Tuesday, February 19, 2013


In the office on a cold, rainy, Tuesday in D.C.  Spent the entire day yesterday traveling back from Vegas.  Short holiday weekend trips are fun, but they take a toll (it will likely take me all week to recover . . .).
The trip was too short; still, it was a nice change of scenery, and it was great to leave the east coast winter for the 70-degree desert.  Unfortunately, I didn't have time to meet up with any local bloggers this trip.  Hopefully, next time . . .
While Saturday was spent getting kicked in the teeth in both the Aria Daily and the cash games at Bally's, I spent Sunday making a run for another 1000 bonus tier points.  I grinded bonus poker most of the day -- 10-handed and 100-handed, $5 a rip.  It was hard keeping track of my progress, as I was casino-hopping, from PH to Paris to Flamingo to Harrah's.  Ultimately, I ended up with 1,200 or so credits, which got me the extra 1000.  So, it's mid-February, and I'm sitting on 7,450 tier credits.  I can't imagine Caesars continues with this bonus structure next year.  It's just too easy to make Diamond now (despite raising the threshold to 15,000 yearly).
During my week-long stay at PH last August, I played mainly triple-bonus, and hit quads 16 times.  It was like PH was giving away money.  The VP was a virtual ATM.  This trip, no such luck.  I waited, and waited and waited to flop a monster on the 100 hander.  It finally happened at Paris late afternoon, when I was dealt four to the royal.  Statistically, one should hit the one-outer twice over the hundred hands.  Of course, its common to hit those one outers 7 or 8 times if you get the better side of variance.  This time, however, variance kicked me in the neck (the theme of the trip), and I blanked on all 100 hands:

On the bright side, I beat the crap at the sportsbook this trip - an 8 and 1 tear at college basketball and hockey.  A run made all the sweeter given that I have not watched so much as a single NCAA or NHL game all year.  I've given up on betting sports based on what I know, or think I know, about sports.  Rather, each morning I spend 30 minutes or so before I leave the room "researching" games on sites like covers.com . . . looking at the consensus, the line moves and where gaps exist between the public and the so-called team experts.  This generally results in betting a lot of dogs, and making a lot of "uncomfortable" plays.  Yet, it seems to work.  At least it produces far better results than I could pull based on my sports knowledge. 
All-in-all, it was another fun trip.  Had a great dinner at Koi Saturday night.  Sunday, I passed on Striphouse and, instead, went to Ruths Chris at Harrah's (while I generally try to avoid chains when I'm in Vegas, I had placed action on the UNDER in the NBA allstar game at Harrah's, and didn't feel like having to walk back to cash the ticket . . .).  I really liked the vibe there.  Nice modern bar area, great food, and a fantastic view of the Strip at night.  Would definitely head back again. 
And, finally, small things have really begun to piss me off during these jaunts.  Why must tourists take pictures in front of EVERYTHING?  Why must people stop walking to stare at some jackass painted gold and pretending to be a robot?  Why must people try and hold a live snake?  Why must some jackass stop and get his picture taken being fake-arrested by two fake-blond fake cops?  I mean, how small are the towns these people are from?  I can't stand the pedestrian traffic on the strip...  This trip, I was increasingly infuriated by the multiple people who commented on the freshness of the "Why lie -- I need money to buy beer" signs.  Really?  You find this amusing?  Have you walked more than 30 feet with your eyes open?  Perhaps it was original the first time, ten years ago - now it's just lazy (on the bright side, at least there seem to be less pornslappers lately).  I mean, seriously . . . how do you locals deal with this?
Well, I'll be returning with a small crew looking for trouble next month for conference tournament week -- four days at Aria.  After that, I'll be on a self-imposed Vegas hiatus until the WSOP.


  1. "cold, rainy, Tuesday in D.C." Don't forget to add "snowy."

    Can you explain the Caesars Diamond status and why it's important? Wouldn't it be in their best interest to make it easy so that you keep coming back for more because of some perceived elite status? I'd like to hear what the status enables you to do, if you have a minute.

  2. P3:

    "We locals" put up with it by avoiding walking/driving the strip. If I'm playing at the Aria, I drive to the Aria and park.

    I'm walking the strip perhaps 3 times a year - almost always when entertaining out-of-city guests. Honestly, the strip is rarely visited when you live in Vegas. I'm sure the answer is different for people who work "in the industry", but I'm guessing they're only walking from the parking lot to the floor and back.


    p.s. - I walk it so infrequently, that I still do enjoy it on those occasions when it is foisted upon me.

    1. Yeah, I figured as much . . .

      Nothing worse than trying to make it to the book to lay action ten minutes from tip off and having a gagle of loafers blocking the entire sidewalk . . .

      Well, there prolly are some things that are worse . . .

  3. The short answer is, it's not important.

    The longer answer:

    Diamond status, alone, really doesn't do much for you. It basically gets you the following:

    (1) free parking
    (2) access to the diamond lounges (food and drinks)
    (3) reserved lines for check in, restaurants, taxis, etc.
    (4) room upgrades, if available.

    Of the benefits, the reserved lines are nice. On a Friday night in AC, or in Vegas, it could take you an hour to check in. It takes two minutes in the diamond line. The free parking is also nice if you drive around to different casinos during the day. But, really, it's not worth much.

    I've also had decent results getting free upgrades. In AC, I can book a comped room in Harbor tower and, about 80% of the time, get upgraded to Waterfront (I've even been bumped to a waterfront Tower Suite on several occasions). In Vegas, two summers ago, I booked a cheap room at Caesars for a week, and got upgraded to the Augustus Tower (which would have cost $1,000+ more . . .)

    The real benefit, at least to me, is the comped (or highly discounted) rooms. But these are not necessarily tied to status; but rather, your ADP (your average daily theoretical play). In theory, you could go to AC two nights a year, earn 2,000 points each night, and get cheaper rates than many diamond players who go twice a month, but only earn 400 points a trip. Of course, if you are diamond, chances are, your ADP is high enough to get decent rates.

    Of course, maybe Harrah's was simply right when they came up with their slogan: "Earning is half the fun" . . .

    In closing, I'm just a sucker . . .

  4. If you're enjoying getting the status, then it's value add on top of something you'd do ordinarily. Are you going to get status with the MGM property when Baltimore opens - or are you going to play Maryland Live until National Harbor opens?

    From my understanding, Maryland Live is close to ready-to-go.

    Thanks for the insight into how the status works. I truly had no idea that you could get fast forward / reserved lines. You're the guy I see bypassing everyone else who I'm jealous of when I check in...

    1. Baltimore will actually be harrah's (National Harbor will be MGM), which is one of the reasons I wanted to hit diamond again this year.

      I got platinum with MLIFE (MGM's program) last year, but I'm not going to do it again this year. Not worth it for the 3 or 4 times I visit Vegas every year.

      That said, when National Harbor does open in 2016, I'll probably switch to MLIFE for good. Once baltimore opens in 2014, I will very rarely ever go to AC again. So, really, the Harrah's/MGM program comes down to which company runs better casinos. And on this front, MGM takes it hands down.... They will have to really blow the Harbor casino (and poker room) for me to stick with Harrah's. But 2016 is a long way away . . .

  5. "Why must some jackass stop and get his picture taken being fake-arrested by two fake-blond fake cops?"

    EXCUUUUUUUSE MEEEEEEE, sir, but my picture with the faux cops (my 6/27/12 post) got me cheap thrills for the price of limping (unfortunate choice of words?) in a strip NL game. To each their own. : o )

    And dammit -- don't go posting anymore pictures of video poker machines. I am starting to dream about them ...

    I was wondering how the new Ruth's Chris Steak House would be. I thought about eating there earlier this month. Maybe next trip.

    Have you noticed that although there seem to be a few less pornslappers, middle-aged white guys and older white women can now be seen wacking those cards?

    1. Haahah ooops . . . Sorry, man.... But, seriously, stop clogging up the strip!!!!

      Yeah, I do like me some VP. Especially 100-hand. I'm still living of the feeling I got flopping four dueces on the 100 hand machine at PH last summer (I flopped quad dueces at Borgata a few months ago, but on the damn redraw after I held nothing . . . I wanted to put my fist through the screen! Would have been a $2,200 hand if it wasn't on the redraw!)

      Even though I know VP is a losing game (I mean, everyone knows this . . . well, almost everyone . . . cough cough . . .), it's still fun. Lately, I focus on how many tier credits I can rack up during a session. If I can earn 50 credits and break even, that's a HUGE VP win !!! Unfortunately, it's become clear to me that you need to stick to JOB or bonus -- games where two-pair pays 2-1 -- in order to have any chance of not going busto quickly. Of course, that eliminates all the fun games like dueces and triple bonus where you can hit a gigantic hand -- the ole quad-aces, duece kicker, et cetera.

      Wasn't Mike Matasow a VP addict or something at one time?

  6. Pete its okay to let out the frustrations of losing your ass, lol. Go ahead and vent it all out.

  7. I laughed at the whole tourists taking pictures paragraph... :)