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The Zen of Gambling: The Ultimate Guide to Risking It All and Winning at Life Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 23, 2004
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About the Author
Wayne Allyn Root is the founder and CEO of GWIN Inc. GWIN Inc. is America's only publicly traded sports handicapping company. (GWIN specializes in developing and marketing sports handicapping advice and information via television (The Winning EDGE(tm)), radio, and the Internet.) A former host and star of sports gaming programs on USA Network, CNBC, PAX, Comcast Sports Network, and Fox Sports Net, Wayne will star this fall on a pre-game Spike TV show titled Wayne Allyn Root's WinningEDGE(tm). This show aired for the last two football seasons on Fox Sports Net. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Before reading this book, I always viewed Root as a loudmouth salesman tout on television just marketing his sports predictions to suckers that get pressured into buying them. But this book will make you think differently about Root and see other sides of him. He honestly admits that not every sports bet he makes is a winner and that losing streaks do happen.
Even though I consider myself to already be a "sharp" sports gambler, I found that this book reinforced a lot of what I have found profitable when it comes to sports betting. Root stresses the importance of having the confidence to bet underdogs and going against what everyone else is saying. I agree that this is how to find value and beat your bookmakers in the long run.
It is also an entertaining read with Root throwing in a few pages with tips on health and building self esteem. He also reinforces that casino gambling cannot be beat in the long run and explains the kinds of tricks used by casinos for making people lose money.
Although sports betting has its own "house edge" with what's known as "vigorish", it is not based on a mathematical formula as casino games are so it can be beaten with the right skills and money management. Root teaches that risking everything you have on one bet you feel strong about or parlaying a series of plays is wrong and that you have to grind money out with a few carefully selected wagers each week.
I would recommend this book to anyone who bets on sports regularly or who is considering doing it. Beginners will probably get more out of it than sharper players, but even sharper players will find parts of it interesting. Once you read this book, you will have the motivation to believe in the calculated risks you take - even if you have been in slumps with gambling or other areas of your life before.
Take pari-mutuel wagering as the prime example: The pari-mutuel percentage is overwhelming. You can check with any reliable gambling reference book, such as: "How to Gamble at the Casinos without Getting Plucked Like a Chicken" by Ford or "The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic" by Epstein. The mathematics of Gambler's Ruin make it a virtual certainty that you will lose over the long term if you insist on playing against lopsided odds.
If, as the book recommends; you make it a point to become fully informed, consider all the possibilities, take a deep breath and make the leap; for areas like playing the stock market, you had better include the brokerage commission in the equation. Otherwise, the only one who will be smiling at the end of the day is your stock broker.
Another, not so minor, point: Contrary to what this tome says, it is possible to beat some of the casino games, but you have to pay attention to the details. Serene confidence and superficial arm waving won't cut it.
But I'm not disappointed. It's a great read and Root's Contrarian approach (find out what the mass asses are doing and make a beeline to do the opposite) has great appeal.
In the second half of the book he gives blow by blow, very specific criteria to follow where you bet for the underdog while (Root claims) having the odds on your side. Frankly, I found it fascinating.
At the least, it makes for an entertaining read! I did learn a lot from it and had an enjoyable afternoon reading it as well. Root has a GREAT attitude and it really shines through in his book.