Posted by Wizard
Dec 17, 2014

Australia and New Zealand

I just got back from 16 days in Sydney Australia and around Queenstown New Zealand. My favorite part of the trip was a six-day tracking trip with Ultimate Hikes.

I've got a lot to catch up on so forgive me if I don't give a whole report at this time. I did post some pictures with comments you're welcome to visit.

My question for the members of the Commonwealth are:

1. Do you prefer Vegemite or Marmite?
2. Which is your favorite Wiggle?


aladyat42 Dec 18, 2014

So England has lifted the requirement of being a felon to go to Australia ?

teddys Dec 18, 2014

Great pictures, but here is some constructive critcism: stop doing the hands folded over d*ck pose. It connotes weakness and emasculation. (Yeah, I know, right?! But that's what cognitive science says).

1BB Dec 18, 2014

Especially when you're having a Gaytime. I recognized the ice cream immediately. It's actually Golden Gaytime. Jeez, did I just make it worse? :-)

FleaStiff Dec 18, 2014

Look at some civil war era photos and men will have their hands inside their shirts to keep them from being visible to the camera.

Travel in NZ and Australia is real cheap. Hostels and guest houses abound. There are Ride Boards for most music festivals. And firms that offer Volkswagon Campers from the sixties that are still going strong. Some NZ hikes require a meeting with a ranger before being attempted but otherwise you are pretty much tramping on your own.

odiousgambit Dec 20, 2014

>hands folded over d*ck pose. It connotes weakness and emasculation

or a desire to be less boastful?

coilman Dec 21, 2014

I just forwarded this to my buddy on his 2 yr world tour..... that 7 days of hikes might be right up his alley ...he arrived down under a few days ago ... would be better than getting mugged in RIO at least


Posted by Wizard
Jun 06, 2014

In memory of Jason Been

My friend Jason Been died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. Some of you may recall his name as the guest on my radio show twice, including the first time. His appearances were on Feb 2 and June 7, 2012.

When I moved to Vegas in 2001 Jason was one of the first people to welcome and befriend me. Through the years we shared countless meals, rounds of golf, poker games, and a couple trips to Reno. He knew sports better than anybody I know. In Trivial Pursuit his knowledge of sports was uncanny. He paid particular attention to weather and other such environmental factors. He seemed to have a detailed understanding of every baseball stadium and knew exactly where the position of the sun would be at any time. Jason was known for making bets like a run to not be scored in the first inning if the sun would be in the batters eyes.

More importantly, Jason was a lot of fun to have at any gathering. If he wasn't having an in-depth discussion about sports then he was often formulating creative prop bets. As an example, once after a poker game somehow a bet was formulated that he could put all 30 backgammon chips in my pool and I couldn't get them all out in 90 seconds. More often than not Jason beat me on such bets, including that one. In that case, I got 29 of them, missing one white chip he hid on one of those steps for sticking your foot into for climbing out vertically.

I could go on and on with Jason stories. However, let me close with some pictures. Jason is the one in the blue shirt -- in all of them. He was very consistent about everything he did.


Zcore13 Jun 06, 2014

Sorry for your loss. He sounds like a very interesting and fun friend.


Mission146 Jun 06, 2014

R.I.P., indeed.

He sounds like he'd have been great fun to be around...and the sun in the batter's eyes thing is just brilliant.

Beardgoat Jun 17, 2014

Rough year for you wiz. Sorry for your loss

Posted by Wizard
May 02, 2014

My father

As many of you know, I had to cancel on the WoV meetup because my father died the day before. I wrote a blog entry about him on my Odds site. I welcome all to follow the link for my thoughts on him and some old photos I dug up.


teddys May 02, 2014

Wiz, even though you say you don't have a way with words, this entry brought a tear to my eye. It's clear that you loved your father very much and he was proud of you. Thank you for writing this. And wow, that picture of him by the chalkboard is a dead ringer for you!

Mission146 May 02, 2014

That's what I was going to say, you're your Dad's spitting image!

Buzzard May 02, 2014

The pix of your dad in the car with the vent window. reminded me last week my granddaughter asked me why do I say " wind up the window" On a more serious note, I still miss my dad every day !

Beethoven9th May 02, 2014

Wizard, that was a really nice tribute to your father. Since I haven't been keeping up with the forum as much recently, I had no idea that he had passed away. My condolences to you and your family.

I agree with the others that you look exactly like your dad !!

RogerKint May 03, 2014

My condolences, Wiz. I've always been thankful I was able to be with my father when he passed. Glad you could be with your family and say good bye.

Greasyjohn May 03, 2014

I want to offer you my condolences, Mike. I lost my father when I was four. You had many good years with your dad and thatís a wonderful thing.

Wizard May 04, 2014

Thank you for all the kind words everybody.

BleedingChipsSlowly May 04, 2014

Sorry for your loss. A friend of mine once told me in his faith as long as someone remembers you, you are not gone. Cherish the memories.

aceofspades May 05, 2014

Excellent post Wizard

I agree your dad and you look like twins

beachbumbabs May 06, 2014


That was a very worthy tribute to your dad, a multi-talented guy. He lives on in you, your brothers, your kids, and all your memories of him, both as a father and as a person. Thanks for writing it.

DJTeddyBear Sep 04, 2014

I haven't read the blogs in a long time, so I missed this until today.

All I can say is, sorry for your loss. It's been months, but I know you haven't gotten over it.

I lost my father in 1977 when I was 17. Although I'm now older than he ever was, I still haven't gotten over the loss.

Posted by Wizard
Jan 26, 2014

This is how arguments start

I was just at my parents house in the LA area. Often my mom and dad want to bet a few bucks on the Super Bowl so I book the opposite side at no juice, just to make the game more fun for them. This time things went down a little differently. I'll paraphrase the conversation.

Wiz: Do either of you want to bet on the Super Bowl this year?
Wiz's mom: I do.
Wiz: It should be a close game so you can pick either team at even money.
Wiz's mom: Okay.
Wiz: How much do you want to bet?
Wiz's mom: $50

Pause. When this woman comes to Vegas she plays 5-cent video poker (on whichever machine feels lucky) and has a daily loss limit of $20. I think her biggest bet on a single event to date is $1 or $2. So, when she said $50 my jaw hit the floor.

Wiz: Keeping in mind you haven't told me what team you want to bet on, I think for a large wager like that we should go by the going odds. I suggest if you want to bet on Seattle then if you bet $50 I'll give you $60 if you win. On Denver, the favorite, we'll do the opposite, you have to bet $60 to win $50. I'm not taking any advantage as these lines are balanced with no "juice" taken out.

Pause again. At this point my mother looked at me like I just gave a lecture on quantum physics in Greek. She didn't seem to know what to say.

Wiz: Just tell me what side you want to bet on.

Wiz's mom: Denver.

Wiz: Then you'll have to bet $60 and you'll get $50 if you win.

[blank stare]

Wiz: Dad, do you understand the bet?

Wiz's dad: Yes.

Wiz: Can you explain it to mom, in the event Seattle win, why she will owe me $60.

Wiz's dad: I want nothing to do with it.

At this point I spent about 15 minutes trying to explain the bet to my mom and why we can't just make an even money bet if the odds are not 50/50.

Wiz: Do you get it now (mom)?

Wiz's mom: I just want to bet $50 on Denver. Why are you making it so complicated?

Wiz: Hopefully Denver will win to avoid any arguments. This is your last chance to change your mind.

Wiz's mom: Let me pay you now.

Wiz: No. You're good for the money. We'll settle up after the game.

[At this point my mom has a look on her face like somebody is trying to cheat her, but she doesn't understand exactly how.]

Wiz: Do we have a bet?

Wiz's mom: Yes -- I want Denver.

If Seattle wins, then stay tuned for part two as I try to collect my $60.


odiousgambit Jan 27, 2014

I keep saying private betting is -EV due to welching. So, this will be a form of welching, and you're getting stung again!

Having said that, since this is your mom, so I would be generous and just take my lumps. If it was me. I think I already know you won't do that, so I will eagerly stay tuned for this story!

Nareed Jan 27, 2014

She wants to bet $50 on Denver. She doesn't want a lecture about how sports betting works. If it were me, I'd be annoyed too.

Doc Jan 27, 2014

I think the real problem arises from...

"Wiz: It should be a close game so you can pick either team at even money."

...followed by a renege of that offer and a "nerdy" discussion of how sports betting works at the professional sports books. Its comes across more as if the enormity of a $50 bet scared the Wizard away from his own terms for the wager.  ;-)

I'd suggest that if she loses this time you just collect even money and be more careful in your initial wording when offering wagers in the future.

Doc Jan 27, 2014

BTW, your Mom sounds a bit as if she might be a sharp -- she heard an AP bet being offered and jumped on it. Then she played dumb when you tried to weasel out of your offer.

Double ;-)

rdw4potus Jan 27, 2014

Would it have been easier to tell her that Denver has to win by 3 in order for her to win an even money bet?

teddys Jan 27, 2014

Lol, Wiz! This reminds me of whenever I talk to my parents about gambling...

rdw4potus Jan 27, 2014

I would say that if you mom wants to bet $50, then her wager is $50 to win $41.67. She clearly wants to bet $50...:-)

MidwestAP Jan 27, 2014

Your mom is shrewd. I think she figured she could bet Denver without points (and no juice) with you, and then take Seattle +3 with a friend at the local bingo hall and middle the bet!

Buzzard Jan 27, 2014

Next time just say " Ok Mom you have Denver and I have Seattle. ( no points involved ) Give Dad your $50 to hold in case you lose..

Mom's only come one to a customer.

If Seattle wins, never ask for your money, from Mom or Dad.

Dad's only come one to a customer.

Come on Wiz, it's only $50.

Be the man behind the curtain and give the Wizard the day off.

FleaStiff Jan 27, 2014

Don't you listen to Buzzard's advice. Its the Principle of the thing that counts..the fifty dollars.

Nareed Jan 27, 2014

What Doc and Buzzard said.

kewlj Jan 28, 2014

I'm with Buzz. You should have overlooked the $10. It's your Mommy, for god sakes. :-) But, what is REALLY great was your father's "I want nothing to do with it". Smart man. He's learned his lessons along the way.

AxiomOfChoice Jan 28, 2014

I'd just give her the bet at even money.

It's not THAT bad of a bet and it's only $50. Or you could just tell her that you only want to bet $20 max (since that is her daily loss limit), to keep it fun.

ChampagneFireball Jan 28, 2014

It's your mom. It's $50. I think the path is clear.

Actually, it's $10 and only if the Broncos lose.

djatc Jan 30, 2014

I would tell your mom the golden rule of gambling: "A gentleman always honors his debts."......

but she's a lady and she'll probably never cook for you ever again if you make her pay. Or she'll guilt trip you into "I gave birth to you and this is how you repay me?".

Either way just let the Broncos win and you'll avoid the whole argument.

djatc Jan 30, 2014

Hopefully not by more then 3 however I got bets riding on SEA +3

DJTeddyBear Jan 30, 2014

Holy crap.

It's $10, and it's your mom!

Doc is right.


I think the real problem arises from...

"Wiz: It should be a close game so you can pick either team at even money."

If she loses and gives you $60, take it - QUIETLY.

If she loses and gives you $50, take it - QUIETLY.

If she loses and gives you nothing for trying to change the terms, take your lumps - QUIETLY.

Wizard Jan 30, 2014

Let me address some of the comments. First, my mom would have been even more confused by how a point spread works. If Denver won by one point, for example, there would have been a huge argument, I guarantee it.

If I had my mom risk $50 to win $42, for example, there would have been a similar argument if Denver won. She would have said, "Where is my other $8?"

The point is well taken that I should have just given her even money on Denver to avoid the lecture and possible argument. In fact, any rational person I'm sure can see that. However, I'm not always a rational person. It goes against my religion to knowingly accept a negative bet for anything other than a paltry amount of money.

However, if she wins and put up an argument, I'll try to blame it on myself and just make her pay $50.

ontariodealer Jan 30, 2014

Wiz's dad: I want nothing to do with it.

a classic.

jml24 Jan 31, 2014

I would never gamble with my parents for similar reasons. If my Dad lost $50 it would be like the end of the world. My Mom only pays penny slots and she plays ONE PENNY at a time. Da Vinci Diamonds is her favorite game because she likes gems and art works. We were visiting relatives in Tahoe and she hit a huge jackpot on it playing a penny and won over $15 - WOO HOO! The funny thing is they kept offering her drinks and she doesn't even drink.

Buzzard Feb 01, 2014

Wizard's Mom just PM'd me and bet me $50 even money. She took Seattle +3. I think she is going for a middle, LOL.

Mom is no dummy

Doc Feb 02, 2014

Now you're really trying to pull one on her:

Quote: Wizard

However, if she wins and put up an argument, I'll try to blame it on myself and just make her pay $50.

So if she wins, you're just going to make her pay $50. How has that policy worked for you in the past? Can you introduce me to some of your marks?


AxiomOfChoice Feb 05, 2014

I'm really looking forward to hearing about how the collection goes :)

djatc Feb 08, 2014

I haven't seen or heard from the Wizard so I'm guessing his mom scolded him about the dangers of gambling and chased him around with a frying pan, all the while not paying the debt. That's probably how it would work in my house.....

djatc Feb 08, 2014

I haven't seen or heard from the Wizard so I'm guessing his mom scolded him about the dangers of gambling and chased him around with a frying pan, all the while not paying the debt. That's probably how it would work in my house.....

DJTeddyBear Sep 04, 2014

Like I mentioned in the above blog, I haven't been here in months. But I re-read this one and gotta ask, where's part two?

Quote: wizard

If Seattle wins, then stay tuned for part two as I try to collect my $60.

I don't even remember who won the game, but what happened with the bet?

Posted by Wizard
Oct 01, 2013

Like me on Facebook

I just opened an account on Facebook. Two likes so far! You can be next by visiting https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wizard-of-Odds/569798273073532.

This solicitation approved by management.


SOOPOO Oct 01, 2013

I can't like you on Facebook. I'm not on Facebook. As a single guy I don't want to be explaining why I am friends with so and so...... The concept of Mr. Zuckerberg owning everything I would post is a tad unsettling. I do believe that sometime in the future either work or a medical association or something else will require me to join, but until then, I defer.....

Perdition Oct 01, 2013

You can always just make a fake account with a fake name. I do that for all the vegas contests and things that build up to comps. I despise FB but not so much that I will pass up the tons of free stuff given out directly and indirectly from it.

djatc Oct 03, 2013

You owe me an autographed WoO printout of Blackjack Switch or Pai Gow :)

AcesAndEights Nov 02, 2013

Shack, you've got a competing Facebook page started by one of your fans, probably:


You should try to consolidate somehow? I went to like your official page and found I was already like this one too!

onenickelmiracle Feb 20, 2014

Ha, I fell for the fake page long ago. Side note, looks like the guy who allegedly ripped off Dancer in Philly did too, Jeff Toll if it's the same guy.