Solving the Puzzle

Yesterday I called Jeff Platt, the dude who created Jcapper software, to ask a quick question about something.

As per usual with a handicapper, the quick chat turned into a longer conversation than that.

After talking about the Derby, the pace scenario, what he missed and I missed, what he saw and I saw, I asked him "what are you up to"?

He said he was going through handicapping books and looking for obscure ideas, angles and such, and running them through his extensive database. One of the books he was getting ideas from was a totally unknown binder book from 1936. Yep, 1936. He said he found a couple of nuggets in it, and they seem to work.

How about that?

Coincidentally, I had been doing similar one evening last week. I skimmed through Cary Fotias' book, Blinkers Off, and noticed again some of his interesting ideas on new pace tops, pace lows, when grouped with certain efforts. I started digging more and more to see if I could find an angle that worked.

We then moved on to discussing figs and runups, turn time, form cycle mistakes, bankrolls and the psychology of betting.We pretty much ran the gamut.

At that point I said "is this the most interesting game in the world or what? Why isn't it more popular, I can't figure it out."

We had a post on Monday about promotion of the Derby with reporters like Michele Beadle. Serving this demographic on television is all well and good, and 16 million people tuned into the Derby. Handicapping is so complex, such a puzzle, it makes it almost impossible to relay to that audience, and it is also difficult for them to embrace. It's not for everyone, it's not even for most people. But for the people it does have a hold of, it truly is one of the most interesting and complex mental pursuits you'll find anywhere in the gambling world.

1 comment:

kyle said...

I disagree with you to this extent: I believe that racing in all its complexity can be presented and that there is a much bigger audience for it than we might imagine. (Think Seinfeld...the unusual and less instantly accessable must be given a chance to build an audience). I'll never be willing to concede the point until there is a sincere try. I'm not talking about The Derby presentation, per se. But I do see a space out there for racing THE GAME. First, there is a huge need for cheap programming. Racing is that. Second, there is now the ability to make programming interactive. That is the essence of racing. Imagine a simultaneous webcast/website where data is provided. Imagaine a group of intelligent handicappers discussing, arguing (the argument alone I think is a draw we have never seen explotied)in detail over a race. I do not believe racing's appeal is that elusive, esoteric or limited. I just think its been presented in such a ridiculous, inaccurate manner. As the saying goes, "You teach people how to treat you." People hae been taught to treat racing as an indecipherable siseshow. To me, that's what we need to undo.


Carryovers Provide Big Reach and an Immediate Return

Sinking marketing money directly into the horseplayer by seeding pools is effective, in both theory and practice In Ontario and elsewher...