Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Competition. Winning. That's America. It's what it's all about whether we're talking about Presidential elections or about real horseraces.

The first bet I ever made was at a quarter horse race at the racetrack in Ruidoso New Mexico. My grandmother's family was having a family reunion that weekend and I went to the race track Saturday afternoon with a bunch of relatives. The men always had a golf tournament on reunion Saturdays and at 13 I'd already tried golf and decided I had no interest in it at all. So I always did something with the women (I was pretty much the only male over the age of 12 who didn't play golf, even my daddy played golf this one time a year).

I wanted to bet on the races. My Aunt told me to pick out a horse and give her $2 and she'd place a bet for me. So I went down to the paddock area and took a look at the horses in the next race. I saw one I liked. That's the only handicapping I did (I was the school champ in FFA livestock judging competitions). I gave her the $2 and told her the horse. She went and bought me a ticket.

The horse won.

She had bought me a show ticket, it paid something like $2.40. A win ticket (what I thought she was going to buy me) would have paid something like $12.

That Aunt died about 10 years ago, but that doesn't matter, I still havn't forgiven her.

But I learned two things that afternoon. 1. If you want to place a bet, do it yourself. 2. Winning is fun. Being among the top 3 sucks.

Pretty soon we'll be seeing the start of the 2007 World Series of Poker. A competition to see who gets to be declared this years champion poker player. It's hard to find a list of the second place finishers in the WSOP results list.

We have champion poker players, champion coffee shop clerks, and the championship belt for hot dog eating has just returned to America.

What a country.

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