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NFL Last Man Standing contest in Las Vegas sees friends cut $ 150,000 pot


In the movie “Let It Ride”, horse punter Jay Trotter, played by Richard Dreyfuss, answers an informal poll on the track, bets all his money on the one horse that was not mentioned and wins $ 69,000 .

Las Vegas resident Richard “Benny” Parsels – who, like Trotter, is a cab driver – used a similar strategy to split the $ 150,000 prize for winning Station Casinos’ pro Last Man Standing contest.

“When I’m in sports betting, and four or five people tell me they like the same team, I’ll take the other side or I won’t bet the game,” said Parsels, 67. “Even though I like the same side.”

Just call Parsels, Malcolm Weiss, John Grimm, and Cris Zeniuk the last men standing.

Parsels and Weiss, an environmental lawyer from Los Angeles, were the two official winners of the competition, raising $ 75,000 each for surviving a field of 6,241 entries.

But Parsels partnered with Grimm, a retired Las Vegas resident, and Weiss partnered with Zeniuk, a Las Vegas-based professional sports bettor.

When Parsels and Zeniuk learned through their mutual friend Grimm that they were the last two men to enter the contest after week 10, they quickly decided to cut the pot.

“It was amazing. It was so fluid, ”said Zeniuk. “We didn’t even have to talk to each other to know we were cutting this baby.”

In Last Man Standing, the starters pick an ATS game each week and are eliminated with a loss. Entries cost $ 25 each, with a maximum of five for $ 100.

Parsels and Weiss were each on their last entry in weeks when the field narrowed to six after Week 9. Parsels narrowly escaped in Week 10 with the Saints (+ 2½), who lost 23-21 to the Titans. Weiss easily advanced with the Patriots, who blew up the Browns 45-7.

“We were both stunned to be the only two alive,” Parsels said. “Cris called me and I went to his house in the taxi. He said to me, “Would you bet $ 150,000 on a game?” I said no!’ Let’s cut it out.

Chop it up

To ensure they would share the prize, Parsels and Weiss submitted the same picks together in Week 11, when they won against the Patriots, and Week 12, when they were knocked out in the Cowboys’ loss to the Raiders on Thanksgiving.

“There was no way to cover yourself because the other person is not guaranteed to lose,” Zeniuk said. “The only way you can cover yourself is the last week. I wouldn’t play against someone who doesn’t even know what heads-up football is (for $ 150,000). It’s silly because anyone can win.

Zeniuk and Parsels are essentially two-time LMS winners, although they have only won one each under their own name.

Zeniuk won the 2016 Collegiate LMS, and Parsels won the 2018 Collegiate LMS, with Grimm named the official winner.

“He did all the picking,” said Grimm, 70. “Benny is the most generous person you have ever met.”

Likewise, Weiss let Zeniuk have the final say on the choices.

“We put our heads together, but he does all the data analysis to make sure we put the right number,” said Weiss, 65.

Pay next

When the 2018 LMS was limited to Parsels and one other entry, Zeniuk found the other runner-up on social media and the two contenders landed the pot of $ 56,550.

“I’m trying to pay it forward and help other people,” Zeniuk (@lasvegascris) said. “When it comes to this point, it’s the only safe and practical thing to do. By doing this, they saved a lot of money that they might have lost trying to hedge.

Zeniuk, a contest ace who took second and fifth place in the Circa Million II competition (3,148 entries) last season for $ 244,444 in prize money, was able to hedge his bets in the final week of LMS 2016, which took paid $ 52,000.

He picked Minnesota + 14½ in the contest and bet on Wisconsin -13½.

“Minnesota ended up losing by 14, and we won the hurdle and the contest with a dead nut miracle midfielder,” he said.

Like Parsels, Zeniuk tries to avoid popular picks and value games on online moves.

“It is important to avoid games that everyone is going to participate in,” he said. “Just because the row has moved since Wednesday’s out time doesn’t mean you want to take that row value. Sometimes you take it, but you want to find a way not to take it.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at [email protected] To follow @ tdewey33 on Twitter.

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