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A Constructive, Instructive Industry and Gambling Interview

Inside the Pylons, at home in Vegas (artist rendering)
Last evening Dink had "Inside the Pylons" as a guest on his radio show - Eye on Gaming.

The full interview is here.

This is a pretty good discussion, not just for gamblers, but for everyone in the industry to listen to. For no other reason, perhaps, because you simply don't hear interviews from people like this very often.

One part of the interview was particularly insightful, in my opinion.

From the betting side, you heard what you will hear sometimes (from this blog and elsewhere), but at times it's hard to get your head around - the game is not about picking winners.

It's worth hearing that, in person, from someone who lives it, who has never had a job to support the family, other than wagering. And as a bettor, it is a powerful message that is all-too-often discounted as some sort of strange betting voodoo.

I remember getting that message delivered years ago, with regards to my numbers betting superfectas. Superfectas were $1 minimum, and early on they were a huge edge for people who don't worry about cashing tickets, but worry about cashing good tickets. While a good deal of folks in the pools focused on boxing three chalk with a bomb, or using chalk with all's underneath in the 4th spot, hoping to catch a 40-1 shot in 4th, it was optimal to completely fade that strategy.

At times you could it a super for $8,000 with a tri paying $500. There were pool shots that should've never been pool shots. It was the salad days for those who took chances, weren't afraid to invest $112, or $256 or $324 into tickets with a low hit rate, or structured super tickets like few others were.

That's generally my playing style, so after playing supers for a few years, my ROI was superb, and it was really a go-to bet.

Then, along came the switch to 10 cent mins, at most tracks. After about nine months playing supers in a similar fashion into these strange fractionals, I checked my ROI, because I felt I was not doing as well with them. In my mind I was at, perhaps, an ROI of 0.92 or 0.95, which was well down from previous years.

My ROI was 0.77. Yep, it's like I was picking numbers. I was a dart throwing monkey.

Although my results were lower that year overall, I did not forget how to handicap. I didn't turn into a dart thrower who lost the juice. It's not like I switched to betting Australian dog racing. I simply was not sharp enough to notice the environment changed, and I was not structuring tickets right with that change. It wasn't about picking a winner, it was about ticket making gone very bad.

ITP is correct, in my view. Horse racing, instead of shoving ridiculous jackpot bet tickets down newbies throats, they need to teach them how to make tickets; how to bet the horses. Teach people what's important, like board and ticket value. Y'know, the whole teach a person to fish thing.

If the industry gets out of people's way, it's simply an amazing game.There are a hundred ways to win, or to be close to winning. If the industry ever got it together enough to sell this game in a value driven, gambling driven way, I am still convinced the sky is the limit.

Enjoy your Wednesday everyone. And yes, again, if you are a bettor or industry exec, give the interview a listen. You will learn something.




Comments

CecilJonesSchmitt said…
Amen! This is how to grow the industry. There are lots of smart, risk-seeking young people who would love the intellectualism of racing -on both the handicapping and wagering sides. If they start learning the game, things will bounce back.