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March Madness ‘18: 3/14 - 3/20 (Live)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by StingerHook, Mar 12, 2018.

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  1. StingerHook

    StingerHook High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Headed to Vegas again for the opening weekend of March Madness! This will be my 6th trip overall and 2nd March Madness voyage - I went for opening weekend last year and had a blast, so it was an easy choice to pull the trigger for another go at it. Will do my best to keep this live and include pictures.

    Summary of my itinerary:

    Flights - arriving EARLY on Wednesday 3/14, flying home 3/20. Both flights via Southwest points.

    Hotels:

    MGM Grand (3/14 - 3/16) - mlife gaming offers weren’t looking great but I got a very appealing rate via the Crown & Anchor offer. Run-of-house room (which I understand to be a step up from the West Wing King) and $150 resort credit (some restrictions I’m sure, but not complaining). Anyone got a guess as to whether or not they’ll get me in a room when I show up prior to 7AM?

    Downtown Grand (3/16 - 3/19) - found a solid rate on Black Friday and haven’t seen an opportunity to improve on it since. Have heard good things about the rooms, but will likely watch games at The D (which is where we stayed last year). A buddy from college is joining me again for this portion of the trip.

    Linq (3/19 - 3/20) - comped via the Total Rewards calendar.

    All three of these hotels will be first-time stays for me. Looking forward to exploring different properties than I’m used to.

    Planning on watching as much basketball as my eyes can handle, betting on games (and other typical casino offerings) and eating/drinking at a semi-responsible level. Will sprinkle in a few myVEGAS rewards as well. Likely gambling focus will be (not in order) hoops, blackjack, pai gow, roulette, and bubble craps. Pretty much everything but slots (save for freeplay) and UTH/Let-it-Ride type games are likely to see some play.

    No other concrete plans/goals - just really looking forward to some time away from work and living at my own pace.
     
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  2. charlestfuller

    charlestfuller Low-Roller

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    Best of luck! What kind of hoops bets are you looking at?
     
  3. DeadManHand

    DeadManHand Low-Roller

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    I did the C&A offer at MGM a few years ago. Here's some observations.

    When you check in be sure to inquire where the resort credit is valid. They should be able to give you a card listing the participating locations. I was solo during my stay so I used it at the sports bar for the most part.

    The check in line at MGM can be a long wait. At your early hour though it will not be an issue, with 5,000 rooms they should have something available on a Wednesday morning. How good are you at sweet talking? If that fails there's always the $20 sandwich. If you cannot get a room right away try to work out something to get you key without standing in a long line later. Setting up the mobile app on you phone is probably the answer, the mobile check in is to the far left of the lobby and can save a lot of time.

    Enjoy your trip and good luck! I arrive on Sunday and will be over at the TAG sports bar at Linq a bit, maybe we will cross paths. I will be wearing a VMB green wristband.
     
  4. VivaSladeVegas

    VivaSladeVegas Low-Roller

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    Enjoy every moment!
     
  5. NPLV

    NPLV High-Roller

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    Hell yeah! I've been waiting for one of these. Can't go this year (trip to Spain so not complaining) but next year I'll be there. I look forward to following and getting some ideas. Good luck!
     
  6. NPLV

    NPLV High-Roller

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    Also I envy your pre-7 AM arrival to Vegas. Get in with the whole day in front of you. The best.
     
  7. amk121

    amk121 VIP Whale

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    Have fun!
     
  8. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good luck!
     
  9. guapoxxx

    guapoxxx High-Roller

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    Good luck and enjoy MM18!
     
  10. StingerHook

    StingerHook High-Roller

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    Thanks to all for the well-wishes!

    Landed at LAS just after 6AM. Blew right past the sad faces waiting to leave and after grabbing my bags, took a Lyft to MGM Grand. Airport to MGM Grand was about $11 at 6:30AM.

    No line at check-in, but was told I needed to wait until after 7AM so their computers could update for reservations starting today. Milled around in the lobby for about half an hour checking emails and returned to the desk at 7:15. Was told a room was available - first win of the trip considering it didn’t cost an early check-in fee or $20 sandwich.

    I’m in a Grand Tower w/ 2 queens on the 5th floor. Further from the elevator than I’d like, and not a ‘special’ view, but considering the circumstances I’m not complaining at all.

    Was told that my $150 resort credit could be applied to the locations on the flier pictured below, as well as any other spots at MGM properties that are owned by MGM (anyone know an easy way to determine what fits this criteria? I’m assuming as long as a celeb’s name isn’t involved I should be good, but not sure how willing I am to chance it away from MGM Grand)

    Pics of the room/resort credit info for those interested:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My view includes front entrance and HOOTERS:

    [​IMG]

    Goals in my immediate future:

    - Shower
    - Quick nap
    - Food
    - Load up money on the Play MGM app and start studying bets for tomorrow
     
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  11. RedChip

    RedChip High-Roller

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    I'd be too excited to nap. Good luck!
     
    First time in Las Vegas for the Big Game
  12. StingerHook

    StingerHook High-Roller

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    Used some of my RC on lunch at Avenue Cafe - chicken sandwich and a Bloody Mary:

    [​IMG]

    Deposited some shekels on the MGM app, ready to study up on some of tomorrow’s matchups.

    Remaining to-dos for today:

    - Acquire booze for the room
    - Redeem freeplay (myVEGAS)
    - Bellagio or Aria buffet for dinner (myVEGAS)
     
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  13. charlestfuller

    charlestfuller Low-Roller

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    Keep the to-do list growing!
     
  14. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 VIP Whale

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    Looking forward to following along. Might have to plan another stay at MGM.

    Mark
     
  15. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Great start!!!! I hope you have a great time! The vibe from you MM folks there is infectious. My big brother (he's really my brother) -- Champster1 -- is there and I have not heard a peep from him. LOL. I think he is in the Vegas MM zone. LOL.
     
    Celebrating 2018 + Bringing in 2019 While Winning Mega More at Encore!
    Special Moments Galore with Mom and Friends in the Place We Adore
  16. StingerHook

    StingerHook High-Roller

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    Redeemed the myVEGAS freeplay at MGM Grand - $25 for the reward requiring a 2-night stay and $25 for the Konami version of the reward that doesn’t require a stay. The Konami version can be used on any machine as regular freeplay.

    I ran the $50 through a Fireball machine at $1/spin and converted it to $20 cash. Only one bonus worth $2. Took that $20 to roulette and turned it into $50, so I essentially got all of the freeplay rewards back in cash.

    Planning on heading to either Bellagio or Aria to watch some basketball and then grab dinner at the buffet.
     
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  17. StingerHook

    StingerHook High-Roller

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    Watched hoops at the Bellagio book - pretty good Syracuse contingent there. Fun atmosphere for a play-in game!

    I took Syracuse +1 and felt awesome about my 2-team parlay since the Golden Knights have an incredible home-ice track record... until I saw the smaller TV hiding from the basketball games. Down 2-0 after the 1st, Las Vegas ended up losing to New Jersey 8-3. I’m choosing to view this as getting my sports loss out of the way early, and now all my future bets are sure to pay off.

    Are at the Bellagio buffet (myVEGAS reward) after the basketball game finished. The line was sizable but I caught a strike of luck when one of the staffers started asking folks at the back of the line about party size. I told him I was a party of one, and he whisked me away to sit at the bar. That’s the stuff!

    Food was very good. I wouldn’t pay the $40 msrp for it but it was a great way to unload some LP and get some good grub.

    After dinner I dinked around on roulette and gave back $30 of the freeplay conversion. Decided to stop there - playing low on the first day of a trip seems to be a thing for me now, as I like the feeling of heading into day 2 with significantly more ammo than I theoretically budgeted for.

    Grabbed a bottle of Jim Beam rye for the room on the walk home. This was a good decision.

    Tomorrow morning I’ll probably use some more RC on breakfast at Avenue Cafe, the. Head over to Mandalay Bay/Luxor to watch at least the opening slate of games. Will likely make a better effort at getting on some table games, too.
     
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  18. StingerHook

    StingerHook High-Roller

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    Blackout curtains caused me to sleep later than planned, so no time for a sit-down breakfast this morning. Grabbed an apple danish (fruit is party of a healthy diet) and a coffee at the Corner Cakes spot.

    Got to the Luxor book after OU/Rhode Island tipped. Last year they did free drinks in the Luxor book but I can’t yet confirm whether or not that’s the case. Not looking promising, though.
     
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  19. luck.ofthe.draw

    luck.ofthe.draw VIP Whale

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    Have an amazing time!!!
     
  20. StingerHook

    StingerHook High-Roller

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    Fun opening games - won both of my bets at Luxor (Rhode Island -1.5 and under 130.5 in the Tennessee game).

    All $10/$15 blackjack tables I saw at Luxor were 6:5 so I didn’t bother.

    At Mandalay Bay now - next hoops play is Miami -1.5.
     
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