You Bet Your Life
Historical records confirm that Pok-A-Tok was a team sport which has been in existence since 3000 BC. Archeologists have discovered a Central America court for playing that dates back 1600 BC. It was played for the first time by the Mayans in 250 B.C. The game was then played by the Mayans around 250 B.C., and then the Aztecs about 1200 A.D. In 1590, evidence was found by the Spanish Conquistadors.
The playing surface was similar to the modern football pitch and featured seating options for those who wanted to sit in elevated bleachers. The goal posts were not located at the ends of the field but along its length. In the beginning, goal posts consisted only of 3 rings or “markers” that were raised high above ground. The object of this game was to pass the rubber ball through the rings using only the players’ elbows, knees and hips.
There is no evidence. However, there has been one persistent theory: that the game was played to settle disputes. In the latter case, the captain would beheaded as part the victor’s spoils as well as as a sacrifice for the Gods. Some theories suggest warriors captured from battle were sent to the court courts for their final combat.
The Computer Age & sports betting
Perhaps the most compelling story in sports betting involves the Computer Group, an informal association founded in 1980. The Computer Group had tentacles reaching into Computer Geekland (Mob), Computer Geekland (high-powered TV executives), a respected orthopedic surgeon, and a national network that included over 1000 associates. To try to reduce the mammoth story would be a disservice. It’s more of a relative tale to focus on the origin of the wagering.
This group had tremendous influence over American sports betting fans between 1983-1985. In 1983-84, winnings were estimated to have exceeded $5,000,000. Records show that the group won a remarkable 60.3% in football game wagers. In total, the group’s 5 year performance was worth more than $13.9million.
This story was led by a man who was one the first to use computers for calculating the odds of match ups between sports teams. Michael Kent, a mathematician who worked with Westinghouse to develop nuclear submarines, spent years studying how games played out, starting with his softball team. He created algorithms that could predict final scores and outcomes based upon his analysis of different points spreads and odds. Richard A. Epstein’s book, “Theory of Gambling & Statistical Logic”, was at the heart of his theory. His formula included many elements such as home field advantage (first downs), schedules, home court benefit, and every other aspect that could be quantified.
The whole story of his life is far more complicated, as are the people who placed and collected the wagers, the bookies, the family members, the obsessed FBI agents and the thousands of others involved in the betting side of the business. This group of people rode high in the worlds of sports betting. They were full of deception, intrigue and low-level success. Only 19 men and two women were convicted of conspiracy, gambling and racketeering before they were brought to a Nevada courtroom.
It is quite a story. For the nitty gritty details, you can look it up. Or wait until it is in your area. I am confident it will.
Factoid -In 1925, a Scotsman named Arthur Ferguson bought Big Ben for 1,000 Pounds. gali satta Buckingham Palace twice was purchased by American tourists twice for 2,000 Pounds. In the end, he almost sold the White House to a Texan at $100,000/year.
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