Monday, March 27, 2023

Monday's Super Spectacular Blog: Incrementally Improving Everything, Good Podcasts, and Revealing How Much the Computer Teams Bet (and Lose!)

I think I am going to write a weekly blog on Mondays to summarize a few things I see during the week. 

I'm planning to use headlines like "super spectacular", or if that doesn't work, maybe "4 Ways Racing is Fixed, And Number 3 is the Smoking Gun!" for click bait. I really have to get traffic up because all that seems to visit me here are degenerate horseplayers and Russian bots. Or if I link a @shottakingtime tweet, some sort of porn site. 

I might sell advertising for, I'm not sure, maybe for stuff I see late night on TVG like My Pillow or Cialis. 

Anyway, welcome to the first Super Spectacular Monday Blog!

Does this confuse you as much as it does me?

Someone suggests an improvement for the sport, and is met with one of these answers: 

"We have bigger fish to fry"

"That won't fix the game, we have big problems"

"We don't have time for it because it's too small"

Whether it be a change to industry data to encourage more third party apps, incrementally lower takeout, or what @insidethepylons goes through when he encourages the sport to be better on the gambling side (better tickets won't save racing, go back to the basement!) it's always the same. 

The article this weekend, "It's Time for Racing to Nuke the Jackpot Bet" will probably be another one on that list. As o_crunk noted with the numbers he looked at, jackpots are losing steam and aren't as popular anymore (and there's reasons for this). So in terms of appreciably moving the needle, the needle ain't gonna move much. 

But it's just kind of bad. Racing is Henry Ford and if he said incremental improvements don't matter because of bigger fish to fry, or this process change won't appreciably matter on its own, we'd probably have never heard of him. 

I think in racing the zeitgeist is always about the 'big' something. A cereal box, a Seabiscuit movie, a Netflix special, or sports bettors suddenly flocking to the third at Mountaineer. 

That isn't how the world works. It's boring and incremental. I think we should ban jackpot bets, not because doing so will change the world, but because they stink for customers. 

Bucky on the twitter talked about how computer teams blanket pick 5 or 6 carry pools and cover things mere mortals can't (and get rebated more than us mere mortals can). True; the man isn't just good for beer, Onlyfans and Costco references. But boy, when they miss, they can miss hard, almost exponentially increasing payouts. 

Saturday at the Big M, they missed one horse, the 22-1 shot in race 10. And this triggered nice prices  with complete logical horses, many of us, like @john_rallis or @ryanwillis1 had. 

Despite this coverage, that 22-1 shot turned a pick six for 20 cents into a $56,000 payoff. The pick 4 into an $18,000 payoff. If the teams hit those, I'd be shocked. It's not their bailiwick. 

I was staggered analyzing what the computer teams wager (and lose when they aren't on) through the records Pat Cummings requested. 

On Pegasus Cup Day where about $44 million was wagered - 

One team - yes a single team - bet $6,461,347 and realized a profit of $2,418,141. 

Another spent $288,557 and cashed only $27,459 for a staggering loss of $204,794. 

One bet $1,760,658 and cashed tickets totalling $1,375,251. 

For contrast, Twinspires' ADW California hub (probably retail players) wagered only $339,075 and cashed $220,321. For many readers of this blog they might want to know that Woodbine's HPI system wagered $803,581 and cashed $668,219. 

The CRW space is some huge money, but it can mean some huge losses. Like the old baseball saying "he hits them where they ain't", if as smaller players we figure out where they aren't once or twice a year, there's our big edge. Easier said than done, of course. 

I watched the Louisiana Derby and was reminded yet again about the power of early speed. Kingsbarns was slated to be an early leader off his 144 Timeform early figure in his last and the early pace was supposed to be meh. And you know he was there to win. The colt loped on the lead and paid $12. 

Obviously I don't want to be anecdotal about this. This horse could've lost because another challenged him in a 46.2. But year after year, the power of early speed is where we seem to find edges. That turf horse who wins and pays $35, blowing up our pick 5's is often of this variety. Then we scratch our heads on twitter, as it was so obvious. 

Can Forte get beat next weekend? He has post 11, has the points, so maybe one of these nondescript challengers does, and if it happens, I suspect it will because the horse went gate to wire. 

Even the breeding space is doing the "look at what they're doing over there" thing. It's no longer just for us and Hong Kong racing anymore. 

By the numbers - The @RyanWillis1 cranky rating for the week was 6. I think James MacDonald broke on three trotters he used in a row, too. He's coming along. 

Chuck Simon President of HISA status update - not yet

From what I noticed, Mike Joyce bad tweets for the week to ITP totaled zero. I think they are actually starting to like each other. It'd be so cool if this ended up in a 90's style buddy movie like Tango and Cash. 

Jason Beem learned art this week; teach that man to paint, he's going to the prom. Meanwhile Ray Cotolo, announcer at Rosecroft, made a movie about life, love, death, burritos, Paul McCartney and the afterlife. There was a lot going on there. 

As for other announcer news this week, Larry Collmus called Dubai, Gabe Prewitt got side tracked at some poker room, and something happened with Vic Stauffer. 

Ed DeRosa showed us that people actually do still go to the races proving once and for all that most ABR content is not doctored. 

Why do the amateur drivers at the Meadowlands want to park everyone out the whole race, no matter the fractions? Two of three races like this occurred on Friday and the third would've been the same scenario, but everyone is too afraid of James Slendhorn parking everybody out. For confused thoroughbred readers, this is like someone who rarely rides a horse going 21.2 43.3 in the Belmont Stakes and other riders who also never ride a horse professionally engaging them.  This is one of life's great mysteries. 

Yonkers has a $10k seeded pick five pool on Thursdays starting this Thursday. 

I think one of of the smartest handicapping people on the twitter is Chris at @derby1592. He started a new betting pod about wagering and I think it's just great. His first guest was Marshall Gramm. I could wax on about my history of win betting, a topic which Marshall speaks about on the pod, but I've clearly typed enough and you're probably bored with my nonsense. If you're interested in these topics bookmark Chris's pod. I'm sure future content will be dandy. 

Have a really nice Monday and thanks for reading the Super Spectacular Blog. And to my Russian friends, cпасибо.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Same Game Parlays Mostly Suck, But Horse Racing's Version Don't

The Same Game Parlay (SGP) space has grown in sports betting with everyone, probably including your book offering them. 

The concept is not difficult to understand - you can bet the Leafs to win, Austin Matthews to score two, and the game to go over 6.5. These three items are inexorably linked, but if you like the Leafs, like so many of my friends, this is a great bullish way to support your team and win some money in the process. 

Sportsbooks in Europe have been using these as "bet builders" for quite awhile. But they are priced much differently. An Austin Matthews hat trick with a Leafs under 2.5 goals parlay is a mathematical impossibility, The Leafs scoring over 6 and a hat trick will see the opposite effect. 

Some of these advertised bets are gross. And players have to watch what's offered like they're Sherlock Holmes. Many books aren't on your side, and it seems some players don't even know it. 

Over in racing land, our parlay bets are different, because there is no house.  In fact, we can use them to our advantage. For example -

  • If a track is playing to a sneaky bias we notice, we can construct a pick 5 ticket with this in mind. 
  • If a trainer has been winning, and has two horses in a sequence we can use smartly as keys, we can 'parlay' that trainer's horses to some benefit
Now, certainly other bettors can do this too which can degrade value, but will they be priced the same as the SGP linked above? Not even close. 

I guess this represents another example of the advantage of proper ticket construction. If Sportsbooks are advertising and modeling probabilities by changing the odds based on the linking of events, why wouldn't we, as horseplayers, want to be in the same lane?

An NHL or NBA game tonight will have a theme based on points scored or myriad other factors, and that theme will be linked mathematically to data points, and the end wager will likely suck. The tickets we play in tonight's pick 5 at Yonkers could have a theme, too, but there will be no sportsbook Big Brother deciding the odds for us. They most definitely don't suck. 

If we're throwing up tickets that look like a dog's breakfast, we're just not doing it right. The sportsbooks say so. 

Have a nice Tuesday everyone. 

Monday, March 20, 2023

Racing's Internal Growth Impediments

I was reading the Financial Post this morning and came across an article on mining in the Tundra

This industry has always been a soft spot for me, living and working in it in my early life. And the way this industry historically ran was quite simple - you'd find something good, raise some money, see if it was feasible, and raise some more money privately to generate revenue. Now it's much different. The new government blocked new projects because of climate concerns, so the money dried up. Then, when the same governments decided new metals needed for things like batteries had to be produced, the money and pipeline through private investment wasn't there, and these projects continued to wither. 

So, to get them off the ground the feds decided they had to subsidize these projects. Big companies now do nothing and wait. $27M here, $100M to BHP there, all from the taxpayer. Chuck Fipke and his stable likely wouldn't exist if he found something today, unless he was given public cash. 

Mining's customer is now the government. And as the article alludes, they know it. 

I saw a tweet from o_crunk last week talking about purses --

"More than half of the purses distributed in US t-bred races this year will be derived from supplements, subsidies and other non-racing gaming. Would seem that "racing" knows who their customer is."

Racing's customer, it can be argued, has always been the government. It's always been highly regulated. However, 50 years ago it was different, because the revenues received came from betting. More handle, more money to taxation, more money to purses. Purses rose, governments did well. Racing was still beholden to this metric. 

Now, with handle meaning so little, and being constrained by decades-old archaic policy (where amazingly tracks can't even charge lower pricing without going through some board or commission if they want to), it's not even a customer anymore. In other words, customers aren't customers. 

This is not the way other jurisdictions work. Although still regulated, racing downunder has been doing at least 'okay' the last twenty years. You can start a betting company in Australia with racing at the fore. You can operate an exchange, or fixed odds, or a tote. If your tote company makes more money at 8% juice, you're allowed to do that. If you offer racing, the people who run the Cox Plate aren't after you for a higher signal fee or threatening to cut you off. Tracks who do well with lower takeout and any subsidy at all certainly aren't looking to raise takeout like Kentucky Downs; they'd think that was silly.  

And what follows is probably not that surprising. The sport functions better. 

Racing's customer in North America, and anywhere really, will always include the government. HISA, new whip rules, lasix, having an old white haired guy cut ribbons will be around forever, and this signaling is for one entity.  


But in some instances the sport works without shackles because the customer still makes up the majority plot in their focus. They're allowed to promote the betting, promote the product and price the product. They're allowed to entice wagering, and they consider profit ahead of margin. That, in the end, if done correctly, can mean more purse money. 

Canadian miners are sitting on the corner, hard hat in hand, lobbying for money because the age-old tenets of business - delivering an end-product to customers - don't apply to them anymore. Welcome to the club old friend. 

Have a nice Monday everyone. 

(graphic, Thoroughbred Idea Foundation)

Friday, March 10, 2023

Twitter Spaces Dust Ups in a Sport Who Has Never Had a Phil Ivey

Last night's Uncle Bill twitter spaces, where TVG's Fanduel's Mike Joyce joined some raucous horseplayers was, well, kind of interesting. 

Background for the uninitiated - warm and cuddly Inside the Pylons, in his warm and cuddly ITP way has been hammering the programming in this sport we play on the twitter.  His ire has been focused on the way the sport publicly presents tickets for pick 4's, 5's and 6's, and his thought is that they do not teach players how to be better gamblers. 

Lots and lots of people in this industry don't like that, and I think that's understandable. Their craft is being attacked, along with their colleagues. 

To his credit, Mike Joyce decided to stand up for himself and joined the chat. 

Mike made his points, which focused around the fact that networks like Fanduel, or any in-house handicapper tends to pick horses first, and make tickets second. And the tickets they construct are constrained by small amounts so casual players can follow along. This, I think, is true and have heard and seen this for years. 

ITP's point, which we all know, is that the tickets are a problem because after you handicap a set of races the job is not done, it's just beginning. If the sport does not teach newbies good habits, or oldies to blow up their old ticket habits, the game is in more of a ruinous state. 

There wasn't exactly a meeting of the minds on that. And I don't think it's because people are stupid, or whatever pejorative we want to throw at it. It's because it's what we do in this gambling sport. 

In the 60's, 70's and 80's we knew the name Beyer and Quirin and Quinn and Ainslie and what did they all have in common? Picking a winner; even Beyer's (great) book was titled that. It's just what we do - try and find a winner. 

From that point, every pre-game show or blog piece or discussion on Fox Sports 1 involves that - scoping out a winner. And there are some who are great at it. The two Matts, Andy Serling, David Aragona and countless others do their jobs exceedingly well. 

But in this sport, that's where it ends. 

During the poker boom, and thereafter, it's the opposite. 

Turn on the TV, you'll see a host who knows everything about the sport - the players involved, styles of play etc. But beside him or her is Phil Ivey, who talks about the gambling side as a professional. This involves what he'd do in certain situations, when to gamble, be predictable or unpredictable, what the math says to do, and when to go against it. 

Who is racing's Phil Ivey? Who's been there to scope out how to play a pick five with EV, been there to show how to play a vertical where a favorite looks hot in the post parade, to make tickets that are mathematically sound; tickets that factor-in game theory, verticals that aren't pyramids?

Some may say it's not important, but I vehemently disagree. O_crunk on twitter recently said that retail players - the players Mike Joyce speaks to each day on TV - lose around 40% each year. 40%! The state lottery of Massachusetts dropped scratcher takeout to below 20% on tickets. When we tell people who yearn to play a game with a chance to win that they have a better chance at a lottery, we're dead. 

Ticket construction and good gambling won't save the game, but most of us believe it will make that 40% loser a better player. Giving them good handicapping skills and opinions that Fanduel and others do is half the battle; the other half needs to be joined. When it is finally joined (and I think some smart enterprise will go this way at some point), it's not only good for Mike Joyce and his colleagues, it's good for this glorious game. It can finally exploit its edge over other gambling games, because this sport has two sides of it that can attract two types of customers - the handicapper and the gambler. 

Have a nice Friday everyone. 

Friday, February 17, 2023

Buying Customers Can Be Risk On or Risk Off

 I saw this tweet today:

$551M, according to this tweet, is not a whole lot of money, and in the practice of buying potential customers it really isn't. With low interest rates and inflationary markets, return on investment for this kind of purchase can be positive in the space. 

But what does $551M buy you? Access to a pool of customers that might wager with you (or might not). None of it is remotely a given.  

Flipping the layers of the onion back to around 2008, there was much discussion regarding betting and exchange giant Betfair. This company, at the time, reportedly had $3B on account - not for Barstool shenanigans but on account, being bet and churned. Not only did racing entities not even approach them, they resisted even speaking with them when they advanced ideas for partnerships. 

Some in the business began to see strategic partnerships over time. I remember presenting at a gambling conference in 2010 with a Betfair founder, and after the session some were discussing presumably exactly that. But from what I heard, it never went anywhere and just withered on a vine. 

Customer acquisition techniques are sometimes completely boneheaded. Overpaying for customers, especially in a new market sorting itself out can be a feature not a bug. But racing groups tend to never even partake in discussing them. Customer acquisition for thee and not for me? One thing for sure with that strategy - you'll end up with fewer customers. 


The time you've been waiting for starts tonight - well for CJ and his lovely wife and maybe four others of you - the Women's Curling Championship! The field is stacked and I could see some betting value happening in this nascent betting market. Remember, prices are priced before last rock is awarded. In the women's game, hammer first end wins at about a 64% clip, not appreciably lower than tied with the hammer in the last end (69%). Curling is fun!

The NFL coaching carousel tends to make me chuckle at the end of the season. The staff from teams who win are always sought after, while great coaches on teams that overachieve (or who won last year or the year before) aren't even talked about. The NFL wants Chad Brown to coach their team because Chad won at 25% with stock who should win at 25%. When we pick trainers we are looking for those guys or gals who do more with less, or in mathy talk, win over expected. 

I have not watched the Derby trail closely (and to be honest, I rarely look at it near as deep as most). However, I think sports betting has played a role in this for me. I wager football, and now with the Masters around the corner I have begun to look at a little golf. I know most people will be ready for the NCAA's next month (I don't wager that), so there's lots to play now. Has horse racing lost market share? Probably, but handle is still decent. It's resilient that's for sure. 

Have a nice weekend everyone. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Horse Racing Judges > NFL Officials

In the Breeders Cup Classic the chalk is leading, and sweeping from mid-pack comes the main contender. During the big move, a 42-1 shot is a bit in the way, and it gets close, where the jockey jerks the fading equine's head. Then we witness what we came for - an Alydar, Affirmed IV, and we're not disappointed. It's a tooth and nail fight to the finish between these two great horses. It's a race we'll always remember. 

What doesn't happen after the finish? An inquiry sign, despite a "foul being a foul", and yes, technically in the rule book it probably was a foul. 

Meanwhile, in Super Bowl 57 one of the best season finales is happening right before our eyes, and the judges, well, don't do that. 

In case you missed it (how could you, the game is kind of popular, but I know Marcus Hersh probably did because he doesn't like the football), an Eagles defender tugged on a sweater, which is a foul. But it really had absolutely had nothing to do with the play. It wasn't a quick slant where a tug or spin can be everything; it was an out and up, and Patrick Mahomes overthrew the ball by like sevcn yards. It was a big nothingburger. 

Despite that, out came a flag and not just any flag. Defensive holding comes with an automatic first down, which effectively ended the game. A guy with a part time job in the offseason arguably decided a Super Bowl. 

Leaving aside these tugs happen a lot during a game and aren't called. Leaving aside there was offensive holding on exactly the same play that the ref didn't (rightly) call in that situation (or any situation all game for that matter), because the edge rusher wasn't going to sack Mahomes either way. The ref called interference on a slight bump to a 42-1 shot backing through the field, because he decided to be capriciously technical. 

We lament and complain about horse racing judges a lot.  But they have what NFL officials do not have - some common sense. If a horse is not materially affected by interference - interference that that would not change the outcome of the race - they generally let it slide. That's a good thing not a bad thing, and the NFL could learn something from them. 

Have a nice Monday everyone.  

Friday, February 10, 2023

$16 Billion in Super Bowl Wagering Suggests Churchill Downs' Derby Model is All Wrong

The U.S. Gaming Association says they expect this Sunday's Super Bowl to result in $16B in handle in the United States alone. This wouldn't include handle from a place like Pinnacle, where early this week they were accepting six figure side bets already (during the regular season these higher limits are much closer to game time). 

This is a huge number - higher than many would think only a few years ago when these estimates were harder to come by. But, with 99 million people in the US watching the big game, each person having a little money on it doesn't seem that surprising. 

How did they do it? Most of it is probably obvious, in my view. Sports betting has a hundred years or more of history in the US, and ten cent lines kept enough people active and enjoying the pursuit. Add casual fans now being able to get down a bet easily at say a FanDuel or Draftkings (and dozens of others) and we have a real humdinger. 

What sports betting has also done is expand offerings. Prop bet volume will likely be an all-time high again this year. As we know from business, when a soft drink or chip company adds new brands, gross sales go up. 

Meanwhile back at the ranch, or er barn, The Kentucky Derby has had some growth, and last year $179 million was bet on the Derby alone. That number is paltry compared to the Super Bowl you say, and surely it is. But it's horse racing, not arguably the most popular sport in the rich western world. Maybe racing should be satisfied with it. 

I think that's a bad mindset. 

15.8 million people watched the Derby last year, not including whacks of us watching the track feed at home or on-track or in simo-centers. Those 15.8 million people generated about $10 in handle each. The Super Bowl will generate about $160 per person. 

Churchill Downs, as most of racing, likes to protect their offering for a race like the Derby. It's not uncommon in any business who loves protectionism, but like any form of it, gross volume suffers. It's the quintessential larger piece of a small pie phenomenon. 

What if Churchill Downs finally opened this race up? What if they allowed everyone to offer different kinds of chips and soda, based on what customers respond to? What if Draftkings and Fanduel were allowed to offer futures (at their customer-driven price levels, not racing's which are top-down), and head to heads, and win betting, where their millions of customers could turn on NBC and make wagers simply and easily in real time like they do the Super Bowl? Would Churchill make even more money as these new customers bet the undercard, or take shots at a pick six?

What if they took this page out of sports betting. Could in five years or ten years Kentucky Derby handle be $1 billion? Would the other Triple Crown races follow, along with television ratings? Would the sport have more of a chance to grow as people are introduced to the betting side? With $1 billion in handle, would the sport be more popular? 

Maybe it would. But with the current Churchill model of protect and exclude and harvest, I doubt we'll know the answer to this question. Expand and conquer doesn't seem to be in the horse racing playbook. 

Have a nice weekend everyone. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The NFL (Pick Your Sport) is Fixed!

I remember back in the late 70's I'd go to Sunday dinner at my aunts and uncles, and on one occasion the final round of the Masters was on.  Lanny Wadkins or some other golfer of the era made a putt and my uncle exclaimed, "I knew that was going in, they want him to win, this is all fixed."

A curious little fellow, I asked why and his explanations didn't seem to make much sense. It was just fixed. All sports were. 

I found out later - talking to many people with grandpas and uncles like him - this seemed to be a common theme with some immigrants like my uncle from the "old country", where communism and socialism reigned. You don't believe "the state" because the state has everything figured out for you. 

Weakening my life experiences conclusions, fast forward to free and open twitter in free and open countries, and forty years later - the fix was in on Sunday for the Chiefs-Bengals game. The calls went one way, the NFL wanted this match up, etc. It's all over the web. 

I understand there is some evidence of this. In fact, studies have been done and books like Scorecasting delved into home-away or chalk dog biases. We watched the Bortles led Jaguars against the Brady Pats a few years ago in the AFC Championship where the Jags were thrashing them and the Pats didn't have a flag until late in the 3rd quarter. Perhaps there was an iota of "how is this underdog ahead, are we doing something wrong" from the officials. But replaying the game it's really hard to see that. The calls were kind of fine, and the better team did win.  

We might lament the inquiry at Santa Anita that "they won't chuck Baffert" but really, would they have chucked any horse in this position? And who in California racing really, really loves Baffert anyway at this point? Perhaps a better argument is the other way around. 

The problem I find with "fixes", is that when we do the math, they're really hard to conclude. It's like the old Trump-Russia threads by that internet celebrity prof who had 400 tweet strings. He'd start with a premise that might be 50% true and add 50% possible truth's to it, weaving a story. You'd read the end conclusion and say "wow this makes sense". But mathematically we were looking at a conclusion that was 0.5 to the power of 400 of being true. In other words, zero. 

Maybe the fix was in when they pitched my horse, or my team got called for holding. Maybe the officials wanted Patrick Mahomes to be in the Super Bowl (Joe Burrow is not marketable, I guess). Hey, I'm the first to admit that I don't know for sure. But when I apply a little math and common sense, I can't help but conclude it's just simply the randomness of it all. 

Have a nice Tuesday everyone. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Could HBO's Luck Have Actually Worked?

Blast from the past here, but for those who remember the ill-fated horse racing series Luck, a headline came across the twitter today about another show, Yellowstone. 

It appears that this Paramount program has done some good for Montana's economy. The most interesting stat to me from the University of Montana study, was that over 1 million tourists have visited the big sky state due to the show. If even half true, that's certainly something. 

Way back in 2012, Luck was a hot topic in the sport. While I was never one of the people who thought a Triple Crown champ, or horses on cereal boxes would increase horse racing's popularity, the HBO show did give me pause. I thought there was something there. Each week Dan Needham (a sharp guy who is now off twitter) was wholly convinced it would move the needle. He, as some may remember, held a weekly Luck chat on twitter each airing. 

Could Luck for horse racing have been what a Yellowstone has apparently done for Montana? We'll never know. But maybe there was something there. 

Have a nice Thursday everyone. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Poll - Can You Be a Winning Player With a 5% Loss?

I noticed an interesting tweet on Monday from @derby1592 - 

I think it's sound advice; advice we've heard from people like Mike Maloney. Note that beating the take is not winning, but showing you have some sort of edge in the win pools. 

Not long after, I wondered what people thought about this question - 

I chose 0.95 (out of $1) because a 5% loss is really hard to achieve, and if you're doing that (especially without subsetting giant chalk, or otherwise), you are a very, very good player. Can a very, very good player make tickets properly to overcome a 5% loss?

You're pretty split on this and I did read some good comments saying "no" but I do disagree. 

If you're only losing 5%, you are clearly doing the right things - you recognize good chalk and bad, recognize contenders versus the ones to throw out. You have a really good feel for a race. 

If you have a really good feel for a set of races, I think you might be selling yourself short. 

By recognizing contenders, you are able to play better pick 4 or 5 tickets, because your cost per ticket is much lower than average. This matters. 

If you are able to scope out a race, a few tips and tricks can lead you to some vertical success, too. For example, if you are near profitable in the win pool, you are likely finding 4-1 to 10-1 shots who are ROI positive. Playing these horses, say 1 or 2 in supers, and using your skill to not use obvious horses underneath (because you recognize good and bad chalk), can yield superior payoffs. 

There's no bigger drain on a bankroll than liking a 10-1 shot, betting $20 to win, then spending a pile of supers and tris with all chalk underneath. Using a price swing horse you may like (and if you like a 10-1 shot you probably don't like the obvious horses) in exotics can turn a super that pays $800 with chalk, to one that pays $4,000 or more. Hit several of those a year and you're certainly doing good things. 

Knowing when to push this or not, i.e. not taking exotic tickets when you don't see an edge underneath your play, means something too. 

In the end I go on the premise that because a 5% win pool loss is so hard to achieve for the pen and paper capper, using that skill to construct mathematically and logically sound tickets by eliminating wastage can vault a player over the top. 

Have a nice day everyone. 

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