Judy Kay-Wolff

Enjoying Bally

.. not to be confused with the other Bali (of Ezio Pinza fame) where the WBF is now holding their world championships!  We are not much on traveling at this stage in life and have only attended one NABC in the last five years.   Local  tournaments are pleasant and convenient and, as we usually do (though only a twenty minute car ride from our home), checked in for four days to avoid the shuttling back and forth daily (with the morning KOs starting at 9:00 A.M.).  Old age invites luxury.

I am happy to report that Bally’s is a most welcome upscale change for our Unit.  It is a far cry from the Riviera (at one time a great attraction – but alas no more).  Running the LV tournaments are an uphill battle as those who took over from the earlier regime were left to pick up the pieces and try to improve upon so called locked in arrangements   Jane and Bruce Rubin, Co-Chairs have given 150% of themselves and have achieved lowering of room rates (which have skyrocketed) for both the Sectional and Regional and are always on the move trying to better the conditions as well.  They have a terrific backup staff who never seem to stop.

For a tournament site, Bally’s is superb.  They offer everything you could possibly want.   However, nothing is perfect and you take the bad along with the good.   Yesterday we played in a three session KO, winning the first match of a three-way competition.  The following match we were beaten by three imps, but who, pray tell, could have picked up that much???   We were playing head on against a terrific team with one world class competitor (which I was not aware of at the time although I don’t get intimidated easily).   After all I have Bobby going for me and it doesn’t get much better than that!.  The evening session was a disappointment, but the residual reward was we did not have to get up in the wee hours of the morning, have breakfast, shower, dress (and for me put on lots of makeup to cover all the wrinkles) and be ready to play at 9 a.m.   We await the next scuffle at 1:15 this afternoon.

The rooms are exceptionally nice – huge, with lots of storage space, a large closet (though we live out of our two suitcases that are perched upon small benches at the foot of each bed – which makes life more convenient).   There is also a safe (but unnecessary with the gambling venue here as you need every bit of cash on hand at all times)  And, by the way, the card fees are reasonable ($20 a pair for each session).   The playing facilities are unbeatable – a huge playing room, nearby elevator access (with little waiting) as well as close by restrooms.  All in all, it is a terrific place to hold a tournament. 

The service people are impressive.  In fact, I had an incident when we were about to check in.   It was a long line and Bobby had not eaten breakfast.  I sent him on to the coffee shop, intending to meet him shortly – or so I thought.  I waited in line for almost fifteen or twenty minutes and I was so tired and hot, that I became faint from standing so long.  I asked an attendant at the desk for a chair to await my turn and she immediately offered to check me in at her cage – while calling security and medics to make certain I was alright.  I was signed in within five minutes, but security arrived in seconds — offering a wheelchair.  I declined, but a quite understanding officer insisted on accompanying me  to the Sidewalk Cafe where Bobby was eating. After sitting down and a quick bite I was the Judy of old!   I was impressed with their care and understanding.  It is not like that everywhere.

Because of the dastardly economy, the hotels were hard hit and it is evident by the prices (not only here – but everywhere).  We enjoyed some after session Blackjack Switch (to us the most intriguing of all blackjack venues).  They were crowded and only one spot was available so I offered to kibitz Bobby (a long time habit of mine with both Norman and Bobby from my early years of the game).  After a ‘plus’ session, we now found our way to a super restaurant, which we had visited before,  which was just about to close at about 11:30.   The food was fantastic – but did you ever hear of a Thai restaurant charging $2.00 additional for a tiny cup of white rice to go with a curry dish?   Things must be worse than we suspected.

However, that was nothing compared to our leisurely room service breakfast.  Two Eggs Benedict and a Pot of Decaf.   Sounds simple??  Before I signed for it, I took a glance.  Take a guess!!  It  looked to be on the high side (without a service charge) but I soon discovered why.   Hold on to your hats!  It was sixty bucks without tip.   The pot of coffee (and not very large to boot) was a shocker.    There is only one size offered and we now know why.  $14.00?   (I was just corrected by Bobby.   The menu said $15.00 – so how can I complain?  What a bargain).  A can of coffee at the market with heaps of servings is nothing like that   That is pure unadulterated rape.   By  the way, we can now well understand why they have no coffee station in the room!!

I think we are cured of room service for the rest of the week.

Reporting out from Bally’s!


5 Comments

JoanieSeptember 25th, 2013 at 4:34 am

Nothing shocks me anymore because of rising rates everywhere. Business is falling off in most areas. I think attendance is down at many of the tournaments which at one time were huge drawing cards.

Nice to hear the hotel is so accommodating. And, I know it is a full step up from The Riviera. Have fun!!

Judy Kay-WolffSeptember 25th, 2013 at 4:39 am

Hello Joanie:

Sounds like you have been to the Vegas tournaments before. Hope you will be coming to the Regional in January where they have renegotiated the room rates downward. Also, it will host the National next summer.

It is a great place for both touring, gambling and playing bridge … a real fun city.

Dawn MorrisSeptember 25th, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Hello Mrs.Kay-Wolff
I am so sorry to post on this blog but I am trying so very hard to get in touch with you so that I might have my big sis Robin back in my life. It’s the little sis Dawn and it has taken me over ten years to track down either you or her. I sent my info to your facebook page and Robin’s. I really hope you remember me. I hope all is well with the family and hope ( fingers crossed) you can help me! Thank You! Dawn (Campbell) Morris

Judy Kay-WolffSeptember 26th, 2013 at 9:02 am

Hi Dawn:

Good to hear from you after all these years. I passed your message on to Robin and you will be hearing from her soon.

Cheers,

Judy

Judy Kay-WolffSeptember 29th, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Hi all,

I intended to report on our five day stay at Bally’s with an eye to our upcoming January Regional. However between catching up on laundry accumulation, my overwhelming addiction to BBO’s fantastic coverage of the WBF in Bali ….. and with my beloved Eagles about to surface on the TV screen …. everything else will have to be placed on ‘hold.’

Later,

One tired Judy

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