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Only a hour flight away from Las Vegas we visit frequently, sometimes once a month. I'll be sharing our trip reports, tips on making the most of your stay in Vegas, reviews of restaurants and shows we have seen, along with my thoughts related to our favorite place to get away from it all.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Las Vegas Trip report for October at G2E and Encore

Driver picked me up at 6:30am for my early morning flight and since traffic was light despite the rainy weather we quickly got to San Jose airport and I was through security in record time. Flight was on time, but due to weather a bit bumpy. Luggage was quickly out and I was in a taxi and checking in at Encore about 10am.
I was in a rush to get to G2E as this was the second day their exhibit hall had been open but as I walked by the only $1 DaVinci Diamond slot at Wynn I had to try my luck, and with a couple pushes hit for $1060.00, a great way to start my trip! I usually say I can't win at Wynn, but now I'm going to have to stop saying it.
I was already registered for G2E so a quick stop at registration and I had my badge and was on my way to the exhibits. Unfortunately since I wasn't there as press I wasn't able to take videos or photos of the new slots. However I was allowed to take a photo of one of the original GhostBusters cars used in the movies and to sit in it too.
Terri was to join me a couple hours later but in the meantime I was in a flurry of running around trying all the new slots that will be available soon at a casino near you with the exception of a few they are still testing which might be tweaked or even never released.
In addition to viewing and playing new slot machines, there is entertainment at G2E, such as the Elvis impersonators setting up to perform above, also plenty of other acts, though I didn't catch most of them. They had Penthouse playmates signing posters and giving out free copies of the magazine, lots of drawings and contests to enter and free food at many of the booths.

Some of the slots at G2E were already out on the floor such as the new Journey to Oz, Wizard of Oz community game. I enjoyed playing this a lot unlike their previous reel community WOZ game. You can find bonuses of this new slot here:
I tried many slots today among them the Bally's new Michael Jackson, King of Pop slot. I found this to be a amusing slot, but you had better like Michael Jackson music. Bally's is also releasing a Grease slot and I really liked this one, both the music and the way the bonuses play. If you hit the yearbook bonus, it flips the pages of a Rydell high school yearbook until you land on one of various bonuses. The new Betty Boop fortune teller slot was cute too, though not sure how the pay outs will be on that one.

WMS has many new slots coming out. Aladdin which is due next June had a exciting  3D magic carpet ride bonus that I really thought was entertaining and pay outs looked like they had potential. The sensory immersion chair you are sitting in moves you around a bit so you feel like you are on the carpet riding through the air in an Arabian market. For those who are possibly bother by motion I was told there would be a option to turn that off if a player doesn't like it. The Clue Slot was fun for me, enjoyed the bonuses, but then I like the original board game. The main bonus plays out the murder bonus on a large LCD monitor above the bank of slots.

Another WMS slot I liked was Super Team, sort of a cartoon super hero slot. There were quite a few super hero slots by various slot companies. I didn't care for Superman/Lex Luthor, nor the Phantom slot and the new edition of Batman wasn't exciting in my opinion.

Pirates Battle which is a community slot game already released at some casinos was fun. The first bonus I had my ship was sunk fairly quickly but came back as a ghost ship. In this community bonus you are split into 2 teams, blue and red. I will likely seek this one out on a future trip to play.  I didn't get to try Battleship which looked interesting but for me personally Pirate Battle was more appealing at first glance.

IGT had some of my favorites with a new edition of Twilight Zone topping my list. With this slot you are able to set the volatility of pay outs. Bonuses are definitely fun with the ones I played having a monster theme to them.  Both Terri and I really liked their Breakfast at Tiffany's slot. I enjoyed their new Sex in the City Fabulous slot but Terri didn't like that one. I wasn't too impressed with Wolf Run 2 into the wild, though perhaps I will be when I play it for real. The visuals on Wolf Run 2 are incredible but I'm not sure about the pay outs yet. They have updated DaVinci Diamonds but I prefer the original where Terri likes the new one. Godzilla has potential, depends on how often the bonus hits but again isn't that they way with most slots? The new version of the Elvis Presley slots was enjoyable for me, I liked the bonuses, and of course the music.
Ghostbusters was on display and is now out at all the MGM Resort casinos. I believe MGM/Mlife has a 60 day exclusive on them but soon they will be at all the casinos. I enjoyed playing it at both Bellagio and Aria during this trip and have a couple videos of bonus games here:

The slot that always had the most crowds was Big Buck Hunter Pro. I never played it because I found the crowds discouraging but I did watch for a while. During bonus rounds you use a plastic rifle to shoot various things depending on the bonus.  The bonuses take place on a large overhead video screen that goes into high definition and has animated 3D graphics where trophy animals appear for you to shoot.
The expo aisles were named after various Las Vegas streets and at 2pm, Terri and I headed to Fremont street for the mega cube promotion. As we're standing in line, Terri said there's a man waving at you and sure enough it was Rob (dizEguy) from the Player's Forum. After a chat we all took a spin and both Rob and I got to participate in the mega cube contest while Terri won 2 coupons for a free cocktail. The mega cube which is in the back of the above photo was a glassed in booth where you put your 2 hands in these slots and when they turn the machine on it's blows paper you try to catch and stuff into a box before your time is up. The papers have point values on them and the highest scorer for that hour wins a IPAD2. Rob was a contender for a while and my points were fairly good but a earlier contestant had scored much higher and won the prize for that day.

After MegaCube I was suppose to run to Mirage for a meet at Rhumbar with a group of Trip Advisors members but due to still being busy at G2E and the rainy weather I didn't make it, though I did text one of the attendees Anne Lise who had just arrived in Vegas to give my regards and regrets to everyone.
I had a second Meet scheduled that day with some Slot Machine forum members at 5:30pm outside of the Venetian high limit room so Terri left for Wynn to gamble a bit and since I had 20 minutes before the meet I went into the high limit room and had a spin on $5 Wheel of Fortune which resulted in $250.00. After that I went to my lucky Venetian Hangover slot that treated me well in August and had some lucky bonuses again.
Walking back to the Venetian high limit room I see a few people waiting and it turned out to be Boots, Rob and his friend and Buckeye1. After waiting around 10 minutes or so to see if anyone else was showing up we walked into the high limit room and found Slotspert and Warren who is director of slots with Coushatta waiting for us. Seems we were suppose to meet in front of the Gold Lounge, <oops>. A few minutes later we were joined by Shamus and his lovely wife.
After our photo Warren, Rob and his friend had to leave but the rest of us put in a $100 each and had a high limit slot pull with no luck at all! Oh well, perhaps we're saving it up for the Slot Machine Forum's April Meet.
After our high limit slot pull I had to run and join Terri at Wynn. Terri had been invited to a private party for the local gamblers there so we went in for some drinks and appetizers before our dinner at Sinatra. It was a very nice party with a Caribbean theme and was originally to be at one of the Wynn pools but the bad weather had moved it inside.
The food was good and we could have just eaten dinner at the party instead of Sinatra but we really like Sinatra so we kept our reservation.
When you eat at Sinatra at Encore you must have the Sinatra smash a fabulous bourbon raspberry cocktail.
I don't normally eat bread, but couldn't resist the cheesy cracker bread.
My appetizer was shrimp with a fennel salad. The shrimp were huge and delicious.
Loved my entree of Halibut with asparagus and mushrooms, so fresh tasting.
Terri liked her salad of heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella.
I can't recall what pasta dish Terri had other then the portion was very generous and she couldn't finish it even though she said it was delicious. This was our second time for both of us eating at Sinatra and I will definitely return. We were quite full after this so we skipped dessert tonight. Terri, thanks for a wonderful dinner!
On the way out of Sinatra we admired his awards including the Oscar Sinatra received for Best Supporting Actor in the film "From Here to Eternity".
I went to dinner with my gambling winnings intact but lost most of it after dinner at Palazzo, Venetian and then Wynn. Above is a photo of the Palazzo display near their waterfall.
My luck started to improve after midnight at Wynn and the $1 DaVinci Diamonds gave me a few hits like the one above for $310.00 and the one below for $414.00
I continued to get a lot of play for my money, and was pretty much staying even for the day. Terri and I both had some fun playing the Tarzan slots at Wynn. During the time we were at Tarzan I received a text from Anne Lise a friend from Trip Advisor and on Facebook and we were briefly able to meet for a short chat. Unfortunately we never were able to coordinate our schedules again this trip so I'm hoping in the future we get to spend more time together.
Before I retired to sleep I played what I believe is a older IGT penny slot called "Old Money" because it had a photo of a cat on the screen and hit for $346.25 on it.
The next morning I didn't eat breakfast but went back to G2E. This morning the weather was looking a bit better and while walking across the bridge from Wynn to Palazzo I took this photo of Treasure Island.
On my way to G2E was when I spotted the new Journey to Oz Community slot and played it for long enough to get the videos I linked to earlier.
Once back at G2E it was again a rush to try to see the new slots and play ones that had too many people at them the previous day. While last year the last day the crowds had thinned out quite a bit, on the last day this year I found they were still hanging around.
While I was walking around the IGT displays today I was given some hand sanitizing gel, oops excuse me Ghostbusters Ectoplasmic Residue!
Having fun playing the new Elvis the King progressive slot which has stacked wilds and random bonuses like Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog, Viva Las Vegas among others, I was given these replica Elvis Presley glasses.
Since I had skipped eating so far, I was happy when Terri called and asked me to join her for lunch at Tableau at Wynn. I quickly walked from the convention hall to Wynn in about 10 minutes and this was the view out the window from where we were seated.
 It was after the lunch rush so we almost had our dining room to ourselves.
Terri said her hamburger was delicious but what made me tweet best lunch ever was their new menu item seared scallops with Israeli Cous Cous with a hint of orange and fennel. The delicacy and flavor of this entree was just fabulous. Thanks Terri for introducing me to Tableau which does live up to all the kudos it gets in reviews.
After lunch we had to rush to make our 3:30pm meet in front of Palazzo's Grand Lux with Rob (dizEguy) from the Player's Forum and his friend and a couple others who were suppose to meet us there. Not sure what happened to the others but we met up with Rob and his friend and heard the good news that while we were eating lunch he returned to the Mega Cube contest and had won the top prize, a Ipad 2! Congratulations Rob, a great win at G2E!
Since there were only the four of us we went to the Palazzo VIP lounge for drinks and enjoyed chatting for a hour or so.
After the meet Terri and I quickly changed our clothes as we were having dinner at Bellagio that evening with Tricia (Pennyplayer Blonde4ever Vegas Message Board) at Sensi. As a surprise Terri had arranged for one of the Wynn Rolls to take us there.
Terri was still full from lunch so only ordered a salad that evening, but Tricia and I ordered the prix fix with the wine pairing. I've had this prix fix before and while the names of the dishes were the same the presentation of the food and recipes had changed a bit. Above is the crispy shrimp that Tricia had as her first course.
My first course was the salad but it wasn't as good as the salad of the same name that I had enjoyed when dining at Sensi with my husband in July.
Fortunately the miso glazed halibut with mushrooms was just as good as I had back in July but after just having halibut at Sinatra the previous evening I personally thought Sinatra came out the winner.
All of us ordered the chocolate temptation which was delicious as always. At the end of our dinner Terri and I used our M-life express comps to pay for our dinners and I was happy this time their computer system was working and we didn't have any problems using our express comps as Terri did on a previous trip at the Bellagio Cafe.
After dinner Tricia went back with us to Wynn. This time we had their regular limo and while not the rolls still a nice ride. :)
Upon entering Wynn we were walking by the VIP lounge so Terri took us in for some champagne. Terri was also nice enough during my stay to arrange for me to have access to the Wynn and Encore VIP lounges which had lovely snacks and desserts out all day.
After the VIP lounge it was time to get our gamble on and I found myself having some luck and slowly getting ahead again.
Robin Hood was a new WMS slot for me. I did well on it at Wynn but later at Aria it treated me bad.
Pharaohs Fortune is one of Terri's favorites and I seldom do well on it, but did have a bit of luck at Wynn on it that evening.
Wynn wasn't treated Tricia very well and it was getting late so we said our goodbyes for that evening as we had dinner plans the next evening together.
I was once again ahead for the trip when I hit $740.00 on $1 DaVinci at Wynn.
I played a lot tonight at Wynn and wins and losses came and went, but I was staying ahead which was great. Last trip I hadn't been impressed with Black Widow when I played it at Venetian but I tried it again at Wynn and the slot was in win mode with me hitting the bonus several times and the stacked wilds coming around frequently.
I'm feeling pretty good now, I'm ahead at Wynn on my last night there, a first! It's about 1am when Terri's host comes over and gives me her business card and invites me to stay on instead of moving to Aria the next day, but I decline as I have a great offer there. Terri then tells me to go play $5 Pinball and I walk over and hit Pinball immediately for $450.00. 
I'm feeling pretty good now and Terri asks me to wait outside the high limit area for a few minutes while she goes to talk to her host some more. Twenty minutes later I've lost my winnings and I'm actually down about $600 or so for the trip. That's the danger of waiting where the $5 on up slots are located at Wynn! After that nothing much was happening for me and it was late so Terri and I said goodbye as I was heading out to Aria next day before Terri would leave Wynn.  Terri's host was nice enough to give me a late check out until 1pm for the next day, which I ended up using. This trip I came so close to leaving Wynn with more money then I came there with, but I will admit losing was my own poor judgement that evening.

Next post will be my 3 night stay at Aria where I won $20,000.00 on a $5 Top Dollar X2 X2 slot!!!


  1. I have really been enjoying your page. Just want to say thanks for your comment about Cosmo meeting offers. I contacted an old host who now works there, and they met my mlife offer that included $700. freeplay and did the same for my daughter! Now I hope that $700. will win me something! You know, it could be gone in 1/2 hour or less..... of course, I am also using the mlife offer at the Mirage. So far, have collected $2300. in freeplay and a slot tournment at TI for the trip at the end of October. We'll be busy running from one hotel to another...double hotels to get the offers.

  2. Thanks, I'm glad you find some of the information here useful. :) Enjoy your trip and freeplay, I hope you have a big win. I'll be there for Halloween weekend too, but declined the TI tournament and the one at Mandalay Bay because I'm meeting a group for a Halloween Stumble downtown. :) Good luck on the Tournament!

  3. OMG. Been waiting on this. Shut the front door and don't let the cats out. Aria, can't wait to see this. Hope you took a video or pic. Top Dollar. 20,000. OMG. Just OMG. Unbelievable. You go girl. You deserve it. JJ (AKA) Margaret.. Again OMG:::::::

  4. Thanks Margaret. :)

    I do have a photo of the win, but no video. Aria is one of the casinos that doesn't let you take videos or photos, if they catch you. The slot attendants were there and I'm not kidding in about 15 seconds after I hit that jackpot but I was able to talk them into letting me have a photo which of course will be in the Aria trip report. I'm still writing that one up this week. My husbands birthday tomorrow is slowing things up, lots of stuff to do for it. :)

  5. Loving your trip report! (as always!) good luck for the Stumble ;o)

    Liz (SlotNoodles)

  6. Hi Liz! Thanks so much. I'm not sure I'm up to the Stumble for more then a few hours, I'm such a lightweight. :)

  7. I had a great time! Thanks to both you and Terri. I really enjoyed dinner, the limo ride and our visit to the VIP room.

  8. Thanks Tricia. Hope to see you next month and continue the fun!

  9. Thanks for taking the time to write Diana. I am sure there are a lot of us that live vicariously thru your reports and never say how grateful we are.

    Maybe it's cuz we are so envious of pictures that have $20K wins in

  10. Thanks Anonymous. :) I'm glad you enjoy the trip reports. That 20k win was so lucky, I sure would like to repeat it someday and see others do the same!