10/11/2005: Thought for the Day:
Picking winners is a difficult proposition, in any sport. I know this firsthand, as does my bookie. A gambler, in order to break even, must win 52.38 percent of his bets (this just covers the vigorish, the extra fee paid to the bookie). If you pay an additional amount to a sports tout, you'll need to win even more. Most gamblers are lucky if they do better than flipping a coin; professional gamblers do well when they get close to 60 percent. Let's be clear, nobody picks 75 percent to 80 percent, especially over any considerable length of time—like a season. I have, occasionally, paid someone to pick winners for me. And every tout has put me further into debt. It could be that I've just gone to the wrong people. Or it could be that people like Lang just don't exist.
If, after seeing the movie, you think that the real Brandon Lane is the answer to your gambling woes, you'll be mistaken. He claims, like every other sports tout, that he's the best handicapper in the business. This, of course, cannot be verified. Short of providing potential clients with his record, his site provides inducements more in the realm of PR hackery. "Listen," he writes, "they only make movies about winners—and that's me!" Apparently, he hasn't rented Leaving Las Vegas.
--Jacob Lewis [on the film Two for the Money]
Len on 10.11.05 @ 12:39 PM CST