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El Dorado & Sands 7-5,6,7

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Joined: 19 Jan 2017
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Jul Thu 19, 2018 2:56 pm    Post subject: El Dorado & Sands 7-5,6,7 Reply with quote

Noticing the lack of activity, and wanting to hear more about Reno and gambling, I decided to contribute a trip report although nothing significant happened and I ate at restaurants I have already reviewed.

I arrived Thursday July 5 at 4:30 pm via Delta Airlines. Waited roughly 20 minutes for Circus Circus shuttle, which was also picking up El Dorado and Silver Legacy passengers. Our shuttle had about 10 riders. Driver was very pleasant, however the Air conditioning was not working and the temp was 95 degrees. Luckily it is only a 12 minuted drive.
I had a free casino comped night at El Dorado, which I used. I did have to pay taxes and resort fees, which came to $22. Not truly comped, but subsidized enough. I was in their newly remodeled luxury king room. The room and hallway all had new carpet and paint. The room itself was on the small side, but very nice and comfortable. Everything in the room was new. It was an excellent room, and rates much better than the base room I stayed in Silver Legacy in February and comparable to the room I stayed in Circus Circus last October. But the Circus Circus room was much bigger.
But for my purpose, the room was excellent and I had no complaints.
After checking in, I had been wanting to eat a Pearl in Silver Legacy. Ordered fried oysters and fries. Big mistake. They are noted for their pan roasts, so I should have had on of their roasts. Oysters very mushy and quite disappointing. Still ate it and it was fine, but I won't order those again.
After dinner, I registered for El Dorado's blackjack tournament which takes place the first thursday of the month. I just stumbled on it and thought it would be fun. I believe it cost $40, with the winner of each table advancing through 2 sessions for a final table. It listed a prize pool of $1750. I won the first table but did not advance, so no money. I next went to Silver Legacy and played black jack $10 a hand, sometime 2 hands. Didn't win, didn't lose and just got bored so I left for Circus Circus. Same situation, so I went to Cal Neva. then harrahs. I think I was down $150 for the night. I just say that Harrahs had all 3:2 blackjack tables and the dealer and floor people were very personable and had good attitudes which was a big change over my last few visits. I also think the casino carpet was new, and the property looked much better.
Friday, I woke up and wanted a lighter breakfast and to walk around a little before it got hot out. I walked to Little Nuggett and order a ham and eggs scramble for $5.50. Came with hashbrowns, toast and coffee. Perfect size for what I was hungry for, good food and value.
I had set aside time for poker tournaments. Silver legacy has a $40 buy in tournament at 10:00. 3 tables were going, so 25 to 27 players. Friendly local players and tourists. I didn't play bad, and actually got sucked out on to knock me out after an hour and a half. I decided against lunch because of the Biggest Little City Wing Fest which was starting at 1:00 pm. It ran 2 days, and they blocked Virginia Street off from Circus Circus to the corner of Cal Neva and Harrahs. Over 30 wing vendors set up, and there was some great entries. If anyone likes these type of events, I would highly suggest. It is an annual event, sponsored by Silver Legacy among others. Wanting to cool off, I hit up Shooters for an ice cold miller lite. Hit the spot, bar was cool. I am very easy going, but when I was walking out of the bar a patron was heckling me, and another joined in. I didn't really care, but I paid cash left a $1.50 tip for 1 beer; mind my own business. My other thought was maybe it was just good natured ribbing. Either way, I will go back. I like places that are low key and cheap beer.
I had to leave so I could get into the Cal Neva $10 2:00 poker tournament. Same story, good game and friendly players; no luck and got bounced.
I had to check out of El Dorado, because I was staying Friday and Saturday at the Sands. The Sands has a blackjack tournament a couple times a year. Entry is $ 159, which gets you entered into the tournament, 2 nights lodging, $10 meal voucher and free drinks on property Friday through Sunday.
My room was a king room in the Empress tower. It was clean but quite dated. And the Air conditioning could only bring the temperature down to 76 degrees. Not suffering, but not as cool as I would like it. I should have complained, but stuck it out. I figured this was the type of room one gets for the tournament. And by midnight when I was getting back to my room the temp was down to 72. Very basic room. But filled my rest and hygiene needs. The rest of Friday was at the Sands playing blackjack, craps and eating at the buffet. the buffet was quite small, but had a prime rib carving station and nice salad bar. Definatley not the variety of the other buffets, but functional. Food was good, no complaints.
Saturday, my tournament started at 10 am. There were 93 entrants. Structure is 2 sessions, with 20 hands being dealt. the 2 sessions are combined for an amount. the top 30 entrants advance to a shootout round, where each table winner advances to a final table. I believe there was a $7000 prize pool. If you advance to shoot out round everyone gets $50 cash. I did advance. the cutoff amount was 2625 chips. I had 3110.
Basically you don't win any big money until the final table. Fifth place got $250. Second got $1500 and first got over $3000. Very liberal rules for the tournament. I really had a bad beat on the last hand to advance to final table. I was chip leader on the last hand. Everyone else puts all of their chips all in. Because of the liberal rules, and blackjack pays 3:1. The dude to my left was dealt a blackjack. There was nothing I could do to beat him before my turn. Very disappointing. But fun. I have played this tournament 3 times now. It seems like the same people come, very nice players and dealers. In between sessions, I would watch baseball and had bloody marys. FYI, the mild blend bloody mary at Sands is excellent. I had four of them. Probably one of the better bloody marys I have had. Although another FYI, the best bloody mary I have ever had is a Bucket of Blood Bar in Virginia City.
In between sessions, I had lunch at Tacos Tijuana in the Sands. For a quick taco meal, it was very good. I think 3 tacos with rice and beans was $8. It was tasty and the right size.
After the tournament, they have a banquet to hand out cash prizes with open bar and snacks. cold cuts, salads, chicken wings. Very good food.
The rest of my night was more blackjack at Sands, and at the end of the night I realzed because of the tournament sessions and shoot out round, I never left the property at the Sands all day.
Next day woke up, had breakfast at Mel's Diner in Sands. Chicken Fried steak and eggs. Very good meal, and I have never had a bad meal there.
the rest of the day was spent resting, playing some machines. Ran down to El Dorado to use up $20 in meal comps before leaving town. Ate at Milie's cafe, beef fajitas. It was a good meal. Nothing wow, but not bad either.
All told, I got everything in that I wanted to. Black Jack, Poker, Wing Fest.
Met a lot of nice people, and had a good time.
I say this after every trip to Reno, but I do need to get out and enjoy some resorts besides the one's downtown. I am caught in a trap, because I have spent a lot of time there, I get good food and room offers at Sands and Eldorado Properties. And I like having other casinos to walk to when I need a change, which downtown fills. I keep saying I will stay downtown, then spend some days at Atlantis, Peppermill or Grand Sierra to get on their radar for room offers. But I worry that I am not a big enough gambler to get rated as such. Although Eldorado seems to be able to warrant offering me rooms and food.
Anyway, Wing Fest was a hit. I actually met quite a few people who came to Reno from the Bay Area strictly for Wing Fest. I am from Montana, and there was wing fest entrant from here. (by the way, the Montana entrant had the best wings I had).And my Reno fix was met. Should get me through to football season, when I like to be able to spend a weekend watching and betting football.
I really like it when this board is active, so please anyone share some trip reports or questions or reccomendatoins. Lets help each other out to share our enjoyment of the Biggest Little City.
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Joined: 14 Sep 2015
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Jul Thu 19, 2018 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the trip report! Sounds like you had a good time. But then, how can one not have a good time in Reno!?!

I don't care for oysters so have never eaten at Pearl in Silver Legacy but I'm still irked they stripped out half of Cafe Central to put that place in there. Even after being open for several years I have never seen more than a half dozen people in Oyster, and even that's a stretch. Now there are numerous times having to wait to get into Cafe Central with only half the amount of space available! Rant over.

It sounds like Harrahs has maybe had a little refresh so thanks for those comments. I will have to go check things out. I have not gone in there the last couple trips as it has gotten so dreary.

I agree with you about Mel's Diner at the Sands. Always great food there!

I just booked airfare for my next trip at the end of October and am really looking forward to it. I can only get to Reno once or twice a year which is not enough.

I'll be staying at Silver Legacy in October with hopefully 3 comped nights if my current monthly offers continue as such. I also hope for comped tickets to the Cirque Paris show at Eldorado.

Big football fan here too, and I LOVE watching the games in the SL sports bar and doing a little betting too!

Enjoyed the read. Thanks again.
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BC Dave
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Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 1469

PostPosted: Nov Tue 06, 2018 11:36 am    Post subject: Thanks OC ! Reply with quote

Thanks for the report O.C. It does sound like you had a great escape to Reno's dream-land. I love all the places you mentioned. I didn't know that the Silver Legacy had split up their coffee shop to make way for an Oyster bar. I wish they had left it as it was (with it's original name - The "Sweet-Water Cafe"). Very glad to hear that Harrah's has spruced things up a bit. We've had nothing but negative comments on that place for several years now. Thanks also for appealing to VisitReno's members for more input. The old board gets pretty quiet sometimes, but I expect there's more life in the ole girl yet! OH and thanks for the comments on the Sands - an old, old favorite spot on mine!
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