COMMENTARY — Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a fight to promote in September in the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Good for him, and more power to him as one of the most highly paid athletes in the world.
But get a grip, people. There is no $5.9 million bet on the Miami Heat to beat the Indiana Pacers by eight points. What the hell is wrong with you?
As a former member of a professional gambling team, I spend a lot of time with my face buried in my hands wondering why people choose to believe just about anything.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a smart guy and a tireless self-promoter, and he’s happy to exploit the natural human tendency to believe any wild fish story as long as it’s about a big wager instead of a big fish.
But nobody’s booking any $5.9 million bets in Las Vegas. Nobody’s taking bets that size, and even with a so-called money team to spread the wagers around, they’re gonna find out who’s behind action that size — and they’re not gonna take it. Who would work? You’d just find one good game and retire for the rest of your life.
I could tell you stories about how hard it is for teams to spread out bets even at $500 a pop in the sports books in Vegas, but apparently nobody wants to have their pathetic dream crushed.
Kevin Iole is one sports blogger who got it right, although he’s way more tactful than I am:
“The point is, Mayweather is masterful at crafting the image of himself as essentially the Warren Buffett or Bill Gates of boxing, but how much of it is true is never easy to discern.”
Floyd Mayweather Jr. frequently tweets photos of winning betting slips, and he is clearly spreading these stories himself.
An earlier report at Grantland by Dermot Hunt detailed the supposed winnings:
“By my count, between August 2010 (when he began tweeting his slips) and February 2012, Mayweather tweeted photographs of 46 betting slips, totaling $3,890,833 worth of bets, and every single one of them was a winner, netting the fighter a cool $3,938,722 (and 87 cents) in winnings on those bets. Losing betting slips have been conspicuous by their absence. When asked about his losing slips, Floyd responded, ‘Why would I ever show a losing ticket when I’m 41-0.’”
In other words, like 99.9 percent of other gamblers, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is also a liar. If he was beating the sports books for that kind of money, they would know about it. And he would no longer be able to get down a bet.
Las Vegas isn’t in business to give away money. It’s a constant fight for a real winner to keep their identity hidden, especially these days when the money-laundering regulations require the sports books and casinos to confirm your identity at shocking low limits — $10,000 and preferably sooner.
You need more than Mayweather’s money team entourage. You need to keep recruiting a whole army of fresh faces who can be trusted to handle your money.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is promoting Las Vegas and his fights. I don’t doubt that he gambles. But I’m morally certain that the stakes are exaggerated.
I’m also confident that he’s a loser. A winner with a long-term expectation for profit doesn’t post winning tickets. They’re too busy trying to figure out how they can book the next winning bet. There will be plenty of time to brag about what you won after you’re banned from every sports book in Vegas.
Can I prove there’s no $5.9 million Miami Heat bet by Floyd Mayweather Jr?
Of course not. Nobody can prove a negative. But give me a break. You guys never heard of PhotoShop? I hear it’s pretty big in some areas around the internet.
It’ll take more than a few tweets to convince me that anybody booked Floyd Mayweather Jr’s $5.9 million wager.
I chose my opponent for September 14th and it’s Canelo Alvarez. I’m giving the fans what they want. It will be at the MGM Grand.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) May 30, 2013
[fight at MGM Las Vegas painting courtesy Floyd Mayweather Jr. via Twitter and Instagram]