2013 Final Nathan’s wild card standings

Top totals by 2013 Nathan’s circuit competitors who did not win a qualifier:

2013 Apr 20 2nd 31 10 min Tom “Goose” Gilbert Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – men Las Vegas, NV
2013 Apr 20 4th 27.5 10 min Erik “The Red” Denmark Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – men Las Vegas, NV
2013 May 4 2nd 24.5 10 min Kevin “LA Beast” Strahle Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – men Naples, FL
2013 Jun 2 3rd 24 10 min Steve Hendry Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – men St. Paul, MN
2013 Jun 29 3rd 24 10 min “Buffalo” Jim Reeves Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – men East Rutherford, NJ
2013 Jun 29 4th 23.5 10 min Ronnie “MegaByte” Hartman Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – men East Rutherford, NJ
2013 Apr 13 2nd 23 10 min Brian “Dud Light” Dudzinski Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – men Miami, FL
2013 May 4 3rd 23 10 min Crazy Legs Conti Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – men Naples, FL


2013 Apr 20 2nd 24 10 min Michelle “Cardboard Shell” Lesco Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – women Las Vegas, NV
2013 Jun 2 2nd 8 10 min Courtney Taylor Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – women St. Paul, MN
2013 Jun 12 2nd 7 10 min Jessica Kopsic Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – women Pittsburgh, PA
2013 Jun 22 2nd 7 10 min Terri Reeves Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier – women Boston, MA

MLE is recognizing Erik Denmark as the recipient of the men’s wild card even though Tom Gilbert finished ahead of him at the Las Vegas qualifier held at the New York New York Casino on April 20. If an explicit written rule provides a reason for denying Tom Gilbert the wild card spot, then he probably does not have a basis for a complaint. But if no such rule exists, Tom Gilbert might have an avenue of recourse should he choose to pursue it. Promotional contests held on the grounds of Las Vegas casinos are subject to regulation by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. In 2004, that body fined The Venetian $1,000,000 for rigging a promotional contest to award a Mercedes-Benz to a high-roller who had incurred significant losses.

In 2005 Arnie “Chowhound” Chapman filed a complaint with the FCC that WIP did not follow its rules when he was prevented from competing in Wing Bowl 13 after qualifying for that contest. This resulted in a $4,000 fine for the Philadelphia sports radio station.

Comments (18)


  1. anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 12:09 am

    Stink for yourself you George Shea wannabe Arnie Chapman won a lawsuit for getting thrown out of wingbowl. Gilbert could pursue the same but i doubt he has a leg to stand on. Never signed on the dotted line

  2. Anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 1:48 am

    MLE’s emails and waivers pretty clearly state that it can do whatever it wants regarding each contest. The casino wasn’t complicit in MLE’s decision not to recognize Goose as the wildcard recipient. This is not a case of rigging.

  3. Anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 4:09 am

    You better believe Tom will be filing a compliant with the Nevada Gaming Control Board especially because he was never offered the chance to sign a contract. MLE has the we can do whatever we want attitude. They will feel the wrath after the powers that be end its relationship with Hot Dogs due to a very nice hefty fine. It the ifoce that has no leg to stand on.

  4. Anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    Imo, the kind of reporting above is journalism with a purpose, a kind of whistle-blowing which OJ seems to have a tendency to do. Whoever he or she is, rules in the largest sense are what he is about, among other things but still, what he considers to be “truth” is put before us to interpret. Rules, statistics, keeping charts and also giving the broadest view of competitive eating with challenges and everything else. He seems to want to hold MLE to a certain standard of his own vision. I think this is rather naive, but it is his site. You have to wonder what his real purpose is in doing this site or rather his not identifying himself. Interesting. MLE is a business. I cannot really consider the other independent organizations businesses in the same way. For all that it is and is not, MLE is pretty powerful. But it is always an eaters choice to sign or not to sign. What happens is that eaters often do not police themselves. Those who follow the contract to the letter are going to continue to be able to compete. Those who do not may be found out and asked to leave. But really what happened that Tom Gilbert was even allowed to compete is the question. I think they could be in real trouble by not allowing someone to compete. But once they have, if the person does not meet the standards they set, they do not, in this case, get to to Coney. Comments are completely different. They reflect mostly the darker side of humanity. The contrast is very interesting. Food for thought.

  5. Anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    Tom is no fool and what goes on directly between eaters and MLE is something we usually do not know. He will know what he wants to do, you do not see him commenting here. You can bet that MLE has its legal “stuff” under control, they do more than competitive eating. The contracts state clearly that they have the final say about all things. It is a legal document I am sure, and gives them the rights to do as they please. That is the usual thing to do and the smart and professional thing to do. If you do not like it, your call, but if you are an eater, take it or leave it. I would bet any amount of hotdogs that no one has ever sued MLE with any success. How many years did it take Chapman to get something from Wing Bowl etc.? Many, many. Come on people, get real. Suing takes money and time. Gilbert has no case. Nathans is about as solid as it gets, a multi-million dollar corporation. They did not get to be Nathans fooling with small potatoes and naive eaters or blogs.

  6. anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 8:25 am

    Some talk about how powerful MLE is just cause the MC walk around in sports jackets. Not once in all their years of existence have they be tested in court . Should be interesting

  7. anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

    Anonymous 409am..Tom was given a chance to sign with MLE but turned it down not once but twice while arguing with GS.

  8. anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

    I dont think a real attorney or a real judge would preside over something as ridiculous as this. Judge Judy might give it go . Ask her

  9. Anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

    So therefore Tom has zero grounds to sue anyone. He wouldn’t sign, he doesn’t do Coney. Simple, asked and answered as the lawyers say.

  10. Anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

    Juan Rodriguez would have an aneurysm if another eater popped up in Vegas that was exponentially better than him.

  11. anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

    ANONYMOUS 724AM. Tom just plain snuck in.The people who take the names dont know who he is. He did the same two years ago and got caught.At that time he was offered a contract and turned it down.

  12. Powerful said

    June 30, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

    The Nevada Gaming Control has way more power than MLE! Tom only has to make them aware of what happened and they will start their investigation.

  13. anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

    This is not in their jurisdiction..Good try El Fadumbo

  14. Wrong said

    June 30, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

    @powerful. Nevada Gaming control won’t do shit. It’s a eating contest, not giving away cars or money like the others incidents. Plus, if you read the release of liability that everyone signs before every contest clearly states that MLE has the right to change its rules as it pleases. Not even going to mention that Tom registered under a false name because MLE wouldn’t allow him to compete when he tried to register with his real name. Get over it, move on

  15. Anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

    So Tom Gilbert either likes to test his skills against hopefully good eaters or he likes to get away with something. If it is getting away with something, seems pretty juvenile. He isn’t the only one but why bother, it isn’t as if there is a lot of money at stake. And like you will get caught. Maybe it is the thrill, to see what you can get away with, but it seems pretty not thrilling.

  16. There it is said

    June 30, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

    MLE should get sued for rigging this and several other contest. In fact habitual manipulation and fraud would be more accurate. IFOCE should have to announce and produce a disclaimer notifying the viewing public and entrants that its not a actual competition but a staged event at every “show”.

  17. anonymous said

    June 30, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

    Ron Koch came up with a new nickname for El Toro

  18. Ron Koch said

    June 30, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

    Anonymous 8:21PM ,Dont get me involved with this nonsense, I have my own trouble with MLE

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