The Las Vegas SuperContest Is the Perfect Sports Betting Contest for Poker Players

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The Las Vegas SuperContest is the perfect sports betting competition for poker players, and here’s why (photo credit: World Poker Tour)

The Las Vegas SuperContest is deemed “the ultimate pro football handicapping contest,” and with good reason. It’s the biggest and best in the world, with a rich history and a simple format. It’s also the perfect sports betting competition for poker players. Here’s why.

The SuperContest Is Just Like a Poker Tournament

The Las Vegas SuperContest, held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, plays very similar to a poker tournament. It’s an extended contest with one, upfront buy-in that participants pay in order to enter the contest. When you’re a poker player and you’re playing in a cash game, the amount of money you can lose isn’t predetermined, like it is in a tournament. The same goes for the Las Vegas SuperContest. You pay one, upfront buy-in of $1,500 and that’s all you can lose – unless you do the maximum of two entries, of course, then it’s $3,000.

Also like a poker tournament, you can win many, many times your buy-in, so there is plenty of bang for your buck and when you win, you win big.

Past SuperContest champions have taken home first-place prizes of $1.422 million in 2018, $1.327 million in 2017, and $907,000 in 2016. That’s an average winning payday of $1.218 million. That’s a chance at a huge payout for a risk of only $1,500.

The Las Vegas SuperContest pays more than just one spot, too, and the payouts increase more and more with the higher the finish. Again, these characteristics are just like those in a poker tournament.

If you’re a poker player, the SuperContest offers many similarities to your standard poker tournament, which makes it easy to understand and extremely inviting to play.

Poker Players Love To Bet Sports

Poker players are known to bet on sports, especially the NFL. That’s no secret. Daniel Negreanu regularly wagers on the NHL and has a Twitter account dedicated to posting and following his best bets, @NHLHockeyBets. Tony Dunst is an avid sports bettor who has made several media appearances to offer sports betting insight and regularly discusses his plays on social media and his YouTube channel. Alan Boston, a lesser-known poker player, was featured in the book The Odds: One Season, Three Gamblers and The Death of Their Las Vegas. A poker player and dealer even won the first-ever DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship in January 2019 for $1.15 million.

Many poker players have great statistical minds that allow them to see edges where others might not, and this type of thinking can be exactly what wins you money in the sports betting world.

If you’re a poker player and you bet sports, especially the NFL, you’re missing out on an incredibly fun competition and possibly lucrative opportunity by not participating in the SuperContest. Poker players should be lining up to put their betting acumen to work in a contest that has an enormous pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Plenty of Metagame Involved

When a poker player is at the table playing in a game, it’s more about just playing the cards you’re dealt. There are added elements to the game that make it extra competitive on several levels. With a sports betting competition such as the SuperContest, this added metagame comes into play a fair amount and adds a really interesting element to it all, especially in the later stages of the contest.

When you’re looking to move up the leaderboard, you could take the simplest approach of just making your five weekly picks. That’d be the same as just playing your cards at the poker table. You could also think about the plays your opponents are going to make and look to differentiate your plays with theirs to gain an added advantage. Just like in a poker game, competitors have tendencies and patterns that can be picked up on. A SuperContest contestant is going to be working to piece together incomplete information, just as a poker player would, and it’s a lot of fun trying to do so. If you’re a poker player, you love this sort of metagame and problem-solving.

Anyone Can Win

Poker tournaments are often more popular than cash games to the general poker-playing public, and the fields can be much softer in a tournament versus a cash game because of it. The general person loves a fun, competitive poker tournament and the fact that they can plop down a single buy-in, play for a long period of time, and hopefully score a big prize. Just like in a poker tournament, a little luck can go a long way as anyone can win. Robert Varkonyi and Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2002 and 2003, respectively, and both were total amateurs in a field of tough professionals. Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang also won the WSOP Main Event in 2006 and 2007, respectively, and neither were top professional players.

In the Las Vegas SuperContest, just look at some of the recent winners. A Starbucks barista won the SuperContest in 2016 for $907,000. That same year, a farmer from Illinois finished in second place for $358,000. In 2018, Eric Kahane, a 44-year-old director at a gourmet foods service from Southern California, won the SuperContest for $1.422 million. These aren’t grizzled sports betting veterans who live in the sportsbook. With anyone being able to win, the SuperContest is set up to attract plenty of casual gamblers. With the format of the SuperContest, there’s a lot of variance that can spark tremendous, life-changing streaks so that anyone can win.

Minimal Effort Needed To Compete

Poker players absolutely love their freedom. They like to sleep in, they like to make their own playing schedule, and, for the most part, do what they want. The SuperContest is a big sports betting contest that takes minimal effort to participate in.

The SuperContest is a once-a-week endeavor that centers around something most poker players are doing anyway, which is watching and following football. Yes, you do need to make your weekly selections in person, but there’s even a workaround in that regard for those who don’t live in Las Vegas. All you have to do is hire a proxy service for the contest and submit your picks to them to be placed for you. Once you sign up in person and link up with your proxy, poker players can submit picks from anywhere in the world. Most poker players are in Las Vegas at one point or another during the WSOP in the summer, and that’s a perfect time to secure a proxy and get signed up for the SuperContest.

Two Different Price Points, with a High-Stakes Offering

In 2017, Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino SuperBook launched a second sport-betting competition to run right alongside the SuperContest. The second contest was named the SuperContest Gold and came with a pricier buy-in of $5,000. For the more high-stakes gamblers out there, the SuperContest Gold upped the ante for them.

Another interesting twist to the SuperContest Gold that differentiates it from the regular SuperContest is that the SuperContest Gold is a winner-take-all contest. However many entries there are, only one person will walk away with the top prize in the SuperContest Gold. High-stakes poker players love a big gamble and those with an interest in sports betting should absolutely love the SuperContest Gold.

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