• RanchWest
    278
    As with anything, you might want to take some of Benter's claims with a grain of salt.

    But, we must be aware that there are whales. They do homework. On computers. The days of the four dots on a program method you learned in 1980 are probably just a fantasy world today. You have to ferret out value differently from the whales unless you have the resources to cover your bases 90 ways from Sunday.

    Do whales drive down prices? Certainly! But are there good overlays every day? Yes, there are. This is one of the reasons I look forward to diving into Dave's Percentages and Probabilities. I anticipate that there's a lot of good info in there. Stuff that leads you to the fact that finding perfect horses is a path to disaster. But, which warts can you live with and which ones are disaster? That's what I am seeking.
  • Biniak
    48
    RanchWest,

    You really come up with some interesting topics for discussion. Thanks!
  • Handiman
    12
    I have heard so much about Whales over the last few years. Do they have access to different data than we normal guys have available to us? Or is it their computer programs are far superior to anything we might be able to get our hands on at present? For instance, if we were looking at a race where John Henry was going to run, what would Benter's people see that we couldn't? I chse J. H. cause I loved that horse...LOL
  • RanchWest
    278
    Or is it their computer programs are far superior to anything we might be able to get our hands on at present?

    They just make huge bets, aiming to break even or make a small profit. They make their profit from rebates. Apparently their software is fairly good, but the problem is that they bet so much on the logical horses that it is difficult for everyone else to make money on the logical horses. If you don't get a rebate, you can do just as well as them and still make only a very small profit. If you're betting $10 a race, a 5% average return is not going to net much. If you bet thousands, get the 5% and get a rebate on top of that, you're doing pretty well.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    They just make huge bets, aiming to break even or make a small profit. They make their profit from rebates. Apparently their software is fairly good, but the problem is that they bet so much on the logical horses that it is difficult for everyone else to make money on the logical horses. If you don't get a rebate, you can do just as well as them and still make only a very small profit. If you're betting $10 a race, a 5% average return is not going to net much. If you bet thousands, get the 5% and get a rebate on top of that, you're doing pretty well.RanchWest

    I look forward to the opinions of others.

    Apparently their software is fairly good
    I will simply say that you have them severely underrated. Their software is way beyond fairly good.

    Also, it encompasses tote board predictions, which include the current tote as well as the movement. They use this to predict what the winner circle odds will be.

    the problem is that they bet so much on the logical horses that it is difficult for everyone else to make money on the logical horses.
    Nailed this one. Perhaps impossible would be a better word.

    The real problem for old-timers like us is that we spent decades using a paradigm best called, make a line and bet into it.
    Because so much handle is concentrated within the hands of (essentially) 6 betting entities, the swing after the gate opens is wild.

    Here are some important statistics.
    • 1 out of every 6.5 dollars wagered in North America comes from one of those 6 entities.
    • 74% of all winners will show as bet down between "gate odds" and "winner's cicrle."

    That 2nd one is killing American racing even more than the takeout.
    It means that when you're making a bet at the last minute, if you are betting "into the line"
    THE ODDS WILL...
    • Go down if you win
    • Go up if you lose
  • RanchWest
    278
    I will simply say that you have them severely underrated. Their software is way beyond fairly good.Dave Schwartz

    Thanks, I didn't mean to underestimate. If they weren't really good, they wouldn't be risking millions of dollars. On the other hand, it is not impossible to find plays to beat them. When you can beat them, the rewards can be great.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    Thanks, I didn't mean to underestimate. If they weren't really good, they wouldn't be risking millions of dollars. On the other hand, it is not impossible to find plays to beat them. When you can beat them, the rewards can be great.RanchWest

    Agreed.

    Didn't mean it as criticism.
    People think there is just a small difference between them and the whales.

    Here's some more.

    To be competitive the whales must PLAY (roughly)...
    • 85% of all tracks
    • 85% of all races at those tracks
    • 85% of all the pools in those races

    Typically, whales lose in December & January - yet to keep their deals, they have to keep their handle up to their norms.

    A whale - or even a large player - who is consistently betting $2.10 horses to place or show will have their account restricted or even canceled.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    I have heard so much about Whales over the last few years. Do they have access to different data than we normal guys have available to us? Or is it their computer programs are far superior to anything we might be able to get our hands on at present? For instance, if we were looking at a race where John Henry was going to run, what would Benter's people see that we couldn't? I chse J. H. cause I loved that horse...LOLHandiman

    The SEE what we see in terms of the data they get. And that includes the tote feeds.

    The difference is their PERCEPTION because they simply have better models.

    Question:
    If you had (say)...
    • 20 people doing studies for you
    • 5 statistical analysts (Master's Degrees or PhDs)
    • 2 quants
    • 20 people to watch races and fire the bets
    • 4 programmers
    ... Do you think your results might get better?
  • Handiman
    12
    I believe it would. I will look at my available funds to see if I can level the playing field a bit....LOL
  • Steven
    108
    THE ODDS WILL...
    Go down if you win
    Go up if you lose
    Dave Schwartz

    That's sort of the result when I bet on something.

    If I win, then I have bet too little.

    If I lose, then I have bet too much.
  • Steven
    108
    Question:
    If you had (say)...
    20 people doing studies for you
    5 statistical analysts (Master's Degrees or PhDs)
    2 quants
    20 people to watch races and fire the bets
    4 programmers
    ... Do you think your results might get better?
    Dave Schwartz

    Right there is why we can't be like the whales and bet like the whales.
  • Biniak
    48
    To be competitive the whales must PLAY (roughly)...
    85% of all tracks
    85% of all races at those tracks
    85% of all the pools in those races

    Typically, whales lose in December & January - yet to keep their deals, they have to keep their handle up to their norms.
    Dave Schwartz

    AND

    They just make huge bets, aiming to break even or make a small profit. They make their profit from rebates.RanchWest

    AND

    If you had (say)...
    20 people doing studies for you
    5 statistical analysts (Master's Degrees or PhDs)
    2 quants
    20 people to watch races and fire the bets
    4 programmers
    Dave Schwartz

    Maybe we should be thankful for the whales keeping our game alive. Seems to me like they are the equivalent of market makers in the stock market, taking a small percentage in exchange for keeping the order flow liquid.

    I also feel there is a way to exploit this SOMEHOW. Not sure how yet but think about it, all the human resources, capital and still they have two losing months and depend on rebates to profit in the long run.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    Maybe we should be thankful for the whales keeping our game alive. Seems to me like they are the equivalent of market makers in the stock market, taking a small percentage in exchange for keeping the order flow liquid.Biniak

    That's what the tracks say, but what it does is take money out of the game.

    Think of it like a poker table with 2 dealers - both taking a rake.
  • Biniak
    48
    The whale's rake is much smaller. The track's take is way too much!
  • RanchWest
    278
    It seems to me the whales are on the "best horse" a lot. We have to find races where the "best horse" is vulnerable. It's still a parimutuel game... yes, the whales can bet a horse to 1/5, but that means there may be a 7/1 with a shot.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    It seems to me the whales are on the "best horse" a lot. We have to find races where the "best horse" is vulnerable. It's still a parimutuel game... yes, the whales can bet a horse to 1/5, but that means there may be a 7/1 with a shot.RanchWest

    ... that doesn't win.
    THAT's the problem.

    88% of the races are won by horses under 8/1.
    That upper 12% - there are 25 starters for every winner.

    In my opinion - If you want to win, you have to be able to find a losing proposition among the low-odds horses. Not a horse that WILL LOSE TODAY, but a horse that will lose money long-term.

    This demands a new way to look at the race.
  • Dave Schwartz
    187
    The whale's rake is much smaller. The track's take is way too much!Biniak

    But combined... it's even worse.
  • RanchWest
    278
    Not a horse that WILL LOSE TODAY, but a horse that will lose money long-term.Dave Schwartz

    I agree.

    For me, there are 4 kinds of odds situations:

    1) A heavy favorite that is a likely winner.
    2) A contentious race where the selection has to be among the 3 odds line favorites
    3) A race with a vulnerable favorite, but a likely mid-range winner
    4) A chaos race, where the winner could be in any odds range. True chaos races are fairly rare and ones where there is a legit long-shot with potential are even rarer. But when they come along, they pay big.

    A huge portion of races fall within those 4 categories. I think we have to discern which category a race is in. There's very seldom a "best horse" that goes off as a longshot and wins... just not going to happen.
  • Biniak
    48
    What's needed is a "What LOSES at you track" mindset but qualified by 3/1 or less. Then the game's expectancy changes.
  • RanchWest
    278
    What's needed is a "What LOSES at you track" mindset but qualified by 3/1 or less. Then the game's expectancy changes.Biniak

    That's true, except... it is sometimes situational. I think we have to handicap the race as well as the horses in the race.
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