Monday, December 29, 2008

Bettor Does Good

I got an email from a long time blog reader and contributor. He is trying to be a winner at betting and he has been keeping track of his wagers this year. I found it a cool note. Especially the ending:

Thought I'd give you an update on how the horseplaying is going. Over the year I am down but I had a lot of fun. The first half of the year killed me, I was pretty bad and didn't really know what I was doing. So I ended down most of the year. I did cash out a few times but never really finished above $300 (starting with $50). All year maybe on 3 occasions I bet above 700 in a night before losing my $50. That was a goal, because then I'd get about $40 back in a rebate via Premier Turf Club. Most times I would lose the 50 before that. I made a ton of action bets, which killed me and over all discipline was and still is pretty bad..... It has to be the most important factor, IMO.

Kept reading your blog for tips and followed the links you provided. I was reading a thread on Paceadvantage called something like..... "Winning At The Track". A lot of guys on there said they only bet straight wins. That surprised me. I always bet a lot of large ($20) place tickets and the odd time equal show tickets, but no one on there really did that. So I looked at my player tracking at found out that I was down huge overall for the year at place tickets (it turns out winning at 3-1, when your 18-1 hits the top 2 is quite a great investment). I also found I was up overall with my tri's. So that is where I decided to go. Get rid of place and show tickets, stick with win, ex's and tri's. I pretty much bet tri's one way and it has worked out ok. I pick a winner and then try to pick a horse that will hit 2 or 1-3-all,, 1-all-3, for example; trying to hit about 12-13% of the tickets. I did find out from reading on your blog that picking longshots on top, doesn't really make sense and I have found that generally to be true. Though at some small tracks sometimes the 8-1 shot should be the favorite.

Anyhow..... in the last month since dropping the place and show tickets and sticking exclusively with win, Tri's and ex's. I am up about 1k. I have wagered $2970 and got back $3892. Up in both Wins ($507) and tri's ($585). I thought I stopped betting place tickets, but did lose ($47) there. Best of all, on 3 different occasions I wagered over $700 including $1500 last night, making smaller bets all evening.... I have never came close to that.

Well that's the update... the discipline is still bad..... still way to many action bets. So I am going to go after that next.


I enjoyed this read. Our game is a puzzle and in a lot of ways is just like golf, in respect that you are always trying to get better and can never really beat the game. This player has gone from messing around, throwing around some cash and losing, to working on the fundamentals: getting a rebate so he has a better bottom line, bet tracking, analyzing ROI by type of bet, and working on bet size. Then of course he is working on the nasty thing we call discipline.

It is what keeps most of us coming back.

Anyway, well done young man. Keep it going!


Wind Gatherer said...

I'm in the middle of Barry Meadow's 'Money Secrets at the Racetrack' and find it helpful with betting technique.

He mentions using a database to keep track of everything he keeps track of. Is there a program you use or recommend?

Pull the Pocket said...

Hey NR,

That is a good reference book, huh? I often check it out.

Is he speaking of keeping track of wagers? If so, most ADW's give you sufficient data on that. When I spoke with Ian of Premier Turf Club way back when (he is a horseplayer first and always has been) he said they were working hard on getting a bet tracking system in place so you could track by bet, by track and a few other things.

If you dont have an ADW, I tracked in a couple of ways: On a spreadsheet. I would label my bets "action" or "prime". Prime bets would be say 3% of bankroll, action bets much smaller. I found out that my prime bets were good, action bets lousy. Something as simple as that helps.

Later on I used Bettor Keep Track software. It was pretty good. You can google search that. Gordon Pine wrote it.

Imo, keeping track of wagers can increase your ROI by 2 or 3 percent. Another couple percent if you use it to bet size properly.

Good luck.


Anonymous said...

To me betting longshots makes all the sense in the world but you have to spend the time tracking them. In time you will find that certain trainers get more than their share and they are not always cheating.
In PTP's Nov 9 blog he lamented on betting over 20 races that day and coming up with zero winners. His bright spot(?) came at Mountaineer with a horse that paid $23.40 to place. Did he make note that this horse was just sent from the East Coast by a certain owner/trainer combination? It turns out they sent more than one. The next time this combo put one in at Mountaineer was Nov 24th and it paid $32.60 and kicked off a $180.00 double. After that they had a 3rd and then a winner that got DQ'd. Every horse they put on the track was well meant and betting them made sense(and money).
The only track I follow now is Tampa Bay and it takes all my time. I've been following it for several years and when you have all the trainers who have had winners grouped on a spread sheet you get confidence that history will repeat. The guys that won with 1st starters more than likely will do it again and the cheaters will go through the same steps to put over a longshot.
It takes a lot of time and you don't get enough bets to haul in your rebates but it's a lot more interesting.

Pull the Pocket said...

Very nice RG. That's excellent tracking.

I tend to follow trainer patterns as well as I can, but missed that MNR one.

With regard to longshots, I was referring to them in exotics. A tri with a 30-1 on top is almost always less value than betting the tri money straight win. We see way too many $1500 tris like that, when a $20 to win bet gets you back over $600.

Anyway, great response. Thanks!


Pull the Pocket said...

I am messing around looking at Tampa now RG. Ziade is like 5 for 7? I see Joan Scott is 2 for 2. Some other good moves for 1st start of meet.

I've got 37% chalk, which translates into a low overall ROI. The board has the highest impact value on all my ratings.

Speed seems very good. Late pace horses have stunk out the joint with my numbers.

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