Alexandra White is making her name in Vegas


LAS VEGAS — With four guys possessing nearly two combined centuries of odds-making prowess, Alexandra White huddled in the back room of the South Point sportsbook and showed she belonged.

On Selection Sunday, as CBS television unveiled the NCAA Tournament regional by regional, that quintet compared hoops power ratings and determined point spreads. Book director Chris Andrews had the final say.

Timing was critical. The faster they produced final figures, the quicker the book could post those spreads to its voracious customers.

“We differed by maybe two points, often falling somewhere in the middle, as expected,” Alex said. “Since we were all adjusting after every game and have power ratings for a whole season, they should be relatively close.”

Andrews, Vinny Magliulo, Jimmy Vaccaro and Tony Sinisi comprised the grizzled quartet. Andrews had invited Alex, a third-generation handicapper, into the fray two weeks earlier.

Unofficially, it marked 30 years since a female toiled in the backroom of a Vegas sportsbook playing a direct role in shaping point spreads.

According to many, Patty Davidson, at the long-gone Stardust under Scotty Schettler’s expert guidance, was the last to do so, from 1986 through 1994.

“She has a background from a ‘school’ that so few people, especially a woman, would ever have had,” Davidson said of Alex’s rich lineage. “She is a Vegas baby. This is her angle. And what a perfect Father’s Day article.”

Andrews dropped by a semicircular booth where Alex and her well-known pop, bettor Kenny White, were being interviewed.

“She used to be Kenny White’s daughter,” Andrews said. “Now, he’s Alexandra White’s father.”

PREDICTING THE FUTURE

Kenny’s dad, Pete, formulates such keen numbers that Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal once tried hiring him at Lefty’s standalone Rose Bowl sportsbook. Pete, perhaps wisely, declined the offer.

Andrews recalled taking Pete’s bets 45 years ago and called him “sharp.” The family’s secret sauce, Kenny said, is that Pete’s team power ratings are derived from individual player figures.

That routine is demanding, which the late Vegas betting legend Lem Banker also employed. Few possess such dogged determination and patience.

“I didn’t know if any of [my four kids] would get into it this deep,” Kenny said, “but Alex was ready to go.”

Alex, 35, grasped basic concepts at an early age.

“I always had the love for sports and always was more of a tomboy,” she said. “I’d be right by him. ‘Who are we rooting for? How much do we have to win by?’ I definitely knew it was about winning by a certain number.

“My dad was so patient and welcoming of me, entering his world. I bugged him since I was little with questions about sports.”

When Kenny was 14, that May, he helped Pete type and assemble his college football annual insider, in which Pete predicted Notre Dame to win the national championship.

“And in January, they did,” Kenny said of quarterback Joe Montana and the Irish slamming tailback Earl Campbell and Texas 38-10 in the Cotton Bowl for the 1977 title.

“I was all in. I wanted to predict the future, just like that. It was hook, line and sinker, at that point.”

Vegas risk-room personnel follow Kenny’s wagers, using his action to perfect their numbers. That is, when he can get money down in his own name. He combats those challenges in ways we won’t reveal.

When Kenny, 60, began producing his own magazine several years ago, for a few seasons, Alex was right there helping him assemble it.

“She saw it all,” Kenny said. “I’m predicting the final score of every game before they’re even played. I’d get to look at my dad’s book when he finished it, and it was like Christmas day, seeing the teams that would be good.

“The Bible, for me.”

Pete White, 83, lives in Boulder City, near the Arizona border.

“He still does it today,” Kenny said. “He sends me his stuff, and he goes deeper than anybody. It’s all he does, from 7 in the morning to 11 at night. Loves it.”

ARE THEY LISTENING?

Alex followed older sister Savanna’s cheerleading tumbles at Bishop Gorman High, which led to a UNLV national title (in Stunt Group) at NCA nationals in 2012. She assisted or coached UNLV Cheer to three more national crowns.

With an undergraduate degree in kinesiology, Alex returned to UNLV to earn a master’s degree in journalism and media studies.

For a local TV outlet, she has reported from the sidelines of Thursday night prep football games since 2013. Since ’16, with Kenny in the booth, she has been the on-field emcee for the Las Vegas Triple-A baseball team’s home games.

She’s been passionate about point spreads and perfecting betting tactics for three years, concocting her own power ratings and updating them daily on computer spreadsheets.

Her diligence has paid sweet dividends. In 2022, Alex won the Station Casinos’ Last Man Standing college football contest and $100,000; a year later, she earned nearly $13,000 in a five-way split of the chain’s college hoops LMS bounty.

Last year, Andrews hired her to co-host the South Point’s daily “Sports by the Book” show, with Jeff Parles, that streams on YouTube.

“There are lots of pretty girls out there,” Andrews said. “Glad she’s one of them, but that’s not why she’s here. She’s very sharp, has good opinions and is thorough with her work, which I’m sure she got from her dad . . .

“. . . which, I’m sure, he got from his dad.”

Kenny and Alex text frequently. She bet under on a WNBA game, at 163.5, Kenny and Pete had wagered over, at 162. It finished 163. In an NBA playoff game, she gave 4.5 points, they took 6; it finished 5.

Fortune runs in the family

When an NHL playoff game was 2-2 after one period, she found an in-game total of 8.5 on an app and quickly bet under. Winner. A scoreless first period in another game had an in-game total of 3.5; she wagered over. Winner.

Kenny is tough. After a show, he’ll tell Alex, “I didn’t learn anything. You didn’t teach me anything.” She nods. To constantly improve, Alex prefers criticism.

“It definitely helps me prep for shows, knowing what I want to focus on,” she said. “He told me recently that grandpa was listening and that he agreed with something I said, about the Seattle Storm. That made me feel really good.

“Like, ‘Yeah, OK. I’m doing something right.’ It’s always in the back of my mind, wondering if they’re listening.”

INCLUSION

In the mid-1980s, there was

no $10,000 tax-reporting threshold, no cell phones or apps or kiosks. Davidson, 66, recalls suitcases full of cash in the Stardust backroom.

Getting hired by Schettler represented priceless approval.

Asked about any drama, however, at lunch with Kenny and Alex, and a nosey scribe, the former Patty Garrett revealed only a sly Sally Field-like grin; she can handle herself.

She was then married to Jeff Garrett, a numbers wiz at the Santa Anita book who mentored Kenny White on that side of the counter. Schettler saw Patty’s affinity for numbers, too.

“You quickly learn about the key figures, like three and six in football,” she said. “No computers, and you had to be careful adjusting those numbers; didn’t want to get sided or middled.”

Davidson mentioned Crazy Tony and Fast Eddie, runners scrambling from book to book to find a half-point edge, the smart punters hiring “dummy” callers to occupy pay phones until they needed them.

Today, she is the COO of a law firm and maintains a “Bet Money Honey” sports-betting website.

“Patty’s story is incredible, especially since we’re talking about me being in this business now,” Alex said. “Reminds me how I’ve always felt that what my dad and grandpa did was incredible, so fascinating and cool.

“I think the majority of women have, or had, no idea that it could happen, or has happened, that we could be included in this world.”

THE ODDSWOMAN

Andrews soaked in that backroom scene, as if it were a movie set, on Selection Sunday.

“I felt like Martin Scorsese. Vinny looks like Robert DeNiro and Jimmy looks like Joe Pesci, Tony Sinisi being the veteran,” Andrews said. “Pick a beautiful woman, and that’s Alex.”

Gadoon “Spanky” Kyrollos plans to highlight Alex, Davidson, Stormy Buonantony and Taylor Smith on an all-female panel at his BetBash IV downtown at Circa in August.

Andrews has already pondered next year’s Selection Sunday.

“She’ll be invited,” he said of Alex White. “We want to keep her around. She’s sharp as can be and just happens to be female.”





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