Circumstances have kept us from gambling for several years, but the stars finally lined up last weekend, so Mag and I and 2 friends headed north and west to our home away from Vegas: Soaring Eagle in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Buckeyes know the Ohio state shrub is the orange barrel. On the Turnpike, you'll encounter numerous long, nagging construction zones. The left lane is faster in several of them. In Mt. Pleasant you can get to the casino easily but they're working on Broadway, the road we normally take to cross the highway and head downtown. So if you want breakfast at Stan's (and you do) you'll be using a detour. Soaring Eagle is not known for generosity of comps. However, anybody with a player's club card can get a room discount just by asking for the Classic rate. Other than that, expect .1% cash back and use it before you leave because points expire in 6 months. VPFree's directions to the good video poker games could be clearer. Maybe they'll edit them. Head to the left as you enter the casino floor and look for the ATM sign just past the player's club. The good games are in a bank of MG/MD uprights not far from there. The first ATM sign as you enter from the hotel takes you to short pay. 4OAKs and dumb luck saved my sorry ass this trip. I had honed my skills for weeks on DBDW, which is the best game available- at our Vegas home casino, South Point. I never practiced DDB, Soaring Eagle's best game. What a moron. So I settled for NSUD, JOB, and 5/8/35 BP, which pays 175 coins for all 4OAKs. The only thing keeping me going were several of those enhanced 4OAKS. Halfway through the evening I was down a couple Bens and the noise across the aisle got to me, so I switched to the ancient slant tops nearby for some 9/6 JOB. Three or four hands into the session, I realized I hadn't inserted my player card. Here's where things get hazy. I inserted the card and started playing. Almost immediately I was dealt three 3's and drew the fourth for a 125-coin win. But the credits kept on rolling- and rolling- and rolling. They finally stopped at 800. I looked down, and somehow for those few hands I had been playing DDB! This proves without doubt that the Great Spirit is kind to the mentally handicapped. After another session in the wee hours and a final morning sit, I had logged close to 5000 hands, was still a Royal Flush virgin (I'm over 250,000 hands now), and was up $52.50 for the trip. Mag lost $60, so with food comps we broke exactly even. I recommend the coffee at the Native Grind. It's great to be off the sideline! We'll hit Vegas soon, I hope.