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Old 07-05-2012, 03:40 PM   #3
Ted Craven
Grade 1
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 7,983
Originally Posted by For The Lead View Post
I will also take this opportunity to offer another observation.
In this contest, it seems place betting has taken center stage and why not? A contestant receives the same "hit value" for winning a place bet as they do for winning a win bet. It seems this has distracted several contestants from the ultimate goal in handicapping horse races...WINNING THE RACE!
Actually, I disagree that the ultimate goal in handicapping is to win the race. The horse wins the race, the owner wins the purse, the trainer preps, the jockey guides - the bettor's role in this whole ensemble is not to predict who should win, but only to take money out of the betting pools - or pass the race because they see no such opportunity relative to the risk.

One reason to bet in the Place pool, in real life as in this contest, is because that is the only Pool where there may be some wagering value in the race. There were numerous races posted where the favourite looked to be legitimate and pay little, yet a likely other horse, by whatever measurement is meaningful to one's handicapping (counter-energy, tied VDC #1, etc, etc) is let go at overlay odds. That horse may be the ONLY reasonable bet in the race - in the Place pool, and that is the best bet in the race.

When we brainstormed how to structure the contest, we wanted to emulate real-life skills as much as possible, and betting to Place in some circumstances is one of them. So is dutching multiple combos in the Exacta pools, or in the Win pool; so is Doubles, Pick3 and Pick4. In such circumstances, we don't care who wins the race - we care if a long term betting approach including such strategies makes a positive return.

We do care about learning how to identify good Win contenders, and good Place contenders, then deciding if there is a bet. Identifying such is the foundation of all other wagering strategies, vertical and horizontal.

I would definitely agree that indiscriminately betting a favourite to Place is not a long term optimal strategy, but because of the other virtues of Place betting, I feel reluctant to downgrade the outcome of wagers bet to Place. At least until Place betting has been proven to have no long term value, compared to Win (setting aside the admitted value of other exotic wagers).

One of the advantages about having everyone's line selections and analysis screens, and a lot of them the summary BL/BL screen, is that someone could pick a given individual, someone who did well or someone who did not so well in the Contest standings, and make a a case over 20 races for an alternate, rigorous, betting strategy. Perhaps proving that avoiding Place betting and focusing on 2 horses to Win would have returned MORE money overall. Or perhaps proving that a different, consistent split of the wager unit - including to Place - would have been more profitable. Etc ...

That's the kind of detailed teaching I believe we all could benefit from, and if I'm not mistaken, the kind of review of betting records that Doc Sartin engaged in with clients from time to time.

We could have called the Contest 'Learn to Handicap and Wager Effectively', but 'Learn to Win' seemed more catchy. It's what I meant.

Thank you For the Lead for your thoughts! These are important ideas, and I hope to have continued thoughtful discussion on them. People are learning how to be Winners (if they want to).


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