Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard-Luck Horse Track

It sounds too good to be true. 

American, Jesus Leonardo, walked into a betting shop without placing a bet and walked out with $9,500. 

The man from Midtown, Manhattan, makes a tidy profit from visiting bookmaker's and racetracks, sorting through betting slips thrown in the bins or scattered on the floor. He's known as a ''stooper'' and pockets cash by picking up tickets that others have thrown away as rubbish. 

In fact, over the years he estimates he has collected nearly half a million dollars. When you consider that uncashed winning tickets at bookmakers and racetracks in New York totalled more than $8.5 million over a two-year period there seems ample opportunity to take advantage of others misfortune. 


''It's difficult enough to find winners but these people have won and thrown their winning betting slip in the trash'' 

Jesus Leonardo has not even placed a bet.

He said: “It is literally found money,” he said on a recent night from his private winner’s circle. He spends more than 10 hours a day there, feeding thousands of discarded betting slips through a ticket scanner in a never-ending search for someone else’s lost treasure. 

“This has become my job, my life,” he said. “This is how I feed my family.”

“He’s a legend,” said Paul Pepad, 57, an out-of-work musician who lives in Manhattan. “Everyone knows that this is his turf, that all the tickets thrown out belong to him, period. It’s just been that way as long as I can remember.”

The fascinating endeavours of stoopers captured the interest of journalist T. D. Thornton who wrote a book in 2007: Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard-Luck Horse Track.

He said: “Stoopers are the gleaners of the racetrack world. Stoopers have a relationship with horse tracks that goes back to the advent of parimutuel betting in the early 1930s. There is an unwritten code in racing that says stoopers are tolerated as long as they are not perceived as harassing or stalking customers.” “They are allowed to live on the fringes,” he added.

Leonardo says he makes a good living from stooping making from $100 - $300 a day and more than $45,000 ay year. 

He said: Last month, he cashed in a winning ticket from bets made on races at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., for $8,040. His largest purse came in 2006, when he received $9,500 from a Pick 4 wager (choosing the winners of four consecutive races) at Retama Park Race Track in Selma, Tex. It is all taxable income.

“I file my winnings with the I.R.S. every year,” Mr. Leonardo said in his thick Dominican accent.

Friend, Freddy Perguero, detailed:  

“Everybody in here loves Jesus,” he said. “When Jesus wins, we all eat, and we all drink. Jesus is a very generous man.” 



Once upon a wager on a race run at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, Mr. Leonardo, who lives in Wanaque, N.J., became a stooper by accident. In 1999, he walked into that same OTB parlor in Midtown and placed a bet. He watched the race, was sure he had lost and threw away his Pick 3 ticket. “But just as I was leaving, I looked up at the screen and realised an inquiry had been made,” he said, referring to a review of the race to check for possible rules infractions. “All of a sudden, the results changed and I actually won $900.”

He recalled the moment when trying to find his winning ticket almost in tears asking the manageress for help:   

“She said there was nothing she could do about it,” Mr. Leonardo said. “I was so upset, almost in tears. Finally, she said, ‘Look, if you want to take the garbage home with you and look for your ticket, go right ahead.’ ”


Amazingly, he couldn't find his winning $900 ticket but found two others worth almost $2000


“I couldn’t believe it,” said Mr. Leonardo, who had been supporting his family and his dream of writing songs by working odd jobs, including painting homes and cleaning windows. “I started thinking, there’s probably winning tickets thrown in the garbage every day.”

He decided it was a winning job and returned every day waiting for the betting shops to be placed at the curb and picking through hundreds of slips. 

“At first, my wife thought I was crazy, but then she realised I was finding a lot of money in winning tickets, sometimes $200 a day,” he said. “After a while, she didn’t think I was so crazy.”

He hasn't got any intention of stopping.

“Look here,” he said to Mr. Peguero after pulling a credit voucher from the machine for $6. “Another winner.”

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Punters Shocked as Jockey Punches Racehorse?

Jockey Punches Horse
It seems a strange situation. 

When does a jockey lose the plot and punch a horse in frustration? It doesn't make good viewing and sadly it happens more than you may think.  

We know the rules of racing permit a jockey to use the whip a given number of times to encourage or even reprimand a wayward horse. 

However, what happens when a jockey attacks a horse?

Take a look at this recent news story from South Africa. 

Jockey Explains Shocking Horse Punch

Apprentice jockey Dylan Caboche was suspended for two weeks when he was caught on camera punching his mount She's Reneldasgirl before the second race at Port Lincoln on Wednesday.  

The 22-year-old describes his action as ''brain fade''. He said: ''I'm disappointed and gutted in myself. Striking a horse is obviously not the right way to go about things. It shouldn't have happened.'' 

He was suspended for misconduct.

Furious punters and the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses said: ''You don't get to punch a horse and get away with it. If a jockey cannot control his temper they don't deserve to be on the racetrack. The penalty is grossly inadequate.'' 




Sadly, jockeys seemingly attack horses more often than you may think. Take a look at these videos and make your own opinion. 





This crazy racegoer tries to punch a horse mid-race


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

How Can I Make Money Gambling?

Know Your Sport

It sounds obvious but it's true. To find an edge betting you need to know your niche. It isn't about being the best gambler on earth. The key is to be better than most. It is very much the same in every field of expertise. As the saying goes: Jack of all trades and master of none. I specialise within two-year-old horse racing because there simply isn't enough time to master all other age groups. Working from your own perspective reveals many opportunities to take advantage of layers. Also, let's consider your advantage over a bookmaker - you don't have to bet on every race. That selective nature is worth its weight in gold. In addition, you don't need to bet every day. Some people don't like to let the grass grow under their feet or wallet but if you could find 20 great bets every year and make a profit plus, hopefully, lots of free time to enjoy it isn't a bad life. Time is the most precious commodity of all. Use it wisely.  

Your expertise must be skill based.   

Favourites Don't Always Win

Look through the racing results. What do you see? That the favourites don't win every race. That point in itself should bring joy to your heart and add a few zeros to your bank account. It is one reason why I would always suggest gamblers bet level stakes because it is often the case when backing an outsider people reduce their stake. These bets are often the making of a great season.    

Shop Around

The discipline of betting, its foundation knowledge, practices and philosophy are as crucial, if not more important, than the selection itself. It sounds crazy but the better you hone your skills the more you realise this point is true. Bookmakers prices vary - take the best odds, offers, opportunities. If you bet big priced selections you are wise to bet on the exchanges. When a horse is chalked up at 25/1 it is likely to be 50/1 on the machines. Double the price is the same as having your mate double your bet just for fun. Over a year, this difference can equate to a substantial amount of money. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to hedge your bet if seriously backed. Why would you keep a bet if you took 5/1 and just before the off it is 6/4?   

Be Selective

Your strength as a gambler, investor (name it what you like) is being selective. You don't need to push too hard because you will pressure yourself either with the workload or just crack under stress. Don't look for bets. The best stand out from the crowd. 

Avoid Odds On Bets

If your speciality is betting odds-on shots then you know your stuff. I wouldn't ever say this or that bet type is wrong. Why? Because just because I don't know something it doesn't mean someone else doesn't. However, if you are tempted to bet on an odds-on shot just because it is a short price, then I would suggest you count to ten. In many respects being successful betting at prohibitive odds is as difficult as betting on huge priced outsiders. All is rosy in the garden until you hit a string of losers. It may get to the point where you cannot claw those losses back and get back into the black. 
   

There Are Lots Of Markets

So you love football. Horse racing. Tennis. You only have to look at sports betting to realise there are umpteen markets you can dip your toe or become an expert. The only negative for an obscure sport is that you may not have much liquidity or bookmakers may shy away from your wagers if you prove you know more than them. I have seen a few people betting on weather, of all things, and I'm not just talking about a white Christmas. Within a given sport there are numerous division or categories. Let's say you know an individual football player better than just about anyone on earth. How can you use that information to win? I have spent a lot of time unearthing the best unraced two-year-old colts and fillies in training. Think what that information can mean when betting. I'm not saying I'm the only person who knows that information but I know a million times more than the average punter who may well be laying a horse on the exchange. My brother won £4,000 for a £20 bet when realising a small horse trainer had a wonder horse. The layers just couldn't get their heads around the fact a small trainer could have a horse that could even win let alone be such a talent it went on to run in the 1000 Guineas. 

Understand Your Markets

With experience, you will be in tune with your niche and the betting. Experience helps answer so many questions. Take your time to appreciate that to be a successful gambler (investor) it is a long road. You don't wake up one morning to find you are a professional gambler. Relish the challenge but be patient. 

Don't Bet With Your Heart

You often hear die-hard football supporters following their team and their heart by lumping on when everyone is looking on bemused. If you have to bet with your heart, bet for fun. Unless you are very disciplined don't bet for fun. Why? Because it is a slippery slope which may lead to betting without discipline. It's not a good idea. Betting with emotions is illogical. Emotions are dangerous at the best of times and mixed with gambling and too much money a distressing road to take. How many people have you seen chasing losses? How many times have you seen them win? Betting is about knowing more not shouting the loudest because you have an anger inside.   

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Big Bets at the Casino

Not seen her at the casinoSo you love to bet at the casino. 

I wonder if you change up £50 cash for 50p chips or are you a high roller who likes to have a wedge and doesn't peel off anything less than a BIG NOTE. 

You don't need to go to Montecarlo to see people betting cash like is going out of fashion. While some of us go to the charity shops and thrift stores to find a three-piece suit others go to Savile Row. It's funny that so often the worst dressed punter is the big spender. I imagine they have better things to do than think which tie goes with which shirt. Plain. Stripes. Bow tie. Who wants to be the best-dressed man losing cash off the hip? If you were a chef you would be more cordoned off than cordon bleu. Noir cassoulet!

I guess many people love brick and mortar casinos. Sometimes you just want to sit at home, put your feet up and have a little flutter at this website

So what did you notice the last time you went to the casino? There is plenty going on. Blackjack, roulette, slots, 3-card poker...and a few strange Chinese games I don't know how to play or even what they are called. Funny. I always notice the Chinese punters enjoy a good bet. (Rarely well dressed).

Winning or losing - comes quickly AT THE CASINO.

I have been very lucky at Great Yarmouth. My lucky single number and corner. Clearly, it is just about being lucky. Every number has an equal chance of coming up on the roulette. You wouldn't think so when you see the numbers in an evening. Hot numbers. Cold numbers. A couple of frosty ones stuck in the deep freeze nestled against a random brussel sprout an escapee from last Christmas. Those numbers send shivers down the spine of the eternal optimist: ''It hasn't come up after 5000 spins.'' Yes, it will when you leave the table!

How do I get lucky?

No shamrock, four-leaved clover...rabbit foot sprinkled with moon dust. Although the latter is quite novel.

No. Just my lucky number and corner. How do I find my lucky number? I simply look to see which number has come up a couple of times in the last half hour and stick with that religiously. It's like watching paint dry. However, you need one touch of luck early and you are winning like a popcorn machine that's gone wrong. If nothing much goes right and you have a thirst like you've got lost in the desert - stop playing after losing £30. If you hit on a winner...give it a few more bets and ride your luck. 

The last time I was playing small money and over two nights won £130. I'm not one of these loons who says it's a winning system. There isn't one on fixed odds. The longer you play the more likely you are to lose. That's why you want to play for an hour or two at most. Hope for the best and pray you are lucky. 

Believe it or not, I'm actually winning money at the casino and I must have been over 20 times. 

Good luck. 


Thursday, 6 December 2018

20-Year Wait to win $2.4 Million on the Slots

Dirty Dancing Slots
Whether you go to Las Vegas or play online slots we all love to hear about those big winners. 

You may wish to go to The Strip but these days gamblers love to sit at home and play the slots for fun and who knows they may even strike it rich. I know you love the film Dirty Dancing but did you know one well-known bookmaker has a slot machine based on this popular theme called Dirty Dancing at bet365.  

Fingers crossed you get lucky. Here's an interesting question. How long do you have to wait for a slot machine to payout its big prize? Well, it varies from one slot to the next. Las Vegas. You may have heard of Lion's Share slot machine which resides on the ground floor of the MGM Grand. 

It's one of 50 machines installed in early 1990's. In fact, this one-armed bandit is so popular it has people lining up for hours to play. 

The incredible part of the story is that for 20 years this slot machine hadn't paid its top prize. 

That was until Walter and Misco of New Hampshire, USA, thought they would chance their luck one Friday evening.  


After 5 minutes and $3 Dollars, they won $2.4 MILLION

Sometimes you just need a bit of luck to win big. 



The Lion's Share slot machine had a reputation of being stubborn. I mean, how long do you have to wait for something to give? 

Twenty years to pay the jackpot. Perhaps there was a little bit of lady luck involved in this substantial win as it was his wife, Misco, who suggested they play. 

So we have seen a big winner. But what about a big-time loser. 

The woman who was offered a steak dinner instead of $43 MILLION Jackpot!

Seems too strange to be true. Katrina Bookman thought she had won big but casino bosses claimed the machine had a malfunction. Unsurprisingly, she declined the free steak meal and sued.  

The case continues. 

5 Ways to Hit the Jackpot

Need a touch of inspiration? From winning the jackpot to being offered a steak for a malfunction. I think I need a drink with both. But let's take a look at one expert's opinion on how to win on the slots.

1 Give it time. Playing on the slots online. If you see an announcement of a big win wait a while because it's unlikely you are going to win soon after. 

2 All machines work on a cycle - they have to pay at some time. They often pay out in a short period of time so if you get that elusive win there may well be more to come. 

3 Play the slot games that are most popular and getting a lot of attention of punters. 

4 Don't play a game too long. 

5 Play the high limit slot machines They cost more but they pay out more. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Big Deal: Poker Player Robbie Box Made TV Gold

Big Deal - Robbie Box Poker Player So few TV programs do gambling justice. Who can remember the ill-fated Trainer? What a horrendous attempt at what ever they thought it was. 

We've seen a few fly-on-the wall documentaries about problem gamblers. Depressing. True, it is real to a point. Although the term demand characteristics pop into my head when I see anyone acting strangely in front of a camera of any kind. Don't you just love the staff in the shops who tell the bloke who is bashing the FOBT to death, to go home after he has lost all of his dough. Very ''When The Fun Stops - STOP!'' 

For so many people betting is bad news. Unless you look at it as a full-time job or you are happy betting 50p a week then PLEASE don't get caught in its net. 

One program I'm sure many readers have truly fond memories is Big Deal starring the talented Ray Brooks. This British comedy-drama was broadcast on the BBC between 1984 - 1986. The series created and written by Geoff McQueen. Unknown to me, he also created other noted TV programs as the Bill. Sadly, McQueen died in 1994 at the age of 46 from a aneurysm. 

Well, Robbie Box [Ray Brooks] was a small-time gambler with a poker addiction [I think more of a way of life than addiction but I may be splitting hairs].   

It was an excellent 3 series. There are a few episodes on Youtube and the BBC did have the wisdom of selling one or two series but then ceased their involvement to the irritation of many who were willing to pay good money to have this worthy DVD collection. 

In all 30 episodes were made. 

Here is the very first episode of this great gambling series. 

Friday, 23 November 2018

9 in 10 Pubs Fail To Prevent Children Gambling

Gambling Commission (Children Gambling)
‘We urgently call the industry and their trade associations to take the results as a serious indication of the need to improve matters,’ says regulators.

Drastic news. Did you know that 90% of pubs in England allow children to gamble on their premises? 

The Gambling Commission tested 61 pubs in England and found 89% didn't stop children playing machines detailed by law as 18+.

This varied considerably with 15 - 30% per cent for buying alcohol and smoking. 

In a letter to the pub industry, the commission writes: “We urgently call the industry and their trade associations to take the results as a serious indication of the need to improve matters. “We expect that the action taken will be reflected in significant improvements in future test results.”

Helen Rhodes, programme director at the Gambling Commission, said: “We are extremely concerned that pubs across England are failing to stop children playing gaming machines designed for adults. “We urgently call on the pub sector to take action immediately to enforce the laws in place to protect children and young people.


“We expect to see significant improvement in further tests and will continue to work with licensing authorities to support any action required against those failing to adhere to the requirements.”

Simon Blackburn, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “If these findings reflect the wider pub industry’s ability to ensure responsible oversight of adult-only gaming machines, that would be extremely concerning. “It is vital our children and young people are kept safe and protected from the problems gambling can cause. “Pub managers must be as vigilant about under-age gambling as they are about under-age drinking. It is completely unacceptable to turn a blind eye to children playing gaming machines that are restricted to over-18s, which risks young people becoming addicted to gambling.”


Source: Independent