 'BYD/Coast', but at twice the price. The head chef (Mike D) and the assistant manager (Monica) came by my table when I asked about the regression. Our pleasant chat revealed that corporate bean counters (and procurement) are cutting back. The reason? It's obvious. The buyout price has already been set. they're just trying to rake in as much as possible before the transaction is completed. If this keeps up, I couldn't recommend it at all.

(10/10 is perfecto, 7 = good, 5 = edible, 3 = not fit for human consumption)

Atmosphere/layout/clientele = 8.0 (The VIP section is excellent for people watching)
Service = 6.0 (I was the only person in the VIP section and received sub-par service from an inexperienced waitress)
Mean Food Quality = 6.88
Selection = 6.5 (it's not 'big')
Value = 4.5 (at full price, it's NOT a very good deal at all)
Overall experience = 6.38

1. Salmon with Leek Fondue (7.0)
2. Beef Medallions (5.5)
3. Gratin Dauphinois (8.0)
4. Bow Tie Pasta mix (7.0)
5. Ratatouille (6.5)
6. Spinach Ravioli (7.5)
7. Scallop and Shrimp Penne (5.0)
8. Sushi, variety (6.0) (soggy, pre-made at The Rio)
9. Grilled Eggplant (7.5)
10. Grilled Zucchini (7.0)
12. Grilled top sirloin (8.0)
13. Grilled Leek (7.0)
14. Snow Crab (6.0) (they were small)
15. Prime Rib (7.0)
16. Jonah Crab (5.5) (similar to stone crab, sub par)
17. Crème Brulee (8.5) (thank you ma'am, may I have another)
18. Bread Pudding with whipped cream (8.0)

Yes, it was good, but it was indeed a let down. After strolling around a bit, I headed over to the players club to pick up the camera and frame. To my surprise, they told me that I have to pick them up at Bally's between 4pm and 6pm. I looked at my watch and it was 5:58pm. I was pissed! I asked them to call over to see if they could wait a couple of minutes while I make my way over there. They gave me Regina Anderson's phone number. I used to house phone to call her. I left her a message. I even had her paged. Nada. Now I have to return tomorrow to up the items. I didn't want to come back to the strip after I left. I went over to the redemption center and the doors were locked. I even attempted to call the director, Dawn Rawles. Again, my calls went unreturned. Bunch of frickin' people that don't care about customer service. Think about it, what kind of promotion only allows 2 hours in a day to pick up the gift? A big eff you to them.

Back to the room for a much needed rest and some TV time. I over-slept and got a call from James. I was supposed to meet up with him at O'shea's at 9pm for 9:30 show. Looked at clock and it's 5 til. Oh well. We made it to the show in ample time.

Vinnie Favorito is a stand up 'roaster'. Basically, for a whole hour, he picks people out of the audience and roasts them. He's a Bostonian. He's funnier than sheet. He got around to James and roasted him a bit, but not much. I was afraid we was going to make some homosexual jokes about us, since we were sitting next to each other. Thank goodness he didn't. If you've never seen his show before, it's really good, but for the box office price of $39, don't do it. I'm sure you can find some 2/1's around. If you're at the Diamond level, this is one of the free monthly shows you can see.

That was pretty much it for the day. I headed back to Paris and crashed.

DAILY TOTALS
VP: -350
MISC (Food, accommodations, gas, transportation, tips, etc): -2
FREE STUFF: Vinnie Favorito show


Friday June 29, 2007 (Day 7)

Plans for the day included a move to Silverton and a stop at El Cortez, Rio, Palms, and back to Paris for the gift.

Checked out at Paris and checked in at Silverton. No problems. Got a call from Dead Cat. Since I had a $25 food voucher for the El Cortez, I invited him to meet me over there for lunch (-2). We had prime rib and onion rings. What a deal. I also had a coupon for 2 free ice creams. I've been stiffing Elco for a few years now, so I kind of doubt I'll be getting any more free stuff like this. They've been too good to me. I'd like to stay there again because of their games, but the clientele makes this place rather depressing.

I head off to Rio to check out the World Series of Poker and to pick up a limited edition Diamond card (I got 3!). Maybe in about 20 years, I can sell them on Ebay. I saw a few recognizable players during my walk to the back of the Rio where the tournament rooms are located. I got my cards. I'm out of here.

Drive across the street to the Palms. My car temp shows 116F, but it really wasn't that bad. All I wanted to do here was to play a MP coupon (-10) and to run a few points on their 9/6 JOB 50 plays (+10), which is one of my favorite games. What a waste of time. I did keep my whopping 6800 points alive. I wish there was a little more incentive to play at The Palms, but since they don't send any mailers, I see no point.

Time to pick up the camera and frame. Man, I hate driving near the strip. Park the car. Head straight over to the redemption center, which was located in the North tower. I got confrontational again and bitched to the temp worker about the 2 hours per day thing. She gave a bunch of excuses that made no sense. Then I asked to speak with Regina Anderson or Dawn Rawle to find out why they don't answer their pages or return phone calls. Of course, they weren't there. I spoke with Rhonda (special events person). She was pleasant and understood the lameness of the system. The reason Total Rewards can't dole out the prizes is because they don't want the responsibility. Bunch of lazy frickin bureaucrats. Instead, they inconvenience the guests by doling out the responsibility to a few temps for a couple hours a day. The next time I do a promo with HET, I'll make sure I work it into THEIR schedule.

Back over to Silverton for the remainder of my stay. Stopped for gas (-20). Met up with James, who was checking in only to receive his free play offer. I played FPDW for about an hour (+100). I get a call from James, who is in the high-limit room. 'Hey, get over here (click)'.
Wouldn't you know it... there he is with a $4000 royal on his FREE frickin play. I was about to kick his ass, but was actually glad to see him get it. He's got 2 more weeks in Vegas. Knowing how he's been gambling lately, it might not last that long, especially if we have a bad Crapsfest tomorrow.

Off to dinner at the Sundance Grill, which is their 24 hour coffee shop (-2). I had a tasty rib-eye. James picked up the tab with points that he accumulated from about 5 years ago when they had the 12 days of Christmas promo (12x points). Ah, the good old days.

That was pretty much it for the day. I finished up by giving back my $100 to the same FPDW machine (-100).

DAILY TOTALS
VP: +10
BJ: -10
MISC (Food, accommodations, gas, transportation, tips, etc): -24
FREE STUFF: Nikon 5 megapixel Cool Pix camera, Digital Frame, Elco lunch and dessert, Silverton dinner


SATURDAY June 30, 2007 (Day 8)

Crapsfest is finally here. I met up with Mike Smith (Shift Manager) to make sure we have a table at 2pm and some free grub afterwards. No problems at all. I was surprised to see how young he was.

I hit the Bob Dancer machines in the morning to kill some time (+400). While playing 10/6 DDB, I was dealt 3 Aces. I paused. Look towards the ceiling and asked the Lord for another Ace. He gave it to me, along with the kicker! That's a half a royal!

Time for Crapsfest (+275). The only ones around at 2pm were Rich, James, Tim Wolfman and I. We buy in and the table starts off HOT!!! John Ahhhcraps and his buddy Mark show up about 20 minutes late, but just in time for my roll, which was about 15 minutes. Dead Cat was being unsociable and playing at the other table. Dude, you missed out. Norm and Andrea show up. Dewey shows up. We keep playing for another hour and color up to the good.

Finally, a profitable Crapsfest... for most of us, at least! About a half-dozen failed to show. Time for some free grub. Rich and Dawn take off to HR to use up their expiring food vouchers. Tim just ate right before the event. Dewey disappears. John and Mark also disappear. I'm running around trying to locate everyone to get a head count for the comp. I guess it's just 5 for dinner. The next Crapsfest, you're all on your own.

I can't believe I hung out with Rich and Dawn for only a few hours. That sucked. Plan it better next time, you guys!

SILVERTON - SEASONS BUFFET (Weekend Specialty Dinner)

This is my second time at this 1-1/2 year old buffet. As I mentioned in my 12/06 review, this buffet is a huge upgrade from old one. It's not really an upgrade. It's totally new, from scratch. It's now located in the far west section of the casino. This was the 'specialty' seafood dinner, and I recommend it.

Standard prices are as follows: $8.99 for Lunch, and Dinners from $13.99 to $19.99.

(10/10 is perfecto, 7 = good, 5 = marginal, 3 = not fit for
human consumption)

Atmosphere/layout/clientele = 7.5
Service = 6.0 (Like before, their service is very slow. The grill gal needs an attitude adjustment.)
Mean Food Quality = 7.32
Selection = 7.5
Value = 7.0 (a bit pricey, but I think it's worth it)
Overall experience = 7.06

1. Alaskan King Crab (8.0) (HET could learn something from these guys)
2. Sushi, variety (6.5)
3. Fried Shrimp (7.5)
4. BBQ Pork (8.0)
5. Pot Stickers (7.5)
6. Bow tie Pesto Salad (7.0)
7. Egg Roll (6.5)
8. Lox (7.0)
9. Shrimp, peeled (7.0)
10. Fried Oyster (7.5)
11. Vegetable Wonton Soup (7.0)
12. Beef Ribs (6.5) (a rarity in Vegas)
13. Grilled Trout (7.0)
14. Grilled Salmon (8.0)
15. Clams, steamed (6.0)
16. Top Sirloin (7.5) (cooked to order)
17. Sweet & Sour Pork (8.0) (yes, an 8.0 for a ubiquitous item)
18. Veggie Lo Mein (7.5)
19. Hand scooped ice cream shake (9.0) (HET could learn something from these guys)

I was very surprised at the quality of the food this time. I knew this place had potential. I think they're starting to live up to it. I highly recommend this one.

We all went our separate ways and I finished off with some more FPDW and 10/6 DDB, hoping to catch some lightening (-200). No dice. During this session, I was rocking out to 'Fat Bottomed Girls' by Queen. That was followed up by 'American Girl' by Tom Petty and Heartbreakers. I found that quite amusing. I wonder if they did that on purpose.

That was pretty much it for the trip. I've got a softball game at 10am in the morning, so I need to be out of here pretty early.

DAILY TOTALS
VP: +200
CRAPS: +275
MISC (Food, accommodations, gas, transportation, tips, etc): 0
FREE STUFF: Silverton buffet


SUNDAY July 01, 2007 (Day 9)

Up at 5am and home in 3 hours and 45 minutes, which is close to my record.
Made it to the game in plenty of time. I went 4/4 and we won.


GRAND TOTALS

VP: -610
BJ: +5
ROULETTE: -25
CRAPS: +339
MISC (Food, accommodations, shows, gift cards, gas, transportation, tips, etc): -40
FREE STUFF: Silverton buffet, Bally's buffet, DL food, Society of Seven show, DL food, Nikon 5 megapixel Cool Pix camera, Digital Frame, more DL food, Elco lunch and dessert, Silverton café dinner, Fiesta Rancho buffet, MSS buffet, MSS Brew Pub dinner, pair of GG dice, Elco breakfast, Fiesta Feel Good Soup, Vinnie Favorito show, and tons of toiletries.

NET LOSS: $331 (Wallet shows actual loss closer to $500)


SUMMARY and FINAL THOUGHTS

- Although this was a losing trip, I think I did a nice job of preserving the bankroll for my upcoming fishing trip. The Aces with the kicker was huge! However, I'm sort of pissed about not getting any royals.

- I didn't eat as many buffets as I normally do. they're a lot of work!

- I'm glad this turned out to be a profitable Crapsfest. The turnout was smaller than usual, but that's perfectly ok.

- Next year's Crapsfest will more than likely be at Silverton again. They've got good tables, good dealers, good VP, and good food. I hope the mailers keep coming.

- My one big gambling day for the camera promo turned out ok. Although it wasn't profitable, the EV wasn't as bad when you include the gifts.

- Yes, I do like Diamond status. Since I won't be qualifying this year, it leaves me no choice but to abuse HET for the next 9 months. I'll evaluate the mailers next year to see if I want re-qualify.

- People need to use proper etiquette when serving themselves at buffets.

- we've got to get rid of those frickin' porn slappers!!! It's simply not a good thing.

- James is a lucky son of a bitch. He hit 3 royals while I was there.

- The off-strip shows in Vegas are some of the best deals around.

I'm now off to Mexico for a week. Be back 7/19.

Good luck and thanks for reading.
God Bless America.

Mike