Be careful when using word ‘Sharp’

Oct 30, 2019 3:00 AM

If you haven’t already, please check me out every Thursday for my appearance on VSiN’s “A Number’s Game” with Host Gill Alexander. Gill and I chop it up for an hour of unscripted chatter about the gambling world, where nothing is out of bounds.

Last week we found ourselves discussing the increased use, and now overuse of the word “sharp.”

Every day, if not every hour, folks are coming on radio and TV shows discussing “the sharp money.” Nine times out of 10, they have no idea what that even means. That goes to 10 of 10 when you are hearing from a representative of a casino or book who says, “We took sharp money on this game.”

Considering some of these same places go out of their way to ban sharp bettors and/or originators, such a proclamation is simply false. Worse, it is actually misleading and in many instances, calculated to induce a certain type of action.

That said, my feelings are just the opposite with regards to some of the good book managers that discuss the action they took early in the week, and how certain types of wagers move the lines. These folks are being transparent and without an agenda, which is truly the only way to be when you are providing the public this type of information. Pay close attention to when this information is being provided and in what manner before you use it to make a betting decision.

Beware of the Pick of the Day!

Without fail, whenever I find myself in a sportsbook, whether it’s in Las Vegas, New Jersey or beyond, I am always approached with a request for my “best bet of the day.” This past weekend was no exception. A group of well-to-do men from the South approached me and made an offer they thought I couldn’t refuse.

“Give us your strongest game. I am going to make a large bet on it (5 figures). If it wins you get half, if it loses, you owe nothing.”

And while I know such a free roll sounds great to an outsider, it’s just not something I am willing to do, so I politely declined.

Each game I bet has a few percent point edge over the sportsbook, so expecting to win on one game, is essentially a crapshoot. As I tell all my subscribers on my KrackWins app, winning in the sports gambling world has to be a long term commitment based on multiple wagers over the course of a season.

Offering a “Best Bet” or “Pick of the Day” is a neon tell-tale signs of a snake oil salesman tout; someone who parades themselves out to the public as a winning handicapper. Some provide half the people the favorite and the other half the underdog. The folks that lose may not come back, to be replaced by others, while the half that won thinks they found Nostradamus and is ready to double up on the next bet.

My nearly 30-year reputation means much more to me than a free roll on one game, no matter the amount.

Nickel and dimed

Last weekend, as I was checking out of my comped hotel room in Atlantic City, I was presented with a bill for a $35 per day “resort fee.”

I thought, “Let me get this straight. While I play enough for a complimentary room, I still get charged for $35 a day for free local calls and use of the hotel gym?”

Is there anyone you know who uses the house phone in their hotel room in 2019? Anyone spending the weekend on the tables in Atlantic City spending time on the hotel Stairmaster?

Call me crazy, but after spending 48 hours on their tables and in their book, I find this fee to be a little too nickel-and-dime for my tastes. Good thing my father, God rest his soul, wasn’t standing next to me at the counter. He would’ve certainly blown a gasket (and he didn’t have many to begin with.)

I can remember when casinos started charging for parking in Atlantic City back in the 90’s, he would make his choice on where to gamble based on which casino had free parking. He would have told that front desk what to do with their “resort fee.”

In what is hopefully a sign of things to come, The Wynn recently stopped charging for parking and I hope others follow suit.

I can’t say it enough: if you don’t take advantage of your gambling customer, the losses sting just a little bit less and they will keep coming back. 

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