Saturday, December 13, 2014

No Kickers Trip Report Creative Accounting Wrap-up

Who could ask for more on a trip than what we experienced on the No Kickers trip?

Well, for one thing, the Quad Queen could have won. That would have been pretty awesome.

If anyone gives me a gift horse this Christmas, I'm going to look it squarely in the chops.

Let's look at some numbers and see how we did. I have a pretty good bead on our coin in, but some of it is kind of guesstimated. Still, I'm confident it is within 5% or 10% of what we actually did.

But first... I didn't talk about the trip home! It was generally okay. We did play a bit at the airport, and the Quad Queen finished the trip with a quad there. We worry the way Air FU Canada Rude schedules flights - only a 90 minute layover or so before the Flusherville Regional Aerodrome flight. And the Rude flight is notoriously late into Toronto. Well, it was late again, and we didn't have a hope in hell of making the Flusherville flight, and certainly no time to say hello to our friends at Customs at Pearson. Fortunately the last flight of the day had room, so we got put onto that one and had time for a very leisurely overpriced dinner.

Now the wrap-up.

Total coin in for the trip: $386,772

When I tell people at Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer, where I slave my days away prairie-dogging grommets out of an automated size 7 grommet sphicter line into bins full of the things which get flushed out to God knows where that we gambled $386,772, they generally wet their pants.
Winner of the Golden Grommet!
For some reason, they seem to think that I carted almost $400,000 in cash to Las Vegas, bet it, and then carted some or most of it (or in this case, all of it plus a bit extra) home.

Consider this - it is theoretically possible to create $386K coin in by starting with a single $5 bill using judiciously applied savvy gambling and parlaying techniques, and being luckier than the only man left in a town full of virgins. This does not describe me in any way, so obviously, it takes some bankroll to do this.

No, the $386,000 is the some total of each bet made on the trip. And typically, our play returns very close to 100% of those bets. Theoretically.

Total combined win / loss for the trip: $5090

That is not too damn shabby. This represents a 101.316% return on our coin in. (Math guy will let me know if my Jonny Quest big button calculator has failed me.)

But there's more... read on.

Total Quad Queen win / loss for the trip: $-2590

Total Royal Flusher win / loss for the trip: $7680

Yes, I crushed it.

But there's more... read on. The Man withheld $3450 in taxes. Depending on how we did for the whole year, we might be able to get part or all of that back.

Total Quad Queen win / loss for the trip including taxes withheld: -$1990

Total Royal Flusher win / loss for the trip including taxes withheld: $10,630

Combined win / loss for the trip including taxes withheld: $8640

Bottom line for me here is I can say that I won over $10K. That is a first, and miles ahead of any previous result in my 52 trips thus far.

But there's more... let's look at the comps we received during the trip. I figured room rates based on what we would actually pay for the room. I only included one set of room nights for the days we had more than one room even if we didn't stay in the same place. That's because I would never pay for two rooms in one night just for the fun of it - if it was out of pocket, we'd stay in one room.

I also added 12% to the room night value for the room tax. If you pay for a room, you are paying this hefty tax. I suppose could have also added resort fees that were waived for the nights we had comped rooms in cases where that applies, but I didn't.

Okay, here's a look at the rooms, meals, free play, cashback, and other goodies that we got.

Comps Oct 2014 No Kickers Trip
Nights include 12% room tax we'd have to pay
California room 4 nights at $70  $          280
California food  $          350
Cal freeplay  $            25
Cal Cashback  $          208
T-shirts  $            20
Golden Nugget Room 5 nights at $168 (paid for 3 nights)  $          840
Golden Nugget Wine  $            85
Golden Nugget Freeplay  $            30
Golden Nugget earned Freeplay  $            60
Landry's  $            50
Four Queens food (October)  $          400
Four Queens freeplay  $       1,000
Four Queens comp dollars earned  $          800
Four Queens cashback  $          375
Mandalay Bay Resort Comp  $            50
Mlife Pointplay  $            25
Citizen Cafe  $            27
D Freeplay and Matchplay  $            10
Downtown Grand food  $            65
Downtown Grand earned freeplay  $            25
California room 2 nights at $70  $          140
California food  $          200
California cashback 2  $          142
Bottle Gentleman Jack on points  $            32
Prime Rib on points  $            25
Total Comps:  $       5,264

The rule of thumb for comps is that casinos will return 40% of your theoretical loss in comps (although this number is lowering... Boyd I think is looking at 30%). I don't know how they view video poker, but just for fun, let's say that we could expect a 2% loss. That would account for mistakes, play on games that return less, not getting enough royals, etc. 

So, if you calculate say a 2% loss on say $400K of coin in (to keep the numbers easy, the '8' key on my Jonny Quest Big Button Calculator is kind of sticky), you get $8000. 40% of that is $3200.

I guess we did all right in that department.

When all is said and done, we won enough to cover all our hard expenses - airfare, taxes, tips, Left-B-Hind kennel for Chippy, limo, rental car, purchased meals with some left over besides.

That equates to a completely free two week Las Vegas vacation (which beats the pants off of last summer's bill of $7000 for a 10 day Las Vegas vacation.) I think that's pretty damn savvy.

Now... how did we do for the year?

The Quad Queen had $1800 withheld in 2014 and she qualifies to get all of that back.

2014 results Royal Flusher Quad Queen Combined Comps
Spirit of Savvy Jan 2014 -3244 -435 -3679 2400
Nifty Fifty April 2014 1310 -1620 -310 2461
Kenny and LuLU July 2014 -4610 0 -4610 2485
No Kickers Oct 2014 7680 -2590 5090 5264
Totals for 2014 1136 -4645 -3509 12610
Taxes we can get back 0 1800
Net loss 2014 +1136 -2845 -1709

Not too shabby!

Well, that's the skinny for this, our final trip of 2014.

Royal Flusher
Wishing you season's greetings and a Savvy New Year!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pinchy and Flashy


Day 14 Friday November 7, 2014
Will someone please explain what the lucky frog thing at the Cal is all about?
We awoke in our room at the California, thinking about home. They had given us a regular room this time, which we didn't mind, because it was so convenient - as close as you can possibly get to the elevators.

I think they were removing all barriers between us and the casino, which we could get to in 30 seconds, if the elevator arrived right away.

It had been a long trip, two full weeks. We'd had an absolutely ridiculous amount of good luck - and believe me, I do not believe that we were anything but lucky on this trip (except for some savvy gambling thrown in).
Early morning quad.
Early morning craps.



We kept it simple, for the most part. Eating at the coffee shop, mostly. Wanting to make sure we hit our $10K coin in at our home property, The Cal.

I was ready to go home, pretty much. Most people don't last for more than 3 or 4 days in Vegas. Some last a week. We don't go 24/7 like the three day trip folks do - it's more like 18/7 or 19/7, or perhaps 18.5/7. Or maybe in our case it was 18/14. Still, I was thinking things back home, like Chippy, at the Left-B-Hind Kennels, wondering how she was.

(Not the actual omelette.)
Chippy is our 18 pound Dane-hua-hua. She has a 12 pound head and a 6 pound body. On long car rides, her neck gets tired, and her head kind of bobs around like it was on a spring. When the sun is right you'd almost swear her eyes glow red when the brakes go on.

Anyway, she would sure be happy to see us. And we'd be happy to see her.

We started our day at the Cal, and then did some triple play at Main Street. I did not do well at this. I don't think I got a quad at all.

Breakfast was the omelettes you see illustrated.
(Not the actual other omelette.) 
After breakfast, the Quad Queen was fatigued, so she went up to nap.

I thought I'd go play single line dollars and if I got my points, I'd work on hers after. I headed down to play dollar Bonus Poker or Jacks. Keep it simple. Like that.

I did start out at Jacks, and had one little ole quad and plunked away at that, enjoying my time and reflecting on the trip.

After quite a while, I'd blown through the quad winnings. Time to change machines, try the Bonus slant-tops.

I sat down at a machine and for some reason, I decided to play Double Double. The reason? It was on the screen.

Gambling is a serious business, and requires a serious plan, which should be completely abandoned at the first inkling of 'a lucky feeling'.

Anyway, I was gifted with a lovely $250 quad. A nice start.

 Lovely. I played some more but the machine started dumperizing so I moved one spot to my right. And I punched up Boner Deluxe. It didn't take long and I had a quad for $400.
And the machine got hot. Boy did it get hot. I went on yet another screaming dollar short term Boner Deluxe run.
 I'd already put the sucker up over $1000 and I just felt like there was one more quick quad to be gotten. Having learned my lesson about running aground, I cashed out a ticket, and put a hundy in. Gambler, know thyself.
Yep, it came in. I'd had an incredible run, taking $100 all the way up to almost $1500. Now that feels good!

I probably played the winnings for that last quad too long and ended cashing out $1100 total.

By this time, I had my $10K coin in at the Cal. I made a trip up to the room to tell the Quad Queen about my good luck, and deposit some hundies in the little brown envelope, which felt very good.

Then I went to Main Street to play on the Quad Queen's card and try Triple Play again - and I got my ass kicked, yet again, to the tune of $300.

Oxtail Stew, the game-changer!
Chicken slabs on a bun with tater sticks.
After lunch it was like, 'well what do you want to do', 'dunno, well what do you want to do', 'dunno, what do you want to do'...

We had a bash at Treasure Chest.



Then the Quad Queen wanted to play more triple play at Main Street, which was the last thing I wanted to do. But I went, and I lost another couple of hundred. She had a terrible time as well, going down $300 or $400.

I really didn't want to play there anymore but she really wanted to. I just wasn't feeling it, and I wasn't having fun, and I was losing. I finally just watched her for a while.

So we went back to the room and we talked about what to do. I was about all gambled out and was fussing. And cranky.

We decided to try the Super Times Pay at the Fremont.

We went over there and it was just awful. I was just losing and losing. She wasn't doing well either. I don't have any quad pictures.

Frankly, I was being a pill. The noise, the smoke, the two weeks of incredible fun... I was getting worn out.

"Well, what the fuck do you want to do, here, on your last night in Vegas?" an irritated, losing Quad Queen asked me.

"I want to go and play Jacks at the alcove. That's all I've been thinking about since your nap. That's all I want. I just want to go to the alcove at the Cal and play nice, single line dollar Jacks or Better."

So we did.

I played this old machine. Whenever you press Deal, the screen kind of sucks in on itself as the voltage drops or something. The cards pinch in towards the center of the screen, and then pinch out again.

We call this machine 'Pinchy'.

The Quad Queen played her crazy Super Double Bonus game, this time for dollars. We chatted about how great it would be if she could get two sets of Aces like the day before on dollars. Or if we could get one more Royal on dollars, for that matter.

Well, she did hit this:
$600 Queens for the Quad Queen
So then, I moved to the end machine, which had this cool wonky screen on it. It's candle on top had flashed on and off interminably since we got to Vegas.

We called it 'Flashy'.

I played Flashy a little bit and looked over and saw a familiar face.

"Hey, Vital Vegas! What are YOU doing here?"

It was Scott, taking care of some of his social media responsibilities for the Fremont Street Experience. We had a nice chat, called each other degenerates for playing slots and video poker respectively, and he went on his way.

I kind of wish he'd come by just a few minutes later, because I got my fourth Royal Flush of the trip on Flashy. On dollars. Our eighth combined Royal for the trip.

"EEEEEEYESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I yelled.

Some people looked around.

"Oh look, he got a Royal..."

"EEEEEEYESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I yelled again.

Royal number four for me, eight combined for the trip.


What a day it had turned into. What a trip!

I thought we would never equal or surpass the Victory trip, but we did, by a mile.

Maybe we didn't get many hands with kickers, but who needs kickers when you have Royals?

Consider - at the beginning of 2014, I 'd had exactly ONE dollar royal in my life. In 2014, I had four of them, three on this one trip.

I felt very, very, lucky indeed.

The floor person came and congratulated me and asked for my ID. I opened my wallet and pulled out my Visa card.

"Here. Put it on this."

The paperwork arrived in about 10 minutes. I got paid and made a pronouncement after playing off the Royal.

"That's it. I'm not playing again this trip. I want to go out on a high."

The best part? They didn't withhold any tax so I got the full $4000 in cash.

Next stop, the Smug Nugget, where we paid off our $2,000 in markers. We picked up a thank-you card for our host and loaded it with goodness. And, we had a celebration dinner at the Redwood Grill, enjoying champagne (of a sort), french onion soup, filet, scampi, crab and lobster tails. It was fantastic.
The little brown envelope would be full!
The scampi seemed to be called shrimp scampi style. That's basically where you take shrimp and cook it up in Golden Caesar dressing.

After dinner, the Quad Queen said,"So, you want to go play?"

"Um... yeah."

She did well, getting a bunch of quads and gaining back some ground on her day.

We went to the slot club and got our cashback, and got packed up for the return trip home the following day.

Our host confirmed that we are playing enough to get the Gold Card, a suite, and limo service. So we'll try to set that up next stay.

But this trip was almost at a close, with just Saturday morning left to go. It was in the bag now, and as my recording states, "It was a great day, and a great trip, the most successful trip we've ever had in every respect. Great fun, most winning dollarses, most royals, by far the record... we did it. We beat them. We beat them fair and square, we beat the crap out of them. We got the money, we got the goods, we got all the shit, they gave us the shit for free. Act like you don't need the shit and they give you the shit for free." I think most of a bottle of champagne was in effect, there.

Royal Flusher: Day +$4610 Trip $7680
Quad Queen: Day +$220 Trip -$2590

Combined: +$5090
Royals Flush: Eight (!!!!!!!!)

These figures don't include tax withheld. If you include that, which I think I have a shot at getting back, I was over $10K for the trip.

And, then there's the creative comp accounting yet to come!