Ruminating on Vegas

Now that the haze of the red-eye flight back has lifted I’ve finalized some impressions from the trip. Here they are (in worst to best order):

The Bad

  • US Airways is an awful airline. Don’t even try to complain because US Airways doesn’t even have a real person answer when you call!
  • The Imperial Palace is an awful hotel with a shortage of elevators, dated rooms, uncomfortable mattresses, no amenities, no concierge, and an overpriced buffet. But other than that it was just fine ;)
  • The Poker Room at the Planet Hollywood Casino (née the Aladdin Casino), while nicely decorated, is perhaps one of the worst on the Strip because of the noise from the adjoining piano bar. Imagine trying to contemplate a pre-flop all-in call with pocket kings when a terrible piano-singer is hammering out Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” with a bunch of singalong drunks in the next room. I was up at a pretty good table and actually left because of the music.

The Good

  • In-N-Out Burger. Perhaps the greatest fast food chain burger
  • Treasure Island’s Poker Room is a nice little place. The 1/3 NL games and daily tournaments are a lot of fun and the players were the nicest I had encountered overall. The hotel itself seemed very swanky and updated. I’m kicking myself for not pushing harder to stay at TI because the location would have been perfect: it’s connected to the Mirage, diagonal from the Wynn, across the street from the Venetian, and next door to the Fashion Show Mall. We ended up playing most of our poker at TI…
  • The Caesars Palace Poker Room is good because I won money there without having to invest much time ;) It was a bit too big for my tastes and kind of had the feel of an airplane hanger though.
  • The Wynn’s Terrace Point Cafe is an indoor/outdoor restaurant that overlooks the pool, has the cool-mist going while you eat. We chose not to wait in the hour+ line for the buffet and instead took the advice of a nice Wynn employee who recommended the cafe. The food was surprisingly well priced even though when I asked if the food was “reasonably priced” the lady responded “It’s the Wynn,” which translates roughly to “No, it isn’t.” Chris and Kevin got a prix fixe prime rib special with a salad and crème brûlée dessert for $28.
  • Noodle Asia in The Venetian was a nice lunch of pot stickers, real imported Asahi Super Dry beer — not that Canadian “brewed under supervision of…” crap — and generous portions at a, again, reasonable (< $20) price.
  • Metro Pizza at the Ellis Island Casino was excellent and fed four hungry gamblers for about $20. The BBQ there smelled incredible but we didn’t go back to eat it.
  • The Fashion Show Mall had a MNG by Mango store, which allowed me to pick up a “thanks for letting me take a vacation without you” gift for the wife.
  • Crown and Coke. For a $1 chip tip I was able to enjoy a drink that would cost me at least five bucks in a bar.

More to come as I remember more of the trip ;)

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