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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Where's the Comp Love?

As planning continues for the Big October Trip (yet to be themed), I'm continuing to learn more about the comp system - and how to make it work in your favor fail.

There are three pieces of advice to less experienced Vegas gamblers you will hear over and over:

  • Always play Max coins
  • Never play for comps
  • Never eat fruit in the dark

But as travelers to Vegas, as vacationers, those comps have real value and form part how I evaluate a property and whether it's a good play.

Here's an example.

Let's say some casino has a 99% return game and its a game I really like to play. If you play  $5000 coin in a day, you'll get a free room, a dinner buffet, and 0.20% cash back. And, after you have established yourself over two or three trips at that play level, you get mailed offers to return that include $200 free play.

I need a room, and I need to eat. So those things have value. The cashback has value. And the free play is worth $200 to me, because that's $200 I don't have to feed the maw of some hungry, awful machine.

All of these things together add up to the value of the play. The cash back is worth 0.2% The room and buffet are worth maybe 0.5%, maybe more if it is a nice hotel that I would pay $x to stay at. And the bounce back free play is worth 2%. All of these things combined make this property a positive play for me.

So, you could say that in this case, yeah, I'm playing for comps, but only because of the real value they provide.

BTW, this property is called the Magical Fat Chance Hotel and Casino.

California Update

Well this one got weird. Our offers from Cal/Main Street are really unspectacular for the coin-in we do there. Three nights, $25 free play. Or 3 nights with a tournament entry. That sort of thing.

Fortunately we have a host there who regularly books our stays, includes limo service, a parlor suite, and gold cards for food - basically RFB.

I confidently emailed my host to book an fairly long stay there, expecting the same treatment as always.

The answer came back "Sorry, no."


We could have, basically, the marketing offer.

I freaked out. We've done this perhaps ten or twelve times at the Cal. We've "taken good care" of the right people each and every time. And now we are persona non compa??

Here's the thing. When we play at the Cal/Fremont/Main Street, we maintain that $10,000 coin in per day per person play or we don't play at all.

All the trips this year so far have been solo trips, including the $1000 Scrounge Trip. I knew I wouldn't be able to give them the coin-in so I stayed clear of them pretty much completely. When I did play the odd $20, I didn't use my card.

It's all about keeping that daily average up.

And, apparently, its also about being a regular visitor. Since our last recorded play was almost a year ago, they expire tier points etc. and some tickybox in the computer gets ticked that says, "All of a sudden, we don't want you anymore."

Flusher Fights Back

Well, that would not do. I took immediate and decisive action - I wrote back a very stern email to our host. I foolishly used reason and facts to get a change, or maybe have it escalated.

We're the same customers we always have been, we just haven't been there in a while. Makes sense to me, right?

Answer came back - "Nope."

Flusher Escalates

None of this made sense, so I probed around and found someone in upper management to escalate to. Here are customers that did $450K in coin in last year... I made a very good case, I thought.

This email got forwarded to someone in upper upper management and I got a reply back which basically said, "I'll be sorting this out."

A few hours later I heard back.

I won! All comps re-instated, and they look forward to our visit. Thank goodness for that, because I really didn't want to be mad at the Cal. Besides, I'm running out of places to play!

That time with the Cal's Limo Service.


We continue to get crap offers from Wynn. They don't like our level of play, they don't like how we dress, they don't like us, and barely want us around. Maybe in a dark out-of-the-way room somewhere.

The offer was for a discounted room rate ($20 off a night if you pay in advance), $100 freeplay for staying 3 nights, $100 more after 500 points earned.

I booked it and paid in advance.

Yes, Flushiepants is paying for a room.

Why? This is a vacation and we love staying at Wynn. We are going to do the opposite of playing for comps - after all, there is no way our play is going to impress them, and they don't have any decent video poker anymore anyway.

We're playing not for comps! We'll pay the casino rate on the room, and play nickels. Goof around. Have fun. Find sneaky ways to eat cheaply. If we really want to play, we can walk over to T.I. or even Casino Royale.

Bridges Burned

I used up a lot of offer goodwill this year, taking rooms and freeplay and stiffing the casino. It felt good! But I knew our offers would drop, dwindle, and fall off, like a three day old putz.

Golden Nugget - the $50 freeplay is still coming but they've backed us off to Carson Tower rooms instead of Rush Tower, and only Sun-Thurs comped. There's so little to play there it doesn't matter much anymore.

Fortunately, we got in under the wire and booked a couple of nights in the Rush Tower on the last good offer. Plus the free play of course.

Tropicana - I totally played nickels last time and now I have no offers at all. But that's okay, we might play there and re-establish.

MGM - I've used about four room/freeplay/resort credit offers in a row with minimal play back. And I managed to book a fifth for this trip. But the writing is on the MILF MLife - the current offers are crap. This rates a big fat who cares from me. MGM is hell-bent on ruining all that was great about Vegas. They can suck it. Paid parking? Corporate fucksticks.

So, a new cycle kind of begins. Our best situations are Cal/MSS/Fremont, and T.I. which is doling out the rooms and free play.

Downtown there's not much happening for us in terms of places we want to stay. The D, meh, Four Queens, meh, Plaza, meh meh.

I really like staying at the Downtown Grand but their Jekyll and Hyde casino management makes me wary of playing there a lot. Currently, I don't get anything from them, after medium-minimal play on the last few offers.

I think the Trop should be back in the mix. We need more strip places with decent plays and good comps.

I know CET is easy with rooms, and we have some room offers from them, but the VP is soooo dismal.

We'll probably hunt around off-strip, I kind of liked Orleans when I dropped in the other day, so maybe we'll give them some play. Tons of good VP there.

This is part of the fun of it, for me... trying to find that perfect situation. Things are always changing, so the puzzle is always engaging.
Super best wishes to Gambletron, who sprained his blackjack finger. Get better soon, buddy, and see you back in Vegas real soon.


    1. Hi Flusher! I'll be hitting the VP at MSS and Cal 10/7-10. Don't know if that overlaps with your trip, but I'll be on the lookout for degenerates with Flusher business cards or Gordie Howe cards. :-) Would be great to see you and say hi. Also, I can relate on the comps: For years I've gotten standard monthly offer of up to four nights at MSS pluse meal coupons and 75 free play. But despite my playing as much or more than usual this past year, my offer lost the coupon books and the free play dropped to 35. Starting next month. I didn't complain. But after your story, I think they may just have tightened comps across the board for some reason. Cheers! -- Rasbobbo

    2. Count me in too on one of those coveted Flusher business cards... will be there Oct. 9th-12th....if your there and can leave me one Mr. Flusher sir....


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