Pittsburgh Phil: Professional Gambler

One of the legendary punters to win consistently at the race track is none other than George E. Smith, popularly known by his contemporaries as Pittsburgh Phil. One of his secrets was the ability to remain calm under pressure. No letting off steam and no emotions – that was Pittsburgh Phil. One thing he would always advise other punters is never to bet more heavily when they are losing in order to get out of the hole. For him, a punter on a losing spree also loses some of his wits. Phil definitely knew what he was saying since he left an estate of almost $2 million in 1905 when he died at the age of 43 in 1905.

Phil’s approach ought to be a blueprint for many punters who seek to last a lifetime in the betting rings. His philosophy was, “A good jockey, a good horse, a good bet. A poor jockey, a good horse, a moderate bet. A good horse, a moderate jockey, a moderate bet.” Phil always kept away from falling prey to rumours doing the rounds, which are generally poison for the minds of punters who could easily be led off the tracks. Phil always believed that punters must have their own opinions and stick to them, rather than going by hearsay.

Dividing attention at the track between horses and women was something forbidden by Pittsburgh Phil. Successful punters, according to Phil could only be those with moderate habits. Going overboard with wine, women and wagers at the same time could only spell doom for punters. Placing a bet just because a lady likes the colour, or backing a horse because it was her favourite number, once again spells trouble for a punter.

One of Pittsburgh Phil’s favourite philosophies was to keep pursuing winners. A horse that wins is likely to repeat the feat frequently while those who were defeated were prone to losing almost consistently. He kept a close watch on every race in order to benefit later on. For him, it made good sense to pick out a couple of good looking bets and then wager a small amount. In addition, his advice to punters was to make their own calculations rather than compare them with others. pittsburgh seo company

Phil studied the racing industry well, pointing out that successful handicappers knew every detail about the horses they intended to bet on. A man who loses his temperament at the track is much like a horse that bolts. One of his habits was to wake up with a cool head in the morning and then confront issues for the day. For Phil, it was important to study the likes and dislikes of each horse with regards to track work and track conditions. Some horses run well over certain tracks but in the same company and similar conditions on other tracks, they may not do well. Top weights are always at a disadvantage in a handicap unless the horse is of a very high class. What Phil looked for is an intelligent jockey because one out of two or three very fast horses will always quit before the winning post.

Phil’s knowledge of racing and punting seemed phenomenal. Punters have a lot to learn from the man who was probably one of the richest with $2 million at the turn of 1900. One thing Phil learnt from himself was that it took years of close study to find out the whether a horse is at its best before a race.



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