Zombies in Vegas 2021 - The Pandemic is Over!

Mrs Poker Zombie

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Only 36 minutes from end of the line to food. We'll worth it!
20210617_100102.jpg
 

moose

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I guess the Bellagio-Crystals-Aria-Park MGM tram is closed for covid19?
 

slisk250

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We were one of the few that masked up and ventured forth into Vegas briefly, during the pandemic. A year later we return, without bottles of hand sanitizer, to see how Vegas has recovered.

This trip started off later than most Vegas jaunts, taking a late flight into town. The reason: We are hosting a Zombie Poker Club event the night we fly back, so we wanted to prep the house, set-up monitors, tables, chairs, barware... all the stuff we do each time we host. The only thing we didn't set out were the chip stacks - because we brought the case of chips to Vegas for the Meet in the Suite (2021).

As this is our... 11th trip in 12 years, we continued to widen the circle around Vegas. This time hitting Pahrump, and Death Valley California.

Yes, it's summertime, and we are going to Death Valley, the hottest place on the planet.

View attachment 719862

What to do when it's too hot to breathe? Play Pickleball.
View attachment 719871

Mostly though, we went for the night sky. Out here, with no lights for miles, you can see so many more stars. The term "Billions and Billions" from Carl Sagan comes to mind. We grabbed a blanket, a bottle of wine and trekked out into the desert. Our "camp" looked like this in daylight:
View attachment 719874
You don't come here for lush green vegetation.

I'd show you the stars, but they don't really photograph well. I mean, they're stars... they are tired of the paparazzi. Besides, unless you have a 1.6 million inch monitor, you aren't getting the full effect.

Dinner in the old saloon was unexpectedly gourmet.
View attachment 719879
Fried Chicken with a Red Pepper Jelly, Fried potato wedges, and grilled asparagus. The Red Pepper Jelly was more like Red Pepper Honey. If @detroitdad or @toothpic were scrambling for dinner ideas tonight... you're welcome.

Death Valley is in California, where they still take COVID precautions. Masks required, no waiters at dinner, and everyone is social distanced. They even made me sit this far from @Mrs Poker Zombie .
View attachment 719882

Enough of the desert though, you came here for chips.

We hit up the Pahrump Nugget, so named because it was created from a lump of Pahrump in the old mining days, before they discovered gold... and before they discovered that Pahrump was just the Shoshone word for turd.

The Shoshone sold a lot of Pahrump to the white settlers.

Then again, I may just be making this all up. All while offending the Shoshone, settlers, and even the townsfolk of Pahrump. The person I'm not offending is the guy that bought these chips for the casino...
View attachment 719876

...as he was trying to make chips that looked like a lump of Pahrump.

They don't have a poker room at the Pahrump Nugget, but they do have a table game called Heads-Up Hold'em. I liked it. A lot...
View attachment 719878
Still don't like Chipco chips though.

From Pahrump, we drove into Las Vegas. Let me assure you, the Pandemic is over, and every single person on planet earth is currently in Vegas.

After about 3 hours we get to our room at the Venetian, and eventually into the the tournament area, which is not in the Venetian Poker Room. They have it shuffled off to the Plazzao, in a open floor space.
View attachment 719886
@Anthony Martino always takes pics of his tournament buy-ins, in his sweat thread, so now I'm playing poker like a pro!
I love these zombie threads!
 

Poker Zombie

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Meet Up: T-1 Day

In Vegas, we typically eat only two meals a day. Gotta save room for those alcohol calories. Therefore, we usually skip breakfast. However, today we have lunchtime plans, so we take a morning stroll down to the Cosmopolitan for Eggslut.
2021-06-17 10.00.56.jpg

In culinary circles, a slut is someone that puts an ingredient into every dish. Could be yoghurt, eggs, whatever. What were you thinking it meant?

Post-breakfast (or brekkie for @Perthmike ) we stroll by the sportsbook, where they have one of those sandy shuffleboard tables. There's no sign, so we just start playing. Gamers gonna game. Apparently it's free because nobody chased us out.
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We lost absolutely no money on this game. That's not how Vegas is supposed to work. So Mrs Zombie heads to Qua for a massage and pedicure, while I head over to the Flamingo's poker room to see who can return with less money.

I sit in the icebox the Flamingo calls a poker room. It's easy to tell who the regulars are. It's 111° (44° C) outside, and they come in wearing flannel. Chips are either super worn, or the cold has caused shrinkage.
2021-06-17 12.05.09.jpg

I run pretty deep in the tournament, finishing 16th out of 59. A decent showing means less money lost in the cash game. I'm not good at poker, but I know bankroll management.

Mrs Zombie finds that much of the spa is still closed due to COVID protocols, but she was able to get her treatments. It just meant she could wrap up quicker. That also cuts into my EV and I only manage to cut this stack in half.
2021-06-17 14.38.00.jpg


After donking off half my stack, I start heading back to Caesars, but find myself in the Cromwell. I've never played here, because they lack a poker room. Also, their table game minimums are high. So I briefly stop by the Open Face Pai Gow, as recommended by @Jonesey07 . It's $25 minimum, so once I am up $25, I tip dealer and go. Hit and run for the win!

We hang in the suite for a bit and start getting things ready for tomorrow. Cannot get the TV to connect to the laptop which is sad because it would have been nice to have the tournament timer on a big screen and some music playing through something better than tinny laptop speakers.
2021-06-17 16.51.40.jpg


Time to get ready for dinner.
1624025988313.png

This is how you are supposed to get ready for a buffet.

Once we are ready, we head down to the Bacchanal Buffet. The line is like 2 hours long at 8 pm. We stroll right up to the hostess. We have reservations. I hear a woman say "oh so can I make reservations now and skip the line?" Hostess chuckles and says "We are booked solid thru August." I have no reason to doubt her. We made our reservations in April, and we couldn't get a time earlier than 8pm - on a Thursday.

This is our first time at Bacchanal. I think Wynn has a better buffet, but this one is pretty spectacular. It also has stuff that I cannot identify. Perhaps @RocAFella1 or @toothpic can identify...
2021-06-17 20.08.18.jpg


I don't need to be a Marylander like @krafticus to know CRAAABBBBBB!
2021-06-17 20.17.34.jpg


Oddly, the only thing I didn't finish was the meat plate. The "Wagyu" certainly didn't look marbled like Wagyu. and no red = overdone. The lamb was cooked to well done, and the burger was drab.
2021-06-17 20.41.59.jpg


In fact, the burger was so bad I made it sit in a corner and think about what it's done.
2021-06-17 20.50.07.jpg


Nice thing about a buffet though, if you don't like it, move on...
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Desserts
2021-06-17 21.00.53.jpg

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At some point, you just have to call it quits...
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I ate so much I can feel the food bursting out of me. I wonder it they have anything for that.
2021-06-17 21.43.07.jpg

Um... yep?

Bacchanal Buffet. The wait can be long, and not everything was good, but it will fill you up. With wine, my wallet was a couple buy-ins lighter. Me not so much...
2021-06-18 07.54.53.jpg

...and @WedgeRock , you can now tell everybody that you have a photo of me without any clothes on.
 

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krafticus

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Meet Up: T-1 Day

In Vegas, we typically eat only two meals a day. Gotta save room for those alcohol calories. Therefore, we usually skip breakfast. However, today we have lunchtime plans, so we take a morning stroll down to the Cosmopolitan for Eggslut.
View attachment 721902
In culinary circles, a slut is someone that puts an ingredient into every dish. Could be yoghurt, eggs, whatever. What were you thinking it meant?

Post-breakfast (or brekkie for @Perthmike ) we stroll by the sportsbook, where they have one of those sandy shuffleboard tables. There's no sign, so we just start playing. Gamers gonna game. Apparently it's free because nobody chased us out.
View attachment 721908

We lost absolutely no money on this game. That's not how Vegas is supposed to work. So Mrs Zombie heads to Qua for a massage and pedicure, while I head over to the Flamingo's poker room to see who can return with less money.

I sit in the icebox the Flamingo calls a poker room. It's easy to tell who the regulars are. It's 111° (44° C) outside, and they come in wearing flannel. Chips are either super worn, or the cold has caused shrinkage.
View attachment 721909
I run pretty deep in the tournament, finishing 16th out of 59. A decent showing means less money lost in the cash game. I'm not good at poker, but I know bankroll management.

Mrs Zombie finds that much of the spa is still closed due to COVID protocols, but she was able to get her treatments. It just meant she could wrap up quicker. That also cuts into my EV and I only manage to cut this stack in half.
View attachment 721913

After donking off half my stack, I start heading back to Caesars, but find myself in the Cromwell. I've never played here, because they lack a poker room. Also, their table game minimums are high. So I briefly stop by the Open Face Pai Gow, as recommended by @Jonesey07 . It's $25 minimum, so once I am up $25, I tip dealer and go. Hit and run for the win!

We hang in the suite for a bit and start getting things ready for tomorrow. Cannot get the TV to connect to the laptop which is sad because it would have been nice to have the tournament timer on a big screen and some music playing through something better than tinny laptop speakers.
View attachment 721924

Time to get ready for dinner.
View attachment 721931
This is how you are supposed to get ready for a buffet.

Once we are ready, we head down to the Bacchanal Buffet. The line is like 2 hours long at 8 pm. We stroll right up to the hostess. We have reservations. I hear a woman say "oh so can I make reservations now and skip the line?" Hostess chuckles and says "We are booked solid thru August." I have no reason to doubt her. We made our reservations in April, and we couldn't get a time earlier than 8pm - on a Thursday.

This is our first time at Bacchanal. I think Wynn has a better buffet, but this one is pretty spectacular. It also has stuff that I cannot identify. Perhaps @RocAFella1 or @toothpic can identify...
View attachment 721944

I don't need to be a Marylander like @krafticus to know CRAAABBBBBB!
View attachment 721945

Oddly, the only thing I didn't finish was the meat plate. The "Wagyu" certainly didn't look marbled like Wagyu. and no red = overdone. The lamb was cooked to well done, and the burger was drab.
View attachment 721947

In fact, the burger was so bad I made it sit in a corner and think about what it's done.
View attachment 721949

Nice thing about a buffet though, if you don't like it, move on...
View attachment 721960

Desserts
View attachment 721950
View attachment 721952View attachment 721954

At some point, you just have to call it quits...
View attachment 721970

I ate so much I can feel the food bursting out of me. I wonder it they have anything for that.
View attachment 721955
Um... yep?

Bacchanal Buffet. The wait can be long, and not everything was good, but it will fill you up. With wine, my wallet was a couple buy-ins lighter. Me not so much...
View attachment 721984
...and @WedgeRock , you can now tell everybody that you have a photo of me without any clothes on.
@Poker Zombie … that’s not a real crab. There’s only 1 REAL crab
 

WedgeRock

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Mostly though, we went for the night sky. Out here, with no lights for miles, you can see so many more stars. The term "Billions and Billions" from Carl Sagan comes to mind.
Heading to Yellowstone next month and looking forward to this same thing...

so "sleep till I'm hungry" is in play.
First time hearing this phrase... I like it!

and @WedgeRock , you can now tell everybody that you have a photo of me without any clothes on.
Pass.

Hard pass. Wait, no, that's not what I meant.

@everyone, please stop trying to derail this poker meetup thread with food talk!
 

Jonesey07

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@Poker Zombie @Mrs Poker Zombie I played on the table to the right of yours last week and it leaned so bad to the right we couldn't get the pucks to stay on the table. Played a game of pool as well and they did not level the table. What can you expect for free, though.

You haven't lived until you're betting $200 hands of face up Pai Gow just hoping to get back to even!!!
 

raynmanas

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you gained 16 pounds at the buffet? holy shit is that really possible? i am not a small man by any measure, but i don't think there is any way in hell i could eat 16 pounds of food. i don't know whether to be skeptical or impressed, but either way i feel like maybe i should go do a sympathy purge.
 

toothpic

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Meet Up: T-1 Day

Time to get ready for dinner.

This is how you are supposed to get ready for a buffet.

Once we are ready, we head down to the Bacchanal Buffet. The line is like 2 hours long at 8 pm. We stroll right up to the hostess. We have reservations. I hear a woman say "oh so can I make reservations now and skip the line?" Hostess chuckles and says "We are booked solid thru August." I have no reason to doubt her. We made our reservations in April, and we couldn't get a time earlier than 8pm - on a Thursday.

This is our first time at Bacchanal. I think Wynn has a better buffet, but this one is pretty spectacular. It also has stuff that I cannot identify. Perhaps @RocAFella1 or @toothpic can identify...
View attachment 721944

Looks like salted mackerel, maybe Korean fried chicken wings. Possibly braised pork belly over rice? Not sure what the dish on the top right is but looks like yellowtail sushi/sashimi maybe?
 

toothpic

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Also, looks like they put a burger on a steam bun? Odd choice indeed. Braised pork belly would go better on the steam bun with a bit of hoisin sauce and green onions.
 

moose

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If you go back, I believe Cromwell used to have a $5 craps table. It filled quick so it was more like a feeder to the higher limits after they got you in the door.
 

Mrs Poker Zombie

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Thread not dead, just the zombies. Tournament finished just past midnight this morning. This was followed by room cleanup, packing, and about an hour of sleep, so that we could be up at 3:00 am to fuel the rental, return the rental, shuttle to the airport, check in bags, and get on our flight. I can't speak for PZ, but I could really only doze, then I'd read, then back to dozing. Now that we are at home, we are doing the final actions for tonight's home game with our club. I know we have more to post and it will come.....
 

Redbelly

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View attachment 721114
Mrs Zombie on court, photobombed by @Redbelly .

Yes I know that's not actually Redbelly. It's not a Southwest airplane. All the Southwest planes were running late.

We check out of the Venetian, and head a 3 miles west to FukuBurger. We went to their other location on our previous trip, and it was mind-blowing. These Burgers are gourmet genius in a bun. So we had to head back to make a final determination... Are these the best hamburgers on the planet?
Thanks for this! Cracked me up! Obviously the airline is suffering in my absence as I'm on vacation.... I'll make some calls! Nothings changed? Just wait longer!;) Looks like you are both having a ball! LOVE these trip reports! Nobody does it better!
 

pokerplayingpisces

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Thread not dead, just the zombies. Tournament finished just past midnight this morning. This was followed by room cleanup, packing, and about an hour of sleep, so that we could be up at 3:00 am to fuel the rental, return the rental, shuttle to the airport, check in bags, and get on our flight. I can't speak for PZ, but I could really only doze, then I'd read, then back to dozing. Now that we are at home, we are doing the final actions for tonight's home game with our club. I know we have more to post and it will come.....
Damn! The Zombies keep the party going!! Different Night! Different State! Same Zombie Party!!
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