About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 15-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He cashed on the NHC Tour for 2018 with a 19th overall finish. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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Common Beginner Mistakes to Avoid in Poker

Poker Pro Vanessa Russo

Poker Pro Vanessa Russo

What is Poker?

Poker is a game of cards with different sets which combines gambling, strategy and skill. There are a lot of poker variants but we shall talk about classic poker. Poker was a family household game at first but gave rise to popularity in the 20th century and is now played by millions of players. So if you’re trying to learn poker, here are some common beginner mistakes to avoid in poker:

  1. Playing hands excessively

You do not have to play every hand. Don’t get impatient and feel left out of the action. It could also mean they don’t know any better. The reason you don’t play too many hands is that you’re only going to hit the flop a small percentage of the time and even if you hit the flop you won’t know if your hand is the best. And if you’re involved in too many pots, your chips will all be gone.

  1. Playing scared

Some players play recklessly while others play with fear. You may be afraid to play any hand thinking others might have a monster hands. The best way to get over this is to log in time at the table and just trust your gut.

  1. Getting attached to a hand

Because of the aggressive nature of how poker players play, it makes you think ‘giving up’ is losing. But sometimes it is correct to fold. Do not get emotionally attached or play passively. You stay in a hand if you don’t want to get bluffed out of a pot.

  1. Bluffing excessively

Some people think poker is all about bluffing but the optimal percentage of bluffing should not become predictable. You need to present a believable story and be representing a particular hand for your ploy to work.

  1. Extreme Bet Sizes

You have to realize the pot limits and no limits. Correctly size your bets so that you can manipulate the action that comes with the experience of poker. New players often bet to the extremes which you should not do. Miss- sizing bets also occur after the flop. You want to bet what maximizes your win and minimizes your loss.

  1. Chasing

You could see a hard hoping to improve your hand but calling a draw might be a mistake and has improper pot odds to do so. While you might hit the right hand, you might chase without the right odds and lose money.

  1. Overvaluing bad hands

You might think your hand holds value but hold little value in comparison to other cards. Cards like K3,Q5 etc. With experience you can easily make a higher pocket pair.

  1. Don’t let emotions affect your gameplay

You might have had a bad day at work but don’t rush into an action. Think before you act. Entering a pot or calling a raise without a plan might make you lose.

  1. Playing above your bankroll

It’s important to manage your poker bankroll. There are variance plays in poker. You might go on long losing streaks. So play within your limits and don’t burn through your money or you will go broke.

With all these tricks and tips, you’ll be a pro in no time.

Group Seeks To Infuse Youth Into Aging Horse Racing Industry

young attractive British racegoer“Young people can bring new creative ideas to the sport,” said Jaime Roth, who runs her family’s LNJ Foxwoods stable. “Are there bad things? Yeah. But for the most part, it’s a great sport. We’re dependent on the future and young women are a big part of the future.”

Bussanich firmly believes “if we don’t get these young people into the sport, we’re not going to have horse racing.” A 2016 study noted the average horse racing fan is 63 , — younger only than golf — and decision makers, owners and trainers are still prominently older white men.

“We constantly sit around board room tables and say, ‘How are we going to get more young people involved in horse racing?’” owner and Thoroughbred Ideas Foundation president and CEO said Craig Bernick said. “I’m the youngest person around the table a lot of times and I’m 41.”

Nexus is full of people horse racing executives yearn to attract: Bussanich grew up in New Jersey and developed her affection for the sport from going to a track in Florida at age 6; Sutton fell in love when filly Rags to Riches won the 2007 Belmont and Nexus member relations director Mary Cage was hooked by Smarty Jones’ underdog story during the 2004 Triple Crown.

Horse racing is so often a passion passed down generationally. The Nexus co-founders are trying to break down what they see as a high …

Does Horse Racing Need To Make Changes To Keep Up With Sports Betting?

A gambler can walk into the Meadowlands Racetrack or Monmouth Park in New Jersey — or at racetracks in other states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia — and go to the sportsbook there and place bets on sporting events. The “hold” by the books averages around 5%.

Or the gambler can make a wager on a horse race, either happening at that track or elsewhere via a simulcast TV feed. The hold for that bet is around 15-20%.

Is that a problem, now that sports betting increasingly is going hand-in-hand with horse racing?

The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, a not-for-profit industry advocacy group, said it is, in a provocative report published earlier this year.

“Racing’s existing customers, including our best customers, will be wooed by fabulously funded sports betting agencies,” the article reads, “while future generations of potential customers will be avalanched by customized fixed-odds betting products featuring their favorite leagues, teams, and players. The opportunities will be endless.

“Over roughly the next two to three years, racing must adapt to these new market conditions — accepting fixed-odds and exchange wagering on its product; developing a new funding model to support the sport in light of this disruptive, well-financed and aggressive competition; significantly boosting and improving our marketing efforts; and innovating to create new types of bets for customers who will soon be taken by agile, forward-thinking sports betting outlets. The future of horse racing …

Nilsen’s Full-Card Belmont Stakes Analysis

Rich Nilsen qualifies for the 16th time

with Wagering Strategies & Spot Plays for 2019 by Rich Nilsen

This is Rich Nilsen’s home track and the results have showed in recent years. Nilsen gave out $34.80 winner Creator as his top pick as well as the huge exacta with Destin that returned over $260.  He followed that up the next year with top selection $12.60 Tapwrit and the exacta and trifecta!  With Justify in 2018, Nilsen has picked the winner of the Belmont Stakes 3 years in a row.

Founder of AGameofSkill.com, Nilsen is the winner of 8 major handicapping tournaments and, after qualifying last weekend, is now a 16-time qualifier to the multi million-dollar National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). He is well known as one of the best handicappers in the country.

There are a lot of pretenders out there. Get affordable, expert advice for this year’s amazing Belmont Stakes card.

NEW! New features in 2019

  • Most likely winner for every race
  • Best Value play selection for every race
  • Race commentary on all 13 races.
  • A portion of the proceeds will go to a Race Horse Retirement Organization (we’re waiting to hear back from the one we’ve chosen)

 

This sheet contains:

  • Top selections for all 13 races
  • Sophisticated Pace Scenario for all 13 races
  • Spot Plays (Best Bets) on the undercard w/ wagering strategies
  • In-depth Analysis of the Belmont Stakes.  Includes Exacta and Superfecta strategies.

Get all 13 races on the Belmont card.  Download now for only $16.97 to any device.

 

2016 Write-Up on TOP SELECTION CREATOR

CREATOR lost his best chance when he broke from an inside post in the field of 20 and encountered a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby.  Prior to that he was ultra impressive, sweeping by the field in the G1 Arkansas Derby.  If you want to see an incredible maiden win, just go back and what this colt’s Feb. 27 score at Oaklawn, and you’ll again see the type of late kick this guy possesses.  Trainer Steve Asmussen has the son of Tapit working well for this rebound race, including a blowout 4f drill over the Belmont training track. Bred to run all day, Creator will drop back under new rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. and come rolling late at a big price. 

Testimonial from the 2017 Sheet:

“Hey Rich.. Thanks for putting me on Tapwrit !! I liked him and Gormley and Irish War Cry.

I think  #9 meantime had enough speed to compromise Irish War Cry. Have feeling that if he wasn’t in the race, Irish War Cry might have been loose on the lead ,and had enough to win.  I had Tapwrit straight & the exacta.  Tapwrit & Gormley both had “dream trips”, But Gormley didnt want to go that far… Hey !! let’s give some love to Disco Partner for his new North  American record for 6 panels. I had him straight  and also knocked down the exacta of 2-4 for $42.00… Hope you had a good day & made some cash !!
 
Thanks Again, 
Wayne M.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – June 5

track announcer with binocularsFREE AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes from recent horse races, compliments of Agameofskill.com

PIMLICO

COMPLETED PASS (Race 12 @PIM, May 17, 2019).  The Robert Bone-owned runner has a bright, bright future.  The son of Pass Rush exited wickedly fast pace at Laurel and came back and won on the Black Eyed Susan’s card.  This 5yo could develop into one of the best turf sprinters in the land.

PLEASE FLATTER ME (Race 8 @PIM, May 17, 2019) – 3yo Munnings filly had no chance against the likes of Covfefe, who broke the track record in 1.07.70.  Look for this Mark Reid back in against softer company.  Can  sprint or route up to one mile.

CREATIVE ARTIST (Race 1 @PIM, May 18, 2019) – broke from tough outside post in turf debut, off the 6+ month layoff (trainer only 7%).  This was a first time gelding and he finished strong to be a close third in a competitive field. Can move forward back on turf.

HIP HOP (Race 4 @PIM, May 18, 2019) – 4yo Drosselmeyer filly loves the grass and ran big again on the Preakness undercard.   What won’t show in the Past Performance is that she spotted 16lbs to the winning 3yo.  I don’t care how far the race is; that’s significant.  Next start for this runner is her third of the year.

Have You Checked out our Handicapping 101 Articles?

Stich Wins Again. 28yo Handicapper Takes Down Record Field at Monmouth Park

AGOS Founder Also Qualifies at Pick Your Prize Challenge Tournament

Patrick Stich of Chicago, IL turned his $1,000 starting bankroll into $6,150 to win Monmouth Park’s fourth annual $2,000 Pick Your Prize Handicapping Challenge on Saturday, June 1.

Stich bested a record field of 222 entries made up of players from 30 states and Canada.

Rich Nilsen qualifies for the 16th time

For finishing first, Stich received an automatic $14,000 and two picks from the Pick Your Prize board. In total, the board was composed of 22 NHC seats – the most of any online or on-track contest in history – as well as six full Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seats and $86,000 in cash prizes. With his two picks, Stich selected the top cash prize of $12,000 and well as the prize of BCBC+$3,500. Including his bankroll, Stich walked away with $35,650 plus a seat in the $10,000 BCBC.

Early in the day, Stich started strong by hitting a $200 fourth race exacta at Gulfstream for $1,640. A $50 fifth race exacta at Gulfstream earned Stich another $2,475. A $600 win bet in the 11th race at Gulfstream had Stich with $5,050 going into the Monmouth Park finale – the final contest race. A winning $200 cold exacta returned $1,300 and landed Stich the title.

Saturday’s second-place finisher was Tim Yohler of Fishers, IN who finished with a bankroll of $5,843.60.

All Pick Your Prize players were required to bet at least $100 on a total of 10 races from Monmouth Park, Belmont and Gulfstream. At least five of those races needed to be Monmouth Park races. Bets could only be win, place, show, exacta or any combination thereof.

All players kept their final bankrolls. The Top 5 finishers received a guaranteed cash prize. The Top 7 finishers all received two picks from the prize board in order of finish. Finishers 8 through 27 received one pick.

Following is the full list of results from Saturday’s $2,000 Pick Your Prize Handicapping Challenge:

Finish Name Bankroll Prize
1st Patrick Stich $6,150 $29,500+BCBC
2nd Tim Yohler $5,843.60 $14,000+BCBC+NHC
3rd Ross Szlasa $5,253 $13,000+BCBC
4th Frank Fosbre $5,201.60 $10,000+BCBC
5th Mark Streiff $4,848.50 $5,000+BCBC+NHC
6th Rich Pawlowski $4,545.40 $2,000+NHC+BCBC
7th Andrew Gredesky $4,208 $5,500+NHC
8th Gary Wright $4,031 NHC
9th Nick Noce $3,788 NHC
10th Scott Carson $3,678 $4,000
11th Frank Gryboski $3,620 $3,000
12th Stephen McNatton $3,412.50 NHC
13th Tim Hughes $3,410.50 NHC
14th David Wolff $3,377.95 NHC
15th John Vail $3,207.50 NHC
16th Joe Regan $3,053 NHC
17th Roger Cettina $3,000.80 NHC
18th Sally Goodall $2,993.20 NHC
19th David Wolff $2,940 $3,000 (in lieu of a 2nd NHC seat)
20th Scott Carson $2,876 NHC
21st John Fisher $2,735 NHC
22nd Mike Mulvihill $2,724 NHC
23rd Rich Nilsen $2,667.25 NHC
24th Don Chung $2,604 NHC
25th Jose Raphael $2,466 NHC
26th Jeff Bussan $2,429.55 NHC

Nick Fazzolari Wins New Sunday Contest

For the first time, Monmouth Park also hosted a $300 NHC Qualifier on Sunday, June 2. The winner of that contest was Nick Fazzolari of Colts Neck, NJ who used a late all-in in the finale at Belmont to catapult to the lead and best the field of 179 entries. Fazzolari will be headed to the NHC along with second-place finisher Rich Pesce and third-place finisher Mark Odorisio.

Monmouth Park’s next handicapping contest is a $300 Monmouth/Woodbine event ($150 entry fee, $150 bankroll) on Saturday, June 29, which will award three NHC seats . Woodbine’s historic Queen’s Plate will be carded on June 29.

Colonial Downs in Virginia to Offer $1.8 Million Stakes Schedule

Led by the $250,000 Virginia Derby (G3), Colonial Downs has announced its 2019 stakes schedule for the 15-day race meeting, Aug. 8-Sept. 7, which will include $1.8 million in stakes purses as flat racing returns to Virginia for the first time since 2013. Through the investment of the Colonial […]

With the Barn Area reopening on July 25, Colonial Downs also announced that the condition book and stall application are now available at www.colonialdowns.com.

Racing will be conducted on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the meeting except for the final week when racing will be held on Monday, Sept. 2 (Labor Day) and again on Friday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 7. Post time for all race days is 5 p.m. ET, except for the Sept. 2 card, which will begin with a 1 p.m. first post.

“As a native Virginian, it is exciting to be part of a strong team effort bringing racing back to Colonial Downs,” said Jill Byrne, Colonial Downs Vice President of Racing Operations. “We are dedicated to the horse racing industry and making a positive impact in all aspects of it. We’ve received so much interest and support from horsemen, patrons, media and industry leaders and look forward to providing a fantastic racing experience for everyone.”

“We are excited to welcome back horsemen to race at Colonial Downs with a highly competitive daily purse structure and comprehensive stakes schedule,” said Colonial Downs Racing Secretary Allison De Luca. “We offer a strong turf racing program with the widest grass course in the country that holds up extremely well to all weather conditions along with our 1 1/4 mile main track allowing us to provide a broad base of race options.”

Learn about the Japanese Derby

The Stakes Stands Out as One of Racing’s big events

…The Derby is one of the greatest races on the Japanese horse racing calendar, and attendance figures on the day invariably top the 100,000 mark. It represents the second leg of the Triple Crown, after the Satsuki-sho (or Japanese 2,000 Guineas) earlier in the spring, and the final race of the series in autumn, the Kikka-sho (or Japanese St. Leger).

The race starts in front of the packed grandstands, and after taking in just over a circuit of the turf track (the race distance is 2,400 meters), the winning colt on Sunday will flash past the winning post to claim a Derby victory, in probably a little over 2 minutes and 20 seconds, and will become the proud recipient of all the glory that goes with a Classic win, as well as the ¥200 million winner’s check. The post-race ceremony for the winner and connections can really drive home the meaning of what it is to win the race.

The first Japanese Derby was run at Meguro Racecourse in Tokyo in 1932 and was won by a horse called Wakataka. It wasn’t long after that construction started on the racecourse at Fuchu, and since the early ’30s, this has been the spiritual home of Japanese horse racing, hosting other big races like the Emperor’s Cup (Tenno-sho), the Japan Cup and the Yasuda Kinen, as well as the Derby. Japan is lucky enough to enjoy a buoyant horse racing industry, with breeding farms in Hokkaido playing a big part, and in recent years, attendances at racecourses have been increasing, together with sales turnover. Japan-bred horses are known to the world, and just in the past few months, the filly Almond Eye scored a big win in Dubai, and Master Fencer ran a strong race in the Kentucky Derby to finish sixth.

Domestically though, the Derby is one of the big ones, and it’s just about everybody’s dream to win it. A Derby winner would always be considered something special, particularly when it comes to breeding after the horse’s racing career is over. A case in point is the great Deep Impact, who thrilled racing fans during his reign at the top, winning 12 out of a total of 14 races while gracing the racecourse, including the Derby in 2005. He invariably weighed less than 450 kg, but to see his turn of foot and him picking off his rivals down the home straight in a race has to be one of the greatest sights in modern Japanese racing. Fittingly, he has been the leading sire in Japan for the last seven years.

Jason Beem to Serve as Colonial Downs Track Announcer

Colonial Downs officials today announced that veteran race caller Jason Beem will be the official track announcer for the 2019 Colonial Downs meeting, Aug. 8-Sept. 7.

Beem, who began calling races in 2006, is currently the race caller at Monmouth Park through late June. Beem, raised in Washington state, was the race caller at Portland Meadows from 2006 to 2014, and was the full-time race caller at River Downs (now Belterra) from 2006-2008; as well as calling the races at Louisiana Downs in 2015, along with stints at Gulfstream Park West and Emerald Downs. Beem will also take part in race analysis, handicapping as well as social media posts for Colonial Downs.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Colonial Downs team for the rebirth of racing in Virginia,” said Beem. “I have many fond memories watching and playing the great turf races from Colonial Downs for several years, so the opportunity to get to call those races is something I’m really looking forward to experiencing. I’m also very excited about the team they are putting together and look forward to helping make this first season back a successful one.”

Mandatory Payout at Pimlico for Memorial Day

BALTIMORE – There will be mandatory payouts in the 20-cent Rainbow 6, 50-cent Late Pick 5 and $1 Super Hi-5 for Monday’s special Memorial Day holiday program that marks the close of the 12-day Preakness Meet at Pimlico Race Course.

Post time for the first of nine races is 1:10 p.m.

The Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 10th consecutive racing day Sunday, growing the carryover jackpot to $261,773.73. A total of $33,605 was bet into the popular multi-race wager on top of a carryover of $251,028.48 from Saturday’s program.

Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $67.96.

The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 60 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 40 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

Maryland’s state-record Pick 6 carryover is $345,898.33, reached heading into the April 15, 2018 program at Laurel Park. It was solved that day by a single bettor for a jackpot payout of $399,545.94.

Monday’s Rainbow 6 sequence covers Races 4-9 and is highlighted by a $42,000 entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up going 1 ½ miles on the grass that drew a field of eight led by narrow 7-2 program favorite Posterity and 2018 Maryland Million Turf Starter Handicap winner Barin.

Racing moves to Laurel Park for its 43-day summer meet, which runs Friday, May 31 to Sunday, Aug. 18.

Notes: Jockey Julio Correa swept the opening daily double Sunday aboard Mahkato ($13.20) in Race 1 and River Sonata ($17.20) in Race 2. Trevor McCarthy, who was at Woodbine Sunday, will win the jockey title holding a 12-7 advantage over Jorge Vargas Jr., who has two mounts Monday, while Jamie Ness will win the training title, leading Graham Motion and Claudio Gonzalez, 9-5. McCarthy is named in five races Monday, while Ness has horses entered in three races.