LVH SuperContest Weekend

LVH SuperBook - Las Vegas Hotel
LVH SuperBook

Just like that….LVH SuperContest Weekend has come and gone. The LVH SuperContest is the largest most known football contest in Las Vegas (there are many). Its $1,500 entry fee makes it worth paying attention to, in part because of the huge prize pool. This year LVH is estimating that there will be over $1 million in prizes given away with the winner taking home over $200,000. Not too shabby!

I don’t play in the SuperContest because I don’t feel like spend enough time handicapping football to I’m not confident that I can win the contest. That doesn’t stop me from enjoying a little bit of SuperContest Weekend. It’s nice to see some of the serious sports bettors that I already know and meet new sports bettors.

I only attend the seminars with the pro sports handicappers discussing their thoughts on the upcoming football seasons (college and pro). I figure that I’d learn a little bit in between beers and chit-chat. Here are my notes from the college football panel.

Because of the $1,500 buy-in and huge prizes there is a lot of interest to be a part of the SuperContest from people all over the country. You can still take part of the SuperContest even if you don’t live in Las Vegas with a proxy service. Vegas Matty, who operates FootballContestProxy.com and the recently launched FootballContest.com, explains: 

“The proxy was put in place by the LVH to allow out-of-state contestants – and those others who can’t physically make it to the SuperBook on a weekly basis – to participate in the greatest football contest in the world. The SuperContest requires picks to be submitted in person, so that requirement would obviously prevent most of an ever-growing field from entering if they could not use a proxy.

“In fact, most of my new clients tell me they would have entered previously but did not know they could use a proxy to submit picks for them.  I definitely believe the growth of the SuperContest is not just directly tied to the exposure created by guys like Chad Millman and Bill Simmons (from ESPN) and marketing genius of Jay Kornegay, who have all contributed greatly to its success.  In my opinion, the realization that contestants don’t need to live in Las Vegas and can use a proxy instead has also had a significant impact on the SuperContest’s spike up the last few years.”

For full disclosure Vegas Matty was one of the first people I met when I moved to Las Vegas because we have many shared interests. He’s a good follow on twitter if you like football or MMA.

The LVH SuperContest is growing every year which, in turn, makes it more difficult to win because of increased competition. If you like winning the time to sign up for the SuperContest is now. Likewise, if you like big jackpots hold out and prepare for next year. Since 100% of the money is returned to players prizes will only keep increasing.

Tweet @Vegas_Matty

Blackjack Tips

Marc has provided a lot of good information about blackjack lately and I hope he doesn’t mind if I add my two cents. I started playing the game in 2004 (an Atlantic City trip report I may write someday) based mainly on the writings of ESPN’s Bill Simmons, aka ‘The Sports Guy’ (ED: Download Free Podcast), back when he was funny (ED: He’s still funny, you’re just desensitized to it.). Prior to the trip, I taught myself basic strategy by purchasing some software for my PC and playing it until most of the strategy became second nature.

Neither this game nor Bill Simmons, however, could teach me the ‘unwritten rules of blackjack’. Okay, in retrospect, I probably could’ve Googled it, had I known they existed. Heck, I could Google it right now, but then a) I wouldn’t have an article to write or b) my article would clearly be biased by what I’ve read. So, when you’re done reading, feel free to add your own in the comments, but if you think I missed something obvious, now you know why.

General Play

  • When joining a game mid-shoe, it never hurts to ask the players already in the game if you can join. (ED: I never join mid-shoe and hate when people do)
  • If you are dealt a double-down opportunity, it is perfectly acceptable to double your bet by moving your chips into position before it is your turn. There is a slim chance that the dealer has a 10 up card and turns over an Ace, but any good dealer will return your second bet to you while taking your first. Naturally you wouldn’t do this if the dealer was showing an Ace.
  • I don’t think there’s any situation where you’d split 5s, but a dealer must ask you if you want to double or split them. Since casinos are noisy (that is why there are hand signals, of course!), you can hold your index finger up, like a 1, meaning ‘1 card’, which is all you get when you double.
  • When the first round of cards are dealt, it is nice to wish any players that their Aces become blackjacks/naturals by lightly banging/tapping the table in their direction and saying “Good luck on your Ace”.
  • It’s obvious that you can touch your chips after you get paid for a win and normally the dealer takes your chips as soon as you lose. But what about a push? As I learned the hard way, DO NOT touch your chips until the dealer gets to your position and bangs/taps the felt in front of you to signal ‘push’ to the ‘eye in the sky’.

Tipping

  • There are two main ways to tip your dealer: 1) slide a chip into the ‘dealer zone’, that nebulous area best described as “around the insurance line”; a comment like “that’s for you” should convey the message and 2) make a bet for the dealer by placing your chip(s) near your betting stack, akin to the Moon orbiting the Earth.
  • In the event of a push, I usually but not always remember to ask the dealer what he/she prefers. Most often, they’ll ‘let it ride’. I don’t think I’ve had anyone take the tip on a push.
  • True story: my first or second time playing, a player to my left, during the betting portion, reached over and put singles/whites ‘in orbit’ around all our bets. I had no idea what she was doing. It was only when we all won and I went to take the money that I learned she was tipping the dealer on all our hands. I have never seen this since.
  • When coloring up at the end of a session, if I don’t think I’ve tipped enough, I try to remember to keep a red (or two) to the side so it’s not included in the coloring. That way I’m not digging in my wallet for some small bills after being handed a stack of greens and blacks.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

ED: Check out my favorite blackjack/counting app for the iPhone on Get Vegas Apps.

Tweet me @eastcoastgamblr

 

“Airplanes” by B.o.B Featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore

Before I left for Las Vegas last week I heard “Airplanes” by B.o.B. Feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore on the radio 3 times in a 5 minute drive.  It was at that point I figured this would be the song I heard most on my trip and set a 16.5 as the number of times I heard this in the casinos.

I heard this song a lot when I was last in Atlantic City, so I figured the over was a no-brainer.  That was wrong and I don’t think I heard the song once at a casino!  I heard it once it the car, but that doesn’t count.  I was mostly at Planet Hollywood, where I mostly remember hearing bad dance music, and Venetian where I only remember hearing some kind of trip hop in the morning.

Usually there is a specific song that I can relate to each trip I take to Vegas because I hear it everywhere, but this trip didn’t have that.  I’m not the only one who noticed this, check the 3:30 section of Bill Simmons trip to Las Vegas last year.

3:30: You know, every Vegas weekend has one song that every casino beats into the ground to the point that people groan when it comes on. The song is always peppy, but in a nonthreatening way. It’s designed to appeal to people of all ages. It has some sort of signature hook. And by the 10th time you hear it in 20 hours, you are ready to break a beer bottle against the blackjack table and start stabbing people with it.

This year’s song? “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. Heading into this weekend, I wasn’t for or against these guys. I had no opinion. Within 25 hours in Vegas? I hate them with every fiber in my body. We get it, Kings of Leon: You could use sum-BAH-dayyyyyy. Heard you loud and clear. And I understand you’re hoping it’s someone like you, someone like you, someone like you … believe me, I hope you find this person. Because if you don’t, I’m going to kill everyone in a 25-foot vicinity. Now go away.

Maybe I’ll hear a song that I can relate to this trip, but odds are I’ll just use “Airplanes.”

B.o.B. ft. Hayley Williams “Airplanes” from ISAAC HAGY on Vimeo.