2015 June

    You Gotta Play to Win You Gotta Play to Win You Gotta Play to Win You Gotta Play to Win You Gotta Play to Win

It’s been a little while since I’ve had a chance to jump on here and let you all know what’s been going on. So last weekend I had an offer for a free slot tournament that was going on at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. I don’t really care much for slot tournaments but I will always take a free shot at some cash or freeplay. With a free room to go along with the tournament offer, I was down.

I packed for a couple days and was ready to get out of town. The sun was blazing and it was getting pretty toasty over here in Northern California, so it was nice to get up in the hills and have a pool to relax by. After a couple hours on the road with The Killers, I was ready to check-in. It was still pretty warm over in Reno but I would be either in the AC or poolside.

After dumping my things and signing up for the slot tournament, I went to get my free gift as a player’s club member. They always have these Sunday free gifts to get players on the casino floor. This week it was a set of nested mixing bowls. I’m not one to turn down a free gift and I’ve been known to spend time in the kitchen too. I needed to put the bowls in the room so I didn’t have to carry them around all day.

Mixing bowl set player's club gift at Grand Sierra Resort

It was time to check out the action in the poker room. They had a couple 1-2 no-limit games going on so I decided to jump right in. I came in with $120 and quickly busted after hitting trip 5’s with a bad kicker and few bad pairs. I reloaded with another $120 and quickly found myself on a club draw with the K and Q of clubs with two on the board and two more cards to come. With two other players all-in, I decided to call. One of them made their straight and I was left with just a busted flush draw. I needed to take a little break from the cash game.

It was about dinner time and there was a special dinner menu at the buffet for Father’s Day. I have had a few bad experiences with the buffet at the Grand Sierra but decided to give them another chance with the special menu. I was not disappointed by this menu. All of that succulent prime rib and shrimp! Then I saw the mountain of crab legs and I was done with the rest of that food. I just can’t get away from crab legs. The legs weren’t the biggest I’ve ever had, but that just means I had to do a little more work. Piles of soft, sweet crab meat. My momma taught me how to crack those legs and I didn’t let her down.

Father's Day Buffet at Grand Sierra Resort

After that buffet I was ready for bed. I was full of delicious food and needed to sleep off those bad poker sessions.

The next day I wanted to hit the pool to start the day off right. With a mimosa in hand, it was time to treat myself. I took a quick dip and laid out poolside.

Relaxing poolside at Grand Sierra Resort

I made my way back to the room for a quick shower and I was on the hunt for a good burger. I found the Jaw Stretcher at the cafe in GSR. This burger definitely hit the spot with ham, crispy bacon, a juicy patty, topped off with a fried egg and all of your typical burger toppings. Add a side of fries and I was ready to get to work!

Jaw stretcher hamburger from the Grand Cafe at the Grand Sierra Resort

I played my rounds at the slot tournament but I knew I wasn’t really a contender after seeing the other people’s scores. There really isn’t any skill involved, just button pounding. Those old folks really have it down to a science I suppose. Well it never hurts to try, you gotta play to win.

It’s always a good idea to plan a few things that aren’t gambling when you’re out of town. Pacing your bankroll and trying new things is always a good idea. This trip I decided to try out shooting some arrows at a little place called Wasting Arrows. I’ve shot a bow before, but never at a range or at targets. It takes a little while to get the hang of it but it is definitely fun. I was on my way to being the next Robin Hood. I would definitely do it again sometime when I’m out there.

Shooting some arrows at Wasting Arrows Indoor Shooting Range

Since I was out and about, I stopped by the ElDorado downtown to play a little poker there. I had a few drinks and played some 3-6 limit. I wasn’t running too well so I went back to GSR and jumped back into the 1-2 no-limit game to give it another chance. It finally paid off. I began crushing the game and before I knew it I was up a few hundred bucks. I knew it was a good idea to leave while I was up so I cashed in and took one last little stroll around the casino floor. I popped another $20 into one of my favorite Lord of the Rings machines and hit some free spins and decided to quit while I was ahead.

Frodo Free Spins in Lord of the Rings Slot Machine

I decided to call it a night and wrap up the trip. Hopefully the cards will keep coming my way. Thanks Reno for a nice little getaway. Come join me poolside sometime.


-Enduring Wolf

    Swing Low, Sweet Chariot Swing Low, Sweet Chariot Swing Low, Sweet Chariot Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

So here we go. I went out to Reno this past weekend with a pocket full cash and high hopes. Little did I know, these hopes were soon to be dashed on the terrible cards that were dealt along with my quickly diminishing bankroll.

It all started on a beautiful Sunday with my bags packed and the sun shining. I drove up the 80 and started singing along to some Weezer. After a couple hours, I arrived at Peppermill. This beautiful Tuscan villa is my favorite place to stay in Reno. My plan was to start a long poker session that would last most of the day. I needed to fuel up and decided to get the prime rib special over at Cafe Milano.

Prime rib from Cafe Milano in Peppermill Reno

I only ate half because I didn’t want to take a nap after. So I took the leftovers to the room and headed over to the poker room. I jumped into the 3-6 limit game and hit a few rough boards that didn’t connect. Before I knew it, I was stuck $100 and needed another rack of chips. For some reason QQ’s KK’s and AA’s were just no good here. I mean, I know that limit poker is a drawing game, with everyone calling every bet down to the river but this was just ridiculous. After busting twice, I knew I had to take a walk so I wouldn’t go on tilt.

Now one of the worst things that happens to me when I’ve taken a few bad beats is that I end up walking through the casino and dumping a few $20’s in machines. These one-armed bandits just rob you too. There’s a reason the casino has so many and they keep most of them in working order.

Goldfish slot machine at Peppermill Reno

After dumping off a quick $100 I decided to head back to the poker room to give it another shot. Another rack in and it was just a cold deck. I decided to get some sleep and just sleep it off. I needed to clear my head and get back on my A-game.

When I woke up, I moseyed over to the pool and took a little dip. I relaxed in the nice cool water and then jumped over into the hot tub. Then I sat out and caught a little sunshine.

Relaxing by the pool at Peppermill Reno

This was just what I needed. I took a quick shower and it was time to get back in that saddle.

I went over to the poker room and decided to jump into a 1-2 no-limit game instead of the limit. After a couple swings, I ended the session up about $50. I needed that little win to repair some of the damage to my confidence in my game. It wasn’t a bad trip but my bankroll definitely took a hit. As a gambler, you have to be ready for the ups and downs that come with the territory. There will always be variance but as long as you stay on your game and keep making good wagers, you should be alright in the end. If you do suffer a few bad runs, take a step back and clear your head. It’s never a good idea to try to chase your losses and dump off a bunch of money. Clear your head and get back in the game.

Playing guitar at Peppermill Reno

I hope to see you all during a huge upswing. Better luck next time Reno.


-Wounded Wolf

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa Review Reno, Nevada

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa Review Reno, Nevada

Time to get it! I ran out to Reno and had to try out the beautiful Atlantis. I had been to the Atlantis before but never had the pleasure of staying there. This is a modern, classy resort with a tropical, aquatic theme. This resort does a great job creating a luxurious, beautiful environment without coming off as cheap and gaudy. Time to dive right into this review!

The Room – 9/10

Hotel room at the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nevada

I took the Wonkavator up to the 16th floor and took in the aerial views of Reno. I was happy to see the beautiful, clean room. I dropped my stuff and took that bed for a test drive. I laid down and suddenly it was a few hours later. I was not mad at that. The bed was firm and offered a lot of support without being too stiff. This room didn’t have any of that garbage that gets charged to your room if you eat or touch it. The room did seem a bit crowded. There was a lot furniture. The big entertainment center with the attached desk, the two chairs, end tables, an armoire, and a giant bed in the middle of the room leave little space for you to move around. The room had a very homey, master bedroom feel to it. The bathroom was clean and there was plenty of room. There were two different types of marble in the bathroom which was a little weird but overall it was nice. The room was great but I just wish it was a little less crowded. So kick your feet up and say goodnight!

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    Another Day, Another Dollar Another Day, Another Dollar Another Day, Another Dollar Another Day, Another Dollar Another Day, Another Dollar Another Day, Another Dollar

I spent the past weekend out in Tahoe and Reno celebrating my birthday. I know that some people celebrate the whole week (or month), but I figured I would just keep it low-key and do the usual. Hard Rock was still giving those free weekend nights so I decided to crash there one night, and then head up to Reno in the morning.

So I get to Hard Rock, check-in, and then I’m off. It was a beautiful evening and I was ready for some cards and some drinks. I head over to Harveys to check out the poker action. It’s pretty busy for a Saturday night and I start crushing the game. Here is an example of how bad it was: I have 9-2 in the big blind and they let me see a free flop. Then we check it around, and on the turn I hit a 9. I bet it and they all call. Then the river comes and it’s a 2. I bet, they call, easy money. It must have been my birthday because they were just throwing money my way. An easy $150. After a few drinks, I decided to call it an early night and get ready for the next day. I had to pace myself for another day of gambling.

Poker chips at Harveys in South Lake Tahoe

I woke up ready to enjoy the day. On my way out the next day, I happened to stumble upon some sweet rides. I felt the urge to go back and warn Marty about his future.

Back to the Future DeLorean Car

I couldn’t let this piece of my childhood slow me down and I had to get out of Tahoe. So I hopped in the car, turned on some Wagon Wheel and drove through the backroads of Nevada. It was gorgeous out and the day was full of potential.

I got to the Atlantis and was excited about my first stay there. The decor was themed and classy. I rode up in their Wonkavator to the 16th floor and the view was breathtaking. I liked that the elevator was glass and you could see an aerial view of Reno. I hit the room and laid on the bed. I didn’t realize how tired I was, closed my eyes, and suddenly it was a few hours later.

Laying on the bed in the Atlantis

Hopped up out the bed, and turned my swag on.

Getting ready to party

It was ready to hit up Reno and get all of my birthday offers. Peppermill and Atlantis were giving me a little freeplay and who doesn’t love a freeroll. I blew the free play and the machines weren’t being generous and just gobbled up that freeplay. I ran over to the Peppermill poker room and let me tell you, this is the place to play in Reno. No other poker room in Reno can hold a candle to this place. Great ambience, plenty of different games going, and free food and drinks. I donked off some money at the tables and decided to head out to dinner. I love seafood and I was staying at the Atlantis. They better be able to make some killer seafood with a name like the Atlantis. I ordered the Seafood Voyage at the Oyster Bar over at the Atlantis and it did not let me down.

Seafood Voyage at Oyster Bar in Atlantis

That lobster meat with those giant shrimp hit the spot. My momma taught me how to eat crab legs and I put those skills to good use. Crazy bomb! And then I let them know it was my birthday and they hooked it up.

Birthday cake at Oyster Bar in the Atlantis

So rich and decadent. I couldn’t eat the whole thing after that Voyage. I saved it for later with some coffee. I ran back over to Peppermill for a little more poker and I was just running bad. I blew the money I made in the tight machines and decided to hit the hay before I got too tilty. All in all it was a great birthday trip. Good food, great company, and plenty of drinks! Thank you Tahoe and Reno. I’ll be back for the money I lent you.

Sitting in the chair at the Atlantis in Reno


-Old Wolf

    The Best Things are Free The Best Things are Free The Best Things are Free The Best Things are Free The Best Things are Free The Best Things are Free

So the Hard Rock Hotel out in South Lake Tahoe decided to give me some free nights Memorial Day weekend. Can you believe this? It was crazy. So I decided to take a trip out there and spend a few nights there. Now it’s always a good idea to have a few other things to do other than gamble for an entire weekend. I’m not gonna lie, I would love to gamble all weekend but it only takes one bad run and your bankroll is donezo. So I packed my bags and made the long, windy car ride up into the Sierra Nevadas.

Once I checked in and dumped my stuff, it was time to hit the poker room. I made a run over to Harveys to check out the action. The game was soft and I began tearin’ it down.

Poker chips at Harveys in South Lake Tahoe

Crushin’ the game and having some drinks built up an appetite so I used one of the free food vouchers over at Hard Rock and had a steak. The trip was off to a great start and I wanted to pace myself for the whole weekend. I decided to call it an early night so I could see everything else Tahoe had to offer.

The next day I used another free food voucher at Hard Rock for a quick brunch and then I was ready to check out the hills. I made my way up to Vikingsholm, which apparently is some house on the Emerald Bay beach. It was a little walk but the views were well worth it.

Pointing toward Emerald Bay South Lake Tahoe

Look over there! Breath-taking! Would you look at that? It was a beautiful day out and there were plenty of other people there that had the same idea. I usually try to avoid these places when I know it will be busy but I didn’t mind all of the others too much.

Waterfall near Emerald Bay in South Lake Tahoe

The water was flowing strong from the tops of the mountains and it was definitely brisk. I had to get down there and feel the cool water in my hands.

Touching water near Emerald Bay in South Lake Tahoe

Then I made my way to the Vikingsholm trail head and began the descent to the house. There were a bunch of babies in wagons, using their parents as workhorses. The walk down was no problem but it was a little further than I had anticipated. I got down there and looked around but I don’t think it was open for tours or anything. So I slipped in and got a quick look around before anyone noticed.

Sitting at Vikingsholm in South Lake Tahoe

Then the rain started. I had to book it back up the trail and to the car which I definitely was not prepared for. I got back a little more damp than I’d like but it was worth it. After a quick drive and a little breather, it was time to hit the poker tables again. I began killin’ it again and before you know it, it was time for dinner. I decided to try the Forest Buffet over at Harrah’s and it was a good decision.

Food at Forest Buffet at Harrah's in South Lake Tahoe

Mmm mmm! Prime rib, shrimp, jalapeno cornbread, and some mashed potatoes. I just wish I could have stayed hungry. You know food is good when you’re mad that you got full. It’s not the cheapest buffet but it is definitely worth the money. And no matter how much I eat, there’s always room for dessert.

Dessert food at Forest Buffet at Harrah's in South Lake Tahoe

That Bananas Foster with soft serve and pineapple upside cake knew how to hit the spot. Throw a chocolate covered strawberry in there and you’re good to go, son!

Then the evening took me back to the tables for a few more drinks and good conversation in the poker room. The Tahoe crowd can get a little crazy late at night but that usually means fish and donkeys at the table. People that just can’t wait to give their money away so just make it a point to oblige them.

South Lake Tahoe beachfront

Thank you Tahoe for another beautiful weekend. I’ll be back again to run my hands through your leaves and dive into your crisp, blue waves. See you at poker room, drinks are on me.


-Cheerful Wolf