- Adam Levitan is one of the participants in the inaugural Gambling Olympics.
- He doesn’t consider himself a degenerate even though he once drove to another state to set daily fantasy WNBA lineups.
- Levitan is an accomplished DFS pro and poker player, but don’t expect him to do much in beer pong.
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.
Adam Levitan likely needs no introduction, at least for anyone who has played daily fantasy sports. He’s one of the most popular football analysts in the business, contributing to The Action Network, DraftKings and “The Daily Fantasy Edge” podcast. He’s amassed more than $213,000 in live poker earnings (per Hendon Mob) and regularly engages in side bets with fellow “Three Donkeys” co-hosts Jonathan Bales and Peter Jennings. Perhaps most famously he is the father to Gerri, “the most beautiful beast in the world.”
Levitan was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us heading into the Gambling Olympics.
Q: How did you first get involved with gambling?
Levitan: My grandfather on my mother’s side was named Louis Buchalter and was from New York. Everyone called him “Bookie.” My mom insists that we are not at all related to the infamous Lepke Buchalter, who was the head of Murder, Inc. during the 1930s and executed by electric chair in the ’40s. However, I believe she is lying, and gambling has been in my blood since birth.
Q: What qualifies you to participate in this prestigious tournament?
Levitan: For some reason, a lot of men between the ages of 16 and 35 who have very little sex connect with me. Therefore, they’ll want to watch me compete in this tournament. It’s all about #interactions.
Q: What is your proudest “degen” moment?
Levitan: I’ve done a lot of funny things, but I wouldn’t consider any of them degen. They were all done because I thought they were +EV situations. I’ve played tennis against a man with a frying pan.
I’ve driven from Las Vegas to California to put in WNBA DFS lineups. I’ve tracked the location tendencies of a poker player to try to project where/when he’ll be playing.
Q: What do you feel will be your strongest & weakest events?
Levitan: Strongest? Connect Four. We’ve been running sims. Weakest? Beer pong. Do I look like a meathead?
Q: How many hours of prep are you putting into this?
Levitan: Lot of time in the lab on Connect Four and Yahtzee. Unquantifiable hours.
Q: Who do you think is the favorite to win?
Levitan: Bales, because he handpicked the events and tailored them to his strengths.
Q: Who is your pick to finish dead last?
Levitan: Paul Lo Duca. He’s already #HowRich. It’ll be tough for him to find the motivation for this.
Levitan is being characteristically humble, but he should be considered one of the favorites in this tournament. He has experience in virtually all of the events — his one glaring weakness being beer pong — and his regular interactions with Bales and Jennings give him insight into their mind-sets, which should help with Lodden Thinks, Rock-Paper-Scissors, Connect Four and maybe a few other games.
He’s also preparing for some of the events that seem to be the most wide open, namely Connect Four and Yahtzee, which could give him an outsized edge relative to the one he might have if he focused more on other events. I also expect him to be competitive in games such as Acey-Deucey and Blackjack with his analytical approach. Poker is the X-factor. He’s an accomplished player, but he’ll be going up a weight class in facing guys such as Scott Blumstein and Brandon Adams. If he puts in a good showing on the felt, he has the potential to win.
How Levitan wins: He puts together top-three finishes in poker, DFS and sports betting, specifically taking advantage of a four-game WNBA slate on Day 2 of the contest. His work in the lab also pays off with top-half finishes in Connect Four and Yahtzee, and his ability to analyze games and opponents leads to success in Blackjack, Lodden Thinks, Acey-Deucey and the Standings Prediction. He manages to avoid last place in beer pong, which is enough to put him over the top in the aggregate standings.
How Levitan loses: He proves to be overmatched at the poker table and has an off night in women’s hoops. The long trip could also play a factor: In the preliminary events, Levitan is slated to compete in the Broathalon as well as play tennis against Adams and probably racquetball with Bales and Jennings. All that competition could wear down Gerri’s dad before the Gambling Olympics even starts.