Crunk's well-written piece about the Twinspires player's pool has been getting some traction on the interwebs. For those who have not read it, Crunkland talks about the brouhaha with the Derby superfecta hit outside the player's pool, and the overall ROI of the player's pool over the last eight months or so (it's poor).
The reaction to this in some quarters (and maybe this should surprise no one in this day and age) is to ban these player pools.
That in my view, is nonsensical overreach.
Player's pools have existed for a long time, in many countries, including Australia, where they continue to be quite popular. For a low buy-in, customers can play along, looking for a huge score in a carryover pick 6, or place pot, or what-have-you, in pools that are too expensive for their bankrolls.
They, like you and I who may be playing more money into these pools, get the same thrill cheering along as we get one, or two, or three winners on our tickets. It's worth $20 or $40 to some people; it's a fun part of this sport, and the fact that they do exist and draw money is testament to that.
The fact that the Twinspires Player's Pool is ROI negative is, to me, completely irrelevant. Beating huge rake is hard, so it should not be surprising. Plus, they could hit a $900k score next week and be ROI positive. It's the nature of the game with hard-to-hit bets.
Player's pools are what they are -- a collection of a whole lot of people, placing a few dollars into a pool, to try and have a little fun, and maybe earn a little money. What in heavens name is wrong with that?
Where player's pools and other machinations like this break down, is when something strange happens, like last weekend, as Crunk dutifully explains. But that's a correctable mistake, nothing more, nothing less. Protocols and disclosures (they probably should disclose ROI's as a matter of course) should be fixed, and probably will, unless Churchill Downs is actually the evil empire they are satirically made out to be.
Lastly, and most importantly, the market is not stupid. If the player's pool is truly villainous - sucking money out of unsuspecting horseplayers, while they roam the streets looking for someone to hit "send" on their ADW interface because they're too dumb to themselves - the market will eventually take care of it.
Someone seems to always be looking for someone to save us from something. DFS needed to be regulated to save us all; to stop something that was ridiculously simple for a market to fix. What happened, as often does in cases like this, was the cure - higher prices, less choice, smaller pools of money - was worse than the disease.
People might be 'dumb' to play into the Twinspires player's pool. But what's really dumb is not letting us - should we so choose, through our own free will - play into them.
It's here. Inside the Pylons speaks! Well, it's a bit more than that - the 9th Annual Track Ratings Issue from HANA is released. There are some interesting stats, and some excellent commentary. Nice work by Greg Reinhart and Charlie Davis, once again. Give it a download and pass it around if you can. Those two work hard at it.
Have a nice Friday everyone.
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