What suspension? In Las Vegas' eyes, Phils won Game 5 in five innings

Posted: November 01, 2008

Commissioner Bud Selig had decided beforehand that Game 5 of the World Series must go nine innings, no matter the weather conditions or whether Thanksgiving would be celebrated before he awarded the championship trophy.

But in Las Vegas, nearly all the sports books played by baseball's old rules, which meant a five-inning, 2-1 victory for the Phillies over the Tampa Bay Rays at the time the game was suspended Monday night.

Kenny White, chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, said yesterday that under Nevada state rules, if the top half of an inning is played but the bottom half is not when play is called, and the home team is trailing or tied, the game reverts to the previous inning.

So when Tampa Bay scored in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 2-2 before the game was stopped and Selig declared a suspension, the books went back to the end of the fifth inning, taking the run away and paying off those who bet on the Phillies.

"There was one sports book, MGM Mirage, where they actually changed house rules the day of the game," White said. "They knew there was going to be bad weather, and they said the [betting] ticket would be good when the game finishes. I thought that was pretty visionary of them."

White said wagers on run lines and totals were refunded because games have to go nine innings - 8 1/2 if the home team is leading - to prompt a payoff.

White said all sports books, with the exception of the MGM Mirage's, offered betting Wednesday on the final three or 3 innings of Game 5. The Phillies opened as the favorite at minus-165, meaning bettors had to wager $165 on the Phils to win $100, but it was bet down to minus-155, he said.

While some bettors were confused by the rules, White said they always had been in place.

"There was a misconception that people thought Vegas was finagling the rules to help us win," White said. "The fact is, the books lost money Monday night because more money was bet on the Phillies. They would have loved to refund all the bets, but house rules did not allow them to do it."

White added that sports books probably would be talking to Nevada gaming-control officials in the coming months with an eye toward changing the house rules for postseason games if they are going to be played to a conclusion.

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or jjuliano@phillynews.com.

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