Want to be on Pawn Stars?

Here is your chance.  Email them at Pawnstarstvshow@gmail.com
You can find out more at this link:
http://tinyurl.com/6lkngsq

Of course, if you just want to visit the shop or sell an item without being on TV you can do that any day.  Gold And Silver Pawn is at 713 S Las Vegas Blvd between the Strip and Downtown.   Half of the store is Pawn Stars merchandise, but if you like the show you will probably like the store.

MGM Resorts’ Mlife Players Club

The former MGM Players Club became Mlife in 2011.
It was a big departure from the former, non-tiered system, but it made it more accessible to the average visitor… kind of.

Mlife covers the MGM Resorts International properties – MGM Grand, Mirage, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York,   Monte Carlo, Bellagio, Aria, Vdara, The Signature at MGM Grand, Delano Las Vegas  (   formerly THEhotel) and a few casinos outside Las Vegas. 

Tiers and Tier Credits.
Similar to Caesars Entertainment’s Total Rewards system, Mlife uses Tier Credits to calculate your status.

  • Sapphire is the basic tier that everyone starts with.
  • Pearl is the next tier up and requires 25,000 Tier Credits earned between October 1st and September 30th of the following year.
  • Gold requires 75,000 Tier Credits.
  • Platinum requires 200,000 Tier Credits.
  • NOIR is by invitation only and requires at least 1,000,000 Tier Credits.

Tier Credits reset to zero on October 1st, but the tier you achieved in that year is good for another full year. For example, if you earn 75,000 Tier Credits between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013, you will have Gold status through September 30, 2014.

Calculating Tier Credits for slot and video poker play is easy.
$1 through a slot machine = 3.33 Tier Credits (effective Oct. 1, 2012)
$1 through a video poker machine = 1 Tier Credit
You earn Tier Credits for table games, too. The number of credits will vary with the game, your average bet and the duration of your play. Betting $25/hand for an hour of blackjack will earn 550 Tier Credits. You will earn tier credits faster when playing roulette and carnival games (like 3-Card Poker). MGM properties used to require a minimum bet of $25 per hand in order to track or rate your play. MGM Grand is now tracking all play (verified March 2016). When in doubt, ask the dealer or the pit boss.
When you have Pearl status or higher, you earn credits at an accelerated rate.

Joining in on the recent trend of rewarding you for non-gaming activities, Mlife also lets your earn 25 Tier Credits per dollar spent on dining, lodging and entertainment. Aside from retail purchases, if you can charge it to your room, you should be able to get Tier Credits for it.
Remember, Tier Credits are only used to keep track of your Tier.

Beware that Tier Credits accrue at a lower rate at non-Las Vegas based MGM properties. You only earn 8 Tier Credits per dollar spent at MGM Grand Detroit, Beau Rivage and  Gold Strike Tunica. The Tier Credits earned from gambling at those casinos is lower, too.  For my calculations, I am only focusing on the Las Vegas casinos.

Here is a quick breakdown of how much it takes to reach each tier.

Tier

Tier Credits

Slot
Coin-in
VP
Coin-in

Purchases

Pearl 25,000 $7,500 $25,000 $1,000
Gold 75,000 $22,500 $75,000 $3,000
Platinum 200,000 $60,000 $200,000 $8,000
Noir 1,000,000 $300,000 $1,000,000 $40,000

Mlife benefits vary with your tier status.

  • Sapphire status gives you a 5% discount at some retail outlets and a discount at the onsite Avis car rental.
  • Pearl status lets you use the VIP line at the buffet, upgraded show seating, 10% retail discount and a 10% bonus on Points earning .
  • Gold adds the use of the VIP line at the cafe, room upgrades, priority check in, 10% retail discount, 20% bonus on Points earning and special access the casinos’ nightclubs.
  • Platinum gives you priority access to just about everything as well as a 15% retail discount and a 30% bonus on Points earning.
  • NOIR adds guaranteed room and dining reservations, 15% retail discount and a 40% bonus on Points earning. Those benefits are in addition to the offers that the casino sends based upon your gambling daily average.

Points and Comps.
Points are how Mlife keeps track of your actual comps.

  • $10 through a video poker machine = 1 Point
  • $3 through a slot machine = 1 Point (effective Oct. 1, 2012)
  • You do not earn Points for table games, but you do earn comps based upon the game, average bet and duration.

Comps are divided into Express Comps and Primary Comps.
You get $0.01 in Express Comps for every Point you earn on slot and video poker machines. Express Comps for table games are based on your length of play, average bet, and game type. While it is fairly easy to track your Express Comps, Primary Comps are still a trade secret. They accrue based upon your rated play at table games and slot machines but you need to go to the Mlife desk to see how much you have. They can then credit those Primary Comps to your room.
You can use your Express Comps to cover lodging, dining and entertainment costs. Look for an “Express Comps Accepted Here “ sign to find participating outlets or apply them to your room charges.

POINTSPlay.
You also receive $0.01 in POINTSPlay for every point you earn on slot and video poker machines.  You can load POINTSPlay into a machine and play with points instead of cash.  If you don’t want to play those points, you have the option to convert the POINTSPlay amount into Express Comps.

For more information on the Mlife system, visit mlife.com

Players Clubs and Comps: Total Rewards

NOTE: On January 1, 2013 Total Rewards changed the Tier Points required for the various tiers. Please read my post about the changes. You can also see an updated Total Rewards overview in my Total Rewards Overview post.

There was a time when getting comps was pretty easy, but how the casino decided what comps you would get was a bit of a mystery. The system was open to a lot of personal discretion from pit bosses and hosts. Today, most process is a bit more transparent … to a certain extent. Today, it is easier to claim your comps, too, but those comps tend to be less valuable.

There are 2 main players clubs in Las Vegas.
Total Rewards and Mlife.

Total Rewards covers the Caesars Entertainment properties – Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s, Flamingo, Bally’s, Paris, Imperial Palace (now The Quad) and Rio. Total Rewards is also used at the numerous Caesars Entertainment properties across the US.

Mlife covers the MGM Resorts International properties – MGM Grand, Mirage, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, Aria, Vdara, The Signature at MGM Grand, THEhotel at Mandalay Bay and a few casinos outside Las Vegas.

Wynn and the Venetian each have their own club and most of the ‘locals’ casinos that you might have heard of are part of Boyd’s BConnected or Station’s Boarding Pass players clubs.

The basic process for tracking your play is the same with all players clubs.
For table games like blackjack and craps, present your card to the dealer when you buy in.
For slot and video poker machines, put your card in the card reader before you start playing.

Today, I am just going to cover the Total Rewards system. Continue reading Players Clubs and Comps: Total Rewards

How to choose a hotel for your trip

For my first Blog post, I am going to tackle something kind of big.
How to choose a hotel for your trip.
There are so many things that actually go in to this that one post isn’t going to cover it all, but hopefully it will help you make the decision that works best for your particular trip.
The first thing you need to decided is the purpose for your trip. Is it for a convention, to see a show or special event, gamble the night away, visit a spa and relax, or just to take in as many of the sights as possible? Are you looking for high energy / hustle and bustle or do you want a slower pace?

If you are going for a convention, stay at one of the hotels that is an “official hotel” for your convention. Shop around for a rate since you can often find cheaper rates than what the convention has negotiated, but don’t stay at a different hotel just because it has a lower room rate. You will be spending more in time and additional transportation than you would have saved by staying at the cheaper hotel non-convention hotel. This is especially true if your convention is at an off-Strip hotel like the Rio or at the far North end of the Strip like the Stratosphere or Riviera.

If you are visiting Las Vegas for a vacation, remember that your room is where you start your day, plan your adventure for the day and recover from your day. Even if you only consider it to be a place to sleep and shower, you want it to be comfortable and you don’t want to dread going back to your room. You also don’t want to have to travel very far to get back to your room at the end of the day.

If you are looking for relaxation and pampering, try a hotel with a great spa. Qua at Caesars Palace and Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian should be at the top of your list. You don’t want to have to walk or catch a cab to get back to your hotel after your spa time.

If you are looking for a more relaxed, low-key trip without pampering, stay downtown. All of the downtown / Fremont Street casinos are within easy walking distance. Their table games have lower minimum bets and the slots tend to payback more. The hotels and hotel rooms are not fancy and some don’t even have irons (you have to call housekeeping to get an iron for an hour at the Fremont Hotel and Casino). You are not going to find the hottest nightclubs, a Cirque du Soleil show or a Celebrity chef here, either.

It gets harder to generalize once you get to the Strip, so I am going to save specifics for later posts. Location does play a big part, though. How easy is it to get from your hotel to any other places that you want to go? That might not be as obvious as it sounds.

Hopefully this gives you a starting point for your Vegas Vacation!