We’ve had some great family time with recent trips to San Francisco and Hawaii to escape the Vegas summer heat, but it’s great being back in the Tuley’s Takes home office doing what we do.
I feel refreshed after being able to commune with nature. Hey, when you spend 99% of your days in an air-conditioned house in Las Vegas, even walking the streets of San Francisco is considered a hike, and we did tons of outdoor activities in Hawaii, plus relaxed on the beach and contemplated the meaning of life as the waves crashed on the shore. My most strenuous exercise was during a surfing lesson on Waikiki Beach. Our instructor told us we’d be exhausted from paddling our surfboard after 30 minutes, but I was struggling after about 10. However, I’m proud to say I was able to get my aging body to stand up on the board and actually rode a wave (sorry, no photo or video evidence). Honestly, I don’t know if I went 100 feet or 50 feet or 10, but I had the thrill of surfing and called it a day as I dragged my board to our instructor’s canoe and collapsed under a palm tree. At least that was one thing to check off my bucket list.
Tuley’s Takes on MLB
Even though I was on vacation, I continued to do my nightly betting recaps on Twitter @ViewFromVegas, tracking my MLB betting stats as we headed toward the All-Star break.
In my “Tuley’s Takes Today” column (the daily version of this column that has also been on hiatus but resumed Monday) at VSiN.com, I’ve written many times how it’s been a rough first half of the season for underdog bettors. Historically, favorites win at about 59% of the time, but they were closer to 61-62% for a good part of the spring and early summer. Of course, as luck would have it, dogs were barking a little more than usual the past two weeks as faves went just 111-80 (58%) with six games closing pick’em. So, dogs cut into the overall lead, but there were still some days when faves totally dominated, such as last Wednesday when they went 12-4 and Saturday when they went 14-2.
Thanks to friends/partners, I was able to get down on some MLB dogs in recent weeks. Even though I wasn’t posting any daily sports picks, I did continue my “Team Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” column on Saturdays and had a $74.40 winner with Key Biscayne at Delaware Park two Saturdays ago, and I also had a $9.40 place horse this past Saturday, though my other pick scratched.
Back to baseball. Through Sunday’s games, I have MLB faves at 816-544 (60%) with 23 games graded as closing at pick’em, so you might see slightly different stats out there as there were also many games I graded as having a favorite that others might have called a pick. Regardless, we’re right around 60% for chalk, which means dogs are hitting just 40% (meaning you pretty much need to be averaging 125 to break even). At least the dogs’ recent run gives hope coming out of the All-Star break, and hopefully we’ll be seeing higher prices available as the betting market starts seeing more of a gap between the haves and have-nots.
Home teams, which typically hit around 54% in baseball, are 720-663 at the break (52.1%), as we continue to see home-field advantage having less and less of an impact across all sports.
In totals wagering, Unders lead 686-631-64 (52.1%), which is way down from the 60% they were hitting at through the first three weeks of the season. Overs definitely picked up the pace since then with the warmer weather and the books have pretty much leveled the playing field in that regard. For those curious, there are two fewer games in the Over/Under record because there were two games that were called official short of nine innings, so the totals were “no action.”
Tuley’s Takes on poker
A lot of my longtime readers originally found me because of my coverage of the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) when I was with the Daily Racing Form through the first 15 years of the tournament (2000-14), or from my coverage of the NFL handicapping contests here in Las Vegas during that same time and then at ESPN and now here at VSiN.
But I also covered every World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final table from 1999 until the pandemic, so it has a place in my heart. I have fond memories of covering the action back at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Vegas, including being on the rail in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker won the title and kicked off the poker boom. It was then moved to the Rio from 2005 through 2021 and this year was held for the first time on the Strip at Bally’s, which will be rebranded to Horseshoe Las Vegas by the end of the year.
The first Main Event champ at the new location was Espen Jorstad of Norway as he outlasted a field of 8,662 (second-largest in Main Event history) who put up the $10,000 entry fee to win the $10 million first-place prize and coveted gold bracelet. The final table had an international flavor with just two players from the United States, two from the United Kingdom and one apiece from Norway, Australia, Argentina, Croatia and Canada. Adrian Attenborough of Australia won $6 million for second and Michael Duek of Argentina took home $4 million for third.
In a much smaller achievement, I cashed for $1,367.52 in the No-Limit Hold’em Lucky 7s online event on Saturday, my first time cashing in an official WSOP bracelet event, so I can also check that off my bucket list.
Tuley’s Takes on football contests
Of course, anyone who knows me knows that my real bucket list would include winning a major football contest (I’ve cashed several times in smaller Vegas contests for $10,000 and $5,000 but am still seeking a major title), plus also winning the NHC (trying to qualify for second time this year) and a WSOP bracelet (longest shot of them all).
The quest for the football title continues this fall. Check out my early Point Spread Weekly columns on the Circa Sports Million and Circa Survivor, plus the Westgate SuperContests and the Ultimate Football Challenge at the Golden Nugget.
In addition, William Hill opened its College Pick’em on Saturday. It costs $1,000 to enter with a maximum of five entries per person. They didn’t make their $1 million guarantee last year, so this year’s guarantee has been lowered to $500,000. Players make eight college football picks a week against the contest spread on Saturday games only and the contest runs for 10 weeks starting Sept. 10, the same weekend of the NFL openers.
I look forward to seeing many readers at the signup windows (note for the uninitiated: Nevada contest players must sign up in person to register and pay for their entries but can use a local proxy to submit plays each week).