I read a new book about HORSEPLAYERS. If you are jonesin for the void left by HBO's LUCK, may I recommend HORSEPLAYERS. The tale of a man determined to divine the secrets of handicapping and wagering the Chicago circuit and the characters and exhaltations and bad beats of a year devoted to getting into the 2 to 5 percent of profit players.
HORSEPLAYERS is a terrific read, IMHO. As good as SCARED MONEY or LAUGHTER IN THE HILLS. Not a novel but a true tale of being bitten the bug and striving to make a success of horseplaying while maintaining sanity.
It's fairly new and fun, could not put it down, as they say.
Horseplayers: Life at the Track by Ted McClelland
Horseplayers: Life at the Track 3.62 ∑ rating details ∑ 21 ratings ∑ 3 reviews
This fun and witty exposť of horse racing in America goes behind the scenes at the track, providing a serious gambler's-eye view of the action. Ted McClelland spent a year at tracks and off-track betting facilities in Chicago and across the country, profiling the people who make a career of gambling on horses. This account follows his personal journey of what it means to b...more This fun and witty exposť of horse racing in America goes behind the scenes at the track, providing a serious gambler's-eye view of the action. Ted McClelland spent a year at tracks and off-track betting facilities in Chicago and across the country, profiling the people who make a career of gambling on horses. This account follows his personal journey of what it means to be a horseplayer as he gambles with his book advance using various betting and handicapping strategies along the way. A colorful cast of characters is introduced, including the intensely disciplined Scott McMannis, "The Professor," a onetime college instructor who now teaches a course in handicapping, and Mary Schoenfeldt, a former nun and gifted handicapper who donates all of her winnings to charity. This moving account of wins, losses, and personal turmoil provides a realistic look at gamblers, gambling, and life at the track.(less)
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Chicago Review Press (first published 2005)
I just finished Horseplayers: Life At The Track. Our local library obtained a copy on an interlibrary loan from the only library in our entire region that had one.
It makes a very good read, very difficult to put down. The characters that the author describes are very similar to ones I have seen either at the track or at a local OTB. And the bad beats or bad bets that he describes are all too familiar.
His personal learning curve as a handicapper culminates with this conclusion: "Now, at last, I'd discovered the dark heart and soul of the game: it wasn't about predicting the behavior of the horses. It was about predicting the behavior of other gamblers and exploiting their mistakes.... I was no longer looking for good horses. I was looking for good betting situations."
His journey to reach those conclusions was interesting. However, I never got the sense that he enjoyed what he was doing or the company of those he was doing it with. It comes across as more of a chore or an obsession, not something he did with any joy or sense of satisfaction.