Bring Your “A” Game

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 27, 2011 in General Discussion | 2 Comments >>

I have three friends going to Vegas to do battle with the best handicappers in the land. They have qualified, and for some, it is one of the many times they have pulled this feat…. I wish them the best of luck, and their game on high…..

They all play in many contests, and have deeper pockets than myself… That in no way, shape, or form is an excuse. They are cool customers, and their skills are tops…..But, as with all handicappers, it takes skill, and a whole lot of luck to get there… The trip itself is a one of a kind venture. I have qualified once, and it is something I will chase as long as I play.

When you walk in the doors after landing at McCarron airport, you feel as if you are in a special club. In fact, you are…. The number of players and the couple hundred of great cappers doing battle is like watching a great boxing match of players matching wits. Instead of punching someone silly, you are loading yourself up with money management and target plays. The contest is run by the best folks in the land… They have a plan for three cancelled plans… As a player, this allows you to study and prepare yourself instead of worrying about rules and regulations…

The Red Rock is the kind of place that makes you feel that you have arrived. It is top shelf, and from the moment you walk in, you are treated as royalty. No matter where you won or how you got in, you are there, as the road is narrow and the list is exclusive.  As a horseplayer, this is as close to nirvana as one could come.. The two-day battle is one that is filled with professional players who seldom raise their voice or make excuses. If you do hear someone yelling at the screen, and you are not, well you can bet it is a double digit winner, and you are already falling way behind.

I played in three contests. I finished in the top third of the pack, but not good enough to make the flight. I did finish 6th at Keeneland in the “Grade One Gamble.”  This was a small contest, and the room had 36 players putting up $3,000 each… I saw three past winners of the DRF / NTRA  finals, and the room was packed with professional gamblers who give you nightmares.  The contest was over the entire Keeneland card, and I had every trifecta and exacta in each race.  I had never run an entire card, and still I was 6th against these titans….

So, if you tuned in to the radio show these past few weeks, you would have heard from two of the best handicappers I have ever known.. The best part is that as good as they are as handicappers, they are ten times better people. They are the kind of guys who you root for even when you play against them. If you look up the word “class” in the dictionary, you will be certain to see their smiling faces. The pleasure is mine, and rooting for these guys is an honor…

I would like to wish the best to my three friends these next couple of days:

Daven Turner – This big man is only matched by his sincere manner and genuine caring. The only time you don’t hear much from him is when he is heading down and doing his best work. He is a great husband and family man. Good luck, Daven!

Brian Feldman –  This young man is sharp. Both have qualified multiple times, and they are about as good as you will find. I have enjoyed capping with Brian, and if you are planning to beat him this weekend, bring a big lunch and do your homework… He will be the nice guy smiling as the 20-1 rolls home!  Good luck, “Blond Wonder.”

Robert Forbeck – This is Bobby’s first time, and if I can make a bet now…it will not be his last. We have done radio together for years, and he is as knowledgeable as they come. He is lucky, and a cool customer. He never lets you know his cards, and doesn’t play contests very much, as his beautiful family and work keep him busy. I really would love to see him do well. He loves the game, and I really miss working with him. He is the kind of guy that will win by a landslide, or will be in the middle of the pack, about $3,000 ahead playing cash wagers. He can be dangerous, and if he is in the top twenty after day one, you better keep your eye on this fella! Good luck, Bobby!

So, to all players best of luck…. Enjoy the finals, as everyone in the room is a champion. I’ll see you guys next year, as I hear the prize money will be $2 million clams!