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The Legend of Pittsburgh Phil

Creepy looking Grandpa Munster-like journalist Frank Deford waxes poetic about legendary gambler George E. Smith–or “Pittsburgh Phil” as he was known by his contemporaries– and the 100th anniversary of the Daily Racing Form:

The tendency of most gamblers — at a race track, casino, card table, wherever — is to try and get out of the hole by betting more heavily. Pittsburgh Phil advised the reverse, for he understood that a bettor who is losing also has lost some of his wits.

No, no, no, Phil said: “Cut your bets when in a losing streak and increase them when running in a spasm of good luck.” The man knew his stuff. By creating his own past performances, he literally beat the odds. When he, alas, died in 1905 at the young age of 43, he left an estate of almost $2 million — an incredible sum in those days.

I Got the Horse Right Here [Yahoo Sports]

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