Chapter 1: Belief
When it comes to horse racing, most have us have been searching for a "Holy Grail" of sorts; That special system or approach that will lift us to the level we wish to attain. Some of us have found ways to win at a modest level but nothing that one could call earth shattering. A handful of our number are winning and winning big. Those few, the Schmidts, Brohamers and Burkholders of the racing world, make it look so easy.
Ever wonder why it is so easy for them and so difficult for the rest of us?
Some players resist that question entirely and instead, grasp a form of denial. "They are lying! I have no proof that they win at all." This is actually a translation from "I can't win and it is much more comfortable for me to believe that nobody wins than to face the fact that someone else is accomplishing what I have failed to achieve."
Recently I had a conversation with someone that knows a winning player intimately. I mean he has known him for years. This winning player (whom I am also acquainted with) makes a good living betting on horse races and he lives the lifestyle that is indicative of a man with a six-figure income. In spite of this, the friend says, "I've never actually seen proof that he is a winning player."
I believe that the old "looks-like-a-duck" adage works here. So, my contention is that he is probably a winning player.
What is my point here? (Bear with me because I am trying to turn this into a seminar. <G>)
My point is that there really are winning players. They are capable of making reasonably large sums of money. Can we accept that? If we can't accept the fact that someone, anyone, is winning, then why would we think that we can win?
And, if that is the case, we need to ask ourselves, "Why are we playing this game?"
I will assume, at this point, that you have mustered sufficient belief to accept the following statements as true:
"I believe that there are winners out there."
"I believe that some of them win large money at the races."
"I believe that I am capable of winning large."
If you can't buy into this, then you should do one of three things:
1. Find a way to reach this level of belief.
2. Give up wagering.
3. Learn to view racing as a losing proposition.
The remainder of this article is for those that can or do believe.
Okay, so we believe that we can win but the question is "How do we do it?" The logical place to start is to model the winners and do what they do.
This is where the problems usually start. Someone, such as Schmidt or Burkholder tells and or shows us how he does it. We watch for an hour or two. Maybe we even watch for a couple of days. They make it seem so easy. Then we go to the races ourselves and same result as before. No joy.
This is when the doubt creeps back in... "You know, it was only a two-hour seminar. I don't really know that he wins at all. After all, if he is a winner, why would he give his secrets away for just a few dollars? I know I wouldn't do that."
You must chase that demon away and accept the real truth... He wins with that approach and you don't! (Remember if it looks like a duck...) If anything positive is to come from this experience it will come from asking the right questions.
For example, is there something I am doing differently? Well, of course there is! "He's betting better horses than I am."
Wrong. Try again. The question you should ask is, "How is it possible that he wins with this system/method and I don't?"
And that really is the $64k question. I cannot explain it. I have seen it over and over again. Something works for one person and simply does not work for another.
Take Jack Burkholder's approach. He was kind enough to do an hour of precisely how he does it at a seminar a couple of years ago. He even gave me some private tutoring via the telephone. I tried it on paper and won 12% per wagered dollar. I couldn't wait to try it. Then I went to the window with it and lost. Furthermore, the approach made me crazy. (For those of you that don't know, Jack's approach is a multi-horse dutch.)
Do I believe that Jack's approach works! Yes, I am absolutely convinced that it works for him. (Remember the duck.) But it is not for me.
Schmidt. He spent a couple of hours showing me his "Sheet-Like-Things" method. He said it was very close to systematic. (It may be to him, but it's not to me.) He said I could learn it with just a couple of hundred races. (I can see how it works, but after about 20 races I saw that it was just too artful for me.) Is it doable? Yes, I believe it is. But not for me.
So, I am two-for-two. Tutored personally by two winning players and it didn't work for me. (If you are thinking, "They must be not really be winning methods. After all I have no REAL proof," go back and start reading this article again from the beginning.)
See, there is a common thread here. "...not for me."
Okay, fine, so if this one isn't for me, and that one isn't for me, how do I find "mine?" Well, you'll have to wait until chapter two for that answer.
One last chance for the non-believers:
If you absolutely feel that this whole article is hogwash, that one person's approach should work for anyone, then life is very easy for you. All you need to do is begin interviewing horse players until you find one that is really winning and convince him (probably for some large amount of money) that he should teach you how it is done. It is reasonable to demand some form of proof that he really is a winning player. And bear in mind that the amount of money he charges is negligible in comparison to the money you will make at the window.
And, if you believe the above paragraph, I believe you are missing the boat.
See also: Chapter 2: Finding My Approach