Friday, March 30, 2007

Sports Betting Made Easy

I love to bet on sports so today, due to a situation last night, I'll share some insight into how to make money finding 'fishy' lines.

Sports betting like most gambling is about patience and discipline. The more times you go to the window the more you give the house an advantage so I've learned how to take the quality over quantity approach by betting larger amounts on fewer plays. I follow the daily lines and I keep up with a number or trends, but what I'm really looking for are lines that are either too good to be true,(fishy) public baiting, (where the bookies trap the public) and flat out mistakes.(though seldom sometimes the books fuck up and make bad lines)

It takes some time to learn the counterintuitive thinking needed to figure out the difference between a bad line and a trap but I now feel comfortable enough that when I see through the linemakers intent I make the play no matter how much my logical reasoning might disagree. Since the start of football these plays are hitting about 75%, too bad they don't happen with more frequency.

Last night the situation to make money presented itself and I was there to take advantage. Memphis played at Portland and the line in question is the Over/Under which opened at 198. Now in doing some research these two teams played in late January and again in late February with the following O/U.

1/23 Portland at Memphis. Total 209'. Final Portland 135 Memphis 132. So the game goes way over the total for an easy winner.

2/27 Memphis at Portland. Total 208. Final Memphis 103 Portland 102. The game goes under but just barely.

So all of a sudden last night we have a huge 10 point drop in the expected number. There are no major injuries, both teams are at full strength and basically just trying to get the season finished. So this is the first red flag.

Memphis scores points. The average O/U in their last ten games is 209' 8 of which have gone over the total. Portland struggles to score points. Their average O/U in their last 10 games is 192 with 5 going over the total.

Now in the NBA when you have a tempo conflict as these two teams, you have to determine whether the up tempo team causes the slow tempo team to pick up its pace or vice versa. Here there is a good mix throughout the league, teams like Golden St or Phoenix are up tempo teams that force action, Indiana and Chicago are slow tempo teams that slow down the action, then there are the fickle teams like Houston or Charlotte that play either style.

My thoughts here are Memphis will force Portland to pick up its pace as evident in the linesmakers previous numbers and also from the previous scores. So again the question I ask myself is why is this number so low? Seems like the Over is the easy and obvious play.

Before I go forward let's clear up one very big myth, that the bookies want half the money on each side of the action thus guaranteeing a profit. Total Myth. Booking bets is a business and if in this business the books can take advantage of a perception causing 80% of money to come in on one side when they are confident the other side will prevail they will gamble per se and set a line accordingly. When a number is made as such there are two sides to be on, the public side or the house side, and if you have action on this game you better hope you're on the house side.

With that said there are three types of line moves in sports betting; the steam, and the public, and the lay off. The steam is where the big time smart bettors (sharps) see a line they feel is a mistake and hammer it causing a jump of up to 2 points. This happens almost immediately after a number is posted or perhaps when inside info is known. Historically you want to be on the side of the steam.

The public(squares) moves are slow movements caused by the accumulation of Joe Publics money liking a certain side. Historically you don't want to be on this side.

The lay off money occasionally moves a line but its when bookies from all over the country have runners here in Vegas laying off or hedging a certain side to eliminate risk. This usually happens in the last 30 minutes before a game starts. If a bookie in Boston has 90% of his clients money bet on say the Patriots, he will sometimes have runners bet the other side so in case the Patriots kill the Jets the bookie doesn't get cleaned out.

Back to the Memphis-Portland game. The line opens at 198 and immediately the steam hits it and bets it down to 195. This is a huge swing. 3 points this fast is rare so it sends up another red flag.

Over the course of the day the number slowly climbs up to 196' meaning the public is slowly but surely thinking they found a mistake and I'm guessing 90% of the action now coming in is on the Over. I talk to a couple friends and all are thinking about playing the Over, again feeling the line is a mistake.

For me, when situations as above come together, I bet the other side, in this case the Under. It's also a situation where no matter what the line is, whether I have any personal opinion or not, I make the bet. Always! Now like I said it doesn't always win but it wins 75% of the time which in sports betting is as near as a lock as you'll ever see.

Final Score Memphis 96 Portland 92 for a total of 188. That's an easy winner if you bet the Under.

Follow the steam, get on the house side and not the public side, and if it looks too good to be true it probably is. Those three things alone takes the edge from the house and gives that edge to you and we all know whether sports betting or poker, it's all about having that edge.

Good Luck at the windows this weekend.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Victory

I took it down.



Decent cards, good timing, a couple of suckouts against shorties, and one crucial hand.

NewinNov and I had a huge chip lead each with about $15K in chips. I have 99 on a flop of 9JJ. He has QT. Turn a Q River a K and I got all his chips.

I did have a big chip lead, before and after that hand and I played aggro big stack poker. Make tournaments that much easier.

Nice to be back in the winners circle. I add the Mookie to my mantle next to my Big Game win from back in January. Not bad for a cash gamer.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Regional Finals Weekend

Well it's been a tournament of mostly favorites which doesn't bode well for a dog bettor and man I never lost so many games in the last seconds as I did throughout this whole weekend.

It started Thursday with Chicago hitting a buzzer beater to cost me a +135 moneyline on Denver. Friday was complete heartbreak as USC getting eight points couldn't hold a 16 point lead and loses by 10. Thanks for the hissy fit Tim Floyd. I'm still sick as I write this. Saturday I get unstuck by betting the Over in the Ohio St-Memphis game but then a switch at the last minute from UCLA to Kansas and I take another loss. Yesterday everything I touched went to shit. Oregon lost the spread in the last 30 seconds and I got beaten at the buzzer in the Bulls-Pacers game. Wow one after the other.

Now this isn't some post about bad beats, it's just to show how close I came to having an exceptional weekend instead of a piss poor one. Although if you take the money and the sports betting out of the equation it was one of the best weekends I had in a long time.

I spent most of it at the Red Rock Sports book with Pauly, Derek, and Change 100 and it was filled with laughter, story telling, shit talking, and sweating the games.

One of the advantages of living in Vegas is meeting fellow bloggers on their trips out here. The benefit is a lot more one-on-one time than what you get at any of the big blogger gatherings and through this I've gotten to know a few people really well--that and room keys for various pools--and some of these people have become true friends. Here's the test I was enlightened to, could I drive cross country with them in a car with no AC or radio even? After four days of up close and personal with this crew they certainly pass that test and I feel like I would pass that same test with them. So Pauly, Derek, and Change my friends, it was a wonderful time and I look forward to doing it again some time in the near future.

Has anybody noticed that two teams in the Final Four have no business being there other than bad officiating? An obvious intentional foul against Greg (18 going on 39) Oden is not called and the Luckeyes get it into OT where the beat Xavier and Jeff Green changing pivot feet not once but twice to hit a game winner against a tough as nails Vanderbilt squad. So next Saturday we have the cheaters bracket with Georgetown vs Ohio St. and the non-cheaters bracket with UCLA vs Florida. Should be two terrific games.

Also in case anybody is unsure, Georgetown, the Alma mater of tournament poker stud Hoyazo is a rather high end prestigious private school locating in Washington DC and not some ghetto ass city commuter college located in Washington DC. I haven't seen a white guy on the Hoyas bench either as a player, ball boy, towel boy, manager, or stat keeper since they became a National Power in the early 80s. Jeez you would think Georgetown is DCs answer to Temple University in Philly. Surely I jest.

The sports book got very tense during the last five minutes of the Florida-Oregon game yesterday as the game was back and forth the spread number. The bettors were about 50/50 between the two so there were a ton of ups and downs, screaming, and pacing, for those last minutes. Ah gamblers paradise, the whole sports book sweating the big game as it comes down to the wire.

Does anybody hate Jokiam Noah as much as me? Have Change 100 tell you our thoughts on the rally stick idea we came up with for opposing fans. Too funny.

Alright today is errands, house cleaning, bill paying, and all that other catching up stuff that I've not gotten around to for a few days. Time to wrap up the end of the month stuff so I'll have the schedule clean for next weekends games and lots of poker at the Bellagio.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Horrible

What a horrible fucking run yesterday. USC can't finish within 8 points after being up by 16 point? UNLV sleep walks through the entire game then gets within two only for Oregon make two free throws with seconds left to snatch another one? Oh well that's sports betting. I was feeling very excited by USC at the half, thinking the spread was a lock and hopeful that the big score on the money line was a real possibility. No such luck.

If nothing else I did get the whole range of feelings and emotions from sky high to super low, all those feeling us gamblers love. To some of us it's the drug of emotion that's more important than winning or losing. Not me. I like the adreneline rushes and the ranges between highs and lows but I definitely like cashing tickets more. I hope today is about cashing tickets.

UCLA is my play today. I'll probably flip a coin to have some action on the first game.

Sports betting is so much more fun than poker BTW.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday at the Red Rock

I'm a little sluggish today. Yesterday I met up with Pauly, Derek, Change 100, and Pauly's bubby Senor at the Red Rock Sports Book and spent all afternoon and evening drinking some Gordon dude's brand of beer and double shots of Patron. The nitecap was steaks at T-Bones, an outstanding restaurant inside the Red Rock, thanks again BTW Pauly.

Man what another fantastic day in Vegas. I love hanging out with bloggers, particularly this crew, and we shot the shit, told stories, discussed life, all that kind of fun stuff as we waited three hours for the games to start. Life is great and it keeps getting better.

Thankfully UCLA came through to absorb some of the earlier blows. Texas A&M cost me twice, and I got rivered when Chicago got a put back with 0.2 remaining to cost me a Nuggets moneyline at +135. Oh well.

Tonite I like:

UNLV +3
USC +8'
UNLV moneyline +140
USC moneyline +335

I'll have bigger bets on the spreads but I'm backing those up with moneylines as I try to take a shot at a bigger prize. Heck I might even parlay both moneylines with an NBA dog moneyline to see if I can make a couple racks. I love me some longshot dog moneyline parlays.

That's it for now.

Pick some winners and make some money tonite.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fantasy Baseball and the Bellagio

I'm a commissioner of a private fantasy baseball league on Yahoo and I need one more player to complete the league. This is an advanced 14 team 7 x 7 league and I'm looking for an experienced player. BTW it's free. It's mostly guys from Florida that I've been in leagues with for a few years but there are a couple bloggers that are also playing. The draft is March 30 at 9pm EDT. The other two requirements are that you can make the live draft and that no matter how good or bad your team may be you play for the whole season. If you're interested email me.

I played at the Bellagio yesterday and went on a nice run. 4 hours +$950. Won a few pots beating donks with only TP, won a couple other pots getting priced in and hitting draws, and won a couple pots on bluffs including one semi-monster where I put this kid on mega tilt.

My table was a good mix. A handful of donks, a couple regulars/trying to be pros, and one other solid player. One of these regulars is this aforementioned late 20s kid from Grand Rapids, MI (start stereotype here) who just thinks he's the shit both as a player and a table captain. I love playing against guys like this, in fact maybe even more than Internet tournament donks who think they can play live cash.

This kid gets good timing by limping pre-flop UTG with AA and winds up getting all-in with the button who has KK. He has about $800 in front of him and I have $650 when this interesting hand comes up.

I have ThTd in the hijack and I call a $15 raise from MP. CO, this kid on the button, and the BB all call so five of us see the flop of TdJdKs. I bet out $50 on this scary board and get called by the button donk and the original raiser. Okay nobody re-popped me so I'm thinking I have the best hand but I'm facing two draws. Turn is the Ac. Oh well there goes this hand. Check, check, check. Okay interesting, is somebody slow-playing the Q or are these two on the flush draw? Either way I see a free card.

Turn is the Kd. This can be really good or really bad. I beat the flush draws but I'm in trouble to KJ or KT, both hands these two might play. MP checks. Do I bet at this pot or just check it and hope the button checks and my hand is good? There's $225 in the pot and I just can't see not taking a shot so now the question is how much to bet. I toss out a $100 bill and four reds for a $120 bet. Button boy starts counting his chips like he's going to make a play and finally calls. I turn over my hand and he gets pissed. He shows Qd6d for the flush.

Right away he starts ranting about how lucky I am so I ask him why the fuck did you give a free card when you turned the straight? I answered it myself by saying you got greedy hoping someone would bet into you, like I did, and you'd make more money. Had he re-raised my river bet I would have been faced with a really tough decision and if he raises the turn I'm gone.

Anyway this kid wins a few pots but along the way he's bragging about some lay downs he's making which of course I file away for later. Soon enough I get 88 in the cut-off, there are two limpers ahead of me so I make it $35 to go. He calls the other two fold so we are HU. Flop comes Td4d3c. I bet $45 he smooth calls. Now I think I'm in trouble but I'm actually hoping for a scary board as I hope to outplay this dude if thats what happens.

Turn is a 2h. I check and he thinks for a minute and says to me, and I still can't believe this, you're drawing huh, well you'll have to pay to see it and bets $100 into $173 pot. I put him on an over pair but I'm thinking a 5 or a diamond and I can represent either a straight or a flush and hope to push him off what would now be a $375 pot. I call.

My reasoning is, I'm ahead for the session and I can afford to gamble and I'm convinced this kid thinks I'm drawing and I really want to tilt him which could pay off for me either in this session or in the future where we are sure to meet again.

River is perfect not only a 5 but a diamond. So now there is four to a straight with me only needing an Ace and a flush on the board and I just give him the biggest smile I can. Almost instantly I bet $200 into the $375 pot giving the appearance of a value bet. As soon as I put the money in I can see the steam coming from his ears.

He says, "Fuck! Do you have an Ace or the diamonds?" I answer with a slick smirk, "Perhaps both." He thinks for only about 10 seconds and starts again with how lucky I am that I drew out on him blah blah blah and mucks face up TT for a flopped set. I can't resist. I show him my 88 the table erupts with wows and gasps and he goes ballistic. It all came together like clockwork, the perfect board, the perfect time, against the perfect player. I can't wait to play this kid again as I'm sure he'll be gunning for me and I'm also sure he will still be over-evaluating his play.

Lately in my cash games both online and live I've been focusing on position, getting to the turn, and timing my bluffs. I've stopped open limping or limp calling in EP with the speculative hands like sooted connectors or AJ or Ax sooted as I've found them to be -EV over time. In position though I raise not limp these hands both to keep the aggression up and too mix up my play so I get action when I do have a premium starting hand.

Also in position, as long as I'm priced in, which is often based on implied odds, I'm calling more flop bets in the hopes of drawing or outplaying others. If someone bets $30 into a $60 pots and there is another caller I'll almost certainly call with as little as bottom pair. To keep mixing it up occasionally I'll re raise for both info and image. Both these plays help if I catch a card to improve my hand or for river bluffs against the right player.

As for bluffs, as I go up in levels I notice the need and beauty of well-timed bluffs. Lately when I say to myself the only way I can win this hand is by betting, and I bet, it's been working well enough that its become a +EV move. Also someone I really trust as a player has taught me not to waste too many bluffs on small pots but to save them for scary boards against the right players when you can bet and force them to fold. He says the game as you move up is about representing hands, attacking the timid players, and balls.

As always my game is a work in progress and I look forward to seeing where my game is after the WSOP in July. The cash action will be hot and heavy for the next four months as nearly all the tournament action is in Vegas and with that brings tons of cash games. I'm prepared to make a big run.

Alright the Big Game is back in April and it's scheduled for 15th. The best way I've found to win tokens is through the token frenzies that FT runs twice a day at 16:45 and 21:45 FT time. It's satellite poker and for $14+1 it's definitely worthy of playing.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Madness

12 players made it out to the March edition of the Big Game. Yes very disappointing. Since we've gone down to a monthly event the number of players are drastically decreasing which doesn't bode well for this events future. We'll need at least 18 to keep it afloat and since I'm ever the optimist I figured we'd get 30+ especially now with the token frenzy satellites. One more chance for April, either we hit the number 18 or we bag it.

Congrats to:
1st- Gnome $414.00
2nd- Smokkee $248.40
3rd- Big Pirate $165.60


Al hipped me to a new site NBX.com got us in a March Madness contest with some Sports Bloggers. Me, Al, and CJ did some damage so far and are Top 10.



If anyone is interested sign-up for free and play for free. Join us for some sports betting competition and take a shot at weekly cash prizes. I'll say it again this site rocks. I hope to use it for a planned College and Pro Handicapping contest this fall so we can see who the real ballers are.

March Madness was awesome this weekend. Although Saturday was way better than Sunday there were still a bunch of good games. My rooting interests will be UNLV and USC going forward. I'm going spend a lot of time capping the upcoming games and hope to make a nice chunk of change at the window. Tough lines and there is already some movement so it will be interesting as to how the final numbers shake out.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday Hoops Action

Disappointing day yesterday. Butler comes through on the spread and ML then UCLA can't finish off a 16 point lead and almost loses. Very unimpressive offense. They play tenatious defense but Howland slowing down the offense might cause them problems next weekend.

As far as the games, fan-fucking-tastic. What a great day of college basketball. Let's hope we have more excitement today. I'm rooting for UNLV to knock of Wisconsin as I've adopted them as one of my favorite teams. No they have not replaced Miami.

I have one bet today.

S Illinois -1'

Good Luck with all your picks and bracket contests.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday

Yuk 0-2 posted here yesterday. Figures the plays that win don't get posted.

Today

Butler +5'
Butler ML +210
Texas A&M -3
UCLA -7

Tomorrow is the Big Game.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Picks

Two picks for today.

Notre Dame -4
Arizona -2'

I didn't play anything yesterday and it was a good thing as some trend plays went 1-2-1. Bust some brackets today.

The Big Game is Sunday do you have your token yet?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm Back

Nine wonderful relaxing days in Florida was a much needed break. The weather was fantastic and I got to spend some quality time with some family. Also I got a nice break from poker. I played for 5 hours of $400 on FT Friday and that was it so hopefully my batteries are recharged as I start what should be the meat of the schedule for 2007.

April kicks off tournament time in Vegas with the Five Star Classic at the Bellagio followed by events at Caesars, Mirage, Mandalay Bay with the conclusion the two month donkfest known as the WSOP. Now I might try to satellite or super satellite into select events for the shot at a big score the majority of the time will be spend playing the juicy live cash games that follow the tournament circuit.

The goal is kick ass in the cash games and really build a bankroll with the eventual hopes of moving up regularly into the the $5/10 NL arena. From talking to many regular lower level pros and also to some of my dealer friends the word is this is the time to make the money. So lots of long hours on the horizon coming up the next four months as begin what will really be my first year as a pro grinding out the cash games. I look forward to the challange.

March Madness is upon us which means time spend at the Red Rock Sports Book watching and playing the games. If I find anything I like, and I'm sure I'll be making a few wagers, I'll post my picks on here throughout the weekend. I nice early hot streak is the way to go don't you think?

If you haven't already joined in the Yahoo Pool here are the details.

Group Name- Super Donkeys
Group ID- 64796
password- kingjackoff

I haven't posted much lately due to my vacation but in case you haven't noticed in the sidebar this Sunday is the March edition of:



Now with the Token Frenzy satellites running daily for $14+1 there is no reason not to take a shot for the $75 token entry fee. The goal as always is 29 players which means a prize pool of $2000. We've gotten there once but I'm confident that with the token frenzy satellites we can get there again this month. Be there or be square.

That's it for now. Lots of catching up to do around the homestead and lots of studying to do on the basketball picks. Hope to catch up with everyone on the girlie chat and tonite at the



Now go get those tokens.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Bracket Contest

To anyone interested I set up a March Madness contest on Yahoo Sports.

Group Name- Super Donkeys
Group ID- 64796
password- kingjackoff (Don't laugh too hard, its KJo spelled out)

It's free to anyone who wants to enter. First Prize is a free entry into the Mookie paid by your truly.

Come join us donks you donks.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Florida Update

It's good to be back in Florida. Not that I want to move back or anything but its nice to see the beach and the color green again. Also, and most of you poker addicts might not be able to understand, it's nice to take a break from the grind of poker.

I hope all you donks are doing well.

March Madness baby enjoy the games.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Who Can't Hang?

Thanks for all the kind words on my previous post. I got a lot out of writing it and I'm glad many others understand my thoughts.

I had a blast hanging with Al yesterday at the IP Sports Bar. We were too busy drinking to play our college hoops picks and missed out going 4-0. What donks. That would have completed a perfect afternoon spend at the bar.

I stopped at the Bellagio on the way out and had a frustration session. I got all-in on the flop two times as a 58% and 80% favorite and lost both making for a losing session. I'm looking forward to when the good run comes because there is a lot of money to be made playing $2/5 at the Bellagio.

February was bittersweet as far as results were concerned. I had my worst live month ever but had my best online month ever. Good Figure. My live strategy has been single table $200 or $400 NL in short 1-3 hours sessions during any random hours of the day. Whenever I'm at the computer I keep on eye on the games being played on FT and when I find a soft game I jump in. I'll play very aggressive for these short sessions with the real goal being to double. If and when I do double then give it 15 more minutes or so to try and get another stack then go.

It worked well enough that my hourly was nearly $75 an hour. Now I certainly doubt that's a number I can continue at but I still think I can stay extremely profitable with the hopes of paying my nut this way. My epassporte account is set up and functioning so right now I have a way to get the money to my bank.

I played far fewer MTTs, satellites, and tokens in February as compared to January and the reason has been time and money--both lost in the events played and lost in not making a profit playing cash. I will start taking a couple pops this month since FT now has some soft Token satellites.

While the live game results sucked I think my play has gotten better. Fewer mistakes even though my favorite hands still don't hold up enough. The cash game session seem to come down to 1-3 all-in hands and my goal is to get my money in with the better hand and having the hand hold up to its true percentage. If I get my money in 10 times a week as a 65% favorite and my 65% favorite holds up 65% of the time I make $1500 a week. Seems easy and quite fair actually. It didn't happen in February but it will happen in March.

Due to some of the frustrating sessions in February I cut down on my live hours and spent a lot of time studying. Plenty of simulated hands, plenty of reading, plus much more time spent on math then usual. It should only make my game stronger.

I'm catching the red eye down to Florida on Sunday night for 10 days sun and fun. If I play 10 hours of poker when I'm gone that will be a lot. I'll be seeing family so it will be nice to eat well and with lots of beach time. When I get back it will be full force grind time up and through the completion of the WSOP in July. If all goes as planned I want to make twelve months worth of cushion in the next four months. My goals are quite optimistic so it will be a needed challenge.

The Big Game is scheduled for March 18th. With FT running the token satellites I'm confident we can get at least 30 entries which means a $2K prize pool. That would be fun.

Has anyone seen Cocaine Cowboys? I just got it from Netflix and it's awesome. The trailer is below.