2020 Football Handicapping Contests in Las Vegas . . . and Elsewhere?

#1
The Westgate SuperBook will begin registration for the SuperContest (Classic), SuperContest Gold, and SuperContest Reboot Monday morning, Jan. 13. In the linked article below, Dave Tuley covers the changes in the SuperBook contest offerings for 2020. He also discusses the Circa Million and Golden Nugget contests a bit. So it looks like the Golden Nugget contest is coming back, too, which is good.

https://www.vsin.com/westgate-opens-2020-supercontest-registrations-on-monday/

As the subject line suggests, I wonder when and where we'll start seeing football handicapping contests spring up in the many other jurisdictions where sports betting now is legal.
 
#2
In the article, Dave summarizes the principal SuperContest changes as follows:

*SuperContest entries increased from two to three per person. Gold remains one per person.

*Quarterly prizes (Weeks 1-4, 5-8, 9-12 and 13-17) have been added in SuperContest Classic with increases to $100,000 for the best record each quarter, $25,000 for second, $10,000 for third. (Note: the tiebreaker for first place remains the best record in the last three weeks of the contest.)

*Weekly submission deadline for all contests moved from 11 a.m. PT Saturday to 11 p.m. PT Saturday. Mobile submissions on the Westgate app, which were allowed for the first time this past season, also moved back from 11 p.m. PT Friday to 6 p.m. PT Saturday. All five weekly picks due at time of kickoff if earlier game is used (mostly Thursday games, or late-season Saturday games).
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#4
The Westgate SuperBook will begin registration for the SuperContest (Classic), SuperContest Gold, and SuperContest Reboot Monday morning, Jan. 13. In the linked article below, Dave Tuley covers the changes in the SuperBook contest offerings for 2020. He also discusses the Circa Million and Golden Nugget contests a bit. So it looks like the Golden Nugget contest is coming back, too, which is good.

https://www.vsin.com/westgate-opens-2020-supercontest-registrations-on-monday/

As the subject line suggests, I wonder when and where we'll start seeing football handicapping contests spring up in the many other jurisdictions where sports betting now is legal.

Thanks for sharing, Squarepants.
 
#8
The Westgate SuperBook will begin registration for the SuperContest (Classic), SuperContest Gold, and SuperContest Reboot Monday morning, Jan. 13. In the linked article below, Dave Tuley covers the changes in the SuperBook contest offerings for 2020. He also discusses the Circa Million and Golden Nugget contests a bit. So it looks like the Golden Nugget contest is coming back, too, which is good.

https://www.vsin.com/westgate-opens-2020-supercontest-registrations-on-monday/

As the subject line suggests, I wonder when and where we'll start seeing football handicapping contests spring up in the many other jurisdictions where sports betting now is legal.
like that they are starting early, pain in ass driving thru barstow and baker in 110 degree heat in august.
 
#10
Thanks, guys, somewhat replicating Steve's back-to-back instead over in the Gold would have been nice, but guess I'll have to shoot now to match his two rings . . . hope springs eternal in the offseason anyway.
I was more talking about his current occupation....not the accomplishment of back to back....hence the laugh ;)
 
#11
excellent info squarepants.

that supercontest is going to crush numbers as they are taking entries starting today Jan 13. heard john murray state that musburger is coming in to be an early entry.

should get more of the march madness crowd again.

also i hope that circa follows up with early entry.

the thing I don't like is the supercontest allowing three entries now. no need for this nonsense.
 
#13
I was more talking about his current occupation....not the accomplishment of back to back....hence the laugh ;)
Kind of figured that, but I couldn't think of a quick response on the fly that might not be taken as a dig at Fezzik or touts in general . . . but, you're right, I haven't been trying to go tout, so any impairment of my marketability by not winning again in 2019 isn't a concern to me. Just want them to write me more big checks, both the big ones for the pictures with the show girls and the other ones that I can deposit.


Squarepants......what is the process of submitting selections through you?
Well, there is no process, lol . . . I'm also not a proxy. Although I tell ya' I started feeling like a proxy this season putting in all of my own selections for the Classic (2), Gold (1), Reboot (3), and Circa (3) contests. And I see a number of folks who proxy like Dave Tuley as well as Vegas Matty and Toni many weekends as I'm putting my picks in.

I generally steer clear of recommending specific proxies, but I note that sharky99 posts here on EOG re: his proxy service, given that we are talking here on the EOG forums.

It's nice to see this renaissance in Vegas football handicapping contests. There were a bunch when I first came out here in 2003, but after a couple of years or so there was a long dry spell with mostly just the SuperContest itself. The few other ones that popped up along the way didn't stick. Now -- with the SuperContest having taken off as a social media phenomenon -- other contests with apparent staying power are coming into the mix. Competition tends to breed variety and more choices for players.

The SuperBook also has been expanding its offerings. I believe that they should also add a pure college football SuperContest -- in the same way that the WSOP has multiple different types of poker events in which one can win a bracelet. It's a natural progression and evolution. And there's ample time here this year to boot up such a contest for the 2020 season. As Dave notes in his article, "in the old days" contests typically weren't finalized and promoted until late summer. The SuperBook -- or someone -- clearly can add a pure CFB handicapping contest to the mix this year. That's not anywhere like a knock on the Golden Nugget contest, which is a good contest, but a pure CFB contest would add more variety to the mix.
 
#14
Ah, i'm probably mixing you up with someone else on here who is a proxy, though I cannot think of his name right now. You were the winner of the Gold last year, right?
 
#15
Yep, the 2018 SuperContest Gold champion, with that what I thought was a so appropriate alias for that contest of There Can Be Only 1 . . . that was a nice win.

Wanted to at least nudge my lifetime prize money over the million dollar mark this past year, but will have to take another shot at that, and more, this coming season.

But you're probably thinking of sharky99, who also runs threads here on EOG re: the contests in the course of promoting his proxy service.
 
#16
Get a load of this . . .

A proxy was caught piggybacking one of their client's picks this past season . . . and the proxy now is banned at the Westgate and apparently also the Circa books.

The VSiN audio file is attached with this David Purdum tweet:
David Payne Purdum @DavidPurdum
51m
Wild story of proxy getting caught using the football picks of a client in Las Vegas handicapping contest.

*****
I'm not sure about paywalls, etc., but the direct VSiN.com link to the video file is here:

https://www.vsin.com/videos/a-numbers-game-w-gill-alexander-1-20-20/

The discussion starts at about 04:30 on the Twitter attachment file and runs through about 16:30.

On the longer video file in the direct VSiN link, the discussion starts at about 1:04:00.
 
#17
To summarize, 2015 SuperContest champion James Salinas, @roundingagain, was using a new proxy this year after his prior proxy retired. (Salinas also finished 3rd in 2016 and 26th in 2018 -- he's no one-hit wonder flash in the pan.)

With three weeks to go, he noticed that another SuperContest entry had matched 67 of his 70 picks and over in the Reboot contest (which runs Weeks 9 through 17) an entry matched 28 of his 30 picks. (I'll leave the math to Bob, but that's "highly unlikely" to occur by random chance.) The fact that it wasn't 70/70 and 30/30 apparently had to do with how Salinas played his Week 9 picks.

After figuring out what was up, Salinas put in his own picks the last three weeks, flying out to Vegas each week to put them in himself. (I'm assuming from the story that the correlation to his picks in those weeks dropped markedly.)

The Westgate did an internal investigation -- at the book's own initiative -- to rule out any internal hijinx.

And the proxy now is banned at the Westgate and the Circa.

This always has been an at least theoretical concern to me with regard to using proxies as a general matter -- that my picks then might not be kept confidential. Over and above outright piggybacking like occurred here, I would be concerned about, e.g., my picks being revealed to competing players who might want to either match, or go contrary to, my picks in the final week for strategic reasons if I was competitive at that point (like in 2018). A competitor knowing what the other competitor actually had already picked in that situation would be a tremendous competitive advantage.

Good thing that this proxy no longer will be in a position again to violate people's trust in this manner.
 
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#18
So when is Westgate and Circa going to forbid proxies from entering any contest they are putting plays in for others?

There is no way to stop this proxy simply passing info to another party they could have some skin in the game but the only true way is to allow people to put their plays on online through the westgate website.

This probably isnt going to happen until the wiretap act is reversed which is extremely unlikely.
 
#20
You're probably right, Sports, that the Wire Act stands in the way of going to online selections from outside the state.

I guess in theory one could rely on a safe harbor provision in the Wire Act that perhaps allows betting information to cross state lines between states where sports betting is legal. But I would suspect that validating that a contestant is in Mississippi and not Louisiana (repeated for whatever number of legal jurisdictions there is, which I think is around 24) when they put their picks in could be more problematic technologically and administratively than verifying that someone is in just the one state of Nevada for putting in picks on the current mobile app.

So -- as a practical matter -- amendment or repeal of the Wire Act might be required before a contest will allow online entries to be put in from outside of a single state. Which doesn't appear to be on the horizon for anytime soon.

Meanwhile, as you suggest, there will be an inherent conceivable risk in using a proxy given that an unscrupulous one can pass your picks on to others. And/or maybe even use a beard to piggyback your picks even if the SuperBook were to adopt a rule trying to ban proxies from also entering the contests. I suspect there as well that the book is not going to try and get involved in regulating the marketplace between contestants and proxies over and above what they did here of banning a demonstrably unscrupulous operator. Which in itself may give others cause to pause before engaging in a similar breach of trust.

As with anything, one has to be careful with whom you choose to do business, including Fortune 500 companies sometimes.

I am curious as to who the proxy was, but I guess that will come out in due course.

If I were out of state, however, and was in contention for significant money coming down the home stretch, I would give strong consideration to coming to town at the very least in the last week to put my picks in myself. If for no other reason than to be compulsively obsessively sure that my picks got in, without any slip ups.

And maybe wait until just before the selection deadline (which has some risks in itself) before putting my picks in.

Something along the lines of trusting everyone, but still cutting the cards before they're dealt.
 
#21
It would seem to me, albeit a legal layman, that the Wire Act is being violated now if out-of-state contest entrants are using phones, text, internet , or email to transmit their weekly picks to Vegas proxies. These would seem to be interstate communications that are conveying sports gambling information. I would assume that the Feds just aren't interested in investigating and busting a bunch of entrants and proxies for a relatively small time operation.

Also if Vegas proxies taking out-of-state contest picks is legal, why not eliminate the 3rd parties and have the contest sponsors (e.g. Westgate) have one entity designated (either in-house or independent) as the sole proxy. They would minimize any conflict of interest and presumably eliminate large proxy fees and collect a few more $$$ for themselves at the same time.

SquarePants, I would love your feedback on this point. Specifically, I don't see where the Wire Act exempts 3rd party transmissions to interstate proxies (a version of power of attorney?). If so, it seems like a huge loophole.
 
#22
Well that brings up an interesting point. Wouldn't any person on the internet, giving sports betting advise or information, be in violation of the wire act if that internet connection is using a phone line modem?

Funny story with the banned proxy. He took second in the reboot for $22,000.
 
#23
Yeah, guys, I'm pretty sure that that potential inconsistency has been touched on in at least one past thread either here and/or over on VFV. They aren't allowing contestants to put in entries from outside the state on the mobile app, ostensibly due to the Wire Act; but the contest rules explicitly allow for proxies, who (in most cases) receive the same selection info across state lines.

Perhaps they have a slick legal opinion by some high-priced law firm that irons out that seeming inconsistency in some fashion. I just know that as a practical matter, the books appear to believe that they're constrained by the state line in themselves taking entries.

Also perhaps I could stop what I'm doing and instead do some in-depth analysis and research -- for free -- to reconcile the two situations. But, given my current employment, I then wouldn't be able to share that opinion in any event. Again, as a practical matter, in discussing the point that we were talking about, they're not likely to accept selections from outside the state online due to their apparent understanding of how the Wire Act operates at least in that context. Whatever other hobgoblins of possible inconsistency may be there in the understanding and application of the Wire Act, the books do appear to understand it to mean that the mobile app must extend no further than the state line.

On the $22K, that was another thing I was curious about from the interview. (I am curious about the Wire Act point, too, just not the equivalent of potentially thousands of dollars worth of my time curious. If it's not on my actual work desk to work on . . . .) I believe that Salinas used the word "disqualified" earlier in the interview and then later used the word "banned." I wonder whether they disqualified the proxy also as a contestant from receiving the prize money, over and above banning them from being a proxy in the future. The SuperContest rules (I believe in each one of their contests) states that Westgate "may disqualify any person for any prize based upon [Westgate's] belief of the possible commission of fraud, dishonest, violation of contest rules or other misconduct whether or not related to [the] contest." (They may have meant that to read "fraud, dishonesty," etc.) Might not be all that hard to fit this situation into that language. Not so sure that the ex-proxy would want to challenge such a prize money disqualification -- as if it were me I wouldn't want gaming and possibly others looking more deeply into the situation, although I, due to my employment, again express no definitive opinion as to any further legal issues that might be presented.

For me, as a longtime contestant rather than as also a lawyer, the situation does reinforce the potential perils of relying on others to put your picks in, although that of course has been an integral part of the recent rapid rise in these contests, sparked by social media.

At the same time, I wouldn't necessarily tar all proxies with the same brush as this one.
 
#24
While some rogue AG could test it, would be really hard to get a conviction on Wire Act for telling someone what to pick in a contest they already entered in person for. The "wager" occurs when the person signs up and pays the entry fee. Then when he pays the proxy that transaction is completed. The sending of picks weekly is not a wager because no consideration is changing hands.

The Wire Act will be gone soon. A lot of DC lobbyists are convinced of it. Will be repealed in a late session, it has little use and the nonsense Adelson is pushing (at a high cost) just turns lots of people off. If Dems get in control of the White House and put in a new AG we might see the end of it soon. It's going to be sold as a regulation that hinders interstate commerce and costs jobs, arguments that are hard to counter. States still control gambling laws inside their borders, no need for nonsense saying stuff cant happen because a data packet might cross a state without gambling.
 
#25
Excellent info WildBill. You sound like you have lots of boots on the ground.

What would your timeframe be when states connect together their online poker frame works?

Example would be that people in Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois would all be able to play on the same site instead of the current "only inside your own state" stuff now.
 
#26
Hope (strictly as a bettor and not as a political statement, given job restrictions, lol) you're right, Bill.

The Wire Act was born of a different era when the Kennedy brothers were seeking to be tough on organized crime (an effort that did not end well if you believe some of the conspiracy theories about that day in Dallas).

To the extent that logic and reason have something to do with legislation (which is not necessarily a tight correlation), the rationale and need for the Wire Act perhaps could use some reexamination.

* * *

Meanwhile, when I had VSiN on Sirius radio while running errands this morning, there was a spot by Brent Musburger in which he said that the Circa contest would start taking entries in March. The ad was for probably the largest proxy service here in town, which I guess (as no surprise to me, as I know them fairly well) rules them out as the malefactor discussed above.
 
#27
I find this proxy story a bit surprising with some unanswered questions.

He was recommended to James via Gil Alexander.

It sounds like James was his ONLY client. Since James alerted westgate of this "cheating" during the contest and it sounds like he wasn't banned until after the contest was over.

so to be a proxy you need to sign some paperwork prior to the contest which would point to him having other clients. why would you be a proxy and have only 1 client.

if he was "disqualified" did his reboot money just get taken out of the pool or were the standings redone and that money spread out to the new standings.

This would be a good time to just say if you are a proxy, you cant participate in that contest.
 
#28
Yep, certainly some lingering questions on those points, and I haven't caught any follow up stories as yet. Was just checking on Twitter for something.

With the SuperBook already having put out rules and started taking entries for 2020, that tends to cut against any immediate rule changes. Although I suppose they could at anytime by issuing revised rules heading into the current contest season.

They certainly might give some thought now to adopting a rule that a proxy can't also be a contestant. Now that they've put their nose in the tent by banning a proxy for malfeasance after the fact, they perhaps have started slipping down a slope where they have some potential responsibility to regulate the proxy practice by their current rules ahead of the fact. I know that they -- proactively -- don't want to do anything to invite scrutiny by gaming, and something like this affecting the fairness of the overall process for (primarily) out-of-towners conceivably could get on gaming's radar. Gaming always wants to keep things as squeaky clean as possible for a public perception that the games/contests are not rigged against players, and the licensees have the same interest.

As I understand it, a proxy can become a proxy for just one client, although it's maybe not common at least for unrelated proxies. The only paperwork required is signing on as a proxy on an entrant's registration form. For example, if a bettor puts in multiple entries for themself and say their spouse, the bettor might sign each one up as a proxy for the other, for maximum flexibility during the long season.

And I believe that proxy paperwork can be executed at any time during the season. It's a prospect, for example, that I've kept in mind in case I needed to go back east during the season for a family emergency or something. And I have retained a proxy late in a season as a backup contingency. Also, as a practical matter these days, as long as someone has your contest cards, they can put entries in for you at the kiosks.
 
#29
. . . .

For example, if a bettor puts in multiple entries for themself and say their spouse, the bettor might sign each one up as a proxy for the other, for maximum flexibility during the long season.

. . . .
That's also a circumstance to consider in adopting an at least blanket rule against someone being both a proxy and a contestant. There's conceivably many different circumstances where proxies are used that don't fit within the most visible and common situation of unrelated third parties serving as proxies for contestants as a business.

In my business, it's the "law" of unintended consequences that sometimes makes otherwise reasonable rules lead to unreasonable consequences.
 
#30
I saw Salinas in publicity shots with the biggest proxy in Vegas when he won the contest in 2015. They are still around, so why would he switch to some no name, just on the word of Gil? He was joking about blaming Gil, but it appears Gil does deserve some blame.
 
#31
He said his proxy moved away and couldn't do it again. Not sure why he changed after winning it but that could have been the idea of the proxy getting a piece of the prize pool completely guessing here.

yes I would think Gil should get some blame.
 
#32
To summarize, 2015 SuperContest champion James Salinas, @roundingagain, was using a new proxy this year after his prior proxy retired. (Salinas also finished 3rd in 2016 and 26th in 2018 -- he's no one-hit wonder flash in the pan.)

With three weeks to go, he noticed that another SuperContest entry had matched 67 of his 70 picks and over in the Reboot contest (which runs Weeks 9 through 17) an entry matched 28 of his 30 picks. (I'll leave the math to Bob, but that's "highly unlikely" to occur by random chance.) The fact that it wasn't 70/70 and 30/30 apparently had to do with how Salinas played his Week 9 picks.

After figuring out what was up, Salinas put in his own picks the last three weeks, flying out to Vegas each week to put them in himself. (I'm assuming from the story that the correlation to his picks in those weeks dropped markedly.)

The Westgate did an internal investigation -- at the book's own initiative -- to rule out any internal hijinx.

And the proxy now is banned at the Westgate and the Circa.

This always has been an at least theoretical concern to me with regard to using proxies as a general matter -- that my picks then might not be kept confidential. Over and above outright piggybacking like occurred here, I would be concerned about, e.g., my picks being revealed to competing players who might want to either match, or go contrary to, my picks in the final week for strategic reasons if I was competitive at that point (like in 2018). A competitor knowing what the other competitor actually had already picked in that situation would be a tremendous competitive advantage.

Good thing that this proxy no longer will be in a position again to violate people's trust in this manner.
wow, who was his proxy?
xy
 
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