After being told to exit the reserved seating section in the Caesars Palace race and sportsbook, the angry man marched toward the counter and began unloading on the ticket writer, expressing his displeasure over the situation.
It was an NFL Sunday in early December. The sportsbook, as usual, was packed from front to back and left to right, with roughly a dozen people standing behind a small roped off area. The roped off area is where the man had previously been seated—prior to getting the boot.
“Why can’t I sit there,” the man grumbled to the ticket writer.
The ticket writer tried to explain that “reserved” meant “reserved.” The man tried to explain that there were empty seats and that he merely wanted one of them. The ticket writer repeated himself. The man repeated himself. It went on from there.
Eventually, Todd Fuhrman, senior race and sportsbook analyst, came over to speak to the man. Fuhrman explained the policy and why it was being implemented. The man shook his head and did not seem to understand.
Fuhrman talked some more. And some more. And some more. In total, Fuhrman gave the man five minutes of his time—and possibly longer—because, well, that’s just what Fuhrman does.
He is gracious with his time and will speak to anyone and everyone regardless of who they are or what they do or how irrelevant or unimportant they happen to be.
Trust us. We know from experience.
* * *
The first person to hear about a website called Beyond the Bets was Fuhrman. He received an email on April 25, 2011, titled simply, “the site,” a 1,326-word opus that outlined what BTB hoped to become and how it would get there.
Fuhrman responded with his thoughts a day later.
“I finally got through the entire email but I’ll admit it took a few cups of coffee and naps to navigate the entire piece,” Fuhrman wrote. “All kidding aside, I think it’s a tremendous idea if you intend to build on existing frameworks of sports websites and push them further.”
Over the next several weeks and months, Fuhrman offered advice and always—always—provided words of encouragement. When the site first launched in mid-May of 2011, Fuhrman was the only Las Vegas oddsmaker willing to give us the time of day.
“Anything you need, don’t hesitate,” Fuhrman would say. “Always happy to help.”
And he was. He provided dozens of quotes, answered hundreds of reader questions and met for countless in-person chats to discuss Las Vegas, the sports betting industry and, occasionally, the potential for Kansas State to win yet another game as an outright underdog.
(The propaganda-filled chats, by the way, seemed to have an effect. He opened Kansas State’s 2013 BCS championship odds at 40/1 before dropping them to their rightful place at 100/1.)
Above all else, Fuhrman can be best described as “accessible.” He has been a tremendous ambassador not only for Caesars Palace, but for the entire Las Vegas sports betting scene, one of the few bookmakers who embraced social media and used it as a vehicle to promote “the brand.”
But Fuhrman, an employee at Caesars for six years—including two as senior race and sportsbook analyst—has confirmed to BTB that he is leaving his position to pursue other interests. He will begin working with Outkick The Coverage, a sports site, later this week, and will also do some consulting work for a long-time industry website.
He will be missed on multiple fronts.
“I’ll miss Todd, both as a member of the media and as a sports bettor,” said David Purdum, a longtime sports writer who covers the industry. “Sharp and insightful, he was great to work with on stories. Plus, his lines were just so soft, so gentle.”
We would like to wish Fuhrman luck in his future endeavors and thank him for all the help he has provided to the site.