Monday, September 28, 2009

League Champion!

As some of you know, I play in several leagues throughout Richmond. I have recently “converted” to a new favorite – Virginia Freeroll Poker ( The structure of our league is pretty good – all games are free, we play 3-4 games per night (time/space permitting.) As soon as enough players are out to open up a table, the next game begins. All games are for points, which are weighted based on how you place in the game. Players can also earn points by buying food/drink from the host of the game – various local restaurants. The season is 16 weeks, and I’ve been playing for about six weeks. In those six weeks, I accumulated enough points to be 19th in points. The top ninety compete each season for a large prize, and chip stacks at the final are determined by your points standings. I started with 4,000 chips. When I started at my table, I had the biggest stack on the table. I was surpassed the first hand by a player who started with 2500 earning nearly 1800 when he flopped quads to a boat.

Ok – I’m going to admit right now that I was a little bit cocky coming into this tournament. I had already picked out those whom I considered to be my “competition” – about 10 really good players, and was very pleased to see that only half of them made it to the final day of play (it was a two day tournament.) Unfortunately all five of them made it to the final table with me, but I was lucky that several people went out of the final table in the first twenty minutes or so of final table action. I started the final table as the chip leader, by a nose, but lost that lead immediately as my first hand (AK) ran into QQ which held up. A short stack had doubled through me, so I was still second in chips at this point.

The whole tournament, I was only all-in at risk twice. The first time was a flop of 6-6-8 in which I was short stacked and holding K8. Heads up, it's checked to me. I go all-in to an insta-call. He turns over A-6. I caught an 8 on the river. As promised, Chris, here's the shout out from my blog!

Play at the final table was pretty strong except for one hand which I will outlay. Four players in the hand, one player all in, one player with only 800 chips remaining, the big stack and me (the second stack). The pot is 24,000. Flop comes 7-7-4. Big stack reaches for chips but does not bet. Checked around. Turn is a six (flop is rainbow.) Big stack leads out for 20,000 bet. I tell him “I hope you have the all-ins beat.” And fold my Q-J. Short stack calls for his remaining 800. Chip leader turns over 5-5, short stack turns over 10-10 and all-in turns over J-10. River – A JACK! Had that guy not bet a WEAK hand into two all-ins, we would have lost two players. Instead, they took their shares of the pot and they were still in. I’ll say it once, as I have a thousand times – Don’t bet an empty side pot unless you know your hand is strong enough to beat the all-ins! This holds especially true AT THE FINAL TABLE.

But I digress. Play progressed pretty quickly and by break, we were down to six players (this tournament paid to the top six.) At break, I had about 43000 in chips, the chip leader was 97,000 and the next closest to me was in the 30s, and three players with less than 15,000. Got dealt some *great* hands after the break and took down the blinds and some limps to boost my stack to 60k before we lost the sixth player, taken out by the chip leader. By the time we were down to three players, I had taken over the chip lead. Chip lead shifted to the player I eventually went heads up against, who was your typical “TAG” player. I was able to check raise him a couple of times to pad my stack so that he no longer had me tripled, and had me covered by about 35,000 in chips. Turning point came on this hand. I was on the big blind and had K-3 off suit. Min-raise from the button and I call. Flop comes K-9-6 with two clubs on board. I bet out 7,000. He announces a raise and puts out 18,000 in chips, followed by my 7,000. I say “That’s a string raise.” Dealer agrees and the raise is 11,000 to me. I call. Turn is a deuce of hearts. I say “Check to the raiser” He bets 25,000. At this point, I’m pretty confident that he’s betting either the nine or the club draw, so I call. River is a King of diamonds. I check – he goes all in. I call (all-in, at risk) and his whole body slumps down as I turn over my king. At this point, I have him crushed, maybe 6-1 chip lead. A couple hands pass and I raise with K-J off suit. He re-raises all in for maybe 20,000 which I of course call. He had A-10 suited. Flop is 8-8-K turn Q, river K for a full house. Good game, Darrell!

I just won a $1500 sponsorship into my selection of tournaments. I have chosen the $1080 WSOP Circuit Event 8 at Harrah’s Atlantic City. Wish me luck!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

WPT Ladies Event

I knew it was serendipity when I saw the number of entrants – 269. Why? The Ladies’ WSOP tournament that I entered in March had the exact same number of entrants! After 11 grueling hours of play, I was finally in the money. At this point, the average chip count was around 110k and I was sitting on 160k. A small raise comes from my right and I call with KQ of hearts. Flop comes Q-Q-2. Same bet from my right and I just call. 9 on turn. Double that bet from right and I push all in to an insta-call. She flips over 9-9. Wish I’d just pushed on the flop because I would have taken down a 100k pot instead of *losing* 120k. I then doubled up my short stack a couple of times and managed to hang on to final table. Went out 9th when my pocket fours ran into pocket Kings. I’ll take it :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Streak Continues

I decided to try out a non-Bounty tournament at my "Honey hole Money hole" - Harrah's. Saturday's $80 8:15 tournament seemed a good bet.

I have to say, there were better players at this tournament than others. I went over an *hour* having played only one hand. I made some of the sickest lay downs imaginable. I can honestly say that my good *folds* are what won me the tournament.

At the final table - everyone voted on a 7-way split of the prize money so that everyone would take home third place money ($500.) I didn't really want to, but I went with the majority. All in all - a good showing.

That makes my current final table stats 16 out of 17 tournaments played in AC/LV.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another weekend in AC

Well, this time I went to AC for a much needed "girl's weekend." No monetary goals in mind, other than using my winnings to have a little fun. I played again in the midnight bounty tournament at Harrah's. Made the final table, but ended up going out ninth.
Of course, no money for this, although I *did* get $30 of my $70 entry back in bounties. Then, I went to the $1/$2 no-limit table and managed to win a couple hundred. Sounds good, but I promptly wasted it all on my weekend! My winnings paid for Friday & Saturday night in a 1 1/2* hotel, 1 $40 buffet at Harrah's, 1 knock off coach wallet, 1 bottle of perfume, 2 bottles of wine, a $30 dinner at a gluten-free Italian place, various McDonald's/Wendy's trips, 4 new shirts from Lane Bryant & Ashley Stewart, a tank of gas and a partridge in a pear tree :P My only expenses were a one hour massage and some tolls for the weekend, so basically mission accomplished. I felt relaxed and refreshed when I got back!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another day, another bounty

Decided to go up to Atlantic City this weekend on a lark. Again, I decided to try my way with $55 gambling money. Again, I was able to pad my bankroll up to about $120 and then buy into the $70 bounty tournament. This was a daytime tourney, so much fewer players. There were only 28. Ended up winning the tournament - cashing for $689 and taking down $20 in bounties (which I tipped the dealers with.) Spent a little on a room and lost $120 at Tropicana. (Why I go there I have no idea - please remind me never to do that again!) Still a good return on my $55. Who's with me next weekend? ;)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Harrah's Midnight Bounty Tournament

I decide at this point to sink our winnings into the midnight tournament at Harrah's (just under our rooms.) It was a $70 buy-in with $10 bounty per knock out (meaning you get $10 for every person you put out of the tournament.) Worst luck ever, when we signed up, they assigned Davy & I to the *same table*. We did our best to avoid each other, but that rarely works out.

Within the first hour, Davy managed to snag one $10 bounty and I got two. Davy made several small mistakes with failing to raise properly and they really really cost him as his better hand was sucked out on. After that, he was on the critical list and was quickly out. I picked up 2 more bounties over time and continually had just over the "average" chip stack - never really getting low stacked or big stacked. Before you knew it, they announced the final table.

The only girl at the final table, I looked around at the chip stacks. The "big stack" had about 200k, with blinds at 5k and 10k. The low stack had about 35k. My stack was 75k and that put me at about 6th out of the 10. Sometimes when you're playing - you just know you've got it. I was dealt a couple of great hands that let me steal some blinds and squeeze up to 90k. Then I just sat back and watched them annihilate each other. When we were 1 away from the money, I ended up all-in for my tournament life with 9-9. Guy across lets me know that he *folded* 9-9 and the caller called me with Q-J off suite. Luckily, the nines held up and I doubled up through what was a very big stack. With the blinds up to 15k & 30k, this was significant. We made some jokes about splitting the pool, but no one was game. We took up a collection for the "bubble" to get his buy in back and the very next hand the bubble was burst. Fifth place went out shortly thereafter and we were down to four. At this point, I had raised a couple of hands preflop with no callers and my stack was close to 200k - 3rd biggest stack. The smallest stack then crippled the 2nd biggest stack, who soon thereafter went out to me and I was the 2nd biggest stack.

The small stack tried to convince the big stack to do a split and then play for "the change" - or about $200 for the winner on top of the split. He refused, and in two hands I trapped him and he was out. Guess he should have taken the deal :P

At this point, I had about double the other player's stack. $1212 for first and $698 for second - he offered a split. Looking at my stack, I refused. I then played and won the next five hands in a row and it was all over. Final hand he had J-2 and pushed all in. I called with Q-J and a Q fell on the flop to seal his fate. I cashed out with $1212 + $40 in bounties, which I gave to the dealer pool for the tip.

Since some of my winnings were still back at the room, we were up overall about $1300 for the weekend at this point. I quickly rushed to the cash counting Bank of America ATM and deposited $1100 before I spent it.

Drunken Poker

I had to take over 30 minutes in the room drinking coffee to sober up enough to play poker. I was still not tip top, but I was ordering fake red bulls (stupid casinos give me "Zoom") left and right. My streak continued and by the time we got back to bed, we were up $200.

Headed to the Emeril cooking demonstration. For some reason, I thought we'd get some *food* for this $75 ticket but that was incorrect. You just got to smell the food. ARGH! Ended up using some of dad's food comps to gorge on the buffet directly after. I personally tried to ensure the extinction of all crab again, and I think my effort was valiant.

Poker Perfect Storm

Ok - I'm a pretty good player - not the best in the world, but I can hold my own. This weekend it was like I was King Midas and everything I touched turned to gold. Play was softer than Santa's belly, which sure helped. I actually had a hand that went like this-

me - AK. I raise to $4 pre-flop and get 5 callers. Flop comes A-7-J. I bet, 2 callers. Turn is a 4. I bet, 1 caller. River is a 5. I bet, same one caller. He turns over 5-3. Really?! Thanks for your money.

Every table I bought in for $20, and every table I got up with $50+. By the end of the night, I was dancing as I had about $200. Davy was at $65 so we were about $158 ahead.

Meeting up with Dad, he lets us know he's over $300. I go to get ready for my Colicchio time with Anna (my stepmom). We get all dolled up and head for the pool at Harrah's.

The pool area is beautiful and there are booths everywhere with food, wine, desserts and drinks. After obtaining some Moet & Chandon, we get in line for some sort of beef dish. Got into a slight altercation with some line cutting Jersey Girls - but I took care of that - shoooot. :P We ate one of just about everything - from Lobster guacomole to steak tartar to sashimi to shrimp ceviche to Baileys Lattes. I probably gained 3 pounds and I was definitely drunk off my ass. Only bummer was that Colicchio never showed up. I was pretty pissed to be stood up - so of course I stalked him to the after party. I mean, I just happened to see him at the after party. Yeah....

Look out Jerky Boys

So, we went to the Food & Wine Festival in A.C. After several snafus, this is how the money ended up breaking down by the time we were there - I loaned my dad $100, had $55 for me, $52 for Davy and $60 held back for meals that were not already paid for.

We arrived to our $9 hotel rooms (thanks Expedia refer a friend) in Absecon around 4 am. Bleary-eyed, the hotel operator had some difficulty identifying our names on the reservations, which gave us some panic as none of us could dial the UK from our cell phones, but eventually he became literate and we got to our rooms. We stayed at the Crystal Inn & Suites. As my name is Crystal, I thought it might be lucky. The room was surprisingly nice for the price - marble topped furniture, a nice new room. One little shampoo and the chappiest towels I've ever seen in my life, but plenty of pillows and a clean room are sure hard to find in Absecon - I might even stay there for full price! If you go Sun-Thur, only book one room because they give you $20 specials - your choice of a jacuzzi upgrade, second room or second night for $20. Damn fine deal.

Whilst I was dreaming, dad of course hurried to the nearest casino and he was up to $130 by the time we woke up in the morning. I then insisted we fill the car with gas, which brought him back to $100 lol.

Our first stop was the Taj Mahal to play some $2/$4 limit. Dad went to the neighboring Showboat. Bought into one $2/$4 table with $20 and cashed out with $85. Davy bought in with $20 twice and cashed out with $32 for an $8 loss. Up to $155 between us after waitress tipping. Dad picked us up and was up to $145 himself.

At this point, it was time to check into our free room at Harrah's that was part of the package deal. We had the sweetest lady at the checkin and Dad was laying on the Southern Charm thick, so we got a sweet Bayview upgrade. Tower was directly over the poker room, which was super nice for me as well. The room was beautiful and the beds were fluffy. Took a quick shower and got ready for some more poker. Rooms cost us $13 a day in tax, which I dutifully charged to my credit card so as not to "waste" any gambling money :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Atlantic City here I come

So, my last trip to Atlantic City was not all that fruitful, but my dad was with me. He managed to get SUPER rated while he was there and now we keep getting crazy offers in the mail. Just in the past few weeks - he's gotten $100 Fri, $100 Sunday; $200 Friday; $150 Fri & $150 Sat offers. PLUS we got an amazing package to the Atlantic City Food & Wine festival at the end of the month. I'm all for a free trip and for meeting Tom Colicchio - so I'm there. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 3, 2009


This deal is now dead. Thanks to all who got in!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A recent parlay

With the remaining part of my Vegas budget burning a hole in my proverbial pocket, I decided to make a $50 deposit at good old Absolute Poker during one of their 100% match bonus times. Although I qualified for only a whopping $5 bonus, over the past week I have won two and cashed in an additional seven $5 or less tournaments. I just cashed out $150 of my $282 bankroll for an additional $100 win off my initial Vegas investment. Woohoo!
davdison - absolute poker/ultimate bet

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stop #25 - Golden Gate (last stop)

After quick stops at Del Taco & In-N-Out Burger for takeout for the plane, we head back to the Golden Gate to retrieve our luggage and redeem our coupons for free decks of cards. As they were all out, we got dice and a keychain, which is just as good. Also, they told me that my card had been assigned $5 in slot play per day (doh! why didn't I check this on Saturday when we first went to Downtown!?) so I was able to turn that into a nice $7 win for my last free money of the trip.

Tucking my remaining $ into my pocket, we head for the airport. Arriving there, I input Davy's confirmation number and out pops his boarding pass. Heading for the Delta area, I put mine in to get this message in red "IT IS TOO LATE TO CHECK IN FOR THIS FLIGHT" showing a flight departure time of 7:20 PM (at this point it is almost 9:00 PM.) Panicked, I check my itinerary. Sure enough, I had written down the ARRIVAL time instead of the departure time. OMG OMG.

Thinking on my feet, I remember a rule from my flyertalk time - the so-called "Flat tire rule." Rushing to the counter, I inform him of my unfortunate flat tire. Looking like he trusts me just about as far as he can throw me, the gate agent nonetheless finds me a flight, with the same connecting flight out of Atlanta for an on time arrival. Unfortunately, this costs $50 which I begrudgingly hand over.

The agent assigns me a comfy bulkhead. Upon finding out that movies cost $6 and games are $5, I decide sleep is preferred. Unfortunately, the lady next to me was headed home for emergency surgery and the poor thing kept fidgeting and waking me up. As I had to be at work at noon (with a 9:30 AM arrival time from my red eye,) I was truly red eyed.

I finally arrived in Richmond on time, and paid $28 for my airport parking. In all, I came home from Vegas with $316, for a total trip cost of $284 for two people, including airfare, hotel, car rental, buffets, steak, lobster, show tickets, airline fiascos, enough booze to float a boat, and a weekend of gambling. Not too shabby.

Stop #24 - Big Horn?

After the depressing Riviera, we headed for the seedy Big Horn casino (I’ll give the caveat here that I’m not actually sure whether we went to the Big Horn or the Long Horn cause I had a coupon for both and I only went to one. If the description sounds wrong to you, please let me know.)

The place kind of looked like a Western Diner and it must be a local Hispanic hangout, because everyone there, including the staff was Hispanic. The cashier was a tiny cage in the corner and that was also where you got your player’s card. I ordered a pina colada, but they said they didn’t have any, but they had strawberry daiquiris. Believe it or not, they were FANTASTIC and I quickly got a brain freeze from trying to drink it too fast.

Through my throbbing eyes, I look down at a blackjack table. Davy attempted to sit at third base again, but I nipped that right in the bud. Negative – wait your turn! The dealer made a mistake on the hand he was dealing and accidentally hit a guy who waved off, pit boss came out and made an awesome ruling which made everyone at the table winners, so they were feeling good.

My first hand – Blackjack! Hell yes - $30 richer. Davy’s hand was a 14 against a dealer eight. Sarcastically looking at me and asking if he should hit, I give him a shove and does. It’s a seven! OH YES - $20 more. After tipping the wonderful maven who informed me of the daiquiris, we left there with $395.

Stop #24 - Riviera

The Riviera reminded me of an empty Hilton built in the seventies. Everything was kind of dated in a used-to-be-fancy kind of way. The place was relatively empty and the patrons looked like an ad for gamblers’ anonymous. There was a guy peddling lotion at a little dingy shop on the way in. Heading for the player’s club, we are informed that there are two promotions – one is you pay $20 for $40 in slot money that can only be used on special machines and only pays for a jackpot (hrmm….uh no.) The other is that new members have their choice of a free show ticket (Crazy Girls, etc.) or a randomly awarded slot play of $1 - $500. Davy says “Slot play,” which of course makes my decision as I’m not going to a show alone. He gets $1, I get $2, which nets us nothing because we stick our meager $3 winnings into a Harley Davidson slot. Should have taken the tickets.


Stop #23 - Stratosphere

I was already a member of the Stratosphere club, so I didn’t get to get any of their new member bonuses (which are pretty good.) However, any member can ask for a fun book at the front desk – one per week – and they will give it to you. Inside is a $25 blackjack bonus (doubles your payout if you hit a blackjack) and a $10 matchplay. We play our matchplays at the single zero roulette (I think this is the only one in Vegas.) I’m on black and he’s on odd. Black 29 – OH YEAH winner. $40 richer, we head over to the blackjack where I proceed to have my ass handed to me repeatedly. I lose our $40 and never hit a blackjack to get the bonus. Bastards…

Back at $347 (after tips.)

Stop #22 - Terrible's

On caveat about Terrible’s – they recently combined all of their casinos onto one card, so there is no longer a sign on bonus for each casino. We both head to Terrible’s to receive some free loot. New members get a nice looking t-shirt and a deck of cards, plus $5 in slot play, and an entry into their slot tournament – which happens at special machines anytime you want. After getting our stuff, we head for the tournament machines. Davy scores an 800, while I get what I thought was an impressive 3200. Looking at the leader board – you would need at least 4,100 to qualify for a prize. Oh well. I get a pina colada within seconds of sitting down and my $5 nets me $8. Davy wants to go to the eBay machine, which was in the middle of hitting a shared bonus. I point out the idiocy of this (can’t hit another bonus while one is going on and $5 doesn’t last for more than 10 spins.) Davy gets pissed off and goes to the Bonus 7’s machine and hits max bet and quickly stops the reels – glaring at me. It his for $32! Quickly pushing the cashout button, I again get him to switch machines. There’s another Bonus 7’s on the other side. Davy puts in the remaining $4, and hits this one for $38. HA! I may (ok probably not) forgive him for the hard 14. Total winnings from Terribles = $78, which, after tips for the waitress, puts the pocket money at $349.

Terrible's is not so terrible after all.

Stop #21 - Jerry's Nugget

With our bellies full of lobster and questionable meat, we head out for Jerry’s Nugget. To our surprise, there are lots of goodies in store for us at the Nugget. Upon signing up, you get a rather nice Jerry’s Nugget t-shirt, $5 in slot play, and a chance to spin the Jerry’s prize wheel on the kiosk (prizes range from a match play to $50 cash.) I won a $10 matchplay and Davy won a $5 matchplay. Since that’s what we were here for, not too shabby. We sit down at the $2 blackjack table. There is only one other guy there, playing $100 a hand. Seemed strange, but whatever.

First two hands ($5) are winners, so I go for my $10 matchplay next. Getting an 11 against a dealer five, I double down. Ouch, I catch an ace. I turn to Davy just in time to hear him motion for a hit. Looking at his hand – I am ready to come across the table – he has a farking hard 14!! He catches an eight and dealer gets a five to go along with her fifteen.

What happens next is not for the ears of children, so I’ll just move on. Total money in the pocket $274.

I have one question is hitting on hard fourteen a cause of action in divorce?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stop #20 - The Lucky Club

The Lucky Club was possibly the seediest casino I have ever seen. The interior was reminiscent of night clubs of my youth - with black painted walls and overly loud music. However, they had an amazing deal for Lucky Club members in the restaurant. $3.99 got you steak and three fried shrimp, while $6.99 got you steak & a lobster tail. Vegetables were free, but you had to pay $1 for a baked potato, and $1.25 for a salad. (I missed the free potato & salad at Ellis Island!) The steak was an overly marbled NY Strip, but the lobster was delish! I was able to use the ACG drink coupon for free drinks with my meal. I'm always up for lobster with a side of desperation.

After signing up for their club, we were given $5 free slot play and a little ticket for $10 matchplay. DO NOT give the players club your $5 matchplay, as that has to be played directly at table. The $10 matchplay ticket is a gimmick that you can only redeem after playing for 30 minutes at $5 per hand. Bleh. My $5 earned me $6.50 and Davy earned $5.50, for a net profit of $12. My matchplay was a winner, while Davy’s was a loser, for another $5. With the $17 winnings, subtracting the $23 dinner tab we spent $6 on our lobster dinner for two.

Pocket now contains $284.

Stop #19 - The Poker Palace

The Poker Palace was pretty far from the Cannery. This dive is all one story and has a pretty large parking lot, which was surprisingly full. The security guard at the door seemed bored and full of doughnuts. The place was set up kind of strange and the walls were covered in mirrors. We had to loop around to find the players club. After signing up, we were offered Sun shades as free gifts for new players. I spotted a cheap little backpack – the drawstring kind that the kids use at sports practice - and asked very nicely if I could have that instead. Score! My nephew was really excited as he loves those little backpacks.

We took our matchplay over to the $1 blackjack table. We lost both of them. However, I had been trying to find an available $1 blackjack table all weekend and here one was, so we bought in for $5 a piece. After about 20 minutes, we were able to get our bankroll up to $18 & $12 – for an absolute break even. Pretty good considering we had tipped for a few cocktails along the way. We skeedaddled out of the Poker Palace so I wouldn’t have to contract syphilis in the bathroom there.

Stop #18 - The Cannery

As I headed north out of Downtown on Monday, my first stop was the Cannery. Ostensibly designed to look like an industrial building, it really didn’t seem all that industrial to me. They were out of the Cannery t-shirts that were supposed to be freebies, so instead I got a t-shirt that said Cannery on the front and “It’s my birthday” on the back. I hinted that I’d rather have free slot play, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. I did, however, get to hit the new player bingo ball. I was awarded a few thousand points that were good the next day. As I would be in Virginia the next day, oh well.

The matchplay earned us a $10 profit and we broke even with the WIN cards. $290 in the pocket because I had already spent $18 on breakfast at the Golden Gate (which was surprisingly hearty and good.)

Fitz of Laughter

You know what’s better than a free comedy show – a free comedy show when you’re totally sloshed. Kevin Burke is hilarious and this was a great freebie. Since we had eaten at Ellis Island at a grandma-like early bird hour, we were able to make the 9:13 (why anything in Vegas uses the number 13, I don’t know) show time. After snacks and cocktails, we left there with $298, weary, and headed to the Golden Gate to check in.

Stop #17 - Ellis Island

At this point, as I should not be driving anywhere, I decide to go ahead and drive to Ellis Island for some much needed dinner. Those crab legs from the AM are long since forgotten and I’m ready for a nice steak special.

The waiting list at Ellis Island restaurant is a typical 45 minutes. After getting on the list, and visiting the little cocktail drinkers room, we head over to the Player’s Club area. It’s basically a cash register over in the corner. We’re told that 5000 points will be deposited onto our card that we can use the next day. Well, I’m way too lazy to remember that – so those points are STILL on my card right now :P.

I redeem my coupon for the $10 slot plays and head straight to the bar with my 4 free drinks coupon. I am told that you must use the coupon for four drinks AT ONCE. I opt for two pina coladas and two bottles of water. I think Davy got the same order again about ten minutes later.

My $10 in free play entertains me until the table is ready. I end up cashing out only $2 and Davy has given the machine $5 of his own money, for a net loss of $3. You really shouldn’t slot machine drunk. No wonder the drinks are free!

We sit down to dinner with $345 after tips and slot playing. The steak was AMAZING although the waitress (who was in fact busting her ass) was not very bright. She messed up several things and forgot our silverware for 10 minutes. Luckily, we’re happy drunks so we didn’t really care. Plus, the tastiness of the meat helped. At $6.99 (including your baked potato, vegetables and a fresh brew) it just could not be beat. With tax, tip and sodas, our total came to $24. My BOGO coupon from ACG was rejected as it said “menu item” and the special is not a menu item. Too good to care. We left Ellis Island with $321.

BTW - the restaurant placemat included a $5 matchplay coupon. After playing our matchplay coupons from the restaurant and ACG, we ended up breaking even.

Stop #16 - The Wynn

Next stop was the even more opulent Wynn. Never have I been to two places in such succession where I obviously did not belong. Like Planet Hollywood, the Wynn forces self parkers to go through their shopping area, including the Ferrari store. For $10, you can go in and look at the cars (free for Ferrari owners.) Not even living in the same zip code as a Ferrari owner, we passed on that waste of money.

Heading towards the Player’s Club area, I spied the spinning wheel for new players that I saw advertised on the sign. Word was that the minimum spin value was $10. Well, it’s a bunch of hooey. In order for a new member to get to spin said wheel, s/he must earn 100 points ($100 coin in on slots.) Now, were I planning to do something OTHER than a coupon run, that would be good, but since that’s not the case – boo.

If you give the Wynn your email address (or your neighbor’s email address :) ) they give you $10 slot play. I’m apparently pathetic, because my $10 became $3 in winnings, but Davy slapped them for a nice $17. Net profit = $20. While playing the slots, I was visited by about three different cocktail waitresses. That meant three dollars went into tips for my tasty cocktails. By this point, I was fairly sauced and we left the Wynn with our $17 in winnings. $352 in our pockets.

Stop #15 - The Venetian

Down $1 from my valet tip, I enter the Venetian with $299. This casino is opulence at its finest. It is interesting to note the difference between the patrons at one casino to the next. This is definitely the place to go and lose all of Daddy’s money.

We make a beeline to the Player’s services area to get our free money. With our card, we get a handy “chain” which is actually kind of pretty and girly and I like it.

My $15 turns into a healthy bonus win of $23 and Davy turns his into $13. Total pillaging of the Venetian = $36 for a new total of $335 funds remaining.

Stop #14 - Excalibur

Excalibur is kind of Medieval Times meets casino. It’s extremely large, so we opted for valet parking. The process was relatively speedy. We head up to the Player’s Services area to get the certificates for the WIN card. $20 and we get back two $15 packets. I put $10 on the pass line at craps and get paid twice before the shooter craps out. The Davy puts his $10 on the pass line and the point is a six. We put the remaining $15 on the odds. Shooter makes his point and we’re up to a total of $50. Remaining bets are all losers for a total win of $30. Now, we’re back up to $420.

Flush with coupon money, we decide to enter the 12:00 WSOP Satellite tournament for $60 each. Unbeknownst to us, it is a *rebuy* tournament. I get pushed all in by 9 high, who then hits a runner runner straight. Davy fares no better. Now we’re back down to $300. C’est la vie!

I know this was stop number 14, but it sure felt like 13!

As if I didn't already feel kicked in the teeth - I find out that I could have used this coupon to get one of those $60 entries for free. I must go kill myself now.

Stop #13 -The Silverton

Let me just say – I love the Silverton! This casino is a lot nicer than I expected, both from its location and outside appearance. It’s quite posh, but with a nice lodge feel as well. After signing up for the slot club, they loaded $10 free play onto my card. I gave them my bogo buffet coupon, which they exchanged for a coupon that could actually be used at the buffet. Also, all new players signing up get a voucher for a FREE night in the hotel (based on availability of course) for any time in the next two months. The pictures of the rooms are really nice. For posterity sake, I should have gotten one, but I already had two rooms for Sunday night and that would have just been silly.

My $10 slot play became $21 in real money and Davy took his machine for $37. Total free money = $58!! (Now $417)

We went over to the buffet. It was Sunday brunch for $18.99. With our coupon, total was $21 or so. (Back down to $396.) Ended up tipping various buffet line people because they were awesome, so another $6 there.

Let me just tell you, this was the best buffet I had in Vegas, and maybe one of the best buffets I ever had. This was not your typical breakfast buffet. First of all, there was all you can drink champagne, but they had various champagne drinks as well – mimosa, bellini, mango, raspberry – um, just yumminess.

There was a full omelet bar, crab legs, shrimp, pastas, sausages, sushi – you name it! I personally attempted to ensure the future extinction of all crab. I think I made a valiant effort.

I tipped the waitress $10 because she was amazing. She kept the drinks flowing, and even brought me a warm wet towel and some lemons so I wouldn’t smell like a fishery all day. I truly had a great experience here and I can say whole heartedly that I would pay full price for this buffet. (Ok, not really, because I would never be without my coupons!!) It was really worth the money, though.

At this point, I have $380, a full belly and happy times.

Stop #12 - Buffalo Bill's

Wow – I-15 has got to be the most boring road in the world. Straight as a pin, it extends from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Along the way are stops in South Las Vegas, Jean & Primm, NV (my final destination.) It’s a long, dull half hour to Primm. After getting off at the exit, we make a left. Seeing Buffalo Bill’s up and to the left, I am directed by Davy (who’s already been here) to make a left turn at the next light. WRONG!! That puts me back on I-15 North. With absolutely no turn-arounds, I am forced to drive all the way to Jean (17 miles!!) and then loop back. Wondering if misdirection is cause for justifiable homicide, I finally arrive back in Primm. After making the left at the SECOND light, I pull into Buffalo Bill’s.

The parking lot leaves a lot to be desired, as it is jam packed. I wander looking for a spot for several minutes. There are about a million motorcycles here and with the RV park across the street, I realize we’re not in Kansas any more. Can’t really knock the clientele who are there for the same $6 a day deal that we are.

I finally elect for valet parking and head up to my room. I barely glance at the room, take a quick shower, and collapse into the bed. Tip for the valet costs me $1, so I'm going to bed with $359 tucked into my pants.

The following morning in Primm, I decided to take advantage of an advertised special. They offered you up to $20 in free slot play if you bring them a receipt from their gas station. I proceeded to pump $20 into the rental car and presented my receipt. Along with my free money, they also gave me a cute t-shirt that said “Welcome to fabulous Primm, Nevada.” My $20 turned into $36. About to leave, I discovered $2 craps and decided to play. Unfortunately, there went my winnings as I crapped out with only $20. Oh well, nothing ventured – nothing gained. I did, however have a full tank of gas and a t-shirt out of the deal, with the same money in my pocket. Seemed good to me!

Stop #11 - The Plaza

After the Vegas Club, we were on to the Plaza. What’s nice is that it’s the same player’s card as the Club, so we didn’t have to stand in another line. Making a beeline to the blackjack table, we played our matchplays. Davy gets a 19 and get a 20. Dealer has 17. Woot! Thanks for the free $40, Plaza! Total funds = $360.

Stop #10 - Las Vegas Club

The Las Vegas Club was actually nicer than I expected. Way in the back near the bathrooms, we found the players club. First, I turned in the $5 printable coupon. The nice lady at the player’s club also gave us two free “Plaza” key chains for signing up. Matchplays in hand, we head for the blackjack table. The dealer must have liked us, because she busted every single time. $5 became $15. $10 of that became $30, meaning we both won $30. After a $5 tip for the beautiful blackjack dealer, we walked away with $55. Total remaining funds = $320.

Stop #9 - Fitzgerald's

We made a quick stop at Fitzgerald's for our free show tickets. I was given my choice of the comedy show or the country music show. I chose comedy and Davy chose country music. That way we could see whichever one we felt like it. I then proceeded to waste $2 in a slot machine hoping to get served a cocktail. Remaining funds $265.

Stop #8 - Four Queens

The Four Queens is quite small, or maybe it’s just because the ceiling is so much lower than the strip casinos. It was completely packed this Saturday night though! After getting in line at the Player’s Club we turned in our vouchers (from the club line) for the Win cards and proceeded to the cage. Turning in the twenty dollars we were handed two win card packs for $15 each plus 2 $1 dealer tips. I went straight for the blackjack table. $5 a hand didn’t last long and unfortunately, I only got up with $10 in real chips.

Davy’s first hand was a blackjack, but then nothing, so he got up with $7.50. Nursing our $2.50 loss, we headed to the craps table for our matchplay. In went my $10 with my coupon and voila – I won! I gave Davy my same $10, and it was unfortunately a loser. Still, we left with $27.50 for a $7.50 win at that casino. Total remaining funds = $267.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Stop #7 - Main Street Station

At Main Street Station, we are instructed to turn in our Printable Coupons for actual vouchers for BOGO buffet. The player’s club is near the hotel registration area. After an amusing incident where one old lady told another old lady where to find the line, followed by several heavily accented “Goddammit”s from the second old lady, I got my voucher. Total price for two buffets with drink = $16.

We lucked out, as there was some sushi on the buffet that was quite delicious. The quantity was limited, so Davy & I went ahead and took it all J Overall, this buffet had none of my usual crab legs, but was an absolute steal for $8 a piece. The food was much better than your usual buffet fare. Avoid the dessert area though, as most of those tasted like pastries from the dollar tree.

After our $4 tip and various buffet line tips, our remaining funds were $260.

Stop 6 - El Cortez

We’ve decided to have dinner at Main Street Station, so I head in that general direction for some more gambling fun. I head to El Cortez for my $10 in free slot play fun. I find out, much like Hard Rock, it is a “bonus play” situation. This downtown casino is actually pretty cool, with some delicious pina coladas. My $10 is turned into $23 on a slot machine, and Davy eeks $7 out of his. $30 richer, we hop back into the car to go to Main Street Station for some much needed gluttony.

Stop #5 - Gold Coast

After attempting unsuccessfully to locate the Rampart Marriott, we headed to the Gold Coast Casino for some free drinks and $5 matchplay.

The parking lot was fairly empty and it was easy to park right next to the elevator. The elevator led directly into the casino and the bar was only a few steps away. Handing over my coupons and a $1 tip, I ordered two tasty Fuzzy Navels and headed for the craps table. My pass line bet was a winner and so was Davy’s. Net win = $20. Total remaining funds = $235.

On our way out, I noticed a machine called Crystal Diamonds or something like that. Because my name is Crystal, I popped out a five dollar bill and clicked max bet. Winner! $9. Now, Davy wanted his turn. He popped my ticket into the enormous eBay machine and bet 50 cents. One click and he was in the bonus round for $8. With that $17, we are now at $252.

Stop #4 - Palms Casino

The Palms casino was larger than I expected. Upon finding the player’s club, I requested the WIN cards. I received a lot of blank stares and was informed “That must be a table game thing.” I tried a few more clueless employees before giving up on that route. Davy & I used both of our matchplays on roulette. I played odd and he played red. Winner – 10 Black. Ouch!

Remaining budget - $216

Waylaid by a growling belly

On the way to the next stop, Davy threatens to eat my arm if he doesn't get some food. $14 at the Panda Express on the way shuts him and my own gurgling belly up. Remaining funds = $236.

Stop #3 - Planet Hollywood

Now on to Planet Hollywood. This monolith is directly on the strip. Traffic getting there from the Hard Rock was a bear and I wish we had found a side road to take, considering the parking entrance is actually not off of Las Vegas Boulevard. After parking, we have to walk all the way to the Las Vegas Blvd. entrance to find the Player’s Club. When I say all the way, I mean like half a mile through a never-ending circular mall. For God's sake - use valet parking here! I ask about the sign on bonus and she explains to me that you get $5 free slot play. If you earn 4 points ($40 coin in) you get an additional $15 slot play. You also get a nice coupon book with a $25 match play coupon.

I play my $5 and win $9. Davy plays his $5 and wins $13. We also get a couple of nice pina coladas and are pretty happy at this point. $3 in tips go to the waitress. We opt to parlay the $22 pay out and see if we can earn 4 points. After 30 more $1 spins, I have my 3 points (and $27.) The $15 earns us a pitiful $6 return, but we’re still up to $32. We decide to parlay again and earn the four points on Davy’s card. This netted us $34 in winnings. New budget = $225.

We cautiously head to the craps table with our matchplays. $50 is a crapload of money and if we hadn’t just won $34 of it, I would have been even more scared. Again, we are shut down on the pass/don’t pass idea. I play my $25 on the pass line and win. Davy loses. Net win = $25. Whew! Current remaining funds $250.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stop #2 - Hard Rock

The Hard Rock certainly lives up to its name. I walk into guitars on the wall and Aerosmith blaring. The casino floor is rather small and circular. All of the signs are in weird colors and strange fonts, so it's hard to read things. Instead of the typical "Cashier" sign - I get a Hot Pink sign that says something like "The Hard Rock Bank - What we're all here for." Sheesh. I head first to the front desk and ask for a coupon book. They ask if I'm staying in the hotel and I answer honestly "No." Much searching goes on and they say they have only one left and give it to me. Score! It has a $10 matchplay in it. I then take my ACG coupons over to the promo desk and get my free slot play.

The way the slot play works at Hard Rock is that they give you $10 "bonus dollars" that pay you back based on your bet. If make a $1 roll on a slot machine, you get whatever you would have gotten off of the roll + $1 in "bonus" money. Davy & I both stick a $1 bill into the machine and activate it. Remaining budget = $176.

Davy immediately hits a bonus round and takes it for $15. I knew there was a reason I keep him :) I manage to win $8. Total budget = $199.

I head to the craps table to play my matchplay. We try to bet one on pass and one on don't pass, but are immediately shut down by the Dealer. Oh well. I play mine and it loses. Davy plays his and it wins. Net = $10 win. Total budget = $209.

We then go back to the Player's Club area to get the WIN card vouchers. (In retrospect, we should have done that the LAST time we were there!) We take the vouchers and the $40 over to the cashier and get our $60 promo chips and 2 $1 dealer tip coupons.

I go to the craps table and my $30 promo chips becomes $15 real chips. Ouch.

Davy plays blackjack and his $30 promo chips becomes $10 real chips. Yeah, guess you shouldn't have hit that hard 13 against a dealer four, huh?

Remaining budget = $194.

Stop #1 - Mandalay Bay

I chose Mandalay Bay to begin the couponing because it was closest to the airport. I was able to park close to the escalators which let you out surprisingly close to the casino floor. This was ideal for the coupon run. A short walk to get the MGM card and I filled out the WIN card coupons at the same desk. They issue a voucher and you take your money over to the cashier. I handed her our vouchers and $40 and I was given $60 in promotional chips and 2 $1 dealer tip coupons. Remaining budget = $113. I had already decided to use mine on craps.

I put $5 on the pass line just as a new shooter was about to roll. Point after point after point, the shooter made his roll until my $5 bet was STILL on the pass line and I had $60 in chips in my rack. I finally decide to place another $5 promotional chip on odds and then the shooter craps out. (Maybe I'm bad luck lol.) My next $5 goes out there and the new shooter rolls a seven - Winner! Now I have $65. The next rolls were all losers and I was out of promotional chips.

About ten minutes into the amazing roll, Davy began whining about his back hurting. Thirty minutes later, he was on full tilt. As soon as my promotional chips were done, he snatched his and ran over to the nearest blackjack table. He lost every hand. We cash in for the $65. Remaining budget = $178.

A $54 Mistake

Of the $207 remaining budget, I had given Davy $80 gambling money and given myself $80 (with the remaining $47 to go towards the food budget.) With Davy arriving twelve hours before me and being "bored and hungry," he came to the airport to pick me up with only $26 and a sheepish look. Remaining budget = $153. Let the couponing begin.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Warning - Cheapskate loose in First Class

With a heavy heart, I ventured home from the airport to get some rest before my flight at the (butt)crack of dawn. Running my fingers through my closet, I try to select my most first-class outfit. Unable to find anything in my closet that I would expect to find in first class, I settle on my WSOP shirt and a pair of jeans. Folding them neatly on my dresser, I run around the house cooking meals and cleaning until about 10:00. I get into the bed at 10:30, fully prepared to sleep. Like a kid on Christmas Eve, I lay there with my eyes wide open – visions of Vegas bargains flying through my head. Finally, around 1:00 am, I drift to sleep. At 1:17 AM, my cell phone rings loudly in my ear. It’s my husband letting me know he arrived. I say something like “Great – now don’t ever call me again. I’m sleeping and hang up the phone.) I drift back to sleep. At 2:08 AM my ridiculously loud cell phone blares again. Blearily, I search for the phone. Answering, I say “Are you on fire, or just deaf?” He proceeds to ask inane questions about the rental car that he could have figured out from the text that I sent with the confirmation number. I again say “Don’t call me again – I’m sleeping” and hang up the phone. 3:01 AM – the hated phone goes off again. Angrily, I say “I am going to come through the phone and kill you.” He tells me that the ignoramuses at the hotel are telling him that the reservation is for the next day. I drag out of bed, get the confirmation number and print out that says the correct date and read it to the moron at the front desk. Magically, they then find their ass with both hands, and I am allowed blissful rest. At 4:00 AM, my alarm clock goes off – time to go for my flight.

After a quick shower, I rush off to the airport, park the car, and head to security. A short line awaits me, and I breeze down the concourse to my gate. The airline had graciously given me a voucher for $10 for breakfast, which I spent on some eggs, bacon and cranberry juice. I board the plane (first!) and slip into my plush leather seat. I then proceed to initiate the first class stare, whereby those in first class stare smugly up at those headed back to steerage. Handily, I am offered a warm wet towel and several cocktails while others are boarding. Not sure of first class etiquette, I refrain from speaking to the passenger next to me. After a few moments, he asks me “Do you fly often?” I tell him I fly maybe five or six times a year. I don’t want to let on that I don’t belong in first class. The gentleman is really pretty nice and we get into a conversation. He’s from my hometown and is a minister who opens up churches all over the world, while working for Suntrust, teaching martial arts and having a family (whew!) He has flown 160k this year alone. His current venture is in Orange County, CA – where he was headed. We chatted much of the flight, in between excessive snacking and beverage drinking. I was disappointed that I did not receive any tiny bottles of liquor to swipe, as the flight attendants pre-mixed my drinks. Before we land, he tells me that he is a member of the Crown Club and if I want, I can join him in the lounge while waiting for my next flight. He tells me there’s free food and beverages so, of course, I am in.

Going through the glass doors in ATL, I enter the plush Crown Club Lounge. Ahead of me is a little snack bar and a friendly bartender. Ordering a top shelf drink (um, because I CAN) and nibbling cantaloupe, I we continue to chat. My flight is boarding in about 25 minutes, so I soon head back out.

I rush to my gate, the last one to board. The flight attendant says “Just choose any available seat.” My heart sinks. Then “Oh, nevermind, you’re in first class.” Whew! I make my way to my seat to find a nice television in the back of the chair. Unlike the coach passengers, who are subject to fees of $6 per movie, $4 per television show, $5 for games, and $2 for music, all of these things are available to me totally for free, so of course I try to use them all. Consuming an inordinate amount of beverages, I settle in for my movie. I tried to speak to the guy next to me for a moment but he looked like a jaded business traveler and not up for conversation. Not long after the tearful end of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the Grand Canyon was visible and I knew we were nearing Las Vegas. Excitedly bouncing a little in my seat, and not just because I had to pee from all the cocktails, I peered out the window in search of the city of lights. Flying over the cookie cutter lots in Summerlin, I can see the huge monoliths of Vegas in the corner of my window. I have arrived!

An inauspicious start

My Vegas trip started off with more of a whimper than a bang. Upon arriving at the airport, I was told that my 5:20 flight was delayed to 5:45. As my husband's flight was 5:55, this seemed fine to me. At 5:00, were informed that our plane was STILL IN ATLANTA and that it would not arrive until 7:20 because of mechanical issues. As my connection time in Atlanta was 9:30, I began to panic. I had to get in line behind about fifty other people with similar problems. I waited in line for about 25 minutes before I finally called the number for Delta to see if maybe a phone agent could get me on my husband's flight before I missed the only flight I could still catch out. They informed me that the only flight they could get me on was in the morning. At 5:40, I arrived at the front desk. I begged the gate agent to help me get on my husband's flight, which had not yet departed. She informed me that she had already called about that flight and that it was oversold. As I was standing there, the flight time for my flight changed from a 7:20 departure to an 8:15 departure (meaning I could not make my connection.) She offered me the next flight out in the morning at 6:00 am, arriving 11 hours late in Las Vegas. I asked to be put on standby for the 6:45 flight. Standby ticket issued - 33rd on the list. Sigh.......

I spent the next hour calling the hotel (which of course was in my name) and switching the reservation to Davy's name, calling Alamo and cancelling my reservation and making one for Davy and furiously texting confirmation numbers, addresses and phone numbers to Davy, because I was the one who had everything. I was thankful I had at least given Davy his half of the gambling money - so he would not be broke as I had the credit card as well.

As the 6:45 flight boarded without a single standby clearing, I trudged back up to the line. When I got back up to the front, I resignedly asked to be put back on the 6:00 am flight. I must have looked like someone had just kicked my puppy because the (new) gate agent asked me "Are you sure that's okay?" I then started crying and told her I was just dissapointed because my husband was already on his way to Vegas and I was stuck in Richmond. I apologized for crying. She then said to me "How about if we fly you to Atlanta in First Class. Would that help?" The frugal brat in me was able to raise an eyebrow in excitement. She then starts furiously typing away on the keyboard. She asks me who booked my crazy 2 stop return flight. I told her I booked with miles and think they punish you by making it unpleasant. She laughed and then turned to the other gate agent and asks "Atlanta to Las in J?" I know J is business class, so I get excited. The other agent looks at my tear streaked face and says "Just document it." New agent gives me a sly conspiratorial smile and a thumbs up sign. I smile. First class for my six hour flight sure sounds good to me since I was going to be stuck in the morning either way. Plus, as I stupidly chose Delta for my miles loyalty, despite the fact that I have accumulated over 200k miles, almost none of those have been flying, so my status is bubkis. A "non-status" upgrade is a rarity indeed, and I shall appreciate it fully. Shoulda picked American back in the day. Sigh...

Room Reviews

Well, I'll start the recollection with my room reviews.

I had booked Fri - Tue at Buffalo Bill's in Primm, NV ($23) and Sun - Tue at the Golden Gate in downtown LV ($2).

Buffalo Bill's is way out down I-15 towards the California border. It took me about 45 minutes to get there from the airport. The worst part was the second time I went, I turned at the first light instead of the second one and it dumped me onto I-15 N and it was EIGHTEEN MILES until the next exit where I could turn around. Talk about a wasted half hour! Now for the good parts. When I arrived at the hotel, they had a promotion for $20 in slot play for new club members if you brought them a receipt from their gas station. I promptly put $20 gas in the rental car and they gave me the slot play and a cute t-shirt. I won about $35 off the slot play, so I had the profit plus the gas, which was nice. They also have a $2 craps table. Since I love craps, this was good for me. The room itself was rather large. The beds were average and not uncomfortable. There was coffee and toiletries and a closet. The TV got no channels, but who watches television when there's gambling to be done? The shower stall was a little weird in that it was super short. At 5'7", I had to duck to get under the shower head. The bathroom was quite nice other than that, with a nice marble countertop. All in all, for an average of less than $6 per night, this was a stellar room. The roller coaster never ran while were there. Although I had coupons for a free ride, I was also happy that a loud roller coaster didn't wake me up.

The Golden Gate was a total jewel. The hotel has the old timey mailboxes for guests. The staff wears the white shirts with the black skinny bow ties. It's very nostalgic. Ask for a room on the fourth floor, as those rooms are larger. I was in a small room on the third floor. I mean, really small. HOWEVER, the bed was a super plush pillow top, there were cute art deco lamps, an i-home with some nice nature sounds by the bed, neutragena toiletries, gourmet coffee and a huge flat screen tv. The shower stall was original from the 1906 building (with some improvements circa 1930 and several refreshes.) I don't like the grout in tile floors, so I wore flip flops in the shower. The shower head was quite short. I am 5'7" and I had to bend down a little to wet my hair. The towels were threadbare and scratchy. In all, it was much nicer than your typical Super 8/Rodeway Inn. I'd say a solid 3 star experience.Oh yeah, and if you miss out on the AWESOME 99 cent shrimp cocktail (over 25 million sold at this location!) you're a complete fool. To get the 99 cent price, you need only sign up for a player's card. They then give you a free gift (calendar, dice, key chain) and $5 slot play to boot. With my ACG coupon for a free deck of cards (which they were out of) I was able to double my free loot.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

48 Hour Jitters

I am gearing up for the trip. I have all my confirmation numbers, various bargains & deals, etc. ready to go in a nice envelope. Tonight, I pack. I realized I didn’t have a bathing suit, so I got a 50% coupon for Old Navy and I’m going tonight to pick one up. I should have everything packed after that.

Even better than spending money on a bathing suit, my mom bought me one. I love my mom!

Also, I found a deal to book 2 nights at the Golden Gate downtown for Sunday/Monday for $2, so I jumped on that.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Deals

Here are the deals that enable my coupon addiction:

Free Gambling Money

$49 @ night at MGM includes unlimited buffet for 2!

Cheap car rentals

1/2 off Blue Man Group

Free Hotel

Vegas Packages from $153 pp

Orbitz coupon codes

Monday, April 13, 2009

Part 1- The Prelude

My mission – get to Vegas for 2 on a $300 budget. I’m not talking about a $300 gambling budget, I’m talking $300 for everything we have to do – air, hotel, rental car, buffets, gambling & shows. I will give the caveat that I used 25,000 Delta Skymiles for this trip. I earned the miles during a 9,999 bonus mile promo from Delta by renting three cars for 3 hours each for $34 per rental. So, technically, I spent $100 on those miles. I will include this in my budget.

$100 – Car rentals for Skymiles
$10 – Skymiles Redemption for 1 RT airfare RIC-LAS
$177 – RT Air from RIC-LAS booked on using a $50 coupon.
$24 – 4 nights (Fri – Tue) in Primm, NV at Buffalo Bills using an orbitz coupon code (4odwr75) for $75 off a 4 night stay.
$48 – Car rental for 3 days using a $10 per day promo on

Total for Air + Lodging + Car Rental for 2 = $359 ($179.50 pp).

So, that leaves me with only $241 to meet my goal of $300 per person. Are you ready for an adventure??!

Step 1 – Luggage. I don’t have any luggage. After the house fire, it was hardly the thing I needed to replace first, so I don’t even own a suitcase. This past Saturday, I set out on a mission to find some luggage at a yard sale. After stopping at about 9 or 10 yard sales, I hit the jackpot – a multi-family sale on Pole Green road. They had about 10 different suitcases, and I picked a nice rolling bag – airline carryon size & a rolling bag set from Mary Kay. After much discussion, I was able to get all three bags for the bargain basement price of $8. I now have $233 left in my Vegas budget. Plus, I saved myself any checked baggage fees I might have incurred from a larger suitcase.

Step 2 – Coupons. I found a very popular Casino Guides/Coupon books that is purported to be worth its weight in gold. It is the American Casino Guide ($12.85 on – free shipping for 2.) There is also the Las Vegas Advisor for $37 (limit 2 per household.) It didn't end up to be feasible for me to pick this up because of time constraints. Total OOP for the two books on Amazon - $26 (free shipping.) Reamining budget = $207

Step 3 – Coupon Run. Using the plan that I devised here - – I set out to hit 25+ casinos in 10 hours and earn $350+ by using matchplay and free slot play (assuming a 2% casino edge on even money bets and a 50% casino edge on slot play.) This is achieved by hedging my bets with my partners bets, thus guaranteeing the return of one matchplay. My Vegas trip is scheduled for 4/24. I will update the blog when I arrive.