Erin Rynning, sports handicapper and founder of ER Sports

May 29, 2012 3:00 AM

Erin Rynning is one of the most respected handicappers in the nation because, unlike many in the profession, his selections are documented wins.

Rynning was first attracted to sports betting growing up in Wisconsin and reading Cooper Rollow’s column in the Chicago Tribune.

“I would be with my father and compare his picks to theirs,” Rynning said during a Q & A with GamingToday last week.

Rynning founded ER Sports in 2000 and gained attention in the sports betting industry by finishing in the money at the prestigious Hilton Superbook Sports Handicapping Contest.

ER had numerous top five finishes in college and pro football and basketball, along with major league baseball as documented by the Sports Monitor in Oklahoma City, including a No. 1 finish in college football in 2001 at nearly 70% against the spread.

In 2006, Rynning beat 16 professional handicappers to win the 2006 Leroy’s $100K “Money Talks” Invitational. His extensive sports wagering knowledge led to being selected over Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal (who the movie “Casino” was based on), as WGN (Chicago) Sports Central’s handicapper of choice.

Rynning was a daily voice along with GT columnist Ted Sevransky on the popular “Sports Memo Radio Show” based in Nashville, Tenn. Tim Trushel hosted the long-running show that ended its run on the air last year.

Good handicappers are hard to find so we went to the source to see what’s new. And here’s what we found.

GT: What have you been doing since the Trushel show and how did it help your business?

ER: Everything’s been business as usual for me and the company with the real exception of not being on the airwaves in Las Vegas. I’m still sports betting every day, while offering my insight mainly through a daily podcast on sportsmemo.com. The daily Vegas radio show was a key fit in our exposure and we hope to be back in some fashion. Our many clients and loyal listeners miss the show from the feedback we receive.

GT: How did you get started in the business and what are some of your trade secrets?

ER: I moved to Las Vegas in 2002, while catching on with sportsmemo.com in 2004. However, I’ve actually steadily wagered in sports since the seventh grade. Coming from the Midwest, I’ve always featured a strong work ethic, trying to outwork and outsmart the competition to the best of my abilities.

GT: Who were some of your influences?

ER: I remember vividly watching Jimmy Vaccaro each Sunday morning on CNN and Danny Sheridan on Saturdays. I looked forward to those segments as a teenager and dreamed of doing something to that degree for a living someday.

GT: What is your definition of a sports handicapper?

ER: The profession can be examined in many facets. Anyone can look at a game and actively handicap. As for myself, I spend the majority of my time doing just that and supporting myself.

GT: How do you see Las Vegas now compared to when you started?

ER: Las Vegas has changed a lot in just the short time I’ve been in town. It is funny still hearing so many stories of the “good ole days,” before I arrived. The quality of sports betting talk on the radio has dropped off the cliff. Today, the consolidating of so many sportsbooks is troubling as well.

GT: Do you believe sports handicapping is appreciated and not just a hustle?

ER: Unfortunately, as we’ve learned over the years, in every industry there’s good and bad apples. The service industry is a pretty grand example of that. All I can do is put my best foot forward and let my expertise, content and track record speak for what I represent.

GT: Who would you trust in the industry?

ER: Quite honestly, I’ve learned to only trust and count on myself. I certainly trust everyone at sportsmemo.com. Everyone at the company puts their best foot forward. These are the guys I work with every day on some level. As far as anyone else in the industry, I really couldn’t say.

GT: Will another national radio show like Trushel take shape?

ER: Absolutely, one day we’ll see another national radio show like we did for so many years. More importantly I hope I’ll be a part of it!