I was reading an article from the Baltimore Sun, and I had chills run down my arm. Long time handicapper/odds maker Frank Carulli is calling it quits in Maryland. I thought he may have had a great gig at a bigger circuit, or was being crowned for his years of dedicated service. But, after reading a bit more into the article. Frank is throwing away his watch, and riding off into the sunset as Peter Fonda did in Easy Rider.
Frank was on the screen talking to the simulcast world for years. He had a direct way of laying it out there, and if you could do better. Go ahead and take your chances… He made the odds for the Preakness, and he always looked as if he would be more comfortable sitting in a chair hunkered down over a Daily Racing Form. The odds were some of the best created, and he had a bit of info for every runner. This year was a great swan song for this solid handicapper.
There was no pink-slip given to the longtime handicapper. Mr. Carulli took a look at his life, and asked the question if he was doing what he wanted. Well, the answer was no… Nothing against the good folks in Baltimore, but he heard a distant drum calling his name. Carulli is taking his game on the road, and settling down in Las Vegas to ply his trade. He has enough money for a year-and-a-half to cover all expenses and a bankroll. One would have thought he would have been made the “King” of odds makers in Sin City, but his calling is a little different. He has a home, a plan, and most importantly a bankroll to get the job done.
The story captivated my senses, and reminded me of another guy I know. I was working in racing and there were some problems with racing in my state. We thought the slot-infused purses would keep racing on top, but that day was getting farther away. To this day, it is even further away than it was ten years ago. It was time to take stock in my life, and make some decisions as we just had a new baby. Well, I didn’t have the opportunity to go to Vegas, but I talked it over with my wife and decided to play the races for a living. If it failed miserably. I would look for a job. I was going to look for four or five plays a week, and make a large place wagers. I would focus on New York, Kentucky, and Chicago. The pools would be sizeable, and if I dropped a big wager down. It wouldn’t knock anything out of whack. It started off slow, but began picking up speed more than I thought. It was the 2003 Breeders’ Cup, and I was up over $1,000 after the first race. My bets were in, and the day could only get sweeter. It did, and my bankroll was doing pretty well. But, there were some life issues that caused me to re-focus my efforts, and get back into the working world again. I didn’t tap out, and there is not a day that passes that I don’t utter the words of every gambler. “What-if ?” It was a good run, and it makes for a good story over a beer or two.
So, Mr. Carulli… Don’t waste one minute wondering if you have made the right decision. It sounds as if you have a plan and a bankroll. By my odds, you would be at least 6-5 to make this venture work. I would say that your story is the dream of every gambler that enjoys the cerebral action. To be able to do what we love, and be rewarded at the end of the day is a bonus in this lifetime. Enjoy the sun, take time to enjoy the journey, and best of luck.