Interview with Steve Fezzik - the real one this time
But while Fezzik would fit the technical definition of handicapper, unlike many others in the business his picks are not for sale. That might come as somewhat of a surprise to visitors to a web site that bears Fezzik’s name and offers to sell picks, but the site has no connection to Fezzik and the owner is using Fezzik’s name without permission.
“I guess I became aware of it last fall,” says Fezzik, who says he has no idea who is behind the site but believes it is someone in Las Vegas area. “I’m a little unique, I guess, in that I’m pretty well known and don’t sell my picks. So someone could just use my name and people would assume it’s me. Well, it’s not.”
The existence of the fake Fezzik came to light in late January when Covers.com posted a Q-and-A segment believing it to be the real Fezzik. Everyone remembers how we got caught with our pants down on that.
Fezzik - the real one - is affiliated with the LVASports.com, a web site which provides information about all things Vegas, including low-cost hotel rooms, information about restaurants, best places to gamble, etc. Publisher Anthony Curtis says efforts to out the phony Fezzik have so far been unsuccessful, but are continuing.
The phony web site – which includes biographical information about the real Steve Fezzik – allows payment through PayPal only, and picks are delivered in a PayPal email. No phone number is given, and communication is done through the phony Fezzik’s gmail account.
PayPal returned a call but has not yet explained its policy regarding Internet identity theft.
Ted Sevransky, a professional handicapper and Las Vegas resident, empathizes with Fezzik. “It’s a tough situation. Steve is a great guy and one of the most knowledgeable people in the business, and someone out there is taking advantage of him.”
Sevransky knows a little bit about the Internet and the false use of an identity. He’s a regular participant on sports wagering radio programs, and a listener once thought it would be a good idea to pose as Sevransky on Twitter.
“Basically,” says Sevransky, “he was tweating as me. Once someone starts something like it becomes very difficult to stop. I got an attorney and had to provide lots of documentation proving it wasn’t me. It went on for weeks before I was able to get the guy to stop. So I have an idea of what Steve is dealing with.”
Covers Expert Marc Lawrence had a more-serious issue.
“Last November,” says Lawrence, “an individual was posing as me on the web site pickmonitor.com. Not only was he posting my material and selling my picks, he was selling himself off as me.
"Then two months ago I was notified that an individual known as ‘Stan the Man’ was posting content at the RX forum directly from the Playbook (Lawrence's website) as his, word for word.
"Turns out he was a subscriber and denied all knowledge, although his email address in the forum was identical to the one he registered with Playbook. Our lawyers contacted both parties and they disappeared from the sites.”
John Sileo, an author and founder of the Sileo Group (http://www.thinklikeaspy.com/) and an exp