Jonathan Bales Wins Inaugural Gambling Olympics Main Event

Jul 11, 2018 2:30 PM EDT

Highlights

  • The 2018 Gambling Olympics is a two-day contest in Las Vegas. The buy-in is $2,500, and the winner gets $10,000.
  • Jonathan Bales wins the Main Event thanks to finishing top-five in 8-of-11 individual contests.

Sometimes the logical is the inevitable. Jonathan Bales has won the inaugural Gambling Olympics, an outcome that surprises nobody, considering that he’s one of the sharpest competitors in the field and, more importantly, the person who organized the Gambling Olympics and thus decided which challenges would be included in the event. Perhaps he was unconsciously drawn to individual contests that suited his skills? Maybe???

 

But that’s not to say that Bales’ road to the top of the mountain was easy. He had a dominant Day 1 showing with four top-four performances, and he did well to open Day 2, jumping from third to first on the strength of top-four finishes in Lodden Thinks and Yahtzee.

At one point, though, he was at risk of spiraling out of control. He lost $2,000 to Brandon Adams in a Yahtzee side bet, and then on Day 2 he got swept — SWEPT! — in Rock-Paper-Scissors, which he felt entering the Gambling Olympics would be one of his strongest events. Instead, Rock-Paper-Scissors was his worst.

Even so, Bales never lost the lead after taking it, and for much of Day 2 the field competed for second, which Justin Phan took after finishing Day 1 as the standings leader. A last-minute fill-in, Phan had less than a day to prepare for the event, but he still led the field with a massive total of five top-two finishes.

Following Phan in third was his teammate Pete Manzinelli, who accumulated 4.5 top-three finishes despite failing to win a single event. In fact, Manz entered Day 2 in second-to-last place, but he stormed toward the front of the field late in the contest, earning his spot on the podium with three straight top-three finishes to close the Main Event.
Jonathan Bales Wins Inaugural Gambling Olympics Main Event.

With two top-three players in Phan and Manz, Team Levitan won the overall team title despite lacking the star power of the Bales and Jennings squads. While captain Adam Levitan earned just an eighth-place finish, he masterfully drafted and managed his team, assembling a unit of players who were all capable of battling for first. Considering that Joey Ingram placed fourth and yet had the worst finish of Levitan’s draft selections, the Gambling Olympics went about as well as it could’ve for Team Levitan.

  • 1st place: Bales, $10,000
  • 2nd place: Phan, $6,000
  • 3rd place: Manz, $4,000
  • Team prize: Team Levitan, $10,000

Be sure to follow all of the action in the Gambling Olympics section of the site.

Standings

Final Individual Standings (as of 11:59 p.m. PT)

MyBookie.ag created odds for the Gambling Olympics. For some of the events, there was significant line movement. With the standings are each participant and team’s listed odds to win entering the Main Event.

  • 1st: Jonathan Bales, FantasyLabs Co-Founder (+500)
  • 2nd: Justin Phan, Action Network Managing Director (+900)
  • 3rd: Pete Manzinelli, Physical Cryptocurrency Pioneer (+1400)
  • 4th: Joey Ingram, Professional Poker Player & Podcaster (+900)
  • 5th: Peter Jennings, FantasyLabs Co-Founder (+450)
  • 6th: Sean Koerner, Action Network Director of Predictive Analytics (+500)
  • 7th: Matt Brown, Media Producer & Sports Speculator (+900)
  • 8th: Adam Levitan, DraftKings Analyst (+550)
  • 9th: Scott Blumstein, 2017 WSOP Main Event Champion (+900)
  • 10th: Brandon Adams, Professional Poker & DFS Player (+400)
  • 11th: BlackJack Fletcher, Action Network Analyst (+900)
  • 12th: Paul Lo Duca, Former MLB All-Star & Action Network Analyst (+700)

Final Team Standings (as of 11:59 p.m. PT)

Main Event

The Gambling Olympics consists of 12 events, which run the gamut of the speculation spectrum:

CONTEST NOTES: The Lodden Thinks answer session was originally scheduled for Day 1 but has been moved to Day 2. Beer Pong was intended to be a two-day challenge, but the Day 1 competition was canceled due to inclement weather. Acey-Deucey, which was scheduled for Day 2, has been canceled because of time constraints.

Day 2 Schedule

Day 2 features part or all of 10 events.

11 a.m. PT: Yahtzee

  • Bracket style; matchups chosen at random
  • Byes and standings determined by score

Round 1

  • Lo Duca vs. Adams: Adams wins, 265-172
  • Ingram vs. BlackJack: Ingram wins, 251-211
  • Manz vs. Phan: Manz wins, 369-211
  • Blumstein vs. Levitan: Blumstein wins, 228-155
  • Koerner vs. Bales: Bales wins, 259-252
  • Jennings vs. Brown: Brown wins, 224-219

Round 2: Winners Bracket

Manz and Adams have byes.

  • Blumstein vs. Ingram: Blumstein wins, 276-260
  • Brown vs. Bales: Bales wins, 258-217

Round 2: Losers Bracket

Koerner and Phan have byes.

  • Jennings vs. Levitan: Jennings wins, 246-231
  • BlackJack vs. Lo Duca: Lo Duca wins, 203-193

Round 3: Winners Bracket

  • Bales vs. Blumstein: Bales wins, 289-223
  • Manz vs. Adams: Adams wins, 220-202

Round 3: Losers Bracket

  • Jennings vs. Phan: Jennings wins, 216-215
  • Lo Duca vs. Koerner: Koerner wins, 237-191

Round 3: 5th- and 11th-place Bracket

  • 5th – Ingram vs. Brown: Ingram wins, 248-236
  • 11th – BlackJack vs. Levitan: BlackJack wins, 216-177

Round 4: Finals and 3rd-place Bracket

  • Finals – Bales vs. Adams: Adams wins, 209-152
  • 3rd – Blumstein vs. Manz: Blumstein wins, 283-136

Round 4: 7th- and 9th-place Bracket

  • 7th – Koerner vs. Jennings: Jennings wins, 260-246
  • 9th – Lo Duca vs. Phan: Phan wins, 223-199

Yahtzee Final Individual Standings

  • 1st: Adams
  • 2nd: Bales
  • 3rd: Blumstein
  • 4th: Manz
  • 5th: Ingram
  • 6th: Brown
  • 7th: Jennings
  • 8th: Koerner
  • 9th: Phan
  • 10th: Lo Duca
  • 11th: BlackJack
  • 12th: Levitan

Yahtzee Final Team Standings

  • 1st: Team Bales
  • 2nd: Team Jennings
  • 3rd: Team Levitan

1 p.m. PT: Lodden Thinks

  • Everyone answers two questions as accurately as they can before the competition
  • Scott the Intern will come up with the questions, and no one will know them ahead of time
  • Sheet handed out with 22 questions listed (the questions asked to the other entrants)
  • Example: How many black holes does Peter think exist in the universe?
  • Get score of 1 to 11 on each question based on how close a guess is compared to others
  • Final standings based on highest total score
  • Tiebreaker is most questions won

Questions & Answers

  1. Ingram: How long would it take Oprah to run a marathon with no notice? Answer: 3 days. Best guess: 24 hours (Lo Duca). Worst guess: 6 hours, 23 minutes, 8 seconds (Jennings)
  2. Ingram: What’s the total number of air balls ever shot in NBA games? Answer: 500,000. Best guess: 500,000 (Phan). Worst guess: 8 (Lo Duca, misread as “per game”)
  3. Adams: How many contacts are in LaVar Ball’s cellphone? Answer: 1,800. Best guess: 1,800 (Jennings). Worst guess: 5,001 (Bales)
  4. Adams: How many poker chips would it take to fill a standard school bus? Answer: 210 million. Best guess: 24.38 million (Koerner). Worst guess: 30,000 (Blumstein)
  5. Koerner: How many tee shots would it take current-day Tiger Woods to drive a golf ball the circumference of the Earth? Answer: 200,000. Best guess: 150,000 (Phan). Worst guess: 1 billion (Lo Duca, assumed “penalty strokes,” etc.)
  6. Koerner: How many Chihuahuas in Mexico are named José? Answer: 712,647. Best guess: 1 million (Lo Duca). Worst guess: 1,000 (Blumstein)
  7. Jennings: How many tennis balls will be used during tournament matches at Wimbledon this year? Answer: 6,800. Best guess: 6,500 (Bales). Worst guess: 200,000 (Brown)
  8. Jennings: What was the sum total amount of cash in the 12 contestants’ pockets when they first walked into this house? Answer: $64,000. Best guess: $65,000 (Manz). Worst guess: $135,000 (Koerner)
  9. Phan: How many times does a basketball touch the ground (during play) during an average NBA game? Answer: 1,000. Best guess: 1,500 (Lo Duca). Worst guess: 120,000 (Blumstein)
  10. Phan: What is the length of the largest wiener of a mammal? Answer: 12 inches. Best guess: 16 inches (Blumstein). Worst guess: 10 feet (Lo Duca)
  11. Brown: Over the course of history, how many people named Adam have had brothers named Peter and Jonathan? Answer: 8,000. Best guess: 10,000 (Ingram). Worst guess: 65 million (BlackJack)
  12. Brown: How many times did people have sex (penetration of any hole) on U.S. domestic flights yesterday? Answer: 675. Best guess: 312 (BlackJack). Worst guess: 2 (Manz)
  13. Levitan: How much weight would you have to put on Usain Bolt’s back for Donald Trump to beat him in a 100-meter dash? Answer: 310. Best guess: 280 (Blumstein). Worst guess: 175 (Manz)
  14. Levitan: What is the world-record time for holding your breath under water? Answer: 14 minutes. Best guess: 14.6 minutes (Bales). Worst guess: 4 minutes (BlackJack)
  15. Manz: How many people in the U.S. named Tony ate tuna today? Answer: 31,069. Best guess: 42,000 (Jennings). Worst guess: 250 (Phan)
  16. Manz: How many stoplights are there in the U.S.? Answer: 13.4 million. Best guess: 9.9 million (Levitan). Worst guess: 5 billion (Lo Duca)
  17. Blumstein: How much money would the Oddsmaker have to receive to wear a G-string for a whole year instead of his traditional underwear? Answer: $10,000. Best guess: $10,000 (BlackJack). Worst guess: $249,000 (Levitan)
  18. Blumstein: How many French fries has Bales eaten in his lifetime? Answer: 6,000. Best guess: 10,000 (Ingram). Worst guess: 500,000 (Lo Duca)
  19. Lo Duca: What is the most amount of money ever paid for one donkey? Answer: $98,000. Best guess: $100,000 (Ingram). Worst guess: $251 (Bales)
  20. Lo Duca: How many women named Ruth have ever eaten a Baby Ruth? Answer: 35 million. Best guess: 1.3 million (BlackJack). Worst guess: 500 (Blumstein).
  21. BlackJack: What is the weight of the average cumulus cloud? Answer: Zero pounds (“Clouds are weightless”). Best guess: 16 pounds (Levitan). Worst guess: 1.1 million pounds (Bales)
  22. BlackJack: How many countries are there in Asia? Answer: 14. Best guess: 13 (Lo Duca). Worst guess: 63 (Brown)
  23. Bales: How many hot dogs are eaten in the U.S. every year? Answer: 2.1 billion. Best guess: 2 billion (BlackJack). Worst guess: 10 million (Blumstein, Brown)
  24. Bales: How many times (ever) has a guy named Steve fallen asleep while in the middle of intercourse? Answer: 12 million. Best guess: 740,00 (BlackJack). Worst guess: 25 (Blumstein)

Lodden Thinks Final Individual Standings

  • 1st: Ingram
  • 2nd: BlackJack
  • 3rd: Adams
  • 4th: Bales
  • 5th: Koerner
  • 6th: Manz
  • 7th: Levitan
  • 8th: Brown
  • 9th: Jennings
  • 10th: Lo Duca
  • 11th: Phan
  • 12th: Blumstein

Lodden Thinks Final Team Standings

  • 1st: Team Jennings
  • 2nd: Team Levitan
  • 3rd: Team Bales

4 p.m. PT: Daily Fantasy Sports

  • DraftKings MLB lineups selected on Monday and Tuesday
  • DraftKings WNBA lineup selected on Tuesday
  • Final standings based on cumulative score from all three contests

The outcome of this two-day event is determined at the end of Day 2.

DFS Final Individual Standings (Days 1 & 2 in Parentheses)

  • 1st: Bales (6, 1)
  • 2nd: Phan (1, 9)
  • 3rd: Koerner (5, 2)
  • 4th: Brown (3, 5)
  • 5th: Levitan (2, 6)
  • 6th: Jennings (4, 4)
  • 7th: Ingram (8, 8)
  • 8th: Manz (12, 3)
  • 9th: Adams (10, 7)
  • 10th: Lo Duca (9, 10)
  • 11th: Blumstein (7, 12)
  • 12th: BlackJack (11, 11)

DFS Final Team Standings (Days 1 & 2 in Parentheses)

  • 1st: Team Bales (1, 1)
  • 2nd: Team Levitan (2, 2)
  • 3rd: Team Jennings (3, 3)

4 p.m. PT: Sports Betting

  • $1,000 to spend, must bet at least three games (spread or moneyline) on Monday and Tuesday
  • Can place between $1 and $998 on each game
  • Everyone uses same lines from MyBookie
  • Final standings based on profit/loss after two days

The outcome of this two-day event is determined at the end of Day 2.

Sports Betting Final Individual Standings (Days 1 & 2 in Parentheses)

  • 1st: BlackJack (1, 2)
  • 2nd: Phan (2, 5)
  • 3rd: Brown (8, 1)
  • 4th: Levitan (3, 4)
  • 5th: Blumstein (5, 3)
  • 6th: Bales (7, 6)
  • 7th: Koerner (6, 7)
  • 8th: Ingram (4, 9)
  • 9th: Jennings (9, 8)
  • 10th: Manz (10, 12)
  • 11th: Lo Duca (11, 10)
  • 12th: Adams (12, 11)

Sports Betting Final Team Standings (Days 1 & 2 in Parentheses)

  • 1st: Team Bales (2, 1)
  • 2nd: Team Levitan (1, 2)
  • 3rd: Team Jennings (3, 3)

4:30 p.m. PT: Rock-Paper-Scissors

  • Bracket style; matchups chosen at random
  • Best-of-21 head-to-head matchups
  • Top two in fewest losses after first round get bye in second round
  • Rankings for losers based on total throws won
  • Tiebreaker is best-of-seven among all tied parties
  • Final standings based on average finish after two days

The outcome of this two-day event is determined in the second half of Day 2.

Round 1

  • Brown vs. Phan: Phan wins, 11-7
  • Blumstein vs. Adams: Adams wins, 11-7
  • Jennings vs. Levitan: Levitan wins, 11-10
  • Bales vs. Ingram: Ingram wins, 11-10
  • Lo Duca vs. Koerner: Lo Duca wins, 11-7
  • BlackJack vs. Manz: BlackJack wins, 11-9

Round 2: Winners Bracket

Phan and Adams have byes.

  • BlackJack vs. Lo Duca: BlackJack wins, 11-10
  • Ingram vs. Levitan: Ingram wins, 11-4

Round 2: Losers Bracket

Jennings and Bales have byes.

  • Brown vs. Manz: Manz wins, 11-9
  • Blumstein vs. Koerner: Blumstein wins, 11-5

Round 3: Winners Bracket

  • BlackJack vs. Adams: Adams, 11-8
  • Phan vs. Ingram: Ingram, 11-5

Round 3: Losers Bracket

  • Jennings vs. Bales: Jennings wins, 11-5
  • Manz vs. Blumstein: Manz wins, 11-10

Round 3: 5th- and 11th-place Bracket

  • 5th – Lo Duca vs. Levitan: Levitan wins, 11-7
  • 11th – Brown vs. Koerner: Brown wins, 11-4

Round 4: Finals and 3rd-place Bracket

  • Finals – Adams vs. Ingram: Ingram wins, 11-8
  • 3rd – BlackJack vs. Phan: Phan wins, 11-7

Round 4: 7th- and 9th-place Bracket

  • 7th – Jennings vs. Manz: Manz wins, 11-10
  • 9th – Bales vs. Blumstein: Blumstein wins, 11-10

RPS Final Individual Standings (Days 1 & 2 in Parentheses)

  • 1st: Phan (2, 3)
  • 2nd: Lo Duca (3, 6)
  • 3rd: Blumstein (1, 9)
  • 4th: Adams (9, 2)
  • 5th/6th: Blackjack (8, 4)
  • 5th/6th: Levitan (7, 5)
  • 7th/8th: Jennings (5, 8)
  • 7th/8th: Ingram (12, 1)
  • 9th: Bales (6, 10)
  • 10th: Koerner (4, 12)
  • 11th: Manz (11, 7)
  • 12th: Brown (10, 11)

RPS Final Team Standings (Days 1 & 2 in Parentheses)

  • 1st: Team Jennings (2, 2)
  • 2nd: Team Levitan (3, 1)
  • 3rd: Team Bales (1, 3)

5:30 p.m. PT: Blackjack

  • $1,000 to start, can bet any amount each hand
  • Standings based on staying in (first person to bust is last)
  • If still in after one hour, rankings based on total money won/lost
  • Final standings based on profit/loss after two days

The outcome of this two-day event is determined in the second half of Day 2.

Blackjack Final Individual Standings (Days 1 & 2 in Parentheses)

  • 1st/2nd: Brown (1, 5)
  • 1st/2nd: Bales (2, 4)
  • 3rd: Manz (7, 2.5)
  • 4th: Blumstein (10, 1)
  • 5th: Levitan (5, 6.5)
  • 6th: Koerner (6, 6.5)
  • 7th: Lo Duca (4, 9)
  • 8th: Phan (11.5, 2.5)
  • 9th: Ingram (3, 12)
  • 10th: Jennings (8, 8)
  • 11th: BlackJack (9, 10)
  • 12th: Adams (11.5, 11)

Blackjack Final Team Standings (Days 1 & 2 in Parentheses)

  • 1st: Bales (1, 1)
  • 2nd: Levitan (2, 2)
  • 3rd: Jennings (3, 3)

6 p.m. PT: Crypto Portfolio

  • Must select a minimum of three coins on Binance
  • Equal-weighted portfolio
  • Use price on Binance as of 10 a.m. Monday as open and 6 p.m. Tuesday as close
  • Cannot change portfolio
  • Final standings based on profit/loss

The outcome of this two-day event is determined in the second half of Day 2.

Crypto Portfolio Final Individual Standings

  • 1st: Jennings
  • 2nd: Manz
  • 3rd: Koerner
  • 4th: Ingram
  • 5th: Bales
  • 6th: Levitan
  • 7th: Adams
  • 8th: BlackJack
  • 9th: Brown
  • 10th: Blumstein
  • 11th: Phan
  • 12th: Lo Duca

Crypto Portfolio Final Team Standings

  • 1st: Team Levitan
  • 2nd: Team Bales
  • 3rd: Team Jennings

6:45 p.m. PT: Poker

  • No-Limit Hold ‘Em tournaments on Monday and Tuesday
  • Two six-handed tables until six remain, then one table
  • Final standings based on average finish after two days

The outcome of this two-day event is determined in the second half of Day 2.

Poker Final Individual Standings (Days 1 & 2 in Parentheses)

  • 1st: Adams (2, 1)
  • 2nd: Lo Duca (6, 2)
  • 3rd/4th: Bales (4, 6)
  • 3rd/4th: Manz (5, 5)
  • 5th/6th: Blumstein (1, 10)
  • 5th/6th: Phan (3, 8)
  • 7th: Jennings (10, 3)
  • 8th: Brown (11, 4)
  • 9th: Koerner (8.5, 7)
  • 10th: BlackJack (7, 11)
  • 11th: Levitan (8.5, 12)
  • 12th: Ingram (12, 9)

Poker Final Team Standings (Days 1 & 2 in Parentheses)

  • 1st: Team Jennings (2, 1)
  • 2nd: Team Bales (1, 2)
  • 3rd: Team Levitan (3, 3)

9 p.m. PT: Beer Pong

  • Bracket style; matchups chosen at random
  • Top two most dominant wins based on cups remaining get bye (tiebreaker for bye is time to win)
  • Rankings for losers based on total cups made
  • Tiebreaker for losers is one-cup throw-off

Round 1

  • Lo Duca vs. Bales: Bales wins, 6-5
  • Adams vs. Ingram: Ingram wins, 6-5
  • Brown vs. Jennings: Jennings wins 6-3
  • Phan vs. Levitan: Phan wins, 6-3
  • BlackJack vs. Manz: Manz wins 6-0
  • Blumstein vs. Koerner: Koerner wins, 6-2

Round 2: Winners Bracket

Manz and Koerner have byes.

  • Ingram vs. Phan: Phan wins
  • Jennings vs. Bales: Jennings wins

Round 2: Losers Bracket

Brown and Levitan have byes.

  • Lo Duca vs. BlackJack: Lo Duca wins
  • Adams vs. Blumstein: Blumstein wins

Round 3: Winners Bracket

  • Manz vs. Phan:  Phan wins
  • Koerner vs. Jennings: Jennings wins

Round 3: Losers Bracket

  • Brown vs. Blumstein:  Brown wins
  • Levitan vs. Lo Duca: Levitan wins

Round 3: 5th- and 11th-place Bracket

  • 5th – Ingram vs. Bales: Bales wins
  • 11th – BlackJack vs. Adams: Tie

Round 4: Finals and 3rd-place Bracket

  • Finals – Phan vs. Jennings: Jennings wins
  • 3rd – Manz vs. Koerner: Manz wins

Round 4: 7th- and 9th-place Bracket

  • 7th – Levitan vs. Brown: Brown wins
  • 9th – Blumstein vs. Lo Duca: Blumstein wins

Beer Pong Final Individual Standings

  • 1st: Jennings
  • 2nd: Phan
  • 3rd: Manz
  • 4th: Koerner
  • 5th: Bales
  • 6th: Ingram
  • 7th: Brown
  • 8th: Levitan
  • 9th: Blumstein
  • 10th: Lo Duca
  • 11th/12th: BlackJack
  • 11th/12th: Adams

Beer Pong Final Team Standings

  • 1st: Team Levitan
  • 2nd: Team Bales
  • 3rd: Team Jennings

10 p.m. PT: Standings Prediction

  • Predict the final standings, first through 12th, by Monday morning
  • Points are awarded for inaccuracy (if a guess is 12th and the person wins, that is 11 points)
  • Fewest points wins
  • Tiebreaker is best guess on winner

The outcome of this two-day event is determined at the end of Day 2.

Standings Prediction Final Individual Standings

  • 1st/2nd: Phan
  • 1st/2nd: Levitan
  • 3rd: Manz
  • 4th/5th: Ingram
  • 4th/5th: Koerner
  • 6th: Jennings
  • 7th-9th: Adams
  • 7th-9th: Bales
  • 7th-9th: Brown
  • 10th: Lo Duca
  • 11th: BlackJack
  • 12th: Blumstein

Standings Prediction Final Team Standings

  • 1st:Team Levitan
  • 2nd: Team Bales
  • 3rd: Team Jennings

Side Action

  • Bales vs. Adams: $6,000 on Day 2 performance, $1,000 head-to-head best-of-seven Rock-Paper-Scissors rematch. Adams wins $2,100 on Yahtzee, and Jennings wins $4,000 by backing him in side bets. Ultimately, Adams nets $2,300.
  • Scott the Intern vs. BlackJack: $1,120 beer-chugging contest. Bales ($500), Jennings ($200), Manz ($100), Matthew Freedman ($100) and Scott himself ($100) put money on him to win and are rewarded with $1,140.

Freedman’s Recaps

In the days leading up to the Main Event, several participants competed in a series of bets. You can read about these preliminary props in Matthew Freedman’s Gambling Olympics journals.

Follow Matthew Freedman on Twitter
@MattFtheOracle

Top Stories

THE ACTION NETWORK

Sign up for The Action Network free daily newsletter

The best sports betting trends, insights and news - condensed into a two-minute read.
Sign up today, thank us tomorrow.
Follow Us: @ActionNetworkHQ
Download the App