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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Houston now trails in the fall classic

Astros fall in World Series Game 1 as Braves come out swinging

Framber Valdez had a forgettable start in World Series Game 1 as the Braves tagged him with five runs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a dominant end to win the ALCS and American League pennant, the Houston Astros welcomed in the National League champion Atlanta Braves for World Series Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. With Houston favored to win not just this game but the entire series, the Braves shook up those expectations by finding early success at the plate to build a lead they would hold to take a 1-0 series lead.

Final Score: Braves 6, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: A.J. Minter

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez

Valdez unable to replicate ALCS Game 5 success as Braves mount early lead

For the optimist, not having home-field advantage in an MLB postseason series affords you a benefit: you can score first and take captive momentum first in the series. The Braves did that against Framber Valdez, as Jorge Soler became the first player in league history to hit a homer in the first plate appearance of a World Series, putting Atlanta out to an immediate 1-0 lead. They would get another in the first frame, getting a one-out infield single by Ozzie Albies, who would steal second to get in position for an RBI double by Austin Riley.

Houston had the chance to respond in their first inning against former teammate Charlie Morton, getting a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. They'd strand all three runners, though, as Morton made it through unscathed but having used 26 pitches. Atlanta kept putting stress on Valdez, extending their lead to three runs with back-to-back singles to start the second before later getting an RBI groundout.

Valdez gave up two more in the top of the third, once again allowing a leadoff single, this one setting up a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 Braves lead and forcing Houston's starter out of the game early. Yimi Garcia entered and was able to retire the three batters he faced to end the frame.

Braves lose Morton to injury as both bullpens begin long night

After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first to keep the Astros off the board, Morton followed it up with a 1-2-3 second. He started the bottom of the third by retiring his fifth batter in a row, getting a strikeout of Jose Altuve. He would immediately call trainers to get him out of the game, though, as he would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, presumably from a ball that ricocheted off his leg in the prior inning, ending his season in a disappointing turn of events for the Braves.

That set up a long night for both bullpens, and next up for Houston was Jake Odorizzi. He started with a scoreless fourth, working around a two-out error to keep it a five-run game. The Astros began a rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on the corners with one out on a Kyle Tucker double and Yuli Gurriel single. Chas McCormick brought in the first run of the board for Houston, but that's all they would get as Atlanta's lead remained four runs.

Astros drop Game 1

Odorizzi kept going on the mound, tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, then getting one out before a one-out single in the top of the sixth would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Phil Maton, who finished the inning. Maton returned in the top of the seventh, getting a strikeout before a double and a walk would result in the call to bring in Ryne Stanek.

A double play against his first batter allowed Stanek to finish the seventh, and then he returned in the eighth. He faced three batters that frame, getting one out before a walk and a single would put runners on the corners as Houston moved on to Brooks Raley. A sac fly by Freddie Freeman off of Raley made it a five-run lead again, but a leadoff triple by Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the inning would set up Carlos Correa for an RBI, a groundout to make it 6-2.

Atlanta's bullpen continued to do well, though, limiting the damage to that one run in the eighth, then returning to hold on to the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves the upset win to start the series. The loss extends their home losing streak in the World Series to five games (having lost all four at home in the 2019 World Series against the Nationals) and puts them down 0-1 and in need of a win in Game 2 to try and reset the series into a best-of-five.

Up Next: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:09 PM Central scheduled start time on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park. The expected pitching matchup is Max Fried, who is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three postseason starts, for the Braves, and Jose Urquidy, who went just 1.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) in his start in the ALCS.

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