Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Tough to Market Racing to Poker Players

From Paceadvantage:

Since you brought up poker, I recently caught an episode of Poker after Dark. The players were all guys who got started at the Mayfair Club, a poker room in NYC, back in the day, that produced a lot of world champion players like Dan Harrington and Howard Lederer.

During the show, the guys started talking about other types gambling. To a man, they all said that they would never try to play horses professionally because of the rake.


D. Bantu said...

I have returned to providing commentary on the thoroughbred racing issues after a very long hiatus. Much of my commentary will be musings that I expressed many moons ago in the now extinct TT forum.
Paraphrasing, old school professional poker players use to say when sitting at a table the first thing to determine is who is the sucker. If you can't identify the weakest player then guess what, it is probably you. With that understanding, argueably the greatest poker player ever, Stu Ungar, greatest payoff never came from a session of or tournament playing poker. The source of S. Ungar greatest payoff came from hitting a Pick 6 and related wagers at Santa Anita 14 Sept 89 for $1.8 million dollars. Whenever I hear or read individuals complain about the takeout, I know they are lacking insight about this game. I will expound in greater detail in a subsequent post.

Anonymous said...

Ungar lost millions playing the horses. One hit does not make one a success in gambling.

Anonymous said...

If the Takeout wasn't so high Ungar would have won 2 Million.

Cangamble said...

D. Bantu, naw takeout doesn't matter at all. I don't know why they don't charge 50%. I'm sure you would still be a WINNER.

Aside from that, I heard from reliable sources that of those people who hold HPI accounts here in Canada, there is one winner per 1000 accounts per every 365 days.

999 out of 1000 people just don't have what it takes, I guess.

I hate to tell you this, but you come across like a real big sucker.

Anonymous said...

cangamble said

"Aside from that, I heard from reliable sources that of those people who hold HPI accounts here in Canada, there is one winner per 1000 accounts per every 365 days."

Man, I would like to get my hands on that Info.

I hope you'll update us on this.

D. Bantu said...

Here we go again. I love this game because of all the whiners who after so many years continue to put forth the same argument as to why they are losers. If it is not the take then it is the juicers. If it is not the juicers then it is the jockeys. It is always something or the ubiquitous they which accounts for an individual's losses. Perhaps, it is a lack of understanding, skills and execution of what you are engaged in. We are pari-mutuel speculating. Question? The reward in this endeavor comes in what form? Perhaps this is where the primary focus should be and other factors secondary and supportive of the primary factor.
Now I will address the issue of the takeout. My understanding about why the takeout does not make one a loser at the track comes from an excellent piece written by Ray Taulbert at ATM. I acknowledge and credit those who have aided my evolution as a pari-mutuel speculator. Briefly summarizing, he concludes that the take only affects winning wagers not losing wagers. The takeout does not make your wager a loser; misjudgment makes your wager a loser, be that for whatever reason. (bad luck, cheating, poor execution, etcetera) Yes, if the percentage of the takeout was lower, your return would be higher. However, the last time I checked, there was still more than one track offering pari-mutuel wagering. Furthermore, at these host tracks they offered wagering into more than one pool. If you don't like 25% exotic takeouts at track A, then choose to wager at track B with an 18% takeout. Again, you will still only be affected by the takeout on winning wagers not losing wagers. Please people stop reading a certain DRF and Washington Post columnist and others of the same ilk who are still focusing on their magic bullet. Forty years and counting and still bit*hi%g about trainers, stewards, jockeys and other souls engaged in nefarious doings. I'm not here to offend anyone (except the whiners, joking) and I welcome intelligent and sincere feedback.

Cangamble said...

D.Bantu, takeout makes you a loser, it makes almost all players losers. It affects the payoff price.
Using your "logic" there could be winners if the takeout was 95%.

Sorry, but you are way out to lunch.

D. Bantu said...

Cangamble, if the game is that flawed to begin with why are you a participant? Do you like losing ad infinitum? Of course there is a PRICE which the buyer would determine is unacceptable and does not perceive value in purchasing that product. However, certain businesses still operate on very slim profit margins per transaction. You have still never acknowledged that misjudgment on wagers, again be that for whatever reasons, is the greatest factor in being a loser in this game rather than the trite excuse answer of the takeout. This site's last topic concerning exercising choice in where (track) and what (pool) offers lower takeouts is an excellent read.

Cangamble said...

D. Bantu, I only participate where I get a good rebate, or on exchanges (where the takeout is even less than rebate shops).
The main reason people lose is because the track takeout makes it almost impossible to win in the long run. Regardless of how many mistakes you can cut out, to beat a game that takes 21 cents on average of every dollar bet, is a game that should be avoided by any thinking person.
By you saying takeout is an excuse means that your opinion is completely worthless. You just don't have a clue.

D. Bantu said...

Cangamble, it appears that you are welded to your opinion and so be it. Question? Have you ever read the Ray Taulbert of American Turf Monthly piece about the takeout? Even analyzing deeper the scenario presented in the Retama Park Pick 3 topic, there is an inflection point in which the increase in number of your losing wagers and the losing wagers dollar value makes you a loser regardless of the percentage of the takeout. That is simple arithmetic not even advanced mathematics. Reduce the number and dollar value of your losing wagers and attempt to maximize in PRICE on your winning wagers. The cold weather in the great white north must also freeze up the cognitive thinking functions (just kidding). The takeout is just one of the many excuses losers come up with to rationalize their failure. The excuse list also includes: juicers, jockeys, tellers, stewards, wiseguys (smart/inside money), horses, track management, self-service terminals, fellow wagerers and finally the unnameable but ubiquitous they. (A little humour) Cangamble, I use to be a loser at this endeavor and used some of the excuses above myself. However, with time, dedication and experience, I gained understanding, improved my skill set and execution and now I'm doing all right. Hey, relax and laugh it is only money and as long as there are people there will be money.

Cangamble said...

I'm fully aware of betting theories like Taulbots.
Your philosophy pretty much states that no matter what the takeout is, you can make money. It is pure BS.
I have a question for you. Do you get a rebate? If not, why not? You don't need it?
Bottom line is that takeout makes the game almost impossible. 1 in a thousand HPI members make money from one year to another, and it probably isn't the same person.
If you are a good handicapper/bettor and your ROI is .90, you will lose money, even if you are a great bettor/handicapper and your ROI is .98, you will lose money. The average bettor has a ROI of .79 because the average collective takeout is 21%.
By reducing takeout or getting a rebate, then a person with ROI of .90 has a chance to make money.
And especially today versus 20 plus years ago when speed figures weren't on forms and horse racing was a monopoly and had many mooches building up the pools. Now is it good handicappers versus great handicappers for the most part.
I take people like you who brag about making money at the track without rebate with a grain of salt. I don't believe you.
And you've already done your credibility here unrepairable damage by calling takeout an "excuse."

D. Bantu said...

Cangamble, I had a lengthy response for you but unfortunately, the server at this site had trouble sending and receiving the packets. The tone of your comments are demeaning and desultory. I'll state only one thing, I've never bragged about my exploits on any of my posts. It is not my style. I've only written that I'm doing all right in this endeavor. Cangamble, please keep playing since you approach the game with a defeatist attitude and I'll even tell you what track and what pool I speculate in so I can take your excuse laden donations. (just joking, maybe or maybe not) To all others, I welcome intelligent, sincere and even humorous feedback.

D. Bantu said...

Cangamble, I never proposed that there was only one factor (the magic bullet ie Beyer Numbers, pace makes the race) to be successful or unsuccessful at pari-mutuel market speculating. In the universe there is never one of any entity. To reiterate, I wrote that the take does not make one a loser. The take only affects winning wagers not losing wagers. The increase in number of losing wagers and/or the total dollar value of those losing wagers makes one a loser regardless of the takeout. The arithmetic of a negative absolute value greater than a positive absolute value is a negative absolute value. To all others, excluding cangamble, the financial reward in this game comes in what form? This form (dollars/price) is the only real-time dynamic variable. For me this is the beauty of the pari-mutuel system. Humans, mere mortals who are capable of misjudgment due to a multitude of reasons determine the odds. Unlike with slot machines, table games and to some extent card games where the odds are determined by the computer program, the casino and the mathematical probability of a finite number of cards. Thus, an astute, disciplined and professionally minded speculator has a potential advantage. Cangamble, (okay you can continue reading again) I have been a winner and a loser at many things in life (that comes with living) and these experiences have led me to two key fundamentals in being a winner. First, one must understand what one is engaged in through thorough knowledge of the rules and insight in nuances of the game. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, choose your competition wisely. Cangamble, sometimes you don't have to be great just better than your competitors to win. Yes, at times this game is very tough. However, pari-mutuel market speculating is my livelihood and has been for the last 14 years. I have been involved from a speculating standpoint for 25 years; therefore, I am not a neophyte or novice. Cangamble, are you the arbiter of credibility on this blog? Come on. I'm still trying to grasp why you even engage in pari-mutuel market speculating when in your own words it is nearly impossible to win. In my posts I have attempted to support my position with intelligent, rational and data(information) based arguments. Again, to all (including Cangamble) I welcome engaging, informative and even humorous exchange of discourse. Cangamble, again please keep playing. I'll even give you a hint as to what track and pool I speculate in and I'll gladly accept your excuse laden donations. American dollars please not canadien. I don't like cold weather even though I did once live in Buffalo, NY and visited traversed across the border oftened. I do like Toronto. Hint: The track's racing season begins in April in a very warm and sunny locale.

D. Bantu said...

Cangamble, every time I reread your posts I say what a louse.(you wrote that my hypothesis is BS) Please keep playing. There is a saying that misery loves company and your premise is that since you are a loser at this game everyone else must be also. Please keep playing. Are you one of those individuals who shows up at the track/otb without your own tools? At best, you buy a program or the Form (with all its obfuscation) and you start digging right into the buffet of bad offerings. Please keep playing. In your post you stated that there are two groups: good handicappers and great handicappers. I don't handicap. Typical scenario: "Well let's see, last time the horse ran an 89 Beyer and this time they are dropping in class... La de da de da." I am a professional pari-mutuel market speculator. I joke with people and asked them how confident would you feel if you hired a plumber to fix your pipes and he showed up at your residence without any tools and asked to borrow yours? Or he has a one size wrench and says that is all he needs. Cangamble, is this you? Please keep playing. Oh, I forgot you are not really a wagerer. You only participate if given a rebate or on exchanges. Is this blog just a forum for you to kevitch (b*tch) mensch? At the office where I conduct my business, professionals are rarely seen, just a bunch of amateurs. I've conducted my business at many different venues (large and medium) and this is the predominant scene. Where are the two groups that you claim only inhabit this milieu? Are they playing at offshore rebate shops or exchanges? My experience with rebate shops and exchanges is nil. I explored ADW and operating on-line, but the float time between accessibility to my earnings was not for me. There is another saying that a bird in the hands beats two in the bush. I won't go into the mathematics of the saying; however, why should they earn the interest on a 3, 5 or 7 day float period. Please keep playing. Analyzing your ROI numbers, if the best that you can do is have a ROI of .80 or .90 then just wager on strong Beyer and Pace number sure thing 4:5 favorites. I'm finished with this topic unless there is something new someone other than Cangamble would like to add. Again Cangamble, my season begins in April in a warm and sunny locale and your excuse laden donations are welcomed and gladly accepted. I hit for homers so you probably don't speculate in the pool I do. But...Please do so.

Cangamble said...

You aren't reading what I've been writing. It is apparent, when you say I approach the game with a defeatist attitude. What part of "I almost only bet on exchanges or with high rebates" do you you not understand?

"Why should they earn interest on my 3 to 7 day float?"

Why would you care about that when you can get back 5-12% in rebates on all your wagers?

I wish there were more like you playing. A lot more.

Anonymous said...

Mr. D. Bantu,for not wanting lower Takeout makes you stupid.

For not understanding that lower takeout puts more money in your pocket makes you stupid.

And for not taking your medication makes you....

D. Bantu said...

Anonymous 22Feb 09 9:41pm,
Obviously you have not read my posts. I have never written that a lower takeout is not a good thing. I wrote that yes, a lower takeout returns more on a winning wager. Reread and comprehend the posts. To insult you is beneath my class level. Cangamble, the rebaters offer rebates not for your benefit but for their benefit. The greater the aggregate amount of wagers that goes through their hub if they are co-mingling with the tracks pools or not, the more their bottom line increases . By offering you a 5-12% rebate it keeps you playing with those funds and more that you come into. This tactic is also used in the casinos and the illicit drug business. Give the buyer an incentive (supposedly) to keep them as customers. The con man knows must people want something for nothing, but gives them nothing for something. In these cases it is a nearly nothing (5-12%) for a whole lot of something (That 5-12% back and much much more from suckers like you). Please keep playing. In your writings the consistent theme is that the take makes it nearly impossible for one to win. How is that not a defeatist (loser) attitude? It is evident (at least to me) from your writings that you are an amateur. Your inability to support your position with any arguments other than the same single sentence (the take makes it nearly impossible to win)is quite boring. Using the logic of the takeout being an incentive at 15-28% not to participate, I guess individuals and businesses in a society that has an income tax and business tax should not engage in economic activity. Why work? The government is going to take it anyway. In regards to the float and LOL, I guess the mathematics behind a bird in the hand beats two in the bush is to complex for you to understand. Please keep playing. Oh yeah, I do recall that the Hinsdale operation recently went belly up and many (perhaps all) account holders lost their deposits. You are a pure amateur. Again, the track that I conduct my pari-mutuel market speculating begins in April in a warm and sunny locale. Remember, I hit for homers. Donate to the homer pool. Please keep playing. Your last sentence lacked originality in thought. I'm finished with this thread. I'm interested in engaging, informative and even humorous discourse not a kevitching (b*tching) exchange.

Anonymous said...

Mr. B,

Your argument falls apart due to the simple fact that there are less than 1 or 2 our of 100 bettors who win at horse racing. In other games, the number is much higher. It is the most difficult gambling game (with a potential positive expectation) in the world. Beating the takeout holds back many from trying it and it is a major reason why people try a poker table before a racetrack.


Cangamble said...

D. Bantu, it is not impossible to win when betting at exchanges. Yesterday for example, I got 9-2 for a horse that paid 5-2 in a parimutuel pool. Think about how much more money you would win and how much more you would bet if you had that possibility going for you.
To compare income taxes with track takeout is completely bizarre. There are other forms of gambling with lower takeouts and rebates available as well as exchange betting offshore, you have a choice how and where to gamble. You have no choice when it comes to income taxes, and they still aren't high enough to give anyone incentive not to make money. Track takeout has chased players away from the main pools.

And worrying about Hinsdale situations is also a poor excuse not to take rebates. I'm sure Andy Beyer just dusted himself off and will now get rebates elsewhere. For sure, he is betting with an ADW still.
I've already supported my statement about horse racing being near impossible to win at because of the takeout by citing the HPI stats of one winner per thousand accounts per every 365 day period.

And again, your line of reasoning suggests that even if track takeout was 50%, your basic argument would remain the same. You are just too thick to get how stupid it is, or you really don't understand the affect of takeout, and how someone with an ROI of .92 (a very good handicapper/bettor) can become a winner with a 10% rebate.

If the pools were full of fools like you, the game might still be beatable.

Anon A, I don't think that 1 or 2 out of one hundred win without is more like 1 out of 1000 when looking at any period over a couple of years.