Background: This was a solo trip and my eighth visit to Las Vegas. I had so much fun in December 2012 that I decided to return around the same time of year. Sadly, I just missed the rodeo crowd this time. I mostly play quarter video poker (VP) and $5 blackjack (BJ), and am always looking for a bargain, especially when traveling alone. I was actually on the fence about returning in December, having just visited Las Vegas with friends in August, but I received a mailer from Golden Gate that swayed me: 3 free nights, $10 free play (FP) (Dec 1-15), another $10 FP (Dec 16-31), and $15 for food (anytime in December). I had already been thinking about arriving on the 15th, so I would be able to get the full $20 in FP. That was just the push I needed. I found a good deal on Sun Country, using Ufly points for one flight and paying less than $100 for the return. Sun Country will let you pool your family's points (http://www.suncountry.com/page/1/uflyrewards.jsp). I think of them as the airline that doesn't hate its passengers. I rolled the dice and opted not to pay for seat assignments ahead of time. Dollar proved to be one of the cheapest car rental options again, coming in at $68.27 for a mid-size car for three days including all taxes and fees. I've found the best deals just clicking the "Check for City Special" button. Oh, and I saved another $1.74 clicking through Fat Wallet (http://www.fatwallet.com/). Although I have visited the downtown area several times before, I never stayed there. I decided to spend my first night downtown and the next two at MGM Grand (see below). Even for free, I wasn't sure I wanted to stay in a regular room at the Golden Gate. Those pictures of the bathrooms look scary! I was torn between the Golden Nugget and the sparkling new Downtown Grand (DTG), initially booking direct with both hotels while I made up my mind. DTG won out, and proved to be a fantastic bargain once I noticed that Expedia was 20% cheaper. I successfully used the best rate guarantee (http://www.choicehotels.com/en/bestrate) to get my one night for free. As for my 2 nights at MGM Grand, I redeemed 47,500 MyVegas points for each night. I also used 19,500 points for the Aria breakfast/lunch buffet award. I waffled (no pun intended) between choosing Aria and Bellagio (for 34,000 points). Between the "price" difference and reports of renovations taking place at the Bellagio buffet, I opted for Aria. Plus there was a Super Times Pay (STP) machine I wanted to try out. I spent another 6,000 points on the buy one, get one free (BOGO) 24-hour monorail pass. I had some Total Rewards credits from Caesars Social Rewards (http://socialrewards.com/caesars/) to cover another couple of meals. Shortly before I left, I bought a "VIP" ticket for the Armando Vera/Nathan Burton magic shows for $22.50. My other planned entertainment selection for the trip was a visit to Madame Tussauds at half price, courtesy of http://www.destinationcoupons.com/. Sadly, I think that coupon is now for only $10 off, instead of half off. In addition to my Golden Gate FP, I had a few coupons left from the American Casino Guide (ACG) from my earlier trip, and the full set of gaming coupons from a Las Vegas Advisor (LVA) booklet. With a 5% sale, I also purchased $40 in slot play at the Palms for $23.75 through http://slotplaycoupons.com/.