Read earlier installments here from the Sportsbook Consigliere (@sportsbkconsig), who’s been working in sportsbooks for over 20 years. Various roles, various places, making numbers, taking bets and everything else in between.
For new sportsbooks across the country, the Fall of 2019 marks either their first or second football season. That means they don’t have “regulars” yet.
Every business has regulars, eventually. They are usually your best customers but also can be the ones who drive you crazy.
When you hang around sportsbooks for as long as I have, you get to know your regulars. Here are a few that will be regulars at a sportsbook near you.
The Black Cloud
This is the guy who is never happy. When he wins, he should have bet more. When he loses, the refs robbed him, the coach stinks, or a player made a mistake. The bad beats are endless.
My black cloud is RickPo. He was the guy who was the high school athlete who would have been in the bigs had he not blown out his knee. He was a delivery driver who spent more time looking at lines than delivering his packages. RickPo knew his WNBA though. Of course, the limits were too low so he couldn’t win enough. Then he’d give it all back on everything else. And tell anyone who would listen.
One of our favorites in the book. Usually reserved for a horse bettor. This guy would yell and scream at the TVs with total disregard for anyone who was around. Unfiltered and worthy entertainment.
My Screamer was Mooch. For those who witnessed the show, Mooch is a legend. A native New Yorker, Mooch stood about 6’5”, mid 60s and loved the ponies. Played the exotics mostly, always looking for that big score. Nothing like a midday card at Aqueduct and his booming voice.
At the quarter pole, as his trifecta was all lined up, he would bellow “Stop the race!” He adapted that to sports when his team was covering in the first quarter to “End the game!” We use it to this day. We rooted for Mooch to win, but the entertainment value when he lost was priceless.
Mooch would yell “Hold on…c’mon…hold on” down the stretch so loud that everything stopped in the book. We wouldn’t even look at the screens. We just watched him. Then, he punched the desk like Thor delivering a blow with his hammer. “Velazquez, you suck! How do you keep getting rides? Use the whip, that’s what it’s for.” He broke a monitor once, but we let him off with a warning. Mooch is a Hall of Famer.
This is the guy who picks losers more than winners. Just like Eddie Mush in A Bronx Tale. If he makes a play on your team, you get that sick feeling in your stomach knowing it’s going to take a miracle to win your bet. Ideally, you want to get his play beforehand and go the other way.
My Mush was Patty Snaps. One of the nicest guys I ever met in the book. A former casino host originally from Ohio, he was a character, and he had great stories. He always had a tip on a horse that couldn’t lose, but did. And when he bet a game, he had it all lined up why it would win.
I called him Patty Snaps because he had the best snap I’ve ever seen when he watched a race or game. You could hear it from a mile away. Impressive really.
But Snaps was the guy whose horse would win then get taken down by an inquiry. And his teams would either lose in epic, last minute finishes or get blown out by 50. His favorite line was “If I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”
This guy is the smartest guy in the room. He has all the answers regardless of the topic. And when it comes to betting on sports, he has the winners. Just ask him, he will tell you.
My know it all is Loud Mouth Dave (more on Dave here). Vegas veterans have battled back and forth with him for decades. He has been thrown out of books, challenged to fights in the parking lot, but, like the sun, he comes back everyday. I think last time he was wrong was 2006, but, even then, he will tell you he had the other side.
Never heard this term until I started working in a book. Acronym for Pain In The Ass. There are many candidates for PITAs in a book. Usually high maintenance high rollers or the $5 bettor who is oblivious to anyone else.
It was hard to narrow down, but my PITA has to be Foxy. Once, in between bets, I had Foxy tell me “you are so handsome, I’d consider going back to men again.” She was always working some angle.
For five years, Foxy was unprepared, scrambling, out of breath and always at post. We’d draw straws as to who had to take her bets. She never made a straight bet, never used a game number, and always violated the shot clock at the window.
PITAs like Foxy can’t and won’t be educated. She never even tried. I would try, but it was to no avail. Sometimes, I tried to throw her off. I’d say “Hey, Foxy, your hair looks great” right in the middle of an 8 teamer.
She would come back with “Thanks, but you know I have a girlfriend. Now c’mon, focus, the game is going to start. Stop messing me up.” Ahhh, victory.
Loud Mouth Dave, RickPo, Mooch, Patty Snaps and Foxy; the “Regulars” Ring of Honor. Making sportsbooks frustrating, entertaining and everything in between. And some version of all five, probably coming to a sportsbook near you.