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Tournament; Birthdays and Good times in Reno!

 
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RenoLady



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 316

PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2008 8:27 am    Post subject: Tournament; Birthdays and Good times in Reno! Reply with quote

Just back, last night, from 3 nights and 4 days in Reno; we met Rís Spokane family for a 21st b-day for one of the kids. It was also Rís b-day trip, and they hooked us up for a tournament. I think Iíll write this using a topical style, since I donít think anyone wants to go through the whole trip chronologically with me. Mainly because I canít remember it all this time, and some of it would be repetitious anyway.

SET UP:

There were 11 of us, Ĺ in their 20ís; the other Ĺ 40ís, and one 70 year old, (Rís Mom). Ĺ of us were at El Dorado, the other Ĺ at the Fitz, as usual. Ĺ of us were from Davis; the other Ĺ from Spokane. Okay, so youíre thinking I have too many halves, or who belongs to which? Youíre working too hard at this, relax, Iím just trying to give you a sense of our make up, okay?

Iím glad they stayed at the Eldo, it gave me a chance to check out a couple of their rooms in two different towers. I believe Eldo is the only hotel I havenít stayed at in Reno. There was a difference in their rooms. One was in the Virginia/Sierra tower, the other was in the Skyline. The Skyline was bigger and nicer, but Virginia just plain jane. The Eldo was nice enough, but I would only pay as though I thought Iíd end up with the crappy room, and at Circus prices. It was no Atlantis or Peppermill.

You know, Iím always doing this, leading big groups around Reno or Vegas; responsible for their happiness, wallet and digestion. I always say itís the last time, until I get the next excited phone call from the family member or friend with the news of an upcoming vacation or event that MUST take place in Nevada. Something happens to me, I forget how at least one person ALWAYS forgets that weíre meeting at 10 AM on the second floor of Fitzís for breakfast, and the other 10 people are looking to me to decide to abandon the latecomer or continue with the growling stomach and slow gambling bleed, cuz they really rather be at (fill in the blank) casino. Or how maneuvering 11 people down Virginia Street to get an awful awful burger involves at least one person stopping to go to the bathroom, another stopping at their favorite machine, and the line of us stretched 2 city blocks because someone is sprinting and Grandma is shuffling.

However, as large trips go, this one was pretty good, and hereís why:

FOOD:

This time, for food, I figured something out, I announced the time for meeting, if they were late by 5 minutes; they were on their own. We didnít have to sit together, tables close was fine. I wouldnít change the time based on individual hungers or need, not hungry now? Donít come; eat later on your own. This firm approach worked well.

We ate at the usual joints, Fitzís buffet, Limerickís, Mollyís, Cal-Nevaístop deck, their steak house and the Nugget. All were the usual satisfying meal, but the Fitzís buffet has improved since December. The quality is up, or we were there on a good dayÖ.

GAMBLING:


Wow, good trip. More people won than lost. Iíve NEVER seen that before. Everyone played slots, no table games. My daughter was playing a penny Super Cherry (my nemesis). She won over $400 playing 15 lines, 3 on a line in about 5 minutes over several bonus rounds. Unbelievable. Her uncle went on a non-stop drink fest, beginning with bloody maryís at 4 AM on Saturday, and continuing on through beers, and then Crown Royal and coke until the following 4 AM. The more he drank, the braver he got, and the more he won. Iím talking stupid penny games that usually eat up a $20 faster than you can get a drink. He was constantly in bonus, and getting combinations Iíve never seen before. He won $75 on a bonus round in penny Wild Bear playing two on a line. During a bonus round of Turkey Shoot, he of course found the two bullís eyes, for an extra 30 spins; he had it up to 10 times pay with 20 spins left. He got an 800 cent line at 10 times pay for $80 bucks for just one of the spins! Grandma spent her usual $100 over the whole weekend, slow playing nickel video poker, than hit for a $120 win an hour before she went to the airport to come out $20 up.

My daughter (G) and I team play when we start losing to slow our play down, and check each otherís foolishness when reaching for money. You know what Iím talking about. Losing $20 at Cleopatra, never getting the bonus, and instead of getting up and leaving the loser, reach for another $20 and play double the amount. When we team play, weíre very strict and hold each other to the rules: ante up $30 each at a time, sometimes re ante-ing once. Turn the $60 into fives. Sit next to each other, play only 1 fiver per machine unless either: it doubles or more (cash out the $10); the other player is winning, or youíre waiting for your drink (got to have your priorities here). I swear, we have NEVER lost much on this. We usually just get bored with the structure after a day or evening of it, and split the leftovers, continuing on with our own foolish and solo play.

While daughter had won the first evening at Super Cherry, her generosity with her cousins, payment on her room, meal portion, and overall heightened sense of intelligence about her ability to play pennies, (causing her to make bad decisions), soon found her $400 gone by the next day. Rather than dip into more of her own funds, we decided to enact the responsible team play. This began Friday, the first full day, after breakfast at Cal-Neva. Our first 6 fives ($30) was gone before we needed a trip to the bathroom, and since we were drinking beer, chased with a water to avoid headaches, thatís pretty fast.

Then it happened, we found THE machines. It began with G seeing old favorites hooked to a jackpot sorta thing. Hard to describe machines, but Iíll try, cuz if youíre there low rolliní, you NEED them. Basically, theyíre the kind of machines that need 3 triggering doo-dads to get a bonus. Once youíre in the bonus (15 free spins), in addition to the normal fun extra pay, every time a wild symbol comes up, it does itís wild thing for the pay line, and thenÖ.it starts blinking. You touch it, and it gives you either some more money (bad/boring) or it says Grand; Major; Minor or Mini. These all have jackpots associated with them: Grand ~$8000; Major ~ $600; Minor ~ $100 and the Mini ~ $15. You need to get 3 of one of them, and the jackpot is yours. Now get this, how much you play does NOT affect the chance or amount of the jackpots. Itís 20 line and you have to play all lines PLUS an extra nickel for this jackpot feature, but only 1 on a line. Thatís it! 25 cents a pull to maybe win $8000 bucks, really.

First thing that happened was G won a large line item for $30. We cashed that out, and were back even. I soon had the bonus feature, figured out the jackpot thing, and won a mini. I canít tell you how exciting this is. You often have filled all the jackpots with two of them, only needing one more to get one (you can get more than one too, we did). More often than not, you fill up two of the Grand jackpots, so every spin with a wild symbol, gives you a chance to get the top prize. Yeah, youíre not going to get it, but your adrenaline doesnít know that, so it pumps it out, you laugh, order more beer, and the fun increases.

Oh! You can re-trigger the spins during the bonus. Once we did this, having 30 spins, we were getting a wild symbol, sometimes 2 or 3 a pull. We had all the jackpots covered and had already won the mini, then we won the minor, and still had about 10 more chances, with wild symbols, we didnít get another, only more points/coin, but still cashed out $150 for that quarter pull. We ended up taking $400 out of there over 4 hours. The next day the mojo was still going and R won a $125 jackpot, but yesterday it didnít deliver in the 20 minutes we gave it.

I have to mention one other machine. Miss Kitty. Oh my gawd, what a cute machine! The symbols are all these cartoony cute animals that a talented grade schooler must have drawn. Birdies, fishies, mouse toys, balls of strings, itís Miss Kitty! Now Miss Kitty is of course, wild. But whatís so slick about this feature, is besides being wild in normal play, when she appears in the bonus feature, she sticks, and can exist on EVERY space, except the first row. So by the time you go through your 10 spins, she may be completely covering the board, except that first row, which determines what the line will pay all across. We won every time we played, and I took out $120 on one bonus round with a 50 cent bet. Both machines are in that sunny area near the top deck at Cal-Neva.

FITZíS TOURNAMENT:

Besides being in Reno for the Spokane family and 21st b-day; we were also using Rís b-day offer (free rooms/meals). But it got tricky. We had paid for an upgrade to a suite for the family to hang out; and G also had a room. After the booking, she decided she wanted to stay over an extra day, but R couldnít as he had to fly out of Sac on Sunday, necessitating a trip home Saturday. Youíre already confused, arenít you? Anyway, I talked the host into adding a day on Gís room, but using her flyer special on the Saturday, and pay for the Thursday since itís cheap that night anyway. Probably more info than you need, but it confused the heck out my host, since I called and made these changes/additions after the original booking. He wanted to know if we were there for the tournament, what tournament? He explains, hooks me up and now Iím there for the tournament, G as my alternate, since R leaves early. Whew. Why does this matter? Because none of the extras were right the whole weekend. Which promo are you here on? No drink badges for Rís b-day, but one for me for the tournament which I could have the next day, but not on Thursday. Tournament entry, but no gift for R. Free B-day dinner in Limerickís for R, but no food for the tourneyÖon and on. I dealt with it, worked with the host and ended up with everything, now the tournament.

This was a slot tournament, old fashioned slots, (bars and 7ís), and the high score over 3 rounds wins top prize of $5000. Have you done one of these? No skill, unless speed/timing of pounding a machine as fast as you can for 30 minutes is skill. They let you alternate, good, it hurts and you donít WANT to do two rounds with only a few hours apart. I took the first session, pounded away, discovered that if I waited to alternate hands (must do every 30 seconds) at the precise moment the reels activated, I would never miss a beat. I was in first for Ĺ the time, ended up in second for that round with 12,700 points, most folks were under 10,000, with a couple over. They gave first place of the session $25 bucks. My sis was also there, cheering me on, letting me know where I stood, and I think it helped. She is also a nurse and masseuse and massaged my shoulder and Gís shoulder after the workout. Cool.

I shared my discovery with G, she took the advice, and won first in her session with 13,800 points. Ah-oh, pressures on. Two high scores, I figure if we can get 10,000 points on the final, thatís an average of 12,000 points a session. Who the hell can beat that? We discuss strategy, and decide the young shoulder will play the final round. The whole fan-damily is present, weíre cheering her on like sheís running a marathon, instead of beating a button on a machine like a caged rat at a feeder bar.

After 10 minutes she has 3500 points, thatís a 10,000 pace! At 20 minutes, 7500 points, still okay. At one minute left, she hit 10,000 points, finishing with an extra 400 over. I told R I KNEW we had to be in the money, and each 20 points pushed us up the prize chart. R is very practical, he told me not to get our hopes up. That a lot of folks were just as lucky as us. The prize pool only paid to $750 at 5th place, than $100 for 6th and so on, so you HAD to be up there to get anything.

Oh yeah, whatís R still doing there? Well, as he watched our earlier progress at the tournament sessions, he just couldnít tear himself away. His flight left at 11 AM the next morning, and while he didnít want to risk getting stuck on our side of the mountain, (we have many times, not just weather, mudslides and accidents have shut that pass down), he was having a great time!

Gís was the last session, we were to meet at the cabaret in one hour. That was one long hour. I was hopeful, R looked sad at me, he hates me to be disappointed. Finally, the appointed hour! We sat around nearby machines, ordered a drink and waited. Besides R, G and I, sis and Gís friend had also stuck around. They began the results with 10th place, they also announced their score, and I knew we had more, as they moved up the list, getting to 5th, and our name wasnít called, I knew we would see at least $750. 4th place at $1000 was called. At 3rd, the announcer paused and shuddered over the name, I knew it was us. Our name is 13 letters long. Sure enough, third place! $1500 bucks!

I got a hug from my host, a cheap cardboard yellow paper with my 3rd place award and a trip to the main cashier. I had to fill out a W2g and then collected the prize money. G got Ĺ, as we were team playing to the big dog! We gave our family/cheerleaders, $50 each, and bought dinner and wine. It was now after 9 PM, so I had our host get us another room so R and I wouldnít have to share a double bed in Gís room and we were set!

What a fun trip. Even coming home over the mountain last night at 20 mile per hour was alright. Next trip in March.
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alison



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1137

PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a fun trip! Thanks for sharing. Did you ever make it to the Pep for the free play promo?
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stan_allen



Joined: 19 Dec 2005
Posts: 1129

PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject: Tourn-riffic Reply with quote

Excellent report! The joy of gambling is clearly evident and on display.
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Barb



Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 82
Location: Portland, Or.

PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2008 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You write such a fun detailed report. I Loved it Laughing Barb
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jerry



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 759

PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2008 10:57 pm    Post subject: neat TR Reply with quote

wow, I felt like I was there.
Thanks RL
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john
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 1180

PostPosted: Feb Wed 13, 2008 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome report, RL! You guys must have caused quite a stir at the tournament with all that cheering and screaming. Congrats on your win.
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RenoLady



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 316

PostPosted: Feb Wed 13, 2008 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alison: One of the "11" in the group didn't want to go. In fact, she announced, the first morning at breakfast, that she wanted to do something "different" today. "Different?" I asked, truly puzzled....

...we were gambling, drinking AND winning, and she wanted to do something different? I suggested other casinos, historic and natural points of interest, nah...nothing. Get this, she wanted to go SHOPPING or to a spa!

This lady was a new girlfriend of R's brother. He is a "Drambler (gambler/drinker) like us, and this was their first gambling trip together. We looked at each other confused, and not a little sad. This was obviously a relationship not going anywhere. We had to stay downtown so she could "spa" it, yet monitor his drinking and gambling habits. Sigh

Yeah, we were pretty obnoxious with the hooting and cheering at the tournament. But then, we always are. In fact, I think the bonus rounds are really only excuses to make noise and order another beer.
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john
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 1180

PostPosted: Feb Wed 13, 2008 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm guessing the casinos love that type of behavior. Other patrons see that and are encouraged to gamble and have a good time themselves. When I open my casino, I'll commission your group to come in and raise hell.
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alison



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1137

PostPosted: Feb Wed 13, 2008 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shopping or a Spa??? Lame! You can do that anywhere. Hmm, i dont see that relationship lasting for sure. What a bummer. Its always dissapointing when everyone is not on the same page.
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RenoLady



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 316

PostPosted: Feb Wed 13, 2008 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John: Hey! I never thought of that! I could get on the payroll of these casinos as a "screamer" though, it's not really so much screaming, as laughing and hooting. A "hooter?"

You know, for us degenerates of Reno, we could take a new prospective friend there, right away, as a screening out devise, thereby saving a lot of time in determining whether we were wasting our energy in pursuing the friendship.....
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Dave



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Feb Thu 14, 2008 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great report as always!
Not wanting to gamble in Reno?? Confused
Never heard how your rooms were at the Fitz.?
Is it getting better there with new ownership or ?
They are sure taking the negative hits on Trip Advisor.
Thanks again for the great report.
Dave

When are you guys going in March?
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Bama



Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2008 9:54 am    Post subject: March Reply with quote

That's right - it is March Madness time. We arrive March 19th and stay 4 nights.

Great trip report by the way - i got off track with my own trip excitement.

I look forward to trying a few of those penny slots.
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PEB



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 97
Location: California

PostPosted: Feb Sun 17, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenoLady,
Thanks for the great trip report, made me feel like I was almost there with you at the Fitz slot tourney Smile I love their slot tournaments, always have a blast. Congrats on your 3rd place win!
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Mammothgambler



Joined: 25 Dec 2005
Posts: 619

PostPosted: Feb Sun 17, 2008 3:03 pm    Post subject: congrats! Reply with quote

RenoLady, awesome trip report, thanks for sharing! It looks like the luck is really widespread here in CA right about now (and I'm sure glad I'm not the only one that's had to go home going 25 mph).

It's great you have the leadership quality about you. I know how it goes with the large groups, sometimes everybody's got their own plan sometimes and then there's others that just aren't used to the casino scene, period (such was the case with some of my neighbors on the Tahoe trip). It's good you kept it all together and got rewarded big time for it. Congrats on your big win!

Mammothgambler
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RenoLady



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 316

PostPosted: Feb Tue 19, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys for the nice replies!

Dave: Fitz is no worse, or better, for that matter, then it's been under the bankruptcy receivership. I see no physical improvements to speak of.

We don't pay for these rooms (or much anyway), and the staff is the best. If we were paying rack rate, I wouldn't stay there. There are just too many problems with the HVAC and water systems.

Not sure about March yet, I just got back from the "other" place in Nevada, at Midnight last night, I haven't gone through my mail yet; I spyed some Fitz's flyers in there.
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