$50 bet could net Pirates fan $50,000

The surprising Pittsburgh Pirates have already made this a memorable summer for their fans.

With a late rally in the National League Central, they also can make it an extremely profitable season for two of their biggest believers.

On Opening Day, Brandon Crusan, a Pittsburgh native and lifelong Pirates fan, placed a $50 bet at +100,000 (1000/1) on the Bucs to win the division. That’s a $50,000 payday.

“Overall, I felt that we were in the worst division in baseball; so why not throw 50 on my Buccos?” Crusan, a sales manager in Mt. Washington, Pa., wrote in an email. “I mean we have to turn it around sometime right?”

Poker pro Mike McNeil, a Pirates season-ticket holder since 2007, also backed Pittsburgh financially. He made two wagers on the Pirates to win what at least to this point has been a wide-open division.

On April 4, McNeil dropped a $100 on Pittsburgh to win the division at +1,000 (100-1). But it’s the second “homer” bet that has this longtime Bucs’ fan pulling for his team more than he ever has.

In mid-June, McNeil was hanging out in the Las Vegas house he shares with other poker pros during the World Series of Poker when something on his laptop caught his attention.

His Pirates, who had just swept the Astros to climb above .500 and move within a couple games of the division lead, were listed at 80-1 to win the Central at his offshore sportsbook.

McNeil scrambled to add funds to his account, but had bank transfer issues. That’s when one of McNeil’s poker buddies stepped in.

“He likes to play the bank if he thinks he has an edge and agreed to book my action, one grand at 80-1,” said McNeil.

The gambler who took McNeil’s bet asked to remain anonymous, but did confirm to Covers.com via email that the bet was good. He is a regular player at the high-stakes poker games in Vegas.
 
"We made small ($50-200) wagers on lots of stuff this summer from MLB games to video games to the song game," said Gambler X. "Many times, if I owed Mike $200 for example, I'd needle him by saying "you owe me 800 now [on the Pirates].'"

“We gamble on a lot of things," added McNeil, "but nothing quite like this,”
 
There are a few Vegas bookmakers sweating the Pirates as well, including Caesars line consultant Todd Furhman, who took some $25 wagers at 150/1 on Pittsburgh to win the World Series.

“We do have exposure on the Pirates,” Furhman wrote in an email, “and I'm inclined to believe every book around town will be in a similar predicament if the Buccos get through considering the prices that were out there at one point.

“The scenario remind me of a few years back when a lot of people in town had high exposure to the Rays when they went all the way to the series before losing to the Phils.”

The books’ fear of the Pirates is dwindling, however. Heading into the August, Pittsburgh had lost three straight to fall 4.5 games behind Milwaukee in the division.

It will help if Pittsburgh doesn’t have too many more run ins with umpire Jerry Meals, who admitted to making a bad game-deciding call in the Pirates’ recent 19-inning loss to the Braves.

“It felt like it a punch in the stomach,” said McNeil, who watched all 19 innings in a New York City bar. “My buddy has agreed to work something out if the Pirates end up losing the division by that one game.”

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Posted by lvd420
3 years ago

NO way he was getting 1000-1 odds to win the division, I was ecstatic when I got it at 100-1. Books Rarely offer 1000-1 to win championships, let alone Division titles
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Posted by dcmc34f
3 years ago

Covers guys, get this shit-ass story off this website, it is NOT A ISSUE. Are you going to make a story about me if I put $100 on the 49ers to win the Super Bowl. Pirates are not going to come close in winning the Division. Find something more INTERESTING to write about, or hire me, and I will.
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Posted by giterdun
3 years ago

Has anyone else had a problem with collecting any significant money with the .com sportsbooks. I have used Sportsbook.com for 10 years now and have always collected when I have requested withdrawals. However, they only allow $2,500 at a time to withdraw, but when I am over that amount I w/d $2,500 and play everyday, but very low amounts, then do another $2500 the next week. Never any delays. Obviously I am not over +$2500 that often.....They have never had a problem taking my $500 deposits!!!
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Posted by TheDesertFox
3 years ago

I agree no online place will pay 80 to 1 or 1000 to 1 even if you win. even if you won in vegas they would give you such a hard time collecting you would never want to wager again. Once i won 8k on bodog and they didnt pay so how do you think they will pay 80k or more? WAKE UP is exactly right. i also won 5k (after losing 7k) at the RED ROCK in Vegas and they gave me such a hard time collecting a lousy 5k that i will never go back and I recommend all of you not to either. WAKE UP players dont get screwed...just some words of wisdom
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Posted by cameltoe_kid
3 years ago

When are you folks going to wake up..."Key Element" up top knows wassup...Offshore books DO NOT pay winners off, especially if it is a 500 to 1,000 odds win. They will make up some excuse not to PAY YOU!! Especially "betonline.com" They screwed me out of some chump change like my lil' ol piece was going to hurt their bottom. FACT IS, I won over 80% of my bets, so they chose not to pay me. You need to either A) get to vegas or B) know someone in vegas to place your bets. Heed the warning, or not.
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Posted by samson96
3 years ago

The past few days have proven that the bucks are going down. They can't even beat the Cubs for christ sake.
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Posted by KeyElement
3 years ago

Offshore ticket at 1,000 to 1? Kiss your money goodbye. At least you won't be heartbroken, the Pirates are not going to win the division anyway.
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Posted by Squeektab
3 years ago

I've seen the ticket as well
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Posted by HokieFrosty
3 years ago

Which sportsbook had Pittsburgh at 1000-to-1 to win the division? They must be run by idiots. 100-to-1 sounds about right, especially in that division. In most books I was looking at this off-season, I don't even think I saw anything approach 1000-to-1 for the Bucs to win the World Series.
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Posted by David_Payne
3 years ago

It was a "private" offshore account. I've seen the ticket.
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Posted by dmoney1981
3 years ago

wow nice dcmc34f
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Posted by eylesy
3 years ago

@dcmc34f I agree. Got em finishing 6 behind St Louis & that's before without umpires conspiracies kicking in.
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Posted by sharpstick
3 years ago

You've handicapped the last 1/3 of the season? LMAO! What a moron!
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Posted by dcmc34f
3 years ago

One small liiiiiiiiiiiiittle problem, it ain't happening.
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Posted by Bunting26
3 years ago

dude who is that chick as your pf picture? wow...same to you sharpstick?
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Top Response

Posted by KeyElement
3 years ago

"Offshore ticket at 1,000 to 1? Kiss your money goodbye. At least you won't be heartbroken, the Pirates are not going to win the division anyway."