Bat Masterson and The Ogallala Bust-Out

In the summer of 1880, Billy Thompson was in a saloon shootout in Ogallala, Nebraska. Following the shooting, the law held him under guard at the town’s only hotel, The Ogallala House, until he could be tried and hung – which was a forgone conclusion of all of the residents. His brother Ben Thompson, a noted gambler and pistol fighter, was convinced that the mob in Ogallala was waiting for him to come after Billy. He had reason to believe that if he showed up they intended to stage a necktie party for two. Hedging his bets, Ben called in an old friend, Bat Masterson, to free his brother from the clutches of what was reputed to be the crooked law of Ogallala.

It all began when Billy vied for the affections of a local whore with the ignominious moniker of Big Alice. A saloon owner named Bill Tucker lay claim to her off-duty trysts and warned Billy to stay away from the damsel. Billy, not known to heed warnings, continued to commingle with Big Alice until he decided to confront Tucker in his saloon, the Cowboy’s Rest. After downing a gut full of liquor, Billy swung into the saloon and ripped off a quick shot at Tucker. The bullet caught the saloon owner in his hand as he was serving a customer a shot of whiskey. Tucker quickly counted the fingers on his left hand and found that he was missing his thumb and three other fingers had been mutilated. He grabbed a bar towel, wrapped his bloody hand, and ducked behind the bar. Billy, thinking he had killed the man, holstered his pistol and staggered out of the saloon.

Tucker was far from dead. He pulled up from behind the bar with a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun. He ran to the door and with his good hand leveled the ten-gauge at Thompson, blasting away with both barrels. Billy, who was a short distance from the saloon, pitched forward into the street with five buckshot wounds to his back and buttocks. Tucker’s friends rushed him to his house for medical attention while the law dragged Billy to the Ogallala House where he was treated and held prisoner.

Because Ben Thompson had saved his life or for whatever the reason, Masterson felt obligated to help Ben retrieve his wayward brother from the toughs of Ogallala and he boarded a train for Nebraska. Arriving in town, which was little more than a few rough-hewn buildings huddled around the Union Pacific line on the north bank of the South Platte River, Bat surveyed the situation and found he was bucking bad odds. Billy’s wounds rendered him incapable of riding a horse so Bat had to devise another method of getting him out of town. He told Billy to pretend that he was so weak that he could not manage to escape while he came up with a plan.

Biding his time, Bat befriended the young deputy charged with guarding Billy in the hotel. They played cards to pass the time and often Bat paid for a round of drinks. Then after a few days, Bat saw his opportunity on a Sunday night when the whole community turned out for a dance that was held in a schoolhouse on the edge of town. The sheriff, who was the best fiddle player in the area, dearly like to play and would keep the crowd dancing until the wee hours of the next morning.

The night of the dance, the Ogallala House had emptied leaving only Bat, Billy, the deputy, and a bartender named Jim Dunn. Masterson managed to bribe Dunn into slipping a “Mickey Finn” into one of the whiskey sours he ordered for himself and the guard. The guard downed the doctored drink and Bat called for another round. A few minutes after the second drink, the guard slumped to the floor in a stupor. Bat paid the bartender and rushed to Billy’s room where he got the wounded man dressed. He then rolled up Billy in a carpet, hoisted him over his shoulder, and carried him down to the depot. They arrived just as the train was pulling into the station around midnight. Bat boarded the train, heaved Billy into a seat, and they quietly left for North Platte some fifty miles east of Ogallala.

At about two o’clock in the morning, they pulled into North Platte where Bat shouldered Thompson and climbed down the steps to the station. It was pitch black but up the street, Masterson could see the gaslights of Dave Perry’s saloon. He managed to lug Billy through the saloon doors and deposit him onto a pool table. As luck would have it, Bill Cody was in the saloon drinking and telling stories to his friends. Bat explained their plight and Cody, ever the showman, dramatically swore that he would personally see to it that they would not fall into the hands of the Ogallala authorities and would provide a means of getting them back to Dodge City.

Here is where the story takes a comedic twist. Without telling his wife, Cody gave Masterson her new phaeton buggy and a well-bred horse to transport Billy out of Nebraska. In addition, he offered to let them follow along with the group of dignitaries he was leading on a trip to a large cattle ranch about twenty-five miles to the south of North Platte. The Europeans, who had been sent by General Sheridan, were touring the west for a first-hand look at the wilds of the frontier and Cody was in charge of escorting them to the Keith ranch. The twenty foreigners arrived eager to have the famous Buffalo Bill guide them through the wild plains and he was in his element – full of grandiose gestures and dramatic flair.

As the caravan assembled, Cody asked Masterson to drive his double teamed mess wagon and let another ranch hand drive the buggy carrying Thompson. Bat quickly found that the mess wagon was loaded with a small quantity of food and a massive amount of liquor. All of the riders were given a stout drink and then Cody signaled for the group to set out on their journey. After traveling for a short while, Cody halted the riders for a rest stop that included a liberal amount of “liquid refreshments”. He repeated this routine for several more stops until the caravan was now having a grand old time but finding it harder and harder to stay in the saddle.

Finally, Cody, reeling in his saddle, rode up to the mess wagon and sloshed aboard. He fell asleep immediately and Bat was left in charge of leading the group to the south. Bat, who had also had his share of liquid refreshment, was barely able to navigate the wagon and after a short distance hit a rut and flipped the wagon over on its back. Masterson was pitched from the wagon but Cody was trapped under the bed, covered with the load of “refreshments”. Bat had landed on his face and was nursing a bloody gash in his lower lip. He and the others managed to right the mess wagon only to find that Cody was unscathed and wondering what in thunder had happened.

They finally made it to Keith’s ranch where they had supper and Cody sobered up enough to entertain his entourage with his legendary skills of shooting and riding. The next morning Masterson, nursing a swollen lip and a massive hangover, hitched up Mrs. Cody’s phaeton and headed for Dodge City with Billy. A short time after leaving the ranch a massive black cloud overtook them from the west drenching them in torrents of bone-chilling rain. It continued to rain on the pair for the remainder of their two hundred-mile trip.

Several days later, Mrs. Cody’s carriage rolled into Dodge City with Masterson at the reins and Thompson wrapped in a soggy buffalo robe. Both were covered with mud and thoroughly soaked. Shivering, Bat urged the tired horse toward his favorite hotel where a hot bath and a decent meal were always available. Billy stirred from beneath his buffalo hide and demanded that they first stop at the telegraph office where he wired the sheriff of Ogallala. The message said that he had arrived safely in Dodge and that the sheriff could find him there if he wanted to come and get him.

Over the years, Billy Thompson had been accused of many things but never, never of being very bright. Fortunately, for Billy, the sheriff decided he was not worth the effort and let the matter drop.

10 Books for Success With Horse Racing

Horse Racing can be difficult to get started in for the novice learning about form, track conditions and which jockey is doing well at the moment. For those of you looking to get a leg up here is list of ten of the best books to help you improve your knowledge of horse racing. This list is totally subjective and opinion of the best books will differ. I invite you to post any other books that you might feel are beneficial to the other members.

1. Handicapping 101: A Horse Racing Primer, Brad Free (2007)

Winning at the races doesn’t mean you need an advanced IQ, but only that you have a basic knowledge of racing mechanics–this book teaches you that. Free’s basics of handicapping are easy for a beginner to understand as well as being a refresher for the veteran horseplayer. This book explains how a horse’s individual characteristics such as health, habits, and degree of ability all come into effect when deciding whether or not to bet on that horse. A horseplayer who learns how to recognize and use the characteristics of the horse can then realizethat winning bets are in his or her future. This primer gives practical ways to pick winners and avoid losers.

2. Betting On Horse Racing, Richard Eng (2005)

Want to be able to go to the racetrack with a group of friends and feel like you know what you’re doing? Want to be able to place smarter bets that increase your chance of going home with dollars in your pocket? Reading this book answers those questions for you. With more than 20 years’ experience in the horse racing industry, Eng focused this book on learning how to bet and how to increase your odds of winning. He doesn’t specifically go too in-depth into handicapping skills. This book teaches you how to read the race forms, which serious bettors use to increase their odds of winning. There is an excellent glossary at the end where the author explains all industry terminology so that you can understand every word he uses to describe the horse racing experience.

3. The Complete Handicapper, James Quinn (2013)

This book can help the beginning horseplayer as well as the experienced handicapper. It has been said that it is required reading for anyone who is serious about placing more winning than losing bets. James Quinn has over 40 years of experience in the horse racing industry and has set out the most important basic handicapping skills he’s learned through those years as well as the new ideas he’s learned in this 21st centuryof thoroughbred racing, all in this one book.

4. How To Turn Any Racetrack Into Your Own Money Machine (And Be Just One of the 2% That Do), Greg Boomer Wry (2005)

The world of horse-race handicapping can be very exciting, and this book helps to open it up to you. It is designed to teach you all there is to know about handicapping horse races, from learning solid betting strategies, to successfully managing your money so you have better chances to succeed. Through it, you will learn skills to last a lifetime. This inclusive book uses very understandable terms which are defined and explained, at times by giving examples. You will learn how to analyze a race by reading and understanding The Daily Racing Form and grading each horse to determine whether or not to bet on the race.

5. Bet With The Best: Expert Strategies From America’s Leading Handicappers, DFR Press (2001)

At the time it was published, it was the most comprehensive book on handicapping thoroughbred horse races to be published in over a decade.With nine different chapters written by nine different authors on nine different topics of the horse racing world, this book will appeal to beginners as well as expert handicappers. Example chapters are Beyer on Simulcasting, Quinn on Class, and Brohamar on Pace. If you don’t want to purchase 9 separate books on these 9 separate topics, then this book will be a good place to start to begin learning about each of them.

6. Betting Thoroughbreds for the 21st Century: A Professional Guide For the Horseplayers, Steven Davidowitz (2009)

This book is the revised and updated third edition to the author’s classic “Betting Thoroughbreds”, first published over three decades ago. The book is so popular and has such dedicated followers among both new racing fans and veteran players, that it has been the horse racing industry standard for handicapping for decades.This newly revised edition explains recent industry changes, such as synthetic surfaces, ‘super trainers’, wagering syndicates, computer software programs, and more. Have you ever looked at the past performance of a horse and wondered what it was doing in the race today? This book will answer that question as well as countless others. Diverse topics such as track bias to trainer intent are among those covered. This industry-standard handicapping book will become a favorite read for beginning horseplayers as well as a welcome refresher for experienced horseplayers.

7.The Best of Thoroughbred Handicapping: Advice on Handicapping, James Quinn (1987).

Quinn’s book contains 48 essays by some of the most knowledgeable thoroughbred handicappers, including Tom Ainslie, Andrew Beyer, William Quirin, and himself. Individual essays explainthat author’s system and give examples of how each works. Some of the systems are too complex to condense into one chapter, and the essays difficult to follow. But generally, the essays stimulate the horseplayer’s appetite to read the original books which are listed in an annotated bibliography. Topics ranging from betting strategy to pace handicapping to visual analysis of the horses in the paddock make this encompassing collection of writings useful to every type of handicapper. If you are looking for a well-rounded book on handicapping methodologies, this may be the one.

8. Exotic Betting: How To Make The Multihorse, Multirace Bets And Win Racing’s Bigger Payoffs, Steve Crist (2006)

“Handicapping a race is only half the battle, betting is the other”. Crist’s strategy teaches the horseplayer to make the most money by betting on numerous exotic bets, including the daily double, exacta, trifecta, quinella, superfecta, pick 3, 4, and 6. Crist says this book is not about picking winners at the trackbut teaches that how to bet is as important as who you like–especially in the 21st-century world of horse racing where new ways to bet such as the superfecta and pick four have surpassed the routine win, place, and show betting of days’ past. Both serious and casual horseplayers will benefit from understanding the strategies and mechanics of making these exotic bets.

9. Modern Pace Handicapping, Tom Brohamer (2000).

“Pace makes the race” is one of the oldest sayings you will hear at a racetrack, and this book is the go-to book on pace handicapping. For beginners, reading about running style will give insight into how the race will be run and which horses will benefit from the likely pace scenario. For experts, the Sartin Methodologychapter sets out a new method of analyzing the pace of a race. The author used the Sartin Methodologyto develop his own technique for handicapping horse races. He looked at running styles, turn times, track variants, energy distribution, and par times in predicting race strategy and outcome. Daily Racing Form charts are placed throughout the book.

10. Ainslie’s Complete Guide to Thoroughbred Racing, Tom Ainslie (1988)

This third edition is referred to as the “most complete, comprehensive and reliable guide to handicapping and understanding thoroughbred racing”. Even though some of its ideas may sound outdated by today’s racing standards, countless generations of people cut their teeth on the basic handicapping skills Ainslie teaches–skills necessary to help you become ‘expert handicappers’ and to be able to consistently pick winners at the track. Some of the basics the author covers are class, distance, form, speed, track conditions, jockeys and trainers, and breeding.

After taking the time to read this article about these amazing books on learning to bet and building your handicapping skills, remember to subscribe for FREE horse betting tips service that http://bettingforwinners.com offer along with our free horse racing tips.

Playing Fun Games Online

If you are looking for an alternative to the classic games, the online games that you can find today everywhere on the Internet might be just what you are looking for. You can search the worldwide Internet for games of all sorts and find out exactly what games are more popular with players today. You will find that the offer games is very diverse: there are car games, racing games, action games, strategy games, games that feature popular cartoon characters, Lord of the Ring games, Star War Games, mystery games, paintball games and the list could go on endlessly.

There are also games that you can download and play on your personal computer, games that you can play online against other players and even games where you can apply certain strategies, build an empire, a castle, buy credits online and so on. There are a few advantages of playing games online are that you can play them at any time of the day or night because the game never stops. You will also be able to create a new world and have lots of fun. Some of these games that you find online are even for free, or they offer you a free trial, and if you like the game, you can purchase it, download it, and play it anytime. The online games are played by hundreds of people at a time, so you can face some virtual players while engaging in different tasks.

These online games are also accessible for everyone. The rules are thoroughly explained, so that anyone can try the game. There is even a demo of the game where one can figure out some tricks that may come in handy during the game. And remember, if you want to become good at a game and go to the nest level, you have to train and play a lot. As a rule, these online games are designed in different levels, and the aim of the game is to get to the highest level possible.

In case you have never played an online game before give it a try! It’s sure to end up on your list of favorite things to do. You can find a complete list of fun games on the Internet if you search for games com. Be prepared to have lots of fun and develop new playing skills in a virtual new world.

Soccer Betting – The "Asian Handicap"

A draw, or tied score, is a frequent outcome in soccer. In the 2008-2009 season, almost a quarter of all Premier League matches resulted in a draw. Because such an outcome is so common, traditional betting usually involves betting within the context of three different outcomes: a win for one team, a draw, or a win for the other team. The “Asian handicap” is a means of changing this by “handicapping” the underdog by a certain percentage, meaning that a draw becomes impossible.

Most handicaps are made at intervals of one half or one quarter, meaning that there has to be a winner since it is impossible to score a half or quarter goal. The purpose is to make the odds as close to 50-50 as possible and eliminating the draw as a possible outcome. Because the odds are almost half when a handicap is applied, the payout is usually even money, or very close to it.

The primary benefit is encouraging punters to bet on matches where there is a clear favorite. For example, if Manchester United (winner of the Premier League in the 2008-2009 season) were to play West Bromwich (the bottom team of the Premier League during the same season), few punters would be interested in betting. This is because Manchester United is a much better team and the odds are strongly in their favor.

However, if West Bromwich was given a handicap of +2.5, it would mean that they would be effectively starting with a lead of 2.5 goals. This means Manchester United would have to score three goals more than West Bromwich to be the winner as far as the bet is concerned. If West Bromwich scored one goal, then Manchester would have to score four to win. Handicapping obviously changes the odds significantly.

An interesting aspect of handicapping is the push. If an even number is used for the handicap, and the actual score plus the handicap equals a draw, then this is a push. For example, if in the example given above West Bromwich was given a handicap of 2 and failed to score any goals, and Manchester United only scored two goals, this would be a push. The result of a push is that all the punters receive their original wagers returned as there was no winner.

The “Asian Handicap” adds an additional element to soccer betting that can be both fun and profitable. This form of betting can be helpful for those punters that have a personal favorite that they intend to bet on, but are not confident that their favorite will win a particular match.