How the Actor reportedly cleared close to a million dollars betting on college games for Las Vegas gambling legend Billy Walters.

Ashton Kutcher is a big Sports FanActor Ashton Kutcher at Hawkeye Game next to team mascot
Actor Ashton Kutcher claimed to have been the "front of the largest national sports-betting syndicate in America" in an Esquire Magazine article earlier this year.
Billy Walters, considered to be the most successful professional sport bettor ever and head of the largest syndicate in the nation, had no comment, when reached by phone.

But here is the big surprise. Kutcher's story actually checks out in Vegas.

The 35-year-old actor told Esquire he spent half of a college football season
placing bets for a syndicate. Kutcher came off as knowledgeable about sports
betting in the interview, describing how the syndicate pinpointed statistical
anomalies and took advantage of point-spread movement.

"We were clearing, like, $750,000 in four weeks of college football. It was
pretty fun. Then they caught on," Kutcher said in the Esquire article. "The
hypothesis had been that the house would just assume that I was a dumb actor
with a lot of money who liked football."

A former Las Vegas sports book manager told The Linemakers on Sporting News
that he was very familiar with Kutcher's sports betting in the early 2000s, the
same time frame chronicled by author Michael Konik in "The Smart Money: How the
World's Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies out of Millions."

"They thought they had a sucker on the hook, then he won $800,000 in four
weeks," said the ex-bookie, who asked to remain anonymous. "They had to shut him

Many believe Kutcher is one of the characters in Konik's highly-acclaimed
book that details the author's time working for Rick "Big Daddy" Matthews, a
gambler described as, "the world's smartest sports bettor and the mastermind
behind the Brain Trust, a shadowy group of gamblers known for their expertise in
beating the Vegas line."

It's widely believed, but never publicly acknowledged, that "Big Daddy"
Matthews is Walters, a reclusive Las Vegas businessman with a reported net worth
in the hundreds of millions.

"My book 'The Smart Money' is a non-fiction memoir that includes an
explanatory note about honoring privacy," Konik wrote in an email to The
Linemakers. "I have no further comment."

Celebrities like Bruce Willis, Floyd Mayweather, Phil Mickelson and poker pro
Phil Ivey have all been rumored to have been a part of Walters' syndicate at one
time or another. Willis is also rumored to be one of the characters in "Smart
Money," as is current Linemakers' analyst Richie Baccellieri.

Baccellieri was a sports book manager at Caesars Palace in the mid-to late
1990s and is rumored to be the character "Stevie The Pencil" in "Smart

Baccellieri would not comment on his or Kutcher's inclusion in the book.

The idea behind having a celebrity make the wagers is that their high-profile
status and large bankroll tend to give them special treatment in a casino
compared to a regular Joe or someone labeled as a professional bettor.

Kutcher's days in Vegas seem to be curtailed. Norm Clarke, celebrity
columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, told The Linemakers on Sporting News
that he had not heard of any regular sightings of Kutcher in at least the last
"four-to-five years."

"That's somebody that I would hear about," Clarke said. "I would be surprised
if he was coming over that often and we weren't hearing something. I just don't
think of him as much of a regular."

By:  David Purdum                                                                                   

Tags: Ashton Kutcher, Billy Walters, Bruce Willis, Phil Mickelson Floyd Mayweather  


CNBC’s push into reality programming has yielded modest ratings results so far, with last week’s launch of sports betting show “Money Talks” drawing very small numbers.

Darin Notaro of Money Talks on CNBC
Nielsen estimates that Tuesday’s premiere of the show about sports handicapper Steve Stevens averaged 127,000 viewers, including 65,000 in the adults 25-54 demo — 40% lower in overall viewership and 34% lower in the demo than the network’s year-to-date averages in the same 10 p.m. timeslot (212,000 and 99,000).

The show has raised a lot of eyebrows in the sportsbook industry. Sports betting website Prime Wagers, which is “proud to be the most trusted online sportsbook site” and is focused on transparency, posted an article
earlier this month saying we've "never heard of Steve Stevens", who runs VIP Sports out of Las Vegas and claims to be winning more than 70% of his picks.


Steve Stevens, the star of an upcoming CNBC reality show called "Money Talks", is being called a fraud and an ex-convict by some of the most prominent people in the sports betting world today.

Steve Stevens AKA Darin Notaro of Money TalksDarin Notaro of upcoming CNBC reality show "Money Talks" airing Sept 10th
Stevens has a business where he sells sports betting picks called VIP Sports  Las Vegas.

The CNBC  press release for the show calls him "a well-known handicapper," and a promo  video on his company's website claims he has a winning percentage of 71.5%. The  show is a "docu-soap," and it's set to air Sept. 10.

But apparently no one in Vegas has heard of Stevens, and his 70% winning 
percentage is considered impossible.

Even worse, a damning report from WagerMinds lays out  evidence alleging that
his name is actually Darin Notaro, and he has been  arrested multiple times for
telemarketing fraud. 

Todd Fuhrman, a former oddsmaker at Caesar's Palace, wrote in a blog post
, "No one, and I mean no one,  in the sports betting community I speak with
daily knows who this guy is."

Prime Wagers spoke with our very own Sports Betting mastermind Phil Vassallo,
he said, "I have never heard of this Steve Stevens or Darin Notaro".

Prime Wagers — a sports betting website that is focused on transparency in the 
industry — also said they've never heard of him in their article.

Bob Voulgaris, a popular sharp NBA bettor, said on Twitter that  he'd never
heard of Stevens either, calling him "a complete scam artist" for the 70% claim.

The 70% claim was a red flag for a lot of sports betting folks. Voulgaris, 
whom Nate Silver called the best sports bettor in  the world, only wins about
57% of his NBA bets. SportsInsights ran the  numbers in June and found that
your chances of winning 70% of bets against the  spread are about one in one

It's basically impossible to win 70%, but the VIP Sports  Las Vegas website is
using that claim to sell its picks to customers. Here's  the promo video from the
website (with NSFW language):

A CNBC spokesman told us in a statement that viewers will have to draw their 
own conclusions about Stevens' business, adding, "We are merely betting 
that viewers will be interested in the world of touts and handicappers and in no 
way endorse either Stevens’ picks or his business model."

While CNBC says it doesn't endorse his business, there's a website 
called that directs readers to the VIP  Sports Las Vegas
site and asks readers for their email addresses and phone  numbers.

A CNBC spokesman told us, "He is not authorized to use the CNBC name or logo."
CNBC declined comment on whether or not they're taking steps to remove  the
association on the website.

The website boasts, "You may have seen VIP Sports on the new CNBC show Money 
Talks. If so you know Steve Stevens is the real deal."

Before we jump on CNBC, there's a big difference between Stevens being a 
fraud and the show itself being a fraud. We'll have to wait to see how he is 

But that's not all.

WagerMinds reported that the domain name  for Stevens' business VIP Sports
Las Vegas was only registered eight months ago.  It was registered under the
name Darin Notaro.

According to WagerMinds, Notaro has been arrested and convicted in  telemarketing
scams going back to 1999. He was sentenced to a year in prison at  age 25 for a scheme
that "bilked elderly citizens across the nation out of at  least $234,000," according to the Las
Vegas Sun.

Judging by this screenshot from WagerMinds, they look  alike:

Steve Stevens AKA Darin Notaro of Money Talks Show

According to WagerMinds, it appears that Notaro also rents the office space 
where VIP Sports Las Vegas is housed.

A CNBC spokesman said they are aware of the 1999 conviction. Here's the full 

"We are aware of Steve Stevens’ 1999 conviction  and while we are very clear in
the press release that VIP Sports clients risk  big dollars in the hopes that Stevens
and his agents have the expertise to  consistently deliver winners, viewers should
tune in on September 10th at 10pm  ET/PT to draw their own conclusions about
VIP Sports. We are merely betting that viewers will be interested in the world of touts
and handicappers and in no way endorse either Stevens’ picks or his business model."

We called the number provided on the VIP Sports Las Vegas website and left a 
message. We are waiting a response.

Again, we'll have to wait until the show airs to see if he is portrayed as what he claims
to be (a big-shot sports bettor) or what many in the betting community see him as (a shady figure).

The power outage that stopped Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013 had a huge impact on the momentum of the game and the final spread for sports bettors. Ray Lewis who played in the game for the Ravens says it was no accident. Can you imagine Lewis singing along to "sabotage" by Beastie Boys?

Ray-Lewis-SabotageRavens' Retired Linebacker Ray Lewis
Remember when the lights went out during Super Bowl XLVII? Retired Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis says that was no accident.

"I'm not gonna accuse nobody of nothing — because I don't know facts," Lewis says on an upcoming installment of NFL Films’ "America’s Game" series. "But you're a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. (Laughs) No way".

"Now listen, if you grew up like I grew up — and you grew up in a household like I grew up — then sometimes your lights might go out, because times get hard. I understand that. But you cannot tell me somebody wasn't sitting there and when they say, 'The Ravens (are) about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.' . . . That's a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was because it let them right back in the game."

As with all conspiracy theories, the attendant circumstances did seem to fall
into a convenient narrative. At the time of the blackout, the Ravens were
beating the San Francisco 49ers by 22 points. Somebody or something needed to
stop the Ravens’ momentum or the big game was going to be a big dud. So then,
boom, the lights go out and guess what? The 49ers got back in it. All the way

Baltimore ended up winning 34-31, and Lewis got his second Super Bowl ring.

Enjoy the vintage 90's "Sabotage" music video by the legendary Beastie Boys and 
comment if you think Ray Lewis is right about his sabotage theory below.