Lawrence Rises from the Dust

It was no picnic in the Poconos, but sports analyst Marc Lawrence crept past challenger Steve Cofield over the weekend to advance into the finals of the 11th Stardust Invitational on Dec. 16.

Lawrence defeated local radio talk show host Cofield 3-4 to 2-5 as the string of worse than .500 contestant showings continued.

Lawrence could become the second representative in a row from to be the Stardust champion.

He would succeed the site’s Big Al McMordie, the 2004 winner, who lost in Round 2 this season.

His finals opponent will be the winner of this Friday’s match between author/handicapper Andy Iskoe and the professional Las Vegas gambler who goes by the single name of Fezzik.

The champion will collect a $10,000 winner-take-all prize.

The two players were among an original field of 16 that began competition in September.

They were paired into eight opening-round matches, with winners advancing and losers being eliminated.

Each week’s two spotlighted guests make seven selections against the Friday night Stardust line, including a best bet that can be used as a tie-breaker.

Picks are discussed on a Friday night radio show that airs from 9 to 10 p.m. (PST) on KDWN-720AM.

John Kelly and Seat Williams are co-hosts.

Lawrence and Cofield both won on Kansas City. Lawrence, however, had the Chiefs plus 1 (they won outright) as a best bet. Cofield lost his best bet on South Florida plus 9.

Cofield and Lawrence went head-to-head on the Florida State-Virginia Tech game, with Lawrence taking the Seminoles plus 14 and winning straight up. UConn plus 15 1/2 was his third winner.

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