In less than 24 hours, I will be in the most important of all American cities: Las Vegas. Why is Las Vegas the most important? Because Vegas is America's pressure release. Without Vegas, the U.S. would implode from its unmet demand for The Thrill - lust, gambling, booze, instant riches, feeling like a big shot - you name it, Vegas has it. And it can all be yours for the right price... I got Vegas in my blood and I need another dose A$AP. I've been reading these VMB trip reports since my last Vegas visit (June 2015, MGM) and chomping at the bit as I read the amazing exploits of MrsFuri, Broncofn, Packer, Pay Triple, mrjvegas, and countless others while waiting for my chance to write a TR. I know I am a day early, but I just had to get started on this TR since I have a lot of stuff planned and know that Drafting While Vegasing (DWV) is hard to do for mere mortals like me. I don't know about you, but if given the choice of taking five minutes to write an update or betting $86 across at the craps table, 9 times out of 10, I'll pick the dice. That's just how I'm wired. Ladybrick and I have had this August trip planned for many months since it coincides with my birthday (13th) and our anniversary. At first, it was just going to be us, but then I decided to invite family and friends because..well, it is Vegas and everyone needs a Vegas vacation, right? So, after a series of detailed emails trying to get people to make a decision on hotels, flights, etc., we now have a crew of around 15 ready to hit the Strip. I tell you...organizing family and friends for a vacation is like herding cats. Luckily, I have been spending all of my work time for the past few months on VMB learning the intricacies of Vegas and felt confident arranging a fun itinerary for me and Ladybrick, with everyone else invited to join us. I had to keep the focus on providing the most fun for my wife and I because trying to bend over backwards for other people in terms of planning our vacation, is something I just won't do. I have tried it that way before and I can tell you that this way is a lot easier. Here is my planned list of things to do this trip. I tried to mix fun with value since my crew ranges from those black chip players to those "down to their last" red chip and prayers. Heritage Steak Mon Ami Gabi Serendipity 3 Harrah's Spa Package Bellagio Conservatory Forum Shops Venetian Canal Shoppes Mob Museum Fremont Street Experience Carnegie Deli Jean Phillipe Patisserie Hash House A Go Go Gamble like a madman Roll the bones in Every Casino I Enter Collect a $1 chip from every casino I enter Get a Handpay NFL/NCAA Futures I will do my best to report on things Live but as I mentioned I am not good at DWV. The crew is spread around the Strip like Steve Wynn's ego with reservations at Harrah's, Aria, Cosmo, Luxor, Venetian and Rio. I almost stayed at the MGM during this trip but received a better offer from Harrah's. I am Pearl at MGM and Gold at CET. I plan to bang the CET tables hard with my BR this trip to see what happens over the next year in terms of offers. I don't mind paying for my rooms, meals, and what not but I am interested in seeing how my BR and daily theo are treated at Harrah's. I have an affinity for the brand since the one in Reno was probably the first casino I ever entered. I can still remember the security guard telling my elder to "get that boy away from the slot machine!" Even at the age of nine, I knew I liked The Thrill. What happens when the Brick invites family and friends to his special, most favorite place? We'll see when my Southwest flight touches down in Brick City shortly after 1:00 manana. Until then... THE PROS Since I am technically on vacation until next week, I took advantage of my boss status as an Oakland Raider Season Ticket Holder to attend today's training camp in Napa. After watching the team perform today, I am steadfast in my belief that the Raiders will be "OVER" the predicted win total of 5.5 games. Here are some pictures from today's practice along with some observations. Latavius Murray #28 is the real deal. Amari Cooper #89 will have a big year. Effortless routes and catches. Trent Richardson #33 still won't apologize for ruining my 2012 Fantasy Football season. I told him all is forgiven if we beat Denver. The LB corps is strong, but the secondary is suspect. Khalil Mack #52 is All-Pro waiting to happen.