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Sports Betting: Mark Lawrence Talks Football With Woo

Written by:
Jenny Woo
Published on:
Sep/16/2009
Sports Betting

With football season finally here, I've been continuing my insiders look with the pro handicappers I met at the VegasInsider.com Sports Handicapping Seminar.  Marc Lawrence is a true icon when it comes to sports betting and handicapping.  He is highly admired by many.  We sat down to discuss his experience at this year's VI Seminar as well as his NFL and College outlook for this season.

JENNY:  How was your experience overall at this year's VegasInsider.com Sports Handicapping Seminar? 

MARC:  The VI Seminar this year was the best of those that I've attended.  It was an overflow crowd that seemed very attentive and anxious to hear and learn insight into the art and science of football handicapping.  In addition, the panelists were enlightening and informative.  I look forward to the event each year because, like those in attendance, I leave with knowledge about the teams and nuances about handicapping that I was not aware of. 

JENNY:  How long have you been handicapping and been with the VegasInsider.com team? 

MARC:  I began as a professional sports handicapper in 1975 and have been publishing the PLAYBOOK weekly newsletter and related publications for 24 years.  I have been a proud member of the VI handicapping team for most of this decade. 

JENNY:  You spoke on the panel on day 1 and day 2 of the seminar.  Can you give our readers an outlook and predictions on what you expect this football season in both the NFL and College? 

MARC:  Each year different teams emerge as either surprises or disappointments in both College Football and the NFL.  On the College Football front I look for Georgia Tech, Miami Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State to have good seasons with teams such as Buffalo, Ole Miss and Rutgers to take a step back. In the NFL, Chicago, the NY Giants, Philadelphia and San Francisco look to be improved while I wouldn't be surprised to see Atlanta and Baltimore taking a step backward, suffering from "sophomore blues".  

JENNY:  What do you think of Delaware and New Jersey's efforts to legalize sports betting?  Will it help your business?  Do you see this as the new trend - legalizing sports betting and potentially ONLINE sports betting at the state level? 

MARC:  It was very disappointing to see the judge reverse the ruling on sports betting in Delaware.  The feeling in the industry is that it would have paved to the way to legalized gambling in other states and eventually the country as a whole.  We are getting closer to that becoming a reality.  Unfortunately the politics involved makes it a struggle. 

JENNY:  With more and more information becoming available out there with the Internet -  do you see more squares trying to pass themselves off as a sharp player? 

MARC:  It seems everybody wants to be a "sharp", or a professional, these days.  With the proliferation of blogs and forums these days it seems everyone has an opinion and they want the world to know about it.  The difference is "sharps" and professionals wager on games for a living and tend to be more secretive about their plays whereas the bloggers are seeking recognition. 

JENNY:  What has been your biggest achievement to date? 

MARC:  I have won more documented Top 10 handicapping achievement awards than any handicapper in the nation. That either speaks volumes or is a testament to the fact that I've been in the industry for 34 years.  Either way I am proud of what I have accomplished and proud of the fact that I attempt to educate players about the nuances of becoming a winning player (via our PLAYBOOK publications and website).  Winning the final STARDUST Invitational Contest in 2005 was a nice accomplishment, too. 

JENNY:  I just had the chance to sit down with Sid Rosenberg not too long ago in which he highly spoke of you.  You guys have done some work together - example:  OpenSports.com.  How long have you known and have been working with him?  Do you enjoy teaming up with other handicappers or are you more of a solo guy? 

MARC:  Sid is a great guy and is good for the industry.  We work together on his radio show, at Vegas Insider.com and with the ODDS COUPLE video shows at OpenSports.com.  I also work with other handicappers on our website at Playbook.com.  You are only as good as the company you keep and I like being surrounded by the best in the business.  

JENNY:  You're admired and very much respected by many people out there.  How does it feel to do something you obviously love but also to get the positive notoriety that has come your way? 

MARC:  I am very fortunate to be able to do something that I love (handicapping sports) and would not be where I am today without the love and support of my beautiful wife, Colleen - my high school sweetheart - and the entire staff at Playbook.  I practice the GOLDEN RULE in life each and every day and because I do I have made many long-lasting and quality friendships.  I am a very lucky man. 

JENNY:  Have you ever run into any big challenges throughout your handicapping career?  And if so, please explain. 

MARC:  Building the business from the ground up, the right way (no boiler room sales), was definitely a challenge.  I can't tell you how much business I have left on the table by adhering to good people principles and by treating my customers in the same manner in which I would like to be treated.  I like the person I see in the mirror when I shave each morning. 

JENNY:  What can people expect when they log on to Playbook.com?  And are you constantly writing new material, which is offered on your site? 

MARC:  Our website is unique in the sense that we provide players a volume of winning information from a team of recognized professional handicappers.  We are constantly updating articles and supplying trends and winning angles, doing radio podcasts and video shows and offering weekly newsletters and publications all designed to help the player become a winning player.  In addition to "Pay After You Win" picks (we originated the concept in the late 1990's) we also offer an array of information that we discount to our loyal clients.  It is why we say... Don't Make a Move Without Your Playbook!

 

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