Kelly Stewart, who has her own website www.kellyinvegas.com, loves the haters. She deals with them on a daily basis as an active Twitter user with her well-known handle @kellyinvegas. They fuel her desire to prove them wrong and actually motivated her to win the three-week Mini Contest as part of the SuperContest at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
Stewart went 14-1 down the final stretch to win $15,000 and finished 50-35 overall, just three points out of the Top 30 that earned more than $2,104,500 in prize money. A record 1,403 contestants entered the SuperContest in 2014, with the overall champion CH Ballers picking an all-time best 76 percent winners for $740,325.
“I just want to say thank you for keeping me motivated,” Stewart said. “It’s nice to have a lot of good support in the industry, but those haters are what keeps you going. It fuels that fire to prove people wrong. And I hate losing, so winning is just that much sweeter.”
While Stewart was just one of the 1,164 contestants who entered by the early-bird deadline of Sept. 1 to qualify for the Mini Contest, she also was the best over the last three weeks. In fact, she was 21-4 over the final five and edged out fellow Team OddsShark member Nick Kostos, who like her was 10-0 in Weeks 15 and 16 before finishing up with a 2-3 mark.
Stewart and Kostos were two of only three contestants in the field that had perfect records heading into the last week of the Mini Contest. In addition, they were two of five Team OddsShark members to finish over .500 overall.
“It feels good – it’s nice to know halfway through the contest (when) you kind of get discouraged, especially this year,” Stewart said. “It kind of keeps you going, keeps you motivated to do well, knowing that the last three weeks you have a second chance.”
As for the $15,000 Stewart won in the Mini Contest, she plans on using it to help pay off student loans from her days at Kansas State and enhance her backyard. While that may not be too exciting, she’s hoping to hit some bigger paydirt in next year’s SuperContest.
“It’s funny because I had told some people that I was going to help my mom re-model her kitchen, and then I called her (Tuesday), and she was like, ‘no, don’t do that,’” Stewart said. “I think I’m going to put in a backyard barbecue, pay off some student loans. Nothing fun, I wish I had something fun, like I’m going to go to Fiji for a week.”