|Jesse May, multiple
author in the gambling field and sometimes dubded the "voice of poker", writes
a bi-weekly column.
|Most people know Jesse as "the voice of poker" from his
colourful commentary in CH4's late Night Poker. Jesse is also the author of the
widely respected novel, Shut Up And
Deal, which looks deep into the poker playing life. Its the hard faced
21st Century Cincinnati Kid.
also the creator of The Gambler's Guide to
the World, an insiders look at the action and games around the
|Part II - You gotta beware.
Gambling today is about looking for value, and avoiding everything else.
Tough thing now is that on the Internet you have to be a pioneer. And as
everybody knows, pioneers get arrows in their ass.
We know how
theyre going to make money through the legalization of gambling on the
Internet. We know how theyre going to make lots of money through their
websites and their specials and their ten cent lines. Its very clear how
the legalization of Internet gambling opens the floodgates for them to ply
their wares, and while Amazon has only recently realized the sagacity of
selling a product for more than you paid for it when your business is retail,
it is very clear that THEY are in the know about how to make money from the
legalization of Internet gambling. But what about us?
What it is and
what will be for the present future is the search for value. Look for value,
and avoid all the rest. The wrong thing to do is to have an opinion. I mean you
have to be willing to bet both ways. You can make your middle whatever you
want, but if youre not willing to bet both ways then youre looking
at something different. Youre looking at something called a sure thing,
and my only thought about that is to say, Run!
beginning, the advantage that we will have is selection. Before the crunch
period, before the monopolies take over, before the weeding out period is over,
what there will be is selection. For whatever you are interested in, be it
poker or golf or football or auto racing, youll have selection, a lot of
different lines to look at, lots of different betting options. And the trick
will be to find the value and to avoid the rest.
Value is independent
of the middle. This is a hard concept for Americans to grasp, because we are
traditionally neither layers nor backers. American sports wagering has all been
based around the concept of the even money shot, and the juice. Thats it,
two even sides and the juice in the middle, and if one side is better than the
other then theres a handicap to start. And the juice is what goes to the
This old concept of sports wagering holds that there is a line,
and then there is the middle. The new sports wagering holds that there are only
prices. Gambling establishments that take a small edge dont have all good
prices. And places that take half the money out still make mistakes, just not
For a sportsbettor, what matters today is not which place
offers the smallest middle. What matters is who has the best price period. The
most invaluable Internet sites for the sportsbettor are not necessarily places
to bet, but places to check the lines. Sites like Oddschecker at
http://www.oddschecker.co.uk/ are looking towards the future, because they are
looking at the world as one big market and if the books carry it then so will
they, what is the best price period. Websites in the same mold include the old
standardbearer Don Best at
http://www.donbest.com/scripts/newdbs/free-odds.asp#sport2 and other places
like Betbrain at http://www.betbrain.com/, Easyodds at
http://www.easyodds.com/easyodds/, Zazewe at http://www.zazewe.com/, or Tip-ex
For the Internet poker player, looking for
value is about what, where, and, when. All three, not just one. Just because a
poker site has good games at some times doesnt mean that all the games
are good all the time. The Internet poker player has to pay as close attention
to game selection as site selection. Some sites have good games when its
evening in America, other places heat up at European times. Some sites have
good value tournaments, or loose pot limit games, or pigeons in short handed
Theres something else going on. And thats the
fact that every organization is not equally reliable. Websites operate under
different laws, different jurisdictions, and different reputations. You gotta
beware. Some places can be trusted because of location. Some sites can be
trusted because of proven reputation. And some places are for the pioneers.
There used to be a fellow tramped around my local card room name of Gig
the Cheater. Gig the Cheater used to show up once or twice a month, and nobody
ever told me why he was called that. One day I said, Whos
that? and a couple of guys said, Oh, thats Gig the
Cheater, and I said ok and that was that. Every once in a while Gig would
be playing in a big game and hed come around the room and ask if anyone
wanted a piece of his action. I didnt, but a likeable fellow name of
Droopy Dave used to pull money out of his pocket and sometimes take a piece of
Gig the Cheater. One time I said, Dave, what are you doing? His name is
the Gig the Cheater! And Dave said to me, I know, but I like his
game. That boy can play. But as far as I can remember, Gig the Cheater
never won playing while giving out pieces to Droopy Dave.