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September 18, 2014

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Former champion talks Supercontest Weekend, offers strategy advice

Free sports handicapping seminar on tap Friday evening at the LVH

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Leila Navidi

The Race and Sports SuperBook at the Las Vegas Hilton is seen on Tuesday, March 15, 2011.

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2013 Supercontest Weekend flyer

Brady Kannon will feel a sense of pride this weekend while partaking in the second annual LVH Supercontest Weekend.

After winning sports betting’s most prestigious contest with three friends for $320,200 two years ago, Kannon teamed with LVH Superbook Executive Director Jay Kornegay to dream up the event.

Last year’s Supercontest Weekend was such a smashing success that Kornegay decided to stage an identical version in 2013.

It starts with a free handicapping seminar for the public at 6 p.m. Friday — the welcome reception begins at 5 p.m. — in Ballroom E at the LVH. A four-man scramble golf tournament follows Saturday afternoon, and then a reception Saturday night where Kornegay will raffle off four entries into the $1,500 buy-in Supercontest, in which contestants make five picks against the spread every week of the NFL season.

The Sun caught up with Kannon, who mostly stuck to organizing the golf part of this year’s gala, to talk all things Supercontest.

What part of this year’s Supercontest Weekend are you most excited for?

The whole thing. I haven’t seen most of these guys since last football season, so it’s good to catch up and rub elbows with the buddies. Everyone is in the same mood and getting excited for football. The weekend is the birthplace for the contest, and that’s exactly what I had in mind: to get everyone in the same room and get them excited for what’s to come. That’s what I enjoy the most.

How much do you credit last year’s event for the record 745 entries that signed up for the Supercontest?

It’s hard to give a definitive number, but I know it generated quite a bit of interest. There was a lot of buzz from people I ran into who just decided to sign up because they were around the sports book or golf tournament that weekend. I think it’s going to generate even more interest this year because we’ve got one under our belt and people are just more aware of both the contest and weekend.

It’s always a dominant topic of conversation, so how many do you think will sign up this year?

I think we’ll certainly get past 745. I’ve told Jay and a couple others that I’d bet it would get over 800. That would take the prize pool to over $1.2 million, which is pretty incredible.

Your group, Sans Souci, posted the best record (58-22-5 for a 72.5 percent success rate) in the history of the Supercontest in 2011. Do you think that will hold up?

I hope it does. It gives me a leg to stand on. It was incredible. Is it like a Joe DiMaggio record that will never be broken? Probably not, but I think it’s going to hold for a while.

Is Sans Souci back together for another run in 2013?

We’re going after it again with the same group. We did pretty well last year coming off of the record-setting year, hitting 53 percent. That was pretty respectable considering a lot of people expected us to fall down substantially. I was pleased with our defense, but hopefully we can get back up in the 60s this year.

Not to give away too many secrets, but what’s the team’s process like for coming up with the picks every week?

We all have different styles of handicapping. One guy plays a lot of favorites and is good at finding the right ones. A couple are more underdog players and another guy has a casino background, so he’s got that mindset. We all come from different backgrounds at how we look at these games, and I think that really helped our success because one style doesn’t win 100 percent of the time.

Throughout the week, we’ll send emails and text messages to talk about what we’re thinking about. We try not to mess with each other too much because we’re all decent at what we do and trust each other’s opinion. We all have a couple or three games we’re looking at. In our system, we’re only responsible for one game and one guy is the deuce every week with two picks. We just rotate that duty.

Would you advise someone looking to compete for the first time to enter with a group?

Yes, because it takes some pressure off financially. $1,500 is not chump change. It’s easier to swallow three, four or five ways. But, you want to put a team together with people whose opinions you respect and think can do a decent job. You have to go in knowing you’re not going to jump down the other guys’ throats about everything. There has to be a level of trust where you take a step back and say, "Who am I to think I’m a genius about what will happen in this game? I’ve got to trust my partner here."

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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