So after my Labor Day weekend trip I was only 13,000 tier credits away from Gold. Assuming a conservative 88% payback on slots I calculated it would take around $375 to reach gold, this is about 1.5 days of gambling money for me. I debated all week about driving up from AZ after work on Friday, September 7th staying one night and coming back Saturday. That would get me my Gold tier and I would still be able to do regular weekend stuff back home on the second half of Saturday and all day Sunday. It was Thursday afternoon and I decided…screw it, I’m going. I justified it to myself that the benefits of Gold will be worth the extra money in the long run and who knows….maybe I will win this trip. I called Excalibur and booked my room no problem, only $60 for the night. I then called my buddy D to see if he wanted to go, he was only a few thousand away from Pearl since the Mlife system screwed up and didn’t count 3,000 of his credits from our Labor Day trip. He was hesitant at first but didn’t want me to have to go alone so he said he was down. We left AZ at 3pm and got to the hotel at 8:20pm, only stopping in Kingman for dinner and fuel. There was no traffic what so ever…about a hour into the drive we got stuck behind three big rigs in a row going the speed limit…thankfully we were in a passing zone and we couldn’t see any oncoming cars for miles, so passing the three was no issue. We checked in using the Mlife check-in room, I gave the attendant my Mlife card and my ID and asked if there were any complementary upgrades for the night…and she said “absolutely”. We got one of the deluxe rooms…it was the same layout and size as the standard room but had been remodeled with more modern materials. The AC unit was digital which was awesome, the bathroom had granite countertops, and the beds were like clouds…unfortunately we didn’t have a view. We immediately changed clothes and hit the casino. First thing we did was hit up the Green Machine…first spin $50!! Great start!! I then tried those colossus wheel slots (Lil Red and Val Helsing), I did ok at first, hitting the free spin bonus within my first 10 spins but after that I hit very little. While we were playing, we noticed the same hooker we had seen over Labor Day weekend; she was prowling the floor again. D and I did our best to avoid eye contact so she wouldn’t come over and talk to us again, we accidently made eye contact a few times but thankfully she didn’t act on it. We left Excalibur and walked over to Luxor. Again, first thing we did was hit the Green Machine…$50 again, maybe this is my lucky day!! Played some slots here and there and was doing horrible…definitely not making my anticipated 88% payback. Walking by the CatHouse, D saw a slot he had never seen before, it was the Zeus slot with the reels increasing in positions from left to right (looks like a pennant). Next to it was an Invaders From the Planet Moolah cascade slot that I like to play back in AZ, so we sat down and started playing. These slots were located right at the exit of the CatHouse so we got to admire the talent as we played. I was doing really well on my slot…hitting several cascade free spins, D however was not doing so well. D was determined to get the bonus round so he just kept pumping in money. Although D was not winning on Zeus, he was getting loads of points and credits; he ended up making his Pearl tier within the first hour or so of gambling, “Screw the system” he said “Try to cheat me out of 3,000 points?? I’ll get my tier anyways!” While we were sitting there, a group of three, maybe late 20’s, pretty attractive girls walked over to us and asked “Will you guys take a picture with us?” D and I both thought they said “will you take a picture of us” so D stood up and reached for the camera and one of the girls said “no no…with us”….”OHHHH” D said…so he put his arms around two of the girls and the other stepped back to take the picture. The girl taking the picture said “no both of you”…being 6’ 7’’ I often look goofy in pictures when the others in the picture are much shorter, so I stayed seated and shifted the group toward me some, put my arm around the waist of the girl closest to me and took the picture. The three thanked us and walked away. D and I went back to our games and started hypothesizing on what that was all about. We came up with three options: 1) one (or both) of the girls that were in the picture were trying to make someone jealous by posting pics of her and super handsome guys on their Facebooks. 2) they were on a Vegas photo scavenger hunt and needed to take a picture with two random guys, or something similar. Or 3) they were hitting on us and were totally setting us up to say something like “you are gonna send me those pics right?” and then we would have to give them an email or phone number, and go hang with them the rest of the night…and we missed the opportunity…BLAST!!!! After playing a little longer on those slots, we moved over to play some VP, D never did get the bonus round on Zeus. We played VP for awhile and eventually we both lost so we decided to head over the Mandalay Bay because we had never gambled there before. The casino was really big…we walked around looking for some good slots but couldn’t find any that were open; we ended up trying a slot we had never played before. I can’t remember the name of it but it was a 5 reel slot and each reel had a precious metal as one of the positions (Nickel, Copper, Bronze, Silver, and Gold), if you got three of the metals then you got three separate wheels, corresponding to each metal, to spin for that metal’s bonus. I got the bonus several times but didn’t have good results…If it wasn’t a dollar machine I would definitely play it again. At this point in time I am still 5,000 tier credits away from Gold and have already lost $300, at this rate I will not make Gold in my estimated $375. We couldn’t find any good slots and the drink service was pretty slow at Mandalay Bay so we decided to head back to Excalibur where we usually have pretty decent luck. On our walk through the casino to head back to Luxor then to Excalibur we found…a Green Machine!!! Our group has a sort of pact that anytime we find a Green Machine, which we have never played before, we all have to play it. D went first and made $20, I sat down and put in a 50….first 7 spins all blank…one more spin I said to D…$100!!! Cashout!! “I’m back in it!!” I shouted. We got back to Excalibur and I jumped on the Enchanted Unicorn slot, D jumped on the one next to it. We played for about an hour and were about even, then I got a bonus round…on a max bet!! The free spins started and for the first few I got nothing…great bonus round I was thinking…then all of a sudden unicorns start flying down the screen in all the reels…BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM…4 full reels of unicorns!!! It paid something around $120…NICE!!!. I played that machine a little longer and then tried a few different colossus reel games again…and did horrible! I lost everything I had won with the unicorns and some, super fast! I took a break from the slots, logged onto my Mlife to see how close I was to Gold…only 800 credits away. I go over to a progressive that I played over Labor Day weekend, I didn’t win on this slot over Labor Day but I was able to play for awhile and get quite a bit of coin-in. While playing, the CW came by and I ordered a Bud Light, she said ok then took a look at me and said “Weren’t you drinking Coors Light last weekend?” I said “yea…I’m switching it up this weekend”. I was very impressed that she remembered me and what I was drinking, from a week before (either I have a memorable face, or she remembered the super wasted guy pounding Coors Lights). While we were playing, we saw the same hooker from earlier…the prowling had paid off…she was hand-in-hand with an older man, they were walking toward Tower 1 for some…business negotiations I presume. I played the progressive for awhile; thinking I had to be close I glanced down at the digital display near the players club car reader and saw ERROR READING CARD…PLEASE REINSERT… NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! All that coin-in wasted…I pulled out my card and reinserted it and the screen displayed my name. I played for about another hour until I had racked up 98 points (980 tier credits)…I pulled my card, logged onto Mlife, and…my credits hadn’t changed since I last checked! Oh no!! Was the same thing happening to me as it did to D over Labor Day? Does the system get sketchy around the 3am day cut off? I took a screen shot of my account so I could compare the numbers next time I checked. I played for another hour, broke even for that session, and racked up another 98 points; I pulled my card and logged on…Still hasn’t changed!! I decided I would stop for the night and not risk losing any more money to gain no credits…maybe the credits would update over the next few hours…D agreed that that was the best idea. We went up to the room and went to sleep. We got up at 10am, first thing I did was log on and check my credits. Same number of credits!!!! WTH!!! But wait…it says GOLD…I look again at my credits and sure enough it was 76,225! I did it!!! Mission Accomplished!!! I start thinking…”hmmm that’s weird that I didn’t think it had changed at first…I’m usually really good with numbers.” I start thinking more and I realize that I was only really looking at the last three digits to see if they changed. I open the screen shot I took the previous night, after my first 98 points…and wouldn’t you know it…it said 75,245…GOLD!! I didn’t even need those last 98 points!! I guess in my slightly (more like really) inebriated state of mind I missed the word GOLD and only saw that the last three digits were about the same. OH WELL!! I MADE GOLD…WOOT WOOT! I went to the Mlife booth and told the attendant “I leveled up and would like to get my new card!” he said congratulations and gave me my Gold card…it looks awesome!!! Totally worth the money just for the cool looking card! I ended up losing $380 to get to Gold…my estimates were pretty dang accurate if you ask me. I really wanted to use my Gold card before we left… so I hit a blackjack table right near the Mlife desk, handed the dealer my Gold card and $150. I tipped the dealer $10 right off the bat, thinking it would be good karma and bring me luck…boy was I wrong!! I didn’t win a single hand (pushed one…with 20!!)…I lost so fast that the pit boss hadn’t even come over to enter my play into the Mlife system. Thankfully the dealer was really cool and told me to wait…she tracked down the pit boss and told him I bought in for $200 and played for an hour at $25 a hand (even though it was more like 5 minutes at $15 a hand). I stood up from the table and couldn’t find D…he had left his backpack near my feet and disappeared. I called him a few times and got no answer…I stood around where I was playing for about 10 minutes and then saw him walking toward me. I asked him where he had gone and he said “Dude…I just puked my brains out! Note to self…don’t take DayQuil without food.” We stopped at Jack in the Box and got breakfast and D started to feel better…then we hit the road back to AZ. Another highlight of this trip was that D and I set a group record for time to get from Vegas back to Phoenix…3 hours and 45 minutes…that includes a stop in Kingman for fuel!! Google maps says it should take slightly under 5.5 hours…we obviously exceeded the speed limit but there was no traffic at all so it really wasn’t TOO dangerous…we averaged 98 mph between Wikieup and Wickenburg…took advantage of that downhill gravity assist! :evillaugh Just to set the record straight…D and I know that the whole tier level thing is a huge scam just to get people to come back… and it totally worked!! But we had a great time and it is an awesome story to say that we spontaneously decided to go to Vegas one night. We also learned several things: 1) the upgraded rooms at Excalibur are awesome and totally worth asking for the complementary upgrade (and maybe even paying for), 2) the Mlife system updates pretty close to real time, 3) playing machines near the exit of a club is great for scouting talent, 4) Mandalay Bay has a Green Machine!, and 5) never take DayQuil on an empty stomach!!