It is August, 1987. I am working at a computer store in Reno as a salesman. As the story begins, I am actually on leave after having a minor but painful car accident on September 3rd.
Mid-September I meet a man in a racebook who is armed with a Sharp (I think) handheld computer and printer. He is explaining his printouts to me in a vernacular that I do not understand .He speaks of “EP,” “SP” and “percent early.” What I do understand is that his approach to racing is DIFFERENT and he is convinced that this methodology (the first time I have heard that word) works. I want to know about it as I want to know about everything horse racing.
He gives me the number of PIRCO and I call. (I do not recall now what PIRCO stood for.) I order the Phase III software and the accompanying yellow manual. With it comes several other manuals. As I recall, a blue one and some psychological stuff.
For me, reading the yellow manual produces a eureka! moment. I realize what has been wrong with my play for YEARS. (Note that at this time I am nine years into trying to figure out how to beat the game, when I thought it would take six months.)
Phase III was not exactly an elegant program, so I spend 2 weeks writing my own version. (Besides, there is a bone in my head that says I need to do everything my way.)
On October the 2nd, the day I am to return to work. Instead of going back to work, I quit. Somehow I just KNOW I am going to win at the window. I am THAT confident. Besides, I hated that job anyway.
Armed with $600, which is ALL THE MONEY I HAVE IN THE WORLD, I venture forth. My approach is Phase III + Brohamer Model.
Phase III was a velocity program, expressing speed in feet-per-second. The concept was to pick five contenders in each race, a single paceline for each horse, and decide which of the (then) 3 readouts was most important (EP, SP, W). This was determined by keeping a “model” of recent races at this specific track, surface and distance.
The betting strategy is simple – bet the top two horses in each race to win, betting 60% of your bet on the low odds horse.
My plan is to wager using my own money management system – what eventually became Horse Market Investing – but I wager the money as Doc suggested: 60%-40% on the low and high odds horses, respectively.
I am off and running! In September, my $600 becomes $2,000 by the end of the month! Unfortunately, I have a wife and children to support, so $1,400 of my $2,000 goes for rent, bills, and food for the coming month.
October – A repeat of September except the $600 grows to $3,000. The end of October robs me of $2,200. (Dang those kids having to eat EVERY month!).
November – $800 becomes $3,200. 3:1 becomes the monthly pattern which held true for the next several months. The problem is that my BR is just not growing from month to month.
All through the winter and early spring, each month is about the same. I start with $600-$800, grind out about 3x for the month and at the end of the month I have what I started with. I am beating them to death and making no headway!
April was a tough month. I was not losing but about half way through the month I am only $400 winner. Reality sets in – if I suddenly lose this BR I do not have a month to get a job and make it up and we will be short on rent. I quit playing and get a j-j-job.
This is also a busy time for me because baseball season is starting. My avocation is umpiring baseball games. All levels – from Little League to college. I work a lot of games over the coming months, as well as a full-time job as a craps/BJ dealer (grave yard shift).
When baseball ends in July, I have a nice little BR of $1,200 to call my own and go out to play again, full time. (Dealing is a thing of the past, at least for THIS summer.)
I am in the racebook at 6:30am and play until 10:30pm. In between I play every non-maiden race at just about every track that Ascuaga’s Nugget (in Sparks) handles. I “work” a 5-day week, playing Wednesday through Sunday.
Believe it or not, this is where the important real story actually STARTS.