Heisman odds not likely coming to Nevada sportsbooks

The Nevada Gaming Control has returned applications from two sportsbooks, who were hoping to offer betting on the Heisman Trophy this fall.

Teresa Zellhoefer, deputy chief of the enforcement division of Gaming Control, said Wednesday that the applications were returned with a request for confirmation from the Heisman Trophy committee on how the votes are tabulated. It is the sportsbooks’ responsibility to open communication with the Heisman committee. Odds on the stuffy Heisman committee returning calls from a Vegas sportsbooks seem slim.

Nevada sportsbooks are not allowed to offer wagering on non-sporting events unless Gaming Control can be satisfied of the legitimacy of the voting process.


Hot dog contest odds: Joey Chestnut favored by 10 1/2 dogs

By David Purdum / @DavidPurdum

Five-time defending champion Joey Chestnut is an overwhelming favorite to win the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4 on Coney Island.

Chestnut is a 1/10 (-1,000) favorite to win his sixth straight title at Sportsbook.com, meaning you’ll have to put up $1,000 to win $100 on the defending champ.

The over/under on No. of dogs Chestnut downs is 63.5, and he’s favored to eat 10.5 more dogs than any other competitor during the 10-minute event to be televised by ESPN.

Chestnut ate 62 hot dogs en route last year’s championship, besting second-place finisher Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti by nine hot dogs. He has averaged 61.8 dogs during his five-year reign.

Takeru Kobayashi won six straight hot dog contests before Chestnut unseated him in 2007. Kobayashi, who is in a contract dispute, will not be competing in the Nathan’s contest and instead will take part in the first Crif Dog Classic, which will also take place on July 4.

The official field for the Nathan’s contest will not be set until the final qualifying event takes place June 23 in Boston.

After losing billions, J.P. Chase chief: ‘We don’t gamble;’ Billy Walters might disagree

Jamie Dimon, chief executive of J.P. Chase & Morgan, the largest financial institution in the U.S., testified that his firm doesn’t gamble.

American investors might disagree.

Dimon was in charge during the multibillion-dollar investment losses that fueled an economic meltdown.

In testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services on Tuesday, Dimon explained the difference between gambling and investing to Rep. Gary Ackerman.

“I think when you gamble you usually lose to the house,” Dimon said.

Ackerman responded: “That’s been my general experience with investing.”

“I’d be happy to get you a better financial advisor,” Dimon added.

Las Vegas businessman Billy Walters thought he had the best financial advice around, when he invested millions in four publicly traded companies a decade or so ago. That didn’t turn out to be the case.

Walters, considered by many to be the most successful sports bettor ever, remains heavily involved in the stock market. But like a lot of American investors in today’s economic climate, he’s not exactly thrilled about it.

“I have a much bigger presence in the stock market than I do betting sports,” Walters said in a phone interview. “The only reason I do is, because it’s a much bigger market; you can play a lot higher. Betting on sporting events is a much cleaner, much more honest game than buying stocks. I can tell you that for sure.”

Walters says he lost $12 million on four publicly traded companies: Purchase Pro LLC, Enron Cooperation, WorldCom and Tyco.

“I relied on audited statements that were done by Big Six accounting firms,” he explained. “I relied on a board of directors that looked like a social registry of the United States. I relied on the SCC. I relied on all these analysts from all these brokerage firms. And everyone all said the same thing that these numbers were factual and had been checked and you could rely on them. I bought stock in them. I lost $12 million. And every one of them proved to be a fraud. People went to prison for them and everything else. The government didn’t give any money back from that. You just lost your money and that was that.”

[Wall Street Journal] [New York Times]

Tim Donaghy wins $1.62 lawsuit against ex-publisher

By David Payne Purdum / @DavidPurdum

Ex-NBA referee Tim Donaghy has a million-dollar court ruling in his pocket, but knows he still has a ways to go before he receives retribution from his former book publisher.

After a more than two-year legal battle, Donaghy was awarded $1.62 million Friday in his breach-of-contract suit against his former book publisher and current political talk show host Shawna Vercher.

“I don’t know that it’ll change my life right now,” Donaghy said in a Saturday phone interview. “But knowing the things she’s tried to pull off, I’m sure she’ll try to get out of paying.”

A Florida jury backed Donaghy’s allegations that Vercher failed to pay royalties on his book, “Personal Foul” and took steps to discredit the former ref, who was booted from the NBA for his role in a gambling scandal.

Donaghy claims that Vercher orchestrated the creation of the website, TimDonaghyRevealed.com, and posted negative and erroneous stories about him. The URL is no longer working.

“We were able to trace the website that was set up with fictitious names and emails,” Donaghy said. “Some of her employees told us that they were directed to create this website with untraceable emails and web addresses; then she put up all the information.”

Vercher did not address that specific allegation, but told David Purdum Sports in an email that her attorney Khurrum Wahid had already begun work on an appeal.

“We are confident that – once we get beyond a court in Mr. Donaghy’s back yard (and that of his attorney) and to an appellate court – we will be allowed to call witnesses, to present evidence and to provide enough evidence to prevail in finally having a judge rule that Mr. Donaghy must stay away from me and my family,” Vercher added.

Donaghy resides in Sarasota, Fla. His attorney, Nick Mooney of Bromagen & Rathet, P.A., works out of St. Petersburg.

In response to Vercher’s statement, Mooney said, “We look forward to continuing the legal process and getting it finalized. I assure you that Mr. Donaghy has no interest in going anywhere near Mrs. Vercher or her family.”

Donaghy says he believed Vercher had some creative ideas at the time he was looking for a publisher.

“She claimed that she had worked with Jeb Bush and President Obama and, at the time, seemed like a person that could get the project done and was a trustworthy person,” Donaghy said. “If she would have been, it would have been a huge success for both of his. Instead, she chose to go down a path that wasn’t beneficial.”

Since being banned by the NBA in 2005 and serving 15 months in jail, Donaghy has been publicly ridiculed and had his credibility tarnished. He was frustrated throughout the lengthy suit, but says the advice from a Portland Trail Blazers season-ticket holder helped him stay professional while interacting with Vercher.

Attorney Dorothy Kemp corresponded with Donaghy after reading his book and helped him communicate with Vercher.

“She told me, ‘at some point, this is going to go to court, and you don’t want anything in writing or have done anything that can cause you harm when it does,’ ” Donaghy said. “I had to be extremely professional and let [Mrs. Vercher] go down the unprofessional road.”

Donaghy currently provides NBA analysis for the site, SportsConnectionWins.com, and says he plans on staying in the gaming business.

BetEd justice, just not for clients

By David Payne Purdum / @DavidPurdum

Justice is being handed out to the two men indicted for running the online casino and sportsbook BetED.com.

The same can’t be said for BetED clients, who saw their accounts closed and funds vanish last May, when the Maryland Dept. of Justice seized the domain name, indicted operators Darren Wright and David Parchomchuk and effectively shut down the business.

Parchomchuk plead guilty to conducting an illegal gambling business and was sentenced to two years of probation June 8.

He faced a maximum penalty of five years in prison without parole, followed by a term of supervised release not to exceed three years and a $250,000 fine. But pleading guilty to Count 1 and exposing details of the operation, including highlighting Wright’s role at BetED, earned Parchomchuk a reduced sentence.

Wright will make his initial arraignment appearance July 16.

As part of the plea agreement, Parchomchuk agreed to forfeit the contents of three bank accounts located in Panama.

In the DOJ’s eyes, they did not seize customer funds, rather the company’s funds, a spokesperson told David Purdum Sports on Wednesday.

In an email, Parchomchuk’s lawyer, Jeff Ifrah, said his client was a computer programmer who earned $100,000 year from ThrillX, the company that operated as BetEd. Ifrah added, “Parchomchuk was never in charge of customer funds and never had access to client funds. The government has never stated otherwise. He is very concerned about customers who cannot access their funds.”

Three times more money has been bet on Tiger Woods than any other golfer

By David Payne Purdum / @DavidPurdum

More bets have been placed on Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner to win the U.S. Open than on Tiger Woods at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino SuperBook.

But three times more money has been bet on Woods than any other golfer, according to SuperBook manager and golf odds specialist Jeff Sherman.

Woods is the favorite at 7/1 at the SuperBook.

“With his odds being short, you see a lot of the larger bets. People come up and put $500 or $1,000 on Tiger,” said Sherman. “They generally don’t do that with those longer shots.”

The SuperBook is facing a pretty big liability on Woods if he was to win, something in the five-figure range, estimated Sherman.

Luke Donald has the second most money bet on him, but it’s nowhere close to what’s on Woods.

US Open betting factoids

–The over/under on the winning score is 278.5 (-1 ½). Bettors initially took the under, but Sherman said a lot more money has came in on the over since, forcing him to push the juice up to -150 to bet the over.

Last year, the projected winning score at par-71 Congressional was 281.5. Rory McIlroy won with a 16-under, 268.

“No one knew that coming,” said Sherman. “A lot of people who like the over are thinking that the USGA is going get back at everybody for what happened last year.”

–Speaking of the defending champion, the betting action on McIlroy has been slim. He began as the favorite, but was surpassed after Woods won the Memorial. McIlroy is now 15/1, the highest he’s been since Sherman opened the U.S. Opens directly after the Masters.

“It’s not like there’s anything overwhelming coming in on [McIlroy] at 15/1, but I’m not going to go 20/1,” said Sherman. “I think at 20/1, we’d get a lot of action there.”

–The length of Olympic Club (7,170 yards) will leave golfers with lots of 175-200-yard approach shots. Bubba Watson leads the Tour in relative score to par from that distance.

–“I wouldn’t bet anyone that’s lower than double digits to win the U.S. Open.” – Jeff Sherman.

–Lee Westwood (12/1) is Sherman’s No. 1 power rated golfer,

–The SuperBook is on pace to eclipse the handle from last year’s U.S. Open.

–U.S. Open setups force golfers to make 3-to-5-foot putts. Louis Oosthuizen has made 82 of 86 putts from that range this year on Tour.

–Sherman’s two players to watch in the matchups – Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia.

Pacquiao vs. Bradley judges to review fight with Nevada Athletic Commission

By David Payne Purdum / @DavidPurdum

The three judges from the controversial Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight have been contacted by the Nevada Athletic Commission and will be reviewing the DVD of the fight with NAC Executive Director Keith Kizer soon.

In a Monday afternoon phone interview, Kizer said the NAC has communicated with judges C.J. Ross, Duane Ford and Jerry Roth and each agreed to come in and go over the DVD of the fight, which Bradley won by a split-decision.

Kizer is waiting for the DVD then will schedule what he characterized “as a general training session” at the judges’ convenience. He added that this type of review is not ordinary and usually takes place only after controversy.

“We don’t have them very often,” Kizer said.

Meanwhile, promoter Bob Arum has demanded the Nevada Attorney General’s office investigate the decision. A spokesperson for Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said in an email statement to David Purdum Sports: “We can’t confirm nor deny whether we have an ongoing criminal investigation.”

Kizer did not know when the meeting with the judges would be held, but said it would definitely happen this month and possibly as early as this week, depending on when he receives a copy of the DVD.

The review session will be focused on the most controversial rounds, where the judges’ scoring differed the most. The tape will be stopped frequently, explained Kizer, and judges will be asked to verbalize their thought process of how they scored the fight.

Ross and Ford scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Bradley, seven rounds to five. Roth had it 115-113, Pacquiao.

Kizer, who attended the fight, had Pacquaio winning on his card, but believes the decision was not nearly as askew as most believe.

“I thought Pacquiao had built up a pretty comfortable lead,” Kizer said, “but then I gave the last three rounds to Bradley. When I looked at my internal score, I thought Pacquiao was winning the fight and in the end I had 7-5 for Pacquiao. I thought I had Pacquiao way ahead, and it ended up being a two-point fight on my card.”

Kizer points to respected boxing analysts Brian Kenny and Thomas Hauser who each had Bradley winning. Kizer all said among the hundreds of emails and phone calls he’s received that there are people who believe Bradley won the fight.

But Ryan Maquinana of Comcast Sports compiled a list of media ballots that showed just how few people thought Bradley won the fight: 50 of 53 ballots had Pacquiao winning.

“The last thing that was like this was [Oscar] De La Hoya-Mosley II,” Kizer said. “All three judges had 7-5 in favore of Mosely. De La Hoya came out saying he wanted an investigation; they were going to go to the FBI … of course, they never did. Years later, when you look back, most people believe Mosley won that fight. Whether that will be the case with this fight three or four years from now, I don’t know.”