Friday, June 27, 2014

Caesars Magical Screw You Peons Empire

Tuesday October 15, 2002

The last day of my solo $19 a night Vegas trip.

I started the day with the breakfast buffet.

Filling my gob the Caesars Palace way.

It cost $14.99 but it was good. They had all kinds of fresh fruits out, breads, hot selections, and of course, the omelette station.

Fully fueled up, I did some gambling. I hit a winning streak. Then I hit a losing streak. Then I got four Kings on Barge Bonus, and then four more kings on 9/6 quarters. I had a nice $70 profit.

Thought I would give roulette a spin but $20 wheeled away in no time. And then somehow I lost $60 on multiplay deuces.

I’d played for about an hour and a half though, only losing $40 when it was all said and done.

With my room offer at Caesars was a free ticket to Caesars Magical Empire (which I suspected was just south of Caesars Magical Toga Waistband.) In any case, putting the questionable sexual proclivities of the whole Caesars/Rome thing aside, I went to check out the venue.

That’s when I realized that my ticket was for a late showing. In fact… I’d be on the plane by then.

But wait! There was an earlier show!

So I went and talked to the boothling at the desk about my predicament. Do you think I was met with any kind of understanding or helpful attitude?

Not on your lion-fodder life.

The bitch would not change my tickets for an earlier show, even though it they were free. It didn’t even matter that I wasn’t going to use one of them (I had two). I was pretty pissed off, needless to say. I aquaduct out of there and headed up to the room to pack.

At check-out, I got talking to the Brazilian ‘line guy’ at registration. His job, I think, is to ‘facilitate’ the line. He was the perfect guy in the perfect job. Sometimes you just meet people that are like that.
We got talking and he said he was a music therapist and was impressed that I chose to go on vacation after getting laid off.

In return I told him I was impressed that he’d let me dump my entire life story on him.

I got some pictures and did a free pull and lost.

Then, having a moment of inspiration, I decided to make a deposit into the future karma bank. I strolled back to Caesars Magical Screw You Peons Empire, found some people in line to buy tickets… and gave them mine.

One last gasp at reaming out Caesar, as it were, was at the barge and it was a no go, mo fo. Lots of woe, tho’.
It was time to leave the strip and engage on the final act of cheapness of the trip, one that I was pretty proud of. I took the free shuttle to the Hard Rock Hotel from the valet area of the Forum shops, where I hung around playing 9/6 Jacks and ogling the cocktail waitresses while waiting for my plane.
I switched to Bonus Poker just in time to hit two quick quads, which was nice.
Did some shopping, made a webcam appearance for the guys at the plant, and lost my money back afterwards.

One of the great things about playing at the Hard Rock is always the music. They know what they’re doing in that department. Some personal favorites of mine were played and it was a nice ol’ rocking time. Hendrix’ Wild Thing (the Monterey Pop version), Jackson Browne, Doctor My Eyes, Guess Who with No Time, I’ve Got You by Split Enz… a wide variety of rock and tasty pop.

Had a late lunch/early supper at Mr. Lucky’s. I had a free dessert coupon that came with the slot club sign-up. Had a 12oz. New York steak (beef for a change?!), salad, fries. It was very good, actually. The steak was an inch thick, cooked to perfection.

For the free dessert, I chose home made cheesecake with strawberries. All in all, it was an excellent last Vegas meal and, my notes specify, my server Carmel was ‘very nice!’.

And that’s the end of my solo trip.

My notes have a complete list of everything I spent on expenses (food, tips, etc.). The grand total was $448 out of pocket.

Not bad for six days in Vegas!

The gambling results, I lost $143.
I still have the Hard Rock Casino dice.
So total, total, total was a little less than $600 out of pocket and the flight was on points.

As you can see, I really had a low gambling budget for this trip. It was a time when full pay video poker was still easily found on the strip, and free rooms and some meal comps came easily. Sadly, those days are long, long gone.

Can you imagine getting that Caesars offer today on an hour or two a day of quarter video poker play, on full pay machines?

The Flusher never had it so good, back in the days of Vintage Las Vegas.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Roman Rewards by Jim Crackey!

Unfortunately… I had a pretty bad night. My suite kept filling with cigarette smoke. I got up late, got going, felt like crap. Arranged to get a new room - 980, in the Forum tower. I hated to give up my suite, but it wasn’t going to work.

Had buffet at Cafe Lago for breakfast. It was shitty. The slots near the buffet made up for it though - I won 150 quarters on a red white and blue on the second pull.
Caesars Penthouse.
I tried out 50 play one cent Deuces, and Bonus Poker. The good news? On my last hand I got 4 Aces for 800 credits. The bad news? I already said, they were PENNIES. Another $20 at the barges, but nothing there. Wait… what was that over there, though???
They had this promo going on for Roman Rewards - one of the most brilliant promotions I’ve ever seen. Basically, they took a bank of normal slot machines - like 20 of ‘em or so. Then, they got a guy in a costume and a babe to hang around with him, and they gave the costume guy a microphone.

And when the promotion started, he talked up the crowd with his special brand of Caesars by-Jim-cracky hypey hype, “C’mon and grab a seat while you can… we’re starting soon… limited time…. special promotion…. limited edition… blah blah hooey….”

Once everyone is seated, and here comes the brilliant part, he gets you to put your own money in the slot machine and play as fast as you can.

And of course, over a minute or two, somebody is going to win something worthwhile, like $300 say. But they are playing through $40 or $50 a minute. Anyway, he uses that one winner to hype up everone else, interviewing the person “KEEP PLAYING though, while you talk to me!!!...” and encouraging everyone else as well.

Some hinted at reward beyond the slot play is in the offing, but you’re never sure what it is, or what you have to do to get it, but you are supposed to keep playing!

Of course, there is nothing special about all this - they are just normal slots, and this huckster is just some fast talkin’ city slicker, ready to bafflegab the rubes who just came out of the “great” Grubstake Jamboree at the Westward Ho.

That would be me. I sat down, of course, put in $40, and started playing. And hey!!! I hit for $300!!!!

Hot damn!

“Sir, how much did you win? This man, he’s just won $300! You can too, pull those levers! Sir?” he said to me?

“Yes?”

“I strongly advise you to keep playing.”

I did, just a little and cashed out at $276.

(2014 Flusher: They run a carbon copy of this same promotion at the Fremont even now.)

Incredibly, at this point, the state of the gambling budget was such that I was down a mere $178 on the trip so far!!!

They featured characters like this Forbidden Dance woman at Caesars. They also had a (fake) Caesar.
I did the room switcheroo and hauled my shit up there and that when… I realized I had the old key, and not the new key.

Fortunately, I was saved by Jesus. (Jesus, the bellman.)

One of those snafus, fairly quickly righted. I was pleased with the service, although it was kind of odd to have Jesus working for Caesar. Also, Jesus takes tips. His El Camino is a right gas guzzler, he can use every buck.

(This part of the trip report is kind of boring - my notes are much as they were in other parts of the trip report - went here, tried 20, went there, tried 20…. Shopped at Forum, tried Mirage. Played for an hour, no quad.)

Then I met one of those people you sometimes meet, the kind of person that touches your heart a bit. In this case, Mona.

Mona who talked to me at the Mirage. Mona with only one eye working, and three retina and cornea operations behind her on the other. But her spirit was uplifting, and, she didn’t ask me for money or anything.

Sometimes you need to meet someone like that who takes life’s challenges head on to make you realize how good you have it.

That’s what Mona did.

Back to Caesars, where I visted the very interesting Brahma shrine (which is by now, moved a bunch of times, and possibly hidden away where no one can find it anymore… but then, it was in the gardens, right out in front of the Court Porcine.
Brahma Shrine courtesy 'Ravi' of http://www.neurophys.wisc.edu/ravi/vegas2006/
The shrine is a fantastic place to meditate, the perfect zen ying to the brash Las Vegas wang.

The sign there reads ““The Brahma Shrine is renowned throughout the far east, to people of all faiths, as a place of prayer which in turn bestows prosperity and good fortune on those who come to visit and make their hopes and wishes known. The casting ceremonies for the four-faced, eight-handed statue of the Brahma were held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 25, 1983 and many important religious authorities and international dignitaries participated.”

I enjoyed the incense, closed my eyes, and said a half-hearted prayer. For Mona. Then a full-on full-hearted prayer for gambling luck. Let’s not mess around here.

The prayer worked, a bit. I made a quick $20 in Caesar’s lobby on a full pay 9/6 Jacks machine.

Time for a rest - which I took, and then ate at Cafe Lago. They have a special, P.R.O.B. and crab for $14.99. We’ve had it a few times, and it is great.

Lost at Keno on a play 4 get 1 free coupon. Played some slots, losing back the $20 profit from earlier. It’s great playing the 9/6 Jacks in the lobby, just off the original, round casino, one of the sole leftovers from the original 1966 Caesars. Back then, that’s all the casino there was.

Back at the Barges, I did manage to hit quad 3s, so that was good. Played the last of Mrs. F’s stake there, lost more on slots by the buffet, and more again on the Roman Rewards by the very cool Shadow bar.

I love the sexy dancers at the Shadow bar, except for the fact that all of them, every single one, is flat.

Found a Jacks machine where I could keep an eye on the bar and played for an hour. That’s more like it. Up to $60 down to $5 back up to $60. Had 2 quads and made $40.

On the day, I was at $140 profit, plus the gifts for Mrs. F. It was the end of an absolutely great day in Vegas.

The best part was, I found another bank of elevators to get to my floor. And when you use those ones, my floor number is… 69, Dudes!