2018 Gambling Olympics: Standings, Point Totals, Best/Worst Events for All 12 Competitors

2018 Gambling Olympics: Standings, Point Totals, Best/Worst Events for All 12 Competitors article feature image
  • The 2018 Gambling Olympics was a competitive affair, with Jonathan Bales winning first place and $10,000.
  • Justin Phan and Pete Manzinelli separated themselves from the field and took second ($6,000) and third ($4,000).
  • Here is a comprehensive breakdown of the Gambling Olympics standings, point totals and participant performance.

I’ve spent the past week writing about the Gambling Olympics. At this point I don’t know how to do anything else. The Main Event is over, but there’s a lot that can still be said about the competition.

Some readers have asked if I can give more details on final standings and individual performances. For instance, several people have asked how close the second- and third-place participants were to finishing first?

I’m a man of the people.

Here are the final standings and point totals for the Gambling Olympics as well as some additional analysis.

Individual Standings & Points

  1. Jonathan Bales, 92.5
  2. Justin Phan (for Michael Mooney), 86
  3. Pete Manzinelli, 83.5
  4. Joey Ingram, 78
  5. Peter Jennings, 77.5
  6. Sean Koerner, 76
  7. Matt Brown, 69.5
  8. Adam Levitan, 69
  9. Scott Blumstein, 65.5
  10. Brandon Adams, 64.5
  11. BlackJack Fletcher, 49
  12. Paul Lo Duca, 47

Since money was awarded to first ($10,000), second ($6,000) and third ($4,000), everyone was gunning for a top-three showing, if not a No. 1 overall finish, but by the end of the competition, the standings at the top were solidly tiered. Phan and Manz weren’t all that close to Bales, and the field wasn’t especially close to Phan and Manz. It would’ve been painful if the people who finished second and fourth had missed out on first and third by 0.5 points. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

Team Standings & Points

  1. Team Levitan: Ingram, Manz, Phan (316.5)
  2. Team Bales: Blumstein, Brown, Koerner (303.5)
  3. Team Jennings: Adams, BlackJack, Lo Duca (238)

Team Jennings was a +125 favorite entering the Main Event but finished a distant third because of bottom-three performances by Adams, Fletcher and Lo Duca. The battle for first and its $10,000 prize was incredibly tight: 858 total points were awarded during the Gambling Olympics, and Team Levitan won by a margin of just 13 (or 1.52%). In the three final events scored on Day 2 (Crypto Portfolio, Beer Pong and Standings Predictions), Team Levitan’s four members amassed an outstanding six top-three, eight top-five and 11 top-eight performances. If not for its strong finish, Team Levitan easily could’ve lost the group title to the Bales squad.

Participant Analysis

No. 1 – Bales: Despite his famously poor Rock-Paper-Scissors performance, Bales won the inaugural Gambling Olympics. Once he moved into first place in the top half of Day 2, he never gave up the No. 1 spot. It’s not as if Phan and Manz didn’t apply any pressure on Bales, but in the end he was competing against himself.

  • Best events: Daily Fantasy Sports (1), Blackjack (1-tied)
  • Worst event: Rock-Paper-Scissors (10-tied)
  • Top-three finishes: 3.5
  • Top-five finishes: 8
  • Official winnings: $10,000 (1st, individual)

No. 2 – Phan: Even though he was a late addition, Phan was the Day 1 leader and a top-three presence throughout the entirety of the event. Entering the last two events, Phan and Manz were tied for second with 63.5 points apiece. Manz balled out with two No. 3 finishes, but Phan bested him with a couple of clutch top-two showings. As impressive as Bales’ win was, Phan’s second-place finish with less than a day of prep time was perhaps the best performance of the Main Event.

  • Best events: Rock-Paper-Scissors (1), Standings Prediction (1-tied)
  • Worst events: Lodden Thinks (11), Crypto Portfolio (11)
  • Top-three finishes: 5
  • Top-five finishes: 6.5
  • Official winnings: $8,500 (2nd, individual; 1st, team)

No. 3 – ManzZero people bet on Manz to win, and he entered the event as a field-worst +1400 underdog. And then he finished Day 1 in second-to-last place. That he came back on Day 2 and tied Phan for second so late in the competition is amazing. If he had managed to take first in even just one event, he might’ve won silver overall. Even so, his Gambling Olympics performance should do wonders for his #brand. ManzCoin could skyrocket in the wake of his top-two crypto finish.

  • Best event: Crypto Portfolio (2)
  • Worst event: Rock-Paper-Scissors (11)
  • Top-three finishes: 3.5
  • Top-five finishes: 6
  • Official winnings: $6,500 (3rd, individual; 1st, team)

No. 4 – Ingram: Given that he wasn’t a lock to attend the event, Ingram competed with an outsized abundance of energy. He was unquestionably a star and had some of the competition’s biggest moments, none bigger than his Round 1 Rock-Paper-Scissors victory over Bales on Day 2, although his first-place finish in Connect Four was a close second. If only he had been able to finish top three (instead of dead last) in Poker — which plays professionally — he would’ve placed second in the Main Event.

  • Best events: Connect Four (1), Lodden Thinks (1)
  • Worst event: Poker (12)
  • Top-three finishes: 2
  • Top-five finishes: 5
  • Official winnings: $2,500 (1st, team)

No. 5 – Jennings: Because he opened as a +450 favorite, Jennings can’t be too pleased with his individual performance — and his team’s showing was uninspiring — but it’s not as if he was horrible. He was just volatile. He opened the proceedings with a second-place finish in Connect Four, and he was strong near the end of Day 2 with back-to-back No. 1 finishes in Crypto Porfolio and Beer Pong, but otherwise he failed to crack the top five. If he had been able to turn a few of his bottom-four showings into even middle-of-the-pack performances, he probably would’ve been able to cash with a third-place finish.

  • Best events: Crypto Porfolio (1), Beer Pong (1)
  • Worst event: Blackjack (10)
  • Top-three finishes: 3
  • Top-five finishes: 3
  • Official winnings: $0

No. 6 – Koerner: The Oddsmaker was a consistent producer who never finished 11th or 12th in any event but also didn’t finish first or second. At the end of the gambling Olympics he was in the same productivity tier as Ingram and Jennings. If only he had been able to turn a couple of his bottom-half performances into top-three finishes, he could’ve finished the Main Event in third place overall.

  • Best events: Daily Fantasy Sports (3), Crypto Portfolio (3)
  • Worst event: Rock-Paper-Scissors (10-tied)
  • Top-three finishes: 2
  • Top-five finishes: 5
  • Official winnings: $0

No. 7 – Brown: An all-around speculator with poker, sports betting and daily fantasy acumen, Brown performed respectably at the Main Event. More volatile than Koerner but less than Jennings, he had only one bottom-three event, but he also struggled to break into the top-three throughout the competition. This might be nothing, but it’s notable that his top performances were in Blackjack, Sports Betting and Daily Fantasy Sports, none of which involve direct head-to-head or group-based competition with other participants.

  • Best event: Blackjack (1-tied)
  • Worst event: Rock-Paper-Scissors (12)
  • Top-three finishes: 2
  • Top-five finishes: 3
  • Official winnings: $0

No. 8 – Levitan: The captain of the winning team, Levitan didn’t have a great individual main event, but he was exceptional as a drafter and manager, rostering the field’s three highest-scoring non-captains (aka non-Three Donkeys). And his individual performance wasn’t awful. He had seven finishes in the 4-8 range and generally limited the extent to which his #runbad impacted his place in the standings. Although he wasn’t close to an individual top-three finish, Levitan more than earned his share of a Gambling Olympics title by assembling Team “When McCarran?” and coaching it to first place.

  • Best event: Standings Prediction (1-tied)
  • Worst event: Yahtzee (12)
  • Top-three finishes: 1
  • Top-five finishes: 4.5
  • Official winnings: $2,500 (1st, team)

No. 9 – Blumstein: The 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event winner, Blumstein started out hot, placing first in Poker and Rock-Paper-Scissors on Day 1, third in Connect Four and fifth in Sports Betting. Heading into Day 2 he was in second place, but he fell off. He placed first in Blackjack on the second day, as well as third in Yahtzee and Sports Betting, but his lack of familiarity with the other participants led to struggles in Lodden Thinks and Standings Prediction. If he had known the other Olympians a little better, he could have challenged for a top-three finish.

  • Best events: Connect Four (3), Rock-Paper-Scissors (3), Yahtzee (3)
  • Worst events: Lodden Thinks (12), Standings Prediction (12)
  • Top-three finishes: 3
  • Top-five finishes: 5.5
  • Official winnings: $0

No. 10 – Adams: The consensus favorite with closing odds of +400, Adams had a disappointing Gambling Olympics from a standings perspective, but he took a total of $1,300 off Bales in side action and facilitated an impromptu chugging contest that also might’ve given him (as the bookmaker) a little more money. Although he had a poor start, finishing Day 1 dead last, he opened Day 2 with a massive Yahtzee victory against Bales even though he’d never played before, and he also ran hot at Poker, finishing top-two in both sessions. Adams had some great moments — but his inconsistency tanked him: He had four finishes in the bottom three.

  • Best events: Poker (1), Yahtzee (1)
  • Worst events: Blackjack (12), Sports Betting (12), Beer Pong (12-tied)
  • Top-three finishes: 3
  • Top-five finishes: 4
  • Official winnings: $0

No. 11 – BlackJack: A well-dressed man and sharp guy, BlackJack was out of his element. It’s not that he wasn’t smart enough to win. It’s that he wasn’t nerdy enough. Calling it the Gambling Olympics makes it sound cool, but really this event was a giant two-day nerdathalon in which a dozen men in their 30s and 40s reverted to childhood and young adulthood with Connect Four, Yahtzee and Beer Pong. It simply wasn’t BlackJack’s bag — but he still managed to take first place in the event he cared about most: Sports Betting. Considering that he was going against some of the best sports bettors in the industry, that’s a massive win. If you’re not following BlackJack on the Action App, you’re missing out.

  • Best event: Sports Betting (1)
  • Worst events: Daily Fantasy Sports (12), Beer Pong (12-tied)
  • Top-three finishes: 2
  • Top-five finishes: 2.5
  • Official winnings: $0

No. 12 – Lo Duca: It was a tough couple of days for Lo Duca, but don’t feel bad for him: He’s still Paul F—king Lo Duca. He made millions of dollars as an MLB player and was undoubtedly the coolest guy at the Gambling Olympics. He generated a ton of laughs. And although he didn’t show well in some events, his ability to read people and situations as an All-Star catcher translated to top-two finishes in Rock-Paper-Scissors and Poker, the two events in which he could most leverage his skills of diagnosis. Plus, when I found myself in the hot tub without a beer, he graciously procured one for me. (If I had been him, I maybe would’ve told myself to get my own damn beer.)  The dude tagged two guys out at home plate in Game 1 of the 2006 National League Division Series — on the same play. He placed last in the Main Event, but no one could ever accuse Lo Duca of being anything less than a winner.

  • Best event: Rock-Paper-Scissors (2), Poker (2)
  • Worst event: Connect Four (12), Crypto Portfolio (12)
  • Top-three finishes: 2
  • Top-five finishes: 2
  • Official winnings: $0

For more information on the Main Event and preliminary contests, see the Gambling Olympics section of the site.