• The Odds: One Season, Three Gamblers, and the Death of Their Las Vegas

    Consortium / Perseus

  • $23.99

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    For sports gamblers in Las Vegas, nobody cares who wins; it's by how  much that matters. In  The Odds , Chad Millman follows three professional  gamblers through a year of college basketball, where meticulous research,  betting discipline, and instinct clash with addiction, and no one relaxes until  they've lost it all.  The three colorful gamblers Millman expertly portrays are a high-rolling career  "wiseguy," a slacker wannabe, and a bookmaker who sets the lines on games (for  example, Iowa over Indiana by 4-1/2 points, meaning if you bet on Iowa, you win  only if Iowa wins by five points or more). The idea behind the betting line is  to lure bets (hopefully, losing ones) and make a profit for his casino from the  action, but more importantly to stay ahead of those who pounce on a weak line  like hungry wolves. Millman provides the answer to what makes these wiseguys  tick: "While the casual bettor weighs common sense and financial realities with  every bet, the wiseguy pushes those aside... [his] battle isn't with what makes  sense; his battle is with anyone who gets in the way of making his bet a  euphoric experience."  Along with lurid details of what these gamblers do to feed their frenzy, Millman  enriches us on gambling's history and sobering statistics, on Vegas's decline  and the rise of offshore casinos, and on the effects of media coverage and  politics on sports and gambling. While you won't learn how to get rich off the  next office pool, you will get an inside look at those who make or lose money on  some kid's buzzer-beater or a garbage-time lay-up.  --Michael Ferch 
           To some, sports betting is good clean fun it adds spice to the  game to put a little down on your alma mater. To others, it's  big business federal agents estimated that before the 2000 Super  Bowl that nearly $5 billion would be bet both legally and  illegally, and the 2000 NCAA basketball tournament drew nearly  $80 million in legal Nevada bets and estimates running from $2.5  to $7 billion in illegal action. Here, sports reporter Chad  Millman goes to Las Vegas, the legal gambling mecca threatened  by recent legislation and offshore Internet betting sites, and  follows the men who make the odds and those who try to beat  them. This is not a Reefer Madness-style expos  designed to  scare gamblers straight, but its depiction of the lives of a  young bookmaker, a big player, and a rookie gambling  professional still might make bettors consider dialing  1-800-BETS-OFF. Recommended for larger public libraries. Jim  Burns, Ottumwa P.L., IA    Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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