Las Vegas, April 2019, Part Six by @MJames1229


@MJames1229‘s April 2019 Las Vegas trip report slides into Part Six. We get a look at his bingo spreadsheet, there’s dinner and a show, and the gambling losses are piling up. 

Good morning, Las Vegas! 

We got an early start on this day, but not necessarily due to the busy schedule. Rather, it was because my wife could not stop coughing.

She had bronchitis a few months earlier, and had started feeling crappy Wednesday. Fearful of the Vegas Crud, she left a message with her doctor about refilling her prescription for the cough pill. Looking at how our day was going to lay out, we asked that the Rx be filled at the CVS on Sahara and Valley View, which was near our first stop of the day.

Today is a Bingo Day 

I went into some detail on a bingo thread on the Vegas Message Board, but the genesis of the idea is the yearly Vegas poker trip I take with the guys each fall. Hearing stories of our trek from poker room to poker room, Melissa decided that she wanted her version of it… using bingo. So I looked up websites of the Vegas casinos offering bingo, charted what specials ($1K coveralls, double/triple pay games, etc) are at which properties at which time, and, well…

Where would I be without spreadsheets?

Planning the Bingo Itinerary 

Prior to leaving home, my wife and I had to decide among ourselves which was more important… $1000 guaranteed coveralls, or getting double or triple pays per game. We both kind of agreed that if we get the tan pack, multiple double or triple pay games would offer more chances of winning more money. The EV might be greater with a $1000 GTD game, but we both decided that many more chances for decent wins was more important than one potential big score. What really bites, though, is that none of the Stations casinos websites list specific information on any of their bingo games. There is a page of special promos for each month, but since we left home in April, the May specials were not yet on any of the sites, so for the most part, we avoided consideration of the Stations properties.

That said, our first stop of the day was at Palace Station.

Gonna Have a Friend for the Day 

One reason for starting there was that a bowling friend was staying there, and she would be joining us for the bingo tour. Shirley (who is a member of multiple bowling Halls of Fame in Milwaukee and Wisconsin) was in town to bowl Nationals, but she isn’t (much of) a gambler and was looking to kill a day. In talking to her before leaving on the trip, I mentioned our Bingo Run and she begged to come along. Since she was staying at Palace Station, the first game of the day was a no-brainer.

Before bingo, was a decent breakfast at what was once the coffee-shop looking coffee shop, but is now the too-classy-for-breakfast Brass Fork. Breakfast was fine, though the service was slow, but we managed to get to the bingo hall in time for the 9:00 AM game.

Palace Station at 9:00 AM 

Bingo cost $3 for a blue 6-on, and other than the Stations-wide progressive game, that was the only game offered. I took two blue packs, so my total outlay (including the progressive) was $8. Each bingo was worth $50, of which we won none.

Gold Coast at 11:00 AM 

After bingo, we had to stop at the Tropicana to pick up our show tickets for that night, then we headed to the 11:00 AM game at Gold Coast. My wife bought the tan 6-on, and when all of the bonus games were added, the total was $24. I was behind her in line, and I told the clerk that I wanted everything she got, but double. She said that for $48 (double what my wife paid) I could get the Manager’s Special, which included a total of 78 cards on a computer, 12 of which were the tan ones that I wanted in the first place. I came back to the table and my wife was a jealous that I had 72 more cards for only $24 more.

I had a few minutes before the bingo started, so…

The bingo session went on, and in about half the games, I was one number away… as a matter of fact, in one particular game I was one number away on five different cards. But, alas, there was no win.

Gonna Get that Rx for My Wife 

We stopped back at CVS to get the prescription, but it wasn’t ready as the clinic had yet to call it in. We asked them to instead send it to a CVS on Decatur and Charleston, which would be near the next game at Arizona Charlie’s.

Arizona Charlie’s Decatur at 1:00 PM

We arrived at the Arizona Charlie’s bingo room in plenty of time for their 1:00 PM game. Remembering the better package we got from Gold Coast, my wife, Shirley and I all were going to ask the clerk for the best package. We went to three different lines (just for expediency). The result is that each of the three of us got vastly different packages for the same $25 or so. Speaking of Arizona Charlie’s, I noticed that they had a small bar in the bingo room, and they offered free cocktails to bingo players. I had one, but then it occurred to me that I hadn’t eaten in six hours, so I only had the one.

Still Chasing Down that Rx for My Wife 

After another winless session, we stopped at the CVS to pick up Melissa’s prescription… which wasn’t there. Turns out that it was ultimately submitted to the CVS near Palace Station. We didn’t have time to go back across town, so my wife kept hacking (and fading) as we drove to the 3:00 PM game at the Rampart Casino.

A Little More Time to Gamble 

We got there early enough to sign up for the players card, which had an easy-to-meet play minimum for free play. So while Melissa and Shirley bought their bingo and got something to eat, I worked on getting my free play.

Well, it wasn’t much, but I wanted to play some Quick Quads, or Fast Fours, or whatever brand this was.

Rampart Casino at 3:00 PM 

On the way to the bingo hall, I stopped past a hot dog cart for lunch then got in line for my buy in. I took a look at the options, and I got really confused. There were so many different options and specials and packages that I confused myself trying to figure out the best deal. So I just took two tan 6-ons and the extra games for $34. I probably didn’t get the best deal, but then again, I knew I wouldn’t win. And I was right. Nobody else did, either.

As we left, I swept my card at the kiosk and had $25 of free play, so being in a hurry, I went to some random machine and bet MAX (about $3.60/spin). When the $25 was done, I had won about $2.50 in cash. The bloodening continued.

STILL Trying to Get that Rx 

When we got back to the car, my wife tapped out. We had been planning on hitting Jerry’s Nugget for 5:00 (then the prime rib for dinner) but she asked me to take her back to the California so she could take a nap. Shirley was getting a little tired, too, and she had to bowl the tournament at 10:30 PM, so after dropping Melissa off, we decided to go back to Palace Station for the 5:00 PM game, and then she’d be back at her hotel so she could eat and nap before she had to leave. Before getting to the casino, I finally was able to get that damned Rx… but now my wife wouldn’t take it until after I got back to the hotel. The good idea (of getting her some medicine) kinda didn’t work out too well.

I had realized that I hadn’t taken many photos, so I surprised Shirley with one.

Palace Station at 5:00 PM 

Like the morning game, all that was offered at the Palace Station’s 5:00 PM game were $3 blue 6-ons and the Station-wide progressive game (of which I splurged and bought two). All games again were worth $50, and Shirley and I won all none of them. Five games in four casinos by three people, and not a penny was won by our group.

Gambling While the Wife Sleeps 

After bingo ended, I gave Shirley a hug and sent her out of my way so I could get to work. I had spent $125 on bingo, and for the trip had lost almost 3/4 of my entire bankroll. The chase was on.

That was a hell of a draw. Had I known, I would have held the 2.

Based on this 10/6 paytable, this was a very popular bank of machines. While I was playing, some little old lady (who proudly proclaimed that she allows herself $40 a day at this bank of machines) was chatting me up. She also knew and talked to every other player, and one of the other oldies wondered how I got on the machine. It’s like this group of blue hairs have squatting rights to this bank. The lady next to me was very happy for me with the four pointies on the re-draw. Some of the other old ladies… not so much.

Dinner Before Another Show 

I cashed out with a $100 profit, and after only losing half of that in the slots on the way out (confarnit…) I headed back downtown to wake up the wife. With the show scheduled to start at 9:30, we decided to hit the Triple-7 Brew Pub for dinner. And this is where I am continually amazed at some of the half-assed service at various segments of the downtown Boyd properties. We get there around 7:15, and there is a line of about 6 parties. But looking through the entrance, you could see plenty of tables. We assumed they just needed to be bussed and that the line would move pretty quickly.

Wrong. The line never moved, and there was no hostess to be found. We waited a little while and a hostess moseyed over to take one group… walking past dirty, empty tables. When she sat that party, the hostess disappeared into the kitchen for minutes. At no time were those tables cleaned, and the hostess wasn’t even man enough to stand in front of the line and offer faux-apologies. Hell, she really could have been cleaning the tables for that matter. So after watching the restaurant ignoring cleanliness and their potential customers for about 15 minutes, we decided to hustle over to the Market Street Cafe, in hopes that the line would move quickly.

That’s More Like It

Delighted to report — NO LINE!!! Woo! We were going to be able to eat!

My wife had the Chicken Alfredo, which came with the salad bar. But not feeling well, she didn’t want to eat that much. We asked the waiter if I could have her salad, and after originally saying no, he did that head-wave-thing.

In addition to a big salad, I had Royal Flusher’s favorite, the Korean Short Ribs. Mmmmm… Rib-Tastic. Jimmy Poon’s mouth must be watering.

Although our waiter wasn’t exactly a barrel of fun, him allowing me Melissa’s salad bar earned him a little extra tip, and with that we were off to the Tropicana to see Purple Reign.

Purple Reign 

A $55 Groupon (at Christmastime) got us $90 Preferred seating which was in the second row of permanent seats on the aisle.

The little trooper. This was the show she was most looking forward to, and she was doing all she could to hang in there.

Growing up in the ’80s, I was always more of a MJ guy than a Prince guy, but I have to say that this was a really good show. He could sing and dance, and he kept the audience engaged. The Morris Day guy was pretty good, but the show dragged to a halt when Morris Day and his handler tried to do this lame Who’s On First routine about a password being “What”. After that, Apollonia (or was it Vanity?) did her one hit and it was back to Prince.

One thing didn’t make sense, though. Near the end, they did Darling Nikki. Though unexpected, it was past 10:30 PM in Las Vegas, so it wasn’t out of line. But if you are going to do Darling Nikki, you are almost compelled to then also sing Erotic City, no?

Regardless of the dumb comedy routine and the glaring omission, this was really a well-produced show, and in my opinion the best of the shows that we had seen all week. But the night had dragged on too long for my beautiful bride, so we went back to the California and I put her to bed.

I Can’t Lose Every Time I Gamble, Can I? 

You know what that means… Marker Time!!! (Can I get a “Woo”?)

I headed for that Last Gamble (trademark pending) at Main Street Station. I had three goals; #1 to play some Pai Gow Poker, which I hadn’t played all week, then #2 finally have a winning craps session (its a 95 – 98% game, I was due for a win), and #3 have some Black Chip Porters at the Boar’s Head while collecting a string of scratchers.

All set-up. Time for a run.

Yeah… all told, this was my third consecutive day with a loss of over $500, and it wasn’t like I had these all-day gambling sessions. I played fucking bingo all day! But other than the first day and a half, Las Vegas treated me as her bitch. But yet I kept coming back.

I had one more day to salvage something.

Evening came and morning followed, the sixth day.

The End

There’s Part Six. Click here for Part Seven where @MJames1229 tries to reverse the losing streak and wraps things up on another Las Vegas trip.

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