If I Were A Betting Man

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 21, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

The thought of gambling for a living sure beats the hell out of putting up with a boss. – Yeah, I can see me strutting into the track walking out with a strong profit. – It happens. Why not me?

I had an opportunity to try this little venture. – We just had a baby boy and the wife wanted me to be home more. – “Ok, I’ll go back and teach school. Finish my Master’s and go on like a normal person. But there’s one thing I have to do. – Anything, honey.” – No sweeter words were spoken as I was going to take my shot at never answering to a boss again.

There were office parties with gifts, cards, and kind words. But all I could think about was cashing in my small 401-k. – Giving two weeks notice, and making sure I spoke to every player was my way of saying goodbye to folks that really mattered. – I had $14,000 in my account, and my wife had given the blessing to take my shot at gambling. – She thought it was stupid, but if it kept me quiet and happy all systems go.

I received my check in the mail minus the penalties. -This is not a wise thing to do, but I was going to be sitting with teenagers in a hot classroom until I kicked the bucket. A small price to pay for dreams that would last a lifetime. – My betting was going to be limited to two or three wagers per week. Place bets mainly, and a show wager would have to be 15-1 or better. – No more, no less. I would only bet New York, Florida, or California. I was looking for $3.60 or better. – My copious notes, race replays, and sticking to my plan gave me a solid foundation to begin.

When I started, I dropped $4,000 in just a couple weeks. – It looking like my dream was a wisp of smoke blowing through a keyhole. – But I held my path. Keeping notes and only making two or three bets at the track. The rest of the time was a scouting mission for future wagers. – One day it all clicked. I bet $750 to place on a horse at Saratoga. He won by three and paid $5.80 to place. – That $2,170 was the start.  It seemed like it was raining and I didn’t need an umbrella.

My big horse was running the next weekend, and I made a wager that would choke a bull.  $1,750 to place on a horse that I had waited for weeks. One bet, and out that day. I spent the entire day watching for future horses and made my bets in a couple trips to the window. – When he drew off for fun and paid $7.20 to place, my bankroll that day was up a sweet $6,300 for the day. – Teaching school was looking further away and I was getting serious.

Breeders’ Cup was upon us and I went to the track and made six very nice bets. – She called home and knew I would be locked on the TV. She was watching from work and said; ” I know you didn’t have that one. I’m sorry. It was a big price runner.- “The hell I didn’t. I had him good, and the day is paid for. I’m up $1,200 no matter what.” – What more could a gambler want?

Life can change in the blink of an eye. – As she turned in for bed; little did I know it would be the last words we ever spoke – In a blink of an eye, my world had changed. – Suddenly being a gambler didn’t even cross my mind. – I can only say it was like a nightmare that wouldn’t stop. – I was a single parent with a baby forced to start over.

My priorities changed that night, and that part of my life would always be a dream. – I like to hear when people tell me about wanting to try their hand. I always wonder if they’re ready, or do they have hard plans to stick to? – It’s not my place to give advice and let them find their own way. As the old saying goes; ” Fools won’t head it and wise men don’t need it.”

One night I was out with my brother. He started talking about my venture. – “You know if you had a $20,000 bankroll you’d never look back.” – I’m not sure if that’s true, but it takes me back to another time. – I often wonder what would’ve happened. Most probably I would have ended up like the many before me. – Or, would I have been one of the few that turn the corner and never looked back?