A stranger is being shown around a village that he has just become part of. He is shown a well and his guide says "On any day except Wednesday, you can shout any question down that well, and you'll be told the answer" .
The stranger shouts down several questions, and all are answered. The stranger is impressed, and after thinking a minute he shouts down: "Why not on Wednesday?" and the voice from in the well shouts back "Because on Wednesday, itís your day in the well".
I'm pleased to introduce youtalkfunny who has volunteered to take a turn in the well.
For those who do not know him, youtalkfunny is a former Las Vegas casino sportsbook employee who has participated on 2+2 for quite some time. Its an honor to have him and please treat him - as is required with all Well participants except Thremp - with all due respect.
If you're interested in taking a turn in The Well, see this thread.
Note - Just because YTF's Well is open doesn't necessarily mean King Yao (or actually any of the previous Well occupants) is closed. Most people, myself included, have been happy to answer questions posed at a later time.
I'm not going to be around much tomorrow but wanted to get this moving on schedule, so I started the thread and dropped YTF a PM to announce it. I'm not sure how long he'll take to see it, so don't be frustrated if your first questions go unanswered for a time...
I was flattered by the invitation to climb into the well, and honored to be among the Who's Who of Sports Betting posters who have preceded me in this endeavor.
Unlike most (or all) of the previous Well threads, I won't be able to help you pick winners, or figure ROI's, or anything of the sort.
My background in this field is a little different from the prior Well occupants: I was a bookmaker in Las Vegas for most of the '90s (almost exclusive at the Imperial Palace, when they were making a name for themselves with all their proposition bets), and I put in a year offshore in 2001-2002.
So I can answer questions from a bookmaking standpoint, and will defer any sports betting questions to those who could be of more assistance.
Again, thanks to Performity for setting this up, and to all the posters who asked me to appear here.
My father used to tell me the same anecdotes over and over again. He'd be three lines into one I've heard 100 times, and instead of listening to him, I'd be thinking to myself, "How can he NOT KNOW that I've already heard this story 100 times???"
Now I do the same thing. I hope you can all be patient with me if I post a story that I've already posted in a previous thread. Just remind yourself that there may be readers just tuning in, who haven't heard it that one yet.
You mentioned "Weird Lines" and "Super Bowl" in the same sentence, which immediately brought the "Slash" prop to mind, so I may as well start with one that I'm almost certain that I've already posted it before:
SuperBowl XXX, Switzer's Cowboy's against Cowher's Steelers, at Sun Devil Stadium. It wasn't supposed to be much of a game--Dallas was favored by two touchdowns--but we struck gold with a prop that captured the attention of the sports betting public:
Will Kordell Stewart have a rush attempt, a pass attempt, AND a reception? (He must do all three to satisfy the "Yes")
YES +250 NO -300
Of course, we thought the "No" should have been about -1000, but history has shown us that no matter what prop we dream up, the public will pile on the "Yes" on Yes/No props, and the "Over" on Over/Unders, so we shaded this one accordingly.
We put up the Slash Trifecta, expecting to laugh at anyone dumb enough to take +250 on the "Yes".
The media thought this was the most creative prop they'd seen for a while, and every broadcast or article mentioned the IP's "Slash" prop. It brought a LOT of people to our property...
...and they all wanted to bet "Yes". The price wasn't an issue. They took +250. Lowering it to +200 didn't slow them down. Soon it was +160...+120...-110...-130...
So instead of laughing at the suckers who took the +250, we were marveling that the suckers would happily lay -400 on the same prop.
The Wiseguys eventually came in to buy back some of the "No", but we weren't too eager to share it all with them. We gave them a little, but tried to keep most of the public's stupidity to ourselves. (This paragraph illustrates that the common question, "Do bookies always strive to balance their action?", should be answered, "Not always.")
In the seven years I worked at the IP, this prop was easily the biggest decision we ever had on a prop. We had a $500 max bet, but we still had a Monday Night Football-sized decision on this prop. Besides horse matchups offered by utter incompetents, I can't think of any bet ever that moved from +250 to -400. Please believe me, that +250 was not arrived at by incompetents.
Once the game started, we were pretty balanced on the sides and totals, so we pretty much just sweated the props. Of course, the Kordell Stewart prop was on the top of this list.
We knew the toughest thing the Yes bettors had to fade was the reception. Kordell ran and threw more than he caught--and even if they did throw to him, they had to complete the pass to help the Yes bettors.
Naturally, he caught a pass very early on. It wasn't a big play in Arizona, but it was a big play in Las Vegas. No matter where you were in the building at that moment, you could hear the cheering.
He also got a run attempt pretty early, as well, leaving "pass attempt" as the final hurdle. This didn't have to be a completion, it just had to be a forward pass attempt.
Midway threw the third quarter, O'Donnell pitched to Stewart, who ran a sweep to the right, except he didn't tuck the ball away.
"Uh oh, here it comes..."
Sure enough, he's got the ball cocked by his ear, and he's looking to throw...
The crowd in the sports book is going absolutely bananas. "THROW IT! THROOOOOW IT!!!" These people don't care if he throws an interception that costs his team the Super Bowl, they just want to win their bet.
Nobody's open. Kordell is holding it, holding it, still rolling right, holding it, thinking about tucking it away, almost to the sidelines...
Kordell tucks it in , and steps out of bounds for no gain on the play.
It was the wildest I've ever seen a crowd in a sports book.
That was pretty much the last we saw of Kordell that day. Put a circle around the "No". The bookies win this one.
Quote: I can't think of any bet ever that moved from +250 to -400.
Wait, I just thought of one.
That year Tiger Woods won the Masters by about 22 strokes, we got requests to put up odds on Tiger winning the Grand Slam that year. The Masters is the first event, so the bet is that he will win the British Open, US Open, and PGA Championship that year.
Nobody in the history of golf had ever done it, so we didn't expect it would happen this time, either. We put up 100-1, a ridiculously low number that only the squarest of the square would take. Remember, back then, the favorite in a golf tournament would be about 10-1, so taking 100-1 on a three-tourney parlay was about the dumbest thing you could do.
Or so we thought. We would soon learn that there were dumber things you could do.
We took a few max bets, but didn't lower the odds out of sheer guilt. We're already robbing people at this price, we don't need to lower these odds.
But they wouldn't stop betting it! They took 80-1, 70-1, 50-1, 40-1, 30-1, 20-1...
At this point, every time we moved the number, we'd think, "That ought to put a stop to this."
But it didn't. They took 15-1, 10-1, 8-1...
By this time, Tiger was about 5-1 to win the US Open, but nobody would bet that--they'd rather take 8-1 that he'd win THREE tournaments!
We had a $100 max bet on this prop, and our liability soared to seven figures. We never risked seven figures on a freaking Super Bowl, let alone a throw-in golf prop.
By the way, 8-1 didn't stop them. We kept lowering it, they kept betting it, and believe it or not, this prop closed at 2-1. That is not a typo. AND THEY'D STILL BET IT!
TOURIST: We're staying at the Excalibur, and a guy over there said you guys had a bet on Tiger Woods to win the Grand Slam. Do you have that?
ME: Yes, we do, but you should know that the odds have been bet down to 2-1.
TOURIST: Really? Oh well. Gimme Tiger to win the Grand Slam for $100.
HE WAS 2-1 TO WIN THE US OPEN, BUT THIS GUY WANTS 2-1 ON THE GRAND SLAM.
Needless to say, Tiger didn't come close to winning any Grand Slam that year. But we had our resumes updated, just in case.
I think you bring a great point-of-view, I'm looking forward to the questions/answers. Here's a question:
From the book's side, were you happy, sad or indifferent when a sharp bettor came in to bet on a prop or side? A couple of different examples:
A. IP thinks fair value in a prop is -1000 on the "No" but posts a line of +250 on "Yes" and -400 on "No". A sharp bettor comes in and pops it for the max at -400. Happy, sad or indifferent?
B. IP thinks fair line is even money. They make it -115 / -115. A known sharp player comes in and bets the Yes at -115. IP moves the line to -130 / +100. Two minutes later, a different known sharp player that IP thinks is not related to the first comes in and bets the max on the Yes at -130. Happy, sad or indifferent.
C. IP thinks the fair line should be -110 on the "yes", but they've gotten so much action on it from squares that they've moved the line to -180 / +150. A sharp player comes in and bets No +150. Happy, sad or indifferent?
What's the largest bet you booked at IP? The largest you paid out? The best bet? The worst bet (might be Tiger to win the Slam at 2-1 per above).
Did you ever cut off action from a sharp player? If so, was it a regular occurrence or do books usually welcome all comers? Can you provide any detail? I absolutely abused an errant line for UFC 71 and I had the feeling that the book was ready to ask for ID and then bounce me... no one I'd talked to had heard of anyone bounced from a vegas book for betting an available line but it made me wonder.
Would you classify the IP "Dealertainers" as the worst tragedy to ever befall mankind or merely as the greatest abomination of our lifetime?