The Smart Money: How the World's Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions

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9780743549950: The Smart Money: How the World's Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions
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A riveting inside look at the lucrative world of professional high-stakes sports betting by a journalist who lived a secret life as a key operative in the world's most successful sports gambling ring. When journalist Michael Konik landed an interview with Rick "Big Daddy" Matthews, the largest bet he'd placed on a sporting event was $200. Konik, an expert blackjack and poker player, was no stranger to Vegas. But Matthews was in a different league: the man was rumored to be the world's smartest sports bettor, the mastermind behind "the Brain Trust," a shadowy group of gamblers known for their expertise in beating the Vegas line. Konik had heard the word on the street -- that Matthews was a snake, a conniver who would do anything to gain an edge. But he was also brilliant, cunning, and charming. And when he asked Konik if he'd like to "make a little money" during the football season, the writer found himself seduced . . . So began Michael Konik's wild ride as an operative of the elite Brain Trust. In The Smart Money, Konik takes readers behind the veil of secrecy shrouding the most successful sports betting operation in America, bypassing the myths and the rumors, going all the way to its innermost sanctum. He reveals how they -- and he -- got rich by beating the Vegas lines and, ultimately, the multimillion-dollar offshore betting circuit. He details the excesses and the betrayals, the horse-trading and the paranoia, that are the perks and perils of a lifestyle in which staking inordinate sums of money on the outcome of a single event -- sometimes as much as $1 million on a football game -- is a normal part of doing business.

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About the Author:

"The dean of the world's gambling writers," Michael Konik is the author of six books, including the gaming classic The Man with the $100,000 Breasts. He's written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, and Sports Illustrated. On television, Konik has competed in the World Series of Poker and the World Series of Blackjack, and he appears regularly as an expert commentator on FoxSports poker broadcasts. Visit the author at www.michaelkonik.com.

From Booklist:

In 1997, gaming journalist Konik joined the Brain Trust, a sports-gambling operation that took in millions by beating the Vegas bookies at their own game. This fascinating inside look at the gambling biz (perfectly suited, incidentally, to fans of the recent movie Two for the Money) reveals so much information that you would swear the author was breaking some sort of Omerta-like code of silence; in fact, the parallels between organized gambling and organized crime are numerous. The book created plenty of buzz in the publishing community well before its release, so expect a great deal of publicity and high reader interest. The author conceals the identities of the principal players behind fake names, but his fictionalized stand-ins are so compelling (especially the Brain Trust chieftain, Rick "Big Daddy" Matthews) that the book feels like a mixture of true-life expose and high-stakes fiction (fans of Puzo's Fools Die may see some similarities but only in a good way). A definite must-read for the gambling crowd. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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