This TR is slightly delayed because I was debating whether to post but here it goes. Sorry it is so long… This is also my first TR...so any feedback to improve is appreciated. A little background on myself…I’m 22 y/o and just graduated from ASU with a degree in Engineering. I went to Vegas several times in 2011(stayed at Bellagio, PH, Excalibur, Blue-Green 32, and my Marriot timeshare) and achieved Pearl tier through Mlife, but this was sadly my first visit in 2012. I am a pretty low roller, usually take about $250 per day to gamble with and I spread it all around the casino; slots, VP, Blackjack, Craps, Three Card Poker, Let-it-Ride, I pretty much try everything depending on the mood I am in. After graduation, as everyone was going their separate ways for jobs or grad school (going out of state, etc.) my friends and I agreed that we would meet up at least once a year for a guys trip. This year it was Vegas over Labor Day weekend. There were 4 guys total, 3 of us were driving up (me, D and M) from AZ and the last was flying in from Hawaii (N). The 3 of us driving left AZ at about 4pm; car loaded with a cooler of beer, cases of water, and three large suitcases…I could easily notice the extra weight in my little Hyundai. There was tons of traffic because of the long weekend and lots of trucks towing boats to the lake. We stopped in Kingman to grab some dinner (Wendy’s), get some fuel (Chevron $3.89/gal), and M wanted to grab gambling cash before we got to Vegas, as to avoid the ATM fees. He needed to find a Wells Fargo so I entered it into the nav and found one only 1.3 miles up the street (Perfect!). We started driving in the direction of the bank and the town started and continued to get gloomier and gloomier. We finally found the Wells Fargo ATM on this dark street corner, there were no cars in site, and not a single person on the street (Super Sketchy!). M hopped out of the car, hurried to the ATM, got his cash and we were out of there in a flash. We arrived at Excalibur around 9pm. We parked in the south parking garage and only took our suitcases at the moment because we wanted to figure out where our room was before we lugged the heavy cooler all around. The check-in lines was really long but I went into the Mlife check-in room (only for Pearl and up) and walked straight up to the desk with no wait. I gave the person at the desk my ID and my Mlife card (still had my sapphire card, hadn’t picked up my pearl card yet), she was actually quite rude (maybe she saw the sapphire card and thought I couldn’t read the “Pearl and up” part of the sign), anyways, without any conversation she handed me two room keys and said you’re in tower 1. We got to our room in no time, the room was fine, nothing super fancy but we didn’t really care since we would only be in the room to sleep a few hours and to shower and get ready. We had already agreed to an over-under sleeping situation (one dude under the sheet, one dude over the sheets) so no unintentional foot touching would occur. The three of us then walked back to the car to get the cooler and water, the cooler was sooooo freaking heavy…it had 90 beers, 3 bags of ice and 2 gallons of water poured in it. Despite how heavy it was, we sacked up and only had to take one short break to switch hands. After getting the cooler to the room, we changed clothes, pounded a few beers and headed down stairs to the casino. We started out by introducing M to the Green Machine slot machine. For those of you who don’t know this slot, it has 5 reels, 3 positions each, and you can choose how many reels you want to play, it is $1 per reel per spin and whichever amount shows up you win. For example, if you play all 15 positions you can get all blank reels or a $1 in one position of a $1 and a $2 in some two positions, etc etc. The pay denominations are $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1000. So I started out to show M how it works…I lost $40 in 9 spins. Then D tried…lost $40 in 10 spins. So now M only put in $20 because he saw us loose so fast…first spin $0, second spin $1, third spin $0, fourth spin $50!!! He cashed out and we were on our way. We played different games at Excalibur all night, M was killing it on the original Gold Fish game, D lost some at video roulette, and I got murdered in Blackjack and in VP. We called it a night at 3am since we knew N was arriving at 9am and we didn’t want to be super tired when he arrived. Saturday morning starts at 9am with my phone ringing…its N, he is down stairs and doesn’t know where to go. I tell him the tower, floor and room number and within 10 minutes there is a knock at the door. M gets up and lets N in, we all say hello, give our bro hugs and he tells us about his flight and about his past few months in Hawaii. M goes down to the gym to get some Tough Mudder training in and the other three of us lie around and watch TV and take turns showering and getting ready. After M gets back from the gym (he said the gym was pretty small, but it over looked the pool and the talent at the pool made concentrating on the workout rather difficult) and cleans up we head to the food court in Excalibur and grab some lunch. After lunch we start heading over to MGM to check out the “half price day-of” ticket booth. We went through NYNY and stopped at Coyote Ugly for N and M to get some slushies (with extra 151 shots of course). We usually don’t see shows or go to attractions while in Vegas but this time we wanted to see a show because we were getting tired of returning from a Vegas trip and people asking “What did you do in Vegas?” and all we can say is “Drink and gamble”, so now we can say “Drink, gamble, and saw a show.” We end up getting tickets to see V-The Variety show that evening at 7:30 ($46 each). We gambled at MGM for a bit, I played VP for about 2 hours on $40, so not too bad, N was killing it on video craps (up $100), M didn’t gamble there, and D lost $200 at video roulette playing the martingale system (Ouch!). After gambling at MGM we went back to the room and got dressed up for the show and the night out. We started heading to PH around 6 and stopped at the food court next to MGM for dinner. On our walk to PH, M and I were having a competition to see who could gather the most of the “hooker” cards being pasted out on the street, the only rule was you could only count each different card once…duplicates didn’t count. Got in line for the show at about 6:45 and then M and I started counting our cards, we ended up tying with 55 unique cards each. The line started moving about 15 minutes before the show was about to start, we got a group picture in front of the show billboard throwing the ASU pitchfork. Considering we got discounted, day-of tickets the seats were actually pretty good, they weren’t bad seats, they were decent, pretty good seats. The show was good, not one I would recommend but we were all satisfied and didn’t regret spending the money for the tickets. After the show we went to the Cosmopolitan to check out the talent and get some drinks. The talent was anything but disappointing…it was hottie overload…my neck was getting soar from all the double takes. The drink service was however very disappointing, played the slots for almost an hour and didn’t see one CW. We left Cosmo and headed back to Excalibur for some gambling, we gambled there for a couple hours, was up and down, got several beers so it was a good session. D played 2/6 limit Hold’em and made $60 in about a hour. N played craps and lost. M and I played the slots, M was still killing it on the original Gold Fish and I was just cruising…played for a couple hours on $40 but eventually lost. While playing on a slot I made eye contact with the semi-cute blonde woman, next thing I know she circled around and sat in the slot next to me. She starts chatting me up, asking where I was from, and why I was in Vegas; I politely replied but kept playing my game. She eventually got up and said “I’ve got to go do something but I’ll come back later and see if you are still here…” As she moved past me a got a huge whiff of something foul…she was stinky…like an intense BO smell!! I didn’t think anything of her until I saw her prowling around the casino floor repeating the situation she had with me, with many other guys. At this point I knew…she was definitely a prostitute! Phew…dodged that bullet!! At about 1am we all headed back to the room to get some beers and set a game plan for the rest of the night. Near our elevator a couple was arguing about something…we don’t really know what about…the guy was yelling at his friend/girlfriend/wife that he is Canadian and he doesn’t smoke indoors and she was yelling that he is dumb…whatever. We get into the elevator with a middle aged couple…the man was huge…easily 6’8’’ and built like a tank and the women was smaller but still looked like she could throw down. The man asks what floor and we politely say 9 please. N, being in his own little world says, “What’s that guy complaining about?” (referring to the Canadian smoker from the casino) The huge guy in the elevator starts to say something and M, trying to defuse the situation, says “No no sir not you, he was talking about this guy who was screaming in the casino.” The woman in the elevator, trying to stick up for her man and trying to oust us asks “Well what was he complaining about?” I quickly explained that it was something about him being Canadian and not wanted to smoke indoors. She looked suspicious, but right then the elevator doors open to our floor and we rush out and got away from the fuming bear in the elevator. After we got to the room it was determined that I was the only one that wanted to go gamble more, D, N and M were tired and wanted to go to sleep. So I went back downstairs and found a must pay by progressive that was pretty close to the must pay ($492.xx must pay by $500). I sat down and started playing, ordered a few beers from the CW…I wasn’t winning but I wasn’t loosing much. I would go 10 or so spins with nothing, losing $10 or so but then I would win $9.XX, so I was able to play for a long time, I figured I would win the progressive and that would make me some cash. I played for about an hour and then checked at the progressive…it had only increased $1!!! WTH!! I started watching it to see how much coin-in I needed for it to go up $0.01…it took $5! Oh man…maybe I won’t get this progressive, I have $160 left for the day and I need $3500 coin-in, mehh what the hell, maybe I will get lucky and it will pay out well before $500. I play for another 4 hours, blow through my daily allotment and didn’t get the progressive…it was at $498.xx (SOO close!). By this time I am completely smashed, I had around 12 beers while playing…I didn’t even have to tell the CW I needed another one…she just kept bringing them, tipped a dollar or two for each. In my drunken mindset I convinced myself I would go sleep for a few hours and then come back with my Sunday allotment and win the progressive…I was wrong. After waking up after 2.5 hours of sleep…still buzzin pretty hard, I grabbed my $250 for the day and went down to win my progressive…It was now at $450.00!!! Someone had just won it…BLAST!!!! I go back up stairs and tell my buds what had happened. We hang out in the room for a couple of hours watching TV, showering, getting ready and getting info on the Bellagio buffet. Since it was a holiday weekend Bellagio was extending their “gourmet” buffet to Sunday, we decided we were definitely going to do that. After we were all cleaned up we grabbed some road beers and headed over to NYNY to go to Burgers on Broadway for lunch. This place has the BEST burgers I have ever had!!! We go there every time we are in Vegas, you can choose from five different types of meat (beef, chicken, salmon, turkey, veggie) then you choose one of 14 preparations and toppings, you also get to choose from a huge list of condiments. M and I got the beef bacon and cheese, N got the beef cowboy, and D got the beef Southwestern. D also wanted to try this new condiment…Wasabi Horseradish Mustard…boy was he sorry! D ate one fry with a generous scoop of this mustang on it and instantly after swallowing it he started to cough his face got really red and he started sweating like crazy. He chugged some water and said he was ok but continued to cough intermittently throughout the meal. After the delicious lunch (which we all paid for with EC’s!!) we headed over to Luxor to gamble. Gambled there for a few hours; we unintentionally split into two groups; M and I in one, and D and N in the other. D and N went and played video craps where as M and I went and played some slots, and M watched me lose at Blackjack. M and I tracked down D and N and they wanted to stay there and keep gambling but we wanted to gamble back at Excalibur. So M and I headed back to the room, got fresh to death, grabbed some road beers and went down stairs to gamble. I lost at VP and Blackjack, and M was still winning at Gold Fish…at this point in the trip he turned $10 into $270 (Jealous I am!!). D and N caught up with us, they eventually lost, and we went up to the room for them to change and get ready to head to the Bellagio Buffet. By this point it’s 7:30pm…the buffet closes at 10 and it’s at least a 45 minute walk…so we decide to take a taxi. Taxi line at Excalibur was long but moved fast; we got an older Indian (from India) driver. Unfortunately he took us down the strip and didn’t take the freeway…the taxi ride took nearly 30 minutes and was $24!! We got to the buffet and the line was insane…at least 150 people in line…great we are going to have like 20 minutes to eat! As we walk to get in line I saw an Mlife sign with an arrow pointing down an empty aisle, I think “hmmm I wonder” so we walk down the aisle past everyone in line, thinking “god this would be embarrassing if we have to walk back by all these people”, I flash the “gate keeper” my pearl card and he says “Right this way sir’s!”. Front of the line access?? Hell yea!! Thank you Mlife!! We go right up to the register and buy an evening buffet ($48), a host walks us to a big booth with an empty table and says enjoy. I asked if we needed to leave anything on the table or anything like that and she says “Don’t worry…everything will be taken care of.” So we each hit the buffet and we all go straight for the crab leg station…there is a line about 6 people deep but we all wait. When it’s our turn we each get a plate full of crab legs, the legs were about 6-8 inches long but where cut in half so the meat will be easy to get out. On our way back to the table I stop and get a plate of prime rib and mashed potatoes, prime rib is a perfect medium rare…no ajus though. We all get back to the table around the same time and there is now full place setting on the table; as we are sitting there devouring our food, our server named Richard comes over to get our drink orders. First thing Richard says is “What is that?” pointing to our plates of crab legs. N replies “uhhh…crab legs”, Richard replies “Are you kidding me?!?! That’s embarrassing…this is Bellagio! You need some big ones!” simultaneously we all reply “This is all they had…” Richard says “No no…give them those! You paid $50 for this meal you are gonna get some good crab legs, give me those.” Richard takes all of the crab legs off of our table and walks away. We look at each other slightly perplexed but then go back to eating our other items. Within minutes Richard comes back with the massive platter piled with HUGE meaty crab legs…we all say “Whoa! Thanks Richard” and he replies, “This is what you should get at Bellagio, those others were embarrassing! If they ever don’t have any good ones out, you just ask them for some better ones…if they say no…you come find me and we will take care of it.” We proceeded to eat and eat and eat, definitely getting our money’s worth. We then sat there for about an hour just talking and letting the food settle as we waited to get dessert. Finally we had room for dessert, and it was not disappointing, dozens and dozens of different desserts to choose from…everything from different flavored ice creams and gelato to different pastries, to cakes and pies. After dessert and before we left we asked Richard to take a picture of the four of us, which he did no problem, he took several from different angles and different zoom settings so we could choose the best one. As we were walking out, Richard stopped us and said next time we come to the buffet to walk through the exit and ask for him and that he would hook us up…what he meant by that we don’t know but it can’t be bad. After the buffet, we gambled at Bellagio for a couple hours, everyone did so so. We checked D’s Mlife tier credits on his phone to see if he had made pearl yet but he was only 3000 credits short. We grabbed a taxi to head back to Excalibur, the line was really long but again moved pretty fast. We were two groups away from the front of the line and we see this taxi driver say something to the taxi associate (the guy calling the taxis forward and talking to the patrons to determine where they were going) the taxi driver told the associate that he needed to slam the passenger door. The associate opens the door and slams it (not unreasonable hard, but harder than a normal car door close) the taxi driver then slams the taxi in park and starts screaming at the associate for slamming his door and that he is disrespectful. The associate remained perfectly calm and told the driver to please take these people to downtown, the taxi driver then speed off. We got in our taxi and got back the Excalibur in about 10 minutes, D was determined to make pearl this trip so he picked a slot and set at it…he only needed 300 points so he figured it wouldn’t take too long, however he only had $80 left to gamble with so he needed to make it last. D was betting the min to make his cash last, which worked but it made accumulating points long and tedious. As the hours rolled by the CW kept the drink flowing…we started out with beers but it soon transitioned to jack and cokes and eventually jack on ice. Sure enough, the same prostitute from the previous night was on the prowl…in the SAME outfit (GROSS!!!). At about 5:30am I was tired of the slots and wanted to try my luck at black jack so I walked over to an empty $10 table, got a $100 in chips and started to play. It was the dealer’s first night so she was moving pretty slow and the pit boss was watching her closely, but that was fine…I wasn’t in a huge rush, I had a few good hands but also took some bad beats. About 15 minutes in, a man and a woman came and joined me…they were slammed. The female mentioned something about a wedding tomorrow and I gave them my congratulations. She laughed and then explained this wasn’t her fiancé and that she had just met this guy an hour before, he was there for his divorce party, and her fiancé was at their hotel sleeping. I said “Wow” and they thought it was hilarious…anyways, the deck got hot (mid teen count) and we all started doing well, I started to push my bets and was up a couple hundred. Then this guy…drunk out of his mind, stumbles over to the table and asks for 20 in chips. I’m thinking “$20 for a $10 table?? Ok whatever.” He puts the whole 20 out as his bet and I place 60 for mine, the other two play min. He gets a 17, I get a 15, other two get 19 and 20, and dealer is showing a king. The two stand and this drunk dude says hit…the dealer advices he stand, he says “I said hit me”…he hits a 6…BUST. I hit 10…BUST. Dealer flips a 16 hits a 5…clears the table. The drunk dude gets up and stumbles away without a word. The pit boss that is standing there says “Man…that guy just F###ed you all!” Next few hands are crap so I walk with a $20 win, disappointing considering I could be up $400. I went back to the slots and told my friends what happened and they couldn’t believe it…”What a DBag” they said. D was now only 15 points from pearl but he was also really close to the minor progressive on the machine. N called it a night after losing a few hundred at craps and he had to leave for the airport at 9am. M was next to call it quits…up $370 on Gold Fish he was content leaving with the trip cost covered and some. D and I stuck it out till he got his 300 points to get pearl…but we kept going to get that minor progressive…only $0.45 left till the must pay by! Finally at 7:30am, at $49.75 it hits! The screen reads “WINNER!” and then it credits him $49.75…that’s it? No noise? No lights? Just one word and it’s all over?! So anti-climactic! D and I head upstairs and I go straight to bed and pass out. 2 hours later I wake to my alarm going off…it’s time to get up, pack, and drive the 5 hours back to phoenix. N was just leaving so we said good bye, one more round of bro hugs, and off he went to the airport. Before we left the room, D checked his Mlife account on his phone to see the word “PEARL” under the tier level…but it still said “Sapphire”…WTH!! So D heads down to the Mlife desk and talks to Lorenzo, the manager…Lorenzo tells him that the credits by day run from 3am to 2:59am…he looks up D’s account and sees that he earns 3xx points at 7:30am and tell him that it must not have updated yet. D comes up to the room and tells us the situation and it seems weird because my points and credits were updating practically real time. So D goes back to talk to Lorenzo and Lorenzo gives D a number to call if his points don’t show up the next day…D is super disappointed because he wanted to get his Pearl card before we left, oh well…stuff happens. We check out with no problems. Load up the car and drive back to Phoenix, only stopping in Kingman for fuel. The trip turned out fantastic! We got to catch up with N about his new job and life in Hawaii, had a great time gambling and enjoying the Vegas atmosphere, saw a decent show, and had the fantastic Bellagio Buffet experience. I left Vegas down $700 gambling, D was down $300, N down $600, and M up $200. I earned 33,000 tier credits along the way and am only 13,000 away from Gold!! Fantastic Trip!!! Can’t wait until next year’s Bro-cations!