Professional sports bettor Alan “Dink” Denkenson had a life made for the movies.
Denk, one of the luminaries in the Las Vegas gambling scene, died on early Wednesday morning after a battle with cancer.
Dink’s life — and death — was an open book. He was the central protagonist in Lay The Favorite, a 2010 memoir written by Beth Raymer. Raymer, his former assistant, chronicled the chaotic world of sports betting in which Dink lived — and her experiences within that world.
In a 2012 movie adaptation of the book, the role of Dink was played by Bruce Willis.
Dink also was featured in the 2016 documentary The Best Of It.
He documented his illness and treatment on Twitter over the last three months with the support of his many friends and followers.
The news of his death drew reaction from his fellow bettors and from the men from whom he tried to get the best of it, bookmakers around Las Vegas.
I hope there's professional wrestling in heaven. Not the glitzy kind, but the $5 admission local VFW Hall kind.
I hope there's burgers in heaven. Not the fancy kind, but the buy'em-by-the-sack White Castle kind.
I hope there are dogs in heaven – lots of dogs any kind of dogs. pic.twitter.com/LLSULgVlZN
— Captain Jack Andrews (@capjack2000) August 31, 2022
Sad news today. @dinkinc passed away. I wish I had known him better. Condolences to his friends and family. And of course to his beloved Hazel.
— Chris Andrews (@andrewssports) August 31, 2022
Dink appeared on VSiN several times, including with Brent Musburger on My Guys in the Desert. His most in-depth interview was with Gill Alexander on the Beating The Book podcast. LISTEN HERE.
He also wrote stories for VSiN about one of his favorite sports, hockey, for VSiN. (He was right about those Golden Knights in their debut season, eh?)
He never accepted payment for his work. All he asked for was a contribution to his favorite charity connected to his other passion, horse racing.
He supported the Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, whose mission is to rescue thoroughbred horses bred and raised for racing, from slaughter, neglect and abuse. If you are so inclined, you can contribute here.