vanzack's Blog

Posted Monday, February 25, 2013 11:33 PM

Bitcoins for gambling....

Have you heard of bitcoins?  If you haven't, you will....

I first heard of them about 6 months ago, when a buddy of mine who is crazy about almost everything (I add the word "almost" only because bitcoin is the only thing he has ever told me that is not crazy).  He told me of this strange online currency - that would change a lot of things - but of interest to me was online gambling.

So here are the cliff notes.  Yes, it is long - but this is a little untidy and complicated because it is still in the infant stages.  I am new to this - so please excuse me if some of my details about the technology of Bitcoin are wrong - just correct me and I will acknowledge it.

As we all know, Americans have been targeted for playing poker and betting on sports online for the last decade or so.  The US govt has fought this on basically two fronts:  by going after the online gambling providers, and by passing the UIGEA which basically limits financial transactions to gambling establishments.  The success of this campaign has been huge - online poker has all but dried up in the US, and we all know the trials and tribulations of online sports gambling in 2013.

Enter Bitcoin.  What is bitcoin?  It is basically online currency. 

* One bitcoin is worth a certain value (more to come), and that bitcoin can be broken down to 8 decimal points. 
* Bitcoin has no physical presence - and I cant really ex... [More]

Posted Friday, April 15, 2011 07:20 PM

The end of online gambling is near

Yes, todays news from the poker world is bad.  No, it is worse than bad.

How bad?  Bad enough to potentially bring down the 3 top poker sites - Pokerstars and Full Tilt together swamp the online sports betting world in terms of volume.  So one can only assume that this is very bad for the extremely limited sports betting that is left out there for Americans.

The cliff notes are that Pokerstars, Ulitmate Bet, and Full Tilt were using undercover ways to fund and pay accounts in America.  They bought off bank presidents, bought banks outright, and used CC and WU methods that the DOJ deems illegal according to the UIGEA of 2006.  Indictments were handed out today, and no official word has come from the sites - but there is much speculation from very reliable sources that they will most likely shut down completely.  At best, they will remain open for non-Americans, but Americans poker playing days online are all but done.

I wonder what Negranu, Hellmuth, Ivey - and those other posers will do now - will they just make a cash grab and disappear or will they fight with the money they made on the backs of the players to get something done.  I wonder what this will do to the poker movement - it could go one way or the other - but what are the odds on a bunch of degenerates getting organized and getting something done?  Maybe the PPA will do something - I hope so.

Sounds similar to sports betting?  How ... [More]

Posted Thursday, May 07, 2009 05:01 PM

New gambling legislation - what it all actually means - here are your cliff notes....

So there is a new bill up for approval sponsored by Barney Frank and Jim McDermott.  It is advertised as the reversal of the UIGEA that passed in the dead of night a couple of years ago and removed neteller from our lives and made it harder to move money.   Here are the specifics:   1.  It is currently LEGAL at the federal level to bet on sports.  This legislation does NOTHING to address the legality of wagering for the bet placer.  It is still ILLEGAL to accept wagers.  This wont change.   2.  The new legislation excludes any business that handles sports betting.  So this does nothing to open up sportsbooks moving money easier.   3.  The new legislation will license gambling establishments.  These will include establishments that offer online BJ, craps, and poker etc. - NOT SPORTSBETTING.   4.  Any company that gets this license will pay a 2% tax on all deposits.   5.  Any company that gets a license will be required to provide to the IRS a summary of all wins and losses by player.   6.  There is language about protecting the addicted gambler, children etc - useless.   7.   The UIGEA is delayed from being enforced on Dec 1 09 to Dec 1 10 (this is useless because it is essentially unenforceable more than what they do now).     So in a nutshell - the govt has realized that they are missing out on  a big revenue stream - both from taxin... [More]

Posted Sunday, April 05, 2009 12:36 AM

MLB primer - what kind of MLB bettor should you be?

As the MLB season is upon us, it might be time to think about your strategy for betting bases.  There are 2 main schools of thought for handicapping, handicapping a winner - or handicapping a line.   From my perspective, the vast majority of MLB bettors handicap a winner.  They come up with reasons to bet a team and while the line comes in to their thought process, they are looking for a winner.  This leads to betting lots of favorites, and often paying too high of a price for teams.  Chasing is not only for bet amounts - a lot of people chase a line too - thinking "if its a winner at -150 it is a winner at -160 so Im still betting it".  In my opinion, this is a recipe for longterm MLB disaster.   The second way to bet baseball is to handicap a line, and bet on the side that gives you the most value in relation to your line.  When you come up with a line, you are not coming up with the line you think will be closest to the betting line - you are coming up with a line that you think is an accurate reflection of results.  If those 2 teams played 100 times, the line you handicap would break a bettor even if they took one side all of those times.   Using this method, you could end up on either side of any game on any day based upon what the line is, regardless of whether you think they will win that day or not.  In MLB you are often betting on teams you think have a better chance of losing that day than... [More]

Posted Monday, December 01, 2008 02:56 PM

Public / Sharp percentage experts wanted

It seems like I cant read a post at Covers anymore without a mention of who the "public" is betting, and at what percentage.  I will admit, I have strong opinions (almost all negative) about the validity of these percentages, what they mean, and the seemingly endless inability of anyone to provide any sort of statistics with history of how to use them and what to expect.   But yet it is so prevalent in how people pick their games they must know something I dont, so Im keeping an open mind and putting this out there as an honest attempt to gain meaningful information.  Currently, all I have is anecdotal answers of personal experience, but no facts.  Its always things like "I use the numbers, but I use other stuff too" or "I am 10-4 in my last 14, its working!".  You get the same kind of answers when you ask someone "is there life after death".  Im trying to draw a line here between faith and science - so I will ask the follwing questions to anyone who will answer:   1.  Where does a company like sportsinsights get their numbers?   2.  Why would any sportsbook give up to sportsinsights (or anyone like them) any information about betting patterns?   3.  What type of sportsbook gives up these numbers?  If crappy sportsbooks with 500 dolar limits are the main contributors, what good is that?  Does pinnacle really give out these numbers?  Try walking up to a Vegas sportsbook and ask the manager about... [More]

Posted Tuesday, November 11, 2008 11:22 PM

Legality of online gambling....

Placing a wager on sports is totally legal at the federal level in the US and is not governed by the Wire Act. The act of accepting wagers is what is covered by the wire act, an important distinction.

Let me quote the ruling that has stood since Nov 25, 1981 and has NEVER been challenged (USA vs Robert Baborian 528 F.Supp 324 paragraph 5):

Congress intended the "business of gambling" to mean bookmaking, i.e. the taking and laying off of bets, and not mere betting. The provocative question is whether this is still the proper definition when the bettor wagers substantial sums and displays the sophistication of an expert in his knowledge of odds making. This court concludes that the statute simple does not covers such a situation. This court finds that Congress never intended to include a social bettor within the prohibition of the statute and that Congress did not contemplate prohibiting the activities of mere bettors, even where, as with Mr Baborian, they bet large sums of money with a great deal of sophistication.

The truth of the matter is that the DOJ does interpret the law the way I stated it, and that is evidenced by the fact that there has not been a single prosecution at the Federal level since the case I cited (USA vs Baborian 1981). Not one single bettor has been brought up on federal charges since 1981 unless there was tax evasion, money laundering, or RICO thrown at them. The Wire Act simply appli... [More]

Posted Friday, October 24, 2008 03:59 PM

Get your balls in the hoppper....

People around here seem to think that results of football games could have only happened that one way.  Even after a game is over, it is foolish to believe that the game you just watched couldnt have gone a totally different direction, under the exact same circumstances.  Understanding this is a key to sportsbetting.   I make the metaphor of a ball hopper.  Now lets say there are 100 balls, each one has a possible result of a specific game.  This is the same as saying if that game was played 100 times, these are the most likely outcomes.  All of these balls go in to the hopper, it is spun, and one is picked out that determines the result.
Your goal, and the product of whatever method you use, should be to have more balls on your side of the spread than on the other side of the spread.  So in any given game, if you can have 60 balls on one side of the spread, and 40 on the other, you are in good shape.   So now pretend there is one of these hoppers on a table for every game on the schedule.  You walk up and are asked if you want to bet on the outcome being on one side or the other of the spread, and you can bet whatever you want.  In the first hopper you have 60 balls in your favor, second hopper 55, and third 52.  You would probably vary your bets accordingly and bet more on the 60 ball hopper.   The problem is that people bet WAY too much on the 60 ball hopper, and fail to consider that there are still 40... [More]

Posted Thursday, September 25, 2008 02:40 PM

Enjoyment of sportsbetting hampers longterm results...

Lets take a hypothetical wager.  I give you 30 seconds with each if 5 sportsbettors to determine if they are going to be longterm winners or longterm losers.  You win if you can tell me with accuracy and you lose if you fail to predict it right.  How would you spend your 30 seconds with each person?
I know what I would ask.  It would be one simple question:
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy studying for a game, betting a game, and watching that game?
From that single question, I can tell a lot.
I think there is a direct inverse relationship between enjoyment of sportsgambling and longterm profitability.  Those that enjoy the process the most lose the most – and those that get no enjoyment win the most.  Simple.
From my scientific double blind studies of covers posters – the ones that always get in to trouble are the ones who bet games because they love it.  People who are totally emotionally removed are the ones who do well long term.
I guess this is similar to real life because emotions cloud good judgment, but gambling amplifies this to 11.
What do you think?

Posted Friday, July 25, 2008 08:02 AM

Most of the time, hedging a parlay is a very bad bet....

Yesterday there was a thread about hedging a parlay, as there is at least 5 times a week every week.  I am constantly amazed at just how many people assume that hedging is a good practice.  At least 90% of the people here – when asked – give the advice to hedge the last game of a parlay.


For those interested, here is the math, and the reason that it is dumb to hedge.


The first situation is what the poster yesterday did, as he parlayed teams on 2 different days.  His first 3 teams were on Sunday, and his 4th team was on Monday.  This is a big no no.  He would be much better off betting a 3 team parlay on Sunday, and then rolling all of the proceeds in to a straight bet on Monday:


Option 1:  Bet a 4 team parlay at 10-1.  Bet 100, win 1,000.

Option 2:  Bet a 3 team parlay at 6-1, bet all proceeds straight up on Monday team.  Bet 100, win 1,336.


Option 2 makes you MUCH more money (1,336 vs 1,000) on y... [More]

Posted Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:50 AM

Top 10 ways to get attention at covers by posting a catchy thread title

Todays top ten list, from the home office in Vegas (originator of all lines and master of everything gambling), top 10 ways to get attention by posting a catchy thread title:


10.  {{{{{\\\\\\\\\\Use lots of punctuation like .............. or *************** in thread title


8.  Post your record (10-2 on last 12 plays) in thread title

7.  Restate your username in your thread title.  IE:  "Vanzacks plays for today"

6.  Post the word "lock" or some variation of incredible information inside.

5.  Be totally vague but enticing in thread title.

4.  Come up with catchy theme and stick with it.

3.  Post some made up amount that you supposedly bet in thread title.

2.  Make thread title as long as you possibly can.

1.  Do all of the above.

Posted Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:15 AM

Who is "Vegas"?

Whenever people talk about lines, line movements, and results - there is always one consensus - "boy, Vegas sure knows what they are doing when they make these lines".  I have been searching for the elusive "vegas" for some insight, and have made some progress.

There are two main schools of thought amongst gamblers about how lines are set.  The first is that lines are set by "vegas" in an attempt to trap or lure you in to betting a side.  This introduces the term "public" to the discussion - the "public" is the square or novice bettor who falls for not so obvious betting pitfalls.  Of course, "vegas" knows  more than the "public" so they set a line that looks inviting on the surface, but they know they have the edge when you bet that side.  The people who believe this theory think that the lines come out with one purpose in mind, to get as many people to bet on a side of the game that vegas has an edge on, and then over time vegas makes a killing.

The second school of thought on linemaking is that "vegas" just wants to have even action on both sides of the game, and make guaranteed profit from the vig.  They dont know anything more than you and I know, and in fact they dont even set a line to reflect what they think will be the result of the contest, they set a line only to attract even action on a game.  In this case - "vegas" is not in to the prediction of results, they are in to the prediction of wagering dollars.&... [More]


User: vanzack
Joined: November 2001
Location: Equatorial Guinea
Team: Phoenix Mercury
Occupation: Government

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