Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 | 11 a.m.
Jay Kornegay credits social media as one of the reasons why the LVH Superbook’s annual $1,500 buy-in Supercontest has reached a new level of popularity over the past year.
The Supercontest, which requires bettors to pick five games against the spread for all 17 weeks of the NFL season, drew an all-time high 517 entries in 2011. The world’s most prestigious betting contest could eclipse 600 players this year.
That’s in large part because of the inaugural Supercontest Weekend, a highly anticipated event for bettors taking place Friday and Saturday. Twitter appropriately served as the birthplace of the Supercontest Weekend when Kornegay, director of the Superbook, and Brady Kannon, one member of a team of four that won last year’s Supercontest for $310,200, began conversing.
“I was kind of throwing around ideas for a golf tournament with past winners or maybe the top 20 finishers,” said Kannon, who runs local tee-time company BK’s Golf Services. “Jay and I were direct messaging and tweeting back and forth about it. Then, we decided we ought to have a whole kickoff weekend to have people in town. That was where the whole thing started.”
Not the type to procrastinate on an idea he found promising, Kornegay immediately got after planning the festivities. He booked an LVH ballroom for two nights and began assembling speakers for a handicapping seminar.
Free panels on college football, the NFL and the Supercontest featuring media members and professional handicappers will begin at 6:30 Friday night.
At 6:30 Saturday night, the LVH will host a reception where it plans to give away five free Supercontest entries and other prizes. Kannon’s golf connections helped Kornegay set up a four-man scramble that will take place Saturday afternoon at Las Vegas Country Club.
“I don’t know if I should thank Brady or not let him in the LVH ever again,” Kornegay joked. “It became a lot more time consuming than I thought it ever should be. Hopefully, it’s all going to pay off.”
The LVH’s only objective is to get the Supercontest more exposure. Kornegay said the competition had thrived for the past eight years without much promotion.
It’s time to see how well the Supercontest can do riding a full marketing push. One believer is Kannon, who had participated for six years before last year’s victory.
“It’s been very cool to see this thing grow,” Kannon said. “It has a lot to do with Twitter, the Internet and all those things. I think a lot of it has to do with our team, Sans Souci, which was just a bunch of fairly normal guys who won it last year. I think people noticed.”
Kannon will participate on one of the panels alongside back-to-back winner Steve Fezzik and others. Marc Lawrence, Ted Sevransky and Bruce Marshall are among some of the professional bettors sharing their wisdom.
“I hope everyone walks away with some good information and a good time,” Kornegay said. “I believe we’re doing our best to take the Supercontest to the next level and we needed an event to help it. I’m not saying it’s going to turn into the World Series of Poker, but it can be enhanced and get a lot more attention than we’ve given it.”