Rovell: Blues Fan Can Turn $400 into $100K If St. Louis Wins First Stanley Cup
Jeff Curry, USA Today Sports.
- The St. Louis Blues, who were in last place in the NHL on January 2nd, are four wins away from their first Stanley Cup Final victory ever.
- Darren Rovell spoke with two Blues fans who bet St. Louis at 250-1 back in January on the wild ride they have been on since placing the wager.
In January, Scott Berry found himself in Las Vegas on a business trip, pressed for time.
He usually plays the table games for a couple hundred bucks before making a bet on one of his sports teams, but he was so overworked that he felt like he could only make one bet.
So he headed over to the sportsbook at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. A big sports fan, but not a big bettor, Berry looked up at the board. His St. Louis Blues were 250-1 ($1 wins $250) to win the Stanley Cup.
The Blues, who have never won the Stanley Cup and are tied with the Maple Leafs for the longest championship drought in the NHL at 51 years, were not good at the time and were famously in last place in the entire NHL on Jan. 2. Still, 250-1 seemed a bit high, so Berry waltzed over to the nearby Bellagio to check the price on the Blues.
They were 150-1.
“So I sprinted back to the Paris and put down everything I had planned on spending on gambling — $400,” Berry said. “To win $100,000 sounded really good.”
On Jan. 23, things started to turn around. The Blues defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 5-1, that night and didn’t lose for practically a month — winning 11 in a row.
In fact, after the calendar turned, the Blues looked like a bonafide contender. Not only did their predictive stats start trending up, but they found a goaltender.
Jordan Binnington, a 25-year-old rookie on a two-way deal, made his first start on Jan. 7. He pitched a shutout in that game and never looked back. Binnington finished the regular season 24-5-1 with a .927 save percentage.
Binnington helped backstop the Blues to the No. 3 seed in the NHL’s Central Division, it was a remarkable turnaround, but the Blues were now thought to be a legitimate contender in the Western Conference.
They played like one in the first round, defeating the Winnipeg Jets in six games.
The Blues found things a little tougher in Round 2 against the Dallas Stars. St. Louis and Dallas were headed to Game 7 when the offer came in.
Did Berry want to take money off the table and accept $12,000 for the ticket from a client of bet slip market maker PropSwap?
Berry said he thought about it for 20 seconds and the decided to let it ride. He then bought tickets to Game 7 so he could watch it in person. If you thought the Blues’ 2-1 win in double-overtime was a white-knuckler, you should have seen Berry.
“The friend I was with said I got whiter and whiter as the game went on,” Berry said.
After the Blues took a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference Finals last Sunday, another offer came in via PropSwap — $24,000.
He didn’t take it, and St. Louis held off San Jose in seven games to reach its first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 1970, when they were coached by Scotty Bowman and captained by Al ‘Radar’ Arbour. That year, the Blues lost to Phil Esposito and the Boston Bruins in a sweep.
Nearly 50 years later, it’s those same Bruins who await the Blues with some series money on the line for Berry. And he’s not alone.
After Berry placed the bet, he told people on his Rec Hockey League group message that he got 250-1 on the Blues. Brendan Chapel was on the text. He happened to be in Vegas on a business trip, too. He went over to Paris and called his wife.
“She told me that I shouldn’t do it,” he said.
Chapel, admittedly after a few drinks, plunked down $200.
“She’s now the biggest bandwagon Blues fan,” he said.
Two friends, in Vegas at the right time, are now even closer, as they are linked together by their longshot bet.
A combined $600 to win $150,000 if the Blues can win their first-ever Stanley Cup.