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Friday, December 22, 2023

Play Long Play Savvy Play Stupid

Day 2 Thursday Dec 21, 2023 and I slept surprisingly well for a first night, although my dreams were wacko. 

I woke at 5:00 am and waved it off. Called for a sleeper pitch and managed to doze till 7:00 am.

For some reason, the suite has pillows that are like a foot high and all they do is end up giving you whiplash and a massive headache. And that's what I had. In my massive head. The one on my shoulders.

Luxor is still one of the coolest buildings in Las Vegas.

I was really happy to get the Little Giant out and open a new bag of coffee. I got it brewing and got down to blogging the trip out.

I had a Biscotti from the plane, and my own supply of nuts to nibble gently on. No pistachios. And no snide comments.

I was super chuffed at my last second Keno win the night before. Usually the first night is a complete blowout as you shake out the 'gotta gambles'.

But there she was, $183.30 out of $220. Respectable for the insane amount of funsterism I'd had.

After pounding out paragraph after paragraph of blogging dreck for your enjoyment and elucidation, I took a long shower, shaved, and headed out in search of breakfast. I was starving and it was pushing 11:00 am Vegas time.

I thought the buffet at Dickscabular would be a good choice to use up some of my $100 resort credit on.

It wasn't.

Again, I don't know what is going on with these south strip resorts - everything is either boarded up or is open for like 20 minutes only on the full moon.

New Del Taco. Not open. Buffet. Closed for some employee thing. Fuck you, I'm hangry!!! I later found out that the buffet at Luxor is open for like 5 hours a day, on certain days.

Vegas used to be a 24/7 town, what the hell has happened here???

I took the escalator downstairs and headed to see if Baja Fresh was open.

To my shock and surprise it was open. I ordered a chicken Burrito Supreme al Low Rider with the Escobar style corn chips smothered with melted cheese and sauce.

At the cash, guess what. I can't charge it to my room. Why? Who the fuck knows. So there goes $20 resort credit unused and $20 outta my pocket.

The meal looked great but...

...other than the stuff that was sort of melted on the surface, it was mostly stone cold. Horrible. And it was 92% beans and rice and only 8% chicken. I know this because I sent photos to Jimmy Poon to run through his AI Rapidman 100 calculator and he confirmed my estimates to within less than a percent.

It's the first time ever that I left Baja Fresh still hungry. So disappointing. See Dispatch: Walking the Burrito for comparison.

I took a wander through Excalibur and the center bar looks good, but the death of video poker machines on the Strip continues.

New Center bar at Excrapular

Where there were plenty of machines, with great Keno options, there are only money sucking video slots. A few machines are orphaned here and there.

And live Keno at the Dirty Castle is no more.

All the things I loved about Vegas are disappearing and it's the fault of stupid, uninformed and yes, literally ignorant gambling people who have no idea about the math of gambling. There I said it.

I found a machine with a video keno paytable that sucked. So I switched to Double Double Bonus with a paytable that sucked and for old times sake dumped $20 into it.

Oh, and the space that used to be the great Sherwood Forest coffee shop - still a wasteland. At least there's a new bar.

Appropriately, I took the back alley to Luxor, and holed up in the suite for a while longer, drinking Little Giant coffee and finishing up my blogging.

My stupid ignorant uninformed gambling would have to wait.

Chores done, I headed down to the Luxor casino to try to find some luck. I found a slant top with Keno and video poker on it. I tried $20 on video poker and lost it, and then switched to Keno.

And I swear on Jimmy Poon's Extra Finger, I hit a five out of five for a couple of hundred!

I played on for a while and lost some of it back, and finally switched back to the video poker - a 7/5 Double Double Bonus progressive. Shitty paytable as usual, but the 2s,3s,4s with kicker were up to almost $400 - double their normal value.

This, I thought, would be worth getting, so I set out to do just that.

And I embarked on a terrific run on video poker! The machine was happy, dinging away, and I hit a good number of decent hands. Even had a four-to-a-Royal attempt. The paytable doesn't matter so much if you're hitting quads.

No kicker. Just one little card away from an extra $300.

I had a really fun time chasing this thing, getting tons of playing time - two and a half hours of video poker plus the keno. Enough that I'd had enough when the credits finally ran out.

Mandalay Bay seemed like a good destination for dinner, since the Pyramid Cafe was closed, the Luxor buffet was closed (thank God), and I didn't want Mexican again, or a burger for that matter.

On the way, I got stupid and $100 disappeared into a Buffffffffffffffffalo!!!!!!! machine in about 3 minutes. Huh??? Idiot. I'm my own worst degenerate sometimes.

I wandered through Mandalay Bay and again, a bunch of the slant tops I used to play Keno on are now long gone. There's barely any video poker at all to be found - I'd say it's half of what it was last spring.

Having had a number of good meals at the Noodle Shop, I opted for that. Of course, they routed me directly to the Single Lonely Diner table and I fought that off and got a better one.

The potstickers arrived too fast. Like 2 minutes after ordering them. They were luke warm. I ate a few of them anyway.

My Kung Pao chicken arrived and it looked great except... it was luke warm. There's just no way this was made to order. I think they are taking shortcuts at the Noodle Shop.

I wanted a good hot meal for once today and I deserved it. I sent the dish back and asked for a new hot one.

Well, it arrived and the first bite was so hot it almost burned my lip. They forgot to put the peanuts in the dish, so the guy brought them on a separate plate. Huh??

Parts of the dish were pretty hot, and then I'd hit something that was sizzling hot. It had to have been microwaved. I think they have a big vat of pre-made Kung Pao and they throw it in a wok for a minute to warm it up, barf it onto a plate, and shove it at you like you were on the Dirty Thirties down-on-your-luck soup line.

It was really pretty pathetic. Today was a complete write-off when it came to food, which is one of the things I really like eating.

Can't wait till I have a rental car so I can go to Spring Mountain and some custom-made wokery.

I found a video keno game to play and started consuming vodka rocks. You're probably wondering where the bourbon is so far this trip. I dunno, I like to change it up, and the hangover risk is much less with vodka.

I had like $10 in point play I could use and stole $20 from admin to bolster it. I played degenerate-style, picking five numbers and betting one quarter at a time. 

Again, getting down to the nitty gritty, I found the luck and banged out another fiver!

I was about even on the day again! And only down about $40 for the trip!

A savvy gamblester would call it a day at this point. I'd certainly had lots of seat time, and got the wins I needed to keep me in it all day long.

I got down to an even $200 and cashed out and walked back to Luxhole.

It was right about on this spot (below) where the Quad Queen and I spent many, many hours playing in what we called 'the quiet area'. There was a bank of full pay Bonus Poker machines there back in the 90s.

The wall on the left was a waterfall and it gave the whole area a vibe of peace, and relaxation.

In video poker, dice, and life, all things must pass.

And that's when I noticed it was about 7:30. It was hardly time for beddy byes.

I could see it coming and you can too.

Yeah, I had a couple more, futzed around with Keno, got nowhere, and dumped the rest into the 'magic' video poker machine that wasn't magic at all anymore.

Ah well, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you make yourself lose. That's Vegas.

All in all it was a pretty good day and I got in way, way more gambling than I ever thought I would in the cutthroat conditions on this part of the strip.

And I'm down about $240 after two days for all that play, and up an order of shitty potfuckers that were taken off the bill.

Tomorrow... car pickup, and a move downtown to the Cal.


    1. Enjoyed the blog. Dude, you really need to slide down the road to Orleans. It’s vibrant, has full pay VP, and a fantastic Asian restaurant - with great off-strip pricing - in Ondori. Last time I visited S Strip and the Castle it was so depressing.

    2. Keno!!!! You will come to the dark side 不不不

    3. Yes, the same can be said of all casinos in the USA, they are removing many video poker/keno machines. Video keno is all I usually play. We've noticed this in all the casinos we visit. Unfortunately, the casinos in my home state of MA will not allow video keno (they think it detracts from the state run keno game) and the video poker pay tables are horrible. I'm glad you are enjoying your trip. The Quad Queen is riding shotgun, right over your shoulder the entire time.

    4. Not a bad start (food issues notwithstanding). You weren't kidding when talking about the horrible gambling conditions at that part of the Strip. Thankfully, things are much better when it comes to machine availability and paytables once you hit mid Strip. Not sure where you're heading off to next, but surely it will have better gambling conditions.

      But when you can stick and move enough to keep you in the game at the start, it often turns into a win. Hope it plays out that way for you this time.

    5. You are so right when it comes to the food options on these south strip hotels, so disappointing . Glad to see you are having some luck, enjoying the blog as usual. Good luck

    6. The strip has severly reduced the amount of video poker options. Harrah's seems to have the most and at least it's 8/5 DDB at the quarter level unlike MGM properties wherer its 7/5. Luckily, I'm a local now and hit up southpoint or Green Vally where there's plenty of 9/6 DDB.


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