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Howard Schwartz

Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

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O'Donnell's 'Playbook,' '40,000 Roulette Spins' fresh arrivals

19 Jun 2009

By Howard Schwartz
Al O'Donnell's 31st annual edition of Pro Football Pointspread Playbook (120 pages, 8x11 paperbound, $19.95) has appeared, along with an innovative roulette study for true lovers of the game.

O'Donnell, a Chicago native, has the perfect book for people who want three years of results, spreads and totals, room to keep records and a team-by-team schedule, dozens of angles or potential plays based on past performance for each team, including over-under tendencies for each. Interestingly, despite losing all 16 games in '08, the Lions were 7-9 against the spread (as a visitor they covered in 6 of 8 and in each of these covers they were getting 10 or more points.)

For each team's schedule you'll be able to see the type of surface the game will be played on and whether the game is a divisional, conference or interconference battle. The book also contains all previous Super Bowl results, spreads and totals, summary analysis of how underdogs have performed, how teams do after a mid-season break, Monday-night performance, a chart comparing the money line to the spread, how each team's Super Bowl odds changed throughout last season and a listing of all the teams' Internet resources (teams' URL and fan sites). Overall, a marvelous, easy-to-read-and-use resource for beginner, occasional or hardcore investor.

J.R. Freeman is an Indiana native who loves the game of roulette, playing for almost 30 years. His 40,000 Spins -- Cluster Progression Roulette (205 pages, 6x9 paperbound, $18.95) focuses on what the author calls Cluster Progression Roulette (CPR). His approach and philosophy are that sessions of at least three hours must be considered, you must increase your bets to cover losses and you must play carefully while accumulating that bankroll. The author has played in Nevada, Costa Rica (where roulette is played with a cage containing 36 balls that sits over a table, and the winning number drops down) and Indiana, where he identifies himself as a corporate vice president.

Freeman's book is both entertaining and educational -- his advice and experiences are colorful, detailed and packed with do and don't advice. He's clearly experienced at the game, discussing his system, charting spins, electronic roulette, biased wheels, probability, other systems and his 40,000 spins, which may be used by a potential system player.

Copyright Gambler's Book Shop. All books reviewed in this article are available from Gambler's Book Shop (Gambler's Book Club), located at 630 South 11th Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101 and online at

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