Beating the odds in Vegas: Former Winnipegger’s bets on Jets, Golden Knights may just pay off


As a server at Rae & Jerry’s Steakhouse when the authentic Jets performed close by at the former Winnipeg Area, Shannon Yelland grew to become enamoured with the ardour of hockey followers in the Manitoba capital.

She mentioned she misplaced her personal love of NHL hockey after she moved to Vancouver in 1991 and heard followers boo the hometown Canucks.

Now based mostly in Las Vegas, she’s a hockey fan as soon as extra. The arrival of the enlargement Vegas Golden Knights in 2017 gave her an excuse to purchase some tickets, she mentioned, whereas the mass capturing on The Vegas Strip final fall gave the staff and the neighborhood much more of a way of goal, she added.

So throughout the first week of October, she positioned a $20 US wager on the Golden Knights profitable the 2018 Stanley Cup. Out of loyalty to her hometown, she additionally positioned a $20 US wager on the Winnipeg Jets doing the identical.

Shannon Yelland, a former Winnipegger residing in Las Vegas, positioned $20 bets on each the Jets and Golden Knights profitable the Stanley Cup again in October. She stands to win $1,200 if the Jets declare the cup or $4,000 if Vegas wins all of it. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

“I made a decision to go make the bets as a result of I believed in these two groups,” the 49-year-old former Winnipegger mentioned Tuesday at her residence close to Purple Rock Canyon, illuminated by the late-evening desert solar.

“For the week after I used to be happy with it and I used to be excited,” she recalled. “I used to be truly pooh-poohed rather a lot as a result of individuals had been saying, ‘Why did you decide two underdogs?’ Nicely, I consider in this.”

Again in October, the odds of the Jets profitable the Cup this season had been 60 to at least one. The Jets did not make the playoffs the earlier yr and had not received a lot as a single playoff sport in their present incarnation. 

The odds of the Golden Knights profitable the Cup, again in October,  had been 200 to at least one. As an enlargement staff, Vegas was anticipated to be considered one of the worst squads in the NHL earlier than the season began.

Now, as Vegas and Winnipeg are each three wins away from taking part in in the Stanley Cup remaining, nobody is pooh-poohing Shannon Yelland’s pair of bets.

She stands to get pleasure from a $1,200 US payday if the Jets win the Cup in June, or $4,000 if Vegas pulls off the feat.

She’s not alone, as there are sufficient bets on the Golden Knights to make the Las Vegas sports-book business nervous. 

“It is definitely been mentioned over the course of the season,” mentioned Jay Kornegay, vice-president of race and sports activities operations at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and On line casino. “We now have some locations which are going to lose seven figures. 

Jay Kornegay, vice-president of race and sports activities operations at Westgate Las Vegas Resort and On line casino. (Karen Pauls/CBC)

“Most of us are in that half-a-million to a million-dollar vary. So you’re speaking thousands and thousands of {dollars}.”

​Kornegay mentioned his personal on line casino faces some publicity to a Vegas cup victory.

“Our largest one out there may be somebody wager $400 at 300-to-one that may pay $120,000,” he mentioned. 

“I have never talked to that individual but. I do not know who that’s, however I believed he would possibly come in and perhaps even hedge sooner or later in time or sort of brag about his ticket, as a result of a few of them do after they have these sort of odds.

“Possibly he does not need to jinx himself.”

The odds of the Winnipeg Jets or the Vegas Golden Knights profitable the Stanley Cup are vastly better now than they had been in October. (Karen Pauls/CBC)

Regardless of the potential losses, Vegas bookmakers are nonetheless cheering for the Golden Knights, Kornegay mentioned.

“I do have a bit combined feelings going, however you recognize, I will put my fan hat on first and most of us round the city, [us] sports activities books, are rooting for the Knights,” he mentioned. 

“Enterprise will handle itself. We will be high-quality. It will be a giant hit, although, in the event that they do hoist the Cup in Las Vegas. However we’re nonetheless rooting for them.”

Yelland mentioned she, too, has divided loyalties between her hometown staff and the staff taking part in in her new dwelling. However she’s a bit extra sure about what she is going to do if both the Jets or Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup.

“I may put it again into hockey tickets,” she mentioned. “I haven’t got tons of disposable earnings. I in all probability spent $4,000 on hockey tickets this season. I needed to expertise centre ice, membership seats, [so] I’d in all probability put the winnings again into hockey tickets for subsequent season.”



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