Friday, April 20, 2012 | 10:11 p.m.
Correctly handicapping 10 college basketball games against the point spread takes a little bit of luck.
That’s something Las Vegas resident Amnon Cohen admits he had plenty of during last month’s NCAA Tournament, correctly selecting winners on the 10 days of the tournament to win the Station Casinos “Last Man Standing” contest.
Cohen was one of three contestants out of 2,604 entries to finish with a 10-0 record, but became the outright winner based on a tie-breaker of correctly picking the national champion — Kentucky — when registering for the contest before the tournament started. Cohen, who entered at his home sports book at Red Rock Resort, won $53,300. Each entry cost $25, or a maximum five entries for $100 — buy four, get one free.
He watched Kentucky cover the spread and beat Kansas in the national championship game at Red Rock three weeks ago, and received a standing ovation from his friends in the book after they realized what he accomplished. Station takes about 10 days to verify winners.
“Yeah, it doesn’t happen every day. You have to have a little bit of luck to go 10-0,” Cohen, 45, said.
And Cohen, who works financing commercial real estate, received more than his share of good fortune in navigating through the contest undefeated. Contestants have to pick one game against the spread for every day of the tournament.
In four of Cohen’s winners, he was trailing by more than double digits. He had Xavier -4.5 points against Lehigh in the third round of the tournament, and Xavier rallied from a 17-point deficit to cover. Cohen also played Louisville +1.5 points in the Elite Eight, and they rallied late to top Florida.
Cohen, who is a recreational gamblier, didn’t lack confidence in the final rounds of the contest. There were 10 cards remaining entering the Final Four.
“I told myself that if I was going to lose, I was going to lose with my own picks,” Cohen said. “I wasn’t going to take anyone else’s advice and lose.”
He will use the money to help pay for his children’s education.
Situated at the entrance to Red Rock Canyon and minutes from the world-renowned Las Vegas Strip, Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa offers five-star luxury in a modern property, built in 2006.
The casino features features 3,000 slot and video poker machines, 60 table games including blackjack, baccarat, craps, poker, roulette, a 206-seat Race and Sports Book with a 96-foot video wall a 20-table smoke-free poker room open 24 hours a day, a 600-seat bingo hall with separate smoking and non-smoking sections, open 7 days a week with sessions running every other hour from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., a 20-seat keno lounge and a private high-limit room.
A recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award since opening and named one of the world's best new hotels by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, Red Rock redefines casino resort architecture by incorporating natural light, a convenient layout and the comforts of a modern lifestyle.
The centerpiece of the property is the three-acre pool complex with 19 cabanas and swim-up gaming. Its location allows for balcony views from several of the property's restaurants and Cherry Nightclub. Aside from Cherry, guests can grab a drink at Onyx or Lucky or listen to live music in Rocks Lounge.
Dining spans the globe at Red Rock with more than 10 restaurants, including the Italian food of Terra Rossa, the Japanese fusion of Hachi, the Mexican spices at Cabo Cantina or a bit of everything at the Feast Buffet.
Unlike some resorts in town, Red Rock has activities for the whole family, such as a 16-screen movie theater and an arcade. The 72-lane bowling center features a VIP area and carpet that glows in the dark for after hours at Cosmic Bowling.