Much to my surprise, I found out recently that people actually read my Degenerate Diaries when Patrick Hardin (@TheGamesOfPatrick) slid into my DMs and asked if I’d be open to a guest contributor.

Considering that I’d pretty much forgotten that I run this blog amidst my chronic COVID-induced Las Vegas withdrawal pains, the obvious question (just as when I ask myself anything to do with my dignity) was “what’ve I got to lose?” (Spoiler alert: the answer to both is a resounding “nothing”).

Adding Patrick’s experiences to the Degenerate Diaries was a no-brainer. I’ve always been a proponent of creating the Vegas experience that you want. So what better way to promote that than to feature Patrick’s stories of Sober Vegas?

What will follow in Patrick’s guest degen pieces is sure to be a lot different than my usual Vegas experience, yet it will be no less amazing. I hope that both sober and drunk readers alike will enjoy the new perspective and following along with Patrick’s trip.

Without further ado, here’s Sober Vegas through Patrick’s words (with the exception of the captions on this post, because Patrick is a sucker and didn’t include any).

A Sober Vegas Trip in 2021: Pre-Planning

Greetings all, a Trip Report is coming. However, it may be a little different from what you are used to. Let  this be your guide about what to expect:

Who the hell are you?

My name is Patrick Hardin. I’m 25 years old and a casino employee in Reno.

Patrick Hardin
This is my first time posting Patrick Hardin’s photo on here, so I will pretend to be decent and resist the temptation to make an innuendo involving a cock.


Where’s Sergio?

I’m blackmailing him in order to use his website.

Is that true?
Not one bit.

Why are you going to Vegas during this COVID time?

Free room from El Cortez, a big pile of Rapid Rewards points from Southwest, and a desire to return to Vegas since my last trip in August 2019. Plus, a Reno to Vegas flight is only an hour, I’m pretty much hop in the plane, hope off, and I’m in the big open city of Las Vegas.

Tell me about the money.

Well, the current budget is $1,250. I got the money through my Costco Anywhere Credit Card Rewards from Citi, a check from a job I got let go from that I wasn’t expecting, and a little money from my crazy fund. 

Patrick saved how much I spend in a usual trip to Costco.


How long will you be in Vegas?

Three nights. Land in Vegas on Wednesday and fly out Saturday morning.

Big plans for the trip?

A haircut, a massage, some steak, and Silver Strikes. Mostly staying Downtown with maybe one visit to the Strip.

Any drinking?

No, I don’t drink.


I promised Sergio my liver in exchange for webspace.

Is that true?

Hopefully, no.


The Prep

Vegas is a city whose industry is money. People bring money to Vegas and exchange it for different money. However, unlike  New York, Washington D.C., or Fort Worth, there’s no stock market or printing press. It’s all about the cards, dice, wheels, and machines. So, how am I getting my $1,250 bankroll?


The Costco Anywhere Visa Card from Citi is probably the best card for anybody who goes to Vegas and loves Costco. 4% back from the gas pumps, which is great because gas is always going up. 3% back on travel and restaurants. A total score for a city like Vegas. 2% from Costco and 1% everywhere else. Plus, they deliver the rewards once a year in what I like to call, the Money Dump. My first Money Dump was this year….to the tune of $436!

Gotta love category bonuses!


My Old Job.

I got let go from my previous job, and a few weeks ago I received a check I wasn’t expecting from my last job. I wasn’t expecting it and I wasn’t in dire needs, so why not place it on the Blackjack tables?

The Super Bowl

William Hill’s had a Bet $50, Get $50 promotion, so no matter what I would break even betting on the Super Bowl. I have no knowledge of football, so it was all prop bets. Thank you Chiefs for scoring first, that’s $20. Thank you to Tampa for a boring game, that’s $20 for the Under and $50 for a snoozer of a scoreless fourth quarter. An easy $140!

$2 Bills

Each trip to Vegas I get $200 in $2 bills. Makes it easy to tip and a great conversation starter when you pull a strap out of your jacket. 

Check out that 777… think it’s a good omen?



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