For years, gamblers from all walks have been on the eternal quest to get rid of bad mojo. Some ride out the storm and others have a “special formula” for getting past the ugly. But after much thought and watching players go trial-and-error, here are a few gamblers that come to mind.
Grandpa was a plumber by trade, and a gambler with gusto. He would take a long lunch and make his way to the local saloon where bookies held court. There was a backroom filled with men smoking and drinking while they read over the DRF. Everyday the place would be packed, and you could get your action down long before simulcast was invented. Over the years he would either be in the back room or doing some plumbing work to payoff losses. He was old school long before it was open. When he went on a bad run he could always be found tinkering in his garage. He would gather scrap metals to sell, and fiddle with his hunting dogs. It was his way of taking a break, and depending on how bad of a run he was having would dictate how long he would stay away. From a simple blue-collar man came profound advice. Have something outside of gambling to take your mind off of things. This would be a mantra that kept beat in his gambling life.
When you find your methods going sour, don’t wait to see if they change. Gamblers know when the “worm has turned” for the good or bad. When the wagering gods are smiling down upon you, you can’t do anything wrong.
I pulled up at the track, and was going to catch the last couple of races. I knew buying a program was going to be tough, and right there on the ground was a program opened up the next race. It was race #7, and there were ten races carded that day. Well, things couldn’t be any better as the admission gates were now open, and I had a program in hand. I jogged up to the windows, and spent the next 7 minutes reading the pp’s. It was an 8-horse field, and I liked a runner named Chief Wapaho. He was 7-1 with Freddie Delaguardia in the saddle. I plunked down $5 to win, and went out to watch the race. He won by 8 lengths, and I was in tall cotton. I immediately turned to the next race and couldn’t wait to go again. I found a speedster with Harvey Puckett in the irons, and bet $10 to win on him. Well, it was my day, and he rolled by three to pay $10… Things couldn’t be sweeter. I was feeling good in the summer sun, and made my way down to the paddock to get a better look. When the horses were coming out, the riders were wrong according to the program. Heck, they even had the wrong number of horses in the race. I was about ready to take up my found program to the counter, when I looked at the date in the upper corner. It was one week old, and someone must have tossed it out of their car. Well, I felt a bit foolish, and decided to keep up my good luck day. I stayed one more and didn’t hit the board. I shouldn’t have even looked at the date. Hell, I could still be rolling with my ” Twilight Zone” program. After my feature race loss, I slowly walked to the car enjoying an ice cream. The moral of the story is when you are lucky, not much can stand in your way.
No matter what type of player, you must have a plan. For the many years I have been in racing, I have found out the hard way when to backoff. When you are ahead and feeling good, it may be a solid idea to press your luck on the track’s money. When you are on a downward trend, you want to back off and bet half of what you normally wager. When things really go sour, it is good to have a “bye” week and let them run without you. I think back to seeing my gramps in the garage. He listened to the ball game, and fixed all of his fishing rods. What seemed odd to me then, makes the greatest of sense now. This old school gambler could drop back and punt. He knew there would be better days, and this may be a time to rebuild a bankroll. Just know where you stand, and don’t try to force the issue. There are three types of gamblers: “ones who make things happen, ones who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.” Which one are you?