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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Early Speed by Klein New at GBC, Burgio's Colorful Poker Book

28 December 2005



Thoroughbred bettors, always thirsting for a new idea, concept or angle to beat the ponies, will find value in Klein's The Power of Early Speed (299 pages, paperbound, $14.95).The author, with four decades of handicapping experience including a decade in Kentucky for the Daily Racing Form, has compiled a 15-chapter gem analyzing more than 200,000 races run at more than two dozen different race tracks.

Klein's massive study covers more than 1.5 million starters and examines how early speed can be used to uncover overlays.

Some of the most interesting findings relate to field size and its effect on early speed; early speed statistics for leading jockeys and trainers at all North American tracks; and early speed by age and gender and early speed on turf.

One of the more fascinating sections illuminates which tracks, distances and track conditions produce the highest and lowest returns on investments for front-runners.

The races in the study took place from 1996 to 2004.

Klein writes clearly, non-technically and fills a much needed informational gap for serious players and those who respect and utilize the speed factor.

The word is out on this book -- it's a winner and perhaps the hottest seller of the season. At a $14.95 price, every beginning or experienced bettor should have one.

Vince Burgio, one of the most likable high-stakes poker players anywhere, has a charming, colorful new book available at Gambler's Book Shop. It bears the unusual title of Pizza, Pasta and Poker -- The Private & Public Life of a Professional Poker Player (300 pages, paperbound, $19.95).

Burgio's book is not a how-to-win at poker item. It is more of a "glimpse of a professional poker player's life." Burgio wants the public to understand what goes on in the lives of professional players, who "just happen to have not-so-normal lives."

Burgio opens up his life to readers--ups and downs, his wins and losses, those who influenced him, the lessons he's learned the hard way, and he does it with humility.

With Burgio's fantastic memory for people, places and incidents, it's a continuous entertaining trip down memory lane. You'll meet colorful characters, dealers, find out how a steak house was named after a cat; how it feels to move from low limit play to the highest stakes games; how he faced and detected cheats and how pasta and pizza (part of the book title) became an integral part of his life growing up.

Burgio's life is like following a mapmaker -- he's lived in Missouri, Washington, played in a dozen more states and served in the military. Packed with pictures but not indexed by name or places, the book contains 28 short chapters, has a reasonable price and presents itself properly as a slice of life -- with a little pepperoni and oregano tossed in.

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