We feel the professional race player needs to get around 12 - l8 solid wagers a day.
Remember the time projection numbers from the "New Reality" section?
According to the time zone you live in and the time zones of the tracks your betting - your work day will be from around 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. - give or take.
You'll need to be up and running, i.e. have all races and tracks for that day sorted out and entered on your betting forms, be connected to two on-line tote boards, have whatever visual feeds you have ready, etc. - and all this at least l5min. before start of the first race.
The LAST thing you want - believe us - is to be trying to handicap in the middle of your race day. Your complete concentration and full energy must be directed towards wagering, and money/information management.
It's your livelihood - no shortcuts here!
Lack of concentration, distraction - any lapse, can and will cost you money. When you lose money because of a silly mistake, you get down on yourself and emotionally upset. You'll then make more errors - every time.
It's an inevitable compounding of the negative that we've dubbed: "The Black Snowball Effect."
Once set in motion, the problems and errors just keep getting bigger and your emotions just keep getting darker.
Practicality Goal #1 is to keep wagering errors to the bare minimum possible. There's no such thing as error-free play, but strive for it anyway.
Getting shut out will happen, an occasional miscalling of a horse's number, computer glitches, misplaced betting forms or handicapping info - these things will happen. To keep them to a minimum requires your full, undivided attention during the betting day.
Okay - so, when do you handicap?
After the races? You'll need at least 45min. to update your
records and "books" after the betting day is over, and we estimated in an
earlier section that it would take even a sharp, fast handicapper around
Your nice 7.5 to 8 hr day has just become a 14 hr. day - can you say "burn out"?!
Burnout is always just around the corner in this business. Stress is a very real problem when you're stepping up to the plate and risking your money 15-25 times every day. To have to spend 5-6 hrs. handicapping after a stressful day? Your handicapping will suffer - then the next day's increased number of losses will cause more stress and worry . . .
Remember the "Black Snowball"?
You already know our recommendation - Purchase solid handicapping information from a reputable company and cut your handicapping time drastically - or completely.
A Proposed Routine For Those Who Are Home-Based
This should be modified by you in any way that better fits your situation - those wagering at the track or satellite center, etc. while still maintaining the spirit of total commitment.
- Up at 7:00 a.m. - at the latest. Do whatever you do to wake up - brew some coffee, take a shower, whatever.
- Now go over the previous day's, wagers with a critical eye. What errors did you make? What were your strengths and weaknesses? Spend maybe 30 min. here - make notes to yourself - try to improve - find areas where time could be saved, etc..
- Then, get at least 30 min' of exercise - 45 min. would be better. Include some deep-breathing to get the brain stimulated.
- Have a light breakfast.
You're at around 9:00 a.m. now - you have an hour or so to ready yourself for today's campaign.
- Use 10-15 min. to do some visualization. Countless studies have shown the benefit of this. Don't pooh-pooh it - just do it!
Visualize yourself going through your betting day without a flaw or hitch. "See" yourself hitting winner after winner. Visualize calmly raising your betting amounts and continuing to hit good winners. See your end-of-day bankroll up 20% higher than projections. See yourself entering that figure in your accounting books. Visualize having quality time with your family or friends afterwards. See yourself going to bed tonight - happy, confident, and secure.
The highest truth is that we create our own everyday realities.
Now take 15 min. to go over your written goals - both long-term and short. These goals should be all inclusive: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly,5 year and 10 year. They should also cover all aspects of your life: spirituality, health, education, business, family, retirement, etc..
When your betting day has begun, take 5 min. every hour or so to get up and stretch - walk briskly, do a few "jumping-jacks" or some push-ups - deep breathing - get outside - RECHARGE!
This is especially important if you've just committed a foolish error or taken a bad beat that has upset you. Get over it - you're a pro. Recharge and reload - there's another opportunity coming up right away!
Speaking of maintaining calm and keeping energy levels high, here are a few suggestions:
1. Have a small fountain in your home office - very soothing without being distracting.
2. Use full-spectrum light bulbs in your room.
3. Keep the window open - even in winter, at least a crack.
4. Once or twice during the day have some: coffee, fresh juice, bee pollen, ginseng tea. Use these stimulants in moderation to maintain alertness throughout the day.
5. If you are the type that can take cat-naps
and you have a 30 or 40 min. break between races - go
Services and Software You Will, or May Need
You'll need access to real-time tote boards for each track you are playing. There are several - and more coming online all the time.
Always have two browser windows open on your computer. Put a different tote board in each. Use the tote you feel most comfortable with - minimize the other window and have it as a backup. Many times services just go down - or stop reporting one of the tracks in the middle of the racing day. Wwho knows why? They lose their signal or whatever, but you'll have the other one ready to call up and not miss a beat.
If you insist on spending 4-6 hours everyday handicapping, you'll need a good computer program to crunch the numbers. To do everything by hand?Well, our advice is FORGET IT!
The possibility of human error,mathematical or otherwise, is just too great and ever-present.
There are several good pieces of handicapping software out there, but they all have long learning curves (no matter what the authors would have you believe), and they all require the hours put in every day.
You'll need a betting outlet. There are scores of them now, and the list is growing. For our current recommendations, please contact us: support@HorseRacingGold.com
Optimal is to have two phone bet accounts set up and active. Redundancy is the best insurance. Always have a back-up for every aspect of your business. An online account allows you to place your bet online using your computer. A few of the phone-bet companies also offer automatic input from your phone by keying bets into the phone pad.
With two phone accounts set up ( and two phone lines into your home if possible ) you assure yourself of timely access to placing your wagers. As with betting at the track, the closer to post time you can place your wager the better. Being shut out and missing a good winner can be one of the most emotionally upsetting things that can happen in your betting day. Two phone accounts - and preferably two phone lines - can avoid the "please hold for the next available teller" recording that can cause you to miss placing that bet.
You may wish to have satellite television feeds into your home as well. Only - make sure you aren't the type who gets all wound up and emotionally upset over losses. If you like to blame jockeys for "stiffing" your horses, you might be better off without it. Video taping the races is another possibility that can add a "trip" handicapping element to your approach (but this can be very subjective at best and downright confusing at worst).
But - it is nice to be able to "see 'em run." There are a couple of companies at present:
TVG and Horse Racing TV - YouBet also offers live video (2 races at once available) from all the tracks it has signals for. Many of the tracks provide live video and/or audio to your computer as well.
A Word On Taxes
Here are a few "blurbs" on the tax ramifications of your race betting business - with the AVISO that we are not tax accountants - consult one of your own if you have questions. These are just "for your information" tidbits - please do not consider us expert in this area or make any decisions based on this information.
- In general, if you're winning and actually reporting all your gambling activities to the IRS - you'll end up paying taxes on them.
- Gambling losses are deductible only up to the amount of gambling winnings reported.
- Big wins - any where the gain is 300 times or greater than the amount bet - are taxed on the spot at an approximate 28%o clip. But - the gambler is liable and required to report all winnings over $5000 in any year. It doesn't matter if these winnings accrued in a $20 here, $65 there manner - legally they must still be reported.
- Many players buy separate tickets on any thing that might put them into a taxable payoff situation, but the IRS has that covered too (you don't think they would miss any chance to glom onto your money do you?!). There is a rule that states that all separate wagers on a single event are still considered as one wager for tax purposes.
- In order to take tax deductions at all, you must file an itemized form. You can't do the "E-2" form and take the standard deduction - and also claim gambling losses.
- Substantiation of losses is critical. The IRS may require "multiple proofs" of all losses. Good record keeping is a must. Record everything: dates, tracks, race numbers, amounts bet, results, location and address of establishment where you placed the wagers, names of anyone present on that occasion, etc..
If you keep the kind of records for your race betting business as you would any other business - that is full, complete, accurate" organized and with verification - there should be no problem.
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