Football’s ultra bet

Jul 28, 2009 5:10 PM
by GT Staff |

Football fanatics are probably salivating as we rapidly approach the upcoming season, while bettors are most likely in a crouch, waiting to pounce on the first available lines.

Those who have lived in Las Vegas for a while may remember a group of bettors who gave the sports books a run for their money as they parlayed a measly $80 into a small fortune, betting a single NFL game every week.

They were known as the Hilton baccarat girls, a gutsy group of eight dealers who gained national attention in 1991 with their football bankroll that grew into six figures before they lost it all on one game.

They used the NFL regular season, pooled a few bucks apiece, and started a parlay that they hoped would make them millions, and they almost made it. After hitting 10 straight bets (and amassing about $106,000), they lost on the Chicago Bears, three bets short of topping $1.4 million.

Nonetheless, they showed the "right stuff" as their venture displayed the ultimate in patience, discipline, and emotional control.

What they did by consensus was pick the single most likely winner each weekend. Their "best bet" was a product of research or luck, and supposedly attributed to two of the eight femme fatales, one of them a redhead that today’s tellers would call "hot."

Astute sports bettors can learn from their experience, because with skill (and luck), it’s conceivable to run a measly $22 bet into almost a million and a half bucks.

Here’s how it can be done, with thanks to the baccarat girls: After each win, you bet your entire bankroll right back on a game next week. Round off your bet size to the nearest increment of $l1, give or take a couple of bucks. (It’ll drive the bookies nuts.)

While the gals only picked a side on a regular NFL game, nothing is to prevent a bettor from also looking at totals or any college game, if you don’t run into limit problems. Back in 1991, the girls got Binion’s Horseshoe to agree to take whatever bet they wanted to make, as long as they stayed at the Horseshoe.

On today’s betting board, you’d probably find more than 150 weekly opportunities to nail down your single "lock" wager. The chart at right shows what a 17-team regular season parlay would look like.

17-Team Parlay
Game
Bet
Bankroll
1
22
42
2
44
84
3
88
168
4
165
315
5
318
609
6
605
1,155
7
1,155
2,205
8
2,200
4,200
9
4,202
8,022
10
8,019
15,309
11
15,312
29,232
12
29,227
55,797
13
55,792
106,512
14
106,513
203,343
15
203,346
388,206
16
388,201
741,111
17
741,114
1,414,854

 As the season progresses, the numbers start escalating perceptibly. This could entail a lot of running around spreading the action. Better yet, a guy could try to woo one of the non-corporate gambling bookies to raise his limits (like the gals did at Binion’s).

You could be instrumental in moving the line pretty good so don’t tip off your buddies ahead of time. Be aware of a hot, "best bet" sports service; they could focus too much action on one game and move the points against you.

After you win your 10th bet, it might be a good idea to carry a duffel bag and collect your winnings in casino chips and play with them the rest of the season. This way, you wouldn’t have to fill out the Federal Reg. 6A form for subsequent bets over $10,000. Obviously, you aren’t laundering dirty money if you’re betting chips. Besides, the casino should love it as it keeps your action in the house. Also, there are favorable tax implications inasmuch as you collect after every win and all payoffs are less than even money. Phone bets can be audit trails.

Now, some guys may not have the perseverance of the baccarat girls, turn chicken and choose to bail out somewhere along the way. Guys could be having second thoughts after a dozen weeks or so. That’s something you can’t do with a parlay card (boo). Also, if you run into a tough week, rather than risk a bad play, skip a week or two and settle for less in the end. Sixteen weeks will still get you three quarters of a million. Remember, your initial laydown was only $22.

Also, if you should catch an early loser, you could put up another $22 and give the rest of the season a shot.

But there’s another way to work a similar system, with a built-in fail safe mechanism that allows you to catch a loser during the season, without losing your whole bankroll.

This other system, in fact, still allows you to win a bundle, even while losing a bet along the way. We’ll cover that system next week.

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