I’ll Bet

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 26, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

Being a race tracker is a badge. It is one that is earned and not given. It means you have taken your share of hits, both good and bad, and still climb up from the ropes to get back in the game. This is a game that cannot be taught in night school, and one you cannot learn in a quick lesson.

All gamblers love to win. It is the action that they crave. I have seen some that pout worse than a baby.  Others enjoy putting it all on the line.  For the many that have lost it all, they seem at peace. They seem like they are back where they belong: broke, and complaining.

Here are few types of folks that walk around every track or OTB in the land:

The Screamer – they yell at the screen as if the rider is hearing their voice like the hearken of God. They will never change, and you can see them beating their ass with a program rolled up tight in their fist. In the old days, we used to call them “stoopers,” where they would scour the floor looking for winning tickets. This was their game, but as they grew older, they became satisfied just yelling at the screen. Have you ever seen any of these creatures?

The Pouter – No matter what they do, they complain. If they win, it could have been for more. But, to a sorry degree, they lose more than they win. When they walk into the room, they suck out the energy just by being there. There is a character like this in every gambling movie.

The Optimist –  They could heal people just by sitting at your table. No matter how bad they lose, they always find a kind word to say about getting them the next day. Or, they cheer for you, harder than you did, the day you had the big win. They are rare. They truly are a gem….

The Professional – The reason you don’t know much about this type, is because they lay low and you probably don’t know one.  They are loners. They could have been a doctor or lawyer, but they are content with any job, as long as they can go to work playing the races. They can tell you what they make on every dollar, and they walk in the shadows. Not because they are hiding, but because they do not want to be there for the fun or the party. They don’t care if they have to pay to get in. It is the win they seek, and for the small percentage. They achieve their goals.

I used to work with a great handicapper. We used to put up $20 each day and pick the Keeneland card. We would score winners only. In the two years that we played these four meets, he only beat me once. The reason was simple. For the talent he had was overshadowed by his lack of confidence. It never fails, and I would take his $20 like a trophy fish. He once asked why I had it locked up every day, and didn’t I think it was weird that I always won. My answer was simple. I like betting on myself. I liked believing in what I was doing. To me, it was never about the win or lose. It was always about believing in myself… Now, I don’t know if any of that makes any sense. But just ask my friend. To this day, he still is a great handicapper who doesn’t think he can win….