Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Booking a trip to Vegas, baby!!!

My wife and I have finally booked a vacation to Vegas!  I'll be visiting Vegas mid-March for the first time in 7 years!  I can't wait!  We'll be staying on the strip - so if anyone has any ideas for the best places to go play, I'll probably have a few hours to avail myself to play cards...

I have no idea how Vegas works as far as best comps, best action, busiest rooms, etc.  I can't imagine that I'd want to venture off-strip to play poker, though - so places like Green Valley Ranch and the like are probably out of the question.  We still haven't decided whether we'll rent a car - we'll probably take a car for a day or two ultimately, so that we can go see the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Damn or any of the other sites.  I'd also like to get down to Binions Horseshoe and the old strip just to check it out.

So before I end this post, I'm sure all of my readers have opinions of things to do while in Vegas.  I'm taking all suggestions!  Please let me know!  Any advice on getting cheap tickets to the Vegas shows is also much appreciated!

18 comments:

  1. id suggest renting a car and visiting the goldstrike in Jean

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    1. Thanks Tony. I doubt I'll make it out to Jean, as I'll have my wife with me and there isn't really anything there for her to do so far as I know...

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  2. When I go out next week I really want to try that burger place lightning goes on and on about. I think its the IN-N-OUT Burger. He makes it sound like an instant heart attack waiting to happen. My type of place. I'm taking a newbie out there, so it will be a lot of casino hopping for us.

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    1. In -n- Out is an awesome place for fast food burgers. Vegas is the furthest east that they go with that chain. Order the double-double and tell 'em Joel sent you! Let me know how your trip goes and what you did.

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  3. If you want to check out downtown, go in the evening with wifey and walk around. Fremont Street Experience is fun, even for non-gamblers.

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    1. Definitely in the plans to go to the Freemont area. Do you drive down there and park or can you walk?

      Also, since you moved not too far from the Tamp Hard Rock, do you have any interest in meeting up this week? I was hoping to play on Thursday if you have time.

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  4. I'd suggest Bally's for $1/2 NL action. Aria seems to have the best regular tournaments and has probably taken the title of Best Poker Room away from Venetian. For $1/2, I also like Harrah's and Luxor.

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    1. I think I've only played at MGM (which seems to be where Rob likes to play). For a cash game guy, is there an advantage of playing at Aria or Venetian over MGM? Are there benefits of playing one place over the others? Where are the tourists gravitating?

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  5. Hey man! Lots to say about this. If you know a day you might dedicate mostly to cards I might make the drive out.

    Now that Harrah's is done with their huge promo where everybody playing in every casino wins when it hits, I see little point in playing in any of them, except the Caesar's casino which usually has a few tables going. If you don't have it, get the Bravo Poker app and it'll tell you where most of the action is(although some casinos aren't listed). The Aria and the Venetian are going to have the most variety and are generally the busiest, with the Bellagio and MGM coming in a close second. MGM has moved their room though, to a pretty bland spot and I didn't much like it. It all depends on which end of the strip you're at - if you're on one end you've got the MGM, Mandalay Bay, and The Mirage as your best bets, while on the other end you've got Caesar's, Venetian, Wynn and actually Treasure Island has a little room that I've always done well at. Promos are kind of drying up from what I can see (there was one at the Palms that I think has ended). As for rooms, you can join MLife and Total Rewards online and they will automatically give you a few dollars off a room - and of course, mid-week you can stay practically for free in some places. Unless you go to the Canyon or hoover Dam, no need for a car if you're on the strip. There is a bus called The Deuce that can take you to Fremont if you want to walk into Binion's, etc. Let me know how it shapes up!

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    1. It would be cool to finally meet you. If / when you send me an email about the SWC tournament that I helped set up, I'll shoot you the details of when / where and my phone number. Perhaps you can make it up there that week / weekend.

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  6. There are now half price ticket booths up and down the strip for same day tickets, but beware there are often lines. The following are new things I have enjoyed in the last few years or perennial favorites.

    *Absinthe is a great show, racy but great. (Ceasars's)
    * Fountains at Bellagio (I know too obvious)
    *Burger at Planet Hollywood one of Gordon Ramsey's new restaurants. There has been quite a line if you go right at dinner time.
    *Hidden Pizza Place- Cosmopolitan A really, really quick cheap eat or late night snack. It's worth going up to the third floor at Cosmopolitan and looking round anyway. They have some nice seating areas where you can rest your feet and some cool art.
    *Wicked Spoon Buffet at Cosompolitan Brunch was good but I think I still prefer Brunch buffet at Paris.
    *Jean Phillippes at Aria. OMG, beautiful to look at and tastes good too.
    *Tram from Bellagio to Aria or vice versa. It's a hike but it's cool to see all the new City Center buildings, plus if you look to the west you will see my favorite piece of public art, built entirely out of canoes. To get the tram at Bellagio head on back to the conservatory (a must do anyway)
    *Hash House a Go Go at the Quad. Yummy breakfast 24/7 as well as other stuff. Go hungry.
    *Bouchon at the Venetian. Thomas Keller's (the French Laundry), restaurant. I am cheap, I go for breakfast and sit out by the fountain. (Elevators by reception at Venetian not back in shoppes).
    *Whatever art exhibit is in the gallery at Bellagio. The exhibits are small and intimate and very well done, but it is a little pricey.
    *Sin City Brewery at the Flamingo (toward the shops past the reception desk), decent beer, decent music, outdoor patio with really comfortable seating and a fire pit. Great for a quite moment.
    *Deck at the top of Margaritaville at Flamingo, another nice place to have a drink and get above the hub bub.
    *Peppermill and Fireside lounge (up just before Riveria) great breakfast and the lounge has been voted the most romantic many times.
    *Ellis Island (on Koval behind Ballys), still have hidden menu steak special, but the BBQ is my favorite cheap meal in Vegas. $10.99 for a half rack and half chicken with all the fixin's. (cheaper if you have a players card)
    *Red Eye Radio (voted best Vegas Cover band) or Fat City Horns at the Palms Lounge both fabulous bands for an evening of cheap entertainment.
    *Big Elvis at Harrahs, best impersonator, best free show. At the piano bar, during the week only.
    *Dueling pianos, (if you must) New York, New York seems to have the best.
    *American Coney at the D, in downtown Las Vegas. Rocking some Detroit Coneys (has been on Diners Drive Ins and Dives).
    *check out the pool at the Golden Nugget, cool to look at worth the walk back there
    *Happy hour at the brewpub in MainStreet Station, good beers, good sports bar, good food, good happy hour specials. (Piece of Berlin Wall in mens restroom).

    Have a wonderful trip.

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    1. Wow - thanks, AgSweep! I forwarded your comment to my wife. I hope she reads all the comments so she can decide what she wants to do. My two goals for the trip are to see Freemont St. & to get out to the Hoover Dam. Hopefully, I'll be able to squeeze in In-N-Out as a meal, but that's not an imperative.

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  7. NCAA TIME baby ------ LV will be hoppin' in mid March. Have fun

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    1. @norm - Forgot about that; it'll be the heart of the tourney! I've fallen so far out of touch with the NCAA basketball ever since Maryland's Gary Williams retired & the team started to stink so bad... Any particular teams to bet on? :-)

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  8. Tons of good info given already but I would suggest that you consider playing at the Mirage. Nice room, good dealers, lots of action and food close by. Your wife can shop there and the adjacent Caesars complex. The Caesars poker room is my second favourite. It has great action at low stakes and great tounraments for $70 to $130. Have fun.

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    1. Thanks for the advice! I'll hopefully have time to hit up a few rooms and not be a rewards whore like I usually am...

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  9. I always buy a las vegas advisor coupon book whenever I go out. They have 2 for 1 buffet coupons, ticket discounts, free play offers etc. I think they list all of the discounts on their web site. If not you may be able to find a used coupon book with a few missing coupons on ebay that would list all of the coupons.

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  10. You are the worst poker player on the planet, but even you might enjoy the helicopter ride to the grand canyon with the wife if that is something you really want to see. It is expensive but a life memory -- for under $400 a person, they will pick you up in a limo right at your hotel on the strip, take you to their private area on the runway at the airport, and helicopter ride you right over the mountains and land you directly in the grand canyon. Most have a champagne toast or something there, and then you fly back. Whole thing takes probably 2-3 hours though it has been a while for me. Google it. Just please promise to google how to play basic no-limit poker too while you are there.

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