Bookie Busters: Class is in Session; 6 tips for playing the beer Jenga of gambling

Just minutes after celebrating a big World Cup win, people were looking for more action. Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

This edition of Bookie Busters, I wanted to do slightly differently. The idea came from the impatience of followers after the end of the World Cup. Let me explain.

Within 30 minutes of the World Cup Final, I was getting messages about the following day of the baseball slate or what was the next bet for us period, whatever it was.

That's what led me to this article; a moment to not precisely think about the wager, but to dive into the gamble you take behind it.
I named this the Beer pyramid, honestly because we were supposedly on a sports gambling vacation after the World Cup. A moment to enjoy "The fruits of our labor." But again, I admit that within minutes of France hoisting the trophy in the midst of pouring rain, gamblers weren't satisfied with the 3 MAX bet wins in one 90 minute session we pocketed as a team.

Transparency is vital, not only in life but in your gambling career. In the degenerate universe of wagering, it's even more critical.

A pyramid of beers I wanted to stack when I wrote this, so I can express the importance of moments, and the ones we must learn from in the past month. Situations, heartbreak, with triumph mixed, guided us through the greatest tournament in the world, together. But we must learn...

The class is in session

1) Patience. When the Jenga game starts, people play it safe. So they pick from the middle.
Our World Cup, and I refer to us as a team (grab a jersey), maybe didn't start as we wanted. For many touts, it put followers behind thousands, we fought our way out navigating with quality over volume, knocking down our bigger bets and losing smaller ones. MAX bets were our best friend. But the lesson here is this, don't change your method because results don't start the way you planned. Some low scoring games to start the tournament, mixed with underdogs holding powerhouses to favorable scorelines, led to a clean up by the books. We continued our strategy and didn't fall into the changing public perspective, and ultimately ended up on top. We started out safe, picking out the safest can to pull from the Pyramid, a little shaky but we made it to the next round. Don't lose patience.

2) As we progressed, we learned about public perspective. The books killed on lines that were getting pounded by the public. Let that be a lesson! The big casinos in Vegas are built of losers, and the public drives that, If you ever see 70% or over in action on a specific side, tread carefully, as these movies usually don't end well. The public drives lines because they read into the "How much have you done for me lately" narrative more than needed when handicapping. Recency bias can drive you the wrong way, trust the law of average and know progression or regression will occur throughout time.

3) Trust your instinct. By now the Jenga game is intense, and the Pyramid is getting shaky, when it comes to you, sometimes getting caught in the moment of not being focused or having a good time alters your decisions. Don't let that be the crash... Let me explain. As football approaches, these football slates are all day long. So you start your week researching and find your favorite spots.  Now, kickoff arrives and it can go many ways:
A) You win big and are profiting after the first wave of games, now you're playing with house money, but the decisions are much looser than that of before the day started. If not, you would have bet these games before the day, correct? It's a case of "I'm up, why not?
B) You lose in the opening games, and now you're playing a game of chase. Again you catch yourself betting games you didn't even plan on getting in on. Why? Because if this was a game you liked, you would have bet it before the day right? But, you are now caught in a diversion of catchup based on the result of the first games and not so much confidence.
Don't chase and trust what your research told you, trust instinct.

Lesson 4, as profound as we've gone, by now we are past the four-peat of beers and Doubled that. The game is to be told, not sold. Remember that, let me proceed.

4) The Pyramid is close to falling at this point, don't forget the importance of structure. If you can't keep that, it all collapses, as we are about to see. Don't let the base and composition of your work ever fall early. Practice bankroll management, guessing the right side is only maybe 60% of the game. Knowing when and where to get in is key.

5) What goes up, must come down...
By now, the hopes of the next person up are crumbling. But don't let disbelief be your demise. In the game of gambling, belief in your next move is pivotal, trust your process. In this world, you have to know how to take defeat but also stay genuine in jubilation. It's easy to be pleasant when you're winning, but how do you hold your head in defeat? Finding a sense of level and balance is the ultimate goal.

Well, this was intended to be a small Pyramid of 6, but again the content and the love behind it drove me to double. So let's make 6 twice as beautiful.

6) Money is the root of all evil, but my belief is blessing those roots with passion changes the way we grow. They say the dollar is evil. To me, it more depends what people do with it. What you do with fortune changes the script. I preach togetherness to the fullest because the game has given me the opportunity to do things for people I couldn't have ever imagined. A chance to make people smile.

The game comes crashing down, and things become mad.

The crazy thing is at the bottom, you find me, Jerry Bo,  still standing by your side, and that's what this is about, If you made it this far, then we are on the same page. I fight for the team!

The timing between our endeavors suits this piece perfect, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did composing it.

I complete this one from my heart, and I hope you breathe in the words I try to preach.

"Karma always wins."

For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoknowz on Twitter.


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Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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