Wise Men Don’t Need It, And Fools Won’t Heed It

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 7, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

My dad once told me: “Scared money never wins, and a jealous man can’t work.” Now, I don’t know about the second part, but the first holds more truth than water in the ocean.

Here are a couple of insights that I have found working in racing. It is cold winter days such as these that make me think of what makes the gambling world go around. Anyway, see if this holds true for any of your observations.

I have watched people at the track with a bankroll. You know, a pocketful of cash. They come in and most of the time they couldn’t tell you how many races are on the card. They still are looking for Bill Shoemaker’s mounts, and sometimes bet without a program. I have seen them win, and they think they re-invented the wheel. If you get close enough to this dangerous animal, they will regale you with just how they hit the homer. After years of watching such an interesting creature, I have come to just one conclusion. It doesn’t take brains to gamble, it only takes money. I like to call it dumb luck, and for years I have seen this critter slapping his butt with the program telling me they are just there for the enjoyment. They don’t take it seriously. It is only entertainment. It only becomes gambling when they lose. Curious sorts they are……

The borrower. They are like a black hole. When they walk into the track, you can feel the energy going right out… They have brought along their wife or some pal who they will put the hit on later. From my years at the oval, I have seen very few win…. They can’t see it, but they are dead in the water before they get out of the car. I would like to stop them at the door and tell them their boss called, and to report back to work. This way, they could at least stem the bleeding for the day.

The over-prepared, low budget player. They can tell you everything about the game. They can handicap, and know how and what to do. The only hole in the bucket is that they are on short funds. If they lose, they will be going home soon. The old man’s words come into play. No matter how ready they are, and how much they know, the clock is on them as soon as they walk in. Every time they wanted to go to the track, they should put their cash in a jar.  Do this for two months, and then take out a bankroll. They would be prepared, and have the knowledge with the money. This is the only animal I have seen that has a chance. They can be their own worst enemy. But if they just waited a bit longer, they could put out the lights. Too soon we grow old, and too late we grow wise…..

OK, there it is. It may come across as seeing things in a dark tone. Not the case at all. Just observations from people who gamble. Of the 100% who walk in the door, here is a breakdown: 60% do it for fun and drink a few beers, 30% do it with their bill money and the results are sometimes bad, 5% do it and show a profit. The last 5% are the ones that legends are made of. They turn a profit and have the patience of a monk. They can tell you how much they made on each dollar wagered for the year. They are rare, and you have a better chance finding “Bigfoot” then becoming one of these.

Go ahead. Try it… Look around and take it all in… I was once given the highest compliment by an old boss of mine. He told me that I have a great insight to the human condition. I think he meant that I could just size up a situation or person pretty quickly.  Just time spent watching. Two ears, and one mouth…..