May 2008
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When room offers go good

I haven’t quite figured out which tournaments I’m going to play on my next gambling trip, but I have sorted out all my accomodation – without it costing a penny.

Three nights in Laughlin, Friday to Sunday, were included with the poker tournament package, so I just needed two weekights on either side in Las Vegas.

I’ve booked Imperial Palace for my last two nights.  I was sorely tempted to try their Luv Tub room, but I’ve passed this time.  It seemed a little sad, and perhaps a little creepy, to chose a room with an oversized bathtub and mirrored ceiling when I’m travelling by myself.

IP usually shows a comp on any weeknight.  The funny thing is that the comp is for a Deluxe room (usual rate: $59) whereas the cheaper Classic and Capri rooms (usual rate: $49) are listed at full price when I’m logged in.  Are they really so bad that they wouldn’t want to let a VIP player book one by accident?

My first two nights managed to throw up a two night complimentary stay at the Rio, which is awesome.  I thought it was amazing enough that I was offered these for the very quiet time before Christmas (the listed room rate for most that period is just $70) nevermind while the World Series of Poker is in the house.

I already know I’m not going to play in any bracelet events, but living that close to the action I’ll almost certainly poke my head in and check out the side action.

So, it seems that the decision on January 1st to pump $30k through a video poker machine to get Diamond status was worth it, even if it did take a little more action in March to trigger the Las Vegas room offers.

In fact, it’s been very much worth it.  For this trip alone, those rooms would normally cost $539 ($220 for Rio, $119 for Imperial Palace and somehow a total $200 for Laughlin, which is a bit OTT when you can easily get rooms elsewhere in town for $19/night).  Of course I’d never pay that much when all I need is a place to put my head at night, but it’s definitely worth something.

Add to this the room in Laughlin in March, some bookings I’ve made for the summer in Laughlin and San Diego as well as three nights in the Flamingo (which I won’t use except to steal the soap, but the reservation qualifies me to play in a blackjack tournament) and the bargain five nights at the Rio for $50 at Christmas, and already I make that nearly $1,700 of room value.

To get there, Claire and I have gambled a fair bit to be sure.  Nearly $40,000 in total action, but with an expected loss of just $240 (and an actual win, so far, of $62 – the downswing is on the way!) and about $150 of that back in food comp, I’ve made worse investments.

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