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Wagstaff’s Picks Results – Las Vegas Edition November 25, 2008

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football, General, Horse Racing.
Tags: , ,


Yes, when I think of Las Vegas, I think of William Demerest, don’t you?

If only he could have danced like Ann-Margaret in that movie, where Ann’s body gyrates & her hair flies all over, but her head manages to stay perfectly still throughout except of course when she spins it around like Linda Blair. Then again, maybe Demerest DID dance like that on My Three Sons until Ernie told him it made him hot & gave him a dollar.

In fact, I think I remember that episode. But I just had another birthday and am getting more senile. So don’t take my word for it.

So after actually betting REAL money on my football picks this week, I wound up actually hitting a 3 team NFL parlay that made up for some losses, and my total football betting of 36 college and 8 pro games netted me a grand total of….. FIFTEEN DOLLARS!!!!

Now I can retire!!!

Oh wait, I gave it all back & more by blowing money on horse races that went very very badly, especially today. The only tracks available on a Monday are mostly the minor-league stuff, where things are unpredictable and the odds vary wildly. But I went with the stupid idea of “Well, I’m here, I may as well bet something!” and kept getting hammered over and over again. My day started out by hitting a trifecta in my first race and winning a grand total of $3 because of lousy odds. On my last bet of the day, I bet $12 and got the superfecta, getting the top 4 horses in order out of a field of 12, and for my BRILLIANT HANDICAPPING got a payout of….


Not exactly what I had in mind after spending the time & effort to handicap a half dozen or so races the previous evening & as I went along today. I suppose over the long haul I’ll make money back on a few big bets, but I think the lesson today was to be much more selective & have a back-up plan for visiting the Vegas sports books on off-football days, such as bringing a crossword puzzle book, perhaps along with a couple of strippers who have a big vocabulary, or who understand paramutuel odds better than I do.

On a Monday in the race book, you find the serious horse players – the guy sitting in front of me was betting Philadelphia Park and having about as good a day as I was, and went off on a rant of several minutes where it seemed he was caught in an endless loop of the old George Carlin “Seven Dirty Words” routine. Once he had finished marching up and down the aisles shouting his obscenities, he looked at me and apologized, saying he just does that to blow off steam. I told him it was okay and asked if we were related, and he laughed. He told me he’s been playing the races for fifty years, and does it for a living. He only bets a couple of horses each day, regardless of the odds, which told me he must be betting much larger amounts than my $12. No wonder he was so pissed when he lost.

Other highlights of today’s racing adventures: looking around the place and seeing perhaps only one or two guys about my age or younger. The rest all looked like they came straight from the retirement home. One guy was on his cellphone yelling to his friend that he’d bring his nitrate pills right after he was done betting.

“That heart attack will just have to wait Murray, I’ve got a hot tip on the sixth at Calder!!!”

The place was full during the football days of Saturday & Sunday, however, and various small encampments of alumni fans were spread around – Michigan here, Ohio State there, Oklahoma over there, and so on. There was also the usual assortment of douchebags with crappy cigars along with regular cigarette chain smokers to ruin the breathing for everyone. At least on Sunday, the Superbook at the Hilton opens up their theater as a non-smoking big screen assortment of every NFL game. I went in there after a while just to clear my lungs up.

By the way, I am NOT going to include any totals from my predictions for this weekend into my virtual scoresheet. I went 17-19 in college and 5-3 in the pros if that means anything.

Other Wagstaff Vegas Goodies: On Sunday I had an interesting conversation with the guy sitting next to me who turned out to be a pro football gambler. He told me how he basically makes 6 figures a year betting football, and then explained his theory of how NFL games are fixed & how he adjusts his betting accordingly. So, I’m sitting there listening to this, pegging this guy as either a lucky paranoid or a towering genius who has found the ultimate way to beat the system. And then I start thinking about some of the truly horrendous bone-headed officiating in the NFL this season, especially in games involving San Diego, especially this past Sunday where the refs stopped the clock for NO reason giving the Colts a chance to regroup and score the winning points COSTING ME FIVE DOLLARS, and I’m leaning towards “genius” for that guy.

I should have gotten his phone number & had him make my horse picks today.

Overall, the trip was fun. Had a wonderful dinner Saturday at Enoteca San Marco at the Venetian, which might becoming my new favorite Italian restaurant in Vegas. My airport shuttle driver today was a cross between Carl from Carl’s Cuts & Barney Fife and was entertaining. He might have been the only obligatory tip I paid out on this trip that I actually felt was worth it.

Yes, I am THAT MUCH OF A CHEAP BASTARD, even though I’m actually a generous tipper. I just like BITCHING about it afterwards.

Then when I got on my flight back, I look across the aisle, and there’s a Hasidim along with his son so I think to myself “Wow! I’m in the JEW row!”

However, this theory is then shattered once the two seats next to me are taken by a woman who looked like a gene splicing between Rosie O’Donnell & Kathy Griffin and a guy who looked like Bobby Trendy after the accident. God forbid the fabulous babe exotic raven haired beauty I saw waiting along with me at the airport sit next to me. God forbid she return any of my dirty old lecher smiles at her. God forbid she stop talking to that cop and pointing at me…

Kathy-Rosie smiled at me, however. At least someone has good taste, even if their arms were covered in spiky-chain-link-fence design tattoos.

Just my type!

Perhaps I should have HER make my horse picks next time.



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