Remembering the Great Alan “Dink” Denkenson and Renewed Interest in Sports Betting Documentary "Best of It"

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:

There was an outpouring of love over the last 24 hours following news that the great professional sports bettor Alan “Dink” Denkenson had passed away following a lengthy illness.  Dink lived the last few months in hospice care and looked for a while as if he could beat the odds once more, but that was not to be. Denkenson was 69 at the time of his passing. 


The tributes continued coming in on Thursday.  Our friend Jackie Clevfan tweeted:

Dink was featured in an excellent documentary worthy of Netflix feature back in 2011.

"The Best of It" followed a few of the biggest professional sports bettors of the time and is now available on Google Pay and via other app stores

Dink was one of the good guys in an industry filled with colorful, and sometimes seedy, characters.

That doc was also notable in that it featured professional sports bettor Ken ‘The Shrink’ Weitzner, who would later commit double suicide along with his wife Jackie in their Virginia home by way of a charcoal grill.  A one-time mistress of Weitzner's once revealed to Gambling911 how he would regularly bring up "the best ways to commit suicide with the least amount of suffering".

Weitzner once confessed he drugged the owner of while in Costa Rica.

And our own Thomas Somach revealed that Weitzner had been a government informant long before "The Best of It" was filmed. 

On the niight of his death - and presumably at the very time he was taking his own life - received a number of anonymous messages claiming Weitzner was working as an informant with the U.S. Government as part of an investigation specifically into Full Tilt Poker.  Weitzner had died one year prior to Full Tilt Poker and its executives being indicted as part of the notorious "Black Friday" DOJ operation.  Though ominous at the time, has never been able to draw a connection between Weitzner and Full Tilt Poker.

Others profiled in the documentary included a sports bettor by the name of "Boston", Lem Banker, and the great Michael "Roxy" Roxborough.

Who is Dink?

DINK loves to gamble. He also loves to enjoy life away from the long hours and the daily grind while being holed up in his office gambling seven days a week.  You can find Dink at independent wrestling shows in Los Angeles, producing his own wrestling shows, the racetrack betting the ponies, playing with Alex the hamster or Irving the dog, and eating dinners with his wife, Gayle. But even though Dink will tell you he likes time away to enjoy other things, when he's doing those other things he still checks scores every 5-minutes much to the chagrin of his wife. 

Dink credits much of his gambling success to his days as a bookmaker in Queens. In his 20s he regularly got cleaned out by 'Wise Guys' (successful professional gamblers), which taught him valuable, albeit costly lessons. He learned the intricacies required to be successful in the sports betting world and the fine line between a winning 'Sharp' and a broke 'Square' can be razor thin. After serving time in a halfway house for bookmaking Dink moved to Las Vegas and vowed to do everything on the up-and-up; he was determined to become a winning sports bettor.

21 years later Dink gambles on sports year-round from his home in a gated community in Las Vegas, specializing in hockey. In 2013, Bruce Willis portrayed Dink in the movie LAY THE FAVORITE. 

- Jagajeet Chiba, Publisher

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