Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chasing the Pick 6 Madness

Gulfstream Park has a 1.5 million dollar carryover in its Rainbow Six today, and a $60,000 carry in its Pick 5 as well. To say that Gulfstream's handle will be large today may be an understatement.

The Rainbow Pick Six has caused much discussion in the horseplayer community. 

On the negative side:
  •  As Andy Beyer wrote, the takeout is off the charts. For true blue horseplayers, this is a bad takeout bet.
  • It eliminates churn. That's probably true, too. Bets like this suck bankrolls, through high takeout and locking up money. That's not a good thing. A $196 pick 6 is $196 that can't be bet in low takeout win pools, or doubles. 
On the positive side:
  •  Jackpot bets create buzz and bring in a new demographic. There is a little old lady playing dime slots in the slots parlor right now trying to win a $224 jackpot. She can come over to the track side, bet a $24 ticket and have a shot at two million.
  • The favorite lonshot bias is alive and well in the Rainbow Six. With people buying tickets with so many bombs, the favorites are underbet. If you take a logical ticket, keying some hard to beat chalk, you can walk away with a decent bet - below the 52% rake, that's for sure. It's a skill and an art. 
The one thing I find positive about the Rainbow Six, is that it's fun. There is nothing wrong with trying to have a little bit of fun at the racetrack is there? If you were alive yesterday after the first three or four legs, the excitement you felt is something that you never forget.

As the aforementioned Andy Beyer once said,  

"The capacity to enjoy: so few people have it. A gambler may have as many periods of frustration as he does exhilaration, but at least he knows he's alive."

The Rainbow Six certainly does that.

What do you think about it? Should it be discontinued, or do we see merit in it for horse racing?

1 comment:

rocky_rosa said...

I don't believe this wager is as bad a bet as Beyer makes it out to be. To my mind, it's not much worse than the playing the Pick 6 on a noncarryover day in California:

So-Cal circuit takeout = 23.68% + 30%(Pk5 consolations), so net take = 1 - (.7632)*(.70) = 46.58%, or ~ 9.92%/race because, as Steve Crist has pointed out regarding exotic wagers, you're only getting hit with the takeout once (it's actually a little less than this since you'll probably catch a few small Pick 5 consos, but not much).

GP Rainbow takeout = 20% + 60%(Pk6 winners), so net take = 1 - (.80)*(.60) = 52%, or ~ 11.5%/race.

When you consider that you can play the bet for only $.10, which removes the very real possibility of gambler's ruin due to overbetting your bankroll, along with the fact that if you happen to be the only winner the takeout is only 20%, this bet is by no means the "sucker" bet that Beyer claims.