This week’s column for AmWager:
I have talked about many aspects of your game and the tools needed in your arsenal to be successful betting on the Sport of Kings. Today seems like a good day to discuss one thing you need that often gets overlooked. Focus.
Even if you know what to do and how to approach beating this very hard but skill game, if you lose focus you will almost certainly fail.
So many players today get caught up in social media while they are gambling. People go to the races and behave like it is a social event. That’s fine if this is recreational to you. But if you are playing to win and think you can spend hours on social media, or like you are at a catered affair, then I wanna bet that in the long run you are losing, donating, depositing or whatever you’d like to call it. Focus.
Today more than ever there are so many things going on in the sport that can distract you. Most you can’t change. Regardless there is a time to chat, and a time to have your game face on. I can be very active on social media. Once it gets close to post time, and through the last race I’m pretty scarce.
When I used to go to the track every day many people thought I was unfriendly and unapproachable. I would sit at my table with my Dad and Brother, or a few select friends. If they were not with me I’d sit alone. I preferred it that way, and had my best days that way. I still do. I didn’t want to be asked who I liked, who I was alive with, what I was betting or anything. It took away from my focus.
I guess maybe 5 to 10% of players beat the game without rebates. That is very low for a skill game but it should get anyone who wants to very motivated and make them see there is a way.
Sound handicapping, good ticket structure, smart money management, patience, discipline, and focus. These are all things you can learn, improve or control. If you are not putting in the effort, and are treating the game nonchalantly the game will devour you.
Despite all the distractions we have the Belmont Stakes and the supporting card coming up. The Metropolitan Mile is looking like the race of the year to date. The Haskell just may pit Maximum Security against War of Will. They might meet again in the Travers with Code of Honor and Tacitus joining the party. Monomoy Girl should be coming back soon as should Omaha Beach. There are going to be a lot of good races and cards, and that means opportunities. Focus. Don’t let the distractions derail you.
The large majority of people will not have the fortitude or discipline to stay at this game the way it needs to be played to beat it. That helps motivate me, and it should you if you want to be in that 5-10%. Remember you are playing people not playing for keeps. Play for keeps and let that be your edge. Focus.
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