page contents
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.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Slot Fanatics Meet in Las Vegas!

This trip was about 7 months in the making as the main purpose of visiting Las Vegas in April was to attend the annual meet of the Slot Fanatics. Originally I was going for 3 nights from April 10th to the 13th but this changed when friends Laura and Yon asked Gwen and I when our next trips to Vegas were so they could try to time theirs around ours so I mentioned my upcoming April trip and Gwen, Laura and Yon all ended up booking around that time too.

Gwen decided to depart on Sunday April 7th and stay at Palazzo so I found myself scheduling a trip to Palazzo for two nights starting April 8th and changing my previous reservation for THEHotel at Mandalay Bay to arriving on the 10th and departing on the 12th. My friend Terri who lives in Vegas was also going to be staying a couple nights at the Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay to check out their newly renovated rooms.
We have three cats, and Troy our Siamese let me know he wasn't happy that once again I was off to Vegas without him so he briefly staged a sit in until lured out of the suitcase with bits of salmon.

I fly a lot but I hate flying in storms or high winds so I wasn't happy that both San Jose and Las Vegas airports had high wind advisories the day I flew out. Upon arriving at San Jose Airport I found long lines at security due to only having one x-ray machine running and only 2 lines open, but the good news was the planes for the most part, including my flight was taking off on time.
The high winds ended up working in our favor as we made it to Las Vegas in record time, only a hour flight, however the flight was bumpy and the landing while safe was interesting.

My Palazzo driver Robin was waiting for me at baggage claim and soon I was on my way to Palazzo. Notice how much Robin's hair was blowing in the wind in the covered parking garage.
Home sweet home, the lobby area of Palazzo. Check in,  as always was quick at the VIP lounge. Gwen who had already checked in the previous day and had won at least two hand pays on Ultimate X poker had texted to say she was taking a short nap so I went up to my suite and unpacked.
On the way to the room I was surprised that the bank of Palazzo elevators for the high floor rooms now at one end had a private elevator roped off.
As soon as I was unpacked I couldn't wait to try out the latest Wizard of Oz slots with the new Gamefield xD cabinets. I enjoyed playing the Haunted Forest, love the game cabinet and graphics but was getting low hits like the one above so decided to wait and return later. I played a few other favorite slots and was holding my own but it wasn't until I met up with Gwen and we went over to the Palazzo $1 slots outside of their HL room that I finally had a decent win, which I chalk up to touching Gwen's lucky Vegas bag which will be featured later in this trip report.
While Gwen was playing $1 Zeus next to me and getting a couple good hits, I hit the bonus on Jungle Wild for $449.00. While we were laughing and enjoying ourselves I discovered that Gwen hadn't really eaten anything all day and since we were going to have a late dinner I talked her into walking over to Venetian's Gold Lounge where we had some appetizers and soft drinks before trying a few of Venetian's High Limit Slots.

After we left the Gold Lounge I started out with my favorite $5 Cheese Burger Slot and that darn machine ate down $400 without giving me one coin back. Gwen fed a couple slots before deciding to go back to playing and winning at Ultimate X Poker. I moved across the high limit room to  the Top Dollar slots and nothing happened there other then losing more money but then I switched to 3 credit $5 Pinball and hit a bonus fairly quickly for $450.00. Not a fabulous bonus but I was staying even at that point!
After Pinball I hit a bonus for $506.00 on $1 Cleopatra and was now ahead and feeling luckier.
Since my favorite $1 DaVinci Diamonds was next to Cleopatra I had to play it but other then a few minor hits like the one above, it just wasn't working out.
I had another average hit for $100 on $1 Zeus when I switched to playing it, but it went cold quick.
Decided to see if some of my penny slots at Venetian I like would give me some wins but with the exception of Beverly Hillbillies the pennies weren't paying off.
It was about time to meet up with Gwen again as we had tickets to see Human Nature tonight but as I returned to Palazzo the shiny wheels of $5 Wheel of Fortune were calling my name.
It was lots of fun when I hit four bonuses on different WOF slots, each time hitting the bonus after playing about $50 to $60 into each slot. My largest hit was the $500 above.
The other three were very low, $200.00 above and below $150.00.
Before I left WOF, I hit another spin for $200.00. I have videos of these spins on my youtube channel here:
Gwen and I had great seats for Human Nature. While they tell you not to take photos with flash, they didn't seem to have a problem with the audience taking a few with their phone cameras as long as the flash wasn't going off.
Both Gwen and I loved Human Nature. If you haven't seen their show, it's well worth the price of the ticket and even better if the tickets are comped like ours!
In the photo below is a audience member that was pulled up on stage to sing with the group. This lady actually had a good voice and it was enjoyable to hear and watch her.
Human Nature had put Gwen and I in a good mood and it was only to get better as we were having dinner at Cut Restaurant.
We were seated at my favorite booth and soon had some of their great bread and their cheese puff amuse to eat. For a starter I ordered one of my favorites the roasted Windrose Farm Baby Beet Salad with French Feta and toasted Pistachios.
My cocktail of choice was Monroe's Passion a spicy drink that I always request them to make extra spicy.
Gwen wasn't feeling like a main tonight so she had a salad and we shared several sides of vegetables.
I did order a main, a very delicious Indian Spice Kobe Short Rib on top of puree of squash. Gwen had Randy's favorite salad of Butter Lettuce, Avocado and Point Reyes Blue Cheese.
Roasted Autumn vegetables with thyme honey below.
Cavateppi Pasta Quebec Cheddar or in other words, Mac & Cheese!  I didn't eat much of this, it was scrumptious but too rich tasting for me to eat with the short rib.
Tempura onion rings, these were excellent!
We shared the chocolate soufflé and this was Gwen's first time tasting it. I'm not sure she liked it as much as Randy and I do as she didn't indulge in the Gianduja ice cream or the Whipped Creme Fraiche that they add to it.
After dinner at Cut we stopped briefly at the Palazzo Lounge for me to get one of my favorite Cappuccino's. Seriously the Palazzo VIP lounge makes better Cappuccino's in my opinion then most of the fine dining restaurants in Vegas.
Life was good, I'm in my favorite hotel, drinking a great Cappuccino,  I was ahead so far, Gwen was way ahead and still winning, Human Nature had been entertaining, dinner was excellent and the company was fabulous!

After my coffee we returned to the casino. While Gwen stayed and played for a bit at Palazzo she hadn't slept well or really at all the previous night so she headed to bed while I had a mission, to keep my lucky streak such as it was, going.
My mission was a bit of a roller coaster ride with sometimes being up a grand and then almost being even, but I wasn't losing so far!  I played a lot of slots both old and new.

Love the original Goldfish and had fun with it with a few good hits.
I returned to $1 Jungle Wild and was rewarded with a decent hit of $125.00.
As I continued to play Jungle Wild I hit my second bonus of the day and this one was for $959.00 so I was really happy as I was now at least a grand ahead for the day.
I continued to play through the wee hours. Going back to $1 Zeus I never could get a bonus but did get a few decent wins.
I tried $5 Wheel of Fortune again but only got one spin and it was a low win again.
The new penny slots were luring me to play. It was hard for me to stay away from the new Haunted Forrest Wizard of Oz slot especially since the bonuses were active. The win below was one of my best, but I feel this slot can give a big win to me on some future trip! ;)
Both Palazzo and Venetian have about six of these slots in each location with the other new WOZ being named Emerald City.
I wasn't able to get any good videos because of the open location of the slots.
I also found penny Monopoly Legends and while I would try it occasionally tonight and tomorrow I was able to get only one bonus which paid $78.50.  At the moment I'm suspecting that like most Monopolies this isn't the slot for me, but I'll give it another try on a future trip.
While walking from Palazzo to Venetian I stopped and played Emerald City before exiting to the waterfall area. I was much luckier getting bonuses on the Haunted Forrest, with Emerald City I could only get the Glinda the Good Witch Feature and she was being stingy with her bubbles.
Once I entered the Venetian casino I came face to slot with Cheers. I haven't been impressed with Cheers on my last couple trips but I gave it a try again and still remained unimpressed.
I'm really don't think I'll try playing Cheers again, I'm not seeing much potential for a future hand pay on this one.
I continued to play a large variety of slots, Monopoly, Ghostbusters, Top Gun, Hangover, etc....but was mainly getting small wins or losing at this point.
Rapunzel last trip was a big disappointment but I gave it another chance and while I didn't have any large hits, I later had some fun bonuses and took a few videos of them for youtube.
By the time I went back to my suite it was about 4am and by some miracle after playing nine plus hours  and getting about 30,000 Grazie points or more, I was still ahead but only by a few hundred.
As I entered my room waiting for me on the dresser was a gift basket from my host full of snacks along with water and sodas. There were also some chocolates left on my bed by the turn down service as I had forgotten to put out the do not disturb sign.
I woke up to a beautiful morning, err afternoon and the view I never get tired of looking at!
Of course I started out my day by eating the Manhattan salad with shrimp and chicken at Palazzo's Grand Lux.
After lunch I spent most of my time until dinner just having fun playing slots. Above is my best hit on the new WOZ Emerald City slot.
Normally I don't have any luck on Bier Haus, but the Life of Luxury version at Palazzo gave me some nice hits.
On Life of Luxury bonus below I hit both the Emerald and Opal Progressive. There's a video of this on my youtube channel.
I love Witches Riches when it bonuses. Okay, so I love most slots when they bonus, unless it's a zero bonus, yes WMS I'm thinking mainly of your slots! :)
Original Goldfish, can't stay away from it. The sequels, easy for me to stay away from playing.
After gambling solo it was around 4pm and time to meet Dennis (RamblinGamblin) from the Slot Fanatics and Slot Machine Forums in front of the Palazzo High Limit Lounge. We've met before at previous meets so we spotted each other quickly and went into the lounge and had a nice time catching up. Afterwards we hit some of the new slots together like Monopoly Legends, Dolly Party and the new WOZ, but neither one of us had much luck but we did have some fun before it was time for him to return to his hotel.
After Dennis left I went over to the Palazzo Player's Card Desk to turn in my daily points for the Blooming Gifts Promotion they had going on during my trip. It was possible to earn up to 5 pull cards a day for every X amount of points during this promotion. I have to say X amount of points because I no longer remember the exact amount.
Prizes were free play up to a grand, Grazie gift points and perhaps other things. All I got for the 2 days I was pulling tabs on these cards was Grazie gift points and free play in the amounts of $5, $10 and $20.00.
After winning my tiny prizes for the Blooming Gifts Promotion I walked over to Venetian to play few slots before dinner. Rapunzel was a fun slot when the bonuses were active. Reminds me a lot of the Alice in Wonderland slots. When I started playing this morning I was a few hundred up, by the time I went to dinner I was about even for the day but had lots of fun. It would have been more fun if I was still ahead but gambling so far this year has been a struggle for me.
Dinner tonight was with adorable Gwen and our fun friends Laura and Yon at Venetian's Tao Restaurant.
Laura and Yon almost didn't make this trip as Yon had a stroke 3 weeks prior. Yon was not only lucky enough to survive the stroke but to also make a quick enough recovery that he received his doctor's okay to travel.  Tonight Yon was understandably tired from his flight to Vegas so while he was happy to be with us he mainly watched us eat.
Normally everything's perfect at Tao but tonight it was just a bit off putting when after telling the server I wanted my favorite drink that I order all the time, the Phuket, she came out and gave me this drink which looked nothing like it. When I questioned if the drink was correct, her answer was they had changed the recipe. Really, then why didn't she mention that after I told her it was my favorite drink that I had been ordering for years?
Fortunately she said they could make it the old way and as you can see below the original recipe looks nothing like the above drink. I'm still wondering if the recipe did get changed or if she had just brought the wrong drink and for whatever reason didn't want to admit it. Guess I'll find out next time I order the Phuket.
Gwen, Laure and I shared the asparagus, green bean and sweet potato tempura, so yummy!
Below is Gwen's favorite Tao entree the XO Shrimp with long beans!
Laura and I ordered my favorite the Miso Glazed Sea Bass!
We were served complimentary almond cookies tonight, they were okay but not great.
All of us except Yon shared the Giant Fortune cookie which is white mousse on one side and chocolate mousse on the other. This dessert is a favorite of mine and tonight it was Gwen's too. Gwen's not big on desserts so I was happy she loved this. Except for the strangeness with my drink order it was a delicious dinner with fabulous company. Thanks Gwen for treating us to dinner!
After dinner we split up with Laura and Yon returning to their hotel, Gwen off to gamble and for me it was 2 hours of playing slots with a friend who will by request remain nameless. :)
I was all over the Venetian and Palazzo casino playing but mainly losing after dinner.
I suspect my friend has never played with someone who switches slots as much as I do.
I want to like the new  Monopoly Legends but so far that's not working out for me because I just can't get any bonuses with the exception of one I had the day before.
Gwen was the one who told me how much the new Dolly Parton slot was and I agree. Of course I was hitting a reasonable amount of bonuses when I played it so that of course helped.
I really like the new Wizard of Oz slots but I will like them more if I see larger wins made on them.
I'm sure if I could just grab enough apples during the winged monkey bonus on the Haunted Forrest WOZ, there's a hand pay waiting for me, LOL!
By the time I went to bed that night I had lots of fun playing the slots but I was now down a few hundred. On the plus side, I had lots of Grazie points and I'm close to renewing Platinum status for next year at my favorite Vegas casino. Yes, I'm rationalizing here, don't judge. ;)
Next morning it was time to check out of Palazzo and move to THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. I had a late check out but was planning on checking out earlier to meet Ken (CPT from Slot Fanatics) for lunch at RM Seafood at 12:30pm. However after getting packed and dressed I noticed that Ken was texting me from the airport and his flight was delayed due to mechanical problems so there was no longer a reason to hurry over to THEHotel to check in.
On my way to get a coffee at the Platinum lounge I run into Slotspert in the Palazzo casino and before you know it we're having a short slot playing session together.
Sitting side by side playing the original Goldfish at Palazzo we were both getting lucky with bonuses.
We had fun catching up with each other but there was also some sadness that our friend Shamus wasn't there with us this year. Hopefully we'll both see him in September at G2E, <crossing fingers>.
I was going to see more of Slotspert and also his wife Mrs. Slotspert the next day at the Meet so we parted ways and I checked out of Palazzo and checked in at THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. VIP services at Mandalay Bay had my room ready so I was in my suite and unpacking very quickly.
It's after unpacking I decide to put my Mac in the room safe where it has always fit before when I stayed at THEHotel but this time it didn't quite fit and when I was trying to encourage it to fit (grin) it fell at a angle and in such a way that it jammed the door to the safe where it was opened about 1/8 of a inch but couldn't be closed or opened more.
I tried for a few minutes to unjam my Mac but the opening wasn't large enough for my fingers or anything I had with me that might not break. I finally gave up and called the front desk for help and while they said maintenance would be right up it took over a hour. However once up in my suite the man was able to get the door open using a nifty tool in about 10 minutes and  I had my Mac back.
So the Mac jamming in the safe was my fault but now I decide to check email which I hadn't been doing, and I find that Discover Card had just emailed me about a large purchase made that morning on one of our credit cards for over $1600.00. I have our cards set up to automatically email me if purchases are over a certain amount and a good thing too, because after calling my husband and learning it wasn't his purchase I had to spend the next 40 minutes of my vacation talking to the Discover Card Fraud Department while they figured out which charges on our CC were ours and which ones were made by   the crook who had gotten our card information and was using it for several purchases. After sorting out that mess they canceled the card and made arrangements to send a new one to our home.
I was a bit discouraged as I walked down to the casino. First Ken's plane has technical problems and we have to cancel lunch, then I get my Mac stuck in the safe and last the fraudulent charges on one of our credit cards was making me think this isn't going to be my lucky day.

 However the bright spot of my day was my friend Terri was checking in later this afternoon into the Four Season's at Mandalay Bay and I was looking forward to getting to spend some time with her.
As I was walking from THEHotel to the casino I noticed a lot of construction going on through that long passageway and they now have a security guard stationed 24 hours a day right after THECafe before you get to the Elevator for Mix.
Once in the casino I had some small hits on old favorites like Wizard of Oz but mainly lost.
While Mandalay Bay is mainly old slots of 2 years or older, they did have one new slot CSI! While I don't watch these television shows CSI was giving me some bonuses and they were fun to play.
While my hits weren't big, they were letting me stay even and slowly and I mean slowly accumulate a few M-Life player points, since this of course was a speciality slot.
Almost everything these days seems to be a speciality slot in a M-Life casino as their player's club doesn't seem to want any one any longer to accumulate too many express comps. Their plan at least with my account is working out well in their favor. Of course on the other hand, I'm also planning on giving most of my gambling play this year to Venetian/Palazzo and Wynn and perhaps even try Cosmopolitan again.
While walking through the casino between House of Blues and the Tattoo place I noticed they were filming what I assume was a commercial with a car and some extras around it.
I tried some $1 and $5 slots like Top Dollar, Pinball and DaVinci Diamonds but no luck at all on them.
I had a rare hit on the Grease slot which I think is a fun slot if one can get a bonus on it, but the last 6 months or so it's been rare for me to hit a bonus on it.
I was lucky to get a decent hit on Lord of the Rings which helped my rapidly decreasing bank roll.
After Lord of the Rings I returned to CSI and continued to have a bit more fun with it until it was time to meet friends for dinner.
Gwen, Manette, Terri and I were eating a early dinner at Hubert Keller's, Fleur Restaurant tonight because we had a WMS Studio Tour to make at 7pm. Thank you Shamus and Player's Life for setting this up! We had a short 5 minute wait for our table due to a staff meeting in the main part of the restaurant.
Yep, I'm hugging Gwen's lucky purse, the way my day had been going I needed to borrow some luck!
Gwen, (yourstarla) myself and Manette (Clemi) waiting for our table at Fleur while camera shy Terri photographs us.
Manette had the Flirtini cocktail which looked yummy.
Since I love spicy drinks I had a margarita with a cayenne pepper rim that our server suggested, but while it was okay, I wasn't loving it. I did manage to force myself to drink it. ;)
The tempura vegetables were so good we ordered another!
BBQ Flat Bread with onion, cheddar, bbq sauce and since Gwen doesn't like pork we had the caramelized pork belly on the side.
Seared diver scallops with baby carrots, turnips, and dashi.
Dungeness crab cakes with citrus fennel salad and remoulade.
The grilled salmon with salad and soy mirin reduction was delicious.
Balsamic grilled asparagus. Good, but nothing unusual.
Mozzarella Flatbread with tomato, roasted pepper, pesto and the prosciutto on the side. Below is organic arugula salad. I enjoyed our dinner at Fleur but like Terri I was also a bit disappointed because their new menu has taken off some of the entrees, desserts and drinks that made Fleur exceptional.
After our dinner at Fleur we walked over to Four Seasons Valet to pick up Terri's car and she drove us all to WMS Studios where we had a tour and focus study to attend.
For the write up on the WMS Studio tour go to this link on my blog:

Above is the Return of the King slot which isn't released yet and below is the Willy Wonka slot that should be released in early summer. I have videos of both slots on my youtube channel.
After WMS Studios Terri drove us back to Mandalay Bay where we left her car and took a taxi to Cosmopolitan. At 10pm tonight we were meeting a group there for the 2 annual meeting of the ECC (Exotic Cocktail Club) that Boots had founded the year before.

Last year we had drinks at Bond Bar at Cosmopolitan this year we were meeting at the Chandelier Bar. Since Boots couldn't make the Meet due to work, Manette had graciously volunteer to take on the job of organizing this year's ECC.
We arrived early for the event and met up with my friend Brian. Brian and I had plans to play $1 Airplane at max bet for $45 a push at Aria before the Meet so we split up from Terri, Manette and Gwen who went off to gamble a bit at Cosmo while we walked over to Aria.
We each put in $500 into Airplane but with the exception of the $500 hit above that Brian got when pushing, it took all our money in about 5 minutes! Needless to say we were able to walk back to Cosmopolitan and meet up again with Terri, Gwen and Manette well before the  ECC started.
Manette did a great job of organizing the Exotic Cocktail Club event with the manager of the Chandelier Bar. All three levels of the bar was very busy that evening but we had a large reserved area for our group on level 1.5. We also had a great turn out for this event, I believe there was at least 30 of us there.
Wildheart, moi and Brian.
Irish Eyes, Rambler, Toc and Rhonda.
Lightning was dark and my Iphone, err I mean I was having problems taking clear photos.
Ken, in action taking some better photos then mine!
Below is the Bartender making our Campfire Martini's with toasted marshmallows. He's really torching the heck out of those marshmallows which is likely the reason mine were so hard I couldn't eat them. BTW, we were told by our server that the Campfire Martini's were no longer on the menu which seemed correct since we didn't see them on it, so the Bartender was doing us a favor by making these for us.
Brian managed to actually eat his marshmallows!
I tried to eat mine but other then biting into it for this photo op I was a fail.
Below a photo of myself and RamblinGamblin. This is Dennis who I had met up with the day before at Palazzo.
We had a huge surprised during the ECC when Boots showed up for it! She had flown in after work and arrived just in time to join us at the Chandelier Bar and would be flying out the next morning! 

Two weeks earlier I had been having lunch with Boots and told her that Brian wanted to go downtown to the Drink and Drag and she suggested we take a limo from Cosmo after the ECC and I had been disappointed that Boots wasn't going to make the ECC and our limo trip downtown so I was so happy when this ended up working out. 
After drinks at the ECC it was time to meet our limo at the Cosmo Valet area. I had reserved a limo with Presidential for 8 so it was a terrific surprised to find out since they didn't have one for 8 available they sent one that had room for 15 or so. It was a pleasant surprise and we had a great time drinking champagne and enjoying the ride.
We stopped for a photo op at the Las Vegas Sign and one in front of our limo, but unfortunately my Iphone wasn't up to the challenge and our photos were too dark. Below in front of the limo is Jason, his fiancee Desiree, Boots, Dan, myself, Brent and Brian. Like usual Terri is taking our photo. Thanks Terri.  Gwen was always suppose to be with us tonight but due to lack of sleep and too many wins, she had faded and returned to Palazzo after the ECC.
We were suppose to go straight to the Drink and Drag lounge where some of us were thinking of going bowling but we ended up getting dropped off near the casinos instead. This led to the guys seeking out Clue to see if it the puzzle was near getting solved on any of them.
Walking to Binions on Fremont Street.
The men discover that Binion's Clue Puzzle was close to getting solved so they settled in for some serious playing as seats opened up. Boots, Terri and I went off to play Mummy and some other slots but didn't have any luck.
When Brent left Clue to do something else I took his machine and had a bonus due to the lights going out for $232.25. This was a strange bonus because it actually looked for a minute like Jason's slot was suppose to get the Lights Out bonus but it was instead rewarded to me.
Jason ended up solving the puzzle and then Desiree, him and Brent went off to play some more slots while Terri, Dan, Brian, Boots and I went off to Drink & Drag.
I was getting tired at this point or else I would have stayed to bowl a game, the bowling alley's looked nice.
In addition to the bowling alley they also had a dance floor and the music playing was loud and lively.
We had a quick drink here but Boots had to get up early to return to work and both Terri and I were ready to go back and lose some more at Mandalay Bay, so we left Brian and Dan downtown and took a taxi back to the strip.
We dropped Boots off at Aria and then Terri and I returned to Mandalay Bay where we both gambled for a while.
I started to feel less tired when I hit some wilds and bonuses on Clue at MB.
Last trip I solved the Clue bonus for the first time at MB and repeated it on this night so I was really happy.
About 30 minutes after I solved the Clue Bonus who comes into Mandalay Bay but Brian, Jason, Dan and Desiree looking to see if the puzzle was near getting solved.
They were happy for me that I had solved it but decide to leave Mandalay Bay and check out NYNY and other casinos for Clue. I was too tired to join them and since I later heard that Jason hit all 15 wilds on the Time for Wilds bonus at NYNY for a 3K hand pay it sounds like I missed a lot of excitement!
The next morning I slept in and didn't eat when I woke up because a group of us ladies were going to Tea at Bellagio.
Before I caught a cab to Bellagio I had time for a few wins on the CSI slot.
Monica (mauretania) had arranged for 15 of us to have high tea at Bellagio's Petrossian Lounge and some of us including myself were using a comp from the Facebook MyVegas game. While I was filling out the paperwork for this at the Bellagio Player's Club Desk I ran into Monica doing the same. Since we still had some time before the tea she walked with me to one of the Bellagio stores where I was returning a blouse I had bought the previous trip but decided I didn't like so we could have a chat.
After leaving the store we met up with Mrs. Slotspert and went to the Bellagio VIP lounge for water and soft drinks until it was time to meet the group at the Petrossian Bar for our Formal Tea.
Monica did a great job arranging this tea with our group of 15 ladies the staff of the Petrossian Bar. Thanks Monica!
We had a group of 4 tables together that seated 10 of us.  This photo is of Wildheart, CyndyGa and Cassie. I was seated next to Wildheart.
Above is Lucky Linda, Irish Eyes, Lady Clare, Clemi, Rhonda and NhCris.
We also had another 2 tables in a nearby section with comfy chairs and couches. Below I join the group of five for a photo op. To the left is Lauriek, FlMary's sweet Mom Satsuki, Mrs. Slotspert, me, FlMary and Mauretania.
Normally at the Petrossian Tea one is able to select 4 finger sandwiches of their choice, however due to the size of our group we didn't get to select our own sandwiches individually. We were able to select the tea of our choice and for a extra charge one can order champagne if they prefer it over tea. 
Everyone was also served 2 scones and 3 mini pastries. Along with the scones we were served butter, clotted cream, jams, and lemon curd. The lemon curd was fabulous the clotted cream alright but I've had better at other formal teas. The tea sandwiches were delicious and the scones were wonderful. There was plenty of food, I was only able to eat one of my scones and pastries.
While the tea itself was lovely and I would do it again, the real treat was being there with this great group of fun ladies!

After the fabulous High Tea, Mrs. Slotspert, Lady Clare and I walked over to Cosmopolitan where my losing streak continued. Giving up, okay I gave up,  we caught a taxi over to Tropicana where the Slot Fanatic Meet would soon start.
Lady Clare was staying at the Tropicana so she left us to freshen up before the Meet while I headed to the Lord of the Rings slot with Mrs. Slotspert by my side to bring me some good luck.
I actually did okay playing Lord of the Rings at the Trop, but next to me was a elderly woman betting 80 cents on the Lord of the Rings slot who hit the Frodo bonus which then had the most re-triggers I have ever seen, she must have ended up with about 70 or 80 total spins and numerous bonuses! I thought she might get a hand pay at first but most of her bonuses during these free spins were low so her total win ended up about $350.00 which she was thrilled to get.
After playing LOTR for a while it was time for the Slot Fanatic's Meet. Slotspert was there on the left collecting money for the high limit slot pull with Joey and Deb next to him checking in and handing out name tags to everyone.
Deb and Joey did a fabulous job with the meet. Deb's work with Joanie one of the Tropicana's representatives really paid off as we had the Tropicana Lounge closed off for our Meet.  In addition Deb had worked with Joanie so that many members of our forum were able to have the Trop match or better their comp offers at other Las Vegas properties!
Below is Deb, our Bonus Queen Super Moderator!
Rhonda and Toc, a fun couple! This is about the 4th time or so we have met up in Vegas, we really have to KEEP meeting this way. ;)
Paw Paw and Irish Eyes.
Just a few of the selections of appetizers for the Meet. I tried one of each appetizer and they were good!
Myself with Tammy, Rob and Ken.
Mrs. Slotspert and I enjoying our appetizers. The background on the stage is a singer that the Tropicana had arranged to have on hand to entertain the group.
Deb with one of the Tropicana Representatives, perhaps this is Joanie?
I'm not sure what the exact count of the attendees this year but we filled up the lounge and my guess is we had at least 60 or more.
Dan, me, Brent and Maureen.
Deb and Joey below are drawing names for the raffle of prizes.
Ken won something at the raffle though I forget what. I didn't win. Have I mentioned I've been in raffles in the past where there's only been 10 people and 6 prizes and still have never had my name drawn? LOL!
One of my favorite photos of this trip, Joey and me! We've known each other online for a few years, but this was our first time to meet in person and hopefully just the first of many future meetings.
At the end of the Meet we had a fun high limit slot pull organized by Slotspert. I don't have any photos of it because I was busy getting in everyone's way while I tried to take a video of it, that later when I viewed it really didn't come out and do justice to this fun event. A share in the high limit slot pull was $25 and at the end of the pull we ended up with each of us getting back $21.00 after about 20 or so minutes of spins by Joey. There was about 5 slots or so involved in this pulls with 2 of them being Enchanted Unicorn and Kitty Glitter. Earlier I had told Mrs. Slotspert I wasn't sure about the choice of $1 Kitty Glitter being in the mix because it's so hard to get a bonus but ironically enough that was the slot we had our largest win on during the pull!

A couple group shots, though I think some of our attendees might have already wandered off before they were taken. Thanks to Mrs. Slotspert for taking these photos for me.  
I had a great time at the Meet but like usual there just wasn't enough time to chat with everyone, though some of that was my fault. In addition to the Meet, the Bellagio Tea and the ECC there were other events that had been planned but that I missed.  Rob arranged a great tour at Bally's which everyone who went said was really interesting, a dinner and Karoake at Gilley's,  a guy's trip to Hooters while the ladies had our tea at Bellagio and the downtown Stumble which I missed due to going home on the day it was held. 
After the Meet I walked back to THEHotel at Mandalay Bay to change for dinner with Terri. 
Dinner tonight was at Charlie Palmer Steak which is over at Four Seasons.  It was about a 15 minute walk from THEHotel through the Mandalay Bay Casino past registration and the aquarium in the lobby to Charlie Palmer Steak.
Breadbasket had a nice assortment of cornbread, whole wheat, white and olive bread.
I ordered and really enjoyed the Knickerbocker cocktail which had rum, raspberry syrup, and orange liquor. I liked it so much, I had two!
Terri ordered Chef Steve's "Caesar Salad" with prosciutto wrapped romaine hearts. I had one of the bundles and this was a great salad.
I ordered the Surf and Turf, roasted Maine Lobster and Filet Mignon, it was great.
We shared some asparagus above and below the restaurant gave us complimentary small ice cream cookies.
Below, my delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
After dinner at Charlie Palmer, Terri gave me a tour of her newly renovated room at the Four Seasons.
I thought the room was really nice and Terri said the service was excellent.
Above is part of the bathroom vanity and sink area.
The hospitality area when you first enter the suite with complimentary coffee, tea and water.
Terri said the bed was very comfortable.
After the tour of Terri's room we both went down to the casino to see if our luck was going to improve.  I later heard from Terri that Mandalay Bay Casino was very mean to her!
My luck on the other hand was all over the place. The CSI slots were still being nice to me until they stopped.
I finally got a bonus on $5 Pinball but it was a small one for $275.00.
Clue tried to give me some wins but basically I was just losing and I was down for the trip.
I started playing Lord of the Rings and it took a while to get a bonus, and then the bonus was that darn Aragon bonus which usually is zero. As it went to 30X, I said to the man sitting next to me playing the other LOTR slot, oh great, 30X of nothing coming up. Boy was I wrong, and happy to be wrong when I hit for $901.00!
After that hit it still wasn't finished when I got the Frodo bonus which retriggered a couple times and pay out $190.00.
My last bonus on the LOTR at MB before it quit on me was $210.00!
As I walked to my room to call it a night the Michael Jackson slot called my name and I had a bonus on it for $192.00.
After MJ, I had to say a final goodbye to Clue for this trip and was rewarded with a couple decent bonuses.  I decided that was enough gambling for the trip. So how did I do? Well, I ended up losing but thanks to these final wins and the earlier ones at Palazzo/Venetian, I could say I sort of broke even if I figured in my comps. Yep, if I had paid for everything I had gotten comped for and not done any gambling at all it would have been the same amount of money I lost. So I'm not a winner, I didn't really break even for that matter, but after the previous two losing trips this year, I was okay with this result.
I didn't see Terri the next morning as she was checking out and returning to her home in Las Vegas. I'll see Terri soon in Ft. Lauderdale and also on a cruise that Randy and I are taking soon.
I had a late check out with THEHotel so was eating a late brunch today with friends Laura and Yon at the Verandah at the Four Seasons.
It was a lovely day so we decided to eat out on their patio overlooking the pool area. Love the ice cubes in my iced tea which were made out of tea. The small container in front is simple syrup but since I don't like sweetened tea it didn't get used.
The luncheon menu at Verandah.
Laura, myself and Yon having a great time.
Yummy lemon cocktail with egg white foam.
Laura and I shared a started of crab cake sliders with smoked onion rings, it was good!

Yon ordered the V Burger. This was a impressive burger with fried egg, smoked mozzarella, bacon, caramelized onion and roasted poblano pepper, served with waffle fries and the usual garnishes plus aioli sauce
Laura had the Italian antipasto salad which looked great.
I loved my Insulate di Mare which had romaine, lobster salad, crab, shrimp, avocado, tomatoes and a tasty passion fruit vinaigrette dressing.
Yon contemplating how he will approach getting his V Burger into his mouth.
Yon was successful and the V Burger is every bit as good as it looks.
Our server brought by a tray of the desserts of the day which looked scrumptious but all of us were too full to try any.
The view of the Four Seasons pool and waterfall from the Verandah patio.
A couple views of inside the Verandah restaurant.
Just a random shot of the Mandalay Bay Casino. For those who have gambled there before I'm not sure if you can tell or not but the casino has about 1/3 less slots then it had in years past. Plenty of aisle room and extra space these days to move around the MB casino!
After lunch I went back to my room to collect my luggage and check out. Laura and Yon then drove me to the airport to catch my Southwest flight back to San Jose. It was sad saying goodbye but I have hopes to see them later this year and until then we have our chats on Facebook. :)
The flight home was uneventful and my son actually remembered to come to the airport to pick me up, so that was as small win.  Above is all the great freebies that were given out during the Slot Fanatic Meet. My son received the T-Shirts which he is wearing around the house.
Above and below is the nice binder that the lady at the Palazzo Player's card desk gave me after she asked how I was doing gambling and at the time since Gwen was winning big and I was treading water so to speak she received a whimper in response from me. I thought it was very kind of her to give me this, I especially like the glitzy pen it came with.
So when's my next trip to Las Vegas? Not until the end of June when it's time to celebrate my friend Liz's birthday.

The month of May we're going to Ft. Lauderdale to not only visit my Mother who lives there but to sail on the Allure of the Seas to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary! Since we ended up selecting this cruise due to the new partnership between Royal Caribbean and M-Life, I might tweet about it or do a short write up when I return to explain the freebies you get due to this new promotion. In the meantime, good luck on your next trip to Vegas!


  1. Great report Diana! The Italian Antipasto salad tasted great too! :)

  2. I love the pic of your cat in the suitcase! That's a beautiful boy!

    I read all about everyone's slotting adventures in the forums. I sure hope I can make to an event one of these days!

  3. Brian needs to learn to control his liquor... what a hot mess.


  4. SDguy, Brian is so cute he gets away with being a hot mess. ;)

    Anon, Troy thanks you for the complicate. I hope you can make a future Meet they are fun!

    Laura had the Antipasto salad but she mention it tasted great. That was my first time eating at the Verandah at Four Seasons. Not sure how I missed going to it all these days, but I will return, their food was yummy. :)

  5. Excellent!


  6. excellent TR always love reading them! My next trip to Vegas is June 1-4, and your trip reports always make me even happier to be going!

  7. Your TR was amazing but they always are!

  8. Dear Diana,

    I stumbled across your blog yesterday and have been reading it with great interest! Thank you so much for the great descriptions of your trips and the photos.

    My boyfriend and I travel to Vegas fairly often (4-5 times a year) and we love it. We'll be staying at Aria the week of July 1 and heading over to the Encore to see Garth Brooks on July 4th, and we're so excited about the trip. We are at the Pearl level with MLife and we get some little offers here and there for comp rooms and resort credit, but we'd like to try to establish a relationship with a casino host so we can work our way up to where you are! I'm so inspired by reading your blog :) What advice can you offer to us for working our way up the ladder?

    Many thanks,

  9. Hi JL,

    I'm glad you are enjoying my trip reports.

    Sounds like you have a great trip planned for July!

    In regards to casino hosts while I have assigned hosts at Mandalay Bay, Aria and Bellagio I generally don't book my trips with through them, I just call up VIP services on the marketing offers and book that way. If for some reason I do want something special that trip like a upgraded room and want to try and ensure I get that upfront then I would likely contact my host.

    With Palazzo and Wynn, I do use my hosts and I have a more personal relationship at these properties then with my M-Life hosts, but again they can only do so much for me over my marketing offer, it really depends on how much gambling I have done that stay. Why it's helpful for mid-level gamblers to have a host though is if you feel you have done a lot more gambling then your last stay and earned more then the upfront marketing comps then you would want to see a host in order to get more taken off your bill.

    M-Life these days with their express comps seems to have changed quite a bit how the hosts help the mid-level gamblers so you might discover that even with a host you don't receive much more then what ever marketing offers you are currently receiving. However if you want to meet a host and see what they can do for you I suggest a good place to start is during your July trip. Toward the end of the trip if you feel you have gambled enough to warrant getting more taken off your bill then ask to speak to a host and introduce yourself and they will let you know if they can take more off your bill and if they like your gambling history they will likely give your their business card and suggest you call them next time you are ready to book a trip.

    As far as working up the ladder to higher comps via a host or marketing offer that's mainly due to what one is gambling each trip and not a relationship with a host. Usually the host will only be able to remit back in comps whatever that casino's current formula is for comps though there are exceptions based on ones past history at that casino and if the host feels you are a regular that will make up in the future for what might have been a unlucky trip where you didn't gamble your usual amount.

    There's a lot of good vegas and gambling message boards around the internet but has an excellent message section on comps among their message groups and if you read back on past messages in the comp section there is lots of good advice on how the various casino comp systems work and how to meet and form a relationship with a host.

    Hope that helps a bit and good luck in July!

  10. Dear Diana,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thorough reply! I really appreciate it. I will check out the message board you recommend and ask to meet the host we've had some email communication with from the Aria. I didn't realize the MLife structure had changed so dramatically, and you've inspired us to spend more time at Venetian/Palazzo and Wynn/Encore this trip. Thanks again, and I hope we'll be lucky enough to meet you on one of our trips!

  11. JL, have a great trip and I hope to meet you in Vegas on a future trip too. :)