South Point's Blazek blitzes Bookies Battle
January 10, 2017 3:01 AM
by Robert Mann
If the headline above this story doesn’t say “Blazek Blitzes Bookies Battle” it should.
Tom Blazek, sportsbook manager at the South Point, cruised to victory as the NFL regular season concluded on Jan. 1, winning $1,000 and the admiration of his peers. Blazek grabbed the lead in week number two after posting a record of 22-9. He piled on the wins since that point finishing the season 155-99. That’s 61 percent winners.
Blazek has been an employee of South Point owner Michael Gaughan for 21 years with stops at the Barbary Coast, Renata’s (for the period when the sportsbook was run by Gaughan), the Gold Coast, and now the South Point. As manager, he reports directly to Chris Andrews, sportsbook director.
Blazek, a married father of two teenagers, is part of the Youngstown/Pittsburgh sports bookie tree in Nevada with numerous members from Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, including South Point colleague Jimmy Vaccaro, the late Robert “Muggsy” Muniz, Art Manteris, Johnny Spot, Jerry Ludt, Andrews, and many others including GamingToday’s own Richard Saber.
Blazek is known for his rooting passion for the Ohio State Buckeyes and Pittsburgh Steelers. He was working New Year’s Eve when his Buckeyes were shutout by Clemson, but wife Lisa, daughter Alexa, and son Tommy were in Glendale, Ariz., to witness the unhappy event.
Blazek came to Las Vegas and the Barbary Coast under the wing of his uncle Bob Blazek, a Barbary Coast employee at the time. He learned the ropes at the Strip location working with three pillars of the industry, Ludt, Spot and Muniz.
This was the 37th edition of the “Bookies Battle” known throughout the sports betting universe as the most difficult contest to win because selections are submitted before the Monday night game is played and because the line used is posted Monday morning before being bet into by players.
Blazek had nine more winners than the runner-up in the battle.