- Matt Brown is one of the participants in the inaugural Gambling Olympics.
- He’s one of the most balanced competitors in the field, having held jobs in the poker, DFS and sports-betting industries.
- Despite his experience, he enters the event as a +900 underdog.
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.
What Can Brown Do for You?
Matt Brown is truly one of the most balanced competitors in the entire field. He has held jobs in poker, DFS and sports betting and is the host of “TheLines” podcast. As a current Vegas resident, he also is likely to have experience with games of chance.
Brown was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us heading into the inaugural Gambling Olympics.
Q: How did you first get involved with gambling?
Brown: I’ve been gambling pretty much as soon as it was available to me on the internet, but I really got into poker and sports betting while in college. I’ve always been a competitive dude, so playing poker allowed me to compete against others on a daily basis. Along the way, I was introduced to sports betting as many of the early poker sites had sportsbooks attached. Ahhh, the good old days. I now live in Vegas and continue to do much of the same stuff but in a legal and less ‘please don’t run off with my money’ type of way.
Q: What qualifies you to participate in this prestigious tournament?
Brown: Having held jobs in poker, DFS and sports gambling, I’m one of the most well-rounded bettors in the contest. We’ve got participants that have won millions on the biggest stages of poker and DFS, but . . . I forget the point I was going to make. Just know that I’m a force to be reckoned with in this thing.
Q: What is your proudest “degen” moment?
Brown: Back when we were young and pretty poor, my friends and I took a trip to Vegas and ended up at the old O’Shea’s late one night. We went to the only craps table in the place ($5 minimum) and bought in for $200 each, which at the time was a lot of cash to us. We went on one of the most epic streaks at a craps table imaginable. Stuff you’d see in a movie. They came over and raised the limit to $10. Then $25. Then $50. It didn’t matter. We kept winning. All of us. At about 4 a.m., we all had several thousand dollars in front of us and were betting several hundred every roll. Hit. Hit. Hit. Finally, at close to 5 a.m., they came over and shut the table down. While it wasn’t close to the most amount of money I’ve ever won, it was by far the proudest I’ve ever been in a gambling endeavor.
Q: What do you feel will be your strongest and weakest events?
Brown: Strongest event will be Acey-Deucey. I’ve always had a knack for guessing whether the next card off the deck will be in between the two cards facing up on the table. It’s a gift. My weakest will be Yahtzee. Ever since my epic run at O’Shea’s oh-so-many years ago, all dice have turned against me. They know how much I embarrassed their brethren back in the day, and now they’re making me pay for my transgressions.
Q: How many hours of prep are you putting into this?
Brown: I’m going to focus on a few of the true skill contests — Lodden Thinks, Rock-Paper-Scissors, Standings Prediction, etc. — and really put in the hours. The other stuff will just come naturally at game time.
Q: Who do you think is the favorite to win?
Brown: While everyone should say themselves, I’ll bypass the obvious choice and go with our team captain Jon Bales. Apparently, he possesses the quickness of a baby cheetah. The brains of Doogie Howser. The charisma of Zack Morris. The rugged good looks of Jon Snow. The cunning of Milton’s Satan. All packed into a little muscular body. If there’s anyone to take me down, it’s likely the guy who had an article written about him in Success Magazine and posed for the photo below without one iota of shame:
Q: Who is your pick to finish dead last?
Brown: Brandon Adams. Can the guy really be good at everything in life? Can we not find a weakness in this man’s arsenal? Can the endless flow of run good slow down for just two days? I’m calling it. You heard it here first. The guy who’s winning poker high-rollers and big-entry DFS tournaments on the regular is going down. I’m sure he’ll leave the Gambling Olympics and win an Aria high-roller the next day, but for the two days of this event . . . ice cold.
Brown is getting little love, which could make him a contrarian option, especially in some of the individual events. He’s a +1000 underdog in DFS despite his experience in the industry, which probably makes him a longshot value.
Acey-Deucey could be the wild card. One sportsbook is pricing it as an event driven largely by luck — after two favorites, the remaining 10 participants all have the same odds to win — but Brown lists it as his biggest strength. The majority of his competitors also have very little experience playing it. Some of them literally don’t even know what it is. Brown could provide some value in this event at +600.
How Brown wins: He uses his experience in poker, DFS and sports betting to put together top-three finishes in each event. He also takes first in Acey-Deucey due to his innate card-guessing ability, and the dice finally forgive him, which leads to a win in Yahtzee. That’s enough for Brown to win the event, which he celebrates with another legendary run at the O’Shea’s craps table.
How Brown loses: He finds no mercy from the dice, and the cards also treat him unkindly, resulting in bottom-three finishes in Yahtzee, Acey-Deucey, Blackjack and Poker. His above-average performances in other events are not enough to elevate him above the middle of the pack. On the plus side, after the Gambling Olympics the dice finally consider his debt repaid.