Many players feel like a monkey is on their back. He tells me what to do, and I find myself listening to the monkey. He is a savage beast. This animal grabs my wallet, and makes me do the silliest things. He wasn’t there when we walked in, and out of thin air the 500 lb. beast climbed aboard and ruined my day.
1 – There is no such thing as Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy. And, there is no such thing as bad luck that follows you. Everything is a state of mind, and how we react to the factors in our life. Luck is being prepared, not gambling with scared money, and learning to control our emotions. The “sharp” players have the same look on their face if they win a million, or lose the house. They know you can be your worst enemy if you allow your emotional side to take over. Try this the next time you head out to the races. Do your homework the night before, bring only what you can afford to lose, and get there early. Drinking a beer and betting with a posse is a night on the town. If you’re studying in solitude trying to make your best decisions. You’re playing to win.
2. – Know your strengths. We won’t identify our weakness profile, as that can be a negative beginning. If you’re a “dropping in class player, fresh off the claim, a 20% or higher rider/trainer combo, or a workout buff,” get to know what makes you tick. Find your best three, and use them each and every time. This will be your starting point. If you don’t find these angles, skip the race. The process will allow you to pass on a race you may have played in the past.
3. – There are NO hot tips. If you were a trainer, owner, or jockey. Would you tell anyone if you had a great shot to win today? Me neither. Learn to win and lose on your own merits. If the “steamer theory” held true. There would be a handful of winners, and the rest of us would look upon with wide eyed gazes.
4. – Know the races you don’t like. It’s a gambling sin to hammer a race just to have action. Every once in awhile, we can make a small wager on a runner who shows a wildcard shot. It may be an oddity angle in your arsenal, but the odds must be worth the bet. Otherwise, a bet for the sake of having action is a waste.
5. – Money management. If you ask 100 gamblers, you’ll get 100 different answers. If you spend 10 minutes handicapping a race, you’ll need the same amount of time deciding how to bet. Use this as a barometer, and see what fits your comfort level. If your bankroll is $1,000 for that once a year Vegas trip. Your wager should be no more than 2% of your total bankroll. If you have $100 in your pocket at the local OTB. The 2% rule still applies, and it is up to you to stay within your limits. They aren’t there to hurt you, they allow you to comeback if you’re down, and still have the ability to turn a profit with a measured out lay of cash.
6. – An ADW account is real money. I know players who bet like it’s play money. They see a number in the balance column, and don’t think of it as money. It’s real money and when you reach your goal, or have a winning day. Hit the “withdrawal” button and have them send you the cash. I have done it both ways, and boy-oh-boy does it hurt to give it back making impulse bets because you’re bored. – Take the money out, and it will be here in a few days. The time down allows you to decompress and make complete decisions.
Keep these in mind, or dismiss completely. Either way, know you’ve been warned by the 500 lb. beast. If you’re not careful, you’ll find him picking up speed aiming right for your back.