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August 2018
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Handling Backers

Is staking a pool player that much different from betting on a football game or a horse race? Do you actually think you are always getting a fair shake out of your team, or some jockey? Yeah sure. Staking is just like betting on a sporting event, only a little more personal, and with maybe a little more the worst of it percentage wise. Giving up 50% as a backer, as opposed to giving up 20% betting a horse or bucking a sports line laying 120 to 100.

The connection between a stake horse and his player is much more intense and exciting then that between a sports bettor and his “team.” Once I learned that, I became very comfortable with backers. I used to approach getting staked from the point of view of “protecting the backers money.” Even more so than my own. Wrong. Very wrong, and as a consequence I didn’t often get staked. When I finally got woken up by the backer master, Peter “Rabbit” Linhardt, who said that the reason backers stake you, is so that they can participate vicariously in what they can’t, or are afraid to do themselves, is when my backer experience turned into a plus.

Armed with that knowledge, I began shooting at my hole more when I was getting staked. Backers don’t want you to nit and bunt, they can do that all by themselves.

I often think of the great backer accumulator Ronnie Allen, who, when he was going to shoot at one of his patented, hum-dinger moon-shots; he would look over at the stake horse, and sadistically light him up with a hearty, “Here we go!” Needless to say, his backers loved it.

I opened up my best stakehorse, the porno producer, Mike Weldon, with a string of eleven losses in a row before I finally beat somebody. “Fortunately” for me, I wasn’t a very conservative game maker, and I fed him a steady diet of world beaters in those losses. Ronnie Allen, Richie Florence, Jimmy Marino, Jimmy Reid, Cecil Tugwell, etc. The thrill of those matches served to keep Mike’s adrenalin and interest, alive and flowing.