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BASEBALL RECORD KEEPER AND LOG BOOK CLEARLY PERFECT FOR BETTORS; BORG'S 'CHARTS BOOK' TOPS, book reviews by Howard Schwartz (Manager of the Gambler's Book Shop in Las Vegas)


By Howard Schwartz

Keeping records in baseball is a vital aspect of in being a successful handicapper. It helps to track winning and losing streaks; trends; freshness of the bullpen among other factors. That's why annually baseball bettors ask for a device to record daily statistics of the more than 2,000 games to be played during the season. For $19.95, the 2003 Major League Record Keeper and Log Book (181 pages, plastic spiralbound, 11x8 format) does the job as well as anything on the market.

There are six pages for each major league team. You see the team's schedule, the date the game will be played; whether it's a home game or road game; the time the game is scheduled to start (based on Eastern time); room to keep the final score; the money line; the total (over-under number); who the starting pitchers were for each team; a column to indicate whether the team won or lost; if the game went over or under the established number and some room for notes, which might include number of strikeouts by a starter or special factor worth noting, like an outstanding offensive performance.

As the season progresses, you can look for winning and losing streaks. At the end of the season you can see how a particular home stand impacted a team's performance; where a team began to move up on the standings or where a pitcher improved or declined and you can spot potential strengths and weaknesses in matchups. Bottom line: if you're a serious baseball bettor, you need this book.


By Howard Schwartz

Nick Borg's Off The Charts ( Turning Result Charts Into Profitable Selections at the Track) (113 pages, paperbound, $14.95) attracted a lot of attention months before the publication date. Analyzing and applying information found in the Daily Racing Form charts has been, according to Borg, an area too many handicappers including himself, have not fully appreciated or studied enough.

In sixteen key sections, Borg discusses the differences between grass and dirt races and how to properly interpret race results to determine a horse's state of conditioning; also how important it is to comprehend the different riding styles of jockeys and various conditioning maneuvers. He explains how to understand pace; how to redefine a key race; the proper way of using trip notes and understanding track bias; looking at post position and turns; while offering a chart checklist and advice on being methodical in order to be more accurate and identify winning angles.

Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players

By Howard Schwartz

Many high IQ gamblers love the challenge of high-level math (probability) and some even wallow in the game of Scrabble. One of the more fascinating books on the game, the players, and their obsession is Stefan Fatsis' Word Freaks (372 pages, paperbound, $14.00). Scrabble lovers play for ego, for prizes, for money, for the joy of ingenuity. Fatsis shows what the world of the Scrabble lover is like. He writes about the game's inventor; the tournaments; the lengths people go to load up on new, obscure, how the British play the game compared to Americans; the strategies; the players' special "language" and  "the underworld of colorful characters for which the Scrabble game is life." Anyone who loves the game will love this book.

(The books mentioned here are available from Gambler's Book Shop, 630 South 11th Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101. Call l-800-522-1777 from 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday Pacific time to order, using only MasterCard, VISA or Discover card (no Amex accepted). You may order through the store web site at and view the store's 1,000 books, videos and computer software. You may also call or write and ask for the free 80-page catalog to be sent to you. The store, founded in 1964, is located about two miles from Downtown Las Vegas, and the same distance from where the Strip begins, a block west of Maryland Parkway, just off Charleston Boulevard.)