Vini. Vidi. Vici.Four days in Vegas. Up as much as $8000. Came back with $4000. Comps flowed like water. The clubs and shows were awesome.Yours truly,Mr. X...concise...
Details, you bastard, details!!!Naj
Come on now...I need a little more than that! Details, my friend, details! Where did you stay? What did you play? What shows?I'll be making my first trip in a few years (I was last there just after the Venetian opened) in a few weeks. I plan to give a full account when I get back...you gotta do the same for us now though! Will be staying at Paris this time...anyone had luck with getting room upgrades there by putting $20 on the counter when you check in? Thanks for any information!ACME
Well, I didn't post my Vegas trip report here, since this board has been pretty moribund of late. But I was out there about three weeks ago. Here's my post from Snoop's forum:Just got back from Vegas – that magical land of sand, sin, and negative expected values. I spent the week out west with girlfriend and girlfriend's relations (a pair each of abuelas and padrinos), had a wonderful time, and am pleased to bring back the following observations: 1) The Aladdin hotel is quite lovely, the staff is courteous and friendly, and it is conveniently located in the middle of the Strip. Okay, since they comped our rooms, I am sort of obliged to say as many wonderful things about them as Snoop will permit. But aside from that, all of the hotels along the Strip were pretty impressive (it was my first time out), and absolutely reeked of delightful Disneyesque faux-themeyness. Free drinks at the tables, a little dark comedy with Penn & Teller, and a few showgirls made for a fantastically indulgent week.2) Slots are big. Really big. I'm not a huge gambler, and I may not have been to Vegas, but I have been to casinos before in my day. I was impressed at how the slots have completely taken over. Table games went empty, with the tuxedo'd dealers looking crisply at attention while the slot jockeys steadfastly ignored them. I picked up a trade newspaper at one of the drugstores, which observed that the casinos are quickly devoting more and more space to the machines - and that even the largest casinos do 70-80% of their revenues there.Girlfriend's godfather is a much heavier player than I (he got us the comps), so we had the pit bosses coming over to chat even at the tables where I played my small-stakes blackjack. They told the same story – the machines are where the money's at.3) Slots are freakin' addictive. The abuelas played the nickel slots the whole trip, and in the spirit of fellowship girlfriend and I joined them at times. Man o' man – I was pounding that button, eagerly expecting my food pellet, and feeling deep psychological pain whenever I got up from the machine. The bells and whistles now have bells and whistles. These aren't simple slots any more, but more like video games – secondary and tertiary “bonus games,” story lines, actual characters, and elaborate themes. No doubt the manufacturer has a giant cut-out of B.F. Skinner gracing the factory floor.Actually, I think that this spells bad news for the major casinos in the very long run. Slots don't have the labor and monitoring costs of table games, and there aren't many efficiencies of scale. And the few efficiencies of scale that exist relate to coins (cashing in, filling the machines, and clearing mechanical jams in the payout hoppers), which are gradually being phased out. Slots are a solitary game, and don't have the same sense of "place" as table games. In short, there's absolutely no particular reason to go to a casino to play slots, except that that's where most of them are....for now. As slots spread, though, that will slowly change.4) Other stuff. Girlfriend and I mainly played low stakes blackjack, and lost small amounts over the trip. We lost more playing the slots. Neither of us is a high roller, so we dropped no more than $100 in any given day.We saw four shows. Penn & Teller was fun and entertaining - if you've seen their televised shows, you know what to expect. Cirque de Soleil's "O" was absolutely incredible. Lance Burton was somewhat disappointing, given that all of us had heard that he was an absolutely amazing magician. He was a competent stage magician, but hardly a magnetic performer. Finally, we saw a girlie revue - Follies Bergere at the Tropicana - which was okay but not spectacular. Albaby
1) The Aladdin hotel is quite lovely, the staff is courteous and friendly, and it is conveniently located in the middle of the Strip.I have to second this one. I was impressed with the Aladdins rooms on my last visit and recognize them as a bargain. Especially if bathrooms are important to you or a girlfriend. Their casino is on the lame side however. Also, they don't allow one to use a debit card as a charge card. I never have this problem anywhere except at Aladdin. I can usually leave a debit card (with substantial deposits in my account to back it) and then charge room service, food, spa, whatever, but not at Aladdin. I have credit cards I could use, but why if I don't have to? I felt like they were twisting my arm to use the credit card and it left me with a negative impression.Rick
Also, they don't allow one to use a debit card as a charge card. I never have this problem anywhere except at Aladdin. I can usually leave a debit card (with substantial deposits in my account to back it) and then charge room service, food, spa, whatever, but not at Aladdin.Aladdin filed for bankruptcy last year. I suspect they are trying to run a “tight ship” until they work things out financially.
Completely unimpressed with the Aladdin. I'd rank it below:Hard RockMonte CarloMandalay BayLuxorTropicanaand equal with the Sahara. I won't compare it to the non-existent Sands.Najps However, if bathrooms are that important to you...also check out the Venetian.
Completely unimpressed with the Aladdin. I'd rank it below:Hard RockMonte CarloMandalay BayLuxorTropicanaThe point wasn't where it fits into the food chain. I said it was a good value and it is.I don't see how you rate Monte Carlo and Trop above it though.Rick
Well, maybe not the Trop. Monte Carlo is excellent value, at least in summertime. Hey, Trick, nice balloons. <snigger>So, tell me now before I lose another bet to you, is Oregon any good? Miami's better than they looked on Saturday, I'll tell you that.Naj
We were comped, so I don't know how much of a value the Aladdin is. As for the quality of the rooms, I'm with Trick - the bathrooms were fantastic, and the rest of the accommodations were quite nice. Since this was my first trip to Vegas, I have no basis for comparisons.The Aladdin casino was neither impressive nor unimpressive - it seemed pretty average. It was odd, in that one could go staight from the taxi drop-off to the registration desk, and then to the elevators into the rooms, without having to go through the casino. Still, I thought the Monte Carlo seemed a bit....well...."shabbier" than the Aladdin - worn felt and damaged rails on the tables, a few more cigarette burns on the machine cabinets, etc. But that was based on just an hour or so in the Monte Carlo, so my impression may be off. The Aladdin still seemed newer, though.The Aladdin was probably ideal for our little group, though, since we were bouncing all over the strip. Again, my first time there - and girlfriend wanted to show me every casino. Mandalay would have translated into a fairish number more cab rides.Albaby
Where did you stay? Rio. What did you play? Craps, roulette, pai gow poker, and the odd slot machine.What shows?Blue Man Group. Wanted to do one of the Cirque du Soleil shows, but couldn't plan it far enough ahead.Yours truly,Mr. X...terse...
<<Completely unimpressed with the Aladdin. I'd rank it below:Hard RockMonte CarloMandalay BayLuxorTropicana>>I really want to like Luxor and Monte Carlo more than I do, for their locations and soft low limit poker games with poker rates and play requirements substantially below what I'm used to at the Mirage. I just have to figure that the Circus Circus folks figure they have their one nice flagship in Mandalay and can let the other places slide.Some of it is little but concrete stuff, like the table layouts needing to be replaced. Some of it is just a question of general feel; the Luxor pyramid could be really, really cool. Create some sort of hanging gardens feel or something, anything to avoid the endless expanse of cascading beige concrete. Instead, you look up to the top from the inside and it just seems like a big concrete airplane hangar. Disappointing.Ditto Monte Carlo; there's just something missing in the place. It feels more like one of local Indian casinos to me than anything else on the strip, and the whole thing has the same feeling that a poorly constucted tract house in a suburb has; superficially unobjectionable, perhaps, but lacking any feeling of quality. The more times I visit the place, the less I want to stay there. Like with X and the Rio, though, the Mirage has started to feel like hope there, and it gets harder to get excited about staying anywhere else.
feels like home, that is. Although maybe I like it better the other way.
Oregon is very good, but surprisingly, it seems Washington State is best. Their injuries have limited them this year, but with this week off, they will come back very near full strength. Watch the spreads on WSU, they might be opportunities.Rick
Grazie, Rick.Watch out for Air Force over ND this weekend - my upset special of the week!Nevermind, just found out that AF is favored by 3?! Take 'em anyway.Naj
i would tak air force over the irish and i only live 30 minutes from the campus. you will get a ton of money this weekend from the nd crowd andthey are not that good. their offense is very suspect, and the teams they have beat are not as good as they usually are. nd's starting qb hasn't recovered from his injury yet. they are also on the road. they are also playing at 6000 feet above sea level.
I'll be following JohnnyX's path to Las Vegas, next week. Will have a chance to see if what they say about Mirage is true--that they have the best sports book in town, especially when a major event, such as the World Series, is going on.I play blackjack mostly, although it is less interesting these days with the “automatic shufflers” and approximately 45-50 decks in the shoe. I hate those darn things. Still like going downtown to Binion's and Golden Nugget, where they deal two-deck games occasionally. Amateur card counters like me at least have a chance there.kh
I play blackjack mostly, although it is less interesting these days with the “automatic shufflers” and approximately 45-50 decks in the shoe. I hate those darn things. Still like going downtown to Binion's and Golden Nugget, where they deal two-deck games occasionally. Amateur card counters like me at least have a chance there.If you like to indulge a little amateur counting, most of the casinos that we went to had single-deck blackjack games. They're sucker games, since blackjack only pays 6 to 5 instead of 3 to 2, but they're there if you want them.Most of the casinos still had the shoe - Luxor is the only one I can recall that appeared to have only the auto-shufflers.Albaby
If you like to indulge a little amateur counting, most of the casinos that we went to had single-deck blackjack games. They're sucker games, since blackjack only pays 6 to 5 instead of 3 to 2, but they're there if you want them.That's a sucker bet for sure. Another one, which I saw a couple of years ago at Barbary Coast…It's a double deck game, but the dealer doesn't show if he has blackjack until all the hands have been played! Very bad odds for the players in this situation.
i have always liked the book at caesars but the rio isn't bad either. i usually stay at the sahara, short bus ride down to binion's for craps.i prefer off the strip locals joints sam's town, all the station properties, the rio, (great deli next to the book), and the coast properties. i don't like to feel like i am in a tourist trap on the strip. the less i pay for rooms and stuff the more i have to play with. fred
Seriously, who says the Mirage has the 'best sports book in town?' Since when? On what grounds?For various reasons, I can nominate the Mandalay, the Venetian, and mainly the Stardust, but why on earth the Mirage? It's never been that good. Did something change since March?Naj
And the Rio's fun too, with the Deli and World Buffet@!NAJ
how about some discussion on what makes a good sportsbook. i went to leroy's sports book several times while visiting vegas. leroy's was just off fremont street downtown. i forgot about the stardusts book. it used to come out with the early line. how do we define a good sportsbook. fred
Seriously, who says the Mirage has the 'best sports book in town?' Since when? On what grounds?My favorite sports talk show host said it. Don't recall the specifics, except that he liked the excitement of the place during major events. The other sports books that have been mentioned are good too I'm sure.
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