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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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Slot Machine Forum and Player's Life April Meet!

My April Trip Report long delayed due to us moving to a new house is finally done! This was a 3 night trip to Las Vegas for the Player's Life WMS Studio Meet and the annual Slot Machine Forum Meet. Flight was fine, and I didn't have much of a line when checking in at Wynn that morning. I had a comp for a panoramic king room at Wynn which basically means it was on a high floor.
After quickly unpacking it was time to try my luck and it looked promising when I quickly hit $300 on $1 DaVinci Diamonds and then a bonus on $5 Pinball for $225.00.
After that I played various slots with some small hits but felt my luck was gone when I hit a bonus on Wicked Winnings II that only paid $2.25! Thank goodness it was time to meet friends Breanna, Terri, LuckyLinda and Anne Marie. We had a lovely lunch together, but for the first time service at Grand Lux was slow and just plain bad. Food was good and unfortunately I seem to have forgotten to take any photos of us or the food!
After lunch I played a few slots at Palazzo with little luck and then it was time to meet Slotspert who was kind enough to take me to Planet Hollywood for our meet with the Player's Life group for the Spice Market Buffet and then on to our WMS Studio tour and focus study.

After Slotspert parked his car at PH we walked through the shopping area to the casino and since we had some time before the meet we starting playing slots like the new LOTR and my favorite CLUE! I had a lot of fun playing CLUE with Slotspert and was lucky enough to get some bonuses.
After playing Clue we went to meet up with the group for the spice buffet. It wasn't long before Shamus, Dwwright, Angela, Rambler, Irisheyes, Brian and others joined the group. Before we headed down to the Spice Buffet where we would be joined by others, Dwwright surprised us with a contest where we wrote down our names and a name was drawn for a prize of $100.00. Rambler was the lucky winner of the $100.00!
Above is our winner Rambler on the left with his lovely wife IrishEyes and Dwwright who is holding Shamus's slot pal Blubsy!
We ended up with a large group at the Spice Buffet, among the attendees were Diamond49, Golden Greeke and his wife Sharon, Ting, Tammy and Rob (Nyphinix), LuckyLinda, Wicked Cl and her slot buddy and others that I'm sure I left out. Shamus had arranged ahead of time for a nice group of tables for us and he had generously paid the tip for everyone.
The Planet Ho Spice Buffet had a $5 off coupon promotion but of course I forgot my coupon back in my room. Luckily Slotspert had a extra coupon on him that I used. Yes, I know it's funny to hear me wanting to use a coupon for $5 off a buffet when it's just one push in a slot for me, but I just hate paying more for something then I have too.  I thought the Spice Buffet was quite good for the price. I really liked their tandoori chicken and they had a nice dessert selection, though I personally didn't care for their creme brûlée.
After the buffet most of us headed off for the WMS Studio tour and focus study. I've already written that up back in April but if you didn't get a chance to read it then, click on this link.
After the WMS event Slotspert kindly gave Brian, Boots and I a ride back to Palazzo. We went into the Platinum Lounge for some drinks and then Brian and I (above) went slotting together.
We were playing Chinese Queen together at Venetian when I hit the bonus for $100.50, one of my better wins this trip. After that I played the new Phantom slot with Brian and hit the bonus for a win of $83.00 but if I had picked better it could have been a win of over $600.00.
We walked over to Wynn where we were holding our own on various slots. I won $50 on a $1 Jackpot Party Slot that Brian had a good win on when he hit the bonus.
Out main objective for the evening though was to play the new slot The Great and Powerful Oz at Encore. I had a lot of fun with this new slot and briefly got lucky on it with a hit of $189.40 during a community bonus and the only time that evening where I was winning and Brian wasn't.
Above another decent hit on the new Oz slot before my luck went sour.  After this I went and played the original Wizard of Oz slot with no luck at all while Brian was busy feeding a few hundred to his favorite WOZ slot. At times I leaned around and said why are you still feeding that slot when it hasn't hit anything but Brian was determine to continue to play his favorite and it paid off when he finally got a huge hit that was almost a hand pay! Brian was jumping up and down and while Encore wasn't busy that evening we soon had everyone that was in our general area admiring his win! After that it was time for Brian to go to the clubs which I passed on and since he was leaving the next day it was the last time I saw him that trip. Brian and I did text back and forth the next day before he left and his luck continued the next day before he had to leave so he went home a winner!!

After Brian left  this is where I should have called it a evening as I was suppose to get up early to meet some of the SMFer's at Red Rock for the day before the Official Meet that evening. Instead I continued to play the slots because while I wasn't winning big amounts I was holding my own and having fun. I had another hit on Pinball, but could never win more then $250.00 on it this trip.
I met up with Boots at Encore and we played some Tarzan the Adventure's Return, while having a chocolate martini and lots of fun together. After Boots decided to retire I left Encore and went back to Wynn to go to sleep but didn't make it and instead continued to play slots.
I found the original Tarzan slot at Wynn and had a nice hit for $255.60.
Tried a little 2 cent Witches Riches and got the bonus once for $120.80.
Had a couple nice hits on Epic Monopoly considering I wasn't betting max.
Decided to go to bed but passed Sex in the City and couldn't resist putting in a hundred.
 I started to win so I continued to play.
Still winning so still playing.
The wins continue to hit, haven't had this much luck on Sex in the City in more then a year! Perhaps I should leave as it's almost 4am? Just then my friend Breanna lands in the seat next to me and of course I can't leave now! After this my luck starts to fade so saying goodnight I finally make it back to my room but it's past 4am when I go to bed and it's not looking good for making my 8am wake up call!
Woke up at 7am or so and knew I wasn't going to make Red Rock so I sent a text to Wildheart who was kindly going to give me a ride there and let her know I was going to miss it and would see her at the Meet later that day. I later found out I wasn't the only one that missed making Red Rock so while that didn't make me feel better about missing out on the fun, I at least felt better that I wasn't the only one that over estimated the amount of things I could get to this trip! I did get to meet Wildheart later at the meet and she was such a nice lady, I wish I had gotten to spend more time with her this trip!
I woke up around 10:30am upset with myself for missing Red Rock but hopeful I could meet up with some of our group who hadn't gone. I thought about calling Boots to see if she had eaten yet but oops, don't have her phone number. Hmmm, I do have Slotspert's number, perhaps he is around Palazzo where he's staying this trip. I got lucky and Slotspert was not only still hanging out at Palazzo but he  also had a comp for Noodles at Palazzo and invited me to join him or lunch. We had a fun time at lunch and enjoyed the appetizer which was dumplings. Above is Slotspert's lunch of chicken and broccoli.
I had their Kung Pao chicken which was good. Noodles is one of those Vegas restaurants in my opinion that if you have a comp for it you will be happy with your meal because their service is very good and the food is okay. However if you have to pay for their overpriced food I think you will find it lacking and wish you had eaten someplace else. I base this opinion on having eaten there about 5 times so far.
After lunch Slotspert and I walked over to Venetian to see if we could find Shamus who was playing and taking videos there. We found him filming at Party Train and on a fun bonus round.
The three of us decided to throw in some money to play the slots together for fun, filming and possibly profit! When it came time to play the new Sex in the City Fabulous the guys declined to push so I did the honors. Above I'm posing with Shamus's slot buddy Blubsy! We had a blast playing the slots together and left almost all the machines winning a small amount! The following is a video of us that Shamus took during a Epic Monopoly bonus that Slotspert got. By the time we had to leave for the Meet we only ended up with a few bucks profit for the 3 of us, but the fun factor was a big win for the day and one of the highlights of my trip!

It didn't take long for Slotspert, Shamus and I to walk over to Treasure Island and find part of our group standing outside of Kahunaville waiting for the Meet to start.
Not everyone wants to be identified in their photos so I'm not going to try with the majority, except for a few that I know won't mind.
The photo above and the ones immediately below were while we were waiting outside for our event to begin.

Paw Paw and LuckyLinda are in the photo below.
It was now time to go into Kahunaville where we had both a inside room with bar set up and a blocked off area outside near one of the pools.
We had servers frequently coming around and offering various appetizers.

I was among the first group to get my badge and enter our private room.
Off to the side was GoldenGreeke collecting money for his $100 High Limit Slot Pull and Chrissy (Nhcris) and Chris (Majik) who were collecting month for our main High Limit Pull which Rob (Nyphinix) was going to be the main puller for when we later went to Venetian for those events.
Slotspert and Mauretania in a animated discussion. :)
Above is Shamus doing some filming before he gives his speech. Unfortunately I didn't get a good still of him and Deb doing that but I have a video of their speech which is here on the blog.
The Meet was a lot of fun though I wish I personally had more of a chance to spend more time with everyone, that's the only downside to large meets vs small ones. The Meet's success is due to the great organizational skills and hard work of Clemi and Lauriek! Ladies, thanks so much for making it possible for those of us who could attend to have a fabulous time! Unfortunately I don't seem to have a good photo of Clemi and Lauriek together.
Above is Clemi and Deb.
The two good looking guys above to the left are the founders of our slot machine forum feast, Ben and Victor. Thanks gentlemen for making a home for us on the Slot Machine Forum!
Representatives from WMS and IGT Slot companies were on hand and both companies gave attendees goodies bags, we also have a terrific T-Shirt given to us by the Slot Machine Forum guys Ben and Victor. Above are the fun items and shirts given to us at the Meet.
After the Meet most of the group walked over to the Venetian High Limit Room where our high limit slot pulls were to take place. Before they got underway Deb and her husband Dave the Slave tried out the $5 Wheel of Fortune at Venetian and quickly hit for $600.00!!!
Our official puller Nyphinix had some luck on some of our slot machine choices such as the $5, Double Diamond Deluxe Cheeseburger slot above so we ended up breaking even and getting our money back on the high limit pull that Chris (nhcris) and Chrissy (NhMajik) had organized. Thanks Chris and Chrissy for all your hard work in arranging that fun event for us.
Above we are gathered around for the $100 high limit pull that GoldenGreeke had put together.
Thanks GG for all your work on organizing this it was a lot of fun. We were up and down with this pull and at one point could have stopped and gotten our $50 back and had a tiny profit but our group voted to continue to try and hit it big and ended up losing it all. Better luck next high limit pull to all of us!
I must have been having way to much fun at the Meet and the High Limit Pulls because I hardly have any photos to share and most are blurry. I seem to remember Slotspert generously gave me his drink coupon for Kahunaville so I'm blaming that second drink on the blurry photos! ;)
Above is just a random scene after we were waiting to get our money back from the one high limit slot pull.
Above is a group shot of those of us at the high limit pull, however some of our meet attendees are missing due to not participating and we seem to have forgotten to do a group shot at Kahunaville.

CennPennTraveler who I enjoyed spending time with at the Halloween mini-meet last year couldn't make the April Meet but was nice enough to make up artwork for our t-shirts and buttons for the Friday the 13th Downtown Stumble which since they were personalized some of us also wore to the Meet. Now most of us had tiny little round or square buttons, but somehow Cassie got the largest button any of us had ever seen or in other words her big ass button!
After the High Limit Pulls it was time for most of our group to catch a cab to Cosmopolitan for the Chandelier bar meet that Boots had arranged for us. While waiting in one of the longest taxi lines I've ever seen at Venetian, and grumbling about it to the friends I was sharing the taxi with, I couldn't resist this photo of the bride who was also waiting in line with us.
Once at the Chandelier Bar I ordered my favorite drink the Campfire Delight with toasted Marshmallows, YUM! No, those aren't all mine, others ordered it too! Boots was another one that did a great job organizing a fun event for us. Somehow she got Cosmopolitan to agree to rope off a large area for us at the Chandelier bar without any upfront money and the Identify club also gave each of us some free play too!

Photos above from the Chandelier Bar aren't very good due to dim lighting there, not due to my drinking. ;) Some of us were really hungry by then, okay it was mainly me, and since I had never been to the secret pizza place Boots ended up leading a large group of us there to get a slice of pizza which I thought was really good.
After the pizza, I was going to head back with Boots to Wynncore but we had some free play to burn first.
Our Cosmo free play turned into a nice run of decent bonuses on Ghostbusters for both of us.
After some fun at Cosmopolitan we headed back to Wynn and Encore and I embarked on a losing streak with the 2 hits below being the only wins I could get.
After the win below it was just losses and I was tired from lack of sleep so I went back to my room at Wynn around 2am to get some much needed sleep. Too bad it was not to be as even on the 56th floor I could hear their club's music loud and clear. A phone call to the front desk only resulted in the offer of ear plugs and the information that the club would close at 4am. Well, they fibbed it went on to past 4:30am so I didn't get much sleep.
Next morning was GoldenGreeke's downtown stumble and my last day in Vegas. Both Mauretania and I were moving from the strip and taking rooms at the Golden Nugget for the evening so we had arranged for a town car to pick me up at Wynn and then to go to Aria to pick her up. This worked out well except for the town car being 10 minutes late.
Both Mauretania and I had VIP check in with our bookings and I was quickly checked into a room, but  it was the last one ready so Mauretania had to wait until later to move in to her room.
While I hadn't booked a suite since it was just me, I did take a Gold Club Luxury room that gave the VIP checkin, free internet, water, snacks, etc...however the room itself while okay was not impressive,
it was dark, the furniture had seen better days and my one window overlooked a brick wall.
It was time for the meet to start and I quickly found some of our group though it turned out we were waiting in what turned out to be the wrong spot! Above is LuckyLinda, Paw Paw, Foamy and Laurie who was one of our great Kahunaville Meet Organizers.
The above photo is some of our group on the move to our first stop at the Four Queens.
Anyone who has ever read a GoldenGreeke trip report understands this photo!
While my bad luck streak continued my friend WickedCl who had a great hit on the last Stumble in October did it again this time at Four Queens for over a $1000.00 on a 90 cent bet!! You rock my dear!
I like this photo at Four Queens of GoldenGreek's wife Sharon and Irisheyes but was the blurriness of GoldenGreek my camera's way of foretelling what his state would be at the end of the Stumble?
Here's our guys, GoldenGreeke, Ting and Drgonslyer at Fitzgerald's longest bar. I seem to have gotten more of a photo of our guys then the bar itself!
I continued to lose at Fitzgerald's with my biggest hit being $26.00 on Cash Wizard. After Fitzgerald's the group's next stop was El Cortez but I hadn't had breakfast and was ready to eat lunch. My friend Terri was on the way so I told her to meet me, Wickedcl and Wicked's slot buddy at the Heart Attack Grill.
After arriving at the Heart Attack Grill I decided I wasn't in the mood for their menu so Terri and I left and went to Hennessey's which is nearby.
I can't remember what Terri had but my California Citrus salad was great because I said so on Twitter.
After our lunch Terri and I caught up with the Stumble at the California Casino where I was to have my only bit of luck for the day. I started out with a great Kitty Glitter bonus considering I was only betting 60 cents!
I also recalled where Wickedcl's favorite China Shores slot was at the California and had a bit of luck there winning $120.00 on a 60 cent bet and joining the full screen club!
Some of our Stumblers catching some wins and having fun on Paradise Fishing!
We left the group at the Plaza after I got this wonderful 20 cent bonus win on a 80 cent bet.
We walked back to the Golden Nugget where we were meeting with Mauretania for a early dinner at the Chart House Restaurant.
While walking over to the restaurant we met the US Marine Marching Band. There was also a big group of bag playing men around Fremont Street that day but I forgot to take a photo and I'm not sure what was going on with them.
I like the large fish tank at the Chart House Restaurant. I thought Terri had taken a photo of Mauretania and I in front of it as we left, but it's MIA.
I ordered the spicy mango martini and it was really yummy!
Mauretania's appetizer was the crab, avocado and mango stack and I had a small taste and thought it was the stand out dish of the evening!
Terri had the clam chowder which I believe she enjoyed. Both Mauretania and Terri had chopped salads which had too many onions.
I had the halibut topped with lobster and jumbo lump crab with artichoke and tomato orzo which was very good. When we ordered our meal we had also put in a order for us to share the Chart House Souffle, but after waiting for it after we finished our entrees the server came out with the weak excuse that our soufflé had fallen and it would be another 15 minutes for a new one to be made. Translation, server forgot to put the order in on a timely basis. We ended up skipping dessert.

Terri and I caught up with the Stumble at Binions where I somehow missed the group photo with the money because I was playing Buffalo in a corner of the casino.  Terri ended up winning $1150.00 at Binions on a Quick Hits machine! After that we did a few more slots with no luck for either of us so we said goodnight.

I decided to again go to bed early around midnight and discovered that my room on the 16th floor of the Golden Nugget could hear the music loud and clear from Fremont Street. Fortunately it only went on until around 2am.
My original plan had been to leave from the Golden Nugget for the airport on my early evening flight but I wasn't planning on gambling this day and wasn't really feeling at home at GN so I checked out and took a Taxi to Palazzo where I do feel at home. I had one of the nicest cabbies I've had in years and we arrived at Palazzo in record time. After checking in my luggage, I decided to eat at First Food and Bar since I had a discount coupon for it. I couldn't resist one of my favorites the goat cheese soufflé and it didn't disappoint.
They had changed their salmon to one that was crab stuffed and it looked fine when it arrived but after I  took a couple bites, I found it raw and stone cold in the center!
I'm not one for raw fish so I couldn't eat it. While I did tell my server about the problem and they offered to cook it more, I just paid for it and left and later had a bite more to eat at the Platinum lounge.
Until it was time to leave for the airport I wandered around and enjoyed the Venetian entertainers.
I had a great time in April at the Meets and everyone I met was fun to be with! I just wish my luck had been better and that I didn't have to cope with the club and band noise at Wynn and Golden Nugget. The organizers of all these great events did a wonderful job!  Next trip is June 22nd and I'm staying for 3 nights at Palazzo. Hopefully my luck is going to change, but if not, at least I'll have fun with my friends in Vegas!


  1. Thanks for the trip report and all of the great food pics but what I really want to see are some big wins. ITS BEEN TOO LONG. Just so the casino gods know . Anyway Its gonna be a scorcher for your june trip. Im thinking blazing 777's to match the 108 temps. I must be getting old because I dont even like to go swimming when its that hot. Best of luck.

  2. Anon, I will do my best for the June trip report to have some big wins in it, of course they might not be mine. ;) It has been too long, I'm due for some luck. Not looking forward to those summer temps, so will still in the air-conditioned casinos except when exiting for transportation. I wilt easily even in dry heat!

  3. Cool! You guys seems really enjoyed it a lot! It's nice meeting and being friends with people with the same interest as you. Good luck on your next trip! Anyway, slot machines maker WMS Gaming, just launched their social gaming in casino. You can now plat the game in facebook. Just a heads up, seems you're really a slot machine enthusiast.

  4. Cool! You guys seems really enjoyed it a lot! It's nice meeting and being friends with people with the same interest as you. Good luck on your next trip! Anyway, slot machines maker WMS Gaming, just launched their social gaming in casino. You can now plat the game in facebook. Just a heads up, seems you're really a slot machine enthusiast.

  5. Yummy-looking food in this report, and some nice drinks, too! I need to drink more in Vegas, LOL!

  6. Deann, I was thinking that too, until I did drink to much this last Friday night and paid for it Saturday morning! LOL

  7. Very nice trip report indeed. That chicken dish looks dodgy though.