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Pool Player

The Beginner's Guide To The Game of Pool posted by Pool Player

Pool is a cue sport, and is also called pool billiards or pocket billiards. The game is played on a special table that has six pockets along the rails where the balls are to be deposited. The player hits a cue ball with a cue stick, against the other balls to propel them into the pockets. There are many types of pool games, but the main ones are bank, one-pocket, straight pool, ten-ball, nine-ball, and eight-ball pool. The size of the pool table can range from 3.5 x 7 feet to 4.5 x 9 feet. The modern cue stick is usually 58.5 inches long, and size of the balls range from 2.25 inches to 2.375 inches in diameter.

Eight-ball is the most popular pool game in the United States and it is also widely played in pubs across U.K. This game is played with fifteen balls and a cue ball. The aim of the game is to pocket all the balls, except the 8 ball, which has to be pocketed last. The players try to claim the suit, and at the same try denying the opponent the opportunity of doing the same. However, rules will vary depending where it is being played. For instance, British-style eight-ball is considered a separate game by many people. In North America, most places follow the rules set by the World Pool-Billiard Association.

Nine-ball pool on the other hand is played with nine balls and the cue ball. It is a rotation game, where all the balls have to be pocketed. However, the player can only make legal contact with the ball that is numbered lowest. Three-ball pool is also similar, but only three balls are to be pocketed, using the cue ball. On the other hand, one-pocket pool is played with eight balls and a cue ball, but each player is assigned a particular corner pocket where the balls have to be deposited.

Continue reading "The Beginner's Guide To The Game of Pool"


Johnny Matheis

The small stable posted by Johnny Matheis

I've been involved in many different sides of thoroughbred racing. Like most, I began as a handicapper, then went into the business.

I think theyear was 1986 when I worked third shift at Philip Morris. I was a professional assassin, killing thousands of people a year, or at least being a cog in the killing machine. So anything was a step up.

I made good money, and like most who get into the business, this is how I started. My father lived less than a mile from me, and we saw each other a lot. He also did well as a Union worker at Reynolds Aluminum. He was in AA, and most of those guys played the horses, too.

A third man, Frank Pezzarosi, a big burly red haired working man, joined us when we formed our stable along with the fourth, the trainer, John McCord. They were all about 50, and in AA. I attended some AA meetings, and I was about 30. This was the sort of scenario people make movies out of.

So we pooled the money together to form SERENITY STABLES. As trainer, McCord made all the decisions. I was the only dissenter when I learned he claimed a fillie on just the second day. I wanted to build up the money in the account first. He not only spent all our money, but needed more for a fillie who ran fifth in a 5250 claiming race.

All three of us were unhappy when he said he wanted to rest her, get her "out of jail", meaning run her after a month, to race for a cheaper tag, 5000.

Now, we thought this didn't make sense, but after a couple of months, our filly, PAMPETA, started racing for 5000. And I saw the resoning.

If you claim for 6250, spend a thousand a month and fun for 5000 after two months, you would think you could lose money. The truth is that most stables lose money. You just try to run where you can cash a check. You can't worry about someone claiming your horse. If you win, you get the claim money and the 60-65% of the purse, so it's a small profit. If you lose, you're better off with it, and cut your losses. If you don't get claimed, you keep going.

Continue reading "The small stable"


Johnny Matheis

Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes with strong favorite posted by Johnny Matheis

The question isn't whether THE FACTOR will win the Rebel Stakes Saturday, March 19, 2011, at Oaklawn Park.

 The question is "How often does he win this race?

Because unless you rely on blind luck and merely bet one race in your entire lifetime, you're wagering on overall results. That's why the odds are so important.

At 1 1/16 mile, the Rebel Stakes is still little more than a sprint. It isn't until you get to 1 1/8 mile that distance breeding really comes into play.

THE FACTOR not only has great Beyer ratings, but great speed ratings all around. He is lightly raced, and has a Grade 2 victory.

Still, what are acceptable odds? He figures to win, but this type doesn't always win. In fact, I would say he wins this only about 2 times out of 5, so 3-2 would be appropriate odds. Anything lower, and he probably will be lower, and you're betting on dumb luck to come out ahead.

That said, he is still the obvious pick, but this may be a good time to watch the show pool and see if there are bridge jumper bets on him, meaning it could be a good race to bet the others to show if one is looking for a long range goal over time to come out ahead.

Here's how the race stacks up.

10th Race OAKLAWN PARK 03/19/2011 GRADE 2 REBEL STAKES 1 1/16 MILE

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH:

PROGRAM NUMBER-NAME OF RUNNER-PROBABLE ODDS-COMMENTS

2 ALTERNATION 8-1 49er's grandson should like this distance. Bred for stretch move at long sprints, short routes. Has a good forward move, in good form, 5th race of career, good stable.

6 THE FACTOR 6-5 Wins this just under half the time. Class, speed, not overly raced, trained by Baffert. Can't be positive that he'll like Oaklawn's surface, but he's the one to beat.

Continue reading "Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes with strong favorite"


Les Leonard

Big Daddy Praises Championship Banner posted by Les Leonard

     The Big Easy gene pools bestowed our workforce with the remarkable ability to trudge through any Friday morning, coping with late night transgressions. Due to this wonderful evolutional abnormality, revelers rocked the French Quarter deep into Friday morning after the Saints defeated Brett Farve for the second straight time in the Louisiana Superdome. New Orleanians know that when their lunch hour arrives Friday, the weekend begins, because working Friday afternoons will never be a Crescent City option. Sadly, misguided saps around the country still believe working those extra four hours will reward them down the road. In this edition of the Section 645 Saints Beat, Big Daddy rearranges pregame tailgate plans, reports live from Section 645, salutes Rickey Jackson, records the NFL kickoff concert, recaps the game, compliments Reggie Bush’s decision, and releases his World Famous Pregame Information.

     Inclement weather derailed Big Daddy’s pregame plans. Though we were originally slated to ride the St. Charles streetcar downtown for an extended tailgating experience, torrential liquid sunshine delayed our departure, rendering the streetcar completely immobile. A clever on-the-fly decision brought Big Daddy’s krewe to the Kingpin’s hallowed ground to formulate a new strategy. Frosty beverages served by Kate went down faster than Big Daddy’s “Last Man Standing” pick (San Diego) at Tracey’s, thanks to Phillip Rivers jenny-woman portrayal Monday night. Uninspired by Dave Matthew’s early set, Big Daddy called a cool corner meeting, where Kingpin regulars deployed all their weather-checking aparatus, the high armchair quarterbacking IQs determined that driving was the only alternative. Considering the great spot discovered by Big Daddy’s talented parking scouts, the posse now had plenty of time to enjoy pregame festivities. Walking toward the Superdome, a cool brass band entertained us, the 610 Stompers displayed their extraordinary moves, Champions Square impressive size accommodated the massive Who Dat Army, and Eloise (Big Daddy’s lovely bride) got a picture with Bobby Hebert at WWL Radio’s pregame broadcast outside Gate C. That was great.

Continue reading "Big Daddy Praises Championship Banner"


Johnny Matheis

Form filled Derby day posted by Johnny Matheis

I feel guilty again. I didn't have time to handicap, work, and post Friday night, but the races at Churchill on Derby Day were uncommonly form fitting.

In fact, I have no complaints. I even bet a small pick 6, using only eight combinations, using only singles and at most two horses in a race, and still got 3 winners and three seconds. I figured I would easily have had the five win consolation if I just went ahead and bet 20 combinations for 40 bucks.

Naturally, I skipped the first race, which had such a short field that only people following certain horses or trainers could possibly bet it without being called amateurs. I really loved SPICER, who ran third in the second race, thinking he'd be a good one, but he is falling short. I'm sure it is no fault of Nafzger, though, as he's doing everything he can. I still expect this one to be a stakes runner some day. Still, there were only two obvious competitors, and they ran first and second, so the tri box was a "gimme" and paid very well.

From the third race to the eleventh (the Derby) my number one picks all ran first or second, and all paid double digits when they won, though none were 9-1 or more for 20.00 or more. Had the winners of five races, including GENERAL QUARTERS, who looked like an absolute stickout. That's why the pros fire on Derby day. These 5 winners would've all been under 5-1 on regular days, but we love to bet against the amateurs. It's our best chance to make a profit.

I'm sorry I didn't post my picks.

I did post Derby picks that weren't perfect. My top pick did run second, so if you were smart enough just to bet ICE BOX across the board, you did okay. And if you turned around my top contenders, since I had SUPER SAVER on the bottom of the trifectas and superfectas, if you followed the "hot tip" and the "crowd", using my top pick second, and my fourth pick PADDY O PRADO third, you'd be very very happy.

Continue reading "Form filled Derby day"


Johnny Matheis

Oaks and Derby posted by Johnny Matheis

When you work at Keeneland, it doesn't seem like it takes long til Derby arrives.

First, the Oaks day. I'm not keen on Oaks-Derby Doubles. Doubles and pick Threes are for those who rely on dumb luck. Since one juiced up hot tip can beat you out of any win, it involves more luck for pick threes and doubles, and more handicapping for trifectas and superfectas.

FRIDAY 04/30/2010

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH

PROGRAM NUMBER-NAME OF RUNNER-PROBABLE ODDS-COMMENTS

CHURCHILL RACE 2: MDN 1 MILE

4 KAREN ANN 3-1 Bred to improve each race, already has the times to conquer this filed

1 RIGAMARO 15-1 looks second best on paper

2 ISLAND BOUND 4-1 a contender here

6 OFFICERS GLORY 12-1 ran close to top pick at Keeneland

10 CROWN THE CAT 12-1 loks to run in the stretch at most levels, probably here, too

9 SHIRLEY SHE CAN 12-1 Zito the only asset as this one doesn't have good moves yet

5 RENDITION 15-1 Ran decent against lesser

3 ENGLISH GIRL 15-1 4 year old has good on the board percentage

7 AZURITE 15-1 Second on a fast strip

8 UP AND AWAY 15-1 probably wants cheaper

11 SMARTY'S DREAM 15-1 stable struggling overall despite decent Chruchill record

BEST BETS: WPS 4: Trifectas Box 1-2-4-6: Superfectas Box 1-2-4-6, wheel 4 with 1-2-6-10 with 1-2-6-10 with All: Wheel 1-4 with 1-2-4-6-9-10 with 1-2-4-6-9-10 with 1-2-4-6-9-10

CHURCHILL DOWNS RACE 5: CLM TURF 1 MILE

12 ABSOLUTELY CINDY 12-1 is always dangerous, and looks to sweep these

4 FOREST TRAIL 6-1 has sub par times, but Shug always dangerous 

Continue reading "Oaks and Derby"


Johnny Matheis

Spot plays Thursday 04/29/2010 posted by Johnny Matheis

Just a brief note today on the Derby field. Today I'll focus on bloodlines.

We see a lot of good cross breeding, with little duplication as far as 5 generations back, and peole are thinking of new classifications for chef-de-races.

The filly, DEVIL MAY CARE is generously granted a dosage of 2.53, but is the most speed oriented runner in the race, with Mr Prospector listed twice. As a female in the animal kingdom, she does develop at a younger age than males, so figure them to still be growing. The Derby is usually a filly's best chance. Still, she is up against it, and is a toss out on bloodlines and on being a filly.

DEAN'S KITTEN is granted a 1.15 dosage, and I like some of his pedigree, usually following NASKRA AND LENJOLEUR, but it is hard to see this pedigree being classic distance overall, and he has had a tough campaign. I'd be reluctant to use him in exotic wagers, too, based on this.

I already said SIDNEY'S CANDY would be great on turf or a muddy, deep surface with cushion, but would relegate him to the bottom of trifectas on a hard surface

HOMEBOY KRIS dosage 3.67 is on the bubble, and really has too much speed in his background. FUSAICHI PEGASUS was one of the worst bred Derby winners ever, and gives suspicions of genetic engineering. I'm not making Kris a toss out, but I'm definitely thinking about it even before seeing his form and works.

MAKE MUSIC FOR ME dosage 3.31 is also given a generous dosage for his six furlong bloodlines. He's probabaly a toss out as well.

But you want to know about Thursday's races.

Continue reading "Spot plays Thursday 04/29/2010"


Joe Anello

Free Agency Preview: Chicago Bears posted by Joe Anello

 

With NFL free agency kicking off at midnight on Thursday, the Chicago Bears need to make a huge splash. They have no first or second-round draft picks to spend money on and a salary cap-less year on the horizon, priming them to be major players in free agency for the first time I can remember. I'll take a look at a few positions and players the Bears should be targeting in free agency.

Defensive End

Julius Peppers (Carolina)

Undoubtedly the biggest fish in the free agent pool, the 30-year old defensive lineman would bring instant pass-rush to a Bears defense that is sorely lacking. In Lovie Smith's much maligned cover-two scheme, getting pressure with your front four is key. Adewale Ogunleye's impending departure and the death of Gaines Adams makes signing Peppers a no-brainer. When he wants to he's one of the best pass-rushers in the league. Every now and again he'll take plays off (or seasons, as evident by his 2.5 sack 2007), but he's racked up double digit sacks in six of his eight years in the NFL.

To my shock, the Bears seem extremely aggressive in their efforts, going so far as reportedly meeting with his agent over the weekend. (Which could be tampering, as noted by ESPN Chicago). This shift in attitude makes me excited about the prospects for a money-printing Bears franchise who aren't afraid to shell out the money. Peppers is going to get at least $12 million a year (and probably overnight), so there's no point in talking to him unless you're ready to pay the man. Signing Peppers would be a giant step in the right direction.

Continue reading "Free Agency Preview: Chicago Bears"


Johnny Matheis

2 year olds at Churchill 11-1-2009 posted by Johnny Matheis

Each horseplayer has to have an edge, which is a secret only he uses. If other people use it, then he gets underlays and not only does he become a loser, but so do the people who steal his picks. In other words, if Joe picks the 3 horse and bets 5 to win, and Jenny decides to do the same, and she tells Fran and Bill, who each tell two friends, and before long Joe's 5 dollars is represented by 300 dollars, since at least one of those friends is an idiot who bets big money, and there are those at the track who simply bet what they see money bet on, and they can easily turn a 28-1 into a 12-1. Joe's available profit turns from 56 dollars (58.00 payoff) to 24.00 (26.00 payoff). He has to hit this twice as often. He plays it because if he wins one time in 30 he comes out ahead. Now one time in 30 puts him behind, because his own friends cut their own throats just to cut his. That's what it amounts to.

But as a blogger, I have to live with that. Just remember that only idiots bet more than 10 to win on a horse, (and yes, even I can be an idiot), because the more you bet, the more chance you have to rob yourself of your own payoff. Figure that 20 dollars, on an average day, will bring your payoff down at least 20 cents on 2 dollars, so you already cut your own throat out of two dollars.

So remember this and keep your bets low, and only play when the odds are okay.

Now, for a big secret that even I forget sometimes, but probably is the least used tool to handicapping.

Horses are animals.

Members of the animal kingdom. If you, or a four legged friend of your's runs over a hard surface, lots of internal damage is done which takes a while to recover from. The bigger the animal, the more time it takes to recover.

Continue reading "2 year olds at Churchill 11-1-2009"


Adam Hill

Chula Vista California is Looking Strong to Take the Little League World Series! Chula Vista Dropping Bombs! posted by Adam Hill

Little League World Series: No Longer ‘The Bronx Bombers’ its now Chula Vista Bombers!

By Adam Hill

                51 Home runs in 10 games!  I think that is all I need to say.  Anybody who understand baseball, knows that 51 home runs is not normal for anybody to hit in only 10 games.  I saw the stat comparison with the San Diego Padres, and it has taken them 60 games to hit that many home runs, if that puts it into comparison for those who are unfamiliar with baseball.

                75mph, equivalent to a 98mph fastball in the major leagues is not normal for a 13 year old kid.  300ft homers are not normal for a 12 year old kid.  6ft, 212lb and size 14 shoe is not normal for a 12 year old kid.  Chula Vista has all of these.

                Is it just me, or do all of these stats ring a bell in your head?  How are these kids hitting so well, throwing so hard and growing so big?  Do we give credit to the coaches?  However it is the all star team, so is this Chula Vista league one of the elite in the world or is it just a coincidence that these players are coming through at the same time?  It is not just the top of the order opposing pitchers need to worry about, as all 9 hitters are lethal threats!  The 9 hitter, usually the least productive hitter in the lineup, has 3 home runs!

Continue reading "Chula Vista California is Looking ..."

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