Grade One Gambler

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 17, 2013 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | 2 Comments >>

I have a good friend who loves to play in tournaments. He loves the action, the camaraderie, and of course the money… If you strike gold once, it can make your entire year. With that in mind, this player has some serious thinking to do.

There is an incredible contest held at Keeneland. It is called the “Grade One Gamble,” and it separates the pretenders and contenders. The cost to play is a steep $3,000. Of the cost, $1,000 goes to the entry, and $2,000 is the cash bankroll. There will be a total of 55 players. No more, no less… How do I know this? Last year it filled up in three minutes. There will be a total of $40,000 in cash money to shoot at, and the top five finishers head off to Las Vegas for the NHC/ NTRA finals. Oh, and last but not least, you have to bet half of your bankroll in the final race, and you keep all of your cash bank. Not bad, if you have the money to play.

I made the trek some four years ago. I was dressed for the occasion, and the affair was just what you would expect from Keeneland. Top shelf all around… There were some of the best players in the nation, and somehow I finshed in the top five. I didn’t make the cut to Vegas, but made a little money on the day. The entire contest is held on the Keeneland card, and you may play: win-place-show, exacta, and trifecta wagers. There is a minimum bet of $250 per race, and of course the half of your bankroll play at the end of the day.

For my friend, there is a dilemma. He has been offered to be put in by a gambling partner. There are no partnerships, cell phones, or guests invited to the room. I guess you can say this is more of a gift, and hope for the gambler in him. But he has the offer to get in if he wishes. That is a whole lot of cash to play, and you have to examine if the cost is worth the risk? I guess at first jump, we all would say YES! But it is still $3,000.

On the other hand, would my friend be better off with $3,000 to use on spot plays for the year? He would have no time limit, no one day gamble, and could stretch the bankroll. I guess it sounds safer if that is possible, but there is no chance of going home with the big money and trip to Vegas. There is the dilemma of his decision.

The money is there, and the contest is ready. But what should he do? He would not have the bankroll to play, but would easily spend that amount over the year. The trip to Vegas has a $500,000 top prize, but the idea of having a sizable bank could allow him to score $100 – $200 per week making place bets, and spot plays. So what is my gambling friend to do? Both are a gamble of course, and there are no sure things. Would you rather go down in flames shooting for the wall, or bleed one drop at a time going for a $100 winning day? This has to be the toughest decision he has made in a while. Of course, there is the weight of losing someone else’s money. If you think picking winners is tough, try doing it with added weight on your shoulders.

Chime in and let him know your thoughts. All gamblers love to hear a little advice, and even if we don’t use it. It is good to bounce ideas off of people who love to play. We’ll be waiting to read your thoughts, as the deadline for me to enter will be March, 5 2013.