Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday Notes

Good morning racing fans.

The TVG trot and pace is tonight at the Big M. Unlike last season where we had a three year old in the mix, this year these races are more traditional. The Trot seems a better betting affair than the pace, with Sebastian K possibly providing some board value - as strange as that is to say. Sweet Lou's last race is this evening over a very jam packed four year career. For the HOY watch, if Sebastian dispatches this field easily, I expect the voters to give him the nod over the two year old. This is a sport that rightfully demands more than just perfection from a two year old to win HOY. For reference, Somebeachsomewhere didn't even get a sniff.

"Grinding versus Rapid Bankroll Growth" - No that's not a story about racing, but daily fantasy sports. It shows just how similar the two games are. The article, in effect, says that one should bet win (play 50/50 games) to see if one can become a long term winner, then branch out to exotics (tournaments) if that occurs.

Further: "The Daily Fantasy Sports Takeover" is an interesting read.

Kentucky steward Veitch ordered to get his back pay because he was improperly fired. Although I have no Matlock skills, and no special understanding of that whole Life at Ten event, Veitch always felt like a scapegoat to me. Nowadays it seems to make people feel good if there is someone to blame, whether it's the right person or not. Honest thinking people should never want that to happen.

California Chrome races today, on turf. I like when horses of this ilk try different things. This horse is a huge star. If California was a country it would be the 8th largest in the world, and it shows. That state follows this horse, and their bettors bet races that he is in. Handle will be very high today.

The comments yesterday on the blog were, what I found, kinda funny. Three comments, three "if someone says they are winning betting 22% takeout they're wrong" comments. This is what this sport - for a long time - encourages. Twinspires, other big ADW's accept bets on Philly Park at 30% rake, keep about 20% of it, and watch their customers get killed. If you have a 1% hit rate on tri's, how you can possibly hit enough, with a proper bankroll at 30% juice to win is beyond me. I can't even do the math in terms of bankroll, it's so out there. It's a big reason why the skill game gambling market is over $500 billion worldwide, casino volume is in the trillions, $2B will be bet on Fantasy sports, poker still has billions upon billions bet, while horse racing in North America, in a place with $20 trillion in GDP, tracks with over a hundred supply points, 40k races, with a near monopoly on online wagering, can barely muster $10 billion.

Speaking of edge's and hit rates, I have been studying (ahem, honestly I am) the Canadian sports betting lottery market in my spare time. I began to dabble on some of these bets. At times the odds in some areas (usually three or four games a day) are out of whack from the super-tight Pinnaclesports odds. Because the general public who are more casual players overbet favorites, longshots seem to be worth upwards of 1% to 4% more than they should. Also, "tie games" - 5 points either way in basketball - show an edge if the spread is over 9 points. So, that's good.

But, you still have to hit the games.

I have taken 16 ties and won one, at 4.5-1 odds. Even in lottery betting you need to use Kelly, or a variation, because when you are trying to hit parlays with 5-1 type occurrences, you need to make your bankroll last. I think my experiment is over, even though I am sure I can dabble and make a few dollars. It just takes time that I'd rather spend on racing. Time is money.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. And a friendly reminder, if you are playing Churchill today and you're betting exotics, they raised the juice to 22% in April. That same 22% the bettors on the blog spoke about yesterday :)

Good luck and good racing.

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