Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hugo's Cellar, Four Queens, Las Vegas - Royal Flusher Restaurant Review

We ate at Hugo's Cellar at the Four Queens twice during the No Kickers Las Vegas trip so I thought I'd describe one visit and include details about the food from the others, all together into one review. I also visited Hugo's Cellar (and ate there too) during my summer trip with Kenny and LuLU, so I'll include some of that info.

As I left the Four Queen's casino floor with it's gaudy buzz and carnival atmosphere and descended about a floor down the gently curving steps into Hugo's Cellar. Boisterous shouts from the casino faded away and I felt myself relaxing. Hugo's ambiance coddles you as you make your way in, as if you were entering a velvety, muted chamber. It's comforting and elegant. Hugo's is almost out of place at the Four Queens, it's such a cut above. But it's well regarded, well established, traditional, classy without being pretentious, and there are many (like me) that hope that it never changes.

I pondered the name.Hugo's Cellar. Part of it was obvious, since someone who really likes faux red bricks would obviously be named Hugo. But why the cellar?

Chart House, Golden Nugget, Las Vegas - Royal Flusher Restaurant Review

The Chart House is a seafood and steak restaurant plunked off the chic Rush Tower lobby at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. It's relaxed, modern dining room is a little oasis from frenetic Fremont Street. There are many iterations of Chart House restaurants in the Landry's chain, but you don't get the sense that this is a formula place or a franchise.

We've eaten a number of times at the Chart House, and looked forward to returning.

I'd made a reservation (which really wasn't need considering the early hour we'd chosen to dine, around sixish) and when the appointed time (sixish) came, I threw on a sportcoat and we headed down for a nice relaxed dinner, taking a well-deserved break from our fairly degenerate gambling activities.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Royal Flusher's Cycle of Life

When you leave Vegas are you already planning the next trip?

How do you get through the PVD (post-Vegas depression), get yourself moving, and get on with life?

As I walk through those factory gates (in the rain) every day at North American Veeblefetzer (where I make ten thousand rubbery size 7 grommets a day, many of which are not sub-standard factory rejects), I ask myself, 'What are you doing here?'

Royal Flusher's Strict Rules of Parlay

In my Las Vegas Trip Reports, I often write about employing the Strict Rules of Parlay and its variations. Here is an explanation of what it's all about.

Strict Rules of Parlay

Pick your denomination (25 cent, for example) and game of Video Poker. Insert some amount, $20 for example.

Riviera World's Fare Buffet Dining Tips

When you are a savvy Las Vegas gambler like The Flusher, part of it all is doing things the Royal Flusher Way.

And part of the Royal Flusher Way, besides traveling with the scientifically proven minimum possible (but still biologically safe) number of pairs of underpants for the trip, is to enjoy what has to be Las Vegas' biggest draw - low end, inexpensive buffets which surf the fine line between potato and ptomaine.

I had been pondering various professional buffet techniques for my upcoming trip, and what should fall out of my research portfolio but a very handy reservation card from the somewhat decrepit yet classy Riviera Hotel and Casino. And on the back of said reservation card are what every buffetnomist needs - a ready to roll set of buffet tips. I hesitate to say 'rules' because for me, anything goes at the buffet, including my soon-to-be-patent-pending office chair 'rolling trough' technique for which you never need carry food to your table.

The Riviera, for me, is immortalized in a couple of ways. For one, it is the only hotel still open that was hit by Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra and those other possum pack guys in the original 1960 classic movie Ocean's Eleven. The line-up was the Sahara, the Sands, the Riviera, the Dunes, and the Flamingo. And they hit the buffets in every one of 'em. They even cut the line.

Secondly, the Riviera figures prominently in a more modern movie, Casino with Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci. There's a great scene by the Riviera pool and some other ones where they walk in the south doors. They are probably headed straight for the buffet.

So let's get down to business here and take a look at the savvy advice from the Riviera Reservation Card Production Team.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hand of the Day - All the Men's Kings

Today's hand of the day is all about King cards. Actually, there's more than one hand of the day, all based around that wonderful card which is really kin of mine, the all powerful Royal King card.

When playing video poker, you should always watch out for the Royal King card and often hold it. When you do get a single King, you could call the hand a Don King.

There's a couple of reasons why this hand is called a Don King. For one, it doesn't pay you anything.

And for another, take a closer look at the 'easter egg' exposed in this exclusive zoomed image of the King card graphics. Those cats at IGT are pretty subtle with their 'inside jokes'.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Secret Sexual Proclivities of the Slot Machine Stars!

Because the pickin's for gambling glory and humor are so thin lately, here's something I've been working on for a while that you are going to really love. That is, if you love inane, immature, off-color sexual humor...

Secret Sexual Proclivities of the Slot Machine Stars!

You see them everywhere. You know them. They know you. They are sexy, flamboyant, lit up on screens everywhere, and they take your money in exchange for a brief look at their monetary sex.

They are the slot machine stars and starlets you have come to know and love. And they have their secrets too... exposed here on Las Vegas the Royal Flusher Way for the very first time.

These hot triplet 'guys' are secret members of the Mr. Dressup BLT community, particularly the ones into triple penetration and the use of expensive motion lotion sex toys.

Hungry for some Triple BLT action anyone?
The Pharaoh likes it Pyramid style, particularly in the Nefertitis. (Groan.)

How long and low can you go, Mr. Phay-raoh?
Mildly amused by day, likes it rough by night.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Book Review: The Video Poker Edge by Linda Boyd - Part 3

Why do you need a video poker strategy and what is one? Well, a strategy is a set of directives that determine how you should play the hands you are dealt in VP.

You could certainly opt for the 'whack-a-mole' strategy, in which you would randomly bash at any of the hold buttons that catch your eye or flicker. You could certainly opt for the 'always hold everything' strategy. Or you could opt for the 'pretty colors!' strategy in which you hold only visually appealing cards. Unfortunately, any of these would likely lead you to become broke incredibly fast.

What VP beginners may not understand off the bat is the concept of playing for the longer run, not just for the current hand.

Each VP game has a statistically calculated average return with perfect play over the long run. For 9/6 Jacks or Better, this is 99.54%, roughly. So if you play for a very long time, your return will be very close to 99.54%, again, assuming perfect play.

Over the short term, your results will vary from this. But the secret to video poker is to always choose the best hand based on what you are dealt. You do that, and you get the maximum possible return in the longer run.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Book Review: The Video Poker Edge by Linda Boyd - Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my review of The Video Poker Edge by Linda Boyd.

The Video Poker Edge excels at bootstrapping the beginning video poker player from the ground up. If you are a complete beginner, this book will teach you everything you know to get better results than probably 90% of the casual players out there. There is also information that experienced players (like The Flusher) will find useful.

One of the things that drew me to this book was the fact that the strategy is simplified, and presented in a different way. There are certainly many books on video poker out there, and many of them are very good. And there are even strategy card products that you can buy that will present near-perfect strategies to wring every last micro-sub-thousandth of a percent of EV out of your game. But these strategies often suffer from three problems. One, the wording (Jimmy Poon told me to use the word 'nomenclature' here), anyway, the wording is arcane and difficult to decipher, two, there are too many (some have 80 or more!) complex fiddly rules, and three, I can't fucking remember them in any case.

I was hoping that Linda's more verbal approach would suit me better. And, indeed, with her strong background in math, and consulting with some highly regarded industry professionals (excluding, sadly, me and Jimmy Poon), she cobbled together optimized, compact strategies for key VP games.

So let's look under the cover, as it were, at some of what Linda's book offers.

As mentioned, the book provides a good overview of video poker suitable for the complete beginner and includes chapters describing the game, what the physical characteristics of a VP machine are, and a description of what a strategy is, and why you need one.

The basics of how you find the right games by checking out the paytables, and saddle up to a machine in a casino are covered too. This can be tricky, because, as she says 'you will never find a machine marked "9/6 Jacks or Better"'. I beg to differ, but the point is generally true, except at the Four Queens.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Book Review: The Video Poker Edge by Linda Boyd - Part 1

A while ago I mentioned in my blog that I'd be reviewing Linda Boyd's book on Video Poker. Well, the time has come.

"Kenny, I'm going to review Linda Boyd's book on Video Poker," I said one day, while seated around the bolted down metal table in the lunch room at Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer's Flusherville plant, where I work as a kind of industrial midwife, aiding the birthing process of approximately 10,000 identical, stinking, round, vulcanized rubber size 7 grommets each and every day until you just want to scream to the heavens "JESUS GAWWWWD WHY ME? I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!" while smashing the snot out of the grommet line with the base of a 30 brass pound fire extinguisher.
We've won a few Golden Grommet awards...
"But Royal! You know everything there is to know about casinos, gambling, and how to lose slower," Kenny said, pulling unconsciously at one of his scarred ears, trying to find the earlobe, without luck. (See Before a trip the angels place their bets and Chippy Wants a Drink.)

"No, Kenny. Just...no," I said.

Jimmy Poon stirred his beaten up tupperware container of what looked like his usual meal of 'rice 'n stuff', and unidentifiable mixture featuring rice, exotic spices from his homeland, and some kind of protein, possible the parts of animals known as 'delicacies'.

"Tell 'em Jimmy."