Player/player next big thing

Jul 31, 2007 3:21 AM

By MARK MAYER

Fantasy football used to be downplayed in Las Vegas books as too time consuming and somewhat demeaning to the standard "sides and totals" form of wagering. Well, no more.

"We wanted something different than what you see around down," said Kevin Klein, race and sports book manager at The Cannery. "If you don’t know about fantasy football, then you are living in a cage."

Thus Cannery and sister property Rampart have broken out its inaugural $120,000 Fantasy Football contest, which would pay top prize of $5,000 per week and $10,000 for the entire season.

"It’s player versus player, star against star," said Klein, who helped plan this fantasy contest during the 2006-07 NFL season. "We’re using a basic points system of yards, touchdowns, catches, etc. There will be 12 head to head matchups each week. Whoever has the most wins gets the $5,000."

Customers will be able to sign up for the fantasy contest beginning this week. There is a $25 signup fee. Contestants are allowed up to three entries. The Cannery properties is throwing in an early signup package where players can buy two entries at the regular $25 price for each and get a third entry for free. The deadline for that special is Aug. 31.

"We’ve had great backing from our marketing people and ownership," Klein said. "I think it’s a great idea. There is no cap for the number of total entries in our contest. I can see this fantasy thing carrying into baseball and basketball. Right now, we’re taking a wait and see attitude, but we want to take an aggressive position about fantasy contests. This is our niche."

Cannery is also planning a separate Sunday/Monday contest to begin with Week 1 of the NFL season. The format is still being worked out, according to Klein, but will more than likely be either a 1-on-1 matchup or a four-team parlay.

"If you cash a ticket, you get into the fantasy playoffs for the grand prize," Klein said. "During the course of the year, the top 50 point getters earn a trip into the playoffs. We will pay 10 places in the three-week playoff period with the top point producer winning the $10,000."

Second place is worth $6,000. The cards come out the Thursday of that week and will deal with the Sunday and Monday games."