Monday, November 28, 2005

NUFCED by wikkidpissah


For twenty years, almost all of my income has come from gambling. About half has come in my 15 years as a poker dealer, a quarter from playing poker and a quarter from betting horses. There have been lows (none matched by the year I lost 80K playing video poker, it being the only true oblivion I could find during the year of my wife’s demise) and bad beats (any who know me know the “WOWEE” story – if asked, I’ll recount it in the message section) but, thanks mostly to memory’s difficulty in recalling pain, they fade to gray. I can, however, remember important wins as freshly as in the times they occurred. Such as:

- The week I moved to New Mexico, the Cowboys played the Broncos in SB X???. If you live in NM, you must decide, and dramatically so, how you feel about Texans. Texan hate was near-unanimous in the hippie community I’d moved to, so much so that none of them could find a Cowboys fan to bet with. Knowing the Orange Crush to have nooo chance, I complied, making myself a couple months income & severely depleting the weed budget of northern NM.

- The Dwight Clark catch in the NFC championship game a couple years later gained me nearly as tidy a sum but so excited me that I jumped from my chair and broke my hand on the ceiling with my fist-shake, costing my uninsured ass most of what I’d made.

- I was the only person in my section at the closed-circuit broadcast of the 1st Leonard/Duran fight who thought Duran could beat Leonard & once again took all comers at escalatingly tremendous odds. Made so much & pissed off so many that I hired two endomorphs to escort me to my car.

- Poker wins tend to blur because they are mostly of the grinding variety but highlights are: winning sixteen hands in a row, longest streak I’ve ever seen; winning at razz 62 of the 63 times I played it: the private game between old-school casino owners at the El Capitan in Hawthorne NV that Jack Straus & I would regularly rape.

Horses have brought me my biggest and most memorable scores, including:

- - The largest bet I ever made (and the only time I ever went to an ATM to get more money to wager) was on the handsomest horse I ever backed, a son of Damascus named Ogygian. He was up against a Woody Stephens entry (one of whom, Gone West, would later win a Triple Crown race) that created a huge overlay on my choice. It was the only time I ever shook from anticpation. Well, the gate opened and Ogygian reared, spotting seven lengths to two eventual G1 winners. Before my gonads recovered from their retraction, Ogygian circled the field to win going away.

- In my summer as a jockey’s agent (a friend asked me to take over his book due to a famiy tragedy) I had no luck getting mounts for my apprentice jockey. I poured thru his past preformances in the Racing Form, trying to find something he did well enough for me to recommend him to the owners I knew. I found out that the best of his many mediocre rides had come while riding on the rail. I used this knowledge to convince an owner friend to use him on a horse who had drawn the rail position. As an act of faith, I wheeled this 40-1 shot on top of the only sensible competition in the trifecta. The little sumbitch brought the horse in and a $7,000 payoff (more than I made my whole time as an agent) to yours truly.

- The first Saturday of May of 1989, I made $35,000 on one race. Six months earlier, I had seen a young horse give a good account of himself against the fanciest horse in his age group. Since he was trained by my favorite trainer, Charlie Whittingham, I decided to keep him in mind for the Kentucky Derby futures. When they opened futures betting, the horse I expected to be around 40-1 was listed at 150-1. I plunked down a coupla yards on the overlay. When I told my friends about him, they bet him at the odds of 75-1 to which my bet had dropped it; they told their friends who bet at 40-1; their friends bet at 20-1, etc. Eventually, it seemed everyone in Reno had a piece of Sunday Silence. The week before the Derby, I believe I answered more questions about the horse than did his trainer. When he won it, we had hit the racebooks for over $120,000. I cashed my 30K & received about 5K worth (plus numerous bindles of gratitude) of tips from the local sporting community.

Why do I menion all this? Because my pal & LOCKERROOM prognosticator Jimed (the Southie Savant) pulled not one but two miracles out of his ass to sweep his last-gasp action on this week’s game. Those of you who remember the picture he posted the last time one of his games ended dramatically can only dread with me what shall appear on this page Friday. Summaries of these blessed events will be included in the following game capsules (sorry to beat you to the punch, Jimmy).

STL 33 HOU 27 OT
Miracle #1: An early injury to Latin pop sensation Jamie Martin paaahked the Ram’s chances in the hands of a Quawtahback from Haaahvid Yaaahd, 7th round rookie Ryan Fitzpatrick. Inheriting a 14-0 deficit, the wee mick barely survived three quarters of merciless blitzing. When the Lambs got the ball with 2:41 remaining they were 10 down. And, mind you, Jimed’s LAYING 3 ½ points. Well, a bomb to Ike, an onside kick and 47 FG later, we’re going to OT. Fat lotta good that’s gonna do Jimmy – less’n 20% of OT games are won by TDs, so he’s gonna die by the hook, right? WRONG!! No prawwwblem fer a Haaahvid grad – another bawumb of 56 yahds to previously catchless KCurtis from dis wikkid li’l pissah & Jimmy’s goin to da windah!..Gotta say, Honey Fitz wasn’t the hero of this game - I’ve always thought Torry Holt to be a fair-weather WR, but this was his best game as a pro. He presented great targets to the rook all day & bailed him out on several occasions.

SD 23 WASH 17
Miracle #2. Several missed FGs, untimely sacks and INTs have the Chargers down 10 going into the final quarter. And, mind you, Jimed’s LAYING 3 ½ points. Well, Washington has become leader of a number of teams for whom no lead is too big to squander. LT2’s 2nd long TD run of the day sends the game into OT. Fat lotta good that’s gonna do Jimmy – less’n 20% of OT games are won by TDs, so he’s gonna die by the hook, right? WRONG!! AGAIN!!! In LT2s impressive campaign toward getting a “2”-ectomy, he breaks away for a 3rd long TD run…and Jimmy’s goin’ to da windah! AGAIN!!!...Chargers have a helluva decision to make on their QBs this offseason – Brees looked as bad this week as he did good last week.

TEN 33 SF 23
My favorite bad team showed up maybe the worst pass D I have ever seen. McNair hasn’t been this Airy in years…I hope someone will be smart enough this offseason (hellooo, Philly) to realize that Arnaz Battle will be the most valuable restricted FA available and rescue this excellent possession WR from what will be years of bad QBing by the Bay.

CIN 42 BAL 29
Apologies to the PMan, but CPalm has the best touch in football...Is anyone else noticing how player attitude management has gone to hell as a coaching art and how it appears to be causing all these unfathomable comebacks & 2nd half shootouts? The Bengals got sooo pissed at losing their shutout at 34-0 that they actually let it get close. Lombardi spins again…could JLew have been suffering from over-the-shoulder syndrome? First game without CheT stealing carries and he runs authoritatively on a good run D.

CAR 13 BUF 9
Not a miracle per se, but the Cats DID come from behind to cover by a half pt for Jimmy’s 3rd win…Bills’ D played a spirited game but Carolina had NO playcalling continuity for the 2nd consecutive game…Dunno how the Bills ended up only allowing four sacks. Every time I looked at the game on the 8cast, Loseman was getting shitstomped.

CHI 13 TB 10
Never has so good a defense been supported by so poor an offense. The Bears have scored one TD in three games of drives longer than 10 yards…The Bucs late TD ended a streak of 37 possessions by Bears’ opponents without one.

MIN 24 CLE 12
Marcus Robinson’s bi-annual Freakatron game caused him to overtake Darren Sharper as the Vikings’ leading receiver…Rubes is undaunted facing 8-in-the-box and is the only reason the Browns’ O isn’t worse than the Bears’.

KC 26 NE 16
I’m convinced – LJ has the best burst in the game. They almost lost him today, tho, when a Pats’ defender twisted his leg, far after this game got out of hand. Chiefs will regret not finding some relief for their new franchise player…I wonder if NE could get some defensive backfield help from the Niners.

JAX 24 AZ 17
Woe to the team so desperate for a QB this offseason that they confuse free-agent-to-be David Garrard for one – he’s awwwful…nor is Greg Jones a starting tailback, sorry to say…TD Vulture of the Day: Az TE Eric “the Eagle” Edwards snatching a one-yarder cuz there isn’t a Card RB who can move forward on his own.

MIA 33 OAK 21
Congratulations, Kerry Collins – it can’t be easy to make Gus Frerotte look competent, but you reached down and found that nothing extra…I’ve never seen a talented ballplayer play with less enthusiasm than RMoss is presently…Ronnie Brown gave StickyIckyRicky the chance to finish this one and possibly start the next with two fumbles.

PHIL 19 GB 14
Ugfest of the day. McMike celebrated his coaches failure to recognize how much more productive his QB is in the shotgun by regressing mightily…except for the Titans whole team, the unit playing the best with the least is the Packer D…OmiGado was the hero and goat for the Packer offense, running for 111 but losing a fumble at a crucial point again…I shall no longer be commenting on Brett Favre – it’s heartbreaking.

SEA 24 NYG 21
Good game…If the Giants fail to go anywhere this year, it will be because Eli forces waaay too many passes. The Hawks could have had a half dozen INTs today…Tiki had 612 yds of total offense in November with but one TD…Some commentator (I think it was Boomer E) called the Seahawks the 2nd best team in football today. If that’s true, we are indeed in parity hell.

The first truly irrelevant game of the season. Do you really care what I have to say about it? I didn’t think so.

I used to have a horseplayer friend who never went a day without making a bet, so as not to miss his lucky day. May you ever shit shamrocks, Sarge – you’ve earned it. Play hard -


Anonymous said...

Great horse handicapping stories, but I'm looking for your worst track experience or bad beat at the horses.

wikkidpissah said...

i dont remember ever losing on the horses.

seriously, i used to have awful luck on the breeders cup & futures to it. the very first race of the series (in, what, '84?) my bet, a 75-1 shot whose name escapes me won going away but was taken down for sending out 49-1 shot Outstandingly. As many would shy away from my BC pix as they would seek out mine for the derby, simply cuz i had 4 50-1 or better future shots lose headbobs in 3 yrs.

But the worst beat i ever had also involves the worst thing i ever saw on a race track, I was handicapping for a big drug dealer who liked to gamble (and was reeeal george)at the NM state fair meet. i went to the backstretch to get word on a horse that a friend trained & ran into Louis Figueroa, the circuit's leading rider, who put me onto a horse he had that day. My patron loaded up on him at 8-1 & i went pretty strong myself. being a race around two turns, the gate was in front of the grandstand. when they towed it into the infield after the start, someone failed to replace the railing properly. louis turned his mount into the stretch ahead of the field by nearly ten lengths. when, inside the 16th pole, he looked to see if anyone one was comin up on him, the filly ducked toward the rail. When she brushed it where she did, it gave way causing her to impale herself, right between the haunches, on the permanent rail. louis went flying & we watched in horror as blood shot everywhere, then the poor girl shuddered once and died. beats dont get no worse than that. nufced