Things We Learn Along The Way

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 1, 2012 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

As an avid punter, gambler, and racing fan, I have accumulated some knowledge, and a phonebook size reminder of things not to do. It is good to take inventory, and know just where we stand. So, without further delay. See if any of these hit home for you.

  1. Never wager on a day when you’re playing with scared money. If you can’t afford to play, don’t push your luck and wait for another.
  2. Do not hang around with gamblers who are not happy to see you win. The friendships we meet along the way are half of the fun.
  3. I have friends who will only go to the races with others. They feel that gambling solo means you have a problem. Not the case at all. Some of my best days have been where I was at the track by myself, and if you do well, be sure to share your stories with friends. If they don’t like this, just offer to buy lunch on the way to the races. This should get the mojo rolling.
  4. Never borrow money at the track. I have gotten rid of at least 50 people out of my life over $20 or more. Come to think of it, that can be pretty effective for weeding out the negative so-called friends.
  5. I have a pal who thinks the track is an ATM. If this were the case, the stands would be full, and nobody would ever go to work. Gambling can be chancey, and you must enjoy what you are doing. Look at it as any discretionary fun. If I have the opportunity to go the races, or see a movie alone…. Gimmee the Form, and I’ll be on my way..
  6. Don’t be a bad loser, or a loud winner.  Nobody wants to hear the bragging, or even more the crying over spilled milk. Take it in stride, and act is if you have been there before.
  7. Keep a ledger of how much you wager. At then end of the day, I’ll bet you’ll be surprised how much you played, and you’ll be able to pick out some areas you need to improve. Think of it as a scouting report, and you will be way ahead of the game.
  8. No tap dancing…. I like to say this to my Dad as he enjoys playing many tracks. He was a great baseball player as a younger man. I always tell him that his batting average will be better if he goes to the plate fewer times. Stick to the two or three tracks you follow.
  9. If you need to reach out beyond your usual scope of tracks, seek out a service which will save you time, and allow you to focus on handicapping. I have searched all over, and in 2008 I stumbled upon Winning Ponies. Since then, I have turned my friends and fellow players on to the site. I really enjoy the fact that you can change your selections if there is a track change. Of the many services that provide data, they shoot it out there 48 hours in advance. They cannot change things up if weather, or anything changes. Not the case here, as not only do I enjoy the site… I am a loyal customer.
  10. Pay attention to the rider / trainer angles more. There are so many good teams that go unnoticed. Play close attention to stats, and trends. Horses that like to run at an oval usually come back to duplicate.
  11. Go back and look at the charts. From there, go back and watch the races again. Then after-all of your homework is complete. Begin a stable alert that is offered by many sites. It is free of charge, and they notify you 48 hours in advance of when your horse is running. Matter of fact, I have two that are running today.
  12. Money management rules the game. The rule of thumb is not to wager more than 5% of your bankroll. If you have $100, you should feel that a $5 wager should suffice. Remember, you can always start a parlay, and this may allow you to even go farther with your dough.
  13. Attitude is everything. If you don’t think you can win, you won’t…. Go in with a positive attitude, and I’ll bet you’ll see a difference. If you expect to lose, I’ll bet you won’t be disappointed. Be positive, and you may even bring that effect to others.

There are no sure-fire ways to nail it down. We try something new, and if it doesn’t work we go back to the drawing board. This is the process of every gambler. I have a friend who enjoys playing blackjack. When at the casino, she breaks her butt to bet as much as possible, and as quickly as possible. When the losing starts to happen she breaks into that sweat, and begins to blame everyone from the dealer to her boss. None of this is the case…. After months of watching this repeat, I asked her to do one thing. Just slow down, and drop back on your bet amount. When she won her first $100, it was like she expected to still lose. When the second winning wave of $300 came to her bankroll, I began to watch the sweat disappear and her confidence grow. After she was up to + $900 in about an hour, she didn’t have the monkey on her back anymore. The morale of the story is to just slow down and enjoy what you are doing. If you treat it as a job, you better plan on making a long trek to the car. Patience combined with attitude, and a dash of money management makes for a better gambler. Give yourself a chance to win, as today is a new day. Who knows, it could be your lucky day and you don’t even know it….