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My Journey to running the world’s largest off-shore gaming facility in the 90’s.  I played my first parlay card at the age of 8, much to the dismay of my mother. The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philly Daily News sports sections were now required reading, every day. I had my first bookie in the 9th grade and started booking my own action by 12th grade.

While in college I hung out at The 8th Floor on Delaware Ave, which my brother-in-law owned. They had numerous handicapping pools, and I was lucky enough to win more than a FEW. One of the guys in the suits dubbed me the Philly Prince of Picks.

After graduating I took a job with G.C. Services, a retail collection agency. I relocated from South Jersey to Seattle. I met Joe, The Official Guerra, then and to this day he is a great source of information. I lived in Seattle for 7 years and was longing to get back to the east coast. I landed a job with Milliken and Michaels (M&M), a commercial collection agency in Dover, Delaware. They were considered the top agency in the country with all of their large balance collectors making over 100K. M&M had a network of civil private investigators (PI) that they would utilize to conduct asset & liability investigations. I had a particular company that I was trying to collect from that wasn't responding to letters or calls. Send a PI out to someone’s business and you will get a response. They immediately called and said they were owed millions from their clients. They offered my client a settlement, which was accepted and the next thing I know, I am on a flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica partnering with them. 

My first course of business in Jamaica was getting a handle on chargebacks. The chargeback rate was 15% upon my arrival. The Sportsbooks are a haven for credit card fraud. Along with bank wire reversals, Fed-Ex shipments being re-routed, stop payments on certified funds, etc. We were on the verge of having our merchant account revoked. I ran a credit report on every customer that wanted to use their credit card, along with verifying their employment. I succeeded in turning the credit card fraud around by  paying attention to the numbers, the credit scores, asset to liability ratios and educating my Jamaican brethren.

Once the chargebacks were under control my focus turned to the wagering department. We had over 20,000 customers. Of that number roughly 50 were considered professional players. M&M showed me how effective P.I.’s were, so I employed the network to gather information on the Big 50. I discovered who these players were and many were beards for the likes of the Ingram brothers, Ben Baldwin, Ernie Wells, and Billy Walters. Some of these players were playing together trying to inflate lines and create advantageous middles. I then shared some of my information with other Sportsbooks and thus Gamewatch was created (Sportsbook’s version of Stockwatch). I put an end to these players middling us by moving the lines on them every 2 dimes and discouraging their action. They were true investors not gamblers. Hit 1 out of 20 middles and you have a slight profit. Most pros average 2.5 per 20. Thus no risk. I share many stories of my 5 years in Montego Bay with my clients. After 5 years on the island it was time for a change.

The opportunity to be the head handicapper for the Las Vegas Sporting news presented itself as well as hosting Jim McMahons Las Vegas Sporting News Radio and TV show. I was truly blessed.  What an opportunity! In 2000 our front cover of the magazine hit 80% winners. The paper was printed on a Tuesday and to hit 80% 6 days before kickoff was truly amazing. We had many Hall of Famers in Football, Basketball, Baseball, Boxing in our office and on our show. My most memorable interview was with Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal. He was a wealth of knowledge.

We monitored over 250 services the good, the bad and the ugly. There were a few that proved themselves over the long haul and they continue to be in my inner circle. The network and resources that I have been able to bring together under one roof is second to none in the business.

Everyone should have a mentor and a protégé. So a special thanks to Tex Whitson, for his guidance and wealth of knowledge. He has been cemented in Las Vegas for over 55 years. He was a big help in Jamaica and helped in getting our paper in most of the casinos. Tex’s best friend The Wizard is a key member of, along with R Meyer Goldstein, Freddie Papler, Red Zone Sports, The Official, The Brain and Legs Diamond. A blessed staff!

I have seen bets thru both sides now. (to steal a line from a song). So if you are a beginner or a veteran who needs guidance and money management we can devise a plan tailored to your needs and wants. Play em Win em and as always may god bless….

The Philly Prince

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