Do I think it pays to bet like a girl?

May 11, 2017 10:11 AM


So here it is a few years after I first began working to promote a sports talk radio program which is broadcast live from Las Vegas, and I find myself sitting in a hotel room at Newark International Airport, in New Jersey, which by the way is where I was born and where I’ve called home for many years. Now Vegas has become my home and where I ultimately found my sense of belonging.

What a crazy idea, moving to Las Vegas (by the way I actually reside just outside of Vegas, for all intents and purposes, it’s close enough and a stone’s throw to The Strip) and deciding to prolong my dissertation for my doctorate even longer than I had planned, and take on the idea of betting for real. I mean it’s not as though anyone ever makes money being a professional gambler, right? That’s just for degenerates and losers, right? Wrong!

Back when I was in the 8th grade I can recall my best friend’s uncle, leaving his position as a Science teacher to move to Vegas and become a professional gambler. When I started to promote my brother’s (Ken Thomson) radio program, I was doing it because I wanted him to be successful and the world to know he was on the radio; it had less to do with the content of his show than the fact that he had a show. Here it is a few years later, and I am about to debut on that same local AM station in Vegas (AM 720 KDWN) with my own show, and it’s more about the content than the fact that I’m on the air.  What’s that they say about life being what happens when you’re busy making plans?

Newark International is a stone’s throw away from ‘The City,’ where people still put on their business suits and they things are so serious. They pay close attention to the stock market and what’s on the news. When I got to Vegas back in 2012 and listened to all those handicappers on the radio, I thought to myself, these guys are like the day traders of Wall Street – they are not degenerates at all.

Some of the handicappers who would be on my brother’s radio show, appeared weekly and they included some of the most brilliant minds, I have come to know. Guys like, Andy Iskoe, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, shares his logical approach to how you can make money in Vegas by betting on sports. While I listened to the radio in an effort to promote the show, I absorbed information and became fascinated by sports betting and the way these guys pay attention to what they call ‘the game inside the game.’

Next month my show debuts with a co-host who hails from the Northeast, Pamela Michelle and it will be called, Bets Like a Girl. We had done the show via podcast before, but now it will be live on the 50K watt KDWN on Saturday, May 20. Hosting a radio show in Vegas about sports betting is not what I thought I would end up doing with my life. I was working my way toward a PhD in public policy administration with a specialization in law and wanted to educate. Not to say that I will not still have the chance to educate and learn, in fact that’s exactly what I plan to do. 

Last season I was in the top 3 for most of the season in a football contest involving some of the top handicappers in the country. So far what I’ve been best at is picking college football, but I do pretty well at betting on baseball, too. I tend to use, what Jimmy the Greek referred to as “intangibles” and place a great deal of emphasis on the abstract and gut feelings that too often humans tend to override. That’s why my show is called, Bets Like a Girl, because females often tend to rely on maternal or female intuition to guide them.  Men, on the other hand seem to be more factual and place a great deal of importance on numbers. 

Do I think it pays to bet like a girl? Well, truth be told, I think it pays to get educated and to listen to the top handicappers, learn all you can and then allow yourself that room for a qualitative approach. If you listen to Bets Like a Girl, you’ll realize it’s not just women who can benefit from trusting their intuitive guide, but men as well.

You’ll also realize that I have great respect for sports bettors and the men I’ve come to know.  Some day I hope to be a guest on Brent Musburger’s program, you know the one, which includes his ‘Guys in the Desert’, and explain to him about my journey to Vegas, and why I think it pays to bet like a girl. 

You’ll find this week’s free pick posted on Twitter over at @BetsLikeAGirlFor information about how to sponsor the show, please email Michelle at​