ST. LOUIS SINGING THE STANLEY CUP BLUES

NHL 19It took a full six games for the St. Louis Blues professional Ice Hockey team to defeat the stubborn San Jose Sharks and advance to the NHL finals where they will face the legendary Boston Bruins, who have been practically perennial contenders for the Stanley Cup title for the past 20 years or so.

Although most of us were not aware that St. Louis even had an ice hockey team way back in 1970. That was the last time that the Blues participated in the Stanley Cup Finals, after 3 consecutive appearances there, only to be denied by these same Boston Bruins they will be facing on May 27.

The seven game series for the coveted Stanley Cup begins on May 27th at TD Garden in Boston when Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy and team captain Zdeno Chara will lead the Boston NHL franchise to its fourth professional ice hockey finals in as many years. The Bruins last won the Stanley Cup back in 2011, it was their sixth NHL Championship in franchise history.

The St. Louis Blues team has a roster made up predominantly of Canadian hockey players.  Not all, but most, of their star players are from north of the border. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, where else would one go to find ice hockey players. Head Coach Craig Berube and team captain Alex Pietrangelo have taken the Blues from a terrible beginning to the season to a team scoring 99 goals in 2019 and landing in the NHL Finals.

Blues fans in St. Louis are true-blue and loyal as ever, but perhaps not as optimistic as they could be taking into consideration the amount of disillusionment and heartbreak these fans have know in recent years as their cherished Blues struggled its way to the top of the NHL hierarchy.

In fact, they didn’t start up the “We want the Cup!” cheer until the Blues had a solid 3 goal lead on the San Jose Sharks in game six of the playoffs.  Such was the faith, but the fans have come around now and are all in for a run at the Stanley Cup.

As one longtime Blues season ticket holder told reporters, “I’m feeling excitement. This is as close as we’ve come in the last 50 years”.  Then he added, “And it’s possible. This is a hell of a good team. It’s solid. Four lines. Great goaltending. Team defense.  We could do this!”

But on January 1 this year the St. Louis Blues were tied with the Ottawa Senators for the fewest points in the NHL at 34 each.  Hardly reason for optimism for diehard Blues fans.  One couple, who back in 2014 had postponed their honeymoon to follow their team for a playoff run, only to see St. Louis eliminated in the first round by the Blackhawks.

This same guy was in Vegas back in January when the Blues were listed at 100 to 1 to win the 2019 Stanley Cup. For reasons known only to true-heart sports fans with unwavering, inexplicable, loyalty to their team, he put down $25 on St. Louis to win the Stanley Cup.

That little bet ‘on faith’ is looking pretty damned good right now!  It’s looking to be a close series. Las Vegas oddsmakers are posting moneyline odds of +135 for the Blues and -155 for the Bruins.  That’s practically a push!

WYNN RESORTS TO SELL BRAND NEW ENCORE CASINO

encore casinoUp in Everett, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, Las Vegas based Wynn Resorts is just putting the finishing touches on a brand now $2.6 Billion Casino and Hotel on the waterfront.  It’s called ‘the Encore Boston Harbor’ and apparently has been sold before even opening its doors to the public.

The Encore Boston Harbor, in its entirety, will soon be sold to arch rival MGM Resorts International according to the latest reports out of Boston.

Wynn Resorts obtained the necessary licenses and permissions to build the massive 671 room Hotel and Casino on Boston Harbor in Everett back in 2013 and started construction on the waterfront facility at once.  Opening day has been set for the mid June but could be delayed in light of these latest developments.

It will be interesting to watch how this works out as MGM already has an operating Casino over in Springfield and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission forbids any one company from obtaining more than one gambling license within the state.

There is a bit of sordid history between the members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and former chief executive officer for Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn which ended up costing Mr. Wynn a cool $35 million in fines after the Resort was found to have failed to disclose allegations of sexual misconduct against the former CEO.

Wynn Resorts might just have good reason to be getting out of the area as the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has also levied an additional half million dollar fine against its new CEO Matthew Maddox.

Both Wynn and MGM have affirmed that these negotiations will not affect anyone’s jobs nor delay the grand opening of the Encore Boston Harbor.  In a joint statement to the press the two sides allowed, “Over the past several weeks, we have engaged in conversations around the potential sale of Encore Boston Harbor,” the companies said in the statement. “They are very preliminary and of the nature that publicly traded corporations like ours often engage in…..however we can reaffirm our commitment to the communities where we operate today”.

Which all sounds a lot like corporate ‘mumbo-jumbo’ and really says nothing at all.  What seems apparent is that Wynn Resorts has used up all the good faith the state of Massachusetts has to offer and will soon be moving on to greener pastures.

BOOKIE BEWARE

BookieSometimes the things that we at first perceive of as bargains end up being more costly in the long run than it would have been to go ahead and get the better quality product in the first place. This holds especially true for PPH Services.

If you look closely at the available price per head services being offered to bookmakers these days you will quickly begin to see that not all PPH Services are alike.  There are the good, the bad and the ugly.

Yes, there are, unfortunately, some companies offering pay per head services that are downright ugly. They offer what they cannot provide and end up stealing your clients to their own sports book interests.

The bad ones are just that.  They have not invested in the proper infrastructure to provide the professional bookmaker with the necessary tools to operate his or her business on a first class professional level and provide their clients with excellent, uninterrupted services that they have come to expect.  Most times these ‘bad’ companies will fail you at the worst possible time and leave you hanging and explaining why to your clients.

Then we have the rarest of them all, the few good PPH Service Companies like HostPPH.com which have almost 20 years in the industry working exclusively with professional bookies.  The dedicated folks at Host have taken the time and made the necessary investments in state of the art equipment and a highly trained professional staff that dedicates itself to keeping their clients happy, and you making money.

Of course the quality companies are going to have to charge a little more in order to give you better service. That holds true in almost any industry. However, you will find at the end of the month, you will end up with a greater hold percentage than you would have at the cut-rate shop…..and have lots happier clients as well!

Don’t take a chance on your business. Remember, what the price per head company puts up online for you will be representing you to your players. These days players are looking for high quality, friendly ease of access to wagering with no hassles and no delays. Provide that for them and they will keep on coming back for more.

Check around, the companies that have been in this business for a long time have hundreds of bookmakers as clients and thousands of daily players. All of those guys and gals know about the cheapo options….but they stay where they know that they and their players will always be well taken care of at Host PPH.com.

Remember also that the price per head service you contract will also be keeping track of all of your wagers and records as well as dealing directly with your players on a daily basis. Yes, with PPH you can forget about that incriminating little black book….but be very careful to whom you turn your record keeping over to. Think about it!

GOLDEN STATE LOOKS TO CONTINUE DYNASTY RUN

The-NBA-Finals-2019-300x193Since winning their first NBA Championship since 1975 by defeating LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers back during the short reign of head coach David Blatt, the Golden State Warriors, behind the always entertaining antics of Stephen Curry, have pretty much dominated professional basketball in North America.

The Warriors are the new kids on the block, although Golden State actually won the NBA title way back in 1975. The Cleveland Cavaliers have hung around to challenge the Warriors for every NBA Finals series since 2015, until now. For the first time in a long time, the Cavs did not even make it to the NBA playoffs and have been home watching the finals on TV, which must seem very strange to some team members.

The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers for the 2015 title then Tyronn Lue took over as head coach in Cleveland and the Cavs managed to beat the Warriors in an exciting 7 game series in 2016.  2017 and 2018 saw the same bill of fare at the finals with Golden State winning and maintaining the NBA title both years. A championship they are now bound to defend yet again.

Now, four years hardly constitutes a bona-fide dynasty, but it’s off to a very good start.  The storied franchise of the Boston Celtics holds the mark for the most NBA titles at 17.  More impressive yet is that the Celtics did it 8 times in a row from 1959 until 1966.  We will see how the Warriors stack up to that record.

The Lakers of Los Angeles have contested the title more than any other team since the Finals were began back in 1947 with 31 appearances, the most recent of which came from 2008-2010 under head coach Phil Jackson.  Oddly enough, the Golden State Warriors have never faced their in-state rival Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Now the Warriors have punched their ticket to the final round of the 2019 NBA Finals while the Lakers, the Celtics and the Cavaliers are long gone. Golden State staged another of its famous second half comebacks to eliminate the Portland Trail Blazers, and the younger Curry brother, from competition.

The Warriors are a little banged up having lost both super-star Kevin Durant and his buddy Andre Iguodala to calf injuries. Even so, they are a formidable basketball team displaying both speed and agility as well as an exceptional basketball I.Q. every time they take the court.

The remaining core of the Warrior team consists of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to whom double and even triple doubles are becoming commonplace.  The pinpoint shooting accuracy and smothering defense of Golden State put away an excellent Portland team lead by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in four straight matches.

So now the Warriors are resting up and awaiting the winners of the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptor series.  While Las Vegas oddsmakers are listing the Raptors at +1000 and the Bucks at Even money, wagering on Golden State requires that the bettor must risk $450 to win $100.

So, odds are, the Warrior dynasty is likely to continue for another year at least.

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