The Smart Money: How the World's Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions

The Smart Money: How the World's Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions

by Michael Konik

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Overview

A riveting inside look at the lucrative world of professional high-stakes sports betting by a journalist who lived a secret life as a key operative in the world's most successful sports gambling ring.

When journalist Michael Konik landed an interview with Rick "Big Daddy" Matthews, the largest bet he'd placed on a sporting event was $200. Konik, an expert blackjack and poker player, was no stranger to Vegas. But Matthews was in a different league: the man was rumored to be the world's smartest sports bettor, the mastermind behind "the Brain Trust," a shadowy group of gamblers known for their expertise in beating the Vegas line. Konik had heard the word on the street -- that Matthews was a snake, a conniver who would do anything to gain an edge. But he was also brilliant, cunning, and charming. And when he asked Konik if he'd like to "make a little money" during the football season, the writer found himself seduced . . .

So began Michael Konik's wild ride as an operative of the elite Brain Trust. In The Smart Money, Konik takes readers behind the veil of secrecy shrouding the most successful sports betting operation in America, bypassing the myths and the rumors, going all the way to its innermost sanctum. He reveals how they -- and he -- got rich by beating the Vegas lines and, ultimately, the multimillion-dollar offshore betting circuit. He details the excesses and the betrayals, the horse-trading and the paranoia, that are the perks and perils of a lifestyle in which staking inordinate sums of money on the outcome of a single event -- sometimes as much as $1 million on a football game -- is a normal part of doing business.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743277143
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/12/2008
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 846,842
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

"The dean of the world's gambling writers," Michael Konik is the author of six books, including the gaming classic The Man with the $100,000 Breasts. He's written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, and Sports Illustrated. On television, Konik has competed in the World Series of Poker and the World Series of Blackjack, and he appears regularly as an expert commentator on FoxSports poker broadcasts. Visit the author at www.michaelkonik.com.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Michael Konik knows the world of high-rollers, big losers, hustlers and handicappers as well as anyone anywhere, and the . . . tales of risk and reward he recounts might read like fiction, but they're not." — The Dallas Morning News

"Dean of the world's gambling writers." — Detroit Free Press

"Michael Konik knows the gambling milieu from the inside. His collection of far-out gambling stories is both amazing and authentic." — The Independent (London)

"You'll search the whole bookstore and never top Konik's gambling writing." — Las Vegas Review-Journal

Customer Reviews

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Smart Money: How the World's Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you loved Bringing Down the House, you will love this book. Great story with great characters. I'm amazed this was never made into a movie. Written by a Milwaukee guy who can really story tell especially since he is part of the story. Great job Michael!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bios
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is without a doubt the best gambling story told. Even if you don't like Vegas or gambling , the story is riveting. I want to see a sequel to continue the exploits of the gambling industry with some new characters. Even though Ol' 44 has the role done to a science , great read !!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book rocks. If you like great gambling stories with plenty of intrigue and interesting characters....this is the read. Best gambling story since 'Bringing Down The House'. It's that good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael Konik does it again! Another great story from the King of the Gambling Writers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a story is told in 'The Smart Money.' You thought nobody wins at gambling think again. As the gambling expert Michael Konik tells it this is an amazing true story about The Brain Trust of sports bettors who beat the bookies out of millions of dollars. They are The Smart Money. I found this book to be a really fast read even though it's almost 400 pages. It flies by. I could see it as a movie with George Clooney and Brad Pitt and Robert DeNiro as the Big Daddy character. The Smart Money left me shaking my head, I was quite amazed. I predict you will be also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed Michael Konik's previous books. This one is my favorite. I've recommended it to dozens of people, even those who say they have no interest in gambling or sports, and every one has told me how glad they were that I told them about this book. It reads like a mystery thriller. Very fast-paced and exciting. Living in Las Vegas, I know that what Konik describes here certainly happens. I just didn't know to what extent -- how much is bet on football games and other sports. (I also know who 'Big Daddy' is in real life, and it's pretty cool to learn so much about a man that we locals read about in the newspaper but don't really know too much about.) Konik applies his exceptionally smooth style to this world and the result is informative, entertaining, and often times astonishing. 'The Smart Money' is my new favorite book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The critic's call Michael Konik the dean of the world's gambling writers. Once again he shows why in this true story of gambling's biggest winners. Rick 'Big Daddy Matthews' is the kingpin of an organization that makes millions betting on football games and Konik becomes part of that organization and lives to tell about it in a gripping tale of insider knowledge which rings true because of the incredible detail the author includes. He really paints a picture. It's been 4 years since Mr. Konik delivered his last gambling book. Let's hope we don't have to wait as long for his next masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want to learn about the real money, the 'sharps' in the world of sports betting, then this is the book for you. In a very honest, unpretentious way, Michael Konik lets his reader join him on this roller coaster adventure into the high stakes world of big sports betting money, but told by a true writer. If you ever placed a bet on a game, then you can appreciate this memoir.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Possibly the best book ever written about gambling. This is the inside story everyone has been waiting for, told by an insider. Now we know how The Smart Money does their thing with the pointspreads. Literally could not put it down once I started reading it. What a story!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a professional gambler, it's refreshing to read a book by someone who really has an insider's perspective on how 'the smart money' gets an edge on a proposition (sports betting) that seems to have an inherent advantage for the house that no body can beat. I'm no literary critic, but Michael Konik's writing is smooth, entertaining, and very informative. What I do feel qualified to comment on is his reporting accuracy, which, from my experiences in both Las Vegas and the offshore betting world, is dead-on accurate. This book tells it like it is. I would say it's an 'incredible' story, but that's not really true. It's a credible story, an adventurous expose that is all too real. I can't think of a better book about big time professional gambling -- except maybe Konik's other books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael Konik has outdone himself this time. I liked his other gambling books, especially about his World Series of Poker playing. I LOVED this one. Read it on one cross country flight and couldn't put it down. Reads like a spy novel set in Las Vegas. Most of us are never going to bet $110,000 on a college football game yet apparently this goes on all the time with the big sports betting groups known as 'The Smart Money' and it's an amazing story told by a writer with an excellent style.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you can get past the nagging suspicion that everything in this nonfiction book can't possibly be true (did the author make some of this up, I wonder?), you've got yourself here one of the most compulsively readable casino adventure stories ever published. The author Michael Konik is known as a respected gambling author (Man With $100,000 Breasts) and a TV talking head (Poker), but apparently he lived a secret life as a big time sports bettor working with The Brain Trust group of gamblers out of Las Vegas. Now he's letting the secret out. The book is almost 400 pages long but I read it in a little over five hours. I literally couldn't put it down. The leader of The Brain Trust group is a larger than life character named Big Daddy, and I could see a Jack Nicholson or a Robert Duvall playing him on the silver screen. The story here is so juicy (bags of money, sex, intrigue) that you keep asking yourself if it's all true. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. 'The Smart Money' is fascinating. It goes to the top of my list of the best books ever written about gambling and the people who beat the odds.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would probably be the last person to be amazed by 'The Smart Money' as I have absolutely no interest in football and have never made a sports bet in my life. But I've greatly enjoyed Michael Konik's books in the past, such as 'Ella in Europe' and have been moved by his eloquent writing, so I decided to give his latest release a try. Let me tell you: it is a thrilling page turner! This book should be made into a movie. I enjoyed being drawn into the world of high-stakes sports betting, where losing (and winning!) money in the six figures in a matter of minutes is a common occurence. I am fascinated by the Brain Trust Group led by the enigmatic Big Daddy Matthews. What a character! I cannot believe the sensitive author of 'Ella in Europe' and 'In Search of Burningbush' is the same guy who was the naive author seduced into this fascinating world of sports gambling, who started out betting only with the Brain Trust's orders to being the leader of a little sports betting cartel of his own called the Hollywood Boys. Konik teases us about the real identities of the Hollywood Boys -- who are actual famous and huge movie stars. Of course, I am still figuring out who these stars are. Maybe they'll be in the movie playing themselves! 'The Smart Money' is highly recommended, even for girls who think they wouldn't be interested in the subject. It's the most exciting book I've read in a long time.