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Belated Vegas Trip Report from Summer 2015

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:12 pm
by alpax
NOTE: This is a trip report from July 2015 and this off of what I remember. My phone was low on disk space and the cleanup utility I have installed deleted images from one of the two camera apps I have installed. I finally got around to writing one up.

It was the week after the World Series of Poker and the NBA Summer League happened to be the next biggest event in town. One of my buddies happen to be a huge Los Angeles Lakers and basketball fan in general, and was highly interested in seeing the Lakers first round draft choice DeAngelo Russell (picked 2nd overall as the Lakers were one of the lottery teams) in action for the first time. Although the Lakers are one of the most prestigous teams in basketball history, things started falling apart for them as the players started aging and an all star center bolted after one seasson.

He knows that I gamble enough to get free hotel offers (not nearly as I once did in Vegas), so he called me up to see if I was interested in going to Vegas provided that I can get him and his spouse a hotel stay in exchange for the extra ticket he had to watch the summer league games. I took up on the offer though I am more into baseball, just felt like playing quality video poker.

I had RFB for: M Resort (1 night), Luxor (3 nights), Gold Coast (2 nights)

Since Gold Coast had a much superior arsenal of video poker games than the other two places, I convinced him that GC would be the best place to go and I was not lying about the fact that it is the best place to gamble out of the three ($5 minimum double deck 3-2 blackjack is great for recreational gamblers). I definitely regretted later on that his spouse was bothered so much by the smokiness of the casino (she spent most of her time away from the place). Was able to get RFB with 10000 points from an earlier trip.

My buddy is not much of a gambler as he plays mostly Paigow Poker and always asks the dealer for advice to how to split up the 2-card low hand and the 5-card high hand. All for the purpose to get unlimited beer and cocktails while the action is very slow (so many pushing between the dealer and player in that game so bankroll stretches so much).

We did make our way to Vegas on Sunday and caught one of the non-Lakers games at the Cox Pavillion and Thomas & Mack center at the UNLV before making it to the Gold Coast.

There was a giveaway on Sundays at the Gold Coast in July, earn 300 points on the B Connected card for a bottle of UV Vodka. The promotion lasted until 7pm, but we arrived at GC and checked into the hotel room. I had 30 minutes before the promotion expired so I quickly played 30 hands of $2 Jacks or Better to get those points.

I was able to hit this quad along the way.

I made it with a few minutes to spare. I still have the bottle of Vodka unopened.

Some of the best hits I got for the rest of the night, but overall results were poor.

My buddy wanted to try a little bit of video poker as he saw that I was playing. He was in a good mood since he tried a little bit of Wheel of Fortune dollar slots and landed on Spin symbol three times, so he was up more than 200 dollars. I did a quick introduction of what VP is all about and recommended Jacks or Better to start off of as it is the most fundamental video poker game. I did have to tell him what to hold on most of the draws. Along the way three aces were dealt for him, he used common sense to hold the three aces and slowly push the draw button. Low and behold his first ever quad in video poker turns out to be bittersweet.

He got really stoked that the 4th ace came out to a point where it caught the attention of the locals. They were initially wow'ed but were able to notice it was set to Jacks or Better. They were giving him some flak about how he could have won $500 on that hand instead of just $30 so I had to explain what Double Double Bonus is and the reason it is the most popular game. Long story short, there was some remorse although I had to strongly stress about the drawbacks of having 2 pairs pay out 1 for 1, since he was up for the day he did not take it too hard.

I took the opportunity to play some DDB after my buddy went to go play Paigow the rest of the night. Two hundred went by quick playing the dollar denomination, but shortly after I did lower it to 50 cents and was able to hit a premium quad. I stopped playing DDB right after, it was somewhat of a nice add to my bankroll.

I used the food voucher to go to the Cortez Room for dinner on Monday night. The quality of food was really good without having a high price tag. I asked for the most common dish and it was the bone in cortez cut prime rib. (I do not have pictures of the other sides and entrees the others got as those get wiped).

The Gold Coast has a huge bowling alley upstairs and it is open 24 hours a day. We were amazed how cheap the bowling was, especially after midnight where it is only a dollar for a round, compared to $5.50 a round they charge at my local alley for the late night hours this is such a priviledge.

Went to a marathon of games at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV the next day and another one on Tuesday afternoon.

The early part of the schedule was conviently scheduled so that the top 4 selections of the 2015 NBA Draft faced each other

1st Pick - Karl Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
2nd Pick - DeAngelo Russell (LA Lakers)
3rd Pick - Jahlil Oakafor (Philadelphia 76ers)
4th Pick - Kristaps Porzingis (NY Knicks)

We missed the Timberwolves versus Lakers since it was on a Saturday where it sold out fast and the hotel rates were very high. But we got to see the top prospects in action, Towns and Oakafor looked the
most promising, Russell was not spectacular to a point where my buddy was disappointed, and Porzingis did not do anything relevant. At this time into the 2015 NBA Regular season, Porzingis is making the headlines, Towns is still doing well and Oakafor is getting himself into trouble. Russell has continued to disappoint, but time will tell how he pans out.

There was another gift giveaway at the Gold Coast on the Tuesday, earn 300 points for a knife set.

The biggest win of the trip happened in that morning though I played more than the 300 points needed. I was dealt 3 deuces on deuces wild again (was dealt this about a dozen times), and was able to pick up the last deuce on the draw. My buddy was there to experience it since I wanted to play enough for a knife set. "Can't believe you won a thousand dollars!" was a common quote heard on the trip back home, but I tried to explain the nature of deuces wild where you fall into big holes before this, but that one hand overshadowed the mass losing that led up to it.

I went across the street to the Palms casino on the Tuesday late afternoon. It was such an opportune time as there was the Play for Prizes and Play for Buffet promotion going at the same time.

2200 Video Poker Points for Seafood Buffet (you have to surrender the points)
2500 Video Poker Points for $5 Gift Card - (you keep the points) This period it was for Cheveron Gas Gift Card
5000 Video Poker Points for $10 Gift Card
12500 Video Poker Points for $25 Gift Card

However, I did not do too good trying to earn those points for the promotions. Only a few worthy hits.

Laid my eyes on a 100% game, 10/6 DDB (did not play as it is ineligible for promotions)

Got the freebies for the action (despite the losses of a few hundred) and upgraded my Club Palms card tier to All-Star (but has expired as of now)

No spectacular jackpots like others in the forum experience, but it was a fun trip and won a little compared to the past Vegas trips where losses were painful. It was fun to reminisce those memories.

Re: Belated Vegas Trip Report from Summer 2015

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:07 pm
by Tedlark
Thanks for sharing alpax, overall I would say it appeared to be a pretty fun trip.

Re: Belated Vegas Trip Report from Summer 2015

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:41 pm
by Galeygoo
Yes, it sure did look/sound like a fun trip.  Thanks for all the pics; I love to see them.  Have to say though, that prime rib looked so rare I think the animal might still be  j/k of course, and thanks,

Re: Belated Vegas Trip Report from Summer 2015

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:00 pm
by alpax
   Thanks for sharing alpax, overall I would say it appeared to be a pretty fun trip.

Thanks for reading through! Though you were at the Rio at your most recent trip to Vegas, these places are right next to each other on Flamingo Road. It was fun playing at lower denominations without compromising the paytable schedules and playing at a Vegas "locals casino" during the weekday certainly brings so much value. I regret that I mostly played the games that I was most familiar with, since this trip was almost a last minute thing. I did try some barnyard poker for nickels at 8/5 DDB, I lost those pictures but I did get a quad multiplied by 7 and a full house multiplied by 9. Got close to $200 out of one $20.

I also lost pictures of the Palms sportsbook when we were watching the MLB All Star game, the world of sports goes through a dead period in the middle of July.

Yes, it sure did look/sound like a fun trip.  Thanks for all the pics; I love to see them.  Have to say though, that prime rib looked so rare I think the animal might still be  j/k of course, and thanks,

Thanks for reading through Galeygoo! Haha I like your comment about the food. When I try out a restaurant for the first time, I always ask for their best food offering and on the menu it is in its own special box. The prime rib was huge (I believe 22 ounces) and looked medium rare when I requested something between medium and medium well. It was decent through, it could feed two people on average. I did trade a piece of this prime rib for a piece of the braised short rib that my buddy got, and I think I liked what he got more. Definitely going to try other entrees on the menu if I do go.

I got to do more than pure gambling, e.g. bowling so that was fun.

Re: Belated Vegas Trip Report from Summer 2015

Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:04 pm
by djc32
Good VP pay tables, with some basketball, bowling, and good food , sounds like a great trip to me!. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Belated Vegas Trip Report from Summer 2015

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:45 pm
by alpax
Good VP pay tables, with some basketball, bowling, and good food , sounds like a great trip to me!. Thanks for sharing.

Much appreciated for reading djc32! It was definitely good to be able to play not with just good paytables, but to have the opportunity to play at lower denominations as well as significant cash back on the casino club card.

I also went after the Sapphire tier for the BConnected club (Boyd Gaming's nationwide casino club card). I started off with Deuces Wild at half dollars, but near the end, I switched to dollar Jacks or Better (with the 2 dollar double down after trips or better) to fill the gap needed. DW does drain your bankroll until you get quad deuces. The BConnected club card lasts for a "rolling" 12 month span for members outside of any state their casinos are at. I'll have to start over for Club Palms, but since they do not offer RFB to me, I will not pursue higher end membership, but they're still a damn good casino to play at.

It would be good for any out of town players to check out these Vegas locals places during midweek, chances are there are promotions such as the item giveaway, free buffet vouchers, and gift card (Play for Prizes - Gambling With An Edge radio show mentions this near the end of each episode). Vegas locals who roll low have it good, hope this TR bring that to light to others here.

Re: Belated Vegas Trip Report from Summer 2015

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:13 pm
by DaBurglar

nice report alpax, I am trying to remember it was from July and not recent because i had a few comments to make in relation to my recent foray....I wanted to but did not make it down to the Gold Coast.....I love those types of smallish casinos in and around the monstrosities that populate the STRIP...years ago I used to love places like the old San Remo, O'Sheas, Casino Royale (right next to the old HARRAHS bend that used to mark one of the reference points on the old Vegas Strip), Barbary Coast, and others.Even though I was in and around the RIO while I was in Vegas, I missed my chance to spend time at Orleans (which I plan to hit big time my next visit)......I have not heard or seen anyone here report anything from that place in a long time!Alpax, where did you find that 10/6 DDB game, was it in the PALMS, and if so where exactly in the casino was it located?

Re: Belated Vegas Trip Report from Summer 2015

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:44 pm
by alpax
Much appreciated DaBurglar. Just in case, I did not intend to post at the same time as your recent Vegas trip. My phone was running out of disk space, lost some of the better snapshots (including a more upclose picture of Houston Rockets All Star Shooting Guard James Harden).

The biggest thing I miss about old Vegas is the more budget friendly deals that were offered by the places you mentioned.

The RIO is such a good place to stay at in terms of quality of life to price ratio, I recommend going there if you still have a deal. The Gold Coast is across one street from the RIO but the street crossing is on a downward slope (only if you need your wheelchair). From there, they also offer complimentary shuttle service to The Orleans. For others seeking exercise, a 2 mile jog down one street you could reach it from there too.

I did find the 10/6 DDB at the Palms. It is at the western and front part in front of the hotel elevators, not to far from the RAIN nightclub. There are two banks of it, one of them does not offer any points, that one is on the back part.