Joined: 17 Dec 2005
|Posted: Jan Sun 01, 2006 10:40 am Post subject: Archive 48 (from Bay area)
|For those of you who just want the quick results: This trip was profitable, albeit in a small way.
On to the details: left Bay Area a little after 2 p.m., arrived just before dark. For those of you who drive here coming over on route 80 from sunny California, you know how much fun those last 25 miles or so are in the dark, which is to say, not very. Made it to the room in time to see the last of the Sundown, although the view this time was not in the direction of Sundowner. Still, I could see the "Kings Inn", which is always a fascinating anthropological study.
Meal at the Silver Legacy generic coffee shop; hot turkey sandwich with actual turkey meat - not processed! - with exceptionally fast service. It was probably not more than five minutes - certainly less than 10 - between the time I ordered and the time it arrived.
After throwing away loose change into random machines, it was on to Cal-Neva, in search of three-dollar single-deck Blackjack, which they seem to be pretty reliable for.
Tables were jammed (about 8:30 by this time), so it was time to make the rounds.
Stopped at Fitzgerald's to see if my club card that I haven't used in probably seven or eight years still worked, and it did! Didn't really play there, as I wasn't expecting to make it my place, but it was nice to see that they didn't turn my card off for lack of use, which has happened at other places.
The historical exhibit in the walkway entrance to Fitzgerald's is indeed very cool - in addition to the stuff dug up during the rail tunnel project, there's a gallery of Reno historical pictures - one shows a jammed route 80 back in the 1950's, when it was a two-lane road - a sign by the side of the road proclaims, in glorious 50's-style script, "Make this 4 lanes! Write your congressman!" - the blurb accompanying the picture mentions how bad the backups could get in those days - miles long, hours spent - for those of you who have made this drive, can you imagine??? Anyway, no table games upstairs at Fitzgerald's - I guess those are only staffed on the weekends?
Incidentally, I noticed that the El Dorado casino had a big empty area on the floor that looked as though a bunch of tables had just been removed, advancing the notion that they are cutting back on these significantly. If things continue in this direction, there may be very few table games left at all.
Golden Phoenix, by the way, was just dead. Dead, dead, dead - I would hope that's because it's early in the week, but I couldn't help thinking that the owners have got to be sweating bullets by this point.
After killing some time, tables cleared at Cal-Neva, though mostly in the "South" building, which is where I spent all my gambling time.
Couldn't get much luck at first - at one point, I was down to the last bet of my carefully apportioned bankroll (eighteen bucks; okay, it's not that dramatic), but then won that hand, and went on a small run. Doubled my money or so, then cashed out to spend it on supplies (mostly beer and smokes; this is an "Adult" Disneyland, after all).
As these trips are business trips, I was obliged to deliver a training lecture all day Tuesday (Grr), but wrapped it up as efficiently as I could to get back to what Reno's really about.
Took a walk West to give the "Gold Dust West" a look-see (never been in there before) - no tables there at all; looks like the kind of place you cash your paycheck at when you live and work here.
Went back for brewery refreshments (okay, Coors) until I couldn't put off the dinner task any longer. This time, there was a line for the Silver Legacy, which was moving none too quick. Decided to wander over to the El Dorado, as I seemed to recall hearing something about a Japanese steak house within, but I couldn't find any mention of it in the lobby, and just opted for their generic coffee house. What a difference in service from the night before! I ordered a super-simple breakfast dish, and it took about half an hour. Although I had to wait a few minutes for my table, they didn't seem terribly understaffed or anything. Sometimes, what you get just seems random.
Back to Cal-Neva: I have finally acquired a superstition, which is this: I prefer to play at a table where there is one person already playing. It is illogical and nonsensical, I know, but it always seems as though I lose when the table is packed, and I lose when I play alone against the dealer. So for all my sessions, I picked tables with one other person, and sat to that person's left, since I really don't want to entertain the possibility of any base-position disputes.
Another evening, another session of being beaten down a bit, then crawling back and over the line to a win - didn't quite double my money, but probably get twenty bucks profit or so, which is fine for my humble needs - mainly, more beer and smokes!
Fiddled with some slots back at the 'leg after renewing my member's card - which they had gotten wrong on the last trip - I remember that woman seeming more irritated than anything else that I had appeared at her station with a problem for her to solve - but all was graciously fixed this time.
Encountered one of those runs where you put in a buck or two, and you get a couple of bucks back. Went to cash in, put in another buck or two, got a few back - probably accumulated another $15 or so of profit, five of which I gave back to the "Mariachi Madness" machine, which refused to give me a bonus round.
So it was time to quit; I had less money than when I started, but this was amount was only three bucks or so - there were a total of three drinks, for which I tipped three bucks, and there were the extra two packs of smokes and the beers for the room, which to me translates as profit - but we can argue about semantics if you like!
Up next day at nine, back to California and regular work life, but what a nice break from reality - as always!