2018 Gambling Olympics: Levitan is the Rock-Paper-Scissors Value Bet

2018 Gambling Olympics: Levitan is the Rock-Paper-Scissors Value Bet article feature image


  • Rock-Paper-Scissors is one of 12 events in the inaugural Gambling Olympics.
  • The 12 contestants will compete in best-of-21 head-to-head matchups in a bracket-style tournament.
  • Bales and BlackJack are the favorites, but Levitan and the poker pros hold value.

The 2018 Gambling Olympics is a two-day, 12-person contest taking place in Las Vegas on July 9-10. The buy-in is $2,500, and the winner gets $10,000.

Before, during and after the Gambling Olympics, we will provide extensive coverage via participant profiles, event breakdowns and live in-person analysis. Be sure to follow all the action in the Gambling Olympics section of the site.

Official Rules

  • 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

Individual Odds

Team Odds

Who Wins Rock-Paper-Scissors?

The overwhelming individual favorite is Bales, who has pronounced it as the most important event of the tournament.

My top event – and the most important by far – is rock-paper-scissors. I'm the favorite at +175, followed by @BlackjackFletch (+300) and @paulloduca16 (+500). pic.twitter.com/sgZOda1AQ1

— Jonathan Bales (@BalesFootball) June 27, 2018

Bales unironically dubbed himself the LeBron James of Rock-Paper-Scissors shortly after the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals and has seemingly been preparing for this event for years.

9:30 to 10:00 am – Play rock-paper-scissors against a computer: http://t.co/pljyhGJoA9

— Jonathan Bales (@BalesFootball) June 17, 2015

Bales is so confident in his skills that he's taking Rock-Paper-Scissors side action.

If Bales cares enough about the game to talk about it on Twitter, he's probably good. It's true that Brown has publicly maintained that Rock-Paper-Scissors is the world's biggest sport since at least 2013, but he hasn't claimed any expertise.

@jeremybotter Right next to rock, paper, scissors

— Matt Brown (@MattBrownM2) September 7, 2013

Rock-paper-scissors has also popped up in Koerner's mentions, but what are the odds he can win a bracket-style tournament if he can't even defeat his regular opponent?

I'm going all in on the @The_Oddsmaker… but we all know who wins rock, paper, scissors in this house.. pic.twitter.com/skH7XUUzg3

— Samantha (@mrs_oddsmaker) June 28, 2018

Who is going to challenge Bales? Adams is a sharp gambler, but he claims that he's just a middle-of-the pack player in this event. Perhaps a challenge could come from Blumstein and BlackJack, both of whom say they've been putting in hours of practice.

Where’s the Value?

Even though Bales has years of practice from dueling the New York Times robot, his +175 odds are egregiously high considering the randomness of the event and the intelligence of the field. The same goes for BlackJack at +300, Lo Duca at +500 and Manz at +600. Their odds are simply too high.

The intriguing pick is Levitan at +1000. He's undoubtedly played his fair share of Rock-Paper-Scissors over the years with fellow donkeys Bales and Jennings, and he describes his game as "white hot" coming into the competition. Levitan has seemingly been fixated on the sport since 2013, when Rock-Paper-Scissors impacted the game of fantasy football.

Here's a link to the video of the much-discussed Hillman v Ball v Moreno Rock-Paper-Scissors game: http://t.co/oexCkSRVA3

— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 25, 2013

Scared money don't make money. While Bales is the likeliest participant to win the event, the value lies with Levitan, who is one of the event's most-experienced individuals. A small hedge on the chalk at the team level might be the sharp move.

Individual Pick: Levitan +1000
Team Pick: Team Bales +100

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