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View Full Version : Made my annual trip to Gambler's Book Club today


CBedo
01-18-2011, 04:06 PM
I made my first trip GBC since they moved to their new location on Eastern. It's basically a house, turned into a storefront (like others on Eastern), but if you're looking for a store front or strip mall, you'll likely drive right by it.

The staff was friendly and helpful, but as I expected, they had nothing for me to buy horse racing related. I either already own it, or it didn't seem worth purchasing.

I miss the old days of scrounging around in the used section talking to Howard about racing, sports, & poker. I remember when the whole back wall of the old store (two stores ago now I guess, lol) was racing and their was only one tiny section on poker. (I don't miss my car getting bombarded by pigeons at the old store though).

They do have a used section still, but the racing section is pretty much one small shelf with some old track stats and a couple other pamphlets.

I was hoping to get lucky and find something new to read, but got shut out.

Overlay
01-18-2011, 08:31 PM
You once posted (back in 2006) that you had purchased Overlay Handicapping (among other titles) at the old store. Did you happen to notice if it is still on the shelves since the move? (I don't see it listed at all in the current horse racing section on the GBC website.)

CBedo
01-18-2011, 08:41 PM
You once posted (back in 2006) that you had purchased Overlay Handicapping (among other titles) at the old store. Did you happen to notice if it is still on the shelves since the move? (I don't see it listed at all in the current horse racing section on the GBC website.)Honestly, I did not notice it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. I just quickly scanned the shelves to see if anything jumped out at me.

The store feels much smaller than the original one (well at least original as long as I've been going there), and is definitely smaller than the old strip mall location there were in for a short time.

Overlay
01-18-2011, 08:43 PM
Thanks, I'll get in touch with them.

thaskalos
01-18-2011, 08:57 PM
I made my first trip GBC since they moved to their new location on Eastern. It's basically a house, turned into a storefront (like others on Eastern), but if you're looking for a store front or strip mall, you'll likely drive right by it.

The staff was friendly and helpful, but as I expected, they had nothing for me to buy horse racing related. I either already own it, or it didn't seem worth purchasing.

I miss the old days of scrounging around in the used section talking to Howard about racing, sports, & poker. I remember when the whole back wall of the old store (two stores ago now I guess, lol) was racing and their was only one tiny section on poker. (I don't miss my car getting bombarded by pigeons at the old store though).

They do have a used section still, but the racing section is pretty much one small shelf with some old track stats and a couple other pamphlets.

I was hoping to get lucky and find something new to read, but got shut out.There have been very few worthwhile books about our favorite game getting published in recent years.

I wonder why...

Is there nothing left to say about this game anymore?

Dave Schwartz
01-18-2011, 08:57 PM
Man, I used to love the old place on Charleston.

Huey Mahl, Bob Baskett and Doug Manley. All great guys. All gone now.

Greyfox
01-18-2011, 09:09 PM
The store feels much smaller than the original one (well at least original as long as I've been going there), and is definitely smaller than the old strip mall location there were in for a short time.

Smaller than the original one? :lol: Geez you couldn't swing a cat in that one.
The new one must be small.

bigmack
01-18-2011, 09:20 PM
The store feels much smaller than the original one
Where do ya park and is Howard still around?

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u70/macktime/1_18_11_16_38_16.jpg

CBedo
01-18-2011, 09:28 PM
I parked right where the white truck is. There are two spots up front, but a sign that says there is parking in the rear; I didn't check. The bottom left protrusion is the store. Nothing upstairs and nothing in the right section.

P.S. I think the building is a reddish color now, not white.

Tom
01-18-2011, 11:14 PM
That back room was a gold mine. I bought of great stuff when I was there.
I'll never forget those pidgeons.....or thier calling cards! :eek:

RaceBookJoe
01-18-2011, 11:51 PM
The new GBC is classier looking inside than the original store but thats the only thing i liked about it. Went there a few months back and was totally disappointed, i was looking for more horse racing stuff. The back room at the old store was great, and i loved all of the old pictures of gamblers overhead. The main focus there now is poker and sports betting...at least thats how it appeared to me. I drive by it at least once a week but most likely wont be stopping in again. rbj

David-LV
01-19-2011, 04:49 PM
Man, I used to love the old place on Charleston.

Huey Mahl, Bob Baskett and Doug Manley. All great guys. All gone now.

Quoting from the song:

"Those were the days my friend, we thought they would never end."

_______
David-LV

Handiman
01-20-2011, 01:01 AM
Was there not too long ago and it made me almost cry. Very small and kind of creepy actually. Back room is almost nonexistent.

Howard comes in once in a while but not very often. Just by luck if you see him there.


I won't ever go back.

Handi:blush:

Dave Schwartz
01-20-2011, 01:43 AM
There have been very few worthwhile books about our favorite game getting published in recent years.

I wonder why...

Is there nothing left to say about this game anymore?

Well, I have heard there are a few good videos to be found. :rolleyes:

Light
01-24-2011, 01:08 PM
Is there nothing left to say about this game anymore?

That's a really good question. I think we had our "revolution" of major works and now its become assimilated into mainstream handicapping on a personal and commercial scale. I think there is quite a bit more to say but if it has any merit, nobody's talking.

Tom
01-24-2011, 02:58 PM
I think the new stuff is coming from people who are associated with their own groups and the material is aimed at them. CJ, Dave, HTR, J Capper.....others like that. The stuff is more specialized and geared towards their particular tools. The amount of new stuff I have seen coming out of HTR is really more than I had seen on the market for quite a while. Ditto Dave.

Books are too limited for the fast paced game these days.

thaskalos
01-24-2011, 07:51 PM
It's still a little perplexing, when you walk into a large Chicago-area bookstore, to find more than one hundred poker books on the shelves...and only two horseracing books.

And both of those books were first released well over a decade ago...

CBedo
01-24-2011, 07:55 PM
It's still a little perplexing, when you walk into a large Chicago-area bookstore, to find more than one hundred poker books on the shelves...and only two horseracing books.

And both of those books were first released well over a decade ago...I think i sucks, but it isn't perplexing--it's demand.

Dave Schwartz
01-24-2011, 08:21 PM
I think the new stuff is coming from people who are associated with their own groups and the material is aimed at them. CJ, Dave, HTR, J Capper.....others like that. The stuff is more specialized and geared towards their particular tools. The amount of new stuff I have seen coming out of HTR is really more than I had seen on the market for quite a while. Ditto Dave.

Books are too limited for the fast paced game these days.

Tom, I could not agree more.

Besides, we live in a "video age" and there is no reason not to take advantage of the technology.

As for specialization towards a group, that is why I am moving to more mainstream products. Oh, we will always have software for the inner core of users but I am really moving towards addressing the masses more.


Dave

Greyfox
01-24-2011, 08:24 PM
It's still a little perplexing, when you walk into a large Chicago-area bookstore, to find more than one hundred poker books on the shelves...and only two horseracing books.

...

A few horse players have their own racing library.
Some horse players like to stay sharp and ahead of the game, maybe buying a book a year or so.
Some horse players have read one or two books on horse racing.
The vast majority of horse players that I have known have never read a book on thoroughred racing in their lives and never will. (Your bookstore reflects that fact.)

andicap
01-25-2011, 03:15 PM
The main reason there are so few new horse racing books: THEY DON"T SELL!

William Morrow published a bunch of racing books back in the 80s. (Think James Quinn, Dick Mitchell) and outside of people like us sales were pretty puny. Beyer's first book was considered a best-seller by racing standards even though by conventional publishing yardsticks it sold pretty modestly.

Also, the publishing business overall has cut back drastically on new material. It's very hard for anyone new to get published on many subjects, including fiction. (I guess self-help or cooking books are your best hope.)

A few writers self-published their stuff -- Joe Takach for example, but those suffer from a lack of marketing support. Like whatever the authors can afford to spend.

On a forum loaded with free-market capitalists I would assume this would be pretty easy to comprehend.(Not that there would be more racing books in a Socialist world :))

garyscpa
01-25-2011, 06:28 PM
It's still a little perplexing, when you walk into a large Chicago-area bookstore, to find more than one hundred poker books on the shelves...and only two horseracing books.

And both of those books were first released well over a decade ago...

That's why Better World Books is such a treat, even though they still owe me two books.

Greyfox
01-25-2011, 07:00 PM
The main reason there are so few new horse racing books: THEY DON"T SELL!

)

I agree. They don't sell, because most horseplayers don't buy them. They don't buy them because they won't read them. If they read them, they may not truly grasp how to apply them. Not being able to apply them they don't win. Then they don't buy more books. If new books come out THEY DON'T SELL!

(Also, every day I can turn on a sports channel and watch an old wrinkled face guy in a Cowboy hat and several other dudes, some in sunglasses supposedly playing poker for a zillion dollars. Sometimes even big boobed celebrity stars with low cut garb are sitting in as pigeons. Undoubtedly, this has to be a huge draw to new gamblers.)

CincyHorseplayer
01-26-2011, 03:14 AM
I've been into books period since I was 17 and used to enjoy and still enjoy exploring any bookstore looking for treasures that were rarities on my list.There is no need now.Amazon books is awesome.Everything a bookworm ever wanted but could barely find is there and in good condition.

WJ47
01-28-2014, 08:17 PM
I bought a book from the GBC online site that I really enjoyed, The Backstretch (My First Decade Playing the Game). It's full of stories of bad beats, the author losing his money, going to the track with his girlfriend and having to ask her how much money she had because he blew the gas money for the ride home. He bet all his rent money on a derby horse, who lost by a nose and he had no money to eat for the next few weeks. It was so hilarious that I must have read it 25x already. The binding is starting to break! Every time I have a bad day, I read some of the chapters and I don't feel so bad. I wish the author would write another one. Totally delightful! :)

Clocker
01-28-2014, 09:42 PM
There are a lot of good non-handicapping books about horse racing. Here are a few:

Horseplayers (http://www.amazon.com/Horseplayers-Life-Track-Ted-McClelland/dp/1556525672/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390958948&sr=1-2-spell&keywords=ted+mcmlelland)

Not by a Long Shot (http://www.amazon.com/Not-By-Long-Shot-Season/dp/1586485660/ref=pd_sim_b_2)

Laughing in the Hills (http://www.amazon.com/Laughing-Hills-Bill-Barich/dp/1932910875/ref=pd_sim_b_2)

aaron
01-29-2014, 12:55 PM
Has anyone ever come across a book on NewYork horse racing ? Not a handicapping book.

limit2
01-29-2014, 03:15 PM
It is good to know that new racing books: Do Not Sell! This relieves me of the pressure of creating one. Thanks! I might even have the material, if followed. that would make others wealthy. Still what is the use of risking $2,000 to get published when there is no one to buy the book. Although I did get many pointers from D. Mitchell's books.

Clocker
01-29-2014, 04:00 PM
Has anyone ever come across a book on NewYork horse racing ? Not a handicapping book.

This one is very good: May the Horse Be with You (http://www.amazon.com/May-Horse-Be-You-Track/dp/1932910859/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391025277&sr=1-1&keywords=harvey+pack).

This one I haven't read:

Saratoga Stories (http://www.amazon.com/Saratoga-Stories-Gangsters-Gamblers-Legends/dp/1581501587/ref=pd_sim_b_22)

You will see several others listed on that page, just below the description of this book.

aaron
01-29-2014, 05:18 PM
This one is very good: May the Horse Be with You (http://www.amazon.com/May-Horse-Be-You-Track/dp/1932910859/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391025277&sr=1-1&keywords=harvey+pack).

This one I haven't read:

Saratoga Stories (http://www.amazon.com/Saratoga-Stories-Gangsters-Gamblers-Legends/dp/1581501587/ref=pd_sim_b_22)

You will see several others listed on that page, just below the description of this book.
Thanks,I read that one. It is the Harvey Pack book.Might try the other one.

Overlay
01-29-2014, 06:15 PM
It is good to know that new racing books: Do Not Sell! This relieves me of the pressure of creating one. Thanks! I might even have the material, if followed. that would make others wealthy. Still what is the use of risking $2,000 to get published when there is no one to buy the book. Although I did get many pointers from D. Mitchell's books.
I used to buy anything about handicapping that came out. What dampened my appetite (aside from having to haul all those books around when I moved every few years!) was deciding to narrow my focus to titles that dealt with comprehensive quantitative probabilities associated with thoroughbred performance (so that I could develop reliable full-field fair-odds lines and exotic-wager payoffs), as opposed to general Ainslie-style qualitative discussion (which I found difficult to translate into an accurate assessment of winning chances), or single-factor/"pick-the-winner" systems or angles that would lose their profitability as soon as enough people found out about them and started playing them. (However, I'm still very much in the market for the type of quantitative information that I mentioned.)

I also don't recall that up-front out-of-pocket costs (as opposed to the value of my time) for getting my website into operation came to anywhere near $2,000 -- although I imagine that there might be more expense if I were to try to attract the attention/interest of a mainstream publisher/advertiser, rather than being self-published and relying on word-of-mouth and being listed by outlets such as Amazon.com, American Turf Monthly, and Gambler's Book Club for publicity.

And to all those who have purchased or will purchase my products through any of those channels -- thank you! :)

WJ47
01-29-2014, 07:58 PM
There are a lot of good non-handicapping books about horse racing. Here are a few:

Horseplayers (http://www.amazon.com/Horseplayers-Life-Track-Ted-McClelland/dp/1556525672/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390958948&sr=1-2-spell&keywords=ted+mcmlelland)

Not by a Long Shot (http://www.amazon.com/Not-By-Long-Shot-Season/dp/1586485660/ref=pd_sim_b_2)

Laughing in the Hills (http://www.amazon.com/Laughing-Hills-Bill-Barich/dp/1932910875/ref=pd_sim_b_2)

I've read the first 2 (both great reads), but not Laughing in the Hills. I'm going to have to read that one next.

Right now, I'm reading My Buddy King of the Hill, which is the story of trainer Frank Pagano Sr. and his friendship/business dealings with Buddy Jacobson, father of New York trainer, David Jacobson. I'm only about 1/10 through the book so far and it's been pretty shocking. Frank tells about the first horse that he bought through Jacobson and how the horse was so lame they took him to Suffolk, hoping someone would claim him and the horse broke down!

I always wondered about David Jacobson, but I couldn't believe his back story! That's some depraved stuff!

BIG49010
01-30-2014, 12:33 PM
T

A few writers self-published their stuff -- Joe Takach for example, but those suffer from a lack of marketing support. Like whatever the authors can afford to spend.



I remember calling Joe up on the phone and ordering his 1st book, he was in Philly at the time. Anyone know what he is up to these days?

Pensacola Pete
01-31-2014, 02:27 AM
I miss Howard feeding the pigeons every day at 4:30. I wonder if they flocked (get it? "flocked"?) to his new location.

BIG49010
01-31-2014, 02:06 PM
Received this email from Joe:

I'm now retired and spend most of my time playing guitar and learning piano.

Only go to Del Mar in the summer.

thaskalos
02-01-2014, 06:40 AM
Received this email from Joe:

I'm now retired and spend most of my time playing guitar and learning piano.

Only go to Del Mar in the summer.
What self-respecting horseplayer quits the horses so he could play some musical instrument?

What's this world coming to?

Robert Goren
02-01-2014, 09:53 AM
What self-respecting horseplayer quits the horses so he could play some musical instrument?

What's this world coming to?One who could not find a pawn shop who lend money on them. :rolleyes:

DeltaLover
02-01-2014, 10:03 AM
The truth is that horseplayers never retire from the game.S
Some times though, it is the game itself that forces them to a nonvolunteer retirement.

WJ47
02-01-2014, 02:30 PM
I remember calling Joe up on the phone and ordering his 1st book, he was in Philly at the time. Anyone know what he is up to these days?

I emailed Joe a few days ago because I was interested in his physically report for Santa Anita and he emailed back and said they've stopped publishing it. I was disappointed; it looked like it was a good thing!

I wonder if anyone else sells a similar product. I'm not great at judging how a horse looks. They all look beautiful to me! :)

Clocker
02-01-2014, 05:16 PM
I'm not great at judging how a horse looks. They all look beautiful to me! :)

You might want to spend some time HERE (http://www.joe-takach.com/_Recent_Articles/_recent_articles.html).

Tom
02-01-2014, 05:37 PM
I miss Howard feeding the pigeons every day at 4:30. I wonder if they flocked (get it? "flocked"?) to his new location.

The first time I went there, I was amazed at that "purple wall" but the parking lot!

Force of One
02-02-2014, 05:28 PM
Just an FYI for anybody heading to GBC: they are apparently moving again. Was out in Vegas last week and went to their store on Eastern. They were clearly in the process of packing up books so if you are planning on hitting there in the near future, might want to call ahead and verify new address/they are re-opened yet.

Hoofless_Wonder
02-02-2014, 10:04 PM
Got an email from GBC the other day - they're moving back downtown, and will be inside the Gamblers General Store at 800 South Main Street. They're supposed to be there as of 27 January....

Topcat
02-02-2014, 11:51 PM
I don't know if Howard is around but I know that GBC didnít' just move it was for sale prior to move-a business broker friend sent me the listing-not sure who bought it or if sale did go through.

I really liked it back in the day when Huey Mahl helped put out their Systems & Methods-you could walk into the bookstore and even have great conversations with staff and customers who were very knowledgeable.

RaceBookJoe
02-03-2014, 10:24 AM
I don't know if Howard is around but I know that GBC didnít' just move it was for sale prior to move-a business broker friend sent me the listing-not sure who bought it or if sale did go through.

I really liked it back in the day when Huey Mahl helped put out their Systems & Methods-you could walk into the bookstore and even have great conversations with staff and customers who were very knowledgeable.

He took over for Lou Holloway. I still miss the old store with all the pictures and the back room. Howard was great too, loved to talk gambling etc.

limit2
02-03-2014, 11:00 AM
I once read that profits on exotic wagers should produce: ROI 100% for exactas, 150% for trifectas and 250% for supers. Does this appear accurate to other members of this forum? If so, what is a fair duration for accomplishing these results?

thaskalos
02-03-2014, 04:14 PM
I once read that profits on exotic wagers should produce: ROI 100% for exactas, 150% for trifectas and 250% for supers. Does this appear accurate to other members of this forum? If so, what is a fair duration for accomplishing these results?

According to some of the systems/methods that I've purchased, it's a pretty speedy process. Assuming one is willing to pay the $49.95 for a good handicapping method.

raybo
02-04-2014, 10:46 AM
I once read that profits on exotic wagers should produce: ROI 100% for exactas, 150% for trifectas and 250% for supers. Does this appear accurate to other members of this forum? If so, what is a fair duration for accomplishing these results?

If these are really ROIs, they seem quite high, in my experience. I've been hovering in the 1.42 to 1.48 ROI range since 2004, in superfecta play.

If you're talking about "profits" then it is dependent largely on how often you bet and how much turnover you have on your bankroll, and how large your bankroll is. Being able to estimate minimum payouts, on tris and supers, and how high that minimum acceptable payout limit is, will also affect your profit. And of course, how "lucky" you get, meaning how often you hit the higher end of your tickets, in larger pools. One big payout can dramatically affect profit, and ROI of course. But, the ability to put yourself in position to cash those big ones often is key.