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Old 04-16-2009, 12:28 PM   #21
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Interesting idea, Fuego.

Confirm my understanding of matchplay coupons: Let's say DW and I each have a $10 matchplay coupon. At the roulette table, She bets $10 with the coupon on odd, I bet $10+coupon on even. If it lands on 0 or 00 we both lose, but otherwise our net profit is $10. Yes?

The free slots offers mostly require that you sign up for a (free) player's club type of thing. Not sure that's worth it.
You got the concept of the matchplay coupon down. The general rule of thumb is that a matchplay coupon is worth ~50% of the face value, because you win half the time, you lose half the time.

Regarding player's club signups, most matchplay coupons require you to have a player's club card to play the coupon.

Most free slot play coupons or sign up bonuses were $5-10. Some were $15+ (venetian comes to mind where it was $15 plus another $15 if you get another free coupon book from the mall area and that is per person). Free slots credits are valued close to face value since the expected payouts from slots are usually 93%+. But there is a high standard deviation in payout - maybe 50% payout in 80% of the times, and then double or triple your money in 20% of the times.

Many places had free slot play and free matchplay at the same casino. And many casinos use the same player's club, so you only have to sign up at one place.

Then there are certain places that let you "play a $100 free on them". Arizona Charlies was doing this in January I know. You play through $100, and if you lose it all, they give you another $100 in slot credits that you have to play through once. So worst case you shouldn't end down more than $20-30. But the cumulative probability of you and your wife both being significantly down is rather low.

All in all, it was a fun way to gamble for free with little downside risk and big potential upside reward. Most of the time the payouts were probably just barely enough to compensate us for the time spent getting them. But every once in a while you get lucky and win $40-50 from a $5-10 free slot play, or $80-100 from matchplay coupons and 3-for-2 chip packages. All for little risk.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:02 PM   #22
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Thanks for the explanation. Are you inundated with junk mail after this process?
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:23 PM   #23
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Thanks for the explanation. Are you inundated with junk mail after this process?
Surpisingly no. I have not received a single piece of promotional mail from any of the player's clubs. Not even an email on the rare few I had to provide an email address.

I was actually hoping for some junk mail with free stuff, discounts, coupons, hotel deals, etc since I'm going back out there May 9-13. But no luck! They track your gambling habits well, and we really didn't play much other than the free deals except at a place or two. But never any real money at stake. So they may figure (correctly) that I'm a cheap bastard and won't be gambling a bunch of money in their casinos.

I think I got around 18 different player's club cards for me, and almost as many for DW. We really enjoyed going around to the different casinos and seeing them, too. Plus free drinks served by beautiful cocktail waitresses, some of which were very good (the drinks, that is).
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:07 PM   #24
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Al,
Try the Angel's Landing hike.
I'm not suggesting you go to the actual point of Angel's Landing.
Oh my gosh, I absolutely loved Angel's Landing. It's really hairy at the top, but spectacular view, especially at the point, one of the best I've ever seen. If you or DW are scared of heights, I would stop before the last stretch, you'll know where to stop. The last time I did this hike, there was a guy (not a novice hiker) who just froze on the last part. He didn't move for 30 min.

The narrows trail is what Zion is famous for. Observation Point is another nice hike.
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:15 PM   #25
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Then there are certain places that let you "play a $100 free on them". Arizona Charlies was doing this in January I know. You play through $100, and if you lose it all, they give you another $100 in slot credits that you have to play through once. So worst case you shouldn't end down more than $20-30. But the cumulative probability of you and your wife both being significantly down is rather low.

- You need the never revealed <until now> MasterBlaster system...

here's what you do...

Start with a $10 bet (any game that pays 2:1, Blackjack or whatever)

When you win the first hand you then have $20
let that ride and when you win again you will have $40.
Keep doing this for 8 more times until you have $10,240.

You can stop there if you want to or play another 10 rounds at which stage you will have over $10M.

If you play my "system" then money will never be an issue.

- The good Life awaits you.
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Old 04-16-2009, 06:35 PM   #26
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- You need the never revealed <until now> MasterBlaster system...
Let me know how that works out for you!
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:00 PM   #27
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I live near Joshua Tree and went there for the first time a month ago with family that was in town visiting. It was very pretty but after an hour or two of desert and rocks I was ready for civilization. It takes an eternity hours to go through the whole park and there is nowhere to stop for refreshments so if you go take plenty of drinks and food.

I second that Pioneertown is neat. A lot of the old cowboy movies were filmed there which if you used to watch them you may get a kick out of. There is a place to eat there called Pappy and Harriet's that's worth going to but it isn't open every day.

Also, if you are that near you may like to take the Tram in Palm Springs.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:36 AM   #28
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Current plan starts with: Sequoia, Las Vegas, Zion

We'd like to find a good place to camp between Sequoia and Las Vegas (seven hour driving time). Most places are RV parks, which I suspect will be glorified parking lots. Any ideas?


Tentative plan is to camp at the Valley of Fire state park,


and drive into Vegas (1 hour drive) to drink and gamble see the sights. Not sure if that's practical.
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:38 PM   #29
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Any interest in paying $20 or so for a decent room in Vegas? Shouldn't be too hard to find especially if you are there during the week. When will you be in Vegas (PM if you don't want public)? We're headed out in a couple of weeks for a few nights.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:58 PM   #30
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Any interest in paying $20 or so for a decent room in Vegas?
$20 What exactly do you get for $20 ?
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Old 04-23-2009, 03:30 PM   #31
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$20 What exactly do you get for $20 ?
Are you familiar with Las Vegas? You know they are almost giving the rooms away, right?

Golden Gate Casino in downtown LV, for example, is $20 per night. Well, $21.11 on the night in May that I happened to check (including taxes and fees). Rated 4 out of 5 on expedia reviews. You'll probably get a basic room with a bathroom. Given that camping is often $15-20 a night in some campgrounds, it would be a few steps up from sleeping on a foam mat, and you would be in the middle of downtown Las Vegas (which has its plusses and minuses). And they have delicious $1 shrimp cocktails downstairs.

There are a few other decent (read: basic) hotels on or near the strip or downtown for around $20-30/night.

My suggestion is simply to add a lot of value for a small price. Obviously $20 won't get you a penthouse suite at the Encore.
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:17 PM   #32
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For those not in the know, Downtown Las Vegas is the (yesteryear's) poor cousin of the Las Vegas strip. Although right there by the hotel isn't too bad. You walk a couple of blocks in the wrong direction though and you are in very unsafe gang/drug user territory. There have been quite a large number of assult cases and robberies. They have mounted police on patrol to help protect unsuspecting tourists. However you are forewarned.

here is my favorite Las Vegas site's review of the Golden Gate"

Cheapo Vegas - Golden Gate

Las Vegas is a hurtin' with the economy. You can get a 4-star hotel on the strip for $50 (midweek). Which is a much better deal and a world away from downtown Las Vegas and a much wiser/more fun choice in my opinion.

3-star properties on the strip go for maybe $30-40 (midweek).
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Old 04-23-2009, 04:33 PM   #33
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For those not in the know, Downtown Las Vegas is the (yesteryear's) poor cousin of the Las Vegas strip. Although right there by the hotel isn't too bad. You walk a couple of blocks in the wrong direction though and you are in very unsafe gang/drug user territory. There have been quite a large number of assult cases and robberies. They have mounted police on patrol to help protect unsuspecting tourists. However you are forewarned.

here is my favorite Las Vegas site's review of the Golden Gate"

Cheapo Vegas - Golden Gate

Las Vegas is a hurtin' with the economy. You can get a 4-star hotel on the strip for $50 (midweek). Which is a much better deal and a world away from downtown Las Vegas and a much wiser/more fun choice in my opinion.

3-star properties on the strip go for maybe $30-40 (midweek).
That review seems fair. Basically what I gathered from dining there and popping in the casino.

As to the gang activity and danger a few blocks away - what would possibly motivate you to leave Fremont street or the street just to the north? There is nothing else down there!

Downtown is definitely NOT on the strip, but the golden gate is a cheap, relatively clean and safe place to lay your head and take a hot shower. And eat $1 shrimp cocktails. Sure, the strip has ample cheap hotel rooms too for about double the price. All are good deals. Vegas is hurting. But this is T-Al we are talking about (the guy that saws paper towel rolls into quarters ). Why spend $40 on a good hotel room when you can spend $20 on a slightly less good (but still acceptable one)?

With a car, driving between the Strip and downtown is simple and quick via Las Vegas blvd or the interstate just to the west of the strip (I-15??). Free parking abounds.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:43 PM   #34
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More good info, thanks. I'm seeing a $29 rate on the Monday that we'd probably arrive, but that could work, and I'm looking more seriously at the motel route now.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:23 PM   #35
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Well if you are dropping $20 on a hotel room - - then the best value for dinner in old town vegas is : Hugo's Cellar at the Four Queens Hotel
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:37 PM   #36
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Cheapo Vegas - Your Guide to a Better Vegas Vacation


$29
Las Vegas
Hooters
Feb 28, 2009
May 10, 2009
May 14, 2009
Hotel Web Site
Comments: Includes $100 free slot-play, $20 match play, 2-for-1 food, drink and retail savings coupons, $20 Spa Credit. Not the swankiest place, but its in a good location.
$10
Las Vegas
Golden Gate
Apr 16, 2009
Jul 01, 2009
Jul 03, 2009
Expedia.com
Comments: Second night free. $20 for 2 nights!
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:41 AM   #37
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Thanks, guys. We booked a room at the Sahara for "$24" ($36 with all fees, taxes, etc.).
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:07 PM   #38
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I presume you will be going via bicycle ? :>)
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:36 AM   #39
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Actually, we'll have our bikes with us, and I have to decide whether to leave them on the car, ask if we can take them to our room, or just take them to our room (without asking).

They're nice vintage bikes, but wouldn't be worth much to a thief. They'll be securely locked to the car.
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