Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Four Queens 10/7 DB quarters still there

So I've had my heart attack for nothing.
It seems that around midnight on Friday night, during routine maintenance, the pay table was inadvertently changed. 
A host at the Four Queens assured me that the 10/7 DB is there now and that it was just an error.
Saturday morning some folks came in, said "WTF," and got it fixed.

At first it appeared back on VPfree as a $25 game.  I sent them a note, and they corrected it.  Now it shows as a 25 cent game.  Fine to have my favorite Vegas game back and so to have the Four Queens dominate my Vegas trips with my play on these machines getting me 3 night over the weekend comps.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Silver Sevens 2 for 1 food coupons


And if you are traveling solo, they still will take half off the bill in either the buffet or the café.

D and coffee

 I called, having read that the coffee machines were pulled and the clerk said they are still there, are still in all the rooms, and the price is still $2.50 per cup. I read something recently to the contrary in a post.
PS:   I'm still reading that the intention is to pull them and not replace them with anything.  It is unclear when that might happen.  http://www.vegaschatter.com/story/2014/2/24/21141/5922/vegas-travel/In-Room+Coffee+Is+On+The+Way+Out+At+The+D,+Golden+Gate

Bringing my own cups is cheaper. Usually they run around 50 cents at Walmarts, etc.

Bringing these filter below allows me to use whatever coffee I want.

And I found that tea steeped well too if the machine was run one time with nothing to wash out any coffee taste. Just a tea bad in the filter and it will make a nice cup of tea. I got four filters for about $9,  and so I use a separate one for tea.

There is another reusable called Java Jig, but my friend who has Keurig at home did not like this style.
I used the one I listed in November at the D.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Current thoughts on booking frugal rooms

The El Cabana or Tower rooms are better than 4 Queens rooms.
The blackjack ($5 single deck 3/2 ) and the craps ($3 with ten times odds) is better.
If you look, you can find video poker that is full pay.  Not JOB, but coin dropped DB 10/7.
There is not DB 10/7 better than what they offer in the world.  It is full pay and a progressive royal on top of that full pay table.
9/6 JOB is there.
Nickel single zero roulette give you the best video roulette in Vegas for low rollers.  It still earns points.  In my opinion, one only plays roulette for fun so why not make it cheap.
Binions pool is hit and miss.  Some days it is not open.  I don't like the music. It is better than the El Cortez pool because their pool is still an imaginative dream.
Location is much better. 
And live poker is more accessible.  Golden Nugget is nearby.  El Cortez now closed their poker room.
I find the 4 Queens comps unique.  Mailings are for three nights rather than the usual 2 nights and can be used over the weekend.  Separate mailings for slot tournaments may mean that I can get two weekends covered in the same month.  Overlapping months lets me cover two weekends with comps.  Freeplay is very generous. And everything I earn is from playing those best in the world DB 10/7 machines.
El Cortez has of late reduced comps even to long time customers.  Some folks do really well, but others write their frustrations on the board.  If I was going to seed a casino with play for a future trip, it would be the 4 Queens and not the El Cortez.
I've been filling my downtown days with 4 Queens weekends backed up with 2 for 1 D comps for weekdays. The check in and check out are very easy.  No early check in fees.  Hardly any distance between the two back doors.  Often I can make a few trips during the time I have both rooms and so I don't have to pack it all up carefully, cut carry it in loads and empty the suitcase.
I've been filling in with American Casino Guide coupons which were giving me 2 nights at the Cabana for just over $50, but I think I got caught in the resort fee coupon invalidation, so now I have more math to do and I don't think it will work.  I won't stay in Pavillion or Vintage.  Too basic and too noisy and no room.  So, I'm considering using MyVegas for some free nights on the strip, or a week or so out Boulder at Sam's Town where I can average $20 a night some weeks even with resort fees. Good VP.  Full pay deuces at the dime level (nickel machine with 10 being the needed bet for full pay)  Full pay also at Eastside Cannery but I've yet to score a free room there even with some play.  I do get free buffets and some other benefits from their Web game section, but it is a hassle and focused more on locals than on me.  Still, I love their rooms and I might just pay for them.  They offer $10 to seniors off rack rate.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Electronic Poker Machine at the Plaza

I have been trying to get some poker detail on the electronic poker games at the Plaza, but have not found anyone who has played there.  Of course, I did stir up some ranting guy who wanted to trash the whole idea of electronic poker.  So, I wrote this response to him and thought it was detailed enough to want to keep it here:

Well, I think the majority of the players agreed with you.
The electronic games did not seem to catch on.

I could never see the comparison with solo home play.
It is electronic, but I could not only see, but joke and talk to the other players and in some cases do it more freely because dealers did not jump into every conversation. It never felt like playing at home.

Many chip and card game errors could not be made at these electronic tables: all those out of turn plays, all those misdealt and early revealed cards, all those wild tosses of folded cards that require a card protector.

There was no need to watch every detail of the dealing to see it was done correctly, or to try to figure when a quiet spoken guy was raising or just calling.
I did not have to fear a dealer might by mistake pick up my cards or misread the winning hand and pay another player my pot.

No dealer monitoring was necessary.

Excalibur that was a real benefit because they would bring in a pretty fine looking stripper who danced around a pole, so who wanted to keep watching for dealer error?

And I like a lower rake. And I like that the machine required no one dollar tip out of every pot.
And I liked not having to wait for dealers to change or for chips to be reloaded in dealer trays or for those big old collection boxes to be collected by big guards who knew just how to bump the knees.

Also, I liked that the more sophisticated players had to learn an entirely new set of tells.
I'm not too sophisticated. It gave them less of an edge over me.
I also like that it often attracts less sophisticated players so the table selection issue is more in my favor.
Slot players might feel more comfortable at this game than one with chips and cards.

Monitoring play time for comps would be more possible too. The largest live games downtown right now, those at the Nugget, earn food comps that are only good on one day. They are earned after four hours of play; there are no additional comps earned when playing hour 5 to whatever. It is done without any real electronic record of play so I feel I have to remind the floor when I come in, and look at my watch, and know just when I started to play.

And I liked that my arthritic fingers did not have to manage to get chips unstuck or load them without dropping into trays at cash out.

I very much liked it that the chips (the dirtiest bits of shared material in the entire casino) were not passing around all the current diseases of the other players to every player at the table. I can take a wipe to the play area and I am good to go.

In some places too, I liked the lower stakes, so I've played the Four Winds Lake Michigan electronic game when it was 50 cent and one dollar blinds. It may have been like that in Excalibur. Perhaps it is at the Plaza. No one has given much poker detail yet.

Since we have plenty of live games and chips for your taste, I'd be interested if some venues offered this variety for me and other folks who like this sort of game. I also think it might allow the casinos that can't support person dealt games and keep closing down poker rooms to still offer live poker.
That is clearly what happened at the Four Winds.
That could redeem the El Cortez.
In fact, it might put a live poker game into every downtown casino instead of just two. I'd love it if the Four Queens had one because that is where I like best to play.

When the Plaza had a live game, they had to limit the hours because they did not have the staff, and they would actually close down full tables. I suspect if their electronic game becomes popular, it will stay open as long as there are players.

Here is a link to a full discussion:

MyVegas play

For some reason I got put in a category on MyVegas that offered me very little, especially for a solo traveler.  I filled out a form inquiring about the difficulty, and they changed my offers to include totally free nights as well as single free buffets.  Nice.

If you have a similar problem, let them know.


Saturday, February 08, 2014

Remembering Laughlin Side Trips

You can make a nice trip back to Vegas  by going from Laughlin up to Oatman to see this little town and feed donkeys in the streets,

along part of route 66,
(we got a great hamburger here and I loved the root beer)

to Hoover Dam area and back again.  I can't remember the exact geography but I took a London buddy up through there and it gave him a good look at that part of America.

We stopped and walked around a really small town on that trip called Chloride.  It is the first reviewed here:


We saw a little old jail in that town.  It was such a relaxed visit that we stopped at the General store and they told us where the little jail was and told us we could go inside but please close the door when we were done.
Here is the jail

Yards were often decorated with found art:


Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Petition to end Resort fees


I was happy to sign the petition.
The goal is to include the cost of the room in the listed price of the room with transparency.
No more wondering who pays them and who doesn't or which week they are optional and which they are not or which time they are implemented or not.
No more false advertising in emailed promotions and "sales".
No more false reporting by travel boards.
No more lies from discounters.
No more confusion about what a discounter low to high price search means.
No more wondering who is grandfathered in the resort fee price rises between booking and arriving.
No more letting newbies, inexperienced, or unsophisticated folks be tricked until check in.
No more having to have repeated phone conversations with hotel clerks who themselves are confused just to get the bottom line. The bottom line should be the top line.

The price of the room should be simple to understand with amenities all rolled up with whatever the hotel wants to call the basic booking price of the room. The buyer of the room ought to get the room for the stated price.
So let's get that to happen, if possible.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

One Place to Avoid Resort fees

One place generally left off lists is the Super 8 on Koval right next to Ellis Island. It is not a casino hotel, but it is very close to being one. If you pay for rooms, take a look at it.
It is not fancy,
(think better than El Cortez Pavillion, similar to Four Queens or D,)
but you can avoid resort fees and get plenty of amenities:

free wifi
coin laundry (I do a load midtrip and use wifi right in the laundry room)
free coffee in the lobby (I think in the rooms as well but I've forgotten)
I like the fancy coffee in the lobby.
free shuttle to and from the airport
heated pool open 24 hours
Turner Classic Movies on the television and three HBO channels

Ellis Island is right there for an easy breakfast.
Or I like rolling in hungry after a night of poker with no supper and grabbing an early morning steak special. You won't find lines at Ellis Island at 2 AM.
The Boyd shuttle now picks up just a block away in the back of Bally's.
The 202 bus will take you out to Boulder, or in to Caesar's if you don't want to walk, or back to Koval if you stay out late for just $5 for 24 hours. Less for seniors who have an Id. One way for those folks is just one dollar. And sometimes a Medicare card is enough for ID.
Note that the Boyd shuttle now takes luggage. I took two free nights at Orleans and backed them up with a week at Super 8, using the shuttle to get me close with luggage.

It won't satisfy high end desires.
The folks really getting hit by resort fees are the low end consumers who have been getting frugal hotel deals that resort fees increase by 50%.
A luxury room renter, even paying the highest $28 resort fee has only increased the cost by 20% on a $140 a night room.
This place will often be a good deal for low rollers.
It is not like staying at other motels either. The casino is right there. Late night 9/6 Jacks or better means an easy stagger into the room.

And it is good for those so angry about resort fees that they won't pay them.
One added advantage is that price goes down for longer bookings. Even 3 nights saves a bit. A week will often get you a free night. So, all that hopping in and out of hotels, common for those of us who have patched together frugal deals in the past, is eliminated.

Be careful not to book a deal that can't be changed or cancelled. You don't save much on that.
Do ask for AARP/ AAA rates.
Sometimes you can use a coupon from Room Savers for a walk in deal. The clerk said that is often the cheapest way, but I never arrive in Vegas unbooked.

Do pay attention to earned Wyndam points for free rooms.
And again, I'd book directly and not with a discounter. It might be a few dollars more, but it is insurance against bad paperwork or a change by one day in plans.

I always ask for room 3045. Seems nice enough.