Sunday, November 22, 2015


Friday Nov 6, 2015 - Day 16 - part 2

SEMA was on in Vegas and a bunch of vintage cars were parked outside the DTG, including a vintage Good Humor truck, complete with driver in uniform. I'm guessing late 30s.

The truck, not the guy.

One machine that really took my fancy was a boat-tailed hotrod called Silver Slipper. This thing was hot! Great gambling themed interior, too.

We stopped in and met our host at the DTG and had a great talk about the property. She's only been there since July but has many, many years of experience and knows how things work. I said that she had a lot to offer them about hot to rejig things to attract some action. She said they hadn't asked her yet.

And I think I finally put my finger on why the Downtown Grand has gone wrong. The hotel and the casino operations are run by different groups. They don't understand how the interaction between the two works. Apparently they are very happy to fill the rooms of what they see as a boutique hotel with non-gambling conventioners. To the hoteliers, this is success. To the casino, its death. It doesn't matter if the rooms are full if nobody is playing, the casino will wither. And that's what's happened.

On the other end of things, the hoteliers don't understand why the casino would comp rooms to gamblers, if they can sell them to travelers (who don't gamble, necessarily).

This theory could well explain the many 'shoot yourself in the foot' decisions that have been made over the first 2 years of operation. Without a unified vision, the infighting between management groups is going to result in a bunch of impasses.

I think our host is someone I can work with, and she took care of us up front on my good word. I'd heard that she'd had a birthday recently, or it was her birthday, or she had a birthday coming, or something. And she knows Mike.... or Mike knows her?.... Anyway, she got a little birthday card from Flushiepants. So let's see how that relationship develops in future.

I played a little blackjack, and had another winning session, while the Quad Queen played more VP.

And then it was over to the Four Queens, where I seeded the bartop machines with a $20 bill, and Mike laid a nice Maker's rocks on me. He told me about a very nice woman who had been asking about my whereabouts, since she reads the blog. Her name was (and is) Anne.

Before long, Anne showed up at the bar, about 8 seats down from me. I got a pen and wrote out a message on one of my patented degenerate/savvy business cards and had Mike take it down. It was fun to watch out of the corner of my eye.

She seemed to enjoy the card, so I cashed out and headed down there.

"I'll give you three dollars for that card," I said.

Anne put two and two together right away and got three. So I did a quick meet and greet and also took her over to meet the Quad Queen, who was hammering away on that damn penny hundred play she seems to love so much.

I can't play pennies, I'm afraid I might win!

Anne, it was a pleasure meeting you. You were every bit as nice as Mike said. I hope the card will find a place in your sock drawer next expired slot club cards, under the stack of SILVER! STRIKE!!! coins that you don't know what to do with. Well, if I got such a thing, that's where it would end up, anyway.

Back to the bartops, and this time, I had some luck on them.

Tell Mike Flushypants sent you.
Once again, I managed to take the Four Queens' money, which made me happy. I am short about two dollar Royals in that place. You'd think they'd be clambering to invite me back, I've lost so much there.

Meanwhile, the Quad Queen lost about $100, so I was annoyed. It erased my win, somewhat. But the gravy was the cashback, which we picked up. I had about $16 and the QQ had almost $50. So money, yes?!

And then it was on to the Fremont and the Slutty Times Pay machines, where I engaged in what can only be called Caesarspalooza.

This was getting to be close to the last bash of the trip and we lived it up, sucking down the drinks, and hammering those machines, and generally making merry. Once again I came close - very, very close - to stealing the Super Times Pay sign which sits atop the right-most machine. Damn I want that thing, for some reason, but I'm not willing to get backroomed just to try to walk out with it.

I noticed that my card was still there - apparently, the 17 people who read this blog don't get around much. And Anne already had one.
If the card is still there, leave it. But send me a selfie, and I'll post it.
I had a grand old time. I lost $100 and was ready to move on, but Mrs. F was in some kind of "MUST WIN" zone.
Any quad was $325. But noooooooo.... couldn't get it. Still, decent hand.
Ok, I could live with that. I ordered another Caesar and switched machines and started feeding it. That's when I hit some hands. I won it all back and then dropped $100 or so.

But meanwhile, the Quad Queen hit a rough patch. She was in for $200.

Not willing to call it, she went in for $100 more.

And it was focus-time. For her, this was like my session the previous night at the Downtown Grand. I stood next to her, sucked liberally on my various Caesars, and cheered her on.

God damn it was fun. Sometimes you just hit those moments in Vegas that are so fun (actually, it's pretty much all day long, but some are MORE more fun).

She kept at it, and clawed, and fought, muttering, "I want a big spinner hand, I want a big spinner hand."

Well, it arrived. Boom. $500 win. Four Pointies with 5x spinner. WAHOOOO!!!!!

She cashed out a winner, and I had only lost $100. So my day was still intact, after an amazing comeback from being down $800.

It was getting on. We had to keep our eyes on the Ball of Reality, unfortunately. This meant getting my stuff from the DTG and heading to the Cal, where I'd sleep. Because our flight out was at 7:00am and the limo was teed up for 5:00am. So we had to get up at like 4:00am. And we had bidness at the Cal.

But first.... one more bash at DTG. And for some reason, I got fixated on Triple Double Bonus, which I had been dabbling in this trip from time to time - I have this idea that I really, really want Aces Kicker on this thing, which pays the same as a Royal.

We sad side by side, kind of looped, and it was my turn to keep muttering, "I just want Aces Kicker on this and I'll never ask for another thing..."

I had tons of pairs of Aces, and even three Aces dealt.

I ended up with three Aces about seven or eight times. It was taunting me.

I'd only put in a $20 bill, the idea being that it was stupid to play it long term, and I should just get Aces Kicker and be done with it.

I got a quad, and that gave me more playing time to try to get it.

"I just want Aces Kicker on this..."

Then, I was dealt three Aces. We did our usual incantations and verbal assaults on the machine and I hit the button.

Four Pointies!!!

No kicker.

Damn!!!!! One little 2 of clubs, one little 4 of hearts and I'd have $1000. Well, I had to take it as it came. $200 is $200 and on a $20 buy-in, that's a win.

So, onward. In a nutshell.... cleared out of DTG, moved to the Cal, packed, took care of our host (who had a birthday, or it was her birthday, or had a birthday coming sometime). There was time to grab some dinner, and really, not much more time to play.

Would we opt for a comped steak/lobster/crab dinner with wine and all the goodies?

Not when its OXTAIL STEW night at the coffee shop! (If they could figure out how to incorporate Country Throw-up Gravy with Oxtail Stew... heads would explode everywhere over its disgusting goodness.)
Cal Oxtail Stew is as good as it looks, and probably better than it looks.
Time was really short and we were tired. We'd been at it since sunrise and it was now well into evening. We'd get four hours sleep or so.

For our last session, we tried the dollar Treasure Chest uprights. I call these the Memorial Treasure Chest Uprights, since they sit where the last four dollar Treasure Chest slant-tops had sat, at the bottom of the escalator in the Cal, and upon which I had achieved a Royal Flush for $4000 a year ago.

$20 each. And that was all.

Like the old days, we took turns.

And this, was my last hand.
It was that sad thing, CREDIT 0.

But I felt completely satisfied. How could I not? We'd had one hell of a trip, and I had more winning days than I could count. I'd had four Royals Flush! I'd won every table games session I played (I think), both blackjack and craps. Financially, I'd pretty much knocked it out of the park, and got the horrible karma of the last two trips out of my system. I felt... satisfied. (Don't worry, it won't last.)

We converted our points to cash back - the 5x points thingy we'd had worked out very well and we got $550 in cash back. A pretty nice little bonus.

We both slept very well, and I woke up a bit early, early enough to grab a shower and a shave. We had breakfast at the counter, headed back to the room, grabbing our stuff, and were well on time for the limo at 5:00, which showed up just as it should. (No need for a ride in the Security SUV this time.)

At the airport, things were busier than I imagined they would be on a Saturday morning, early. In fact, we didn't have time to play the airport machines, for the first time I can remember. So once again, the 'stretch goal' of a Royal at the airport will have to wait. Someday I'll knock that mother off its 'I told you so' perch. I swear!

What a great last day we'd had. We'd both won! And on the last day! And the Quad Queen had her best day of the trip, coming in plus $920!!!!

But the moment came... I always pay attention as I step off the jetway onto the plane - I am leaving Vegas. Once on the plane, its really over.

I stepped.

RF: Day: +$555 Trip: +$6275 (And about $1250 tax withheld, so +$7525 including that.)
QQ: Day: +$900 Trip: -$3340
Combined: +$2935 (+$4185 including tax withheld)

We'd won enough to cover all expenses - flights, kennel, the house in Lake Havasu, tips, cornmeal, gunpowder, ham hocks and guitar strings.

We had 12 nights fully comped in Vegas, plus 3 at the Downtown Grand double booked. Call it $1500 worth.
Just about every meal in Vegas was comped. I think we paid for two or three meals. And we'd had about four $150 meals at Redwood Grille. Call it $2000 worth.

We'd had an amazing meal at Hugo's courtesy of our friends, the Js, Jeff and Janis. Thank you, again, and can't wait to see you next time.

We'd had a bunch of free play to boot.

And people say to me, "You're going back to Vegas... again????"

Damn right I am. I can't afford not to!

Until next time,

Stay degenerate savvy,

If you wash with Sudsy Wudsy,
You'll wash away the mudsy wudsy.
Be like Barney-boy and Like Flushie on FaceBook!