Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Loco Moco is Mondo Pukka

Sunday - Day 9

I have a rough night. I'm not sure why, but my nose runs, I'm sneezing some, I ache... I think to myself, what could this be? Hmmm....

The answer is, of course, nothing that is going to stop me from drinklegambling. But some comfort breakfast is in order and I do the Loco Moco. Everybody's doing the Loco Moco.

That's Loco Moco - rice, hamburger patty, brown gravy-style ooze, and eggs atop. Beauty!
The Loco Moco is mondo pukka and three kinds of hot sauce make it even better. I'm talking the red Cholula, the green Cholula, and the Tabasco.

This comfort Loco Moco brought to you by Cholula brand Hot Sauce.

Cholula is my favorite sauce right now, and I'm so glad that more places are stocking it. Today, I am seeing if it will help with whatever Vegas aches I've got.

I have a solid plan for the day, which includes moving to T.I. and trouncing them with my $100 freeplay, but much of that solid plan gets completely waylaid. There I am, strolling through the mezzanine at the Cal, minding my own business, when what do I see???

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Meet Mrs. Bling

The idea here is to win $100 at blackjack, thus returning me to even on the day. All I have to do is pick the right table. If I only knew that I would be blackjack musical chairs, I might have been better prepared.


I find myself a nice, little, comfy, five dollar table on the south side of the California Hotel and Casino pit. It's a double deck pitch game, dealt by hand, not from a shoe. The right half of the table is empty. Across from the dealer sits Mrs. Bling. On her left is Mr. Confused Aloha, who is studying his chips, and at third base is Mr. Disinterested and Fearful Bling Hubby, although I don't know this right away.

Mrs. Bling is chatting with the dealer and I sit down to her right and buy in for $100, flipping my recently won dollar treasure chest winnings and two years expired Emerald card onto the felt.

I play a few hands and its choppy - I lose the first three or four out of the gate. Mrs. Bling is talking a mile a minute at the dealer, who, apparently, has made the mistake of mentioning one of the 18 pieces of jewellery Mrs. Bling is sporting.

Play stops while Mrs. Bling sells the dealer, who is enthralled by the marketing savvy of Mrs. Bling. Mrs. Bling is stretched across the blackjack table, going through her business card with the dealer.

"Now, this here is my work website, and my work email, and this here is my personal email, this is my Ronkovski phone number,  this is my name name - Do you have email?"

"Yes," the dealer replies.

"Okay, I will email you." She produces another business card from her stash of 400. "You need to write your down phone number and your name on there so that I have your number and your name."

The dealer, holding the cards in one hand, makes a move with the other to begin the deal.

"And you get all kinds of additional incentives every single month!"

"You mean if you meet the quota..." says the dealer. The hand drops, and again we wait for action.

"It's whatever you want to work. You can work very little, or if you want to be very successful, you can work very hard. Like if you want to meet incentives for $500 in sales or $1000 in sales or $1500 in sale, you can get gifts like - I've gotten a piece of luggage, I've gotten a facial steamer, I've gotten cruise discount coupons - this bracelet, I got this for $1500 in sales.

I look across the table at the guys. They look at me. All of us are completely expressionless, like we have been imprisoned for too long.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Immoral Support

Saturday - Day 8

Saturday morning in Vegas. I wake up to a world of possibilities and choices. For example, Torment Oatmeal for breakfast? Or a selection of 200 items, dishes, condiments, desserts, and beverages from the Main Street Station buffet?

I am a pushover. After in-room coffee thanks to the Little Giant, and some interneting to update followers of this blog, I make my decision.

This is not Torment Oatmeal
I eat various shapes and colors for breakfast from the wide selection available, including disc, half moon, trapezoid, bright red, fractal, and throw-up. It's... okay. The half moon is good because it was shaped to order.

I try a few machines and quickly get that panicky feeling that leads me towards trying to hit a big one to just sort it all right away. Super Double Double Bonus fits the bill. I like this game because there is kicker action on not just the Aces, 2s, 3s, 4s, but on the Jacks, Queens, Kings as well. This game has more hole card action than the YMCA.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Royal and Flusher go to White Castle

Friday - Day 7 - continued


The Deuces Wild magic has not made a second appearance, so I silently thank the old girl for coughing up $500, and head off. I never tire of walking through the El Cortez. Up the few steps, past the - Simpson's video slot?

I have to stop and give it a try. Like most video slots, I have know idea what's going on, but there is a lot of activity and Homer talks to me quite a bit. There are flashing symbols and various characters coming and going. I get a couple of bonus rounds, including one where I'm supposed to control Homer's hand - I'm convinced that the 'sensor' is a sham. No motion that I make seems to have any influence over how many sprinkles Homer's donut collects.



I move on, past the vintage car in the lobby, through the chain gang machines staffed with people that probably never leave their choice of addiction, and through the pit. A right turn, past the sports book and out the slidey doors.

It is not that long since the block of Fremont between the El Cortez and the end of the Fremont Street Experience canopy was a no man's land of failed businesses and shuttered shops, the methadone clinic, a dollar store or two, and people so down and out, the places where down and out people go won't even allow them to hang out there.

There has been quite a bit of turnover as various enterprises have tried to keep their foothold, but the better ones are still around, and others have been replaced. The current crop fills the block with a full house and both sides of the street are reborn. Many times I have walked that block and seen no more than three other people, all of whom are eyeing me up and down like I were a chicken dinner.

Those people are still there, but so are many, many others - crowds of them now. This block is reborn.


Vegas history gets lost when these things happen and I see the latest casualty - as mentioned earlier, the Trader Bill's neon sign has been given a makeover, thus eradicating 99% of its vintage charm and history. It's now a White Castle sign, with only the old shape remaining to remind us of the past.

There's only one thing to do - take some pics, and try White Castle.

This is my first foray into a White Castle. I have had one of their sliders before - a giveaway they had at El Cortez one time - but that doesn't count. My recollection was that a White Castle slider is a little teeny fucking hamburger that tastes like onions.


The marketing weenies have earned their mustard on choosing this location - the place is jammed. So is the menu.

The making of the teeny fucking hamburgers.
I don't really know what to order, so I just go with the basics - four sliders. But I see jalapeno jack can be put on them, so I go for that.


What I get is a sack of four teeny fucking hamburgers that taste like onions - with jalapeno jack cheese on them.

Pluses - they are quite tasty, and I file away that White Castle sliders could be the perfect late night drunk food crave.

Minuses - they are quite tasty, and I immediately want more, and  the order comes with enough garbagey paper and packaging to fell a redwood. There's a bag, napkins, and each little teeny fucking hamburger comes in its own cardboard little teeny fucking hamburger garage. Condiments come in little plastic packages. As The Jam once said, this is the modern world.



I hit Fremont for some Slutty Times Pay action, hitting a few things and coming close to a couple of monsters on back to back spinner hands. Overall, I put in $40 and take out $80. Things are rolling my way!



Even Treasure Chest coughs up a quad to double my twenty there.


After all this excitement, I take some time off, picking up a keno ticket and heading to the room for the unprecedented activity of putting money into the safe. I am not sure I won't trigger some intergalactic apocalypse by reversing the stream, but go for it anyway.

Resting is nice, and once again, I almost hit it big on Keno. Shoulda woulda coulda, but my $40 more than doubles up when I finally venture back to the casino.


It's Friday, and the special at the coffee shop is Oxtail Disco Stew. I have it. As usual it's amazing.


Blackjack went well. I did a quick $40 buy-in and twenty minutes later, cashed $100. I can't stop winning today. It's fabulous!

I decide to ride that luck back over to good ole crazy Ultra Bonus. It pays 800 credits for 2s, 3s or 4, and 2000 for Aces. No fucking around with kickers or any bullshit. You get the quad, you get paid.

Another set of Ducks for me and I can't believe it. I'm just sitting there going holy holy shit holy shit!


I have a couple more quads to round out the day.



This was one of those great days that you need to have now and again to keep you going on a trip. I couldn't be happier when I pack it in and do an accounting.

Video poker: +$620 on the day
Blackjack: +$60 on the day
Keno:  +$50 on the day

Over all, I am up $730 on the day. Not bad for someone who is purportedly playing nickles.

Best part, at the halfway point (!) I am up on the trip! 

Trip: +$305

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Why I Love Deuces Wild

Friday - Day 7 - continued

I head out into the street, into the bright, almost colorless sunshine. Everything flares and glows. It's blinding and beautiful.

On the way to the Downtown Grand, I see a few signs indicating that the Downtown Loop shuttle stop is thisaway or thataway. I've seen a few of these around - and yet I never find the stop. I retrace my steps when I find a sign pointing the way I've come. But I never find an actual stop, or see a shuttle for that matter. Perhaps it's a "No Flusher" shuttle.

In the Downtown Grand, I seek to relive some of the former glory hits I've had on the Double Double progressive video poker at the bar. Like the time I hit Aces Kicker on freeplay. And the time I hit Aces and Aces Kicker. And the other time I hit Aces Kicker.

I am lucky at this bar. But not today.

On my way out, I spy a kiosk, and I am all over kiosks like timeshare shills on tourists. One never knows what offers, surprises, freeplay, coupons and the like a kiosk might cough up.

This one gives me a chance to see my promotions, and I do. I have a Meat Promotion!


I print out the coupon and I'm pretty excited about it - it seems to be giving me free meat - a prime rib special worth $8. Upon later, closer inspection, I find that a) this coupon is not for today, it's for tomorrow and b) there's nothing free about it - this coupon entitles me to purchase a prime rib dinner for $8. The coupon gets crunchled and makes it to the idea file with extreme prejudice.

Another interesting feature is their interactive slot-finding map, with PAC-MAN.


I am hoping for match plays or free play or free food or free t-shirt or free willy or free anything, but I find no coupons of any real worth to me and I am on my way out the Downtown Grand doors, making a hard left and walking down Ogden toward the El Cortez. The walk is only minorly sketchy, with just a few nose-insulting smells on the way.

As I approach the El Cortez, as always, my excitement starts to grow as I near the old machines. There is going to be a day when I walk through those doors to find no more Downtown Deuces. Hopefully this is not that day. It's not, and my current favorite is available.