2015 August

Holdin’ Down the Fort

Holdin’ Down the Fort

Lately I’ve been laying low and haven’t ventured to any new places. I’ve been feeling that itch to get out there and create some new memories. Every now and then, there are times that I must put in a little work around the homestead. I do dream about the places I want to go and where I will be off to in the near future. I’ve been thinkin’ about some new locations and I think I have a few that are a great change of scenery with lots of new culture to dive into. It’s always important to take time into consideration. We always put things off because it’s “not the right time.” Everyone’s days are numbered and you can’t get them back. I say don’t wait too long and spend those days with people that are worth the time. There are countless excuses but the days are not. Spend them wisely and cherish them all. I will definitely keep you all posted about my new travels. Let’s make the most of it and take the world by storm. Pull up a seat and play the card you’re dealt.


-Restless Wolf

Luxor Hotel Casino Review Las Vegas, Nevada

Luxor Hotel Casino Review Las Vegas, Nevada

Luxor is the beacon of light to the oasis of the Las Vegas desert. With its giant pyramid shining light into the sky, the Luxor is most fitting in the desert attracting travelers from around the globe. This Egyptian themed hotel and casino is located on the south end of the strip, just minutes from the airport. From first glance the Luxor looks magnificent and beautiful with the interior to match. Let’s get into it and see what’s inside!

The Room – 8/10

Hotel room at the Luxor in Las Vegas, Nevada

On my way up to the room, I was able to take in the Egyptian art and design of the hallways and foyer area. There was lots of open space and everything seemed larger than life because of the scale. The room kept with the theme and was quite nice. Lots of “gold” fixtures along with trim that seemed to fit the time period. Some of the bathroom tiling on the tub seemed a little “worn” and loose but everything was functional and clean. There was a pretty big tub with a stand-up shower next to it, which is nice to always have options. The room was very spacious and had some great views of the sunrise (you’ll definitely see plenty of sunrises in Vegas). There wasn’t anything that could accidentally get charged to your room if you moved it. The bed was comfortable and clean. The room had quite a bit of furniture but it didn’t seem cluttered. There was plenty of room to move about the room with plenty of storage and places to sit and have a meal or just relax and watch TV. I never recommend staying in the room too much in Vegas but if you had to it definitely wouldn’t be the worst. The room was pretty nice but it’s Vegas, get out there and hit the Strip!

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6 Ways to Save Your Bankroll at the Casino

6 Ways to Save Your Bankroll at the Casino

Going to the casino can be an adventurous and exciting way for adults to get out of the house and enjoy themselves. The worst way of spoiling that good time is to blow your life savings in a night and resort to a month (or months) of Spam and stretching every dollar. Here are a few tips to save money anywhere you can in a place that was designed to rob you blind.

1. Save on Accommodations and Other Expenses

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hotel Room

Before the trip even begins, it’s a good idea to look into any ways that you can save on the room, travel, or food. You want to save in these areas so you have a little extra to spend on the floor. Looking into flight deals or any online sales that the casino might be having are a good way to trim a few dollars off. This is also where those player’s cards really come in handy. It’s a good idea to always track your play so the casinos will offer you free rooms or food to get you back out there. You will earn comps for playing that can be used while you’re there to pad the cost of food or anything else you might buy on the property. This is a very easy way to save a few hundred dollars.

2. Find Other Things to Do that Aren’t Gambling

Driving Range at Grand Sierra in Reno

Now, we all love to hit the casino floor and hit it big but I’ll tell you right now that those casinos don’t pay the bills by giving money away. Usually a casino will give you other things to do like golf courses, swimming pools, nice restaurants, or shows. Planning even a couple of these activities could end up saving you hundreds. I know that these things can cost a little bit upfront but I guarantee these things will be cheaper than pressing “Max Bet” at any machine for an hour or two. It’s also a good idea to go to the casino with other people. Having other people will draw you away from the casino allure. I mean, you will definitely get your time to throw the dice but the longer you stay off that floor the more money you’ll be saving.

3. Break Big Bills Into Smaller Bills

Big small dollar bills

This is an interesting one that has to do with setting up checkpoints to make you stop and think about how much you’ve been spending. It’s easier to throw in a hundred and get down to $65 and think, “Well, I’ll just play down to $50.” Then when you get to $50 you play down to $40 and the compromises continue. It’s harder for you to play through a $20 and have to go back into your wallet or purse and pull out another $20. This puts a natural stop-loss in place that makes you think about how much you’re really spending. Save the big bills and go $10 or $20 at a time.

4. Don’t Carry All of Your Cash

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in room safe

Carrying all of your cash around the casino is usually never a good idea. They put a safe in your room for a reason. Even if you aren’t bringing thousands of dollars, it’s still a good idea to keep some in the room and out of your hands on the floor. This is another way to put a break in your spending by requiring you to go back to the room to get more cash. You also shouldn’t be carrying debit or credit cards around with you. This can be a recipe for disaster. Budget for the whole trip and keep deterrents in your way so you don’t end up spending more than your bankroll!

5. Watch Your Drinks and Emotions

Manhattan with wolf ring at Grand Sierra Casino and Resort in Reno, NV

All those free drinks can definitely sneak up on you. I’ve seen people winning thousands and then blowing it all on crazy bets after they’ve had a little too much to drink. Watch yourself when you’re getting tipsy and hit a hot streak. It’s better to take your winnings and maybe play a game where your money can last longer and there are less decisions to make (maybe video keno or a low minimum slot machine). This can also happen after you’re just running bad and can’t seem to win. Don’t start betting wild and try to chase those losses. Take a little walk, eat a meal, or take a nap. You have to get away from those games and get your head on straight again. It’s so easy to get tilty and just blow through your whole bankroll. Don’t get emotional and waste your money being mad!

6. Play Stakes You Can Afford

Poker chips at Harveys in South Lake Tahoe

It’s hard to know how much money you need to play at certain stakes. I always like to have a little wiggle room to deal with the swings that come with gambling. If you have $50, it wouldn’t be a good idea to play at a $25 minimum table. People tend to think that penny slots mean small stakes but when you are max betting it becomes $3 and sometimes $5 a spin. This can cost you quite a bit in the long run. Usually the quarter machines will only run you up to about 75 cents or sometimes $1.25. So just play according to what you can afford. You want to be able to play for a while but you also want to win a little money. Do you want to throw all of your money down and try to hit it big (in most cases this will not happen) or make it last for the whole trip?

These are just a few guidelines to keep your costs and losses lower while allowing you to play on your trip. You should only be playing at the casino with money that you are alright with losing. Do not spend rent, grocery, or necessary money at the casino. Best of luck to you all!


-The Wolf

Harveys Hotel and Casino Review South Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Harveys Hotel and Casino Review South Lake Tahoe, Nevada

When you’re headin’ out to the beautiful hills of South Lake Tahoe, Harveys stands tall next to the lake in all of its glory. This Caesars property has a classic look and feel, with bright neon lights and glitzy decor. This place reminds me a lot of the Godfather when they move out to Nevada. The casino floor looks a little worn but it still has its charm. The rooms have been remodeled to keep up with the times and offer modern amenities. Let’s dive into this beautiful lakeside casino!

The Room – 8/10

Hotel Room at Harveys in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada

I didn’t know what to expect when I was heading to the room. The hallways were a little dated and the elevator could have used an upgrade but I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the red and black color scheme. Everything was clean and sleek. I could tell they were going for a simple look but it works for the decor. They didn’t have any garbage that charges to your room. There was a little TV on a cheap looking dresser. The chairs and table were a little old but you could still enjoy a meal there. The bathroom had everything you’d need and looked pretty nice. It wasn’t crazy big or anything but there was enough room to get ready and put your things down. The track lighting and slanted ceiling was pretty cool too. The bed was big and comfortable with plenty of support. I know it looks a little sterile but it was cozy once you got under the covers. The room was clean, comfortable, and had everything you’d need. A comfortable place to lay your head at Harveys.

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    Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas! Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas! Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas! Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas! Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas! Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas!

It has been a while since I’ve made my way to this beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert. Las Vegas was calling my name and I shouldn’t have kept her waiting. I booked my flight through Allegiant, a smaller airline that offers lower fares but with limited destinations. It only set me back about $150 for a round trip flight to Vegas. Then I used a couple rewards from MyVegas to get a free buffet and bring down the cost of the hotel rooms by a few hundred dollars. MyVegas is actually a great free game on Facebook that allows players to play slots to earn real comps at MLife locations in Vegas. You can get everything from free food to free hotel rooms to free show tickets. It’s a great way to save some money out in Vegas and try new things while you’re out there. So now that everything was booked it was time to skip on over to Vegas.

Allegiant airplane flight to Las Vegas

A beautiful day for a short flight down to Vegas. I scored a window seat in an exit row, needed that room to stretch out. Once we were up in the sky it was smooth sailing.

Clouds in the air during flight to Las Vegas

Once I got on the ground I had to find a way to get to the hotel. The strip is fairly close to the airport. A cab will only cost you about $17 to get to the strip but you could always try a shuttle too. I decided to try out the shuttles and it only cost me $8. It wasn’t too crowded and it was just a short ride. If you’re on a budget, the shuttle is the way to go.

I got to the Luxor and I just wanted to dump my stuff and get some food. I always love the Egyptian theme of the Luxor. The giant sculptures and hieroglyphics. I got an upgrade to a renovated room but I wasn’t planning on spending too much time in there. I went down to get my free buffet and I wasn’t really impressed. The food was either over seasoned or bland and mushy. Thank goodness they had a tray of split crab legs just waiting for me to devour. I was able to fill up on delicious crab legs and shrimp. Luckily the buffet was free.

Crab Legs at More Buffet in Luxor

I decided to take it easy the first night and just play a few machines. I happened to sit at a video keno machine in the Excalibur and just started mashing the button while enjoy a few drinks. Then, out of no where, BAM! I hit a 7 out of 7 for a cool $1,750. I got my tax forms and whatnot and decided to stash away a good amount in the room safe. It’s always nice to hit a big win early on the trip so you can freeroll the rest of the time. I played a little more with no results and decided to call it a night.

The next day I made my way down to the pool to try and beat the vicious Las Vegas sun.

Pool at Luxor in Las Vegas

The pools were a little crowded and the sun was just too much. I needed to get away from it and stay in the air conditioning. I was feeling a little hungry and began my journey down the strip to one of my favorite sandwich spots, Earl of Sandwich. I always like that first walk down the strip and taking in the sights and sounds of Las Vegas.

Streets of the Las Vegas Strip

I made my way to Planet Hollywood and quickly placed my order at Earl of Sandwich. I usually go for the Full Montagu. Hot roast beef and turkey with melted Swiss and all the fresh produce on top. This was exactly what I needed to keep my day on track.

Full Montagu at Earl Of Sandwich in Las Vegas

After filling up, I thought I would try to play a little poker over at Caesars Palace. Once I got there, I jumped into a 1-2 no-limit game for $150. I literally played one hand. I was dealt AQ and the flop came AQ9. I bet out and was reraised. I called and the turn was a blank. So I bet out again and was reraised all-in. I called and my two pair was no good against this lady’s set of 9’s (three-of-a-kind). I stood up and decided to head back down to my end of the strip.

I made the long walk while grumbling about what just happened at the poker room and decided to just brush it off and start over. I don’t like staying in a negative mindset, especially when I’m still up and in a place where anything can happen.

The next day I was checking out of the Luxor and into the Excalibur. It was a quick glide over the skywalk using the moving sidewalks. I got a renovated room here too. It’s not too hard as long as you’re pretty friendly and ask politely.

At this point in the trip I was fed up with the machines there. I wanted to turn my focus on poker. I hit the felt and joined the 1-2 no-limit table at the Excalibur and settled in for the long haul. I must have been in that game for 8 hours because I have no idea where the day went. All I know is that I ran that $120 up over $400. It was a good feeling after that Caesars Palace fiasco.

Poker Chips at Excalibur in Las Vegas

I had lots of good laughs and met people from all over the world there. That’s the great thing about Vegas. You bring a lot of people together who are all trying to have a good time. Of course, if they want to fund part of my trip I’m not going to stop them. At least we’ll have a pleasant time and share a few drinks.

The next day I wanted to check out the pool at Excalibur and it was just overrun with kids. I mean, I get it, there isn’t much for the little ones in Vegas. Plus, the Excalibur pool has water slides and isn’t really deep at all. I didn’t spend too much time there but I always like to check it out.

Pool at Excalibur in Las Vegas

I went back in and wanted to recreate the magic at the poker table. I guess I had used up the magic the day before because the cards just weren’t coming. My QQ’s happened to run into AA’s. My two pair gets beat by a bigger two pair. It just wasn’t happening for me. I hit up a couple more machines and they just weren’t being generous anymore. Sometimes you just have to quit while you’re ahead.

I was ready to get back home and save my bankroll for another adventure. Always have to pace myself and keep my head on straight. I always love coming out to Vegas and taking on the strip. I will be back shortly and I’ll be ready to fight another day.

Las Vegas Strip in Summer


-Lucky Wolf