Popular long time Las Vegas bookmaker Syl Valella has decided to retire at the ripe young age of 66, which he will be on Sept. 1.
Syl started his Vegas career at Jerry’s Nugget with Scotty Schettler then moved over to the Stardust to assist yours truly with the making of lines and dealing the first lottery for sports bettors. In those days he was known as the "Lottery Nazi", sort of like the "Soup Nazi" on the old Seinfeld shows.
If you talked or passed money in the lottery line, Syl would say out of line "no bets for you." No lie! Syl moved to the Fremont as Director of Race and Sports and then to Station Casinos, where he has remained. We always called Syl "old reliable." I can’t ever remember him missing a day’s work. It wasn’t just a job, but something that he loved. I guess when its time its time. All his friends at GT wish him well.
Wayne Larkin, a fixture at Palace Station, takes over for Syl. Larkin told me he looks forward both to the challenge and win going up under him. I will have to get with Art (Manteris) after the football season and just see if that happens.
Elsewhere, I was in one of my regular haunts and noticed security go up to this guy who had been betting the ponies. They had just 86 this guy out of the book because he had BO so bad that some of the patrons just could not take it. Now that’s a first for me.
At another favorite spot of mine, I took a cell phone call outside the book and a security guard pounced on me saying no cell phones were allowed. He said that it was a gaming regulation and illegal due to the time difference back East. Someone could call and give me the score of a game that was already over and I could bet it. Just nonsense.
In baseball, it was a bonanza if you’ve been following the +1Â½ run lines. Starting with games played Aug. 15 there have been seven straight winners. KC won three out of four run lines against the Sox.
Now for preseason football!
Thursday, Aug. 24
Dolphins +4Â½ at Panthers (36): Could be go week for both teams so look for the starters to play a little longer. DOLPHINS, UNDER.
Friday, Aug. 2
Cards +4 at Bears (34): Cards got their win against the Steelers. BEARS, UNDER.
Giants -3Â½ at Jets (35Â½): I see a dead low scoring game. UNDER.
Ravens +2Â½ at Vikes (35Â½): Baltimore has been a good road dog in the Billick regime. RAVENS.
Steelers +3 at Eagles (35): Pittsburgh needs to get some play out of the first team and this could be the chance. STEELERS
Browns +3Â½ at Bills (35): Buffalo is my go-against team. BROWNS.
Colts PK vs Saints (37Â½): Indy has dropped eight straight preseason games SAINTS.
Redskins +3Â½ at Patriots (35): Brady opens it up here. PATS.
Lions NL at Raiders: I see both playing a lot of regulars. LIONS.
49ers +5Â½ at Cowboys (36): Niners will rebound. 49ERS.
Bucs+2Â½ at Jaguars (35): Just don’t see much offense. UNDER.
Falcons +2Â½ at Titans: Look for both teams to let it fly. OVER.
Rams +3 at Chiefs (39): Look for first year coach Linehan to have his troops ready. KC offense has been missing. BEST BET: RAMS
Seahawks +3 at Chargers: Late night get even game. Seahawks look to be on a mission. SEATTLE.
Sunday, Aug. 27
Texans +5Â½ at Broncos: At Denver on national TV is tough order for Houston. BEST BET II: BRONCOS
Monday, Aug. 28
Packers +3Â½ at Bengals (41Â½): Cincy just doesn’t seem to have any get up and go. PACKERS.
Last wk 4-12, Best bets: 3-1