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Monday, April 1, 2019

Funk #49

At age 13, I gamed the system at Flusherville High's Monte Carlo night to make sure I had enough fake dollars to get something of real value - a James Gang album, James Gang Rides Again.

At the end of the night, you could bid on prizes with your fake dollars. I realized that the kids with most of the dollars would be grabbing prizes early, picking off the primo stuff. There was no point in bidding against them. I had no chance at the top prizes.

Meanwhile, other kids were pooling their money, so they'd have enough to clobber a prize out, which I presume they would later fight over.  I rejected all offers to join in, and sat back. Once they'd overpaid for the top-middle prizes, I had the biggest dollar stack of the rest of the bunch.

Now I could get two or three middling things, including a 12" vinyl LP record, featuring Funk #49, a guitar jam staple.

(Funnily enough, I only found out this year that the guitarist in the James Gang was none other than Joe Walsh of the Eagles, and of, well, Joe Walsh.)

If you just apply a little thought to a gambling situation be it a tournament, a promotion, a game, a slot machine, and ask yourself some common sense questions, you can almost always find a strategy that gives you more.

So, there we were, everything pretty much under control. The night before, we'd checked in for our flight and upgraded to Rouge Plus, which meant I'd be able to get some sleep. We'd be plied with drinks, and a hot breakfast before landing.

I'd booked the room through Saturday night so we'd have it right until departure for the airport at 9:30 or so.

I hate, just hate, leaving the casino that final time. We pulled our bags out by the north entrance, leaving Mrs. F in charge of them, and I retrieved the car from Valet.

Avis had pinged my app with a new thing to try - curbside service. For $25, when you arrived at the McCarran Rental Car Facility, you were to put your flashers on. Someone would then chauffeur you, in your rental car, along with all your crap, to the terminal. You hop out, and wave bye bye to the rental car.

Twenty five bucks for that????

I'll do it!

So I signed up but when we got to the airport, the man with the scanning laser tricorder dealy said there was nobody to drive us. He'd take the $25 off the bill. So much for that experience. (More on this later.)

At the airport, security was jammed, but with PreCheck, we sailed through. Duty free? Yup. (In which I made a fatal error, grabbing Bulleit Rye instead of Bourbon. Who knew they made rye?) Last chance video poker? Yup.

After a few twenties, I had to throw in the towel.

No $1000 Aces Kicker at the airport.

No Royal on this trip for me at all.

The red eye flight was fine, and the upgrade got us into the Maple Leaf Lounge. A couple of hours later, we were back home. After a couple of hours sleep, it was time to hit the road for the Left B-Hind Kennels and Driving Range (featuring moving targets) to pick up Chippy.

My God this trip report is ending with a whimper. Is it over? I guess it is - except for one thing.

Astute and loyal readers (or any traveller for that matter) know that getting a refund out of Air FU Canada is next to impossible. You fill out a form and if you're lucky, it gets sorted in 8-10 weeks.

Well, sitting on the plane, pre-takeoff, I fired off a note to Avis on their web site about the unavailable curbside service. It hadn't been taken off our bill at all.

Less than 24 hours later, I had a response, a heartfelt form-letter apology, and the promise of an immediate refund, and 12 hours after that, I had the refund.

AVIS, YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the way it should be. What a difference from so many other companies!

Next order of business, huge thank you to Steven F. who just made a wicked donation. The registrations for the domain names and all the crap that comes with it is being renewed, so Steven F. has just helped ensure that more goofy posts will be coming your way throughout the next year.

Finally, the comps!

Yeah, this trip was again a pretty bad loser. The first week was grim, but we hit our stride in week two and I dare say we came close to breaking even or even gaining ground, thanks to three $1000 or so days by the Quad Queen and one by me.

Comp Amount Notes
Mandalay Bay 3 nights $800
Mandalay Bay Free play $50
Mandalay Bay Resort Credit $50
El Cortez 2 nights $140 $50 a night as booked, $20 resort fee
El Cortez food $35
El Cortez Free Play $20
Cal 4 nights $500 Weekend. March Madness
Cal Free Play $50
Cal Food $320 $40 a day per person
Wynn 3 nights $600 $129 casino rate $40, taxes
Ellis Island Free Play $40
Luxor 1 night $120
Luxor Free Play $50
Luxor Resort Credit $100
Main Street 2 nights $300 Weekend. March Madness
Main Street Free Play $30
Main Street Food $160 $40 a day per person
Boyd Spins $45 Cash value of 45,000 points won
Binions Free Play $30
Four Queens Free Play $20
Four Queens Food $120 Comp Dollars
Four Queens Cash Back $80
The D Free Play $5
LVA Free/Match Play $100
Comped Liquor$3,000 Nice try, Royal. J.P.

That's a pretty solid set of comps, including some premium (Wynn), and some very nice (Mandalay Bay) rooms.

My Playground

Overall we lost an average of $150 per person-day of gambling. Over a two week trip, that's not too bad. Once again, Las Vegas' unique method of billing for room, food and beverage has worked out very well.

I was pretty shocked that blackjack went as badly as it went. I've done very well the last 5 or 6 trips and intended to play it for about half my time. That went out the window. I was shocked to win at video keno overall, and super shocked to get the Loose Doose from one, and five minutes later again on the redeal. Kind of makes up for the loss of the Downtown Deuces.

This was one of the best vacations we've ever been on. Because it was a really long trip, we were able to just relax and not worry about the clock ticking down. We stayed healthy and got home safely. The Left B-Hind said that when Chippy had issues, some pumpkin "plugged her up real good".

Pumpkin. I guess I did learn something new after all.

When's the next trip? I don't know. But I ain't done yet, even after all these years.

Keep your eyes open - you never know when you might spot a lucky Flusher business card.



    1. OMG, ironic you mentioned James Gang rides again. I recently put on my vinyl version just last week and enjoyed the entire album, but especially "The Pusher". I remember calling the local rogue radio station when i was a teen, requesting that song. I thought it was so cool to hear bad language on the radio.


    2. Awesome report as quick tip for pumping gas in the US. When the pump asks for your zip code, enter the 3 digits from your Canadian postal code followed by 2 zeroes. I have found this works 95% of the time.

    3. I always enjoy your reports...don't know how you can do it for 14 days....about 3 days in Vegas is all I can handle. I did notice you didn't seem to partake in much booze while playing at the bars? Have all the Downtown bars gone to the drink monitoring system where you have to play a certain amount to get a drink ticket? If they all go to that I may not ever go back to Vegas...We do play, but don't want to be forced into a certain amount of play for a lousy drink...Cheers

      1. Thanks, gb. Most bars downtown don't have any monitoring. Playing quarter single line VP, we never had any issue getting drinks at the bars.

    4. thanks RF.. I was told MGM pours .75 oz under the drink monitoring system...glad to know this hasn't spread DT and off Strip...YET,,,Seems like Vegas is trying to squeeze every penny out of us...although you do well..Good Luck


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