Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Notes

Good morning racing fans.

It's been a big news cycle. We've got symbolic deals signed with China and M and M, or Eminem, or whatever, is swearing a blue streak on HBO. Just to be topical - being topical is how I get as much traffic as the Paulick Report - I am proud to announce I have signed a deal with both Magna and CDI where they promised me they will begin lowering takeout in 2030, and I have successfully taken the job as Scott Blasi's agent to get him hired to host the 2015 Eclipse Awards. "Nice moth@#%*(*&$ job Pletch!"

Now with that out of the way......

The Breeders' Crown has attracted over 150 entries. Elim's are this weekend (Friday and Saturday) and the Finals are next Friday and Saturday. This year looks a little more competitive than last, and if the races are carded right next week, we might have some playable pick 4's or 5's. Often times at the Crown, chalk tends to dominate with picking posts and strong favorites. There is a handicapping contest live for those who are at or near the Big M.

There was some chatter on twitter this morning about the Betfair "API" which allows for developers, bettors and anyone else, access to data. This encourages growth in a number of ways - vendors can build software to sell to users, data can be scraped and used by bettors, betting bot programs can be created so you can bet and lay by system, and not have to be playing live. Betfair has had this strategy for a long time, and has been commended for it a number of times. Most recently, right here at ProgrammableWeb.

While racing has been arguing about splits, banning internet wagering on horse racing in some states (to get a bigger slice and to "get people to come to the track"), the rest of the gambling world has been working hard. Racing saying "we need more young blood" when they are offering 20th century things to a 21st century world is like the aforementioned HBO saying they are shocked M and M swore at a Veterans Day concert.

Driver change on JK She's a Lady. I cringe when I see these sorts of headlines. If the horse comes back bad the driver will jump ship, and in the superstitious game of horse ownership, it just does not sit well. If she's good enough, Verlin Yoder could catch drive and win.

Bitplayer left a comment on yesterday's post:

"I've been reading the book Gambling Wizards you mentioned in an earlier post. One of the threads that jumps out as I read about experts in different games of skill is how much computers have changed each of those games, increasing the level of skill required to be competitive. That dynamic is certainly at work in horse racing, increasing the commitment (in terms of data gathering and analysis) required to win (or even lose slowly), which in turn reduces the game's appeal to more casual players."

Strong point. We want information to make decisions, but holes in the information marketplace allow us to make sound bets with an edge. I'm sure Pittsburgh Phil could survive in some form today, but being a railbird and clocking race times by hand sure helped him. No one else was really doing it.

A little story on that I shared with Dink last week. When I was about 19 I noticed a track opened (Hiawatha) where the qualifiers were really slow. The surface must've been terrible. One horse raced and dropped six seconds from his qualifying time (I saw it in a local trade paper). Lo and behold, a filly was making her first career start that qualified in 2:04 there, all the way in Toronto at the top track. I raised $12 or $14 to go play the horse. She was 22-1, tipped off cover and won in 58 an change. Great effort. That could not happen today. Bias beaters, bad tracks, and all the rest are available for everyone to see. She was probably 5-2 fair odds and would be much closer to that than 22-1 today.

The WSOP was on last night (I did not watch) but a couple of peeps were talking about how boring it was in real time. I agree, and I think TV did not do as much for the poker boom as people think. I think being able to be introduced to a game that one can win at played more of a part. In poker you can be a poor player and make some hay through the 5 cent/10 cent tables online as you learn. At least you can churn a bankroll. In horse racing new players are thrown in the deep end. What's a new player supposed to do? Bet show and get raked to death with breakage and 16% juice? He or she ends up playing Pick 6 tickets promoted on TVG or the Santa Anita feed and not having any fun. Losing money sucks.

That's it for today folks. Have a great day.

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