The SP Bookmaker

The term SP Bookmaker means Starting Price Bookmaker which generally refers to receiving bets at fixed odds or starting price.

This type of gambling was legal in Australia only for licensed bookmakers working on course meaning at the racetrack. In the 1930’s with the radio and telephone in full swing the races could be heard without going to the track. Lots of people liked to have a punt on the horse racing but often could not go to the track to put on the bets.

The Melbourne Cup was well known by the Australian punters and everyone wanted to have a small bet.

This being the case it made it very difficult for most people to put a bet on if they could not get to the track.

The Illegal SP Bookmaker, it could be anybody. It could be a small timer operator run by a single person taking minimal wagers from one or two friends including neighbours, family members, workmates etc.

Runners as they were known who would go around the neighbourhood collecting wagers from clients in their own houses, at the local hotel, in back streets and so on. Cockies short for Cockatoos who would be placed in positions of high points and other keen viewing advantages to warn Runners and Bookmakers of approaching law authorities.

Then there was the large scale telephone based SP Bookmaking ring involving people answering phones all day long taking thousands of bets worth thousands and thousands of dollars just in one day.

Of course this was all illegal but the authorities were slow to act and did not realise the magnitude of money being generated by this activity in the racing industry. In fact police often turned a blind eye to this as it seemed harmless and was in fact the SP Bookmaker supplying a service to the public.

Eventually the Government finally caught onto it and realised something lucrative was happening in this part of the racing industry. They also realised that it was not generating any taxes and therefore a Royal Commission was launched in 1959.

In 1961 due to the Royal Commission an Off Course Totalisator Agency Board was introduced.

This now resulted in some of the money that was being wagered on racing bets being returned to the racing industry. Punters could now place bets without fear of the law.

As time went on TAB Agencies were showing up everywhere, Hotels, Clubs, shopping centres and so on.

The racecourse Bookmaker still had short comings. In Australia legalised Bookmakers were unable to operate off course shops similar to other countries around the world. So the majority of bookmakers were only allowed to take bets from people at the track up until the 1990’s.

The death of the SP Bookmaker and the final nail in their coffin is near.

Corporate bookmakers were then able to offer another alternative to the punter thanks to new legislation. The Northern Territory Government could now issue Licences offering phone and online gambling to the Bookmakers. Online Bookmakers are now legal and bets can be placed with them from customers in Australia and overseas on all Australian racing and sporting events by almost any means.

With all this new legislation and control by the Governments of Australia the SP Bookmaker slowly died out. They are no more.

To place a bet now, you can use your mobile phone to ring your local legal Bookmaker at the track or at his office, have a credit account with them if you wish. You can place a bet on via the internet with one of many online bookmakers, go to the local pub and use the TAB, place a bet using your TV remote control handset while watching the race or even do something different, go to the racecourse and have a bet with an oncourse bookmaker.

Who will be next to die, not the oncourse Bookmaker I hope.

MIT Holdem Poker Count System Review

Are you looking to improve your Texas Holdem game? I know I am, and after reading many holdem poker guides on the internet, I’ve realized that many of them are very similar and are not very helpful. One very interesting poker system I’ve tried is the MIT Holdem Point Count System. In this review article, I plan to preview the contents of this system and tell you about my experience with this product.

MIT Holdem Point Count System

This system is written into a 7 chapter downloadable ebook, by Ray Seakan, a professional poker player with 18 years of experience. In the introduction, the author starts off by talking about himself and how he had firstly developed a blackjack system, before finally developing this poker point count system. I was personally quite impressed with the author, given the amount of work he had put into creating his system.

The guide then goes on to explain his system, and why it works fundamentally. After reading the explanation of why the system works, I became quite excited and convinced with this in-depth system. It decides for you your course of action based on mathematical percentages of each 2 card hand winning against a table of opponents. It is adjusted for table position, number of players and how many opponents fold ahead of you.

After taking all the above factors into consideration, you will arrive at a number of points. The points addition process is fully explained in the guide. It is 100% mechanical and requires no discretion on the user’s part. You do need to memorize the point count system if you do not play the e-book open.

Chapter 3 is the system counting rules. This is exactly where you’ll learn how to add points based on your table position, and then your hand strength. With your derived number of points, if it is below a certain number, you’ll fold. There are 3 other ranges of points that would determine whether you call or raise. Then it goes on to run through several useful examples to help you understand the system better.

Chapter 4 explains how to apply the point count system to blind hands. It provides very good rules to keep you out of trouble in blind positions. The rest of the chapters talk about advanced concepts of the MIT Holdem Point Count System.

Conclusion

After using the MIT Holdem Point Count System for several days, I would say that it has certainly helped me get more success with poker. Using the point count system, I have been stopped from playing hands that I might have played otherwise and lost in the end. It is also highly recommended that you do not adjust the point system, as I’ve had experiences whereby I adjusted the point system just to try and play more hands. Over the long run, I’ve concluded that it does not pay to do so.

Discipline is extremely vital to this system. The author clearly stresses this point in the final few chapters of the e-book.

Secrets of Sic-Bo

Sic-Bo uses three dice, although the term “sic-bo” actually means “dice pair.” A lavishly lit Sic-Bo table can be found in most casinos that have Asian Game rooms. There are many bets, all of which are explained on the gaming table.

Each number from four to seventeen is a point and after all the bets are made, the dealer “shakes” the dice container. No one in this game actually touches the dice themselves, and each game begins on a new “shake,” after all the bets are placed.

In Sic-Bo you have 14 point numbers (4 to 17). Besides betting on the 3 dice totals that form the points you can also bet the following –

THREE OF A KIND – (like 6, 6, 6) (must specify which number)

TWO OF A KIND – (like 6, 6) (must specify numbers)

DUO – Two different numbers (like 4, 5) (must specify numbers)

ANY THREE – (like 5, 5, 5) (will win on any three of a kind)

SMALL – The sum is ten or less (excludes any 3 of a kind)

BIG – The sum is 11 or more (excludes any 3 of a kind)

ONE – Any specified number that appears on 1, 2, or 3 dice

These seven basic bets plus the 17 point numbers and more are all graphically illustrated on the beautifully lit Sic Bo table. When a decision is reached, the dealer lights up the winning combinations, removes the losing chips and pays the winners at the house odds.

Unfortunately the house odds are not standardized and may be slightly different from casino to casino.

The two bets with the lowest casino advantage are the “Big” bet and the “Small” Bet. These both provide a 2.7% house edge, which is the best you’ll get in Sic-Bo.

Sic Bo is a fast moving, exciting game, but it is usually called in Chinese. Also you must exchange your chips or money for Sic Bo chips, which are similar to roulette chips. The table minimums and maximums are posted. Most people play flat bet systems on the Big and Small numbers. An easy system is to increase your bet by one unit when you win and decrease your bet by one unit when you lose.

Although the odds are better in craps, Sic-Bo is a lot of fun to play – if you can find it!

The Crapshooter © 2006 by Larry Edell

Big Charms Comes With Big, Charming Bonuses in Diablo 2 – Your Guide to Gheeds

Gheed is the obsequious traveling merchant who takes shelter behind the safe walls of the Rogue Encampment in Act 1. He sells armors and weapons and also offers your characters the chance to Gamble for better equipment.

In honor of Gheed, we have Gheed’s Fortune, a unique Large Charm much desired by Diablo 2 players.

As a unique Large Charm, you may only carry one in your backpack at any one time.

The Stats

Required Level: 62

80-160% Extra Gold From Monsters

Reduces All Vendor Prices 10-15%

20-40% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

80-160% Extra Gold From Monsters

Gold is used primarily to maintain your weapons and armor, and also for Gambling. Some weapons and armor require an exorbitant amount of gold to repair at the blacksmith, and this is where this nice mod comes into play. With a Gheed’s fortune in your inventory, you will find less difficult to maintain enough gold for fixing your equipment, and for those who are Gambling addicts, this mod is a godsend.

Reduces All Vendor Prices 10-15%

This mod is very attractive to those players who like to spend their gold on Gambling for better equipment.

Players can gamble for better equipment by visiting the merchant in the headquarters for a particular Act. In Act 1, this would be Gheed.

What then happens is that when you select the Gambling option, you will have the opportunity to buy a few choices of items from the merchant. Once you have done so, it goes into your inventory and is immediately identified. There is chance that the item you have bought is a normal Magical item (89.85%), a Rare Item (10%), a Set item (0.10%) or a Unique item (0.05%).

Gheed’s fortune is attractive to players who like to gamble because not only do you get more gold from killing (as explained above), but the items available on the Gambling window are cheaper as well, meaning that you get more bang for your buck!

20-40% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Diablo 2 is all about getting the best items for your character. With the right items, your character becomes tougher to kill, is able to deal more damage, and just generally becomes more of a bad-ass.

An MF  (Magic Find) Run in a Diablo 2 game is where players equip their characters with items that offers the mod %Better chance of Getting Magic Items, where a higher % is better in terms of increasing the chances of getting better item drops from unique monsters, but while still being able to dish out decent damage.

Gheed’s Fortune is a fantastic addition when you eventually decide to do your MF Run, especially if you get a near perfect or perfect Gheed (where near perfect would be around 35-40% MF).

Summary:

Gheed’s Fortune is a unique charm highly valued by players who enjoy Gambling (almost all players) and players who enjoy getting better gear by doing MF Runs (all players). The only bad thing that could be said about Gheed’s Fortune is the fact that your character hasn’t found it yet!