In Europe, it’s known as novelty betting. Bookmakers from Paddy Power to William Hill post odds and take bets on a variety of activities, from who looks good to win the Nobel Prizes this year to whether Prince Harry’s next girlfriend will be a blonde or a brunette and who might host the Oscars in 2014.
Paddy Power’s favorite to host the Oscar’s next year is Justin Timberlake at 2-to-1 . The odds are 8-to-11 that Harry’s next girlfriend will be a blonde.
But what produces increased publicity if only modest handle for British bookmakers is betting on U.S. politics. And oddsmakers and gaming industry analysts in Las Vegas said that if successful, a Nevada state senator’s efforts to legalize betting on politics will produce more notoriety than revenue.
Hard as it seems, Peter Carlino and the folks at Penn National Gaming outdid Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn and Donald Trump in terms of political lunacy this year.
And it only cost the regional gaming giant $42 million to embarrass itself.
Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., dumped at least $53 million of his own money into a variety of super PACs that supported Republican candidates around the country, including GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Other than U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., all his picks fell flat.
Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd., seemed to spend more time appearing on Fox News than in his company’s boardroom. Wynn used any and every occasion to attack President Barack Obama’s policies.
“It would be a complete disaster if Obama wins, which is why I’m urging my employees to vote for Romney,” Wynn told the Huffington Post the week before the election.
Obama beat Romney in Nevada by more than 66,000 votes.
Barack Obama – 2012 U.S. Presidential Election
Brandon Cantu – 2012 Whiner Series of Poker
Perhaps you were visiting friends in Antarctica or stuck in a pesky coma if you missed the U.S. Presidential election this week. Incumbent Barack Obama easily handled GOP contender Mitt Romney after every politician across the board dumped a ton of money to blast my swing-state airwaves with constant ads. The jury is still out on how this will impact the future of online poker in the States, but I think they’ll have a few more important things to handle at the moment.
In far less exciting news, Brandon Cantu defeated Jon Aguiar in a replay of the controversial Mix-Max WSOP Europe heads up match. To refresh your memory, Cantu whined like a newborn after Aguiar beat him for the bracelet in September because of Main Event scheduling issues and then managed to stand in for an insta-classic PokerNews interview (linked at the bottom of this post).
While no stranger to acting a fool when it pleases him, Aguiar offered to play heads up after Cantu wouldn’t let up on the subject. They played for the difference between 1st and 2nd, but not for the bracelet, at Aria, where Cantu somehow feels vindicated after winning the match and ~$135,000. Lose/lose.
After a customer placed a $47,000 wager in a Manchester, England, sports book on President Barack Obama to win re-election today, William Hill was forced to update its odds overseas on the U.S. presidential election.
The updated odds were released Monday as Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, spent their final day on the campaign trail before Election Day.
William Hill shorted Obama’s odds to 2-9, with Romney at 10-3 [the day before the election].
After their final debate in October, the bookmaker trimmed Obama’s odds from 4-9 to 2-5, while Romney was shifted from 7-2 to 15-8.
“With the race to the White House entering the final furlong, political punters appear to believe Obama is beginning to pull clear,” said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.
On Tilt Radio is hosting a live election-night broadcast with/for a bunch of poker people with political mindsets. I’ll be there — on air with Pokerati partners Jay Todd from This Week in Gambling and Rich Muny from the PPA … and those two will be sticking around to join Greg Raymer.
PresidentTracker: One of the world’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009 at the WSOP in 2011. (Photo: PokerListings)
Plenty of talk about polls as we head into the homestretch of our 2012 US Presidential election. Who’s up, who’s down, who asked what and margin-of-error how? Just remember: no matter where you are on the political spectrum, in the horserace journalism of it all, the mainstream media are primary beneficiaries of a tight race. At least that’s what I keep telling myself after making some rather significant wagers on essentially a “gut” feeling that the national economy was improving and no way more than 43 percent of Americans would vote for a guy who strapped his dog to the roof of a car.
But proper analysis is apparently not so simple.
No wonder so many pundits are looking to a former online poker semi-pro to tell us who’s the best bet for president.
Nate Silver, 34, is author of The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t … and he’s all the rage among the politerati these days. His book apparently brings multi-level thinking taught by hand histories into the political sphere. And in doing so, Silver puts online poker on the same level as other imperfect but predictive sciences such as hurricane tracking and counterterrorism. (And nobody seems to be laughing at the comparisons!)
The Signal and the Noise came out the chute in September on the New York Times bestseller list, where it’s currently #15 among all non-fiction books. And at the time of this posting, the book ranked #1 on Amazon for books about math, #1 for technology, and #2 for politics and social sciences.
The line on the U.S. presidential election has shifted again.
After Tuesday’s debate between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, William Hill Plc, a British bookmaker with about 2,350 shops in the United Kingdom, adjusted the odds overseas on the election.
Obama’s improved performance from the first debate resulted in him going from a 4-9 favorite to a 2-5 favorite Wednesday. Meanwhile, Romney bumped from a 7-4 underdog to 2-1 to win the Nov. 6 election.
“The consensus of opinion seems to be that Barack Obama may not have won the second debate against Mitt Romney, but neither did he lose it, and punters have taken that as a signal to back him again after a couple of weeks during which momentum had swung towards the challenger,” William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said in a statement Wednesday.
A reminder for local gamblers – you can’t place a wager at any of William Hill’s 159 sports books or kiosks in Nevada. The bookmaker did not seek regulatory approval to post odds and take bets in the 2012 U.S. presidential election.
Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@review journal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.
Copyright 2012 Stephens Media Interactive GamingWire.
All rights reserved.
If you haven’t voted a few times already, there’s a poll right over there ( –> ) asking you what’s your favorite poker blog by a bona fide poker pro. Daniel Negreanu is running away with it, as he probably should be. My personal fave: Doyle Brunson’s blog.
First, Iâ€™m about as far away from being a racist as you can get. Iâ€™ve had black friends all my life, and I mean really good friends. That was back before it was â€œfashionableâ€ to have blacks as friends.
Hmm, that might be a dig at anyone like me who has specifically been courting black girls, thinking interracial intercourse is about to become all the rage (just kidding LaTasjia — you’re still my #1 shorty). But seriously … check it out — not only does Doyle’s blog have other good blogstuff such as a relatively personal Flickr gallery, but also he was able to make a solid point for voting McCain in four paragrafs that neither Tom nor my dad could do in four weeks of email manifestos and belligerent phone calls. It’s the kinda writing I’ve grown to expect from Brunson, who clearly has refined his skills in the 36 years since authoring Super/System.
Another pretty good one comes from Annette 15. Even though the Michelle Wie of Poker (?) says she’s really more of a forum girl, Annette Obrestad’s blog (added to the poll by a reader) is filled with worthwhile reads from a young pro making her way through the high-stakes world, live and online. I really dug her post introducing “set mining” to me (the phrase, if not the concept), with a simple, straightforward math-based explanation of when it’s worth seeing if you’re pocket pair can trip up.
Anyhow, just a couple that I’ve found worth the clicks and eyeball time, and possibly a few votes.
In case you missed the multi-network coverage last night of my prop-bet with Tom … I won! The main bet was an easy victory, but I had to sweat it out on the 5-percent point-spread sidebet.
But in the end, the American people have spoken — and I’d like to thank them for showing up in droves on my behalf. Though the exact number could change a bit — 3 percent of the vote is still uncounted — Pokerati is going to declare a full victory for Michalski over Schneider, as Obama is currently ahead of McCain in the nationwide popular vote by 6.071945 percent.
See, already the economy is looking up!
UPDATE: 6.149579 percent difference, with 98 percent reporting.
U.S. citizens, today is Election Day. Not only is the office of the presidency on the line, but there are important congressional seats and important propositions on ballots as well. And despite my previous biased posts about my presidential candidate of choice, I am refraining from pushing that here. My only point is that you vote. Your vote is your voice, and it is of the ultimate importance that you express it today.
What I will mention with a bias is an important proposition on the Missouri ballot. Prop A will repeal the $500 loss limit in Missouri casinos, which has long been the reason that those establishments have not attracted major poker tournaments, high-stakes players, or revenue-driving action of any kind. The loss limit was put in place to save gamblers from themselves and prevent gambling addictions, as players were restricted to losing no more than $500 in any two-hour period. The ridiculousness of it is obvious, and the limit can be repealed today with a YES vote on Prop A. Casinos would be required to pay a $2 fee per visit toward a Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Improvement Fund, but the casinos would likely attract more high-stakes players and that additional revenue would likely offset the cost to casinos.
The downside to Prop A is that the number of casinos allowed in Missouri would be limited to those already established or still under construction. (I think that number is 12.) However, the existing casinos would have much more of an opportunity to succeed – and thrive – if the loss limit is repealed, so it seems that the pros outweigh the cons here. More on the initiative here and a few words from the Missouri Gaming Association here.
As a native Missourian, I’m asking that you get out there in the Show Me State and vote YES on Prop A. (I am California Jen, and I approve this message.)
Phew … I was a little worried about asking the only Beyond the Table co-host to ever drop an N-bomb in an episode where he stood on my prop bet with Tom the election. But he lets me and others know by forwarding an email that gives a little hint about his views/vote — and more proof that one side’s lack of internet understanding (and respect for the laws governing it) hasn’t really helped his cause. A technical mistake, most likely, but still … telling:
If you ever wanted to know where McCain stands on SPAM…..
This email, below, not only disregards industry best-practices and standards, but is in clear violation of the CAN SPAM Act of ’03.
He’s already holding himself to a different standard.
Just curious. We all know the presidential election has been a boom for Saturday Night Live’s ratings … tonight I was watching to see John McCain’s guest appearance. Gotta say, he was pretty damn good:
The host was Ben Affleck — real poker player — and in the group farewell, it was like a sincere, conciliatory ovation to the honorable senator. Majillions had to be watching … and from that scene, at least here on Cox cable in Las Vegas, it went right to Poker after Dark. (And a good episode, too! Mike Matusow vs. all previous champs, director’s cut.)
Certainly at least a few folks (thousand? hundreds of thousands?) had to be drawn into poker for their first time in a while with that fortunate positioning, right?
Sorry I’ve been a little out of pocket in recent daysweeks months. But I got kinda hooked on election coverage. Dammit, promised myself four years ago that I wouldnâ€™t get caught up in the BS-laden pre-election horse race coverage, but instead ended up making the biggest prop bet of my life about a month ago — $1,000 on Barack Obama.
Since then, I’ve spent my days and nights flipping news channels and scouring YouTube for funny/insightful political vids to send to that great online Deuce-to-Seven player, luvgamble, aka Donkey Bomber, aka Tom the Plumber. My original offer was $500 +3 points, and when given the opportunity for better odds without the points, I had to double my wager. (Thatâ€™s just smart gambling, right?) So when the pundits are saying there’s a lot at stake this election … they ain’t kidding!
Tom’s an Arizona homer for McCain who’s been mass-forwarding easily disprovable, often hypocritical right-wing propaganda for about a year-and-a-half now — the sort that screams, imho, “Holy shit, is America really gonna put Hillary Clinton a black guy in there!?!” To be clear: I’m not saying luvgamble nor any of his email distro cronies are racists or sexists. I’m just saying they’re white … and probably don’t own any Dr. Dre.
And thatâ€™s why I felt (and still feel) that I had a better read on the election than he did.