Vegas says that action ahead of the highly anticipated showdown between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping has turned out in recent days to be entirely lopsided. While initially there was great fan enthusiasm for the match, observers say that due to the one-sided appearance of the contest, betting has been hugely in favor of the Chinese president.
"I just don't think Trump is ready," said Carl Weisman, sports analysis for the Vegas Sun. "Trump's game, if you will, is on the links. Xi just comes in and doesn't play. I mean he absolutely doesn't play golf. Trump is going to have to sit there and negotiate. He'll have to focus, concentrate, and have a command of facts. That's not his wheelhouse."
Other observers pointed to Trump's reliance on moves like the grip-and-drag. "We say [ Egyptian President ] Abdel brace himself on the chair prior to the shake. Clearly he's been studying the replays. Abe totally got caught--but when Merkel straight up challenged [Trump], he had to back down. They've got his number."
Experts were mixed on whether Xi could out power an actual "Gorilla Grip Shake" or not should he be caught in one. "Trudeau is an aerobics monster--absolute power-house--who knows how to use his center-line and ground himself. When he did the standing-shake with Trump he had the stance. Donald couldn't over power him. Xi will probably have to be a little craftier but that's the thing: with Don, you know it's coming."
Others speculated that Xi, rather than being impressed by the Mar-a-Lago maneuver would, instead, see it as weakness.
"All that guy's going to be thinking is 'this dude doesn't understand shit and just wants a hotel deal. I mean, he's got an oil painting of himself up on the wall." Others echoed the theory that Jinping could easily maneuver around Trump by playing to conflicts of interest.
"Trump owes China hundreds of millions of dollars," said Norm Eisen, a political bookmaker and ethics lawyer. "While the Republicans have given him a pass on that for obvious reasons, Xi won't. Trump will barely see it coming before he's withdrawing the Carl Venison [ Aircraft Carrier ]."
Oddsmakers lamented the fact that the general public seems to have soured on the match-up.
"Trump is a showman--but he's really bungled this one," noted Vegas statistical analyst Deborah Quint. "The TPP was a major weapon against China. He ditched it. Tillerson fell right into the 'triangle choke' of talking up 'mutual respect' after his meeting. He got thrown. Trump opened big with Taiwan--but collapsed on the first push-back, and he was supposed to name China a 'currency manipulator' and he seems to have forgotten about that. As far as the public is concerned, this is already over."
Trump fans though seemed oblivious to the controversy.
"I expect him to send that Xing-Chow-Ping or whatever running home with his communist tail between his legs," said Henry Fladdel of Alabama. "Trump's nobody's fool. He built a massive empire and he's forgotten more about negotiations than anyone else in Washington ever knew. I can't wait to see him work his mojo."