For Pete's Sake

Man wins $2.5 million in Las Vegas on Royals’ World Series title

Dave Oancea at Kauffman Stadium.
Dave Oancea at Kauffman Stadium.

It’s one thing if you decided to take a flier in April and put $20 down on the Royals to win it all.

Professional gambler Dave Oancea put down some seriously huge cash in multiple bets in Las Vegas.

His reward: $2,457,200.

Starting in April, Oancea placed 26 bets on the Royals to win the World Series. He punked down between $500 to $25,000. All told, he wagered $100,000, but it was money well-spent.

Oancea was told by many he was crazy to bet heavily on the Royals.

“(I heard) they’re a fluke,” he said. “No one likes the Royals. Why would you bet on Kansas City?

“They were a team of destiny this year. ... I had a lot of naysayers. Even in the World Series, I had people saying I was crazy, the Mets were going to take it. I just kept my mouth shut and let them do their thing, the Royals.”

If you’re like me and don’t know the nuances of gambling, you may wonder why Oancea made so many bets instead of one big one.

“No sports book is going to take a $100,000 to win $3 million,” he said. “It’s too much of a liability. So they let you put $20,000 to win $600,000. And then they moved the line from 30 to 1 to 25 to 1 and then I’d do $10,000 at 25 to 1.”

Oancea did that all the way down to a $500 wager.

“I shopped all the casinos, I bet every casino and hammered it,” he said. “It was at 30 to 1 at the beginning of the day. By the time I went to all the casinos it was down to 6 to 1.”

When the Royals advanced to the World Series, Oancea had a chance to hedge his bet and put money on the Mets, with the opportunity to win $1.25 million.

He didn’t do it.

“I didn’t take the guarantee. I let it ride,” Oancea said. “The Mets were a fluke. They picked up Cespedes who carried them. They had no bullpen, which was obvious. You win a few games in the World Series by the bullpen and that’s what happened...”

It’s the Royals bullpen it seems that was a big reason why Oancea was high on the Royals at the start of the season.

“It was week one and they were 7-0, and everybody was on Detroit, but I knew Detroit had no bullpen,” he said. “And bullpen and pitching wins in baseball, so I knew Detroit would fall apart. And the odds were so big at (30-1) that if I didn’t make the playoffs, I could hedge and make money. ...

“They made it Game 7 last year and they actually had upgrades this year, so I figured why couldn’t they do it again?”

You can see photos of the tickets and read more about Oancea on his web site.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff