the brain trust sports betting syndicate

quaddie sportsbetting

When you choose a side against the spread and wager 11 to win 10, the book is essentially making a bet of 10 to win 11 on the other side. You can see how that would be a profitable model over time. The exception being more money coming in on a particular side from a few big bettors opposed to more tickets from the public in general.

The brain trust sports betting syndicate coral eclipse stakes 2021 betting lines

The brain trust sports betting syndicate

Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. For three years, 44, a former journalist, lived a secret life as a key operative within The Brain Trust, one of the world's most successful sports gambling rings. Here he documents how the world's best sports bettors beat the bookies out of millions in this book filled with nonstop intrigue.

Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 9. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Smart Money , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Having played poker with people who were simultaneously betting 10x the money on sports next door I have assumed them to be addictive gamblers.

I couldn't imagine that kind of wager. But for as much as betting on sports has been associated with suckers there Having played poker with people who were simultaneously betting 10x the money on sports next door I have assumed them to be addictive gamblers. But for as much as betting on sports has been associated with suckers there has been a minority theory that people who understand numbers can find inefficiencies in the market and win money.

This is that kind of book. The author Mike Konik was writing about gambling and worked his way into a syndicate that crunches the numbers better than the casino odds makers. The problem is that such a people get a reputation and become barred from casinos. To work around this the syndicate hires people to place bets for them. The author becomes one of these guns for hire. He gets comped at big casinos and sees the big heavyweight fights for free, but he also has relationship and stress problems resulting from the time and toll such a life entails.

His prowess eventually gets him barred from casinos and much of his work is finding places off shore that will take his money. One of the problems of winning at gambling is the high of the action and then the desire to feel that high again by betting at bigger and bigger limits. I have gone through streaks at poker where it stops feeling like money. When those streaks come to an end I usually stop playing for months to regain my equilibrium.

Mike doesn't have that flexibility when his partners need him to grind away for them from Football season through the Final Four. What you really take away from the book is that even winning is not a solution to happiness or health. What you get from the book is to vicariously live that kind of experience without the ulcers and insomnia. The book was a breeze to read and I can't remember the last time I finished a book of this length within 24 hours. I would definitely read more from Konik in the future.

Apr 29, David rated it it was ok. Fairly interesting. In both cases, the catch is that they use extensive data mining to come up with algorithms for predicting scores of especially football [and to some extent college basketball] game Fairly interesting. In both cases, the catch is that they use extensive data mining to come up with algorithms for predicting scores of especially football [and to some extent college basketball] games enabling them to beat point spreads a little more than half the time and thus run up profits.

Recurring theme of how unfair the competition with bookies actually is, in that they're happy to let you bet forever if you don't know what you're doing but will lower your limits or cut you off altogether if you win a lot. Other recurring theme is how he finds it exciting at first but gradually soul-deadening as his girlfriend grows tired of the high-rolling, always-on-call-to-get-a-bet-down Vegas lifestyle and ditches him, and he eventually realizes it's of little social value to make your living betting on football.

My quibbles were a extremely repetitive story -- I like sports as much as, or more than, anyone, but one week after another of "the Vikings were 5 point favorites, but we were holding out for the line to move to 4, and when it finally did on Saturday I ran downstairs from my hotel room to put 50, on the Vikings, and when I saw my friend in the lobby [such-and-such witty banter and gambling jargon quoted in full]" gets old. That is, for them to consistently win bets against the spread, they must have identified some trends that are not widely known, and I'd be curious what they are, but the book never reveals.

View 1 comment. Jan 18, Cooljoe rated it it was amazing. Is an interesting story of a writer involved in high stake sports gambling and an interesting character. He navigates the thrills and chills of betting hundreds of thousands of dollars on one game working with this charismatic man named big daddy.

One takeaway is all about the line and to get the best edge you need a super computer with super algorithm software. And a few genius working for you. The only complaint is the title says how did the bettor beats the books and besides the computer and Is an interesting story of a writer involved in high stake sports gambling and an interesting character. But a fascinating inside story of a legend sharp Big Daddy beating the books. Highly recommended. Aug 17, Eric rated it really liked it. An interesting and strangely compelling look into the world of big time sports betting.

Konik gives an insiders view of his initiation and full blown participation in the Brain Trust syndicate. The second half if the book is less compelling and while the ending of this memoir is understandable it is somewhat anticlimactic compared to the beginnings. Overall a very enjoyable read for anyone familiar with betting on football. Oct 11, Joel rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , sports. But with a lot more week-to-week specific bets from By then Dr.

Mindlin had built their little corner business into something resembling a national conglomerate, which had opened betting offices staffed by a dozen employees in New York and Las Vegas. The Computer Group had burgeoned into the first truly national network of sports bettors, able to buy up the best point spreads from coast to coast. At the height of its powers, the Computer Group of wielded more influence over the millions of Americans who bet on sports than any superstar athlete or Super Bowl franchise.

Yes, it was even more important than the split-fingered fastball. In its sleekest moments, the Computer Group had as grand an effect upon its constituency in the s as OPEC had upon American consumers in the 70s. As its influence grew, the Computer Group became something of an underground social club, extending an unofficial membership to at least one smalltime hoodlum, as well as sharing information with the likes of lrwin Molasky, the powerful real estate developer and Las Vegas civic leader.

Profits were staggering. The group never had a losing season betting on college football or college basketball. Yet Michael Kent suspects that his records are incomplete. They do not account for personal bets made by Dr. Perhaps more. Finally, in , success got the best of them. They had to break up, just like the Beatles.

Despite all the time they had spent working together, the members of the Computer Group had never really known one another. In most cases they had spoken only by phone, in staccato conversation, using code names. Faces rarely had been attached to voices.

And so, as their legend had grown in recent years, it was only proper that these reclusive celebrities be united last Jan. Among these Garbos there were two their partners most wanted to see: Billy Walters, gambler of gamblers, who had come to Las Vegas in debt and was now a millionaire; and the treacherous doctor, Ivan Mindlin, whose cunning had built the group up-and then led to its demise. On the day they were arrested, just two weeks before the five-year statute of limitations on their case would have run out, Billy Walters sat in a holding cell with Dr.

Mindlin and a third member of the group, Billy Nelson. Mindlin wore his hair longer than Walters remembered — combed back, until it splashed against his shoulders. The three of them were discussing their contempt for the FBI, and, in particular, the ambitious special agent Thomas B. Noble, whose investigation of six years had uncovered so very little.

Walters and Nelson went back and forth in their denigration of Noble, using many unpleasant terms, until finally the doctor spoke up. Now, in the courtroom 17 days later, his former colleagues whispered about Dr. He was the most intriguing presence among them. Yet he sat alone in a corner, as if he were the least popular boy in school. In groups of four they were called to the bench of U. Magistrate Robert Johnston. Each man and woman was asked about his or her education, and it turned out that all had attended college, with the exception of Billy Walters.

Then the magistrate wanted to know how they intended to plead. He then proceeded to set all the gamblers free, on their own recognizance, and several of them hurried back to their homes, for there were games that night, and wagers to be made. In a room alone, just he and his computer, Michael Kent was simply another technology dweeb.

But plug him into a network of bettors, and now, with the flick of a switch, Kent was utterly brilliant, a mastermind. These dozens of betting agents, or beards, as they are called, were as essential to Michael Kent as the electrical juice that drove his computer. He could not begin to succeed without them. And so, each day, without equivocation, he turned over his forecasts of the upcoming games to Dr.

Ivan Mindlin, who then passed them on to his New York partners, Stanley Tomchin and Jimmy Evart, who, until , were responsible for placing the majority of wagers for the Computer Group. Mindlin had been making personal bets through Tomchin and Evart long before the Computer Group was formed.

Tomchin and Evart were so impressed with the accuracy of Dr. Their colleagues describe Tomchin and Evart as a pair of Ivy Leaguers, more erudite than the normal gamblers. Tomchin, a Cornell alumnus, was a world-class backgammon and poker player; his friend Jimmy Sneakers Evart was said to have attended Harvard. In , when Billy Walters began making bets for the Computer Group, he often received his orders from Tomchin and Evart.

His newlywed wife insisted that he stop gambling, and so, in , he walked away from the money and moved to Spain. According to a former partner, Tomchin moved to San Francisco and eventually left the group. His former partners say he is now an options trader in Santa Barbara. Tomchin declined to answer questions in connection with this story.

At that time Walters worked out of a lovely three-bedroom home overlooking the eighth fairway at the Las Vegas Country Club, Indeed, Billy Walters wore clothes suggesting that he had been called in from the golf course. His gray speckled hair was styled straight back. His face was older than his body. He was always thinking about work. He had been assigned he enormous responsibility of exploiting the weakest betting lines, and it did not matter where they were.

Billy Walters was supposed to find them. He was a powerful broker in an unregulated industry. Walters blanketed the country with bets, taking action wherever it was available, which was at times in as many as 45 states. In 44 of them he dealt exclusively with illegal bookmakers. His wife served as an accountant, but he depended most upon his young assistant, Glen Walker, who had quit his job in the publicity department at NBC Sports in New York and relocated to Las Vegas, so enthralled was he by a story in Sports Illustrated about Las Vegas gambler Gary Austin.

Billy Walters maintained a low profile in Las Vegas. If he appeared at a sports book it was usually around midnight. As for more public matters, he preferred that business be conducted by Glen Walker. So Walker would visit the Las Vegas sports books each day, to settle up or place bets, and fend off the legions of bettors who wanted to know which games the computer liked that week.

He liked women — liked to talk about them, actually, until he was all talked out. Then, says Walker, Arnie would stare off, leaning on his elbow, as passive as a solar cell at dusk. All around him phones were ringing and money was being wagered in thick sexy wads, but Arena would just sit there, his jaw hanging open while Billy Walters shouted orders.

By and large, though, there was little humor in their work. On a Saturday of college basketball they might bet 60 games, which required that they be aware of every injury, casualty and rumor surrounding all teams. They had to chart the movement of the point spreads in various sports books for each game. They had to find the weakest lines, and they had to make and keep track of their wagers by the hundreds.

They worked almost every day from September through March. Some days they would start at 6 a. His employees never even heard mention of the name Ivan Mindlin. Occasionally, however, it paid to be careless. And then …. The wise guys would bet on Wisconsin themselves. These wise guys would whisper to other wise guys. Tout services would hear that the computer liked Wisconsin. A run would begin on Wisconsin.

News of Wisconsin would spread nationally. By the time word reached the man in Louisiana or the woman in Illinois, there would be no mention of the Computer Group. They would simply be told that they had better get something down on Wisconsin. You can see now that the betting market in Las Vegas is no different than Wall Street.

Fed by rumor, speculation and greed, a stock like Wisconsin can grow hot for no substantial reason. Into one phone they would shout a few words and then hang up while dialing another number on another phone, back and forth, until they were frazzled. In two minutes Walters alone could place bets through a dozen beards or bookies. Now and then, Billy Walters fooled his own employees. Glen Walker recalls more than one occasion when Arena Haaheim laid his own money on the first team in this case Wisconsin only to find out later in the week that the Computer had preferred the opponent Purdue all along.

On Saturday they would sit in Billy Walters home and watch the game on television. Records of the college football season seized from Dr. Mindlin show that the Computer Group won an incredible Of course, in those days the official point spread was softer than mayonnaise. The mathematical wizard Michael Kent admits that the Computer Group might never have risen to prominence if not for the removal of Bob Martin, who since had been making the official line for Las Vegas.

However, in , Martin was sentenced to 13 months for the crime of transmitting wagering information across state lines by telephone. If the federal government had not gotten rid of Bob Martin, then the FBI might never have felt compelled to spend six long years investigating the Computer Group. Line-makers will argue that the only purpose of their official line is to entice betting action on both sides, that they are not responsible for outsmarting experts like Michael Kent.

Nonetheless, the people who were making that line in the early s were a particularly feeble lot. Greater than any individual, the mysterious Computer Group emerged as the prominent voice in Las Vegas, much like a Wizard in Oz. With these computer guys, every time a game moved, they were the ones credited with moving it, whether they did it or not. Their legend may be larger than they actually were. The top gambling rings today use the Computer Group as their model.

In Las Vegas, a classroom genius like Michael Kent has to depend entirely upon someone like Billy Walters, who was educated in alleys. I have to depend upon my years of experience. I use my feel and the information I get from my contacts around the country to decide when I should bet and when to back off.

Sitting at his desk each day, Billy Walters based his decisions upon numbers he wrote on two pieces of paper. On the second page Billy Walters was keeping track of the official lines at various sports books in Las Vegas. If the official line decided: Wisconsin -5 over Purdue, then what Billy Walters had here was a massive 6-point difference of opinion.

The greater the difference, the more he would bet see box, p. So confident was the Computer Group that its weekly wagers often exceeded the ceiling of its betting pool. Including the college bowl games and the NFL play-offs. Dozens of other bettors had access to his information. Who knows how much additional revenue they earned?

Even though he tried to gamble like the button-down brokers on Wall Street, Walters admits that he too fell victim to the occasional betting frenzy. During the Christmas holidays six years ago, Walters found he was betting hand over fist on Michigan in the Sugar Bowl against Auburn. It was one of those rare times when the tout services were opposing the computer on a major game. No matter how much Billy Walters bet on Michigan for the Computer Group and for himself, the line remained the same.

I literally bet my entire net worth on that game, and probably some additional. Trailing in the fourth quarter, Auburn took possession at its 39 with left. But Auburn kicked a yard field goal to win, , and Billy Walters is today a rich genius. One day Michael Kent, who was the centerfielder, got to wondering about his company softball team.

How good were he and his teammates, really? When they destroyed a poor opponent by , was that as impressive as beating a good team by ? His team had won a couple of league championships, but what had they really accomplished? All his life he had found answers to such questions in numbers, statistics. He simply had to find out what those numbers meant. What was the numerical definition of a good softball team? His thoughts drifted naturally in this direction.

Every day he worked with computers. At night, he says. Each week he would update the statistics, then feed the information into the high-speed Control Data computer at Westinghouse. His teammates were interested in this output of statistics — it was flattering to them — but Michael Kent ultimately was disappointed by the results.

So what? He had given order to these numbers, but there was no application, no further use for them. He says he began work on a more complex program. The game was college football. This time he could foresee a dollar sign in front of the numbers. The year was He recorded information from old NCAA football guides, which list the scores and statistics from the previous season. Then he visited the library, the old newspapers in particular, in order to see which teams had been favored each week, and by how many points.

He examined the spreads and the slats. Which statistics, he wanted to know. He knew of only one way to find out. He began to write a program. The computer would ask hundreds of questions in algorithmic. As his wealth of information grew, Kent learned that some strengths were more important than others. There was a value to first downs and there was another value to yards gained. Home-field advantage had a value. So did strength of schedule.

So did success against common opponents. The list of questions went on and on, some so picayune that the average football fan might have laughed in the face of this stocky, bespectacled mathematician. The hobby soon became his vocation.

He began to test his model by placing bets with local bookies. He says he worked an average of two hours per night over the course of seven years, fine-tuning his football program and developing a similar program for college basketball, until one morning he walked into the plant and quit his job. He was very quiet about it. Only his closest friends were informed of his plans. He moved to Las Vegas in lime for the college football season. For the last seven years he had been saving his money, to wager on football and basketball games.

Still, when he looked in the mirror, it was a hard thing to believe, that the person staring back at him was a professional gambler. When Michael Kent arrived in Las Vegas, he clearly was on his own. No gambler of note was depending solely upon a computer to analyze bets.

Allow yourself to go broke because of a machine? That was crazy thinking. He was from Pennsylvania. He wanted to know where he should do his laundry. You should concentrate on just a few games. Most of what he knew about this business was contained in a book called Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic, by Richard A.

Chapter 2 told him the percentage of his money he should bet, depending upon how much he liked the game. The book was written in the language of numbers. Michael Kent wanted to meet this man Epstein. The job of betting sports fulltime was a little harder than he had imagined. Kent would wake up early, update his information from the morning newspapers. Then he and a friend would spend the rest of the day and night visiting sports books and private bookmakers, seeking out the most favorable point spreads.

He was not instantly successful. Then in midseason, there were five big games, and I lost all five by a point, by a half-point. All crazy things. It put me down. His bad luck continued two months into the basketball season. Then, I remember, there were 17 games I was betting one night, and I won 16 of the That was a definite high.

He found that betting the games was an awesome responsibility. It was not an easy thing to settle up with a bookmaker after each round of bets, carrying huge bundles of cash in and out of public places. Whenever he had a lot of money on him, he feared he was being followed. If he happened to notice two men walking behind him on the sidewalk, he would run as fast as he could into the nearest casino, and stand near a security guard for a while.

Of course, this only drew more attention to himself. He asked security guards to escort him to his car whenever feasible. He also depended heavily upon valet parking. Valet parking was much safer. He was working 80 hours a week in the strangest city in America and he was always worrying. He gave betting one last try for a football month in the fall of Exhausted, with no alternative but to go home, he says he placed a call to Dr.

Ivan Mindlin. He had met the doctor once before. In , while playing tennis with fellow gambler Billy Nelson, Michael Kent had mentioned his use of a computer in betting. Nelson had said that Kent should meet this Dr. They seemed to understand each other. When Michael Kent heard this in , he felt almost as if Dr. Mindlin was a brother. In , when they began to work as a team, he came to think of Dr. Mindlin as a father.

Later Dr. Mindlin would place his arm around Michael Kent and say that they were, as gamblers, married to each other. Mindlin maintained over his brilliant yet woefully naive client. He just trusted Ivan completely. Michael taught John how to feed data to the computer, training John to work for the Computer Group. Later, Michael would invite another brother, and even his mother, into the betting pool. Michael was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars each season.

He was depositing his winnings with banks in the Bahamas and Switzerland, the same banks that Dr. Mindlin was using, according to Kent. Only in the last few years did Michael Kent begin to understand the full extent of his creation.

As far as he knew, the Computer Group consisted of himself, members of his family. Mindlin and a few others who helped them make bets. The idea that his information was earning two or three times that much without him getting his fair share … well. While other regular players in Las Vegas schemed and flattered Dr. His enemies, who are many, exult in spreading rumors that portray Ivan Mindlin as a doctor ruined by his gambling.

They say that he would listen to baseball games while performing surgery to the detriment of his patients, and that he would leave the operating room to gather up the scores. In reality, Dr. Mindlin enjoys an excellent reputation as an orthopedic surgeon, according to three respected Las Vegas attorneys who specialize in medical cases — all of whom approved Mindlin to give objective medical examinations for use in court cases.

Lem Banker, the famous sports bettor, says he has been a friend of Dr. I had a lot of respect for his mind. Mindlin was able to work off that debt in October , when Michael Kent dropped by like manna from heaven to discuss his computer program for handicapping football and basketball games. As he spoke, Michael Kent could not have been very impressive to a man like Ivan Mindlin. Kent was something of a Lt. Colombo in that regard. He did not speak elegantly. He wore drab clothes. He said he had grown up in Chicago as a Cubs fan.

And he looked like a Chicago Cubs fan, just in from the bleachers. To Dr. Mindlin he must have looked like a pigeon, with a beard and glasses. Kent said he had grown weary of betting the games himself. What really tired him, he said with all sincerity, was having to deal with such large amounts of money.

The chores of betting were wearing him out. He says he and Dr. Mindlin agreed: Kent forecasts the games, Mindlin makes the bets, and they split the winnings With their handshake, the Computer Group was formed. And from that day forward, Dr. Mindlin took it upon himself to insulate Michael Kent from the outside world, just as Kent had wished.

Kent was left alone to work with the numbers, while Mindlin took care of the streets. Mindlin apparently loved the streets, where he was deemed something of a Renaissance man, a street-smart manager who knew how to move truckloads of money and an intellectual genius as well. In March Sports Illustrated became the first national publication to report the story of the Computer Group.

Ivan Mindlin explained to the magazine that he had taught himself computer programming while serving on the faculty at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N. Though many members of the Computer Group might have thought that Dr. Mindlin was the grand inventor, there is very little to support that view. Those partners of Dr. The only program Dr. Mindlin produced was for betting on major league baseball, and they say it was a failure.

Mindlin has declined to comment on this and all other matters. That he was the brains and Mindlin was the beard? Each day Kent and his brother John collected the statistical data for every team, fed it into the computer, updated their program. From that point on. Kent -who was either too busy or too gullible to notice the fence that Mindlin was constructing around him — abdicated all responsibility to the doctor.

As they were beginning to earn millions each season, Dr. Mindlin was injured in a car accident in Florida, which left him unable to perform surgery. He applied for disability insurance, and his practice was limited to giving expert testimony in medical cases. Now street-famous for his work with the Computer Group, Dr.

Mindlin entered into the commodities business. Based on their efforts, Dr. Mindlin farmed a private commodities firm he called Commend, which may have served him in several ways. For one, he allegedly was able to launder money through Commend. John Kent testified that he never did any work for Commend. Mindlin also established a relationship with Dominic Spinale, who reportedly was a smalltime hoodlum with ties to Chicago mobster Tony Spilotro. Spinale happened to be under investigation by the FBI at the time his name was being used by Mindlin to open a betting account at the Stardust Hotel.

If Mindlin could change one thing, he would probably never have become friendly with Spinale, which might have averted all of the troubles that engulf him today. Special Agent Thomas B. Noble has developed quite a reputation in the FBI for his six-year investigation of the Computer Group.

Quite sad, really. In the end, it never works out. He had not been there long when a gambling investigation of Dominic Spinale led him to Dr. A muted alarm began to ring between the ears of Thomas Noble. This had the look of a betting operation run by La Cosa Nostra.

The Mafia. Organized crime. Mindlin began to spend more time at his house in Vail, Colo. Noble traced a check endorsed by Spinale to an account maintained by Michael Kent. Another alarm. Michael Kent had the same attorney as Ivan Mindlin.

Spinale was next observed by FBI operatives associating with a young blonde subject named Glen Walker, who walked with a pronounced limp the result of a high school football injury. Informants led special agent Noble to believe that Walker represented the Computer Group, the most successful gambling ring in the city, the gambling ring in which Dr. Mindlin was an admitted member. Noble respectfully informed his superiors that he believed he had discovered one of the largest illegal bookmaking operations in the nation.

The distinction between bookmakers and mere bettors is an important one. Though federal prosecution of illegal bookmakers declined in the s. In a case in Rhode lsland U. Robert Barborian and Anthony Lauro , the U. But special agent Noble was certain that he was chasing bookmakers.

More agents were assigned to aid Thomas Noble. Surveillance was increased. Wire taps were approved in December Every day was a new adventure. Had it all started so quickly for J. Edgar Hoover? Layoff bets, by definition, are made exclusively by bookmakers wishing to protect themselves against large losses by making bets with other bookmakers. The weekend would prove to be even more momentous for special agent Thomas Noble. He had requested 43 separate raids to take place in 23 cities in 16 states — perhaps the largest series of coordinated gambling raids in history.

He was right on.

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60 SECOND BINARY OPTIONS TRADING STRATEGY

What you really take away from the book is that even winning is not a solution to happiness or health. What you get from the book is to vicariously live that kind of experience without the ulcers and insomnia. The book was a breeze to read and I can't remember the last time I finished a book of this length within 24 hours. I would definitely read more from Konik in the future.

Apr 29, David rated it it was ok. Fairly interesting. In both cases, the catch is that they use extensive data mining to come up with algorithms for predicting scores of especially football [and to some extent college basketball] game Fairly interesting. In both cases, the catch is that they use extensive data mining to come up with algorithms for predicting scores of especially football [and to some extent college basketball] games enabling them to beat point spreads a little more than half the time and thus run up profits.

Recurring theme of how unfair the competition with bookies actually is, in that they're happy to let you bet forever if you don't know what you're doing but will lower your limits or cut you off altogether if you win a lot. Other recurring theme is how he finds it exciting at first but gradually soul-deadening as his girlfriend grows tired of the high-rolling, always-on-call-to-get-a-bet-down Vegas lifestyle and ditches him, and he eventually realizes it's of little social value to make your living betting on football.

My quibbles were a extremely repetitive story -- I like sports as much as, or more than, anyone, but one week after another of "the Vikings were 5 point favorites, but we were holding out for the line to move to 4, and when it finally did on Saturday I ran downstairs from my hotel room to put 50, on the Vikings, and when I saw my friend in the lobby [such-and-such witty banter and gambling jargon quoted in full]" gets old.

That is, for them to consistently win bets against the spread, they must have identified some trends that are not widely known, and I'd be curious what they are, but the book never reveals. View 1 comment. Jan 18, Cooljoe rated it it was amazing.

Is an interesting story of a writer involved in high stake sports gambling and an interesting character. He navigates the thrills and chills of betting hundreds of thousands of dollars on one game working with this charismatic man named big daddy. One takeaway is all about the line and to get the best edge you need a super computer with super algorithm software. And a few genius working for you. The only complaint is the title says how did the bettor beats the books and besides the computer and Is an interesting story of a writer involved in high stake sports gambling and an interesting character.

But a fascinating inside story of a legend sharp Big Daddy beating the books. Highly recommended. Aug 17, Eric rated it really liked it. An interesting and strangely compelling look into the world of big time sports betting. Konik gives an insiders view of his initiation and full blown participation in the Brain Trust syndicate.

The second half if the book is less compelling and while the ending of this memoir is understandable it is somewhat anticlimactic compared to the beginnings. Overall a very enjoyable read for anyone familiar with betting on football. Oct 11, Joel rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , sports. But with a lot more week-to-week specific bets from Konik writes well, in that he relives his experience naturally through his writing. So that the emotions, the learning-the-ropes he does, really feels genuine as he grows acclimated to his new life.

Mar 26, Tomasz rated it liked it. Interesting enough. May 11, Scott rated it really liked it. Interesting look into the World of professional sports betting. I was very intregued by this book and read it rather quickly. Jun 04, Sean Bucheit rated it it was amazing. Fantastic book.

Apr 29, Azure Giroux rated it liked it. Despite being intermittently distracted by other books it took me close to a year to finish , this was a definite worthwhile read. I learned a TON in a painless way with humor mixed in, and although I have no intention of making sports bets, it's a nice feeling being well informed.

Thanks for making professional sports more interesting! Good book but not quite what I expected. While the book gives an interesting perspective of what it's like to be a part of a large gambling syndicate, the title had lead me to expect more of a description of how the process worked. May 16, Steven Briggs rated it it was amazing. Very entertaining insight into the world of sports gambling.

The book got a little repetitive until it picked up again at the end as the author got involved with celebrity sports gamblers. Fun to try and guess who he's talking about. Apr 10, Jonathan rated it really liked it. Interesting read about a subject I know pretty much nothing about, high stakes sports betting.

This gives a view into the large gambling syndicates that try to bet huge amounts based on their computer models. A neat look into the underside of big stakes sports gambling, from a person who initially acts as a chump placing bets for an organization before delving into an organization of his own.

It was interesting, but not hugely compelling. Awesome This is a great read for anybody who has the slightest interest in gambling on sports. It has the thrill on a great fiction book as well. Jul 28, Marc Pong rated it really liked it. More of a story than a how to book. A decent book, but how exciting can a book about sports betting be? Mar 23, Andrew Connell rated it it was amazing.

Aug 09, Jason rated it really liked it. Another excellent book from Konik. Jun 06, Ian rated it liked it. Read this book on a flight to vegas. An entertaining, quick read. But the ending isn't so good. Jan 05, Mike rated it really liked it.

I found this book to be quite entertaining and I looked forward to reading it every time I picked it up. Feb 23, Matthew rated it liked it. They say that he would listen to baseball games while performing surgery to the detriment of his patients, and that he would leave the operating room to gather up the scores. In reality, Dr. Mindlin enjoys an excellent reputation as an orthopedic surgeon, according to three respected Las Vegas attorneys who specialize in medical cases — all of whom approved Mindlin to give objective medical examinations for use in court cases.

Lem Banker, the famous sports bettor, says he has been a friend of Dr. I had a lot of respect for his mind. Mindlin was able to work off that debt in October , when Michael Kent dropped by like manna from heaven to discuss his computer program for handicapping football and basketball games. As he spoke, Michael Kent could not have been very impressive to a man like Ivan Mindlin.

Kent was something of a Lt. Colombo in that regard. He did not speak elegantly. He wore drab clothes. He said he had grown up in Chicago as a Cubs fan. And he looked like a Chicago Cubs fan, just in from the bleachers. To Dr. Mindlin he must have looked like a pigeon, with a beard and glasses.

Kent said he had grown weary of betting the games himself. What really tired him, he said with all sincerity, was having to deal with such large amounts of money. The chores of betting were wearing him out. He says he and Dr. Mindlin agreed: Kent forecasts the games, Mindlin makes the bets, and they split the winnings With their handshake, the Computer Group was formed. And from that day forward, Dr. Mindlin took it upon himself to insulate Michael Kent from the outside world, just as Kent had wished.

Kent was left alone to work with the numbers, while Mindlin took care of the streets. Mindlin apparently loved the streets, where he was deemed something of a Renaissance man, a street-smart manager who knew how to move truckloads of money and an intellectual genius as well.

In March Sports Illustrated became the first national publication to report the story of the Computer Group. Ivan Mindlin explained to the magazine that he had taught himself computer programming while serving on the faculty at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.

Though many members of the Computer Group might have thought that Dr. Mindlin was the grand inventor, there is very little to support that view. Those partners of Dr. The only program Dr. Mindlin produced was for betting on major league baseball, and they say it was a failure. Mindlin has declined to comment on this and all other matters. That he was the brains and Mindlin was the beard?

Each day Kent and his brother John collected the statistical data for every team, fed it into the computer, updated their program. From that point on. Kent -who was either too busy or too gullible to notice the fence that Mindlin was constructing around him — abdicated all responsibility to the doctor. As they were beginning to earn millions each season, Dr. Mindlin was injured in a car accident in Florida, which left him unable to perform surgery.

He applied for disability insurance, and his practice was limited to giving expert testimony in medical cases. Now street-famous for his work with the Computer Group, Dr. Mindlin entered into the commodities business. Based on their efforts, Dr.

Mindlin farmed a private commodities firm he called Commend, which may have served him in several ways. For one, he allegedly was able to launder money through Commend. John Kent testified that he never did any work for Commend. Mindlin also established a relationship with Dominic Spinale, who reportedly was a smalltime hoodlum with ties to Chicago mobster Tony Spilotro. Spinale happened to be under investigation by the FBI at the time his name was being used by Mindlin to open a betting account at the Stardust Hotel.

If Mindlin could change one thing, he would probably never have become friendly with Spinale, which might have averted all of the troubles that engulf him today. Special Agent Thomas B. Noble has developed quite a reputation in the FBI for his six-year investigation of the Computer Group. Quite sad, really. In the end, it never works out. He had not been there long when a gambling investigation of Dominic Spinale led him to Dr.

A muted alarm began to ring between the ears of Thomas Noble. This had the look of a betting operation run by La Cosa Nostra. The Mafia. Organized crime. Mindlin began to spend more time at his house in Vail, Colo. Noble traced a check endorsed by Spinale to an account maintained by Michael Kent. Another alarm. Michael Kent had the same attorney as Ivan Mindlin. Spinale was next observed by FBI operatives associating with a young blonde subject named Glen Walker, who walked with a pronounced limp the result of a high school football injury.

Informants led special agent Noble to believe that Walker represented the Computer Group, the most successful gambling ring in the city, the gambling ring in which Dr. Mindlin was an admitted member. Noble respectfully informed his superiors that he believed he had discovered one of the largest illegal bookmaking operations in the nation. The distinction between bookmakers and mere bettors is an important one. Though federal prosecution of illegal bookmakers declined in the s.

In a case in Rhode lsland U. Robert Barborian and Anthony Lauro , the U. But special agent Noble was certain that he was chasing bookmakers. More agents were assigned to aid Thomas Noble. Surveillance was increased. Wire taps were approved in December Every day was a new adventure. Had it all started so quickly for J. Edgar Hoover? Layoff bets, by definition, are made exclusively by bookmakers wishing to protect themselves against large losses by making bets with other bookmakers.

The weekend would prove to be even more momentous for special agent Thomas Noble. He had requested 43 separate raids to take place in 23 cities in 16 states — perhaps the largest series of coordinated gambling raids in history. He was right on.

The members of the Computer Group were caught redhanded. Betting ledgers and hundreds of thousands of incriminating dollars were seized. All that remained before Thomas B. Noble could ascend toward the top of the FBI like a rocket toward the stars was this matter of legal paperwork. He simply had to prove that the Computer Group was an illegal bookmaking operation, that it was in fact a strong arm of the LCN.

Michael Kent and his brother, Bill, had been invited to spend the Super Bowl weekend at the home of Dr. Mindlin in Vail. First, he received cash and checks from Billy Nelson, the gambler who had originally brought Kent and Mindlin together and who now served as an aide to Billy Walters in the Computer Group. The cashier handed Kent cash from the account of Billy Walters.

What did you do that for? Bill reached over and opened it. The FBI took down the names and addresses of the Kent brothers, and then Michael Kent sat and watched television while the FBI rummaged through the house, confiscating money, records and gambling paraphernalia. I remember we went out for lunch — Ivan too.

Ivan seemed to be taking it very well. Sources say that Mindlin, in his uniquely audacious manner, hired a private investigator to follow special agent Noble. He had been detained by police only once before, he says. The night of the Vail raid he would return to Las Vegas so find she FBI raiding his condominium as well as the homes of his partners. Clearly they were all in some sort of trouble. He says it struck him then how very little he knew about the group he had created.

One year earlier, special agent Thomas Noble had contacted Michael Kent about the check that had been endorsed by Dominic Spinale. At that time Kent had listened to Dr. Mindlin, who advised him not so worry. But, this matter of FBI raids was much more serious.

At the advice of special agent Noble, Kent says he hired his own lawyer, separate from Mindlin. Kent was referred to attorney Steven Brooks in Boston. As Brooks learned more about she gambling operation, he urged Kent to take precautions that would protect him from Mindlin. What does he know? Dale Conway says he was sitting as his desk, placing a bet over the phone from his Salt Lake home, when he stood to answer a knock at the door. In his driveway he could see a postal service truck. I just left it like it was.

The government seemed to believe that Dale Conway was much more than a simple gambler. If your Honor would like, I can even show a chart demonstrating the vast complexity of this case. The judge declined to view the chart. Too many times to count, Eric Johnson referred to Dale Conway as a bookmaker.

He said Conway was just one of the many bookmakers involved in this investigation. He made it sound as though, once the government had learned so make sense of all she information is had seized, it would become easier to apprehend and bring to justice all future bookmakers. District Judge Bruce S. Jenkins in Salt Lake that day. Some new bookies were in town, and they wanted to meet Billy Walters. So he came to the Desert Inn for lunch. There were also two other men whom Walters had never seen before.

They introduced themselves as Danny Donnigan and John Cleary, though Glen Walker still wonders if those were real names. The two men turned their attentions to the kingpin Billy Walters, asking him many questions as they buttered their bread. Which is the most efficient method so establish a betting line? How does a fellow handle layoff bets?

Basically they wanted Billy Walters to tell them how to become bookmaker. Later he asked to speak with Walker privately. Walters wrote down the license number and passed it onto a private detective. I had no association wish them whatsoever. But Glen Walker could only envision pigeons and soft point spreads, easy money. He bet with the new bookmakers, and he was not the only one.

Fat Mat and his preppy bookies were quickly able to establish business all over town. For all of their dumb innocence, they were very sure of themselves. We Take Bets From Anyone! It is amusing now to imagine the strategy sessions held at FBI headquarters in Las Vegas in January , after 11 phone conversations between Glen Walker and the Marcus Sports Service had been intercepted. Special agent Thomas Noble sprang into action!

He assigned other agents to investigate the illegal bookmaking operation; intelligence filtered in. United States Code. And so, on Jan. Perhaps they even broke down some doors. Certainly their firearms were loaded and ready. They raided the illegal bookmakers like they had never been raided before.

Meanwhile, the men who worked with Matt Marcus sat in chairs and crossed their legs, perhaps smirking to each other from time to time. Then one day a pair of angry bettors marched into the office and demanded money they thought they had coming.

They might as well have tried to get a refund from, say, the Internal Revenue Service. In other words, they did not come away with their money. Nonetheless, they had guns. Real guns, loaded with real bullets. The men behind the Marcus Sports Service were scared almost to death. The Brooks Brothers colleagues of Fat Matt Marcus had been nothing more than governmental meter maids.

The FBI now says that it went forward with the raid in order to give the IRS bookmaking operation more credibility in the streets. Senators, Harry Reid and Richard Bryan, asked to see the records and reports of the undercover bookmakers, to learn what good had come from the sting.

The rumor in Las Vegas is that these were accrued by the notorious Tony Spilotro who — as it turned out — was simply continuing his career of stiffing the IRS. The IRS is facing two Congressional investigations, and its Nevada office has been shaken up severely. Billy Walters moved to Las Vegas eight years ago with his family and his immense ego and very little else.

He was worth more dead than alive, as they say. For too many years he had been operating a used-car dealership in his home state of Kentucky, and then gambling away the profits. He was in debt to several bookmakers, and he could not command credit.

At 35, into his third marriage, with an ill son who was supposed to have died years before, Billy Walters believed he had no alternative but move to Las Vegas, to be a full-time professional gambler, to lay all that he had on this one final hand. Walters can pinpoint his problems from those days, now that he is worth millions of dollars.

As recently as , when he was preparing to leave Kentucky, he had lacked focus. He was a gambler, that was definite, but he had no idea how to gamble professionally. He wanted to win every single day. When he lost at the race track or when he lost betting games or when he lost playing poker or when he lost playing golf, he always felt compelled to get down another bet, to retrieve what he had lost that very day.

He recalls an evening in Kentucky when he was pitching nickels with a friend. The wagers grew until Billy Walters had lost his house — his house, from pitching nickels. Then he had to come home and tell his wife. Standing now in his kitchen, head down, hands in pockets, he seems to be recreating the scene.

And we might have to move. He kept the house, but he lost his wife. She left him. That was his second wife. His father died when William Thurman Walters was not yet 2 years old, and his mother ran off, and his grandmother, who was a maid in Mufferville, Ky. His uncle ran a pool hall. Billy Walters estimates that his first bet was made at the age of 5, when his uncle would assemble islands of Coke cases around a pool table so that the boy could reach the felt.

As soon as he began to work, his grandmother charged him rent. He hustled pool, betting his rent money. He was not yet a teenager. At 13 he moved back in with his mother, in Louisville. At 16 he had fathered a child and married the mother. Some morning he worked till at a bakery, some nights it was 3 to 11 at a gas station. Most days he went to school. That marriage lasted one year. His occupations have included newspaper boy, farmhand, shoe-shiner, baker, tobacco worker, foundry worker, painter, car dealer, realtor.

To him, these were mere side jobs. In his mind he was a professional player — of pool, gin rummy, poker, blackjack, roulette, golf, the horses, whatever. He remarried and with his second wife had two sons, which has since led Billy Walters to decide that his own childhood was not so desperate.

His oldest son, Scott, should have been dead at the age of 5. After radiation they told us every day he was going to die. I stayed drunk the whole time. I was 26 at the time. I neglected my business and my family and stayed drunk. After nine months I went back to running the business. The business, he says, was a wholesale auto dealership in Louisville. They will celebrate their 14th anniversary in September. She moved with him to Las Vegas in and served as his accountant when he began to move money for the Computer Group.

She was indicted with him in January and expected to go to trial with him in November , if the case got that far. Walters says he went to work for Dr. Ivan Mindlin in , making bets in Las Vegas and a few other territories. By then the Computer Group was four years old and churning out millions in profits each season.

For the first time in his life, Billy Walters was winning consistently and holding onto the money. He invested in real estate, fast food franchises and other ventures. His confidence was such that he could play golf matched for thousands of dollars. In other words, he would share in profits with Michael Kent, Dr. Mindlin and other core members of the group. Walters continued to place additional bets for himself until January , when the FBI raided the group of its records and cash, shutting down Walters for the remainder of the college basketball season.

He complains about harassment by the FBI, saying it confiscated funds and refused to transfer them to the IRS to pay his taxes. He claims he is persecuted in part because the government loathes his attorney, Oscar Goodman, a colorful Las Vegas lawyer who has represented many mob figures.

For three years they tell us the case is dead. Then all of a sudden, two weeks before the statute of limitations is going to run out, they come back with these indictments. The day before we were indicted, my attorney Goodman tried to contact the Strike Force to say we would be willing to turn ourselves in.

The next day they come barging into my house, drag me out of bed, put my wife in leg irons. Walters says he agreed to give this, his first interview, out of a feeling of desperation. He perceives himself to be a rare gambling success story — a man who was in debt before he came to Las Vegas. If you can get arrested for betting games here…well, let me just say I never would have dreamed that the things that have happened to me, with the FBI and the rest of it, could happen here.

Then he admits that his life could be much worse. Inviting a reporter upstairs, he visits with his son, Scott, 22, is no bigger than a year-old, and outside the house he wears a cap or wig to cover the hair loss caused by his cancer treatments. He recently got his first job, as a busboy at the Horseshoe casino downtown. His father says he could be no prouder of his son.

At one time the Regency Towers was known as a high palace for the mob. Irwin Molasky would surely argue that this no longer is the case. Indeed, he commenced another debate over a piece of real estate in , when the subject was his California resort Rancho La Costa. Molasky and his co-owner at La Costa, Merv Adelson, who at one time was chairman and chief executive at Lorimar, did not appreciate such unsavory allegations. It is important that he be recognized as a sober and legitimate businessman.

And in fact, Molasky has never been charged with a crime. However, Dr. Ivan Mindlin was not interested in currying favor with thousands of legal bettors. He was interested mainly in Irwin Molasky. For years, Dr. Mindlin had been pretending to be the brains behind the Computer Group, claiming to be the inventor of its unbeatable program for forecasting ballgames.

It appears that Dr. Mindlin was never much more than an intermediary for the group, as his own attorney admits today. But Mindlin surely knew how to maximize his position. When Dr. Mindlin needed help in the commodities business, who did he look to?

Irwin Molasky, with whom he became partners in the purchase and sale of commodities, according to attorney Stan Hunterton. Mindlin speak of Molasky in Well, for some reason that day, the team we took had jumped up to 5 points — which almost never happened.

Usually when we took a team, the points went in our direction. That day they sold their bets on the underdog at 4 points to Molasky. And we were able to use the money to bet on the 5, which was a better bet. Then, in , the government began to resurrect its case. Molasky hired Hunterton, who says he had served as a special attorney within the Organized Crime Strike Forces for 10 years, until But Hunterton denies the assertion, made by others in the group, that representing Molasky was a conflict of interest.

Using his contacts — which the attorney admits were the reason Molasky hired him — Hunterton reportedly was able to win immunity for Molasky, in return for his testimony before the grand jury. However, some of the indicted members of the Computer Group think he may not be entirely finished with this business — not yet, anyway. If their case goes to trial in November, as scheduled, they plan to subpoena Molasky and question him vigorously, not only about his betting with Ivan Mindlin, but also regarding his attorney, Stanley Hunterton, who played both sides as effectively as anyone in the Computer Group ever had.

After he had been raided by the FBI in January , Michael Kent began to ask the kinds of questions he should have been raising long ago. So began the end of the Computer Group. He wanted to know how the group was run, and what became of his information after he gave it to Dr. Mindlin, and how much money his program actually was generating. His partners in the computer group informed Kent that his precious information was being shared with the outside world in ways that could only profit Mindlin.

Therefore, no profits would be paid to any members of the group. By Kent had hired a lawyer of his own, Steven Brooks of Boston, who advised him that many of his current practices with Dr. Kent says he tried to change the way he conducted business with Mindlin, but had little success. Wary that he could not account for the actions of his partner, Michael Kent nonetheless kept trying to deal with Mindlin.

In return, Kent would tell Mindlin which teams to play and how much to bet, and Mindlin could keep all profits. However, Kent says, the forecasts lost money for Mindlin in the first week, at which point he canceled their agreement. At this point Michael Kent was at the end of his rope. He had placed all of his trust in Dr.

In return Mindlin had seemed to treat him like a son. The truth of their relationship, Kent now believed, was that he had been playing the fool to Mindlin for all these years. They suspect that he owes them more, but in all likelihood they will never be able to prove it.

Kent agreed to explain what he knew about the Computer Group and turn over evidence. In exchange, he was granted immunity from prosecution. Today he accuses Kent of extortion. He knows numbers like nobody else. And Kent had no idea. Yet Billy Walters admits that he too was fooled by Mindlin. I was the guy who moved the money. By , the Computer Group was dead, victim of a human virus. Vanity and greed had infected its affairs.

The computer wizard, Michael Kent, was refusing to supply his information, and the gambler, Billy Walters, was refusing to move the money. Yet Dr. Mindlin was still in business. Indeed, the doctor was something of a tragic figure, broken by his own greed, devastated personally as well as professionally. While trying to recoup his relationship with Michael Kent, the doctor had engaged in a worldwide, yearlong search to find a cure for his only son, Gary Mindlin.

Then another tragedy struck the Mindlin household. The coroner found that she was probably allergic to penicillin — penicillin that she apparently received from her husband, the doctor. The autopsy report indicated that Georgia Mindlin, 56, was suffering from a sore throat on March 19, Mindlin admitted to giving her to milligrams of penicillin, which she took orally, after her evening meal. She got out of bed and collapsed, falling into cardiorespiratory arrest.

The doctor called for an ambulance. The police arrived at p. Police say that Dr. Mindlin attempted to revive his wife with a shot of adrenaline after her airway had closed off in reaction to the penicillin. As for his own probe, Schmidt says he found nothing more than the hunches of relatives to make him suspect foul play. He declares the investigation inactive.

His former colleagues say that Ivan Mindlin still has not given up. They say he works with a beard in Miami, using the same program Michael Kent developed 10 years ago. Kent himself would be the first to warn his successors that the business is no longer so easy. Kent has formed a legal sports betting corporation with two partners — his brother John Kent and their friend, Mark Ricci, who stopped working for Mindlin in When Michael Kent was a mere centerfielder, trying to decipher the strengths and weaknesses of his softball team at Westinghouse 18 years ago, there was no real computer science in sport.

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