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Royal Flusher is the nom de plume of the once degenerate (but now savvy) blogger Royal Flusher. A veteran of fifty plus trips to Las Vegas, Flusher has learned the best ways to get more out of Vegas casinos then they get out of him. He's not a professional gambler... more of a professional tourist. His stock in trade, when not making size 7 grommets for Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer, is the art of the trip report, his humorous, tongue-in-cheek take on the true events - good and bad - that happen on each trip. His home on the web is Las Vegas the Royal Flusher Way.

Note: In the January issue of BJI, Royal Flusher covered day 1 and 2 of his Vegas trip; in February, he covered days 3 and 4; March days 5 and 6; and in this report, days 7 through 9.

We Learn From Failure 

Day 7 October 31, 2014 - Hallowe'en - part 1

I'd beaten the crap out of my pillow the night before, trying to flatten it down from Super Ultra Mega Jumbo size to just Super Ultra Jumbo size. It had worked somewhat, I only fractured one vertebrae, as opposed to two the night before. I think I was on the success path but it was my last uber stylin' chic night at Delano. A celebration was in order - coffee in the room, made with some k-cups I'd liberated from Mrs. Flusher's fancy-pants Gold Club Snobby-room. Heh heh, that'd show BOTH of 'em.

Today, 'Delano' meant free stolen k-cup coffee AND an avoidance of a coffee charge. Double-win!!!

There was still some dough left on my resort credit, so I decided to eat buffet for breakfast at Mandalay Bay. I'd enjoyed it before and I figured they would have put out new food by now - it had been a few months, after all.

On my way down through the real Delano lobby, I noticed the new daily catchphrase they'd posted. We Learn From Failure. Not From Success.

I pondered this bit of wisdom a moment and then said, "That's such bullshit. Bram Stroker can suck it!!!". I flipped off the mirror (noticing I couldn't quite see my reflection - odd, that) and made real tracks across the real carpet toward the real buffet.

Strolling past my multi-play machines on the way to the buffet, I felt light on my feet, and chipper. It had been a successful stay at MandaBayDelano thingy. Cheap suite. Got lots of play in, didn't cost much gambling money. Quad Queen got a Royal. No need to play anymore, just enjoy the feeling and head back downtown.

Grabbing a quiet table near the window, I enjoyed a delicious and healthy buffet-style breakfast ,which included the usual joint-lubricating, cholesterol-laden, meat sticks and cackleberries. I topped that with heart-dangerous fruit, lightening it up with some cheese cubes.

On the way back to my room, I thought, 'I'm such a winner, I'll just play a quick hundred. For fun.' So I did. I played $100 in multi-play. It didn't really go that well. In fact it was awful. Very unsatisfying.

I thought, 'I'll just play a second hundred. It's fun!'. So I did. I played a second $100. And it didn't go well.

I thought, 'Well, now I have to win back $200. I haven't had any quads. So... I know how these things play, I'll just play a third hundred.' So I did. I played a third $100.

And a fourth.

And a fifth.

I went totally on tilt trying to win back my money. I did get some quads but it wasn't near enough. I tore myself away $500 in the hole, cursing my stupidity for going on complete stupid tilt. I felt so f**king stupid. I didn't have to do it. I shouldn't have done it.

It happens. It also happens that I heard the machine laughing at me as I walked away. Now I had to leave with a bad feeling instead of a good one.

It would be asking too much to expect a fifth Royal on this trip.

Meanwhile, the report from the Quad Queen was that she was down $600 already and she was pissed off. What was happening to us???

And now we had to face the dollar jacks play.

My voice recording says, "Losing sucks. I hate it. She hates it. It makes you wonder why you look forward to this so much, why you can't have the vacation you want... but it's always part of the trip, and if and when it turns around, it's that much nicer. Hopefully it will turn around soon... we just need some dollar royals."

I did the video check-out at Delano - my room charges had not disappeared. There were a couple of things that really pissed me off.

The resort fee - which is purportedly a fee to cover internet, spa access, elevator usage, drinking water, electricity in many of the outlets and so on - was $25 a night. To add insult to injury, 12% room tax is charged on this. Huh??? I thought it was a resort fee, not a room rental...

The second thing which was really outrageous was a $20 fee for using valet parking. Talk about real!

There was never any information ever that I came across - not a sign did I read, not a notice, not a word from the check-in girl, not a sign at the valet stand, not a word from the valet guy other than 'are you a guest of the hotel? room number?' - nothing. On top of that I was tipping these guys two or three bucks a throw. Not very goddamned savvy on my part. Or is it bad communication on Delano's part? Maybe everyone knows about this but me.

Next time I'm at Delano, I'm going to fill one of their cement pillows with Steve Wynn's ice swans and shove them up some valet manager's parking spot. After all, that was $20 I could have pissed away in multi-play Double Double bonus!

How much is valet when you are paying max room rate???

I hauled my sh** out to the valet, got the car, loaded my sh**, slammed the door, flipped off the boulders in the lobby, and floored it. I must have roared out of the parking structure in my underpowered rental car at a good 8 or 10 miles per hour.

Downtown, I self-parked at the Four Queens, and hauled my sh** into my 70s stag film suite. I'd spend a few nights there just for the hell of it.

There's a new sheriff in town for Hallowe'en Day 7 October 31, 2014 - Hallowe'en - part 2

My savvy extravagent Hallowe'en costume - Sheriff Flusher.


We didn't want to eat too much before our big dinner at Hugo's so we ordered up a cobb salad for her, and a taco salad for him. It was pretty good, actually. I didn't over eat, and I used the plastic wrap to bundle the remains up like a juicy taco football and shoved it in the fridge - in case I got hungry in the night sometime.

We both needed to do our play. I put on my Hallowe'en costume, and we hit the Jacks, stopping at the Mike's bar first for a quick twenty.

Mike looking very natty. I'm not sure if that is good or not. Better natty than naughty I guess.



And the Quadrus Queen struggled, and I did sort of okay. I put in $100 and it lasted about 10 minutes. I put the second $100 in and played for quite a while and towards the end of the session, I hit a bunch of quads and rolled up to $600 in the machine (which would put me down only $720 on the day - $600 in gambling and $20 pickpocketed from me by Delano valet*... not that I'm bitter...) and by the time I cashed out, I dropped a little. I had to stop short of our planned $10K coin in - to break for dinner at Hugo's.

We had two Hugo's dinner planned - one came with the Quad Queen's Sept/Oct offer, and we'd use comp dollars for the second outing in a few days. I plan to roll both dinners into one massive Hugo's review, so be ready for that gastrotypographic pictorial onslaught.

After dinner, I finished my play, doing most of it on Jacks. I played $100 on a double diamond slot to get (ironically) away from a cigar that was fouling the whole area and making me sick.

Here's the thing about cigars. It's best to be the one smoking them. Because the foul horrible smoke always goes away from you, so it's not bothersome to the smoker. It makes perfect sense.

I won $20 once and the rest of it was crap. Back to the Jacks, I finished my $10K and doubled my last $100. I ended up plus $215 on the $10K coin in.




Me 3. Kicker... on Jacks.

Me 3 again.

For the first $30K of coin in, I was up $115. $30,000 of video poker and I was up $115 without a Royal. I thought that was pretty good.

The Quad Queen, unfortunately, did not have very encouraging results thus far. She'd lost $400 on her $10K of coin in.

We went back to the Nugget to play some triple play on her card - she needed the support. I played about 45 minutes and finished the session up $2.50. It was great fun to just take our time, play, and people-watch. The costumes are always amazing.

On my way back to the Four Queens, I spent some time hanging out on Fremont, taking in the crowd and getting some pics on the Cameron. Unbelievably, nobody asked for pictures of me in my sheriff's outfit. I was thus saddened.

Quad Queen: Day -$1100 Trip -$2550
Royal Flusher: Day -$200 Trip +$1650

Combined: -$1000
Royals Flush: Four (!!!!)

*Delano has dropped the $20 valet fee, says Thanks Kathy for the tip!

Halloween in Vegas 2014 Pictures 

Hallowe'en on Fremont Street is always a blast in Las Vegas. I took the Cameron Powershod G16 out and captured some images for y'all.

Here are some of the sights from all hallow's eve.

Somehow, she's not naked. Not sure how though.

The crazy scene on Fremont.

That sax guy.

This guy was hilarious. I have video...

Am I seeing double? or quadruple?


Bring on the Saucy Spanish Sauce 

Day 8 Saturday Nov 1, 2014 - part 1



And it was raining in Vegas. Oddly it rains almost every time I am in residence in the desert oasis.

I had a pretty good night at the Four Queens and the Quad Queen enjoyed her Rush Tower room (which I wish I had). One nice thing about the Four Queens room is the sun in the afternoon which pours in. To us sun-starved Canadians, it's very special in November.

We met up in the Four Queens casino and we had a special bonus today... a very welcome free play boost. She got $300 free play and I got $200. We did our $10K play each - actually, I did an extra $1600 or so. I chewed through $200 in free play and a total of $700 in cash playing "the stupid goddamn jacks" (according to my very accurate voice recording).

Yes, my streak of not getting hurt on the dollar Jacks play was over for now. I only had three quads the whole time. The Quad Queen managed to not get hurt, just burning her $300 free play to do the $10K coin in.

After four days, I'd done $40K coin in on this exercise. Including burned free play, it had cost me $885 ($385 out of pocket). I had $250 comp dollars in my account and about $120 cashback coming. So net net, it wasn't too bad.

The Quad Queen was sitting at a $2000 loss ($1400 out of pocket). She also had around $250 comp dollars built up and $120 cashback.

It's interesting to see the difference between theoretical return and actual events.

We said hello to some friends who had arrived in town the previous night. It was great to see them again and we made plans to get together to have a drink or two and talk over the video poker scene, share war stories and generally goof around.

Breakfast at Magnolia's has revealed to me a new special treat. I ordered an omelet and one of the potential ingredients is something called Spanish Sauce. I had no clue what it was but it sounded delicious, and Spanish, and I asked for it on the side.

Let me tell you, Spanish Sauce is tomatoey, spicy, hot, and delicious. It is the bright, fiery ying to country throw-up gravy's brown gooey yang. It was a fantastic complement to my omelet, which was yummy, made with skill and precision. I'm really getting to like omelets in Vegas and their secret additional filling items. Because prizes.

Illicit forbidden Spanish Sauce! This was one great breakfast.

The Cobb Queen had a Cobb Salad and we played some Keno, which lost.

We took a break at the Nugget.

I brought my showering stuff over and showered there. It's a tad more luxurious and I like the shampoo better. I thought what a site I would be, traipsing along Fremont in a bathrobe and slippers with my razor and stuff - but then I realized I would fit right in on Fremont. Nobody would bat an eye and people would slip dollar bills into my pocket to take a picture with me.

We availed ourselves of the required 20 pounds of Glossette Raisins, free waters etc., and eschewing the apples. We didn't chew them either. After some downtime, I hit the showers and the Quad Queen hit the casino.

Golden Nugget Gold Club Room Goodies

I took a long luxurious scrub and pondered how she might be doing. I thought I heard my phone but of course couldn't be sure. It was probably just the water.

When I got out, I toweled off, paying just the right amount of attention to my Arturo Fuente, and then picked up my phone. There was a picture of a quad on there. Okay, so she had gotten a quad. That's good.

Or was it a quad? I'd need to get my glasses on to see just what it really was.

Boner Deluxe Rewind Reduxe

Day 8 Saturday November 1, 2014 - part 2

The picture she'd sent looked like this picture (because it's the same picture, duh.)

Holy crap! The Quad Queen had brought home our fifth Royal of the trip! Oh, but what denomination? I hoped it was more than quarters... zoomed in and, yeah, 50 cents, Awesome!

Royal Number Five between us for the trip.

Unreal. Five Royals in a week of play in Vegas. We were truly on a hot, lucky streak.

I dressed and headed down and she was still waiting to be paid. It took 40 minutes. She didn't tip the guy. I always think it's a mistake, but on the other hand, who tips for 40 minutes waiting? I mean, this isn't the Delano valet, now, is it.

At this point I had $100 left of my stake and we tried some Deuces. I was actually doing okay at it, but there was a lot of screwing around, changing machines, breaking the readers, etc. etc. etc. I just couldn't get into any flow. I was actually up a bit but then I got this... itch.

"I... have to go play Boner Deluxe. Now. I have to," I said.

"Go, already," she said.

The bar was right behind me and I picked a lucky stool (I hoped).

The bars at the Nugget have a different vibe I can't quite put my finger on. Or maybe I was just thrown off by the guy two seats down who was completely, thoroughly wasted, and whose every other word started with mother. You get it, right?

I put my ticket in and punched up dollar short-pay Boner Deluxe... and within about eight hands, hit a quad for $400. I was in the zone.

The Quad Queen joined me. I played on and got down to about $250 in the machine. I was getting concerned so I switched to Bonus, to lower the volatility. Getting paid 2:1 for two pairs instead of 1:1 makes a huge, huge, difference in longevity.

I played Bonus for ten or fifteen minutes.

"You know what, I'm getting that feeling again..." I said. It's all horseshit, but one thinks one gets these lightning bolt ideas that have some bearing on the play.

I switched back to Boner Deluxe and with five or six hands, I hit a quad for $400 again. All horseshit?...

Weirdness at the bar continued with the barkeeps trying to remember various songs (I helped) and at one point, one of them whipped out an instrument and proved that you can play rock and roll on a ukulele. My daily dose of WTF I guess.

"Do you know your monkey peed in my martini?"

The machine had about $575 in it, and I played it down to about four hundred and change. And I hit another quad. I kept going for a while, hoping for more, but it wasn't happening, and I preserved the win, cashing out at $800. And that put me about even on the day! It was astounding, I never expected to have a break even or even possibly winning day after the amount I dumped on the dollar Jacks play.

Meanwhile, the Quad Queen had put about $400 into various things at the bar and thought, "Quad Queen see, Quad Queen do..." and switched to Boner Deluxe, and got her own quad. So she cashed out even on that session.

For dinner, we decided to eat at the Chart House at the Nugget; we even dressed for it. We went up to the suite, made a reservation, had a drink, got changed and looking good, and headed down for dinner. The Chart House write-up will appear separately.

Dinner was great. Mrs. F had a $100 bonus from Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer to use (awarded for accurate estimatin'), and we each had a $25 Landry's club card bonus to use. When it was all said and done, dinner cost us eight bucks, which we put on the room.

After dinner, we played the lonely upright Jacks machines in the sloping hallway by the Hand of God gold nugget. These machines are weird because the hallway slopes down. If you play on the far end, the machines are way up high. We opted for the low end, nearest the casino.

The Jacks are short pay but what the heck. We wouldn't be at it for long. In fact Mrs. F hit a quad, doubled her buy-in and cashed out.

I, on the other hand, put in $100, went down down down, and went as low as $15. Then it became a 'project' - could I come back? Could I win money? Mrs. Flusher had cashed out and it was the two of us, talking trash, goading the machine, giving a running commentary, cheering and jeering, and me trying to win like it was a football match. It's always a blast.

I hovered around $40 to $50 for ten minutes or more. I managed to claw my way back to $100 after about twenty minutes.

"Where is that quad??? C'mon machine, where is it, where is it, where is it???!"

I worked up to $195 - the kiss of death number, just $5 short of my goal. Did I cash out? Not on your life. Of course it started dropping then, but after about half an hour of this wrangling, I got my quad. Woohoo!

I was up as high as $300. I actually meant to cash out but didn't see it and played another hand. But I actually showed some common sense and restraint and cashed it out at $250. That actually represented my win on the day.

It was a good day. It was a very good day. We'd had some lows. We'd had a Royal. We'd had fish. But the very best, most romantic thing of all was... we'd get an extra hour of sleep, because the time change had arrived.

After over a week of banging dollars, we were up on the trip again, we had more food comps than we could eat at the Four Queens, life was good.

Royal Flusher: Day +$100 Trip +$1750
Quad Queen: Day +$1470 Trip -$1080

Combined: +$670
Royals Flush: Five (!!!!!)

Secret Spanish Sauce du Luxe a la Tomato

Day 9 Sunday Nov 2, 2014 - part 1

We did our 5th dollar Jacks session of $10K coin in each in the morning. I had a nice steady time of it, hitting five quads and finishing up $100. Now that was more like it.

Where did this come from? IT'S IN THE SAUCE!!!!

And yet... we still could not get a dollar royal at the Four Queens. We had been talking about whether we could tie our record of six royals in one trip, something that seemed so, so out of reach on my last disastrous trip where I didn't get one in 12 days of play.

The Quadless Queen had a terrible, terrible session - she got no quads at all. It's baffling and I'm only realizing as I'm writing up the report - in a nutshell, dollar Jacks does not seem to be her game. At all. She lost $800 on the session, which is totally understandable if you don't hit any fours of a kind.

Her day started off in a big fat f**king hole and she wasn't happy. One of the things she wanted to do was play some 100-play - but there were these two guys that were camped out on the machines - All. Day. Long. I mean allll day long. Hours and hours. I'm sure they are wonderful degenerates like us, but right now, they were in the QQ's way.

Breakfast at Magnolia's feature a return of the Secret Spanish Sauce du Luxe a la Tomato. I ordered some food to accompany it too. One of the things I ordered were the turkey meat sticks. They looked, well, as bad as the picture rightcheer. But I knew what to do - have them with Spanish Sauce du Luxe and I'd be able to choke them down.

We played at the Golden Nugget at the bar for a while, during which time I gave the Smug Nugget a light rogering, in the Boner Deluxe position. Just a warm-up.

The Quad Queen got on the board with a Boner Deluxe quad of her own, on 50 cents. Going by the picture, it was on her Lazarus hand. And then she headed up to the room to have a leisurely bath.

I went back to the Lonely Sloping Jacks machines. I wanted to play the end machine again - I had this feeling about it that it was going to be a good one.

I booted the thing up with a hundy and started to play. It felt right and I was doing just fine. I muttered quietly to myself, out loud, "...this machine is going to give me a royal...".

And, about a minute later, well, it did. I was flabbersmacked. In happy-shock. My second dollar royal of the trip, our sixth combined royal, tying the record set in The Victory Trip, which purported to be the lucky trip to end all lucky trips. Well, if I've learned anything, it's never say never, never say purported, never say lucky trip in reference to the lucky trip you are on, and more importantly, never order the goddawful turkey sausages at Magnolia's. (Although... they are purported to give a lucky trip.)

Now it was my turn - I started phoning the Quad Queen with a vengeance, over and over until she had to get out of the tub. I made her get dressed (after drying) and come down to see the magnificence of my heart royal flush.

Actually, I'd hit the progressive - which tacked a full $16 on to my win ($11.80 after taxes) - giving the Smug Nugget a Full-on Rogering in the Royal Flush position.

I lay the blame squarely on the lucky Spanish Sauce du Luxe.

Man what a trip I was having! We were into the second week. I could probably coast it in from here and still have a winning trip. I wouldn't have to worry about what a shitty trip report it would make like I did last time. I wouldn't have to think about hanging around in dodgy taco stands where a catfight might break out so I'd have something interesting happen to write about. All good things!

The Quad Queen came down in time to take some pics and see me get paid.

We headed up to the room to take some money shots, and store some hundies in the safe. It was so nice to be putting hundreds back into our little brown envelope, the one we'd brought our stake to Vegas in, which had long since been depleted.

Again harping on the last trip, I'd wanted to play some dollar Jacks in the high limit lounge at Luxor to see what offers might crop up (and to hopefully win their money).

So, we grabbed the rental, and headed off down to Luxor, back where - can I say it? - this JOURNEY - started for us in Vegas, some twenty years ago.

Lovin Loosely in the Luxor High Limit Lounge

Day 9 Sunday Nov 2, 2014 - part 2


The Luxor high limit lounge and bar is a really nice place to play. During the day, it's extremely quiet, and you basically get your very own dedicated bartender. And there are some sweet looking couches to unwind in.

We started playing - when push came to shove, we pushed and opted for 8/5 Bonus (or would that be shoved?) having been short on Aces lately - and the Quad Queen got a quad fairly quickly on dollars. I thanked my lucky stars. One worries about one's partner's losing streaks, especially when one's partner is raiding the little brown envelope of hundies fairly regularly.

Next, I cursed my unlucky stars - she parlayed to $2 play. Video poker at $10 a hand. I mean, that's okay in some circumstances, but when you are $800 in the hole by breakfast... maybe it's time to look for slow building sessions.

On the other hand, if she managed to hit a few quads, she'd look like a f**king genius.

Well, she played that down some and had to retreat to dollars (strict rules of parlay, you know) but after a while she built that up again and got another quad - and next thing I know she's playing $2 again. Definitely fearless.

The Quad Queen came through and got herself a nice $2 quad, thank goodness. She was happy and so I was happy.

Meanwhile I lost a hundred. Then, to follow up, I lost another hundred. On my third hundred I got up to $200, and parlayed as well to $2. And I got on a nice $2 run, hammering the hands through.

If only the Royal Flusher and Quad Queen of our first trip to Luxor some twenty years ago could have seen the future. The RF and QQ of the first trip, circling the casino with a bucket containing $10 in quarters, carefully selecting which slot to play, favoring the ones that only took two coins.

The RF and QQ of eighteen years ago, learning video poker, and not knowing what a good thing full pay with a progressive was, sitting on the 8/5 Bonus bank by the waterfall, taking turns playing hands.

I remember seeing someone playing the bank of 98% dollar slots they had in those days - dollar coins racked up beside them in those plastic racks, three or four racks of them, the slot tray filled to overflowing with dollar coins, playing them back in as fast as they could. How I wanted to be able to do that someday.

If only the RF and QQ of Christmas Past could have seen us pounding $10 a hand every five seconds... what would they have thought? What would they have said?

What would they have thought, those characters from twenty years ago with their $80 a day budget? I think they'd be f**king horrified, screaming "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!! THAT'S TEN BUCKS A HAND!!!"

And I'd be like 'chill dude, I might get a buffet comp out of this'.

Meanwhile, the Quad Queen hit Aces on Bonus Poker dollars.

It was a good run, and we protected our wins by cashing out tickets as we went. We ended up cashing out $1600 in tickets and did about $4500 in coin in. All in all, a successful foray into the High Limit Lounge at Luxor. It will be interesting to see if Luxor throws some offers my way.

We wandered over to MandaBay, looking for a place to eat, and settled on Citizens Cafe. It was overpriced and the food was just okay. (Separate review to follow.)

We did a little play at MandaBay after that, I lost $100 and cried uncle and just sat and watched Mrs. F play for a while. Nothing much happened there, and we hauled ass back to Luxor, got the car from valet, and headed back downtown.

Back in the Nugget room, we had some bubbly to toast my Royal from earlier in the day and played some Keno, which resulted in the usual - a series of near misses culminating in a waste of time and money.

Down at the Nugget bar, the poor Quad Queen struggled again. The quads were just not flowing for her in this session. She got a couple but dumped $500 or so. Back in the hole. And she was pissed off.

Meanwhile, I took a flyer on high volatility quarters, got a couple of quads, and parlayed up to dollars - Boner Deluxe. And sure enough, I got a quad on it.

I got talking to the woman next to me who seemed to know what she was doing vis-a-vis video poker. A nice looking woman, wealthy looking, probably a grandmother. You know - well dressed, fit right in at the Smug Nugget.

We talked about paytables a bit and offers and what not, and next thing you know she's holding three sixes.

"Oh, three sixes - good luck, hope you get the fourth," I intoned melodiously.

"Sixes?!" she shrieked. "Sixes are useless. I hate f**king sixes."

She didn't get the quad.

"Well, they are okay when they come four of 'em at a time, I guess," I said.

"Sixes are useless. I hate tens too. Goddamn, give me Aces, f**k the tens. Tens are f**king useless. Tens, sixes and nines."

"Barkeep?!" I said, signaling for another.

Preserving my profit, I switched down to 50 cents and got one there. It was just a great day for me.

Got the kicker, wrong game, not worth anything.

To continue the off-the-hook celebration, I got a sub from Subway and ate it in the suite, whilst watching fricken Gold Rush, which I'd previously downloaded using the $28 a day resort fee wifi from Delano.

At the end of the day, I was up $3300. On the trip I was up over $5000. That is a record for 52 trips to Vegas. If twenty year ago Royal Flusher, who got his first royal on quarters the first time he played video poker, with 1 quarter in, could have seen me now... yeah, he'd be pretty chuffed.

Importantly to me, I'd now eradicated the $4600 loss from the July trip, which had been such a shitty time. Well, things had changed. Now I was sticking it to The Man, not getting it stuck to me (or stuck in me?) by The Man - or is it not getting it stuck to me by The Man?

One thing was for sure - I'd be having more of that lucky Spanish Sauce du Luxe... aka Spanish Sauce Do Lucks. I'd also be avoiding those f**king useless tens, sixes, and nines.

Royal Flusher: Day +$3300 Trip +$5050
Quad Queen: Day -$900 Trip -$1980

Combined: Trip +$3070
Royals Flush: Six (!!!!!!)

Royal Flusher Restaurant Review - Chart House, Golden Nugget Las Vegas 

The Chart House is a seafood and steak restaurant plunked off the chic Rush Tower lobby at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. It's relaxed, modern dining room is a little oasis from frenetic Fremont Street. There are many iterations of Chart House restaurants in the Landry's chain, but you don't get the sense that this is a formula place or a franchise.

We've eaten a number of times at the Chart House, and looked forward to returning.

I'd made a reservation (which really wasn't need considering the early hour we'd chosen to dine, around sixish) and when the appointed time (sixish) came, I threw on a sport coat and we headed down for a nice relaxed dinner, taking a well-deserved break from our fairly degenerate gambling activities.

Chart House is a fairly affordable fine dining experience. It features a very large - I mean very large (i.e. big-ass) aquarium in its center, which serves as the focal point for the restaurant, which encircles it.

I'm guessing this is a seafood place, right?

I'm not sure what the fish swimming in there think about their brethren which show up regularly in their fishy Davy Jones lockers (aka patrons dinner plates) but then again, I'm not sure fish think much of anything except 'go here, look for food, go there, look for food, go here - PREDATOR! SWIM AWAY - go there, look for food'.

We were seated promptly and greeted warmly. When asked, the waiter gladly recommended a glass of red wine, since I had not the knowledge or patience to peruse the wine list and make a reasonable choice. I gave him some idea of the parameters of what would serve my palate best.

"Look, here's how I buy wine at home. I have kind of a checklist. First, is it red. Second, does it have alcohol. Third, is it cheap. And third, does it come with Air Miles."

"Sir, you said third twice."

"It's no wonder, considering how much cheap plonk I drink. Take it from there and treat me right."

The waiter rose to the challenge and did indeed find a reasonable glass of red for me that I enjoyed very much (even though it was sans Air Miles.)

The Quad Queen started with a salad. She found it fresh and delightful, definitely a cut above Magnolia's version of the Cobb salad.

This salad is a thoroughbred. Nestled upon a bed of chopped greens are racing strips of different salad fixin's that make for a nice presentation, and affords the choice of eating things sequentially, or mixing them up and eating them in random order, a choice that is usually not afforded one in a salad. This, then, is true Chart House salad luxury!

Luxury Racing Salad

On a previous visit, I'd enjoyed the Menage a Soups - a trio of soups, which included a cold gazpacho, which I couldn't get enough of. I decided to remedy that by ordering a full snort of gazpacho.

Delicious gazpacho!

Unfortunately, what would have been a lovely soup presentation was marred by a sloppy spill of soup down the side of the - gazpacho glass? - onto the plate, and onto my spoon. This went unnoticed by the staff and I punished them appropriately by complaining loudly and often that the gazpacho was cold.

The soup itself was excellent. It was tart, pleasingly acidic and light in spice. Overall it had a good balance of acidity and spice, and that flavorful base that can be difficult to taste in cold food. But there were large chunks of tomato in there, that I thought should not be in there - I would have liked it more finely blended as long as it didn't end up a blend!

The neighbors ordered the shrimp cocktail, which had that cool dry ice smoke thing going on.

We decided to split the deep fried Mac 'n Cheese.

It's a mistake to order this for yourself along with an entree - because you'll eat all the Mac 'n Cheese and be full. It's hot and cheesy (well duh), with a pleasing crunchy outer coating... very hard to resist and super-delightful comfort food in a cube-like geometric format. 


The Chart House deep friend Mac 'n Cheese is smoky, bacon, cheesy heaven.

My entree was port wine glazed Chilean sea bass with cranberry relish. I'd never tasted sea bass before, not being a big fish guy, but I do enjoy fresh seafood, particularly if it doesn't have 'that fishy taste'. I figured if I ordered a $40 sea bass entree it would be good.

The fish was served atop a gorgonzola risotto. It looked gorgeous.

Port wine glazed Chilean Sea Bass with cranberry port wine relish and gorgonzola risotto.


The sea bass was cooked perfectly - flaky, moist and tender.  It had a slight bit of that fishy taste that isn't too my liking. I wonder if I am a supertaster for fishy taste. The cranberry relish complimented the fish perfectly but the sweetness was at odds with the risotto.

Mrs. Flusher ordered a lobster tail served without sauce or anything, just broiled and paired with vegetables. It was slightly overdone, which is easy to do with a lobster tail on the grill. But coming from honest Nova Scotian and Newfoundland roots, the woman knows an overdone lobster tail when she eats one and this one was over, unfortunately.

Lobster Tail

I tasted the accompanying vegetables and was pleased to find that they were perfect - still with some crunch, but no hint of rawness, and more importantly, not cooked to mushy crap as so often happens.

The bill was $158 roughly, before tip.

We had to combine putting $100 on one credit card, splitting the bill so two Landry's club $25 bonuses could be used together, and then putting the remaining $8 on the room.

Unfortunately for our waiter, we didn't really explain this very well on the first, second, third, or third instances - but he was a trooper, and kept disappearing into the waiter's calculating room time after time without any complaint, without any eye rolling, without any hint whatsoever that it was a pain in the ass, which it most assuredly was.

No, he kept at it with a great attitude until it was the way we wanted it, and I greatly appreciated this. This made up for the gazpacho spill and then some.

Well done, server Brett!

Chart House
Golden Nugget, Las Vegas, Nevada

Royal Flusher Restaurant Royal Rating - 3-and-a-half-to-a-Royal

On previous visits to Chart House, we've enjoyed other offerings.

Top it up Jack, we're savvy gamblers and we're thirsty!

The Trip Report That Wasn't - Part VI

Breakfast of Quad Champions

Menage a Soup Trois

Salmon, shrimp, crab cake and Jolly Roger asparagus.

Stand Up Against Scrunching 

Day 10 Monday Nov 3, 2014 - part 1

There have been a couple of times in this trip where we've pushed the boundaries of 'how much are you willing to lose in a day'.

Like yesterday.

The Quad Queen went in the hole $800 on the jacks and by noon she was down about $1000. "Where are you going?" I'd said. "I'm going to the brown envelope in the safe." "And why are you going to the brown envelope in the safe?" "To get more hundred dollar bills. For my stake. For the day." "How much are you going to take?" "I figured a thousand. I need to have extra on me or I don't feel 'comfortable'."

The discussion circled around 'if you could lose $2000 in one day, you could lose $2000 every day and we could lose all our winnings' versus 'it'll come back, it's an anomaly to go down $800 like that, trust the math, trust our experience'.

We went back and forth and back and forth on this. We both had a point. And the upshot of it was that we viewed the flow of money in the trip differently. She saw it much more longer term than I did, and didn't sweat the ups and downs. But I saw each day as a brick in the road, signposting its way to ultimate success or disaster. I wanted a winning trip. I wanted my f**king money from my last losing trip back. Because that, would eradicate me being a loser.

What could have become an ugly Glossette Raisin-throwing full-on blow-out knock down drag out fight up in the Rush Tower became a minor argument, and a realization that we both see these trips differently, and we both have different goals.

In the end, I said okay, take more stake, let's see what happens. And thank God she'd done well at the Luxor because I never ever wanted either of us to lose $2000 in a day. To me, that was crazy stupid.

Fortunately, we'd dodged that bullet, and started our week with difficult Monday morning work - playing quarter triple play at the Nugget.

At some point we moved on to the sports book bar - and found it was closed.

How can you close a bar in Vegas?!

The men in the blue shirts were there and they had all the bartop machines opened up with their guts spilling mechanically all over the place.

What were they up to? It's usually not a good thing when the machines are open and the blue shirted men are hovering around looking stern. On the other hand, what were they going to do, further gut the short-pay bar paytables?

Maybe they were going to fix the scrunchy screens at the Nugget!

I haven't mentioned this before much, but the Nugget has new improved changes to their slot club (meaning less cash back). The difference is, cash back earned can be played directly onto the machines using their slick new player interface, instead of having to get a paper check from the slot club to cash at the end of your stay.

Here's where it gets weird though. When you put your players card in a machine, a panel opens at the bottom showing the player interface.

And you can't get rid of it or hide it.

On the bartops they have with an already too wide aspect ratio for the old VP games, the entire game is scrunched up even further to the point that the cards look almost square.

Player's eye view of scrunched Nugget cards.

It's pretty vile, for a first world problem. Play square cards???!!!

It actually made it kind of hard to play for the first while, but I'm sad to say I kind of got used to it, which reduces the integrity of my whining, bitching, pissing and moaning about the situation. That still doesn't change the principle of the thing - Stand Up Against Scrunching!!!!

Anyway, I buttonholed Johnny Blueshirt (who looked suspiciously like Jimmy Poon's Vegas doppelganger) and said, "Hey, you changing the pay tables on these games?"

He hesitated.

"Not really..."

I narrowed my eyes at him.

"We'll see about that," I said.

I'd shown Johnny Blueshirt just who he was dealing with. Indeed, we'd see about that - later.

We went to another bar where I could get a cup of video coffee and played. I decided to go for some high volatility quarters, just to see if I could get a big kicker hand. Just took my time, plunked away, sipped my coffee. Like that.

Kicker, doesn't matter on this game. See how square those cards are? Vile!

By the time we were out of there, I was down a couple of hundred on the day. Nothing to worry about. We headed over to the Four Queens to do our $10K dollar Jacks stint. I had a big cushion on the trip. Wasn't pushing it. Just relaxed, taking it easy, coast this mother home. Why should I worry? Like that.

Magnolia's fed me another great omelette with the Super Secret Spanish Sauce du Luxe, hash browns, sausage patties this time, no meat sticks. And then I settled in to play the Jacks. The Quad Queen was off somewhere doing something else.

My first hundred went pretty quickly. I switched machines and my second hundred played down a bit and then I was dealt four 7s. And then worked the machine up to around $240. It was going to be fine, it was going to be an easy session. I'd just sit back, take it easy, enjoy the ride, maybe win a few hundred, maybe lose a couple hundred. Hey, maybe get a royal, who knew? Like that.

The Quad Queen arrived and I'd done about 300 of my needed 1200 points for the day. The dollar credits in my machine swiftly and almost immediately plummeted to zero.

She lost about $400 on the Jacks and given the beating she'd been taking for the past 5 days of this, she'd had enough. She went to play lower volatility penny hundred-play and urged me to do the same. "No, I'm going to stick it out," I said. Famous last words. You stick it out, it might get cut off and leave you with a Hemingway Short Story.

I played another hundred. And another. And another. And another.

It was brutal. A total f**king debacle.

On my last four $100 bills, I got around 40 points. At $8 a point, that's $320. That is 64 hands.

I changed machines every time, I whispered sweet nothings, I played fast, I played slow. Nothing changed. I couldn't get a f**king thing.

I ended up dropping $900 on Jacks. I had only half the coin-in I needed for the day. So $5000 coin in played, lost $900. That's a payback slightly above 80%.

There were a number of problems here. One, I was spitting nails angry. Two, I'd gone on complete tilt. Three, I was down the most I'd ever been down in a day, $1100. Four, I had no more stake on me whatsoever. In fact, I'd borrowed $200 from the Quad Queen. Five, I'd completely blown up the Jacks play, and a good portion of my winnings. Was it all folly? Six, trust WHAT f**king math???

I needed to win $1000 and I needed to win it NOW. I borrowed $20 from Mrs. Flusher and sat down beside her. "Guess I let my guard down," I said.

"What are you going to do now?" she asked. "Well, I need $1000. This machine has Shockwave poker on it. You get one quad, it goes into Shockwave mode. Get a second quad in 10 hands and you get $1000. I'm going to do that."

Sixty dollars later I didn't have even a single quad, and I was busted for the day.

I bitterly pondered the fact that the other side of the savvy gambler coin says degenerate gambler, along with a picture of a buffalo, and the date 1983. And my savvy coin had flipped.

Where Losers go.

Gillespie's Disease 

Day 10 Monday Nov 3, 2014 - part 2

Frank and the Steins, in a photo unrelated to the narrative in which it appears.

As I walked back through the Four Queens casino from the Keno lounge, bearing a Keno ticket purchased with the last of my Admin money and the last of my tipping dollars, I spotted my pal Jeff, who was playing one of the dollar Jacks machines that had murdered me.

I went over to say hello to him, and his savvy wife Janis. I look up to these guys a lot - they have way more experience at this sort of thing than I do, and they are pretty nice people to boot.

"If you had been here half an hour ago," I said to Jeff, "you would have heard swearing and curse words the likes of which you've never heard of before with body parts and orifaces and things you didn't know you had going in and out of other things you didn't know you had in every kind of violent which way the likes of which you could not imagine if you weren't as utterly pissed off and spitting nails as I am right f**king now."

"Good morning, Royal," said Jeff, "so, run into a speedbump?"

It was good that I had someone to vent to and I also had a purpose in bothering Jeff while he was playing - I desperately needed some information.

So we talked.

What I needed to know was, in his experience, how much of an outlier my morning (and the Quad Queen's sessions overall) was and were.

One is always wondering if the math is wrong, if one is just supremely unlucky, if one is having a bad streak that is easily within mathematical probability, or if the machines have been diddled by the casino so that the math doesn't apply any longer and you have no chance of winning. (The answer for that one is, they have no need to do that, people generally lose.)

Anyway, I found out that it is easily possible to drop $1100 on dollar Jacks like that with nothing much to show for it and in fact, it could easily go as high as $3500 to $4000 - something I hope I never experience. But looking back on it, over the six days, the Quad Queen pretty much had experienced that.

"So what do you do?!" I asked him. "I keep pushing the buttons. And when I lose my never, my better half smartens me up and insists that I trust the math and keep pushing the buttons."

Back in my suite at the Four Queens, I ate snacks, and watched losing Keno and pouted.

I thought back to the way I'd reamed out (gently, in my view) the Quad Queen when she was down $1000 and wanted to keep playing.

And here I was, my all time worst day, down $1100 by lunch.

Gratuitous photo of one of the Golden Nugget bars, unrelated to the narrative in which it appears..

And what was I going to do about it?

We had plans! I was a winner! I was coasting!!!! Goddammit!! Where did all that go????

If I kept playing and lost more could I lose the whole trip? That would NOT be good.

The age-old gambler's conundrum - you can not win if you do not play.

The Quad Queen played for me and got most of the rest of the points I needed for the day. But she'd also lost quite a bit. We talked.

And what we decided was... we'd just start over.

"Let's just say this was a bad day. We'll start a new day now."

"Like, have two days in one."

"Right. We'll each take $1000 from the brown envelope, and we'll start over."

Much to my chagrin, I agreed. We went over to the Nugget and opened the safe. I reached deep, deep into the safe, my skin looking red, as though it were lit somehow by the fires of gambling hell, the devil on my shoulder, pushing my hand ever closer to the filthy stash in the little brown envelope.

"F**k off devil, I don't need your help," I said, "We're going to SLS to gamble!"

As we rode the quiet elevator down from the 23rd floor of the Rush Tower, I looked at myself in the mirror.

I did not like what I saw.

I puffed my cheeks out. They puffed out. I puffed them out some more, and they puffed out even more.

"I'm afraid I might be getting Gillespie's disease," I said to the Quad Queen, who was watching silently, mesmerized by the primal display.


"Remember? That trumpeter?"

"But you don't play trumpet."

"Exactly! That's why I'm so concerned!"

And with that, we found the rental car in the Four Queens corral (after stopping to take yet another picture of the sad, disused Four Queens custom-made video poker progressive sign, stored in the dusty parkade) and drove to the newly refurbished SLS Las Vegas.

Sad disused Four Queens custom-made video poker progressive sign. I think Diamonds is the hottest.

A look at SLS Las Vegas

Day 10 Monday Nov 3, 2014 - part 3

From the ashes of the under-utilized-in-the-modern-era-but-once-a-classic-casino-hotel Sahara rose the casino resort called SLS Las Vegas. It's nomenclature? Modern, ultra-cool, and misread (from the back of a Mercedes, but who would call a resort the SL5??).

It's desired clientele? From what I can glean, good looking, young, rich people, who have for some reason fled the Cosmopolitan and the Palms and Hard Rock before that looking for 'some place with a decent cartoonish one-eyed statue out front'.

We self-parked and then ran the gauntlet of the porte cochone. I figured we must have exited in the wrong place because we ended up walking along car lanes and across car lanes and through other car lanes. Because the place wasn't busy mid-afternoon on a Monday, we didn't get turned into strawberry jam by some good looking, young, rich person driving a Mercedes SLS00.

I had high hopes for the SLS. Their website looked ultracool (to the point that it is difficult to find anything - but it looks cool while doing it). A quick visit showed that things are working just fine there now. And that's good. And it still does look cool.

One of the things about SLS that I love is the fact that it isn't MGM and it isn't CET. We need more competition on the strip, and fresh ownership blood is a really good thing.

Back to the property itself, there has been a lot of thought given to the design notes of the SLS (is it 'the' SLS or SLS or?...). The rooms exhibit notes of post-modern over the top understated sultriness. The casino and public areas? They exhibit notes of overstated pre-modern under the top sultriness. Except the ceiling itself, which exhibits design cues signaling 'we didn't have money to finish this, or a vision, so we just spray painted the f**ker flat black'.

And yet... there are so many pleasing whimsical design elements that I found myself really wanting to like SLS.

It was full of promise, with a really interesting set of restaurant choice, lots of creative and innovative elements in the fittings, and hey, full pay video poker.

We signed up at the slot club and found a decent bank of full pay slant top video poker machines. I hate to say this, but I've seen the pattern before... (the) SLS is loaded with full pay video poker, as most places are when they open. My jaded side fears that this will be chipped away at until, less than a year after opening, the offerings will be as dismal as anything else on the strip. Well, here's hoping, prove me wrong, the SLS, prove me wrong! Keep the good pay tables!

Putting our horrible losses of the morning behind us, we set out to give the new kid on the block (hey, that would be a great band name!) a decent amount of dollar play, and then we'd see what kind of offers cropped up in future.

The high point was getting the sign-up spin bonus. I won $5. Yay me.

Mrs. Flusher played on my card and we started hacking away. Fifteen minutes later, I was down $400 not having hit a goddamned thing. At least my drink arrived before I stormed off to take pictures.

Whimsical design element.

It's weird how bad luck at one place could follow me to another place.

The Quad Queen also continued to struggle and dumped $300, in not much longer than my 15 minutes of fame - when I came back from taking pictures, she was done.

I'm sure (the) SLS will enjoy our $700 donation and see us as gamblers worthy of some comp room and free play offers in future. We'll see.

Overall my impression of SLS was very favorable. Great selection of video poker, prompt drink service, engaging and refreshing design. If I can mentally put aside the strange streak of bad luck we had, I will definitely want to return for a stay and get to know the SLS better.

A nod to the Sahara.

We hauled our sorry asses back downtown. I was down some $1500 on the day, almost twice the maximum daily loss I've ever had in my 52 trips to Vegas

Now what??

There are lots of eateries at SLS, some of them (unlike the buffet) still open for business. Growing pains.

Obviously, the pool area. Not well attended this day.

Stunning main entrance.

This is actually pretty goddamned cool.

Artisan pizza.

The kaleidoscope is only visible from certain angles - not to be missed!

Ironically, a rug wearing Sean Connery for a change.

Crushing End of Days -or- How I Met Vital Vegas

Day 10 Monday Nov 3, 2014 - part 4

Blatant Vital Vegas plug.

Mrs. Flusher had registered for her exciting Turkey Trot Tournament of Slots at the Nugget, so that was some free excitement coming our way.

The do-over day designed to derail the dollar debacle day we endured was a dud. It will be tough to return to SLS again, given that our first visit there resulted in a combined $700 dumping, with no quads at all between us.

And yet, I really liked the place. There were so many design things that I found appealing, lots of interesting restaurants to try, and full pay video poker to boot. They are having growing pains, which has resulted in the (temporary they say) closing of the buffet, and reduced hours in other restaurants, so here's hoping they can make a go of it.

I had gone through $1500 of dollar play with one quad (dealt to me!) and that is it.

Fortunately we had some social plans for the evening, meeting up with Jeff and Janis at Chicago Brewing Company for some beers and food.

And, I was looking forward to meeting Scott Roeben, who is the purveyor of one of the finest websites about Vegas,
VitalVegas,com (home of Essential Las Vegas News, Deals, Tips and WTF). If you like my sense of humor, you'll love Vital Vegas as well. And if you don't like my sense of humor, there's still a great chance you'll love Vital Vegas.

We got there ahead of everybody, which was potentially the kiss of death, because who would pay for a beer in Chicago Brewing Company and not play video poker? Certainly not us. Because degenerate.

We hit up the 50 cent Double Double Bonus. I remember losing another hundred. On the second hundred I did manage to get a four of a kind.

The Quad Queen had better luck hitting one to get her started, parlaying to dollars, and getting another one.

Wisely she cashed the ticket and started again at 50 cents and then was dealt Deuces (with the kicker!!!!) for $400. Some very savvy button-pushing on her part.

Jeff and Janis arrived, saving me from further defeat, and we managed to grab some of the armchair and couch seating.

After recapping our respective days and quaffing (a fancy word for 'drinking') some very good beer, I spotted a familiar face wandering through the place. The familiar face (familiar from his postings on the internet) was fortunately attached to a head, and that head was attached to an unfamiliar neck and body.

I went over to him.

"You're Vital Vegas!" I said. "Come on over and sit down and have a beer. Jeff, Janis, this is Vital Vegas!"

For some reason, though, he preferred to be called Scott.

We ordered some pizzas and more beer and snarfed pizza, drank beer, and gabbed. I explained to Scott how the day had gone, and got Jeff and Janis caught up with our unfortunate SLS fail.

"You know," I said, "this is my single worst day of gambling I've ever had in Vegas in 52 trips."

"You have a serious problem," he said.

"I have to agree. My problem is I'm out of money to gamble."

We had a really great time swapping gambling stories, talking about blog things a bit, and just laughing a lot, something I really needed, given the situation. It gave me some perspective and I was reminded of my own adage - the worse things get, the more horrible the events, the better reading entertainment it makes.

I picked up the tab using some of the many comp dollars I had put together at the Four Queens, and put a couple of decent cigars on the tab as well - a Cohiba and a Monte Cristo. These are both names I've heard of, so I was pretty sure they would be a good smoke, although in retrospect, I think one of them might have been the name of a car my father used to drive, so maybe it's a dud. One thing was for sure, these cigars were well endowed, judging by the fancy hard plastic condoms they ship in.

When the evening wrapped up, I took stock. I had a lone hundred dollar bill and a $50 Four Queens ticket. That is what was left of my $2000 stake for the day. I felt absolutely sick about things. I never intended to play so much money. I never expected that dollar play could go so badly. Jeff had taught me that it could be much worse.

At the Nugget, we gave the triple play Bonus Poker a last-gasp try.

"I wish I could be just dealt a winning hand, like four Aces, and then I'd have $300 and then I could just cash out and it would be so bad," I said.

A few hands later, oddly, I was indeed dealt a quad - four deuces.

I cashed out of that session a winner, up $100 - which was huge, huge, huge. I'd lost every other session all day long.

We decided to visit our friends in the sloping hallway. Those poor machines don't get any love at all. It's no wonder they coughed up a Royal so readily.

Poor Disrespected Sloping Hallway Machines!!!

The Quad Queen did okay, I didn't get anything going.

To end the day, we returned to the scene of the crime. I put my $50 into the dollar jacks, and then said screw it, and went all in, putting my last $100 in as well.

"I think I need to have the experience of losing $2000 in one day," I said.

"And why's that?"

"To see what it's like?"


"So as to not ever repeat it," I said, in the smallest font size my voice could muster.

I Lazarused a few times, poking along, and then I had a change of attitude. F**k it, I thought. I'm going to play this machine like I'm on a winning streak. I'm going to play it like I own it. Aggro. Fast.

And by God, I worked my way all the way back up to $200. Maybe the 'I'll just coast' mentality changed how I played and cost me bigtime. No more.

The end result?

I lost all my money, but it took a lot longer. Therefore, I had more fun?


I gave myself a pep talk. I was still up $3000 on the trip. I could still have winning days. I could maybe win my money back. I just had to trust the math.

Royal Flusher Way - putting the laughter back in slaughter!

Royal Flusher: Day -$2000 Trip +$3050
Quad Queen: Day -$970 Trip -$2950

Combined: +$100
Royals Flush: Six (!!!!!!)

That's the way the Turkey Trots

Day 11 Tuesday Nov 4, 2014 - part 1

A check of the Sportbook bar at the Smug Golden Nugget showed that the change Johnny Blueshirt and his Gang of Screws had made to the bartop machines was that they'd all been upped in denomination to a minimum of 50 cents.Shitty paytables and now a 50 cent minimum? There's a good business decision that will keep us away from that bar forever more. Slick move, guys.

When Mrs. Flusher registered for her Turkey Trot Slot Tournament, it reminded me of something the Nugget had said about being in some sort of wine promotion. And they'd given us a letter which indicated we could pick up a bottle of wine at the slot club.

We'd forgotten to do this for about five days running, so I made a mental note to do it today, and promptly forgot all about it. Like I'd done every day.

We were done with the Four Queens for this trip (or rather, they were done with us, having kicked our asses nine ways from broke). I was going to grab a room at the Downtown Grand for a couple of nights and we'd both play on my card there to see what offers we might get in future. I had short-played them the last couple of stays because they'd raped all the pay tables. But now that they'd seen the light and restored some full pay video poker, I thought they deserved another chance.

Besides, I liked their coffee.

Our morning started at the triple play machines just outside the Spa tower elevators in the Smug Nugget. Actually, our morning started just before that with our pillaging of the little brown envelope in the safe, to give me a stake for the day. Fortunately, the Quad Queen still had her second stake from the day before intact.

With trepidation, I sat down and we commenced to playing the machine de la video poker. "I have trepidation..." I whined. "Shut up and deal," came the reply.

A minute or two in I got a quad on Bonus Poker. Whoopee. I didn't even bother to take a picture. But there was something about the way the machine was playing, or my luck, or the part of the set of possible experiences that I was now randomly encountering... 

"This machine is HOT HOT HOT!!!" I screeched. And it was. Because I'd been winning a lot of hands and the credit meter was growing.

So I did a side-loaded volatility parlay power shift and switched to Double Double Bonus.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Flusher was disgusted with her machine, and went to one on the other side of the bank. No matter. I'd just focus and play.

And man, oh, man did I get on a streak. I was flying. Every three or four minutes I'd pop my head up over top of the machines and yell at the Quad Queen what I'd hit.

"Four Deuces! kicker, though."

8:06 am

This was the change I needed to help get over the previous day. What a frickin' relief!!!!

"Got Four Aces!!! kicker, though." It was too bad, one kicker would have added $300 to the win.


 "Four Threes!!!!! kicker though."


I played a while longer and cashed out my profit. Four quads total, including three decent Double Double Bonus quads (no kickers though) in four minutes, had put me up around $400 on the day by the time I cashed out. Holy f**k, what a relief, and a great way to start the day. (If I'd gotten those kickers, it would have added $500 to the winnings. Stupid video poker!)

They were doing some construction around the Nugget, with the center part of the casino walled off. A talk with one of the long-serving cocktail waitresses revealed that after putting in the fancy ceiling decorations with all the cloth and big round light fixtures that looked like oversized lamps, they'd realized that it made the ceiling look pretty much like a coffin - not the image a palace of fun and chance wants to project. So they wiped out those lights and replaced them with these custom designed and very expensive fixtures.

I quite like these. The picture doesn't do them justice but they have nice warm woody and amber tones to them. I should have used the Cameron G16.

Enjoy while you can, these are going too. At the back of the pic you can see the walled off area. Maybe third time was a charm for wasting lighting fixture budget money.

We played at the bar for a while. "We have to remember to get that bottle of wine..." I said. "Shut up and deal."

A great place for breakfast in Vegas.

This is about how it looks after a while at the bar. That looks to be quad fours on Double Double... no kicker though.

It was time to Turkey Trot, so we headed over to the coop to get signed in. They event was jammed with people, loud, and obnoxious.

I pitied the people that had to work there, particularly the facilitator on the floor. Next time you are unhappy with your job, think of this guy, who handled it all with aplomb (or is that with plumage?...)

She did her first session and did not do well. But she had fun (I suppose) mashing the buttons like crazy.

Some of Mrs. Flusher's savvy competitors, looking focused and having, as you can see, a blast.

 She finished up and I said, "We have to remember to get the wine..."

"After we eat."

Window seats at the buffet afforded views of the beautiful day unfolding and the goings on at the pool.

We decided on buffet for breakfast and it was, again, good! I quite like the Nugget buffet for breakfast now, having enjoyed it a few times this year.

From salmon, to corned beef hash, to pizza to half an Arturo Fuente - delicious!

For some stupid reason I broke my rule never to eat scrambled eggs from the bin at a buffet. And again I was reminded of why I have this rule. Doesn't matter what buffet you are at, this is always a disgusting option. Aside from that, for which I don't blame the Nugget - there are rules of physics that make bin eggs awful, that can't be overcome, I really enjoyed my breakfast.

"We have to go get the wine..." I said, on our way out.

And guess what??? We did! The slot club was right there at the bottom of the esc-u-lator, and we presented the Letters of Wine Transit and in return, they gave us a bottle of wine.

We had no idea what this was all about - our host John Submarine had just booked us in under this particular offer for part of our stay.

Anyway, we were the proud owners of a bottle of Silver something or other wine. I took a quick look and, yeah it had a cork. So I'd have to find a corkscrew somewhere in Vegas.

It was time to do some Admin. I had to get checked out of the Four Queens, we had to get our cashback, and also make a reservation for dinner number two at Hugo's. I had to check in at the Downtown Grand - and see what kind of hell I could raise around the fact that I didn't get my matchplay coupons last stay.

I got $188 cashback, and she got $187. There was still some things on our bill from Hugo's dinner number one, so we went to see the hosts.

The host looked at our play and made like it was a big deal to comp off the remaining hundred or so dollars - it seems the Hugo's meal has a limit of $150 and the champagne I'd ordered put it over.

Well guess what, my coin in was shown as $58,825 and coin out $57,846. Mrs. Flusher's coin in was $59,947 and coin out was $57,155. Not sure why were short of $60K each, but those are the numbers we got.

We'd lost about $3000 there. Goddamn rights that wine was going to get comped off.

Bottom line, I got what I wanted.

Combined coin in $118,772. Combined coin out $115,001. That's a return of 96.82%. We had no Royals. The Royal represents almost 2% of the return of 9/6 Jacks. So without Royals, the theoretical return of Jacks is 97.54% We were about 0.7% off of that. So, I think our results were actually pretty close to what the math says we should have gotten.

We had a quick session at the Mike's Bar to have a drink and toast our cashback, which provided a nice little boost to our stakes.

We played without our cards in, not wanting to mess up our daily averages. And guess what? I got another nice little addition to my stake - four Aces on Double Double for $200. If I'd gotten the kicker, it would have been $500.

Four Aces. No kicker though.

And with that, it was on to the next part of our Vegas Adventure.

Note: To be continued next month with the final results of this trip.

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