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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: Part 1-4 of this trip report appeared in the January - March issues of BJI.


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 the 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.

No Kickers For You 

Day 11 Tuesday Nov 4, 2014 - part 2

We had originally planned to return to the Cal on this day, but Mrs. Flusher so loved her Nugget tub, we had John Submarine extend the stay there by two days - and that's how she ended up in the Turkey Trot Tournament.

Over at the Downtown Grand, I got checked in but my room wasn't ready yet - and that's ok, it was pretty early. The best part was they gave me double match play coupons to make up for last time.

It's a good thing too, because when you are dealing with petty, obnoxious savvy customers like me, something like that could break the relationship for good.

Somewhere in there I bought a cheap, $2 corkscrew at the Four Queen's gift shop. We had late check-out so when I got a phone call from the Grand saying my room was ready, it was a one-shot move to bring my stuff over to the room.

I've stayed in the east tower of the DTG a couple of times, facing east, but this room was in the west tower, facing west. I have to say, I like that setup a bit better. The view is more interesting, and it's quiet. I would imagine there wouldn't be any pool noise, as there was last summer in the east tower.

The only downside is it's a bit further to the casino, but if you take the elevator right to the bottom, it dumps you out at the Commissary, and a quick walk across the never-busy street and you are back inside at the casino. If everything lines up you can probably make it in two minutes flat. So no biggie.

And, they've moved the morning coffee to the Commissary area in that building, so that's actually more convenient.

We played some downstairs at the Furnace Bar.

And this is where I got really pissed off - they've lowered the f**king pay tables again at the bar. And on some of the machines on the floor. Yes, there is still full pay, but they've gutted the pay tables by half, just a few weeks after fixing it.

Downtown Grand... What? The? F**k? Do you, or do you not want my business?

I've been cheerleading this place for a year now, and communicating the customer's point of view, because I like the place, I like having another alternative downtown, I want to see downtown do well, I want to support independent operators that are not part of the oligopoly (a word Jimmy Poon taught me - it means 'a bunch of corporate f**kers').

But that's it. The gloves are off and this place now gets no favors from me.

It just turns out that the Aces kicker progressive was ridic high and growing, so that's what we played. Time to chase those Aces again!

Quad kicker though.

I had enough success to not lose too much at the bar - two or three hundred - and then called a halt.

Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

With it being such a long trip, I wanted some downtime. I was getting burned out! I retired to my room and used the $2 screwdriver to open the plonk.

This stuff was from 2008. Now, I don't know much about wine, but I certainly do know what year it is. If I'd realized this was old stock, I would have insisted on a fresh, 2014 bottle

In any case, I poured some carefully into my tasting vessel - a plastic cup. And I tasted it. And you know what? It tasted pretty good.

In fact, it tasted really, really good, much better than the $4 bottle of merlot I'd sucked down earlier in the trip.

The more I tasted it the more I liked it. I sat down in an armchair in the sun, which was now lighting up the room with its golden warmth. I wouldn't get to do anything like this at home any time soon. I enjoyed the wine, looked at my iPad, and just basked.

Curious, I did a search online and found out that this stuff sold for around $85 a bottle.

No wonder it tasted so good!!!

I recorked the bottle, saving half for later, took a long shower, and a nap.

Pre-dinner, I played some craps, but I was not feeling it at all. The table was ice cold and with most of my buy-in gone in 3 minutes, I walked. Over to blackjack. There was a nice young couple playing next to me, and I enjoyed their company. They were kind of cute, not betting much, sweating every dollar. I gave them my second match play coupon under the table. (They won on it.)

Zoom on the Cameron Powershod G16 works pretty well!


We had dinner at Hugo's (again, review still to come) and then played out the evening chasing the Aces at the Grand.

They went higher and higher, and I outlasted the Quad Queen who begged off to go to bed. I walked her over, then came back and hammered some more.

It took my third hundred and a bunch of different machines to get going. That last hundred lasted me three and a half hours. I played that f**ker flat out without any breaks. I quit when I was too tired to continue, without getting the Aces. I literally could not play any more - talk about completely satisfying that playing jones!

This was the day that named the trip report - I can't remember a day when I got so many Aces, 2s, 3s and 4s with not a single kicker. Those kickers represented a difference of $1,100.

I wasn't unhappy with the day though - it was a complete turnaround from the day before, and I'd eked out a small win. If I could keep eking in the next few days, I'd finish a winner.

Royal Flusher: Day +$80; Trip +$3130
Quad Queen: Day -$560; Trip -$3510

Combined Trip: -$380
Royals Flush: Six (!!!!!!)

Here are the quad pics from my four hour chase the Aces session (and a couple of the Quad Queen's).

Twos. No kicker though.

Threes. No kicker though.


Ford Taurass its a Gas Gas Gas

Day 12 Wednesday Nov 5, 2013 - part 1

Well, guess what? I had about three reasons to like the Downtown Grand. One of them was the restored full pay video poker, which had been ransacked yet again by the suits, as mentioned. And, one of them was the bold, dark flavorful coffee roast they supplied free in the morning.

The coffee in the morning at the Grand is now, officially, crap. It's horrid. The same sort of corporate cafeteria low grade utility crap you get as the lowest common denominator.

I was so disappointed! I had two cups each morning, and I am positive they've changed the coffee used. There was so much attention to detail when they first opened, but they fumbled the casino. Now they are backpedaling and cutting quality to try to get back on their feet.

The Aces kicker progressive at the Downtown Grand had still not been hit, and was well over $1000, so we chased that some more, first thing in the morning.

Frustratingly the Quad Queen hit Aces... but no kicker. That particular missing kicker cost her about $750.

Quad Queen hit four Aces. No kicker though. Almost $300 win...

The Grand has a number of promotions ongoing, including point multipliers. And, for every 1000 points you could earn $5 in food, up to a maximum of $50 a day. I had no trouble earning out the maximum. So, I'd eat free if I wanted. The virtual vouchers are good for 48 hours.

Combining this with point multiplier days, and food discounts such as half price for people over 50 on Thursdays, your dollar could go a long way on the better video poker machines.

We ate breakfast at S+O (which is the new-speak name of Stewart Ogden, which was the name of the main eatery in the Grand).

I had the egg and sausage sandwich thingy and Mrs. Flusher had an omelet. Both were good but the bill came to over $30, which is a bit high for downtown, notwithstanding any discounts. Good thing I had vouchers to cover it.

We went at the Aces and still could not get them. So frustrating to have that ripe delicious peach of an Aces Kicker just out of my tippy-toes, finger-tip reach and not be able to taste the succulent juices of four Aces and a kicker. How frustrating? So frustrating, that's how.

I had to return the rental car, so at eleven I headed out, picked up the car, and went on a drive, looking for a gas station. I know the rental peeps can be kind of anal about you returning your car at the appointed hour - not before, and not after, lest there be charges for such temporal crimes.

And, it was vital that I fill the car, because they would charge me the price of a full tank if I returned it anything less than brimming with petrol.

Thinking I had plenty of time, I thought I remembered seeing a gas station down Las Vegas Boulevard, near the Strat. It was another beautiful sunny day, so I rolled down the windows on the Ford Taurus and moseyed down that way.

I can say that it took until this, the seventh day of my week-long car rental, to finally fathom how the abso-f**king-screwy turn indicators on the Ford Taur-ass work. (Or don't work.) I was constantly fighting with these things, signaling, not signaling enough, signaling the wrong way when trying to turn off the signal after a lane change.

Anyway, it took me a while to find the station and then took me a couple of passes to get turned around and into it. Hmmm, five to twelve, and I was supposed to have the car back at twelve.

I pulled up to the pump and then remembered something I'd seen on one of those listicle things that pass themselves off as journalism - 839 things you must know about pumping gas into a car. Usually there is a little arrow indicating on what side the gas-hole is on. Now, as a rational human being, I'd assumed that it would be where God intended it to be - on the driver's side - and had parked accordingly.


It's on the passenger side. So I got back in, started 'er up, did some fancy maneuvering and got lined up with the passenger side gas-hole next to a pump.

Then I had to navigate the 'we don't trust you one bit' gas pumping system I've found in various places in the US. Things are much more relaxed up here in Flusherville - its virtually unheard of to have to go inside to use your credit card, or pay in advance.

I went inside and said I wanted to fill the car to the brim, and presented my credit card.


Cash or debit only.

What the f**k? And guess what? I had two fives and about three tipping dollars in my wallet and that was IT. I forked over everything I had.

"Thirteen dollars worth of your lowest quality gas, please. Maybe you have some made by the same people that now make the coffee the Downtown Grand serves - if so, that's the one I want."

I went out to the car, unlocked it, and got in, leaving the door open. I'd just find the fuel cover release button, and get on with it.

I looked on the door. On the console, On the dash. Under the dash. Around the seat. Inside the bins. Inside the glove apartment. I looked everywhere for that f**king thing and do you think I could find it? Hell no.

I got out and checked the cover to see if was an old school one I could just pull open. Nope, that was clearly not the case. It was now five after twelve and I was late.

If only I had some sort of device that I could consult, giving it information about what I wanted, maybe even asking it questions. Some sort of portable device that could connect to an information store that might hold the precious answers to the petroleum conundrum that stymied me.

"C'mon, Flusher..." I said, "use that fabulous brain of yours!"

I wished I could suddenly get smart about all this.

And then it came to me. My piPhone 3.1.4! I pulled up Google and clumsily thumbed in a query.


I thumbed enter and the answer came back.



I read further and then performed the motion I'd performed a million times before, slapping my forehead, which had resulted in quite an unnatural slope on the old noggin by this point in my life.

I got out of the car, walked around to the passenger's side and deftly pushed on the gas cover, which popped open with a happy little 'poinggg' that made me want to kick the shit of it.

There were two questions remaining. One, was thirteen bucks enough to push the needle to read 'F' ('F' for f**k you Taurass). And two, what kind of hefty late charge would I be looking at when I got back to the Four Queens Avis Rent-a-car outlet.

I pumped. I pumped some more. I pumped like the wind. Every last drop of thirteen bucks in gas went into the Taurass. There was nothing else for it but to get in and make a run for the hotel.

Starting the car, I was pleased to see that the needle was indeed showing a full tank of the good stuff.

Signaling right, I turned left onto the boulevard and raced uptown. Thank God it was a quick trip. I whipped into the garage, parked, and even remembered to take note of the odometer reading and the spot number, and hauled ass down the piss stairs to the counter.

Parking garage stairways always are piss stairs - its the go to place to have a piss outside of an actual men's room.

Regardless, I incurred no further charge, and the Ford Taurass was no longer my problem.

And just to show 'em, I left the turn signal on.


Claim Jumper at the Nugget

Day 12 Wednesday Nov 5, 2013 - part 2

With the car taken care of, we played at the Nugget for a while, before taking long rest breaks.

And somewhere in there, the Quad Queen did round two of the Turkey Trot. It doesn't matter much, she didn't get anywhere with it, didn't win one of the five rebuy awards, or any of that stuff.

I went to the Grand and napped and showered and then brought the remains of the wine back to the Nugget so the Quad Queen could taste it. I had some bubbly I'd bought at Hole Foods and had been carting around all this time.

So we hung out at the Nugget, enjoying wine, keno, and doing all the fun things you can do on a rest break in Vegas.

Ok, well, not everything - we didn't order room service.

We headed back down and hit the bars, and I enjoyed my Cohiba cigar. I had a win which carried me through the session.

Got the kicker - doesn't matter on this game.

I have to give the Nugget props - they got some very bad press over the state of the Carson St. Cafe's kitchen a while back and did the right thing - completely gutting it, and starting over with two new places, one of which is the Claim Jumper - part of the Landry's chain of restaurants.

I wanted to try it so that's where we went for dinner. The menu had all kinds of interesting general comfort food kinds of things on it, but for some stupid reason, I wanted ribs.

Claim Jumper

So I went with it, and Mrs. F. ordered the chicken pot pie (which, I'm told, now means something different in Colorado). The server complimented her on her choice - apparently it is quite good.

Let me tell you, I enjoyed the ribs like crazy. I found the sauce to be delectable. The meat itself was tender and all in all it was pretty respectable. The veg wasn't overdone, which I appreciated.

I had these potato thingies that had stuff in them. They are called three cheese potatocakes, which is something Latvian ladies of the night call their lovers (I've heard).

The chicken pot pie was highly rated. It looked gorgeous.

Some sort of heart-healthy cheese testicles dish.

A peek inside the pot.

After dinner, we were at loose ends with nothing to do. Vegas is such a bore.

Huh? Yeah right. Back to the Grand to chase those Aces which STILL had not been run. I was hoping for a replay of last spring's triumph, when I hit them for over $1000, but I just couldn't get there.

Fours. No kicker though.

An insane amount for the Aces kicker progressive.

Mrs. Flusher had three Aces dealt five times and I had them dealt three times. I had to give up a full house to shoot for the quad once too, but of course, didn't get it. They just weren't meant for us this time, I guess.

It seemed like the tide was turning against us, as the pretty typical combined loss started to mount up.

"You know what we need?" I said.


"Another Royal."

"Dream on."

"Things can happen. I know. We have two days left. We could get on a Boner Deluxe run on dollars or something and make back $1600 like that!"

This from a guy who can't get the f**king gas cover open.

Royal Flusher: Day -$520 Trip +$2610
Quad Queen: Day -$780 Trip -$4290

Combined: -$1680
Royals Flush: Six (!!!!!!)

Balls and Bean Salad

Day 13 Thursday Nov 6, 2014 - part 1

I started my play in the Nosmo King Hallway at the Downtown Grand. The Aces kicker progressive had still not been claimed, but I'd had it with the thing - it was over $1200 so I'd have to pay tax on it anyway. Okay, maybe I did play a $20 on it, but mostly I focused on some less volatile 50 cent and dollar Bonus Poker.

It went pretty well and I made $100 or so. The Quad Queen joined me and on Bonus Poker of course she got Aces. And the kicker. Sometimes you can't be right for being wrong.

That should even be a saying, because it's just logical.

We sat down for breakfast at S+O.

We ordered, had food delivered, and while we were eating, I got a text from Michael J. We'd shared some info on the Grand in the past (hosts and such) and he happened to be in town. So he came down and joined us.

Two over hard, meat sticks, potato pellets.

Om-elleta, smoke a cigaret-ta.

We had a nice chat and when it was bill paying time, I suddenly realized we'd never eat all the five dollars I'd earned on my play, so I told them to use my card to cover what was left on his bill. He had some other offer or discount in play, so the amount was only seven bucks.

This is not of any consequence other than the fact that they got it screwed up and ended up taking my five dollarses, as well as charging his credit card. Like every savvy comphundt should, he would not let go of this until it got fixed four or five weeks after the fact. It's the principle of the thing.

I tried to get my host to come and say hello but I sensed from the texts that things weren't quite right and in the end, we never did cross paths. (She's now left the Grand, as more changes continue there.)

It was moving day again, time to get out of the Nugget and back to the Cal. They comped five of the eight nights, but wouldn't pick up any additional food charges or room nights, considering that we'd had a sizable win there. Heh.

Now revealed! The Golden Nugget's New Balls!

We got a room assigned at the Cal and handed our bags off to the bell folks.

When we checked in, we got handed Aloha coupon books. Our host wasn't there, but the one from the week before (who had been surprised at our play, etc. etc. etc.) was. So we went through the rigamarole again, having her check play at all three properties blah blah blah, and when it was all over, she confiscated the Aloha booklets and sent us to the lobby desk to get our brand new, shiny, all-access, super-primo mythical Gold Cards! At last!!!!

Now we could eat bean salad with impunity! We had lunch which was actually salad bar for the Quad Queen, and half a soup and sandwich and salad for me.

While we were eating, I sensed a familiar sensation down below my waist... a kind of pleasant tickling.

"DO YOU FEEL THAT?!" I screeched?

"Oh my God..." said the Vibro Queen. "THE VIBRATION!!!! Just what we need for Royals!"

Sure enough, the construction vibrations that had triggered previous Royals Flush at Main Street Station were giving my Golden Nuggets the 'happy feeling'.

We started our play at the Cal on the slant-top dollars. I did okay and we put a decent amount of coin-in through.

We are now cognizant of the fact that it is in our best interest to hit $10K a day each at the Cal to keep the Gold Cards coming. Over and above that we can play triple play at MSS or spinners at Fremont.

Over at Main Street we futzed around. I ran a $20 bill up to $100 on triple play and lost it all back, all in an afternoon's work.

Mrs. F. had better luck, parlaying up to five-play and then she was dealt this:

 Four to a Royal in Spades.

BOOM! The vibrations had borne royal fruit once again!

Our seventh Royal Flush of what was turning into one hell of a trip.

As if that weren't enough, she got a $3 scratch card to boot. I was so happy to see her get that, as she had been struggling for quite some time now.

What a great sense of satisfaction!

But we weren't done yet, not by a long shot.

How to get Fifteen Quads in Thirty Seconds

Day 13 Thursday Nov. 6, 2014 - part 2

We continued on and we went on a complete tear.

This combination of dealt hands - at the same time - was one of the video poker highlights of many years:

Dealt Aces for me on five-play.

Dealt Threes for her on ten-play.

Fifteen scratchcards and $1000 between us, at the same time.

For the record, I got my Aces dealt first, the 'Holy shit look at this!' moment, and then a couple of hands later, 'Holy shit, look at THAT!'.

We kept the floor people busy writing out those scratchers, let me tell ya.

The Gold Card afforded us a lovely dinner at the Redwood Grill (which I'll write up separately).

Back at the Cal we hammered on the dollars some more and had some pretty good luck.

For some reason, the Quad Queen decided to play Super Double Bonus. Going by the timestamps on the piPhone 3.14, these hands happened four minutes apart. Two quick $200 hits.

I opted for 50 cent Jacks.

We then paid the slant-tops a visit for some Bonus Poker.

When the dust had settled, we'd had a wonderful day indeed. We'd both finished up on the day, Mrs. F spectacularly so, and we were now up again on the trip.

After 13 days, that was something to be very thankful for.

Royal Flusher: Day +$460 Trip +$3070
Quad Queen: Day +$1900 Trip -$2390

Combined: +$680
Royals Flush: Seven (!!!!!!!)
Kickers: Hardly f**king any, but who cares.

Pinchy and Flashy

Day 14 Friday November 7, 2014

Will someone please explain what the lucky frog thing at the Cal is all about?


We awoke in our room at the California, thinking about home. They had given us a regular room this time, which we didn't mind, because it was so convenient - as close as you can possibly get to the elevators.

I think they were removing all barriers between us and the casino, which we could get to in 30 seconds, if the elevator arrived right away.

It had been a long trip, two full weeks. We'd had an absolutely ridiculous amount of good luck - and believe me, I do not believe that we were anything but lucky on this trip (except for some savvy gambling thrown in).

Early morning quad.

Early morning craps.

We kept it simple, for the most part. Eating at the coffee shop, mostly. Wanting to make sure we hit our $10K coin in at our home property, The Cal.

I was ready to go home, pretty much. Most people don't last for more than 3 or 4 days in Vegas. Some last a week. We don't go 24/7 like the three day trip folks do - it's more like 18/7 or 19/7, or perhaps 18.5/7. Or maybe in our case it was 18/14. Still, I was thinking things back home, like Chippy, at the Left-B-Hind Kennels, wondering how she was.

(Not the actual omelette.)

Chippy is our 18 pound Dane-hua-hua. She has a 12 pound head and a 6 pound body. On long car rides, her neck gets tired, and her head kind of bobs around like it was on a spring. When the sun is right you'd almost swear her eyes glow red when the brakes go on.

Anyway, she would sure be happy to see us. And we'd be happy to see her.

We started our day at the Cal, and then did some triple play at Main Street. I did not do well at this. I don't think I got a quad at all.

Breakfast was the omelettes you see illustrated.

(Not the actual other omelette.) 

After breakfast, the Quad Queen was fatigued, so she went up to nap.

I thought I'd go play single line dollars and if I got my points, I'd work on hers after. I headed down to play dollar Bonus Poker or Jacks. Keep it simple. Like that.

I did start out at Jacks, and had one little ole quad and plunked away at that, enjoying my time and reflecting on the trip.

After quite a while, I'd blown through the quad winnings. Time to change machines, try the Bonus slant-tops.

I sat down at a machine and for some reason, I decided to play Double Double. The reason? It was on the screen.

Gambling is a serious business, and requires a serious plan, which should be completely abandoned at the first inkling of 'a lucky feeling'.

Anyway, I was gifted with a lovely $250 quad. A nice start.

 Lovely. I played some more but the machine started dumperizing so I moved one spot to my right. And I punched up Boner Deluxe. It didn't take long and I had a quad for $400.

And the machine got hot. Boy did it get hot. I went on yet another screaming dollar short term Boner Deluxe run.

 I'd already put the sucker up over $1000 and I just felt like there was one more quick quad to be gotten. Having learned my lesson about running aground, I cashed out a ticket, and put a hundy in. Gambler, know thyself.

Yep, it came in. I'd had an incredible run, taking $100 all the way up to almost $1500. Now that feels good!

I probably played the winnings for that last quad too long and ended cashing out $1100 total.

By this time, I had my $10K coin in at the Cal. I made a trip up to the room to tell the Quad Queen about my good luck, and deposit some hundies in the little brown envelope, which felt very good.

Then I went to Main Street to play on the Quad Queen's card and try Triple Play again - and I got my ass kicked, yet again, to the tune of $300.

Oxtail Stew, the game-changer!

Chicken slabs on a bun with tater sticks.


After lunch it was like, 'well what do you want to do', 'dunno, well what do you want to do', 'dunno, what do you want to do'...

We had a bash at Treasure Chest.

Then the Quad Queen wanted to play more triple play at Main Street, which was the last thing I wanted to do. But I went, and I lost another couple of hundred. She had a terrible time as well, going down $300 or $400.

I really didn't want to play there anymore but she really wanted to. I just wasn't feeling it, and I wasn't having fun, and I was losing. I finally just watched her for a while.

So we went back to the room and we talked about what to do. I was about all gambled out and was fussing. And cranky.

We decided to try the Super Times Pay at the Fremont.

We went over there and it was just awful. I was just losing and losing. She wasn't doing well either. I don't have any quad pictures.

Frankly, I was being a pill. The noise, the smoke, the two weeks of incredible fun... I was getting worn out.

"Well, what the f**k do you want to do, here, on your last night in Vegas?" an irritated, losing Quad Queen asked me.

"I want to go and play Jacks at the alcove. That's all I've been thinking about since your nap. That's all I want. I just want to go to the alcove at the Cal and play nice, single line dollar Jacks or Better."

So we did.

I played this old machine. Whenever you press Deal, the screen kind of sucks in on itself as the voltage drops or something. The cards pinch in towards the center of the screen, and then pinch out again.

We call this machine 'Pinchy'.

The Quad Queen played her crazy Super Double Bonus game, this time for dollars. We chatted about how great it would be if she could get two sets of Aces like the day before on dollars. Or if we could get one more Royal on dollars, for that matter.

Well, she did hit this:

$600 Queens for the Quad Queen

So then, I moved to the end machine, which had this cool wonky screen on it. It's candle on top had flashed on and off interminably since we got to Vegas.

We called it 'Flashy'.

I played Flashy a little bit and looked over and saw a familiar face.

"Hey, Vital Vegas! What are YOU doing here?"

It was Scott, taking care of some of his social media responsibilities for the Fremont Street Experience. We had a nice chat, called each other degenerates for playing slots and video poker respectively, and he went on his way.

I kind of wish he'd come by just a few minutes later, because I got my fourth Royal Flush of the trip on Flashy. On dollars. Our eighth combined Royal for the trip.

"EEEEEEYESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I yelled.

Some people looked around.

"Oh look, he got a Royal..."

"EEEEEEYESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I yelled again.

Royal number four for me, eight combined for the trip.

What a day it had turned into. What a trip!

I thought we would never equal or surpass the Victory trip, but we did, by a mile.

Maybe we didn't get many hands with kickers, but who needs kickers when you have Royals? Consider - at the beginning of 2014, I 'd had exactly ONE dollar royal in my life. In 2014, I had four of them, three on this one trip.I felt very, very, lucky indeed.

The floor person came and congratulated me and asked for my ID. I opened my wallet and pulled out my Visa card. "Here. Put it on this."

The paperwork arrived in about 10 minutes. I got paid and made a pronouncement after playing off the Royal. "That's it. I'm not playing again this trip. I want to go out on a high." The best part? They didn't withhold any tax so I got the full $4000 in cash.

Next stop, the Smug Nugget, where we paid off our $2,000 in markers. We picked up a thank-you card for our host and loaded it with goodness. And, we had a celebration dinner at the Redwood Grill, enjoying champagne (of a sort), french onion soup, filet, scampi, crab and lobster tails. It was fantastic.

The little brown envelope would be full!

The scampi seemed to be called shrimp scampi style. That's basically where you take shrimp and cook it up in Golden Caesar dressing.

After dinner, the Quad Queen said,"So, you want to go play?"

"Um... yeah."

She did well, getting a bunch of quads and gaining back some ground on her day.

We went to the slot club and got our cashback, and got packed up for the return trip home the following day.

Our host confirmed that we are playing enough to get the Gold Card, a suite, and limo service. So we'll try to set that up next stay.

But this trip was almost at a close, with just Saturday morning left to go. It was in the bag now, and as my recording states, "It was a great day, and a great trip, the most successful trip we've ever had in every respect. Great fun, most winning dollarses, most royals, by far the record... we did it. We beat them. We beat them fair and square, we beat the crap out of them. We got the money, we got the goods, we got all the shit, they gave us, the shit for free. Act like you don't need the shit and they give you the shit for free." I think most of a bottle of champagne was in effect, there.

Royal Flusher: Day +$4610 Trip $7680
Quad Queen: Day +$220 Trip -$2590

Combined: +$5090
Royals Flush: Eight (!!!!!!!!)

These figures don't include tax withheld. If you include that, which I think I have a shot at getting back, I was over $10K for the trip.

And, then there's the creative comp accounting yet to come!


No Kickers Trip Report Creative Accounting Wrap-up

Who could ask for more on a trip than what we experienced on the No Kickers trip?

Well, for one thing, the Quad Queen could have won. That would have been pretty awesome.

If anyone gives me a gift horse this Christmas, I'm going to look it squarely in the chops.

Let's look at some numbers and see how we did. I have a pretty good bead on our coin in, but some of it is kind of guesstimated. Still, I'm confident it is within 5% or 10% of what we actually did.

Total coin in for the trip: $386,772

When I tell people at Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer, where I slave my days away prairie-dogging grommets out of an automated size 7 grommet sphicter line into bins full of the things which get flushed out to God knows where that we gambled $386,772, they generally wet their pants.

Winner of the Golden Grommet!

For some reason, they seem to think that I carted almost $400,000 in cash to Las Vegas, bet it, and then carted some or most of it (or in this case, all of it plus a bit extra) home.

Consider this - it is theoretically possible to create $386K coin in by starting with a single $5 bill using judiciously applied savvy gambling and parlaying techniques, and being luckier than the only man left in a town full of virgins. This does not describe me in any way, so obviously, it takes some bankroll to do this.

No, the $386,000 is the some total of each bet made on the trip. And typically, our play returns very close to 100% of those bets. Theoretically.

Total combined win / loss for the trip: $5090

That is not too damn shabby. This represents a 101.316% return on our coin in. (Math guy will let me know if my Jonny Quest big button calculator has failed me.)

But there's more... read on.

Total Quad Queen win / loss for the trip: $-2590

Total Royal Flusher win / loss for the trip: $7680

Yes, I crushed it.

But there's more... read on. The Man withheld $3450 in taxes. Depending on how we did for the whole year, we might be able to get part or all of that back.

Total Quad Queen win / loss for the trip including taxes withheld: -$1990

Total Royal Flusher win / loss for the trip including taxes withheld: $10,630

Combined win / loss for the trip including taxes withheld: $8640

Bottom line for me here is I can say that I won over $10K. That is a first, and miles ahead of any previous result in my 52 trips thus far.

But there's more... let's look at the comps we received during the trip. I figured room rates based on what we would actually pay for the room. I only included one set of room nights for the days we had more than one room even if we didn't stay in the same place. That's because I would never pay for two rooms in one night just for the fun of it - if it was out of pocket, we'd stay in one room.

I also added 12% to the room night value for the room tax. If you pay for a room, you are paying this hefty tax. I suppose could have also added resort fees that were waived for the nights we had comped rooms in cases where that applies, but I didn't.

Okay, here's a look at the rooms, meals, free play, cashback, and other goodies that we got.

Comps Oct 2014 No Kickers Trip

Nights include 12% room tax we'd have to pay

California room 4 nights at $70

 $          280

California food

 $          350

Cal freeplay

 $            25

Cal Cashback

 $          208


 $            20

Golden Nugget Room 5 nights at $168 (paid for 3 nights)

 $          840

Golden Nugget Wine

 $            85

Golden Nugget Freeplay

 $            30

Golden Nugget earned Freeplay

 $            60


 $            50

Four Queens food (October)

 $          400

Four Queens freeplay

 $       1,000

Four Queens comp dollars earned

 $          800

Four Queens cashback

 $          375

Mandalay Bay Resort Comp

 $            50

Mlife Pointplay

 $            25

Citizen Cafe

 $            27

D Freeplay and Matchplay

 $            10

Downtown Grand food

 $            65

Downtown Grand earned freeplay

 $            25

California room 2 nights at $70

 $          140

California food

 $          200

California cashback 2

 $          142

Bottle Gentleman Jack on points

 $            32

Prime Rib on points

 $            25

Total Comps:

 $       5,264

The rule of thumb for comps is that casinos will return 40% of your theoretical loss in comps (although this number is lowering... Boyd I think is looking at 30%). I don't know how they view video poker, but just for fun, let's say that we could expect a 2% loss. That would account for mistakes, play on games that return less, not getting enough royals, etc. So, if you calculate say a 2% loss on say $400K of coin in (to keep the numbers easy, the '8' key on my Jonny Quest Big Button Calculator is kind of sticky), you get $8000. 40% of that is $3200.I guess we did all right in that department.

When all is said and done, we won enough to cover all our hard expenses - airfare, taxes, tips, Left-B-Hind kennel for Chippy, limo, rental car, purchased meals with some left over besides. That equates to a completely free two week Las Vegas vacation (which beats the pants off of last summer's bill of $7000 for a 10 day Las Vegas vacation.) I think that's pretty damn savvy.

Now... how did we do for the year?

The Quad Queen had $1800 withheld in 2014 and she qualifies to get all of that back.

2014 results

Royal Flusher

Quad Queen



Spirit of Savvy Jan 2014





Nifty Fifty April 2014





Kenny and LuLU July 2014





No Kickers Oct 2014





Totals for 2014





Taxes we can get back



Net loss 2014




Not too shabby!

Well, that's the skinny for this, our final trip of 2014.

Royal Flusher


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