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August 30, 2014

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Red Rock Resort patron wins $53,300 in ‘Last Man Standing’ handicapping contest

Correctly handicapping 10 college basketball games against the point spread takes a little bit of luck.

That’s something Las Vegas resident Amnon Cohen admits he had plenty of during last month’s NCAA Tournament, correctly selecting winners on the 10 days of the tournament to win the Station Casinos “Last Man Standing” contest.

Cohen was one of three contestants out of 2,604 entries to finish with a 10-0 record, but became the outright winner based on a tie-breaker of correctly picking the national champion — Kentucky — when registering for the contest before the tournament started. Cohen, who entered at his home sports book at Red Rock Resort, won $53,300. Each entry cost $25, or a maximum five entries for $100 — buy four, get one free.

He watched Kentucky cover the spread and beat Kansas in the national championship game at Red Rock three weeks ago, and received a standing ovation from his friends in the book after they realized what he accomplished. Station takes about 10 days to verify winners.

“Yeah, it doesn’t happen every day. You have to have a little bit of luck to go 10-0,” Cohen, 45, said.

And Cohen, who works financing commercial real estate, received more than his share of good fortune in navigating through the contest undefeated. Contestants have to pick one game against the spread for every day of the tournament.

In four of Cohen’s winners, he was trailing by more than double digits. He had Xavier -4.5 points against Lehigh in the third round of the tournament, and Xavier rallied from a 17-point deficit to cover. Cohen also played Louisville +1.5 points in the Elite Eight, and they rallied late to top Florida.

Cohen, who is a recreational gamblier, didn’t lack confidence in the final rounds of the contest. There were 10 cards remaining entering the Final Four.

“I told myself that if I was going to lose, I was going to lose with my own picks,” Cohen said. “I wasn’t going to take anyone else’s advice and lose.”

He will use the money to help pay for his children’s education.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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