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Vegas wins 2nd largest Super Bowl handle; Hellmuth and pothead not so lucky

TAGs: football, Nevada gaming control board, Super Bowl XLVI

super-bowl-nevada-sportsbooksSuper Bowl XLVI generated the second largest handle in Nevada sportsbook history, with total wagers coming in at $93.9m. The 184 legal Nevada sportsbooks kept $5.06m of that sum, a 5.4% win percentage, according to figures released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. It’s a substantial boost over the 0.83% win percentage recorded last year (when handle was $87.5m). Vegas books have turned a profit on all but one of the last 17 Super Bowls, the exception being the $2.57m loss in 2008 (the first Giants/Pats matchup). The handle record remains the $94.5m wagered in 2006 on the pre-recession Steelers/Seahawks tilt.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal quoted MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jay Rood as saying his handle was up 10%. “There was room for more, but I’m not going to be greedy.” Cantor Gaming sportsbook director Mike Colbert said his outfit was “a small winner” on the day, despite (or perhaps because of) Cantor accepting several high-roller wagers, including two $500k bets and one for a cool million. Cantor volunteered no info on how those individual bets turned out.

Jona Rechnitz, the New York realtor who wagered $1k at 50:1 odds that the first points of the game would be a safety, has told TMZ.com that he intends to donate his windfall to charity. Despite being a Giants fan, Rechnitz intends to donate $5k to a charity of Pats QB Tom Brady’s choosing, and the Giants defensive behemoths that provoked Brady’s brain-dead Hail Mary to an empty midfield will also be asked to pick a charity to receive a $5k donation. The rest, after taxes, will go to charities of Rechnitz’s choosing.

But, enough about the winners… Like Sinatra sang, here’s to the losers. A few days before the game, former NBA great and current TNT commentator Charles Barkley told Philadelphia radio station 97.5FM that he intended to wager $100k on the Pats. Poker icon Phil Hellmuth tweeted that he lost eight out of eight wagers on the day, resulting in a single game “personal record” loss of $21k. Former light heavyweight boxing champion Jean Pascal had to turn over the keys to his Mercedes Benz to a friend with whom he’d wagered. However, the wager was only for a month’s use of the Benz, so Pascal will likely spend the next 30 days praying that the winning bettor doesn’t smack the loaned vehicle into a stationary object.

That above scenario was the fate of Ronny Saleh, who won $2k betting on the game, but crashed his mom’s SUV in the Holland Tunnel on his way home to Jersey from Manhattan. According to the New York Post, when asked to explain the cash by police investigating the accident, Saleh admitted it was his football winnings. As for the 12 pounds of pot the cops found inside the SUV, Saleh was, uh, less forthcoming. Twelve pounds of pot would definitely make one ‘super bowl’, if you could find a pipe that big…

Anyway, on to next year. The MGM Grand sportsbook has the Pats at 5:1 faves to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2013, followed by the Packers at 11:2, then the Steelers and Eagles at 6:1, this year’s champs at 8:1 and the Saints and 49ers at 10:1. If long shots are your thing, take the Browns at 75:1, the Bucs at 100:1, the Redskins at 125:1 and the Jaguars at 150:1. See ya in 12 months!

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