Thursday, April 29, 2010 2010 Draft Review

by Pat Kirwin

Colts president Bill Polian likes to say "let the draft board speak to you." If you are lucky, the board says stay put and take the best player. Such was the case for the Bills, Bears, Bengals and Giants. The other 28 teams moved players for picks, or traded up or down trying to land the desired players at the right spots.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick told me on Thursday before the draft that many of the veteran players mentioned in trade talks might be cut early in the week after the draft, and he turned out to be right. We just saw three defensive tackles and an All-Pro guard get shown the door. They will fill the holes left for teams that did not meet all their needs in the draft. Here are a few observations from the draft:

Arizona -- The Cardinals were unable to land a franchise left tackle, but they finally got their nose tackle by grabbing Dan Williams with the 26th selection. Second-round pick Daryl Washington gives them a weakside inside linebacker that should start from Day 1. The dark horse in the draft may be outside linebacker, O'Brien Schofield, who was injured at the Senior Bowl but has a chance to replace some of the pass rush left behind by Chike Okeafor and Bertrand Berry. Schofield had 17 sacks in college.

Atlanta -- The Falcons calmly took the best player on their board in the first four rounds. A number of prognosticators said Sean Weatherspoon was a late first-round pick, but I agree with Atlanta grabbing him at No. 19. He can play any of the three linebacker spots. Not having a second-round pick left the Falcons waiting 64 selections before getting a defensive tackle (Corey Peters). A total of 10 defensive tackles came off the board during those 64 picks. Mike Johnson, also taken in the third round, can play center as well as guard. CB Dominique Franks, taken 135th overall, looked like a steal and should compete for at least the nickel corner job. The Falcons can go to camp with this roster.

Baltimore -- The Ravens traded out of the first round and still wound up with two defensive players in the second round, Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody, who will be on the field in 2010. Drafting tight ends back-to-back in the third and fourth rounds is a statement about Todd Heap. The Ravens were expected to get secondary help in the draft and passed on good safeties in the second round. By the time they went in the fourth round, 16 corners were gone.

Buffalo -- It was clear the grades on the board would not let the Bills select a quarterback, as they passed on Jimmy Clausen twice and Colt McCoy three times. It was obvious the Bills didn't like the draft class. C.J. Spiller is a playmaker who will touch the ball more than any other rookie running back next year. DT Torell Troup and DE Alex Carrington are excellent picks to build the 3-4 defense. A dark horse to keep an eye on is OT Ed Wang. He has the athleticism to win the right tackle job before his rookie season is over.

Carolina -- The Panthers needed more picks with the number of veterans who left the roster and Marty Hurney went from eight choices to 10. It had to be tough to sit back and wait 48 picks to select, but Clausen fell right in their lap, and they had to put off getting a wide receiver until the third round, when they got Brandon LaFell. The former LSU star is similar to long-time Carolina standout Mushin Muhammad. The Panthers then surprised many people by giving up a 2011 second-round pick for a Wildcat player, Armanti Edwards. I really like Eric Norwood in the fourth round as a situational pass rusher, who had 29 sacks in college.

Chicago -- It had to be torture waiting until pick No. 75 to make their first selection, but the Bears wisely refused to move up and mortgage their future once again. They went defense for the first of their five picks, but failed to address their concerns at offensive tackle until the seventh round. Some would think with all the throwing Mike Martz does, that the Bears would have drafted more receivers. I was told, however, that Martz doesn't want a lot of receivers in camp.

Cincinnati -- I thought the Bengals had a very good draft, hitting on key needs at tight end, defensive line and corner. Jermaine Gresham gives Carson Palmer his first big-time tight end since he joined the Bengals. Carlos Dunlap has first-round talent and dropped to the second for off-the-field issues, which Marvin Lewis will handle. DT Geno Atkins will be in the rotation at defensive tackle after running a sub-4.8 40-yard dash at 293 pounds. Jordan Shipley is a crafty wide receiver Palmer will come to trust in the slot. The Bengals could still use a safety to finish off a fine offseason.

Cleveland -- The Browns masterfully waited for McCoy at No. 85. In the meantime, they selected the top corner, Joe Haden, a bit of a reach at safety, T.J. Ward, and an underrated running back, Montario Hardesty, to replace Jamal Lewis. Don't be surprised if safety Larry Asante, taken in the fifth round, gives Ward a run for playing time. With nine picks, the Browns satisfied all of their needs and should be ready for camp.

Dallas -- Jerry Jones didn't listen to his draft board the year Randy Moss came out, but he did this year and moved up for Dez Bryant. The Cowboys don't overreact in the draft like they used to, but they failed to draft a tackle, and as a result, re-signing Flozell Adams seems like a good idea. Zane Beadles would have been ideal in the second round, but he went 11 picks before Dallas selected. They did wisely move up to grab LB Sean Lee in the second round. He can play either inside spot and will eventually replace Keith Brooking. A kicker and a safety are still needs to be addressed.

Denver -- The Broncos started out with six picks, and wound up with nine selections by bouncing all over the board. They chose Tim Tebow at No. 25, after replacing Brandon Marshall with the same type of receiver, Demaryius Thomas, at No. 22. I really liked what the Broncos did to fortify their offensive line by adding Beadles, J.D. Walton and Eric Olsen. All three should make the team and compete to play right away. If third-round WR Eric Decker is healthy, he will have a chance to win the third wide receiver spot.

Detroit -- Second overall pick Ndamukong Suh gives Lions coach Jim Schwartz the Albert Haynesworth-type player he has been looking for in Detroit. The Lions' board had Jahvid Best rated as the best running back in the draft, and they didn't hesitate to move up to No. 30 overall to get him. They were unable to draft a linebacker, and will have to look for one in free agency. Keep an eye on seventh-round pick Willie Young, who had 46 tackles for a loss and 20 sacks in his college career at N.C. State.

Green Bay -- No team listens to its draft board like the Packers. In fact, they don't listen to anything else. They expect all their picks to make the team and play for a long time. If I were a draft-eligible player, I would love to get the call from GM Ted Thompson. Bryan Bulaga fell right to them, and he addresses one of their biggest needs. Thompson did not hesitate to jump up into the third round for safety Morgan Burnett, who had 14 interceptions in college and will challenge starter Atari Bigby. Many people thought they would select an outside linebacker in the second round, but the top five candidates were already gone, so they took a five-technique defensive tackle, Mike Neal.

Houston -- It was no secret the Texans needed a running back, and they got him in the second round with Ben Tate. If they moved up to get Ryan Mathews, they would have lost their second-round pick, and missed out on first-round pick Kareem Jackson. As it stands, they traded down in the second round, still got Tate and used the extra pick to get TE Garrett Graham. They grabbed Shelly Smith and Trindon Holliday in the sixth round. Smith is an undersized guard and Holliday was the smallest player in the draft.

Indianapolis -- Polian was delighted when DE Jerry Hughes fell right to him at No. 31. Hughes is in the mold of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, and he will see lots of action right away. Polian told me linebacker Pat Angerer fits the mold of the Colts linebackers. Indy entered the draft with only four corners on the roster, and with all the nickel and dime defense it plays, Kevin Thomas was a good pick in the third round. Guard Jacques McClendon was a bit of a surprise in the fourth round, especially with his college teammate, the versatile Chris Scott, still on the board.

Jacksonville -- The Jaguars took some criticism when they chose DT Tyson Alualu at No. 10 but they were true to their board and only time will tell if the board was right. I really liked Alualu at the Senior Bowl, but I also recognized the Jags had only six picks coming into the draft. When the Jags came right back in the third round for another defensive tackle (D'Anthony Smith), it set into motion the release of veterans John Henderson and Montavious Stanley. The Jags could still use a guard/center type, as well as a developmental quarterback.

Kansas City -- The Chiefs surprised a few people with the Eric Berry pick and followed it up with another surprise by selecting Dexter McCluster in the second round. My favorite mid-round pick was center/guard Jon Asamoah. The Chiefs still have work to do on both lines and Scott Pioli has always made a living in the post-draft signings.

Miami -- The Dolphins came into the draft looking to help the defense and came away with two potential starters for 2010. Jared Odrick will work his way into the defensive line rotation, and Koa Misi will compete for a spot at outside linebacker now that Jason Taylor and Joey Porter are gone. John Jerry has very good feet, will push to play guard immediately and could someday be a tackle. Keep an eye on fifth-round pick Reshad Jones. He's good enough to compete for a starting role at safety this season.

Minnesota -- The Vikings got out of the bottom of the first round because they knew they could get the corner they wanted (Chris Cook) in the second. Choosing RB Toby Gerhart in the second round makes sense on multiple levels. He will assume some of the third-down duties Chester Taylor handled, backs up Adrian Peterson with a power running style and can do some of the H-back things Jimmy Kleinsasser does. Everson Griffen was a gift to start off the fourth round. Joe Webb, a former QB, is another versatile athlete who came cheap in the sixth round. I would still like to see the Vikings add a defensive tackle to their rotation, but they did not get one in the draft.

New England -- The Patriots used 12 draft picks to build up the back end of their roster and get younger. This is the third year in a row they took a corner high in the draft. The release of Adalius Thomas suggests second-round pick Jermaine Cunningham fits significantly into their plans at outside linebacker. In the Patriots' 3-4 looks, second-rounder Brandon Spikes will play. Three University of Florida players were drafted by New England, continuing the pipeline from Urban Meyer's program. The Patriots made a real smart move in the fifth round taking punter Zoltan Mesko, who is left-footed and excelled at dropping punts inside the 20-yard line.

New Orleans -- The Saints surprised a few people by taking corner Patrick Robinson in the first round when S Nate Allen and DT Brian Price were still on the board. It may mean Malcolm Jenkins is moving to safety. They were able to get DT Al Woods, a guy they wanted all along, in the fourth round. Second-rounder Charles Brown will push for the right tackle job by midseason. They could still use a linebacker and maybe one more running back.

N.Y. Giants -- Big Blue took some criticism for taking raw DE Jason Pierre-Paul in the first round, when DE Derrick Morgan and LB Sean Weatherspoon were still on the board. The Giants have made many good selections over the years at defensive end, and they know what they are doing. DT Linval Joseph was climbing draft boards the whole month of April and now the club has leverage on veterans Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty. Jerry Reese told me after the draft that he likes the linebackers on the team, and that Osi Umenyiora isn't being traded.

N.Y. Jets -- The Jets insisted on locking up OLB Jason Taylor before the draft, which I understand, but they could have maybe waited for Adalius Thomas to get cut loose. Monitor that situation to see if the Jets also show interest in Thomas. Kyle Wilson was a bargain at No. 29 as a nickel corner and return man. Keep in mind, the Jets could play close to 55 percent of their defensive plays in a nickel or dime look. Vladimir Ducasse is talented, but raw, and has big shoes to fill if he replaces released left guard Alan Faneca. The pick of fourth-rounder Joe McKnight made Leon Washington expendable, but time will tell if McKnight can replace Washington's production. The Jets could still use a defensive end or safety.

Oakland -- This was one of the best drafts in recent history for Oakland. The Raiders got a very solid leader type in the first round, LB Rolando McClain, and patiently waited for DT Lamarr Houston in the second round after trading down. Taking 6-foot-8 OT Jared Veldheer in the third round gave them a plan to take raw but talented OT Bruce Campbell in the fourth. Jacoby Ford is a classic Al Davis speed guy. Trading for Jason Campbell was the best move of all, and now this team has a chance.

Philadelphia -- Andy Reid used 13 picks in the draft to load up on young players and the over-riding theme was pass rush. Between Brandon Graham, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Ricky Sapp and Jamar Chaney, they secured prospects with 80.5 total college sacks. The first five picks and nine of the 13 were for Sean McDermott's defense. Keep an eye on Chaney. He is unlikely to crack the starting lineup after the trade for Ernie Sims, but has the talent to eventually start.

Pittsburgh -- Pittsburgh had 10 draft picks and first-rounder Maurkice Pouncey will be a 10-year starter at guard, and eventually center. After that pick, the Steelers couldn't resist linebackers, as usual. They selected three to bolster an already strong unit. They brought back corner Bryant McFadden in a draft-day trade to address their top need at corner. Seven corners were off the board by the time they picked in the second round and 10 by the time they went in the third. With Santonio Holmes gone, they grabbed two receivers with unbelievable production. Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown have 590 receptions and 56 touchdowns between them in college.

San Diego -- The Chargers moved up for who some called the best back in the draft, Ryan Mathews. After taking Mathews, they concentrated on defense. Third-rounder Donald Butler will challenge for playing time at inside linebacker. Fourth-rounder Darrell Stuckey does the same at safety and big Cam Thomas gives the Chargers a two-man rotation on the nose. I really like the late fifth-round pick of QB Jonathan Crompton, with Norv Turner coaching him as a potential No. 2 down the road.

San Francisco -- I liked the two offensive linemen the Niners took in the first round (Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati) and the second-round pick, Taylor Mays. Third-rounder Navorro Bowman will not break into the starting lineup this year, but he stands a very good chance in 2011. Sixth-rounder Anthony Dixon puts a solid power back in the running back group to take pressure off Frank Gore, and sixth-rounder TE Nate Byham was picked to beef up the run blocking. I would hope they are still thinking of a quarterback to push Alex Smith.

Seattle -- What's not to like about a team that some would argue got the best left tackle and free safety in the draft in first-rounders Russell Okung and Earl Thomas? They got Golden Tate in the second round, and you know Pete Carroll will be experimenting with using Tate in the Wildcat. Trading for Leon Washington and LenDale White answered the running back situation and allowed them to address strong safety and corner. The best late-round pick was TE Anthony McCoy, who has stiff competition from veterans John Carlson and Chris White. The Seahawks are still looking for more players to raise the level of competition.

St. Louis -- If you believe you are looking at a franchise QB, you take him and that's exactly what the Rams did by drafting Sam Bradford first overall. At least eight of the 11 draft picks should make the team. OT Rodger Saffold, taken in the second round, was a fast riser up draft boards in recent weeks and should be a Week 1 starter at guard with an eye on a tackle spot next year. The Rams still need a third-down running back who would help take the burden off Steven Jackson.

Tampa Bay -- After getting rid of both coordinators last year, the Bucs finally settled down and played decent football. Raheem Morris returned the defense to the Monte Kiffin package and went out in this draft and double downed on defensive tackles Gerald McCoy (first round) and Brian Price (second round). There will be some real quickness upfront with those two on board. Second-round WR Arrelious Benn is a fine blocker, as well as receiver, and he may be good enough to crack the lineup this year. Seventh-round LB Dekoda Watson will be a factor on special teams.

Tennessee -- The Titans had a solid draft that met all their needs, except at outside linebacker. If Keith Bulluck comes back, then they will be fine. Derrick Morgan was a no-brainer in the first round and was a safer pick than Pierre-Paul, who went one pick earlier. WR Damian Williams reminds me of Donald Driver and will be a factor by midseason. The most interesting selection may be safety Myron Rolle in the sixth round. Some day he will be a doctor, but he is going after his football career right now, despite many NFL people questioning his passion for the game.

Washington -- The Redskins began the draft with four picks, finished up with six choices and attacked their offensive line problems with three of them. While the Redskins were building up the offense in the draft, they just didn't have enough picks to help a defense that is converting from a 4-3 to a 3-4. The only defensive player selected was linebacker Perry Riley, who will challenge Rocky McIntosh for an inside spot. Look for GM Bruce Allen to continue to use free agency to build up the back end of the roster.

NFL Minicamps and OTA's For All 32 Teams

(All minicamps include rookies and veterans unless otherwise noted)

Arizona Cardinals

Minicamp: April 30-May 2
OTAs: May 18-20, May 25-27, June 1-4, June 7-10

Atlanta Falcons

Minicamp: May 7-9
OTAs: May 25-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 8-11, June 15-18

Baltimore Ravens

Minicamp: May 7-9
OTAs: May 17-20, May 24-27, June 7-10, June 15-16

Buffalo Bills

Minicamps: May 7-9 (rookies; voluntary for veterans), June 4-6 (voluntary), June 23-25
OTAs: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 8-10, June 15-17, June 21-22

Carolina Panthers

Minicamp: April 30-May 2
OTAs: May 24-27, June 2-4, June 7-10, June 14-16

Chicago Bears

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), May 21-23
OTAs: June 2-3, June 7-10, June 14-17, June 21-24

Cincinnati Bengals

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 15-17
OTAs: May 11, May 13, May 18-20, May 25, May 27, June 1-3, June 8, June 10, June 14

Cleveland Browns

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 10-12
OTAs: May 17-19, May 24-25, May 27, June 1-3, June 7-8

Dallas Cowboys

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 11-13
OTAs: May 17-19, May 24-26, June 1-3, June 8-10

Denver Broncos

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 11-13
OTAs: May 17-19, May 24-27, June 2-4, June 7-9

Detroit Lions

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 23-25
OTAs: April 20, May 4, May 6, May 11, May 13, May 18, May 20, May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3, June 21-22

Green Bay Packers

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 21-23
OTAs: May 17-20, June 1-3, June 8-10, June 15-17

Houston Texans

Minicamp: June 14-16
OTAs: May 17-20, May 24-27, June 1-3, June 8-10

Indianapolis Colts

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 4-6
OTAs: May 18, May 20, May 25, May 27, June 1-2, June 8, June 10-11

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minicamp: May 1-3
OTAs: May 17-18, May 20, May 24-25, May 27, June 7-8, June 10, June 14-15, June 17, June 21-22

Kansas City Chiefs

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 11-13
OTAs: May 17-19, May 24-25, May 27, June 1-3, June 7-9, June 14-15

Miami Dolphins

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), May 28-30
OTAs: May 18-19, May 24, May 26, June 1, June 3, June 7, June 9-10, June 14, June 16

Minnesota Vikings

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 11-13
OTAs: May 18-21, May 24-27, June 1-4, June 7-8

New England Patriots

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 15-17
OTAs: May 24-27, June 1-4, June 7-8, June 10-11

New Orleans Saints

Minicamps: May 7-9 (rookies), June 4-6
OTAs: May 25-28, June 7-10, 24-26, June 14-17

New York Giants

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 15-17
OTAs: May 18, May 20-21, May 24-25, May 27, June 2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10-11

New York Jets

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 14-16
OTAs: May 17-18, May 20, May 24-25, May 27, June 2-3, June 8, June 10

Oakland Raiders

Minicamp: April 30-May 2
OTAs: May 18-20, May 25-27, June 8-10, June 15-17

Philadelphia Eagles

Minicamp: April 30-May 2
OTAs: May 19-20, May 24-27, June 1-4, June 7-10

Pittsburgh Steelers

Minicamp: April 30-May 2
OTAs: April 19-20, May 18-20, May 25-27, June 1-3, June 8-10

St. Louis Rams

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 10-12
OTAs: May 18, May 20, May 24-25, May 27, June 1-3, June 7-8, June 14-17

San Diego Chargers

Minicamps: May 7-8 (rookies), May 26-28
OTAs: May 18-21, June 8-11, June 14-17

San Francisco 49ers

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 18-20
OTAs: March 29-30, April 30, May 17-20, June 7-8, June 10-11, June 14-16

Seattle Seahawks

Minicamps: April 13-15 (voluntary), April 30-May 2, June 22-24 (voluntary)
OTAs: May 11, May 13, May 18, May 20, May 25, May 27, June 8, June 10, June 15, June 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minicamps: April 30-May 2 (rookies), June 21-23
OTAs: May 17-19, June 1-3, June 7-10, June 14-17

Tennessee Titans

Minicamp: April 30-May 1 (rookies)
OTAs: April 27, April 29, May 11, May 13, May 18-19, May 25, May 27, June 14-15, June 17, June 22, June 24-25

Washington Redskins

Minicamps: April 16-18 (voluntary), May 7-9 (rookies; voluntary for veterans), June 16-18
OTAs: May 17-19, May 24-26, June 1-3, June 7-8, June 10-11

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Las Vegas Sports Book Tale: Mr Big and The Celebrity Pack-Mules

by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today - Las Vegas

Usually we use the term "pack-mule" as a reference to drug smugglers crossing the border, but here in Las Vegas we have our own version of a "pack-mule," one who attempts to run bets deceptively to sports books all over the city.

This is a tale about a businessman and his Vegas pack-mules. No names will be mentioned, just to protect all involved, but this tale is based on very true and current events happening within the small community of Las Vegas sports books.

A certain well-known, somewhat controversial Mr. Big-like businessman in Las Vegas is using various athletes and personalities from the sports world to make his high-stakes bets.

These celebrities, who already have ties to casinos with their high-end gambling in various games, have been lured into the web of this tricky spider because of their own inability to win consistently in sports.

It’s not unusual for some of the sharpest gambling minds in the world to be the worst sports bettors. Former World Series of Poker Champion Stu Unger had one of the best mental calculators to play favorable hands at most casino games, but the one area he couldn’t calculate correctly was sports betting, and he lost a lot of money trying to chase because he refused to believe he couldn’t beat the game.

In this new age of deception, the businessman who has been a prominent force in the Vegas betting world for decades with great success, has now got himself a couple of celebrities that have forced upper management to balance the pros and cons of keeping the stars happy for fear of negative publicity or do what’s right for the stock holders who wouldn’t be too happy knowing certain individuals were turning their heads as they were essentially getting taken to the cleaners nightly.

In a trade-off for making the businessman’s bets, the celebrity gets in on the action himself, and satisfies his high-stakes thrill of gambling, winning like never before in sports.

The old scenario by this businessman was to get regular associates/runners to play heavy in the slot machines or table games so they could get an "in" with a casino host, who would battle with the general manager of a casino, against the Sports Book Directors’ wishes, to get this particular player higher limits in the sports book.

After losing possibly a few hundred thousand dollars under this arrangement, the GM would then see that he was set up and then cut the players limits back down to normal limits, assuming they allowed them to continue playing at all.

On other occasions, the businessman, who has ties throughout the city because of all his ventures – let’s just say golf courses – would be upset that one of his runners was thrown out and call the president or CEO of the company and cause a stir.

Most casino executives don’t understand how the sports betting world works, but they do understand and love ideas to create more revenue and that’s what they’re sold on in most instances.

Many folks who don’t understand the process say, "Just take the bets, it will all wash out in the end," or "He can’t win all the time, take the bets."

Yes, he CAN win all the time and usually does, and it doesn’t wash out in the end. The only thing cleaned in the washing process are the sports books.

The businessman has a highly-sophisticated sports betting operation that in many cases has better formulas to create their own lines than the book has itself. The sports book offers side and totals wagering options to every game.

During the NBA or baseball season, there are up to 60 betting options a day offered by the books. The businessman’s goal is to find the five or six bad lines, those that deviate from his own, and pound them for as much as he can.

Some sports books will not even take his action. For one, he’s just too good and can’t be beat.

But other instances have him using deceptive moves to try and fool a book into getting more action on a game, such as sending two of his guys to multiple books under the same umbrella and synchronizing wagers on the same game at two different places. The hope is that the book’s manager will think it was merely a coincidence.

Should the book director throw out the runners, barring them from playing at any of their books, then the flood of calls come into the director’s bosses with an attempt to make the director look like he’s throwing away money, that he’s hot headed, and that word of mouth through the businessman’s vast network of friends is going to harm future business.

In some cases, through a series of phone calls, the two runners who had just deceived and attempted to circumvent limits will be back in the same book, mocking the director, a person who was initially best thought of to run the book operation with the goal of making money and protecting the house.

It’s a slap in the face to the director and it also shows who’s running the show, even though this businessman is not even affiliated with the company.

As more casinos merged throughout Las Vegas, it became harder to bully the executives. There are only a few sports books that are the originator, or hub, of lines with several books underneath using the same line that have no control of the hub’s line movement. It also became much harder for the businessman to infiltrate, but he still gets his money out there, just not as much as he wanted.

That’s where the celebrities come into play. Certain well-known names, particularly in the sports world, have some of the highest lines of credit in the casinos and their play is coveted because they have seemingly unlimited resources.

The businessman has used his schmoozing tactics and perks to create a nice relationship with these people. Because of their play in the casino, they can bet just about anything in the book they want. In past instances, they have played heavily in the book, but their play never carried weight despite the large wagers because they bet poor lines, lost much more than they bet and set a profile of being "square."

Last year all of a sudden, these players were now betting the moves before they happened and always getting the best of the line, and they were winning and winning Big!

After a long string of wagers, their new profile indicated affiliation with the businessman because the same plays were made by other known associates/runners of Mr. Big.

Just about every book is wise to the situation and most have terminated the relationship. However, there are still a few that are somewhat forced to take the action because of upper-management and can’t do anything about it, despite knowing the consequences, which are often times big losses.

Losing is always part of the game in the sports book world, but under-handed, strong-arm tactics to circumvent the system that forces a book to lose is a hard pill to swallow, especially when it’s upper-management that’s washing it down.