When we last chatted, you may remember I posted about the first-ever ZorkFest. This was a one-day event on Dec. 2 in Atlantic City where experts in travel and casino loyalty programs gave attendees the scoop on both. Created by TravelZork.com Founder Michael Trager, the event brought more than 100 attendees from across the country to Bally’s.
ZorkFest started the night before with an opening reception, where I got the chance to meet other attendees and share a cocktail. Fun fact: the casino enthusiasts were as interested in our #avgeek/travel proclivities as we were with their high roller ways. Michael held a private dinner for speakers and special guests, where I was seated across from Cousin Vito and his lovely wife.
Cousin Vito, who also did the opening remarks on Saturday, is one of the first in the country to create a podcast specifically targeting casino enthusiasts. He noted that the first time he ever gambled was at Atlantic City’s Tropicana when he was 17 and his cousin Mikey was 20. Wearing what he called “cheap suits,” they won playing the slot machine and decided to spend their earnings on caesar salads.
“It was one of the most memorable salads of my life because me and Mikey paid the bill on our own with our winnings,” he recalled. “With that little luck and cheap suits, we were able to create more than we ever imagined during that day in Atlantic City.”
Cousin Vito uses his podcast to help listeners make luck happen. “Today you’re going to learn shortcuts to unlock casino awards. This first ZorkFest is a training camp for those aspiring for free rooms or even trips to Vegas,” he said. “You’ll learn ways to earn points more efficiently and maximize the return on investment.” This community has afforded me the opportunity to meet amazing people, he added.
The podcast is a way to share my love of casinos with everyone, said Cousin Vito. “The slogan of the show is “win more, lose less at the casino,'” he said. “It’s not about wining big, but about minimizing losses and maximizing your fun in the casinos.”
Podcast listeners love the show, saying it gives them the confidence to try different games, like craps, said Cousin Vito. “We make it OK to not gable a lot. You don’t need a big bankroll to have fun at the casino,” he said.
I’m not a gambler (but my ex is a high roller), so I was curious to learn about a group that was as passionate about their passion as the travel folks are about theirs. For my first session, I decided to stick with my avgeek travel side and go to Seth “Wandering Aramean” Miller’s presentation, “Maximize Miles & Points.” A few things I learned:
- Seth is one of the original members of Flyer Talk;
- He uses Hotels.com, HotelHustle.com and HotelsCombined.com for the best hotel deals; and
- He uses SkyScanner, ITA Matrix and Google Flights to find the best airfares.
I also learned more than I ever imagined about travel, points, miles, and deals on credit cards from Angelina Aucello, a Newark, N.J.-based travel aficionado and expert who blogs at Angelina Travels. Sorry you all missed how she is now banned from Kohl’s for something she did to earn credit card miles that help her travel the world with her family (come to ZorkFest 2018 and maybe she’ll spill again).
So watch this space for details on ZorkFest 2018, which will be in Las Vegas, baby! I’ll see you there! And check out these other posts about ZorkFest 2017.