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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

July 6, 2008

This Post Is For G-Rob

by Luckbox

You can start by re-reading this post in which G-Rob explains just how bad I am at picking the ponies. When you're done there, come back here.

Okay, so it's well established that in G-Rob's mind, you're better off betting against me. In fact, while in Vegas, he and I decided to do some pony prop bets. It didn't go well for me...

More in this Poker Blog! -->

June 13, 2008

The Triple Crown: My Final Words

by Luckbox

I'm not sure I can write it any better than my good friend G-Rob. I suck at handicapping horses. And that pretty much puts me in the category as 95% of all handicappers out there.

Playing the ponies is hard. We're gambling on the whims of some big, dumb animals ridden by tiny men.

So what went wrong for me?

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June 7, 2008

Casino Drive (Scratched)

by Luckbox

I'm crushed.

This was the horse. The horse to beat the unbeatable Big Brown. The horse to make history by being the third straight horse from the same mare to win the Belmont Stakes. The horse to make me a little cash.

And now, he's scratched. A bad left hind hoof didn't heal fast enough. After this morning's workout, Casino Drive was clearly favoring that leg. Forcing him to run would have risked serious injury. It's the right and responsible decision. If it were Rick Dutrow, he'd probably pump the horse full of some kind of illegal pain killer just to get him on the track. Hell, it wouldn't shock me if Dutrow put a Jeff Gillooly-Tonya Harding style hit on Casino Drive.

So throw out all my bets (I'll get a refund on each of them). If you're betting this race, Big Brown is going to win it. He'll go off at somewhere around 1-9, if you're lucky. He may end up being Belmont's biggest favorite ever. He'll win this race handily. It's just not worth putting a win bet on anyone else.

If you do want to bet stupid and hope to hit the lottery, try Denis of Cork or Tale of Ekati. I just don't think Anak Nakal or Macho Again can do it. I'll probably try a few trifectas and superfectas. That's the only place to make any money today.


June 6, 2008

How to Bet the Belmont Stakes

by Luckbox

Ten horses are about to run a race unlike any race they've ever run and likely unlike any race they will ever run again. Horses simply do not race 1 1/2 miles on dirt. It's just that simple. No major race in the United States goes that distance unless it's on turf, and even that is rare. Up until now, these 3-year old horses have rarely had an oppurtunity to go more than 1 1/4 mile, and that was only in the Preakness which ran 1 3/16 mile.

And that is one of the major reasons why we haven't seen a Triple Crown horse since Affirmed 30 years ago. In those three decades, 11 different horses arrived at the Belmont Stakes with a chance to make history. And all 11 lost. In 1988, Real Quiet lost by just a nose. In 1999, Charismatic lead in the final furlong but broke his leg and finished third. From 2002-2004, we had War Emblem, Funny Cide and Smarty Jones. All great horses, and none closed the deal.

So how does this help you bet the Belmont?

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May 10, 2008

Hot Belmont Tip

by Luckbox

I'll keep this short for those of you who don't care about horse racing (and therefore, don't care about making awesome amounts of money based on my handicapping insights!).

I'm eyeing a horse you probably haven't heard of. And his name is poker-blogger worthy, Casino Drive.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

May 3, 2008

Handicapping the Kentucky Derby

by Luckbox



Here is your Kentucky Derby winner.


How did I arrive at this pick? It took three easy steps...

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April 13, 2008

How to Win the Pick 4

by Luckbox

So, I think my last horse racing advice post was a little ambitious. Winning the Pick 6 is hard. So hard that when you do win, the payout is in 5 or 6 figures.

Saturday, BG and I put our handicapping skills to the test... and lost. I'd say it was close, but it wasn't the closest we've ever been. We lost because the very last horse we left off our ticket ended up winning the first leg of the Pick 6, and a 15-1 longshot (a horse I liked and a horse who shared the name of my niece) came across first in the 4th leg. Obviously, I didn't like the horse enough to push for her inclusion. And it cost us.

It was disappointing. As it always is to lose. However, on this day, my sadness was tempered by this:

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April 12, 2008

The Santa Anita Pick 6 Ticket

by Luckbox

After a few days of handicapping, the picks are in. BG and I have put together a ticket we believe has a great chance of bringing in a payday. Interestingly, we were on the same page in almost every race. That doesn't always happen. We're hoping that means we're locked in and not that we're both idiots.

Both of us used the early program to handicap. That means we were not influenced by the morning lines created by some random handicapper who may or may not know what he's doing. In some cases, that meant we didn't like the morning line favorite at all and in others, we were all over a horse that will likely bring us a good price. That's how you find Pick 6 tickets with big payoffs.

So without further ado, the picks:

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April 9, 2008

Pick 6: The 2008 Edition

by Luckbox

It's Santa Anita.

After looking at the possibilities, BG and I decided to look west. The California track seems just right for us. It's four dirt races and two turf races. We've got a claiming, a maiden special weight, a couple allowances, a $100K stakes race and a final maiden claiming. Lastly, the fields are sufficiently large, 9-12 horses each race, making for a nice potential payday.

In case you're wondering, last Saturday's Pick 6 at Santa Anita paid more than $36,000. That's the kind of payday we're shooting for here. We've already got a handful of investors lined up. And here's how you can get involved:

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April 7, 2008

The Pick 6: It's On!

by Luckbox

So I actually played some online poker yesterday. It was the first time I sat down at the virtual felt since before I got married. It wasn't much. A little FPP tourney at Stars to start. Then a couple of $30 SNGs (busted 9th and finished first). Then the $20K guarantee. I played pretty well there through the first break before waaaaaay overplaying pocket Ts.

It was fun. I didn't realize I missed it as much as I did. It was nice getting that rush again waiting to see if my hand held up. For the record, I didn't suckout. Not once. I'm saving that for my triumphant return to the blogger games. Preferably against Waffles.

But I'm not here to write about poker. It's not nearly interesting enough... yet. Instead, I'm here for your money. Specifically, BG and I need some investors.

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April 5, 2008

How to Win the Pick 6

by Luckbox

Full disclosure: I've never won the Pick 6.

On Sept. 3 of last year, BG and I put together a Pick 6 ticket that came within a nose of winning. Five out of 6 paid a few hundred bucks for us, but we were that close to a big pay day. The day before, we lost one race by a head and another by a half-length. Close yet again to a really nice pay day.

If there's one truism in betting the ponies, however, it's that close doesn't pay the bills. And yet, here I am, imparting my amatuer knowledge on you. Thank me later.

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November 4, 2006

The Pick 6 Picks

by Luckbox

First, let me thank our investors: Me, Boy Genius, Absinthe, Falstaff, Gracie, April, Joanne, Imperfect, ToddCommish, FTrain, GRob, Otis, JoeSpeaker, AlCantHang, bobby (Run Em Twice), F%$^ the River, Jen, Lefty, Dad, 23skidoo, Iggy, Scurvydog, PokerWolf, Drizz, Meek, Bobby Bracelet, WillyWise, Royal and Donkeypuncher.

Second, let me warn you that we've done things a little differently this time. Instead of playing one big ticket that would cost almost $1300, we've played five separate tickets all centered around a solid base ticket that BG and I are both big fans of.

Without further ado, the picks:

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November 1, 2006

Ultra Pick 6 Time!

by Luckbox

It may be the most wagered Pick 6 in horse racing. It's, perhaps, the biggest day in horse racing. Each Triple Crown race may be a big deal, but the Breeders Cup race card is stacked from top to bottom. The best horses in the world come to run.

And this weekend, Boy Genius and I are ready to put our handicapping skills to the test. Many of you have stepped up to invest in our Pick 6 efforts in the past. Back on Sept. 1st, we were edged twice out of 6 races. Then, on the next day, we hit five out of six, missing the Pick 6 literally by a nose to the longest shot on the board. For our efforts that day, we won $756.

So, for Saturday, we've already got $756 to play with, and these investors are already in for a full share: Me, Boy Genius, Absinthe, Falstaff, Gracie, April, Joanne, Imperfect, ToddCommish, FTrain, GRob, Otis, JoeSpeaker, AlCantHang, bobby (Run Em Twice), F%$^ the River, Jen, Lefty, Dad.

However, there is still time for you to get on board. Boy Genius and I need to know by Friday night at 8pm CT if you'd like to invest. It only costs you $50. It's that simple. If you want in, just leave a comment or send me an email. I'll let you know how to settle up. And if you have any questions, you know where to find me!


September 3, 2006

The Pick 6 Redux... Again

by Luckbox


So you thought Saturday was close? Today we missed out on the Pick 6 payday by a nose. In the very first race, our 5/1 shot #5 Micky's Doll tried to wire the field, but got edged by the longest shot on the board at 19/1. It was a rough way to start.

Had #5 held on, I think our payout might have been in the $50,000 range. As it happened, the consolation prize was $378. Since we had two horses in the race we missed, it looks like our ticket paid twice so we cashed our $1000 ticket for $756.

For a full write-up, check out Boy Genius' live-blogging.

Without further ado... the picks:

Race 5:
#5 Micky's Doll, #6 Tug o' War
Race 6:
#4 Miura Bull, #5 Silver Wind, #6 Afleet Spy, #9 El Bambino Huey
Race 7:
#5 Udriga, #7 Windy
Race 8:
#1 Rateau, #4 Get Funky, #5 Lightning Hit, #8 Union Avenue, #9 Point Determined, #10 Porto Santo
Race 9:
#9 Dilemma
Race 10:
#1 Jolly Spirit, #4 King Rohan, #7 Majestic American, #8 Kinoko Man, #9 Sylvan Hill

If you'd like to know how we arrived at these picks, head on over to read Boy Genius' analysis. That's also where you'll need to go for live updates since I'll be away from home. I won't even get to see the races, dammit. Wish us luck!


September 2, 2006

Emergency Request!

by Luckbox

We aren't curing cancer. We aren't stopping MS. We aren't doing a damn thing for any kids.

We are, however, trying to round up enough investors to take on the whopping $245,000 carryover in tomorrow's Pick 6 at Del Mar. Here's the deal. Boy Genius and I were within a half-length and a nose of winning more than $100,000 today. In fact, had things broken the right way, we might have had the quarter million all to ourselves.

Our Pick 6 ticket had a total of 17 horses spread over the six races and 11 of the 17 finished in the money. We were on our game, but being on our game doesn't pay the bills.

Tomorrow, we plan on paying the bills. It's $50 per person and I need to know ASAP if you're in. Transfers can be made to Up4Poker at PokerStars or UpForPoker at FTP. We're going to make it this time. I can feel it!

In so far: Me, Boy Genius, Absinthe, Falstaff, Gracie, April, Joanne, Imperfect, ToddCommish, FTrain, GRob, Otis, JoeSpeaker, AlCantHang, bobby (Run Em Twice), F%$^ the River, Jen, Lefty, Dad. (Investing is CLOSED.)


September 1, 2006

The Pick 6 Redux

by Luckbox

Update! Results below!

Here we go again...

First, I'd like to thank our investors: Joe Speaker, Absinthe, Otis, Falstaff, Drizz, Maudie, FTrain, April, Gracie, Bobby, AlCantHang, Jen, Lefty, Dad and F%$* the River.

Boy Genius and I are grateful that so many of you have shown faith in our handicapping abilities. Now, it's time for us to deliver. I'd like to say this is a sure thing, but anyone who's bet on the ponies know that's just not the case. Still, BG and I feel pretty good about what we've come up with.

Race 5
#4 Chief's Magic, #6 Edwardian, #7 Forward Commitment, #8 Newsworthy
Result: We're alive! #4 Chief's Magic ran away with it. #6 Edwardian placed and #8 Newsworthy showed, so we were pretty solid on this one. In fact, #4 was 7-1, so that's a great start to our ticket!
Race 6
#1 Silber, #1A Vatchesvendetta, #6 Special Heather, #7 Star Voyager
Result: We're rolling! #6 Special Heather and #7 Star Voyager dueled the whole way with the 3/2 favorite (#6) holding off the 5/1 choice (#7). We've have preferred the price, but we're taking the win!
Race 7
#1 Hilogold, #1A Gotta Have Her, #7 Smokin Anne, #9 Sekira
Result: Well, dammit. We stayed away from the heavy 8/5 favorite, which worried us, but didn't end up hurting us. #7 Smokin Anne went off at 8/1 and was attempting to go wire-to-wire in an impressive performance, but an 11/1 shot came out of nowhere to end our hopes of big riches. #1 Hilogold got up for show. We're still alive for a consolation prize, especially if one of our big prices comes in down the stretch.
Race 8
#9 Shining Energy, #11 Mea Domina
Result: More good news! #11 Mea Domina went off at 5/1 and ran wire-to-wire from an outside post position in a very impressive race. Our #9 Shining Energy was the tepid 3/1 favorite and made a good closing run, but couldn't get through traffic and finished 4th. If things finish well for us, we might make at least get our money back.
Race 9
#4 King Mobay, #7 Chester's Choice
Result: Make that 4 out of 5. Unfortunately it was the 8/5 #4 King Mobay and not the 5/2 #7 Chester's Choice who showed. Both our horses were in the money again. We knew we weren't getting a price here, but we got the win nonetheless. Now we need everyone to root for #4 in the last race and we could get a little money back.
Race 10
#1 Tumbaga, #2 Awesome Gem, #4 City Swagger
Results: Well, we were alive to win as much as $3621 with a win by #4 City Swagger. That would mean a carryover for the bulk of the pool and a nice consolation prize. With a win by either #1 Tumbaga or #2 Awesome Gem, someone would win the Pick 6 prize of either $245K or $122K, and we'd get a small consolation prize. Unfortunately, the longshot #3 beat our #2 by a nose, leaving us empty handed. No one won the Pick 6 leaving a carryover of $245,000. We missed out on a HUGE pay day by a half-length in the 7th and a nose in the 10th. Not the way we'd want to go out, but we were close.

There you go. After each handicapping the races individually, we compared notes and found a lot of agreement. There are a few random horses we wouldn't have minded including here or there, but our finances are not unlimited. We've picked the horses we feel most confident about and have included a few horses we think could bring pretty good prices.

With a little bit of luck, in a few hours, I'll be figuring out how to split up a six-figure pay day! The post time for the 5th race at Del Mar is about 7:00pm ET. Wish us luck!


August 20, 2006

Looking For Investors

by Luckbox

Boy Genius and I are ready to hit it big. We've been practicing our handicapping, making the appropriate sacrifices to the gods of luck and rebuilding our Pick 6 strategy. That means now is the time, and we need your help.

We're looking for those willing to put a small part of their bankroll on the line for a chance to hit it big. We are going to make a big Pick 6 bet at Arlington Park in about two weeks (not this coming weekend, but next weekend).

What do you have to do? Not much. All you have to do is put up $50 (we may do half shares for $25, too). BG and I will do all the hard work. The potential payoff is in six figures if we hit all six, and more than a grand if we hit just five.

So, if you want in, just drop me an email, or leave a comment here. I'll pass on all the details as we get closer.


July 2, 2006

Not So Lucky?

by Luckbox

I'll give live results for those not watching (in reverse order, scroll down for earlier races)...

In the end, the Pick 6 paid more than $300K and getting just 5 of 6 paid $1175. It's the kind of pay day we were shooting for. Next time, we just gotta do better.

And we missed the final race. We knew it was going to be the toughest race to call and we really didn't go as deep in this race as we'd like. Our top choice, Marquis Form made a nice run on the rail, but had too far to come and finished 2nd. Sixcess, the winner, was one of our backup horses.

Race #10 makes back-to-back winners. We really liked 1 Charming N Lovable, making her our second choice. We were really willing to go just two deep in this race because we were confident in the picks. If we hit this last, it'll be bitter-sweet.

Finally a winner. In Race #9, our top pick, Siren Lure ran a perfect race. He went off as the co-favorite and looked the best closing from off the pace in this sprint. We're now 1-4. BG put the over/under at 3.5 and we both figured we'd hit three races. That means hitting the last two. Won't win us any money, but might help our pride.

After watching Race #8, I wonder if we'll be able to find investors next month. Our pick, Attima, got out front for most of the race, but, as happens on turf races, he was caught by just about everyone. The third choice ended of running away from the pack and won by a mile. We're 0-3. There aren't many excuses.

Race #7 wasn't much better. This time, a 10-1 shot beat the post time favorite. Our horses finished 2nd and 3rd. Getting 4 of 6 doesn't pay, unfortunately. I can't imagine anyone hitting this Pick 6 today. Even if you had the 33-1 in the first race, there's not much chance you had the 10-1 in the second. Picking 6 winners isn't easy. Hell, picking one is hard enough. I just wish we had gotten off to a good start.

Race #6 was a disaster. A 33-1 shot won. It's a horse we never considered, and I have to figure it wasn't a popular horse on most tickets. Our horses were near the front much of the race, but couldn't quite finish. The only good news is that a 33-1 shot likely kills a large majority of Pick 6 tickets. Getting 5 of 6 could still play. We'll see.


The Lucky 13

by Luckbox

It's a crazy idea, really. Boy Genius and I thought maybe we could put together a ticket for today's $1 million guarantee Pick 6 at Hollywood Park. That means picking the winners for the last 6 races on today's card. Of course, on yesterday's Arlington Park card, we had trouble picking 2 winners, but I digress.

Apparently, we've been able to fool 11 other people into jumping on board with a $30 investment. And so the Lucky 13 are all rooting for a nice six figure payday. Here are the picks:

More in this Poker Blog! -->

July 1, 2006

A Day at the Races

by Luckbox

Apparently sucking out for 7 straight months catches up with you, and the karma of poker is returning the favor. I don't mind losing a race here or there, but one too many two outers is leaving me discouraged. I know, I know... correct decision. Still doesn't take the sting away.

With that in mind, I'm devoting another weekend to the ponies. First, it's the card at Arlington Park. Later, I'll probably do a little Hollywood Park. Then, I may drive out to Evangeline Downs for the big stakes race tonight. Finally, tomorrow is a big Pick 6 with Boy Genius.

So as I go, I figure I'll live blog a little for you. Enjoy!

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June 23, 2006

Knockin' On Heaven's Door

by Luckbox

You haven't lived until you've heard the Bob Dylan/Guns 'N Roses classic infused with some zydeco-inspired accordian. Of course, if you're going to spend a Friday night in June at a Cajun Racino, you can't exactly complain about the music.

I felt a little out of place at Evangeline Downs tonight. My Playboy shirt and jeans was more suited for the posh (by Louisiana standards) Clubhouse than the smoke-filled, litter-covered grandstand. I also stood out because my shoes covered my toes and I didn't have a wad of chewing tobacco under my lip.

I wasn't there to impress anyway. I was there to pick the ponies.

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June 11, 2006

The Rush

by Luckbox

I think I may know what's wrong with my poker game. I've lost all sense of patience. I'm looking for big hands to play for big pots to make big moves. I'm making terrible calls knowing I'm way behind just to play for all my chips. I need that quick gratification. That's not the way to win a tournament.

I blame the ponies.

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April 15, 2006

Back to the Track

by Luckbox

[Updated with the sad, sad results. Apparently agreement with BG isn't the best thing.]

I feel bad because I owe you all a couple more Playboy Mansion posts. I've really been slacking here at Up for Poker, so I vow to get back on track.

But speaking of tracks... I've been working on the Saturday card at Tampa Bay Downs. BG says there are some really obvious favorites in about 2/3 of the races. I guess we'll see how much I know if my picks match his. Without further ado, here they are (TOP CHOICE listed first):

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