The Zen of Gambling: Lessons from the World's Greatest Gambler


The King of Las Vegas and America's greatest professional sports handicapper reveals a powerful program for breaking all the rules, beating all the odds, and achieving all your dreams. In The Zen of Gambling, the star of Spike TV's Wayne Allyn Root's Winning EDGE shows readers why-be it in the casino, on the playing field, or in the boardroom-it is so vital to take risks in life. Wayne Allyn Root lives an American Dream: he makes tons of money watching sports on television. In fact, as CEO of GWIN Inc., America's...
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The King of Las Vegas and America's greatest professional sports handicapper reveals a powerful program for breaking all the rules, beating all the odds, and achieving all your dreams. In The Zen of Gambling, the star of Spike TV's Wayne Allyn Root's Winning EDGE shows readers why-be it in the casino, on the playing field, or in the boardroom-it is so vital to take risks in life. Wayne Allyn Root lives an American Dream: he makes tons of money watching sports on television. In fact, as CEO of GWIN Inc., America's only publicly traded sports handicapping firm, Root is a self-made millionaire with hundreds of thousands of sports-betting clients and fans. In this book he reveals the spiritual principles behind his consistently winning hand. Risk is what separates life's winners from losers-the survivors from the thrivers! Success all comes down to a series of gambles: your ability to make positive choices at pivotal moments and to thrive on challenge and high levels of stress. Sending out a resume; going on a job interview; asking that stranger on a date; picking up the phone and making a call that could change your life for the better-all of life's big decisions and defining moments require a talent for, and a willingness to, risk. Turning the popular conception of the chain-smoking, overweight, "down-and-out" casino denizen on its head, Root shows readers how to bring a Zen consciousness to taking risks. Presenting a unique contrarian approach to gambling that involves never following the masses and always taking the lead in life, Wayne Allyn Root shows readers how to navigate the many gambles in life successfully.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585424023
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/23/2004
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : from S. O. B. (son of a butcher) to king of Las Vegas! 1
1 Be a riverboat gambler! 11
2 Viva Las Vegas! : navigating the highs and lows of the ultimate contrarian dreamland 24
3 Contrarian betting strategy : the road less traveled 50
4 The cattle are headed to the slaughterhouse! : stop following the masses 58
5 The experts are not 66
6 The critics are idiots! : those who can, do; those who can't, criticize 78
7 Value investing : how not to follow the crowd 87
8 My personal story : the world's greatest riverboat gambler 96
9 Root's rules for success 118
10 The spiritual gambler : cultivating positive addictions 127
11 Why bet on sports? 161
12 Root's rules for sports betting 165
13 History meets contrarian strategy : historical trends, theories, and systems for sports gambling success 200
14 The contrarian betting calendar : winners like clockwork 235
15 Contrarian poker 261
16 Wall Street : the ultimate contrarian adventure 267
Glossary of common gambling terms 295
Conclusion : the joy of risk : be one of the world's greatest gamblers 303
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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Wayne Allyn Root

Q: How do you pick football pointspread winners, when the experts on TV fail so miserably?

A: First let me tell you a bit about my background. I am the only Ivy League-educated sports handicapper in America (Columbia University). And the only former national TV anchor & host (for Financial News Network, the predecessor to CNBC) turned professional sports handicapper. Today I am the only handicapper in the world that is also Chairman & CEO of a publicly traded company, GWIN Inc. (the only handicapping firm traded on Wall Street). I am host of Wayne Allyn Root's WinningEDGE on Spike TV. I predict the odds on sporting events on several CNBC shows. I don't tell you all that because I'm bragging, but to emphasize why I'm the ultimate Contrarian sports handicapper. For a guy whose background is Ivy League/mainstream media/Wall Street, I of all people should respect authority, right?

I of all people should report to you that people "in the know" are life's winners. That taking the advice of "experts" is the key to picking NFL pointspread winners, right? WRONG! All those so-called "experts" in the fields of education, news media, and finance are usually WRONG about everything they predict. Whether the topic is presidential elections, stocks on Wall Street, the direction of the economy, or picking pointspread winners in the NFL, in all cases the so-called "experts" are dead wrong most of the time! Actually, so is everyone else. The fact is that when given a choice, people make bad choices. That's why bookmakers and stockbrokers (the people who take your bets) drive brand-spanking new Mercedes and the bettors (or "investors" as they are called on Wall Street) drive used Chevrolets.

Q: So you're saying that the more you know, the less you win against the pointspread?

A: Yes, that's what I have learned in the 19 years I've spent as a winning professional sports handicapper. Facts don't work. Stats don't work. Trends are useless. The majority of "betting systems" are futile. A keen understanding of NFL player personnel won't make you a dime. Common sense will produce no dollars and cents. Experts are hapless and helpless when it comes to beating the pointspread. Nothing that seems obvious in sports betting- ever is. So if you plan on making money betting on NFL Football (or in particular this year's Bowl games or Super Bowl), throw all your reams of stats and detailed information out of the window. And leave your common sense and gut instinct behind. Most importantly, disregard everything you hear, read or watch the "experts" spout in the media- they'll drive you to the poorhouse. Right now we're headed for the most exciting time of the year for sports bettors- football postseason! Over the coming days, you'll hear dozens of TV football experts -- most of them ex-players, coaches, even NFL Hall of Famers -- give their strong and confident opinions on the big games. What I'm about to teach you will shock you. But your "best bet" is to listen to these paid know-it-alls, and do the exact OPPOSITE!

Q: Do the exact opposite? What do you mean?

A: Winning money betting on the college and pro football -- gobs of it -- is very possible. It happens for a chosen few professional gamblers every day. But in virtually every case, the winners in sports betting are "taking the road less traveled." What do I mean by that? I mean that they are Contrarians -- they look for a public consensus (overwhelming agreement) on any one game -- and go the opposite way! They have a keen understanding that "the masses are asses." And they understand that the so-called "experts" are even worse! They understand that when it comes to making sports betting decisions, assume that Murphy's Law is in effect to the 10th power: anything you read, hear, see or choose (because of what you heard, read or saw) is dead wrong most of the time. Whether you choose to follow the advice of friends, fans, relatives, commentators, NFL TV analysts, sportscasters, expert newsletters -- ANYONE AT ALL -- the majority is usually wrong, a majority of the time. PERIOD. Just like on Wall Street. At the exact moment that most experts and the masses of investors think the stock market is going to crash and that stocks are an awful investment; at that very moment, the stock market is always headed for a historic rally! It's worked that way throughout history. And the opposite has held true as well. At moments in Wall Street history where a large majority of experts and the masses of investors believed stocks could only go up higher and higher -- that the future looks brighter than ever before; at that very moment, the stock market is always headed for a crash of epic proportions! This last occurred in the spring of 2000, when the Internet revolution crashed at the very peak of it's popularity -- crushing millions of small investors and wiping out trillions of dollars in equity.

Q: So sports wagering is a mirror image of stock investing?

A: Yes. When things look the absolute worst for a team; when bettors can't even stomach a bet on that team; that's the exact moment to bet on them! Because that is the moment where the bookmaker is giving you the most value. When the masses of asses (the betting public) are all betting on one team- that's precisely the moment when the other team is a fabulous investment! Just as I said earlier, in sports betting- nothing is ever as it seems. Whatever wager appears obvious- is NOT. Whatever team looks unbettable is actually a solid investment. Whatever gamble looks so easy it's like taking candy from a baby- is actually a sucker's bet (and a guaranteed loser). Whenever you mention your opinion on a game to your friends, and they all quickly agree- you've made a losing bet. When you tune into sports talk radio, and everyone you hear is picking (and lauding) the same team as you -- you've picked a loser. The value and the profits in sports betting always lie with taking "the road less traveled"- betting on teams no one else wants to bet on; betting against teams that everyone else loves; going the opposite way of friends, fans, bettors, betting experts, TV know-it-alls! And in most cases, this happens to reflect the idea of betting on DEFENSE. The betting public loves offense 99% of the time. They bet on glamorous, high profile, high-octane offensive powerhouses. They fall in love with handsome, cocky, strong-armed quarterbacks. No one ever falls in love with boring, plodding, black- hightop-wearing, blue-collar defensive teams. But those are your pointspread winners almost every time! Defense trumps offense on a regular basis -- game after game, season after season.

Q: So what's your football betting advice for this holiday season (and football postseason)?

A: Simple: throw all the stats and trends out the window. Focus on defensive-minded teams and coaches. And even more importantly, focus on underdogs. There is no value in favorites. But don't bet on just any underdogs- focus on PAINFUL underdogs! Pathetic, hopeless dogs that no other bettor will even consider. Teams that experts give ZERO chance of winning. On Wall Street, they call stocks like this "orphans." Because they are lonely and unwanted. But all the "value" (whether on Wall Street or in sports betting) is in those orphans! Ask your friends; listen to sports radio; log onto Internet chat rooms; subscribe to football handicapping newsletters; listen to TV football experts; and then when you find a consensus from all sources on one game -- GO THE OPPOSITE WAY! That strategy has made me a big pointspread winner for 19 years. It has made me famous. It has made me wealthy. It has paid for a mansion overlooking the sparkling, spectacular, world famous Vegas Strip. It has given me the life others only dream of. God I love America! But most of all, "America's Handicapper" loves the experts. Yes, they are almost always wrong. But without their horrible, pathetic advice, I could not go the OPPOSITE way and be almost always right!

The advice I've just given you is just a start. But it's a damn good start to winning at football gambling. You can use it to pick the winner of the upcoming Bowl games and in particular, The Super Bowl (think DEFENSE). Strong defensive teams have been nothing short of PERFECT in the last 5 Super Bowls (Carolina covered the pointspread last year versus New England; Tampa Bay upset Oakland OUTRIGHT in '03; New England upset St Louis OUTRIGHT in '02; Baltimore's killer "D" crushed the NY Giants in '01; and Tennessee pushed the pointspread against St Louis in 2000, but finished the game only inches from the end zone and a huge upset). But as well as my Contrarian philosophy works during NCAA Bowl season, NFL Postseason, and the Super Bowl, it's even better throughout the course of an entire season! So give yourself a leg up on next year's office betting pool -- and study up on The Zen of Gambling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2004

    Must-Read Book, More than just gambling...

    'I have seen Mr. Root on many national television talk shows lately and have found his opinions interesting and wanted to find out a little more about his keys to success. I also watch his show on Saturday mornings on Spike TV. So I went out and bought the book. In the past week, I have had a hard time putting the book down. I recommend it to everyone who has an interest not only in gambling or sports, but business success as well. Mr. Root's story is inspiring. His strategy and psychology on gambling rules applied to life are fascinating. And to find a gambling book dedicated to God and family is truly amazing!'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2004

    This Book is a Winner

    Since reading this book and using Wayne's tips I haven't had a losing NFL Sunday. Thanks for writing this book.

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