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Trip Report 11/21-11/26 - Deja Vu All Over Again!
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Mammothgambler



Joined: 25 Dec 2005
Posts: 619

PostPosted: Nov Tue 27, 2007 10:56 am    Post subject: Trip Report 11/21-11/26 - Deja Vu All Over Again! Reply with quote

What's up everybody, just got back from another successful and wild trip to the Reno & Mammoth Lakes area. I couldn't get over the similarities from my July trip (excluding the accidents).

After attending a couple of Thanksgiving parties here in Florida the night before, I started out at about 4 am on Wednesday, Nov. 21 for the Orlando airport. I was expecting alot of madness with the holiday but I was pretty surprised to see that the airport was pretty dead, even in the security lines. I think overall the TSA is starting to mellow out a bit, it's been alot easier to travel on my past couple of trips. The flight from Orlando to Vegas was nonstop, and I had an awesome view of all the places I lost my butt at on my trip a few weeks previous when landing. After a short layover, I was on the way to Reno.

COLD was the word when I landed at the Reno airport...I forget sometimes that even though it may be 80 degrees here in Florida, it's kinda dumb to wear boardshorts and sandals when you're going to the mountains! I stood outside for about 45 minutes and the shuttle for the Peppermill finally made its way in. Finally, I was off.

Since I'm still not getting any decent room offers from the Pep, I decided to book another Imperial Suite on their website and use the best rate guarantee to get a good discount. Pulled it off without a problem, although I could tell that they really don't like honoring it (but hey, a deal's a deal!) I was able to get 2 nights for under 200 dollars after all the discounts applied, not bad at all for a holiday. A few days later, I got a call from them and was notified that something was wrong with the reservations system and all the Imperial Suites were booked, so they offered to upgrade me to a Luxury Suite at no additional charge. No problem there either, I thought.

I got to the Pep at about 2 pm and there was no check-in line. The front desk clerk I dealt with was a little shady. He started out telling me that the Luxury Suite wasn't quite ready and was being cleaned. I told him it wasn't a problem and I could park my stuff at the bell desk and gamble for a while until it was ready. Instead of just going with that, he talked to another clerk and then insisted on putting me back in an Imperial Suite that just became available. He then went on to tell me that the Luxury Suite upgrade was non-guaranteed if the originally booked room became available. Whatever! I then paid for the 2 nights in cash (which they didn't make me do last time until the end). Since I'm always having debit card troubles with casino hotels and didn't bring alot of money with me, I then asked them about the incidental deposit. They said they just need the card number on file, but wouldn't charge it since I paid in full. That proved wrong when I went to start gambling a couple of hours later - they charged it for $100! Does anybody know how they normally do it at the Pep? This was my third stay, and it's never been the same thing twice. I really like the place, but man, the reservations people and the front desk staff are a real piece of work! At this point, I think it depends on who's working and what they feel like doing at any particular moment. Maybe someday I'll be able to check in through VIP services and it may be better, who knows.

A few minutes later, the similarities from my last trip in July began to kick in. I got to the suite, and miraculously, it was the same exact one I got last time - Imperial Suite 454! I thought to myself how awesome it would be to win again, as I left Reno with over $3000 on that last trip. But, since I was only there for 2 nights, and only had about 200 dollars thanks to their hold and prepayment in full, I decided to play it cool on the first night.



Went down to the Passport club to get my bronze card. I was notified last trip that I had accumulated enough points to be at bronze level, but never actually picked up the card as I was leaving town. BIG MISTAKE, because they notified me that those points were gone, and I was still at purple level! Still figuring that one out, as they told me my current point balance was only at about 150.

I started out with 50 dollars, scoped out the machines I did good on last time, and went to the penny multiliners by the Food Court and the Flamingo Bar. After losing about 15 dollars, I got a 100 dollar bonus on a Hot Hot Penny Chariots of Fire. From there, I went over to a new kiosk of machines that I hadn't seen before. I believe the game series is called Fusion, and it's a multi-level progressive hyperlink deal from Aristocrat, kind of like the Millioniser and Penny Train machines. It's a standard 3 reel, 5 line, 150 credit max penny machine with some bonus features built in - nothing too complicated. It has different jackpot levels that are named Bronze, Gold, Platinum, etc. I was able to stay on it for a while just playing 30 dollars or so and came out about 40 dollars ahead. I then made my way back to the sportsbook area and the hallway to the rooms. I passed by that row of those Butterfly 7's penny machines and decided to give one a try. Lost about 10. After a few screwdrivers, I decided to call it a night. I was pretty bummed out - they took out both of the "Lucky Cat and Dead Hamster" machines. Couldn't find 'em anywhere!

Got up at around 11 the next morning - Thanksgiving Day. The casino seemed pretty busy for Thanksgiving Day, you could tell the core people were out (myself included). Went down to the casino and made my way over to the Dino Dollars area, where I did really good last time. Walked by the Pinball machine along the way, but had no luck, lost about 10. I saw the Diamond Line Frenzy machine that I hit $1000 on that last trip, got a couple of wilds and about $35 off of it. I didn't know it, but the reels on that machine jump like the Haywires do, so that's good to know. Tried out the Wild Times Pay again but lost about 10 more. From there, I went back over to the Cube Bar/Island Buffet area. Checked out the Pharoah's Fortune by the entrance to the Island Buffet and lost about 20, no hits at all.

I went back over to check out that kiosk of dollar machines in between the Cube Bar and the cashier. It's only about a double-sided row of 5, and most of them are 5 credit Red White & Blues, Double Diamonds, etc. with the exception of a couple of Double Ten Times Pay models, so they don't stay really busy. However, I recalled hitting $450 on one of those Double 10 Times Pay machines last trip, so I decided to try that one out again. A very nice local lady was playing on the machine beside me. She had a stack of gaming cards on her key ring the size of Manhattan, and had mentioned that she got a total of 4 big hits (and a couple of W2's!) at Boomtown the day before. I stuck a 20 in, gave it about 4 spins, and BAM! TWO 10X PAY SYMBOLS AND A SINGLE RED BAR - $2000! The bell started ringing, the "See Attendant - Hand Pay Required" sign came on, and I just sat there for a while taking it all in. A few random people walked by and said "Happy Thanksgiving!" Here's the W2 they gave me. Hey, anybody else notice the typo on this IRS form? (Look at the title on the right side...pretty funny!)



What was funny was, John called me not even 5 minutes later, I was still kind of buzzing. I was like, "John, you missed all the excitement!" We met at the Cube Bar with another friend of mine from Tahoe who had just pulled in from being on the road working for the past 3 months. It was definitely cool finally meeting John in person. After a few screwdrivers and Heinekens, he pointed out one of those newer VP machines at the Cube Bar - much bigger screens and maybe a little wider too, I had never seen one before.

After my friend left for Tahoe, I decided to take 50 dollars, lock the rest of the winnings up, and see what I could do with just that 50 dollars. I hit the Coffee Shop along the way and got my favorite, the California Veggie Burger and hash browns. This one was so big and fat I had to take a picture of it! The coffee shop is still awesome, as always.



I went back down to the other side of the Cube Bar, close to the Island Buffet and played a couple of quarter model Party Spins. Wound up about 35 ahead. Went back over to the Pharoah's Fortune, lost about 20, and then got 5 eagle things on the 5th payline - $210. Never did hit that multiplier bonus round, so that was a good hit. From there, it was back over to the area by the Food Court. Lost about 25 on You Bet Your Life, and lost another 20 on a Hexbreaker. Went back over to the Hot Hot Pennys and tried out a Reels of Dublin. Got 3 bonus reels, 15 free spins and a total of about $100. A lady from Boston was on the next machine and she was really doing good - she actually got her bonus rounds to re-trigger a couple of times and easily had about 500 from the bonus rounds alone. She had mentioned walking by when I had the big win earlier and suggested that I ask for a room comp. That, along with being bumped out of the Luxury Suite, made me consider it!

I then headed over to check out the Pep's new restaurant called Biscotti's (although for a while I thought it was called "Biscuits" - oops!) It's upstairs to the left of the front desk, and I hadn't noticed it before, but it also looks like they are building an internet cafe up those stairs if they haven't already. I got a flatbread pizza and it was really good, lots of herbs and spices on it. The restaurant is really nice, but the service was a little slow. I know new restaurants take a while to get going so it was no big deal, it's a really nice place, a little on the pricey side but I'd definitely go again.

Went back over by the Dino Dollars area on my way back to the suite and checked out one of the 5 line, 50 cent reel machines that are full of jackpot symbols, red, white and black 7's. Don't know the name of the machine, but got about 75 on it. So, all in all, after a few ups and downs, I think I pulled in about 200 dollars on that second run, so I was pretty satisfied.

Next thing you know, I looked up and it was 5 am - time to check out and move on to Mammoth! I hit the steam shower one more time, packed up, and went to the front desk to check out. I spoke to a manager and let him know about the problems I had experienced at check in, getting bumped out the Luxury Suite, having prepayment in full being practically demanded, as well as what went on with my Passport card. I also mentioned my $2000 jackpot and my levels of play over the last couple of days. He jumped on the phone with someone, checked my Passport card, and the next thing you know, I got COMPED - suite, coffee shop, internet access, everything! I guess it pays to speak up sometimes. Got all my cash back that I had put down for the room stay and am hoping they release that $100 hold they put on my debit card!

It was about 26 degrees that morning waiting for the shuttle bus for the airport - COLD! Got a free upgrade to an AWD Subaru Impreza at the airport and I was on my way to Mammoth. Saw a HUGE wreck in Minden involving an 18 wheeler 7-Up truck, but other than that, it was a really nice ride out. The resort just opened a couple of weeks ago and there hasn't been much snow, but by the time I got there, they were up to 8 trails and 3 lifts. The afternoon was kind of icy and there were some bare spots but it was still alot of fun. After the afternoon session was over, my friend and I went over to one of the snowboard shops on Main Street. I had already been thinking about purchasing some new equipment this season, but after that big jackpot, it was definitely on! Here's what I wound up with, a Burton Custom X 164 Wide (my first board with a wood core), Burton Cartel bindings, and ThirtyTwo Prospect Boa boots. Dream setup, it's like driving a Ferrari on snow haha.



The next two days led to a little more snow, more open trails (although icy), and lots of vodka flowing. My friends in Mammoth practically are holding open apartments for me there now, still waiting on a job opportunity but don't be surprised if I just pack up and move soon! Here are a few photos of the trails that were open.


After the last trail on Sunday, I packed up and headed back for Reno. My friends were all like, "Yeah, you should stop back on your way to the airport and try to win some more money!" Well, I had about an hour to kill before going to the airport so a final "stealth mission" at the Pep was the plan. No traffic on the ride back so I was there at about 7:05. I brought in $100 and set out to see what i could do in the next half hour. Went back over to the main dollar area and came across that Pinball machine again. About 3 or 4 spins in, I hit the bonus round and got 5 free plays. I kept rooting for that 500 or 1000 light to go on, but only wound up with 25s, about 100 dollars total. It dawned on me that I had never seen a Pinball machine in bonus round so that was pretty cool. Went over to a Hot Peppers and got another hundred. Then, just to see what would happen, I made my way back over to that kiosk between the Cube Bar and cashier where the Double Ten Times Pay jackpot machine was. Rather than trying it a third time, I instead tried the other one on the other side of the kiosk. The only difference was that this was a three-coin model which I usually avoid with the dollar machines. But, I decided to give it a try, just to see what would happen. Good thing I stopped by it - 3 spins into it, I got...a 10X Pay symbol and two triple orange bars, a $900 win! When I went to the cashier's cage, I was up $1200. Not bad at all for a little 25 minute stealth mission on the way out of town, and the way I see it, my new snowboard setup was free. In fact, the whole trip was, with money left over! I was considering going to the Atlantis since I hadn't been on this trip yet, but I'm definitely glad I went back to the Pep. Pulled into the drive-thru at El Pollo Loco for a victory dinner, then it was off to the airport. Got in about 8 am yesterday morning and went straight to work - YUK!

Awesome trip overall, about $3200 total winnings and this is the third time I've won big at the Pep. Hope the streak continues on when I'm back in December or January!

floridagambler


Last edited by Mammothgambler on Mar Wed 12, 2008 2:01 am; edited 3 times in total
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alison



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1137

PostPosted: Nov Tue 27, 2007 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent trip report!!! Love th pics that you included. Glad to hear you did well again. Hopefully you got yourself bumped up a level. There definetely are advantages to using the VIP check in. Thats the only way to go. Next time you go, i will see about having my friend book you so you can go to VIP. Smile

I love the snow pics. Looks so pretty up there. Its really starting to snow here in the mountains. I need to go do some exploring soon.

I too have had issues with the credit card holds. They vary. Its supposed to be $25.00 a nighth. Our last trip my contact at tehPep told me to have them call him when i checked in to make sure they did not charge us. I use my debit card and it ties up funds so he said he would take care of it. So we checked in and i did not call him only because the girl said it was noted not to charge me. I figured we were good to go. Oh no, they did the hold. I was pretty irritated to say the least. I felt really stupid when i calle dhim and told him what happened. He of course said " i told you to have them call my cell" oh well he released it and the funds were back within a day.

I tell ya what, i definetley will be hitting those 10x pays next trip. Hopefully i will be able to brag about an even bigger win then yours....lol
Sounds like though you will be getting back there before me. Maybe they will send you an offer for one of the new rooms for your next stay.


Last edited by alison on Nov Wed 28, 2007 10:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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RenoLady



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 316

PostPosted: Nov Wed 28, 2007 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on another successful trip! You're also doing great with the money managment, securing the wins, starting over again, that's one of the toughest things to do when you're flush with excitment after a big win. R and I are always working on it.

We may have to give the Pep another shot, they seem to be pretty generous of late.
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alison



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1137

PostPosted: Nov Wed 28, 2007 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to ask, are the new jacuzzi tubs as big as the old ones?
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Mammothgambler



Joined: 25 Dec 2005
Posts: 619

PostPosted: Nov Wed 28, 2007 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey everybody, thanks! also forgot to mention another machine I played on, I tried out that new "Golden Monkeys" progressive machine and all I got out of it was a monkey jumping up some stairs collecting credits. Someone actually left 1200 credits in a tier for me, I played a few spins and collected them. I can't get over also how many people leave tickets laying around. I scooped up a few of 'em here and there, even though they're all .05 and .17, in the end I had about 8 dollars. Hey, money's money!

RenoLady, yes, it's kind of hard to secure funds after a win like that but I was good this time. Definitely give the Pep another try...I am going to scan the casino map and post it here soon with stars indicating where all the hot machines are, I'll post it shortly. I mentioned to another user here that I think some of these machines are rigged, they just keep hitting and hitting...

Alison, I didn't have a new jacuzzi tub yet, but I think Ryder mentioned that the new ones are smaller (and white instead of black). That's the ONE thing I hope they don't get rid of entirely (the black ones), those things rock.

And the best news of all...yesterday I decided to start packing. I'M MOVING TO MAMMOTH! I'm going to take a few months off to clear my head and snowboard, there's a bartender job I can work for a while out there (most likely higher paying than my job here now). Just secured an apartment, and just gave up my current one here in Florida. Should be out there by the first of January. I will let everyone know how it works out. I can't believe this is finally happening...I'm quitting my job on Friday!

floridagambler
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Ryder



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Nov Wed 28, 2007 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Trip Report FloridaGambler!!! Congrats on the big win.....looks like I missed you again at the Pep by a couple of days.

Was at Heavenly Valley on tuesday, so was surprised to see your pics at mammoth with snow.....tahoe area had none and it was 60 degrees and sunny on tuesday.

Great news on your move, I know you have been talking about that for a long time
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alison



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1137

PostPosted: Nov Thu 29, 2007 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on the job and the upcoming move. Its finally happening!!!!

Red tooth Happy
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john
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 1180

PostPosted: Nov Thu 29, 2007 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FG, YOU ROCK! It's so cool to see dreams come true, both on your move to Mammoth and your big wins at the Pep. I sure enjoyed meeting you on your last trip and hope we can get together once in a while after your move. Good luck on your move and new job.

John
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RenoLady



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 316

PostPosted: Nov Thu 29, 2007 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I almost asked why you hadn't moved to the Sierra's in my last post. You sure seem to have an affinity with the area, and not just the gambling like the rest of us degenerates!

Congratulations on the move and new job.

I'll be looking for the map for the Pep, I know what you mean about "rigged" machines, I've worked in a few casinos, and also suspected there was more to the "randomness" that the spiel they gave us. Tin foil hat off Laughing
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garyandsharon



Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Nov Thu 29, 2007 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All Right - You go floridagambler- Does mean your new name will be mammothgambler? Very Happy

Would the scan be available before next Wed. (Hint!)

Congrats again on the move. It's good for us too - More trip reports!

Best to you

Sharon and Gary
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JD



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 955

PostPosted: Nov Thu 29, 2007 3:03 pm    Post subject: Mammoth Gambler's Trip Report Reply with quote

Now THAT IS what I call a trip report. We're not worthy.

Ok...now I'll have to take pics, get an Imperial suite comped, and win a W-2G on a reel machine. (Not like it will make much difference if the P Mill gave up the IRS copy...lol). An outfit like the P mill will be submitting all of those W-2 G winnings electronically anyway.

So glad you had a great time and got back some of MY MONEY from my last trip. But you really MUST get rid of that debit card.

When some bank forces that fake Visa card on me, I just request an ATM card (much safer than debit) and a real credit card that does not part with real money while under dispute. While the ATM card does access your checking account, they cannot "...put a hold..." on it without you punching your secret code. You have far more rights with a real Visa or MC credit card than those fakes they call "debit cards".

I too, have had the P Mill try to get a deposit when the room is comped... by best retort was to whip out a roll of C notes...and ask, " No outgoing phone, no porno, no pay TV, no mini bar, no restaurant charges to the room. Now, just how big of a deposit must I leave on my FREE ROOM?"

July 4th my next trip....anyone want to meet in Virginia City?
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stan_allen



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 1129

PostPosted: Nov Thu 29, 2007 3:22 pm    Post subject: A tree fell in the Lucky Forest Reply with quote

Good point, JD - this is why I don't even bother writing trip reports these days, unless (1) I win, or (2) there's something actually notable or worthwhile to tell everyone about!

But I will use this moment to share with you my discovery on November 15th that the Lucky Forest at the Fitz is dead, unless it's your birthday.
And no more free dollar program, either. 'Twas a sad discovery, begorra.

Anyway, congrats on all the trip report-worthy developments, FG!
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Dave



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Nov Fri 30, 2007 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow FG now that is a trip report. Sure glad you had such a great time. Also congratulations on the big move. Really cool to hear a person pick up and do something they really want! That is great. Hey it just occurred to me you may need another name on this board. I mean when you move we can't keep calling you Florida Gambler can we?
Wink
Anyways Congratulations and thanks for sharing such a great trip.
Dave
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stan_allen



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 1129

PostPosted: Nov Fri 30, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject: or "HeavenlyGambler" Reply with quote

MammothGambler?
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Mammothgambler



Joined: 25 Dec 2005
Posts: 619

PostPosted: Nov Fri 30, 2007 10:46 am    Post subject: yeah! Reply with quote

hey thanks everybody (kinda blown away at the response here!)

First off, I will set up the Pep's "Treasure Map" later on this evening. It's been kinda crazy around here this week (and I think my head's still stuck in the snow). It dawned on me that I don't have a flatbed scanner and I was going to scan a copy of the map they give you with your key cards but I just found a map on the Pep's website so I'll use that.

Alison, I like your avatar, my eyes are going really bad but I think that's a picture of the dollars area, yeah? Either way, you can tell it's the Pep!

Ryder, yeah Tahoe got kinda skunked for the early season. I heard that some of the resorts were open but already closed until further notice...oh well I'm still a season passholder to Heavenly so I'll just wait it out, give it another month or so and there's bound to be something...I'm just hoping there isn't another "snow drought" like there was last year.

John, it was definitely cool finally meeting you too. I'm definitely going to check out one of those "high-definition" VP machines next trip and hell I'll only be about 2 1/2 hours away from Reno now (and about 45 minutes from an Indian Casino in Bishop - SCARY, I'm gonna be a wreck).

RenoLady, yeah I've been talking about the move for a while and was trying to wait on a job to pull through but the deal lately is that people seem to be wary of hiring an out-of-stater and definitely are wary of providing a relocation package! So, I'm doing it all on my own, and that way I can finally be living there, which totally changes the hiring aspect of things for down the road. Anyway, they say that Mammoth has the "most educated bartenders and wait staff in the world" because it's a resort town and that's about all there is for employment during the season, so I'm just going with it for now.

Garyandsharon, I will have your map ready later this evening!

JD, yeah you'd think I'd know about the debit card thing by now, but, I actually trusted the Pep...there always seems to be one goon behind the front desk. Oh well, STILL waitin' on that hold to be released, and I took lots of their money so it's not a big issue for now. I'll see how many more days it takes them to release the hold.

And everyone else, yeah, if I can't switch my name here to MammothGambler I guess I'll just have to adjust my signature to read something like "floridagambler (now in Mammoth!)" or something like that? I'll have to check with John.

Thanks again for all your responses. This has been reality check week for sure...2 days ago I gave up my apartment...now this afternoon I'm getting ready to give up my job here! The up side is that I've already had 2 congratulations bottles of Absolut delivered to my house. One of 'em I'm still trying to figure out where it came from! People are like, "yeah, he's finally getting the hell away from that lame magazine job and just doing it!"

I will see you all later this evening, keep your eyes peeled for the "Treasure map." I think I will upload it here as well as the main topics section for those interested.

Thanks again,
floridagambler (soon to be mammothgambler, or floridagambler in mammoth, or however it will work...)
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