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    09/07/2011 9:56 PM
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    01/17/2019 7:25 AM

WANNA FOLLOW "STEAM"...GOTTA GET THE BEST NUMBER !!

It's no secret that I spent a major part of my life, and career in this racket moving "Steam" for some of the most successful Betting Syndicates ever...and the one thing that I learned from each of them, was that this is simply a "Numbers Game"...and therefore, getting the best number is the primary goal and in many years, the difference between Winning and Losing...

Now when Bob Martin was the country's main Oddsmaker...there was only a select number of bettors that had the ability to make him move his line, and the rest were cut out of the action because they would get to bet into it...before it was even offered to anyone else...Making the numbers the sharpest they've ever been...and ever will be...

When he called it quits...the flood-gates opened and have since stayed open...And fortunately for us bettors, the sportsbook industry has since been behind the times, which is obvious by things like...Limits, Line-Moves, Messenger Betting Act, ect...And over the last 2 decades, we've seen an influx of Betting Syndicates who continue to beat the books...and are now viewed as a liability, while when I first began moving "steam", we were their asset...

So now with the explosion of the internet, and the access to almost the exact same betting line all across the board...the game has changed dramatically...and the "wise-guys" apply different methods, to both...capp the games and gather info, and more importantly, get down their action...

The day's of having to make "courtesy bets" and "set-up lines" for later in the week are all but gone...The days of working with bookmakers to both conceal the "steam" and intice the "squares" to go the other way, are also gone...Except for some big time locals, who are cut from the old-school cloth, guys like Bob Martin were...

These days, with the proper training...and aptitude for reading markets...your average sports bettor should be able to at the very least...Pick-off which line moves are "steam" and which are not...and possibly even make a living betting on these moves for him/herself, without ever having to book the work, in order to get the play...And although many times, not getting the info from an actual source moving these plays will cost the bettor by being on sides or totals which aren't "steam"...I still believe those who are serious enough about it, and put in the hours studying...can still turn a profit, as long as they focus on getting the "Right Number"...

You see, that is what is the single MOST IMPORTANT factor to these successful Betting Syndicates...Meaning that if they want to lay Dallas -5...if the line is Dallas -5.5...then they have no play. And I have witnessed first hand exactly how disciplined they are, and you have to be in order to truely turn a profit...

Becuase even the best handicappers edge is so small...getting the best number alone, is often the difference between winning and losing years...like I mentioned at the very start...And as we go forward and our edge becomes even smaller, we really need to place close attention on getting the Best Number...

For starters, when I was moving "steam"...I believe our best years were years where we had about a 10% edge on the books...And although many feel that the Kosher Kids MLB bets had an almost 20% edge...When you consider the Entire Year and not just seasons, then I would say that 10% was about the right figure...So before the internet was so wide-spread, it was worth it for a big bookmaker, say in Texas, to give me $2 Dimes on a game...because he knew that for $200, he has my info and can now go ahead and adjust his numbers accordingly...putting us BOTH, more or less on the same side...

Well now that isn't needed like it was then...and the sophistication and competition from other sharp bettors means that the very winningest sports bettors...probably have an edge around 5% during the best years. Fellas, that is the reality of this racket and do not be mis-led, because having even a 2% edge over the course of a year, and 4 different sports, can still lead to a big profit when all the dust settles...But you can also see from that number...that getting a bad line, and losing some of those "steam" plays that won because of it...can very easily turn a 2% edge, into a 1% Expected Loss...which also can mean a lot of money over a year's time...

So, how does someone who isn't getting these "Steam" plays from actual sources...or even someone who likes to side with what is perceived as the "smart money"...go about getting a good number, when it seems the lines on these games move so much...Well over the years, I was able to develop a few tricks, which allowed me, even during those years of moving other people games...get more money down than many other runners because of it...which then led to getting the pieces earlier and earlier...Because as they trickle down the line, even before they hit the followers...the move can more times than not, leave you on the side-lines...and there is no money to be made there, unless of course you are a back-up in the NFL...

Here are a few of the things you can do...

1.) Try to take it to a whole number...so that a push is possible, rather than a loss...

For example...If the goal was to take Dallas -5.5...rather than wait to see what it does or if it will come back down, go ahead and take it at -6, because the worst case if the "sharps" win, is that you push...And the same holds true when taking points...If the goal is New York +5.5, then go ahead and take +5 rather than risk it dropping even more, putting it out of reach...Because once again, if the "sharps" win...the worst case for you is a push...

On the flip side, if the goal was to get Dallas -4...then don't consider laying -4.5, because you can lose while they push...And the same holds true when the goal is to get New York +5...Don't take +4.5 because once again...they can Push, while you can lose...So memorizing this little "whole number" trick...will allow you to quickly determine whether to fire-away immediately, or wait it out and see if something better develops...But either way, you don't want to be holding a ticket in those spots because you are definately having the "worst of it"...And that is not the way to make a profit in this game...

2.) Take a Deep Breath...and show some PATIENCE...

So many times I was sitting in a sportsbook with about 10 other runners and all of a sudden, a big play came through our 2-ways...And you would see 9 of them simultaneously try to get in line and get down at the desired number...Well in these instances, I did the opposite and knew to back off, because there were either too many others who were ahead of me and would get that number...or even worse, the lines would be filled with horse players and you couldn't get to a window before someone else either came in through the phone...or the book saw the adjustment on their screen via their lines-service...But regardless, I knew my chances were slim...So here is what I did many times...

You would know someone got down because the number would move 1.5pts, which was the average 1st move...Then over the next 10 min, while the majority of runners were on the pay-phones outside calling other outs...or the office to turn the action in...the "wanna-be wise-guys" would catch wind of it and go up and bet it as well...and the books would go ahead and adjust even more...so now the number is 3pts off...More times than not, most guys would give up on that play and move to the next...but I knew that more times than not...that number was going to come back down...Because many times, the middle opportunity forces these "Outfits" to order a Buy-Back...or many times, they would want to lower their liability and edge some off by going the other way...

The reason for this is that if there is a Buy-Order sent out...it's not for a specified amount...Everyone's job is to simply get down as much as possible, at the given number...Well then when the bets are made, we call them in so the employer knows what his position is on the game...Many times, it would be more than they wanted and they would then send out a Buy-Back...and it's at that moment that I would seize the best number again, because the books would go ahead and lower it again...

I know that you see this all of the time...the number moves 2-3 points in one direction...and then before game-time, it comes back down...Well, rather than worry about taking the worst of the number...I suggest that if the "whole number" system isn't there for you to take advantage...then you should sit back and wait it out until much closer to game time because many times you will get a better number...And more importantly, if you don't then you simply are able to pass...and wait for the next opportunity because believe me...there will always be games and there will always be plays...

 

Now although this Blog will be beneficial to my Clients...I also believe it's beneficial to all sports bettors, because even the recreational bettor will have a much better chance of winning...if they simply attempt to get the best number...And this is regardless of whether you are trying to follow "steam" or perceived "smart money"...or even your own handicapped play...You need to be able to set a price for it, and decide what you will be willing to pay...and not a 1/2 point more or else you are giving up some of your edge if you have one...and increasing the books if you don't...

Although my objective for this Blog was to show my guys and anyone interested some of the ways to get certain numbers...especially since we are on the "outfit" side on so many occassions...the main reason I wanted to write this was to show that besides your skills in handicapping...or info gathering...the most important factor that will determine success of failure is simply getting the "Best Number"...

And although we view sports as entertainment...the reason we ultimately wager on them is to make money...and to do that, you must comprehend that this is a market...and the most important factor of any market is the price...Because as it was first explained to me when I began moving for bettors who were so much more sophisticated than the oddsmakers is like this...You price something at $8...well that makes you a buyer at $6, and a seller at $10...and that same principle must be applied to sports betting as well if you wish to have any success...

Finally, although I want to cover such topics as money management...it turely isn't as important as getting the right number or handicapping correctly...because all the money management in the world isn't going to help you turn a profit if you aren't a winning sports bettor...And it's all inter-related because you can't be a winning sports bettor...if you aren't getting the best of the number...

So next time you step up to make a wager...stop and take a look at the number...where it opened, where it is, and where you think it's going...And then focus your energy on making sure that for this bet, you end up with the very best number possible...And I can promise you that this little exercise alone...just may turn some losers, into Winners...and make all the difference...

Best of Luck, Vegas-Runner...

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