Commentary

Behind the Bets: On the fly

Chad Millman bets the Super Bowl in real-time and lives to tell the tale

Updated: February 8, 2010, 4:38 PM ET
By Chad Millman | ESPN The Magazine

Teddy Covers brought the energy packets. I brought the cash. My buddy Matt brought the fastest set of hands of any senior VP in the tech industry. Together, we were going to bet every play of Super Bowl XLIV.

Courtesy cantorgaming.comWith handheld in-running gaming consoles, the action never stops.

This was a plan hatched a few months before the game. I had wanted to try out the M Casino's new in-running wagering system, in which you can bet on every play during a game. And it seemed like the Super Bowl was the perfect opportunity. Matt bailed on his wife and kids to be my triggerman -- making bets so I could record everything for you fine people -- and Teddy came to make sure I didn't lose my bankroll before the Air Force flyover. Because it can happen as fast as Peyton Manning can throw away the game.

In case you missed it, here's a recap of what in-running wagering is: Cantor Gaming designed a system that enables bettors to wager on every single play in a game. Using algorithms created by brainy computer scientists, bookmakers can send out point spreads, money lines and totals that adjust as the game progresses. For example, the Saints-Colts total closed at 57. Ten minutes after kickoff, it had dropped to 49. Bettors make plays from their seats using Nintendo DS-sized handhelds or from desktop consoles in the sports book.

But it's not easy. It requires split-second decision-making, an understanding of game situations and the guts to keep betting, even as your account dwindles. I learned all this while making split-second decisions, evaluating game situations and watching my account dwindle.

Here's how it happened, in running time:


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