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Recap shifter and VegasBJ: Golf Tourney, Mansion and One Epic Comeback! 4/23/12

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by shifter, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. shifter

    shifter
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    Degenerate Gambler
    The Chairman

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    so VegasBJ and i met up in Vegas for another trip, this one centered around a small golf tournament that MGM put on at Shadow Creek. since it was a slow, off weekend there was no problem getting a Skyloft, however, our host had a little something special up his sleeve. instead of the Skylofts, he managed to get us both in the Mansion in 1BR Villas. it was both of our first times staying in the Mansion and i must say it is an experience like no other. it's just so quiet and peaceful, nothing like anywhere else in Vegas. for those of you not familiar, the Mansion has its own restaurant, spa, bar/lounge, theater, pool, etc. basically everything you could want is right there. my wife only left the Mansion twice the entire trip, there was just almost no reason to leave. and the Mansion casino is just a few steps down the hall, so less than 2 minutes Villa to Bacc.

    so they picked us up at the airport in a Rolls Phantom and i hadn't told my wife yet where we were staying, so she just thought we were going to the Skylofts. the driver says, "is this your first time staying in the Mansion?" and she's like, "what?!". it was perfect. so we pulled up through the gates, were met by our butler at the car and walked straight up to our Villa. he showed us around and we sent some clothes with him to be pressed and we settled down.

    the 1BR Villa is 2500 sq ft, so plenty of space to spread out and be comfortable. and with a nice big steam shower, what else could you want?! it had similar technology to the Skylofts as far as having a big remote that controls everything from TV/music/lights/drapes/temperature/etc. our Villa was on the second floor and had a balcony that looked out into the Mansion atrium. it was just perfect, the first thing we did each morning was open the drapes and open the door and listen to the fountain while we got ready.

    we got in kind of late, so our first order of business was dinner at the Mansion restaurant. the best part about dining at the Mansion restaurant is the tables on the patio in the atrium. it feels like you're dining outside, but the entire atrium is climate controlled, so it's perfect all year round. we had been to the Mansion restaurant for breakfast before, but it was our first time dining there for dinner. the food was excellent and we had a nice bottle of wine as well. as we were wrapping up dinner, my host stopped by for some drinks/desert with us. as we were finishing up desert, VegasBJ and his wife had just arrived from the airport, so they came down and joined us.

    after dinner we headed to the casino for some gamble. i played Bacc first, while VegasBJ sat down at the BJ table, of course. i hit a nice shoe right out of the gate and within about 30 minutes i was up 20k and i decided to take a break and play some BJ. unfortunately that was short lived because we couldn't get anything going. all the splits/double downs went to the house. i had one hand with 2k on 2 hands, a split and 2 double downs for 10k on the felt and the dealer pulled out a 5 card 19 or something. fortunately i hit 21 on one of the double downs, so i only lost 2k. but that's a huge difference between winning 10k and losing 2k. it was like that the entire session and in about 20 minutes i lost what i had brought over from the Bacc table, so i decided to head back to Bacc where things had been going well.

    well, things continued to go well at Bacc and a couple of hours into it, i was up 65k. but that's the last of the good news for the night.
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    the shoe got rough at the end and i lost a 10k bet, another 10k bet and then a 20k bet, so in 3 hands i gave back most of my winnings. that put me on tilt and i proceeded to give back all of my winnings and find myself 20k in the hole within about 30 minutes. unfortunately things just continued to get worse after that and i ended up staying at the table until 5am and closed the first night -45k. a 110k turnaround from my peak earlier in the night, which is just terrible. i really should have slowed down when i was still up and things were turning instead of pressing. but my emotions got the best of me and i paid the price.

    needless to say, that night of sleep was less than stellar. i was in bed for 3 hours sleeping off and on and mostly just lying there thinking about how stupid i was. finally around 8am my wife woke up and we decided to get up and get some breakfast. after a nice long steam, i felt a lot better and we met VegasBJ and his wife down at the Mansion restaurant for breakfast.

    more to come on day 2 ...

    so day 2 began with breakfast at the Mansion restaurant. my favorite part about the restaurant is they have a full Asian kitchen with a separate menu. for breakfast my absolute favorite is the sticky pork buns. put a little of their sweet fish sauce and hot pepper sauce and it's the most unbelievable thing you've ever tasted. so i had that along with some sticky rice/seafood wrap and that was perfect. my wife is gluten free, so her breakfast options are always limited, but they do a really nice smoked salmon/onions/capers/cream cheese plate that she enjoys.

    after breakfast we decided to head up to Encore because the girls wanted to do some shopping. so we walked around the shops there and then headed over to V/P and walked around there for a while. that took a few hours, but they didn't really buy anything, so i guess that's a win for us.
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    after we got back it was time to get cleaned up and changed for a checkin party for the golf tournament on Saturday. it was over at Fiamma and wasn't really much more than an open bar, but you can't complain about that.
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    on the way over there we met up with Tellafriend who was playing in the HL slots room. we had been trying to meet up for a few months, but just never were at the same place at the same time, so it was cool finally to get to meet up with him. we hung out drinking at Fiamma for a while and then decided to give Tellafriend a tour of the Mansion. our host and his boss came with us and gave us all a tour of one of the 2BR Villas, which are 4600 sq ft. those are really sweet for a group as there's room in there for just about anything. there's even a media room with a 70" TV, big couch and working area. you could easily live there for months. i'm pretty sure he's hooked now just as we are.
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    after the tour Tellafriend headed back to Aria and we went with our host for some more drinks at the Mansion bar. being a host really can't be that bad. you sit around most of the time drinking/eating with your players and only work occasionally.

    after a while we got hungry and headed back to the Mansion restaurant for dinner. this weekend was VegasBJ and the Mrs' anniversary, so they were celebrating it that night. we got a really nice bottle of Napa Valley Cab, which was surprisingly our only fairly expensive bottle of wine the entire trip. with staying in the Mansion we knew our comps were already going to be thin, so decided to do our host a favor and keep the F&B under control. i decided to order again off the Asian menu since it's not the kind of stuff that i can get anywhere and got a really good sweet and spicy filet stir-fry. my wife got the lamb shank for the second night in a row, she liked it so much the first night. VegasBJ had the rib eye and i don't remember what his wife had, we had been drinking for 4 hours by that time.
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    for dessert (i spelled it right this time. :p) our host's boss had set us up with a really nice bottle of dessert wine and a cake. the wine was like candy and the cake was a really good vanilla layer cake with fresh strawberries and cream cheese icing.

    with all the drinking and <3 hours of sleep the night before i almost literally fell sleep at the table a couple of times. VegasBJ was tired as well so we knew that any gambling tonight would be futile, so after dinner we headed straight to bed and i slept for about 9 hours.

    day 3 up next! (is there really a comeback or was that just a joke???)

    onto day 3 ...

    the mattresses at the Mansion are really nice. i have back issues and generally hate sleeping in hotels, but i slept like a baby last night. after hitting the sack around 11, i was dead to the world until about 8 when i hit the steamshower and we walked around for a bit before our 930 limo to the course for the golf tournament.

    the thing about the Mansion is that it's just so perfect it's hard to believe sometimes. i spent 15 minutes one night just walking around the Villa and just looking at everything (yes, it's that big). i spent time every morning and evening just sitting out on the balcony of the Villa listening to the fountain and relaxing. normally i'm just go, go, go and you can't get me to sit down ever and just relax, but i just couldn't help myself. we spent time this morning just walking around the atrium, lounge, theater, etc and my wife took lots of pictures.

    when we got out to the front, the Rolls Phantom was waiting for us again to take us to the course. limos are nice and all, but that car is just way better than any other. the seats cup you perfectly and there's tons of leg room. not only that, it's got a 450 HP V12 so when they hit the gas, it sucks you to the seat big time. that made the ~30 minute ride to Shadow really nice.

    we got there really early because we wanted extra time to relax and warm up, so we were the first people there. we had breakfast (they make a really great breakfast burrito with eggs, bacon, sausage and avocado that's not on the menu) and headed to the pro shop. one of the things we had worked out with our host beforehand was that we could buy some stuff at the pro shop and he'd pick it up. i got a shirt, shorts, belt, 3 pair of socks, a dozen balls and a shirt for my wife. the prices are so exorbitant there, that came out to like $550. VegasBJ got 3 shirts and 3 pair of shorts and some socks and that came out to $550 as well.

    by that time people were starting to show up, so we headed out to get warmed up. one great thing about Shadow is that they have a full short game area with practice Pro V1s and 3 real greens at various distances to hit to. so we started over there warming up with everything from pitches to half wedges up to a full sand wedge shot. it was a great way to get the joints moving and get to hit to real greens to see how the ball is going to react. then we headed to the range to hit some full shots. we were both hitting it pretty well, so we were feeling good.

    we were playing with our host and one of his other players, a crazy latino guy named Jose. Jose liked golf, but he liked drinking better, we found out, when he ordered some tequila shooters on the second tee.
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    our host had injured his shoulder the week before, so he wasn't playing. since it was a scramble that meant one of the 3 of us took a second shot on each shot if we needed. that came in very handy as he's not that good of a player anyway and if you give me 2 shots, most of the time i will get one close. so we started off the first hole with decent drive, a PW to 12 feet and i made the birdie putt as well and we were rolling.

    we had a lot of fun, but it was really, really hot. unfortunately this weekend was record highs for this time of year - close to 100 degrees. it would have been nice if they had scheduled the golf tourney to start at 9am like the normally do so we can beat the heat, but this time they started it at noon so we got the full force of the heat. i was drinking an entire bottle of water or gatorade every single hole and was putting sunscreen and lip balm on every 3 holes.

    we definitely left a few shots out there, but with me getting to hit 2 shots, we did very well. we ended up finishing 11 under 61, which we weren't sure would do anything, but it turns out we got 3rd place, one shot out of a tie for first. we definitely could have been a couple of shots better if we had made some putts, but it was good to get 1500 in promo chips anyway.

    another great thing about staying at the Mansion is while the other players were fighting to get in line for the limos to get back to their hotel, our Rolls pulled up and waited for us while we finished eating. guys were trying to get in it and the driver said no, this car is reserved. so as soon as we finished lunch, we were on the way back with no wait.

    day 3 evening on the way! (i know, i thought this was a gambling TR and we haven't gambled in almost 36 hours!)

    after golf we got back and the girls were waiting for us by the pool. VegasBJ and his wife headed off to get ready for the Eagles concert, but that's not our thing so we passed. however, our host had gotten them into a little pre-show gathering and also gotten them 3rd row floor seats, so they had a great time.


    while they were at the concert, i decided to hit the tables for a little while my wife went shopping. i was up 10k pretty quick and i was hoping for a continued comeback, but it was shortlived and the shoe turned choppy again and i was back to even again. that's when i decided to change tables and it went from bad to worse. i sat down at this table with a great looking shoe. but the minute i sat down, it went to total crap and i lost every single hand i played and was down another 10k in an instant. -55k now for the trip. i took out another 10k and played for a while longer, but it was so, so and i just broke even before my wife came back and we decided to get some dinner.

    we had dinner at Nobhill, which is always one of our favorites. i wasn't exceptionally hungry, so i just got their lobster/crab rolls appetizer and my wife got the short ribs, which she really enjoyed. unfortunately it took them forever to get our food and then forever to get our check and when i got back to the table i had been playing at before, i saw that i had just missed a 13 in a row player run. man, i was pissed because if i had been there for that i would have definitely gotten even for the trip and probably up 100k as well. it was exactly what i'd been waiting for for 3 days and i missed it. so i sat down at the table anyway and probably shouldn't have because of how pissed i was that dinner took so long for no reason and i missed that run. so i proceeded to donk off 10k in a few minutes hardly winning a single hand yet again. -65k for the trip now.

    at that point the concert let out and VegasBJ and his wife and our host were at the bar for some drinks, so i decided to take a break because it was just going so bad. duster10 had also gone to the concert and he and his wife were at the bar, so we met them as well. we told them we were staying in the Mansion and they wanted to see it as well (who doesn't?) so we took them for a tour of the main areas and VegasBJ's Villa. when we got back they hit the BJ tables and i decided to try to change my luck at the Bacc tables.


    at this point i was scraping the bottom of my bankroll, so i had my host open up another 5k for me, but if i couldn't make it happen with that, that was going to be it for this trip. i played for a little while, but it was up and down and up and down but 5k isn't much at the level i play at, so eventually it was down and gone. and i was done for the trip with a 70k loss.
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    i was frustrated that i hadn't been able to make the comeback and especially after being up 65k the first day, so i took a walk around for a while. i checked in with VegasBJ and duster10 at the BJ table and they weren't doing any better. on my way back to the Villa i remembered i had 4k cash in my pocket that i had just brought for tips and other stuff. it was the last night and i didn't really anticipate needing it for anything, so i decided what the hell and bought in with it.


    i found a table with this chinese guy who was betting pretty big and the shoe looked pretty good. i was betting small trying to see if i could get something going and we were doing OK for a while, but we'd win 2, i'd press and we'd lose. then we'd win 3, i'd press again and we'd lose. so it was a lot of 2 steps forward 2 steps back. then we hit a bad streak and i was down to my last 2k. he had lost about 100k and was down to his last 5k or so. we both went all in on one hand and pulled a natural to stay in the game. after that hand we started to run a bit and i was still betting small, but when the shoe ended i had turned my 4k into 7500, so i had a little bit to work with at that point.

    that's when the magic started. they were shuffling at our table and we looked across the room and there was another table with an incredible banker run. banker had won 11 in a row, then one player and then banker had won 7 more in a row. we decided to change tables and try to ride that streak. both the chinese guy and i moved over there and sat down and i put 2500 on banker and first hand was a natural. i was in full grind mode, so unfortunately i didn't as press much as i usually would have, but i won 5 more in a row at 2500, then i pressed to 5k and won 2 more and then pressed to 10k. we got a natural 8, but player got a natural 8 as well and we tied! that sucked because i really wanted to hit that 10k bet, but i decided to keep the 10k out there for the last hand of the shoe and we got a natural 9 and won.

    that was the best shoe i'd ever seen. 11 banker, 1 player, 18 banker. 29/30 banker to end the shoe. i never thought i'd see a better shoe than the 26/28 player run that VegasBJ and i went on at the B last Superbowl, but this was it. i'm really grateful that i was able to get in on it at all and win the last 10 hands, but if i had found it earlier during the first run, i'd have walked out with at least 500k guaranteed.

    at that point i had managed to turn my last 2k into 40k and was really feeling good. during that run my host had stopped by to see how things were going and was really happy for me that i had managed to get a good chunk back. but i told him i wasn't done. i wasn't leaving that table until i had all 70k back. it was his quitting time, so he said good luck and headed home.

    the next shoe started out with 1 player and then another 6 banker, which we hit pretty good, but again i was still in grind mode because i didn't want to give back the 40k. but it stayed pretty good and at one point i was up to 58k and had pressed my bet. i looked at the chart and everything was saying bet on bank, so i decided to put 12k out there on banker and see if i could hit and get even and go to bed. banker had 2 and player had 1, so two card draw. i looked at my card, 3 sides with no dot on one side, so it was either a 6 or 7, so we had either 8 or 9. i was so excited because i had it locked up and could go home even, but no! player pulls a 7, for 8 and i only have a 6 and we tie! man, that was so depressing because after i looked at my card it was about a 92% chance for us to win that and for me to get even and go to bed. to make it worse i left my 12k out there the next hand and lost, so now i was back to grind mode again.
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    the rest of that shoe is mostly a blur as it continued down and then finished up a little and i ended with the exact 40k i started the shoe with. so i can't complain about that. but i was still determined to get all 70k back!

    we started in a new shoe and it was pretty even, but both sides were running pretty good and i was able to press a little. at 2 points i was up to 65k and one bet again from getting even, but both times i lost again! man, it was really getting frustrating! then i hit a bad streak and was all the way down to 20k and really close to the danger zone where it could all go bad.

    at that point i decided to take a little walk away from the table and collect myself. the best thing i could have done. when i got back i had missed a couple of hands, but i could see a new pattern forming. non-natural player was jumping to bank and bank was running. so i started to hit it and hit it hard. i just bet bank every hand and when player won non-natural, i bet even harder on bank the next hand. we proceeded to win 10 out of 12 and i was back on track. once again i was 1 bet away from getting even, but player won!
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    however, player won this time with a natural and earlier on in the shoe natural players were running. so i changed my play and started betting for player to run. i won the next bet on player and was yet again 1 bet from getting even.


    this was like the 4th or 5th time i'd been one bet from getting even and i knew i had to have this one or i didn't know what i would do. i looked at my cards and it was a 3-side and a no-side, so very good chance for something good. the no-side was a 2, so i needed no dot on one side of the 3-sider for a natural. 67% chance of natural. the first side had a dot, so down to 50% for a natural. man, i really didn't want to see an 8 and have 0 ..... slowly i peel it back and ....... yes! it's a 7 and i have natural 9! they turn over banker and it has a natural 8! good thing i had 9! i let out a huge yell that had been pent up from all the times i had been one bet from getting even only to lose the hand.


    i had made the climb from all-in for 2k all the way back to my original 70k and was even. i told the table i was even and was going to bed and immediately everybody else at the table left as well, lol. they were all there just following me because i was on such a great run and when i left they packed it in as well.

    i went to the cage and got all my markers back and tearing those things up was one of the best feelings in the world! there was so many of them i couldn't even tear them all up at once, lol. that's never a good thing!

    by that time it was after 5am and i was really hungry because i hadn't eaten since the little snack at Nobhill 9 hours earlier. rather than have something delivered to the Villa and risk waking up my wife, i decided to head over to Wolfgang's. i sat at the bar and ordered a burger. while i was waiting for it to come, i got a bright idea. i was feeling good (obviously) and because of the hours and hours of play at a huge avg bet, i knew i had tons of comps left over. i told the bartender i wanted to pick up everybody's check at the bar. there were a couple of singles eating and a couple of groups drinking. he was like, are you sure, that's going to be a lot? i'm like it can't be more than a couple hundred bucks and i'm not paying for it, no problem. he's like, "you're not paying for it?" lol, he thought i was gonna stiff him or something? i said, well yeah i'm going to sign for it, but the casino is paying for it. he told his manager and they were both really surprised, but thought it was a really nice thing to do.


    usually when i do something like that i prefer when they don't even know who did it, but in this case he had to tell them because i was still sitting there waiting for my food. so he went around to each group to tell them i was picking up their check and other than the group of snotty girls who hardly even looked at me (maybe they thought i was trying to hit on them? no chance, they weren't even hot.
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    ), the other guys were really, really grateful. i actually was quite surprised at how grateful they were, to be honest. each person's bill was only like $20-30, but they each came over to me, shook my hand, thanked me personally and even thanked me again on their way out. it's amazing how much it meant to them, really.

    i got my burger and fries which really hit the spot after the long night at the tables and i was headed back to the Villa around 6am. i really wasn't in sleeping mode with all that adrenaline in my system, so i slept off and on for 2 hours and then it was time for one last steam shower! we headed down for breakfast at the Mansion restaurant again and just as we were sitting down VegasBJ and his wife walked over for breakfast also. great timing! they had to eat quickly to get to the airport for their early flight, so we said our goodbyes and they were off.

    after breakfast my wife and i packed up and then i headed to the cage to pick up my airfare reimbursement. this trip was so big and our comps overall were so low, it was the first time i had gotten airfare without a loss, so that was really nice. my host even mentioned how low the F&B charges were this trip, but it wasn't like we did without anything we wanted, we just didn't do any crazy bottles of wine or other stuff.

    we had one last drink at the Mansion bar and then we had to head to the airport as well. it was definitely the hardest place ever to leave. i've stayed at a lot of nice hotels before, but this is the first one we really didn't want to leave. normally we're pretty happy to get home. but the Mansion is just so peaceful and quiet it's amazing. i doubt we'll have another trip there any time soon because we usually come into town for UFC events which are always on holiday weekends, but hopefully we can plan another off-weekend trip again soon just to stay in the Mansion. there really is nothing like it.

    for the trip stats, i had 29k theo, so i got $2900 in cash for the airfare (which only cost us about $2200, lol) and on top of that got to keep all my express comps. i earned about $3800 ECs this trip, so i'm up to 14k now. they said they capped it at 10k, but fortunately they haven't for me at least. and Tellafriend said he's got over 10k as well, but another guy i know stopped earning them once he got to 10k, so i'm not sure what they're doing actually. but whatever, i'm just glad i'm still earning them.

    here's the incredible banker shoe and the last shoe that finally got me even.

    for those of you looking for VegasBJ's story from this trip, you probably won't get much as it was just a brutal trip for him. it started bad and got worse. he got killed just like i did the first night, didn't gamble the second day and got killed again the third day and headed to bed before i made my epic comeback. there's not much else to say as it was just terrible.


    as i mentioned i played a little BJ with him the first night and we couldn't do anything. it was pretty much like that the entire time. every time i was there watching him the dealer would pull a 4 or 5 card 20 or 21 and take his money. he lost pretty much every single big double down and split, which you just have to win to do any good at BJ. i've never seen him run so bad in my life, they didn't even give him a reach around.

    Yeah the prices are absurd. $16 for a glass of OJ or $30 for a Mimosa, etc. But yet we still managed to keep f&b comps exceptionally low this trip somehow. Not really sure how that all worked out. But I love a trip where everything is picked up, I get to keep all my ECs and pick up cash for airfare after all of that. Can't beat it!

    here are some photos of the Villa.

    living room, dining room, balcony/patio, bathroom, steam shower.

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    personally i'm a big fan of the Asian menu simply because it's stuff you can't just get anywhere. it's true Asian cuisine to cater to the Asian whales, not the Americanized version at most restaurants.

    i don't believe your Aria host will be able to do anything for you, unless she's able to make a call over to someone she knows at MGM who can get you in. but that may not be too difficult since hosts generally have a lot of friends. when i go to the restaurant when staying at another property, i always call my MGM host and he makes the res happen.

    it's easiest to get in for breakfast, so i would highly recommend the steamed pork buns and lotus leaf. also the beef tip soup. if you happen to go for dinner, i would just tell them you want an Asian feast and have them make some of their specialties and bring out a bunch of different dishes for the table.
     
  2. shifter

    shifter
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    Degenerate Gambler
    The Chairman

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    I think reliving all of these comebacks is just making my blood pressure rise.
     
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  3. VEGASBJ

    VEGASBJ
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    LOL, nice re-reading a losing trip
     

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