Ok I'm just flying off the cuff here but here goes my trip report. Friday, January 12th: Flight left DC on time and I plugged into the DirecTV immediately (THANK YOU JETBLUE!) Five hours later my buddy Ben and I landed in the big LV around 10:30pm local time. We went down to baggage claim and blammo our limo from the Imperial Palace was there waiting for us. This was my first time staying here so I came in with some nerves but those were quickly put to rest as my host Barb met us in the lobby area and we were quickly checked into our rooms as another buddy, Joel, met us there. I had a deluxe king suite comped and my buddies were staying in one of the deluxe standard rooms with three more friends coming in the next day. The suite was very nice though it looks like the IP hasn't updated their decor since the Carter Administration. This lack of change was pushed even further by the fact that instead of swiping your players card at table games, the supervisor takes your number down BY HAND. I guess since Harrah's plans were to knock the IP down they aren't going to invest in upgrades at this point. The three of us hit a single-deck blackjack table and buckled down for the next six hours. The dealers and floor people were very friendly and even though I lost about 200 bucks, it was a great time. Of course the six or seven white russians probably added to that. At 5am enough was enough and we slowly moved back to our rooms. It took seven hours for me to become a Vegas zombie, that's a new personal best. I ordered room service and watch Borat on ppv before finally passing out. Saturday, January 13th: The day started earlier than I anticipated with a phone call from Ben around 9:30am. Joel went to play in a poker tournament at Caesars while we showered and dressed. I went downstairs and while at the dice table got a text from my good friend Jenn, who I knew when I was in law school in Indiana and who had moved out to San Fran. She had decided to road trip with three of her friends on a spur of the moment thing and they were across the street at Caesars. When Ben came down we walked across to Caesars and GOD DAMN IT WAS COLD. Freezing our nuts off we met them in the sports book. Ben was incredibly hungry and we wanted to eat then watch the Colts-Ravens game. We went into the Forum Shops and ate at the Stage Deli, one of my favorite spots on Earth. The six of us had a great time and ate enough for a small nation. After lunch we crossed back into the IP to meet up with our three friends Rob, Byron, and Andy. They couldn't check into their room yet so they brought their bags up to my suite. Joel came back over and Jenn and her friends went down to the IP sports bar to watch the Colts game while the six of us walked down to the Venetian poker room to play and watch. The Venetian poker room is absolutely awesome and gets the highest rating possible. Very easy to sign up, helpful and friendly staff and very friendly players, easy to find at the casino, great cocktail service, and big enough so you aren't jammed in against each other. Famous person sighting: poker legend Doyle Brunson came through the poker room to go to their high limit poker area on his Rascal scooter. We played all afternoon, into the Eagles-Saints game, and I broke even even though I had been ahead between 50 and 150 most of the time. When we cashed out, we saw Doyle playing in the back with Eli Elezra, another bigtime poker player and Vegas businessman. Security was all over their area so nobody got close. After poker we went back to the IP and I napped. We were going over to Mandalay Bay that night to party and meet up with the friend of one of our friends, a guy who was a producer in the adult entertainment industry. I showered, got as cleaned up as I could, and we took the monorail to Mandalay Bay. The place was HUGE and PACKED so we grabbed a beer, met up with the producer, and basically hung out. Ben and I were particularly tired and dead on our feet so we didn't last long before heading back to IP and I was fast asleep before midnight. Sunday, January 14th: My buddy Rob woke me up early enough to make sure I got my bets in on the Bears-Seahawks game. I loved Seattle and he convinced me to take the over. We walked over to the Paris and placed our bets and plopped down in their sports book, which I have always been a fan of. Byron and Andy met us over there and after I cashed on both my tickets, Rob and I hit the buffet at the Paris, another one of my personal favorites. PROBLEM: I have a Total Rewards diamond card with over 8000 points on it but their computer kept on coming up that I had no comp points. This was not solved until I got back to DC and called the Total Rewards people who said their was a problem with the Paris computers. NO KIDDING. After eating, we all met back up at the IP and played poker there. The IP poker room is small but has a friendly staff. The players are a mix but most of them are very poor calling stations with short stacks. I wasn't in much of a poker mood so I dumped $200 before going to the dice table. I had played a little craps during the trip to this point with poor results. Finally I caught a break and this very pretty Asian girl, someone my buddies thought was a working girl, went on a tear at the dice table and I ended up 800 for the session. I thought things were finally turning my way until after we ate dinner and went back to the blackjack table. Just a train wreck from the word "go". I moved my seat, from 3rd to 1st base, nothing helped. I was dealt a string of 14s, 16s, 6s and 7s while my buddy Joel seemed to get a blackjack every other hand. I went on a mini come back and my $300 lasted me a long time before I finally got too tired to see straight and retired for the night. Monday, January 15th: Check-out day. Ben and Joel had early flights so they were gone before I even got into the shower. I finally got packed up and stored my suitcase (my flight was the red eye leaving around 11pm). Byron, Rob, and Andy left around noon so I decided to take my last chance at the tables. Nothing going at the dice table so I played some pai gow poker, at least hoping for my money to last but I just got pounded again. Lots of small pairs and ace highs while the dealer just went on a big streak. So I ended up losing for the trip but I definitely got my money's worth gambling wise. Final thoughts: Sorry that the report isn't very exciting. We didn't go much in the way of tourist stuff, walking around or taking in shows. We drank, we ate, we gambled like the cavemen we are. I would recommend the IP to anyone looking for a cheap place to stay and/or gamble right in the middle of the strip. The decor is 30 years out of date but I found it acceptable at the least. The dealers were very friendly and one particular blackjack dealer was the greatest I think I've ever met in my days. I would also recommend the Venetian poker room for poker players. I am hoping to make a return trip sometime this summer if all things go well. Thanks for reading.