Was invited to the â€œSlot Bustersâ€ slot tournament at the Mirage on October 25th through the 27th. Had never been in a tournament before, but needed a break so I took them up on it. I took my Father-in-law. Flew AA from Oâ€™Hare @ 10:15 p.m. Wrong! At 10 p.m. we were told there was a part that needed to be pulled from a plane in a hanger and installed in our plane. We board at 11:30 p.m. Everyone is seated. The pilot comes on and says we need to get off and take the plane thatâ€™s been parked at the next terminal the whole time, but first it had to be cleaned and all our baggage moved. Oh and by the way â€œplease move to the other plane in an orderly and quick manner as the flight crew is now in danger of having to cancel the flight due to reaching the limit on flight hours for the dayâ€. What the F!? Got to Caesars at 3 a.m. We were supposed to be there at 10:30 p.m. Check-in was real smoothâ€¦ I booked Caesars on a comp offer for three nights starting on the 24th since check-in at the Mirage wasnâ€™t until the 25th. I asked for something high with a strip view. I got it. In the FORUM tower. The original tower. I laughed when I saw this room. It was on the 27th floor and was large, but the dÃ©cor was dated. The bathroom was all black marble, black tile, black toilet, black sink, etc. A frosted piece of glass separated the bathroom from the sleeping area. I donâ€™t care about the dÃ©cor, but I do care about a comfortable bed for the 3 hours a day I average in it. It was not comfortable. I stayed up all night gambling while FIL (Father-in-law) went to bed at 4:00 a.m. I played blackjack â€“ broke even, slots â€“ down $400. 8:00 a.m. Thursday. Went to see if FIL woke up. He was up. Took him down to the pool for a while so I could take a nap in the sun. Great weather for October. 90. Hung out for a few hours. FIL was to meet with a long time friend who was coincidentally in Vegas. We met at Oâ€™Sheas at 1:00 p.m. We sat at the bar and I played some Deuces Wild VP while they chatted. I hit the 4 deuces for $250 (quarter machine). I had never played this game before, but had done some practice online before heading out. I had over 1200 credits. I played it down to $0. I got nothing the rest of the time. I had fun though. My $20 buy-in got me 3 hours of play. His friends left and we were to meet for dinner at Batistas Hole in the Wall around the corner from Ballys on Coval ave. Played some slots before leaving Oâ€™Sheas. No hits. I didnâ€™t know Harrahs owned this place. I didnâ€™t believe it until I put my players card in and it worked. I liked the little person dressed as a leprechaun walking on top of the bar every so often offering shots. Cool vibe there. Had to check-in at Mirage and register for the tournament. Went there about 5:00 p.m. Got my room key and went to check the room before moving over from Caesars. Room 7056. Small is all I have to say. Go register by the Danny Gans theater for the tournament. They gave everyone an IPod alarm clock with docking station! Excellent! Dinner at Batistas Hole in the Wall was average at best. Very cramped seating. I sat next to FIL in a booth and one of my ass cheeks were hanging off the edge of the seat the whole time. This place was very busy though. I generally just eat were Iâ€™m staying or somewhere close. This dinner trip was for FIL. FILâ€™s friends invited us for a little gambling at the Westin. WOW! Smallest casino ever. Terrible craps odds. 2x odds on all numbers! VP here I come. They played craps and lost. I lost a quick $100 on VP. Goodbyeâ€¦ 9:00 p.m. at the Mirage. Craps table. Pool my $200 with $200 from FIL. Hit a hot roller. Make a few hard ways and a few points. I get the dice. Iâ€™m on every number with a $15 come bet and $50 odds bets on all. Collection agency starts. I keep a come bet on the board when I have the board covered to keep my bets up as they hit. Turned $400 into $1200 and split with FIL. Only down a few hundred now. More slots more VP more BJ. Many hours of fuzzy gambling. 9:00 a.m. Friday first round of tournament. Elvira is hosting walking around with a microphone talking to people and cracking jokes. I was very impressed with the production of this tournament. The Grand Ballroom was setup with 60 machines. The entire room was decorated with Halloween decorations and lights. A live DJ spun records. There was a bar, coffee table, sweet table and more. I scored 12,000 points this round. 10:00 a.m. went to Mirage front desk to the Dollar car rental. Asked for any convertible. Got a convertible PT Cruiser. Checked out of Caesars and moved to Mirage. 1:00 p.m. round two of tourney. Terrible. 9,000 points. Oh well. I figured no chance at this point. Took FIL around in the car. Took him to my favorite hotel â€“ WYNN. There were a lot of people trying to get into the pool area to look. Everyone was getting turned down by security. I told FIL â€œfollow meâ€. I had stayed in the tower suites last year and knew where the other entrance was. Walked right in. Oh how I love this pool. The most comfortable pool chairs Iâ€™ve ever sat in. Good music. Very relaxed. Dinner at Olives (Bellagio) 7:00 p.m. Excellent as usual. Walked out front after dinner so FIL could see the water show. Got the car and downtown we go. Top down driving the strip on a Friday night. Nothing compares. Park at Lady Luck. Poor lady lost her luck and her shirt. Place is closed and looks like hell. Walked down a scary stair well to street level and into the bright lights. MANY people downtown. A live concert is going on at one end and those motorcycles in the steel ball are going round and round on the other end. The overhead lightshow was really good. Iâ€™m not a huge NASCAR fan but the show is all about it. Sound is great too. Walked around a bit. Went to the PLAZA. Asked for a pack of cigarettes. The waitress pointed to a machine. I walked up to it. A younger guy was standing there with a disappointed look on his face. I say â€œwhatâ€™s up?â€. He replies â€œitâ€™s broken and so is the other one!â€. I walk away and smile to myself. Iâ€™m thinking â€œIâ€™m in Vegas and I canâ€™t get a pack of smokes in a casino. Iâ€™m definitely downtown.â€ Now Iâ€™m sure a lot of you will bash me, but this would never happen at a Harrahs or MGM property. So now I sit down to play some VP without smokes. I havenâ€™t seen a waitress yet. I figure Iâ€™ll just go to the hot dog counter and get a coke. So Iâ€™m sitting playing some VP and this slot machine a few feet away has been hitting non-stop. I couldnâ€™t take the noise anymore so I cash out and move. I look at the machine as I walk buy. Itâ€™s a penny slot! This guy was letting every win count out instead of spinning to stop the noise. FOR PENNIES!!!!!!!! I couldnâ€™t take it anymore. Walked back to the car and drove to Mirage. Played all night again. 9:00 a.m. Saturday â€“ final tournament round. Scored 14,000 points. I knew I was way out of it now. FIL went to the pool and I decided to gamble. $500 buy in at the BJ table and flat betting $30 per hand. Lost 20 out of 25 hands. Go to Top Dollar slot. Put in $100. Played down to $1. I usually put $2 dollars in at this point to have a chance on the bonus, but didnâ€™t. Spun with $1 and wouldnâ€™t you know it. The bonus hits, but I canâ€™t play it because I only put in $1. I was mad at myself. I pull out another $100 steaming. I proceed to get triple bars with 3x twice in the next 10 spins with many bonus hits. Then I hit the $1000 bonus. Played some more. Turned $200 into $1400 and headed to the pool. 6:00 p.m. tournament dinner. Excellent! Room was packed with 1000+ people. Live band, excellent food and desert. They announced the top three winners and we booked. Everyone won something. Bottom prize was $200 freeplay which posted to my account at 9:00 p.m. as told. Figured Iâ€™d play it out in the High Limit slot room on Top Dollar. Nothing. Off to the airport for a midnight flight. AA has you check in yourself at the kiosks. Iâ€™m checking in and this message pops up that I can upgrade to first class for $135. Iâ€™m in! Slept comfortably all the way home. The short of it â€“ 10 hours of BJ â€“ 3 hours of craps â€“ 15,000 slot points â€“ 5 hours VP = $500 in winnings. Hard work but a ton of fun. I got home and there was another slot tournament invite waiting. Canâ€™t wait until spring for my next trip.