Saturday, May 07, 2005

What should I do this summer?

Within a few days, I will decide what I will attack over the next three months. I need to figure out how I want to spend my life until the football season gets rolling (mid August). My choices are between writing a second book or just taking it easy. Of course, taking it easy still means playing some poker here and there, betting basketball and baseball, and other positive expectancy gambling activities. As for the topic of my second book, I am deciding among the topics of: Shorthanded Limit Hold'em, Seven Card Stud, betting baseball, betting basketball or a general sports betting book. Here are my current thoughts on each of these topics.

Shorthanded Limit Hold'em: Out of all the topics, this would be the most profitable and most marketable. However, if I only cared about profits, the time I spend on writing a book would be better served in other activities. Weighing the Odds in Hold'em Poker took me nine months to write, and antoher three months to go through the editing and printing process. I'm not sure I want to spend the next three months on a similar topic.

Seven Card Stud: In order to write a book in the same style as Weighing the Odds in Hold'em Poker, I will need to play, think, jot down ideas, play more, think more, play more, think more, jot down more ideas...and then start to form the book. Since I will be on the east coast much of this summer, and Stud is still popular here, this is a good time for that. But there are two problems. The first is that I think it will take me much longer than three months, I'd estimate three years. Although I've played alot of Stud in the past, I haven't played much in the last few years. So I will need to re-acquaint myself with the game. And that will take time, lots of time. The second problem is that the market for Stud books is small compared to the market for Hold'em books. Although profits is not my primary concern when it comes to writing a book, I still care about making money.

Betting baseball: Betting baseball and handicapping baseball games are two different things. Actually, that's the case for all sports. A good bettor does not have to necessarily be a good handicapper. In writing sports betting books, I think it is almost impossible to convey the handicapping perspective. That's because the market changes so quickly and edges are fleeting. But a book on tools for the bettor may work. For baseball, some chapter ideas are: betting futures, betting the runline, betting parlays (some people would kill me if I wrote about this), looking at pitching stats, sabremetric stuff, betting playoff series and individual playoff games, and using public resources to gain an edge.

Betting football: Typically, the bigger the market, the more efficient it is. The more people and the more money that is in play, the more the correct price will be achieved at any particular time. However, sports betting is odd in that football has the most money bet on it yet is the most likeliest to have an edge as far as betting the game itself. So this is an interesting topic to discuss. Also interesting are all the derivative type of bets that are available for football. The problem with a football betting book is there is an issue of killing the golden goose by letting others know your winning strategies. Even if a football betting book sells well, it may actually cost me money, indirectly.

Betting sports: A book like this would have no time table. I could take my time and relax. I wouldn't have a personal deadline. I could cover some of the ideas I mentioned in the baseball and football books, along with some ideas in basketball. The problem with a book like this is that it wouldn't be on a focused topic. So I'm going to spend the next week thinking about it.

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