2018 Gambling Olympics: Team Bales Is the Upside Bet
- The inaugural Gambling Olympics takes place in Las Vegas on July 9-10.
- The event features 12 of the gambling world’s biggest names competing as individuals and teams in 12 separate events.
- Team Bales features Jonathan Bales, Scott Blumstein, Matt Brown and Sean Koerner.
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.
Team Bales enters the Main Event with middle-of-the-pack +160 odds, trailing Team Jennings (+125) but ahead of Team Levitan (+200). Considering the team’s namesake, it’s unsurprising that this unit arguably has the highest ceiling but also maybe the lowest floor in the tournament.
- Jonathan Bales: FantasyLabs Co-Founder
- Scott Blumstein: 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion
- Matt Brown: Media Producer & Sports Speculator
- Sean Koerner: Action Network Director of Predictive Analytics
- +160 to win Gambling Olympics
- +100 to win Rock-Paper-Scissors
- +125 to win Beer Pong
- +150 to win Connect Four
- +200 to win Acey-Deucey
- +185 to win DFS
- +140 to win Sports Betting
- +125 to win Crypto Portfolio
- +250 to win Poker
- +150 to win Standings Prediction
- +175 to win Blackjack
- +150 to win Yahtzee
- +150 to win Lodden Thinks
Even though Bales and Koerner are two of the Main Event favorites, Team Bales is the lone favorite in just two events (Rock-Paper-Scissors and Beer Pong) and has the longest odds (singly or jointly) in eight events.
Bales: He handpicked many of these events, so it’s hard not to see him as a legitimate threat to the individual title (+500), especially since his Rock-Paper-Scissors skills are prodigious (+175). His DFS and crypto knowledge should give him a significant edge in those events (+375, +500).
Blumstein: As the 2017 WSOP Main Event champ, he is understandably the favorite (+300) for the poker event, although he’s not expected to get much support from his teammates on the felt (Bales +800, Brown +800, Koerner +600). If Blumstein can win his specialty skill-based event and hold his own outside his area of expertise, that will be big for the team considering his underdog status (+900).
Brown: He’s not favored in any given event or the tournament overall (+900), but he could post a top-three overall finish with his breadth of experience. Without a glaring weakness, Brown could be a consistent and stabilizing force for the team.
Koerner: The Oddsmaker’s modesty is oddly terrifying, especially coming from the No. 1 in-season FantasyPros NFL ranker for each of the past three years. His analytical approach, gambling background and undercover WNBA DFS knowledge give him top-three upside in a majority of the events. His worst events are likely to be Crypto Portfolio (+1200) and Poker (+600), but at least Bales and Blumstein should be able to give the team some coverage in those events. Koerner is a competitor and proven winner with the potential to win the entire contest (+500). He was reportedly an epic Beer Pong player in college (+400).
All the hype surrounding Team Jennings may allow Team Bales to fly under the radar, exactly where they could thrive. It’s tough to identify a clear weak link, but if Bales and Blumstein fail to come through in Crypto Portfolio and Poker, Team Bales could be in trouble.
How Team Bales wins: Bales runs pure in Crypto Portfolio and executes a unique strategy with KuCoin off the board while Koerner lands on a coin that pumps. Bales also takes first in Rock-Paper-Scissors, while Blumstein wins Poker and Brown gets top-three finishes in Poker, DFS and Sports Betting. Koerner puts the team on his back in the final event and wins Beer Pong, giving Team Bales a close victory over Team Jennings.
How Team Bales loses: Bales experiences an unexpected streak of subpar performances when his contrarian tendencies are sabotaged by short-term variance. Blumstein and Brown have respectable but unspectacular showings, but the team finishes third when Koerner is bested in the final round of Beer Pong by the legendary Pete Manzinelli.
The Pick: Crypto Portfolio +125