The Myth of the Hot Sports Betting Handicapper

The most prevalent means of sports service marketing is some variant on the theme that so and so is “red hot” and you should therefore pay him your money and follow his plays. The crooked services do this by coming up with all sorts of confusing and contradictory rating systems and hyperbolic descriptions for their games. How many times have you heard a handicapper brag about being “16-2 on his 500 star MWC underdog plays of the month” or saying that his “Southern Conference total of the month is 60% lifetime”?

Basically, the bottom feeders of this industry can slice and dice their statistics all sorts of ways to make themselves seem “hot”. Or they can do what a lot of them do, and simply lie about their performance. When I was first starting out as a sports handicapper there was no such thing as the Internet (at least as it exists today) and I had to rely on a scorephone for line and score updates. This scorephone was sponsored by a group of touts not noted for their veracity, and you had to sit through a few pitches for their 900 numbers before you got to the scores. A bit of a Faustian bargain, to say the least, but it was an effective way of keeping up with scores in the pre-Internet dark ages.

So one night we’re at a party thrown by some kid that we didn’t like too much. My crew and I were racking our brains to think of some mean pranks to pull on the guy. Someone got the idea to rack up some 900# charges on our mark’s phone bill. Since there’s no such thing as 900# directory assistance, I resulted to the only 900# I could remember – one of the touts from the scorephone that had drilled his digits into my memory through the sheer force of repetition.

For the sake of argument, I decided to write down the tout’s NBA plays. I had less faith in his handicapping ability than I would in a prognostication based on a divining rod or Ouija Board, but since I wasn’t paying for the call I figured I’d just see how the guy did. I wrote down his plays and checked his performance the next morning.

To his credit, the tout went 5-3 on his 8 plays. By any criteria a 5-3 night is a solid performance. Later that day I called the scorephone and waited for the tout to start crowing about his 5-3 night. Much to my surprise, the tout didn’t say a word about his 5-3 night. That’s because he was too buy bragging about his mythical 7-1 performance the preceding day.

Now, I understand that the revelation that boiler room touts like about their performance is on par with “pro wrestling is fake” or “the games at the fair aren’t on the up-and-up” as self evident truths. The point I’m trying to make, however, is that the desire to be the “hot handicapper: is so great that the tout felt he had to embellish a solid performance the night before.

So despite the fact that some handicappers like about their performance, what’s wrong with trying to ride the hot handicapper? Plenty-it’s not only an ineffective way to evaluate a handicapper’s abilities, it also has a number of statistical and theoretical shortcomings.

The simplest way to explain what I’m talking about is to borrow a disclaimer that you’ll hear on every commercial for a mutual fund: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results”. The sports gambling milieu, like those of stocks, commodities and other financial instruments, is a marketplace and subject to a number of the same tendencies of other financial institutions (what economists call “market dynamics”).

The fact that a sports wager’s success or failure is dependent to a degree on the “whims” of a marketplace (of odds and pointspreads) and to a greater degree on other external events outside of the bettor’s control exacerbates what is already a matter of simple logic: what a handicapper does over a period of time (be it a day, week, month or season) has no intrinsic correlation between a handicapper’s performance one year and the next. In other words, the sports gambling marketplace and the random patterns of events that act upon them don’t care if I hit 60% last year. If I don’t do my work, crunch the numbers, get good prices to bet into, and catch a few breaks along the way I may end up beaten regardless of how well I performed in a subsequent period of time.

Chasing Flush Draws in Online Poker

What do you do when your opponent is chasing a flush draw? Conventional wisdom says that you simply do not give him the proper odds to make the call. In other words, If you make a big that is big enough relative to the pot size and what it would take for him to call, he ‘cannot’ call because he is not getting good enough odds on his money. For example, he has a 1:4 chance of hitting his flush but is only getting 2:1 on his money. He should fold. But he won’t.

As part of the online phenomenon, not only do you have about a billion players player NL Hold’em who only have a cursory knowledge of the game, you have about a billion players who will chase ANY flush draw at ANY time, no matter the cost. That’s a great thing right? Those of us who understand pot odds, etc can really take advantage of these players, right?

The answer is yes, sometimes, but no at other times. How many times have you had Aces up only to be flushed out on the River? How many times has your set been beaten when you couldn’t shake a player on a flush draw? If you play a lot of online poker, the answer to this question is probably a lot. So, if you are up against flush chasers, I suggest a different strategy for most online games, particularly lower level games.

First, you need to become adept at identifying flush chasers. Watch for them, make bets that allow you to see the pattern in how they react. When you bet the pot on the flop and there are 2 suited cards on board, do they call? If so, probably a flush chaser. After that call, do they call a significant Turn bet? If so, probably a flush chaser. A real player will raise in one of these 2 situations, a flush chaser just wants to see another card. How about when the 3rd suited card hits the River and the action is to them? Most of the time flush chasers get so excited when their flush hits on the River that they bet and bet big. Very seldom do you find a player who is disciplined enough to check after he chased down a flush with improper odds.

So, what do you do with these guys? You can’t drive them out. If they hit on the Turn or River they will take your chip stack if you over bet. (I am talking primarily tournament play for this example) What you need to do is control the pot. I know that sounds like you are pricing them in. And you are. What this strategy really depends on is whether or not you got a proper read on the player as a flush chaser. Maybe you saw him call off all his chips on a flush draw on a previous hand. If so, you know he will do the same to you.

Instead of risking all your chips and your tournament life, limit the pot you are playing for. Sure, you won’t score as big when he misses his flush, but you limit your loss when the lucky SOB hits it on the River. Again, this is an online strategy and one that you will not use all the time, but in lower limit games, it can keep you in a tournament and keep you from throwing your computer out the window.

Don’t Be a Suited Sucker

It appears to me that every time poker gives birth to a new player they all have the same birth defect – an unnatural attraction to suited cards. I don’t know if it’s the fact that the cards almost match, but don’t. I don’t know if people think they were dealt a pair. I just don’t know. But if I had a dollar for every time someone played a suited card then… oh wait, I do have lots of dollars from that! Never mind.

Here’s why playing cards just because they are suited is stupid and you shouldn’t do it.

First, suited cards bring maybe 1-2% more value preflop than unsuited cards. So if you aren’t playing K6 unsuited, why dear God why are you playing K6 suited? “I read they make a flush about as often as a pocket pair makes trips.” That may be true; however, the next four points will show why this still doesn’t make them profitable cards to play.

Second, the flush draw player is the EASIEST player in the world to spot. That means you’re going to have to overpay to draw after the flop and/or you will not get paid off when the flush hits. My Amish grandmother can spot a flush draw player!

Third, if you’re drawing to a flush and get action after it hits, you better either have the nut flush or check the cards for a board pair. Flush drawers are so easy to spot that the player with the over-flush or the full house is praying that you hit.

Fourth, depending on what you’re holding, you might get sucked into a pot where you made top pair crappy kicker. You originally entered the hand looking to make a flush. But you hit top pair and now you think it might be good, so you decide to stick around and find out.

Fifth, and this is the most pathetic player of all, you may have a stroke and decide, when your flush misses on the river, that you can bluff the other player out of the pot. Good luck with that. It’s a great way to make a really large bet into a pot that you’ll lose over and over and over again.

Are five enough reasons enough? Here’s the best way to look at suited cards: Suited Cards aren’t suited until AFTER the flop IF the flop gave you a legitimate flush draw. Prior to that, they are just two cards. Play them or not based on their value, not the fact that the little symbols look alike.

If you do this you’ll save yourself a lot of money and embarrassment. You won’t tilt off because you won’t make idiotic moves, and you’ll be able to play every hand with confidence and control.

Short-Term Application Of Intravenous Amino Acids For The Control Of Cravings And Withdrawal

Addiction and substance abuse is undermining the very moral fabric and future of America today. In 1995 it was estimated that the cost of alcohol and other drugs reached a staggering figure of 276 billion, not including the pain and suffering of loved ones and friends. Alcoholics have an estimated decrease in life expectancy of 10-15 years, with alcohol the most frequently used and abused intoxicant and involved in 40% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents (1 and 2).

Although not illegal, nicotine accounts for approximately 25 million people addicted and is the cause of 430,000 tobacco related deaths per year.

The most commonly abused opiates are, heroin and methadone. It has been estimated by the National Institute of Drug Abuse that approximately 2.5 million Americans have a history of heroin abuse (3).

Stimulants such as cocaine are widespread as well in America and it is estimated 72 million Americans have tried or are using or cocaine (3).

Methamphetamine is growing at an unstoppable rate due to the ease of making the drug, and is now competing with cocaine as a drug of choice.

Although there are numerous examples of addictive drugs in America they all show similar symptoms and qualities of craving and withdrawal conditions. The individuals at greatest risk are genetically predisposed through a neurochemical pathway that alters the minds perception of pleasure and reward. Kenneth Blum, coined the term, “Reward Deficiency Syndrome,” to relate to the neurotransmitter deficit that occurs due to use of drugs and alcohol. Although the pathways may vary, depending on the abused substance, they all show a common final neurochemical pathway in their expression of euphoria when abundant, and craving when deficient.

The important Amino-peptide neurotransmitters to date are serotonin, dopamine, GABA and the enkephalins. Dopamine specifically is the neurotransmitter of pleasure. When dopamine is in abundance, it provides a state of well-being. Although this research will focus on alcohol, there are many other substances that can alter the increase in dopamine resulting in pleasure. Other altering scenarios can be glucose, impulsive/compulsive disorders, gambling and risk-taking activities, opiates, cocaine and cigarettes.

When the brain is supplied with a substance a momentary spike in neurotransmitter activity of dopamine occurs. The body then reacts to down regulate this excessive increase by down regulating the neurotransmitter sites of production or receptor sites, or by increasing the breakdown of neurotransmitters. Because of this, the brain develops tolerance and the need for more of the drug to prevent a state of withdrawal.

The point at which addiction can occur is variable and based on the individual’s genes. Recently, the dopamine D2 receptor called the A1allele, has been known to be a greater prevalence for alcoholics, opiate or cocaine addicts.

This pleasure and reward system was discovered, by accident, in 1954 by James Otis. By mistake, Otis placed electrodes in the Para limbic system of rats. In doing so, Otis observed he could elicit a pleasure response. This response caused the rats to continuously press a lever, causing an electrical stimulation to this area even to the point of starvation. It was later noted that an increase in dopamine was being released in regions of the limbic system, specifically the nucleus accumbens and the hippocampus.

Recently, a pharmacological approach to alter these neurotransmitters and help people with reward deficiency syndrome has been found. Studies by Brown and Blum indicate that certain amino acid precursors can relieve cravings and reduce incidents of a relapse. Oral formulas have been formulated and produced with these amino acids, vitamins and minerals cofactors. Recently an intravenous pharmacological approach utilizing amino acid neurotransmitter precursors have shown to have an immediate and profound effect on craving reduction and withdrawals in 86% of the patients with no side effects noted by this researcher or by Excel treatment facility during the last two years. The intravenous amino acids, vitamins, and mineral therapy appears to augment the dopamine and serotonin levels while the body begins to return to better handling oral nutrients and neurotransmitter homeostasis.

This study has been implemented to determine the efficacy of intravenous amino acids to reduce withdrawal and craving from substance abuse.

Methodology

Nine subjects were picked from phone in volunteers from a local Denver newspaper add (Exhibit 1).

Inclusion into the study are individuals who are between the ages of 18 and 50 years old, in good health, not court ordered and who desire to stop their substance abuse, but to date, are unable to do so. Methadone or a history of psychiatric hospitalize subjects are excluded from this study. All subjects will undergo a history and physical exam and a doctor will be present at all times. Initials will be used for publishing purposes only and strict confidentiality will be observed of all subjects.

The treatment subjects will undergo 10 sessions (Monday through Friday) of a multi amino acid, vitamin and mineral solution in a 250cc ½ NS bag group or a placebo group of Vitamins (B2, B12 and Folate) in a 250cc ½ NS bag with matching color and volume. All subjects will undergo drug testing for their addiction including random breath and/or urine drug tests.

If you smoke, you will be asked to keep track of the number of cigarettes smoked daily.

To be entered into the research group each individual must meet the requirement of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders TR (DSM-IV TR) for an Axis-I drug dependence.

Axis-I 303.90 Alcohol Dependence

Axis-I 304.40 Amphetamine Dependence Including Methamphetamine

Axis-I 304.30 Cannabis Dependence

Axis-I 304.20 Cocaine Dependence

Axis-I 305.10 Nicotine Dependence

Axis-I 304.00 Opioid Dependence

Axis-I 304.90 Polysubstance-related Disorder

Other axis-I substance dependence disorders will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The research subjects will be placed randomly into two equal groups A and B.

The control-or placebo-group will receive an intravenous solution of 250 cc of a ½ normal saline bag with B2, B12 and folate to give the distinctive color to the bags.

The experimental group will be given an intravenous solution consisting of a patented formula titled TGGRS Treatment (Third Generation Genetic Repair System). The Tigers Treatment consists of multi amino acids, vitamins and mineral solution drip over a 1 & 2-hour period for 10 sessions. All subjects will be randomly be monitored by blowing a B.A.C. or urine drug tests. A questionnaire will also be required to rate their craving and anxiety symptoms each session. Specific cravings will be rated from a zero (0)-indicating no craving or withdrawal, to a ten (10)-indicating maximum craving or withdrawal symptoms.

The intravenous bags will be marked “Group A” and “Group B” and will be made by a local compounding pharmacist. He will have no contact with the subjects. Heart rate, blood pressure and level of subject mental status will be conducted before each session. During the study, all subjects will be asked to eliminate or cut back on their alcohol or drug consumption but at any time may voluntary return to their pre-study consumption level, or be asked to by the doctor, if sever withdrawal symptoms occur. Failure to participate in 90% of the study will be grounds for dismissal. The people involved in administering the I.V. and monitoring the people will not know which bags contain the amino acids and which contain the placebo. At the end of 10-days the pharmacists will expose which group was the experimental group and which group was the placebo group-A or B, respectively. At that time the experimental and the placebo groups will undergo a daily debriefing and questionnaire rating their withdrawal symptom success and anti-craving level.

At the end of 10 sessions, the treatment group will be given 5 additional treatments of the same solution with D-phenylalanine added. Afterwards, the placebo group will get the treatment solution for 5 sessions followed by 5 session with D-phenylalanine added. All subjects at the end of their intravenous sessions will be debriefed and given the opportunity to take a one months worth of a similar oral based formula for maintenance efficacy.

Results

To stay sober, the war on addiction has many battlefronts to concour from dealing with initial withdrawals and craving to handling family and friend enablers, denial, stress, temptation and faith that we can overcome the disease that seals the heart, soul and life of mankind.

From Jan 21 until Feb 17th nine volunteers under took a major step to sobriety by introducing nutrition building blocks of neurotransmitters by intravenous means to battle withdrawal and cravings aspects. Only one individual had no response to our amino acids vitamin and mineral cocktail and continue daily drinking with no perceived change in anxiety and craving. All others expressed a significant response from moderate to profound anti-craving benefits by the end of the study.

The A group (RH, RY, KM, RA) received vitamins for the first 10 sessions, and although noticed a slight reduction in craving and anxiety, RY, KM, KA continued to drink. RH had marijuana addiction problems and throughout the study he did not use. The B group (RM, DR, RD, DB, JD) received the therapeutic formula less the D isomer of phenylalanine. They all continued drinking and showed no significant change in craving and anxiety. The A group noticed no significant change as well to 5 days of the therapeutic formula minus the D isomer. It wasn’t until the last 5 days in both groups that a significant response in drinking reduction in sobriety along with cravings and anxiety reduction occurring.

The D isomer of phenylalanine appears to be a crucial component in withdrawal and craving issues. Addition to alcohol and drugs is caused by an imbalance or defiency of neurotransmitter activity in a cascade mode. Per Dr Blum serotonin releases enkephalin in the hypothalamus and enkephalin inhibits the release of GABA in the substantia nigra. The inhibition of GABA permits the release of dopamine in both the nucleus accumbens and the hippocampus.

Apparently up regulation of serotonin by tryptofan is not enough to release sufficient enkephalins to have an impact on up regulating dopamine despite direct stimulation of L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine on increased dopamine production. The D form of phenylalanine, which inhibits enkephalin, appears paramount in the cascade theory and therefore causing substantial anxiety and craving reduction. Enkephlins are nature’s natural painkillers and a reduction in pain appears critical to suppressing withdrawal and craving symptoms as well as balancing neurotransmitters. This study supports the 86% recovery rate in retrospective review of the current intravenous amino acid (TGGRS solution) being conducted at Excel treatment and recovery program. However, future clinical trials with genetic testing and greater numbers coupled with a variety of addictions would better support statistical efficacy of intravenous amino acid supplementation. In addition, why 10 to 15 percent of the population fail this program possibly could be cause from a yet unknown genetic pathway of metabolism with nationality possibly playing a role in this failure rate.

Conclusion

The TGGRS intravenous amino acid program in its current formula had statistical efficacy in nine patient’s ability to handle their craving and anxiety perception and their ability to withdraw from alcohol. The D-phenylalanine isomer appears to be an essential ingredient to this formula. Together with education and counselling and nutrition, intravenous amino acid supplementation will prove to be a powerful tool in initially combating the evil grasp of addiction in today’s society.

How Online Poker Secret Algorithms Work

Many online poker players look for an edge in winning cash for their account by implementing strategies they know that usually work in live games. However, as many of these players have found, those strategies often do not work online. There are two good reasons why live Texas holdem strategies fail when it comes to online poker, the online poker secret algorithms and the inability of a player to adapt his game.

The Online Poker Secret Algorithms

Many will scoff at the fact that poker sites use any type of secret poker algorithms to control the outcome or play in a game, and every major poker site will deny such codes even exist. Yet, the undeniable proof is in the plausible deniability of the sites themselves in addition to the constant poker bad beats witnessed online.

Most players are oblivious to the fact that additional software programs are running on the poker sites servers that will perpetrate action inducing hands and bad beats. In fact, many players will get mad, go on tilt and blame the donkeys they are playing against, when in reality; it is the secret algorithms that poker sites use.

Those algorithms are actually intended to stop cheating and collusion by forcing wins and losses in a more ecumenical manner very much unlike a live game. In other words, oftentimes when a bad beat occurs, it is a result of a highly unlikely hand and major underdog, beating the better hand on the river.

Adapting Your Play to Win Online

In order to beat the online poker secret algorithms, it is necessary to adapt your Texas Holdem game to a different style when playing online. Although you may have used many advanced strategies in your live play to win pots, you will soon realize that these same strategies are less effectual in an online game.

One of the major changes necessary to adapt your game is avoiding the pitfalls of trying to push players off a draw. The reason is that the action inducing algorithms in the poker sites software will force a draw heavy board that actually gets there more than 20% of the time it normally would in a live game (for example, a flush draw will make the flush 18%-20% more often online, and straight draws occur 15% more often).

Because you are up against a computer program that delivers the cards and effectively ignores the real statistics of the game, in addition to inexperienced players who will chase their draws, you must avoid a whole lot more landmines when you play Texas holdem online.