Week 12 turned Bookies Battle tide
January 09, 2018 3:01 AM
by Eileen Di Rocco
“Honestly, I’m not sure. It was after week 12 when I wondered how I was doing and looked at the standings. Before that I was too busy at work.”
That’s what Jackson Meeker, director of race and sports at Boulder Station told GamingToday last week when asked about winning the 2017 Bookies Battle. And when he checked his status after week 12, he realized he was tied for third place. At that point he thought he should concentrate more on his selections.
“Truthfully, I didn’t really change how I handicapped but I cared more about my choices, and it was definitely more stressful the last couple of weeks,” Meeker continued. “I usually like home dogs and I always bet the Cowboys, although that wasn’t always good for me.” The Cowboys finished the regular season 9-7.
Meeker explained that his dad was in the Air Force stationed in Texas when the Dallas Cowboys were founded in 1960. His father became a life-long fan and his love of the Cowboys was passed on to Jackson.
Plus, growing up in Southern California near Thousand Oaks, Meeker had an opportunity to attend the Cowboys’ training camp at California Lutheran College, where the team trained from 1963 to 1989. That certainly added to his passion for the Dallas team.
“Back then it was different. It was really great. You could meet and talk to the players. They would always take time for us kids, giving us autographs whenever we asked and letting us carry their helmets for them. That was a big thrill back then.”
And who was his favorite player? “I think I met almost all of them but (Ed Lee) ‘Too Tall’ Jones is at the top of the list.”
Meeker said he came to Las Vegas to attend UNLV and was a freshman when the Runnin’ Rebels basketball team won the National Championship in 1990, and then he started working in the casinos. One early job was at the Imperial Palace sportsbook, which at the time was run by Jay Kornegay who is now vice president of race and sports operations at Westgate.
Eventually he got a job at Station Casinos. He has been with the company for 13 years and at Boulder Station for six.
“Station is a great company to work for and I love going to the book each day, especially now that the remodeling is complete. They did a total make over in the book in 2016, adding new video walls with high definition and an electronic odds display system. It has a more open feeling now and it’s just gorgeous,” Meeker said.
Meeker’s winning record in Bookies Battle, 145-111 (57%), earned him a $1,000 check from GamingToday and bragging rights. The contest is considered one of the toughest as the picks for the coming weekend must be made on Monday, before the Monday night game and before the final injury reports are available.