All of the rooms in Wendover, NV (my local-ish casino) were booked on Friday, and I felt like gambling. So at about 5pm on Friday, I decided to book a flight to Vegas. I used a 2 night room comp at Gold Coast. I booked my flight to LAS about 3 hours prior to scheduled departure. I booked my return flight to SLC at 3:01am this morning (Sunday, 1:35pm departure). I waited to book the return because I wasn't sure when I was going to want/need to leave. My flight to LAS was delayed two hours due to an equipment problem at LAX (where my plane to LAS was coming from). So, instead of an 8:25pm Vegas arrival, I had a 10:25pm Vegas arrival. Not the end of the world, but I did decide to take a cab from the airport to Gold Coast instead of the bus (I use the buses frequently when visiting Vegas). Cab fare was $18 before tip thanks to making sure the cabbie didn't take the tunnel. Check-in at Gold Coast was quick. I was given a premium non-smoking room (#243) with a breathtaking view of... a wall. I unpacked and headed down to TGI Friday's for some food and drink. I know people knock the notion of going to a chain restaurant in Vegas, but Friday’s happy hour deals are too good to pass up and they're open 24 hours. Also, my room offer included $40 in food. I had a Goose Island IPA draft and an order of boneless wings for a total bill of $10 (charged to the room toward the $40 food credit). I spent almost all of this trip chasing. The kind of chasing that, for a brief period, put my participation in future Vegas trips in jeopardy. But I got lucky later and it worked out. After dinner at TGI Friday's, I sat at a blackjack table with two guys who didn't know basic strategy. No biggie to me, but the vibe at the table was weird, so I walked away after about 10 minutes and $20 richer. I then sat at a $1 DDB machine. I should have just went to bed after the late dinner and blackjack, but instead I dropped a bunch of hundies in the machine. I went to bed around 2am after grabbing a liter of water in the gift shop. Fortunately, the Gold Coast gift shop is open until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights and their prices are not unreasonable. Saturday morning I woke up and had breakfast at TGI Friday's (yes, I ate there four times this weekend. I completely understand if you need to judge me.). I had the Deuces Wild special (2 pancakes, 2 eggs, 2 sausage links, 2 bacon strips) for $7.99 and two Absolut screwdrivers ($5 each). After breakfast I hit and ran quad 7s on a $1 DDB. That quad hit gave me hope of a recovery. Then I hopped on the shuttle to head to the Orleans to watch the afternoon session of the West Coast Conference men's basketball tournament quarterfinals. On the ride, I chatted with a couple nice Canadians who were Gonzaga fans. They planned on watching all four games, which meant watching from Noon until about 11pm, with a 90 minute break halfway through. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday in my opinion. The Gold Coast shuttle is ok, but not quite as comfortable as the Sam's Town shuttle. Of course, the ride isn't as long either. The other thing I like about the Sam’s Town shuttle is that you know exactly when it is going to leave. The Gold Coast shuttle is on an “it’ll be here when it gets here” schedule. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes either time. I got to Orleans at about 10:30am, and tip off wasn't until noon. So, I sat at one of the bars (I don’t recall seeing the bar named anything, but I know it wasn’t the Alligator bar or the Crawfish bar) and played $0.25 bonus poker (all the Orleans bar tops feature 8/5 Bonus Poker at the $0.25 level). I ordered a screwdriver from the bartender and he brought me an actual screwdriver (as in, the tool) in a glass. I thought it was pretty funny. Of course he dropped off the drink a second later. It was not nearly as tasty as the screwdrivers at Friday's. I played for a little over an hour, losing just $20. Then it was off to the Orleans Arena. I really like this place for sporting events. There isn't really a bad seat in the place. The 12pm game featured St Mary's vs Portland. I was shocked by the outcome. Outside of their center, Brad Waldow, St Mary's was ice cold shooting. St Mary's ended up losing by double digits. The 2pm game was Pepperdine vs San Diego. What I thought would be a snoozer ended up being a great game, going down to the wire with Pepperdine winning by 3. San Diego heaved a last second shot that would have tied it, but it just missed. I got the ticket on StubHub for $35 (price included both games). I was pleased with my choice to spend my afternoon watching hoops. StubHub’s lowest price for a single ticket for the evening matchups was $140, which is why I didn’t attend the evening sessions. If you were affiliated with one of the participating schools, or if you bought your tickets early enough, you could have gotten a ticket for every game in the tournament (both men’s and women’s) for $135 total. There were a ton of BYU fans outside the box office upon exit trying to prey (or did they pray?) on the losing team’s fans for their unused tickets. After the games I took the shuttle back to Gold Coast. I bet on Duke (+1) to beat North Carolina. After placing the bet, I hit up Friday's again for more happy hour beer and appetizers while watching the end of Louisville vs Virginia (Friday's happy hour at GC is 3-7pm and 9pm-5am). After that, I dropped more hundies at $1 DDB. Dejected, I went upstairs to watch the rest of the Duke/NC game. Duke won, so that was cool. At about 9pm I went back downstairs to collect my Duke winnings and then I chased some more. I started out at the Island Bar playing $1 Bonus Poker. Not only was I not winning, but the smoke from other bar patrons was getting to me. So I moved back to the casino floor, this time to a $2 DDB machine, where I hit this to get some more chasing ammo. (This was about 9:30pm) I tipped the jackpot payer person $20, cashed out my remaining credits, and proceeded to walk over to a $1 DDB machine, slowly giving away the $1600 jackpot $100 at a time. After a couple hours, I got up to use the restroom. When I left the restroom to return to the same $1 DDB machine, somebody was sitting at it. So, I sat at a machine at the other end of the row. About 20 minutes later, I went AWAK. So, thank you to the guy who sat at “my” machine causing me to sit at this machine instead. This was $1 DDB AWAK #5 on the year. I tipped the jackpot payer person $20 again. By the way, Gold Coast pays jackpots quite fast compared to other places I've been W2Ged. This time, when she asked for my ID, I just gave her my other W2G. So, there’s a tidbit of information for you if you ever hit two jackpots on the same day. I was pretty pumped now, as I was no longer in chasing territory. So I cashed out my remaining credits and went to, you guessed it, TGI Friday's for more appetizers and screwdrivers. Then, I went up to my room, booked my flight home, and went to bed. This morning (Sunday am) I had the buffet at Gold Coast. It's actually a relatively expensive Sunday brunch at $17.99. The price is higher because it includes both champagne and crab legs. I had a made to order omelet. I paid with points. Sapphire card holders get $3 off the buffet in addition to the 40% discount for paying with points. After breakfast I packed my stuff, hung out in the room for a bit, and checked out at 11:30am. I took a cab back to the airport ($18 again). Flight ended up being delayed 30 minutes because we had a plane but no pilots. I put 30,000 coin in at Gold Coast. We'll see what that gets me. I'm now about 60,000 away from Emerald. With 100 points I got this free hat. I'm not a hat guy but it was race weekend, so I was trying to get in the spirit of one of the few sports I don't follow. My deal-button finger is actually pretty sore. Can you get carpal tunnel in your index finger? OK, I think that's it. Next Vegas trip begins March 25th. I'll be staying downtown.