Two years ago on a sweltering summer night in Jersey City, NJ, Bet Bash was brought into the world. It was born of one man’s vision to have a networking event that would be for bettors, by bettors.
That man, of course, is Spanky. Since then the event has grown and we’re now on the verge of Bet Bash 3, Aug. 8-11 once again at the Circa Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
The third installment will be the largest event yet and will attract hundreds of new attendees. Some will be attending their first sports bettors networking event. As a courtesy to attendees, here’s my list of do’s and don’ts for anyone attending Bet Bash 3.
DO: Pace Yourself
You’re going to be overwhelmed. Trust me. There’s a lot to take in. If you’ve never been to the Circa before, you’ll be overwhelmed by the cathedral of sports betting that is their sportsbook. If you’ve never been to Vegas before, wait until you step out into the Fremont Street freak show. Drinks flow freely in Vegas and at Circa and especially at Bet Bash. You’ve got four straight nights of open bars, so my advice is to pace yourself. Hydrate. Eat well.
Pro Tip: Pick up some Pedialyte powder and head back to your room with a spare bottle of water each night. Mix up your electrolyte replenisher and drink half before bed, and the other half when you get up. You should be able to stave off a hangover. That’s assuming you go to bed.
DON’T: Be Shy
The average Bet Bash attendee is a lot like you. In fact, you’ll notice there is a fairly narrow demographic when it comes to Bet Bash. That said, if you have uncertainty about meeting new people or discussing your betting, chances are that guy next to you does too. Take the lead in introducing yourself to new people.
One of the marquee events of Bet Bash is the speed networking. For many, it was the most popular event of Bet Bash 2. Spanky has promised to improve on it from last year and give it more space to operate. It’s a great chance to make connections.
Pro Tip: With 15 straight meetings, you may hit a wall. Prepare some stock questions you can ask that will encourage the other person to do more talking. Things like “How did you get started in this?” “What are you looking to get out of Bet Bash?” “Does closing line value really matter?”
DO: Say Hello to Unabated
Along the same lines, please say hello if you see me around. Same goes true for other Unabated employees who will be attending Bet Bash. Rufus Peabody will be there, as will our podcast host and Vegas man-about-town, Thomas Viola. Our excellent customer service manager, John Manes (JohnnyMo on Discord), will be in attendance. My Unabated co-founder and CEO, Matt Snyder, will be there as well.
We would love to hear your thoughts about Unabated, both positive and negative. Want some previews of what we’re coming up with next? This is a great opportunity to get the inside scoop.
Pro Tip: If you’ve never tried Unabated, we may have an exclusive coupon to encourage you to do so. Talk to us at Bet Bash to find out more.
DON’T: Miss Stadium Swim
Vegas in August is unbelievably hot. However, the water at Stadium Swim is a refreshing 80 degrees. If your own source of glow comes from the three computer monitors that surround you 16 hours a day, bring some sunscreen and head out to Stadium Swim for a couple hours. You can relax with a beverage in the pool and even make some bets at the automated kiosks nearby. If you’re staying at any of the Derek Stevens properties (Circa, The D, or Golden Gate) you get free admission to Stadium Swim.
DO: Bring Bankroll
You’ll be among hundreds of other sports bettors. There will be plenty of gambling going on, for better or worse. However, there will be one bet available to all that promises not to be minus-EV: You can sign up for the Circa football contests while at Bet Bash.
Circa Millions has a $6 million guarantee and all extra entries beyond the guarantee go into the prize pool. Circa Survivor has an $8 million guarantee and also features no house rake.
Here at Unabated, we have a weekly pool tool that helps you find the best EV for your Millions picks. Also this season, we’re debuting our Survivor tool which promises to be the most advanced Survivor solver available anywhere.
DON’T: Bring Bankroll
Then again, Bet Bash is all about meeting people and making connections. No need to focus on the gambling when there is so much socializing that can be done. There will definitely be hardy souls who are getting their grind on at 6 a.m. in the Circa Sportsbook each day. However, this might be a good week to be less concerned about getting down and more focused on expanding horizons.
DO: Bring Earplugs
Stevens’ properties have one thing in common: they’re loud. If you’re staying at The D or at Circa you may want to pack a pair of earplugs. If your room is on a lower floor at The D and faces the Fremont Street Experience, or if your room faces Stadium Swim at Circa, don’t be surprised to get rattled awake by thumping bass early in the morning. Earplugs can be a game changer if you need to recharge your batteries.
DON’T: Forget to Tip
With four open-bar events and all this discussion at getting the most out of sports betting, you may forget that the bartenders, waitresses, clerks, and dealers are still working for tips. Don’t forget to show your appreciation.
DO: Pay Respect to the Legends
There’s a lot of people who seem to think sports betting is a new industry in the U.S. However, it’s been thriving for decades. Many of the people who helped shape sports betting in the U.S. will be present at Bet Bash. In some cases, it’ll just be the relatives of those who are no longer with us. As sports bettors, we stand on the shoulders of giants. You may not get another chance to be in the presence of some of the true giants of our industry. Don’t miss the opportunity to pay them some due respect.
DON’T: Leave Downtown
For many attendees, this will be the most time they’ve spent in Downtown Las Vegas. The Strip is far more glamorous but Downtown has its own charm. My recommendation is don’t plan to leave Downtown during your stay. That doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time in the Downtown casinos.
Just beyond the canopy on Fremont Street is the Fremont East district, with many bars and restaurants oozing with character. Plenty of great options if you want to talk shop in a more private setting. Just south of Downtown is the Arts District, which also has no shortage of character and unique watering holes. (Beer lovers in particular need to make the pilgrimage. Several local breweries have a major presence in the Arts District.)
DO: Listen to Roxy
As Roxy implored you in this tweet, dress up. Probably the most controversial addition to the Bet Bash schedule this year is black tie dress code at the Hall of Fame induction dinner.
Getting sports bettors to put on pants seems like a tall task, let alone formal wear. There was enough pushback for Bet Bash organizers to modify the dress code to black tie requested, but business smart required. My interpretation of business smart is at least a blazer, dress shirt, and dress pants. I’m sure there will be other interpretations present that night.
However, bringing some nice clothes has the added benefit of getting you into the unofficial afterparty held nightly at the exclusive Legacy Club atop Circa. Typically, late nights at the Legacy Club are a who’s who of the betting world.
Pro Tip: You can rent a suit or tuxedo and pick it up in Las Vegas. The process is pretty easy and in a town that caters to destination weddings, they’ve got it down pat. You’ve still got time.
DON’T: Forget to Thank Your Host
One of the most impressive things about Bet Bash is how omnipresent and welcoming Spanky is. Trust me, you’ll shake Spanky’s hand at least once per day while at Bet Bash. He’ll make sure of it. If you can get him before his voice gives out, he’ll gladly spend as much time as he has talking with you. He’s really the perfect host for an event like this. Bet Bash exists for the love of sports betting. Be sure to show him some love and thank him for putting in the year of planning that Bet Bash requires.
There’s still time to buy tickets to Bet Bash. Visit BetBash.co for more information.