what an unoriginal title! first of all, let me say thanks to everyone else submitting a trip report, it seems like before we left on our trip on 8-28, there were no new reports to help pass the time, and now that we are back, there a lots of them! this was our third and last trip of 2006, all a combination of two or three days of trade show, along with at least one day of just playing, with a lot of playing on the nights of the trade shows, too. left the house at our usual 3 am, to get to the airport and depart at 6 am. the good news with that is that we connect perfectly in salt lake, usually, and are in las vegas before 9 am las vegas time. all went well on that front, we split up at the airport, wife into a cab to the venetian for a trade show, me in the shuttle to take all the luggage to the plaza, and hopefully to check in early. plaza does not allow early check in, told me it would be noon, had to go back down from the stupid third floor checkin to the bell desk, and get some stuff out of my luggage. went to the golden nugget, found by big split machines, and lost a hundred there, and to my lucky dollar machine at the four queens and it ate a hundred really fast. i was not to have much good luck on the machiens this trip, but after the last three trips where i had extraordinary luck, i knew it was about time and cant complain. having lost enough, went to the golden gate deli for the breakfast/lunch of champions, a french dip, original shrimp cocktail, and a beer. back to the plaza and up to the checkin, just after noon, a twenty minute long line, with just the same two clerks there that were there two hours ago. they had no record of our name, luckily one of the things i had gotten out of the luggage was our confirmation number, and that worked enough to get them to give us a room, though i had to go back later to check that the room was at the FREE rate that we were in on. the room was actually very nice, a view up main toward the strip, with a good bed. the furniture and the carpet did not show near as much wear and age as our room at the four queens last year, i guess with the total experience in mind, i would stay there again, but it would again have to be free or very inexpensive. after the checkin, then you call the bell desk, and they actually got the bags there pretty rapidly, though i should have just went down and got them myself. went down, got a cab to The STRAT , cashed a coupon they had mailed us for 30 dollars free cash, at the cage. checked the pay table on one vp machine, did not like it, walked out with the 30. cab to the venetian took another 12, so i think i netted 10 bucks on the trip. walking into the venetian, from their valet/cab stop was like walking into another world! nice young lady, greeting and answering questions as you walked in, pointed me very accurately to the box office, where i picked up our tickets to phantom of the opera for that night. made my way to the trade show, met my wife, we made a couple more purchases there, but she had gotten most of the days business done! we played at the venetian for a couple of hours, great cocktail service in the race book as always, and it was time for our 5 pm reservations at delmonico! having gotten up at 3 am, the timing for dinner was actually just about right. everything great we had heard about delmonico was true. perfect timing with everything, had a discussion about what medium rare meant there, and both our steaks, although ordered medium rare, were different and perfect within our requests of how we wanted them. we had their bone in rib steaks, their specialty, along with sides of button mushrooms and a twice baked cheddar potato, and an appetizer of emerils barbecued shrimp. the 70 page wine list had everything on it, and we found a 40 dollar australian shiraz that was perfect with our meal. total tab, with tip, was 225 dollars, and we would return to delmonico again tomorrow, and certainly will do it again on another trip. from dinner to the phantom theater. the show is a spectacle, we enjoyed it, although our early rising time was catching up on us, and we learned that doing a show on our first night is just no longer an option, we must be getting old! the stage and special effects are worth seeing, the story line is a lot sketchy when the show is shortened to an hour and a half from the 3 hour broadway show, (so we have heard). anyway, if you have done the cirque show and blue man group, this is probably next, but i think i wish we would have went to LOVE instead. by a little after 9 we are back down at the plaza, the end of a very long day, down about400 on the gambling plus the cost of dinner, time for the day to end. tomorrow, another trade show at the hilton, more gambling unluck at paigow, racing, and video poker, and dinner at the redwood grill in the california.