• Dave Schwartz
    303
    The purpose of this thread is to raise the awareness of the handicapper above thinking of all races as a process of:
    • I handicap.
    • I bet.
    This is NOT how a winning player functions.

    All races are the same.
    All races are unique.
    Neither of those statements are true.


    A 100% true story from my money management books.
    _________________________________________________
    A few years ago, I had a sports betting client with a problem managing his money. I explained the opponent concept to him through the following example:

    “Suppose you get together every Sunday during the football season with your next-door neighbor to watch football and make a few bets. Your neighbor doesn’t know very much about football, but he likes to bet anyway. Every season you both start with $500 and bet $20 on each game. Each week you take turns picking teams to bet on (against the spread) until all the games have been selected. How would you expect to do?

    The client says, “I’d probably get the money almost every season because I know more about the game than my neighbor does. I could still have a bad year but I’d be tough.”

    “Okay.” I said, “Now let’s modify the game a little. Suppose you get to decide how much your neighbor will bet on each game he selects. How does this affect your chances?”

    “They are getting better because I can force him to bet more whenever I feel he’s made a bad choice and less when he makes a good choice,” says the client.

    “Right. Let’s modify the contest even more by allowing you to pick all the teams and pass any game you don’t feel good about. Also, you will be the one to decide how much is bet on every game and you may bet any way you like. Sides, totals, parlays, anything. Furthermore, your neighbor may not refuse any wager for which there is a published line at any sports book in Reno. In return for these improvements, however, you must put up $11 to win $10 on each game. Now how do you like your chances of winning the session from your next-door neighbor?”

    “I like them real good. He has no control over his own bankroll. I can force him to make whatever bad bets I can find for him. In fact, he may not make a good bet all season (laughter). I can even shop around for the best line or put him in a no-win situation if I find a good middle. Even if he’s as good as me, he has no chance of winning for the season because I am in complete control. How do I go about finding a neighbor like this? Where is this neighborhood (more laughter)?”

    “What I have just described to you, dear client, is the exact arrangement you have with every sports book in this city. You have complete control over the games which will be wagered upon and you can bet them anyway you like. Your opponent, the Reno sports books, will not refuse your wager anymore than the neighbor will. If you win a session, you can make your opponent start a new session of whatever size you choose. What do you think, now?”

    Long pause. “I never looked at it that way before. I guess, I really am in total control. It sure makes the contest look lopsided, doesn’t it?”
  • Biniak
    54
    How are you relating this to horse racing? Are you making the case for a bet against low odds horse to tilt the odds?
  • Jack Price
    27
    How are you relating this to horse racing? Are you making the case for a bet against low odds horse to tilt the odds?Biniak

    It has nothing to do with betting against low odds horses.... It's about a money management strategy that teaches you how to make an optimum bet to accelerate bankroll growth (it's anti Kelly Criterion).... The product is called "The Opponent Method" and you can find it in Dave's Store…. You should check it out and weather or not you end of using this exact approach, you won’t be sorry you bought it!
  • Dave Schwartz
    303


    Excellent response.
    (Even without the commercial. :) )

    When @Biniak and I were speaking the other night, much about how the mindset of the professional players differs from the other players.

    It has nothing to do with betting against low odds horses.... It's about a money management strategy that teaches you how to make an optimum bet to accelerate bankroll growthJack Price

    How one bets is, of course, a big part of the difference, but not the only one.

    Watching your amazing AND CONSISTENT performance in the Saratoga Challenge you guys are putting on, would lead me to believe that you have many of the traits of the professionals and real winners I've known.

    Simply put, WINNERS SEE THE GAME DIFFERENTLY.

    What's so different?
    Most players think that they are one good factor or angle from being a long-term winner; just one little tweak somewhere, and suddenly everything will come together.

    The successful players I know are:
    Process Oriented, with distinct Components
    There are distinct pieces to there handicapping process.
    For example...
    • Contender Selection
    • Handicapping (i.e. rank order of the contenders, probabilities, or line)
    • Paceline analysis
    • Who to bet
    • How to bet
    • and more

    Whenever I find a consistently competitive handicapper, they always have components which become Pieces to the Puzzle. When they stop winning, they concentrate on figuring out which component is failing as opposed to tossing everything out.

    Incremental Improvement is generally how winners are born.

    Thoughts, guys?
    Does this resonate with anyone?
    Or not?
  • Jack Price
    27
    Disclaimer: I do not pretend to be an authority or profess to be some genius handicapper…. This is simply my two cents.

    To echo Dave’s remarks, in an earlier life, I was involved in a manufacturing industry as a sub-contract supplier to large corporations…specifically suppling sheet metal fabrications and machined components. Due to the high level of quality control required by our customers, we were given an on-going challenge for continuous quality improvement…. In other words, project specific improvement goals with measurable results.

    To relate this to horse race handicapping, you would define your total process and then select an area within the overall process that required improvement…. For example, your process component of “contender selection”…. First you would need to establish (via your records) an existing baseline (or, if you do not have a baseline, you would need to spend some time and develop one)…. OK, let’s say one of your top three contenders wins the race 60% of the time…you feel you can do better and you set a new goal of 65% winners in top 3…you brainstorm with others; you read forums; you re-read handicapping books; you purchase new handicapping products/innovations; you decide to keep better records via a database; or whatever you feel can push more winners to the top…. Then you set a reasonable time frame to achieve your goal (let’s say six months)…. Then, at the end of your selected time frame, you measure your results against the goal you wanted to achieve…. This is a never-ending pursuit; so, rinse and repeat as necessary.

    From reading some of Tom’s posts on this and other boards, I believe he worked in a QC field and perhaps could wade in on this discussion/approach….

    Any critique of this concept is welcomed and appreciated.
  • Dave Schwartz
    303
    To echo Dave’s remarks, in an earlier life, I was involved in a manufacturing industry as a sub-contract supplier to large corporations…specifically suppling sheet metal fabrications and machined components. Due to the high level of quality control required by our customers, we were given an on-going challenge for continuous quality improvement…. In other words, project specific improvement goals with measurable results.Jack Price

    I highlighted this because you are right on point with all of this and the rest as well.

    Many of the winning players I know connect back to their work world experience, especially those who were in management, making decisions, or, in general, producing something.

    The common thread was that they understood what it took to win in the business world and, once they made the connection to horse racing... the fact that is really THE SAME THING, it got easier.

    PLEASE, @Jack Price, continue.
    Explain some more.
  • RanchWest
    503
    A couple of months ago, I talked to Dave and came to realize that while I have the components, my process sucked (my words, not Dave's). I use my own software, so I better organzied the software and established a process. My results improved.

    Since then, I have found some even better components. Unfortunately, I didn't stop and establish how to incorporate this new knowledge into the process. Dave has convinced me that the process is extremely important.

    In reading through this very interesting thread, I have come to a course of action. I am going to journal my process and step through each race and then post mortem the race to see what worked and what failed. This idea was sparked by what Jack had to say. I'm mid-pack in the contest... with a little better luck this weekend (4 seconds, 1 third, 1 fourth) I would be higher, but still nowhere near Jack's level.

    One thing that I tend to do right is to learn. i look forward to a lot more of that.
  • Dave Schwartz
    303


    Love hearing this.
    So much so that I'm going to share the most important piece to the puzzle right now.

    LEVERAGE POINTS
    This is almost the last step in the process. It comes just before you make your bets in the race.

    At this point your handicapping is finished. You've decided who the horses are to be bet.

    I'm going to go through a few examples from Aug 3. These are consecutive races, and we'll just see what comes up. I'm only going to say a little about HOW I got to this point because that's for another topic.

    BTP01
    r2ocu2ff3nn8somg.png
    This race I have #3, who projects to be about 1/2.
    He is a single for me. Before you check out of this thread and say, "Oh, all he does is bet favorites," remember this is about how I figure out my leverage points after I've chosen my contenders & win bet(s).

    In this first case, I will show you some obvious things.
    u583h6z0n0m0mcs7.png
    Above is the Artificial Morning Line Object - aML. Of the 6 factors used to predict the odds, this guy has five 1sts and one 2nd. He is simply much the best.

    lzsys8xn8o6y80k1.png
    In terms of Early Running Style (ESx), he is not only ranked #1 but figures to dominate.

    80i6gy6an5l6myz5.png
    In terms of the pace model, the E Running style is the most powerful by far, with a 151 to 45 index value. IOW, the model is all early.

    The 3 factors chosen to best fit the model are:
    F1 - Avg of Last 2
    EP - Best Ever
    EP - Best 2 Ever

    Based upon the percents, she figures to dominate, just as she did in the ESx.

    If I showed you the actual model, which contained 15 races, 10 of the winners were within 1 length at the 1st call.

    v0yf0r777uz6qywc.png
    In terms of PSR (Projected Speed Rating), where horses within 1 point of 3rd when over 80% of all races, and a 6-point margin is considered almost insurmountable, our girl has a 7-point edge.

    This is why she is a single.

    3azm6m062gna5sl7.png
    But what's the leverage point?

    Well, clearly it is #3 to win, but is there more?
    What about exactas?
    __________
    Hello? I can hear you saying, "Well, I'd pass the race," but that's only because you have no confidence in your ability to tell the difference between a profitable low-odds horse and a BALO ("Bet Against Low Odds" horse).

    If you follow the advice offered by Ranch & @Jack Price you'd know how this kind of bet works out. And, if it proves out for you, then instead of playing beat the favorite and losing $30 you win.

    My numbers tell me that such horses as this return me about $2.12 for every $2 bet, with average odds of around 1/2 or maybe a little less. If you're a believer in Kelly, then optimum bet would be a whopping 12% of bankroll.

    WHAT ABOUT THE EXOTICS?
    The Fabric of the Handicapping is very strong in this race. Any horse that should be in this exacta with him will have to be a strong horse as well.

    The challenge in this race is that there are only 2 horses projected to be under 7/2. If we had 3 such horses, then we could play an exacta.
    ______________
    Races with 3 horses under 7/2 return 38% more money when 2 of them come in, but you must have either a key or a BALO.

    We have a key, but no BALO, so no exacta.
    ______________
    As a general rule, without an exacta play and no BALO, there is really no point in a trifecta or super.

    0gkqldtpu8j9vs46.png
    I will happily take my tiny profit vs a loss with my wire-to-wire win.

    ilckigq8t3pzrtow.png
    A $3.20 exacta is just not generally going to produce profit.
    Neither is a $9.40 trifecta.

    ______________________________
    LESSON 1: NOT ALL RACES HAVE A LEVERAGE POINT BEYOND A WIN BET.
    ______________________________

    More tomorrow.
  • RanchWest
    503
    I don't think I understand how you are defining "leverage point". Could you clarify that, please?

    I have firmed up my process. We'll see how it works this next week.
  • Dave Schwartz
    303
    I don't think I understand how you are defining "leverage point". Could you clarify that, please?RanchWest

    From today's post (which will be finished in a few hours).

    WHAT ARE THE LEVERAGE POINTS?
    Now that we have our win bet, what other plays might we make?
    ________________________
    A Leverage Point is based upon this question:
    "How do I EXPLOIT what I believe to be true?"

    Think of it like this.
    You've determined what your Win Bet(s) are.

    In what other bets can you take advantage of what you know that the public likely doesn't?
    ________________________
    To be clear, LEVERAGE POINTS are not a one-size-fits-all thing, but there will be some standard SCENARIOS that will arise.

    I cannot tell you what YOUR leverage points are because your approach to the game is different than mine.
    ________________________
    KEY POINT:
    As you are building your processes, each step in the process ANSWERS A KEY QUESTION!

    Examples:
    • Who are the likely low-odds horses?
      (What I call "1st Tier.")
    • Is there a Bet-Against-Low-Odds horse? (BALO)
    • Who are the likely Early Speed horses based upon Running Style?
    • Do the Early Speed Running Styles indicate that the race will have a predictable pace?
    • Are there likely Early Speed RS horses that fit the model?
    • Which horses figure to qualify on pure ability?

    Each of these answers change how the race should be handicapped and bet!

    This will take some individual thinking - and possibly some discussion with someone who is getting it, or at least above your current level in getting it.
    ________________________
    I started this thread because strong players do this sort of thing. Maybe not formally, but they SEE THE RACES FROM A DIFFERENT POV.
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