1. #1
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    Adam Meyer: Florida's gambling king shouldn't have bet on Nevin Shapiro

    By Tim Elfrink Thursday, Oct 6 2011
    Adam Meyer's dark hair is expertly slicked, and his muscular frame is crammed into a designer suit, the white shirt unbuttoned to expose his tanned skin. The TV lights gleam off his unsmiling, sculpted face.

    "I have to win," Meyer says in his dry monotone. "[It's] the personification of what I'm made of."

    Meyer's entire public image is a testament to victory. His personal website: adamwins.com. His Bentley's license plate: BET ON ME. His profession: predicting which sports teams will win every night, a task he claims to succeed at "over 63 percent of the time." Meyer purports to have made $2.8 million just by picking Green Bay in the last Super Bowl.

    What Meyer doesn't mention during NBC 6's fawning interview or in any of his regular media spots * from Sid Rosenberg's radio show to profiles in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel to puff pieces in national magazines such as Cigar Aficionado is that he lost big time betting on one of the worst scammers in Magic City history.

    Nevin Shapiro the convicted Ponzi schemer now trying to implode University of Miami athletics with allegations he paid off players sent millions to Meyer while pissing away a huge chunk of his $880 million fraud on bets, new court documents show. The gambling king lost hundreds of thousands of his own cash in the scheme and is now on the hook to pay back almost $1 million to Shapiro's victims.

    Shapiro's case not only shines a rare light on Meyer's unique place atop the gray area of "sports handicappers," but also raises uncomfortable questions about whether Shapiro used his close ties to UM to aid his gambling or Meyer's betting biz. Meyer's attorney, Joel Hirschhorn, also adds new allegations that he warned the university about Shapiro's shady finances.

    "It's very hard to believe that a guy like Nevin Shapiro wouldn't use his position close to the team to influence his gambling," says Robert Jarvis, a Nova Southeastern University law professor who studies gambling law. "Did he go even farther and try to influence the outcome by taking a player out the night before a game and getting him rip-roaring drunk? These are legitimate questions."

    Meyer denies receiving any inside tips from Shapiro. "I don't believe Nevin Shapiro ever provided Adam with even a single bit of information," Hirschhorn says.

    As long as Americans have been wagering on sports, guys like Meyer have tried to make a profit by recommending winners.

    As early as the '40s, handicappers, or "touts," realized they could profit without the risks of being a bookie (the guy who actually takes the bet), a job illegal everywhere but Vegas. The mob soon got in on the action too. Frank Rosenthal, a mobster who inspired Robert De Niro's character in Casino, was one of the first famous touts in Vegas. Jimmy the Greek took handicapping national in the early '70s when he landed a gig talking up football lines on CBS.

    Meyer, who was born in New York in 1972 but grew up in Fort Lauderdale, caught the betting bug at the University of Miami. As a freshman, he answered an ad for a handicapping firm called American Sports and never looked back.

    "I thought I could beat everything," he told Cigar Aficionado in June. "[I] burned through millions and millions of dollars by the time I was 22."

    Meyer soon saw the dark side of sports gambling too. He and his boss, a local tout named Lee Sterling (who still makes weekly picks for the Miami Herald), were too enthusiastic in trying to collect a $500 debt from a Louisiana gambler named Richard O. Evans in 1993. When Meyer said, "I'm going to be your worst ******* nightmare," the family reported him and Sterling to the feds. In April 1996, the 24-year-old was convicted of threatening communications and sentenced to 90 days in prison plus a $5,000 fine. (Also, Sterling got a three-month sentence.)

    The years after his prison term didn't exactly bring quick returns either. "I went broke two or three times," he told Cigar Aficionado. "I sold my cars and my jewelry and I cried myself to sleep... When I went broke, my parents begged me to go to law school. But I knew what I wanted to do."

    In the struggle between casinos and gamblers, it's all about finding an edge. To set lines official predictions of who will win and by how much Vegas casinos use sophisticated computer programs and analyze reams of data.

    Meyer says that over the years, he figured out how to consistently beat those predictions, combining his natural skills at analyzing games with his own batch of computer programs that simulate each matchup "thousands of times." He also claims to have casino moles who warn him when lines will change and sources in every sport to give him inside info about injuries and suspensions.

    All told, Meyer's intel is worth $199 a month to his website subscribers. Premium clients pay him $2,999 monthly for "last-minute, up-to-the second" updates, and Meyer claims "celebrity clients" pay $250,000 a year. "They can count on that money turning into a million dollars in winnings," he says.

    It's difficult to tell how much of Meyer's supposed edge is legit and how much is show biz. Nationally, more than a thousand professional handicappers like Meyer make millions selling sports picks, but few if any consistently beat Vegas.

    "We have a saying about touts: They're guys who've already lost all their money and now they're going to help you lose yours," says Richard Davies, a history professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and author of Betting the Line, a history of sports gambling.

    Lem Banker, a legendary, 83-year-old sports bettor in Las Vegas, is even more succinct. "He's a phony bastard," he says of Meyer. "He's a fake bullshitter."

    Even before he met Nevin Shapiro, Meyer didn't steer clear of some other bad bets.

    In May 2002, he was arrested in Plantation, where he was living on an $870,000 estate. Local jewelry store Levinson Jewelers told police he'd written more than $80,000 in checks for eight watches. The checks bounced, though, and when officers arrested Meyer, they found a warrant out from the Clark County Sheriff's Office in Vegas on fraud charges.

    The local charges were dropped when Meyer returned the watches. The Vegas charge for an unpaid "marker" a line of credit casinos issue to gamblers was cleared when he posted bond and settled the debt.

    Those weren't Meyer's only unpaid bills. In 2003, the Atlantis casino in the Bahamas won a $200,000 judgment in Broward; the casino sued again in January 2006 when Meyer still hadn't paid up.

    Then, on December 22, 2006, cops charged Meyer with domestic violence. He was divorcing his wife Jennifer when he went home to pick up some clothes. The two got into a violent argument in her car, police say, and Meyer "grabbed her wrists," leaving her with "red marks." (She declined to press charges.)

    The next year, a Fort Lauderdale man named Forest Simpson sued, alleging he'd invested more than $600,000 to stage a boxing match that never happened. They settled out of court.

    Around 2005, Meyer had befriended Shapiro. The short, flashy South Beach resident was in the midst of turning his grocery-diverting business into a massive Ponzi scheme and he had a huge gambling vice to feed with the millions coming in.

    He turned to Meyer for help. "We became friends," Meyer says. "When I would go to Vegas, I would place bets for him. He paid for my advice also."

    Meyer, in turn, invested in Shapiro's business. Around 2006, he agreed to lend Shapiro $675,000.

    By 2009, when Shapiro could no longer sustain the fraud, Meyer realized he would never see the money again. He drafted a lawsuit, but in November, Shapiro filed for bankruptcy protection.

    Four months later, Shapiro was under arrest by federal agents, charged with running a massive Ponzi scheme.

    It's not clear how much cash Shapiro funneled through Meyer, but Joel Tabas, Shapiro's bankruptcy trustee, claims at least $5 million went to the sports handicapper.

    Meyer's attorney, Hirschhorn, says most of the cash simply passed through on the way to bets in Vegas casinos. Tabas must have agreed last month, he struck a deal for Meyer to pay back $900,000.

    Meyer and Shapiro's relationship is likely to have a more lasting impact on UM, which is already under investigation by the NCAA after Shapiro provided Yahoo! Sports with a jaw-dropping list of allegations in August. He says he personally paid Canes athletes, bought hookers, and hosted wild bacchanalia.

    Shapiro certainly could have used that close contact with UM players to his advantage.

    "Everyone looks for a tiny edge; that's the nature of sports betting," Jarvis, the Nova professor, says. "Even if he just knew a receiver had stubbed his toe before a game, that could be enough to affect the spread."

    Meyer, though, says he can't recall Shapiro ever placing a surprising UM bet that implied inside info.

    But Hirschhorn does add one more nugget for the NCAA investigators to consider.

    In 2008, the attorney says, he met with "high-level UM officials" to warn them not to take money from Shapiro, who had already pledged $150,000 to the school. "I knew this guy was going to take a fall someday, and I wanted to at least pass it on," Hirschhorn says.

    Hirschhorn declines to name the people he met with, but a source who asked not to be named confirms he helped set up a meeting between the lawyer and Kirby Hocutt, then UM's athletic director.

    Hocutt, now the AD at Texas Tech, didn't respond to emails and calls to his sports department for comment.

    Whatever the future holds for UM, Meyer believes he's at least back to his winning ways.

    He's living in an $800,000 house in Weston and told Cigar Aficionado he's pulling in an "eight-figure annual income." He made headlines in Vegas last year while filming a reality show about laying a million-dollar bet on the Super Bowl.

    But life hasn't come up all aces for the gambling king. When New Times called last month, he claimed a former employee was trying to extort thousands of dollars from him. He also believed New Times was buying false rumors about his relationship with Shapiro.

    "You better be careful if you're coming after me. I'm telling you that now," he said. "My family's name is on the line. My reputation is on the line... I'm just warning you that you're setting yourself up for a world of trouble here."

  2. #2
    Glitch's Avatar SBR PRO
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    we need a synopsis so we can know whether to skim it or not, so we can know whether to read it or not.

  3. #3
    ProfaneReality's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    worth reading
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    what a baller

  5. #5
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    ...read it on a local blog, if u know about the "characters" in the heading, u should read it.

  6. #6
    blackbart's Avatar SBR PRO
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    i wouldnt let meyer pick my sandwich at the deli
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  7. #7
    LetsWin's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
    we need a synopsis so we can know whether to skim it or not, so we can know whether to read it or not.

    Synopsis: Adam Meyers is about a level or two below a coack roach. His best skills is NOT in capping but in marketing and being a con.

    He and his two nutsacks (a guy named Greg and another named Dan) will try to call and upsell you to a "Platinum Club" or some other bullsh!t like that.

    As most of you know, the honest cappers have comp plays and plays you pay for. No more and no less.

    This thread needs to be kept alive so that others may benefit. Feel free to add or bump.

  8. #8
    Wojo's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Great article on just some of the shady past of Adam Meyer.

    In the '90's, Meyer and fellow Florida-tout Lee Sterling, owner of Paramount Sports, spent time in prison for threatening an individual to pay them money.

  9. #9
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    Someone please post today's news on this fuq stick? He has been working for the government to take down bookies and savehis own ass. Pathetic con artist

  10. #10
    charcoalbbq's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Meyer himself is a scammer. Back in 2007 when bettingresource.com was barely 1 year old, he bought their full year subscription for $1000 and sold their picks as his own and charged $500/week! Adam is not a handicapper. He is a good marketer and a scammer. When Meyer gets banned he uses proxies to sign up again under other names. Bettingresource had to change the rules/policies just because of that clown.

    He doesn't own any of those fancy cars. He leases them or rents them shor-term for photos shoots. In addition to gambling, he had other ponzi schemes going in the side and he also ran is own illegal book.