Nice view of a beautiful day from the balcony at Casa Del Falcon.
Good morning. What a glorious day to be alive in H Town. The weather has finally become tolerable (so yeah, this is as close as we get to Fall around here). It won’t last long. It is oppressively hot in Houston 361 days a year. We are getting a couple of the “other” days now, so enjoy them.
The gambling guide will be out later today. We will have a few plays. But the week is off to an excellent start with BYU covering easily in a game they probably should have won. BYU has been money against the spread all year and has us off to a nice start to the week.
I get asked a lot of questions about sports betting, poker and horses. So I thought I would answer a few this morning. (If you are not into the betting stuff, skip down to the Aggies or food semen stories now).
- Why don’t you sell your picks? Because I don’t want to. That simple. If someone is paying me, it becomes a job. That takes the fun out of it. I had to survive for stretches on poker and horses. It was no fun. It was a grueling job. I don’t need another job. I have a good one (well, technically four good ones). I prefer giving opinions and trying to let people make their own decisions. The “teach a man to fish” mentality. That’s why we did the audio books. (Which are great, by the way, in case you have not tried them). Besides, gambling is a fickle thing. You can play 20 perfect hands in poker and lose everything in one. Like life, you can do everything right and still lose. You can play stupid and still win. But if you do things the right way over time, you come out well ahead. I don’t want anyone to blame but myself when I lose, and I hate it when people lose money based on my opinions. Also, gambling is an interest I have. It is not my entire life. It’s part of it, like Game of Thrones or music or great whiskey. It is a passion, but one of many.
- How much do you bet? Most of the horse plays I spell out exactly how much they cost. But for sports, my standard of what constitutes a big bet is going to be different from yours. Some people will find it laughably small. Others too rich for their blood. The last thing I want is people betting over their heads because they saw me play something for a certain amount. That is why the whole chapter on money management in the audio book is so critical. Last week is a perfect example. We had a miserable Friday/Saturday and were well down after a 1-6 stretch. But thanks to a 2-0 NFL day and a nice horse score, the weekend wound up being profitable, even at 4-6. By the same token, I have had 3-1 weeks where I lost money because the 1 was a big one and the three were small plays.
- If you could only pick one thing to play the rest of your life, what would it be? Horses. No, poker. No, horses. One of those two. Probably horses, because the older I get the less I enjoy long sessions at a poker table.
- I’m thinking about starting betting. What should I do? Don’t start. If you aren’t playing, you really should forget about it. The stuff I do is for people who are already investing. There is a significant difference between playing for fun and trying to make a profit. I don’t play casino games. Every now and then I might sit at a blackjack table or play video poker. But that is for entertainment, and money I expect to lose. If you are in Vegas, you might do the same thing with sports or poker. And maybe that is what you are doing on a weekly basis, which is perfectly fine. But to grind out a week-in, week-out profit is a different animal. That becomes an investment, and requires discipline and patience, and that is how I will always approach it.
- I need one lock this week. Can you help me out? Oh, and what is your best five team parlay? I don’t play parlays, and have said that 1,000 times, but I still get that question. I understand the appeal, but the odds you get for hitting never match the odds against you hitting. Still, people like the small investment for a big score. Someone emailed me from Vegas asking for a parlay play last week. I can give you opinions on games, but I never feel good giving out something I would not play myself. I only liked two NFL plays all day to begin with. As for locks? Despite what you might hear in commercials, there is no such thing. There is probability based on research. In the end, it is just a best possible guess. As the great Matt Dean always said about poker, “decisions, not outcomes.”
And that is why I love the game so much. It is a metaphor for life. We gamble every day when we walk out the door. We dabble in the stock market. We take risks by changing jobs. Spouses. Cities. Some of them work out. Some don’t. But like gambling, if you make the right choices over time, you come out ahead.
The Knight’s watch: The game of the week in college football is clearly A&M-Alabama. The Tide have looked unbeatable, while the Aggies have had a few close escapes. Still, this is a huge opportunity for A&M. They are probably the second best team in the SEC, but the gap between 1 and 2 seems pretty large. For A&M to have a chance, Trevor Knight is going to have to play the game of his life, as he did in a meaningless bowl game when OU beat Alabama. A&M’s offense is capable of giving Alabama fits, because Knight can run as well as pass, and spread offenses are the way to get to Alabama. But Knight will have to be perfect. He can’t hover around 50 percent completions in this game. He can’t turn the ball over. He will have to be special. Even then, it probably won’t be enough. But it would give the Aggies a fighting chance.
Ouch: Former Texan Brian Hoyer suffered a broken arm in last night’s brutally bad Packers-Bears game. Hoyer had been playing well for the Bears, as he did at times for the Texans. But he does get hurt a lot, and this will bring an end to the “Hoyer should start over Cutler” talk.
In case you missed it: Another great, hilarious story from Barry Laminack....Lamont Mann tells you why you should see 13th…This piece on communicating better has gotten a great response….A.J. Hoffman provides his weekly fantasy rankings.
Trumped: Yeah, the Trump groper Halloween costume could be a winner…
You have been warned: This is a truly disgusting story about cooking with…well, man fluid. Not for the faint of heart. Or stomach. But if you want to throw up your breakfast this morning, feel free to read it. After all those warnings, you are going to click anyway, aren’t you? Knew it.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“In Confessions of a Winning Poker Player, Jack King said, ‘Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.’ It seems true to me, cause walking in here, I can hardly remember how I built my bankroll, but I can’t stop thinking of how I lost it.”
— Matt Damon as Mike McDermott in Rounders