Instead of doing this trip report chronologically I am going to break it up by topic.
By way of background, my parents moved to Vegas recently. We brought the kids and stayed with them for the week leading up to Thanksgiving but had 3 nights on the strip by ourselves. Onto the report…
HOTEL We got a special offer for 3 nights at the Wynn. Great place, great room, great service. We typically stay at MGM, NYNY, etc., and this was an obvious upgrade. There’s not a whole lot more to add here.
MEALS Our first dinner was at Grande Lux Café in the Venetian. A couple of old regulars were no longer on the menu, but the experience was pretty much what we’ve come to expect from GLC: solid food, big portions, etc. It was perfect for the first night – sometimes you just want a reliable meal after a long day of travel. GLC fit the bill perfectly.
Our second dinner was at Maggios, an Italian restaurant across the street from Wynn (in the mall on Las Vegas Blvd). It was highly recommended by the flight attendant so we thought we’d give it a shot. Good place. The portions are HUGE, so plan on sharing. It is more of a family restaurant (and a chain) than you’d think based on location so the experience is a little different than what we expected. Nothing horrible, just didn’t expect to be around kids while sitting at a window seat overlooking the strip. We shared the stuffed mushroom appetizer and veal dinner. The food and service were good; this place is worthy of consideration by others.
Third meal was at Stacks, inside the Mirage. This was a bit of a surprise find, but we liked it a lot. We shared a bone-in steak and had grilled asparagus, cocktails and some wine. Everything was great. Definitely recommend this spot.
Breakfasts were pretty standard and not worthy of reporting on.
We shared a sandwich at Zooza Crackers Deli at the Wynn. Big sandwiches. Pretty standard deli fare, not much more to say. We had another lunch at Terrace Point Café. We liked this place - good food and nice atmosphere, overlooking the pool.
ENTERTAINMENT We had tickets to LOVE and Le Reve. Le Reve is a Cirque-type show with water. It has a number of ‘wow, how’d they do that’ moments, romantic dancing, an underlying love story, etc. The wife preferred this over LOVE. I thought Le Reve was good, but I’ve seen a few Cirque shows and while the story lines and costumes change, have somewhat come to the opinion that if you have seen one you have seen them all. On the other hand, LOVE was a lot of fun. There isn’t as much acrobatic stuff going on; the real star of the show is the Beatles’ music. I thought it was great and would see it again.
CLUBS Tryst Saturday night. XS Sunday night. JET (at Mirage) Monday night. I won’t go into great detail on any of them. Suffice to say Tryst and XS are super popular for a reason. JET was surprisingly jam packed on a Monday night and was fun, but overall the place isn’t as nice and has, shall we say, a different demographic. We were pick-pocketed at JET to the tune of about $250. Security at JET was pretty helpful and we were grateful that someone found the wife’s wallet and turned it into Lost and Found, even if the money was gone.
We also saw a cover band called Zowie Bowie (not the son of David Bowie, Duncan Jones) at the lounge at Red Rock. Very good band, lots of fun stuff here.
POKER Wynn – Played two sessions, Sunday and Monday both starting at about 9am and going into the early afternoon. Both days the 1-3 game was playing huge, with 5 or 6 stacks over 1K at the table. The players at the table this time of morning were good, and had the ability to play big stack poker against the 4 or 5 guys that had normal buy-ins. I lost $165 in the 2nd session after making top 2 but having a deep stack player flop a disguised straight. The other session I ended up $531 when I got all in with AA against KK (betting sequence of raise to $40, re-raise another $70, re-raise another $200 screamed AA but V went all in and my hand held up). Given that I didn’t play particularly well and got lucky to hit a big hand I consider myself pretty fortunate to finish up net $366.
General comments about the room: the staff was really good but some of the players were assholes. A guy to my right kept getting into arguments with people at the table for no good reason. The other 1/3 table had an incident where a player started yelling and screaming at the dealer for mucking his hand. The floor was called and tried to calm the guy but it wasn’t happening. He was told to take an hour break and left, but then came back to yell some more about 5 minutes later. Finally his friend convinced him to voluntarily leave instead of getting kicked out. For all that commotion you’d think there must have been some serious money on the table, right? We asked the dealer what happened when he rotated to our table. Turns out the action had folded to Idiot. Idiot didn’t protect his cards, which were on the line and the dealer mucked them. The guy totally blew a gasket over the $4 antes. Really pretty unbelievable. Anyway, the gentleman that was operating as the Floor both mornings was solid, handled the situation well and did me a favor one of the mornings that I appreciated (not a big thing but something not according to their official rules). By midday both days they were actively trying to get a 4-8 game going but not having any luck. We walked by the place Sunday and Monday nights and they had 7-10 tables going. Finally, the 1-3 game has a capped buy-in of $500; all other games are uncapped.
Sante Fe – played two sessions here with my dad and ended up + $2 for the trip. The room is nothing special and it was mostly filled with local nits, but there was still the occasional dumb play that provided an opportunity for profit. I’d say there’s no real reason to hit this place unless you live near it, although it is kind of fun to sit and play and hope you hit one of the jackpot hands. Again, I really didn’t play very well so breaking even was okay. And there are worse ways to spend time with my dad, so in the end it is a net big win.
Red Rock – my favorite off the strip casino near my parents place. Played twice, once in the 1-2 game and the other time was my first attempt at 2-5. Ended +$428 for the trip thanks to a very profitable 2-5 game. We had been out boozing all night and I convinced my wife to sit by me for one last ‘quick’ poker session. We looked a little haggard, had beer with us, etc., but I was actually sober and used my image to my advantage. I only bought in for $240. Pretty early on I caught AKh from middle position and limped. Four or five to the flop: something like 2, 5, 9 hearts. Bingo. I led out for about $20 and aggressive Asian chick raised to $200. All the money went in the middle and she showed something like J7h. From there I actually started playing reasonably competent poker (first session was like the rest of the trip – not playing horribly bad, but not playing all that well either) and ran my stack up to $772. No memorable hands in there, just value betting, reading players, getting away from 2nd best hands, etc.
The cool thing here is we were pretty drunk from partying at the lounge and didn’t want to drive home so we pulled $60 out of our pockets and played $5 BJ to kill time and sober up. Left the BJ table with about $85 and went to the crap pits. Turned that $85 into about $275 ($35 tip to the staff for patiently dealing with a couple of drunks trying to have fun). Then took that $240 to the poker room and turned it into $772. Only in Vegas can $60 become $772…and you spend the night drinking and dancing and listening to live music. LOVE this town.
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:29 pm Posts: 124 Location: WA
Great report. Well written. I'm with you on Red Rock, it is also my favorite off the strip poker room. My uncle lives in Vegas and I always stay with him (1 to2 trips a year). He lives about 5 minutes from Red Rock and I always get in a couple sessions during my trip. Sure is nice to have a free place to stay, isn't it?
One other thing from Wynn - the guy to my right bought in 4 or 5 straight times for $100 and lost it each time, then tossed about $800 on the table only to be told the game was capped at $500. Is this some sort of sophisticated Vegas pro move or something? Or maybe the guy tilted from losing 4 or 5 buyins and just decided to go deep stack? I don't know, but it seemed kind of weird.