Archives for May 4, 2019

Industry Profile: Professional gambler Mike Maloney

A Richmond native who lives in Lexington, the 63-year-old Maloney has been studying horse racing since age 15. But he turned pro, so to speak, about 20 years ago, becoming a full-time horseplayer and leaving his business as a wholesale antiques dealer.

It’s a journey he chronicled in the 2017 book “Betting With An Edge,” which was co-authored by Peter Thomas Fornatale. Maloney has wagered as much as $12 million in a year at one point, and he says he has turned a profit each year.

“I was in my 30s before I ever began to consistently show a profit at the track,” Maloney said. “Then once that began to happen, I thought, ‘There’s a possibility here.’ … I haven’t had a negative year, but there are a lot of years where I’m not happy and I want to do better. Then there are some years that were really good. But it’s not a smooth ride. You know, it’s gambling, and you have to embrace it that way.”

“There’s plenty of 12-hour workdays,” Maloney said. “It’s a 70 to 80-hour workweek.”

Some may instinctively recoil. Others might believe he’s got the best job in the world.

But neither response does justice to how rare it is that Maloney has had the makeup to thrive full time in a profession that a select few could do — or would want to — with numbers that seemingly dwindle each year as the game grows more difficult.

“These days, the people betting the most money, it’s AI, it’s computers, it’s algorithms, stuff like that,” Fornatale said. “But for an individual, you can’t really name (anyone better). Other people I know who’ve been doing it for a comparable amount of time as Mike are, I think, more consciously phasing out as the market gets more efficient and the game gets tougher. He’s still there grinding away, and it’s the only job he’s had in nearly 20 years.

“He really is at the pinnacle. As far as I’m concerned, put him on the Mount Rushmore of horseplayers.”   Read the rest…

Coles, Kinchen will be Guests on NBC Sports Bet Today

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May, 2019) – Scott Coles, winner of the 2019 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) and Jonathon Kinchen, winner of the 2015 NHC Tour, will be special guests on NBC Sports Bet: Derby Special – this Saturday, May 4 live at 5 p.m. ET on and the NBC Sports app. The 30-minute show will serve as a companion to the live Kentucky Derby television broadcast, which begins Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

NBC Sports Bet: Derby Special, hosted by Ahmed Fareed from the paddock at Churchill Downs, will provide horse racing bettors with last-minute tips on the Run for the Roses, with topics ranging from the value available in a 20-horse field to the impact of the weather on the race to track bias.

Fareed will be joined by a combination of special guests and members of NBC Sports’ on-air team, including analyst/handicapper Eddie Olczyk, who last year correctly predicted the top three finishers in the Kentucky Derby and will offer up his full slate of picks for this year’s race. The show will run until the horses begin the walkover for the 145th Kentucky Derby.

Coles, a 34-year-old futures trader from Grayslake, Ill., became the youngest-ever winner of the NHC this past February when he bested 668 entrants in the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament. The NHC victory earned Coles $800,000 and an Eclipse Award as the Horseplayer of the Year. Kinchen, a real estate investor from Austin, Texas, captured the 2015 NHC Tour and is among the most successful handicapping contest players in the nation.

About the NHC
Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Bally’s and Caesars Entertainment, the NHC is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. There are no bye-ins to the NHC. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. For more information on the NHC, visit