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Thursday, May 2, 2024

Sobek's Sundries

Day 2 Wed. Dec. 3, 1997

Our first full day in Vegas. One of the ways we economize is to bring half a dozen bagels and a box of cereal with us. You can get a pint of milk 24 hours a day in Sobek's Sundries. Often a bowl of cereal is all I want to start my day, that and coffee in the Casino, of course.

International Grounds at one end of the lobby makes a fine, if pricey cappuccino.

One of the reasons we've stayed at Luxor four times, is the spaciousness of the Casino. Its large, uncrowded, and there are many quiet areas where you can spend some very pleasant time especially in the morning.

In the evening, it cooks with excitement, just like any of the carpet joints do!

We especially like this bank of quarter Bonus VP machines off the lobby, beside a fairly high artificial waterfall. The sound of the water makes it very relaxing.

The 'quiet area' as we called it. You can just kind of make out the waterfall wall in the background.

Played some nickel VP and some quarter slots. Not much happening, except slow losses. Over to Excalibur. Lost $10 at roulette.

At noon, we entered the Jingle Bucks slot tournament. The entry fee is $5.00. We didn't do too well. The key is to hit numerous 7-7-7s. Ate lunch at the buffet there. Its pretty good considering the price.

Played their nickel doubling VP (where you can bet double or nothing on your winnings - you pick which one of four cards will beat the dealers Ace).

We played this doubling game at Excalibur and at Treasure Island quite a bit and noticed the dealer gets an awful lot of high cards. It seems like it might be rigged. What are the odds of four consecutive Aces for the dealer, on two machines side by side? (one in 13 x 13 x 13 x 13 = 1 in 28561) It happened, and Kings and Aces seem to pop up quite often on certain machines - way more often than they should. It seemed that every time we were doubling a significant amount, a king or ace would show for the dealer. It just didn't seem random. The end machines at TI seemed correct however...

Generally I trust the games in Vegas to be within the parameters set forward by the Nevada Gaming Commision, but this one truly seemed like it might be 'not playing properly'. Beware.

Back to Luxor after buying cokes at the AM PM gas station / convenience store out on the strip between Excalibur and Luxor.

They say you can get anything in Vegas - why the hell can't I get a coke in Luxor? These stupid soft drink contracts they sign are stupid. They sign with Pepsi and you can't get any other soft drink products in the hotel. Even the McDonalds in the Luxor food court has only Pepsi. The pictures of the meal deals have the drink cups blacked out with the word 'Cola' on them.

Played some nickel VP and some quarter VP after Karen started out with 3 quarters and won enough to play a bit. She hit 4 10s for 125 and then a full house for 45 more. Shortly after I hit 4 Aces on Double Double bonus for 800 nickels. Fun!

Sobek's Sundries was one of the last hold-outs of the old themed Luxor. It was remodeled at some point, but existed up until just a couple of years ago.
Sobek's Sundries around 2015. The counter used to be on the right.
It was just a handy little 24 hour convenience store. I don't think anything much is open 24 hours in Luxor anymore.
I have fond memories of ducking into Sobek's, and it was there that I got my very first comp. We were in line to buy a couple of drinks or something and in front of me was a Luxor executive of some ilk. We'd eaten at the buffet previously and I struck up a conversation with him, workin' him a bit, finessing him a bit.
I blurted all kinds of things including that we were there on our anniversary or for a birthday or something. Without saying too much more, the guy whipped out a little pad and started to write on it.
He handed me the paper and said, "Enjoy your stay, and avoid the buffet."
The paper was a hand-written comp for the Pyramid Cafe. It included two of everything - two rounds of drinks, two appetizers, two mains, and two desserts! Holy crap, I couldn't believe my eyes, but my eyes were not lying to me, they were just rolling around a bit and transmitting visual images of this golden food ticket to my brain. Eyes for the win!
Well, that evening we ate like Pharoahs. I forget the appetizers but we both had filet mignon as I recall. And the drinks. And the desserts. Coffee shop was really a misnomer in those days, you could get as fine a meal as you wanted, for the most part.
I didn't know it at the time, but the comp door was opening for us in a big way, as you'll see.
International Grounds was where the Starbuck's in the lobby is now.
Under where the escalators are now that lead from the lobby up to the upper level at Luxor was a fake waterfall. The machines there were 8./5 Bonus Poker and we spent many, many hours there. It was a little out of the way, and the sound of the waterfall masked all the other noises. It was bliss. We loved it there so much! Eventually, the machines got moved away, and they decided to remove the waterfall.
Progress, I guess.
By the way, in those days, the casino floor was jammed with machines. Table games were in the center of the casino, and all around the rest of it were slots like you wouldn't believe. Upright reel slots and some slant tops too. But I remember wandering up and down aisles of those uprights. Wild Cherry. Red White and Blue. Jackpot Jungle.
Seating for those were padded stools and the inside of my thighs would get sore from sliding on and off them 200 times a day as I looked for that lucky machine.
You still can't get the soft drink you want in Vegas. The beginning of the end!


    1. Keno Runners! Such a fun blast from the past. You could have a meal and still gamble at the same time. So many memories in this post. I miss buckets of nickles and quarters.

    2. There's only one word for workin' the Luxor Exec while in line at the sundries store --- Savvy. jp

    3. Could not agree more with the "exclusive" soda contracts being annoying. Who orders Pepsi except when you're forced too?

      I do fondly remember the 8/5 Bonus Poker that Luxor had all over the place at that time, as well as the very good deuces wild paytables. It was a great diversion from playing $5 blackjack.

      Another fun thing at Sobek's was the extensive beer and candy selection. I can't tell you how many times I bought a big bottle of King Cobra malt liquor and a pack of Gobstoppers there. My girlfriend used to love some obscure brand of snack mix they had there also. She would stock up on it each trip and bring several bags home because you couldn't get it anywhere in Georgia.

      I too miss the days of the written comp. Nothing made you feel more like a high roller. It's no coincidence when it all started being electronic the player got squeezed and lost a lot of value.

      The picture of that old VP machine brings back so many memories. Hope you were able to find a lot more old pictures to share!

    4. McD’s without Coke is sacrilegious 😎😎. I so remember the look of all these video poker machines!! The padding … the seats !!


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