Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Some Posts Are Da Bomb

I was chatting via email with Jessica who does some of her work with Raceday360. I notice that she (or someone there) makes "editors picks" which are decent posts from the blogosphere. Some posts (like this one) just don't cut it. Others that make it are the ones that make a good point, are well written and contain a good idea. Well today, I read one of them. Cangamble has written an awesome piece on takeouts, and the history of betting this game.

In a very good point regarding drugs in racing and the PETA types, that I have not read:

Drugs, potential cheating, lack of proper disclosure, fatal injuries, etc. are just secondary problems when it comes to growth. In fact, if racing were to increase their fan/bettor base by competing for more players, the other problems would go away because integrity would actually matter as the game would be taken seriously again, by the masses, and the masses would demand it.

On how racing once cared if you won, and wanted you to keep grinding because they knew if you did not win, you would not come back. Now this is completely gone as evidenced by the trap race pick 4's and 6's at various venues:

Aside from the fact that it takes years to understand most of the handicapping nuances that allows a player to be better than average, the reality is that being better than average won't make one a winner. Far from it. A handicapper is considered good if he or she only loses 10 cents on the dollar (the collective average takeout at Woodbine, for example, is around 21-22%).

Racing execs have shifted their mentality. And the result: In the 60's and 70's racetracks were hesitant to even bring in exotics because they were worried that fans would lose money too fast and be discouraged.

Now racing is set up under the baseball stadium model: Get as much as you can from the customer as quickly as you can because they might not be back for a while. You will probably not see many of them again.


He further explores other issues and it is one fantastic read!

HANA announced today that two of my favourite horseplayers have been added to its advisory board. Nick Mordin's books are awesome. And Barry Meadow, who wrote a fantastic harness racing book as well as Money Secrets at the Racetrack" which I reference often are bibles in this game.

Further on that site, there is a fantastic series on "Why I Left Racing" by a long time horseplayer and member of the Handicapping Hall of Fame (HOF page here). You can see the series on the HANA page linked above.

I would like to personally thank several of you who have welcomed me on your blogs to the Blogging Alliance. I have been remiss and I am sorry for that. Dana, Valerie, Patrick, Equispace, and a few others I have no doubt missed when surfing. Thank you very much.

Trackmaster has a blog. And it is pretty good. They looked at the ADW dispute and internet wagering in their last piece. It is a good one.

Cohen is looking at the Freehold/Horseman fight. I don't really understand it, so no comments from me.

Happy Birthday Kev. You've had a great year and are a great fan.

3 comments:

bumby said...

Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers" and Levitin's "This is Your Brain on Music" (some info here:http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/archives/294) claim that you need 10,000 hours of
DELIBERATIVE practice to become an expert in any field.

Music, Sports, etc. I would assume the same is true about being an expert horseplayer. With blended takeouts at 21% no one but an expert is going to win at this game.

I wonder how many people have really dedicated this amount of time in deliberative or reflective practice to becoming a better horseplayer?

Pull the Pocket said...

Great post Bumby. I could not agree more.

In Hong Kong last year there was a massive proactive push to change the game in several ways to try and stop the bleeding. One of the reasons the head their gave was "horseplaying is a habit and when people drop it they are hard to get back"

Kevin Stafford said...

Who says this post can't be "the bomb?" :-)

Very nice post - and let me officially welcome you into the TBA as well. You strengthen our group with your writing.