Winterfest at Bally's


Combination of frequent flyer miles and 5 night free at Balley's for their Winterfest pomotion gave me a basic free week in Vegas. Add in two free 24 Hour buffett from redeeming total rewards for 8 free meals and biggest cost of entire trip was cost of boarding my dog.

Arrived Sunday morning (11/28) from DFW and caught cab to Bally's. Checked in with no problem although I got hit with the reverse $20 trick when desk clerk offered to upgrade me to newly renovated deluxe north tower for $20 a night. I figured $100 total so what the heck. Was a little nicer probably not worth $100 dollars. As noted managed to get two 24 hour city passes on my total rewards card. By planning ahead you can get 4 meals from each. I hit the Paris, Planet Hollywood & Caesar's Palace Buffett. All were excellent particularly for free. Also hit the Bally's coffee shop (skip it), Jimmy Buffet's (okay), Paris Cafe (always good), the Bellagio Buffett (overprice but good), the Bellagio coffee shop (great deal on $33 filet) and the $2 hot dog special by the Bally's south tower (great deal). Overall spent less then $200 or food and miscellaneous.

The winterfest promotion itself was useless. You got two free entries into the daily tournment with meant into a singe table satellite with two players advancing to the night time tournament which paid the top 10 only. I finished fourth on Monday and made the tournament on Tuesday. There were 208 qualifies meaning the 10 of over 1000 entrants made the money. I busted out in the first hour. The promotion did generate a lot of action in the cash games. The room was full all afternoon and evening for most of the week.

Played a total of 13 cash sessions at Bally's, IP, Caesar's & Planet Hollywood and lost $399, Basically my winning session were wiped out by three bad sessions. In two of the three I lost big hands but felt I played them well. On the third was Planet Hollywood I drop $300 by overplaying a series of big pockets pairs intermingle with five hours of card deadness. My fate was seal Friday night a 2:00 AM at Bally's when I lost a $500 plus three way pot to a lady that chase a flush draw all the way to the river with 2-4 of spades and hit runner runner for a wheal. She called $81 on the flop and $134 all in on the turn. Not a good mathematical decision on her part but at 2:00 AM in Vegas they are going to make that call every time.

I offset my cash losse by netting $381 in six tournaments at Ceasars and IP. I played three $65 buy in at Ceasars. In the Tuesday 10:00 AM I bubbled (4'th of 22) busting out AK vs A8 when he spiked a 8 on the river after playing the short stack for 40 minutes at the final table. Friday morning I finished 5'th of 37 for $148 when I called an all in with pocket 5's and ran into pocket Kings. A bad call on my part since the short stack busted out the next hand. Friday afternoon I fought my way to 13'th of 61. Probably my best play of the trip for no money.

The saving grace of the trip was the 8:00 PM $40 with a $10 rebuy and $10 add on at IP. I played Monday, Thursday & Friday night and cash all three times for a $618 total. A nice $458 profit on $160 in buy ins. We chopped twice and I finished 3'rd one time. All with 20-25 runers. Regret not playing there every night. I will next time.

Took one final bad beat at the airport when American Airline refused to let me carry on the same bag that wasn't a problem on the flight out and hit me for $25 despite the flight being half empty (red eye at 1 am) and there being multiple overheads completely empty. Also still no sure why the cab to Bally's from the Airport was $5 more than the other way.

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  1. Nice report. I also played in the Winterfest tournies, and you forgot to mention that while Harrahs pays only top 10 out of the couple thousand who try to satellite in, they pay in vouchers, not cash. 1st place got $3000 in slot play or table game play chips. So it's a lot of work for just a chance at getting some cash from it all. Two free nights though, not too bad. Nice.

  2. @zippyboy

    Actually my favorite thing in this (besides a structure that was unbelievably fast -- i expected fast but this was beyond what I could have imagined.) was the bonus of a hot chocloate maker which they were giving out to people who hit Jacks full or better. about midway through the tournament a floor guy comes by the table and announces to us ... if anyone wins the hot chocolate maker ... if you get home and find there is chocolate in the box ... throw it out don't eat it.........

  3. We had that same offer from the TD, as if it came off the top of his head. On Monday at 11:30 tourney, someone had a royal in first couple minutes and won it, on Tuesday at 11:30 tourney it was given away within 30 seconds to the table next to mine. Guess they gave away several, because I kept hearing "High hand!" till I got knocked out both days. You never think about how many great hands happen during the course of a day till there's a room full of 50 tables shouting "High hand!" every few minutes.

  4. It was nice to give them out... But maybe they shoukd have removed the chocolate themselves rather than basically announce that this is really old crap they found in a warehouse

  5. @Cosmo

    That's not totally unreasonable. Remember that there's the $1.80 fee from McCarran Airport and then you still have to go a little bit further south along the terminals before you head north again. You also have to take Swenson going north, which means a little bit more westbound mileage.

    Or, like I did, you could've told the cabbie "Take Swenson please" thinking you're so smart to avoid getting long-hauled, only to have him take Swenson all the way to Flamingo, just like you told him to!

    I think the cheapest way to Bally's is, "Take Swenson and then Paradise when you can."

  6. @jk87
    Or, skip the cab altogether and take the $5 shuttle that makes stops at every Strip casino. Leaves whenever the shuttle is full, every 10 minutes or so. It's the sit-n-go of airport transport.