New York City
Today is a travel day for me as I depart the hustle and bustle of sweltering New York City, as I make my way back to synthetic and sunny Los Angeles to finish up the last bits of Lost Vegas.
Only complete degenerates bet on baseball. That's partially true. There are a handful of professional gamblers and handicappers that wager on baseball only when the perfect circumstances present themselves. Since I started covering the WSOP in 2005, I met Nolan Dalla who was a handicapper in a previous life. He "knows guys" who do this for a living and once every summer, I get an email or a tap on the shoulder with a "bet the farm" pick. It's essentially free money, that is, if you can find that perfect game. Since the MLB schedule is 162 games long there's opportunity to stumble upon one of those games.
A friend of mine (name withheld for privacy issues) who used to live in Las Vegas in the 1990s, loved the baseball season more so than the NFL season because there was action every single day for almost six months versus a smaller time frame of gambling... Sundays and one game Monday night for football. He loved to hammer home dogs and made a decent living exploiting that edge in baseball.
These days, my sports betting boils down to this... action. The sums wagered are drastically lowered, but action is still action. Sports betting takes something that was lacking significance and all of a sudden it has meaning and that's the beauty of betting on Little League Baseball. Sure, children's sports, at the root, is all about sportsmanship and exercise and teaching little ones teamwork and how to follow the rules. However, once the kids step on the diamond at Williamsport, PA and under the bright lights and lenses of international media reps, the fun times and game ceases. The event metophorisizes into sports entertainment. The way I see it... if it's on ESPN, then it's OK to gamble on it.
I've been doing fairly well since the LLWS began and now we're getting close to figuring out the Final Four. There are two games on Wednesday.... Mexico plays Japan in the international pool and a team from Staten Island is taking on San Antonio in the U.S. bracket. On the Mexico/Japan game? The nod goes to undefeated Mexico who is 3-0 since the tournament began. Japan is 2-1 and they are going to be tough to beat. Since I'm in NYC and played little league in the Bronx many moons ago, I'll have to go with Staten Island... even though I think San Antonio is strong enough of a squad to win a close game. Gotta root for the local kids and I love the fact that they all got Italian last names... kids of wiseguys playing against rednecks from Texas. Man, I should be covering the LLWS instead of the WSOP.
So those are my picks today.... Mexico and Staten Island.
* Disclaimer: These picks are for entertainment purposes only. After all, gambling is illegal in parts of rural America. The Tao of Poker is not a registered investment adviser or broker/dealer. Readers are advised that the material contained herein should be used solely for informational purposes. Tao of Poker does not purport to tell or suggest which games that readers should wager for themselves. True gamblers should always conduct their own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Tao of Poker will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained on Tao of Poker. Readers are solely responsible for their own investment decisions, especially when wagering upon little league baseball players who may or may not be injected with growth hormones..
By the way, last night I attended my first game in the new Yankee Stadium. I went with my brother who has already visited the new digs a couple of times. The last time we went to see a baseball game together, he got into a fight at Dodger Stadium last summer.
Anyway, click here to see a complete gallery of new Yankee Stadium photos.
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