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mickeyb105

Vegas State of Mind Thread

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Keep in mind; With the opening of the new Vegas arena, all MGM resorts will be charging for parking for all guests. $14/day, $17 for valet. Even employees are/will be charged to park. 

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4 hours ago, Shinma said:

Keep in mind; With the opening of the new Vegas arena, all MGM resorts will be charging for parking for all guests. $14/day, $17 for valet. Even employees are/will be charged to park. 

This is a great point.  It's not longer a no-brainer to rent a car for $15-$20 a day instead of just cabbing/using shuttle/monorails. 

I did wonder if something had to give over the last few years, though.  Excalibur and Luxor's rates have hit lows in the mid-high $20 range per-night, NYNY and Monte Carlo have been in the low 30s, MGM and Mirage around $50, Mandalay Bay in the high $50s and Aria in the high $60s.  Sure, the price jumps when you tack on another $25-$29, but that's the cost of the convenience of staying on The Strip in 2016 I suppose.

Apples and oranges, but check out the cost of the hotels on Disney property in Lake Buena Vista  sometime--in or out of season.  Like $400 for the smallest room at the Grand Floridian for a room that hasn't been renovated in 15 years.  Just terrible.  $190 for a room at an All-Star resort.  Need a suite?  Now you're really paying.  Compare that to, say, all-suite Venetian's quarterly $129 (+$30ish resort fee, which you can ask to be waived and they may) and it just seems crazy.  Let alone all-suite Rio, which isn't real nice but is kinda comparable to Grand Floridan, which can be had for $70 per night after resort fee when you can't get it comped at the lowest level of Total Rewards status.

It is always great to save money whenever you can when staying in LV, because The House is always taking from you one way or another. 

Just a few ways to save money:

--Play MyVegas on Facebook to earn comps on MGM-owned properties and affiliates.  I've saved hundreds with this little app.  Room, monorail, food, drink and gaming comps.  For those who can't get to Vegas, there are cruise comps and comps at properties throughout the country and abroad.  By the time you get your MLife card, if you don't already have it, you could have three comps waiting for you.

--Liking the Facebook page of individual properties can help you secure very generous offers.  Aria's used to be great, not sure these days.

--Groupon offers solid deals on food and activities on and off The Strip.

--The American Casino Guide has a ton of coupons that can get you freeplay, bogo meals, bogo hotel nights and more.  Used copies on Amazon or eBay for extra savings, just make sure you know which coupons are missing  before you buy.  This book is a must if you are spending time on Freemont Street or Henderson.

--Blogs can be your best friend in LV, and there are a lot of them about a lot of different things.  I probably follow the food blogs closest, which keep close tabs on the ever-changing happy hour menus of each participating restaurant.  Cosmopolitan's 3rd floor restaurants have some pretty exotic plates for $7-$10, for example.

--And finally, comps can really take a dent out of our bottom line if you have them.  Once they expire, you can't get those points back--so use them!

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Last night FK had a special drawing where they gave away $38K for the VIP members. I was home watching the game, but my girl went up with her friend and ended up winning $3K on one of the drawings. 

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3 hours ago, Deleterious said:

Last night FK had a special drawing where they gave away $38K for the VIP members. I was home watching the game, but my girl went up with her friend and ended up winning $3K on one of the drawings. 

Nice!

Gotta love padding that bankroll just by showing up.

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46 minutes ago, mickeyb105 said:

Nice!

Gotta love padding that bankroll just by showing up.

Yep, she is breaking it off from her cash BR and starting a tournament BR.

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3 hours ago, Deleterious said:

Yep, she is breaking it off from her cash BR and starting a tournament BR.

Pretty smart move, something I never did formally.

If you guys are eyeing a 2017 WSOP trip, and are considering an MGM property like Vdara, one of you should start playing MyVegas on Facebook.  You guys could rack up $500 in rewards between the two of you between now and then with little effort.

Here's a list of my redeemed comps from MyVegas:

--one night at Aria

--bottle of wine at American Fish ($39 towards a decent bottle of Chardonnay)

--two free buffets at Beau Rivage

--$10 in slots freeplay at Graton Casino (CA)

--$20 towards a gift shop purchase at Graton Casino

--Entry to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

I definitely haven't used the program to the max, but it has helped out a little here and there.  There is a decent variety of rewards up and down the strip, including helicopter rides.

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Vdara is our favorite place to stay. Not a big hotel, but the rooms are a good size with a refrigerator and kitchenette.  No smoking and no casino noise when you walk into the lobby. Yet if you want to gamble, the Vdara is literally steps from the Aria. The pool is nothing by   Vegas standards, but I don't like sitting by the pool anyhow. The exercise  facility is pretty good, not as nice as the Cosmopolitan, but better then the Venetian which was very disappointing for such a high end property. The locker room, showers, steam room and whirlpool are top notch. The concierge is excellent. They really try to be helpful without giving off attitude. Because they lack the draw of a casino in the hotel and of any top end restaurants they say they try very hard to make their guests happy. The Vdara  apparently was built with the intention of selling off the rooms as high end condos right on the strip but then the Vegas real estate market crashed and they had to make it into a hotel, which accounts for the lack of the casino.

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1 hour ago, rhino said:

Vdara is our favorite place to stay. Not a big hotel, but the rooms are a good size with a refrigerator and kitchenette.  No smoking and no casino noise when you walk into the lobby. Yet if you want to gamble, the Vdara is literally steps from the Aria. The pool is nothing by   Vegas standards, but I don't like sitting by the pool anyhow. The exercise  facility is pretty good, not as nice as the Cosmopolitan, but better then the Venetian which was very disappointing for such a high end property. The locker room, showers, steam room and whirlpool are top notch. The concierge is excellent. They really try to be helpful without giving off attitude. Because they lack the draw of a casino in the hotel and of any top end restaurants they say they try very hard to make their guests happy. The Vdara  apparently was built with the intention of selling off the rooms as high end condos right on the strip but then the Vegas real estate market crashed and they had to make it into a hotel, which accounts for the lack of the casino.

There's a ton to like about Vdara and it is one of The Strip's true luxury values IMO.  Having a fridge alone makes it desirable, as you have to request one for medical purposes if you want it most everywhere else in LV other than extended stay places.  The ability to heat up leftovers from a good meal the previous day or wash a small load of laundry if you are staying a few days (to save valuable suitcase room!) is pretty nice.  Even if the rooms were average, these things would make Vdara desirable--but of course these rooms are pretty nice digs, so huge bonus!

Vdara being so close/adjacent to Aria, Cosmo and Bellagio makes it a very desirable location.  Even though there are some desirable things to do across the street at the CES properties, it is hard for Bally's/Paris/Planet Hollywood to stack up to the aforementioned MGM lineup.  I suppose for really cheap food at Bally's food court (if it is still there?), that could fill a need. 

It is a big win for the consumer that Vdara wasn't sold off completely as high-end condos.  Those City Center towers have had so many problems, I'll always wonder what could have been for that property in spite of it already being crazy-nice.

I hear you on Venetians workout room.  For a premier property their facility is pedestrian, although it is fine for most peoples' needs (including mine back then).

As for Vdara's pool, I had a great view of it from my 32nd story room at Aria when I was there a few years back.  It looks nice enough, just not "baller" like other properties.  We gave serious thought to staying there instead of Aria back then, but my wife and SIL saw the negative press about Vdara's pool.  They ended up only spending a few total hours at Aria's pool, and during hours that were problem-free times for Vdara's pool.  No regrets, we had a great stay at Aria and even got a comp upgrade to a junior SkySuite for the six-day stay thanks to a promotion they were running with MyVegas.

For those who are curious about Vdara's pool issue: 

 

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N.J. horse tracks gear up for arrival of 'exchange wagering'

Quote

Starting May 10, New Jersey will be the first state to give racing fans the same option of placing bets not only before a race but also after it is under way — a form of betting called “exchange wagering” that track officials hope will attract a far younger audience than the sport’s current customer base.

 

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Here's a working "Best of Vegas" reference link page that are a big help to those who want some great culinary experiences on the Las Vegas Strip and even off of it.

 

Best Happy Hours:  Cheap drinks and cheap gourmet food on The Strip is a major win.  It is easy for us East Coasters to eat/drink early on PST.

http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/22602244/20-great-happy-hours-on-the-las-vegas-strip/

Best Brunches:  Saturday and Sunday Brunch in Las Vegas is special and sometimes pricey.  Worth every penny, though if done right.

http://vegas.eater.com/maps/las-vegas-brunch

Best Steaks:  Who has the best steak in Las Vegas?  That's like arguing who's the best CF of all-time, lots of different and legit answers.  Arguably the best selection of steakhouses in the world can be found right on The Strip.  There are a few off-strip that are on that level as well.  Just don't eat at the Outback next to Harrah's, such a sin.

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/las-vegas/the-40-best-steakhouses-in-las-vegas-a-complete-guide-to-vegas-steak

Best Food Under $10:  $10 isn't cheap food in most places, but it's not bad in Vegas.  The Asian fusion is the best bang-for-buck IMO.

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/las-vegas/the-best-things-to-eat-in-las-vegas-under-10

Best Flair Bartenders:  Watching a bartender juggle five bottles while balancing a sixth on his head isn't everyone's idea of fun, but it definitely isn't something you see everyday outside of The Strip.  Some of these guys, make $250K per year.

http://lasvegassun.com/news/2012/oct/04/best-flair-bars-las-vegas/

Best Burgers: There are a lot of people who would never pay $10 for a burger.  This is not aimed at you.  If you like your burgers to be experiences, you'll love the burgers in Las Vegas.  The link below lists 17 burgers, but the list could easily top 100.

http://vegas.eater.com/maps/las-vegas-best-burgers-restaurants-burger-week

Best Buffets:  Las Vegas buffets are no longer loss-leaders designed to draw people to the casino.  Instead, they evolved into culinary extravaganzas that cater to people of all cultures and tastes.  The list below is a good one, as I've eaten at 10 of the 11 selections.  One nitpick, they lumped the Rio World and Seafood buffets together.  I really liked the World Buffet, thought the Seafood Buffet was borderline bad and vastly overpriced.  Sorry, I just take my buffets kinda serious.

https://www.vegas.com/traveltips/top-10-buffets/

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1 hour ago, Deleterious said:

Three.

What is the number of trips to Chicago it takes to secure a hat for Derby Day. 

I'll take levels of Hades for $500, Alex.

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7 hours ago, mickeyb105 said:

I'll take levels of Hades for $500, Alex.

I didn't make any of the trips, thankfully.  

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They have fenced off an entire overflow parking lot at FK.  They also dropped of a trailer in the same spot.  One of those used on construction sites for the foreman/boss to have an office on site.  That will be the location of the new car wash, gas station, convenience store.

I bet they just lost 50-75 parking spots, which isn't much in the grand scheme of things.  But with the parking lot on nights of a show or give away, you might have to drive around 10 minutes to find a spot.  I can't imagine how it will be now.

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27 minutes ago, Deleterious said:

They have fenced off an entire overflow parking lot at FK.  They also dropped of a trailer in the same spot.  One of those used on construction sites for the foreman/boss to have an office on site.  That will be the location of the new car wash, gas station, convenience store.

I bet they just lost 50-75 parking spots, which isn't much in the grand scheme of things.  But with the parking lot on nights of a show or give away, you might have to drive around 10 minutes to find a spot.  I can't imagine how it will be now.

Is the parking garage too small for the property?

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6 minutes ago, mickeyb105 said:

Is the parking garage too small for the property?

Yes.  They have hundreds of parking spots not in the garage.  

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Sorry, was on the phone.

Something to remember.  FK was built in the middle of a corn field.  When you have that much space its simply cheaper to build surface lots instead of a garage big enough to accommodate all of that parking.

We usually park in a surface lot.  There is ample parking near an entrance that is 20 feet from the poker room, so we use that area.  On busy nights we use valet since it saves us from a long walk and we both get free valet parking.

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16 minutes ago, Deleterious said:

Sorry, was on the phone.

Something to remember.  FK was built in the middle of a corn field.  When you have that much space its simply cheaper to build surface lots instead of a garage big enough to accommodate all of that parking.

We usually park in a surface lot.  There is ample parking near an entrance that is 20 feet from the poker room, so we use that area.  On busy nights we use valet since it saves us from a long walk and we both get free valet parking.

Very similar to Red Rock.  The poker room actually is right when you walk in to Charleston BLVD entryway, so you never have to walk through the casino.  With the sports book next door to the poker room, cocktail servers were always around and fast--always good for the game.

The parking garage was great when I didn't want my car to be a million degrees when I finished a four or five-hour session.  Otherwise, I didn't use the garage.

Somehow I never managed to eat at the Salt Lick BBQ across the hall.  Apparently I had company, because RR replaced it a few years back.

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The Las Vegas Review Journal has been an excellent resource for visitors and Las Vegas area residents alike, but I wonder for how much longer.  It was bought by Las Vegas Sands frontman Sheldon Adelson a few months back, and early returns aren't great.  Hopefully it will continue to be a great resource for things like entertainment, gaming and sports.

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/media/2016/04/8597612/las-vegas-review-journal-columnist-resigns

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Results for regular season NBA betting.  The push number is wrong, just ignore it.

NQfVUV8.png

1 unit = $100

Pretty standard, never put more than 2% of my roll in play on any night.

I have a lot to say but nothing groundbreaking and I'm a bit crunched for time.  So some TL;DR thoughts.

  • It's hard, really hard.
  • Time spent vs. profit is way out of whack.  There were nights I watched 5+ games.  Not worth $5,300.
  • Assuming I could replicate this success, and I'm not sure I can, I would seriously need to up my roll to show the type of profit needed to make this worthwhile. 
  • Coaches who rest players are the devil.  Especially for people like me who like to lock lines in early.
  • If you end up with a bad line locked in, don't try to correct it by playing quarters/halves.  I'm not saying don't play those, just don't let your emotions control you.  Use your head and common sense.
  • It's hard, really hard.

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Ah, the discipline of an online poker vet!  Well, played with that BR.

Sports betting is definitely hard, I tip my hat to you for trying it for a whole season.

On the time spent vs profit, do you think that you could cut it back to 2-3 next season and do just as well or better now that you have seen a great deal of the league's personnel and systems?  I know you were no stranger before, but you depth of knowledge is bound to be different when you put in as much time as you did.

Coaches who rest players are a huge gripe for all bettors and fantasy players.  My FF days are long gone (admitting addiction was key for me), but it was a factor at the end of the year . . . or if you had Patriots personnel.

It makes sense not to throw good money after bad.  Doyle is smiling all the way from the Bellagio Sportsbook.

When I followed Voulgaris for a few years, I really saw how hard it was to maintain "worthwhile" profit for him--and he's the best in the biz.  I always figured I could dabble and be OK, but it would be a rabbit hole for me like FF became.

Nice work, Del, and thanks for sharing your results.

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