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Thread: New Year's Vegas trip

  1. #11
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    Back from the gym. Drinking a protein shake, then I have to meet a business partner for lunch. We're buying an office building here. The escrow was extended twice by us because we didn't have all the funds, and now extended once by the owner for reasons unknown. It's a good deal I think, it was empty anchor tenant left so the price was already low and we are buying it for about 15% below listing price. More importantly, with minimal improvements we are able to rent it out such that if there were a mortgage (there won't be, all cash deal) would have positive cash flow. We have been showing it to prospective tenants during the escrow and have commitments for all of it. Hey, I never said the only reason I come to Vegas is to gamble!

    My business partner says "Vegas is booming!" I'm not so sure, but this particular office building is a good deal. We plan to later build apartments on its huge parking lot; zoning will allow it. For that we will need a loan or investors.

    You guys who live in Vegas, in your opinion, is it booming again?

    I'd love to say that I met this business partner at the tables, but no - he's from back home, and maintains a second residence in Vegas. He does come to the tables with me occasionally and brags to all his friends about how I am always beating the hell out of the casinos. Luckily every time he has come to the tables with me I have won. As we know, it's not always that way! (see below)

    As far as my friend - not so good.
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  2. #12
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    Just got back in. Great day!

    We are proceeding with the project. Hope it goes as planned, both short and long term.

    Actually haven't even started playing yet.

    To put it in the vernacular, I could dwell in this place! it's not just the size of the suite but that it has so many surface areas to put stuff on, vitamins, teas, fruit, even the men's bathroom has a lot of surface area
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    My friend (down -3K) hasn't played today either but I wanted to play where we are staying, and she wanted to go elsewhere to a casino where I do play, but will not be staying this trip. I nixed that idea.

    Just going to go to dinner with the wife, and if not too tired later will play right here. I played pretty big at this casino two trips ago and didn't use a nickel of comps other than a buffet, and I flat out emailed my host before coming on this trip that I expected that all of my comps were earned up front, and he didn't say a word. I calculate that six nights in this suite at RFB even if I didn't play at all they would still owe me comps. Of course, I AM going to play, but when I "feel lucky...punk." On my time, not theirs.
    Last edited by mdawg; 01-17-2020 at 08:09 PM.

  3. #13
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    We drive from southern Cal to Vegas. From where we live, driving consistently maybe a bit over speed limit but not really, it's four to four and a half hours. It actually beats the airport because by the time we get to the airport, which these days you gotta arrive early to make it through TSA screening, and then arrive in Vegas and are driven to the casino, the time savings becomes something like...maybe a half hour. Yes, nothing beats arriving in a plane versus having to drive four hours, but we live about a half hour from the airport anyway, so that's an hour plus of driving no matter what.

    Do not use an SUV for these trips. I'm a little paranoid of stacks of visible luggage in an SUV. We drive a brand new sedan, with all the latest safety gadgets in it, the auto braking, lane keeping assistant, blind spot detection, adaptive speed control, all that, the safety makes us feel okay about all the driving, and we put the valuable items in the locked trunk, the rest stacked across the back seats. Which - all that luggage - is another reason why we couldn't fly we'd have to pay a fortune in excess baggage/weight. Even if we had a private plane, which a family member used to have one so I am very familiar with them, not too many small reasonably priced planes could handle all this luggage plus passengers. Additionally, any pilot worth his weight will check out his plane very well before each flight both with instruments and by checking manually/visually moving parts, and all that takes TIME which in the end, detracts from the efficacy of flying versus driving, at least as far as versus a four to four and a half hour drive.

    Once IN Vegas we generally have the casino drive us around, although my play rose to that level again (to the level where it is a given that they will drive us anywhere) only fairly recently. We don't save any money by having the hotel drive us around - I tip ten dollars for a drive from one end of the strip to the other, and twenty for a trip downtown, which these are about the same or even more than Uber rates. If I'm going on business, such as today, or going to buy something in a store etc. or needing to go to more than one stop, I will just take my own car, which I generally just leave in the valet. When the car is there long term and going out and back in, I'll tip them only when I pick it up, not return it, although on the first initial arrival I will give the valet who takes my keys a fiver, and on final departure I will give the valet a fiver too.


    I did end up playing today (tonight). I bought in for five, ended up winning...nada. I didn't play long, a bit over an hour, double deck BJ, stand 17, I bet minimum 100 (although, funnee, I did bet 50 one hand, which was the table minimum on the ONE hand all night that dealer got a blackjack), max 1000. I had the two green chips from the prior hand where I won a BJ with 100.

    I counted the deck perfectly, I tracked the flow perfectly, but things just weren't going my way. Hands where I jumped the bet to 1000 and was dealt say, face nine, and dealer had an eight up, she'd turn over an ace. Then I'd reduce the bet drastically, even though the count was about the same (but the flow had altered, which did justify at least some reduction), and I'd LOSE the next hand. Anyway I was never up, was down as much as -2500 at one point, and came back to minus -100 twice and then plummeted soon afterwards to -1200, TWICE. So, when I finally got back to even, I quit. I was just putting in face time anyway, I am generally not a night time player I prefer playing during the day. I've been up since early working on minimal sleep from last night and never did go back to sleep or take a nap today.

    My buddy, the one who LIVES at the casino across the street in the big suite came over as I was playing DD at high limit. I'd forgotten that I had mentioned to him via text earlier that I might be playing there at such and such time, which actually it was by then a couple hours later than the time I had mentioned.

    He's crazy. He pulled up in one of those electric disabled person vehicles. A bright red one. When I saw him I started to say, Oh no, what happened but then when he crawled out with a big grin on his face, I knew he was fine. I didn't get into the, hey that cart is for the DISABLED you shouldn't be misusing it, but anyway, he had rented it from the casino, charged it to his room, and now here he was driving it right into the high limit pit practically crashing into the BJ table chairs.

    The pit boss started to tell him that he'd have to park it someplace else, but when he and the shift manager, who had come over to say Hi and wish me Happy New Year realized that he was with me, they told him that he could leave it there as long as he at least shoved it more against the high limit room barrier to allow people to pass by behind the table chairs.

    He played for a while, mostly lost, then tried to get me to go play "Pinball." I kept thinking he was talking about some kid's arcade game - visions of the underground one at Harvey's Lake Tahoe dancing through my head - until he explained that no, this is a slots game.

    SLOTS. I said to him. Those are horrible odds. Why you wanna play slots?

    But he kept insisting that he had been having luck with these, and he got up and went over to some machine, telling me he'd come back over to say Goodbye on the way out.

    About a minute later I got back to even, colored up 5000, decided to just walk with it for tomorrow's play
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    and walked over to where he was JUST AS he hit a $2500. jackpot, with only, I think it was twenty five bucks in the machine, or on that spin. He hadn't even been playing more than a few minutes.

    He didn't even have a valid ID with him, expired only, but they found him in their player card system and eventually handed him the cash with no deduction. He dumped a couple hunny more into the (nowadays, no armed) bandit, and then got back on his motorized disabled person's machine, and headed back out to go across the street. He is REALLY crazy. Before he power scootered back out of the casino, he actually called his hotel and asked them to come pick him up.

    What, you're going to just LEAVE that cart here?

    I don't care, was all he had to say on that subject.

    He didn't follow through on that notion only because the casino told him that it would be a while before they could make it over.

    The attendants were really excited for him, told him that he'd now be having a very happy New Year, but he mumbled something about Sure, I already lost two million - but that's actually crap, I think it's more like a half a million that he's dumped, and besides, these two ladies were so genuinely excited for him, I'm glad they didn't hear him say something so negative, I mean come on, let's keep the positivity flowing, people don't always need to be enlightened as to the status of the big bad world, let them have their happy moment.
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    The silver haired lady was the main attendant, the one who came to pay him.


    Last edited by mdawg; 01-17-2020 at 08:07 PM.

  4. #14
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    My friend did lose most all of her money, she keeps messaging me that she has only 800 left. I assume that means negative -5200 in that she told me her bankroll was 6000. (Okay just got another message from her, confirmed minus -5200.) She extended her flight to leave tonight. The casinos are raising their limits at all tables as we get closer to NY's, so I messaged her just now and advised her to forget about it, that 800 isn't going to do anything at a 200 or 300 minimum table.

    I worked out pretty hard at the gym yesterday including by stringing up those TRX straps. No one said anything, but then the gym at this casino isn't really that regulated. I actually had to think for a moment where/how to string them up as I have never had to put them up before, but it was pretty easy.

    Before I gambled last night we went to this casino's steak house. As you all know, every casino has at least one high end restaurant, even the dumps downtown, and this casino is by no means a dump, although "Old School." That was pretty nice, and set the stage for a nice evening of gambling, which I ended up winning nothing but even is a win when you're down for all of the session. I am still thinking to play DD BJ stand 17 at this casino versus their Bacc. unless they open more than one Bacc. table. It's funny because the former Director of Table games at this casino, when he was the Director at a different casino is the one that banned me from BJ years ago, which that two-year ban on BJ is what led to my starting to play Baccarat in the first place!

    In case you didn't read the story, I wasn't so much banned as handicapped. This came after repeated sessions when I was clocking them at double deck BJ for low to mid five figures per session. And these repeated big win sessions came after some years of consistent BJ wins. They put a notation in my player account that I was allowed to bet no more than 3X my prior (hand before) bet at BJ. But after staying away from all casinos for about a year, and from BJ for two years, I came back into playing some BJ, casino ownerships had changed, and somehow that notation had either disappeared or been deleted from my account. Plus I had become by then very good friends with this Director of Table Games and although he kept laughing about how I like to alternate between table min and table max at BJ, he never again did anything about it. However, to this day I do remain banned from one major casino in Vegas (actually two, owned by the same company, but I was interested in playing at only one), and that is, my research shows, because someone who is the Director there now used to work under this other Director who banned ("handicapped") me.

    But what is interesting is that by then, by the time I was back in at BJ, I had won so much money at Bacc. that I didn't really want to play BJ any longer. Plus I was still worried that if I did come back to BJ and play it as hard as I used to, I would get banned, for good this time. And that's the true story of how MDawg came to start playing Baccarat.

  5. #15
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    In BJ: A count of whatever after a sequence with a lot of face cards and aces is different in my book from the identical count after a sequence ("flow") that had no face cards/aces whatsoever, especially if you are tracking the deck or clumps. It's perhaps a little hard to describe, but there is a difference. The count, even the true count, is not everything.

  6. #16
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    I'm glad we made it in Saturday. We read about a couple who took twenty two hours to drive in to Vegas from Southern California after leaving Thursday morning. The article mentioned that they settled into the same casino we are in. Should find them, and compare notes!

    When we arrived Saturday evening, my host said that one player of his had used a lot of unpaved side roads to make it to Vegas Friday. ("We'll take the not-so-dangerous road, whatever that might be....") For us, on Saturday, the roads were clear and there was traffic only during a twenty minute or so portion, an accident or something like that near Barstow. ("We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the urge to win kicked in.")

    Vegas seems to be filling slowly with people for New Year's. I imagine today incoming traffic will be heavy.

  7. #17
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    Hellllo to all, and to all, Good Luck!

    I went in, played basically just one shoe of DD BJ, no decisions to be made wasn't betting much, won about fifteen hunny. No decisions to be made in that it seemed like I was winning every hand but looking back I might've lost a couple or so. Was betting peanuts tho. Played one more hand the next shoe, lost that one hand, left. To the good 1350. It'll add up.

    As Steve Cyr has put it:
    "There's two types of players

    Ones that are here for the cost of entertainment, and you love those guys, win or lose doesn't matter, they're just here to have fun,

    then there's a guy coming here to win we gotta watch that guy there's definitely two types of players, you know a guy that wins Friday night, okay if he's a steamer he's going to steam probably blow his winnings and by Sunday owe me money, a guy's that disciplined [wins] Friday will go home Saturday. So, there's definitely two types of players."

    As Dave Berns added:
    "The one thing the casinos hate about high rollers, are high rollers who are what they call hit and run high rollers, someone who comes in, gambles for a couple of hours, wins some money, and leaves."

    Here for two more weeks plenty of time.

    I paid off yesterday's marker when cashing in the winnings.
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    Cashing in a little over a grand I probably didn't have to pay the marker, but I did.

    I needn't worry about comps in that we're far under comp'ed coming in anyway....

    Until tomorrow.


    By the way here's a pic of my friend's red "scooter" in his Encore room that he sent me today.
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    which he tells me that he's been downgraded to a regular suite room now. Still, that he's been continuously in residence at Encore for almost all of this year, and most of last year, is impressive, no matter what kind of room he has been in, and he has been in one of their salon 2261 square foot suites most of the time.


    Oh by the way turns out that recurring fog horn sound is not coming from outside. I had driven by Fashion Show mall couple days ago with windows down hadn't heard anything thought that was odd. Anyway, I had emailed my host about the internet connectivity and the noise and he emailed me back that he was taking care of the internet comp'ing it all off, and looking into both issues.

    Just before I played this evening I ran into him in the VIP lounge, and he said that the sound is coming from a transformer within the walls of the hotel, and they are working on isolating and resolving the issue. He said that another guest had complained too. I did think actually that the sound was somehow coming most prominently from one corner of the walk in closet, but I just assumed that that corner of the suite was more in the direction of Resorts World. How a transformer makes a regular fog horn sound versus just constant humming, I could not say.

    I did find this by Googling, I didn't read it carefully, but maybe this guy is talking about something similar?
    Power Outage Noise(s)


    Last edited by mdawg; 02-28-2020 at 06:50 AM.

  8. #18
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    We're actually not at Wynn/Encore yet we are across the street.

    Will be at Wynn/Encore later during this same trip.

    However, yes, that's exactly what most all of the Vegas and Tahoe casino resorts do. Even if you are full-on RFB comp'ed status the resort fee or internet (if you choose to go that route of forget the resort fee and instead just charge me per device for internet) is not included up front; you must ask the host to comp it off. (There is actually some confusion about this, at Wynn/Encore I've had some hosts say that when you are RFB internet charges will come off automatically, others will say resort fees will come off automatically, others will say nothing will come off automatically, but I've never had any of these charges come off "automatically" I have always had to ask.)
    However, when you are on RFB status you have some sort of "quasi-resort fee waived" status on your account, in that you are allowed into the fitness facilities, but no internet is included up front with RFB status.

    At some resorts like Cosmopolitan, WiFi is free for EVERYone, and once you achieve Platinum status in their Identity Player's Club, all resort fees are comp'ed. (But, and this is where the head spinning starts, on closer inspection I found that it isn't so much that your account at Cosmo then shows "resort fees paid" but rather that your account reflects that sort of "quasi-resort fee waived" status since you are Platinum that allows you access to the gym.)

    In the old days, and I don't mean like ancient times but refer to the early 2000s, you paid a per day gym/spa access fee. This fee got you into both the casino resort gym, and its spa. You could not access one without paying for both, and it was around $40. per day. In the old days too, this access fee was either comp'ed instantly off your bill if you were RFB such that you never saw it, or disappeared the moment you mentioned it to your host. Not like today when trying to get any of these silly charges taken off takes a bit of effort.

    Nowadays the resort fee permits entrance to the gym, but no spa access. Now, spa access is separate and costs - you guessed it, about $40. per day, more in some casino resorts.

    The disadvantage of the new system is that since most guests cough up the resort fee (or are forced to cough it up as mandatory in some properties), the hotel gyms are more crowded these days. However, the spas are much less crowded, as people must pay specifically and separately just to go there.

    To summarize the above: YES, THEY CAN AND WILL TRY TO NICKEL AND DIME YOU.

  9. #19
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    That recurring fog horn sound...my host did say it is internal and a transformer within the walls of the hotel, but whatever it is, it is still going on. Slept with earplugs last night, doesn't seem to bother her. This isn't Motel 6 there shouldn't be any noise in the room!

  10. #20
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    What if I emailed the host, something like

    The recurrent fog horn sound, which you said is from a transformer within the walls of the hotel, continues. Sleeping with ear plugs. I know you're comping the suite and all the food and we love the layout of the room, it's great - but honestly, I wouldn't take this room for free given how hard it is to get decent sleep in here.


    or would that be too over the top?


    The refrigerator was buzzing too, but I had them come in and replace it with a brand new one.

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