Dave’s Free Play, Monday 8/24/15

  • August 24, 2015

The college and NFL regular seasons are now just around the bend. That means it’s contest entry time here in Nevada. There is a wide ranging variety of action for every type of fan. You name it. you can find it, whether it’s a low priced deal where no spreads are involved, or the high roller tournaments with four figure entry fees and huge cash prizes for the winners.

The Supercontest at the Westgate has exploded nationally. Estimates are that there could be upwards of 2000 participants this season, which means a prize pool approaching or perhaps even topping $3 million. The Supercontest is NFL sides only, with each participant choosing five plays each week, and the spreads are the same for everyone.

The Golden Nugget has turned its Friday Football Showdown from what had been a 16-entry field to a wide open event where anyone can enter for $2000. This contest is seven selections each week, with all boarded college and NFL sides and totals available. One point is awarded for each correct play, with a designated weekly best bet worth two points. Everyone plays the first eight weeks. Once those eight weeks are in the books, the eight leaders will move on to a head to head format, leading to a championship round between the two final survivors.

We’re thrilled to be featuring the Westgate each Tuesday on The Las Vegas Sportsline (weekdays 2-3 PM Pacific, ESPN 1100/100.9 FM), as well as having the Golden Nugget with us on Fridays each week. Matt Youmans and myself are the show hosts, and we hope you’ll join us every day for what will hopefully be some entertaining and informative sports gambling conversation. ¬†Those Friday shows will feature contestants in the Golden Nugget event, and we will be the exclusive home for all the head to head action once that gets underway.

These are truly international events, as anyone can enter. But there’s one catch, which is that the plays have to be posted in person. Obviously, that’s not possible for most people not living in Las Vegas, and that’s where proxies come into play. There are numerous folks who provide this service for a fee and it’s perfect for those who want to enter but can’t get to the casinos to enter their plays each week.

That leads to the topic today, which has to do with whether or not it’s okay for proxies to also be contestants. There’s some divided opinion on this subject. For some, it’s not a big deal. For others, there are concerns about whether it’s ethical. I’ll weigh in with my views.

Personally, if I were to utilize a proxy, I would prefer that it be someone who is not a contest participant. I think there’s an advantage to be both a proxy and an entrant. My rationale here is simple enough. If I’m a proxy who’s also playing, and I’m entering plays for, just to take a random number, 50 clients, I like the idea of knowing what the hot hands are on, as well as what those who might be stone cold are playing.

Don’t get me wrong, that info is hardly a sure thing in terms of having an edge. Player A who’s on fire, can turn into a cooler and Player B can suddenly go from fade city to red hot. But if you’re asking me whether I’d like to have access to that information, the answer is yes. Moreover, and here’s where there’s a bit of an ethical slippery slope, let’s bring into the conversation a late season scenario.

I’m a proxy who’s also playing and I’ve got a shot at getting paid based on my record to date. Ditto for a handful of the players I’m proxying for. My having their plays is now a huge advantage. I’m not speaking from an analytical standpoint here, that really doesn’t matter. But if I’m competing for a big prize and I know what my prospective competition is playing before I put in my own plays, that’s big advantage me and thank you very much.

My conclusion is that proxying and also entering is not unethical, but it’s incumbent upon the proxy to inform prospective clients that they are indeed entering the contest themselves. That way, it’s up to the contestant. If it doesn’t matter, then no problem. If it does, as it would to me to be perfectly candid, then find a proxy who is providing the service but not participating in either event.

Just for the record, I’m not in either contest. Station policy prohibits my participation as the contest hosts are also sponsors of our show. Nor am I a proxy as there’s zero chance I’d want that responsibility.

Got thoughts on this topic? Feel free to offer your views on Twitter where I can be found @davecokin.

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Okay Sunday as the 49ers were an easy choice (thanks, Jerry Jones) and the ridiculous Blue Jays obliterated the Angels after falling behind 5-1. The free play on the Rays got beat as the wrong bullpen collapsed, at least from my perspective.

I added another college football opening week play yesterday, so that count is now at seven, all sides. I’ve also played four NFL season O/U win totals. My service has no varying levels, so everyone gets all the plays. If you’d like info on what I provide and the costs involved (both flat rates and net winners available), shoot an email my way at cokin@cox.net and I’ll get right back with all the pertinent info.

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No bueno on the Rays as the Sunday free play. I’ll go the home chalk route for the Monday comp.

ORIOLES (Jimenez) @ ROYALS (Medlen)

Take: ROYALS -129

I’ll have to admit to a rooting interest here. I really hope Kris Medlen is able to return to the outstanding level he was pitching at prior to having his second Tommy John surgery. Yeah, the recovery rate these days is outstanding. But it’s still a bitch of a rehab according to everyone who’s had to go through it. Having to clear both the physical and mental hurdles involved with multiple procedures has to be a little bit brutal. So I think it’s great that Medlen has returned to action and I hope he gets all the way back.

So far, so good for Medlen. His first relief outing was gnarly as he surrendered four runs. But since that ugly debut as a Royal, Medlen has put together a nifty 11 inning scoreless streak where he’s given up just six hits. Moreover, his velocity is back to pre-injury levels. There might be a decline tonight as he transitions from the pen back to the rotation and pacing himself enters the picture. But it really does appear as though it could be all systems go for Medlen.

Good luck trying to figure out which Ubaldo Jimenez shows up. Good Ubaldo can shut down anyone when the command is there. U-Bad-O is always a possibility as well, and of late we’re seeing a bit more of that Jimenez version.

The Orioles head to Kansas City off a disastrous weekend as they were swept at home by the supposedly dead in the water Twins. Going 0-4 against Minnesota and now having to hit the road to play the Royals? Not exactly ideal.

I’m not about to throw dirt on the Orioles and suggest their playoff chances are toast. But they took a big hit this weekend and Jimenez is just not a stopper. Medlen should be completely geared up for his first start and I like his chances of giving me five good innings before yielding to the Royals bullpen. Kansas City is in great shape to land home field advantage for the AL playoffs, but this not a team that that looks as though they’re about to go into coast mode. I think the price is reasonable enough to make the Royals an acceptable choice this evening.