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The sports advisory business – or touts, as they are more commonly called – is home to many unsavory characters. High profile media outlets have done solid reporting jobs investigating the claims made by many of these outfits. HBO’s ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’ did a piece on the legendary tout Stu Feiner during which they had Feiner compete with a 2 year old girl and a dog. To no one’s surprise, Feiner came in last.

Vegas-Killers-Scam

Sports Illustrated did an expose on the tout industry and exposed Ron Bash (aka The Coach) who promised to blow his brains out if his picks were wrong. He was wrong but his ‘brains’ are still in his head. Kevin Duffy, one of the preeminent pick sellers, also was hit by SI as his ad touted his ‘big weekend’ despite the fact that the ad was delivered to the newspaper before the very weekend he claimed to have ‘crushed his bookmakers.’ In the same piece, SI took after Stu Feiner and monitored his selections for four weeks. The results: 19-32 for a 37% win rate. Meanwhile, Feiner’s company was touting a far different record for the exact same time period to potential customers. A classic tout move.

We take pride in exposing touts so we’ll be breaking down different pick-sellers here on Wagerminds. Our system allows users to make their picks using real consensus Vegas lines and we grade each and every pick. It’s transparent and each wager recommendation is time stamped. If you’re good, this site will prove it. And just as importantly, if you’re bad, this site will prove it.

Most touts, of course, have no interest in such transparency. But we’re going to shine some light on different touts to help consumers better understand this industry.

John Harrison is listed as the owner of VegasKillers. The website – VegasKillers.com – is registered anonymously to an address in Las Vegas that doesn’t seem to exist.  And the technical contact listed for the site is ‘Ted Bundy,’ seemingly a reference to the notorious serial killer.  In his bio, Harrison claims he is “widely considered to be the most accurate sports bettor in the world today.” Now, there are some well-known professional gamblers, like Billy Walters, but no one in the sports handicapping world – perhaps with the exception of Mr. Harrison’s family members – would actually point to John Harrison as the most accurate in the world. But how accurate is he?

Well, his online record claims he’s hitting at a 56% rate. That’s a relatively modest claim for a tout, frankly, as many claim absurd 70+% win rates. As of October 5th, Harrison claims this 56% win rate has led to plus 367 units. According to Harrison’s system, your bankroll is 100 units. If he recommends a 1 unit play, he’s recommending you bet 1% of your bankroll. His self-policed online record as of October 5th has him making 19 plays over the past year where his clients would risk 20% or more of their bankroll on a single game including 2 games where he recommends playing 50% of your bankroll on a single game. Now, do any real professional gamblers risk 20% of their bankroll on a single game – of course not. Would any sane person risk 50% of their bankroll on a single game – of course not. But that’s how Harrison gets his alleged 56% win rate to generate an alleged positive 367 units.

To no one’s surprise, Harrison’s self-reported record has him going an astounding 15-5 on his largest plays (defined as risking 20 units or more). Do you really believe that?

Also worth noting is that 4 weeks into college and pro football season, his VegasKillers.com record hadn’t changed at all since April 29, 2011 (thanks to internetarchive.org for that nugget). And this was despite the fact that was he consistently touting his NFL picks over at his blogspot blog during each of the first four weeks of the NFL season. Still believe his record?

John Harrison’s bio on VegasKillers described Harrison as a ‘legend.’ Well, this ‘legend’ has a LinkedIn profile where it says he attended Middlesex Community College from 2009-2011. Still believe his record?

The self-professed legend also doesn’t participate in the most well-know NFL handicapping contest in the world – the Hilton SuperContest. We asked him about his participation in the Hilton contest and he responded:

 

Also, you may wonder Harrison has a presence on the domain VegasKillers.com but also operate a separate John Harrison blogspot blog? Well, it’s hard to know but one potential reason could be to try to control search results for his name. See, if you Google ‘John Harrison Vegas Killers’ you’ll find a site ranking quite highly which accuses Harrison of being a scam artist. If you want to push that site further down the search results (so fewer people see it), you’ll want to have a bunch of domains that have your name in it with content you control. So is that why Harrison has a blogspot blog? Quite possible.  ‘Harrison’ keeps up this charade on Twitter as well running two mirrored accounts:

Another site ranking for Harrison’s name is SBForum.com where one former VegasKillers customer tells his story about paying for picks from Harrison. During his tenure as a VegasKillers customer, the former customer claims Harrison was down 42 units and kept losing ‘guaranteed’ picks. But Harrison distinguishes himself in the shady tout business by going further then anyone else we’ve ever reviewed – he faked his own suicide.

That’s right, “John Harrison” of VegasKillers had killed himself according to reports on VegasKillers.com from April 13, 2011. But he didn’t stay dead for long. Harrison was resurrected months later as he announced in his ‘I Am Back’ post on his blog on June 22, 2011. Actually, he wasn’t resurrected as he never died in the first place; instead, he claimed he faked the suicide to protect him and his family from a threatening former client who lost $50,000 betting on Harrison’s plays. Truly amazing stuff – even by tout standards.

In his ‘I’m not really dead’ post, Harrison points out that handicapping isn’t his ‘day job’ and that he’s a ‘Web Developer’ for a large company in the Northeast. It’s interesting that someone considered to be ‘the most accurate sports bettor in the world today’ has to have a day job. Oh, and it’s surprising that a professional ‘Web Developer’ has to use a free blogspot blog to tout his legendary sports picks. Or could it be that both of those claims are false? Seems likely.

Most recently, we’ve discovered a Twitter account called @CoverSteam. The account’s profile picture is the Covers logo.

This would lead you to believe it’s an official Covers Twitter account which is odd because all the account does is tweet links to John Harrison’s blog and retweet John Harrison’s promotional tweets. It’s a protected account, too, which made it all the more strange.  And as you can see from the image above, the owner of this Twitter account is using it to recruit people to be a ‘Covers Expert.’  We reached out to Covers to see if this was their account and, not surprisingly, they confirmed it wasn’t. They immediately told the account user to cease and desist using their logo and the account quickly changed the profile image.

Is Harrison behind this account which is an obvious copyright violation? Well, it’s impossible to tell but the account also links back to Harrison’s personal blog where he talks about his time in the service industry.

It’s on this blog that we learn that Mr. Harrison used to work at the Olive Garden – this, presumably, was before he was “widely considered to be the most accurate sports bettor in the world.” It’s difficult to determine how he has time to work at the Olive Garden, work as a ‘Web Developer’ and handicap games but these are all of his claims. Do you believe any of them?

The more you investigate who John Harrison & Vegas Killers really are, the more laughable the charade becomes.  Is John Harrison this guy’s real name? Maybe, maybe not. Is he ‘the most accurate sports bettor in the world today?’ Of course not. Is he accurately representing his record? Of course not. Should you pay for his picks? No, no, no.

There are countless John Harrisons out there and we’ll be writing about more as we find them. We think the industry has been far too quiet in exposing this nonsense and it’s given rise to the perception that everyone involved in sports gambling is tainted.

As a consumer, be careful.  Don’t buy picks from people who claim absurd winning percentages (or absurd unit wins).  You’re just going to lose money on their plays in addition to losing the money you spent on their picks. And if you’ve had bad experiences with touts, send us the details.

 

 

16 Responses to “Vegas Killers & John Harrison: A Fake Record and a Fake Suicide?”

  1. Zach

    Hahahaa, I used this guy once for a $20 weekly play, didnt look into it much…his “guarantee” lost so I have the service for free for a year. In his record this week, he claims to be +159 for the year, yet he has out 274 units to gamble!!!!!! This includes 3 33 unit plays and 3 55 unit plays!!!! The best part is in the description he says that he is great with money management and that is why you should use him.

    Reply
  2. BoomRoastedInc

    Harrison claims to have won parlays when clearly one or two of his picks within the parlay have lost.

    Reply
  3. mount187

    I actually posted the thread that is referenced in the article, and I wanted to give some more background.

    The thread had died down, so I took down the spread-sheet from being published, but here is a link to it re-published and unchanged:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0Amkiapu-8T1kdGlwemRsVi1GVGpiMlBNb0lsVEZMa1E&output=html

    At the time the spread sheet was made, Harrison was using a 50 units = 100% system, rather than the 100 units = 100% he’s using now. As you can see in the spread sheet, he lost over 50 units at one point, flushing an entire bankroll. The play he won to end the sheet was the last play he made before “committing suicide”.

    He also did this thing, and I don’t know if he still does, where he would say, “If this pick doesn’t hit, just email me and you’ll get a year free to my website!” Which he honored. However, he lost probably 50% of those picks, and I had subscriptions to his service for the next four or five years. So not only had he flushed 100%+, but he had also given out free memberships one after another on missed picks. I bring that up to say this: after he “died” they removed everyone’s access to his plays, and once he came back, nobody had access anymore. My guess is that so many people had called him on his “guarantees” that he had nobody to sell his service to anymore. That’s just speculation though.

    The cherry on top of the whole thing was when he used my password from VegasKillers.com to log in to SBR’s forums and edit my posts (I was using the same password for both sites). You can see proof of that here:

    http://forum.sbrforum.com/service-plays/1044868-vegaskillers-shenanigans.html

    Reply
  4. Randy

    I am also a “client” of John’s for life thanks to his guarantee’s. Thankfully, I only gave him 15 dollars of mine. One big thing I’ve noticed for his football picks, is that 95% of the time, he has the absolute best line possible. He’ll post wagers he made on Thursday, with a line that was only available at his book of choice for an hour the previous Sunday night, according to their records. I know for a fact he has one at least one or two BIG plays this year because he had the best number falsely, but of course, his clients still lost.

    Reply
  5. Sports Prophets

    This is a very well researched and laid out expose. Well done, Wagerminds. Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  6. WillCashSports

    That is great! I love what you’re doing by the way. This guy has been a pure clown for a LONG time and I think most have caught on, but for those who haven’t, great job with the information. On another note, I am looking into your tracking methods and plan on using them if they are of no cost.

    - Will Cashmen

    Reply
  7. Cliff Guerez

    Nice work first of all. Makes me wonder why people actually buy plays from anyone though. Is it possible to actually know what is gonna happen in sports? Isn’t that the fun in it. You never know what is gonna happen. If we all knew the outcome, why would we watch the game. To me it seems like all of you need to take this into account. I bet sports (not for a living) for pure recreation. It is so much easier to accept the fact that you lost a play as opposed to having lost a play because someone else told you so. Get a life and bet for the fun of it, not because a particular person told you so. Probably what you should do is buy your mom some flowers instead of buying plays from some guy on the web. In fact you shouldn’t bet at all because your gonna lose. So before you go blaming vegaskillers or any other people that claim they can read the future. Take a good look at where you can put that money your gonna lose anyway, and put it to good use. Sorry for the rant, but it is just ridiculous that you can blame somebody else for you losing your money. Get a life and make your own decisions. Stop blaming other people for your bad choices. I bet sports for the love of it. You should too…

    Reply
  8. THE VEGAS SYSTEM

    Great article. The industry could use more people like you who investigate and expose these crooks. I do invite you to check out http://www.thevegassystem.com. Its pure transparency and smart money management. Also, we win often!

    Reply
  9. Peter Johnson

    He’s a piece of shit, I purchase a package last December for $200. or around that price. I believe we lost our first 7 plays or won one of those but each lose the following play he would raise his unit size to cover the last loss. I never scene anything like it. I called him at one point to ask a question and while we were speaking his son or daughter was asking him a question at the same time we were speaking and all of sudden he screamed at this little baby so loud. OMG! It was so terrible, how he yelled at this little baby. When we hung up the phone I deleted that e-mail address and I never wanted to speak to this scum again. This story is the 100% the truth, he’s a terrible person. How do you have people lie for you and say your gone, died. The he was thrown off his own web-site. SCUMBAG, he must be! He was thrown of his own website.

    PIECE OF SHIT JOHN HARRISON

    Reply
  10. Peter Johnson

    as of 4.29.2012, this piece of shit john harrison is back on the forums givin out bullshit plays. i seen the muther fucker today at pregame.com
    he took 200. from me and he’s on the forums pushin plays what bullshit

    god i want to see that muther fucker who robbed me

    Reply
  11. BF

    You should look into the latest scam here where the picture of former capper / Internet-generated personality Frank Santucci is now the image of John Harrison. Then you have John Hyslop who looks suspiciously similar to Harrison saying Vegas Killers is a bunch of fake personalities looking to sell the business to a sucker who resumes operations with these current manufactured personas. So many levels of deception still to unravel.

    Reply
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