I played at the Golden Nugget tonight. I knew it had been a long time since I played there, but I was surprised when I got home and looked it up--it was December 24, 2008. Basically, every time I think about going there, I end up making a last-second change of plans and veering over to Binion's instead. I not only like Binion's poker room better, but I have a much better track record there.
But GN just opened a new wing, and photos I've seen of it looked nice, so I decided to make an exception and play there instead and take a look at the new place while there.
The first hand I played is shown above. My J-10 of spades fit nicely with the 4s-8s-9s flop, and the Qs on the turn made the whole thing just seem to glow.
Sadly, though, I couldn't win the $137 jackpot. I bet $3 (tiny bet, trying to induce a call, so that I might squeeze in another tiny bet on the river), and neither opponent called. Total pot was just $9, and there's a $20 minimum to qualify for the jackpot.
I showed the hand anyway--it's too pretty to keep to myself. Everybody at the table--and I mean everybody including the dealer--chided me for not speaking up and thereby inducing somebody to call. Nobody seems to care that it is explicitly against the bonus rules in every place that I know of (including GN) to talk about the possibility of a jackpot during the hand.
I discussed the rules and ethics and pragmatic problems about this issue last year when I missed the jackpot requirement at the Palms by $1. My feeling remains the same. I would feel worse about gaming the system by trying to use some manipulative code word or other shenanigans than I do about having missed out on the bonus money. Even if the dealer says it's OK, it's not. (See here for the story of a dealer who honorably and admirably refused to bend the rules for himself.)
Overall, it was just a whole heckuva lot less fun than the last time I had a straight flush, about three months ago.
Predictably, that was the high point of my luck for the session. It was all downhill from there. Next time, it's back to Binion's.