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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This is getting out of hand. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Allsport/Getty Images.

Dr. Rick warns his patients, young homeowners who are turning into their parents, you can expect to pay more for snacks and drinks at a movie theater. It's the same deal at a professional sports venue. Three years ago, I put a down payment on a cheeseburger at Toyota Center ... I still have three more payments to go before I get it.

But this is ridiculous. The PGA Championship, the lesser (least) of golf's majors, is charging $18 for a beer, a 25-ounce Michelob Ultra, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. It's $19 for a Stella Artois. You can buy a six-pack for less at the supermarket. Aren't there laws against price gouging, like during a hurricane? Isn't Tulsa where the Golden Hurricanes play? Get FEMA in here. Did tournament directors get together and ponder, how can we piss off our fans? Sure, it's Tulsa and there's not much else to do, but that's no excuse.

Charging $18 for a beer makes the concession stands at Minute Maid Park look like a Sunday morning farmer's market. A 25-ounce domestic beer during an Astros game is $13.49. A 25-ounce premium beer is $14.45. Yeah, that's high for a beer, but at Minute Maid Park there are lots of hands in the till. Aramark wants to make a profit, the taxman has big mitts, and the Astros want their cut, too. Look, you want to sign Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez to an extension or not? Then drink up and don't complain. Some quiet grumbling and head-shaking is permitted, however.

You know the PGA Championship is charging too much for a beer when even the rich pampered players take notice. "18 (!!!!!) for a beer ... uhhh what," former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas tweeted. "Good thing I don't drink a lot."

Like he will be in line for a beer at a public concession booth, anyway.

Of course there will be fans sneaking in beer in baggies strapped to their ankles, like stuffing your pockets with store-bought Snickers before going to the movies. It doesn't have to be this way. The Masters, the most prestigious golf event, charges only $5 for both domestic and imported beer. I know it's a gimmick, part of The Masters mystique along with pimento sandwiches for $1.50, but still it's a welcome gesture. You never lose when you treat the public fairly. When Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in Atlanta, Falcons owner Arthur Blank insisted that food vendors charge the same inside the stadium as they do at their regular restaurants. Same thing when Denver International Airport opened, fast food restaurants couldn't jack up their prices to their captive customers. Here? There needs to be a loan window outside the Cinnabon booth at Bush-Intercontinental.

Except for the Masters in Augusta, golf's majors aren't tied to a city. A major comes to a city maybe every few years or in most cases never. There's no need to ride into a city like the James Gang, rob the local bank, and high tail it out of town. Golf should be the last professional sport to stick it to fans. While the game has made strides to open its arms to lower-income youths, golf remains an elitist, extremely expensive sport for regular folk. Equipment is expensive, private courses are exclusive and country clubs are exclusionary. Public courses are less expensive but still expensive and crowded. Plus there's never been a professional sport more dangerously dominated by one person than golf. I can imagine network executives on their knees praying that Tiger Woods makes the cut and plays on weekends. Otherwise, TV ratings go straight into the toilet, you know, like whatever team Mattress Mack is betting on. (I joke because I love, and frankly a little scared.)

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