Bookmaking as art

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Just look at those tasteful bettin’ boards

There were a lot of things going on in the world of race and sports last week – the sports betting boards were full of golf, golf props, World Cup Soccer with all kind of ways to bet and be bored, a full slate of inter-league baseball with first five innings wagering and lots of other stuff.

In my travels I really like to look at the boards – not the new high-tech electronic boards but the old fashion boards that are kept up by a writer or one of the supervisors.

When I first came to Las Vegas, doing the boards was a full time job and a Boardman was hired to do that job exclusively; and let me tell you there were some real pros who took great pride in how the kept their boards up.

One top notch sports board guy was Jimmy Croley, who is now the head guy over at the Bellagio. Jimmy could do a board like Rembrandt.

There are still a few good boards around, at the Palace Station Art Lopez does some fine work when he gets his hands on them.

But the professional ones are long gone, especially in the race books that still use the old wall boards for putting up results and scratches and jockey changes. Few have the time or can keep the boards up-to-date as they all have other duties to perform.

Before, the only job a race board person had was keeping the results and changes up to date, except when my brother Tom was the board guy at Palace Station in the 80s. he was out in the crowd getting his bets down but he still did a good job, especially after he would get a winner. Then he would put the results up in bold writing.

There is a pro over at the Gold Coast by the name of “Donnie the Waiter” who, when he isn’t writing tickets or supervising, does a great job with the boards. Donnie at one time was a top notch waiter around town and a top notch handicapper. His love for horses took him away from waiting the tables as he just wanted to be around the game 24/7 and he is.

Stop over at the Gold Coast and check out his work, the boards will be up to date and he may even pass along a winner or two.

Legendary Las Vegas Sports bettor Sam Brown once told me when things are going good never brag or get excited, as you can turn them around with just one word.

I may have put too many words on the Cincinnati Reds, who last week were in first place when I wrote about them and now they have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games and have fallen a game and a half behind the Cards, who have only gone 5-5 in their last 10 games.

I will now be silent.

There were a lot of good streaks last week and there are still some good ones with the Rangers winning eight in a row and now get the Pirates at home. The Pirates did break theIr 12 game losing streak on Saturday against another bad team, the Indians.

The worst road team in baseball, the Orioles, have won a whopping eight games on the road while losing 29.

In the American League East, the Yanks have overtaken the Rays who slumped in their last 10 games, going just 3-7 as the Red Sox keep moving up, going 8-2 in their last ten games.

In the National League East, the Mets and the Braves both remain hot with each going 8-2 in their last 10 games. In the American League West the schedule has really been kind to the Rangers who have gone 9-1 in their last 10 games, beating up on the Marlins, Astros and the Nationals; they now get the Pirates for three at home and then they get Houston again for three more at home – they can really pad their lead over the Angels.

There’s one future bet that I have made on week one in the NFL. I bet under 40 in the Falcon and Steelers game on Sept. 12. With no Big Ben, look for Pittsburgh to run, run, run, this total can only come down so get out and bet!

Football is right around the corner, and if you are not a GT subscriber, now is the time. there will be some big things coming down the pike especially online, with our big free football contest. You will get GT mailed directly to you and also get all our daily stuff on the web, daily sports and horse selections and much more and its only $140 for six months; so just call 798-1151 and sign on right now.

This Thursday at 10 a.m., I and Jerry J of Jerry J’s Power Page will be hosting a race seminar at Texas Station; expect some free coffee and doughnuts and maybe some good insight from Jerry and there is always my schtick which is worth the price of a free admission, so don’t be square; see you there.

 

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