Hi all, Even though I have been to Vegas multiple times this is my first trip report posted on T2V. I decided to go for MLK/inauguration weekend mostly because I REALLY didn't want to be in DC for the millions that were coming. So I was able to coordinate with my college buddy Jay and the rest was easy. Saturday, Jan. 17th After a sleepless night, I took the super-early Dulles to JFK flight on Jetblue then hooked up with Jay and flew Jetblue out west. I am a big big lover of Jetblue. It's comfortable, reasonably priced, they don't charge extra for DirecTV or snacks or checking one bag. I will support them until they are squeezed out by the bigger outfits and I will go down weeping. The flights were uneventful and the limo from the IP was waiting for us. I am also a big big lover of the Imperial Palace. It is not glamorous but it has exactly what I need, plus my host there (the lovely B) has gone above and beyond. I have always gotten the few things I really like to have on a Vegas trip when I go. We get checked into my penthouse suite and grab some food before hitting the casino floor. The Teahouse coffee shop is just fine at the IP and before you know it we're warming up with some three card poker. Not my usual game of choice but there was an empty table so we bellied up. I was betting in the $10-15 range on both the ante and pair plus and neither one of us could get something going until BOOM I get three 5's and the 30-1 payout on the pair plus gets me from being way down to being ahead. I go on a mini-streak, no huge hands but consistently getting pairs and winning. Jay isn't so lucky and continues to be dealt some of the worst possible hands. Eight high, six high, he is bleeding chips so I start to feed him from my winnings so he can at least play a hand all the way through. Finally he gets a flush and we cash out. I have a tip on a horse that's running and I wanted to run upstairs to bet on it and see the lines for the following day's NFL conference title games. The horse runs a very disappointed sixth and we linger in the old-fashioned IP sportsbook discussing football. I tell Jay I am going to bet Over 47 in the first game (Eagles/Cardinals) and parlay it with the Ravens +6 because I believe it will be a close game against Steelers. We head down and hit one of the open dice tables at the IP and immediately one of the dealers remembers me from my previous trips and starts asking about my work, how DC is, etc. Another reason why I love the Imperial Palace. Jay and I both take a pounding and the lack of sleep is starting to get to me. I have been up for close to 40 hours by now. Jay had some friends in town so he hooked up with them. I went to the Mai Tai Lounge to drink before finally getting back to the suite and curling up with a pillow. Sunday, Jan. 18th I'm up after four hours of sleep and check on Jay in the other bedroom in our suite. He's stirring so I jump in the shower while he gets going. I see a text from him from the night before regarding an Asian lady of the evening so after he's up, I ask and he tells me about hooking up with her at his friend's hotel room and how she tried to upsell him and how mediocre the experience was. I just shake my head. After doing a little research (including posts from T2V), we decide to go to the Palazzo's new Sportsbook Bar & Grill to watch at least the Eagles/Cardinals game and possibly both games. We leave the IP around 10:00am to walk over leisurely and get there early enough to get settled somewhere before the noon kickoff. On the walk over, we decide to go into Harrah's and roll some bones. I order a double screwdriver from the cocktail waitress. I pick up the dice at Harrah's sometime shortly after 10 and don't give them back until sometime after 11. Jay told me it was a 65+ minute roll but I really don't remember. I do remember hitting five of the six possible point numbers as my point and winning $1,250 on my $5 fire bet (a craps sucker bet found at the Harrah's properties). Jay had a short roll and we cashed out, both of us up thousands and scurrying over to the Palazzo. The Palazzo is a very nice casino in the same fashion as its older brother, the Venetian. We pick up a couple cigars and head to the Sportsbook Bar. The place was created out of the unsuccessful 40/40 Club owned by Jay Z and Beyonce. We find a comfortable spot and the waitress informs us that it is a $75 ordering minimum per person and we decide to stay since both of us can definitely hit that minimum between food and booze. We go over to the sports betting stations just outside the restaurant and play some additional bets on the game. Beforehand, I feel good that it'll be a high scoring Eagles/Cards game and a close Ravens/Steelers encounter. I ended up being half right but unfortunately the Ravens losing by nine cost me all of the parlays I had going into that game. If Flacco doesn't throw that pick to Polamalu, maybe they just lose by two and all is right with the world. That's what I get for betting on a rookie quarterback. Our desire to reach our ordering minimum while also using the generous number of drink tickets the Palazzo sportsbook was giving out definitely got to us. We both began using our drink tickets to get beers, which led to this cute little exchange: Me: What bottled beers do you have? Waitress: Anything you can think of Me: Do you have Yuengling? Waitress: Except that From there Jay starts drinking scotch and I embrace my Italian roots and my love of sparkling wines in beginning to order Bellini's, a cocktail made of Prosecco and peach puree except the Palazzo substituted in peach schnapps and it was heavenly. We had befriended the people at the table next to us and when the Eagles took the lead in the 4th quarter, he started pouring us shots of Ketel One from his bottle service set-up. I don't think you are supposed to drink vodka shots from a champagne flute but oh well. I would highly recommend the Sportsbook Bar & Grill for those who are serious sports fans. It is not cheap but it is worth it in my opinion. We got so drunk and so full on food that we decided to go before the second game to go relax back at the IP. The walk back got the blood flowing again and we watched the first half of the Ravens/Steelers game from an Imperial Palace dice table. I decide to bet the Steelers in the second half to hedge my Ravens bet since Baltimore just didn't look that good in the first half. I stagger from the IP sportsbook to the penthouse suite and collapse on the couch. Jay makes it up soon after and we watch the rest of the game, still recovering from our afternoon of food and drink. I'm not happy that the Steelers push the second half spread so I end up 0-1-1 for that game. Bah. Eventually we get some motivation and go back to Harrah's to check things out, maybe try to whack their craps tables around again. They are all full so we decide to take a couple open spots at a roulette table. We stay for a couple of hours chatting with our fellow players and the very friendly dealer. We are all drinking and checking out the women everywhere. I wouldn't think Harrah's would attract such girls but they do. I was also pleasantly surprised by the attractive girls hanging out at the IP. Both of us wound up ahead and got out while the getting is good for my first winning session in roulette possibly ever. Heading back, we stop at that overly expensive convenience store near Harrah's and the IP. I use my comp dollars to pay for soda, cigars, and a bottle of Johnnie Black. We get back to the room and start pouring the scotch and smoking our cigars while watching Righteous Kill on pay-per-view. A very disappointing movie considering who is involved. Jay passes out but I tough it out to see the end of the film before collapsing into bed while the sun begins to rise through our window. Monday, Jan. 19th After the previous day's festivities, neither Jay nor myself are in any hurry to get up. I still only get a few hour's sleep but I don't want to leave bed. I watch SportsCenter and shoo off the maid while Jay takes a very long bath in an attempt to detox. He is still bathing while I finally get motivated enough to head downstairs to the casino and play some dice. A half-dozen English soccer hooligans from Manchester are at the table playing and they make for great entertainment. One of them placed the five for $200 then pressed it all the way after it hit. Unfortunately the shooter sevened out before throwing another five. I was holding my own and leaning on the table for dear life. I really needed to get back upstairs but couldn't get away from the table. Oh, the dilemmas that Vegas presents. Jay isn't in the room when I return so I pop some meds and lay back. I doze off for an hour before the maid comes again and I decide she better make the room up; besides, it's the perfect excuse to get back to gambling. She comes in and I head down to the sportsbook to sit and bet on the ponies. Nothing is going my way so I decide to go to my last resort: the Wheel Of Fortune progressive slots. I have a love/hate relationship with these machines but decide it could be my lucky day. I put a C-note and my player's card into the machine and before you know it, both the hundred dollars and a piece of my dignity are gone. Will that deter me? Hell no. I put in another C-note and finally get a little something going. I almost have a heart attack on one spin when the first two reels show the Wheel Of Fortune symbol...and the third is a blank. Sigh. I get back to even and throw in the towel. It's already late afternoon and we were supposed to go to Lawry's for dinner but neither one of us is interested so we relax up in the room and get room service. I order a bbq platter that isn't bad at all and Jay gets salmon which he likes. Yes, this is Imperial Palace room service and we are definitely risktakers. Jay flew back Monday night and I flew back Tuesday. Another great trip to Vegas over. Sorry that the report isn't chock full of interesting things, this was more of a hunker-down-drinking-and-gambling trip than sightseeing or exploration. The bottom line: A very fun trip even if it did not turn a profit. The IP remains my place to stay. I was able to put in enough gambling time to get back almost 4,000 tier points guaranteeing me at least platinum status and I'm sure I will get back to diamond with three more Vegas trips planned in 2009. I would recommend the Sportsbook Bar & Grill at the Palazzo to anyone. I would also continue to recommend the IP, just don't go to the buffet.