My oh my, how the town has changed in 30 years. The only things that are still a good deal around here are car rental rates and the free parking. Food and lodging have priced Poorman out of staying at a strip hotel unless underwritten by my employer. Fortunately for this trip, our lodgings at LVH are being subsidized by Mrs. Poorman’s work. Our only expense was my flight, which we paid for with frequent flyer miles. (Hurrah for my Southwest Frequent Flyer Visa card!)
We got into Vegas around 11am on Friday. Picked up a new 4-door Fiat (very roomy for my 6’1” frame), and because we were both hungry, immediately headed to lunch. Based upon a review, we headed to Monta Ramen, at 5030 Spring Mountain Road, for authentic, Tokyo-style ramen. We ordered a couple of ramen bowls and some fried rice. It was an outstanding meal! The small restaurant reminded us of a trip to Tokyo we took in 2012. The slices of pork in the ramen was melt-in-your-mouth tender, the broth was delicious, and the fried rice was incredible. And at a reasonable price! Poorman’s rating: A++
This is when I realized there were still incredible deals to be had away from the strip, at the places the locals eat at. With a car giving us mobility we haven’t had on more recent trips, Vegas can be an inexpensive place to visit.
I dropped off the Mrs. at the Convention Center for her conference and I went to check-in. After unpacking in our room, I went down to the casino. Not much afternoon action going on. A couple of craps tables were open, the dealers looking bored. Also a couple of Roulette tables with $10 minimums, too pricey for Poorman. So I went in search of a Deuces Wild video game. As part of my research, I’ve been reading one of those Poker for Dummies guides, and there was a chapter on video poker that recommended Deuces Wild as a good game for beginners. Hey, that’s me! So I wandered the slot areas and found a handful, but I was looking for a game that offered a 25-for-5 payoff for four-of-a-kind (quads), which according to my book was very important because one-third of the total payback of this game comes from quads. Cutting the quads payoff to 20-for-5 cuts the payback by 6 percent. Alas, all of the Deuces Wild games at LVH offered 20-for-5 on the quads, so I left the casino floor with my bankroll intact. I still have the weekend so I will bide my time.
Poorman’s Cardinal Rule #3: Only gamble on your terms. Be selective and only play at the best possible odds.