If you’ve seen the new Circa Las Vegas Resort towering over Fremont Street, or even the blue lights glowing in the distance from all sides, you know that Derek Stevens does everything bigger and better.
That is true of both the Circa Sports Million and the Circa Survivor for 2021.
The pandemic was expected to be more of a hindrance for those two contests in 2020. The brand-new Circa did not open until October, but that didn’t stop bettors from going to The D or the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino to sign up for the Circa Sports Million and the Circa Survivor for the most recent NFL season.
It looked like there was going to be a big overlay on the guaranteed $3 million prize pool for the Million, but the contest wound up drawing well over 3,000 entries, so the extra money was added directly to the pot. The Circa Survivor drew 1,390 entries in its first season as well.
Now that the beautiful Circa Resort and the stunning Circa Sportsbook have opened, it only makes sense that the contests would get even bigger and even better.
Circa Sports Million III
The 2021 Circa Sports Million will have $4 million in guaranteed prizes. The entry fee remains the same at $1,000 and first place remains $1 million, but the quarterly prizes have increased and the share of the money for finishing in the top 50 spots has increased as well.
The format for the contest is actually quite simple. All contestants have to do is pick five games against the spread for each week of the NFL season. The lines come out on Thursday morning and do not move, regardless of whether or not there are major injury announcements or any other happenings that move the spread in the market.
Picking five games and having a high rate of winners, well, that’s a lot more difficult.
The grand prize is $1 million, but second place will net $325,000, with $275,000 for third, $225,000 for fourth, $175,000 for fifth, and on down from there with the top 50 all in the money. A total of $1.9 million goes for spots 2 through 50.
Astute mathematicians will see that a $1,000 entry fee and a guaranteed $4 million prize pool means that the contest needs 4,000 entrants to break even on the guarantee. That seems like it should happen, as pent-up demand has led to increased travel to Vegas and you do need to sign up in-person for the contests.
(As a side note, Matty and Toni over at FootballContest.com have been our proxies for a long time and do an outstanding job. Be sure to check them out and make an appointment if you decide to sign up for any of the Las Vegas football contests, but especially the two at the Circa.)
The Circa Sports Million is a rake-free contest. The entirety of the entry fee goes into the prize pool. If 4,000 entries come in, that will hit the guarantee, but if 4,200 entries go in, that extra $200,000 gets added to the prize pool. If 4,500 entries go in, that extra $500,000 gets added to the prize pool.
The extra money goes towards the Quarter Prizes, which are for the highest point total over Weeks 1-4, 5-9, 10-13, and 14-18. Remember that the NFL added an extra game this season, so all teams will play 17 games over 18 weeks.
At present, the Quarter Prizes are $150,000 for first, $50,000 for second, and $25,000 for third, with an additional $25,000 per quarter for the lowest score, considered the “Booby Prize”. Any amount over $4 million in entry fees will go to the quarter prizes.
There is a maximum of three entries per entrant and, as we said, you do have to sign up in-person. If you don’t live in Nevada, you need a proxy. You can sign up at The D, Golden Gate, or at the Circa for this year’s contest.
Additional information is on the Circa Sports website.
Circa Survivor II
While the Circa Sports Million III is bigger and better, we could say that the Circa Survivor II is…huger? Enormouser? Frankly, it’s worth making up words to talk about what has taken place with the Survivor contest.
The Circa Survivor II is a winner-take-all contest with a guaranteed prize pool of SIX MILLION DOLLARS. No, that’s not a typo. A 6 followed by six zeroes. There is no rake, which means that the grand prize for this tournament could even go higher. The entry fee is $1,000 and anything over 6,000 entries will go right into the prize pool.
The rules are extremely simple here. Pick an NFL team every week. If they win, you advance. If they lose or tie, you are out. You cannot pick the same team twice. That means that going 20-0 means picking 20 different teams out of the 32 in the NFL.
Hearing 20-0 has to set off alarm bells in your head, right? The NFL has added an extra week, but 18 and 20 are two different numbers. That is because Thanksgiving Day AND Christmas Day are considered their own weeks in this contest. That means you had better choose wisely because the Bears, Lions, Raiders, Cowboys, Bills, and Saints are the six teams in action on Thanksgiving and the Browns, Packers, Colts, and Cardinals are the teams in action on Christmas.
If you don’t have any of those teams available by the time those weeks roll around, you won’t have an option.
It makes sense to make things more difficult this season for the Circa Survivor. In the inaugural season, there were 35 entries that chopped the $2.39 million prize pool. While winning $68,285 and change is nothing to scoff at, it isn’t really the spirit of the competition with a Survivor contest that is supposed to be winner-take-all.
The reason that the prize pool got so big last year with 1,390 entrants is that there was an extra million dollars into the pool for any entry that went 18-0. It turned out that 35 entries did that.
Similarly, if any entry goes 20-0 using the Tampa Bay Buccaneers OR the Kansas City Chiefs as your last and final selection, you’ll win an extra $1 million. That is a huge wrinkle and a big chance for this year’s contest.
Much like the Circa Sports Million III, you have to sign up in-person for this contest. If you live outside of Nevada, picks must be submitted via a proxy. There is a maximum of six entries per entrant at $1,000 each.
Sign-ups began on May 28 for the contests and will run until 2 p.m. PT on Saturday September 11, which is the day before the majority of the Week 1 games.