Q+A

Q:  Do you ever play live poker at casinos?

A: No – and not online either.  But we do know HOW to play live poker.

 

Q:  When can we hope for the release of the updated FRUGAL books?

A:  They are in to the editor – a big load off my shoulders.  I knew things had changed a lot – but I didn’t realize how time-consuming it would be to do the re-writes.  Publication due this summer, both in paperback and eBooks.

 

Q:  How do you use comps (rooms) for relatives? Continue reading

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FEBRUARY VEGAS PROMOTIONS

I am changing how I cover promotions.  I am all about letting my readers know about casino information that is not readily or widely available, but I do not want to duplicate details that can be found elsewhere.  I don’t want players to become dependent on me to keep them from starving by providing them frequent seafood meals; my goal has always been to teach players how to fish so they can better keep themselves well fed!

I just recently discovered that the Las Vegas Sun was providing a casino promotions list in their weekly Sunday publication.  (Perhaps it is a new feature or I just hadn’t known about it before?)  This got me thinking that I should give a list here of the online resources I use to figure out where Brad and I want to play to supplement the information we get in the individual casino mailers we get in our mailbox and in emails.

Not that I won’t write about promotion any more.  Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions, Online | 4 Comments

Preparing for Tax Time

It’s that time again, gathering up all the paperwork from the previous year and crunching the numbers. And for 2015, we are facing an unusual situation, for only the 2nd time we have to chalk up a loss. We had a very small one in 2002, but this last year’s was a much larger number.

A gambling loss is never a happy number, especially if you have played only when you had an advantage. If you have played in negative-expectation circumstances, you hope you will get lucky and win but if you are being realistic you should expect losses.

An advantage player has to be realistic too, accepting that your expectation to win is based on the long term. And the gambling gods do not specify how long the “long term” is. They certainly do not co-ordinate with the IRS and define it as running from January 1 through December 31.

Because we are doing plays with smaller edges than in the past, we aren’t overjoyed with a yearly loss but we understand it and aren’t discouraged or tempted to change course. For one thing we can look back over 30 years of casino gambling and see a huge plus number for that very long term. The 2015 loss suddenly looks very insignificant, a very small percentage downturn.

But more interesting is to add the 2014 and 2015 totals together. In 2014 we had the second biggest win in our 30 years. Add the much smaller loss in 2015, average the two years, and we came out ahead with about the same average yearly amount as we had the last 10 or so years. Looking back through our records, we saw immediately the reason for the difference in the two years was the number of royals we hit – or didn’t hit. For us the long-term unexpectedly meant two years instead of the usual one year. And if you don’t play very often, your long term may be many many years.

Speaking of taxes, I’d like to remind you of my book Tax Help for Gamblers, which gives complete information for both the recreational and professional gambler. It will answer a lot of questions for new gamblers who are getting their first W-2Gs and for more experienced gamblers who may be thinking of moving to the professional category. Many players who have accountants who are not gamblers themselves will recommend this book to them. Marissa and I updated it  last year and nothing of major importance has changed for the gambler this year. This updated version is only available online. Go here  to check out the Table of Contents and a sample chapter – you might need to scroll down before they appear. You can order directly from Amazon Kindle, Nook, or iTunes.

Posted in Taxes | 3 Comments

The Vegas Life of the Frugal Gamblers

People often have asked us, since we moved to Las Vegas, if we gamble every day.  I think they are looking at their daily activities when they visit Las Vegas for a few days and then think if a person moved to Las Vegas permanently their life would be like that 365 days a year.

Not!!!!  No matter how young and healthy a person is their body could not stand such a perpetual daily whirlwind!  Let’s look at Brad’s and my activities for the last month.

Visiting with family. Continue reading

Posted in It's Personal, Non-gambling Activities | 10 Comments

Lottery Promotion

Do you like to know what all is happening in Las Vegas, especially last-minute information that might make you some money? Then check out often the “Daily News” here on the LVA homepage.   If you had checked it tonight, you would have learned how to regain some of the value of your losing Powerball tickets before you threw them away in disgust. People can bring their Powerball tickets to the Royal Rewards Center at the Plaza Hotel & Casino, and the Plaza will reimburse them the price paid in free slot play, up to $25.  This offer is for tickets purchased January 10-13 and must be redeemed by January 17.

Unfortunately this is a promotion Brad and I can not do; I guess we just aren’t “gamblers.”  :)

Posted in Casino Promotions | 3 Comments

More January Notes

SILVERTON

While they are resurfacing the floor in front of the aquarium, they have this “Hard Hat offer”:  Present a Bass Pro Shops receipt of $10 or more at the Silverton Rewards Club and receive a $10 Silverton Dining Coupon.  Offer is valid on date of Bass Pro Shops purchase only.

HARRAH’S PROPERTIES

We ran across an unwelcome surprise at both the Rio and Caesars Palace buffets during the period between Christmas and New Year’s:  an increase in prices with no prior notice and no signage.  Continue reading

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JANUARY VEGAS PROMOTIONS

Sometimes a new year means new promotions, new players club details, new senior perks.  It pays to check out the websites of your favorite casino, but – nothing new here – so many casinos don’t plan ahead.  I find that Marketing and the IT Departments obviously do not work on holiday weekends like this one – so I guess they aren’t interested in whether we come play at their casino or not.   Here are some I checked today, January 1, that do have some up-to-date information or I did receive a January mailing from them.

M RESORT SPA CASINO

Introducing a new 50-Plus Club on January 5, with lots of deals for us oldsters on Senior Tuesdays.  See the details here.

TROPICANA

 As I told you last month:  Penn National is the new owner of the Tropicana and in the spring they will change the present players club to Marquee Rewards, which is the club at their sister M Resort.   See schedule here for free shuttle service between the Tropicana and the M Resort.

SILVERTON

Loads of promotions here in January, including Fab 50+ Senior Mondays. Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions | 2 Comments

Holiday Greetings

Yesterday was a typical Las Vegas holiday celebration for us, combining family celebration and casino promotions! First we drove north across town to where my sister Starr and David live, feasting, opening gifts, and sharing a lot of joy and laughter with their family. Then we drove back to our Westside home area, first stopping at the Palms where we were picking up a Christmas mystery free play offer. The e-mail we got that informed us of this offer stated it might be as much as $500, but – no surprise – we both got the $20 minimum stated amount.  However, we also were picking up our regular weekly free play amount so this was the kind of double-dip promotion I love!

Then we went across the street to the Gold Coast, Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions, Family News | 4 Comments

Buffet Specials

Gold Coast and The Orleans

 Buffet Discounts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, through December 24:

  • Emerald Card Holders: $10 (making breakfast and lunch free at the Gold Coast!)
  • Sapphire Card Holders: $8
  • Ruby Card Holders: $5

Discount good for 2 people 21 years of age or older.

There still seems to be some confusion about whether the all-day buffet pass purchased at one of these casinos can be used at the other, as I have discussed lately, but I met someone the other day who said he used his Orleans pass at the Gold Coast with no problem.

 

Rio and Planet Hollywood

The buffet promo at these two casinos I discussed last month  is still being advertised for the rest of the month, but it is not available on holidays, including December 31st.  So it actually lasts only through December 30.

Posted in Meal Promo | 3 Comments

Mid-Month Promotions and News

Starting today and running through December 30, South Point is running their annual December “Pay le$$ With Your Points” promotion.  Use your players card points for a 50% discount all over the casino. Go to their Website to see all your frugal options.

Are you a fan of myVEGAS to earn some extra comps at MGM properties? Then you may be disappointed to learn that they are – again – putting in new restrictions to their Comp Room Rewards. Mark keeps you informed of program changes here at Mark’s List.

Taking a break from the video poker machines at Harrah’s Tahoe – one of the most beautiful places on earth, especially in the winter.

Tahoe Pool

 

Posted in Casino Promotions, Non-Vegas Casinos | 2 Comments