Just Pick Winners!

Yesterday we wrote about some (many?) inside the business who don't quite understand what we bettors do each day to try and scratch some profit. Thanks to the 44 of you (and 212 Russian bots..... Privet!) who read it.

That post spawned some discussion, so I figured I'd jot another few thoughts down for you and my Moscow friends, if you'd like to read more of my drivel.

I can't tell you how many times over the years I've spoken to people inside the business who tell me I just need to pick winners. It's like picking winners is the magic elixir to gambling success; to keep us in the game, forever.

On the surface to someone who has never gambled before, this sounds pretty basic. If we never lose, we'll win!

If this game was about picking winning tickets we'd bet 1-9 shots to show all day; we'd build fancy machines to datamine favorites to build subsets that vault them over a $1.00 ROI; DeRosa would make "Grids" on twitter with all "A" chalk; TVG pick 3 tip tickets would not exist, because the hosts wouldn't be hosting, they'd be having breakfast on their own personal islands. (Pro Tip: None of these work).

I was reminded of this again a week or so ago, chatting with an insider about the lack of qualifiers in Ontario. He told me, well, you should just bet top trainers and not bet others and you'd be fine; that I should follow the board money. I'd pick winners!

I tried to tell him what we all know - this game is not about betting what everyone else is, it's about betting what others are not betting. The former is a path to gambling ruin, the latter about what all of us try and do each and every day.

That concept - the concept that playing a game of coin flip with 22% of the pot being removed and it can be beaten by "following the board money" - is just so completely obtuse I can't believe people still talk about it. Even at the signing of the Magna Carta half the people in the room didn't believe the sun revolved around the earth.

It's amazing how this narrative permeates the business in almost every nick and cranny. I was told last night by an insider that a horse that recently won at Mohawk  - a horse with no recent lines (there's no qualifier to watch to check recent form of course) - whose last set of lines were three races beaten 44 lengths could've been a bet because he won money last year. That's advice about as bad as betting a colt in his 19th start because he's a half to Dialed In (don't laugh, this is actually fairly common).

This might not seem like a problem. Who cares, right? And we're a bunch of whiny bettors anyway. But it, in my view, is just so damn important. And others do not act like this.

If you flip onto a DraftKings pod about the PGA this weekend, insiders - the people hired by DraftKings, as well as their management - will talk about the concepts I highlighted above without even having to explain them. They'll talk about ownership numbers of Rory in GPP's versus cash games. They'll talk about hidden positives, models, and not having a lineup with more than 70% ownership.

They are educating their users so they can win more money, stay in the game longer, and their business can grow.

It's bad news that our sport does not (to be fair, some iconoclasts in the business do, so well done) do that. What really ticks most of us off is that when you try and explain these basic things, they tell you you're dumb and block you on Twitter. They even block warm and cuddly Inside the Pylons.

In the end, likely nothing will change. We'll keep trying to grind profit and they'll keep telling us to pick winners. But, on this slow Wednesday thank you to you the blog reader as well as all my Russian friends, for allowing me to vent it out one more time.

Have a super day everyone.


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