random ramblings fred riecke gamblersdata

ivy monster

..Two men were arrested attempting to steal ivy from Wrigley Field’s walls. Two Pennsylvania men were arrested early Saturday morning attempting to steal ivy from the outfield walls of Wrigley Field, according to a Chicago Tribune report. The men somehow managed to squeeze through bars to enter the stadium — all captured on security cameras – then were arrested by police while trying to steal ivy. From the Tribune: Kevin Burge and Steven Gudknecht, both 25, were charged with misdemeanor trespassing when they were arrested at Wrigley about 3:45 a.m., police said. Team security spotted them on closed-circuit cameras, entering the stadium, and when police arrived, the two were “found on the field, as they were trying to get ivy,” said Chicago Cubs spokesman Julian Green. The men are from Chalfont, Pennsylvania, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli. The Philadelphia Phillies are in Chicago to play a series against the Cubs at the field at Addison and Clark Streets. Police found no evidence that anything was stolen or damaged in the building, Mirabelli said. Mirabelli would not say how the men managed to squeeze through the bars. Green characterized the men as ”just some fans who probably wanted to take a piece of Wrigley Field back home,” but also said the Cubs pursue criminal charges against any trespasser, which happens a few times every year. Thanks to SI and Tim Polzer for that report.

…From Gambling 911 comes this piece. Colorful poker pro Dan Bilzerian is suing producers of the upcoming film “Lone Survivor”, claiming he loaned the project $1 million in exchange
for at least eight minutes of screen time and 80 words of dialogue. Instead, he got less than one minute and one line. Producer Peter Berg is named in the suit filed Wednesday in Los
Angeles Superior Court. Bilzerian, who is often a target of the gossip website TheDirty.com for his reputation as a braggart, claims he would play the role of Sr. Chief Healy in the
Navy SEAL drama. The complaint also asserts that the poker pro was to “appear recognizably” in the film for at least eight minutes. The lawsuit is seeking damages to be determined at
trial with a request of $1.2 million (the original loan amount plus a 20 percent penalty). This is not Bilzerian’s first film appearance. He previously performed stunt work for
“Olympus Has Fallen”. “Lone Survivor” is slated to open in theatres across the US December 27. I doubt you’ll want to miss that one!

…Another thanks to Gambling 911 and Ronn Torossian for this poker story. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that “Runner, Runner” which will be in movie theatres worldwide in a
month staring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck won’t bring good news for the off-shore gambling business. The movie, which was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, and written by Brian
Koppelman and David Levien purports to show the insides of Costa Rica and the online gambling business. Brian Koppelman approached me a number of years ago and asked me to assist him
in gaining access to some of the executives I know in Costa Rica. It took me exactly one lunch to determine that even though I loved his movie Rounders, I wouldn’t have anything to do
with helping him harm the people who work in online gambling. In fact, the movie purports to show a college student who is cheated out of his tuition money by playing online poker.
Indeed, very, very few in online gambling cheat – these are big businesses, run by old-school, hard-working executives who go to work to earn a living for their families. Nearly every
off-shore operator is honest, reliable and hard working. A close friend of mine who is a senior executive at a major Costa Rican gaming company spends his evenings playing video games
with his kids, weekends golfing and driving his kids around to soccer, and wife around so she can shop. He works very long hours, and has the same pressures as anyone who is
successful. I have some friends who are day traders, others in hedge funds, and he is in offshore gambling. Each of us have our own pressures, and stresses – there aint no such thing
as easy money. I did indeed recently visit his house – there wasn’t money growing from the trees. The bottom line is that while naturally many of us will watch Runner, Runner and be
entertained, there’s little doubt that it will be harmful to the offshore gambling industry – and undoubtedly far from realistic. Just from watching a number of trailers, I can say
that surely these movie makers don’t know just how gross a city San Jose, Costa Rica is which is where most of the Costa Rica gambling companies are located. I have never seen anything
remotely resembling the scenery they show in movie trailers. (Further reading informs me that the movie was shot in Puerto Rico – surely not Costa Rica.). Press can be very harmful,
and it’s not always a good thing. This attention can bring shine to this industry which won’t help.

…Most former athletes can milk many more years in front of the camera as sportcasters after their careers end. Not Craig James. The Craig James era at Fox Sports Southwest will be
a short one. SI.com has learned that the veteran broadcaster will no longer appear on the network. Fox Sports executives were not happy with the hire by the regional network,
according to sources, and the hire had not been fully vetted at the highest levels of Fox Sports management. A formal agreement had not been finalized, even though James appeared on
FSS on Saturday night. “Craig James will not be making any further appearances on Fox Sports Southwest’s football coverage this season,” said a Fox Sports spokesperson, when asked for
a comment. James was a very unpopular figure among college football fans during his latter years at ESPN and statements he made during his Senate campaign last year in Texas — James
declared that gay people would “answer to the Lord for their actions”– were likely unpopular among some in Fox Sports management. Last week Fox Sports Southwest announced James was
being brought on as a college football studio analyst to work FSS’s college football postgame shows and appear on segments of Fox Sports Southwest’s Big 12 wrap-up show. “He’s a
talented broadcaster who I’ve admired throughout his career, “said Fox Sports Southwest Senior Executive Producer Mike Anastassiou, in a statement. “His knowledge of college football
and the experience he brings as an analyst will be a tremendous asset to our coverage.”

…Speaking of Fox Sports, Fox 1 Sports promises to be a different kind of sports network and this is already taking shape with news that FS1 will begin to incorporate sports betting
into broadcasts. More specifically, they will be emphasizing the wagering aspect during ten slated graded horse races beginning in 2014. Mike Mulvihill, the senior vice president of
programming and research for FOX Sports Media Group, said that one of the goals of the network’s racing coverage is to develop occasional viewers of racing into “more regular viewers
and players,” using a term commonly used to describe bettors. “Racing’s appeal,” said Mulvihill, “is in both the visceral power of the thoroughbred and the data-rich challenge of
handicapping.” From Forbes.com: “We’re going to balance entertainment and education, teaching people the finer points of the game and how to handicap.” Newcomers to the track often say
that they are daunted by past performances, the staple of handicapping a race and picking a winner. Mulvihill hopes that the FS 1 broadcasts will include past performances, to teach
viewers how to handicap and wager themselves. Stressing that the first broadcast is nearly six months away, Mulvihill didn’t offer specifics on either the programing or the on-air
talent, but did say that he expected the broadcasts to do a “little deeper dive” into reading past performances and structuring wagers.

…Think oddsmakers know what they are doing? For the unpredictable first week of NCAA play I believe they ended up with 18 overs and 17 unders. That’s pretty awesome. But what do
they think of Alabama? Most people weren’t too impressed with the Crimson Tide. So here is what happened to the odds. A single regular-season loss is more significant in college
football than it is in any other sport. One loss, after all, can practically torpedo a team’s national title hopes, and that dynamic is reflected in the new odds to win the BCS
championship posted at the LVH SuperBook. Georgia is off to an 0-1 start with its loss to Clemson on Saturday, and saw its futures price jump from 12-to-1 to 30-to-1 at the LVH.
Georgia, of course, still has a shot at the title, as an SEC championship would likely get them to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 6. The Bulldogs did lose wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell for the
season with a torn ACL. Clemson’s odd were adjusted from 25-to-1 to 15-to-1. There were plenty left unimpressed, meanwhile, with Alabama’s performance in its 35-10 win over Virginia
Tech. Alabama, missing three starting offensive lineman from last season, finished with just 96 rushing yards. Still, the favorite Crimson Tide’s price was shortened from 5-to-2 to 9-
to-4. So even if you weren’t impressed, the linemakers evidently were.

…Some Colorado marijuana supporters are using football as a reminder about alternative medicine. “Stop driving players to drink!” a billboard reads. “A safer choice is now legal
(here).” The billboard is sponsored by MarijuanaPolicy.org — a website dedicated to marijuana legalization. Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana in the 2012 election,
and numerous other states have decriminalized the herb. A big part of the movement is the sentiment that, if people are going to get their buzz one way or another, they should be
encouraged to choose something that is supposedly less destructive than alcohol. Nothing goes together quite like booze and football, and so here you go: A sign, next to a football
stadium, marketing marijuana as an alternative to liquor. You’ve just got to convince Roger Goodell.

…49ers All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was named in a lawsuit filed Tuesday over an alleged shooting during a June 2012 party that Smith hosted at his San Jose, Calif., home. Titans
tight end Delanie Walker, who was Smith’s teammate the past two seasons in San Francisco, was also named in the suit, which was obtained by NBC Bay Area. Ronndale Esporias filed the
suit and alleges that the players illegally fired weapons at the party. Esporias alleges that Smith and Walker brandished weapons that they knew were possessed illegally and fired
multiple rounds. Walker then allegedly fired shots from the balcony of the home in the air and toward some people at the party, according to the suit. A group of people near the street
fired back at the house, according to Esporias, who claims he was hit during the crossfire. Esporias says in the suit that he “sustained serious, catastrophic and permanent injuries”
after being shot twice.

…You’ve got to hand it to the NCAA. What a wacky bunch! The rules regarding amateurism in college sports are getting dumber by the week. In the wake of several recent controversial
NCAA rulings over eligibility (see here and here), Maryland football is taking the most conservative precaution possible – storing a game ball presented to redshirt senior linebacker
Marcus Whitfield after beating FIU on Saturday until he graduates to make sure it doesn’t step into the NCAA’s crosshairs. Whitfield had five tackles and 1.5 sacks in the 43-10 win
over the Golden Panthers. While game balls are allowed to be rewarded to players, the NCAA places limits on gifts that athletes can receive. The limit is $425 for seniors like
Whitfield. Maryland doesn’t want the football to count against the limit in case it might jeopardize later gifts he could receive. As a result, the ball is being stored in the football
program’s archives – as is policy under head coach Randy Edsall – until Whitfield graduates. The fact that a game ball is even something the Terrapins need to worry about is absolutely

…In case you missed it we had another insane injury that never should have happened. Usually reserved for baseball players and bowlers, this injury knocked a highly regarded NCAA
football player out for the year. Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell has joined the Embarrassing Sports Injuries Hall of Fame. After Todd Gurley’s 75-yard touchdown run against
Clemson on Saturday night, Gurley and Mitchell collided in the air to celebrate the score with an air bump. Unfortunately, Mitchell came down on his leg wrong and tore his ACL, which
will keep him out for the rest of the 2013 season. It’s a huge blow for Georgia’s offense and a really sad turn of events for a player expected to have a breakout year this fall.

…Alabama running back Kenny Bell unexpectedly quit the team Tuesday … for six hours! Bell tweeted that he was giving up the game in order to spend more time with his kids.
Imagine that, this guy being man enough to put family first. Of course the story doesn’t end there because Bell tweeted this 6 hours later – I’m back with the team!! Just needed time
to myself for a day but I couldn’t leave my boy @10AJMcCarron we ended this run together. #16

…The Oklahoma City Thunder waived guard DeAndre Liggins on Friday after he was charged with seven felony counts in a domestic-violence case. The 24-year-old Liggins was arrested
Saturday after his girlfriend told police he attacked her in front of their 2-year-old son. The Daily Oklahoman reported Friday that Liggins was charged with three counts of domestic
abuse, two counts of domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, one count of kidnapping and one count of violating a protective order. The newspaper said 23-year-old Marcus
A. Rogers was charged as a co-defendant with Liggins on one count of kidnapping, and also is charged with an additional count of kidnapping and one count of assault and battery.

…New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was suspended without pay for five regular-season games by the NBA on Friday for violating the anti-drug program. Smith, coming off offseason
surgery on his left knee, will sit out the first five games for which he is eligible and physically able to play. Smith had patella tendon surgery and arthroscopy that will keep him
from joining the Knicks when they open training camp late this month. “There is a collectively bargained process in place, established by the NBA and the players association, and until
that process has played itself out, it would be inappropriate for the NBPA or J.R. to make further statements about the matter,” Ron Klempner, the union’s acting executive director,
said in a statement. “We all look forward to a resolution in due course.” Smith won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season and helped shoot the Knicks into the playoffs before
struggling in the postseason. He averaged 18.1 points during the regular season.

…You might have seen some Ravens players get patted down by refs as they left the locker room before Thursday night’s game.Many fans were confused by what they saw and that’s
understandable. But here’s the reason why – Mike Pereira? @MikePereira… Officials are checking random uniforms for any illegal substances. Now you know!

…San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t happy with how the NFL is interpreting legal hits on quarterbacks running the read-option. He called the NFL’s ruling “flawed and a bit
biased.” In a rules video, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino reviewed read-option plays and says the quarterback while in the act of running the read-option can be hit.
“The quarterback can be hit like a runner until he’s clearly out of the play,” Blandino said in the video. A fired-up Harbaugh took issue with the ruling. “I believe that when a
quarterback is handing a ball off or faking a ball — in the read-option case, he’s reading on an option play and he’s as defenseless as a quarterback who’s in the act of throwing. I
know what the rules are, I know how they’ve been explained, but there’s still some gray area. When you start using words like ‘clearly’ — he clearly doesn’t have the ball — what does
that really mean? I just handed off, I don’t have the ball, he’s got the ball, put your hands up? There’s a bit of a gray area there. To me, he’s a quarterback until he leaves the
pocket as a running threat. I think it’s flawed, the way they’ve got it now.” You don’t think Harbaugh might be biased, do you?

…A man claiming to be Lamar Odom’s drug dealer in New York gave an interview with Radar detailing the cocaine habits of the basketball star who was reported missing and on a drug
binge in recent weeks. According to the interview posted Tuesday, the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he sold $16,000 worth of cocaine to Odom while the Queens native was in
New York in February. Odom, who played for the Los Angeles Clippers last season, was in New York on Feb. 10 for a game against the New York Knicks and could have been in New York again
one week later during his time off for the All-Star break.

…Add Odom – The man claiming to be his dealer said he has known Odom for three years, during which time he claims to have sold the former Clipper ”roughly more than $50,000″ worth of
drugs. He said he has witnessed Odom “high” on cocaine approximately 10 times and that he personally watched Odom smoke the drug. In the interview, the man said Odom is a “nice guy”
but has a “huge problem” because of his “addictive personality.”



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