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Recap Hi. 40 Vegas TR's and my own evolution

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Silvered, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Silvered

    Silvered
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    TL / DR: I am new, and here is my history, it might be a lot like yours.


    My very first Vegas trip was when I was about 10 (1980). It was one small part of a “Drive Across the Country” thing my dad planned, and the family was enduring. We stayed at the Lady Luck. I remember the coupon book, and the free shrimp cocktail, and telling my mother to bet on red, which won. Back then, I guess they were a bit about a kid in a casino.

    I am not sure if that early experience contributed to my now Vegas Addiction, but its fun to think so.

    I made lots of Vegas trips in my early 20’s, and they were of the pure gambling-party nature. Typical 3 day weekend trips where I would sleep for a total of 6 hours, risk my limited net worth, mostly flat-betting red-chip or green-chip black jack for hours upon hours at places like the Golden Nugget, The Flamingo, Excalibur, and eventually, Treasure Island. The hours I put in, back in those early days, were simply ridiculous. Lunacy. I had no idea what I was doing.

    The city’s lights / theming / and buzz hit me in the Bill Friedman Textbook fashion they were going for. From the minute I landed in McCarron, I was always max energized. Full Chevy-Chase-At-The-Mirage-Mode. I was further amazed that my stays and food could be “comped” either by my play, or even one of my friend’s play, regardless if we won or lost. It only took $25 / $50 a hand back then, to get freebies. The 12 hours+ per day probably helped. Before, I didn’t even know that comps were a thing, and how would I? A kid from Boston doesn’t grow up around gaming. There are no resources, there was no Internet, there were no guides. So, I was amazed when a host introduced himself, laughed at my hours (and me), and gave me some free things.

    Sometimes I would actually win, and come back with an extra grand and the high that comes from money won. More often, I would come back with a wad of atm slips, or even worse, dreaded cash advance slips. I might have even returned with a slightly negative net-worth. I was pretty cavalier about money back in those days. Looking back, those first trips were relatively boring. But they seemed fun, even if they threw my normal life off-kilter for a period – sleepwise, health wise, bank-account-wise, or any combination of the 3.

    In my later 20’s when I learned a little more, and had a more funds, I enjoyed fuller experiences. Those trips were usually still guy trips. College friends, work friends, or friends from my new city. Or a mix. We learned that you didn’t need to gamble all the time. Club Rio, the Drink, etc provided an amazing social scene. We got out there and mixed it up. Lots of fun people to meet. But gambling was still my main draw. Even when I met a pretty girl, I wouldn’t try to get her to my room. I would try to get her to gamble with me. True degenerate sign, yes?

    The rush that comes from a winning streak – that's my drug, and I am sure I am speaking the choir here. With some time, I learned to mix the bets up more, playing bigger when winning, smaller when losing. I mastered Craps for an alternative. Played low-pressure Caribbean stud to pass the time. Dabbled in high-limit slots after big tables wins. Would play smaller in the day. Might even burn time on small tables downtown, with goal of earning cab fare back to the strip. Would casino hop, trying new environments. I might be top 10 in player’s cards collections. I usually played bigger at night. Though I was awful at Vegas Sleep, I did learn to take breaks when up significantly.

    I never got proficient at stopping when down. I am prone to tilt, and I have too many comebacks under my belt. I will rope-a-dope until no one will lend me the ammo. And with my group of degenerate friends, we were all a bunch of Co-Enablers. As a result of my style, I have had many more winning trips than losing. But my bigger losing trips are bigger than my average winning. Know what I mean? During the bad streaks, I was stubborn, and was never great at self managing / stopping. I hear Michael Jordan gambles the same way. I avoided credit lines, and relied on my ATM and Cash Advance limits to force some boundaries (stupid). Later in my 20’s, I enjoyed the resorts more – the pool, the spa (had my first massage in Vegas), the dining options. Even tried to continue my exercise routine – which usually meant getting 1 lame workout, if any. But I loved it all.

    Then in my 30’s I learned that Vegas could be fun with my girlfriend and eventual wife. Sometimes I still met the guys, other times I would go with just her. In those trips I would stay at nicer resorts, Bellagio then Wynn and Encore, even a Caesars stay. I began to enjoy the shows (still think Cirque is amazing), and have seen most. I spent time exploring the strip more. Enjoying the spa more. Actually shopping for fun. And hitting the newer clubs, which were popping up everywhere. In fact, I had 3 friends move to Vegas for the nightclub business, and they did well getting in at the ground floor. In my mid 30’s, we had connections to “velvet rope” us into the places they worked, which was pretty cool. They all changed venues over time, giving us the ability to experience lots of great nightlife, typically with hooked-up bottle service. Having those connections is massive, and would have only been better if I had them when I was younger and cared more about that scene. Backstage with Kaskade? OMG (not).

    Even with these well rounded Vegas trips, gambling was always a big part of the trip, even if it wasn’t for the rest in the group. My income grew in my regular life, but I kept my play to green or black chips. The typical trip still involved lots of hours, $100 - $200 ave bet, and mostly FBR comped. That's what it took back then. It was always difficult to determine how much I actually won or lost back then. Even with comped rooms and food, I would spend quite a bit on limos, tips, clothes, shows, spa, and whatever I felt like. Somewhat frugal with my money in normal life, I was much more relaxed when there. Clearly I was enjoying the action and the (false) feeling of entitlement that comes with a roll of 100’s.

    In the middle to late 30’s there were a couple periods where I thought my interest in Vegas was waning. I was getting older obviously., and was very focused on career and family. Also, local casinos were popping up everywhere, removing some of the novelty of gambling. During this time I discovered the stock market, and that took a lot of my need for action. Then I participated in the online poker craze, and for a while there, the idea of a odds-against table game felt stupid. I remember having one very degenerate, very losing, bj session at a local casino, and decided that I was done with negative expectation gambling. I even sold away a bunch of my gambling books (sadly). Finally, I recognized that I needed to experience other trips, to other places, for a different kind of fun – Paris, Aruba, London, Aruba, Mexico, Aruba, Orlando, Cruises etc. Many of those trips were amazing in their own way. Of course, some of those included a little gambling action too, but never like in Vegas. Well, sometimes like Vegas.

    No matter what travel I was planning, or experiencing, the idea of fun weekends in Vegas began to pop back into my mind.

    Now I am in my 40’s. When thinking about fun, I am back to thinking Vegas First. I travel extensively for my job, and sometimes that takes me to Vegas. I still regularly go with my wife for a weekend away. And I still meet my friends, once in a while. I even brought my 3 kids with me once. All in all, I can find myself in that town 5 -6 times per year. And I still love it.

    The difference these days is….not much. I still like everything, from the clubs (even the pool clubs), food, shopping, shows, and the ever available gambling. My average bets are in the $400-$500 range, enough to receive consideration in the comp scene, but nothing like many of you on this board. Encore / Cosmo are my regular places, and I like them for various reasons.

    The majority of my trips now are +/- $20k. My biggest win: $35k (but was up $60k). My biggest loss $50k. My biggest hand pay: $12k. My longest craps roll: not sure, maybe 25 minutes. My biggest come back was from down $48k, and I made it back in the hour before the plane. I have had plenty of reversals the other way though.

    Maybe my continued enthusiasm is a bit sad, maybe it's a sign that I haven’t totally grown up. But I don’t care, and neither does my wife. Though I would never want to live there, I am going to keep enjoying Vegas for as long as I want. And I might go a little hard while there – because I am not ready to act old. I am pretty sure this group here....knows what I mean.

    I appreciate this board’s existence. I like hearing about the really high rollers, as well as the scrappy / balanced frugal gamblers.

    I have a few trips planned right now, and will try to contribute something interesting.

    If you read this whole dead-sea-scroll……thanks, we might be two peas in a pod.
     
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  2. Way2fast

    Way2fast
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    Welcome, and great history. I can relate to many aspects of how your Vegas experience has evolved over the years. Looking forward to you first TR.
     
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  3. chico7800

    chico7800
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    Great read. Sounds like my Vegas interactions.
     
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  4. RM777

    RM777
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    That was very interesting. Thank you. I can definitely empathize with some of your experiences and feelings.
     
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  5. CADDY1969

    CADDY1969
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    Great read at times I thought you were writing my story. Thanks for sharing. Cheers
     
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  6. RabidRatFink

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    Well I am looking forward to this!
     
  7. Spivderman

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    Enjoyed what you wrote.
     
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  8. mikeman2058

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    Awesome read. Being in my early 30's and enjoying Vegas since 21 i can relate to most of your story....
     
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  9. debbied

    debbied
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    Great read, some of this could be my story
     
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