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Parlay syndicate’s
unkind to bookies!

Dec 2, 2003 6:57 AM

BOOKIES BEWARE THE CARD CARRIERS! Over the past few weeks, several prominent sports books in town have been "hit" by a group that has the uncanny ability to win high-stakes parlay cards. Since GamingToday prints more than half the parlay cards in the city, we’ve had an inside track at what’s happening.

Here’s how the parlay card syndicate has been working: Basically, they’re betting 8-, 9- and 10-team parlay cards (half point, higher odds cards), with odds ranging from 210-1 to 825-1, for example.

You don’t have to be Maxwell Planck to see that a $50 bet on one of these cards can pay off in a big way — from about $10,000 up to $41,250!

Now, most books won’t turn away a guy with a $50 parlay card, but when a punter pops up with a fistful of these cards and is willing to shell out several thousand dollars, a light bulb should go off.

What’s happening, I’m told, is that these players are keying maybe five or six teams and mixing in the other games, kind of like a round robin.

These bettors have been savvy enough to win up to six figures at some books. Now that college football season is nearly over, though, it’s not likely they’ll continue.


BETTER DAYS ARE COMING: Octogenarian Wall Street maven Sumner Redstone wielded the closing gavel at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. When interviewed by CNBC’s Bob Pisani, Redstone, chairman of media giant Viacom, spoke boldly about the forthcoming year.

The largest single stockholder in both WMS Industries (WMS), and Midway Games (MWY) said he foresaw great things happening in 2004 for Viacom, parent of the CBS Television Network.

"This will be the best year in our history," Redstone predicted. He said there were major signs of improvement in advertising and noted that "never has their been a recovery without advertising participating. Truly, next year will be a breakaway year,"

Accompanied by his new bride, Paula, Redstone warned: "If they don’t see it today, they’ll be unhappy tomorrow."


WHAT’S IN A NAME? For Joe Pesci, the actor, the naming of a racehorse was a cause for celebration.

In addition to Thanksgiving Day, Pesci had the additional reason to pop the champagne corks because his three-old filly, Pesci, won her first start, defeating a group of maidens running three quarters of a mile.

Pesci, who starred in the Las Vegas-based movie Casino, didn’t say how much he bet on his filly but her backers received a paltry $3 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show.

"We watched her run in the morning," he was quoted as saying, "and she’s so calm, so big, we were pretty confident."

Pesci actually owns 50% of the filly with Trainer Wesley Ward who holds the other 50%.


JUST CHASING THE BUCK: For years, world-class poker players have been known to "sell" a piece of their winnings to investors willing to gamble that their favorite player will cash in on some of the major tournaments.

The practice is common not only in poker but in other activities, such as golf, where participants sometimes find themselves with a shortage of funds to pay their expenses on the tour.

Well, with the sudden explosive interest in poker, developed primarily by cable television stations such as ESPN, ESPN2, Discovery and the Travel Channel that have been featuring some of the main action of Binion’s World Series of Poker and the Lyle Berman-created World Poker Tour, a Massachusetts entrepreneur has come up with the idea of selling partnerships in tour players.

According to a colorful brochure produced by Turn River Management Inc., partnerships are being offered in high-stakes players. The brochure says that partnership assets are "used to sponsor player/players in upcoming World Poker Tour (WPT) events." Theoretically, the winnings are then distributed to the partnership members.

Two of the tour events will be held in Nevada so it may be that some members of the Gaming Control Board might be interested in checking out these so-called partnerships.