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THE BOTTOM LINE

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 6/26/2013 7:55:27 PM

Face it; whether it is about coming up with the mortgage payment or about online sports betting site players making the right decisions at post time, it’s all about the bottom line.

There are just some tasks in life that are not the most fun to do. Paying bills comes to mind. In the back of our minds we are usually thinking “this could have been a nice down payment on that long overdue trip to Hawaii.”

A gambler, even a bettor of casual dimensions, should face up to the eye-opening task of keeping track of his or her wagering habits.

As a public selector for decades, I kept accounts of my own personal spending habits at the track but someone else was usually in charge of recording my particular public success ratio on a daily basis. And personally, I generally was too busy to tend to yesterday’s news.

Sure, I knew if I had 4 winners on top or 7 and I surely knew if I had a price far out of line on a morning line prediction. But I found the grind of counting up winners tedious, boring and too time consuming.

Personally, this was not always the case. About 30 years ago when I was a fledgling amateur handicapper who thought he was one of he best in the land, I would keep careful records. I even would keep my losing tickets. You can imagine the depression around holidays when I would scramble to buy presents for the loved ones, only to stumble across the losing ducats from the previous summer at Monmouth Park. If I had one tenth of what I pushed through the windows to give as gifts, the recipients would certainly enjoy a career like Yuletide celebration.

The records those many years ago did serve me well. I realized that I was not a maven with maiden races. That I seemed to handicap grass races much better, maybe because I could envision certain horses being in a projected spot during the race. I found out through the detailed paper work that I was much better handicapping sprint races than routes and did very well when the tracks became anything but fast.

So even way back then, I started to adjust. I concentrated on my strengths at that time. I tried to work on my weaknesses, too. I studied pedigrees in order to be better equipped to deal with maiden affairs. I tried to analyze the pace of route races more diligently and came up with a good overall handle on routes eventually.

And the bottom line became a bit more in focus.

When I moved west, with a nice bankroll and an all too visible chip on my shoulder, I proceeded to tackle Northern California racing. Still an amateur, not yet a member of the racing press, I was dealt a harsh lesson at Golden Gate.

My records were well kept but useless. I had to revamp a total Eastern slant I had assumed of the game, and learn again from the bottom up. Speed was king out here, not class.

Pace and position are mandatory to success. There were many long silent drives home down to Silicon Valley after exiting Golden Gate frustrated and diminished.

But all was not lost. I delved through my notes, caught a few weaknesses, and finally turned the meet around.

No matter how bleak, how long the losing streak stays intact, no matter how many long walks to the car occur, keep those records.

Account for the time you jumped on a maiden bet when the tote board begged you to pass on that horse.

Online sports betting site players need to look back and analyze why one would bet a horse coming off a year layoff even though he was catching one of the sharpest horses on the grounds.

Stick with your records; they will eventually help lead you out of the abyss.

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