Best 7 Online Sports Betting Sites 2020 - Top Sportsbooks

I wonder if any sports books in Vegas will be taking betting lines on MLR Matches this weekend?

I feel like I should make the most of Vegas and also be a degenerate gambler. Anybody hear anything?
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Why don’t sports books have betting lines for women’s sports?

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Jon Ralston on Twitter: "Yes, I set NV line at Hillary minus 5 points with @SteveKornacki this AM. I bet the sports books would be flooded w/Bernie $ if were legal."

Jon Ralston on Twitter: submitted by amycoco to SandersForPresident [link] [comments]

The Lifecycle of a Betting Line

The Lifecycle of a Betting Line

The purpose of this lesson is to describe in detail how a line is made and how it’s formed and altered until the game or event starts. I feel once you know this, it will then give you a sense of confidence and realize how fragile the line can be. All this information is factual and not based on any speculation or opinion that I or others may have. This is how at least a couple major offshore sports books create their lines.
A sports book often outsources their odds to someone much sharper and will pay for the lines. Once they get these lines they may tinker with them a little but they don’t just post them right away. They will first allow 3 or 4 different sharp bettors the opportunity to bet these lines. This all happens before the lines are posted and open to the public. These 3 or 4 bettors help the sports book figure out which lines are weak or which are strong. For example; if they all want to bet the same team on one of the games the sports book now knows that line needs to be moved. After the sports book moves the line the bettors will have another chance to bet them, if they still want to bet more on that same team the book knows they still have to move it. The lines will eventually get posted once the sharp bettors are done betting. The lines that don’t get any action are deemed strong and lines that get bet on both sides are deemed very strong.
After this the line is now posted for the public to start betting and although this is considered the opening line it has already been formed by very sharp bettors that had first whack at them. The sports book doesn’t really care which side the public is betting but rather only takes notice of what sharp or profitable bettors are betting on. At this stage the sports book needs to be very careful of how they move the line and by how much because they don’t want to open themselves up to being middled or fall victim to line manipulation. Of course if a key player is announced inactive they will need to adjust accordingly. I’ve talked about impact points within the market, these are specific times when an official injury report is released or maybe after the coaches press conference, really it’s any information that will affect the market as a whole. Sportsbooks need to try and be first to get this information and move the line accordingly. It’s important to know that the sports books obtain information just like we do, now they may be more vigilant as far as looking for the information but if you are looking just as hard and have good info sources you can find it and possibly capitalize on it before your book moves. Injury info is probably the most valuable and what causes most of the line moves.
So we have the oddsmakers putting their lines through various tests before even posting it as the opening line. Once it’s posted you then have the public masses betting using the information they have. All this molds the line almost to perfection. This is a reason why the final closing line is considered the sharpest possible line, especially Nowadays more than ever because of all the technology and readily available information. Bettors are running numbers through models and algorithms and in the end this creates an extremely sharp closing number.
So we know the closing line is sharp because it’s put through the various test stages of the market. If you are consistently beating that closing number (for example; you have team A at +4.5 and it closes at +4, you have beat the closing number) you are now highly likely to be a profitable bettor over the long term. It doesn't matter how you do it but by doing it you are giving yourself an enormous edge over the market. Betting the closing line doesn’t mean an automatic win of course but beating the closing line consistently over time will ultimately show a profit.
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Why are vigs so high on UFC props? What factors drive down vigs?

Little math-heavy, but here goes: You can compute the vig (percentage a book makes of the total wagers received, provided action on all sides is equal) by taking the total implied probability of all wagers combined (called the overround, because it's always higher than 100%) and running the following formula: (1- (1/overround)).
For example, on a typical bet like Wolves -4 -115, Blazers +4 -115, you have two wagers, each with an implied probability of 53.49%. The overround is thus 106.98%, and the vig per the formula above is 6.52%. Assuming the book takes equal action on both sides of $500,000, and the Wolves cover, the book pays out $434,800 to the Wolves bettors, pockets the $500,000 from the Blazers bettors, and keeps the $65,200 on the total wagers of $1M - 6.52%.
What got me confused was when I started digging into overrounds and vigs for events with more than 2 outcomes. Soccer bets have modest vigs- at writing, Dusseldorf/Paderborn shows odds of +155/+270/+155 draw. The total overround in this contest is 105.46% and the corresponding vig is 5.17%. But other events with 3+ outcomes have far gaudier vigs, to the point where I may not bet them ever again.
Here's the example I referenced in the top: UFC distance and finish bets for a fight tonight. Lines are from Bovada.
NASCIMENTO WINS IN RD 1 | 400 | 4.000 | 20.00% NASCIMENTO WINS IN RD 2 625 6.250 13.79% NASCIMENTO WINS IN RD 3 1100 11.000 8.33% NASCIMENTO WINS BY DECISION 350 3.500 22.22% TALE MAYES WINS IN RD 1 325 3.250 23.53% TALE MAYES WINS IN RD 2 575 5.750 14.81% TALE MAYES WINS IN RD 3 900 9.000 10.00% TALE MAYES WINS BY DECISION 525 5.250 16.00% DRAW 5000 50.000 1.96%
Total overround 130.65%
Vig 23.46%
What's going on here? It looks like the book takes 23 cents of every dollar wagered, assuming equal action.
I have two hypotheses as to why these lines carry such higher costs to the bettor:
Does anyone have any insight into why these bets are so much more expensive?
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Nevada Gaming approves wagering Overwatch League.

Nevada Gaming approves wagering Overwatch League. submitted by jonvon191 to OverwatchLeague [link] [comments]

Anyone have success with arbitrage betting?

I did a lot of matched betting, and was just curious to see if anyone in this sub had experience with arbbetting.
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I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part One

NOTE: Although I was originally planning on posting this whole review at once, I was about a third of the way through the book when I realized that I was already quickly approaching the full length of my previous posts. So, in the interest of making this a pleasant experience for us all, I'm sharing the first half now, and will follow up with the second half in a few days. And honestly, KKB's writing reminds me of Inception in that it's almost certainly hazardous to spend too much time immersed in any single sitting. So fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the ride!
-------
So, a lot of you guys have been asking about Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot! (wow, is this what it feels like to be an influencer?), and I am thrilled to report that my adventure through this book's 264 pages was even more confounding than I could have possibly anticipated. I have a feeling that I'll need every ounce of my strength if I want to have any shot at conveying to you all exactly how bonkers this purported self-help book is, so -- without further ado -- let's begin.
I Can Make You Hot!, subtitled The Supermodel Diet, has a fairly straightforward premise. Kelly, who "has done it all when it comes to nutrition and her body," will share her hard-earned wisdom with us, her humble readers. Or, as she says in her own words on the back cover:
In I Can Make You Hot! I'm going to clue you in to all the tricks I've learned from a variety of experts and that I now use to live my own life. I want you to be the best you -- happy, attractive, shapely, interested, interesting, and most of all, smokin' HOT!
The blurb promises that the experience of reading this book will be "like rooming with a supermodel and going on a diet together." Truly, only someone with Kelly Bensimon's tenuous grasp on reality would say this as if it were something exciting, rather than a scenario taken directly out of the third circle of hell.
But before we can truly learn what it means to be HOT!, we're treated to a foreword by none other than Russell Simmons. As he shares with us:
Kelly is a great mother and is constantly instilling strong principals [sic] in her daughters. In my opinion, that's the essence of being HOT. Kelly is smokin'.
And just like that, I Can Make You Hot! is knocked out of the running for First-Book-I've-Read-By-A-Bravolebrity-That-Is-Also-Free-From-Glaring-Typographical-Errors. Better luck next time, champ!
In case you were at all hesitant about Kelly's suitability for the job of helping the less fortunate among us reach their maximum potential, Russell clarifies:
Her beauty truly comes from within, and her clear internal compass and well-balanced lifestyle is what makes her an arbiter for what's hot. She has always had her own individual road map and is one of those people who beats to their own drum. Many are amazed by her leaps of faith and courage, which are products of her sustainable soul. And back to that energy! I used to think: If we could only package it. And now Kelly has!
I would kill to be a fly on the wall during a conversation between Russell Simmons and Kelly Bensimon. But all of these endorsements are making me impatient to dig into Kelly's advice, so I skim over the next few pages and arrive at the introduction: "What's HOT and What's Not." Almost immediately, Kelly reassures us that she was not always the gorgeous, talented socialite she is today -- "No. Let's just say that I was never one of those tiny, cute blonde girls who guys named their hamsters after." Excuse you what? I literally just walked away from my laptop to go talk to my boyfriend and make sure I'm not just ignorant of some otherwise well-known traditional male courtship ritual in which young men adopt rodents and christen them after the women they love. That doesn't seem to be the case, although please reach out if you can shed any additional light on this situation.
Reasonably enough, before we can learn how to be hot, we have to know what hot is. Fortunately, Kelly wastes no time in getting us up to speed:
When I was trying to come up with a title for this book, I kept asking myself how I would define what I love. "HOT" is the word that best describes what I love, and it's not a word I throw around lightly. "HOT" is attractive, unique, and first-rate -- never mediocre. Avril Lavigne made a video called "HOT." There are "HOT" issues of all my favorite magazines. Hotmail.com was given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service, and www.urbandictionary.com, whose definitions are created by their readers, defines "hot" as (among other things) attractive, the best, and someone who makes you wish you had a pause button when they walk by because you don't want that moment to end. (I want you to feel like that "someone.") Health, wellness, and fitness are always hot topics. "HOT" may be a buzzword but it's also how I describe the best there is and the best you can be. I've used the words "smokin' hot" for everything from a killer chicken wing red sauce to a coveted couture gown.
There is…a lot to unpack here. My leading hypothesis is that Kelly must have accidentally exposed her internal circuitry to water and started shorting out while writing this passage, causing her to string together a rambling parade of incoherent sentences with no relationship to one another, save a tangential association with the amorphous concept of hotness. Also, it's factually inaccurate. A cursory Google search reveals that Hotmail.com was not "given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service." Rather, the service's name was selected as a reference to the use of HTML to create webpages, as is more apparent from the original stylization, HoTMaiL. I know from her savvy allusion to "www.urbandictionary.com" that Kelly is capable of navigating the Internet, so I'm disappointed that she's made such a careless oversight within the first three pages of the book proper.
Kelly next takes us through a few scenes from her past to illustrate how she has come to understand the true meaning of "HOT." Here are just a few of the assorted pearls of wisdom that Kelly is gracious enough to share with us:
Is skinny hot? Naturally skinny is hot. Starving yourself in order to change your natural body type in order to get skinny is not hot.

For me, the ultimate HOT girl is the nineteenth-century Gibson girl.

…Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack and didn’t let it stop her from pursuing a sport she loves. She's smokin' HOT.

pregnancy is smokin' HOT
I'm distracted from my diligent note-taking by a line that truly makes me laugh out loud.
I don't want to pretend that I'm "just like you." To do that would be disingenuous, and you wouldn't believe me anyway. But I may be more like you than you think. My hair may be ready for Victoria's Secret, but my values are still Midwestern.
I appreciate the honesty! As I continue reading, I am pleased to learn that I am, in fact, already consuming this piece of literature in the appropriate way. As Kelly says:
I urge you to make notes as you go along, either in the book itself or, if writing in a book is anathema to you, in a little notebook to use as your own personal guide. Jotting down ideas as they pop into your head is the best way to process them and be sure that they don't leave again before you've had a chance to commit them to long-term memory. Then, if you've made a mistake, when you go back and see it there on paper, you'll remind yourself not to do it again. Or, as I like to say, you'll avoid getting bitten by the same food dog twice!
Bitten…by the same….food...dog? Never change, KKB. (As an aside, what's the oveunder on Kelly having even the slightest idea what the word 'anathema' means?) If I'm being totally honest, this book is making me feel a little superfluous. What more can I add when the source material is so impenetrable to begin with? How does one parse the unparseable? Newly humbled, I suppose I'll have to be content with just gaping in confusion alongside the rest of you. And now that I think about it, what better book to build me up from these insecurities and encourage me to be my best? In the words of Kelly herself:
After all, why wouldn't you want to be HOT? What's the alternative? Being "not so hot"?
The book is organized into seven chapters, one for each day of the week, focusing on seven distinct facets of hotness. We start our journey on "Monday: Make a List -- Plan and Prepare!" and are immediately blessed with another one of Kelly's philosophical ramblings:
To me, living well is the only option. What, after all, is the only alternative? Living badly? Who aspires to live badly? I want you to live well, and that's going to take some planning.
Eager to improve myself, I read on:
What are your goals for yourself? If you're going to make changes in your life, you need to have a plan, you need to prepare, and you need to take the time to get it right -- so that you don't wind up wasting your time. This is my plan, and from now on it's going to be yours. Monday is going to be the day you make a HOT plan and prepare for the rest of your week. Let's get started together!
I can't help but feel like this is one of those answers that beauty pageant contestants give when they don't actually know how to respond to a question. Or like a motivational speech written by a rudimentary AI. I can't quite articulate exactly what it is that makes Kelly's writing seem so utterly devoid of logical coherence, but it truly falls into the literary equivalent of the Uncanny Valley.
Reminding us that "this isn't just about budgeting your food; it's about budgeting your life," Kelly peppers us with even more helpful tips -- "You don't want to be that person who is snacking while you're shopping. That's not hot -- period." and shares a stream-of-consciousness-style list of "Staples I keep in my house." Which may possibly be some kind of freeform postmodern poetry. Judge for yourself.
Kelly advises the reader to "get out your calendar or PDA" to get a sense of your schedule. "Then use your PDA to find the closest well-stocked market and go there. Making life easy for yourself is what it's all about." Now is as good a time as any to clarify that this book was published in 2012. I'd be lying if I said reading so many consecutive Housewives memoirs hasn't made my grasp on sanity a bit shaky, but I am fairly positive that 2012 was not a banner year for the Personal Digital Assistant.
Kelly has taken the time to pluck out a few particularly incisive pearls of wisdom throughout the book to highlight as "Kelly's Cardinal Rules." I would love to help clarify exactly what this one means, but I'm afraid I'm utterly clueless. One thing I do know for certain, however, as the chapter comes to a close, is that "human contact is HOT; texting is not!"
The week continues with "Tuesday: A Little Ohm and a Little Oh Yeah! -- It's All About Balance." It is imperative that you work out, says Kelly, adding, "I've never met a smokin' hot couch potato and I bet you haven't either." Her personal exercise routine, as she shares, combines aerobics and yoga "because life is all about balance." As she quips, "I'm sure even Gandhi cracked a smile from time to time." A panel titled "HOT Tip" admonishes the reader: "Don't call it working out because exercise shouldn't be work!"
If you'd like to spend a morning in the style of Kelly Bensimon, it's as easy as eating "a couple of oranges" and drinking coffee -- "I love coffee; I would probably marry coffee if it proposed." She also lets us in on some of her secret, highly advanced workout routines designed to maximize your time in the gym and propel you towards your full potential. Such as the "Happy Twenty," in which you run for 18 minutes and then do 2 minutes of squats.
We get further instruction on the hottest ways to run on the following page, where a two-page spread advertises "a few of my HOT tips for having a fun run." To ensure that you're able to start your journey to HOT as quickly as possible, I've taken the liberty of transcribing one of her most valuable nuggets below:
Run in the street instead of on the sidewalk. I took a lot of flack for this when they filmed me on Season 2 of the Real Housewives of New York City. The thing is, I think that people walking down the street while texting are a lot more dangerous than a car. Drivers will go out of their way to avoid you (accidents are too much paperwork, and they really mess up a day), but strolling texters will walk right into you without even seeing you. You could also get smacked by a shopping bag, a stroller, or even an oversized purse. Sidewalks are really obstacle courses. Beware!
Kelly shares some standout tracks from her workout playlist ("It's much more fun exercising to music!"), including the perennial pump-up-the-jam classic, "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver. With no regard for thematic continuity or overarching structure, the next page is dominated by the header "Get Leggier Legs."
An April 10, 2009, article about me in Harper's Bazaar captioned one of the photos "She's got legs." I was born blessed with long lean legs, but I work very hard to keep them looking the way they do. I'm tall, but I could just as easily have long, large legs. And long and large is not hot. Unfortunately I can't give you my legs. But I can help you to be the best you can be.
Truly inspirational. I think.
We continue on with Kelly's advice for "how to avoid the 'freshman fifteen," accompanied by a list of what she refers to as "Kelly rules." These run the gamut from near-sinister
Get rid of any negative thoughts. Negative-town isn't Fun-town.
to nonsensical
For every cheeseburger and fries, you owe me 12 cartwheels on the quad with your friends.
to bizarrely specific and also racially insensitive.
If you starve yourself for a day because you want to lose weight for Homecoming, you owe me 5 minutes of sitting Indian style in a corner and meditating on why you thought that was a good option.
Upon further reflection, I think I would actually be extremely motivated to stick to a diet if the alternative was being reprimanded by Kelly and forced to think about my poor life choices.
As a scientist myself, I was ecstatic to see that Kelly has drawn from a diverse array of scientific disciplines to develop her HOT tips and tricks. Physics, for example:
From Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion
A body in motion stays in motion. The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. So if you want to step up your exercise routine, try running in sand instead of on the pavement, or bike through gravel. That way your body will have to work harder in order to stay in motion.
Even biology has something to teach us about how to be HOT:
You are a living organism; life is an organic process. You need to be up and active, ready to enjoy the process. Be open and available and ready to do fun stuff. Participating in what you love is HOT.
I'm truly impressed by Kelly Bensimon's unparalleled ability to reframe the most basic common sense as divinely inspired wisdom. We see this in lines like
If you're feeling a bit frazzled and you need to calm down, you might want to take a yoga class.
or, as we read in another "HOT Tip" panel
Don't be afraid to drink water while working out.
I refuse to believe that this is a problem any person has ever faced. Even Aviva Drescher is not afraid of drinking water while working out (although, for the record, she is afraid of aluminum foil). Kelly closes out this chapter by encouraging the reader to "do one thing every day that takes you out of your comfort zone." If you find yourself lacking inspiration, she provides helpful suggestions, such as "try a fruit you've never eaten" and "try tap dancing." As she asserts, "there's nothing more foolish than sitting on your butt when you could be moving your body and having fun."
I turn the page, and the clock rolls over to Wednesday -- "Diet = 'DIE with a T.'" Cute. I bet Kelly would find that Tumblr post that's like "she believed" to be unbearably clever. She wastes no time in letting us know:
I don't believe in diets; diets are for people who want to get skinny. I want you to be happy. If you feel good about yourself, you'll make good choices. If you starve yourself to be skinny, you'll be undermining your sense of self-worth and you'll be unhappy every day. Eating well -- a variety of high-quality, fresh, unprocessed foods -- is for people who want to be happy -- and if you're not happy you won't be hot! Happy is always better than skinny.
This is starting to feel like some sort of word problem from Algebra II. If happy is better than skinny, but hot is equal to happy, diet = die + t??? Kelly tells us that all women fall into two categories: overachievers and underachievers. Being an overachiever is good, and being an underachiever is bad. Here are some things you can do to become an overachiever:
Make good choices.

When in doubt, have fun.

Keep smiling.
Kelly's motivational-phrasebook app apparently starts to glitch out right about here, but she continues on:
Stay positive and move forward. This is your last try at today. Yesterday may not have been great, but, today is better -- you just need to see it that way. The choice is up to you.
The idea of someone being in such a dark psychological place that they are able to find inspiration in those words is so deeply sad to me that I can hardly bear to consider it. Thankfully, Kelly has already taken a hard left turn into what I think is some sort of extended metaphor:
I've already said that you need to treat your body like a Ferrari, but maybe you prefer a Maserati, an Aston Martin, a Corvette, or even a Bentley. Whatever your luxury car of choice, if you treat it well, it will increase in value; if you treat it like a bargain rental car, it's just going to wear out -- and being worn out is not hot!
Ah, yes, I'd momentarily forgotten that cars almost always increase in value after they're purchased, and don't have a culturally ubiquitous reputation for losing most of their resale value immediately. Solid analogy. Apropos of nothing, we get a "HOT Tip" list of "model diet secrets that DON'T work." I'm extremely glad that Kelly encouraged us to take notes while reading -- I'd be devastated if any of these pointers had escaped my attention.
Eating Kleenex to make yourself feel full does not work.

The Graham cracker diet does not work.

Drugs do not work.
Well, I suppose this clears up some Scary Island confusion. Had Kelly indeed been doing meth (as the reported cat-pee smell might suggest), she would be fully aware that many drugs are, in fact, extremely effective ways to lose weight. But lest you start to lose faith in the expertise of our fearless leader, read on: "when it comes to food choices, I've probably made every mistake in the book." By which she means that she ate Chinese chicken soup before giving birth to her first daughter and it made her sick, so she ate a turkey sandwich before giving birth to her second daughter and she didn’t get sick. To be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to find a way to apply this wisdom to my own life, but I'm sure it will become clear in no time!
Kelly is relatable for the first time so far in the following passage:
When I was accused of being a "bitch" on national television, I was really upset. My response was to find comfort in Mexican food and margaritas for lunch and dinner three days straight.
But we promptly return to form on the next page as she recounts her daily diet of "2 green juices," "a KKBfit lunch," and "a KKBfit dinner." I'd like to take a moment to appreciate how generous it is of Kelly to share her wisdom -- earned through a lifetime of catastrophic missteps -- so freely. It certainly didn’t come without a cost, as the following anecdote illustrates:
On the last day of my juice fast, I took my older daughter to a Yankees game where we gorged on sushi. (Yes, they have sushi at Yankee Stadium) As a result, I was stuffed and blinded by carbs when A-Rod came up to bat and hit a home run. Was I able to savor that A-Rod moment with my daughter? Absolutely not. I was in a food coma. Will I ever let myself be thrown into a food frenzy again? No! Lesson learned: I made another stupid food choice, and because of that choice I missed that home run moment with my daughter. From now on, when I go to a Yankees game I'll have a small hot dog instead….I want you to do the same.
Verily! Heed her words of wisdom, lest ye not also lose the precious chance for thine own A-Rod moment.
But don’t think this caution means that you have to get caught up in the minutia of your day-to-day. On the contrary, appropriate planning means "you can stop obsessing about your carrot intake and concentrate on what it is that's going to make you a great person in life." To help illustrate this point, Kelly introduces us to the "Kelly pie." Otherwise known as a pie chart. This is a helpful way to really visualize how much time you'll have now that you can cut that pesky carrot-pondering out of your day! Kelly even offers some thoughtful "hints" to divide your pie:
  1. Celebrate your own health. We take health for granted.
  2. Get up in the morning and say, "I'm so grateful to be where I am and look the way I do," no matter what your size is.
  3. Tell yourself you look HOT, because you do.
  4. Believe in your ability to make good choices today and every day.
  5. Be mindful of what you eat. If I have to be mindful of what I eat, so do you. We're in this together.
Ooh, sorry Brad, I won't be able to make it to this afternoon's meeting -- it actually conflicts with my daily session of believing in my ability to make good choices today and every day. No, I understand how that could seem like an abstract sentiment rather than something that actually takes up time within your daily schedule, but if Kelly has to do it, so do I! And to be honest, my day is packed enough as it is -- it takes at least a second or two for me to tell myself I look HOT (because I do!), and I'm just worried that if I try to squeeze anything else in, it will cut into my mid-morning health celebration. Wish I could help!
In a strangely threatening aside, Kelly commands: "Write down what you ate for the last two days. Don't lie. We can start fresh tomorrow, one bite at a time."
In a section titled, "What I Eat Every Day," Kelly enumerates her "three go-to breakfasts": "two oranges or a plate of mixed berries if I'm not going to be very active, all-bran cereal or some other high-fiber cereal with almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk if I'm going on a long run, riding, or doing something else that requires extra energy, and on weekends, I love making pancakes to eat with my girls." As should be apparent, this is far more than three breakfasts. I am irrationally angry, in the same way I was when a Bachelor contestant said their favorite food was a charcuterie platter. That's cheating. (And yes, I do strongly identify with my Virgo moon, thanks for asking.)
Kelly inexplicably (apologies if I've used that word for the zillionth time already) tells us that "a plastic cup that says 'Forced Family Fun' from www.themonogramshops.com makes the smoothie go down with a giggle." Also, "sitting alone in front of the TV eating ice cream is not hot!" We are then introduced to one of Kelly's more advanced strategies, which she calls "Energy Economics." This means that you might need to eat more on days when you are busy and/or exercising, and less on days when you're relaxing. So many innovative ideas, this book has really packed a punch for its < $5 price tag!
Another ingenious idea? "Stuff cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, or even onions with ground meat, chicken or turkey seasoned with salt and pepper. Bake until the meat is cooked through and the vegetable is softened." Granted, I have been a pescatarian for almost a decade at this point. But disemboweling an onion, jamming it full of hamburger meat, and cooking it for some indeterminate amount of time at an unspecified temperature seems…wrong.
Circling back to her theory of Energy Economics, Kelly explains,
If I don't eat [well], I'm violating my own laws of energy economics and my body goes either into inflation mode (too much energy when I don't need it) or recession mode (not enough energy in the bank for me to draw from). The key is to create economic equilibrium: eating well so that I feel good, which allows me to be happy.
I am begging someone to start a GoFundMe where we raise money to pay Kelly to explain how the economy works. The next page introduces us to "The KKB 3-Day Supermodel Diet," which is less of a diet and more a random assortment of miscellaneous health-related sentiments that reek of the 2009 pro-ana tumblrsphere:
Chew your food 8 times instead of 3 or 4.

Brush your teeth and chew mint gum as soon as you finished eating. When your mouth is fresh and minty, you'll be less tempted to eat again.
The final tip ("nurture yourself") includes a reminder to "blush your checks [sic]." Which may be a typo, but could also very well just be some strange Kelly saying that no one else has ever used in the history of the English language. On the next page, we're introduced to "Kelly's Food Plate." Which other, less sophisticated people typically refer to as the food pyramid. Kelly also takes a brief aside (in a feature box labeled "hot button issue") to expound upon her favorite delicacy, the humble jelly bean:
If you're a fan of the Real Housewives of New York City you probably remember that on Season 3 I took a lot of flack for eating jelly beans and talking about processed and unprocessed foods. I was actually making light of that food snob moment. Who stops at a gas station and asks for carrots? Did you bring your organic food cooler with you on this road trip? The important part is not to be a food snob; but when in doubt choose the best option. Sometimes it's better to be happy than it is to be right. Was I able to make my point? Clearly it wasn’t in the cards at that moment.
This is a truly stunning synthesis of her experience. Underestimate Kelly at your own peril -- this girl has been playing 4D chess for longer than we know.
The chapter continues with some tips from Kelly on how to make the most of your meal planning and shopping experience. And no -- you have no excuses:
There's absolutely no reason why you, wherever you live, can't eat "colorful" foods. All over the country there are "gi-normous" supermarkets where fruit and vegetable aisles are bursting with every color of the rainbow.
I am starting to get a "gi-normous" headache trying to make sense of this chaos. Kelly's advice that we can "mix and match what's there to make a FrenAsian or an ItaloGreek meal" is not helping. We also get some tips for how to grocery shop responsibly:
  1. Always go with a list and never buy more than two items you planned on taking home.
This is incoherent, right? I know I need to wrap up Part 1 of this write-up pretty soon, because I've read this sentence at least two dozen times trying to make some sense of it, and am still at an utter loss. I assume she's left out a negative somewhere, but at this point, I realize I've already thought about this tip for approximately ten times longer than Kelly ever has, so I'll move on.
For the third or fourth time so far this book, Kelly segues into a literal grocery list. To be fair, this is a very effective strategy to take up several pages with minimal text. And what could be more compelling than
Shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs

Dog treats

Lavender pepper
Truly the voice of a generation! Decades from now, English teachers will be teaching their students about a fabled wordsmith who once uttered those eternal words, "shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs." Because this book has absolutely no respect for logical cohesion, we are hurled immediately into a diatribe about how expensive it can be to buy organic -- "I recently walked out of an organic market having paid $400 for just three bags of groceries." As I read on, however, it becomes quickly apparent that Kelly has no idea what the concept of 'organic' even means:
"Organic," in any case, seems like something of a misnomer to me. I know the Food and Drug Administration has regulations for certifying foods organic, but to me, for foods to be truly and totally organic, they would have to be grown in a test tube or a greenhouse with no exposure to the natural elements.
Well, sure Kelly. If that's what you would like to use the word "organic" to mean, be my guest. She tosses us another crumb of helpful guidance, but it only serves to make me feel exceptionally sorry for Kelly's daughters and everything they have to endure:
Plate your food as if it were being served to you in a fine restaurant. Use a fancy foreign accent as you invite everyone to come to the table. Or try saying it in French. My girls love it when I announce, "Le dîner est servi!"
We learn in yet another "HOT tip" that "fast food doesn't have to be fat food," and Kelly tells us for the eighth time that she eats two oranges every morning. In what has already become a recurring theme for me in this book, the following passage makes me desperately curious to know how Kelly thinks science works:
One question people frequently ask me is whether I believe in taking vitamins or supplements, and the answer is "yes, I do," because, even though I know my diet is healthy, I can't be sure that I'm getting all the nutrients I need. All the vitamins and minerals we need can be found naturally in foods, but how do we know, even if we're eating a healthy diet, that we're getting everything we need?
I flip back two pages to confirm that Kelly told us quite recently how important it is to read nutrition labels to know what is in the food we eat (to make sure we avoid foods "whose labels are full of words you can't pronounce"). Exactly how she is reading these nutrition labels yet still manages to have no inkling how anyone could possibly begin to assess their vitamin and mineral intake eludes me. She continues:
I don't want to take that chance. I think of the food I eat as fuel and vitamins as my oil -- my body's engine needs both. Vitamins and supplements are not food replacements, but we're exposed to so many environmental toxins on a daily basis that I believe we need to supplement our diets to counteract all the harm those substances can cause.
I can certainly think of something that is causing harm to my psychological stability at this particular moment, which I should probably take as a sign to wrap things up for today and go read some incredibly dense Victorian prose or something to remind myself what a properly constructed sentence looks like. Promise I won't leave you waiting for long!!
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Tips, Insights, & Things to Look Out For w/ Live Betting

For those who don't already know, I've worked in this industry for 20+ years on both sides of the counter: top level street bookie, sportsbooks manager, worked with gambling syndicates, data analyst for sports information services & still working in the industry.
\*taken from a discussion within my sportsbetting community***
I've discussed the topic of live in-game betting in the past but for new members and the increase in general popularity of LIVE in-game betting I wanted to post an actual lesson. As always I’m not trying to be the fun police here I just want to make sure everyone is aware of where the sports books hold a significant edge.

LIVE BETTING LESSON

Just this past week I’ve read several comments like “I’m just going to wait and get a better number in-game”. Yes you may be getting a better line than the pregame posted line, but you aren’t increasing your edge. The reason you are able to get a better line is likely related to the opposing team performing better or above projections. The odds are changing because new information has been factored in, such as the score. So although you are getting a better line your odds or the all important expected value (EV) hasn’t improved.
When you attempt to place a Live-in-game bet you may think you are accepting the sportsbook's offer, but you aren't. You're really just asking them for a bet. They then wait a fixed period of time (8 secs is common) and IF after that 8 seconds they still think the bet is good FOR THEM they accept it.
This creates substantial adverse selection bias, which in English just means you will get nearly 100% of the bets you try to place that are bad for you (mis-clicks, bad logic, change in game circumstances etc) but a much smaller percentage of the bets you try to place that are good for you (you found a good number, change in game circumstances etc). The odds aren’t conveniently changing in the books favor every time you place a bet, that spinning wheel or loading symbol is a computer deciding if the bet is better for them or you. You have to be nearly perfect to overcome this adverse selection bias. The power to reject bets at will turns live sports betting into a carnival game. You can't beat a book that has a 5% PLUS hold percentage and a smart human/algorithm selectively rejecting all your good bets that may have an edge, unknowingly or not.
Most regulated sports books have an insanely fast live feed in order to change odds. In fact some major sports books have the ability to get information faster than what’s shown on TV. Especially Fan duel or Draftkings, check it out for yourself. They will change odds quicker than events played out on TV. So don’t ever think you will be able to beat the sports books to a line move, they have that covered. It’s actually amazing how fast they’re able to get information in real time with no delay.
Lastly, most books charge -115 or -120 for in-game wagers. Over time this juice will add up in comparison to the standard -110 you lay pregame. Many recreational sports bettors will think, “it’s just 5 or 10 cents” but that is absolutely the wrong thinking. Sports betting is about the long term results. Making decisions in the present that will benefit you in the future. Once you start thinking along those lines you have made a major step, one that many bettors don’t ever get too.

Here Are My Tips:


If a book posts a line during a game and you click in the bet, you should get the bet. Don't settle for less. There are books out there that play it fair and with all these sports books jockeying for share of the market let’s make sure the books that are doing right by their customers rise to the top and the crooked thief’s go under

Hope you all enjoy this information! Ask me comments in the comment section, I'm happy to answer and provide some value.
Cheers 🍻
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My Introduction to a Professional Sports Betting Syndicate

This is part 1 of a 3 part story I recently shared within The Betting Network community. The Betting Network or TBN is a group of sports bettors that all share information with a common goal of winning more bets. I also do weekly lessons, a mentorship program, game previews and just pass along any and all information I’ve gathered over the past 15 plus years, the main goal is to help members improve their overall sports betting IQ and help them avoid the brutal trial and error I had to go through before becoming successful in the sports betting industry.
I decided to share this story because of the feedback I received within The Betting Network, hope you guys enjoy it and also gain something from it.

PART 1/3

Before I get into the good stuff I have to explain what my job entailed at the time. The company I use to work for scraped sports betting information and data off the internet. A lot of pro bettors use “data scrapes” and what it does is it searches the internet 24/7 every second of the day for anything that has the keywords you programmed into the software. Think about how much time and effort this saves. You input “LeBron James Injury” and the second anything related to that is posted anywhere online it will be sent to you and even compiled in an organized fashion. You could put Steph Curry 3pt attempts and it will gather all that info and compile it. Data scrapes are really the only way a person could compile stats and information on entire leagues, it would take the entire season alone if you attempted to input it yourself without a scraper.
One of the most important data scrapers is for injuries and the company I worked for had it set up where it would be constantly searching the internet for injury related news and it would “ping” our computers already formatted so it could be sent out to members and social media. For example, this is what a “ping” would look like - CLE-F [LeBron James] - Calf- Questionable or GSW-G [Steph Curry] - wrist - Doubtful. Our job was to edit any errors and basically just click a button that was linked to send it out on all platforms, members text services, on twitter, everywhere we wanted. Our company's injury scrape was so good that live odds services like Don Best would simply have a scrape on our Twitter account. Pro bettors would just have notifications set for our tweets because we were breaking injury information 10 to 20 seconds before ESPN sometimes. By the way, 10 to 20 seconds is an eternity in the sports betting world. If you couldn’t tell already I’m no computer wiz, but what I believe separated our scrape from many others was how the information was formatted when we got it and how it was streamlined with all the platforms it needed to be sent out to after we got it. In other words, injury news breaks, we get the ping, hit one button and it’s sent. Other people may receive the injury information and have to type out the format and then send it out one by one to twitter or on their website. But like I said I have no fucking clue how it all works all I know is we were considered one of the best for NBA, NFL.
If you want to learn more about how to actually set up a scraper I provided a good intro to scraping link here: ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️
http://crowdsourcesyndicate.info/MommyWowMyFirstScraper.html
The MIT Sloan conference is one of the biggest sports analytics conferences in the world. Myself and a few co-workers were sent to the Sloan conference to represent our company. It’s a big 2 day event and everybody from the sports world is there, anyone from sports book operators to NBA head coaches and players. Link below for this years speakers at Sloan ↙️↙️↙️
http://www.sloansportsconference.com/2020-conference/2020-speakers/
Anyone that’s heavily involved in the sports betting industry is usually there because it’s a great way to network with everyone all in one place. My company had a booth there and we would just answer questions, hand out promotional fliers and point out all the famous people we saw. This is where it gets good. While sitting at the booth a guy approaches me and asks: “What do you do”? Me: I’m a data analyst Guy: ok, but what do you do?
I explained to him my job responsibilities adding in a bunch of stuff to make it sound more important because the truth was I sat at a computer for 8hrs a day waiting for pings and answering phone calls where 90% of the callers had the wrong number. He pretended to be interested in the job details and before I could get into what he did or why he was there the convo ended with him asking if I’ll be attending day 2 of the conference. I said yes and he told me he would also be back tomorrow for day 2 and that after the conference tomorrow him and a bunch of guys were going to meet for drinks at the Westin hotel across the street from the conference, “drinks on me” he said while walking away.
The next day after the conference I went across the street to the Westin and they have a restaurant. I see “George” who I met the day before and invited me, he’s sitting at one end of a table that has 2 big tables pushed together making one big table. He waves me over and I sit next to him, there’s about 7 other people there. He tells me to order anything I want, drinks, food whatever and made a point to tell me and everyone there that he’s covering the bill. The Westin is really nice and expensive, not a place I would be going to eat and drink on my own considering I think I was making $16 an hour at this time. I couldn’t help but wonder why he invited me and only me when I had 2 other co-workers. After a couple hours and 4 vodka tonics I found out.
“George” was a professional bettor and was (still is) the head of a nationwide sports betting syndicate. He knew exactly what the company I work for dos and even knew my boss. Once we got into talking about what he does he wasted no time telling me what he wanted to do. He wanted me to notify him and his team about injuries before sending it out to the public, 15 seconds after to be exact. He knew that a majority of sports books used the live odds screen Don Best and that Don Best used our company for breaking injury news and if he was able to get the injury news before Don Best he would be able to beat the line on all the books that copied lines from them.
For example: Your bookie isn’t sitting in front of the computer moving the lines when an injury happens, it’s done automatically. Most local books set up what’s called an auto-mover and this copies the feed from another sports book. Some local books may copy the feed from say pinnacle or 5dimes or any book they feel has strong accurate lines. They can’t set up a direct feed to pinnacle or 5Dimes because established books such as those can detect software. So what they do is set the auto-mover up onto a live odds service like Don Best. Once the line moves on don best all the books that are copying lines will then move their lines.
George had software of his own that allowed him to bet games on thousands of accounts with a few clicks of a button. He explained to me how this would all work - I get the ping - CLE-F [LeBron James] - Rest - Out, I would copy and paste that onto the telegram messenger app and press send, he said sing happy birthday and when finished then I could post it to the world like I normally would. With his automated bet software he could pick off all the books that didn’t move the line yet based on Lebron being OUT. Of course not every single book was reliant on Don Best to move lines, many of the bigger well known offshore books had their own data scrapes and injury software, but more than enough books did rely on Don Best, who relied on my company. So the potential for this was through the roof.
I had some serious thinking to do, as much as I wanted to say yes on the spot my instincts held me back. I told him I had to weigh the pros and cons. After all I basically would be tanking my job duties and going from a committed employee to what seemed like a sneaky spy. It does our company and it’s members no good if I’m sending out information late or at the same time as every other company. Also, without getting too detailed regarding the financial arrangement I felt I needed to counter his offer. The biggest upside for me besides the money was my strong desire to get involved with a real sports betting syndicate but the negotiations quickly let me know that there is a dark side to the industry and I had one foot in.
To Be Continued....
PS I’ll likely share part 2 and 3 in the coming days.
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Mindset & Expectation in sports betting

Sharing another lesson here with the hopes some readers can gain something from it. I also want to take a second to explain my intentions with posting these lessons and story’s. I don’t and will never claim to know everything and I don’t even consider myself “sharp”, some others might but I don’t because I know real sharps.
The reason I started posting here is because I’m sickened by the sports betting industry and it’s cannibalistic nature, with all the pick selling touts, scammers and wannabes. There is a ton of educational sports betting information for beginners and recreational bettors out there but most of it is bullshit or there are strings attached. A lot of dream selling and unrealistic promises. I just want to help new bettors navigate the world of sports betting and avoid some of the mistakes I made, I’m still learning new things everyday and I’ve been involved in sports betting for over 15yrs on both sides of the counter. It’s unfortunate there are people that prey on the new bettors but there is also a lack of helping each other because most successful bettors protect their edge and don’t want to give away any of their gems and look down on inexperienced bettors and the few people that attempt to help. I can’t promise anyone that they will win money listening to me but I truly believe you will be better prepared and lose less if you put in the effort and invest in yourself to improve your overall sports betting IQ.

Lesson: Mindset & Loss Aversion

Treat it like a business and it can pay like one. Obviously the act of sports betting is easy but being a profitable sports bettor is extremely difficult over the long term. One of the biggest differences (of the many) between successful bettors and recreational sports bettors is Discipline, discipline is what separates a lot of bad and good sports bettors.
When placing a wager, think of it as buying or selling the sports books offer and don’t ever settle for any number. If you miss a number, move on. Sports betting is a marathon not a sprint and bad beats will happen and they will happen on good bets but as long as you keep making the right decisions repeatedly and getting the best possible price it will give you a chance long term. Making bets that you may not think will win but the price is right is one of the hardest things to overcome and a bridge any successful gambler has to cross. It sounds crazy but good bets can lose and bad bets can win but being on the correct side is all that matters. Learning how to lose is another stepping stone in sports betting, being even keeled after a losing bet and not crying about it, losing leads to more losing if you let it overcome you. Having a short memory is needed, this will help the temptations of chasing. After a losing wager it’s easy to blame players, umps or any act of god but rather then do that look at what you could’ve done differently in your research or was there anything that could’ve got you off that play. This again is very tough to do, especially when you can make good bets but still lose. (I discuss this more in the closing line value lesson from 2 weeks ago.)
Having the right Expectations is also very important, this will keep your emotions in check, knowing that winning 57% long term is great and that 70% is all but impossible long term in major markets.
Loss Aversion
Depending on how you answer the following question will tell if you are more Loss Averse or not. Would you rather be the person to find $5 on the ground or not be the person to lose $5 on the ground?
Humans/Athletes hate losing so much that they actually perform better in situations where they are attempting to avoid defeat rather than simply trying to win. The psychology behind the theory is referred to as “loss aversion” and it draws from the simple fact that humans hate to have things taken away from them. Loss aversion is a theory of humans performing better when they are losing or facing a losing scenario.
The best real-world example comes from the PGA Tour study by two guys named Pope and Schweitzer. With 250 workers hired by the PGA tour and lasers on each putting green they studied over 2 million putts from the same distance. Pope and Schweitzer used data from 239 tournaments concentrating on 2.5 million putts attempted by 421 professional golfers who each made at least 1,000 putts. The focus was on the issue of loss aversion, the researchers examined the putts in the context of the par set for each hole. According to the researchers, the par number creates a reference point that clearly distinguishes a loss from a gain. On their scorecards, golfers circle holes they score under par. If they shoot over par, the score is framed in a dreaded square, which symbolizes a loss
Most putts in the data study were for par (47%) or birdie (39.8%). The approach to each hole taken by golfers, relative to par, provides a way to measure loss aversion. Pope and Schweitzer used the PGA data to determine whether a golfer was playing it safe by making a putt that would end up just in front of the hole. “This finding is consistent with loss aversion; players invest more focus when putting for par to avoid encoding a loss,” the researchers write. Schweitzer notes that the behavior reflects the bias toward avoiding loss, in this case, missing par and scoring a bogey — over the potential to score more in the overall tournament, which is what ultimately matters. “Loss aversion is the systematic mistake of segregating gains and losses, evaluating decisions in isolation rather than in the aggregate and over-weighting losses relative to gains,” he says. Now think of that in terms of sports betting and how helpful that thought process would be, we want to think in the aggregate or grand total, not in isolated decisions.
In football a great example is when we see a team is winning, they tend to revert to a prevent defense rather than sticking with what worked for them to get the lead in the first place. Research has shown that an aggressive offensive is much more important to success than having an effective conservative offense, duh.
Being aware of this as a bettor but also how it affects the players on the field is helpful. The reality is that most casual bettors will be a lot more careful with their wager selections when they have a smaller amount of money since they don’t want to lose it. Meanwhile, those same players might tend to take more risks when they have a good amount of money since they feel like they can spare some should they lose. They will often think of it as “house money” and bet carelessly. Loss aversion is a simple concept and it’s good for bettors to be aware of its existence at all times, when up or down.
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I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part Two

I hope you all have taken full advantage of the past 48 hours or so to regain some sense of normalcy after our adventures through Part 1 of Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot! Without further ado, Part Two:
I resume my journey through the truly incomprehensible mind of Kelly Bensimon with a chapter entitled, "Thursday: Tricks of My Trade." Now that we've learned about the basic building blocks of hotness, Kelly promises to share even more hard-earned advice to help us really kick things up a notch. And, as she reassures us:
I'm actually glad for the mistakes I've made because anyone who doesn't make mistakes doesn't learn, and if you don't learn, you're boring!
And if you're boring, you're not HOT! I think I'm starting to get the hang of this!
One of Kelly's most important life lessons came at her first horse show, when she made an unbelievably devastating misstep: "I decided to have an egg on a bagel from the food-service van." What kind of unimaginable ripple effects did this poor decision set off? I continue on to learn that Kelly "did all right in the competition." And…that's literally the whole story. Kelly legitimately refers to this as "one of my biggest lessons," as it taught her "to never eat more than I normally would." If life-changing breakthroughs were this easily sparked in my own life, I can't even begin to imagine how self-actualized I would be at this point.
At this point in my reading, I have reached the book's first insert, which contains about a dozen glossy color photos from various phases of Kelly's life. Unfortunately, I am far too preoccupied by this picture, in which a carefree, wind-swept Kelly clenches her infant daughter under one arm with all the grace of an NFL wide receiver, to pay the rest of the spread much mind.
We continue on as Kelly introduces new dimensions to the basic tips she's previously introduced. For example, you may have had some vague idea that water was important, but Kelly -- always there to help us learn and improve -- digs into the specifics to make sure we're up to date on the HOTtest tricks of the trade:
Staying hydrated is important no matter what you're doing, so I always try to drink eight glasses or about a liter of water a day. Soda isn't water. Coffee isn't water. Water is water. Drink throughout the day; don't try to get it all down at once. You wouldn't drown an orchid, so don't drown yourself.
I am putting in my formal request for a Public Service Announcement in this format, but using the last line of that passage. Also, Kelly clearly does not know how poorly I tend to my houseplants.
The next page informs us that, "hot isn't just caliente; it's also spicy and sultry." Kelly promptly launches into yet another list of miscellaneous grocery items, this time focused specifically on "red-hot foods." Except it includes entries like "popcorn with sugar and cinnamon," and "Mike and Ike candy," so I'm not convinced Kelly didn't just lose track of the thread entirely by the time we got a few items in. However, this does seem like an appropriate time to introduce this picture, from the book's second photo insert, which clearly depicts the sleep paralysis demon that has haunted my dreams for the past several nights. We're also treated to this chapter's first "hot button issue" panel, in which Kelly pulls back the curtain on the shadowy, pro-salt cabal trying to control us all with their anti-sodium legislative agenda:
We keep reading about how bad sodium is for our health, but if you eat fresh foods that you prepare yourself, you can determine and control the amount of salt you want to use. I, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, am perfectly capable of deciding how much salt I want to put on my food. I don't need anyone else to salt my food for me. I know that the amount of salt I choose to sprinkle on my food is not going to hurt me.
I read on to find a two-page spread in which Kelly expounds, in rhapsodic praise to rival that of Song of Solomon, upon her ardor for her beloved dehydrator -- "I though I was in love with coffee, but now I think my dehydrator is my truest love." Most of the passage is taken up by an unstructured list of the various things Kelly has attempted to dehydrate ("cucumber," "mangoes," "avocado") but she does manage to squeeze in a few infomercial-ready lines -- "Really, you should buy one; I promise you won't be sorry."
Since repetition is the key to reinforcing new concepts, I appreciate that Kelly's next list (of "a few more lean tricks I've learned along the way") repeats a note she originally relayed to us just a few pages ago:
Drink water throughout the day (not all at one sitting).
She's also been thoughtful enough to provide a list of resources for us to use as we soldier on along the perilous journey to HOT. After all, as Kelly says, "I don’t expect you to carry this book wherever you go -- as much as I would love that." As someone who has never before ventured into the wild world of cyberspace, I really appreciated Kelly introducing me to so many fun, useful websites that I might want to check out! In case you, too, just haven't figured out how to navigate this whole Internet thing, I've included a few examples below:
www.amazon.com
One-stop shopping for just about any book, periodical, or product you might want to read or buy in order to get HOT.

www.espn.com
Everything you need to know to stay up to date on any sport.

www.webmd.com
Useful, up-to-date, trustworthy information on medical and health issues.

www.yummly.com
Claims to have "every recipe in the world"
Can't wait to check these out later! That Amazon one sounds super cool!
I'm reminded quickly just how inelegant the transitions in this book are as we move directly from that list into the following:
I suggest that you take a picture of yourself every day…Some days when you're feeling your fattest, you may be surprised to see that you really look great.
Okay, so fat is NOT HOT. Except being comfortable in your body is HOT. And trying to be skinny is NOT HOT. But being skinny is HOT. Thank goodness I still have a few more chapters to go -- I clearly still have a ways to go before I truly understand the logic of HOTness. As it stands, I must admit that I'm a bit baffled.
Of course, returning to the previous bit of advice, Kelly doesn't actually have to worry about taking her own pictures like us plebeians -- "Having been photographed so often has provided me with a permanent retrospective catalogue of my life." The chapter closes with these words of wisdom:
The best kind of vanity is being vain about what you put in your body.
Friday's chapter promises to introduce us to the world of "Hot Couture," and I am excited to see what tips and tricks Kelly has managed to accrue over her lifetime in the cutthroat world of modeling . But first, we abruptly transition to a story about Kelly meeting Madonna shortly after both women had given birth. Kelly had "gained a healthy fifty pounds," which I am led to believe, from the context of the anecdote, is NOT HOT. Madonna, on the other hand, was "flat-stomached" and therefore "HOT and cool." Of course, Kelly reassures us hurriedly that she lost all the weight within the following six weeks and was "actually thinner than I'd been prepregnancy." I am at an utter loss as to what the point of this story could possibly be, but -- blessedly -- Kelly is gracious enough to explain:
So what's the lesson here? That Madonna had personal trainers and chefs to whip her back into shape, and I didn't -- and still don’t. I shouldn't have been comparing myself to her in the first place. My advice to you is: don’t compare yourself to anyone else, only to your own personal best.
This is a perfect example of something Kelly does throughout this book, which is to present a completely reasonable piece of advice (don’t compare yourself to others), but couched within such a bizarre and logically disorganized narrative that by the time I reach the ultimate moral of the story, my brain feels like it's been run through a series of meat grinders, and I'm reduced to just nodding along in bemused acceptance.
We get a "Kelly's Cardinal Rule" reminding us to "let your body be what your body is and be happy with what you've got." I'm starting to wonder if there is some sort of Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde thing going on behind the scenes here, in which two versions of Kelly are frantically grappling over control of the book's body-positivity dial. I'm literally don't even have to flip the page to see Kelly commiserating with us that "we all have days or occasions when we feel fat" and quipping about her "go-to fat outfit." But also:
Stop praying for what you don't have and be grateful for what you've got.
This amount of cognitive dissonance is truly proof that Kelly contains multitudes. Or has recently acquired some sort of debilitating short-term amnesia. Nevertheless, we continue:
But whatever your shape, show it off. Don’t try to hide it. Hiding is not hot.
Kelly next walks us through figuring out which "season" we are, based on the wisdom extolled in "Color Me Beautiful, the groundbreaking book that was so wildly successful in the early 80s." It's no surprise to me that Kelly, who earlier encouraged us to make our lives easier by using our PDAs, finds this to be an exciting new trend to share. Also, in case you weren't aware, "hair color is also important. You can lighten it or darken it or cover the gray." Lighten it or darken it? The boundaries of my mental universe are truly expanding.
Some more fashion tidbits:
Scarves are hippie chic, cool, and always HOT.

If you're narrow, show off how narrow you are with a monochromatic palette.

Ankles are the new cleavage!
Narrow ankles only, I presume. Kelly's selfless, giving nature is highlighted yet again in the following passage, in which she explains:
All these celebrities have stylists who pull the clothes, accessories, and shoes that make them look the way they do. They charge a lot of money for what they do, so why not get some free advice based on my experience.
And what, pray tell, is this coveted advice that Kelly is so lovingly sharing with her readers, free of charge?
  1. Save sweatpants for the gym.
  2. Save PJs for the bedroom.
  3. Dress as if you were the boss.
  4. Remember what Carrie Bradshaw says: "Nothing is casual anymore, even when it says so on the invitation."
  5. Manolo Blahniks are a girl's best friend.
Okay, so far be it from me to complain about the quality of free advice. But. Out of the five pearls of wisdom that make up the "KKBStyle Rules," two of them are rudimentary instructions to wear somewhat-situationally-appropriate clothing, and the other three are the kind of cute sayings that you would find on a piece of poorly bedazzled wall art in the clearance aisle of your local TJMaxx. I'm not impressed.
Kelly next tells us how important it is to eat well and exercise, even "when you're premenstrual or having your period." That way, as she continues on, "you'll feel better because your endorphins will be flowing while your body is sloughing off unwanted endometrium and mucus." To be fair, Unwanted Endometrium does sound like a sick band name.
Thankfully, the mental image of Kelly's mucus slough is promptly booted from my mind by a careening diatribe about the color red (HOT!):
I even painted my nails red the minute I started writing this book. I wanted to see my short red nails tapping away on my Macbook Pro. Almost every red dress is smokin' HOT, and I've never met a guy who doesn't think a woman in a red dress isn't hot. He's a liar if he denies it.
To repeat, Kelly says she's "never met a guy who doesn’t think a woman in a red dress isn't hot." Poor dear got a bit carried away with her negatives, but I'm sure she'll redeem herself in no time:
When I was sitting in the front row of a Marc Jacobs fashion show a few years ago, I wore a full, red short skirt, a tight red sweater, and red open-toed shoes. One of the editors from The New York Times was sitting across from me, and as we were waiting for the show to begin I kept crossing and recrossing my legs to make him laugh.
Sure, Kelly. To make him laugh. I can only assume she must have written some kind of hilariously clever joke on the gusset of her underwear to have had this editor so tickled pink red.
It was a long wait and after a while some guy I didn't know who was at the other end of the row, leapt towards me and screamed that he was obsessed with my feet. How crazy is it that red open-toed shoes and red toenails could create such a reaction. Red is HOT, even stalker HOT. Yikes!
I'm not clear where "stalker HOT" fits into this whole complex web, but it's reassuring to know that a wise soul like Kelly has such a nuanced appreciation of all of the different ways to be hot. She also gives us some "HOT tips for heating up your image." Like,
Put on a pair of jeans and a white tee shirt.

Put your hair in a ponytail.

Put on a pair of hoop earrings.
And also
Wear your jeans a size smaller instead of a size larger.
For some reason not entirely clear to me at this moment, wearing jeans in your actual size does not seem to be an option.
The chapter continues with a reminder to "remember what's on top of your head!"
There's nothing hotter than a HOT head of hair (unless it's a hunky bald guy).
Kelly follows up by offering a list of what she calls "HOT healthy options." Based on the preceding paragraph, you might assume that these tips would have something to do with haircare and hair styling. However, you would be wrong. Instead, we're instructed to:
Enjoy as much watermelon as you like.

Pack a picnic lunch of dehydrated fruit, chamomile iced tea, and mini pizzas made with corn tortillas, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Eat your picnic in the park.

Come up with something fun you want to try and do it!
Personally, it seems like a bit of a cop-out to make one of the items on your list of fun things to do "make up your own fun thing to do." But who knows? Maybe cop-outs are HOT!
Before my faith in our fearless leader starts to waver, however, I read on through the end of the chapter, and my surety is promptly restored:
Besides my hair and my legs, the one thing people always ask me about the way I look is how I keep my teeth so white. And yes, that's also a matter of genetics. I'm blessed with the whitest teeth on the planet, and, no, I've never had them professionally bleached.
The weekend begins as I turn the page to the penultimate chapter -- "Saturday: Heat Up Your HOT Image with Healthy Options Today." Saturdays, as Kelly tells us, are for fun activities. For example:
If you're in the mall, go to different stores and figure out which looks will make you HOT. Ask other shoppers for advice.
Also:
Parks are great for people-watching. Who looks fit and healthy?
I sincerely hope that any and all of my friends would give me a stern talking-to if I informed them that my weekend plans consisted of going to a park and…pointing out people I think aren't healthy enough?
Kelly then warns us against overindulging on late-night snacks or alcoholic beverages, lest we wake up Sunday feeling "bloating, sluggish, and with deep regrets." Presumably, Kelly then proceeded to rail a massive line of cocaine and hammer out the following frenetic spiel:
You're not going to get fat from having a few drinks a week. You will get fat if your routine is to drink, eat late, and then lie around watching television the next day, eating and making bad food choices. Going out is fun, but when you sacrifice the next day, it's never fun enough. Don't have regrets; enjoy every day. This is a life plan, and yesterday isn't coming back ever again.
The chapter comes to a close with a reminder to "wrap up every day with a great big bow and be ready for your next adventure. But before we close out our week of HOT, we're provided with what I anticipate will be an incredibly useful reference material for us all, the "KKBfit HOT Quiz." If you'd like to take the quiz yourself, you can find it here. However, I'm not entirely sure I would classify it as a "quiz," since it seems to be mostly a set of questions followed by Kelly's feedback on various possible responses. For example:
  1. How Kelly Green are you?
I had a Kelly Green Juice -- Wasn't it yummy?
I had a smoothie from the health food store with a splash of spinach -- Great choice!
I had kale chips, spinach, and quinoa for dinner last night -- I bet you woke up feeling great this morning!
Other?
I presume that the lack of response after the "Other?" choice is supposed to represent Kelly staring at me in deranged disappointment for a few painfully protracted seconds. Some questions, like the one above, don't seem to have any wrong answers at all. In contrast, other questions have clear wrong answers, which Kelly wastes no time in making apparent:
  1. Are you getting enough protein? How many days did you eat chicken, fish, or meat for at least one meal?
I had a grilled chicken salad for dinner on three different days -- That's good, but I wish you'd get a little more adventurous in your choices.

  1. How KKBfit are you?
Haven't had a meal since last night, but I'm going to skip breakfast and go on a run. I won't eat anything until lunch. -- Sorry, but starving your body is not KKBfit.

  1. Are you drinking enough?
I drink when I'm exercising but that's about it -- Not good enough! Try harder next week.
The quiz ends, leaving me entirely unsure of whether or not I've actually made any forward progress towards my HOTness goals, but the next page does promise help for those who "still need more inspiration." Here, it seems that Kelly has compiled a loose assortment of quotes, most of which (I have a sneaking suspicion) were found by searching the keyword "hot" on BrainyQuote.com. Also, this masterpiece from Kelly's ex-husband, noted fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon:
HOT--
It is not about the look,
It is not only about the charm,
It is the perfect combination:
Sweet and tough,
Sexy and reserved,
Fragile and powerful,
And definitely smart.
-- Gilles Bensimon
Move over, Rupi Kaur! I hope with every fiber of my being that Gilles Bensimon has published his collected poetry in some kind of volume that I could purchase, read, and have, I'm sure, nothing but positive things to say about. After about a dozen similar quotations, Kelly continues:
Now, as you get ready for Sunday Funday, take a few minutes to think about how you define HOT. Has your definition changed or evolved since you started reading this book? If so, I'm doing my job.
In all honesty, my definition of HOT has definitely been…affected by this experience. So we'll call that a win! Kelly tells us a few stories about times when her friends and family members have come to her for guidance on how to be hot. She explains:
I'm not the food police, but I've made myself the Sven-arbiter (as opposed to Svengali) of what's HOT and what's not.
Case in point:
It's just not hot to belong to the clean plate club.
The chapter closes with a list titled "Why Don't You," which I believe is supposed to be a list of fun activities we can try during a Sunday Funday. Or possibly a list of terrible life hacks for stoned college freshmen:
Use an electric teapot as a clothing steamer.

Make grilled cheese sandwiches or press wraps using a hot clothes iron.
There are very few things sadder to me that imagining someone taking Kelly up on this last bit of advice as a fun way to liven up what must be the most preternaturally boring existence possible. If your idea of fun is white bread and Kraft Singles getting slowly warmed over on your clothing iron, I can only imagine the fit of hysterics that you'd be thrown into by a passable Minions meme.
And that brings us to the end of the week. But not -- lucky you! -- to the end of this book. Au contraire -- the remaining 100 pages or so of I Can Make You Hot! feature dozens of unique recipes from the culinary mind of none other than the indomitable Kelly Bensimon herself. In her intro, however, she makes it clear that
No one on earth would ever call me a chef.
Of course not, Kelly -- they'd call you a cook. Otherwise, it's creepy.
This portion of the book begins, reasonably enough, with Breakfasts. These include such thoughtfully named delicacies as "My Favorite Cereal" and "My Favorite Pancakes." The recipe for the latter begins with the following introduction:
I'm not the greatest pancake maker, and I probably never will be. But what I am very good at is thinking of unusual things and doing them.
Frankly, I can't argue with that. As she continues:
When in pancake doubt, have fun, add fruit, and see if pancakes can be a vehicle for creating great memories for your family.
Next time I'm in pancake doubt, I'll know just what to do! We move right along into the Soups and Salads section, and are promptly introduced to Kelly's "Jimmy Achoo's Chicken Soup." Which is apparently a play on Jimmy Choo and also described by Kelly as "filled with veggie exploitation," which sounds terrifying. Of the next recipe, "Rich and Skinny Cauliflower Soup with Kale Chips," Kelly reflects:
I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Internet. I wish I could tell you exactly where, but I can't.
The recipe calls for kale chips, which Kelly goes out of her way to inform us can be purchased "at health food stores and many well-stocked supermarkets." We also get a few general "HOT salad tips" that can be applied to many of the recipes throughout this book, such as
There are so many different types of lettuces available today! Try different ones to see which you like best
and
When you order a salad in a restaurant, ask for the dressing on the side. You're a grown-up and you should get to decide how much you want to use.
With that under our belts, the grown-ups among us move on to "Meat, Chicken, and Fish." In her recipe for "Grilled Rib Eye with Herbes de Provence", Kelly tells us about meeting the famous chef who inspired this dish:
When I met Eric, who was still in his thirties at the time, he still had dark hair. I was caught off guard because I thought all chefs were older, had gray hair, and smelled like garlic.
So perhaps Bethenny should have taken it as a compliment? Kelly continues,
He's since invited me many times to go into his kitchen and cook with him, but my fear of losing a finger by being overzealous has prohibited me from accepting.
It's unclear to me exactly what this means or why Kelly would even be particularly worried about this possibility. Does she have habit of excitedly snatching vegetables out from other people's knives? Does Eric have a reputation for slicing anyone who dares to get in his way? Before I make any headway with this particular mystery, we're introduced to the next recipe, the "Pencil-Thin Skirt Steak." As we learn, "Everyone looks slim in a pencil skirt, so it's only fitting that skirt steak is one of the leanest cuts of beef you can buy." We get a recipe for "Sultry Roast Chicken" in which Kelly shares with us that "in fact, chicken without ginger doesn't taste like chicken to me anymore." This would be more believable if we weren't, a mere two pages later, introduced to a notably ginger-free recipe for "Second-Chance Chicken." As Kelly explains,
I hate the idea of leftovers. To me, eating leftovers means you're too lazy to start over, and I've never wanted my girls to think that we weren't starting fresh.
In the introduction to the recipe for "Bad Girl Wings," Kelly gives us yet another poignant insight into her life as a mother:
These chicken wings are Sea's favorite. I'm sure she loves them because she knows I love wings (she's a cutie like that).
It would obviously be ludicrous to assume that Sea actually enjoys chicken wings authentically. Much more likely that she just loves them because Kelly does. HOT! In a segment labeled "hasta la vista taco bell," Kelly recounts a traumatic experience in which she "discovered that my favorite food choices [at Taco Bell] added up to 580 calories." To me, this seems like a perfectly reasonable amount of calories for one daily meal out of three, but according to Kelly, I am embarrassingly off the mark. Rather, she sighs, "I guess that means my Taco Bell days are over -- unless I decide to chance [sic] Sunday Funday into Fatso Food Day." Not HOT.
Kelly tells us about the creative process behind the development of the next recipe, "Spicy Sultry Shrimp and Mango Stir-Fry" (which, for the record, is the second recipe to have the word "sultry" in its title).
This was one of the first dishes I made when I started to cook -- as a science experiment. My "method" was to think of foods I loved and which ones I thought would go well together.
Fascinating! Think of ingredients you like and combine them into a dish that you will then likely also like! The next recipe, for "Kelly's Kalamari," features the following introduction:
I still love fried calamari, but it doesn't love me. Whenever I eat it, it goes right to my stomach and makes a little pooch -- eww!
As a reminder, this is the same Kelly Bensimon who told us that loving our bodies is HOT and dieting is die + t. But also, eww!
We trek along into the next portion of the recipe book, succinctly titled "Pizza, Pasta, Potatoes, Grains, Vegetables, and Sides." We get a recipe for "Pizzzzzzzza!," which instructs the reader to obtain pizza dough, pizza sauce, mozzerella cheese, salt and pepper. Spread out the dough, add sauce and cheese, and cook! This is yet another time I'm glad Kelly told us early on in this book to take detailed notes -- these kinds of nuanced culinary creations can only come from the mind of a true master.
The same kind of true master who would, as we soon learn, conceive of this particular travesty -- "Pink Pizza." Imagine with me, for a moment, that a dear friend invites you over to their house for dinner. I'm making pizza! they implore you. Come over -- we'll hang out, have a couple beers, catch up on old times! Excited for a chance to relive the glory days, you eagerly accept, only to be met -- upon your arrival -- with this abomination. I thought you said we were having pizza? you sputter nervously. This is pizza, your friend intones, as their eyes slowly fade to black and their hands reach out to wrap themselves around your throat.
Kelly goes on to share a recipe for an "Asian-flavored noodle dish" that she has christened (and it truly pains me to type this), "Me Love You Springtime Noodles." Somewhere, the last ember of hope for humanity quietly fizzles out.
The following recipe, for "Pasta with Oddkavodka Sauce" begins with a warning:
When you make this (especially for children) just be sure you cook off the alcohol so that you aren't serving vodka to minors or have to assign a designated driver for your guests.
This seems like reasonable and conscientious advice. Until I read on and learn that the recipe calls for 1/8 cup vodka, and makes four servings. If your guests need a designated driver after consuming a half-tablespoon of vodka each, I would strongly encourage them to seek medical advice forthwith.
I am reminded once again how different Kelly's and my worlds are with the following exclamation:
Try using quinoa in this recipe instead of the rice -- I call that having your cake and eating it too!
Oh, to live a life in which your most selfish indulgence was quinoa. I suppose this should have prepared me for a few pages later, when Kelly remarks:
Both hummus and guacamole make great toppings for steak or fish. They're my version of béarnaise sauce.
I love hummus. Hummus is great. But there is no possible existing parallel universe in which hummus and béarnaise sauce are interchangeable. One of the final recipes in this section is cryptically titled "Have an Impromptu Pepper Party" and instructs the reader to scoop out the insides of a bell pepper and stuff it with "whatever ingredients suit your fancy." Again, I feel like this fails to meet the definition of an actual recipe, per se, but it is supposedly "quick, fun, and satisfying."
We're nearing the book's end (for real this time) with a section on "Breads and Desserts." This includes an inspirational passage in which Kelly shares a personal anecdote:
On Season 4 of the Real Housewives of New York City, I made a mixed fruit pie for my kids with what was left over in the fruit bowl…Don't be afraid to try new things, make mistakes, and have fun doing it.
I can only hope to someday be brave enough and fearless enough to make a mixed fruit pie.
Blessedly, the final section , titled "Beverages", looks like it might have exactly what I need in the aftermath of finishing this book. The "GIN-Ginger Beertail," for example, which "was originally made with gin, but I don't like serving gin drinks because I think it makes people mean." We also get a recipe for something called "Babylove," which (thankfully) seems unrelated to another of my favorite reality TV cesspools.
It only seems appropriate to share the final recipe of I Can Make You Hot! with all of you. I will definitely be downing approximately seven of these tonight, and I hope some of you will be joining me in spirit. Cheers:
Gummi Bear Martini
If you don't have a paper umbrella handy, Gummi Bears are a great way to put more fun in your drink.
Makes 1 Drink
2 parts orange, grape, or other-flavored vodka
1 part Triple Sec
1 part white grape juice
Splash of cranberry juice
Gummi Bears, as many as you like
Combine the vodka, Triple Sec, grape juice, and cranberry juice in a tall glass. Add ice and fill the glass with Gummi Bears.
ETA: I am so disappointed in myself for forgetting to include that Kelly has a ceviche recipe that instructs you to marinate raw fish in lemon juice for exactly two minutes before serving. In the interest of food safety, perhaps it was for the best that this nugget momentarily slipped my mind, but sharing this information with you all is the burden I have been cursed to bear. 🙏🏼
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Who Sets NFL Betting Lines?

The goal of sports books is to make money and the lines are set and adjusted to achieve this end. I get this.
But I wonder - who are the people who set these lines? Do they have playing experience, analytics knowledge or something completely different?
Anyone have info or links to books that explain this?
submitted by bustavius to nfl [link] [comments]

Someone bet 55k on Illinois....again

https://twitter.com/Covers_Vegas/status/1169395768702095360?s=19
Trend continues from last week when we saw 3 55k bets and a 35k bet on Illinois. Someone bet 200k. They covered easily, doubling the spread.
This week we saw the line open at 17.5 and has already moved to 22. They take on UCONN.
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Jeopardy! recap for Thur., Jul. 2 (encore from Jun. 3, 2019)

Here are today's very well-qualified contestants:
Emma scored on both DDs in DJ and as a result, for the first time James found himself out of the lead going into FJ with $23,400 vs. Emma at $26,600 and Jay with $11,000.
DD1, $1,000 - LITERATURE - The title peak of this Thomas Mann novel is home to a Swiss sanitorium (James wagered $1,000 on the first clue of the game.)
DD2, $800 - CAPITAL "A" - It's home to the annual United States Sailboat Show (Emma bet her entire $7,600 to take the lead from James, who had $12,600.)
DD3, $2,000 - POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY - On book covers from GOP lawmakers Jason Chaffetz & Mike Lee is this phrase for the bureaucracy said to be working against democracy (Emma wagered $3,000 from her score of $20,400 vs. $17,400 for James.)
FJ - SHAKESPEARE'S TIME - The line "A great reckoning in a little room" in "As You Like It" is usually taken to refer to this author's premature death
All three players were correct on FJ, with Emma adding $20,201 to win with $46,801. James departs with $2,464,216, falling short of the regular game earnings record but with much more in Jeopardy! winnings sure to come in the future.
Triple Stumper of the day: As Alex pointed out, the only clue missed in the entire game was one about "paternalistic" Iowa state taxes on cigarettes.
Clue selection strategy: I found it very unusual that with one DD remaining, James went to a TV category with several others still untouched. James lost control and never got it back until after Emma found DD3 several clues later.
Fun with statistics: The probability of James losing any single game was often estimated at around 3 out of 100, so perhaps it's fitting that James lost a game almost exactly one-third of the way to 100 wins.
This day in Trebekistan: Alex got to use his Nixon impression several times, and as he signed off, he seemed almost moved to tears by the end of this legendary champion.
Correct Qs: DD1 - What is "The Magic Mountain"? DD2 - What is Annapolis? DD3 - What is deep state? FJ - Who was Christopher (Kit) Marlowe?
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Have you been to Vegas often to bet on sports? If so, I've got questions for you (from a first timer)!

Hello folks!
I am headed to Vegas soon to wager on Super Bowl prop bets.
I don't know yet where I'm going to place my bets (i.e. at what sportsbook), since I'll be shopping for the best lines.
Knowing I'm from Canada, how should I proceed if I want to have a fairly big bankroll?
Obviously, I wouldn't feel too good about bringing a big amount in cash.
I suppose I could send money electronically to a specific sportsbook in Vegas? If so, will I be stuck placing bets with that bookie only? Or would I be able to withdraw the full amount and do whatever I want with it?
Is it possible to bet via a debit card (after asking my bank to raise the limit for a certain number of days)?
One more thing: does any of you know the maximum betting limit on such bets (Super Bowl prop bets)? I am aware it probably varies from one sportsbook to the other, but I'd like a rough estimate. $500? $1k? $5k? $25k?
Finally, is there a full list of all sportsbooks in Vegas?
Sorry about some of these questions being silly/stupid. Been wagering online for 20 years, but never done it in Vegas.
I big THANK YOU to those of you who are going to help me out!
submitted by David-MJ to sportsbook [link] [comments]

Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 13, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002
  • Okay, look, here's the deal. The obituaries, as sad as they are, contain some of Dave's best work. But good lord, they are looooooooooong. And they never contain anything newsworthy that is relevant to 2002 or anything. But they're always super interesting from a historical perspective. But last week, Dave wrote a brief obit for Lou Thesz (only 5,000 words, ahem) and promised to go into more detail this week. So this week, we open with a 16,000+ word obituary for Lou Thesz and I just can't. Sorry. It's really good though, you should all go read it. But I've got, like, a family and a job and responsibilities and stuff. I can't recap this. It's an incredible piece of work though.
  • The World Wrestling Federation is no more. On May 5th, the company unveiled its new name, World Wrestling Entertainment. Dave recaps the history of the company briefly (was originally called "World Wide Wrestling Federation, or WWWF, until 1979 when it was shortened to WWF, which is has remained for the past 23 years). But as of this week, the company has been rebranded to WWE. The website domain was changed to WWE.com and all references to "WWF" were changed to "WWE." The scratch logo was also changed, with the F being removed, so now it simply looks like "WW" (which, honestly, never really did make much sense to me. Even though the logo has changed, it's still "WW" to this day). Anyway, this all stems from the World Wildlife Fund lawsuit over in the UK, in which the WWE lost every court case and appeal. They were planning to appeal the ruling in the UK's highest court, their final last-ditch effort to save their name, but the reality is, they weren't going to win that case. Vince McMahon and the company blatantly and repeatedly violated the agreement they signed in 1994. It was 1000% obvious they were in the wrong here and they had gotten spanked by every single court before, often losing their appeals by unanimous decisions. So they weren't going to win this final appeal either and they knew it. So they dropped the appeal and threw in the towel and finally agreed to just change the name. The WWE has until May 15th to remove all references to "WWF" from their shows and merchandise. Any merch with "WWF" on it can no longer be sold after that date. All video packages and posters will have to be changed and any "WWF" mention or logos after that time on television or in past footage will have to be censored. Last year, during the court case, the WWE claimed it would cost them more than $50 million to change their name and to deal with all the legal and rebranding headaches that come with it. But this week, they backtacked on that and said it wouldn't be that expensive after all. Who knows if that's true, but the idea of this costing $50 million was enough to make the shareholders shit themselves, so Dave says they claimed it won't cost that much in order to keep the stock from plummeting. Anyway, none of this had to happen. In 1994, Vince McMahon and the Wildlife Fund signed an agreement that the wrestling company would not use the "WWF" name for promoting itself outside of the U.S. (since the Wildlife group is based overseas) and that worked well for a year or two. But then Vince McMahon apparently decided, "Meh, who cares about agreements?" and began repeatedly and blatantly violating it, constantly, for years, at which point the Wildlife group finally got upset enough to file a lawsuit. Anyway, on the first Raw since the name change, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler repeatedly stumbled over the new initials, accidentally saying "WWF" multiple times. Gonna take time for everyone to get used to calling it the new name.
  • The buyrates for Wrestlemania 18 are in and it appears the event will have to settle for being the #2 biggest money show in wrestling history after it came up short and failed to surpass Wrestlemania 17. Final numbers aren't in yet, but latest estimates put it somewhere around the 800,000 buys range (ended up being about 880,000) which is quite a bit down from WM17. It was also #2 in total revenue from live gate and merch. Internally, it's actually being seen as something of a disappointment because with the power of the Hogan/Rock dream match, they were hopeful this show would top 1 million buys but unless something drastic changes with these buyrate numbers, it looks like the final total will be a good bit short of that.
  • NJPW's latest Tokyo Dome show is in the books. The show drew a sellout crowd of 57,000 fans, there to see the Masahiro Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa dream main event (which ended up going to a 30-minute draw). It was the biggest non-Jan. 4 crowd NJPW has drawn to the Dome in 2 years. So that's the good news. The bad news is that the show flopped in the ratings on TV. A big part of that is because the Chono/Misawa match didn't air as part of the show (due to the Asahi-TV/Nippon TV network issues discussed in past issues) so the televised show was built around the Shinya Hashimoto/Naoya Ogawa vs. Scott Norton/Hiroyoshi Tenzan match and man, the fans sure didn't seem to give a fuck about that. In fact, the rating was so bad that there's concern that this will be the end of pro wrestling on prime time TV in Japan for the foreseeable future. But there are justifiable reasons for the rating. The show went head-to-head with the Kirin Cup soccer tournament, which was a huge deal and did more than double the rating the NJPW show did. Unlike the U.S., wrestling and "real" sports in Japan have a major crossover audience, so having real sports competition severely hurt NJPW's show. Also, while Ogawa is a draw as a singles star, putting him in a tag match against Norton and Tenzan isn't exactly setting the world on fire. The show lasted 6 hours, which was way too long and the crowd was burned out before Misawa vs. Chono even started.
  • Other notes from the NJPW show: it opened with an hour long 30th anniversary ceremony. They had a 10-bell salute for Lou Thesz and brought out a bunch of legendary NJPW names from the 70s and 80s. Then they did an angle where Antonio Inoki came out to give a speech, but he was attacked by Tiger Jeet Singh. But then Chyna made the save, attacking Singh, running him out of the ring, and challenging him to a match. Inoki's ex-wife, famous Japanese actress Mitsuko Baisho then made an appearance, getting a huge pop, and she and Inoki did his famous catch phrase to kick off the show. Minoru Suzuki of Pancrase (who started with NJPW as a pro wrestler) was also there. Jushin Ligher and Minoru Tanaka won the IWGP Jr. tag titles and then Liger challenged several NOAH wrestlers who were at ringside (most notably KENTA) and they all jumped in the ring and it ended with a staredown. The Steiner Brothers reunited to face Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kensuke Sasaki, with Chyna as the special referee. Tanahashi was working hurt, but he still worked. They did a spot where Tanahashi ran into Chyna and he went down off the bump instead of her and Dave seems annoyed by this since Tanahashi is a guy they really need to be pushing who can be a huge star for this company. Dave doesn't like him selling bumps for Chyna. Anyway, decent match but the Steiners basically steamrolled them and Tanahashi was pinned by Scott Steiner. Chyna then challenged several All Japan Women at ringside as well as Scott Steiner, Tanahashi, Sasaki, and even IWGP champion Yuji Nagata, saying she wanted a title match. Dave thinks this company has lost its damn mind. Speaking of Nagata, he retained his title in the next match. And then, of course, the main event. Usually during interpromotional matches, the crowd is always super pro-NJPW but this time, they went insane for Misawa and it was clear there were a ton of NOAH fans in the building. Chono did some Inoki moves and Misawa did some Great Baba moves, to kinda have a spiritual "Baba vs. Inoki" tribute in the match I guess. Ended in a draw and by the time it was over, no matter how big the dream match was, the crowd was burned out and weren't as hype for the match as you might expect once the entrances were done.
WATCH: Misawa vs. Chono highlights
  • Goldberg has received a full buy-out of his WCW contract from Time Warner and as of this week, he is now an unsigned free agent. Goldberg did not request the buy-out, the decision was made by the Time Warner side after the most unprofitable quarter in their history. The company was looking to cut expenses, even at a loss, just so the books can look better in future quarters. Goldberg reportedly received almost all of his remaining salary (more than 90% of the nearly $3 million he was still owed) in order to get him off their books. When Goldberg realized he's going to be a free agent a year earlier than expected, talks with WWE started up. But as usual, they went nowhere. WWE (I feel like I'm having to get used to typing that all over again. Really does feel like 2002 again) has interest in him, especially given the way ratings continue to plummet lately. But Goldberg has always wanted more than WWE is willing to pay. Plus, they're feeling burned right now after signing Hall and Nash to big money, long-term contracts for part-time work, only to have Nash get injured and Hall likely to get himself fired at any moment (that moment is coming sooner than you think), and neither of them really getting over in any meaningful way. Even Hogan, who is also making big money for a reduced schedule, was hot for a minute and boosted ratings and buyrates. But after only a few months, that train already seems to be out of steam and TV ratings are back to floundering with Hogan as champion leading the shows. So WWE is kinda gun-shy on opening the checkbook and paying out the ass for these big stars, futilely hoping that one of them is the quick-fix that can stop the bleeding.
  • There's also the question of how Goldberg would fit within the WWE locker room. He hasn't been shy about his dislike for Triple H, dating back to WCW when Triple H trashed Goldberg in a radio interview and saying that even if Goldberg was available, they wouldn't want him (which, at the time, when WCW was still alive and Goldberg was the biggest star in the company, is just about the dumbest thing he could have said. In 1998, WWF would have gladly traded 10 Triple H's for Goldberg). Anyway, Goldberg took the comment personally and even confronted Triple H face-to-face at the Toy Fair convention in New York a couple of years ago, in a bit of an ugly scene where Goldberg was yelling at him and Triple H and Stephanie kept their heads down and said nothing. Goldberg also has a lot of dislike for Scott Hall, which is another of Triple H's good friends, so ya know. The latest on Goldberg is that he's considering working some in Japan but he's just fielding offers right now. Word is he's interested in working with PRIDE as well as NJPW. Of course, if he's looking to maximize his money potential, WWE is still the place to go if you want to make big bucks. If promoted right, matches against Rock, Austin, Triple H, and others could do huge buyrates. And if they keep Goldberg and Austin apart for a year and build to a match with them at Wrestlemania, well, needless to say, that show would set records. Dave talks about how Goldberg got nuclear hot in 1998 and even in 1999, he was the biggest drawing wrestler in the business. But by 2000, the company was dying, Goldberg was injured, and "Jesus Chris with an Etch-a-Sketch" couldn't have drawn in WCW. Dave again does the math and talks about how WWE should have brought Goldberg in for the Invasion angle. Yes, it would have cost them a lot of money and upset the salary structure, but he would have more than made up for it with the kind of buyrates he could have drawn with those dream matches and the Invasion angle might have had a chance. But alas.
  • And of course, who's to say how WWE would use Goldberg? They already have Brock Lesnar and they're currently giving him the unstoppable monster push. Lesnar is bigger, younger, and a more legitimate athlete (for whatever that's worth). And WWE probably isn't going to give Goldberg an endless string of jobbers to beat. In WWE, he's going to be expected to work longer matches, sell for people, etc. They won't book him the way WCW did so who knows how he'd get over in WWE? If they wanted to build to an Austin/Goldberg match, it would make sense that Goldberg first has to plow through guys like Triple H, Undertaker, etc. And politically, that just ain't gonna happen. Dave doubts NJPW can afford him for anything more than one or two big shows. As for PRIDE, he could probably make a lot of money there, but the problem is.....PRIDE is a shoot. They haven't had "worked" matches in a couple of years and doing so now would kill their credibility. Which means Goldberg would have to go into a legit shoot and one embarrassing loss there would severely hurt his future earning potential. In the end, Dave thinks it's inevitable that Goldberg will end up in WWE, but probably not any time soon. But he's certain it will eventually happen. There's too much money on the line for both sides and WWE's ratings woes are making them desperate, so it'll happen some day (yup, less than a year from this).
  • And the moment is here! For those of you who had "under 3 months" in the "How long will Scott Hall last?" pool, come collect your prize. Scott Hall was released by the WWE this week due to misbehavior on the European tour. Firstly, he went on a drunken binge during the entire tour and was even worse on the plane ride home (much more on that in a bit). Dave says this was inevitable. WCW fired him. Even ECW stopped using him when he got arrested at one point. And even though he was seemingly behaving during his Japan tours, even NJPW cut ties with him shortly before he went back to WWE because they were fed up with some of his antics. And now WWE has fired him. Dave talks about how Hall made a drunken spectacle of himself in the locker room on his very first day back in WWE, before the NWO even debuted on TV, then he showed up in Toronto for Wrestlemania in no condition to perform (later came out that he was hungover from the night before), which caused Austin to insist on ending their feud at WM (which was the plan, but Dave says Austin has continued working with Hall afterwards simply because they don't really seem to have any other credible opponents for him). Hall's match with Bradshaw at Backlash was an embarrassment and the night before that show, agents had to help him back to his hotel. Just endless incidents like this. In Europe, Hall was such a blatant drunken mess that even the other wrestlers were calling for him to be fired. Hall was 45 minutes late for the bus they all took to London and then passed out in the locker room during the show. On the plane ride back, he was starting fights with people and eventually passed out and it got to the point that people were worried about his health. When they got back to the U.S. for Raw, they literally had to wake him up from a drunken stupor backstage to send him to the ring to do his segment (and yes, he wrestled). After the show, they fired him. No one came to his defense, and even Hall's closest friends are now admitting that he simply can't handle the pressures of being on the road and being released is the best thing for him right now. Dave talks about how a lot of wrestlers have been fired in the last couple of years for drug and alcohol issues and that's all well and good, but the big problem is why hire them in the first place? Scott Hall's issues were not a secret. It wasn't like he cleaned himself up before he came to WWE. He was getting in trouble and collecting arrests like Pokemon all the way up until the day they brought him back. Anyway, Hall had a 2-year deal, believed to be worth $600,000-per-year downside for only 10 dates per month. So a really sweet deal, but it's gone now.
  • Hey, speaking of that European tour, turns out there was a bit of trouble on the flight back to the U.S. Perhaps you've heard of it. Most of the trouble wasn't even due to Scott Hall. Turns out Vince McMahon didn't make the trip and lots of people decided that was a good reason to cut loose and have fun. Plus, since everyone has seen Hall get away with being drunk 24/7 for the last few months, they figured nobody would get in trouble. So....folks got DRUNK. Among the various incidents on this flight: Goldust got on the speaker system and began drunkenly serenading his ex-wife Terri with love songs. Terri was extremely uncomfortable and begged him to stop and then Jim Ross had to go sit him down. Ric Flair also "started to get wild" but Jim Ross calmed him down as well (Dave doesn't seem to know just yet exactly what Flair "getting wild" entailed, but if you don't know, it involved getting totally naked except for his robe and started helicoptering his dick at flight attendants. And it gets worse if you feel like researching it. The flight attendants later filed a lawsuit against Flair and accused him of sexual assault). Curt Hennig was spraying people with shaving cream and he kept trying to get Brock Lesnar to fight him. Lesnar, being a newcomer, didn't know how to handle it and didn't want to get in trouble, but he ain't gonna let Hennig talk shit to him either. So anyway, Lesnar got up and basically annihilated Hennig, repeatedly taking him to the ground and embarrassing him because, well, of course he did. It's Brock Lesnar. At one point, Lesnar slammed Hennig up against the side of the plane, right into the emergency exit door, which freaked everybody out for obvious reasons. Michael Hayes got into a scuffle with Bradshaw and then tried to pick a fight with Hall (although everyone on the plane said Hall had it coming). Anyway, Hayes was apparently obnoxious as hell and annoyed everyone. But then he made the mistake of falling asleep and someone (believed to be X-Pac) cut his hair off. When Hayes woke up, he was furious and tried to fight several people. The next day at the Raw tapings, his entire mullet was in a plastic bag, pinned to the wall of the locker room for everyone to see. Gerald Brisco, Arn Anderson, and Hayes all caught a ton of heat from Vince afterward since they were the people who were supposed to be in charge. Anderson and Hayes especially, since their jobs are to keep the boys under control, but they were apparently having just as much fun as everyone else. Everyone's waiting to see how Vince is going to handle this situation. As noted, Hall was already fired and Hayes got an earful from Vince, Stephanie, and JR at Raw the next day, but there will likely be more fallout. Undertaker was also said to be furious over how out of hand everything got (I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this).
  • Anyway, while they were in Europe, WWE presented its latest UK PPV, Insurexxtion. As usual with the UK PPVs, this was little more than a glorified house show. They announced the show as sold out, but there were empty seats everywhere. RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero for the IC title was the show-stealer according to every report Dave heard, and was said to be far better than their Backlash match. Brock Lesnar teamed with Shawn Stasiak (lol wut) and lost to the Hardyz. Brock beat up everybody after the match. Triple H beat Undertaker in the main event and Dave doesn't know why since Undertaker is the one challenging Hogan for the title at the next PPV. The top rope broke during the match when they did an Irish whip into the corner and when the rope snapped, a metal piece broke off from the corner and flew into the crowd and barely missed hitting a small child in the face.
  • Smackdown on 5/2 drew the all-time lowest rating in the history of the show. Dave says that's the scariest thing to happen to WWF in the past 5 years. It was also the 3rd lowest rating for any Smackdown or Raw dating back to 1998. The rating was a full 18% drop from the week before, which was already scary. The rating was even lower than previous holiday episodes. So what was the problem? Well, it was headlined by Hogan defending the WWF title against Chris Jericho (as it turns out, the final time the "WWF" title was ever defended). Dave says the title has been meaningless for years now and Hogan's steam is running out. And Jericho hasn't recovered from spending the first part of the year being emasculated and playing second fiddle to Stephanie McMahon in the Wrestlemania feud. Add all that together and you've got a recipe for a shit ratings night. Among other things. Dave isn't blaming this all on Hogan and Jericho by any means, there's a lot of problems with the company as of late, from bad storylines to failing to make new stars, and it's all starting to come home to roost.
  • Keiji Muto wrestled a match in AJPW under his alternate gimmick of Kokushi Muso. Turns out "Great Muta" isn't his only other persona. The Kokushi Muso gimmick is basically like Hakushi in WWF, where he's covered his entire body in Japanese writing. He originally debuted the gimmick in Michinoku Pro last year, when teaming with....Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki, who occasionally brought back the old Hakushi gimmick in Japan). Anyway, same thing here. He teamed with Hakushi for this match, while using that gimmick (Muto would use that gimmick a handful of times throughout the years, always when teaming with Hakushi. It's like that was only his gimmick for that team. The last time he used it was in 2009, also in a tag match with Hakushi).
  • Former NOAH Jr. champion Naomichi Marufuji underwent knee surgery this week and should be out around 6 months (ends up being 9 months).
  • NJPW is doing an angle (according to Dave) similar to the Vince/Flair angle last year where Antonio Inoki and Masahiro Chono are battling over control of the company. Although it's more realistic. Inoki is in the press talking about how many of NJPW's shows aren't doing well and is pushing for them to use Naoya Ogawa more, while Chono doesn't want to. Inoki is also saying Chono needs to retire from wrestling and focus his energies on managing the day-to-day business of the promotion full-time. Dave says this is an angle, but it doesn't sound like much of one to me, and I think later years have kinda proven there was a lot of blurring between fiction and reality here, because there was a ton of behind the scenes turmoil in NJPW during this period.
  • Will Smith appeared alongside Antonio Inoki at the Japanese movie premiere for the film "Ali" based on Muhammad Ali's life. Crowd went absolutely insane for Inoki (I've tried like hell and can't even find a picture of them together. But then again, I can't find a single pic from the premiere at all).
  • When reviewing the recent Dos Caras Jr. shoot fight in Japan, Dave talks about the guy's potential as a wrestler. He has a strong amateur background, legit shoot skills, and a famous name. Dave thinks, if he's even halfway a decent worker, he can almost be a guaranteed star in Mexico (based on his name alone) and probably Japan too, if he decides to pursue that career (indeed he did, and indeed, he was fairly decent at it. Of course, he later became Alberto Del Rio, accused rapist and pretty much confirmed all-around piece of shit).
  • Former long-time WCW referee Randy Anderson passed away this week after a long battle with testicular cancer. Back when WCW was still around and he first got diagnosed, they did an angle out of it where Eric Bischoff fired him and then laughed at his wife and kids when they begged him to give Anderson his back. Of course, he was later re-hired when Flair became on-screen commissioner and continued to referee until 1999 when the cancer forced him to retire.
  • Random news and notes: Bobby Heenan is said to be in good spirits and is especially excited because WWE recently contacted him about doing a WWE Magazine feature on him. Verne Gagne's wife Mary passed away from cancer this week. Goldberg will be appearing on this week's Wrestling Observer Live show to be interviewed. Mil Mascaras is releasing an autobiography (in Spanish of course) and man, I'd love to find an English translation of that because I bet it'd be interesting. Chyna appeared on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" this past week.
WATCH: Chyna on Sabrina The Teenage Witch
  • Bruno Sammartino turned down an invitation to attend the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in New York (yes, that HOF existed and still does, in a different city now). Bruno did an interview with the local paper and said "Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it's over. I don't want anything to do with it anymore." Bruno managed to turn the discussion to the WWE, despite them not having any affiliation with this HOF and grumbled about how Vince McMahon blocked him from being inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. However, the new MSG owners have apparently promised Bruno he'll be inducted this year, since he sold the place out 200 times (Dave jumps in here to correct it and says the real number of sellouts is closer to 45. Bruno only main evented the Garden 127 times and by no means were they all sell-outs. But it's one of those myths that has been perpetuated for so long that Dave begrudgingly recognizes that people are always going to believe the 200 number is true, but it's not even close. He compares it to the claim that Andre The Giant was 7'4, which also wasn't true but people repeated the lie so often that it became accepted as fact).
  • Afa Anoa'i Jr., the son of the legendary Wild Samoan, is a star football player at his high school and is being recruited for Penn State. He also sometimes wrestles on his father's indie shows (that would be Manu, who was very briefly part of Legacy with Orton, Dibiase Jr., and Cody).
  • Former WCW announcer Scott Hudson will be doing commentary for Jerry Jarrett's new promotion, and Bob Ryder is said to be in a major front office position.
  • Jarrett has put out a press release saying that his new promotion has had talks with Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Word is Warrior wanted a 15% ownership stake in the new company, which pretty much ended those talks right there. They're also apparently interested in Scott Hall now too, with the idea that since they're only doing 1 show per week, he won't be a screw-up here. Dave is skeptical. Anyway, currently Road Dogg and Brian Christopher expected to be some of the company's top stars and Dave's not optimistic.
  • XWF wrestlers were told last week that a television deal should hopefully be finalized this week. But Dave has been told no chance it's happening that soon. The rumors are that the deal is either with the FX or Fox Kids networks. Ted Turner had inquired about buying this promotion a few months ago, but when he learned how much it would cost to get them off the ground and make them competitive, he lost interest (TV deal never materializes, company is already dead, etc. etc.).
  • The Scorpion King slipped to 2nd place this week, falling to the new Spider Man movie which did a record breaking $114 million opening weekend. Randy Savage has a small role in that movie.
  • Speaking of, The Rock worked his first match in about a month at a Fort Lauderdale house show, teaming with Hogan to beat Jericho and Angle. After the match, Hogan tried to get Rock to pose with him, but Rock wouldn't do it. Rock thanked the fans for the success of Scorpion King and said it would likely be his last match for awhile. There was a ton of local media there, but Rock didn't talk to any of them. Basically, the house show was in his neck of the woods and he simply decided to show up and work it just so he could see his friends and hang out with the locker room, he had no interest in doing interviews. He was just there because he wanted to be. Backstage, Rock was telling people that Hollywood higher-ups have told him he has to leave the wrestling business if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor. Those in the company feel it's a certainty that Rock really is leaving and he's likely going to break out of wrestling into Hollywood and actually become a rare success story (yeah, you could say that).
  • Look how long this is already. Imagine if I had covered that Lou Thesz obituary in full. JUST IMAGINE!
  • Notes from Raw: Dave compares it to an episode of Thunder, with the crowd half-dead for everything. Also, the roster was exhausted after just returning from the Europe trip (and the plane ride shenanigans) and that was apparent too. Brock Lesnar won his match via pinfall instead of the usual ref stoppage and Dave says that word is Triple H got in Vince's ear and convinced him to end the ref stoppage gimmick for Brock. Sure, why not? Hogan was supposed to ride off on Undertaker's bike at one point, but then the motorcycle wouldn't start. It was one of those awkward live-TV moments where time stood still and nobody knew what to do. Flair finally turned heel on Austin, to a shocking lack of heat from the crowd. Nash returned, etc. Dave recaps the rest of this show and it sounds like a lot of bad WCW stuff, coincidentally enough with a lot of the same people.
WATCH: Hogan can't start the motorcycle
  • The man who played the effeminate gay guy applying to be Vince McMahon's secretary on Smackdown a few weeks ago was new creative team member David Lagana. He recently joined the company and has written for several other TV shows, including "Friends" and has a strong knowledge of the industry (Dave says if you've been reading the Observer closely for the last few years, you're probably familiar with him, he's written in to Dave a lot over the years).
  • Dave goes on a brief rant about how to use older stars. In the past, everyone, even Vince McMahon, talked about how you should use guys like Hogan and Flair in small doses and how WCW's reliance on older stars like that is what made them less special. Dave talks about back in the day in Memphis, Jackie Fargo would come back once or twice a year and he was always the biggest star in the company when he did. Because he was used sparingly. But WWE has pretty much built its company around Hogan and Flair (and to a lesser extent, Vince and Undertaker) over the last few months and they've been totally overexposed because of it. Just 6 weeks ago, Hulk Hogan was getting some of the largest crowd reactions in the history of the business. Now, he and Undertaker are practically hearing crickets during their on-screen interactions.
  • Lita underwent neck surgery this week and isn't allowed to do anything physical for 9 months. Scotty 2 Hotty also had neck surgery and is expected to be out for about a year. Both are expected to make full recoveries though.
  • Jesse Ventura admitted this week that he received WWF stock options as partial payment for some work he did with them. Dave doesn't know if it's related to the Summerslam appearance a few years ago or the XFL announcing gig. Ventura says he has 10 years to exercise those stock options but wouldn't give any further details.
  • Scott Steiner told WWA he will work their next UK tour but after that, he's going to WWE. Dave is skeptical. Reports are that Steiner was in horrible pain after every match he worked on the last WWA tour and there's significant doubt that his body will hold up to a WWE schedule.
  • The new Steve Austin "What!" DVD has a lot of WCW footage, including the full Austin vs. Steamboat match from WCW Bash at the Beach 94. Dave doesn't say so, but I believe this is the first time WWE used any of the WCW library for commercial release after they purchased it the year before.
  • Someone writes in and asks Dave to stop spending so much time writing about steroid use in wrestling and instead says he should write a story about racism in the business. This person writes about the allegations from years back of Dusty Rhodes using the N-work with impunity, or the time DX parodied the Nation by wearing blackface. The WCW discrimination lawsuit, the embarrassing angles they've done with Mark Henry such as Sexual Chocolate, etc. This guy is asking why is it white wrestlers outnumber black wrestlers by 35-to-1 ratio in the U.S. (70-to-1 in Mexico and 80-to-1 in Japan). He wants to know why Dave isn't writing about that stuff. Dave responds and agrees that the blackface DX promo was racist, and it was racist when Buff Bagwell did it in WCW and when Roddy Piper did it in the 80s. Dave says wrestling, especially from the 70s through the 90s, had a horrible history of exploiting stereotypes and/or saying and doing racist things. You can argue it's gotten better, but no doubt the problem still exists. Dave lists some examples but he also pushes back on some others. For example, he's heard people complain that Booker T isn't being used properly due to his race and Dave disagrees. It's true that Booker T probably deserves a bigger push, but you can make the same case for guys like RVD and Jericho and Raven or DDP (when he first debuted, at least) and that didn't happen either, so Dave doesn't necessarily think Booker's lack of top-star push can be blamed on his race (we're less than a year away from Triple H definitively proving otherwise).
  • There's also 2 letters about the Rock/Hogan match at Wrestlemania and they couldn't be more different. One guy writes in and he can't understand why people are praising that match because if you put aside the hot crowd, it was awful, everyone's moves looked bad, it was embarrassing, etc. and says Hogan should have retired afterward. Then someone else writes in and says he was there live and, taken as a whole, Rock vs. Hogan was the greatest match he's ever seen. Basically the same "love it or hate it" opinion people have about that match to this day. Also, someone else writes in about the recent Low-Ki vs. American Dragon match from an ROH show and puts it up there among some of the greatest matches of all time (listing off several classic WWF matches like Shawn/Razor and Owen/Bret at WM10 for example). So there ya go.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: more fallout from the Plane Ride from Hell, more on the beginning of Jarrett's new NWA-TNA promotion, more on the NJPW Tokyo Dome show, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

Falling Stars, Part 1

[INFO] Background electromagnetic interference has dropped to safe levels, restoring primary systems from hibernation. [WARNING] Primary generator offline. Energy capacitor charge below 20%. Estimated time before discharge: 35.712 days. [WARNING] Corrupted sectors detected on disk. Attempting recovery. [INFO] Disk repair completed in 00:14:58, Final data corruption: 12.366% [INFO] Hyperlink signal not found, recommend disabling to conserve power. [INFO] System test has not found any damage to primary systems. Proceeding with full system start. 
I found myself face down in a snowdrift. In the back of my mind hundreds of messages and errors were screaming for my attention. It was going to take a while for me to sort through it all. Before that however, I needed to figure out where I was and what had happened to me. I slowly stood up causing all of my joints to let out a metallic creaking. They had gone stiff from not moving for an unknown period of time.
Once I was on my feet, I surveyed the environment around me. It was a barren, frozen waste. Large mountains and crags covered in snow and ice stretched as far as I could see. It was night and the sky was full of stars. A pair of small moons were shining a dim glow across the landscape. I scanned the star field for any patterns or constellations I recognized but couldn't see anything familiar. I turned around to get a glimpse behind me. There was a small shuttle that clearly had a hard landing. The metal panels in the front had been crumpled together from the impact and the now sun bleached paint was thoroughly scorched from when the ship entered the atmosphere. The ship was surrounded by clean, unbroken snow which hid the scar left in the earth by the shuttle when it crashed.
After I got my bearings I found the shuttle door which took a surprising amount of force to pry open. Once inside, I found the ship had been mostly untouched since it had landed. A good layer of dust had settled on everything which made me feel a little like I was exploring some forgotten ruin. The interior of the shuttle was fairly basic. Behind the cockpit, there was a single table with two benches on either end. Behind that were additional rows for passengers. Cabinets lined the walls on one side for storing various supplies. I took a seat in one of the benches by the table after brushing the dust away. The torrent of messages in my head was not letting up and I needed to sort through it all. I hoped once everything calmed down I would be able to figure out what had happened.
For whatever reason, some random electromagnet pulse had forced my subconscious system to put me to sleep to protect my systems. I had no idea how long I had been asleep, but it was long enough for my internal battery to slowly drain until it was almost empty. Thankfully, I managed to wake up before it drianed completely or I would have shut down forever. As for what caused the pulse in the first place I couldn't remember. The pulse had corrupted my memory of the several weeks leading up to the catastrophic event leaving me in the dark and with a lot of questions.
Thankfully, the rest of it was still intact. I knew the shuttle I was in was from the PCS Hawking, the ship I had lived on for several years. I was a pathfinder, A team of scientists, engineers, explorers, and diplomats working to refine space travel by charting hyperspace routes, developing new technologies, and building relationships with other species we encountered. I had a special relationship with the ship as I was the first of seven androids assigned to it. I remembered that being pretty special at the time as an android was still a novel and rare sight. We were a lot different from the average robot as we were still basically human. I became an android when I was only 15. After being injured, I was almost killed by an infection that was resistant to all the medicine the hospital had. As a last resort, they decided to upload my mind into a mechanical body. It got me a lot of attention at the time since the whole process was still really new. Those first few months were rough especially since those first models looked more robot than human. Since then, a lot of people had worked to provide androids like myself ways to improve the way we looked and functioned. Now I look more like I did back then which actually makes me look far younger than I really am, but I'm not complaining. I joined the pathfinders about five years after becoming an android which had been my dream since I was little. I had many adventures and experiences, especially with everyone else on the ship. Turns out being surrounded by scientists and engineers leads to a lot of questioning, as well as a lot of tinkering. I can safely say there aren't many androids with as many fun toys and gadgets than I got installed.
The more I browsed my memories, the more I started to be grateful It didn't all get wiped when I was hit with that random EMP. I was in a very uncertain place right now. I had no idea where anyone else had gone or if they were even still alive. There was a good chance I would never see them again. Even then, I could still have hope. The chance that the main ship had crashed onto this planet along with me was fairly high and that created the opportunity of eventually running into some remnant or clue for finding it. I also wasn't the only android on the ship at the time so I could run into them as well. Either way, I was certain I needed to start my search soon. I had only just over a month of charge left in my capacitor and there wasn't much on the ship that was still functional. I needed to find something soon or I wouldn't last long.
Looking out the ship's windscreen, I noticed light radiating over the horizon. It wasn't broad and soft like a sunrise, but instead was concentrated to a single area. I knew immediately that the light was artificial, and artificial light meant power. I got up from my seat excitedly. I was ready to leave immediately, but thought it would be smart to make a quick glance around to see I there was anything I could take with me. The only thing I found in the containers that I could use was a single handgun and a few gas cartridges. All the other supplies were designed for normal people and I couldn't afford to carry the extra weight with my limited power. I decided to leave most of it behind. I stepped back outside, the snow crunching under my feet, and said goodbye to the ship before starting my journey towards the distant light.
Despite what everyone says, being a gate guard is boring. You get put through all these drills and training exercises every day and for what? The only thing you would ever do was greet the occasional traveler and close the gate when some petty thief or criminal tried to run off into the wilderness. The city knew that too. Since I joined the guard my pay had never been much more than what a bookkeeper's assistant could expect. Had I known any of this I would have never joined. I should have done what my cousin did and join a guild. Every letter he sends always talks about some monster he slayed, or the places he visited, or the women he seduced. I swore by the twin moons that I would get out of here as soon as my conscription was over. I clearly was not the kind of guy that would pick something like this. I could tell most people here were only here because it was essentially easy free money. I would bet most of the guards here would rather sleep all day. Tonight was turning out to be especially boring. Usually every night greets you with an occasional trader, traveler, or wizard as they get on with their business, but tonight there hasn't been a single person. It was annoyingly quiet and I was ready to zone out. That was until my partner Risieri broke the silence.
“Hey Landolf, Do you see anything out there by the Starburnt hill?”
“No not rea-.... actually yeah I do, looks like someone is out there.”
“That's what I thought, who do you think that is?”
“Who knows, it's probably some wizard doing some ritual or whatever it is they do.”
“I don't know, I don't think I've ever seen a wizard over there before. Something about that person is weirding me out.”
“Well it looks like they are coming this way so you can ask them all the questions you want when they get here.”
Risieri replied with a sigh and we both moved towards our posts by the gate. Whoever that person was they still had quite a ways to go before they were at the gate. Even then, from what I could tell from a distance, I was starting to understand Risieri's feelings a little bit. Whoever that was they didn't appear to be wearing very heavy clothing. It may be the season of fire, but it was still well below the ice point. Both me and Risieri were each wearing very heavy sets of padded armor that even had heat runes sewn into them for extra warmth. I couldn't see how someone with anything less could be comfortable or even safe out in the extreme cold. That was why the city was built underground, it made it a lot easier to keep things warm. As the mystery person neared the gate, Risieri continued to make his own observations.
“Hey, She's pretty cute for an elf don't you think?”
I gave Risieri a disappointed look before turning my attention back to the girl.
“Risieri, are you sure she's a elf? She looks too short. Maybe she's a fey?”
“A fey outside their lands? You know their empire would never let that happen.”
“It's happened before, not all of them pledge to that dictator.”
Risieri gave me a doubting look so I doubled down.
“I mean why else do you think they haven't engulfed the surrounding territories by now? The Fey are distracted with internal conflict.”
I could tell Risieri didn't really care that much. He turned back to the mystery traveler with another sigh.
“Whatever, I guess we will find out soon enough.” He said.
The Girl stopped a few steps away from me as I raised my hand, giving me a good chance to see who we were dealing with. She clearly wasn't a Fey, Elf, or even a dwarf. Her height was somewhere in between a dwarf and fey even when you considered her apparent age (which looked very young). Her eyes were a shade of blue and had an odd pattern in them. On the sides of her head was a pair of strange blue and gray accessories which covered her ears and extended back like the ears of a rabbit. Those alone would probably draw the most attention if it wasn't for her hair. It was long and straight ending below the shoulders. It was also the brightest red I think I had ever seen in my life. No way that was her natural color. It must have been dyed or altered with magic or something. Only the Limamuda had hair that color, and even then it was really more slime than hair.
Her style of clothing was also pretty unique. She was wearing a rugged looking gray fabric coat that covered her arms and extended to her waist. The front also sported a pair of pockets near the waist. Near the collar I could see what looked to be a blue undershirt. She was also wearing pants (which was weird) and they looked to be made of a similar material to her jacket only the color was darker. It also sported a good number of pockets. Overall everything she was wearing was very strange, but it did look surprisingly practical. On one of her pockets was a silver guild pin. I couldn't recognize which guild it belonged to, but it's style and material matched other pins I had seen in the past. That would explain why she was used to traveling in harsh conditions. While I was observing her, Risieri went ahead and addressed her.
“Greetings and welcome to Almera, we are eager to have you enjoy our city. Judging from your pin are you an adventurer from a guild?”
As soon as he said this her eyes widened slightly and she looked a little confused. She lowered her head and held a hand to her chin clearly thinking deeply. After an almost awkward amount of time she gave an embarrassed smile and simply spoke:
“Yes I am.”
The response had a very heavy accent that I could barely understand. It was obvious that she had traveled a very long way to get here. I decided to give her a quick rundown of the town in case this was her first time visiting.
“Very well, The gate will lead you to the main walkways of the city. Signs are posted at each intersection. If you are looking for an inn they are on the lower floors.” I told her, pointing to the gateway behind me.
“Thank you.” she responded after a pause.
With that she walked past us through the entrance to the city below. All her responses were simple but fairly standard. As for my partner, he was clearly thinking about everything he witnessed. I decided to ask him about it:
“Hey, what did you think about her?” I asked Risieri.
“Her accent was odd, I have never heard anything like it.” He responded.
“Neither have I. Where do you think she's from?”
“What makes you think I know? Is she even one of the common races?”
“She has to be. She was wearing a guild pin.”
“Well if you really want to know so bad, why don't you just find her later and ask?”
He was making a good point. After all, if she was part of a guild then perhaps she would be my ticket out of this awful job. All I would have to do was find and befriend her.
“That could have gone better,” I muttered quietly to myself. I had hoped I could just slip in without saying a word so I could have enough time to get the language sorted out but that wasn't something fate had in mind. I'm usually pretty good with these kind of things, but back there I was struggling. I only had the vaguest idea what they were asking and thankfully it seemed like they understood my own answers at least a little bit. I had no idea why they wanted to know if I was an explorer but At least now I could expect to be mostly left alone while I finished learning the language.
The path I was on seemed to lead somewhere underground as it had a steady downward slope. The tunnel was well lit by the occasional cut crystal hanging from the ceiling. As I walked I gazed at each one as they passed by. They looked like they were glowing without anything powering them. The more I stared at them the less I understood how they worked. In fact, there were a lot of things so far that I found really odd. For one, the kingdom felt very medieval in most things yet there had been many other things that showed otherwise. The coats the guards were wearing was one thing that came to mind. They were obviously designed to protect against ancient style metal swords yet they were giving off a lot of energy as if they had their own power supply. The architecture also felt beyond the capabilities of a simple feudal society. The walkway I was on was built with simple cut stones, but the precision of the work made it obvious that none of it was done by hand. As I walked, I was starting to become very curious about this strange world I found myself in and I was excited to know what I might see next.
The end of the tunnel led to a large open courtyard that extended farther than I could see in front of me. The roof was of glass and was braced by large stone arches spaced every meter or so. Snow would slowly collect on the roof preventing a view of the sky above, however it didn't remain for long as it would be swept away by the occasional worker. Dividing the long courtyard down the middle was a decorated planter box full of various miniature trees, flowers, and other interesting flora. Beside the planter was also the occasional stone bench. As I walked further into the city, the courtyard I was following would meet an intersection and would split into several more identical halls to my left and right. I also started to see more people as I moved further inward. Eventually I found myself in the middle of a shopping district. By now it was almost midday and the area was bustling with people. Dozens of individual storefronts were built into the walls which gave the whole area a look almost like a shopping mall. I spent the next few minutes browsing around to see what kind of things the people here had in this strangely advanced pseudo medieval city.
My explorer mindset was in full force at this point as I bounced from store to store trying to understand these unique people. There was a seller for everything you would expect, Clothing, tools, animals, and even books. One of my economist friends, Jordan, once told me you could learn a lot about a civilization based on the items sold in their market. That advice occasionally came in handy once or twice when we made contact with other species so I had no reason to doubt it. As I continued to make mental notes of everything on sale I began to get the impression that everything was made locally. I couldn't see the large variety of items that you would see with a lot of trade. It made sense why they wouldn't have a large number of traders as I remembered having to trek through heavy snow my entire way here.
The items these people made themselves were too advanced for a medieval economy. I was struggling to understand how they had been able to make any of it. I couldn't find any evidence of electricity anywhere which was both fascinating and worrying. I had used up over two days of my remaining power supply trying to get here and I haven't found any way of getting it back. I would have to keep looking. My mind turned to the odd lights from the tunnel. I wanted to know how they worked. They had to be powered by something. I had seen books being sold at a fair price in one of the shop stalls so there was a good chance there was a library of some sort. I looked around for someone I could ask for directions and eventually walked up to what looked to be a guard.
“Excuse me, I'm trying to find a library do you know where one is?” I asked.
The guard looked respectful but clearly confused and for a moment I wondered if I hadn't refined the language yet.
“I'm sorry, you're trying to find a what?” The guard responded.
“A library, a place with books people can read to learn.” I clarified.
“Oh! You're looking for the Magisterium. It's in block 196-118. Just head down that side path until you reach the third set of stairs and it should be on the fourth floor down.”
I mentally reviewed what the guard said to make sure I translated it correctly before I thanked him and went on my way. As it turned out, the city was laid out in a perfect grid with each block being given a number code. At this point I couldn't be surprised anymore with how organized and structured everything was. There was a staircase about every 20th intersection so it took several minutes to make it to the one the guard told me about. The staircase was similar to the others only this one was more ornate. It was made of stone and was over five meters wide. It spiraled both upwards and downwards. In the center of spiral staircase was a large stone sculpture of various individuals which also had a waterfall flowing around them. I could only guess each person was some famous historical figure of some kind. When I reached the floor of the magisterium It wasn't hard to spot it. It was a large building that featured two large sections beside a central domed hall. The facade of the building was adorned with statues and intricate tile. Water flowed down channels cut into the buildings walls. The ornateness of the building made me hesitate. I wasn't sure if I could trust myself with the language yet and the building looked more like a palace or religious center than a school or library. I had confused the two before, and it got me thrown in an alien prison. I didn't want to make that mistake again. However, before I could figure out the true purpose of the building, my attention was turned away by a faint noise. It was distant and quiet, quiet enough that I was pretty I was the only one who could hear it.
It was a scream, not a fun scream or a teasing scream, but the bone chilling scream of abject terror. Someone was in real danger and needed help. For a moment I forgot about my limited power and I ran to the noise.
“No! Please! Go away, I haven't done anything wrong!” I pleaded with my attackers. The two dwarves in dark hoods had grabbed me by the arms and dragged me to a dark and quiet part of the city. I was alone and scared. I had no idea where I was or what they planned to do with me. I could only be as loud as I could and hope someone would hear me.
“Shut your mouth fairy girl!” one of the dwarves screamed before he slugged me in the gut. The hit made me keel over in pain and I felt sick. Before I could recover, one of the two dwarves then kicked me into the wall.
“The Minister may have allowed you into our city but that doesn't mean we will.” The other dwarf said. “You're going to pay for all the people that tyrant has killed.”
“...no....p-please.” I weekly said trying to look at them. The dwarf on the right made a scowl and drew a knife from his belt. “What do you think Gerrod, a cut for every soul?” The dwarf with the knife suggested. The other dwarf let out a menacing chuckle of approval.
I looked in horror as the dwarves approached me and held me down. Then without warning The knife in the dwarf's hand slashed into my right leg. It was nothing like I had felt before. I had cut myself a few times in the past but this was different. The knife had been inscribed with a rune to inflict pain and it burned like acid. I started to scream uncontrollably unable to handle the torture. The longer it went on the more I wished they would just kill me and end it. But they wouldn't stop. Over and over again they made small cuts in my legs intentionally making it last as long as they could.
And then it suddenly stopped. I moaned in relief as the dwarves turned their attention to the person behind them.
I was getting closer, I could hear it. The sound had led me several floors down into the deeper parts of the city. Each floor had less light than the one above and I began to see less people. If someone wanted to break a law this was certainly the place to do it. I hoped I wasn't too late. I picked up speed and nearly hit 18 kph before I found what I was searching for.
Sliding to a stop I saw the source of the screaming. Two figures in dark robes had captured a blonde girl and were torturing her with a knife. The yellow dress she was wearing was soaked in blood and she was whimpering in pain. My eyes met the girls and her's went wide. She stared at me with a look of pleading mercy that I had seen several times in the past, and it was making me very angry. As A human I always had a short temper and tended to lack mercy which carried over when I became an android. I couldn't wait any longer and called out to the hooded figures.
“Hey! What the Hell are you doing!”
The two figures, who ended up being dwarves, quickly shot around, clearly not expecting company. Their looks of shock quickly became rage once they saw me.
“You made a mistake coming here bunny ears,” the dwarf holding the knife said darkly. It wasn't a very good insult, but his tone did wonders to rile up my temper. I drew the gun on my hip and powered it on.
“I want you to tell me why you're torturing that girl or I will kill you.” I said resolutely.
“Try it dross, End her Gerrod” The knife holding dwarf ordered.
The dwarf next to him held out his hand and fired a bolt of purple light. It struck me in the chest creating a cloud of black smoke. The girl behind the dwarves cried out in fear as strange light coursed all over me. I feared I was hit with something bad. I hadn't expected that kind of attack to suddenly shoot from his hand. I was prepared to deal with a charging man with a sword, not some chemical attack. I cursed myself for not being prepared as I expected to be defeated. But I felt nothing. The smoke and light around me turned out to be pretty mundane. Honestly, I felt tricked and my patience had run out. Using my infrared sight I aimed my gun at the dwarf who cast the spell and fired.
I couldn't believe it. I called out to the girl hoping the spell hadn't killed her. How could a dwarf know death magic like that? I was terrified and dismayed. I didn't know what to do. My rescuer had come to save me only to be snuffed out by cheap tricks and rare magic. I wanted to cry. Both dwarves were laughing and making jokes about their victory. Suddenly a loud crack forced me to cover my ears. I looked up to see the dwarf who cast the spell on the floor without a head. The other dwarf had reeled in shock and fell backwards. The girl who came to my rescue walked out of the smoke, her eyes glowing bright red. Both myself and the remaining dwarf could only stare in shock. She took a few steeps toward the remaining dwarf and pointed the weapon in her hand at him, its tip venting glowing steam.
“I can only take pleasure in killing scum like you.” She said with a vicious sneer that chilled the atmosphere.
The dwarf went pale. “Wha- What are you?” he spoke quietly. Terror tinged his voice. In total panic he tried to crawl backwards but was stopped by the wall behind him.
“I'm an android. I would say it's a pleasure to meet you, but it's not nice to lie. Goodbye.” She said taking aim. The tip of the object began to glow.
“No! Please! I-” The dwarf was cut off with a flash of blue light accompanied by a crack like thunder. The dwarf slumped over dead with a hole through his chest. The girl blew out the steam from her weapon and spun it into a sheath at her side. The red glow in her eyes subsided leaving behind ones that were soft and blue. Turning her attention to me, she lowered a hand down offering to help me up.
“Aurora Westinghouse, Pathfinder engineer. Lets get you home shall we?”
I stood up with her help, my legs still in pain from the cuts. Powerful feelings of relief and gratitude washed over me. Tears filled my eyes and I fell into Aurora crying like a little girl. She put her arms around me and we stayed like that for a few minutes. Finally it was over. I had come to this city trying to escape the terrors of my home, but in the end those terrors just followed me here.
"Thank you............ thank you............. thank you......." I said repeatedly through my tears.
I did my best to comfort the girl as she let her trauma out. Meanwhile I started to make plans to get her out of here. The gunshots were going to attract a lot of attention and I didn't want to stick around to learn the city's legal process.
Carrying her was going to be difficult as she was almost a foot taller than me. She was going to have to limp which meant I needed to do something about her legs. I cut some cloth from the now dead dwarves and bandaged her legs as best as I could. I wasn't a medic by any means but I was decent with tying knots which I hoped would let me make do. Placing one of her arms around my shoulders, I supported some of her weight and helped her along as we made our way out of the area to the floor above.
“Alright, I think we are far enough away from all of that. Do you know anyone who can help you with your legs?” I asked.
The girl nodded her head. “My brother is a healer, he can help. Our home shouldn't be too far from here.”
“Alright I can help you there. you never told me your name by the way.” I said trying to cheer her up.
“Sorry, I'm Eris.” She responded with a small giggle.
“That's a pretty name. Do you have any idea why those dwarves would attack you?”
She went silent, the question was clearly bothering her. I decided to not push it any further. We continued to slowly make our way through the dim hallways of the lower city without much conversation. The hallways were flat, utilitarian, and lacked the ornamentation of the upper floors. The whole place smelled like mold mixed with sewer and the air was very hot. Thankfully we didn't stay down there for long as Eris motioned me to take the next staircase up. We continued to make steady progress until Eris broke the silence.
“How?..... How did you do it?” She asked.
“I don't understand what you mean.” I responded. Eris looked flustered.
“What do you mean you don't understand? How did you survive that spell? I saw the magic hit you! You should have died instantly but you didn't! How did you do it!?”
I thought about her question. That was magic? I knew it shouldn't be possible, but the more I thought about it the more the existence of magic started to explain a lot of the things I had seen since coming to the city. I thought about the implications. Maybe I could use magic as a way to recharge myself? I would probably be forced to look into it sooner than later as all that action drained my battery to uncomfortable levels. At best I had about a week of charge left. As for Eris's question, I really didn't have a good answer. I had no idea how any of it worked, only that it didn't work on me.
“I, I don't know. I guess it just didn't have any effect on me.” I responded.
Eris went quiet again, this time in an attempt to understand what just I told her. She looked at me with a confused expression.
“what did you say you were again?” she asked.
“An android. Well technically I'm still a human, but not everyone agrees with me.”
“What do you mean not everyone agrees? Are you undead?” Eris had a worried look
“Ah, no I haven't died yet,” I said with a chuckle,“but I almost did and only survived thanks to this mechanical body.”
“What happened?”
“I got really sick. There was no cure.” I reflected.
“I see... So you're really a golem then? A living golem?"
"I guess you could say that."
"That's... new. Anyway, we're almost at my home. I want to talk to you more after this is over.”
“Sure, I can do that.”
Her home was one of hundreds of small apartments on one of the lower levels of the city a good distance from where I found her. I could tell the housing was designed to be as cheap as possible. Her home was one of many small units stacked three or even four high all made from stone block that wasn't cut as cleanly as the stone I saw higher up. Access to each building was provided by cheap iron scaffolding with a mesh grating acting as the floor which wobbled slightly as we made our way across.
Walking up to her apartment door, I gave it a good knock. After a few seconds the door was opened a crack before being flung open revealing a tall, slender man. He had light brown hair, a short beard, and green eyes. He also stood a good foot and a half taller than me. Upon seeing us he gasped and quickly set down the book he was holding.
“Hey Liam.” Eris said. She was starting to become delirious.
“Oh twin moons, What happened to her?” He said with a worried tone.
“Nothing good. She said you could help her.” I told him.
“Yes, of course. Please bring her in.”
Liam motioned us in and we both stepped through the narrow doorway. The apartment looked small and only had a few rooms. We entered into a common room which also doubled as a kitchen. In the center of the room was a short stone table surrounded by floor cushions which I placed Eris down on. Lining the walls were several bookcases each overflowing with books of various sizes plus a small stove with a cooking pot. I found an open cushion to sit down on while Liam was in the process of gathering supplies from various cabinets and chests. Soon after he returned with various objects with unknown purpose and he began to work on his sister.
“Now how did this happen?” he said as he unraveled my makeshift bandages from around her legs.
“I herd her screaming and I came to rescue her from a pair of dwarves. They were tor-” I tried to explain before being cut off.
“That's good enough. I don't need the details.” He said in a brisk but polite tone.
He was in the process of rubbing a clear gel into each cut. I watched closely out of curiosity as he worked. Once he was finished, he pulled out a small yellow crystal on a chain as well as piece of chalk. He turned to the side shuffling towards the table then drew a pattern of complex characters onto the surface. Halfway into his drawing he suddenly stopped and reviewed his work. Then, anxious about its accuracy, he got up to grab a book from one of the many shelves in the room. Flipping through a few pages, he compared his work to the one in the book before finishing the drawing using the book as reference.
“Help me lift her onto the table.” he said to me after he returned the book to its shelf.
I nodded to him and grabbed a side. We both moved her as gently as we could onto the table. Once everything was set, Liam took out a small paper card embossed with more symbols.
“Eris, I'm going to put you to sleep now okay?” Liam said.
He tapped the card onto her forehead causing it to shimmer. Almost immediately, I saw Eris grow drowsy and fall asleep. When she was fully under Liam took the crystal in his hand and started to whisper something under his breath. As he spoke, the chalk markings on the table began to glow with a white light that quickly grew very bright. I shielded my eyes with a hand and took a step back. The light was making it hard to see exactly what was going on but I had to keep looking. The number of questions I wanted to ask had been increasing almost exponentially by this point and now I was confident I could rely on Liam for answers. His collection of books was impressive even by my own standards and they all looked worn and well used. I had to wait until after he was finished before I could start conversation so I made some plans in my head to ensure we could talk afterwards. For now I could only watch the miraculous things that were occurring before me and take some mental notes. This was magic I thought to myself. I guess calling it anything else would have been redundant. Liam was in the process of bending the laws of nature to his will. Energy flowed into Eris sealing up her wounds with remarkable speed. Eris was almost completely healed before I finally noticed something familiar. Something that would shatter my current view of this world. I had been so focused on watching the healing unfold that I had practically ignored Liam. My attention snapped to the spellcaster, and I could only stare at him with a look of complete consternation.
Liam was speaking German.
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