You want to be on the right side. You fire up your computer and find dozens of “experts” who will put you on a winner or winners.
Some sites give you this self-proclaimed valuable information free. How valuable can it be? Others will put you on the winning side for a small price or the really, really right side for a bigger contribution.
Some sites and “professional handicappers” rate their selections by stars. A five star pick is rated much better than a three star and costs more of course. I’ve seen thousand star picks alongside the pick of the century. Here, take my money, please.
Some “experts” and sites give out both sides. One customer will think they’re geniuses and will be back while the loser looks for another site. Some will offer a free pick if your already-paid-for pick loses.
I’ve counted half a dozen National Handicapping Champions with pictures of them holding a trophy to prove it.
Back in the day it wasn’t always so expensive to get touted. Used to be free, actually; that is free till you ripped up your betting ticket. There were a few very successful bettors and if you could find out who they were betting you could follow their action. Thus the phrase “followers.”
That’s where the rub comes in. Getting the right side was the first chore. Then you still had to win it. Not a good parlay. Some of the information was outright bogus.
The Computer Group aka The Computer were super successful but their followers not so much. The Computer would get down with us at the Stardust first. That side would be bet all over town and even around the country. Trouble was some of their early sides were bogus on purpose.
The Computer didn’t want us to get buried every day so they respected us for opening our numbers first and operating a reliable book. They purposely bet a few sides they hoped would lose and the followers piled on.
Later in the day as the numbers moved with the action the conversations went something like: “That must be The Computer that moved it”… “Naw can’t be, they bet the other side this morning.”
Horse bettors were virtually obsessed with getting “the steam.” A conversation among our horse bettors might go like: “My guy has the eight horse”… “That’s the wrong horse, my guy has the seven.”
“You have the right guy but the wrong horse”… “Not a chance, you got the right horse but the wrong guy.”
Meanwhile they both probably have the wrong guy and horse since the six got there.
Not all steam was bad, however. The best example was Chuck Schaupp, who was a big winner with NBA totals. In fact, one withdrawal from his phone account with us was for $500K. He was the real deal and his sides were valuable.
Chuck never played earlier than 3:15 or so and his followers had to scramble all at once to get down on a good number that won more than lost. Chuck retired to Thailand long ago as did Roxy (Roxborough) and Dick “The Pick,” among other successful handicappers.
Me, I’m still here, sometimes looking back more than ahead. Take care, Scotty.