Las Vegas has begun
serving up its usual smorgasbord of football
contests and, as always, there are more selections
from which to choose than the Bellagio buffet!
The biggie, of course,
is the Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest, which
has been around for years and proclaims its
winner to be the world's best handicapper.
Canadian Tony Ricci of
Vancover (the Blue Team) won $303,000 in 2005.
Entry fee is $1,500 and
participants pick five NFL games weekly against
a contest spread.
Twenty spots are paid.
Last year the competition
drew a record 505 entrants.
This year registration
began in mid-July and signups have been slow,
according to one employee, as a backlash seems
to be mounting in protest of the vast number
Some of Las Vegas' leading
handicappers have gone on record as saying they
won't enter the SuperContest this year, though
SuperBook officials have predicted a new mark
of around 600 will be established.
Word is there are SuperBook
supervisory personnel who are pushing to up
the entry fee to at least $2,000 in 2007.
Only 20 players had signed
up as of Monday, but the Hilton expects a rash
of entries to come in the last weekend of August
as well as Labor Day Weekend.
The earlybird deadline,
which gives players a chance to win $10,000
in a three-week mini-contest at season's end,
is 4 p.m. Sept. 1.
The Hilton will get some
solid competition on the high end this year
from Harrah's, whose resorts are baptizing a
new NFL competition, Glory of the Gridiron,
which already commands a $2,000 entry fee.
The company will add $50,000
to the pool.
in addition to Harrah's, are Caesars Palace,
Bally's, Paris, the Flamingo, the Rio and Harvey's
in Lake Tahoe.
Entry deadline is 2 p.m.
With the fabled Stardust
due for demolition, probably before year's end,
there won't be any Stardust Invitational this
season after a successful 11-year run.
Pro Cappers Handicapper
Marc Lawrence won the final Invitational last
year, defeating popular single-name 'capper
Fezzik in the seven-game finale.
That void is being filled
by Leroy's Money Talks football contest in which
each week's two featured players make seven
graded plays, college or pro, against Leroy's
Friday night line.
The competition debuted
last season, with 16 players each anteing $2,500
to participate and Leroy's, which operates more
than 60 Silver State books, tossing in $10,000.
Former Las Vegas bookmaker
Nick Bogdanovich took the top prize of $40,000
and Pro Cappers Handicapper Bryan Leonard
finished as runnerup.
Stakes are doubled this
The buy-in is $5,000 and
Leroy's is kicking in another $20,000 for a
About three dozen people
have expressed interest in securing one of the
An annoucement regarding
selection of the field was due last week, but,
according to media relatons director Jimmy Vaccaro,
has been postponed until certain papers are
"We know who we want,
but we have to dot all the i's and cross all
the t's," Vaccaro said late last week.
Leroy's also will conduct
its $250 per entry college football contest,
but main man Vic Salerno has decided against
a similar NFL competition.
Rather, Leroy's will continue
its pro Pick'em & Win Contest.
Details on all Leroy's
contests will be forthcoming.
Station Casinos, which
keeps adding new properties to its ever-growing
family, will sponsor two contests, including
the no-pointspread Great Giveaway, consistently
voted the city's best football contest by readers
of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Entries are $25 each and
those who purchase two get a third free.
The Great Giveaway offers
$1,000,000 in cash prizes, with $510,000 reserved
for weekly winners and another $490,000 being
awarded at the end of the season.
Weekly prizes will total
$30,000, with $10,000 going to the contestant
who chooses the most winners and another $5,000
to the one with the most losers.
The first-place winner
at the end of the season will collect $100,000,
the second-place finisher $50,000 and the third-place
The person with the most
losses will earn $50,000.
will be divided by players who "Fiddle
in the Middle," or are closest to selecting
50 percent winners and losers.
Partcipating resorts are
Palace Station, Boulder Station, Sunset Station,
Texas Station, Santa Fe Station, Red Rock Station
and Green Valley Ranch.
Stations' $1,000 per entry
Challenge competition also will return, with
a guaranteed $100,000 top prize.
Players may purchase up
to three entries
Contestants also will vie
for use of a Mercedes Benz for a year and $12,500
to be awarded the winner of a four-week mini-contest.
An additional $10,000 is
up for grabs for earlybird contestants who sign
up by Sept. 1 in a "Beat the House Bookmaker"
Coast Casinos, which merged
with the Boyd Group earlier this year, will
renew its no points Friendly Frank's $1,000,000
Pick the Pros Contest for the 29th straight
Entries are $25 apiece
and contestants who buy four get a fifth free.
To prize is $100,00, with
$50,000 for second, $25,000 for third, $10,000
for fourth and $5,000 for fifth.
The next 300 winners will
receive $1,000 each.
An additional $30,000 will
be awarded weekly, including $10,000 to the
Those who sign up before
4 p.m. Sept. 7 will be eligible to win $3,000
and other prizes.
Casinos involved include
the Gold Coast, Barbary Coast, Suncoast, South
Coast, Fremont and Sam's Town.
The Palms will return its
Pigskin Payoff Contest, which offers $300,00
in cash prizes.
The partial breakdown is
$271,000 in weekly prizes and a $10,000 end-of-season
Entries are $25 each and
those who buy three by Aug. 20 will receive
$10 in slot play.
More contest information
will be available in a later story.
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Brian Gabrielle is a documented member of The
Professional Handicappers League.
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