Las Vegas, December 2016, Part Two, by @snickers99poker

Part two of the Las Vegas trip report from @Snickers99Poker.  We’re still in the planning stages but by the end of this part, we’ll be in the air!

Friday, September 16th:

I ‘bought’ my first MyVegas reward for this trip…a Monte Carlo dinner buffet.  Not my first choice.  I think I want MGM or Mandalay Bay instead but I haven’t been to any of those so I don’t know any better!  I know not all the buffets are good but I’m sure Monte Carlo’s buffet will be fine considering it’s free.  One dinner down!  I would like to get the MGM breakfast buffet though.  I love breakfast buffets.

And it’s time for cancel/re-book #3.  Seriously, this is crazy.  Got an email…FLASH SALE!!!  OMG, BOOK NOW!!!  OK, I will!  I plug in the code and the room is now $402.  It was $425.  So cancel the one and re-book the room and save another $23.  AND, I get a $20 food credit at Nosh.  What’s Nosh you ask?  No idea. To the web site!

The web site says:

On the go? Hit the casual Nosh deli for meals on the run with a gourmet twist, including pastries, coffee, sandwiches and salads. Located adjacent to the Jubilee Tower guest elevator, the deli offers made-to-order wraps, bagels, sizeable sub sandwiches, beef hot dogs and fresh desserts. From Philly Cheese steaks to breakfast croissant egg sandwiches, this quick Las Vegas snack spot is a must-see for favorites like pastrami and tuna served on fresh bread.

Oh, OK.  That’s kinda cool.  And it’s open 24 hours.  Since I have a habit of not eating at fine restaurants when I go, this will actually come in handy.  Looks like no matter when I’m hungry, I can get something there…breakfast, lunch, etc.  Maybe I’ll save it for breakfasts.

So we have one dinner paid for and maybe two breakfasts.  And my average per night room rate is down to ~$80.  Like I said before, I’m setting myself up to possibly win enough to pay for this trip since everything is getting cheaper.  The price for the same exact room and dates has gone from $525 to $487 to $425 to $402 (plus $20 food voucher).

Wednesday, September 21st:

This morning I checked the MyVegas rewards, mainly looking for an MGM breakfast buffet and an MGM dinner buffet.  Both sold out.  But I checked this afternoon and there were three of each!  I quickly snagged them and by the time I was done, there was only one of each.  (And shortly after that, they were all gone).

So that’s three dinner buffets, a breakfast buffet, and the $20 food credit at Nosh at Bally’s.  But keep in mind, I can only use three MyVegas rewards in one trip.  I’ll play it by ear.  My gut says drop a dinner buffet because I like breakfast buffets.  But we’ll see.

I also got two more emails from Caesar’s…summer sale extended, suites on sale, CLICK NOW!!!  I did and I can’t believe the room is now $385, down from $402!  But I wouldn’t get the $20 credit at Nosh.  So I didn’t re-book since it’s a wash, really.

Monday, October 17th:

Cancel/re-book #4!!  I’ve been checking the hotel prices and it did go down a little lower than the $385 I stated above.  But again not worth it for me to cancel/re-book.

But I finally got a Founder’s card.  I should have gotten one a while ago.  One of the benefits is instant Diamond status at CET.  And one of the benefits of being Diamond is no resort fees.  I should be able to save enough to make it worth it between Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Since now I’m a (fake) Diamond, I canceled the reservations and re-booked.  I don’t know if the price before all the fees/taxes was lower than what I booked.  All I know is now the room costs $255 for five nights ($51 a night).  But I don’t have the $20 credit at Nosh anymore.  But since I saved about $130, I can live without the credit.  And I’ll still be checking the prices.

Sunday, November 6th:

I checked the prices a couple times since the last update and once it was like $25 cheaper but I didn’t re-book.  Maybe I should have.

Can’t believe it’s the 6th already.  The trip is less than a month away!  I need to start paying attention and doing some things.  Need to update my “Things To Do in Vegas” sheet.  There’s a new poker survey on a forum and I want to go over that.  Looks like there are still one or two 2/4 Limit games out there.  I do like playing that.  And it’s (usually) a cheap way to gamble if I’m not doing so well at the tables.

With my (fake) Diamond card, I get $100 towards a dinner so I need to go through the restaurants to see where I want to go.  I have to see if I can book my ‘limo’ ride from the airport yet.  Get my MyVegas purchases together.  And I’m not even sure I decided how much money to bring.

Monday, November 14th:

I found out a couple weeks ago that the National Finals Rodeo is from December first to the tenth.  And my trip is the fourth to the ninth.  So I guess I’m going to be seeing a lot of cowboys.  After finding this out, I’m surprised I got my room so cheap for that week…$255 for five nights (w/o resort fees).

I got an email from CET a couple days ago touting the NFR and to ‘book now and save big!’  I thought that I might be able to get the room rate down a little more before my trip and maybe this is my chance.

I click on the link, punch in my dates and room choice with the NFR code…whoa.  Now I think I lucked out in getting my room when I did.  The price looked good but then I noticed that was for rooms with two queen beds.  I want one king (non-smoking).

Once I selected that, my choices were an Indigo ‘pet stay’ room for $367 or an Indigo Tower suite for $719.  Oh wait…I’m not signed in to my Total Rewards account..  Let me do that.

Not Much Different

Oh…OK.  Now the Indigo room is $10 cheaper, but still $100 more than my current rate (they charge extra for a pet stay room so if it wasn’t a pet stay, it might be closer to my current rate).  The Indigo Tower suite is $704.  Hmm.  Signing in doesn’t really save me a lot of money, did it?

What if I take out the NFR code?  I try that and the rates for the Indigo room is about $80 more expensive but the Indigo Tower suite is the same price with or without the code.

It looks like this is telling me there are no more non-smoking, non-pet stay, king bed Indigo rooms left and it was a good thing I booked so early.  I’ll hold out hope something goofy will happen as the arrival date gets closer but now I’m thinking I got the lowest rate I could.  Well, once it was $25 cheaper but I didn’t bother to cancel/re-book.

OMG.  I just figure out that the trip is only 19 days away!  I have a lot going on with my GF down the shore a lot taking care of her grandfather who fractured his hip.  Driving down to see her, making sure the house is functioning and doesn’t burn down, etc.  So I’m a little slow on realizing what date it is.  Plus not having a job…you tend to forget what day it is.

Tuesday, November 15th

More prep work.  Every year, I update my spreadsheet of daily poker tournaments I’m interested in playing. So today, with the help of Poker Atlas (GREAT site!), I updated it.  Not much has changed.  As usual, Aria and Caesars seems to have the best.  TI has one that I might be interested.  Golden Nugget too.

I also printed out a list of casinos with $5 craps and $5 Ultimate Texas Hold’em.  I could probably stop doing that though.  I think it’s pretty easy to figure out which casinos will have either or both.  And if I go to a casino and they don’t have what I want, I can just leave and hit the next casino in line.

I also snagged a MyVegas reward for the Las Vegas monorail.  I have a 3-day pass leftover from my last trip so I just bought the 1-day pass.  Buy one, get one free so I’ll have two 1-day passes.  That should work out.  I’m only there five nights.

Saturday, December 3rd:

It’s almost here!  Tomorrow I fly out.  I set my alarm for 7 this morning hoping I’d get up and then be tired enough to go to bed early.  I woke up around 5:45 and finally just got up around 6:15.   I already set my alarm for 5am, and also set one for 5:30…just in case.

Packed most of my stuff last night.  I’m doing laundry today so I’ll have a few more clothes to pack and then toiletries tomorrow morning.  Oh…I also went to the bank yesterday to get some money.

Done some things since the last update.  I decided to put some of my Las Vegas documents on my Google Drive so instead of printing them out and wasting paper, I can just look them up on my phone.  Should work out.

Hoping Early Check In

I’ve checked Bally’s a couple times but nothing cheaper than the $255 I got.  The rodeo finals took care of that…busy time of year.  I get in 9:30am Las Vegas time and after transport, should get to Bally’s around 10.  I’m hoping I can check in then.  Probably not but I hope I can get in pretty early.  I don’t want to have to kill time until the technical check in time of 4:00.  I just don’t know how the rodeo finals will affect that.

If I can’t check in right away, I’ll check my bags and probably try to find a seat at a sports book and watch football.  The Eagles play at 1:00 eastern, so 10am Las Vegas time.  If I can find a seat, I can watch the game.

I don’t know about gambling that soon after getting there.  I’m weird.  I’m going so I can gamble but I don’t want to gamble as soon as I land.  A big loss right off the bat would suck.  Of course as I always tell myself when I think that…I could win, you know.  We’ll see.

Chip Collection

Maybe I’ll take a walk to some casinos and get some chips for my collection.  I don’t have Luxor or Mandalay Bay…I could take a walk down there.  I also don’t have a Trop chip because they don’t ‘sell’ them at the cage.  But I had an idea when I was at Borgata.  I skipped the cashier line and asked a cocktail waitress if I could buy a chip off of her.

I don’t know if Borgata will sell you a chip but I didn’t want to wait in line to find out.  The cocktail waitress had no problem exchanging with me.  I could go to Trop and try the same thing.  Shouldn’t be a problem…they have to cash them in anyway.

Relax

I’m in bed by seven…not to sleep though.  Relaxing and watching the Penguins game.  Hopefully I’ll eventually be tired enough to fall asleep.  Difficult for me at times.

Then it occurs to me.  Why not ditch the portable DVD player and DVDs, and just download stuff from Amazon Prime onto my phone?  Of course no current movies offered but that’s OK.  It’s more to kill time on the plane.  I don’t have a lot of room on my phone though.

I scroll through the TV shows.  Hmm.  I never actually watched The Wire and I remember EVERYBODY telling me I HAVE to see it. OK, download episode one to see if I like it.

Delete More

Now I really don’t have a lot of room on the phone.  I start deleting apps that I’m not going to need in Las Vegas.  I’ll just have to put them back on the phone when I get home.

Scrolling through the movies, I see Oceans 11…the ‘new’ one that is now 15 years old.  I do try to get some type of gambling/Las Vegas movie when I go and it’s been, well, probably about 15 years since I saw Oceans 11 so let’s download that one.

That’s all I can fit on my phone.  I’ll have to delete them after I watch them and pick some more stuff when in Las Vegas for the return trip.  I’m pretty sure the phone battery will last the flight but I bring one of those portable power packs with me every trip so I know I’ll be OK.

Unpack

I get up and unpack the portable DVD player and the DVDs set aside for the flight.  I have a couple DVDs in my suitcase but it’s all packed so I’m not going to bother picking them out.  So that’s good…I reduced the weight in the book bag that I carry around.

Lights out at 8:15.  And lights on around 11.  Sucks being old…I have to use the bathroom.  And I guess my body thought we were just taking a nap because now I can’t get back to sleep.  I read a bit, play on the phone, try to sleep again.

Sunday, December 4th:

Obviously, I must have fallen asleep because I’m awoken by the alarm at 5am.  I feel sick.  I always feel like that if I don’t get enough sleep and get woken up.  And I’m tired.

Shower, pack last minute things, out the door at 5:35.  Smooth trip to the airport.

The parking lot is a lot more crowded than I thought it would be.  I usually get to park a row or two from a shuttle stop but I’m five or six rows back on this trip.  I snap a picture of the sign showing what parking section I’m in, in case I forget.

Shuttle Stop

I walk up to the shelter/shuttle stop and there’s a couple there.  We exchange good mornings.  I take a picture of the shelter number, again just in case.  But I always park by the same shelter so I should remember.

I take it by the way the couple are talking that they’ve been waiting for the shuttle for a bit.  And it’s a bit longer before it finally shows up.  I usually get to the airport waaaaaaaay earlier but I’m trying to not worry as much so I got here later than I usually would.  And now it’s even later than usual due to the shuttle.  OK, don’t panic.

Shuttle pulls up, the doors open, and it’s packed.  I find a spot for my luggage but have to stand for the drive to the landside terminal.  I guess that shows how long it took for the shuttle to make its rounds.  I’ve never been on a packed shuttle and had to stand.

Security (No) Line

Check my bag, tip the guy $2.  Off to the “secret” security line and there’s NOBODY in line.  Sweet!  I was hoping it would be empty at 6am on a Sunday.  Breeze through, and I put my sneakers and belt back on.

I stop at Villa Italian Kitchen and get a breakfast Stromboli and Mountain Dew for breakfast.  Usually I would sit in the food court and eat it there.  But since I’m later than usual, I’m not comfortable and walk to the gate to eat it there.

The flight is still an hour away but the gate area is packed.  Glad I didn’t sit at the food court as I get one of the last seats.  A little awkward but I manage to nibble on my breakfast while I wait.

Nobody Gets Me

I have a different sense of humor and people look at me weird instead of laugh when I say something that I think is funny.  Especially when they’re strangers.  The moving walkway isn’t too far away from us and they have a man’s voice alternating with a female’s voice saying stuff like “you’re nearing the end of the walkway”, etc.

Obviously, it’s a recording.  But I wanted so bad to turn to the woman next to me and say could you imaging that’s your job?  All day just saying the same thing over and over?  But I thought it best not to raise questions about myself at an airport gate.  BTW, my GF would have laughed.

GET UP!!!!  NOW!!!!!!!

The gate agent mentions that we’re about 10 minutes from boarding but there’s no need to get up yet.  Of course almost all of the A group gets up and gets in line.  WHY??!?!  She just said you don’t have to and your spot is already reserved!!  I’m A36 and I just sit and relax.

We board the plane and I get my preferred seat…window seat before the wings.  A guy eventually takes the aisle seat.  He waves to a younger woman walking down the aisle and says the seat next to him is open.  She takes it.

It’s apparent they know each other.  But I can’t tell if it’s from work or this woman is actually his daughter.  Throughout the flight, as I’m listening to their conversations, I go back and forth.  Nope…coworkers.  No, wait…related.  Wait, what did he just say?  Yeah,  coworkers.  Never did figure it out.

Dude…You Need To Chill Out

The timing of me getting to the airport worked out in the end but I don’t know if I liked not getting there super early.  I was nervous a couple times.  For no reason but I was still nervous.

This flight would be a good one to have one of those pillows.  I wrote that in my notes and have no idea what I’m talking about.  Because I’m tired and maybe I could nap?  No idea.

The Wire

We’re in the air and I get the iPhone out.  OK, let’s see what this The Wire is all about.  My iPhone case comes with a card that you can put in a slot on the back of the case so the phone is propped up at an angle.  First time I’m really using it and it worked out well.  Better than holding the phone or having it lie flat.

So my verdict on The Wire…didn’t like it.  Didn’t get through the first episode.  The reason might sound stupid.  Too much cursing.  Now hold on…I have a pretty foul mouth.  I usually don’t mind cursing.  But I hate it when there’s cursing for no reason.  Like “tell that fucking guy that if he doesn’t get to his fucking house and fucking call me, he’s fucking dead.”

It’s actually the reason why I don’t listen to some podcasts.  “Oh my gosh.  Did you fucking see what they fucking did at that fucking casino?”  Please.  I mean, fuck.  Right?

Adjusting The To Do List

Anyway, I stop watching that and start watching Oceans 11.  I really should watch the original one of these trips.  I thought it was part of Amazon Prime but I just looked and don’t see it.  Maybe I’m thinking of the library having it so I could check it out sometime.

But watching things on the phone was easier than getting the portable DVD player out of the book bag.  I think the portable DVD player is coming off the “To Pack” list and “Get DVDs for trip” is coming off the To Do list.  Maybe I’ll buy an iPad.  Tons more storage and bigger screen.  Hmm.

There’s Part Two.  Click here for Part Three where @Snickers99Poker looks out the window and sees a gremlin on the wing!  No, that’s not right.  He sees the The Wheel of Misfortune.

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