Merry Christmas to all. It's been a good year all in all, not the easiest but not a bad year at all. I hope everyone else has had a good year but knowing the law of averages, I'm sure some will have gotten the short end of the stick this year. Just wait till next year (as a Tampa Bay Rays and Bucs fan, I've said that a lot).
I never finished blogging my Vegas trip report. And of course in the intervening time I've probably forgotten a ton of things. But I will do a quick recap of the last few days.
The day after returning from Lake Havasu my luck finally turned. I hoped it would - law of averages and all - but sometimes it doesn't. Well this time it did with a vengeance. Wednesday after another fine breakfast - this time at the MGM buffet, we gambled a little at the MGM and the Tropicana. Never been in the Tropicana before, hey they let you park for free there. What a concept. Bad odds but I liked the vibe in the place. Nice staff and kind of an older Vegas feel there. I broke even playing some Video Poker and a little slots. Avoided the craps table since I hadn't had any luck so far this trip. The girls did some shopping at M&M, Hershey and World of Coca Cola before returning to the Trop and hitting the VP machines. Our daughter the foodie really wanted to hit Pink Taco at the Hard Rock for a meal so we decided to do some gaming at the Hard Rock. The PQ and I usually do well at the Hard Rock so off we went.
Boy do I like the Hard Rock. As soon as we got there (and didn't pay to park) I hit the mens room. Cleanest nicest mens room I had been in all trip. Their staff pays attention to the little things. From there we hit the Video Poker machines for a little while. I didn't do much but both my daughter and wife hit nice hands and start making some cash. So I decide to hit the craps tables again. That turned out well. My luck finally turned around. Table was almost empty on one side so I took position next to the stick man in the middle of the table. I play pretty conservative just a pass line bet and the 6 and 8. Make a little cash and the dice come to me. I put down a pass line bet and also 5 bucks split between the 2 each on the Small and Tall bets and 1 on the All. To win you have to roll either 2-6 for the Small or 8-12 for the Tall before rolling a 7. To win the All you have to roll every number before rolling the 7. Seems fairly simple but odds are pretty high and the house edge is something like 7 percent so not a good bet. If you hit it though the payouts are high. 35-1 on the Small and Tall and 175-1 on the All. What makes this bet so tough is there are no off bets. If you are playing pass line and make your point then roll a 7 on the come out roll, you win your pass line bet again. If you're playing Small/Tall/All, that 7 is a loser.
I got on a decent roll. Made a couple of points and all the small numbers so I got a nice payout on that. Had one number left on the high side when I crapped out. But by then I had more than doubled up. When I started my roll this guy walks up to my left and buys in for something like $1000. He lays out some bets including $100 each on the Small and Tall and $25 on the all. So he hit a nice $3500 payout on the Small even though he lost some other bets along the way. He skipped his roll and the guy to his left had a decent roll and I made some more money. My $100 buyin is up to about $300 now and I'm finally feeling like my luck had turned. Dice go to the other side of the table and this next guy goes on a massive roll. I've got 2 each on the small, tall and all now. I'm also playing the hard ways and the 6 and 8. Every time a 6 or 8 hits, I bump my bet on them by another 6 dollars and take the rest of the payout as profit. I also bump up my hard ways whenever one of them hits until I have 5 each on them . And this guy is rolling some doubles. He hits all the tall numbers pretty early and only needs a 4 to complete all the small numbers (and the all numbers bet) but he keeps rolling sixes and eights. Which is fine as I'm taking down $42 each time he hits them now. But finally the 4 hits and the table erupts.
I take down $420 on my All and Small bets as do a couple of others. One guy had $5 on each so he took down around $1000. Then there's the guy to my left. He takes down almost $8000 on that bet. Something the dealers did in paying his bets pissed this guy off and he immediately cashed out and took off with over $11,000. He did tip the dealers a couple hundred before he left. I kept putting in bets for the dealers on my hard way bets so they got some decent payoffs as well. After that the table got choppy and I cashed out for $1100. My Vegas luck had finally turned.
Sometimes Craps does pay
We had a really nice late lunch at the Pink Taco in the Hard Rock. Great food there but I was just not hungry enough to eat much or maybe I was excited because I finally ran good. But that was not the end of my good luck. That night I went over to the Palms to check it out. I really liked the casino though it was under construction still. I can't wait to see how it all looks when they finish the construction. They have good odds on their Video Poker machines including some 10-6 Double Double bonus machines. And my run continued on the craps table. This time I rolled the All numbers bet . Unfortunately no one else could get much of a run going but I ended up cashing out for another $700 score so in that one day I made up all of my previous losses and then some. And for the rest of the week I ran pretty well. No huge scores but no big losses either. We all went back to the Palms the next day and did ok, I made a few dollars on craps. On our last day in Vegas, we didn't fly out till late afternoon so we went back to the Hard Rock since it was on our way to the airport. The girls did decent on the video poker and I made another $200 playing craps. Just missed throwing all the numbers again, needed an 11 and couldn't roll it but did make all the small numbers and some hard ways. I was all by myself a good part of the time. From there it was off to the airport for the long flight home. Was nice to come home with a wad of bills still in my pocket. The girls came home with cash too. A damned good trip all in all though my reporting, as late as it is, does not do it justice at all.
We had such a good time that when the PQ got an email from Southwest with cheap flight info, we looked into going back to Vegas in January. We checked out some dates and looked at vacation time available and settled on going back in Mid January. Got rooms comped at Ballys for the whole stay. Good rental car rate, inexpensive flight. We're there. In 20 days we head back out. It had been almost 3 years since our last trip to Vegas when we went in October, now we're going back only 3 months later. Hope my run good continues. And I'm definitely gonna play more poker. Until then, Happy New Year everybody.