Radio guys slink from challenge

Jun 27, 2005 3:56 AM

Several weeks ago, local radio personality Fezzik and his pal Hissle went on the You Can Bet On It radio show and challenged my claims of winning over $640,000 in eight years using my unique video poker strategy.

Fezzik then offered a wager whereby he would observe each of my sessions for up to a year, with a 2-1 payoff for whatever I won or whatever I lost. How this bet relates to my past record is beyond me, win or lose.

My response was just as it’s always been on my web site — a swift and clear no way. I play for a living and don’t need distractions. I play on my time schedule, and no video poker player wants someone lurking near or behind him for every deal.

Even if I allowed him to monitor my play, there’s no way he could have or would have done it — he couldn’t have been available or appeared at the multitude of hours that I spend playing.

It’s clear from his comments, Fezzik is a novice video poker player, though he likes to cite the "experts" about odds, payback percentages and the like. But I take my gambling seriously.

In the very next issue of GamingToday, I offered a serious challenge ($640,000) to him that addressed the real issue: Did I win what I said I had won?

I proposed a foolproof method of providing all of my past eight years worth of bank withdrawals before playing and re-deposits after playing, as well as meticulous gambling records/W2-G’s/casino won-loss statements that directly and exactly correlate to each and every one of these financial transactions. I even offered my recently completed multi-year IRS audit report on my gaming profession along with actual IRS filings since 1997.

I stipulated we’d each have two verifiers on our "teams" and that I would pay for a Nevada arbitration hearing should there be any reasonable doubt of the authenticity on the Fezzik side.

These documents would further be backed up with certified copies from all financial institutions, sessions where the entire team would sit with me at computers for reviews of password-protected accounts in case someone questioned the validity of the certified copies, team visits to my financial institutions for the same reason, and a conference call to the IRS in case I was accused of somehow making up either those documents or the official final audit findings. Even the escrow holder was identified and accepted. I couldn’t imagine a more professional, sensible, straightforward and completely documented offer of proof of my winnings.

Additionally, I put up a side bet ($100,000) that would have Hissle and Fezzik prove to me beyond a reasonable doubt with similar documentation that they win the six-figure sports bets that they claim for the past few years. They put the burden of proof on me, so I put it right back on them. When the horse opens it’s mouth, it better be prepared to eat, not run.

The result? On Fezzik’s Internet forum, Hissle immediately came out and said, "While not probable, it’s possible" that I could have won what I claimed. So now it’s "possible," according to Hissle, as he slinked away from the challenge.

Fezzik, on the other hand, did not take the first bet, the second challenge, nor the high road. It seems he struggled with it for awhile, and then began his quest to save face to the best of his ability.

While he continues to misrepresent my strategy, he’s taking the position that I’m shying away from HIS challenge of being monitored for up to a year. Little is ever said about the real challenge of proving my winnings, other than his refusal to believe in my method of documentation.

Bottom line? I called Fezzik and Hissle on their attempt to publicly discredit me, and they ran as fast as they could. But there’s no hiding in Las Vegas.

Whether Fezzik (or Hissle) actually wins or not, I really don’t know or care. But I was willing to bet $100,000 that there was a hole in their stories, mostly because true winning players don’t strongly protest another gambler’s claim of winning in such a vehement manner.

I’m always happy when I see someone else win or hear of a major jackpot being hit. If an advantage player says he has won, he has won. If these guys win, great. I think they just can’t prove that they do.

Fezzik has also been challenging me to submit my play strategy to a review by a group of mathematicians for validity. Although I don’t know who would have the time to devote to such a project, if he wants to pay "them" for it, then I’ll spend the time explaining every facet of what I do to whomever he chooses.

The only stipulation is that the reviewer doesn’t blindly say, "If it’s played on a negative game expect to lose, or if on a positive one expect to win." And that is at the crux of my playing strategy — applying long-term rules to short-term strategy is totally invalid.

As a final thought, I was a bit surprised that with all the criticism I’ve taken over the years from all the famous names and critics who claim to win so much every year, there wasn’t an effort from them to pool resources to accept my challenge. Here was a chance for them to once-and-for-all prove their claims that I was a fraud. But I guess the price was a trifle too high, even for the self-proclaimed "best" video poker players in Las Vegas.