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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Golden Nuggets and Sharing Lions

Take me to the Heart Attack Grill!
At the Golden Nugget, we are booked in on a pretty decent offer - something like $42 a night for 3 nights with two breakfast buffets and two tickets to Gordie Brown thrown in. Our VP play will probably get us a night or two comped so it is a pretty good deal.

We wheeled our luggage down the very long hallway at the Cal, through the casino, and out the side door into the street. Down to the corner, across the little stream of water that always seems to be running down the crosswalk, and up beside Binions. Made it to Fremont St., one of my arms fell off, kept dragging along past the Golden Nugget, and down the side to the entrance by registration, where my other arm fell off.

I've had a lot of problems with jaws and limbs today.

At check-in, I used my savvy casino hotel check-in skills to arrange (ahem) a 'complimentary' upgrade to the Gold tower from the run of the mill Carson tower rooms which can be literally a two block walk from the action in the casino. The desk clerk was very attentive and very appreciative of our business. I watched with interest how wiley the clerk was at squirrelling away the bill I'd sandwiched between my credit card and driver's license.

So, we have a very nice room indeed in the Gold tower, the elevators of which dump you pretty much in the center of the casino. It's got a sweet pool view as well, which the includes the 'european bathing' area. I think this means that the women you don't want to see topless, go topless, the men you don't want to see in any kind of bathing attire are there as well, wearing mirror sunglasses and hoping for a free show.

To kick off the gambling at the Smug Nugget, we went for some of our high stakes play.

This meant the $5 video poker in the high limit room - that's five credits a pull, so $25 a hand. Sadly, with only four hands to play each, you are really taking a long shot, and that's what this was. We both ended up down our $100 buy-in each within about 37 seconds.

Next stop, the lowly quarter play where we belong.

There's nothing like a streak. I love streaks. I love the feeling of a streak where it seems like you just can't lose. Even if its on quarter video poker, you have to respect the streak. And I got on one. It didn't seem to matter what I held, if it was a non-paying pair, another pair would show up for a winner, or a three of a kind would happen. Hold four to a straight, it comes in. The credits kept piling up and I hit a $50 quad in there as well. Ramped that sucker up from $20 to $120 in 10 minutes, and when I felt the streak turn on me, I bailed and kept the profit.

This is what a savvy gambler does.

Cashes out the profit, feels good for 8 seconds, then dumps the profit into some other stupid machine in the next row, probably.

For lunch, we headed over to Binion's snack bar for one of their amazing cheeseburgers. Added grilled onions and cheddar, with fries, and a big ole styrofoam cup of milk. The milk dissolves the grease and fat in the burger so that it has, actually, zero calories.

My niece Lamondo and her boyfriend Clevedge were driving in from L.A. so we were heading down to Excalibur to set up their room for them, and meet up when they arrived. So, next stop... the MGM Green, where we needed to continue the high stakes journey with the lone, lonely, ancient Lion's Share slot. I was able to confirm that this slot was manufactured in November, 1993.

We grabbed the WAX bus from outside Binions and $4 and 24 minutes later found ourselves outside the MGM Green. The Lion's Share progressive was up to $2,249,891.66 - but who's counting. I played my hundred first, got a few small wins but eventually got tapped out without having won $2.2 million.

Sometimes I wonder just what it is I am doing wrong, because I fully expect to win this jackpot.

Mrs. Flusher hit it up next for $100 and had some better wins along the way to a face first crash into the sand just like mine. So we both blew $100 and had nothing to show for it.

Headed over to Excalibur - what is with Tropicoconut these days, you can smell the fake scent from a hundred yards away, outside the hotel. Maybe the plan is to scent up the entire city of Las Vegas.

We exchanged a few texts with Lamondo that said they were about an hour out of town, so plunked ourselves down on the 9/6 Double Double Bonus machines outside the Jester's Lounge and started drinking heavily. Mrs. Flusher hit a quad and I actually won on the Freeplay that came with the room, turning $25 into a $90 profit thanks to a straight flush and a quad.

Lamondo and Clevedge arrived and I was very happy to see them. It was very exciting to be able to show Lamondo our favorite vacation spot after so many years of sharing stories with her as she grew up. And now here she was. Once they got settled in their room and showered up, we hit the same machines so I could teach her how to be a savvy gambler like me.

Clevedge poked away at the buttons, playing one quarter at a time. He didn't have too much luck because of his 10" bangs - they sort of block his view of the cards. (I did wonder what he does while driving. I have yet to sort this out.) But looking right is more important in his estimation, I suppose. And why stop at one earring when you can have 19 of them, right? On his knuckles he has tattooed LOL! (right hand) and WTF? (left hand). Clevedge is definitely a product of the current youth culture.

Lamondo cast her good eye over her machine and made pretty good progress. The lazy eye got her confused sometimes and occasionally she would play cards off of my machine by mistake. I guess looking in two directions at the same time has been a challenge for her. I'm hopeful that her movie making career might right it somehow, through more eye exercise.

We had a grand time pounding back drinks and playing video poker. The kids were plunking a quarter a hand at deuces wild and it so reminded us of our gambling beginnings. I felt a tear form in my eye just as I was dealt another beauty.

Four deuces, on Double Double Bonus. Worth $200 right out of the gate, and worth $500 with a Ace, 2,3 or 4 kicker, as I pointed out to Clevedge. He then asked me how I would get a fifth 2 for the kicker - did I have some way of cheating or something?

Maybe Clevedge is a deep thinker, to pick up on that gaffe on my part.

Hit the button and drew a stupid 8. But hey, I was still pretty much on freeplay and $200 would keep me in 'free' drinks for a long time.

We hit various and sundry other quads and then headed off to get some grub at the good ole Pyramid Cafe, which thankfully, still bears pretty much the same decor as it did in 1995. It makes me nostalgic for the days when I could look down towards my toes and see something else besides a fairly hirsute Molson muscle.

We had a $50 resort comp with the Excalibur room so I dumped dinner on the room charge to eat it up. The room deal worked out well for us, only $22 a night plus stupid resort fee of $12, but we got the $50 comp and $25 free play and I made enough on the freeplay to cover all the room charges.

And I got to look generous in front of Clevedge and Lamondo.

We bade the kids good night, saying wistfully to them, "Good night."

And another Vegas day and good night were in the good books. And just how did those books look about now?

Well, I was up on the day a very sweet and most savvy $900. The Mrs. continued her post-Royal slide into oblivion with a $-630 day. (What is going on with the Quad Queen???) Between us, though, we are still up on the trip $715.

And I might add that with my big-ass Aces win today, I am winning on this trip now, to the tune of $140.

But there is a lot - and I mean a lot - of quarter by quarter gambling action to come.

Oh yes... and some $125 a hand video poker action too...

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