Monday, 20 August 2018

Horse Racing Jockey for Roger Varian: Who is Yuga Kawada?

UK Horseracing attracts the best jockeys from across the world. Think back to the days of Steve Cauthen, when riding for Henry Cecil as he was known before his knighthood. 

So who is Yuga Kawada? 

Well, you may have seen him gain his first win in the UK when partnering Off Piste, trained by Tim Easterby, who won ''comfortably'' at Ripon by three-and-a-half lengths. Clearly owners Qatar Racing Ltd. 

At the time of writing, he has had 16 rides with the sole winner being Off Piste. In addition, one second, third and two fourth positions. 

Roger Varian has been singing the praises of the Japanese rider who is noted as one of the top three in his country. Kawada is spending the summer at Carlburg Stables in Newmarket. He spent time with Varian last year but had just five rides. 

As Varian said: We'd like to give him some ride. He's a very good rider'' 

Those words are ringing true in his native land as many are hailing him as the new Yutaka Take

The 32-year-old has won Classic races in Japan partnering exceptional talents Gentildonna, Harp Star & Makahiki. 

Varian said: ''He spent a couple of weeks with us last summer, but didn't ride here," said the Classic-winning trainer. "I think he had a ride in France, but we've cleared his visa and his licence and he can ride, so I think he'll stay for six to eight weeks. "We'd like to give him some rides. He's a very good rider – one of the top three in Japan.''





Varian continues: "He's very good. He's got good hands and balance and is riding lots of Grade 1 winners in Japan, which tells its own story. "He rides for my brother-in-law Mitsu Nakauchida, and Mitsu rates him, and he's not a bad judge."

Kawada will hope to show his boss he's a winner as he vies for rides with number one jockey Andrea Atzeni, David Egan & Jack Mitchell.

Related stories: Legendary Japanese rider Yutake Take, 48, takes our weekly grilling   

Friday, 17 August 2018

Converter Shows Class on Debut for Mick Channon

Converter win readily at Nottingham
What I enjoy about two-year-old horse racing is that it is full of surprises, potential, hope and dreams. 

I'm not saying that other age groups of horses don't have a similar feel because horses will always surprise. The handicapper which goes from a 50-rating to 100. From plating races to listed class. 

However, those who love two-year-old racing know that it is a fleeting time. I, personally, only work within this niche. When then next Flat turf season arrives it is a blank slate for me to write the names of new stars of the future. I follow this subject matter to the highest of standards. I managed to achieve a 2:1 degree in reading Psychology at the Open University. This racing knowledge far exceeds any academic endeavour I have followed. It is a battle of wits: HCE Vs Bookmakers (layers). Sometimes they win - sometimes they lose. Long term I bet myself to beat anyone else who tries to lay horses against me. Why am I confident? Because I work harder than most people, have vast experience and appreciate what it takes to do exactly what I do. 

I run Group Horse Daily, which details the best unraced and lightly raced two-year-old colts & fillies in training. If you have never seen this website before, then take a look by clicking the link. 

Today was very busy. A hell of a lot of juvenile races - 14 to be precise. Far too many. However, there were some very interesting horses. A number well regarded. 

The 1:30 Nottingham (caught my eye). 

Charlie Hills favourite Qutob ran well on debut when narrowly beaten. 

The 8/13f ran a decent race but finished second to Mick Channon's Converter. This son of Swiss Spirit is held in high regard. I detailed this point before the race. With such a short-priced favourite it can slightly skew the betting. Few of Channon's debutants win on debut when priced over 8/1. It's a fact. If you have the software to check these things you will see the strike rate is terribly low. Converter drifted to 16/1. It is intriguing to consider what trainers think. I am sure connections hold this bay colt in very high order. But did they think beating the favourite was too much? Well, Converter was held up out the back. The reason why he touched big odds in-running on the exchanges. Racing up the rail, he coasted to the lead and won by a length or so in ready fashion. 

Interesting that I state that very few of his debutantes win at double-figure prices. There have been a few. What have I learnt about these winners? When they win a big odds on debut it details a very talented horse which is likely to contest pattern class.

This won't be Converter's last win. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018

How Do You Win at Slots?

Playing Slots - How To Win
Ask a casino owner where they make most of their revenue and you will hear them say: ''Slots'' In fact, most casinos make about 70% of their money from those technological one-armed bandits. 

True the arm has gone to be replaced by a button but basically, punters can't get enough of online slots. 

Take a look at Casumo's welcome bonus to get 200% up to £50 + £20 free spins.  

For all you slot players out there, you may have one question to ask.

How do you win at slots?

What strategy should your everyday punter use?

Is it possible to make a living from playing slots? To be fair, I haven't met anyone who makes a living but that doesn't mean to say people don't make betting on slots pay. 

Take a look at these secrets:

1# Bankroll management

It's an old adage, but bet what you can afford to lose. If betting £100, then you are wise to bet at a lower level unless you really want to chance your luck with high-priced spins. Basically, bet to your budget.

2# Connect play lines to... costs 

Whether playing live or online, play lines matter. 

Take  a look at what this expert had to say on the subject: 

''A common mistake slots beginners make is to consider pay lines relevant only when it gets on how to build a winning spin and calculate a number of coins won, while where pay lines matter the most – again – is the calculation of your slot machine’s actual cost. 


True, if you sit at a 25 pay lines slot and you bet only on 5 of them you can simply forget to hit one of those absurdly large payouts and see a six-figures jackpot coming to fatten your bankroll.

But try not to forget our first slots tip, as betting on all the 25 lines of trying to hit the jackpot will cost you considerably more than just going for a handful of those aiming to a more modest win. So, once again, what does your balance say? Can you really afford all those bets at once? ''


3# Don't be a slot player stalker

This isn't going to happen in your living room. However, if you go to a brick-and-mortar casino you will notice a lot of gamblers are playing. Like they have some kind of formula which means they win while you are like some newbie finding your feet. 

In actual fact, they are looking for what they term ''hot'' or ''cold'' slots. The hot slots being ones that haven't paid pay for a considerable amount of time, while the cold being those which have given someone a bundle of love (cash). 

Here's the thing you need to know. 


It's a lie

Modern-day slots don't work like that. It's all very random. If they pay out big, it doesn't mean the next spin will not go one better.   

4# Go for the maximum bet 

When you have loaded your slot with money you have to make a choice: 

The amount of money you will play on each bet. 

The point being that betting £1 four times is the same as one £4 bet. Although costing the same in total, they have different consequences. 

Our expert quote: 

''That is because online slots generally offer identical payouts whether you bet 1, 2 or more coins – changing only the multiplier you will have to multiply your winning by. Bet one coin and you will multiply your winning by 1x; bet two coins and the multiplier will be 2x; three coins and you will go for 3x and so on.''

Good luck. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

My Adventure Into Lay Betting: Trying To Miss The Giraffe...

One of my favourite quotes is that even a broken watch is right twice a day. As a gambler, I think most of us would like to have a better strike rate! Damn Watch.

Rambling...


Nothing changes, hey. I'm either quiet or you suffer from unending prose. The blog timeline details: spam, nothing, more spam, and My Adventure Into Lay Betting: Trying To Miss The Giraffe. [written 2013]


That latter topic sounds much more interesting. This adventure related to my laying horses to lose. That's two-year-old horses. I don't understand anything else. Now, I'm not going to talk too much about my approach or the philosophy behind my laying tactics because it is a work in progress and rather boring in its written form. 

I must admit I don't find any form of gambling particularly pleasurable. My reasoning is that I have the odds in my favour. As every speculator will appreciate, that betting slip (in mind if not in hand) often morphs into a stick of dynamite.  The fuse burning too damn quick. Lay betting can feel rather daunting. When you've laid the rag and it's travelling with the zeal of a six-to-four jolly it makes the eyes bulge, the heart race, and your pocket has a kind of lost empty feel. Not very jovial. Well, that's the nature of the beast. Equine. You know, those things the commentator keeps talking about. 


So how did the season go?


Well, I was amazed. I know what you are thinking? Is that a good or bad amazing? I just took a double-take to see if my hand had been blown off. 


For the most part, it was amazingly good - with a slight disaster at the finish.


I started small laying juveniles to win five pounds a time. That may seem a pittance but it can be a costly affair if a 20/1 shot has an exceptionally long neck. I'm pretty sure I laid a couple of giraffes this year. Last time I go to the bloody zoo and say what lovely creatures. I'm not against laying a good few horses in the same field. Races would come and go. I'd be winning ten, twenty, fifty pound a race. Everything was going well. Amazingly so. After winning several hundred pounds I considered it was time to lay each horse for twenty pounds. I knew it was a risk but time is money and all that. It made me a little nervous. The bets ranged from laying favourites to huge outsiders. It can be slightly unnerving to lay a horse which could cost a couple of thousand. I always hope they fall out of the stalls and as fat as a pig. At that moment my potential terror of what could be turns to joy. Righteousness. Being right rather than religious. Obviously, there is a good reason why I lay such horses. There is an understanding, reason, professionalism. I'm not pinning the tail on the donkey - just trying to find it. However, that doesn't mean any horse cannot win. They do. The beasts. Those chestnut giraffes can be killers. 


To be fair I laid an incredible run of losers. In a matter of months, I had turned my five pounds to four thousand. In a sizable field of maidens, I would win up to two hundred a race. However, this approach doesn't allow you to just take any old race and wave my stick of dynamite. For starters, on many days there would be a limited number of two-year-old races. Certain race types were ignored.


I had a feeling of confidence.


For a moment I considered however fast that fuse burned if I filled my lungs with joyous - winning - air I could blow away that hellish spark.


On occasions I got my fingers burned. You have to remember that although I follow a professional approach there is something very different about working in practice to paper trailing. Thankfully I wasn't hit by a 100/1 shot. That would have been hard to swallow. But if you lay a bet you should never be surprised if it wins. It is probably sensible to imagine it will blow your socks off. I laid a couple of horses which won at 20/1. Not good. Although from my understanding I wasn't wrong in my approach. Horses win, horses lose, that's how it works. I must admit that in those early months of laying what must have been a hundred plus losers on the trot it all seemed ''amazingly'' straightforward. At the back of my mind (often at the front...and certainly in my pocket) I didn't believe it would last. I didn't expect it to follow a scenic path. I've watched  The Wizard of Oz. You have to meet a scarecrow, tin man, lion and a couple of flying monkeys before you get a chance to melt a green-faced witch and steal her bloody shoes. Although - thinking about it -hadn't she already lost them? 


I hit another couple of winners. A few bets cost a good few hundred. Financially it wasn't a problem but psychologically it was tougher. The next few lay bets made me really need them to lose. With a few winning days under my belt, I shrugged off the loss and by a week or two, I was back to an all-time high. 


However, little by little I hit a plateau. The four thousand pound mark became a wall. Each time I would climb the ladder to look over the other side I would be beaten to it by a giraffe who stuck out an incredibly long tongue. Sure the thing blew a raspberry before it came into view. I went from four thousand. Three thousand. Back to four thousand. Kicked in the nuts by a wilder beast. It was a struggle. I didn't feel the approach was wrong. A few of the decisions come down to a photo finish. Prolonged agony. I realised that I needed a tweak here and there. Knock a few trainers on the head because they had done my brain in. That learning curve felt as though it was tying me up in knots. I'm sure that the watch stopped when I wasn't looking.


The end of the two-year-old season was on the horizon and I was looking forward to a rest. One of the last bets was a killer blow. It didn't finish me off but it dampened my spirits which were already low. Of all days. I had been to the funeral of my aunt and switched on the races to see a Luca Cumani debutant which I laid for twenty pounds. The favourite struggled. In turn, I had an uneasy feeling...which continued to cause concern. The beast travelled like a gazelle. I gave up trying to work out whether its neck was long or short. Its legs moved fast. It hit the front, cruising Kempton's final bend and lengthened clear into the straight. The loss I had expected materialised costing nearly eight hundred pounds. It wasn't the best of feelings. 


I'll be back next year with my tranquillizer dart.



Kid Delicious: Pool Hustler

When cleaning a pool table, you have to go with the grain - follow the weave of the felt so it doesn't disturb the natural pattern in the swath. Lightly brush across the surface, do not put too much pressure or you'll rip the felt. Hustling pool is pretty much the same process - go with the flow, follow a pattern, inconspicuously sweep the room, don't force it, let the mark come to you and don't get ripped off. It's hard to be a modern day pool hustler, what with movies, books and the Internet always leaking tricks of the trade. It takes a creative hustler to make a living at it anymore.

That is exactly what Danny Basavich was - a creative hustler who used improvisation and quick thinking to hustle. Basavich is a legend known in billiards circuits as Kid Delicious - a man who traveled the U.S. and parts of Canada, sharking the local talent - including an alleged $5,000 take right here in Myrtle Beach - for a half a million dollars in a little more than 5 years.


On Saturday, Kid Delicious was scheduled to display his table talents at new pool hall Shore Thing Billiards on Lake Arrowhead Road, but the event was postponed in light of the threat of Hurricane Irene. He was scheduled to give individual lessons, do a demonstration of his billiards prowess, followed by challenge games with attendees - if there were to be any takers after his demo. But organizers have tentatively rescheduled the event for Oct. 8 at Shore Thing.

So Myrtle Beach wannabe pool sharks and would-be hustlers will have to wait if they want to take on the Kid.


Pool hustling is the art of a pool player hiding his true skill while gambling in order to lull the opponent into a false confidence until the stakes are raised and the pool player reveals his true ability to easily win games. The best hustlers often appear to just be lucky and use persuasion to encourage their opponents to keep gambling by continually offering chances to win their money back. It's not illegal, as long as the bets are between individuals and not part of an organized gambling system. Morality is another matter because deception is a key factor - it's really hard to play people for money if they know you're a famous hustler.



All this hullabaloo for an appearance must take some getting used to for Kid Delicious, a man who used to make his living in anonymity. This article in itself could be career death to a hustler - but it's not the first to chronicle his adventures. Instead, it may be one of many signal horns announcing the rebirth of a talented pool player.


What's In a Name?

Daniel Basavich was a chronically depressed, overweight kid from suburban New Jersey. A

kid with a raspy voice that sounds like Marlon Brando with a Jersey accent, who dropped out of high school but managed to acutely develop two subjects at an early age - Geometry and English. Only in Basavich's world, English is the angle at which you hit a cue ball to modify its roll and Geometry covers the angles of a billiard table, the straight lines and vectors associated with a bank shot or an ideal leave. At 15, Basavich started spending a lot of time in a pool hall close to his house. He polished his game, learned the terms that are intrinsic to the craft.

At 17, he ventured to New York and attempted to hustle a local pool player with the moniker Kid Vicious. While destroying Vicious' reputation, someone yelled out, "Vicious just got beat by Delicious." With his weight at almost 300 pounds and his jovial playing style - the name stuck.


Allen Salyer, a local amateur pool player, first-time promoter and the guy responsible for bringing Kid Delicious to the beach, described Basavich's affable nature, "He is an atypical pool professional, kind of an underdog...eager and generous." That seems to be the consensus throughout Kid's career - a heart as big as his gut. "He's not a strikingly athletic human," said Mitch Laurance, play-by-play billiards commentator for ESPN and husband to billiards legend and Grand Strand resident, Ewa Laurance. "Danny definitely has that every-man appeal."



That is probably why he fit in so well when he moved to West Haven, Conn. and literally lived in a pool hall called Chicago Billiards Hall. The owner, Ralph Procopio, was the patron saint of hustlers and funded Kid's tutelage. It was here he learned to be a true hustler. When asked about the Chicago Billiards Hall, Basavich says, "I miss it like crazy. When I travel to Connecticut, I go and visit Ralph P. at his bread factory." It's at Ralph P's place that Kid meets his partner in crime, Bristol Bob.


The High Run with Bristol Bob, 007 and a Broomstick


Bristol Bob or Bob Begey was a funhouse mirror reflection of Kid - attractive, in shape, short temper. In 1997, the odd couple climbed into Kid's 1982 Cadillac and hit the road becoming traveling hustlers. They moved quick - from town to town - making big scores.

Kid explained his best run, "Two days in Oklahoma City I won 10 games of 9-Ball for $5,000 a game for a total of $50,000. Then continued for the next 3 weeks and won another $50,000 still in Oklahoma. Another time I won $30,000 in Philadelphia and the pool player gamblers lost another $30,000 on side bets."


It is even cited in the Sports Illustrated article, "The Amazing Adventures of Kid Delicious and Bristol Bob" by L. Jon Wertheim that he hustled "$5,000 in Myrtle Beach" during that period. Female billiards champ Ewa Laurance, aka "The Striking Viking," spent a fair amount of time with Kid when he was on the pro tours. When we asked her about Kid pilfering this bounty from the beach, she said, "You can't be sure if that's a story or a true story." But their exploits are as close to facts as you can get with hustlers as sources.


Nevertheless, Basavich's and Bristol's run is the stuff of legend. They did bar tricks, trick shots, used Sneaky Petes - which are professional-level cue sticks that have been disguised to look like house cues. Kid hustled college kids at pool halls near universities. He acted like a pudgy, clueless freshman with money to burn - the more games he dropped, the more college kids he drew, soon he had a line of kids with fat pockets to pluck at his leisure. Kid even used a broomstick a couple of times to run the table. Kid and Bristol Bob divided the winnings 50-50 but Kid says Bristol Bob was more than a business partner. "He was my very good friend."


They worked the rooms as a team and when we asked Basavich how he knew which guy to hustle, he said, "First sign of a mark is not knowing what a handicap is. Or what ball in hand is. Who to hustle is, a wise guy with money. When I was young, I would play long games for big money, like races to 10 ahead for 12 hours. People always thought I would wear out because I was overweight." Kid's game tightened on the road and he became a 9-Ball artist. "I love 9-Ball, the style is cautious and smart like a chess game. And you must be aggressive at the right time," he says.


Bristol Bob and Kid Delicious relied on one another. Bristol Bob encouraged Kid to lose weight and reminded him to take Paxil for his depression. Kid tried to show Bristol Bob how to tame his anger. They added a third partner, a silent one, known as 007. His real name is Greg Smith. More than a hustler, 007 was a billiards spy. He knew covert information on when to hit different pool halls and who to hit. Kid and Bristol Bob always sent 007 a percentage of their winnings and their union proved to be very fruitful.



Kid also sent money home to his family to save for a rainy day but hustlers live a lifestyle of constant celebration - enjoying the temptations of the road. "Basically he spent all the profits, wasting a great deal of money celebrating after a big score. Poor money management seems to be a characteristic of road players," says Salyer.

But there were more bumps in the road than celebratory hangovers. Between Bristol Bob's anger and Kid's depression it wasn't always easy. "I never got angry when playing so I didn't get in any fights. If I felt there was trouble brewing I would lose to break even. A few times I had to defuse some trouble when Bob's temper took over."


Kid is known for his lively crowd interaction. "For someone to be hustled, they have to allow themselves to be hustled. The best hustlers make you want to just be around them. Danny definitely does that, he makes you feel warm and fuzzy," says Ewa Laurence. But Kid's depression was always a heavy obstruction, "I am always second guessing myself emotionally, I put on a happy face but inwardly I want to cry."


Even with a spy directing their route, the hustling duo still walked into uncertainty, every time they swung open a pool hall door. "The toughest place was Jack and Jill's in Baltimore, Md., in back of a shopping center...lots of drugs and shootings. Also in Dallas, a Latin place, everyone had guns. The hardest place to make money was in Tulsa, Okla. because there were so many unknown but great pool players," says Basavich.



In 2002, Begey decided to call it quits. Kid kept on traveling, picking up games. But the outlaw life of pool hustling was dwindling as the attention of gamblers diverted to a surge in poker. Kid says he and Bristol Bob still stay in touch. "We speak on the phone every few months but we have separate lives now. Bob still plays pool and also paints pictures of pool players."

The Push-Out



Basavich stuck his toe in the pro pool circuit as early as 2000 but it didn't fit and he stayed on the road hustling. Then, technology struck, in the form of the Internet. Ewa Laurance elaborates: "The Internet makes hustling impossible, you hustle one day and the next, everyone knows who you are."


How could he hide? He tried disguises, colored his hair - but a 300-pound, goateed pool hustler stuck out like a shark in a swimming pool. "At the end of hustling days I traveled for a week and everywhere I went people know who I was and wouldn't play me any more. When I was around 17 to 19, I traveled to Buffalo and Montreal and could always find games. But by the age of 23, I was known in almost all 48 (mainland) states."


So in 2004, he went full-time pro - becoming rookie of the year. The previously cited Sports Illustrated article ran during Super Bowl week of 2005. He wasn't earning the money he did as a hustler, but he climbed the ranks in the pros. He played some exciting matches, beat some of the best in the UPA (United Professional Pool Players Association) and won a few titles in 2004 and 2005. "I enjoyed the good quality of the pro tour tables. When I was on the road I had to play on many strange and old tables that didn't react properly and made the game more difficult," he says. And Kid made a big impression on Mitch Laurance during his days in the pros. "His style of play is, at least in a competitive situation, also totally unique, a combination of twitches and wear-it-on-your-sleeve emotions during a match, wrapped around an obvious talent for shot making.," says Mitch Laurence. "Compelling and intriguing, you were never really sure of what was coming next."


Kid laid out the secrets behind his "compelling and intriguing" skills in two instructional videos, "The Kid Delicious Advanced Clock System and Banking Secrets" in 2006 and "Big Time Delicious Racking Secrets and Ultimate Pro Shot making" in 2007. Also in 2007, "Running the Table: The Legend of Kid Delicious, the Last Great American Pool Hustler", the book adapted by L. Jon Wertheim from his S.I. article was released. The book was a hit and word spread fast about it being optioned into a movie. But the talks stalled and stayed stalled.


Years passed, Basavich spent time with his supportive family, Mom and Dad Delicious - his father has become one of his son's biggest fans and took on a moniker of his own...Daddy D. Kid settled down, having a son of his own. But his career as a pool player seems to have stalled as well. Salyer comments on Kid's hard times since being the last great hustler, "Kid had lost his job selling cars because he couldn't take the hard sell and questionable tactics they use...surviving by selling sports cards and giving lessons."


That's what makes Kid distinctive, a walking contradiction - a hustler who can't deliver the hard sell or deal in "questionable tactics."

When asked about his future Basavich says, "I plan on making more videos and hope a life story movie is in the works again. I also have a production company trying to make a reality TV show about pool. I don't go on the road much now because I love my family and staying with them. My son is getting bigger and when he's older I will have more time to play pool."



The Leave

The name of the game in hustling pool is staying off the radar. When a hustler's identity is revealed - he loses the power of the sneak attack. He can no longer draw in the enemy by feigning weakness - no more skillful ambushes of the mark. It is the rare hustler who makes his name a household one, after the hustling days are over. The pool halls are filled with guys who are self-appointed kings of the hustle. When Ewa Laurence was asked if she ever hustled she laughed a little and said, "I have a few notches in my cue, mostly putting male egos in their place." That is what most wannabe hustlers are... easily dismissed braggadocio players.



Not so, with Basavich. His reputation has been largely verified by his playing. And after all those years of hustling, he doesn't come out looking like a thief or a bad guy. The pool hall crowds, the fans of his pro career, his peers, even the guys he beat out of money seem to be cheering for him. All accounts paint a young man who simply did what he was good at and made some money along the way.


Where does Kid Delicious belong in the known canon of hustling legends? What place in the hall of pool giants does he have? Can he stand up next to the likes of Titanic Thompson or Cornbread Red?


"Danny is a throwback to the old hustlers," says Ewa Laurence. "Danny had a short flash but his antics make for a very enjoyable evening."


He's still young, in his early 30s, and a legend needs time to simmer - time to lay low before a furious return. That fury may be a movie about his life or a TV show or it may be traveling, building his name again on the circuit. "Danny could make a comeback but the question is...Does he still have the desire?," asks Ewa Laurence. "Does he want to win? You have to be dedicated."


The future is determined by what is done in the present. So what about Kid's here and now? Why Myrtle Beach? Is he trying to find ways to generate a buzz about his name, Kid Delicious? Or is he content with his past laurels and simply biding time until Hollywood comes calling?


"I see a lot of similarities between Kid and myself," says Salyer. "I was riding my lawnmower one Sunday, and I was thinking about how...he is struggling, like I am, and he is so very talented...I am racking my brains trying to figure out a way to help him get back into the mainstream of pool...He is hard to get a hold of. He doesn't do e-mail or Internet. His dad does that for him. I pitched it to Daddy D on Facebook...Then one day my phone rang and it was Kid Delicious."

Even if Kid never has a movie made about his life. Even if he's never a reality TV star. Even if he doesn't make another run professionally or if he never sells another instructional video, Basavich's legend will be secured - secure in the fact that a 32- year-old man is rich with a lifetime of autobiographical tall-tales - secure that, ranked or not, he's still one of most incomparable pool players in the land - secure that though he's lived the life of a hustler, he's regained his honesty and integrity - secure with the story about an overweight, depressed kid from New Jersey who became something inspiring...the story of an underdog prevailing.



Source

Monday, 13 August 2018

Professional Gambler & Bookmaker: Freddie Williams

Freddie Williams Bookmaker & Gambler
It's November 2005. The location: Cheltenham racecourse. It's about an hour before the first race - the opening day of the Paddy Power Gold Cup meeting. 

Under a grey sky, with steadily dropping temperatures, the crowd gathers. In the betting circle bookies are pitching. 

Barry Dennis shouts prices back and forth. Gregory and John Hughes watch the crowd. Andy Smith and John Christie await the first bets of the day. Mickey 'The Asparagus Kid' Fletcher, his face like a 'Wanted' poster, scowls from the sidelines. But Scotsman Freddie Williams, a famed drama actor, hasn't yet arrived.


''please share this great story with our media buttons''

Miniature in stature he may be, he's known as the biggest bookmaker at Prestbury Park.

Freddie delays his entrance, sitting comfortably in his Jaguar a hundred yards away in the members' car park. His daughter Julie, and other members of his on-course team are already in place on the pitch. Freddie, the softly spoken boss, confers with them by phone, always monitoring the early activity and estimating the moves of the day.


At the Cheltenham Festival in March 1999, JP McManus - a feared pro gambler of racing legend - has a colossal £100,000 each way at 7/1 on his own horse in the Pertempts Hurdle Final. This wasn't some transaction by chance. It was a very deliberate, planned, almost hand-to-hand combat in the heat and gun-smoke of the Festival. Shannon Gale, trained by Christy Roche, finished fourth and JP collected £175,000 from the each-way part of his wager. If he had finished first, Freddie Williams would have had a payout in the ballpark of the £900,000. To clearly understand what makes him such an accomplished man we need to take a look at his whole life. What makes his story so interesting is not just his enthusiastic embrace of customary betting and his detest for the cautious, corporate approach of the big betting-shop chains but also credit that this is a man came from a modest beginning and earned the right to be a player on the greatest racing stage of them all.


Freddie was born in 1942 in Cumnock, East Ayrshire. His father was a miner, like his father before him. Freddie, like the rest of his male relations and colleagues, would have gone down the pit himself had he not failed the medical exam at the age of 15. Instead he became a mining engineer.


After a few years Freddie went to work for a soft drink company. Everyone knew bet in those days, and the backbone of gambling in the mining communities was 'pitch and toss'. Horse racing, especially jump racing, was exerting a far greater allure.


I was lucky to earn a pound a week at the time. I kept my money in a tin box. There were illegal betting offices all around Ayrshire and I put every dime I could on Pas Seul. He made it to the last stretch but then he fell.' Williams laughs sorrowfully at the memory. 'Kerstin stayed on to win the race.


Pas Seul made no mistake the next year, though.' Freddie's was not alone in his love of a punt.In fact it was shared by his workmates at Currys.


He bought his first bookmaking pitch at Ayr in 1974, followed by one in Hamilton and one in Musselburgh. He would go on to own seven betting offices. After Currys was bought out again in 1991, Freddie, already worth over a million, started his own bottled-water business called Caledonian Clear.


Some of competitors like to say that it must be very nice to try bookmaking when you have another job paying your bills.However, Freddie emphatically denies racing job is some sort of sideline. 'Bookmaking is my livelihood and my passion in life.' Freddie has said.


The enthusiasm and nerve Freddie brings to his job is something the Southerners had not witnessed for themselves until the massively overdue reforms that allowed racecourse pitches to be bought and sold at public auction in the late 1990s. The old-fashioned system of Dead Man's Shoes, the bookmaking pitches were restricted to successive generations of the same family, was a sort of Masonic protection swindle that shut out new money and new faces from the ring.


The Scotsman got an early start on 1st January 1999 and again in March. It didn't take McManus to seek him out. As well as conflicting Shannon Gale, the bookmaker also accepted Nick Dundee. Dundee was the Irish banker of the week. The young novice ran in the colours of McManus' close friends John and Sue Magnier. But Freddie didn't fancy Nick Dundee. 'I was going 11/8, One gentleman wanted £80,000 on, and I laid it to him, but I didn't take down the price. He looked at me for a moment then asked for the bet again. So I laid him another £110,000 to £80,000, but I still not taking down the price.'


It was a close-run race. Then it happened Nick Dundee's legs buckled landing over the third last fence. Plus, presumably, the sound of one Scottish heart beating faster. Freddie was not always so lucky.


Although the bookie and punter seem to be natural enemies, they also tend to respect each other alot. 'We're friends,' says Williams sincerely. 'John was in business as a bookmaker for 15 years. He had a good bet on Dawn Run when she won the Gold Cup in 1986 and that helped him to change his life. However, he told me that if she'd lost, he'd have been skint the following week.'


Freddie admits, 'Festival trading is totally draining, which is why I stay in a nice, quiet hotel. When you get back, all you want to do is eat and sleep. I'm afraid I'm well behind in the entertainment stakes.'


There was plenty of entertainment on November '04, though: The Rising Moon, running in the McManus colours, was the medium of a £100,000 plunge at 3/1. Half an hour later, JP's Spot The Difference won the Sporting Index cross-country chase. Someone stuck on £28,000 at 7/1 for a payout of nearly two hundred grand.


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Frederick Sidney Williams, soft-drink manufacturer and bookmaker: born Cumnock, Ayrshire 28 October 1942; married Sheila Edwards (two daughters; marriage dissolved 2006); died Cumnock 21 June 2008


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Freddie Williams: Bookmaker of amazing boldness by Tony Smurthwaite, The Independent 



Freddie Williams was the buccaneering bookmaker who left onlookers amazed by an incredible boldness that, at the end of one remarkable day at the races, had cost him £1m. He attained celebrity status as the immovable object that met the irresistible force of J.P. McManus, the singularly audacious punter whose huge wagers during the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival each March are one of horse-racing's constants.



Their personal conflict might have bankrupted lesser players, yet relations were always cordial amid McManus's six-figure investments. Such Corinthian spirit, made easier by each man's wealth, captivated many who followed the betting moves at the leading racing and greyhound meetings, and made Williams a hugely popular and high-profile bookmaker.


Williams's most bruising encounter with McManus came on a day he would never forget, as it was to end in terror. It began at the Cheltenham Festival on 16 March 2006. McManus had struck a £100,000 bet to win £600,000 on Reveillez, who won, then followed up with £5,000 each way on Kadoun, another of his horses, at 50-1. When Kadoun won, in the last race of the day, Williams owed McManus more than £1m. As if that were that not bad enough, on driving away from the course in his Jaguar with his daughter Julie and her boyfriend, Andrew, Williams was ambushed by an armed gang. Though the three escaped physically unscathed, the ordeal shook them badly. The assailants were said to have made off with £70,000.


It had long been Williams's ambition to be a bookmaker at Cheltenham. Born in the coal-mining heartland of Cumnock, South Ayrshire, he developed an aptitude for laying odds at a young age, watching the miners playing endless games of pitch and toss. "There was nothing to do then but work and gamble," recalled Williams, whose grandfather and father had both gone down the pit. Freddie's first role model was his great-grandfather. When a pit accident robbed him of an arm, cut off in an accident, he recovered to set up in business as a coal merchant.


Freddie was bedridden as a child and missed out on pit life after failing a medical as a result of polio. He swept floors in the local Curries of Auchinleck lemonade factory, and acted as a bookie's runner before graduating to lay his own odds in a small way at Auchinleck greyhound track.


Though his schooling was interrupted and his education compromised, Freddie Williams had an aptitude that allowed him to rise to manager at the lemonade plant. A buy-out among staff increased his involvement, and later he took over the business. In 1991 he sold his stake and four years later opened the alcopop manufacturer Caledonian Bottlers, which boasted a state-of-the-art factory employing 50 full-time staff, and used natural Scottish spring water.


Williams maintained, however, that bookmaking, not bottling, was his livelihood. He had established a bookmaker's pitch at Ayr racecourse in 1974, where he became known as a daredevil, and then put his name down for a coveted spot at Cheltenham. But the "dead man's shoes" system of bookmaker pitch transfer was a source of great frustration, and Williams languished on the waiting list for 20 years. In one interview, he said: "I started off at 120 on the list and by the 1990s I was at number 40. It was never going to happen, but then the rules changed and you could buy a pitch. I was the first to buy one. I thought, 'Here I am! I'm not just here for a day out – I'm taking on the biggest hitters in the game.' "


So it was that on 1 January 1999, Williams arrived for Cheltenham's traditional New Year's Day meeting. McManus tested his nerve immediately, placing £90,000 on the Queen Mother's runner Buckside. The 2-1 favourite led at the last fence, but faded into second place. Seven weeks earlier, Williams had undergone a quadruple heart bypass.


He never looked back. In March 1999 he took on McManus and other big hitters over the three days of the National Hunt Festival. He clearly loved the cut and thrust, never flinching no matter how high the stakes. "Fearless" Freddie was soon in his pomp, making appearances on Channel 4 racing where he shared his love of the betting ring, and the game of wits, bravado and instinct he waged with customers, who ranged from heavy hitters to £2 punters at Glasgow's Shawfield greyhound track.


Shannon Gale marked the start of battle royal with McManus. Williams accepted a bet of £100,000 each way on the 7-1 chance. Honours were shared when the horse ran fourth, ensuring an each-way payout of £175,000 rather than the £875,000 had it won.


Williams enjoyed studying his clients as much as the horses, seeking give-away signs of confidence or uncertainty. He stood at other racecourses and at greyhound tracks, and owned a string of racehorses. In 2004 he bought the 78 St Vincent Street restaurant in Glasgow, installing his daughter Julie as manager, it was said to stop her following him into the betting game. When his marriage broke down in 2006, it was reported that a £1m divorce settlement had been agreed.


Williams worked until he dropped, suffering a heart attack after a day spent working at Ayr races and an evening working at Shawfield. His philosophy was summed up in the view that the final race each day did not mean an end to the winning or the losing. "There is no last race," he would often say.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

The strange world of how to win at horse racing with hypnosis?

I originally went to the race-track not because I had any intention to gamble, but because a friend who was working at the racetrack wanted me to meet the horse he was grooming - "Totally Ruthless". 

I was fascinated with the atmosphere. My first visit there made me feel as if I just stepped into a fairy-tale - the lights, sounds, smell and the overall energy of excitement were unlike anything I have ever experienced before and as you may guess, the moment I'd step on the racetrack, I'd step into an altered state of mind.

I'd get a thrill just from hearing the names of the horses like "No Sex Please", "Overnight with You", "Cinnamon Toasted'. At first, I didn't bet. I merely went there to soak up the atmosphere, to experience the trance, to get high on all the excitement. I would get high on the sounds and even on the smell of the racetrack.

I was soaking in the atmosphere of the racetrack and I soon discovered that as I tuned into horses, I would intuitively and effortlessly pick up the winning horses. I was doing well enough that people took notice and they started asking me which horse to bet on.

For a while, the racetrack was like my second home, or an office. If anyone wanted to meet with me, he had to show up at the racetrack. I lived and breathed horse racing. A friend of mine who never went to any racetrack before, started to accompany me to the racetrack. We were betting triactors (trifecta) and the first dozen times we won every single race we bet. Then we lost one and he got rather disheartened. Well, I never said we would win every single race and considering the races we won, and the odds of winning, I think we did extremely well.

In the beginning, I didn't pay much attention to the stats and previous performances and frankly speaking I did better than when I attempted to rely on stats. And while I still recommend reading the stats, unless you actually have some insider tips, I consider it very important checking out the horses before the race. When you rely on stats, you are betting with your head, when you take the time to observe the horses and let your subconscious soak up the information, your intuition may guide you in ways that are far more accurate than any stats and past performances.

Stats can help you greatly in races where one or two horses have clearly much better past performance than the rest of them, but observing the horses can help you to get the information about the condition and the mood of the horse just before the race and even if you consciously do not know how to read the signals that horses are giving, your unconscious mind and supply an amazing amount of information and sometimes in very interesting ways.

The way this has worked for me is that sometimes just before the race, a song would begin playing in my mind which happened to have key words that related to a horse in the upcoming race. For example, I may hear an old song about a girl called "Cinnamon" in a race where the horse by the name "Cinnamon Toasted" was about to race - and win the race. To you, Intuitive information can come in many other way - you may have a gut feeling, or have an image of a winning horse, or someone may say something, but whatever happens, you'll just know which horse to bet on.

Win at Horse-Races CDs are designed to make you consciously aware of all that you need to know to pick the winning horses in the races you are betting on, to access intuitive knowledge as well as to program your subconscious for winning while betting either on standardbred or thoroughbred horses. Win at Horse Races hypnosis CD will condition your subconscious mind with winning by rehearsing your subjective experience.

Win at Horse Races subliminal, supraliminal and supraliminal plus CDs contain direct suggestion to help you access your intuition and pick the winning horses and while they can work perfectly well on their own, for best results I suggest you also work with Win at Horse Races hypnosis CD.


http://www.deeptrancenow.com/win_horse_races.htm

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Pro Gamblers: Proud To Be A Betting Man

An old story originally published in the Northern Echo, 2002 by Ruth Campbell. A fascinating read about professional gambler Paul Cooper. 
For most gamblers, having a flutter is more of a bit of fun than a serious attempt to get rich. But Ruth Campbell meets one man for whom a day at the races means earning a living.
PAUL Cooper greets me by the gate of his imposing five-bedroom Georgian farmhouse, set in 100 acres, in North Yorkshire. There is a gleaming four wheel drive and an Alexis with the personalised number plate PC2 parked in the courtyard.
The former public schoolboy is charming and polite, and surrounded by the trappings of his success. If I were a betting woman and were asked, from first impressions, to guess what he did for a living, I would plump for accountant or stockbroker, or something in the City.
I'd be wrong. Paul Cooper is a professional gambler. It is hard to know what a professional gambler is supposed to look like - there are not many working in the UK and just two or three, like Paul Cooper, are big players.
Cooper, 43, has bet £44m over the last 23 years and made just under £1m. He started with just a few pounds, which means he has enjoyed some spectacular wins, but at the same time endured some horrendous losses.
"I would almost bet on the proverbial fly crawling up a wall if I thought I could win. I more or less bet every day," he says.
He lost £26,000 on David Chapman's sprinter Glencroft in the 1988 Bovis Handicap. But the following year he won an incredible £250,000 after laying out just £432 on a tricast (guessing the first three horses in order) at Thirsk.
And then there was his nailbiting near miss in the States. Tantalisingly close to winning $5m after placing the winners in six out of seven races, his horse in the seventh race missed by a nose.
These are the sorts of highs and lows which would reduce the rest of us to jittery, nervous wrecks. But Cooper is cool, calm and measured. To him, it may as well be just another day at the office. There is none of the impulsiveness or recklessness we associate with habitual gamblers.
His wife Danielle, an interior designer, takes the ups and downs of her husband's unusual career in her stride: "I was surprised at what he did, I had never met a professional gambler. But you marry the person you marry, I accept it."
The couple have two children Clementine, two, and Cordelia, four months: "It is like a volatile business, no different than being married to a stockbroker," adds Danielle. Indeed, Paul regards the £44m he has laid out over the years as turnover and keeps detailed accounts. "I lost money last year and this year I am level. I could do with another quarter of a million pound win," he smiles.
His analytical, computer-like mind, combined with an instinctive eye for a good horse, is complemented by his incredible discipline: "I am not flippant about it, it is an art form if you like. It is quite mathematical." At one point he did work as a Lloyds insurance underwriter: "Insurance is similar, but a lot more risky than gambling on horses."
The son of a farmer, Cooper's gambling career began at the tender age of four when his parents took him to Derwent point-to-point. He bet four shillings on a horse called Paul's Diamond, which won at 100-1, and was hooked. He left Stowe public school at 17 to work on the racing magazine Stud and Stable. Out of his first wages, a £1.90 stake on the ITV seven, won him £800. Within two years, he had collected £13,365 for a £3 accumulator. That bought him a plush London flat overlooking the Thames. By then he realised he could live off gambling and turned professional. His parents didn't mind: "My mother was amused," he says.
Although he wouldn't want his own children to follow in his footsteps, he never thought of doing anything else: "It is what I know and understand." Much of his success can be put down to his meticulous research of times, trainers, form and track bias.
Immediately before a race, he views the horses, then takes about five minutes to weigh up odds and make a decision, staking between £50 and £1,000 a time. There is no adrenaline, no nerves: "I am as relaxed as can be. It is conditioning."
Cooper has his forensic approach to thank for his incredible £250,000 win at Thirsk (which got him into the Guinness Book of Records), followed by a £178,000 win there the year after.
He doesn't pick favourites, as they give poor value. "On days when a whole string of favourites win, I tend to lose." He likes discovering trainers who are underestimated, he virtually never backs a maiden and homes in on high quality races: "I love group races and big events."
Whatever happens, Cooper keeps a cool head. Like a good poker player, he rarely betrays emotion. He recalls that, despite losing £61,000 after three days at Ascot one year, friends assumed he was having a good run. "Most people would not be able to tell how I was doing," he explains. (Incidentally, he adds, he won all the money back again by the Friday.)
He appears to dismiss huge losses easily, but admits: "It is a rollercoaster. I don't think anyone enjoys the lows." He regards the bookies as public enemy number one. The feeling is probably mutual. He has had 41 credit accounts closed over the years. "It is an incredibly unfair service," he says.
He plays the lottery, £8 every week but has won nothing - yet. Because most people pick birth dates, he goes for numbers 32-49 which are better value and linked with higher wins. "There is an edge to picking the high numbers." Beating the system intrigues him, he says, financial rewards come second.
In addition to his gambling, he is now in charge of sponsorship for Betfair.com, a betting exchange launched in June 2000 which links people who want to bet on anything, from horses to the stock market.
Where bookmakers make about 20pc on every race, Cooper points out Betfair, which now has a turnover of £17m a month, takes just 2-5pc commission. "It is rather like buying stocks and shares without the need of a stockbroker," he says.
Cooper has recently returned to his roots, buying the house near Thirsk where he was born and enjoyed a happy childhood.
Occasionally it does cross his mind that his life may be misguided. But betting is in his blood. "Yorkshire people love horses, it is in our roots," he says. "I am not leaving home again. This is home for the rest of my life."

What to Look For When Studying Racing Form

What to look for when studying the form
To get the inside scoop on horse racing, and to help you to select the best possible outcomes for your bets, studying the racing form is vitally important. For many people however, looking at a form table can be quite difficult to decipher, and if you don’t know what you are looking for you will end up finding the form confusing, the opposite of what it is there for. There are many ways for you to get the inside line on racing, you can get tips for betting on racing from 188Bet's blog, you can find more expert tips on social media, or you can follow these tips and use the form guide to make your selections. 

Recent Results 

The first thing that you will need to look at when studying racing form is the recent results and how each horse has finished. Animals too can get themselves into a hot streak so a horse which is coming into the race off the back of a string of great results, would indicate that they are in a rich vein of form. There is a little bit more to consider than simply the result, as there are several permutations that could make a victory better or worse. Nonetheless, you should start by looking at recent race results of the horses. 

Track Types 

All tracks are not the same and this is where you should be looking next. For example, if you have picked a horse out that has 3 recent wins, they may look an attractive prospect for the upcoming race, however, if the horse has won 3 times on a 1km track, and the upcoming race is on a 2.5km track, the horse may not have the stamina to win on the longer distance. Track types are also very different, some tracks are turf, others can be poly-turf, which can affect the horses differently. 

Jockeys

Looking into the records of the jockeys that will be riding is also a smart move and can give you a good indication of who may triumph. Jockeys can have a huge impact on the outcome of the race, and a good jockey on a poor horse can easily beat a great horse with an out-of-form jockey. 

Trainers

Trainers generally have their favorite racecourses which they train their horses for, so understanding who has trained the horse, and then looking at their statistics at the racecourse of the upcoming event, will make a lot of sense. This is especially true when it comes to the big annual events as some trainers will work hard towards the big competitions, where the prize money is biggest. 

The more that you study form, the easier it will be for you to understand, and for you to try and pick a winner. Without question though, studying the form guide is the single best way to get a reading on which way the race may go.