Come play! When I go to a casino and play roulette, I know exactly what the rules are. But with that kind of buy-in and no real end-point or way out, you may just keep losing more and more money. Personally, if I was the general manager or head coach of a team, there would be no booray on the plane. I think it causes way too many problems. NBA teammates fight over booray more than anything else, even women. Many players have gotten an ass-whooping over booray. That was over booray. As the player-manager suggested, the Grizzlies did ban gambling on the team plane shortly after the Allen-Mayo fight in The year before, the Nets had also banned gambling aboard their team plane as a precautionary measure since the Arenas-Crittenton incident had just happened.
Earl Boykins , for example, hated booray and managed to convince his teammates to play a lot of poker during his stint in Charlotte. He cleaned up! Outside of card games, shooting contests are the next most-popular bets among NBA players although wagering on video games is on the rise given how much players love video games nowadays. After practice, big men will sometimes line up to do a three-point shooting contest and guards and others will do a shooting contest from halfcourt.
How much they bet varies from team to team and player to player. Some NBA teams fine players for specific violations. Other mistakes that could lead to a fine include showing up late to a meeting or if a rookie forgets to bring the veterans food. On these teams that have fines, several times throughout the year, the players will all shoot from halfcourt and whoever makes the foot shot first gets to keep the fine money that has accumulated.
One player said that sometimes the players and coaches would all put up halfcourt shots and whichever group connected first got to split the money among themselves. He would let you choose to have a shooting contest against him for double-or-nothing on the fine. Sometimes, it would be players versus coaches and whichever group wins would split the money. Paying off a debt after losing a bet with a teammate is really important in the NBA. Some teammates are more lenient than others, giving players more time to pay them back.
On some teams, players have until the next plane trip to come up with the money they owe their teammates. Video games, especially the battle royale games, are extremely popular among young players. You see a lot of them talking about it on Twitter. Remember, NBA players have quite a bit of free time and many play video games in order to pass the hours and relax a bit. Some teams have a lounge where players can play together too.
Like many friends, NBA players sometimes put money on their video-game match-ups to make things even more interesting. When Fortnite spiked in popularity, a lot of young NBA players started playing and they would bet on those matches as well. In addition to betting on a head-to-head match-up, some players organize video-game tournaments where each player pays to enter and the winner keeps all the money. Some teams will have an NBA 2K tournaments and Madden tournaments that featured a number of teammates competing in a single-elimination bracket for one large cash prize.
Like many other people across the country, many NBA players fill out brackets and enter March Madness pools alongside their friends. Other people in the organization will participate in it too, like the trainers and equipment manager.
Several players brought this up, saying this is the rule on most NBA teams. Again, this is mostly about building camaraderie and making the game even more exciting. For example, one player mentioned that Gerald Wallace who is a big fan of the Patriots would walk into the locker room and ask if anyone wanted to bet against New England that weekend.
Some NBA players come up with rewards for positive plays that occur during their own games. As previously mentioned, some teams that institute fines for various infractions like being late will then turn the fine money into a reward. Those who spoke with HoopsHype stressed that this is players rewarding other players for positive plays or fun achievements.
These in-game incentives are a lot like prop bets: Who can posterize an opponent first? In the less than one year that bookmaking has been legal in New Jersey, a number of European companies have swooped in to offer their services to the racetracks and casinos licensed to book sports bets.
These companies offer a turnkey operation complete with quantitative analysts, technology for things like mobile wagering, software and modeling for profiling bettors and managing risk, access to data from sports leagues, and worldwide pools of liquidity. But for gamblers, especially the professionals, the rapid expansion of some of these European companies in the American market is alarming. The European model of bookmaking is seen by many as hostile to winning players.
Professional sports bettor Alan Denkenson thinks the explanation is much simpler than that. One day when they throw me out someone will take my place. DraftKings, the daily fantasy sports company that has pivoted into bookmaking in New Jersey, has signed a deal with Kambi Group, which is headquartered in Malta and takes a similar approach to so-called sharp players.
The number has been hammered into shape by the time the weekend rolls around. Not being able to bet more money is a death sentence for professional gamblers. I know it sounds crazy. I have to be able to bet five and six figures on a weekend in order for it to be worth a living to me. The situation, then, is existential. If this is the direction the industry is headed, professional sports bettors may soon be no more. There will only be bookmakers and squares.
And once the bookmakers are done feasting on the squares, there will be nothing. In , the Mt. Carmel Feast in Jersey City had all the elements of a modern carnival: rides, corn dogs, skill games where you could toss rings or pop balloons to win stuffed animals. Spanky Kyrollos was 15 years old when he first discovered the illicit dice game at the fair. He was instantly captivated. He grew up in a family that loved to gamble. He learned math by adding up playing cards.
He learned poker at family gatherings. And whether his siblings and parents and cousins played backgammon or chess or cribbage, money was always on the line. By the time he was a teenager, Spanky knew he had a knack for numbers.
He saw math as a form of problem solving, like discovering secrets. The game was paying off even money for over and under seven, and 4-to-1 when the dice rolled seven exactly. He knew the odds were off, and it was a bad bet to play. But it got him thinking—the folks on the other side of that table, the ones taking bets from the players, they were going to make a killing.
That same year, a friend of his at St. Spanky looked at it like the dice game. He also noticed far more kids bought cards than were winning each week, and even after paying off the occasional lucky winner there was still a lot of money left. He asked the boy who was selling them how he could get cut in.
Spanky soon started selling parlay cards for the local bookie to his barber, to the kids in his neighborhood, to family friends. It was huge money for a high school kid in the s. He brought his parlay card business with him to Rutgers, and his earn more than doubled. But sports betting was proving a tough nut to crack. The U. By , gamblers had so permeated the world of professional baseball, the World Series was fixed by a syndicate of big-money gamblers in what would become known as the Chicago Black Sox scandal.
He started gambling in the bleachers of Wrigley Field, and soon found himself making more money from gambling on baseball and football than he made at his day job. He quit and turned to gambling full time. Once bookies figured out how sharp he was they stopped taking bets from him, so by the early s McNeil went to the other side of the desk and started making book himself.
He had an idea he thought could actually level the playing field between bookmaker and handicappers like him, and he believed it would prove popular among gamblers and bookies alike. In doing so, he turned every contest into something closer to a coin flip. By offering bettors a fair contest, he would ideally attract equal action on both sides.
Point spreads proved popular, and soon a publisher in Minneapolis named Leo Hirschfield began publishing the spread for games all over the country. He employed a team of handicappers who talked to contacts across America to obtain information to set their lines. By , there were 23, miles of telegraph lines leased from Western Union to service 20, bookies with up-to-the-minute sports data.
Those bookies in turn provided that information to other smaller bookies. In all there were estimated to be more than , bookmakers earning their living from sports betting in the United States in By , there were more than , As attorney general, Robert Kennedy made shutting down the illegal sports betting network in the United States a top priority, believing the proceeds were funding organized crime. Despite his efforts, by the number of people working in the illegal bookmaking industry in America eclipsed a million.
Spanky graduated with a degree in computer science and went to work at Deutsche Bank right out of college. He was earning decent money but he was still spending a lot of time betting on sports. He read books on handicapping and betting systems.
He looked for patterns, for edges wherever he could find them. In the s, sports betting was moving to the internet, with black market bookies decamping for the Caribbean to operate their bookmaking business far from the arm of U. As Spanky combed through one sports betting website after another, it dawned on him that he could use his computer coding skills to beat the bookies. He could do the same types of things he was doing for finance banks to give himself an edge on sports bets.
While sitting in a pizzeria watching a basketball game with his then-girlfriend, he told her his idea. Her response was a shrug. She knew her boyfriend loved puzzles and games. She had no idea how much this particular puzzle would consume him.
Spanky approached a coworker he respected and shared his idea for writing code that could identify positive expected value in sports betting markets. But whenever those games fell right in the middle of the two lines, in this case if the Steelers lost by three points, then they would win both of their bets.
Bet after bet Spanky and his colleague just kept losing the vig, never hitting the middle. Then they hit another, and another, and another. They kept this up for two years without ever taking a dime out of their online accounts. The first time they requested a withdrawal, Spanky says, the bookmaker had them meet someone on the street in Manhattan rather than cash the money out directly to their bank.
A total stranger handed them a sack full of cash. They rushed back to Deutsche Bank and counted it in the restroom. They had never seen that much cash in their lives. It was real money. How big, they wondered, could they make this? The bank they worked for did the same thing they were doing but in financial markets, and their bosses were all filthy rich. Could betting on sports make them rich, too?
In June , the casino reopened as Ocean Resort Casino. Though the property is one of the glitziest in Atlantic City, it is one of its lowest-earning casinos. And on a Monday night in March, it shows. The teller takes my money and punches the bet into a computer. Back in the s, Bob Martin knew the guy who ran the cleaning crews at the Las Vegas airport.
Those newspapers, from towns large and small, far and wide, were his bread and butter. The 10 percent tax on bets handled was too high to make a profit, since sportsbooks were expected to earn roughly only 4 percent over the long run. This meant the early bookmakers in Las Vegas were mostly no different from the gamblers who bet with them.
They had to take positions, to be invested on one side of certain bets. Essentially they had to gamble against their customers. And looking at the prop, I would have probably had to close the place if Hagler won. Hirschfield and the Minneapolis operation had closed up shop in after Robert Kennedy convinced Congress to pass a number of new antigambling laws.
That meant that among legal bookmakers operating in Las Vegas, there was no agreed-upon line for games. Each bookmaker was on their own to take a position. And lines up and down Glitter Gulch sometimes differed wildly. When Martin made his way through town making bets, those lines would quickly coalesce around whatever he was betting, because his opinion was often more respected by the bookmakers than their own.
He asked Martin to come work for him to manage the book and make his lines. Las Vegas remained the epicenter of the sports betting world, both legal and illegal, for nearly a half-century, until the internet changed the landscape in ways Bob Martin and his stack of small-town newspapers could never have imagined. Early on a Tuesday morning, I arrive at the Ocean sportsbook and sit in the front row of seats, my bag full of money clutched in my hands at all times.
After three years of betting on sports on his lunch breaks and on weekends, Spanky Kyrollos was earning more from gambling than from his finance job. He told his wife that he and his partner were quitting Deutsche to pursue their sports betting business full time. Years ago in the pizza parlor after Spanky told her his idea to write code to help him bet on sports, she had dismissed it as a flight of fancy.
This time she knew he was serious. Not only that, if he had more time to devote to it and more help with it, he believed he could scale it up. He and his partner quit their jobs and hired a couple of old friends as their first employees. To place as much money into action as they needed, they had to make bets in literally hundreds of accounts in sportsbooks all over the world.
They wrote code and built betting robots that could automate the bets for them. They taught their friends about how their system worked, and got the friends to a point where they could work virtually independently. Much of their business was being done with online offshore sportsbooks, most of which were located in Costa Rica. Many of the proprietors of the websites headquartered there were people who had learned the business as illegal bookmakers in the United States. Spanky flew down and worked out deals with the bookmakers to give him credit, rather than requiring him to post large sums of money and cash out through e-wallets like Neteller every time he won.
If he could bet on credit, they could settle up stateside in cash. And bookmaking in Costa Rica was legal. So nobody was doing anything wrong, they figured. One day, while Spanky awaited the birth of his daughter in the hospital, his partner went to a Dunkin Donuts to pick up some money an offshore book owed them. Then, as they got in their cars to leave, they were surrounded by police officers with their guns drawn.
Trap door? For what? The other employees, shaken, followed him out the door. He even expanded his operation beyond middling games, and together with his new brain trust developed new models that allowed him to take positions on games. Fundamental analysis is handicapping. You make numbers. Technical analysis, you look at the market. His team started spending their days watching screens with lines from sportsbooks all over the world, and using finely tuned models to analyze the various line movements and interpret what they meant.
In some ways it was similar to what day traders might do in the stock market. By , middling and steam betting had made Spanky what he deemed a fortune, and he had made a name for himself. After Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in , it became next to impossible for American gamblers to deposit and withdraw money from offshore gambling sites. Not all bookmakers decamped from the Caribbean, however.
Those who stayed behind had to largely forgo doing business with the American market. Johnny Aitken, who went from working as a runner for a major gambling syndicate in Australia all the way up to becoming CEO of the Australia-based sportsbook PointsBet, watched it happen.
But recreational gamblers either get lucky and win or they go broke, and if they get too lucky, too often they get banned. Either way there is a law of diminishing returns for the bookmaker who will tolerate no risk, unless that bookmaker can continually locate new, untapped pools of players, like an energy company constantly looking for new pockets of oil or gas buried beneath the shale. These became the two prevailing models of bookmaking. On one side were the European-style books.
On the other side were companies like Pinnacle, who offered lower odds and took on larger bets. Pinnacle and BetCRIS were known to let certain sharp players bet their lines before they went public. One side gets a bet at house limits, the other side gets valuable information. This is the way it worked for many years, more or less. But according to Peabody, the days of posted limits and sharp players being able to bet started to end when William Hill arrived in Nevada.
Of the physical sportsbooks in Nevada, William Hill operates more than If someone is good enough to beat you why not use that information internally? Take the bet at a smaller amount and use it to move your line. It is completely false to say that we ban people simply for winning. There are literally tens of thousands of customers in Nevada that are winners at William Hill. In the rare situation where we do prohibit someone from wagering with us, there are a variety of reasons why.
If someone tells you that the reason that they are prohibited from wagering with William Hill is because they are winning, they are not telling you the whole story. Total, total, utter bullshit and you can quote me on that. By , Spanky says he was allowed to bet directly in only five places in the entire world.
He would let you choose to have a shooting contest against him for double-or-nothing on the fine. Sometimes, it would be players versus coaches and whichever group wins would split the money. Paying off a debt after losing a bet with a teammate is really important in the NBA. Some teammates are more lenient than others, giving players more time to pay them back. On some teams, players have until the next plane trip to come up with the money they owe their teammates.
Video games, especially the battle royale games, are extremely popular among young players. You see a lot of them talking about it on Twitter. Remember, NBA players have quite a bit of free time and many play video games in order to pass the hours and relax a bit. Some teams have a lounge where players can play together too.
Like many friends, NBA players sometimes put money on their video-game match-ups to make things even more interesting. When Fortnite spiked in popularity, a lot of young NBA players started playing and they would bet on those matches as well.
In addition to betting on a head-to-head match-up, some players organize video-game tournaments where each player pays to enter and the winner keeps all the money. Some teams will have an NBA 2K tournaments and Madden tournaments that featured a number of teammates competing in a single-elimination bracket for one large cash prize. Like many other people across the country, many NBA players fill out brackets and enter March Madness pools alongside their friends.
Other people in the organization will participate in it too, like the trainers and equipment manager. Several players brought this up, saying this is the rule on most NBA teams. Again, this is mostly about building camaraderie and making the game even more exciting.
For example, one player mentioned that Gerald Wallace who is a big fan of the Patriots would walk into the locker room and ask if anyone wanted to bet against New England that weekend. Some NBA players come up with rewards for positive plays that occur during their own games. As previously mentioned, some teams that institute fines for various infractions like being late will then turn the fine money into a reward.
Those who spoke with HoopsHype stressed that this is players rewarding other players for positive plays or fun achievements. These in-game incentives are a lot like prop bets: Who can posterize an opponent first? Who will hit a halfcourt buzzer-beater first?
Will a short point guard be able to dunk by a certain game? Playoff shares are the bonus that a team makes for achieving certain milestones like winning the most regular season games or advancing deeper and deeper into the playoffs. There have been instances where a star on a contender will promise to give a player their playoff shares if they sign with the team especially if the new player took a pay cut to join the squad.
Per diem is the money given to players on the road to cover the cost of meals. While gambling together like this can bring a team together, there are also examples of it causing conflict and drama as well. The Utah Jazz are having arguably the top three-point shooting season ever.
The Bulls could be a perfect trade destination for Lonzo Ball. Phil Jackson again has the best winning percentage in history among NBA coaches. NBA players discuss behind-the-scenes betting: 'Teammates fight over booray more than anything else, even women'.
There are plenty of stories about players losing huge amounts of money in booray games. From The Web. DunkWire 22hr ago The Utah Jazz are having arguably the top three-point shooting season ever. DunkWire 5d ago How Kelly Oubre bounced back for a career-best scoring performance.
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