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Getting an edge
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - by Frank Cotolo

Getting an edge on any gaming venture is arguably the key element for success. I have been writing for years about digging for edges in pari-mutuel races, referring to my own success playing the races.

Much of what I learned about gambling edges has come from other forms of financial risk-taking. Gambling, after all, is gambling, and it is myopic to feel all you can learn about the subject of gambling comes from your game of choice. You have to talk to gamblers that act in other gambling theaters.

I have learned more about gambling from poker players, blackjack counters and even underground bookies (once there was a way to wager on the Academy Awards) than from anyone that played the horses. Certainly the money-management genius J.K. Kelly has made a significant impact in how I play any pari-mutuel event. Indeed, the Kelly Criteron still influences investors such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gross and others who move millions daily through the tunnels of great financial risk.

So why not listen to Aron Paul? He played Jesse Pinkman in the hit series “Breaking Bad.” But he continues to coach people on how to become contestants on "The Price Is Right" and get to the Showcase Showdown level and win. In 2000, Aron made it to the top level as a player on the show.

Aron shared his methods with a guy he met named Jarod and Jarod said he followed Aron’s advice to the letter. Jarod made it to contestant’s row, won the bidding round, then won his game, which got him a wad of cash and prizes on the hit show. Jarod thanked Aron on the show but all he mentioned about Aron’s tips was, “He said to jump in the air and pump my fists and say I fold jeans at the Gap.”

What Jarod learned specifically from Aron is not as important as the fact that he was open to listening and learning from an experienced winner, someone who had performed in a theater of risk and won. Jarod accepted, absorbed and employed the factors and they worked because no one else had the information. That is called an edge and it is the most important tool one can have when looking to win anything.

I watched a video of Jarod using Aron’s edges and saw him predict a price perfectly on the show; it was a feat that Jarod gave Aron credit for being able to accomplish.

It’s true that the world of mentors, especially those proposing success in the gambling field, is decked with mountebanks. But any with a documented history of success, who can thoroughly explain the math and the method, is worth his or her weight in gold.


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Editor's Note: The views contained in this article are that of the author alone, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of the United States Trotting Association.
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