Headed up to Vegas for the NCAA tournament for the fourth year in a row...with a twist this time. Instead of being a guys trip, it turned out into a couples trip with a total of 8 different people at 3 different hotels. The four of us in my car left the Phoenix area around 5:45am. The ride was mostly uneventful, as per usual we saw a cop outside of Wikieup trying to catch the over anxious. One note of advice, if you need to make a restroom break, avoid the AM/PM in Kingman...unless you don't value a/ making good time or b/ cleanliness. Flying over the bridge was a breeze and we were pulling up to the Luxor around 10:10am. As we arrived, we called to inquire about early check-in and were told, 'no problem, $20 per room' and decided to pass on that offer. Headed to the sports book to get our bets in (all losers for me, but almost hit a nice money line bet on Princeton s/u) and then went to the mLife desk to get my new card. After I did this, it was around 11:00a, so we decided to head to the front desk to see if they were allowing early check-in. Walked up to the clerk, handed her my license / credit card (no sandwich) and shortly thereafter, we were heading to our two neighboring tower rooms. I'd never stayed in the tower before, it was nice, but this was designated a non-smoking room and it smelled like smoke the entire weekend, that kind of sucked. Got settled in, and then met up with J&M (who came up Wednesday and were staying at TI) and D (who lives in LV) and headed over to NYNY to get some sandwiches at Greenburg's Deli. Delicious as usual, everybody enjoyed the food. After that, the Luxor crew went back to the rooms for naps due to the early morning wake-up times. Fortunately for me, I wasn't tired, so I left everyone in their rooms and headed down to the casino. I ended up at a $10 blackjack table, ready and willing to put my new betting plan of action (of increasing the bet by $5 each win / reducing back to table minimum after loss) into action. It was working pretty well, increasing my buy-in from $100 to over $250. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, mainly my stupidity and lack of discipline to take the money and run..after pushing in a $40 hand that I lost at the end, I walked away with only $3. Everyone was awake back at the room at this point, so I headed up and we had some beverages while we waited for R&G to arrive from Cali. They arrived, and we headed over to Monte Carlo to check them in. We got them settled, and then headed up to Cosmo to meet back up with J&M. We decided to dine at Holstein's (Burgers / Shakes). For a party of our size, the wait was about an hour, which was fine, since I was still kind of full from lunch. We headed down to the casino to play for a bit, and other than a couple quick hit and runs at roulette (ultimately breaking even) no gambling from me. The Cosmo does have some interesting roulette tables that light up what spots should be paid, I don't think I had seen that before. Also watched some craps, and saw three people playing, only betting pass line, no odds, no place bets. Weird. Anywho, headed back up to Holstein's and got seated. Partook in some green beer (3/17) and ordered the lobster rolls. Probably should have ordered a burger, because everyone else raved about theirs, but the lobster roll was still quite delicious. After that, we headed back down to the south strip, ending up at the Tropy for a bit before finally calling it a night. Woke up before six on Friday, still feeling some of the effects of the previous evenings beverages...showered up and went downstairs while the wife still slept. Sat in the sportsbook for awhile trying to figure out what games I wanted to bet (no luck again, lost all three I made this day as well) and then headed over to the tables to play. Sat at a $10 roulette table and played my segment of the wheel. The dealer had a nice little hot streak for me, and I eventually cashed up +160 (learning my lesson from the day before about taking the money and running!). After rousing everybody upstairs and having breakfast at (one of the three) Starbucks (note: they really couldn't figure out how to get a toaster in there to toast a measly bagel???), I headed over to Mandalay to play in a poker tournament with R & D. Very uneventful for me, although I did last longer than both R & D as they got knocked out in the first 30 minutes and re-bought. D ended up chopping first, but I still maintain that I went farther when we look at the original entries... Headed back to Luxor, and took advantage of their 'get $30 in chips for $20' deal. Took that to a blackjack table, and ended making a quick $25. Headed over to the MC with the whole group (minus J&M who we never saw again for the remainder of the trip) to try to find a spot to watch the Memphis-Arizona game. Diablo's wasn't seating anyone (although it appeared their patio was empty) and The Pub was packed. Some of us ended up at the Ignite lounge, while I played some party pit blackjack with T. Played for awhile, ended up down $65, then we all decided to go to Dragon Noodle. I've stayed at the MC several times over the years, and have never thought of going here. I was pretty impressed, my Mongolian Beef w/ fried rice was very good and for less than $10 as a lunch special seemed like a good deal. We finished the meal, then finished up the game at the Ignite lounge and then headed off to the pool. The pool was fine, ample seating was available...I'm assuming that because of the less than warm temperatures and the wind that would come and go. I went in both the lazy river and wave pool, and brrr, especially when the wind would kick up. After the pool, we headed to the bar and grabbed frozen Sangria for everyone. I gotta say, this is probably the worst rip-off in town. Not only did we pay around $50 for 100 oz, out of six of us, none of us thought there was any booze anywhere near our drinks...at least it tasted good I guess, but if I want a frozen drink that tastes good without alcohol, I might as well go to 7-11. Everyone then headed back to their rooms to get ready for dinner that evening. I was ready early and went down to the casino with T, and we played some roulette. I sat at a $10 table...it was a very fast 10 spins... T tried to ride my numbers after that, but they never came up. After that, the six of us (me & wife, T&E, R&G) headed up to Tacos and Tequila upstairs for dinner. It was ok, maybe 3.5 out of 5 stars, nothing notable, other than all of the employees way overselling the nachos. They were good, but nothing to rave over. Post dinner, we headed back to the Tropy. This was my first time back since the casino remodel has been completed, and I liked it. Nice and clean, dealers / pit bosses were extremely friendly, I could definitely see staying here in the future now that they are renovating the rooms. I ended up at a $10 blackjack table and played through a shoe before hitting a bad streak. With $19 dollars left in my stack, I put in all in the middle, and am presented with an 11. Like any self-respecting gambler would do, I pull out the cash to do the double and after the win, I rallied through the rest of the shoe to walk away with a small win at the table. After some video poker, we all called it a night. Got up early on Saturday and got ready to head back to Phoenix via Sunset Station, the usual on the way out of town stop. T&E and wife and I met up with D for breakfast at the Feast. Fortunately, we were running a little bit early, so I got to finally play some craps. First shooter hit a few numbers, but no points, and then I got the dice and rolled pretty well. Hit three points and had four numbers covered with come bets plus odds when the dice took a bad hop off some chips and sevened out. (Note: So maybe hitting the chips didn't entice the seven...but I swear over half the time when I seven-out, I hit chips...) D was there at this point, so I cashed out with a small win. The buffet was good, we timed it perfectly with no line to get in, and what a value. $27-$28 for five people. Fresh omelets and some other good stuff, everyone was happy. Afterwards, we bid farewell to D, and before we left, I played some $5 blackjack for maybe 30 minutes, making a couple bucks. We colored up and left, hitting the road. The dam did not let us down, again making it a short slightly more than four hour drive back home. Overall a pretty good trip, went to some new restaurants that we enjoyed, had good time with friends and after totaling up the ledger, lost less than $100, which was a pretty fair trade for the amount of time that I played. I also feel I finally got over the hump of not playing $10 blackjack / roulette. Still pretty sure I can't handle the swings of $10 craps...at least not the way I like to bet... Hope you enjoyed, hope there's another one from me soon!