I had my first experience with the ponies on Sunday last. A friend of ours' brother works at Santa Anita and scored us passes to the Turf Club, which I learned probably has the strictest dress code in LA short of the Academy Awards. Or, you know, that mansion to which a bunch of other bloggers were invited. At least I didn't have to wear a tie. I followed the advice of a certain Genius Who Shall Not Be Named and made a careful study of the racing form, which was simultaneously the best and most expensive $4.50 I'll ever spend. In the first race I found what looked like a good bet; the #1 horse didn't have a great record but really seemed to run well along the rail, while the second-favorite had short odds and didn't seem to do well from the outside. So I put in an exacta bet for the favorite to win and the #1 horse to come in second. Turned out I was dead right and the second-favorite was never a factor. I pocketed my winning ticket while everyone praised my betting acumen. Unfortunately that was the last bet of any significance I won. However, one of our novice friends bet (and won) two consecutive superfectas, for a cool $2200 profit. So that worked out okay. My poker experiences lately have been lean and bloody, like... a skirt steak? Like a bad skirt steak, I guess. A brief inability to win when I'm 4.5 to 1 has kept me from moneying in any of the FTP guarantees. I'm presently playing the first cash games I've played in ages. Results have been mixed due to a string of bad beats and, I'm ashamed to admit, opponents who've outplayed me. I know I've given up the best hand a few times today, and nobody's returned the favor. So the time has come to be a donkey.


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