The story of Steven Cheah is inspiring. He started at Barstool selling mattresses and erection-numbing creams. Then he became a programmer, I believe. There was a brief stint as a scout for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for which he was not paid. And finally, he settled in to his roll as a sports gambling handicapper. At no point was Steven our in-house sushi chef, and that's because he is almost certainly NOT Japanese.
For the last couple months, Steven Cheah has been posting NBA prop bets on his Twitter. Each day he chooses one bet based on hours of research. I know this because I recently sat down on a cardboard box next to his desk to learn his process. His desk sits in a legitimate hallway of the office, obstructing the flow of foot traffic to and from the kitchen. I don't know whether Steven feels the need to keep a judgmental eye on the snack choices of his coworkers or if he's playing some masochistic dieting game where he sits near food but won't allow himself a taste. Either way, his desk sucks dick.
My guess is that Steven's caloric deprivation gives him a sense of control over his life—which he needs, given that his prop selections yo-yo from brilliance to sociopathy overnight. And when I say yo-yo, I'm referring to the toy, not the cellist, who bears very little resemblance to Steven.
When I sat with Steven those weeks ago, he outlined his strategy to me in confidence. In fact, Steven spoke in his trademark hushed tone, casting furtive glances from side to side as undisciplined eaters returned to their desks bearing bagels laden with enough cream cheese to foment genocide against the lactose intolerant. Steven whispered of numbers and metrics, showed me graphs and charts, provided resources and patterns; he removed his glasses, fogged them with his breath, cleaned them with a soft cloth, and replaced them on his face with an arrogant flourish. It was a gesture so academic, so nerdy, that I thought I heard the twangy whine of single-string instruments from the far east. I'm talking WAY east. Where, exactly, in the east? I wouldn't dare to guess.
Steven shared this privileged information with me in such a way as to make me feel lucky, to make me feel chosen. Did he go so far as to say "don't tell anyone else?" No. But he didn't have to, as we smirked condescendingly at the grazing sheep who passed us, knowing how devoid they were of alpha. Two sharks in a sea of mathless minnows; two wolves atop a hill, staring down at a gated pen of gainless geese.
I left our chat resolved to follow his picks each night. One pick a day, betting responsibly. And things started well. Steven was in the midst of quite a run. Each morning, after a win, I'd greet him with a firm handshake and a quiet wink. He deflected praise, humbly noting "the data was good." Our friendship grew.
But over the last two weeks, Steven has entered what I might call his Day-After-Tomorrow, species-ending, Shackleton's-Voyage meets vital-organ-transportation-chamber, divorced-father-grocery-aisle phase:
Steven always has some excuse for his failures. "Did you watch the game? He had three assists in the first quarter! Then his teammates went cold!" or "We were golden until he rolled his ankle!" During this time, it has been hard not to harbor extremely negative emotions towards Steven. Our "friend-ship" floats on troubled waters, at risk of sinking entirely, similar to the fate of U.S.S Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma—three ships lost forever in the attack on Pearl Harbor which had absolutely nothing to do with Steven or his ancestors.
And then…last night, Julius Randle hit three threes.
With that, not only have I welcomed him back into my heart, but I decided against purchasing tickets for us to see BTS when they're in town because there is no evidence to suggest that Steven would enjoy their music.
For Steven is of Chinese heritage; a nation that values respect, wisdom, and harmony. It should come as no surprise, then, that Steven embodies these wonderful traits to the fullest. In fact, Steven has inspired me so much that when the ball drops at midnight on December 31st, I will opt for the traditional Mandarin New Year greeting: 恭喜發財, pronounced "Gong Xi Fa Cai."
In other words, "I hope you get rich money-wise."
Follow @TrusttheData for all Steven's picks:
And please remember to bet responsibly. Gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.