...to my wild ride As some of you might remember,a while back i created a thread about the MGM-Mirage's 2 mils slot tournament. http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40923 well...at the last possible moment, i'd convince my Wife to go,and she agree to but made me promise if we loose... i won't go to Vegas for this whole year. Thursday 2/19 pick up a premium car in the morning and head up I15 north,65 deg clear blue sky is a perfect day for driving.average speed was 80mph all the way, 2 1/2 hours and half the gas tank later i reached the state line. i need to use the restroom so pulled in the Terrible's casino.the casino quite empty,it's Thursday afternoon and bad economy are to blame.i used to get their 1$ shrimp cocktail here like more than 10 years ago,they no longer sell that now. i decided to help the casino out by spent $100 in just under 5 minutes,them machines doesn't know how to gives...just takes. hop back on the car and 30 minutes later i pulled in the Mirage's parking,just as i reach the 4th floor a car was pulling out so i got a nice parking spot right at the bridge to the casino,nice start i thought. walked into the VIP check in room and right away greeted by a young lady at the desk. -Good afternoon Sir,checking in? -Yes (handed my DL and CC) -Okay let see.... so you're needing 4 rooms? -4 rooms? -oh,the Hospitality Suite is a 1 bedroom Suite with a connecting 2 queen bed's room.She (my young beautiful Host) got you down for 2 of the Hospitality Suites so actually there're 4 rooms total. -um no,there must be a misunderstanding...i just need 1 two bed room Suite (when i spoke with my Host,because my Mom-in-law coming with us,i asked her for 2 bedrooms Suite) so anyway they cancel the extra Suite.i don't really need it.the Suite is 3046 connecting to 3001 right at the elevator on 3nd floor.very nice size with just about everything you need. i really like it except 1 thing...because it's right near by the elevator.it noisy at times because there're some "impolite" peoples passing by...they talk loud,big laugh,even yelling into the night. here're some pics of the suite: . . . . . . . 10 minutes after i'm in the room,my host sent up a welcome gift basket.there're water bottles,sodas,fruits,chocolates,crackers and cheese... . . i took a quick shower,an hour nap then came down to register for the tournament at 6pm.they handed me all the infos,a digital video camera as a gift then charged me 10k for the buy in.i swing by the Player club to check my points got 110000 points which translate out to 1100 "point play" i convert them into $1100 in "freeplay".out of those freeplay i won $600 in real cash.using that money i managed to play about 3 hours before lost them all.no big hit other then this only one: . . went up to the suite to watch my team the Lakers playing the Hornets on a big in room plasma (or LCD).it was a good close game,in overtime the lakers won (off course). then i hit the bed.woke up several times because of noises over at the elevator area (as mention above). Friday 2/20 woke up again around 5am Friday because of some banging noise,within a few seconds i recognized that noise...it's the rhythm sound of headboard banging against the wall in the next room.yep,someones going at it bright early,must be the young and restless.back to sleep and again woke up...look at the clock and it close to 7am. this time i guess it's some young kid playing ball in the room right above (sound like the basketball dribble on the floor).so that does it,got up brush my teeth and get myself a cup of tea and read the comp USA today newspaper.after everybody in the family got up and ready,10:30am we drove out to a restaurant on spring mountain for some hot noodle soup.after the meal we stop by the market to buy some personal stuffs then head back to the hotel.the plan is to play at the Mirage 100% of times to accumulate point to earn drawing tickets.after drop everybody back to the suite,i came down and did my gambling with my own money.not good...1k gone in and hour. now it's time for the tournament.there're 3 sessions each 15 minutes long of pounding on the button,about 15-20 minutes brake in between,drinks and self serve foods served.i should mention the fillet mignon was outstanding,sooo tender i can just use the folk.back to the tournament...the total points of all 3 rounds determine the standing,i did well on round 1,only 4 other person (out of 49) are higher score than me.in round 2 only 6 persons got higher score than me. however my last round was very bad.and that put me at 14th place overall.they do allow you to have a "second chance" round which will replace your lowest score round...for a fee off course, $2500 buy in.unless you got 2 or 3 of bad scoring rounds then forget it...but if you think you have a chance,then buy in is the way to go.these are a group of super high limit slot players,for most of them $2500 is almost nothing they can pump that much money into the machines out there in matter of minutes.on the other hand just 1 single point could be a very big different in prize as you can see here: . . with that in mind,i decided to go for the "second chance" round... but that's tomorrow.after all 3 rounds played,went up to the suite for a nice rest,then took family down for the buffet...eh,it's okay...nothing special but everybody quite hungry so it was an enjoyable meal.then we need to walked off those calories so i show Mom around the property and the volcano (this is only her 2nd time in Vegas with the 1st being 18 years ago).then i walked everybody back to the suite before i came down for the war.i need to earn drawing tickets before 11:30am tomorrow. very much the same story all night,put few hundreds in,cash few hundreds out... no big win that require hand pay.but the win-lose ratio is about the same so i was earning my way to the drawing tickets without spending too much of my out of pocket money.in the last trip i was doing well on the newly discover "Frog Princess" machines,so this trip it's a no brainer to see me hanging around those machine.i hit it only 1 time this time...got in the bonus and at the end this is 50 lines bet at 2 coins each so 100 total bet . . walked up to the room at 1am sat Saturday 2/21 woke up around 7am,come down for a cup of coffee and some gambling. 9:30am go register for the "2nd chance" round paid 2.5k buy in.come to find out as i expected 30 others also buy in this round.there's no dumb-dumb here,they all know what they doing.only those who did really bad in 2 or 3 rounds where they know for sure that even a super high score here couldn't save the day.let me add that just before every round i have to pick a number out of a covered black box,that's the machine i'm going to play.i guess the score pay out already set on each machine,luck of the draw will get you that machine. after wishing each others luck we began to play at 10:am it's was a long 15 minutes of wrist injuring pounding on the start button.this is the make or break round so a lot of yelling,cheering going on.i was doing well all along...only after the session ends that i can stand up to check other's scores.i came in 4th,there 3 others has higher scores.after some calculations i'm 75% sure i can make it to the top 10... because i drop my lowest score round and replace it with this round,my total score is even higher then the 1st guy of yesterday's scores.another word if nobody play this 2nd chance round? i would of been the 1st place for 200k.but....yes the big BUT.i just have to wait until noon to find out. went out to the casino floor and i have just about 1 1/2 hours to make the final push for the drawing tickets (all tickets have to be redeem and put in the drum before 11:30am. 11:20am came and i end up with 4 tickets...when i deposit my tickets into the drawing drum... i almost fell down,WHAT??? there must be at least a thousand in there already.yep, my 4 tickets just disappears into the ocean of tickets, YIKE....FYI,5000 point get 1 ticket.my 4 tickets equal 20,000 point...which mean my total coin in was $30,000 ($1.50 for a point) and i fell ashamed as i throw my tickets in there. haha. 12 noon . . we having lunch there,big shrimps,crabs,chicken,deserts...ect... food was good my host was sitting at my table and during lunch the event lady host came,she look at me like wanting to ask something but never did,she then turn to my host and whispering something then left.i then asked my host what was that all about and she said "oh,she just ask me how to pronounce your name" by then i know 100% sure that i did make to the final round,the only question is where is my standing.after lunch roughly 1pm the Lady start calling names...starting with 10th place (these are automatic advance to next round) then 9th place,then 8th place,then 7th place.by now i'm thinking hmm maybe i didn't make it? or maybe i'm way up top? i hope i can make at least 5th place because that where the prize are cash....BAM,my name called...yep,out of 50 i am in 6th place.when i heard my name i'm like YES,NO....YES. no because i didn't get the cash prize and yes because hey I WON AND I'M IN....$7500 in freeplay is not bad..but WAIT.... looking down at the prize structure 7th to 10th place gets $7500 freeplay but only 6th place get $10000 freeplay.it sure hell a lot better than $3000 freeplay,and the best part is i have a shot at the final championship round which is held at same place at 4pm. there're 5 other names being randomly draw to make up a team of 15 to compete with MGM and Bellagio's 15s went up to the room to rest 3:30pm came down to pick the machine.then final round started at 4pm total of 45 players from all 3 properties and all slot hosts joint together for this...the usual 15 minutes session end and i got 15000ish point which i know for sure that's not enough...yep i fall into 14th place...only top 5 cash in.then in a short while they announce which property has the highest total point...Mirage was last place then MGM.Bellagio took 1st which means each one of their players got an extra $500 freeplay. oh well,i won 10k freeplay did i? but i can't use it until 8:00pm so up to the room took a shower,get some rest then take family out for dinner...on the way back stop by Bellagio for Mom to see Conservatory & Botanical Gardens and dancing fountains.went back to Mirage at 9pm,decided to leave early in the morning tomorrow so i have 3-4 hours time frame to play all 10000 i played $200-$300 each machine then cash out to keep the cash.nothing big except this one when my freeplay down to about $300 40 lines played at 1 coin each for total bet of $40 (dollar machine) i played this machine mainly because last trip at TI i saw someone hit 10k with 200 coin bet . . . got back to the room at 1:30am Sunday,shower,sleep and check out early drove home...traffic here and there,total travel time was 6 hours instead of 4 Final thoughts: -this tournament was stretch out over 3 days,all the times in between i have to spent with family and concentrate playing at the Mirage to earn drawing tickets.so this time i did not visit other casinos including the Encore which i want to check it out.but hey,it's not going anywhere. -Mirage's room still quite nice after 20 years with lots of different peoples staying in it.but then,out of 24 hours period...how many hours peoples actually stays in the room? and most of those hours in the room,they were laying dead on the bed anyway. -i have no problem paying big bucks for a "sound-proof" room,if there's such thing available.because nothing is worse then being wake up by some unwanted noises when you trying to sleep for a short few hours. -that group of 50 were coming from all walk of life,joint together from other states,fews even from other countries.i bet you a dollars (ok,make it a hundred) that more than 1 of them are millionaires,but they all were very nice and friendly...i made a few friends there.well.... may be just a fews that has this thought deep in side "Dude,back off...those prize money are all mine...i wish you finish last place) hehe. -i really do believe due to the bad economy...those machines becomes "tight" or "stubborn".could be from much less gamblers (payouts are base on percentage of total coins in).or casinos set back the payout percentage (with help of the manufactures and permit from gambling control board). -as promised,no Vegas for me for awhile if i lost $1. total money spent (tourny buy in,2nd chance buy in,car rental,meals,slot plays subtract the money won and bring home... i lost 1.5k but no Vegas is totally ok with me,i need a long break...for several reasons: *Wife is almost 5 months into pregnancy...travel is becoming an issue now. *i did Vegas like 10 times in the last 12 months span. *i am slowly growing into bigger gambler.i didn't blink to spent more than 10k this time and i continuing increase my bet lately.Bellagio is inviting me over for super high limit muti-tournament next month which buy in is up to 90k...and i actually thinking about going (if i won enough money this time).gambling is not a problem as of now...but i afraid it might be in the future. *the biggest reason is i am now losing the excitement...i don't feel that rush when planning or getting close to the departure day...not too excited when hit the jackpots.i used to keep thinking about Vegas months before and you don't want to know what i did when i hit a $100 payout. some more pix of the place . . . . Sorry if i misspelling or wording.Thanks for reading and i hope you enjoyed it...because it's be a loooong time before my next TR. Steve (you can call me Loser) Edit (bonus reading) FACTS: -i forgot about thing...at 12 midnight there was a drawing at the high limit slots area.those $2500 buy ins being randomly draw to 8 persons at $10,000 cash each.my name wasn't called off course...but there was 1 man's name called and he was not there,after 1 minute gone by another name draw out to replace him.that's not it...later on same thing happened to a lady.i mean deng,that's 10 grands in cash to take and you are not there to claim? not 1 but 2 person out of 8? -out of 8 possible wins,1 lady's being draw like 4 times? imagine how many tickets she has in the drum.by the way,she can only win once. -i was place 14th after 3 rounds,the 2rd chance round bump me up to 6th...instead of $3000 freeplay i got $10,000 freeplay. -the guy who was in 1st place,after 2rd chance round he drop down to 5th.i was behind him just 112 stinking points.there's a different between $10,000 freeplay and $15,000 you know? -what else? the 3rd place guy who won $20,000 cash was just 258 points ahead of me.that's not by much...but hey,i won more than 10k back using that 10k freeplay and those guys might end up losing those cash,who know? -the 2nd chance round helps the lady who was in 2rd to 1st.that's $125,000 cash improvement.being asked "what do you think about this win?" answered "just another day of gambling". -there are 3 young brothers in the tourney,only 1 who was 3d after 3 rounds,end up 9th for $7500 freeplay then went on finish 4th in the final round for another $10,00 cash.he was the only player from Mirage to finish in top 5. -2 persons,brother and sister both won a fun prize (at beginning of each round they randomly select 2 lucky machines for $500 preeplay and 50,000 gift point which can redeem for goods end of the year).after 4 rounds they finish 24th and 28th which it out.but remember they draw additional 5 persons to addvance onto final round? yep,they both get called...like me they lost in last round but they did really really well on the floor,every time i passed by where they played i seen a machine flashing waiting to be hand pay.$3000,$4000,$11,000,$14,000...it was $1 video poker machines but you can play 1 to 100 coins.