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Gaming Guru

 

College hoops record and trend book arrives with a great boxing tome

6 November 2008

RME's NCAA Men's Basketball Workbook (242 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $26) has arrived, along with an interesting biography written by Englishman Rob Steen titled Sonny Liston: His Life, Strife and the Phantom Punch (245 pages, paperbound, $16.95).

College basketball has hundreds of teams from which bettors can choose for wagers. For the serious player who looks at schedules, home court advantage, conference play and the fatigue factor, among other things, keeping careful records can be a matter of organization and patience or of haos and guessing. The RME college book offers schedules; room to keep opening and closing lines; the totals number should one be listed; the final score; how the team did against the line; and whether the game went over or under. Plus, the book offers a quick summary of each team in 2007. (For example, Kansas, which won it all last year with a 37-3 overall record, covered the spread just 21 times and was 18-20 in totals.) The book lists each team's website address should you need updated or additional material -- perhaps about injuries and roster changes. (So, from Air Force to Youngstown State, there's a handy alpha index.) Overall, a fine time-saver for the price.

Boxing buffs and those who dwell on conspiracy theories should enjoy Rob Steen's book on Liston, who last fought in 1970 and who died under questionable circumstances in Las Vegas a year later. This is about how the sport of boxing, which changed radically in the 1960s and 70s, and about the major players -- the boxers, their trainers and agents, the bettors and the impact of television. Liston won 50 fights, lost only four. Although Liston's widow, Geraldine, refused to cooperate with the author on this book, others, including officials, other fighters and friends, did supply material. It's an interesting read. Indexed and illustrated, the book is as much about Liston as the characters, the movers and shakers, and how the promoters operated, often not fulfilling promises, especially when it came to the money.

Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com