Friday, July 24, 2020

NAVIGATIONAL NOTE

POSTS WILL LOAD IN SMALL BATCHES, SO DON'T QUIT AT THE END OF THE FIRST BATCH.
 IN THE LOWER RIGHT HAND CORNER WILL BE A PROMPT "OLDER POSTS"  THAT WILL BRING A SECOND BATCH. 
POSTED DATES ARE FAIRLY USELESS ALTHOUGH THEY DO SEPARATE ONE YEAR FROM ANOTHER. 
THE DAYS I POST ARE NOT THE DAYS I HAVE EXPERIENCED THE POST OR IDEA.
SKIM FOR INFORMATION OR USE A SEARCH FOR KEY WORDS ON INTEREST.

I DO NOTHING COMMERCIAL OR RELIGIOUS WITH THIS SITE.  TO AVOID THESE AND OTHER SORTS OF SPAM I HAVE TO TAKE A LOOK AT ALL COMMENTS BEFORE POSTING, SO READERS WON'T SEE THEM APPEAR RIGHT AWAY. 

ANYTHING I POST WITH THE LABEL TR SNIPPET" CONTAINS THE KIND OF INFORMATION USUALLY INCLUDED IN A TRIP REPORT, ONLY INSTEAD OF BEING SEQUENTIAL, THE INFORMATION IS SEPARATED AND ARRANGED BY TOPIC.
SKIM FOR TOPICS OF YOUR INTEREST.

YOU CAN LINK TO ANY SINGLE POST IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE IT WITH ANYONE AND SAVE THEM HUNTING THROUGH THE BLOG.  ANY PHOTOS OR TEXT MAY BE CUT AND PASTED IN OTHER PLACES, BUT PLEASE INCLUDE A LINK TO THIS BLOG AS THE SOURCE.


FOR SOME REASON BLOGSPOT NO LONGER SENDS ME AN EMAIL WHEN A COMMENT IS READY FOR REVIEW, SO IT MIGHT TAKE ME A WHILE TO MODERATE IT AND PUBLISH.  I GET TO EVERYTHING
EVENTUALLY.

FOR SOME REASON BLOGSPOT NO LONGER SENDS ME AN EMAIL WHEN A COMMENT IS POSTED, SO IT MIGHT TAKE ME A WHILE TO MODERATE IT AND PUBLISH.  I GET TO EVERYTHING
EVENTUALLY.
 
COMMENTS CAN BE MADE EASILY BELOW ANY POST.  I LOVE ANY AND ALL COMMENTS ON THE TOPIC OF LAS VEGAS OR GAMBLING, BUT IF YOU CAME FROM A VEGAS DISCUSSION BOARD, YOU WILL PROBABLY WANT TO MAKE THOSE COMMENTS BACK  ON THAT BOARD FOR A LARGER AUDIENCE AND A RICHER DISCUSSION.  FEEL FREE TO MAKE THEM BOTH PLACES.

IF YOU COMMENT, IT IS EASY TO CHOOSE THE ANONYMOUS OPTION, BUT PLEASE GIVE ME SOME SENSE OF WHO YOU ARE IN THE TEXT OF THE COMMENT AND HOW YOU FOUND ME.  THAT IS VERY HELPFUL FOR MODERATION. 



Thursday, May 28, 2015

El Cortez thoughts

There is more going on at the El Cortez.  They are closing the cafe and blending it into the Seigel upscale restaurant.  I think it will mean a return to the good upscale food, but an end to the good downscale prices.
http://lasvegasweekly.com/as-we-see-it/2015/may/27/el-cortez-restaurant-revamp-downtown-evolution/
The biggest personal loss for me was the closing of the poker room.  It was an interesting and very cheap spread limit game like no other and over the years I came to know the dealers well and some of the regulars. 
Although many of the regulars I enjoyed years ago were banned.
Action Jackson was one.
And some died.
Jackie came down every day and splashed the pot with his strange, loose play.  It was sad to see him go down hill over the years, but fun to be at a table with him.  I don't suppose that will come back. The room really was a playroom for old Jackie, a place for him to enjoy a game with folks who loved and respected him.
The last renovation of the café, a few years ago,  also took out a favorite of mine.  Since I go solo, I loved the old bar stools where I might end up eating with one of the fellows I had just played against at the poker game.  The renovation created islands where solos eat alone.  Now I guess it will be just tables of some sort and perhaps upscale.
I don't usually eat upscale, but I did like the Flame and often there were good deals.  So I'm looking forward to seeing what the new restaurant is like and how they blend that into the café menu.  I wonder if there will be any good restaurant.com deals.  I doubt it will be the cheap café prime rib that was served.
Every one of these Vegas renovations of late takes out the inexpensive deals and replaces them with good food at a higher price.  But for me personally, since the onset of diabetes, I tend to eat more at the Golden Nugget buffet because I can get foods that fit the diet.  Playing poker there, I get ten dollars off.
I am pretty easy on frugal rooms, but I've given the Pavillion rooms up.  It is hard to find room for the computer.  The noise from the wrap around walkways can wake me up, especially if napping in the morning when the maids shout at one another and run their carts along the concrete sounding  like little trains right outside my window.
Vintage rooms are cheaper than Pavillion, but are an acquired taste.  There is no elevator (although there is a way to take the elevator up to a certain Pavillion floor level and then go in an unmarked door and have just a few stairs down to the Vintage hallway. It is much easier than luggage carried up the huge staircase. Sorry, I can't remember the floor.    I was annoyed with dueling televisions on my last attempt to stay there and thin walls.  I'd call these rooms a taste of old Vegas.  
[url]http://vegasbirthdaybash.blogspot.com/2010/11/el-cortez-vintage-rooms.html[/url]
There are some large Vintage suites tucked in up there somewhere.  They are not offered in booking, but you can get them, sometimes for no money for upgrade.  Many have written liking these. Sorry I can't find details and I haven't stayed in one.  
I love the Cabana rooms, but not on the first floor street level where street noise from walking and talking people is right outside the window.  I guess sometimes there is noise from some bars nearby, but I have never been bothered.  I love the classy feel of these rooms, the wild green color, the refrigerator, the choices on the television, the free fruit in the lobby.  I don't see the walk outside as worrisome (there is always a guard) or long.  However, there are three levels of these rooms and many have found the cheaper levels very tiny for their needs.  Again, I am solo, so I don't care. There are some great deals on the smallest of the Cabana rooms every so often.
Now, some of my information may be dated, but here are some photos of the Cabana rooms from an old TRhttp://vegasbirthdaybash.blogspot.com/2011/05/tr-snippet-hotels-compared.html

Here is a more recent review
http://www.vegaschatter.com/story/2014/6/12/2120/92359/vegas-travel/You'll+Never+Believe+What+An+Extra+$10+Gets+You+At+El+Cortez

The Tower is quiet, comfortable, perhaps a bit dull.  The rooms are very much like Orleans rooms.  The bed mattresses are just great, huge and thick.  Also these are right in the casino.  Years back they still had small screen televisions.  If that matters to you, ask and see if that has changed.
Sometimes Tower does not cost more than Pavillion.  I booked three nights over upcoming Halloween weekend and the Tower offer was the same as the Pavillion offer.  I'm printing that out, however, as it was from a new discounter and I'm wondering if I will have difficulty on check in.  I read some negative reviews.
There is a daily resort fee of  $9 plustax.  There is also a fee if you book more than 7 nights in a row.  It is a strange unique fee.
The casino itself has some advantages.  I don't much like gambling there solo, but a group can have a great time.  Craps is some of the best in Vegas, often three dollars with ten times odds.   I just read they have fifty cent chips for paying off those 6/8 place bets,  Roulette was cheap.  There is not as much full pay video poker as there used to be when JOB 9/6 was everywhere.  Just before Dancer did a VP workshop there, they installed some full pay JOB at his insistence.  Just after he left, they pulled them out.
There are still some 10/7 DB and some other good plays.  There were still some coin droppers. 
I think there are decent Deuces, but they have in some cases odd pay tables.  Scroll down and see Mike actually write that he is not sure of what to call some of the El Cortez games.
[url]http://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/tables/loose-deuces/[/url]
There were also some penny slots that actually  took a bet of a penny.  When they pulled back on good booze at the poker game a few years ago, I played off ten dollars in freeplay at 3 cents a pull and drank four Myers rums for a profit of $6 at cashout.  I guess the American Casino Guide coupons from the El Cortez are no longer part of the book, but that $10 freeplay was one of the better deals.
Right next to the elevator going to Pavillion rooms is one of the most unique old fashioned slot experiences perhaps in the world. 
There are a few slots that actually work with slots inside, antiques.  They pay pretty well.  They take a coin like a silver dollar available at the cashier.  I play every trip just for the feel of olden days before even my time.  They do measure points and start the turning of the reels with electricity, but the results are based on actual slots catching the grooves inside as they spin. 
The Sinatra impersonator I saw last time in the upscale bar was just great.  If you like fancy drinks, I'm told these are done by a good mixologist and at reasonable prices compared to other fancy drink places.  I miss the old lounge where I could meet people and walk in with a comped drink from the poker room and find plenty of room to sit.  But I see how it is an upscale improvement.
The El Cortez would like to join that Freemont East revolution, but frankly I don't see too many young folks there.  I went once to a young folks gathering in the outside courtyard and it was packed with upscale youth.  I was perhaps the oldest guy there.  But in the casino were my peers.
They did have plans to have a pool, but I don't see those developing. 
There is more and more thematic reflection of the mob.  I'm not too nostalgic about the mob.  Today their tactics would be called terrorism.  But folks love them like they love pirates and wild west bandits. 
My poker buddy had a "talk like a pirate" poker game.  I came with a Somalian dictionary for some modern pirate talk.  However, if you are nostalgic about old Bugsy... this is the place to go.  In the really upscale, one of a kind, suites there is even one surrounded by desert scenes where you can sleep in safe luxury and imagine where the bodies are buried.
When I first started gambling, the El Cortez was one of my favorites with good comps and frugal deals.    It is not a place I invest in or seed for future trips.  I do that at the D and at the Four Queens.  There have been folks noting the loss of long time established comp patterns.  Some of my friends went there exclusively with a host, and that all backfired.  They don't go there now.
I do use them for cheap nights that I pay money for in between my comped nights downtown. 
It is a great place to park a rental car. 
And while it is not in the heart of the Fremont Experience, it is in right there for Fremont East, so especially for the young who like that scene, it now has good location.  I never minded the walk.  Now that is upscale as well.
[COLOR="silver"][SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE][/COLOR]
The biggest personal loss for me was the closing of the poker room.  It was an interesting and very cheap spread limit game like no other and over the years I came to know the dealers well and some of the regulars. 
Although many of the regulars I enjoyed years ago were banned.
Action Jackson was one.
And some died.
Jackie came down every day and splashed the pot with his strange, loose play.  It was sad to see him go down hill over the years, but fun to be at a table with him.  I don't suppose that will come back. The room really was a playroom for old Jackie, a place for him to enjoy a game with folks who loved and respected him.
The last renovation of the café, a few years ago,  also took out a favorite of mine.  Since I go solo, I loved the old bar stools where I might end up eating with one of the fellows I had just played against at the poker game.  The renovation created islands where solos eat alone.  Now I guess it will be just tables of some sort and perhaps upscale.
I don't usually eat upscale, but I did like the Flame and often there were good deals.  So I'm looking forward to seeing what the new restaurant is like and how they blend that into the café menu.  I wonder if there will be any good restaurant.com deals.  I doubt it will be the cheap café prime rib that was served.
Every one of these Vegas renovations of late takes out the inexpensive deals and replaces them with good food at a higher price.  But for me personally, since the onset of diabetes, I tend to eat more at the Golden Nugget buffet because I can get foods that fit the diet.  Playing poker there, I get ten dollars off.
I am pretty easy on frugal rooms, but I've given the Pavillion rooms up.  It is hard to find room for the computer.  The noise from the wrap around walkways can wake me up, especially if napping in the morning when the maids shout at one another and run their carts along the concrete sounding  like little trains right outside my window.
Vintage rooms are cheaper than Pavillion, but are an acquired taste.  There is no elevator (although there is a way to take the elevator up to a certain Pavillion floor level and then go in an unmarked door and have just a few stairs down to the Vintage hallway. It is much easier than luggage carried up the huge staircase. Sorry, I can't remember the floor.    I was annoyed with dueling televisions on my last attempt to stay there and thin walls.  I'd call these rooms a taste of old Vegas.  
http://vegasbirthdaybash.blogspot.com/2010/11/el-cortez-vintage-rooms.html
There are some large Vintage suites tucked in up there somewhere.  They are not offered in booking, but you can get them, sometimes for no money for upgrade.  Many have written liking these. Sorry I can't find details and I haven't stayed in one.  
I love the Cabana rooms, but not on the first floor street level where street noise from walking and talking people is right outside the window.  I guess sometimes there is noise from some bars nearby, but I have never been bothered.  I love the classy feel of these rooms, the wild green color, the refrigerator, the choices on the television, the free fruit in the lobby.  I don't see the walk outside as worrisome (there is always a guard) or long.  However, there are three levels of these rooms and many have found the cheaper levels very tiny for their needs.  Again, I am solo, so I don't care. There are some great deals on the smallest of the Cabana rooms every so often.
Now, some of my information may be dated, but here are some photos of the Cabana rooms from an old TRhttp://vegasbirthdaybash.blogspot.com/2011/05/tr-snippet-hotels-compared.html

The Tower is quiet, comfortable, perhaps a bit dull.  The rooms are very much like Orleans rooms.  The bed mattresses are just great, huge and thick.  Also these are right in the casino.  Years back they still had small screen televisions.  If that matters to you, ask and see if that has changed.
Sometimes Tower does not cost more than Pavillion.  I booked three nights over upcoming Halloween weekend and the Tower offer was the same as the Pavillion offer.  I'm printing that out, however, as it was from a new discounter and I'm wondering if I will have difficulty on check in.  I read some negative reviews.
There is a daily resort fee of  $9 plustax.  There is also a fee if you book more than 7 nights in a row.  It is a strange unique fee.
The casino itself has some advantages.  I don't much like gambling there solo, but a group can have a great time.  Craps is some of the best in Vegas, often three dollars with ten times odds.   I just read they have fifty cent chips for paying off those 6/8 place bets,  Roulette was cheap.  There is not as much full pay video poker as there used to be when JOB 9/6 was everywhere.  Just before Dancer did a VP workshop there, they installed some full pay JOB at his insistence.  Just after he left, they pulled them out.
There are still some 10/7 DB and some other good plays.  There were still some coin droppers. 
I think there are decent Deuces, but they have in some cases odd pay tables.  Scroll down and see Mike actually write that he is not sure of what to call some of the El Cortez games.
http://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/tables/loose-deuces/
There were also some penny slots that actually  took a bet of a penny.  When they pulled back on good booze at the poker game a few years ago, I played off ten dollars in freeplay at 3 cents a pull and drank four Myers rums for a profit of $6 at cashout.  I guess the American Casino Guide coupons from the El Cortez are no longer part of the book, but that $10 freeplay was one of the better deals.
Right next to the elevator going to Pavillion rooms is one of the most unique old fashioned slot experiences perhaps in the world. 
There are a few slots that actually work with slots inside, antiques.  They pay pretty well.  They take a coin like a silver dollar available at the cashier.  I play every trip just for the feel of olden days before even my time.  They do measure points and start the turning of the reels with electricity, but the results are based on actual slots catching the grooves inside as they spin. 
The Sinatra impersonator I saw last time in the upscale bar was just great.  If you like fancy drinks, I'm told these are done by a good mixologist and at reasonable prices compared to other fancy drink places.  I miss the old lounge where I could meet people and walk in with a comped drink from the poker room and find plenty of room to sit.  But I see how it is an upscale improvement.
The El Cortez would like to join that Freemont East revolution, but frankly I don't see too many young folks there.  I went once to a young folks gathering in the outside courtyard and it was packed with upscale youth.  I was perhaps the oldest guy there.  But in the casino were my peers.
They did have plans to have a pool, but I don't see those developing. 
There is more and more thematic reflection of the mob.  I'm not too nostalgic about the mob.  Today their tactics would be called terrorism.  But folks love them like they love pirates and wild west bandits. 
My poker buddy had a "talk like a pirate" poker game.  I came with a Somalian dictionary for some modern pirate talk.  However, if you are nostalgic about old Bugsy... this is the place to go.  In the really upscale, one of a kind, suites there is even one surrounded by desert scenes where you can sleep in safe luxury and imagine where the bodies are buried.
When I first started gambling, the El Cortez was one of my favorites with good comps and frugal deals.    It is not a place I invest in or seed for future trips.  I do that at the D and at the Four Queens.  There have been folks noting the loss of long time established comp patterns.  Some of my friends went there exclusively with a host, and that all backfired.  They don't go there now.
I do use them for cheap nights that I pay money for in between my comped nights downtown. 
It is a great place to park a rental car. 
And while it is not in the heart of the Fremont Experience, it is in right there for Fremont East, so especially for the young who like that scene, it now has good location.  I never minded the walk.  Now that is upscale as well.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Playing poker on a low bankroll in Vegas

The social advantages of limit in Vegas are huge. People talk about more things than "outs" and folks are from all around the world. I have been in some of the most amazing discussions.
The rake is really hard to beat in 2-4 however. I find paying attention to table selection is key. I especially like to move to a just opened table. Most places will let me do that.
The odds of getting more of a mix of people are better.
I also like playing 3-6 when I can find it. If I had a car I'd try the 3-6-9 I game I see advertised at Green Valley Ranch. Palace Station had a 2-4-6 game and I liked that too.
In Florida and Mohegan Sun I've been playing a 1-1 NL with buy ins of $20 to $60. It often has some of the aspects of limit, especially moving the game to a flop game with few people raising preflop. And it eliminates some of the bluffing because the stakes are low. At times this game is spread in places in Vegas. Perhaps someone knows where now.
The hardest part about drinking and playing NL is losing the edge on people reading. Limit is easy to play drunk. I generally do better because my own table image screams "on tilt" and I'll get paid. But in NL there is just too much work to socialize and drink.
And if we give up drinking, we lose a huge part of the EV of poker.
Another way to overcome rake is to play those 2-6 spread limit games at Monte Carlo, Excalibur, Laughlin, Palace Station, Sam's Town. However, you will find some very good players at these, local rocks. I avoid the really good promotions at Monte Carlo and play late night when it is mostly tourists.
One way to make it cheap poker with booze and pretty women is to play the automated game at the Plaza. I played tournaments there where the total buy in was $15 or less. Across the open floor in came a three piece jazz group and they served drinks. My son and I sat and played and joked and drank for two and a half hours. We did not end up in the money, but we could fill our trip with poker and have it cost less than it would to drink at the bar, with entertainment.
I also play the Sam's Town tournaments. http://www.samstownlv.com/play/poker-room unless there are unlimited buy-ins. The 10 AM tournament starts with an hour of limit poker and then goes to NL. I won money twice there.
Finally, for 2-4 I like the Golden Nugget after 2 AM. If I'm staying downtown I will often go to bed at 5PM and wake up to play the tired and the drunk. There is no bad beat, but the high hand awards are progressive and the house doubles them from 2 AM until 2 PM. A quad might bring $600. The morning is too often local rocks, I like to get out for my breakfast buffet before they show. (4 hours of play gets a $10 voucher which almost pays the buffet on weekdays) But late at night after a refreshing sleep, it is a grand game.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Booking Stations Casinos

http://blonde4ever.yuku.com/topic/32185/master/1/?page=1

I wrote this up on blonde's thread.
I'll copy some of what I wrote here just in case that gets closed and gone.

TO PLUTO:

First call this number and check their availability calendar with one of the operators. It is not visible on line.  They have it and deal with your requests verbally.   You can check the other Stations as well if Red Rock seems not practical.  I have 3 nights at Palace Station.  Those were much cheaper than Red Rock.
Here is the number 844-266-0048
Then go back to MyVegas and  buy the reward and call back to book.  You go to the main page and in the upper right hand corner it says "info" and just skim to Red Rock and you can see if the reward is available and buy that on line.  You get a confirmation number and then you call back  the clerk for booking.
Technically, you need your boarding pass number, but once my player's card was not handy and they really had that information in front of them.  However, a call to the Player's Club will give you your number over the phone.
They take a credit card just to secure the room for "incidentals."  Rooms are free midweek.  No resort fee.  At Palace Station they did say that for the 50% off weekends the resort fee was required as well.  Palace Station was just not a good deal for the weekend.  I could go to Eastside Cannery for the same money and not waste LP points.
Now, perhaps that calling is a bit of a hassle for you over on the other side of the pond.  If you want, you can give me a sense of when you might like to book, and I'll make the first call from here and check the dates for you.  Give me a few ifs and whatevers because your first choice might not work.
I am reading on many boards that offerings are fast tightening up because the pressure is now on Stations as it is the only way to get a few nights in a row using MyVegas and for some calendars the only way to get a room, period.  Theoretically, you can get 3 nights in a row midweek at all Stations, but actually that is pretty hard to do.  In my case it did not matter at Red Rock because Nov 1-2 were all that was available until sometime around November 15, and I had booked that up already.  The good thing is that a short easy phone call can get all questions answered as to availability.
Unlike booking with MLife these calls do not require a huge waiting time.  I was on hold looking for one Excalibur available room for 4 and a half hours and when I reached a person, half way through the booking, she disconnected. 
I called back and picked from the menu the Aria booking agent(number 1) who has little to no work.  She answered right away and was willing to book the Excalibur for me.  At Stations a few rings and a very helpful person can figure out a strategy, but you will want to book soon after calling and not wait to decide because the calendar will change as other folks book.
The prediction in my first conversation was that the rooms would be released into the fall in June, maybe by the end of May.  So the release of offers this week  is an early release and not everyone will know to try calling now for September/October/November.  I suspect that rooms will just go away.
The cool thing about these midweek nights is that they are free.  No resort fee.  That fee alone at Red Rock is $28 a night.  Oh, they also have a pool that is heated in winter to 70 plus degrees so folks swim in November.
I loved the buffet last year.  It was absolutely the best for not spiking my blood sugar (I control all on diet) and most helpful and tasty was four kinds of roasted veggies and four sugar free desserts. 
There is an airport shuttle for hotel guests.  I suspect that you could get it even if you arrived at the airport by WAX and not by air.  It picks up in Terminal 1 at ground zero. 


http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/siteimages/citymaps/redrock.pdf
I decided to rent a car for  a week.  They are sure more expensive than when I used to rent years ago.  What that did was insure that I could go to Red Rock Canyon from the casino.  I expect I'll spend time there most of my stay. I love it there. Renting a car  for  a few days is comparatively expensive, so I decided to make a road trip of it.  I have not been in Laughlin in quite a few years and now there is not even a one day free bus.  I booked 3 nights at the Pioneer in Laughlin for under $90 total and after 2 nights in Red Rock I'll nip (nice use of that word, don't you think?) out for 3 days and then settle back downtown and return the car the next day.  I rented at the Golden Nugget Budget so it is convenient as I am booked 3 nights at the El Cortez just before the road trip, so I just nip down to the Golden Nugget, drive to Red Rock for 2 days, drive to Laughlin for 3 days and probably see Oatman, Kingman and the newly remodeled stuff at the Hoover Dam. And then I come home after dark, check in hopefully at the Four Queens on comp and return the car the next morning.
I'm taking two 20 plus day trips this year, one in September for my son's birthday, and one in November just before I fly to Denver for a family Thanksgiving there.  So, I'm planning on reducing my gambling quite a bit and just focusing my bankroll on the places where I get free rooms mailed based on my play.  I am going to seed Palace Station a bit, but I don't really think they will satisfy me as a low roller.  The Four Queens is very good to me and I was confused by the new comp policies, but I called for September 25-26-27-28 when the weekend rack rate is $169 and they gave me casino rate, some of it to be adjusted by my mailing when it comes.  The Four Queens covers my weekends in a way I don't think Palace Station will.
Let me know if I can help in any way and tell us how it all turns out.

******************************

RE:  "How do get around booking for September and November when it says you have to purchase your reward no more than 90 days before you redeem it? "




The 90 day period for rooms (and I think for shows as well) refers to the time you have from purchasing the reward to booking the date.  You have 90 days to book the time you wills stay in the hotel, but the time may be much later.
The available times are determined by a calendar.  Mlife prints the calendars.  Go to any room offer, click on it, look in the bottom right, click on "click for available dates" and you will see what you can book today.  In fact, the menu you get after clicking will let you see all the available dates for all the room awards for that property.
Some suggest that these calendars are updated with nights added, but I have not seen that happen.  What I see is that Bonus dates are added as a separate reward with their own calendars.  So, if you are playing along and thinking that a reward does not get sold out very often and you are hopeful, check the dates.  Mirage weekend rewards, for example, have just 2 nights on the calendar and those are in November.  So the reward does not get sold out, but it is not really there for most people.  It just looks like it is there. 
Booking can be a bit of work.  I booked two Mlife nights, one in September and one in November, both at Excalibur.  For the first I was on hold for one and a half hours.  For the second I was on hold for four and a half hours with three disconnects.  On the last one, I finally got smart and picked from the operator menu number 1, the operators that book Aria, where there are no room offers so they don't have much work.  I don't suppose the operator was supposed to book me at Excalibur, but I knew she could at least return my points to me. She booked me.
Ironically, the bait and switch aspect of Mlife is coming just at the time when they had softened me.  Their marketing had worked.  I actually am staying a week at Excalibur in November and never stay on the strip.  But I can see how the program could just get too expensive for all of us to hop on the freebies just by playing a game.


So don't think about Mlife as a place to earn room rewards. Think of it as a way to bet a lottery ticket for room rewards where once you have earned enough points, you get to elbow in with the millions of other players and compete to see who can buy a reward the fastest, who can book it the earliest, who can find an operator the quickest.
Station is much easier.  You get an operator right away who will help you plan.  At Palace Station that same operator gave me a few dollars off any rooms I'd like to buy to extend my stay just because I had a Boarding Pass card.  Then offering midweek nights with no resort fee means that the nights are actually free.  Mlife started that way with some properties then they saw the error of their give a ways.
Of course, the Catch 22 is that you have to have booked a room with Mlife to use ANY of their rewards.  No more nipping in for a quick free lunch at Aria while staying at the El Cortez.  That being said, in the future my strategy will be to book one night and capture two Aria buffets and some other reward with my paid night at perhaps Circus Circus, or at Excalibur when the rates are the low $22 plus $22RF.  $44 for a room, two buffets, and a show is a good frugal deal.  And then the rest of my points I'll use up at Stations.

Monday, May 04, 2015

The Thursday-night “Grand Laughs Comedy Show” at the Downtown Grand makes its first appearance in the Top Ten this month. Admission is free and there’s no drink minimum. Tickets are passed out at the casino entrance prior to the 8 pm show, but you don’t need them; just show up at the door and you’re in.

Station Casinos’ buffets (#6) are $5.99 for breakfast, $6.99-$7.99 for lunch, and $7.99-$9.99 for dinner and Sunday brunch at Palace, Boulder, Texas, Sunset, and Santa Fe Stations (except $10.99 for dinner and $13.99 on Saturdays at Santa Fe), and $1-$5 more for most meals at Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock; must show a Boarding Pass card.

Booking Excalibur on MyVegas

I have had two experiences booking Excalibur using MyVegas rewards and won't do that again.  The first is for a trip in September and the second for one in November.  Here are notes on the first and towards the bottom is a discussion board link on booking the November trip as well as a copy of my experiences.



Well, I booked the Excalibur for September 17th after seeing the Monte Carlo sold out over the past two days and being advised here that they just put in one a day and let everyone scramble. I was getting nervous that I'd lose the date on the calendar, and I wanted to stop being obsessive about checking the latest possibilities.
It was very inexpensive, a Bonus date for 15,000 LP's.
But the booking was just surreal agony.
I had trouble sleeping, so I decided to buy and book late last night I actually was on the phone, on hold, for an hour and a half before I got an answer. And then the woman took forever. She missed both the confirmation number and my Mlife number the first two times. She asked me three times for my name, for my zip code and for other information that should have been collected once. It got so I wondered if I had slept after all and this was a dream.
When I did book, all I got was a confirmation number. They don't email. I could call back and confirm if I wanted, she said. and I thought that was unlikely if it took an hour and half to get a response.
And of course, she had to tell me all the rules, twice, and ask about booking shows and food in a long speech that took forever. I can see why the phones are so backed up.
I played the lucky birds while I waited and read all my Facebook posts and most of the NT Times and all emails. I usually play off the chips at 40 grand a pop, but I lost and went down to 1 grand a spin just to keep myself amused. At that level I hit quite a few shared pots in a row, so some of my facebook friends should have had some action to redeem. That is unusual for me. By the time I had booked, I won back 3000 of the 15 grand I had payed.
I know I can't have any LP chips returned, but I wondered if between now and September I did manage to hit a refreshed Monte Carlo offer, and redeemed that, if I could use it in lieu of the Excalibur booking. I can only use one in a 30 day period, but perhaps they don't care how many I have bought. Anyone done that?
I will say that I think this makes the game poor marketing. I know that Mlife folks are treated well enough from reports on boards and such, but were I actually a newbie, I'd be hesitant to want to become a customer for cash after being kept waiting, asked over and over for the same information, and not give an emailed confirmation for my records. Mlife has not warmed my heart with this poor customer service.
The Station operators are a grand contrast. They don't have the calendar out as far as Mlife, but they answer the phone and are alert and efficient
************

NOVEMBER BOOKING.  Here is the thread that offered some suggestions. 

http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?120048-Canceling-and-changing-booking&p=1128587#post1128587

Here is my actual booking experience

Well, after 4 and a half hours on the three phones I finally got a clerk.
She took my dates and my numbers and my name.
She went away and let me listen to more music.
She was gone a long while.

And then she disconnected!!!

So, I decided to call the upscale bookers and just see if they could at least refund my points.
I hit 1 instead of 4 and in less than two minutes a lovely woman answered.

I explained my four and a half hour wait.
She said she thought she could book me.
And she did.
And she confirmed the September booking as well.

Then I went here.
https://reservations.mgmmirage.com/b...TOKEN=18221102

This was the best prices I could find for the other 6 days. Saturday was especially cheaper, $70 rather than $89.
I did not get a $20 food voucher tossed in, but it still was a better deal. I'd rather eat at Aria anyway.
I booked on line. If we book by phone they charge us a fee of $10.

I got all that done and hit the final button and
UP came a message that there was an error in my booking, and I should call the reservations desk.

Just what I needed after a long day. Another phone snafu.
So, I did.

As it turned out there was no error, and I was actually booked.
The woman at the counter was delightful. She listened to my story, and she made sure that the MyVegas Friday night was back to back with the Booked 6 nights so I would not have to change rooms.

She was just great.

I was worried that were I to need to cancel the MyVegas for sickness I would have to call and wait 4 and a half hours to cancel and still not get points back, but save getting billed as a no show.

No. If I have trouble and have to cancel, I'll just call the Excalibur reservations desk. They already had my booking from MyVegas, and they can cancel it if something happens in my life thwart my going .

Thanks to all of you for thinking through all the angles with me. I hope my experience gives you some insight into your next MyVegas redemption.


So............... this old frugal guy is going upscale for a week. I know for most of you the Excalibur is not upscale at all. For most MLife folks it is hardly acceptable. But I will enjoy it as variety in my trip, and I've covered one of those expensive weekends with a decent rate. I just have or two more weekends to consider depending on whether I fly in before or after Halloween. One I'll probably cover at Palace Station and perhaps the other at the Four Queens. Poker buddy Wild Bill usually goes for Halloween. He loves to use his camera on the costumes or lack there of.

I also expect the Orleans to give me a couple mailed free weekday nights. I can place those just before the Excalibur week, catch the Young at heart promotion on Wednesday with its two free buffets, and the Nite Kings in the lounge, and I will have an easy bus ride between the Orleans and the Excalibur.
Palace Station would be a good bet on MyVegas for the 13-14 weekend and 3 weekdays. I'll have to see how available their dates are once their MyVegas calendar comes out. I think we have to expect that they will be getting more pressure from the frugal end travelers who have all these MyVegas points to use up.

Also, there is no pressure for me to gamble at Excalibur, and that week is right at the end of my trip. Depending on how much bankroll is left, I'll play a bit of poker at Excalibur, at Mandalay Bay, at Monte Carlo. My last trip was one in which my rooms averaged over 23 days just $9.13 total, but it was a losing trip so the gambling took most of that profit. This won't be such a cheap trip.

If I must, I'll pay Monte Carlo to let me use the lazy river first thing in the morning with no tube. That is the absolute best workout for me.

I don't think I'll book an MLife room using MyVegas again. I'll buy three nights and then buy a $50 freeplay with the saved reward, and get the same value.
I did get plenty done while the phone ran the music on hold, but it was frustrating, especially when I got cut off.
Thanks again.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Orleans

This post updates the Orleans offerings.

http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?119457-Heading-to-Orleans&p=1127721#post1127721

In case this link gets old, Here is my post


+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2FirstFirst12
Results 11 to 18 of 18
  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    188
    Trips To Vegas
    52

    Default

    Love staying at Orleans too. You have to gauge if your newbies are the kind of folks that can deal with large crowds and waiting, July 4 on Strip with have plenty of both. If not Orleans is a good choice. The shuttle can get backed up from time to time in the afternoons and it will be a warm wait. You could probably cab it and split it 4 ways, total should be around $20. If you cab from the west side of the Strip, it will take 5 minutes or so, east side add another 5 minutes and $5.

    The only knock I have at Orleans is when you let your room door close on it's own, everyone in your wing knows it. They need to go to Palazzo and find out why theirs don't slam so hard.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    146
    Trips To Vegas
    22

    Default

    Just got done staying at the Orleans for 2 nights. There are 3 wings to the Orleans rooms. North wing, rooms face east towards the strip and are even numbered. West facing rooms are odd numbered and face towards pool and the mountains. West wing, even numbered rooms face north, odd numbered face south with some obstructed view on the lower levels. East wing, even numbered face south and may have obstructed view, north facing rooms are odd numbered and have an excellent view of the parking area, downtown in the distance along with mountain views and some of the strip. All higher numbered rooms are closest to the elevators with the lower numbers at the end of the hallways. Rooms are large!
    We encountered a lot of families in the two days we were there. I am guessing that over the 4th it will be the same. This could affect your pool experience!
    BTW, we love the Orleans and have stayed there many times. Gotta go! Flight about to board back to ORD!

  3. #13

    Default

    I stay there every trip for a few days on comps. The bonuses are as mentioned lower table limits on busy weekends, decent pool that isn't too packed, gym, cheap eats and the shuttle to/from the strip.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    averill park (near albany) ny
    Posts
    3,918
    Trips To Vegas
    29

    Default

    I like the triple play nickel VP, 9/7 Double Bonus with progressive Royals. It is about all I play. There are two banks, but I play the one between the buffet and the door on the side opposite to where the buffet is. There are about 10 machines and they sometimes fill up as the locals play them regularly.

    If you are there on a Wednesday, check out the Nitekings in the Lounge. They are just wonderful for old sounds. However, arrive a bit early if you want a seat in the first set. The place packs up.

    http://www.nitekings.com/nitekings/Welcome.html

    Be careful in the live poker room. It can be very tough, dominated by locals who all know each other, and once I suspected collusion.

    Check for promotions. Twice I've been there when just standing in line for a few minutes and showing a card got $5 free with some folks getting a good bit more than that.

    Outside and across the street is McMullan's Irish Pub. Great food and interesting ambiance.
    http://www.mcmullansirishpub.com/index.shtml
    “Never marry a casino; just have affairs until the love is gone.” -Jean Scott-

    http://vegasonthebus.blogspot.com/ - BUS INFORMATION

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    south padre island texas
    Posts
    1,068
    Trips To Vegas
    35

    Default

    Click or hover your mouse to enlarge image Originally Posted by dewey089 Click or hover your mouse to enlarge image
    I like the triple play nickel VP, 9/7 Double Bonus with progressive Royals. It is about all I play. There are two banks, but I play the one between the buffet and the door on the side opposite to where the buffet is. There are about 10 machines and they sometimes fill up as the locals play them regularly.

    If you are there on a Wednesday, check out the Nitekings in the Lounge. They are just wonderful for old sounds. However, arrive a bit early if you want a seat in the first set. The place packs up.

    http://www.nitekings.com/nitekings/Welcome.html

    Be careful in the live poker room. It can be very tough, dominated by locals who all know each other, and once I suspected collusion.

    Check for promotions. Twice I've been there when just standing in line for a few minutes and showing a card got $5 free with some folks getting a good bit more than that.

    Outside and across the street is McMullan's Irish Pub. Great food and interesting ambiance.
    http://www.mcmullansirishpub.com/index.shtml
    i play the aces bonus there. I hit the bonus once after going 3 nearly 4 hour without a 4oak, I had lost nearly $350 before I hit it and it was the first night and morning of my trip!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    146
    Trips To Vegas
    22

    Default

    The Mardi Gras bar now has brand new VP machines. actually, they are multi-game machines. Played 9/6 DDB there. A couple other bars have new machines and better pay tables on some games. Dewey, you are right about McMullan's. We went there for the first time this trip. We left asking ourselves why haven't we been there before.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    averill park (near albany) ny
    Posts
    3,918
    Trips To Vegas
    29

    Default

    Here is relevant bus information:

    Many of us start our trips at the Orleans because we can take the WAX, get off at the NYNY stop, get the 201 and be at the Orleans. This route is also a way for bus riders to go from the Orleans to downtown without taking luggage on strip buses.
    Next trip I'll go from the Orleans to the Excalibur for a MyVegas free night. After that I will go downtown or I'll take the WAX to the airport and then the free Palace Station shuttle (for hotel guests) to that casino for a few days.
    The city buses have the advantage of a full 24 hour schedule. The free shuttles when I was last there did not start until 9:30 AM. So if you wanted to start with breakfast at Aria, you needed the bus.
    Or a cab. A cab from the Orleans to the back entrance of Aria was just $10.

    Keno (who just posted) tipped us off about getting the senior discounted 5 day pass at Walgreen's
    I did that last trip on his advice. I would always call ahead, but they said that they never run out. Here are my notes from my last trip:

    On one board Keno 60 posted about using the Walgreen's on Decatur and Tropicana, just a short walk from the Orleans to buy bus passes. This worked just great. The Walgreen's is 24 hours so I could go up very early at 5 AM when I could not sleep and had nothing much else to do.


    I thought the walk was very safe and easy.


    There were some pretty girls working the street, but they are not aggressive or much of a bother.


    Walgreen's said that they don't run out of the 15 and 30 day passes with senior discount there, so we can count on them.


    While I was there I picked up some snacks and a large gallon of water that cost just 99 cents as opposed to the small bottles for $2.25 for sale at the Orleans.


    Along the way I noticed a Bank of America that would be a handy place for me to get more gambling money were I to run short.


    Also, if I wanted some food outside the casino that great Irish Pub McMullen's is open 24 hours and there is a Jack in the Box not far from the Walgreen's.


    The 201 is great for getting to the strip and for getting out to the Pinball Hall of Fame
    http://www.pinballhall.org/

    Also, the free shuttles will take luggage and load it on the bus, Even my large bag was welcomed. So next trip I'll be at the Gold Coast and then go to the Orleans by shuttle with luggage.

    _______________________
    I almost tried this painting adventure one trip, but I did not make reservations and the class was cancelled when I got there. The woman leading it said to be sure to call. I'd have had my own private class had I called. Generally, however, it is seen as a fun group experience. And then there is getting the painting home on plane.
    http://buzznbrushes.com/

    ____________________
    There are often specials at the movie theater. On senior day I get the $4 special. Young at Heart Day is grand because it is very easy to squeeze out a brunch and a supper buffet for free without points. Then too, you might meet someone interesting in line as I did last trip
    http://vegasbirthdaybash.blogspot.co...t-orleans.html

    The lounge is a grand place to go dancing. No drink pressure but good service and as I remember the wine was only about $4.