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Friday, July 7, 2017

Coupon Run to Ellis Island

Day 10, Thursday May 25, 2017

All systems were go on this fine Thursday, and my first job was to check YAKT (Yet Another Keno Ticket). To my shock and surprise, I was a 'winner' of some $18, this, on a ticket that cost $45.

How can I pride myself on being a savvy gambler, when the house edge on Keno is obscene, bordering on immoral and illegal? Why did I keep at it this trip?

Because I was winning on it, that's why.

And sometimes I get fixated on goals, and the goal right now was to hit a big multi-way ticket, something I've never done. I set up another play at a quarter a way - ten groups of three, five groups of four, and one group of five.

The biggest payout is by far hitting the five out of five, with the added bonus that if you've hit that, you've hit all of the other ones too. And good ole Max at the Cal Keno Mission Control made a great suggestion.

"Why don't you throw another quarter on the five out of five? Doesn't cost much, but if you do hit, it would make a big difference."

I liked the idea and that's what I did, telling Max that if my ticket came in, I'd "take care" of him.

Max probably took this to mean, "If I win a large amount of money, I will give you a decent chunk of it as a tip."

What it actually meant was I'd settle him into his easy chair, fetch his slippers, help him into his sweater, and make him a nice cup of tea while he relaxed and read the sports. I might bring some scones and jam.

My winnings would buy an awful lot of scones and jam, so it was no skin off my nose to be such a thoughtful guy, in that eventuality.

Buffet at breakfast means a custom made omelette, or, I suppose, eggs in some other of a variety of formats. But eggs is and are almost the only thing that is freshly made and can be eaten piping hot.

Main Street Station had such an omelette station at their buffet, featuring Manny, the carnival barker omelette man, and that's where I went.

I always tip a buck for an omelette, and a lot of others do too. The bucks disappear into a hidden pouch in Manny's carnival omelette man utility pouch. He's got to clear $40 or $50 an hour in cash tips. Not bad for cracking a few cackleberries.

After breakfast, I made good sport of donating some money to Main Street Station, you know, to cover tuition. I did get teased with a four of a kind, but naturally just degened that away.

I'd hoped to have a good long run on my Triple Play Deuces back at the Cal, so I headed over and sat down.

I had a mitt full of all kinds of plastic cards, access cards, players cards, six or seven of 'em.

Just then, one of my favorite servers, who you can hear singing her call from time to time as she makes her rounds, appeared.

I fanned out the cards in front of her and said, "Pick a card. Any card."

She looked at me and said, "Is that a room key?"

She smiled and went on her way while I tut tutted her, saying her name like she'd been caught by her Mom or something.

Totally innocent and made me laugh. She's a wonderful person, bright and cheerful, and I am always happy to see her again. Plus, she sings.

Sadly my Deuces machine wasn't singing. Out of $100 I got only five hundred some odd hands. About 180 pulls of three hands at a time. That's a return of around 80%.

Hey, that's about what loser Keno returns!

Since the machine had performed so poorly, I placed another $20 into it, just to make sure. And then another $10. Just to make triple sure.

As I scan above at the swath of text that contains no quad, wild royal or jackpot pictures, notwithstanding the teasey threes at MSS, it becomes very clear why I was down about $260 at this point on the day.

I played some Beeefffalooo!!! and got some small bonii to keep me going for a while, but no major jackpots. I did happen to see Straw Hat Lady - actually, she walked right by me, her wide-brimmed straw hat perched jauntily on her head. I started to say hello but she breezed by, looking straight ahead.


I was starting to get the picture.

Anyway, it was a blow-out morning, so I grabbed a cappuccino from Lappert's and took it up to the room to do computer shit and sulk.

But there was hope - a big coupon run visit to Ellis Island Hotel, Casino & Brewery was in the offing.

I don't get to Ellis Island enough and I was glad to return - they've got lots of fun promotions, and tons of full pay video poker. If I were stuck at Bally's, I'd walk every day down the street to Ellis.

I parked the asshat and went up to the slot club and of course, I immediately asked for Dr. Yolla, who I haven't seen in quite some time. But I'd missed her by a couple of weeks and she is off for new adventures.

Congratulations Dr. Yolla, and best wishes for an exciting future!

I did all of the preparatory administration stuff. I needed a new card, and I had to get the coupons sorted.

I had to do some play - not much - for some of the coupons,so I did that, and then I had to visit a kiosk to print stuff out. Their kiosks can actually print you a new slot club card, something I haven't seen anywhere else. But I gotta tell you, some of the people next to me were completely baffled by them, touching the screen, then tapping the screen, then jabbing the screen, then pounding the screen, swearing and stomping off because the kiosk was not actually an ATM.

Some people don't "get" kiosks.

I won $10 free play on a 'pick the lucky spot on the kiosk screen' promo for, I think, being an old fart. It's okay though, everyone over 40 is considered to be a "senior" in Vegas, it seems. Vegas loves promotions. There were so many coupons and promotions in play at Ellis Island, I couldn't keep track.

I suspect almost everyone gets $10 free play no matter which button they choose, or how stinky an old fart they are. But hey - do you see me complaining? No way, Granny.

Ellis Island Magic Kiosks
I decided to play some video poker for the free play, and it went okay. Then I did the Las Vegas Advisor $25 play for $100 buy in at blackjack.  I played some more and gave most of mine back, but it was fun.

The plan was to have barbecue for lunch, something I've never tried. Sadly, there ain't no barbecue until 4:00pm. And I was in that never never land of about 2:26pm. I could wait... but I hadn't had lunch yet. But it would be good. But I had a meetup later on. Or I could eat. But it wouldn't be barbecue!

I decided I might as well eat.

The food was really good, and they have lots of specials and good prices.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with steak-cut fries. Nom nom.

Steak cut fries with Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. Nom nom.
I decided to give the video poker another go.

I played for a while and then I got on a mini quad run!

I played that down to an even 400 credits and cashed it out.

Thank you Ellis Island! I'd clawed back $115 and had a nice lunch too. And, I'd scored a bag of trail mix on one of their promotions. You gotta love it.

Ellis Island has bought the Super 8 motel next door and is in the process of unifying their offering so that they are a complete stay and play destination. This is a welcome alternative to the 'screw you' death by a thousand fees Strip hotels.

And it turns out, just today, they've announced a $10 million atrium project.
What IS this??? A casino... for ANTS???
I just hope the good paytables stay! I always get nervous when a place I like spends a lot of money - sometimes the paytables get lowered to cover the vig. We'll see.

And with that, it was time to head back downtown, through the afternoon Vegas heat.


    1. I picked the $20 free play chip last year, so it can happen!


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