The Smart Money

Hello dear readers

What a week we’ve had. National Hunt racing has disappeared off the calendar altogether. The standard of the All Weather racing hasn’t been great. What are we going to talk about? Well, let’s go off on a bit of a tangent today.

Due to the lull, I thought  it might be a good opportunity to talk about some of my favourite gambling books and for you to tell me about some of yours. To be honest, I’ll only talk about one of my favourites today and return to some of the others when we have quiet weeks in the future.

I’ve just been perusing my gambling bookshelves and spotted lots of  rather dry tomes  detailing gambling theory and method – all essential reading  for the aspiring pro-gambler –  but not neccesarily the most exciting reads you will ever find.  Today, I fancy something slightly more  exciting – and it’s not even horse racing related.

The book I’m thinking of is called The Smart Money and it deals in the main with betting on American Football. Don’t expect much dry theory here – it’s more an exciting true story of a journalist who is recruited by a shadowy, elite  betting syndicate (‘The Brain trust’ ) to place bets for them in the sportsbooks of Las Vegas.

It details the experiences of journalist Michael Konik after he lands an interview with Rick ‘Big Daddy’ Matthews (name changed in the book to protect the guilty) rumoured to be the one of the shrewdest (and biggest) sports bettors on the planet.They hit it off during the interview and Konik finds himself being recruited by Matthew’s and his cronies to place bets for them (they are  barred from every sportsbook in Vegas)- bets sometimes as large as $1 million on a single game.  What follows is a tale of adventure, high times, low times and the dangers of taking on the bookmakers and winning.

Below is a quote from the preface:

“In some ways the gulf between the big betting syndicates and recreational gamblers is as wide as that between Wall Street’s institutional investors and an unemployed speculator sitting in his underwear at home dabbling at day trading. But the professional bettors have something in common with the millions of people who gamble on the weekends: They desperately want their team to win, to cover the point spread. The big difference is that instead of sweating a hundred dollar wager, the smart money is sweating millions every weekend.

Gamblers whisper about a legendary – some think apochryphal – syndicate known as the Brain Trust, a soubriquet earned because its members seem to understand more about sports betting than anyone else. Though they operate in secret, the Brains are the most influential force in the world of sports betting. They’re to gambling markets what Warren Buffett is to the New York Stock Exchange. Everyone involved in sports gambling wants to know what the Brains are doing – which matchups they favor, which teams they’re investing in on any given weekend. Everyone who bets on sports – from the degenerate action junkie to the half-sharp sports fiend who watches ESPN sixteen hours a day, from small-time professionals to big time bookies – they all try to figure out how the Brains do what they do. And, especially, what they’ll do next.

I’m one of the few people in the world who can tell you. Because for several years I was one of them.”

You may have no interest in American football at all  – I’m not a huge fan  – but it’s an exciting read – a good insight into the way  many bookmakers treat winning customers and the lengths to which some of those customers will  go to ‘get on’.  I can highly recommend it. It’s been a while since I read it so I can’t recall every detail but I know it kept me so engrossed that I finished it in a single sitting .  It’s available on Amazon and at the high stakes online bookshop (

I would love to hear about any gambling/horseracing books that you have enjoyed, dear readers, so why not leave some comments so we can all get some ideas for our Christmas lists!

Hopefully, we will have more horse racing related stuff to talk about next time.

Be Lucky


PS Have a great week and let’s hope that racing goes ahead at Cheltenham!


  1. Hi Kieran,

    Nice intro – love the new look blog.

    A great poker book I read was called ‘Amarillo Slim in a world full of fat people’ which tells of the many strange bets Slim landed.

    He’s quite a character, though a lot of ‘me me me’ about him.

    Pretty much all the other books I have are related to racing, and the pick of those are, I think, as follows:

    Betting For A Living – Nick Mordin
    The Inside Track – Alan Potts

    For those who like to mix up some Stateside ideas, you could do a lot worse than Bet With The Best, which is an anthology by some of America’s most esteemed racing authors and handicappers. Very good read.


  2. For those that have not read “Best Mate”by Mrs.Knight – trainer,you really should. I am no avid reader but I just couldn`t put it down. An excellent stocking filler for any horse / racing lover at Christmas.

  3. Roy Brindley’s ‘Lifes A Gamble’ is not a book about poker or one that will make you a better gambler. Its the well written autobiography of a professional poker player and a great read – even my wife enjoyed it and she has no interest in gambling or poker.

    Mike O

  4. Ugly Americans was my first introduction into the world of financial trading, a story of the Ivy League boys who pretty much ran the asian markets in the mid-nineties.

    Great story and an excellent insight into the self-discipline needed to trade.

  5. I have only started betting in the last few weeks as for many years I was a Jehovah,s witness ( until I saw the truth )so enjoying your systems although as you say not much about at the moment.I hate reading so do not delve into books but do listen to sound advice ( although there seems to be an awful lot of fools about who think they are the best thing since sliced bread ) which I must admit I have fallen for at great cost. So far your advice has been very sound, keep it up

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *