Las Vegas, April 2019, Part Seven by @MJames1229


It’s @MJames1229‘s last day in Las Vegas. But the plane doesn’t leave until evening so let’s see what kind of damage @MJames1229 can do in Part Seven of his April 2019 Las Vegas trip report.

Going Home Today 

I hate, hate, hate the last day in Vegas. I don’t care if I’m down two grand or not, but the entire day revolves around what time you need to leave for the airport… and the melancholy of leaving always prevents maximum funnage during the day. But the plane was leaving around 6:40 PM, so on we go.

Gambling Before Breakfast 

If we were at home, my wife would have called in sick from work. I had said that we could just chill in the room until checkout time, but she thought about it and said “The casino is attached to the hotel, maybe we could gamble a bit”. That’s my girl! So about 8:30 AM we headed to the upper level of the California for some slots and VP. Nothing horribly exciting happened, but when I hit this…

I then also realized that I hadn’t had any coffee, I treated myself to a nice cup of coffee from Lapperts. Was it my fault that it included a donut? I think not.

My wife lost her money, I worked it down to even and we went up to pack. Our original plan was to head to the Whitney Library for the Vintage Vegas in Color exhibit. Just looking at the photos in a couple of these articles had me really excited to see it, but under the circumstances, staying close to home was probably the best bet.

Breakfast Was an Old Standby 

The discovery of wonderful breakfast places like Mr. Mamas and BabyStacks Cafe are great and all, but they just don’t compare. Chef Natalie’s gotta watch the prices, though… the Country Fried Steak is up to $16, five bucks more than when they first opened. But if it wasn’t still worth it, I wouldn’t be a regular.

Ending the Trip with a Coupon Run 

My wife was catching a wind so we decided to start the DCR (Downtown Coupon Run) using our Las Vegas Advisor book. Since this was to (theoretically) be our entire day, I kept track of the results… I also knew I needed hours worth of content for this report. The first stop was back at the California, in part for a place to put the car, and in part for, well… another marker.

CAL $10 MATCH PLAY – played one hand of blackjack. I was dealt 22. Dealer had a 10, then revealed blackjack. -$10

MSS $10 MATCH PLAY – played one hand of blackjack. I was dealt A9. Dealer had a 3. I stayed, dealer drew to 18. +$20 (total +$10)

An Alternate Plan Surfaces 

While at Main Street, though, I stopped at the player’s club desk to meet my host (who actually works at MSS). As I was in line, the lady in front of me wanted to sign up for the slot tournament’s Noon start. The worker bee said that because there were not 6 players, there would be no qualifying and she would automatically be placed in the Finals at 4:00. My ears were on fire… I forgot all about my host, and “signed” up my wife and I for the Noon squad ($10 each). Just like that, we were placed into the Finals. That’s my kind of tournament. My wife then went to the Plaza (where we were going to play bingo) and I made another coupon stop.

Back to the Coupon Run 

GOLDEN GATE $25 MATCH PLAY – played blackjack in the High Limit area. I was dealt K8. Dealer had a 5. I stayed, dealer drew to 20 -$25 (total -$15)

Frustrated with that loss, I played two more losing hands, and at that point I was down to my last green chip so I played it, won, won again, then won a third time to get even at the table. I did have a second coupon at the Golden Gate.

GOLDEN GATE 2:1 ON FIRST BLACKJACK – I went to a $10 table, and was playing by myself. I had an A four times before I got that damned blackjack. I had a $15 bet, so it payed an extra $7.50 (total -$7.50).

In the course of playing to that blackjack, I had lost $20. My wife contends that I should count that as a loss on the coupon run, but it wasn’t the coupon’s fault that I got greedy and split 7s against a 6 and lost.

Bingo Combines with Coupon Run 

PLAZA $25 MATCH PLAY – This got a little frustrating as we had to make a minimum purchase to get the match play. Before I knew it, I was paying $62 out of pocket. I once again got carried away with the offerings, but after playing six previous games, I was due. I had to get as many cards as I could, right? -$25 (total -$32.50)

PLAZA $10 SLOT PLAY – After bingo my wife played this one. She only won $3.80 with the free play, but she did hit a bonus shortly after that. I sat at the machine next to her and won a bonus of over $100. Being down an entire bankroll with five hours before our flight left, this was no time for small victories. I went up a denomination higher and pressed forward. I did stop before it was gone, cashing out for a $1 profit. +$3.80 (total -$28.70)

BINIONS $10 SLOT PLAY – My wife played this one as well on a Betty White machine. She hit a bonus on the first spin and when her free play was done, she was up $25.43. While she was playing with those proceeds, I was in a video poker machine right behind her.

This was becoming a non-horrible gambling day… as the clock clicked towards go(home) time. I cashed out with a $50 profit as we had time to use one last coupon before getting back to the slot tournament. +$25.43 (total -$3.27)

DOWNTOWN GRAND $10 MATCH PLAY – I played Pai Gow at a commission free table. My hand had QQ in the big hand and 88 on top, the dealer had a low pair and A-high. +$10 (total +$6.73). I did lose $5 on the Fortune Bonus, but that doesn’t count.

Taking it to the Man 

It had gotten a little warm during the day and we hadn’t stayed anywhere long enough to have anything to drink, so Melissa asked the bartender at the Furnace Bar for a glass of water. They didn’t want to give her one, but offered to sell her a bottle for $2.50. She refused. A waitress, however, was at a bank of slot machines right behind the bar, so my wife slid in some money, the waitress brought her a water without asking, my wife tipped $1 and cashed out without actually playing. You don’t refuse hydration to a sick woman in the desert.

When all was totaled up, just the proceeds of the DCR netted a $6.73 profit. Maybe the expected value was a little higher, but we killed a lot of time and made a couple bucks. We were hoping to get to The D, but we needed to get back to the Main Street Station. We were in the Finals of the slot tournament, remember.

Would I be the Big Kahuna? 

We check in the player’s club in plenty of time, and I find a slot machine and finally get a hit from the Buffalo. I cash out, draw for my machine and take a seat.

Good Ol’ 18. I hoped…

The tournament starts and its Tap City. My machine was against a wall and I could only see the credit meter one machine to my left. After five minutes, I was keeping pace with her. Then I started getting some decent hits. At the halfway mark, my score was about a thousand ahead. More tapping. Then the time ended. I looked over at her score, and it was around 14,000. I looked down at mine and saw over 22,000. Everyone stood up and started comparing scores, and nobody was even close to 20,000. I won in a rout, with 2nd place around 17,000 points. The boothling handed me $90 and it was some of the sweetest money I had won.

Running Late to the Airport 

But then we were in a race to the airport. I got paid out at 4:30 and our flight left at 6:40. I made excellent time to the gas station, the Rental Car Center, the bag drop, and TSA (thank you, PreCheck) and made it to the gate 40 minutes before boarding.

Having not eaten since about 10:00 AM, I was starved. My wife, on the other hand, had completely run out of gas, and the hustle through the airport also took a toll on her knee. All she wanted was a banana, water (over $6, by the way) and to fall asleep. I found a sandwich place with a short line, but there was only one sandwich maker moving at a snail’s pace, despite the line. The lady at the register was wiping down aluminum tins as she waited for someone to pay her. I weighed my options, and I couldn’t risk waiting my turn and missing my preboard assignment.

Airport Burger King for my last Las Vegas dinner. Not how I had drawn it up, but… did I tell you that I won a slot tournament?

I had cut it so close that I had to be “that guy” and eat my dinner on the plane, smelling up the area while watching everyone else board. Flight was good, wife slept, got the car, had George Webb for a proper dinner at 1:00 AM CDT and was in bed by 2:30. Then we slept for days.


On a recent Vegas Message Board thread titled “Another Losing Trip”, where member LoveVegas! bemoaned yet another losing trip. Well, Love, I am right with you. I get slaughtered in Las Vegas no matter what game I play. I created a little spreadsheet with how bad it was this time.

There’s a lot of red on that spreadsheet.

As a post script, my wife was at the urgent care within hours of returning home, diagnosed as bronchitis. Nine days later, she went back to urgent care and was told that she had a “minor” pneumonia. She’s gone to work every day, and come home and gone to bed by 7:00 PM. Took her almost three weeks before she had any oomph back.

So ends another seven-day adventure.  Now I’ve gotta be patient until my mid-September poker trip.

Man, that’s gonna be hard.

That’s a wrap! Thanks @MJames1229 for letting us post your trip report!

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