Circa Sports Million, Survivor shatter Vegas football contest records

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

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Records continued to fall at Circa Sports as registration closed for this year’s pro football handicapping contests on Saturday.

Circa Survivor, a “last-man-standing-type” contest where you pick one NFL team a week to win straight-up but can only use a team once during the whole season, drew a whopping 6,133 entries to shatter the record for a high-end football contest that was set last year by Circa Sports Million III with 4,087.

The $6,133,000 prize pool – which exceeded the $6 million guarantee by Circa owner Derek Stevens and thus doesn’t officially have an overlay – also set a record and will be split by any contestant(s) that can go 20-0 during the 18-week NFL season (in a unique twist, Circa Survivor also has extra Thanksgiving and Christmas “weeks” added to the schedule to raise the degree of difficulty).

Circa Sports Million IV drew 4,691 entries, also at $1,000 apiece, of course setting another record for a traditional Vegas handicapping contest (players pick 5 NFL games a week against a contest spread for the 18 weeks of the season).

At $1,000 per entry, the CSM pool would be $4,691,000, but Circa owner Derek Stevens had also guaranteed a $6 million prize fund for this contest, so players will have an overlay of $1,309,000 provided by Circa. Last year, Stevens paid out $1.92 million for the overlay in Survivor when it drew 4,080 entries to fall short of the $6 million guarantee.

Actually, the overlay in this contest is a little higher (and Survivor also technically has a small overlay) as Stevens went on “The Contest Show” on VSiN around 5:45 p.m. PT Saturday to say there had been a tech issue with the deadline to submit picks causing a handful of contestants to get locked out. Circa VP Mike Palm later said the issue was the system locked out people 5 minutes early at 3:55 p.m. PT when the deadline was 4 p,m. Stevens said he was refunding those players’ entry fees, but stressed that the money will stay in the prize pool to be fair to the other contestants.

The affected Survivor players are eliminated while the Circa Sports Million contestants can keep playing for quarterly prizes or season-long prizes if they’re good enough to overcome the 0-5 start, Palm said.

Here are the Top 5 consensus plays for Week 1, with the MInnesota Vikings + 1.5 at home vs. the Green Bay Packers being the top choice.

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Circa Sports Million Top 5 Consensus

Vikings + 1.5.(chosen by 1,622)

Ravens –7 (1,363)

Eagles –4 (1,277)

Steelers + 6.5 (1,274)

Broncos –6.5 (1,081)

For the full list of consensus plays, go to VSiN’s dedicated CIrca Contest Page HERE (we’ll also have leader plays from the Top 25 players once a leaderboard develops).

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