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Gamblin'NCAA Football

Man With Swollen Cojones Loses $46,000 On Florida State’s Final Touchdown (UPDATED)


I feel incredibly bad for this guy, but he did it to himself.

An Auburn fan named Mark Skiba is the owner of the Las Vegas BCS National Championship title futures bet you see to your left. Back in January of 2013 (that’s last year, in case you forgot), Skiba bet $100 on the Tigers to win the National Championship, at 500/1 odds. If they won, he would’ve made $50,000.

Once Auburn won the Iron Bowl and miraculously had a chance to make this futures bet win, Skiba’s ticket became massively valuable. He chose not to hedge his bet in the SEC Championship vs. Missouri. So, when Auburn made the National Title Game against Florida State, he was in a position people dream of: a position to guarantee a hefty profit.

When Skiba went public with his ticket last month, many fans contacted him on Twitter to offer advice. Most told Skiba that if they were him, they would place a sizable bet against Auburn to guarantee a payday.

Most people would’ve told him that, because most non-insane people would have done that.

Skiba had planned on doing exactly that. But as Monday’s game approached, he backed off. With Florida State becoming more and more of a favorite, it meant that Skiba would have to bet even more money against Auburn to balance out the action.

First of all, he should’ve bet the game early on, to be safe. If he consulted anyone smart, they would’ve told him he was unlikely to get a much better price by waiting. And of course, it turned out to be significantly worse. But even given the fact that he waited, Skiba could’ve bet Florida State at a price of around -330, which means:

He could’ve bet $3,630.00 on the Seminoles, to guarantee himself $1,000 if FSU won, and still leave himself with $46,370 if Auburn won.

He could’ve bet $25,000 (assuming he could find places willing to take that sum of money, whether online or in Vegas), guaranteeing himself $7,575.76 in the event of a Noles win, and $25,000 with an Auburn win.

He could’ve bet any damn other amount on FSU, guaranteeing himself some profit, regardless of how confident he was that a double-digit underdog would pull the upset.

The riskiest, yet smartest decision in hindsight, was to watch the game at a Vegas sportsbook that accepted live betting. Apparently, he was a smart man and did this.

I like where this is going…

OK, so, he isn’t a complete moron. Just a man with massive balls, because he only hedged a tiny portion of his bet. He had really damn-good timing, getting FSU at even-money… but only hedged $2,000. He could’ve hedged again, later, when FSU was at something like +265. I admire the man’s cojones. But he’s fairly insane to risk a ~$46,000 swing on a double-digit underdog to win a football game, especially with so many chances to hedge late.

Really: You are insane, Mark Skiba. But I guess you have to be insane to take Auburn a year ago, in the first place. I wish you had been rewarded for your insanity. But I truly admire your testicles; I can see them from thousands of miles away. (You should probably see a specialist.)

And, I respect your class:

(UPDATE: An earlier version of this post used an ESPN article as a source, which casually didn’t mention the whole hedging the bet thing. Alas, our post was misleading. It’s fixed now. Sorry for that; we’ll be more careful next time.)



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