SJP is a college student who will throw her money down on anything from the NBA to World Cup cricket. She probably knows more about sports than you and she just happens to be even prettier than a winning 12-team parlay ticket. And yes, for the millionth time, she's real. So quit asking and read.
I walked up to the counter at The Mirage and waited patiently for the next available ticket writer to assist me.
A few minutes went by, and finally someone asked me, “May I help you?”
“I’d like to place a wager on the Boston Celtics against the spread to win $1000,” I said.
The agent seemed stunned. Is it because I was laying $1100 to win $1000? Couldn’t be, this is chump change compared to the high rollers.
Is it because I was playing the Celtics on the second night of a back-to-back? No, the sportsbook couldn't care less which side of the action I was on.
Maybe it was because I’m a female bettor? Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. The fact that I knew a spread isn’t just for toast can be baffling to the books sometimes.
I’m Sarah J. Phillips
, or SJP for short. I enjoy long walks on the beach, local sports, and spending quality time with my friends and family.
Oh, and, I also like knowing more about sports than you. “You” being the chauvinist who thinks women should be baking pies and folding laundry instead of managing bankrolls.
If that's not you, my apologies. But if you feel the need to continue believing I’m a man in order to ease your insecurities, please do. I don’t want to emasculate you more than your father or significant other already has.
I understand your disbelief and you're not alone in your sexism. It’s still wrong, but you are not alone. I primarily communicate with my sportsbooks through their live chat feature in order to keep a paper trail. If you don't use it, you should start.
The chat guide specifically asks you for your name and account number prior to entering the live chat session. Even though my name is clearly listed as “Sarah Phillips,” the imbecile customer service representatives almost always auto-pilot and greet me with a, “Welcome SIR.”
They don’t even have the training script to greet a female bettor.
Before I get too far into my rant I should introduce you to my roommates, Amber and Erika. They are my partners in crime and that's them in the picture above.
They are pro-GTL and anti-sports. I can’t tell you how many times they’ve rolled their eyes at me for checking sports scores on my Blackberry during “girl time.” You’ll learn plenty about them as we become better acquainted.
Anderson Silva is my favorite athlete. If you don’t know who Anderson Silva is, please close your browser and exit stage left.
I admire his soft personality outside the octagon and his ruthlessness inside it. My dad and I always debate who the best fighter is during our time: he takes Roy Jones Jr. in his prime and I stick with Anderson. It’s an argument that will never be resolved.
My dad is the reason I am addicted to sports. David Beckham and Derek Jeter might have a little to do with it, too.
I’m a little irritated right now so I’m going to cut this column short. My book tried to manipulate the line on the India/Pakistan World Cup Cricket Match. Their site showed India -180, but when I called in, they had it at -200? Shady, shady.
You should feel comforted knowing that sportsbooks believe in equality: they will try and squeeze you and me just the same, regardless of gender. I need to get on the phone and yell at someone for at least 45 mi