This year's version of our (myself and JerryGuiltar) annual trip took place in January. With my pending nuptuals to my bride-to-be coming in September, it seemed better for us to move the trip up this year. It started out as a hypothetical around thanksgiving, but when we saw we could use FF miles to fly for free, and found free hotel deals, it became a no-brainer. Not only was the flight free, but the trip there was first class! Spent a good 3+ hours on the plane playing backgammon. I came out ahead $1.50 playing $.25 per mark. Score! Flight landed right on time: 2:10PM vegas time. they were working 2 cabs lines at the airport, which I had never seen before. Arrive at the Orleans, check in and head straight for blackjack. They had $5, double deck, 3:2, hit soft 17 tables running on a friday afternoon...and from what I could tell, all weekend long. That was a nice find. Played that, some PGP, and let it ride all for cheap. After about 5 hours of play, we jokingly ask the pit boss if we had earned a dinner comp. After about 5 minutes of looking at his computer, it turns out we each earned a $40 comp at the Prime Rib Loft! That was unexpected. We were by no means whales, just playing small stakes, but being friendly to the dealers and pit bosses. $80 for food for that level of action seemed like a lot, but we happily took it and made sure to give them some more chances at our money the rest of the weekend! Later in the evening, we went out to check out the Gold Coast. We had never been, and I was underwhelmed. My head cold really started to get the best of me, but we walked across the street to check out the Palms. Seemed kinda quiet over there, so we played a little and called it a night. Saturday - got up and got some food. JG had a massage scheduled for 10, so I got myself into the spa at the Orleans so I could take a steam and clear up my head. That really seemed to work and was worth the $15. We went to the strip to check out Cosmo. Nice casino - I'd play there again. I enjoyed the semi-private slot banks and table games they had. I thought maybe the cocktail waitresses would forget about us behind those things, but she was very good. And their house Cosmo is also very good. We hoofed it down to the Trop to sign up for players cards and get the $200 cash back deal. We both ended up in the positive, which was probably a good thing considering how long the line was at the players club. So we left before we could get in the red. Not a bad promotion if you have the patience for it, though. Caught a cab to check out the Pawn store in Pawn Stars. Worth going if you are a fan, but only once. At the end of the day, its just a pawn store. We hoofed it from there downtown. Long walk, but just about your only option from there. Had dinner at the microbrew in Main Street Station. If my cold hadn't been starting to get me down, I woulda really enjoyed it. As it was, I mildly enjoyed it. We bought in for the $100 NLHE tourny at Binions, which was the only poker we played on the trip. I woulda rather now as only 13 people signed up, and they took 24% rake. I busted out before final table, JG took 3rd for a $114 (ish) profit. When I busted, I sat down at a PGP table and had a good time. The floor was hopping and our table was fun. Met 3 girls who were there together but from different parts of the country. met another couple from Cali. We played there for a solid 5 hours with the drinks flowing. After that, we walked down to the Plaza, aka ghost town. I guess they are remodeling, because all they had was a skelton crew and slot machines. You could hear every little noise in the place, it was eerily quiet. We were looking for a table game, which they didn't have, so we bounced and went to Golden Gate. I love Golden Gate. i wish i was feeling better, because I woulda liked to stay here longer. They had full pay blackjack in the party pit, so I woulda liked to watch the view a little longer. After a short stay, we headed back to the Orleans. Sunday - got up early to check out and check in at Flamingo. We wanted to head over to Bellagio to bet on the AFC and NFC champ. games and play some early morning BJ. Get there, room isn't ready. Order breakfast, which cost $15, try to use my TR card, which had $100+ on it in credits. The lady says I only have $4 on it. So I pay the difference. Livid, I go to the TR booth. They say I have more, and so I ask for a credit. Or a matchplay. Or a room upgrade. Something to compensate me for my inconvenience. I am told they can't do any of that, but the manager walks with me to the stand to get my $11 back. 20 minutes later, I get the credit back on my credit card, and they find a way to deduct the $11 from my TR card. Nightmare. I swear off CET properties for the first time on the trip. Head over to the Bellagio. bet $20 each on Bears +3.5 and Jets +175. Lose both, obv. We play some $5 3:2 BJ out of the Cont Shuf Machine for a few hours. There is nothing in vegas like Mimosas and Bellinis at the Bellagio before noon. I highly recommend this. Sometime after kickoff, we head over to Osheys for lunch at the BK in the back. We spot a heads up hold em machine in the back. Don't play this. The gameplay is horrible. I lose, and give JG his $20 sidebet money. We want to watch the 2nd half of the bears game, so we play blackjack and let it ride. After the game, we head over to Venetian. We ended up at 2 penny slot machines: I was playing Invaders from the Planet Moolah, and JG was playing All that Glitters. IPM is now my new favorite slot machine. Moo. Musta spent 2 hours on those 2 machines. Caught the end of the Jets game and then went down to Pellazo and Wynn. JG spots Steve Wynn walking toward us with his little blonda hottie on his arm. He is like "hey, that is Steve Wynn" and tries to wave to him. Doesn't break stride, or even acknowledge his presence. We showed him though. We hardly gambled in his property. Instead, we each bought a dozen hot wings for $17.99/each. Take that. The wings were good, but not $1.50/wing good. Headed back toward Flamingo since we still didn't have our room keys yet. Stopped at Imperial Palace - why - I have no idea. Played some PGP and craps. Dropped some cash. Felt like I needed a shower. Why people go here, I have no idea. I feel like I catch fleas or herpes just from being in the casino. Walked out of there and played some at Flamingo. Dropped some more cash. I think I was down $250 gambling for the trip, almost $200 of which at CET properties....after I swore off them. So as if that wasn't enough, we go to get our room keys at 3:00AM, and they can't print out cards. So we wait another 15 minutes, and get the room that is farthest from the elevator. Which at the flamingo is in another area code. Begin rant: So now I am done with CET properties. We used to go there almost exclusively because they had the best odds for low rollers like us. But you know, its not hard to find good odds for cheap at nice places anymore. We played $5 BJ at Bellagio and Orleans (and downtown), and they had $10 PGP everywhere. We got $10 BJ at Cosmo and Venetian/Pallazo, and I saw it at the Wynn, too. Craps you could get for $5 at the Orleans. All of this on a friday, saturday and sunday. I remember last year getting good tables at Aria for cheap, too. And look at the casinos. Do any of the CET properties really have a nice casino? Do any of them compare to Cosmo, Venetian, Wynn? I might give you Paris. Caesars is nice for sure, but only for higher rollers. Ballys doesn't hold a candle to Orleans. And they, by far, run more 6:5 games than any other property. I am done with CET. I cashed out the $100 or so I had before leaving for my flight on stupid junk. At the end of the day, they have horrible customer service. I firmly believe they view the customer as owing them money the second you step on their property. I told JG a few years ago that if he ever caught me playing Keno, he could punch me in the face. Since then I've played three times, and only got punched once (in the arm). I'd rather play Keno than stay/play at CET. I'd rather spin the big wheel. I'd rather play 1:1 blackjack for $100/hand. You get the idea. End Rant. Anyway, CET issues aside, excellent trip. I wished the first 2/3 of the trip were without the cold, because I felt like it shortened a few sessions. No real big wins or losses this trip for either of us. I think I spent about $400 total on the entire trip, which is a win in my book. Can't wait to go back.