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Recap Superbowl - Jan 29-Feb 2 2015

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by bcmike, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. bcmike

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    Feb 10, 2016
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    Trips to Vegas:
    Per my usual warning, this report will be long with a lot of details about pretty much everything. If it isn't your thing, feel free not to read. I really just write these for myself.

    Preface I’d received an offer from Harrah’s casino for their Big Game Party, and I’d never been to Vegas for Superbowl before so decided I’d make it happen.

    Thursday, January 29th Woke up bright and early at 6am and signed on to do some work. There’s been some drama in the office with eBay laying off 7% of their employees in the coming days and I had no idea if I would be included in that or not. I decided that I would still treat like this any other normal Vegas trip and do everything exactly the same as usual. Anyways, I’d worked longer days earlier in the week so that I wouldn’t have to take any time off today. I worked about 4 hours and then left my apartment at 11am. Drove to the airport and parked at FastPark. A quick shuttle ride over to the airport and straight into the security line as I only had a backpack and a small carry-on bag. I used my Priority Pass membership (which gets you into United Lounges for about $25 a visit) and proceeded to have some beers and a couple of hi-balls. After being pleasantly relaxed, I headed out to the terminal and boarded my flight with Delta. My pre-departure drink was a bloody mary, as is tradition. The flight was pretty uneventful and I got to LAX about 3.5 hours later. I ended up having a 2.5 hour layover in LAX which was a bit of a pain waiting that long but everything ended up going as planned. The most notable thing here was paying $3.50 for a 20 ounce bottle of diet coke. I also had a $12 sandwich. They’re lucky because it was actually a really good sandwich from the kiosk. During this layover, Hunter contacted me and asked how it was going and that he was sending a limo to pick me up! Winning already! Gave him my flight info and he arranged for the ride.
    The flight to LAX was very fast and I was only able to skull 2 drinks. The snacks were the usual; pretzels, chips, cookies, banana etc. One of the first off the plane and straight onto the tram from the D gates. Went to terminal 1 and down the escalator and the drive was waiting. I think he was a little perturbed that I only had a small roller bag and a backpack but we went back upstairs and to the ride. It was some sort of large Suburban type vehicle (branded PH on the side). I really wanted to take a picture but didn’t because I wanted to act like I always got limo’s or stretch vehicles
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    A quick conversation with the driver about how Vegas has changed over the years and I was at Planet Ho in no time. Tipped the driver $20, which I hear is standard for a limo ride. The Valet area was PACKED; busier than I’d ever seen it actually. The bell hop guy came over with the cart and proceeded to load my very small roller bag on… We then went into the Diamond check-in lounge where there was another bartender type thing set up with various beers. I grabbed a Heineken (tipped a few bucks ) and then proceeded to check in. They had me in a room with 2 queen beds when I prefer a King, so they eventually did find me a room. I really wonder what the room with the 2 queens would have been like. The king room I ended up in, 1443, was Erasure (Swartzenegger movie) themed and had a view of the left pool and the Cosmo tower. After tipping the bell hop guy $5, I quickly changed clothes and headed down to do some damage. I hung out at Planet Hollywood and proceeded to get my ass handed to me. I think I lost about $500 on various slot machines before finally bailing out for the night about 3 hours later and going to sleep. I only put about 350 points on my card, which was a little disappointing (that’s about $1800 coin through) so not a good return on the money. This would actually become a theme at PH for this trip. I did manage to buy several large beers from ABC..which is also a tradition! Went to sleep around 10pm I want to say.

    Friday, January 30th

    Woke up bright and early and took advantage of the coffee machine in the room. Not sure what kind it was but it look a little tray with a baggie of coffee in it. I don’t know if this was just in my room or if it’s something new Planet Ho has added to all their rooms. It was actually pretty nice to have the in-room coffees though. I had a couple before I left the room for the day. Went down to the casino and played around a bit and continue to lose my ass….I gambled probably a couple of hours before I gave up, accumulating another few hundred points. My personal goals as far as CET tier credits go is to try to hit 1000 a day minimum, which gives you a bonus 1000 each day as well. This way, you hit the 15K diamond after as few as 7 or 8 days of gambling. I’ll outline the diamond benefits a bit later and my ‘issue’ with them. Anyways, I again gave up on gambling at PH and started heading down the Strip North as I like to do. It rained ALL day this day, which was sort of crappy but I know the Strip like very few people so I almost spent no time actually outside in the rain. Out the North exit of PH mall near Cabo Wabo and quickly down the stairs (all the escalators are shut off when it rains apparently!). Past the police car that seems to be permanently stationed in the alley street next to Cabo Wabo and into Paris via the entrance near the under construction Sugar Factory. I don’t know if they’re keeping this as a Sugar Factory or doing renovations but they were doing some drywall work from what I could see through the door. Did a little minor gambling at Paris, where I discovered the ‘Rock Around the Clock’ machines again which I’ve played before. These are located near Napoleans for anyone that’s interested. There are 4 machines total but the only one I’ve ever had luck on is when I’m looking South, the machine on the right. I had some minor luck on the machine but I find the chairs at Paris to be some of the least comfortable on the Strip so decided it was time to move on. I put about 220 Tier Credits on my card in this session. Continued to walk North through the casino and through the little mall connecting Paris and Bally’s; a great way to avoid going out in the rain! Entering the Bally’s casino, walking past the Oxygen bar on the right, there’s an automated Blackjack table that looks like it has a fun group of people at it. I make some small talk and they were fun so I decided to buy in. We were all giving each other crap and ordering drinks. I played for probably 30 minutes or so and ended up about $40 on my $100 buy-in but really wanted to get to the Cromwell so I cashed out and left. I also noticed that the Tier Credits accumulated on this were TERRIBLE; it was 1 TC for every $30 coin through. Most slot machines are 1 for every $5… I put about 3 tier credits on my card here. Out the North entrance of Bally’s onto the side street near the Stagedoor. I’d actually went out the wrong exit and had to walk one more door towards the strip to get out where I wanted to be; there’s a crosswalk that will take you across the street and straight to the valet parking area for the Cromwell. The only problem here is that it was raining and this is a pretty long light. Thankfully the rain had let up a bit and I didn’t get drenched. Went into the Cromwell and did a little gambling there as well. There were no Cocktail Ambassadors working this time; those are the girls that take the order but don’t actually bring you your drink. Apparently they don’t accept tips and are paid better than the cocktail waitresses. Didn’t do much here either but lost probably a hundred dollars on various slot machines.
    By now it’s probably about 10am and I headed over through Flamingo and Harrah’s to Casino Royale. I don’t really gamble much in F or H as they’ve taken out most of the machines I liked. Casino Royale has newer slot machines and I just really like the casino. I also like their slot program where they now give you $20 in free play for every $100 loss. Seems like a decent kickback. I had a few Michelob lites and a couple of their draft beers that you order from the Cocktail waitresses. I think the girls name was Nicole that was serving me this time (for those that were at the meet last year, she was the one that would run off when we tried to tip her!) I left Casino Royale around 11:30am and was getting hungry so I headed over to the Mirage and had their buffet. I didn’t do any gambling here but it was pretty decent. Believe it cost around $22 for lunch. I remember I found food to eat so I was happy. It was now getting close to 1pm so I decided to head back down to Planet Hollywood to try some more luck. Again; not much luck so after putting another 200 points on my card there, I headed over to the Aria. Aria is a casino I hadn’t been in since the year it opened and I was pleasantly surprised. The walk over was actually very close to PH. It’s a little interesting going from the Cosmo area into Crystals mall as it’s all covered for the demolition of the Harmon tower and there are street people begging through it. Into Crystals mall and through it quickly into Aria. I wanted to get my bearings so I walked through the Aria and it was much larger than I remembered. They have quite a few unique games that I hadn’t seen elsewhere so I sat down and played various slot machines. Drink service here was actually really good. During the probably 3 hours I was here or so, I ended up putting about 6K points on my MLife card. Not sure if it will trigger any offers but that’s about $12K through (I didn’t gamble anywhere near that of my actual money). I remember clearly thinking, ‘Hey, they have really decent paybacks here…I haven’t had to feed a bunch of money in’. One other thing that is cool about the Aria is they allow you to film in the casino so if you hit a bonus round for instance, you can record it without any worries of security kicking you out. Reality got back to me and I headed back over to Planet Hollywood to do some more gambling there. I went over to Walgreens and bought a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne for my host as he’d pulled some strings to get me moved from Harrah’s to Planet Hollywood and also got me invited to the Big Game party there. Nothing new to report but I ended up putting about 1300 TC’s on my card this day. I grabbed a slice of Pin Up Pizza from near the sportsbook and went up to my room to sleep around 10pm. It was good timing as I was able to catch the new episode of Gold Rush.

    Saturday, January 31

    I had my usual room coffee at about 9am, which was the latest I’ve slept in in a long time. Went down to the casino and headed to the breakfast Spice Market buffet. It was pretty decent and not very busy at all surprisingly. I noticed they now had a dedicated corner for Diamond/7 Star members to be seated. It did seem like there was much more attention from the wait staff than usual. I like that they now bring you a full kettle type thing of coffee when you order coffees now. The food was good and I think the cost of the breakfast was around $22 as well. They had everything I wanted for breakfast including some dim sum (pot stickers…nothing fancy). I had my 1 plate of food and headed out. I met up with a former co-worker from Vancouver that was posting to me on Facebook. Sort of funny as this is the second time I’ve met a former co-worker this way. We went to the Heart Bar and ordered some drinks that I charged to my room. After a couple of hour catch up, I did some gambling. My gambling was very similar to what I’d done on Friday so I won’t detail that but it was now sunny out. The escalators were still shut down as I guess they wait for them to dry out before they turn them back on. I got back to PH about 4pm and grabbed an Earl of Sandwich and went up to the room to eat it. One of my favorite places to grab a quick bite still! I got a text from Hunter that he was around so asked him to meet me on the floor by PF Changs. I collected my tickets for the Big Game Party and gave him the bottle of Veuve. He seemed pretty happy with it. With tickets in hand, I went and dropped them off in my room and headed over to Paris to try to change my luck. I’d had some earlier luck on the ‘Rock around the Clock’ slot and it was wide open so I sat down and put in a hundred. The thing I really like about this machine is that the bonus multiplier goes up as high as 9X from what I’ve seen depending on what you’re betting and you know when you’re going to hit it because of the big clock. I was able to stay even most of the time and the first time I hit the bonus, I got the money bags feature. This is terrible and I think the bonus was about $15 total. The max bet on this machine is $2.50 and is a penny slot. After that bonus, I didn’t want to go out like that so I kept playing. I was still up a bit from my buy in and points were racking up pretty fast. Someone sat down to my left and I was making some small talk with them as I was playing. It turns out that the lived exactly FOUR blocks from me back in Vancouver. How random is that?? They just couldn’t get any sort of hit. I think they weren’t through about $200 and I was still sitting around even and closing in on another bonus. The bonus that I hit I hadn’t seen before. When it loaded the feature, there was only one spot out of about 20 that had the Maxi jackpot, a couple of spots that would have been the blue one (paid about $300 with the multiplier) and the rest were the smaller jackpots which would have been about $70 and $20 respectively. During the bonus spin, my neighbour was kindly narrating the colors for me as I couldn’t tell the difference. There were 4 different progressives to win and the only one I could actually tell the color on was the blue one. The spin was almost over and I thought I was landing on the $70 jackpot. I looked away for a second at the neighbor and the clock moved again and landed me on the Maxi jackpot! There were a lot of high 5’s going around with pretty much everyone in the area starring at me. I ended up getting a jackpot of about $860 times a 6 times multiplier. The slot attendants were on me really quickly and I handed over my ID. They were gone for a while with that and my slot card and eventually came back and asked for my social security number as I wasn’t in their system. They eventually came back, had me sign the W2G and then handed over all the cash! I was pretty nervous having $5200 plus my original money on me. I tipped them $100…not sure what you tip those people but I thought that was good and headed back to PH to drop off the money; looking over my shoulder the whole way to make sure no one was following me. I ended up putting about 460 tier credits on my card at Paris this day. Did some more gambling at PH after making the deposit into my in room safe. This is the part of the trip where I actually had turned a large profit and was not going to give back any of it. I ended up keeping that full win in the safe the trip and brought it back to Texas with me. Anyways, I went back down to the casino and played some more games. $5 a spin on the Iron Man slot. Hit a few bonuses and came out a little head; the Godfather slot…again, hit some decent pays and left that one head a bit as well. I went to ABC in the mall and bought some sushi to eat in my room and then went to sleep rapidly.

    Sunday Feb 1

    Game day! I woke up about 8am again and went to the PH sportsbook to see what sort of bets they had available for the game. You name it; you could bet on it. The betting sheet thing was about 12 pages double-sided. I tried to look at it but my eyes glazed over. I walked back over to Aria to see what sort of odds they had and while going there, I saw not 1 but 2 different girls vomiting into planted pots in Crystals mall. I don’t think they were together as they were at opposite ends of the mall. I did see security moving through rapidly to get to them though. The Sports book at the Aria is located at the very back of the casino and the prop betting sheet was similar to what PH had. I didn’t understand this one either but I sat down for about 20 minutes and pretended to know what I was doing. Hit the buffet at PH for lunch, which was around $25 I think and was quite good as well. I then went and got the tickets for the free gift and went to go claim it. It was for a Superbowl hat and shirt. Unfortunately, the only shirt sizes they had left at this time was L so I got 2 of them and 2 hats. Sort of orange coloured shirts… Met up Scooby a little before 2. I was dabbling again on slot machines at Paris. We did some slot gambling here and at PH before heading up to the Mezzanine where the party was happening. Doors opened at 2:30pm and we had some pretty premium seating. There was bagged popcorn on each table and buckets of bottled beer in the middle. There were also numerous bars set up, where I was graciously given copious amounts of crown royale and shots, largely thanks to Scooby going to get it. I would have just kept drinking the table beers probably but what the heck. The food was basic stadium food. Sandwich, wings, ribs, hotdogs, nacho’s etc. At half time, we went out to the betting booths and I placed a $100 bet on Seattle to win. Scooby placed his bet right before me at -120 and by the time I got up a few seconds later, the line had moved to -110. I guess the positive is I saved $10 on it.. As everyone knows, the rest of the game was uneventful. Evening is a little blurry at this point. I don’t remember if we gambled any more but I do remember that we eventually wandered over to Paris again where Scooby’s ride picked him up. I gambled a bit more at PH and then went to sleep…after getting subway for dinner.

    Monday, February 2nd

    Woke up again around 10am. I’d called down the previous night to get a late check-out, which they’d agreed to for 2pm the next day. My flight left Vegas in the afternoon and I don’t really gamble on my last day in Vegas so I just relaxed in the room all morning. I had some TITO’s that I needed to cash out so I went and did that as well.
    I grabbed a cab back to the airport, which came to $12. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cab ride that cheap to the airport before so I gave the guy a $20 and called it even. Went up through security with no problems and went into the Priority Pass lounge. It’s nothing special but they have coffee, some snacks, drinks and a comfortable place to sit. I had about 3 hours to kill off before my flight at 5pm.
    I got a text message about an hour before boarding that said the flight had been delayed an hour. This caused some concern as I only had a 50 minute layover at LAX. I left the lounge in a hurry and got to the courtesy phone to call up their reservations. Well the lady I got was absolutely useless. She switched me from first class on the flights I was supposed to be on to economy, middle seats the next day at 9am leaving LAS, going to Atlanta and getting back to Austin Tuesday night. The best part is I never agreed to the switch and when I went to question her, she hung up on me! I didn't even know she’d actually switched me until I got the text message about it. I found a very helpful guy that was not only able to get me back onto my original flights but he also was able to book me backup flights in first that would have left LAX at 11:55pm to Atlanta and then left Atl at 7am (I think) to get me back to Austin at 10:30am on the Tuesday. He was able to tell me the flight at LAX was also delayed a few minutes so I had about 15 minutes from landing to take off to actually connect. The flight left LAS on time with the delay and got into LAX exactly when it was supposed to. There were about 6 of us flying to Austin that were on this flight and I had already planned out the run to the gate. I was in seat 2A and was able to quickly jog across the terminal, down a hallway and straight onto my Austin flight with about 2 minutes to spare! I really cannot believe I made it still! Luckily that Austin flight ended up being delayed about 35 minutes.. Got back to Austin at about 1am on the Tuesday which is a lot better than the alternative. Onto the shuttle to the car lot and then back to my apartment by 2am.

    Other random notes: - PH is having some renovations done. They’re putting in a new Starbucks between the mall and the Sportsbook. They’ve moved the Poker room to be between the sportsbook and the Earl of Sandwich. They’re also putting a surf pool thing in at the pools which should open in March. I don’t really get it but apparently it should be fun. - White Castle at Casino Royale opened a day before I got there. There was pretty much no line-up in the morning but very long lines in the afternoon, evening. - I ended up putting about 7000 tier credits onto my total rewards card. CZR’s is doing a special bonus before March where they’ll give you a 50% on top of that up to a maximum of 50K tier credits. You have to earn at least 1K TC’s to be eligible. With the bonus, it will put me at just over 10K for the year. Diamond starts at 15K so I may actually have a chance at hitting diamond aspiration 1 this year which would be cool.
    - Diamond benefits are great – My only problem is I don’t use any of the good ones. You get 2 free tickets to various attractions each month but I've never used them. You also get access to the Diamond Lounges but I've also never visited them. Those are probably the 2 biggest perks. - My total bill for the stay came to $4. This was the tip on the drinks I'd bought for the former co-worker and his friend. I had the following comped: Limo ride from airport, about $60 in buffets, the room of course.

    NEXT TRIP - February 28th to March 7th. I'm going to do have the stay at PH I think and then the other half downtown to just relax and low roll I think.

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