Saturday, December 14, 2019

So I Guess I'm a Slot Player Now?

Work had been extra stressful throughout the summer and early fall, so I'd been tossing around the idea of another trip to Vegas around either Thanksgiving or Christmas. I recently discovered the YouTube channel of Matt Bridger, a charismatic Brit who is a major Vegas lover and an avid slot player.  Just as I was trying to make up my mind when to return to Vegas for my second trip of 2019, Matt announced that he would be making his fourth trip of 2019 to Vegas in late November and was planning to host a couple of group slot pulls.

Now, I've never been a big slot player. I like games where I feel like I have some kind of control over the outcome...where decisions I make can minimize the house edge or try to gain an advantage over my opponent. Watching Matt's vlogs had intrigued me and for the first time I planned to try to commit more of my gambling budget to some slot play.  I emailed Matt asking if I could be part of one of the group slot pulls and when he replied to the affirmative I booked a trip for Sunday through Thursday the week of Thanksgiving.

The wife and I flew Allegiant from Des Moines to Las Vegas arriving around 2:30 PM on Sunday, November 24th.  We caught a Lyft from the airport to Bally's.  For the first time ever I got long hauled through the tunnel to the 15.  Knowing Lyft's structure I figured it was only a dollar or two more, so I didn't get too worked up over it. We got in line to check in with plans to try the $20 trick to see if we could score an upgrade.  There were like 30 people in line in front of us when a front desk employee came by telling everyone that check in wasn't until 4:00 and we would have to pay to check in early.

We decided to save the money and checked our bags at the bell stand.  While the wife was making a quick bathroom run I popped $20 in a video slot machine and cashed out $30. I told her we were done gambling so we could go home and tell everyone we were up for the trip.

We decided to kill some time locating the five lucky spots at Caesars featured in day one of Matt's vlog from August of 2019. The five spots are as follows:

  1. The Four Faced Brahma just outside of Hell's Kitchen
  2. Michelangelo's David in the Appian Way Shops - You're to touch his left big toe
  3. Cleopatra's Barge Club - You're to touch her breasts (I chickened out on this one)
  4. Joe Louis near the sports book - You're supposed to fist bump his left boxing glove
  5. Caesar near reception - You're supposed to touch his left index finger
We found the first one right away as I knew right where it was We then wandered Caesar's Palace for probably 20-30 minutes before we found a property map on the wall with one of those "you are here" markers.  David was literally 20 yards behind me up a nearby walkway. We still had a little more time to kill before we could check in at Bally's so we headed over to Bellagio.

I slipped $100 in a Dragon Link game and decided to try out a Matt Bridger method of playing at the 10 cent denomination on 25 lines for $2.50  a spin.  That way the minor and mini jackpots jump up to $500 and $100 respectively.  On about the third spin we hit a hold and spin. That's where you get six spots with balls with numbers in them that represent a dollar amount and you get a bonus feature where you get 3 free spins to try to fill in more of the numbered balls. Every time you fill in another ball your free spins reset back to 3.

We were feeling pretty great about the bonus and I had quickly done the math in my head and figured we had won somewhere around sixty or seventy dollars.  Then the machine started adding up the numbers one-by-one and somewhere in the middle the total jumped way up to over $100.  I hadn't realized that the ball that said 1000 was not $10, but rather $100 since we were playing dimes and needed to add a zero to the end of the amounts.  The total for the bonus was really $162.50. I played it down to a win of $150 and cashed out. We headed back over to Bally's to check in.

We were horrified to see the line to check in was now probably 400 people deep. There was about 300 people in a winding line waiting to check in at the counter and another 100 or so waiting to use the 8 or so self check kiosks.  We made a grave tactical error not spending the money to check in early. I waited in line for the self check kiosks for probably 45 minutes and we wound up in a room in the Resort Tower on the 14th floor with a view of the roof of the casino and the back of Paris. We had a slight glimpse of the Eiffel Tower between the Jubilee Tower and Paris.

After checking in we cleaned up and headed out to get something to eat.  We decided to stroll down to the Linq promenade and pick a place there. We landed at the Tilted Kilt which was okay. I had fish and chips and the wife got her usual plain cheeseburger. As we were dining a woman came around selling these bead leis that had NFL and college logos on them with the profits going to I think some kind of multiple sclerosis charity. Since they had one of our Iowa Hawkeyes I bought it for my wife. The seller said it's bad luck to put a lei on yourself when you first get it so she came around the table and put it on for her complete with kisses on each cheek.  As she walked away my wife commented, "Mmmmm...she smelled good."

After dinner we made our way back to Bally's.  The wife was exhausted from all the walking we did, so she said she was going to relax in the room and gave me the green light to head down to the poker room to play a little $1-2 no limit.  I was very card dead and cashed out about $100 down after 3 hours or so.  On the way back to the room I decided to see what all the fuss was about with all of the machines exclaiming "BUFFALO!" I put $100 in one of the Buffalo Gold variety. I got it down to about $45 when I hit a bonus.  It retriggered a few times and I wound up cashing out a little over $500.

I'll leave it there for now and try to post the rest tomorrow evening.


  1. Good read, look forward to episode 2.

    Was it hard to find the Lyft pickup spot? Is it next to Uber?

    1. The rideshare pickups for Uber and Lyft are in the same place at McCarran and all of the strip casinos The only one we attempted to use while we were there that was kind of a pain to access was at Venetian.

  2. the one in SLS is much more difficult to get to. its on the 2nd floor and u get picked up in the parking garage.

  3. Wow - you got my Monday morning juices flowing with that slot talk! I can't wait to read about being part of a group pull. I think I've seen several on Brian Christopher Slots. And sweet win on the Buffalo machine. How much per pull were you playing?

    I have had the Uber/Lyft drivers take unique routes a couple of times, but each time I got there really quickly, so I am assuming their maps led them the right way.

    1. On the Buffalo Gold win on the first night I was playing the max which I believe was about $3.75 a press. On Day 2 when I hit $300 something I was playing like $1.80 a press I believe. For the slot pull I'll probably just discuss the logistics of it and link to Matt Bridger's video for anyone that is interested in seeing how it turned out.