Archive for the ‘March Madness’ Category

I’ll get to my free winner out of the Big East Tournament momentarily, as I take a look at South Florida (pk) against Seton Hall, at Manhattan, N.Y. in Madison Square Garden.

Saturday – a 600* winner on Boise State against San Diego State.

Sunday – a 300* winner on Ohio State against Illinois.

Monday – a 300* winner on Florida International against Western Kentucky.

Ready for Winning Day #4 in a Row?

600* Mid-Major Tourney

Blowout of the Year

N. Dakota St. at S. Dakota St.

Just as strong as Boise State on Saturday

Twice as strong as Ohio State and Fla. Intl. the last two days

1,200* Net Profit over the past three days

Make note, if you’ve yet to jump on board long-term, this is a great day to do so! Whether it’s a 7-Day Package, or my 60-Day Package package taking you through all of March’s madness, and into the Baseball season. There’s a reason my long-term clients love me, and that’s cause I make them money over the long haul. There is no one like me when it comes to consistent money making, especially during Baseball.

And that’s why I have my long-term packages available – every play I release for one low discounted price. Forget about paying these daily-package prices, scroll lower on this page and get my Discounted long-term package that takes you through the national basketball championship and into Major League Baseball.

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Alright, let’s talk about this complimentary winner in Big East play…

We have a 12 and 13 seed getting things going at the mecca tonight, as Seton Hall and South Florida lock horns in tonight’s Big East conference tournament at Madison Square Garden. And something tells me No. 13 South Florida will be moving on after this one.

And no, it has nothing to do with the new uniforms Under Armour laid on the Bulls in time for the tournament. The “retro chic” look that is supposed to imply a “South Beach environment” isn’t going to help them play any better than they already are. That being said, and even though they are pretty tight uniforms, what we’re talking about here is a Bulls team that catches Seton Hall in a vulnerable state and only needs to win the game given the pick’em line.

For the rest of my analysis on this game, and more freebies from the nation’s leading handicappers, goto my SITE right now.

2* SOUTH FLORIDA

Based on scale of 1* to 5* 

OTHER NOTABLE FREE PICKS:

2* PRINCETON (-6) at Pennsylvania – Classic Ivy rivalry, and make note the Tigers have won 7 of last 8 meetings. The road team has covered 8 of the last 10 meetings.

3* LIU BROOKLYN (-4) vs. Mount Saint Mary’s – These two split the regular-season series, with the home team getting it done each time. Though St. Mary’s has won nine straight coming in, I like Brooklyn’s experience as the two-time defending champs.

4* WYOMING (-3) vs. Unr – Wyoming is cheap lay here – no pun intended given this game is in Las Vegas – but the Pokes (oops, did it again!) are better suited for the opening-round win tonight. Wyoming won both meetings this season, winning by 11 in Reno and 20 in Laramie. Covering 3 should not be an issue.

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LAS VEGAS — It never fails, every year at this time I’m bombarded with requests to fill out brackets for friends, or simply ‘lend’ my No. 1 pick to win the dance.

Some I oblige others I ignore.

After all, when you tell someone a No. 4, 5 or 6 seed can win it just as easy as a No. 1 seed, and they respond with umpteen questions as to why not this team, or that team… well, you can imagine how frustrating it gets for me.

To most, I politely ask: “Are you askin’ me, or tellin’ me?”

Well, as of right now, of all the college basketball I’ve watched – in person and on television – I’m a little afraid to admit the most cohesive group of players, the most complete team from every angle, just might be the No. 1-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs, which improved to 31-2 SU with a monstrous 65-51 win over St. Mary’s Monday night in the championship game of the West Coast Conference Tournament, at the Orleans Arena.

Trust me, I watched them sit patiently against Loyola Marymount in the semifinals of the event on Saturday, only to lead by one at the half, and then methodically take the Lions apart in the second half to win with relative ease.

It was a game long-haired Canadian Kelly Olynyk didn’t necessarily play a major role for the Zags – merely a supporting one – but one that saw German-import Elias Harris and Kevin Pangos step up as the stars of the team. That night.

In the championship game against St. Mary’s (27-6) – its familiar conference-rival it would meet for the fifth consecutive year for the title – Gonzaga was sparked by Harris, led by National Player of the Year candidate Olynyk and was as dominating as you could ask from a No. 1 team in the nation, not to mention the soon-to-be-named No. 1 seed for the dance.

As respectable as the Gaels were this season, and even though they came into the game ranked nationally on one poll, received votes in another and is one of four teams that won at least 25 games in each of the last six seasons – one of the other the three is Gonzaga – the Bulldogs acted as if their rivals had no business on the court. After a sluggish first four mintes, Gonzaga turned the game into a scrimmage with its defensive tenacity and communication on the offensive end. Talk about knowing where one another is and knowing how one another reacts on the court, these guys epitomize team basketball.

“We really played a complete game,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said at the post-game press conference. “We played fantastic defense, especially after that first 4-minute timeout. These guys took a very difficult game plan and executed on the defensive end.

“The guys were flying around great tonight. This team is a much better defensive team than some of the other ones we’ve had, and it’s shown. We’ve been charting it for years, our defensive efficiency, and it’s really been good the past five weeks.”

Good? The second-seeded Gaels trailed by as many as 19, at the 13:40 mark of the 2nd half, and again at the 2:48 mark. Good, with all due respect coach, is an understatement. Gonzaga is for real, and the Gaels never stood a chance in Monday night’s game.

And quite frankly, with the maturity the Zags showed after capturing the WCC title, I’m not sure there are many others who stand a chance either.

“We’ve been playing great basketball all year,” Harris said to the media. “We believe in ourselves, we believe in our coaches, we believe in our teammates. So we just try to go out there and play our game. We don’t think about that stuff ’cause whatever you’re ranked – 1st, 2nd or last – you just go and play your game and it’ll all take care of itself.”

It took years for the Dawgs to shed the mid-major level. It took years for them to reach college basketball’s summit and finally earn a No. 1 ranking. Next up is the No. 1 seed in the entire tournament that will undoubtedly ignite more of the madness in Spokane, Washington.

“You have to be short-minded in a sense that it’s not the end of the year for us,” Olynyk added during the news conference. “We still want to come out and play our game in the tournament.”

And that’s scary, because after the two games I witnessed in front of my own eyes, a national championship is on the brink of arriving in the Pacific Northwest.

Yes ladies and gents, dare I say it, the most complete team in the nation is No. 1-ranked Gonzaga.

Copyright 2013 NotesQuotesAnecdotes.com

Yes, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.

So imagine what it would be like if we did have odds on the Division I College Wrestling Finals, to generate more popularity toward the sport, to generate revenue and income for sports books and to create exhilaration for sports bettors. I mean, if the Kentucky Derby is “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” these college championship matches could very well be “the most exciting 9 seconds-to-seven minutes in sports.”

So let’s play dress-up before Saturday night’s championship matches, which will be televised on ESPN at 4:30 p.m. pacific. Let’s pretend there is betting on the sport; these would be my betting previews/projected odds/picks for the 2012 Finals.

Tweet to @CJSports2

Enjoy:

125-pound championship 1 Matt McDonough (Iowa) vs. 10 Nico Megaludis (Penn State)

McDonough is in his third straight national final, and is looking to win for a second time. He last year he was on the losing end of one of the biggest stories in sports for 2011, as Anthony Robles stole the hearts of America when he entered the arena on one leg and his crutches. Now Robles is in the broadcast booth, and McDonough is back in the finals. He faces 10th-seeded Megaludis, a freshman who wrestles with tenacity that can’t be taught. This kid has been stellar all week turning around a rather mediocre season regular season. Megaludis ignited Penn State’s run this week, with upset triumphs in both the quarters and semis. An oddsmaker wouldn’t know any better, and would likely make McDonough a -200 favorite, but Megaludis has the potential to be the first national champion of the night.

MY PICK – I am a lover of the underdog, and as impressive as McDonough’s approach has been throughout this event, as a gamblin’ man, I’d take a shot with this underdog for a major upset to kick off this event.

133-pound championship 1 Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) vs. 2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State)

In what could very well be ‘thee’ match of the evening, Oliver is going after his second straight title, looking to duplicate the same feat UFC welterweight contender Johny Hendricks did at the 165-pound class for Oklahoma State six years ago. Oliver has been impressive all week, reecording three first-round pins in his first three matches. He’ll meet No. 2 seed Logan Stieber, another freshman phenom that has made headlines all week. Though Oliver has already beaten Stieber once this year, roughly one month ago, and you’d think he has the psychological edge, Stieber has made it too far to collapse at this point. Oddsmakers would likely make Oliver a -160 favorite, but Stieber isn’t going to be taken down that easily.

MY PICK – In what I think will be one of the three best matches of the night, I have to side with Oliver in this one, thinking he will be able hold off Stieber in a close match that goes right to the end.

141-pound championship 1 Kellen Russell (Michigan) vs. 3 Montell Marion (Iowa)

A couple of familiar names meet in this national championship, with Russell looking to defend his title. It won’t be easy against a three-time, final-four qualifier in Marion. While it’s true Russell has beaten Marion three times during their collegiate careers, including a battle in last year’s tournament, the revenge-factor kicks in with this one. You really never know what to expect from Marion, and when he’ll come alive. He’s a thoroughbred that loves to close down the backstretch, saving everything for the 3rd round. The odds-on favorite, no doubt, is Russell – probably a -125 favorite – as he’s looking to bring back to back championships back to Ann Arbor, but if he doesn’t score a lot of points, or take care of Marion early, look for an eventful two minutes in the third period.

MY PICK – Marion scares me, I’m not going to lie; this kid takes so long to get going, yet his methodical approach gets him through every time. My money would be on the underdog here, hoping he comes alive in the 3rd peroid, in true Montell fashion.

149-pound championship 1 Frank Molinaro (Penn State) vs. 7 Dylan Ness (Minnesota)

Kudos to Ness for getting this far, he’s been impressive over his first four wins, specifically his quarterfinal-upset of Oklahoma State’s Jamal Parks, seeded second in this weight class, and expected to challenge Molinaro for the title. Ness had other plans and took a 3-2 decision to get into the semis, where he took care of Pittsburgh’s Tyler Nauman. But now that he’s gotten three-quarters of the way up this steep hill, this is where he hits rough terrain. Penn State’s Molinaro improves every time he competes in this event, progressing from 9th place as a freshman, 7th place as a sophomore and 2nd place last year. This year he’s in the final match and is undefeated. And if you haven’t watched him yet, he’s a beast. Ness has already lost three times to Molinaro this season alone, oddsmakers would make Molinaro a -400 favorite in this one.

MY PICK – Steep price to pay, but all Molinaro here. This guy has worked way too hard to not pull this one off, and he should be able to get Ness, possibly even by pin.

157-pound championship 1 Kyle Dake (Cornell) vs. 2 Derek St. John (Iowa)

Call me naive, but Dake should be considered a leading candidate for Most Outstanding Wrestler. The 5-foot-9 junior from Cornell – yes, he has another year left for the Big Red – is another undefeated top seed who has run roughshod through the competition with ease. Three pins and a 4-0 decision in the semis. Now he’s on the verge of winning three straight D-I titles in three different weight classes, and he’s the odds-on favorite after winning the 141-pound division as a freshman, the 149-pound division as a sophomore and now has his sights set on the 157-pound division. Only one person stands in his way, and that is Iowa’s St. John, who has muddled his way to the finals after majoring his first opponent, 9-1. From there it was an 8-4 decision, a 3-1 overtime win and a 5-1 decision in the semis over third-seeded Jason Welch. All that being said, this may be a clash of the top two seeds, but Dake is in a class of his own, and oddsmakers would easily make him a -190 favorite.

MY PICK – Another great match that could be one of the top three of the night, but I have to side with Dake. This kid is a beast, and just wears you down on the mat. Dake will win here.

165-pound championship 1 David Taylor (Penn State) vs. 11 Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh)

Talk about an uphill battle, Hatchett is going to have to dig down deep into his basketball-counterparts’ underdog prowess to pull this one out. Just because Lehigh upended Duke on the basketball court last night, doesn’t mean it’s possible when you’re taking on a kid like Taylor, who is out to avenge last year’s loss to Arizona State’s Bubba Jenkins. Though Hatchett has been one of the surprises of the tournament, and is the biggest seed to make it to the finals, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to finish this fairy tale. I’ve spoken highly about several wrestlers, but arguably the most impressive wrestler of the tournament so far has been Penn State’s Taylor, who has been on the mat a total of 8 minutes and 46 seconds to defeat his four opponents – all by pins. I’m not going to say it’s impossible for Hatchett – after all, he’s outscored his four foes by a cumulative final of 26-9, including a 7-3 decision over Iowa State’s Andrew Sorenson, the No. 3 seed – but Taylor has been labeled as a “future Olympic champion.” Oddsmakers would easily have Taylor installed as a -350 favorite.

MY PICK – Another big price to pay with another Penn State wrestler, but Taylor is not going to get stuck for a second year in a row, like Jenkins did to him last year. Hats off to Hatchett, but the Cinderella run ends here.

174-pound championship 1 Edward Ruth (Penn State) vs. 3 Nick Amuchasteg (Stanford)

A battle of unbeatens in this one, in what should be a scrap to the very end. Many people tune in from the start and start to veer by the time the 165s roll around. True wrestling fans know these later weight classes can be brawls, and this is a match you should be glued to. Top-seeded Ruth was dominant through his matches to get here, scoring first-round pins in his first two matches, then an 11-4 decision in the quarters and a 17-1 tech-fall victory over Minnesota’s Logan Storley. Talk about dominating, the Golden Gophers were ranked No. 1 as a team for some time, and are No. 2 in the team standings, but Ruth blew through Storley very easily. As for Amuchastegui, he’s here after an emotional 3-2 overtime win versus highly touted Chris Perry, from Oklahoma State. And make note, Amuchastegui fell one win short last year, but did defeat Ruth on his way through the bracket. So even though the Nittany Lion is the top seed, Amuchastegui will consider anything less than a championship a failure to the season. Ruth, on the other hand, is not only looking for Gold, but revenge as well. Oddsmakers would make Ruth a slim 115 favorite here.

MY PICK – This is going to be a war, and a match I cannot wait to see. This is going to be such a good match, if there was one I wouldn’t wager on, it’d be this one. But I have to make a choice for my readers, so I’m laying the price with the revenge factor and would take Ruth.

184-pound championship 4 Steve Bosak (Cornell) vs. 6 Quentin Wright (Penn State)

It took seven matches, but here in the eighth of the championship round, we have a pair of wrestlers who aren’t seeded in the top three, as both made their way through tough competition. That alone should make this a great match, as it’s the only final that won’t involve a first- or second-seed. That beind said, we do have a defending champion taking the mat, as Wright is a returning titlist from 2011. And make note, he actually had a better regular season this year than he did last year, when he was seeded 9th in his bracket. Though he’s the sixth-seed, and Bosak if the fourth seed, I have to believe Wright might be a slight favorite here. After all, as the 9-seed last year he made his way through the bracket and won it all. This year he’s seeded sixth and he’s right back in it. Bosak finished fourth last season, so maybe that played in consideration with his seeding, after how he finished his campaign this year. He has won one more match than he did last year, and I’m sure he’s wanting to represent Big Red, but Wright is going to be not only wrestling for a title, but to put the exclamation point on a team title for Penn State. Also, Wright defeated Bosak handidly earlier this season. Revenge factor? Eh… I think the oddsmakers make Wright a -115 choice.

MY PICK – Couple of wrestlers looking to make a name for themselves, and I have to go with the lower-seed. Whenever you have – in any sport – a lower seed listed as the favorite, the oddsmakers are clearly telling you who is going to win. Wright gets the win here.

197-pound championship 1 Cam Simaz (Cornell) vs. 2 Christopher Honeycutt (Edinboro)

Our final battle that pits the top two seeds, and only one that does not involve a Big 10 wrestler. Leading the charge is Cornell’s Cam Simaz, who has finally gotten over the hump after finishing third the last two years in the collegiate championships. Simaz is 30-1 coming into the final, and is a four-time all-American out of Michigan. Honeycutt, from Edinboro, a four-year university located in Northwestern Pennsylvania, is 40-1 and avenged his only loss of the season by knocking off Pittsburgh’s Matthew Wilps, 6-3 in overtime, in the semis. After spending his entire career at 184 pounds, the redshirt senior would love nothing more than to culminate a rather fulfilling career with a championship at 197. As even as this match could be, we might be looking at a match where the oddsmakers would have their only pick’em bout, at -110 apiece.

MY PICK – You know what, I’m taking the lower seed in this one, just because he’s going to want to put his school on the map in this event. Look for Honeycutt to pull this one out for Edinboro pride.

Heavyweight championship 4 Zachery Rey (Lehigh) vs. 2 Tony Nelson (Minnesota)

In the final match, the heavyweight bout, Rey comes in as the No. 4 seed, though he is the defending champion and looked every bit like one in the semifinals, defeating top-seeded Ryan Flores, from American U., in the semis. Rey, another Lehigh-product looking to feed off some momentum from the basketball team that knocked off March-behemoth Duke last night, won close matches all the way to the semis, before dispatching of Flores, 6-2. He takes on the No. 2 seed from Minnesota, who has shown progress from a year ago, when he finished seventh. On the flipside of what Rey did in his first four matches, Nelson made quick work of his first three opponents, and then eked out a 4-3 decision over Oregon State’s Clayton Jack, the No. 3 seed. Nelson was an all-American as a sophomore in 2011, but again, Rey is the defending champ and has found a knack for winning the tough ones. The oddsmakers would lean toward Rey here, making him a -115 favorite.

MY PICK – Finally in this last match, I’m taking the favorite, which is the lower seed. I think Rey will defend his championship successfully, adding a little highlight reel for his Lehigh counterparts on the hardwood, giving them some momentum for their game tomorrow against Xavier.

Again, all information pertaining to odds/sports betting is for entertainment purposes only.

I’m certainly ready for all of March’s madness, no matter the sport!

Right now at my house, I have my laptop tuned into ESPN3 for the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, and my big screen TV tuned into TNT for the Montana/Wisconsin clash. I’ve already watched Murray State – one of my Final Four teams in my bracket I posted on at ChrisJordanSports – dispose of Colorado State, and I’m ready for a full day of action.

I do wish oddsmakers would put odds on the Wrestling Finals, would be interesting to see how much action would come in on the event, which is growing in popularity. Oh well, until then, we all know where the abundance of money is coming from this month, and that’s on the hardwood. Hoards of people come to Las Vegas every year, on this particular weekend, just to watch the games in the sports books.

Bally’s and Caesars Palace are always popular places, with their spacious seating. Personally, back in the day when I was part of a large betting group and was insistent on putting in my own bets with my share, I would visit Bally’s Excalibur and the Palms. The last one, admittedly, was because of those cocktail waitresses.

Now I’m cool with flipping through the channels, having the picture-in-picture loaded and relaxing in the comforts of my home on the 8th hole of a beautiful golf course. Weather is nice, bets have been laid since Monday and I’m feeling good about everything right now. Just need winners, and my future bets to hold up.

Not sure how you’re doing your handicapping, but you quite possibly might be looking for an edge, whether it’s with the coaches, the underdogs, specific conferences, colors of uniforms, alma maters – you get the point – there are definitely favorable intangibles to use in the first round of this event.

One of my favorites is handicapping the coaches.

Sort of tells me how much preparation a coach puts into his approach, if a powerhouse team is better suited as a first-half play, cause it’ll rest legs for the Round of 32. Definitely an advantage of looking at coaching records in the opening round (now known as the second round, since there is a First Four with four pigtail games).

Let’s start with some of the profitable guys, beginning with Michigan coach John Beilein, who led the Wolverines to a share of the Big10 regular season championship, is a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS. Also, Kansas State’s outspoken skipper, Frank Martin, is 3-0 both SU and ATS in his three tournament appearances, and Matt Painter has led Purdue to a 5-1 ATS record.

Cal’s Mike Montgomery was 8-1 SU heading into the event, but saw his Golden Bears, a Sweet 16 choice of mine, get blasted by South Florida.

Thinking about the top seeds? Careful, Duke’s Coach K is 13-1 SU, but just 7-7 ATS, mainly cause his Blue Devils are always big favorites as one of the higher seeds. They’re laying a rather low -12 to Lehigh on Friday.

Kansas’ Bill Self is 11-2 SU but a mediocre 7-5 ATS in the round of 64, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo is 10-4 SU and 8-6 ATS and North Carolina’s Roy Williams is a perfect 13-0 SU and 7-5-1 ATS.

Looking for a good moneyline play with a coach? How about West Virginia’s Bobby Huggins. His Mountaineers opened up as a 1-1/2 point choice over Gonzaga, but the bettors moved the line to the other side, making the Bulldogs a favorite by the same spread. But Huggins is 9-3 SU in the first round of the event with teams he’s taken; then again, so is Gonzaga’s Mark Few.

Some of the coaches you may want to think about going against in the first round, based on their ATS trends are Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun, Kentucky’s John Calipari and North Carolina State’s Mark Gottfried.

Calhoun is 10-1 SU in this round, but likely because his team is laying a huge number, he’s a disappointing 3-8 at the window. Calipari has won seven of eight trips to this round – at the helm of Memphis and Kentucky – yet his teams have only cashed out three times. Gottfried, who has breathed new life into the North Carolina State Wolfpack, has only covered the number once in six first-round games.

Looking for a good favorite to go against, on the moneyline, cause its coach can’t win in this round? Look at Temple. Legendary coach John Cheney has to be disappointed, as current Temple coach Fran Dunphy is 1-9 SU and ATS in this round. The guy simply can’t get ready for the tournament. Dunphy, who has been in place at Temple since 2006, has to prepare for the South Florida team that routed Cal in a pigtail game in Dayton.

Also, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall is 1-6 SU in the round of 64, and tonight it’ll take on VCU, who became last year’s tournament darling with its run to the Final Four. You can get VCU at +250 on the moneyline as of Noon pacific.

Hopefully this will give you an added edge when handicapping the first round, err, second round, of this year’s dance.

QUOTE OF THE DAY – This has to be from Iowa State guar Scott Christopherson, who showed no fear whatsoever when being questioned about playing defending national champion Connecticut today. “I mean, Kemba Walker’s not coming back, is he? Obviously, we know Connecticut is one of the most storied programs in all of college basketball. We know they’re the defending national champs. (But) we feel like we earned our way to be here, too. We respect them, but I don’t think there’s like a fear factor with them at all.”

And why would there be, when Iowa State is seeded 8th, and the Huskies are seeded 9th?

TODAY’S PLAY – Tonight, at ChrisJordanSports, I am going for my fourth-straight winning day, I absolutely love what I see with my 500* Opening Round Dog Shocker of the Year. Three nights ago I scored with the Milwaukee Bucks as a 600* getting it done in New Jersey against the Nets. Two nights ago it was a 300* dog winner on Mississippi Valley State, in a game it should have won outright, but did in fact cover. Last night my 300* dog winner was on Vermont, an outright pup that beat Lamar by 12 points. $1 bettors are up $1,200 the last three days! I put nearly half that bankroll into action tonight!!! Yep, nothing more profitable than the madness in March, and I’m the best there is when it comes to making money this time of year. Let’s keep things going with this easy Thursday-night winner, the best underdog on the board.

BRACKETS – I’m sure you’ve all turned in your brackets, but if you’d like to keep track of the stable of handicappers at ChrisJordanSports, click HERE to follow your favorite analyst.

R.I.P. GENTLEMAN JACK – I close this blog out on a sad note, as I lost a close and personal family friend – Gentleman Jack Newton. One of the most colorful characters from the Las Vegas tables, Gentleman Jack was one of the most feared gamblers ever to walk into a casino. He was one of the original high-stakes gamblers who honed his skill back in the post-depression era and on into the 1970s. He won using conventional ways, such as counting cards not to mention a few unconventional ways revealed in his book ‘Gentleman Jack Newton: Confessions of a Crossroad Gambler.’ Gaming legends – including the likes of Jack Binion, Doyle Brunson and one of his best friends, famed sports bettor, Billy Walters – all respected him, then and now. They’ve all noted that Newton was the best at his trade. Last checked, his book is available at Amazon from sellers listing it for nearly $300 per copy. Course, that would have been insurance on a 20-hand at a blackjack table for Gentleman Jack, who I’m certain has already found a high-stakes table beyond the pearly gates. Rest in Peace Gentleman Jack, while Las Vegas became a little less colorful on Wednesday, Heaven became a bit more classier.