At the track, we like to adopt the casino term of “Whale.” It kinda made us feel like we were chasing the elusive big players. I have met many who pretend, and some who contend. But overall, the stories grow and grow, and they never seem to end. There is always someone around the next bend who is ready to step up.
The tracks where I have worked were always on the lookout for big players. One of my jobs was to find these creatures and make sure they had all that they needed to stay. Most wanted the usual free lunch and drinks, while others played at a high enough rate for a rebate. Yep, you heard it right. Rebate… They played so much that we made about 3 1/2% on them, and gave them back 1 1/2% on their play. Not bad for flying under the radar. I kept them coming, and the track loved the action.
There was a gent who made his money on the advertising game. He was called “daddy” by those who knew him. The golden rule was that you would never break daddy. The only two things that could stop him were his kids and his bad luck… He played, and averaged about $20,000 a day. For a track in Kentucky, that is a solid player. They do not grow on trees. He loved to have his private table and lunch for he and his entourage. He held court for years, and he has passed his fortune on to his kids, who will work it over like a night in Vegas. He used to ask me my best play of the day. I would give it to him before I would go on TV, and he would bet with both hands. Not bragging, but they won more than they lost. He never bought a drink, and he only complained when they lost….
Workout boys in the morning are thin and strong. This young man was working horses out in the morning for various trainers. He made a solid wager on a horse that was in his barn. He had saved $3,000 over the years, and bet trifectas and supers with this “doped” runner. He won, and the take was over $80,000 for the night. Later after the drug tests came back, the horse had to give back the purse. That didn’t matter, as he never climbed back in the saddle ever again. He flew under the radar, and never asked for anything. I had to approach him. He was solid. He could have told you just how much he made on every dollar wagered for the past ten years. The last I heard, he was living in a suite in Vegas, and they waited on him hand and foot. Just think, one hot horse and he was gone. He’ll never work again, and he took many people with him…..The last time I spoke to him, he was cashing a $64,000 super at Churchill Downs.
I just read a story from the Herald Sun, and this punter wagers around $1 billion a year. He bets offshore, and without his play, some of the major bookmakers would go under. He can put out your lights with his usual $1 million per race wager. He has around 100 people working for him, and life is good. I sometimes wonder if people like this are real? Is this their action, or are they fronting for many players from various places? Either way, he is a long way from being kicked out of a Queensland casino.
For the majority of players, we have adopted our own system. If you have not, you are not a real player. Everyone tries at one point or another to find the system that will crack the bank or identify the secret sauce. For the regular Joe’s like myself, just enjoy your action, and read about punters like this in the funny papers.