Joined: 28 Jun 2018
|Posted: Jul Tue 03, 2018 11:46 pm Post subject: Trip Report: Eldorado 6/25-6/29
|Hello all, first time poster here I must say I thoroughly enjoy reading all these reports, especially ones from years ago the history is my favorite part, its sad knowing I can never see the good old days on Virginia St. I feel like when Harolds Club closed in 1995 was the beginning of the end and was all downhill from there. Me and my girlfriend enjoy the laid back feel in Reno whether its bartenders, dealers, waitstaff everyone appreciates their customers for the most part and we have great service all over town.
Anyways allow me to introduce myself, my name is Andrew I live in Spokane,WA and have been an Auto Technician for 11 years, my girlfriend joining me on this trip is a CNA and full time student. This will be my 6th trip to Reno in the past couple years my first was in 2015. I come to Reno for many reasons but most important for me is hand-held single and double deck blackjack which I play exclusively, here in Spokane I can play blackjack at the smaller card rooms and Indian Casinos but its all 6 deck shoes in this area so I refuse to play at home and just save up and practice for my trips. Also this trip is also a test run of my card counting skills and bankroll management coming off a $330 loss in a one night stay in June 2017 which was an all night endeavor of over betting and poor table performance. Even my March 2017 trip at the Silver Legacy where I took a good $400 profit home I chalked up to variance at the $10 single deck at SL, Variance bit right back but the other way around later. I vowed this trip to play within my limited bankroll at only $5 tables or less.
Day 1 : Hotel Hell
We had booked four nights in a players spa suite at Eldorado this year and reserved a good rate back in Febuary, last March we stayed in a Silver Legacy spa suite and it was OK, but not great the room would never cool off even with the a/c on full time and the TV in the room was tiny, barely visible from the spa, hell I've had bigger TV's at the Sands Regency basic room.
We rented a car for this trip a 2017 Kia Optima from Enterprise, It was really nice and got decent gas mileage, and gave me piece of mind that it wont break down or something, like my own cars which are 20+ years old might. they have taken that trip before loaded with tools and extra parts but did just fine thank god.
The drive was smooth as we left at 2 am, the stretch between Ontario, OR and Winnemucca, NV is the worst boring stretch of two lane road I have ever seen. Get to the hotel at around 3:30 and heres where everything goes down the toilet. After my girlfriend swipes the credit card the front desk clerk decides to say "sorry the spa suite requested is not available due to construction on certain floors" and were getting annoyed as we called two days prior and everything was fine including my One Club room offer attached to the total reducing it some. So off to Silver Legacy to inquire about rooms with the money being held somehow at the Eldorado front desk from the card swipe, the SL front desk is showing me excellent rates for the inconvenience but the card cant take another swipe and they wanted a huge deposit if I were to pay in cash. Back at Eldorado girlfriend is in tears in hotel lobby telling the manager "you took my money off the card somehow its being held by your front desk" showing them account info as well. They return with an explanation of charges which seemed way higher even with the comps added but they have room for us on the 25th floor and really went out of their way to resolve the issue on the management side. Someone messed up in reservations somehow i guess when they added the room comps also which made everything number wise so confusing.
We were not expecting them to put us in this room though. 25th floor corner VIP balcony spa suite, its not even advertised on the website, It has the only balcony in the entire Eldorado, I was in shock, the view was amazing in all directions, You could even watch a concert at Harrahs outdoor plaza from the balcony for free, stiff it to Harrahs for sure I wont give them my business they tore down Harolds and Nevada Club for their outdoor plaza. Also there was a street party down at the arch with fireworks around 10 pm shot from the Eldorado parking garage and hotel, quite a surprise/ shock when it first went off as it shook the windows and rained firework debris all over the balcony I decided to head indoors.
Its getting late I shall return with the rest of the report tomorrow.
Day two started with another unexpected charge on the card, supposedly after the first two nights the upgrade fee of like $60 for the spa room was supposed to expire and charge normal rates. But nobody got the memo between the reservation side and the actual front desk staff, it was all so confusing but the front desk management were helpful once again and reduced our bill after adjusting some numbers and with the inconvenience. I started with my usual morning blackjack session where for the past few trips I do my best, its usually less crowded I can play heads up mostly and usually come back with a small profit.
For dinner we returned to our favorite restaurant anywhere : The Steak House at Western Village. We made the reservations weeks ago as it is very popular even at 4:30 opening on a Tuesday the place was packed. We always take an Uber out to Sparks from Downtown, we like to have a few drinks and I had quite the buzz by the time I sat down to dinner, I had about 3 of my usual jack and cokes at the table and a margarita at the bar. I tend to play a little more aggressively here as they have some of the best rules in the Reno area along with $2-$3 minimums, doubling on any two cards allowed as opposed to double 10-11 only like Downtown, We played for about an hour before dinner, I played two hands and ended up down $48, decent table conditions and not very crowded for once sometimes its hard to find a table at all. Dinner was excellent again, the service exceptional, the food amazing, I had the Prime Rib as always, my only problem was we were too full for dessert, next time Im skipping the appetizer to save room for our favorite prepared table side Bananas Foster. This is a hidden gem restaurant I recommend it to anyone wanting fine dining on a budget, the total bill came to $93 including appetizer a table side cocktail and two salads and entrees, It would probably be double that at any big casino hotel steakhouse around town.
Ended the night with a couple more sessions back Downtown, made a small win.
Day three also was met with some unexpected charge again from the front desk, Somebody keeps messing up or are not communicating with each other, at this point the front desk supervisor has comped our entire stay for the inconvenience, and all charges returned to the card but could take up to 3 days, The Eldorado management impressed us with how they handled things, I would stay here again even if its not in the beautiful room we could never afford again.
We took an Uber to Peppermill for the Fireside Lounge happy hour, it was a nice bar really cheap drinks, I tried a Lemon Drop first as all Martini type drinks were $3 on special Wednesdays, it was alright then I decided to have a regular vodka Martini, only could stomach half of it, It came with free appetizer with purchase of a drink, it was chicken tacos, pretty mediocre but hey its free and soaks up alcohol well. After that we had a session at Peppermill Single Deck for about 45 minutes in which I had made 2 correct Insurance decisions betting for my bet as well as hers, Ive heard of Peppermill being a sweaty place to anyone playing who seems to know a thing or two or even backing off someone for winning too much even if they were not counting even at tiny stakes like we play I spread between $5-$25. Call me paranoid but the pit phone rang, then the pitboss comes and decides its time for a card change at our table, not sure if my Insurance play tipped off anyone upstairs but we got outta there and took an Uber back Downtown. Played more at Cal Neva, Circus Circus and Silver Legacy and was up and down for the night.
Day four was a side trip to South Lake Tahoe as the two of us have never been and last year was uncomfortable with driving up to Tahoe in March. This time though it was absolutely beautiful, but wow what a pricey/ tourist type town gas was like $4 a gallon here, I didn't play at any casinos in Tahoe, we ate lunch at Artemis Mediterranean Grill, I had Lamb Gyros, the thing was huge, it had large strips of meat stuffed in a pita with tomato,onion and tzsatiki sauce, it was falling apart on me and was sooo delicious, even the french fries were well seasoned and had this nice spice to it with a paprika type taste, also I would definitely return and recommend this place to others.
On the way back we stopped at the Carson Nugget, another place I have never been, ended up being one of the best places we visited, even though we were down about half our buy ins at the $3 double deck table, everyone was so laid back and friendly here, the dealers, pit staff, waitresses even the other customers at the table were easy to talk to and nice. They even gave us another drink after coloring up and were not actively playing just chatting with the dealers.
Our last night in Reno, We stepped it up a notch both at the tables and in alcohol consumption, Starting with happy hour at Roxy at Eldorado, this is the better happy hour over Peppermill in my opinion, the menu at Roxy is way bigger and are only $5 I had a nice Manhattan and a Basque Martini, which will be my two new standbys when we come next time. Im not used to drinking martinis i usually have my booze watered down with soda, they kick in quick, hell I really only drink while in Nevada, at home I hardly do. we had a few sessions at Silver Legacy then headed over to Sands Regency to get a new players card and play a little, we ended up at a double deck table, and to my disgust the dealer burns a quarter deck and puts it in the discard and deals maybe half of the cards in their hand, just policy I guess, Harrahs, and Cal Neva also do this at double deck, but any of the Eldorado properties burn just one and deal normally. pretty bad drinks and slow drink service, but this is one of my regular haunts while in Reno by myself I like it, Ive stayed at the Sands 3 times before, but the girlfriend wont stay there so its Eldorado for us this trip. We headed back for a session at Silver Legacy where the dealer was literally dealing til she had like 10 cards left, but then rotated to some other game and we headed to Circus and proceed to burn $20 to get 5 cheap stuffed animals because I promised my 2 year old we would try to win at the carnival games, they're rigged worse than the casino, Im better off in the gift shop for kids gifts, like a cute twirly straw cup that i got that says "somebody special went to Reno and brought me back this cup" she loves it.
We played our final sessions of the night at Circus double deck with some ladies in for the Womens Bowling Tournament we met the night before at the tables, quite a fun bunch, I ended up about $35 here. Ate at Millies 24 at the Eldorado for the second time this trip, used my food comps this time as
it was the last night in town, really good food and decent service, way better than Cafe Central at Silver Legacy, they messed up our banana split and had the worst service, definitely recommend
Millies except I wish it was open 7 days a week, its closed Tuesday and Wednesday. We headed for one last soak in the spa tub, enjoy my beautiful Downtown view one last time at night and passed out.
Check out is at 11 am, I am up at 6:30 hungover, tired, and head downstairs for the final blackjack session for the trip, I go to Silver Legacy's cage to pick up my freeplay chips, the pit is empty, the pitboss lets me play for $5 instead of $10 since the tables empty. Single Deck game blackjack pays 3:2 heads up, finally Im catching hands and winning doubles and splits, I play for only 30 or so minutes up $90, my biggest win of the trip, I ended it with a bang hungover, half asleep, yet was able to still count the cards and keep up with the dealer.
Overall I ended up +$51 after 17 sessions of blackjack, not a big win but its better than a loss, I kept records this time in a notebook after every session noting the casino, buy in, cash out, insurance win/loss. Im proud that I didnt play outside the means of my bankroll and didn't overbet like in the past, also I felt more comfortable with counting at the table when the cards are face down, counting them as they appear to you, as well as my Insurance play, I took Insurance 23 times and won 10, not sure how that adds up to helping at all, but I took it at the right counts only, my only problem was getting others at the table to show me their cards, I show mine to everyone as soon as I get them because with single deck decisions can be close and having all the info possible helps.
The 12 hour drive back was boring again like it is every time, but its good to be back home, I only wish I could get back to Reno more than once or twice a year like I am sure a lot here do.