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traynor
07-19-2014, 01:00 PM
An issue that needs exploration is that of the so-called "learning curve" associated with race analysis software, and the relationship of that "learning curve" to software intended for recreational use as opposed to professional use.

For recreational use, "learning to use the software" is part of the activity--it creates a sense of investment (of time and effort) that is (hopefully) rewarded with increased accuracy (higher win percentage, higher ROI, fewer losers). Because the primary motivation is recreation, there is little or no downside to software that requires a "learning curve"--a euphemism for "subjective interpretation of output." Specifically, the software does not "make selections"--it presents data in various formats so the user can make subjective decisions on a race-by-race basis as to which bit of output is most important/significant/predictive in that particular race.

Having developed, and worked on team development of "professional-level" software applications, when "learning curve" is mentioned to a professional bettor or betting syndicate, the immediate response is "go back and work on it until it is complete, then show us." Specifically, the notion that subjective decisions made on a race-by-race basis can outperform computer algorithms and structured decision-making is dismissed as irrelevant nonsense. That is, the "learning curve" associated with race analysis software (that is highly desirable in software intended for recreational use) is almost certain to be a deal-breaker in the design of professional-level race analysis software.

If the software is incapable of "learning" on the fly, adapting to changing circumstances, and generating the most predictive algorithms on its own--it is incomplete. That deficiency is unrelated to the "game of racing"--it is related directly to developer competence in the design of decision-support software.

There is a place for both kinds of race analysis software. Unfortunately, the distinctions between the two types are often not made. That leads directly to disappointment (and often hostility) in new users who have spent upwards of a thousand dollars in software and data subscriptions fees before discovering that what they believed would/could be a professional-level (as in "profitable") software application was in fact designed for recreational use.

The simple litmus test for race analysis software is the "learning curve." The steeper and/or longer the "learning curve," the more indicative it is that the application is designed for recreational use. The so-called "black box" application is a reality of professional-level software. Serious bettors want applications that do the heavy lifting in implementing decision-making processes, and expect software to leverage the strong points of computer capabilities, rather than software that requires subjective interpretation of the output by the user.

Is such software prohibitively expensive? No. Is it impossibly difficult to develop, requiring an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a crew of snarky quants? No. Is it necessary to have a bankroll of millions to "take advantage of the software's capabilities"? No. Are you likely to find someone who has such an application willing to sell/lease/loan it to you for some modest (or outrageous) sum of money? No.

For anyone interested in the potential profit available to astute bettors in the horse racing field--as opposed to purely recreational use--I strongly encourage you to pay attention to what Delta Lover is doing with his open-source data analysis project. He seems to be one of the few who realize the potential of software as an aid to decision-making, and the (obvious to serious bettors) potential of structured decision-making processes as opposed to "subjective interpretation of the output."

traynor
07-19-2014, 02:33 PM
I assume everyone realizes that the injection of subjective interpretation into race analysis essentially destroys the value of regression analysis as a decision aid. Specifically, models based on past results use specific criteria to determine success or failure. Tweak or fiddle with that criteria with subjective interpretation of trivial details of individual races, and the model's value evaporates. The numbers only work in your favor when the software recognizes, "Aha! This is Race Scenario D-456. The best possible decision in this scenario is ..."

It is unwise to let one's ego and (largely illusionary) "handicapping experience" diminish or eliminate the potential of the software by reverting to seat-of-the-pants scrambling at the last moment. Humans are much too inclined to selectively remember "stuff that worked" and to ignore or forget "stuff that flopped." One of the primary advantages of using (well-designed) software is that it has no ego to defend.

Professional-level race analysis software should be as explicit in defining the best decision to make under each set of circumstances as professional-level blackjack strategies. Perhaps that is why blackjack professionals adapt to professional-level race analysis so easily--and why they have so little interest in software applications that "require" subjective interpretation of trivial details of individual races. They are quite willing to let the software do what it does best--select the best possible decision to make in a specific race scenario.

Dave Schwartz
07-19-2014, 03:03 PM
Having developed, and worked on team development of "professional-level" software applications, when "learning curve" is mentioned to a professional bettor or betting syndicate, the immediate response is "go back and work on it until it is complete, then show us." Specifically, the notion that subjective decisions made on a race-by-race basis can outperform computer algorithms and structured decision-making is dismissed as irrelevant nonsense. That is, the "learning curve" associated with race analysis software (that is highly desirable in software intended for recreational use) is almost certain to be a deal-breaker in the design of professional-level race analysis software.

Rarely do I agree with you as wholeheartedly as I do here.

But here's the thing: To many handicappers the ability to add subjectivity is essential. It is why they play.

It took me a long time to realize that.

For the developer, it is a case of "Give them what I think they need" versus "Give them what they want."

Many handicappers are looking for a good Handicapping Experience even more than Proven Profitability.

traynor
07-19-2014, 04:24 PM
Rarely do I agree with you as wholeheartedly as I do here.

But here's the thing: To many handicappers the ability to add subjectivity is essential. It is why they play.

It took me a long time to realize that.

For the developer, it is a case of "Give them what I think they need" versus "Give them what they want."

Many handicappers are looking for a good Handicapping Experience even more than Proven Profitability.

Absolutely. That is why there is such a dichotomy between types of applications, and such frustration when users fail to understand the differences. I agree that the subjective element is why many handicappers enjoy handicapping--and software applications that emphasize (and facilitate) that aspect.

The recreational bettor who tries to out-think professional-level software (that is expressly designed to eliminate subjective interpretation) is going to be as disappointed as the bettor expecting profitability to be the primary driver of recreational software.

AndyC
07-19-2014, 09:49 PM
Rarely do I agree with you as wholeheartedly as I do here.

But here's the thing: To many handicappers the ability to add subjectivity is essential. It is why they play.

It took me a long time to realize that.

For the developer, it is a case of "Give them what I think they need" versus "Give them what they want."

Many handicappers are looking for a good Handicapping Experience even more than Proven Profitability.


So let me see if I understand. Don't be subjective and let the software do it's job. What does it mean when you said "The most difficult of these two goals is clearly #1: winning. About 20-25% of our users are winning players, and several win at a "professional level. That still leaves 75-80% of our users that are not winning players." Does that mean that the software does it's job but that 80% of your clients don't use it properly?

Dave Schwartz
07-19-2014, 10:59 PM
Andy,

The software is VERY programmable. No two people use the software the same way.

YOU are still responsible for figuring out how to win.

Would you hold the DRF or BRIS responsible for not winning with their products? Of course not. It is all about what you do with it.

That being said, in a world where 1% of the race going public wins, having 20% winners is a pretty good increase.

thaskalos
07-19-2014, 11:10 PM
Andy,

The software is VERY programmable. No two people use the software the same way.

YOU are still responsible for figuring out how to win.

Would you hold the DRF or BRIS responsible for not winning with their products? Of course not. It is all about what you do with it.

That being said, in a world where 1% of the race going public wins, having 20% winners is a pretty good increase.
Dave, forgive me if this has been asked of you before...but does your software offer the option of doing its own handicapping without any extensive programming on the part of the user?

Dave Schwartz
07-19-2014, 11:17 PM
There are several pre-designed ways to handicap right out of the box, so that answer is "Yes."

There is an installation video that begins with: "20 minutes from now you will be handicapping your first race, counting installation."

Also, not sure that "programming" as really the operative word. More like "arranging."

There are probably a dozen different handicapping paradigms... handicapping objects, Impact Values, Monte Carlo simulations, several forms of AI, dynamic research tools (i.e. build systems according to your specifications on a per-race basis), and a lot more.

Most can be mixed together. You choose the factors from around 4,000 factors per horse.

AndyC
07-20-2014, 12:25 AM
Andy,

The software is VERY programmable. No two people use the software the same way.

YOU are still responsible for figuring out how to win.

Would you hold the DRF or BRIS responsible for not winning with their products? Of course not. It is all about what you do with it.

That being said, in a world where 1% of the race going public wins, having 20% winners is a pretty good increase.

So wouldn't programming the software be subjective? Either you are subjective using the software or you aren't. The narrative of this thread has been that you should not be subjective using the software. What am I missing?

Dave Schwartz
07-20-2014, 12:30 AM
Andy,

Exactly! The design of your system is subjective but the actual handicapping of a given race is not.

This is what most of our users strive for.

So much so, that they can create a rule-based system for betting the races and fire off the bets with a single click.

(This creates a bet file that can be uploaded to any ADW that uses the industry "standard" approach to the bet file.)

traynor
07-20-2014, 10:46 AM
So wouldn't programming the software be subjective? Either you are subjective using the software or you aren't. The narrative of this thread has been that you should not be subjective using the software. What am I missing?

It is not that one should or should not make subjective decisions with his or her software application. It is that software designed for recreational use encourages (or requires) tweaking and fiddling by the user, as part of the "handicapping" process. There is a "learning curve" associated, as the user learns to make the various adjustments, filters, and weightings associated with such software. As Dave pointed out, that is what most recreational handicappers want. ROI is either a distant second or non-existent as a motivating factor.

Conversely, professional-level software is focused exclusively on maximizing the capabilities of computers to automate the process of building AND implementing appropriately predictive wagering models--with little or no "subjective" decision-making beyond the choice of track and day (and even that may be automated).

The basic reality is that "subjective opinion" and user tweaking is a hallmark of recreational software, and diminishes both the accuracy and usefulness of professional-level software.

traynor
07-20-2014, 11:13 AM
I think the major issue (and primary cause of user dissatisfaction and frustration) is confusing software designed primarily for recreational use (with ROI as almost irrelevant) with software designed for professional-level use (with ROI as the primary goal). They are two distinct types, with two very distinct (and separate) goals. Each has its place. One should clearly understand both the intent of the software and one's own motivation before making software selection decisions.

raybo
07-20-2014, 11:28 AM
Rarely do I agree with you as wholeheartedly as I do here.

But here's the thing: To many handicappers the ability to add subjectivity is essential. It is why they play.

It took me a long time to realize that.

For the developer, it is a case of "Give them what I think they need" versus "Give them what they want."

Many handicappers are looking for a good Handicapping Experience even more than Proven Profitability.

I agree! I have clients who purchased my black box and then found out that they couldn't, or wouldn't, do what the output told them to do. They have just destroyed the true ability of the method.

Most players would rather keep doing what they've always done (pick apart races subjectively), and keep losing, than to let the software do what it does best (make the decisions for them), and improve their bottom line.

thaskalos
07-20-2014, 11:45 AM
It is not that one should or should not make subjective decisions with his or her software application. It is that software designed for recreational use encourages (or requires) tweaking and fiddling by the user, as part of the "handicapping" process. There is a "learning curve" associated, as the user learns to make the various adjustments, filters, and weightings associated with such software. As Dave pointed out, that is what most recreational handicappers want. ROI is either a distant second or non-existent as a motivating factor.

Conversely, professional-level software is focused exclusively on maximizing the capabilities of computers to automate the process of building AND implementing appropriately predictive wagering models--with little or no "subjective" decision-making beyond the choice of track and day (and even that may be automated).

The basic reality is that "subjective opinion" and user tweaking is a hallmark of recreational software, and diminishes both the accuracy and usefulness of professional-level software.
Traynor...may I ask a simple question?

Let's say a horseplayer is overwhelmed with the other issues of life...and he cannot give this game the time and effort that it takes to become a profitable player. He is a man of considerable means, and is willing to invest any amount necessary in order to acquire a piece of software which will do all the handicapping that he himself is unable to do. He is not looking for fun or excitement; he is 100% profit-motivated. But he is also not interested in doing any "assembling", or "programming" with the newly-acquired software. All he wants to do is the betting. And he is not looking for a discount. He wants to pay what is asked...provided the product is as advertised.

Where does this horseplayer turn for the help that he needs?

This idea that the software user must "figure out his own way to win" reminds me of the Sartin groups of old...who used to blame the losses not on the method...but on the improper pace-line selection.

Dave Schwartz
07-20-2014, 12:36 PM
Dave is waving his hand furiously because he would like to answer Thaskalos' question but will wait fro Traynor.

It is very difficult.

Dave may need therapy.

(Especially with this talking-in-the-third-person-thing.)

thaskalos
07-20-2014, 12:50 PM
Dave is waving his hand furiously because he would like to answer Thaskalos' question but will wait fro Traynor.

It is very difficult.

Dave may need therapy.

(Especially with this talking-in-the-third-person-thing.)
By all means, Dave...please go ahead.

raybo
07-20-2014, 12:54 PM
Traynor...may I ask a simple question?

Let's say a horseplayer is overwhelmed with the other issues of life...and he cannot give this game the time and effort that it takes to become a profitable player. He is a man of considerable means, and is willing to invest any amount necessary in order to acquire a piece of software which will do all the handicapping that he himself is unable to do. He is not looking for fun or excitement; he is 100% profit-motivated. But he is also not interested in doing any "assembling", or "programming" with the newly-acquired software. All he wants to do is the betting. And he is not looking for a discount. He wants to pay what is asked...provided the product is as advertised.

Where does this horseplayer turn for the help that he needs?

This idea that the software user must "figure out his own way to win" reminds me of the Sartin groups of old...who used to blame the losses not on the method...but on the improper pace-line selection.

The goal of good software is to do the "fiddling" for you, and figure out how to win. But, you still have to run it, and maintain it, so that it can keep fiddling around and making sound decisions for you.

Many programs just present the data to you, in various ways, you still have to make all the decisions. Good software doesn't just present the data to you, it makes the decisions for you too.

thaskalos
07-20-2014, 01:07 PM
The goal of good software is to do the "fiddling" for you, and figure out how to win. But, you still have to run it, and maintain it, so that it can keep fiddling around and making sound decisions for you.

Many programs just present the data to you, in various ways, you still have to make all the decisions. Good software doesn't just present the data to you, it makes the decisions for you too.
That's what I am talking about.

If a program only presents the data to me, and waits for ME to discover how to put that data to profitable use...then how can the seller of this program claim credit for the "success" of his customers?

raybo
07-20-2014, 01:20 PM
That's what I am talking about.

If a program only presents the data to me, and waits for ME to discover how to put that data to profitable use...then how can the seller of this program claim credit for the "success" of his customers?

One can only claim credit for the successes of his software, when his software is used properly, meaning "exactly" as it was designed to be used. So, unless the creator of the software somehow knows exactly what each user is doing with the software, in every instance of its use, he can only claim credit for his own success. Otherwise, he would also have to claim credit for the failures for those users who do not use the software exactly as it was designed to be used.

Let's get things straight, I'm talking about a true black box here. If the software is not a true black box, then the creator can claim nothing about the successes or failures of its users. Only those users can make those claims.

For example, let's say that I was the one that invented the adjustable wrench, which I claimed could loosen or tighten any size bolt or nut within a certain size range, but only if the tool was used properly, meaning tightening it properly on the nut or bolt, and positioning it in the proper direction, and applying force in the proper direction. If the user doesn't use the tool properly then that user may not be able to loosen or tighten the nut or bolt adequately. Likewise, a good piece of software has some requirements and some maintenance involved in its use. If the user doesn't fulfill those requirements or doesn't maintain it, then the software might not produce profit. So, there is still work that must be done, with any software that I am aware of anyway. It's still up to the user to do those things, constantly and consistently.

Tom
07-20-2014, 01:36 PM
That's what I am talking about.

If a program only presents the data to me, and waits for ME to discover how to put that data to profitable use...then how can the seller of this program claim credit for the "success" of his customers?
Could you have achieved that level of success without the program's output?
That is what matters.

thaskalos
07-20-2014, 01:52 PM
Could you have achieved that level of success without the program's output?
That is what matters.
No, Tom...I disagree. IMO...what matters is that, if this "tweakable" software is indeed for recreational use only...then it should be advertised as such from the outset. The words "serious" and "professional" should not be used in its description...because these words are the antithesis of "recreational".

Capper Al
07-20-2014, 02:35 PM
I'm always writing code to cap. I've said tbis before in this forum. I am always surprised that after engineering an application and developing an idea to it's finished product that my own understanding of how it will perform will surprise me. I actually have to learn how to use my own software.

Capper Al
07-20-2014, 02:38 PM
I'm always second guess my own software. Over the long, I have found that if I stayed with the out of the box selection I would have been better off.

Tom
07-20-2014, 02:43 PM
No, Tom...I disagree. IMO...what matters is that, if this "tweakable" software is indeed for recreational use only...then it should be advertised as such from the outset. The words "serious" and "professional" should not be used in its description...because these words are the antithesis of "recreational".

If you buy a program that required nothing from you, what do you do when it stops working?

Fire the monkey you hired to run it for you?

Is Formulator advertised as serous and professional?
Because some professionals use it. And they make their own decisions.

raybo
07-20-2014, 02:47 PM
If you buy a program that required nothing from you, what do you do when it stops working?

Fire the monkey you hired to run it for you?

Is Formulator advertised as serous and professional?
Because some professionals use it. And they make their own decisions.

Traynor's term "professional software" is just his idea of what it is. A professional player does not necessarily need software at all, much less "professional software".

thaskalos
07-20-2014, 03:13 PM
If you buy a program that required nothing from you, what do you do when it stops working?

Fire the monkey you hired to run it for you?

Is Formulator advertised as serous and professional?
Because some professionals use it. And they make their own decisions.
Formulator is advertised as a handicapping "tool"...not as a device which is guaranteed to turn us from "gamblers" into "investors". What I am talking about here is honesty in advertising.

Dave Schwartz
07-20-2014, 04:39 PM
First, this:

If a program only presents the data to me, and waits for ME to discover how to put that data to profitable use...then how can the seller of this program claim credit for the "success" of his customers?

The answer is that we cannot.

If I am going to take credit for the player's wins then I must be willing to take credit for their losses, and that is not a can of worms I would like to open.


As mentioned by others, handicapping developers provide tools. Some tools are better than others. I like to think that my tool is better than others but it still has to be a match for the individual handicapper and it is the handicapper that must make it "go."

Part 2
Let's say a horseplayer is overwhelmed with the other issues of life...and he cannot give this game the time and effort that it takes to become a profitable player. He is a man of considerable means, and is willing to invest any amount necessary in order to acquire a piece of software which will do all the handicapping that he himself is unable to do. He is not looking for fun or excitement; he is 100% profit-motivated. But he is also not interested in doing any "assembling", or "programming" with the newly-acquired software. All he wants to do is the betting. And he is not looking for a discount. He wants to pay what is asked...provided the product is as advertised.

Where does this horseplayer turn for the help that he needs?

LOL - I have heard this type of inquiry perhaps 200 times in my 24+ years of writing commercial handicapping software. The sticky part of the question always comes down to this part:

And he is not looking for a discount. He wants to pay what is asked... provided the product is as advertised.

There are two major problems here: Validation and Valuation.

Validation - Proving the software is "as advertised," is clearly a problem. How does one do that? (Rhetorical question, because it can be done, but it must come with costs from both sides.)

Valuation - Determining what a winning product is worth, is also a problem.

Let's take a moment and tackle each one individually.


Validation - How do we prove the product works "as advertised?"
If I have a program (and accompanying strategies) built that will beat the game, one logically would ask, "To what degree does it beat the game?"

Does it this incarnation of software get a 2% advantage, or is it more?

That is a fair question, but there are more questions. Does it do this with average mutuels of $12 or $40? Does it provide plays in 1 race in 10 or does it make picks in 80% of the races or more?

All of these questions need to come together BEFORE the validation process begins.

I have a long time user - and professional player - who shared with me his precise system of play. I wrote the tool within our software that allows him to play his way, but did not know the exact workings of the system.

The system he presented me with plays a couple of races per card, always low-odds horses, gets around 54% winners with a 4% advantage, and is not work-intensive.

Including rebate, this could easily be an 8% net result, and one could wager a lot of money on these horses. (Note that in the short test I did, my results were not quite as good, but close enough to say that I believe his results.)

But if I were to share his system with a new player (with his permission, of course), how do I validate it? If I give him the system and let him test it, then he already has the system. What if he decides to not pay me anything? (Valuation comes next.)

If I test the system and provide him with a long-term test of my results, he will wonder if I may have falsified the results. (A valid concern when spending big dollars for something.)

So the answer is that the only way it can be done is for the user to test the system himself, but SOME money must be paid up front to insure the integrity from the buyer.


Valuation - What is the product really worth?
IMHO, this is where the rubber meets the road. It is also where most players who say that they will pay big for winning software leave that road altogether.

I have mentioned this may times over the past decade or so, but at one time I asked people on this forum what they would pay for a program that would really produce $20,000 per month in profit. The biggest answer was $1,000. Not $1,000 per month, but a one-time purchase price of $1,000.

That is a joke.

The idea of putting someone into business - any business - that makes a substantial profit and you only get 5% of the first month's income is just... well, it is a joke.

What is a $20k per month program worth?

In theory, we could say that it should be worth a percentage of actual profit, but what percentage is fair? And how does the software developer know how much you are really wagering?

This is worth further discussion, but the answer has to lie in a period-to-period contract. If the player wants to pay too little, then he stops using the program. If the developer wants too much, then he shuts the program off.


Final Solution
I think the only real solution works like this:

1. The developer says, "I have a program/system that works. I believe it is capable of producing (say) $200,000 per year when wagering at a level of ?? dollars per race. I want to be paid (say) 25% of that profit."

It is logical that this fee should be paid in two installments: Half at the end of a trial period and the other half at some pre-determined point down the road - perhaps 6 months into the year.

2. The price in the second year should be negotiated based upon the first year's profitability.

3. The player says, "How will you prove to me that it works?"

4. The Developer says, "I will install the product for you, and train you with the program. For that you will pay me (say) $5,000, plus expenses." (Perhaps this can all be done remotely, removing any real expense.)

Developer says, "This $5,000 is earnest money on your part and buys you a one-month trial of the software." At the end of the month, the player must pony-up the agreed upon up-front money

5. The developer has incentive to make sure the player is using the program properly. Logically, this works like any other computer installation. Perhaps there are benchmarks whereby there is a contractual arrangement that might provide for a return of the $5k if certain support conditions were not met, but probably not.

6. Both the player and the developer have risks. The player risks his $5k and a month of his time. The developer risks his time and exposing the system's functionality (to some degree) to the player.

7. Player Risk: What if the developer is an out-and-out-fraud? Then the player is out $5k and will probably kill any chance that the developer has of making another sale.

What if the player is simply not able to make the software work? Perhaps the software is too complex for him. Or perhaps the player is simply not sophisticated enough to run it.

8. Developer Risk: What if the player is not really up to playing at the level he says he is? Then the developer is out a month of his time.

What if the player is totally serious about building an organization but really just wants a look-see at what winning software really looks like, the ultimate idea being to hire programmers to duplicate it?


My Summary
My experience in answering this question over the years is that most players are not businessmen. They do not understand the concept of the franchise.

The idea is that a franchise brings benefits that the business owner cannot get without the franchise. In our world, restaurants franchises are, perhaps, most commonly known.

For the franchise money, one gets organizational structure, recipes, and other "how-to" support. Most important is BRAND RECOGNITION and NATIONAL ADVERTISING.

Here in Reno we saw a classic exhibition of this. There was a Marie Calendar's restaurant right in the middle of town. It had been there for 20+ years and was thriving. The owners decided that the franchise fee was just too much (whatever it was). The owners dropped the franchise, publicly stating (in the newspaper) that they had a loyal following who would follow them as they became "The Chuck Wagon."

Perhaps it was the new menu. Perhaps it was the lack of brand recognition. Maybe it was the lack of national advertisement. Who knows? They were out of business in 6 months.

BTW, a new MC opened a few miles away and never had much success. They struggled for about 12 years before giving up a couple of years ago.

In the handicapping environment, the "franchise" provides a winning system and the mechanism for exploiting it into profit. If the handicapper decides that the franchise fee is too much, then he can roll his own, but he will do so without the recipe.

Closing
Most players have an unrealistic idea of how hard it is to make (say) $200k at the window. Not only must you have the system and the bankroll, but you must have the time to invest in playing.

Imagine how even that Marie Calendar's would have failed if they were only open 3 days per week. Do you suppose that MC would have cut the franchise fee because the owners only wanted to work weekends?

Get this: Whales did not start out as single handicappers!

Do not entertain the idea that you are going to start with a bankroll and become a whale!

Whales start as whales! They invest a lot of money in infrastructure and development. Typically around $500k or more before the first bet is made and that does not include the bankroll!

Okay, I am done.

Tom
07-20-2014, 04:48 PM
Formulator is advertised as a handicapping "tool"...not as a device which is guaranteed to turn us from "gamblers" into "investors". What I am talking about here is honesty in advertising.

I don't know what you are talking about.
What particular software makes that claim?

traynor
07-20-2014, 06:02 PM
Traynor...may I ask a simple question?

Let's say a horseplayer is overwhelmed with the other issues of life...and he cannot give this game the time and effort that it takes to become a profitable player. He is a man of considerable means, and is willing to invest any amount necessary in order to acquire a piece of software which will do all the handicapping that he himself is unable to do. He is not looking for fun or excitement; he is 100% profit-motivated. But he is also not interested in doing any "assembling", or "programming" with the newly-acquired software. All he wants to do is the betting. And he is not looking for a discount. He wants to pay what is asked...provided the product is as advertised.

Where does this horseplayer turn for the help that he needs?

This idea that the software user must "figure out his own way to win" reminds me of the Sartin groups of old...who used to blame the losses not on the method...but on the improper pace-line selection.

First, I think you know as well as I do that offers of software should be run past the filter, "Why does this person need my money? Can't he/she get all she/he needs by using the software?"

Second, there seems to be a bit of creativity in comments on how professional-level software works--mainly centered on rebates and the notion that huge wagers are made on a daily basis to generate income from "churning." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that $100k strategically wagered can easily generate more profit than $500k dumped in less thoughtfully. Every mutuel pool has a point at which additional/increased wagers diminish the return.

Third, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that some trivial "advantage" may be pure fantasy, based on outliers and anomalies. Any results not subject to rigorous data cleaning and statistical analysis should be regarded with skepticism. An ROI of 1.10 (based on past races not bet) can disappear with a few additional bets added to the pools (chasing that imaginary 10% "advantage").

Fourth, the only professional-level race anaysis software I am aware of is almost a full-time job to keep running. Much like a jet plane, the piloting part is trivial--it is the support staff that keeps the bleeping thing flying that is important.

Finally, to answer your question directly--I would keep watch on delta lover's project. Anyone who is serious about this understands that it is the data mining and data analysis part that is important. Scalping through a chunk of races locating trivial, simplistic one-dimensional correlations is not difficult. More complex relationships and associations require processing speeds that dl's project seems destined to accomplish. I think that project will attract some very serious bettors as it develops, who may be willing to share their knowledge to gain access to the workings of the project. They don't need the money--they need the processing speed.

Moto Pete
07-20-2014, 06:03 PM
I wouldn't want any software program to make all the decisions for me. What fun is that? So far I've never bet what a program spit out unless I agree. Times have changed but back in the day all software programs ever gave you wer ehte top 2 or 3 choices.

traynor
07-20-2014, 06:15 PM
I wouldn't want any software program to make all the decisions for me. What fun is that? So far I've never bet what a program spit out unless I agree. Times have changed but back in the day all software programs ever gave you wer ehte top 2 or 3 choices.

That is pretty much the point. Software intended for recreational use should enable the user to interact with the output in some meaningful (to the user) way, with ROI almost irrelevant. Software intended for professional use should not (necessarily) be "fun" to use. They are two distinct types of software, intended for two distinct categories of users, with little or no overlap.

AndyC
07-20-2014, 06:31 PM
Traynor's term "professional software" is just his idea of what it is. A professional player does not necessarily need software at all, much less "professional software".


To me "professional software" is what a professional player has developed to facilitate his/her handicapping process. They know what information is necessary but want to minimize the time needed to obtain the information.

If someone puts out a product and calls it "professional level software" I would ask just who made that determination"? Can the developer easily demonstrate the value of their product by showing that they can consistently win? If so, why would I need to tweak the program? Why not sell clients a pre-programmed software package that the developer has proven to be a winner?

AndyC
07-20-2014, 06:49 PM
1. The developer says, "I have a program/system that works. I believe it is capable of producing (say) $200,000 per year when wagering at a level of ?? dollars per race. I want to be paid (say) 25% of that profit."

If a developer had such a program they wouldn't be out negotiating for how much they would be paid. They would be using it themselves.



Get this: Whales did not start out as single handicappers!

Do not entertain the idea that you are going to start with a bankroll and become a whale!

Whales start as whales! They invest a lot of money in infrastructure and development. Typically around $500k or more before the first bet is made and that does not include the bankroll!


I don't know any whale who started as a whale. They all started out as single handicappers with smaller bankrolls. With experience and a business-like approach they were able to expand their play into the whale category.

raybo
07-20-2014, 06:53 PM
Formulator is advertised as a handicapping "tool"...not as a device which is guaranteed to turn us from "gamblers" into "investors". What I am talking about here is honesty in advertising.

Who's guaranteeing anything? The only guarantee in horse racing is that anything can happen.

traynor
07-20-2014, 07:09 PM
To me "professional software" is what a professional player has developed to facilitate his/her handicapping process. They know what information is necessary but want to minimize the time needed to obtain the information.

If someone puts out a product and calls it "professional level software" I would ask just who made that determination"? Can the developer easily demonstrate the value of their product by showing that they can consistently win? If so, why would I need to tweak the program? Why not sell clients a pre-programmed software package that the developer has proven to be a winner?

Basic question: If it is good enough to be consistently profitable, what possible advantage could there be in selling it, as opposed to using it? With all due respect to the creative (mainly obfuscatory) prose used to "explain" the motivations, I flatly don't buy it. Perhaps it is because I happen to know a particularly aggressive collection of bettors. Give them an edge, and they will milk it dry in short order--and move on to the next strategy.

traynor
07-20-2014, 07:12 PM
If a developer had such a program they wouldn't be out negotiating for how much they would be paid. They would be using it themselves.





I don't know any whale who started as a whale. They all started out as single handicappers with smaller bankrolls. With experience and a business-like approach they were able to expand their play into the whale category.

Exactly. The only thing exception would be the whales who are losing daddy's money.

Dave Schwartz
07-20-2014, 07:20 PM
I don't know any whale who started as a whale. They all started out as single handicappers with smaller bankrolls. With experience and a business-like approach they were able to expand their play into the whale category.

Well, I guess our experiences differ.

Let me make my statement more clear:

"If your expectation is to wager $100m a year or more, then you had better start the project as a whale. It is not a scalable thing."

I will amend that a little: "... historically, it has not been a scalable thing."


As for the thing about "Why wouldn't he just play it himself?" --- The answer is that one guy cannot wager that much. It is a gruelling endeavor for a team of about 15-20 people making wagers.

As Mike Pizzolla once said, "Anyone who thinks making a $500 bet is the same as making a $5 bet has obviously never made a $500 bet."

raybo
07-20-2014, 07:23 PM
Basic question: If it is good enough to be consistently profitable, what possible advantage could there be in selling it, as opposed to using it? With all due respect to the creative (mainly obfuscatory) prose used to "explain" the motivations, I flatly don't buy it. Perhaps it is because I happen to know a particularly aggressive collection of bettors. Give them an edge, and they will milk it dry in short order--and move on to the next strategy.

You "don't buy it" because you are looking at it from your own point of view, and that is to not reveal anything about anything. From my own point of view, I started the free "AllData Project" for one reason, to help other players. The fact that I later created a black box for my own use and then decided to share it, at a very modest cost, that only "somewhat" covers my time and effort, is a continuation of that original project's goal, to help other players.

Just because you "don't buy it" only means that you don't have the same view of the world that others do. We're all in this game together and we depend on each other for whatever success we obtain (it is a paramutuel system by the way), and the continuation of the game is important to many of us, and if people continue to lose money (for most, more money than they lost in the past), many will eventually leave the game, and if enough leave the game, then the game no longer exists for the rest of us.

Jeff P
07-20-2014, 07:54 PM
Basic question: If it is good enough to be consistently profitable, what possible advantage could there be in selling it, as opposed to using it? With all due respect to the creative (mainly obfuscatory) prose used to "explain" the motivations, I flatly don't buy it. Perhaps it is because I happen to know a particularly aggressive collection of bettors. Give them an edge, and they will milk it dry in short order--and move on to the next strategy.
I happen to agree with this.

In my opinion, the single best way to monetize a winning approach (whether written into software or not) is to keep quiet as a mouse and bet the selections for as much as pool size will support.


-jp

.

traynor
07-20-2014, 07:54 PM
I have never known a serious, professional-level bettor who regarded the size of wagers as relevant as anything more than a means of keeping score. That whole "choking point" thing is a carryover from the working-class perspective of "OMG, this amount represents X hours of my hard work!" At the end of the day, or the end of the week, one calculates the return, not the ups and downs that took place in the process.

If a bettor gets the shakes or chills when wagering substantial amounts, he or she should find a less stressful career path. There is no difference whatsoever between wagering $20 and wagering $2000--unless one plans to retire from wagering after the outcome of that bet. Until that time, it is all just numbers.

traynor
07-20-2014, 07:56 PM
I happen to agree with this.

In my opinion, the single best way to monetize a winning approach (whether written into software or not) is to keep quiet as a mouse and bet the selections for as much as pool size will support.


-jp

.

Pay close attention, folks. This gentleman knows what he is taking about.

AndyC
07-20-2014, 08:04 PM
"If your expectation is to wager $100m a year or more, then you had better start the project as a whale. It is not a scalable thing."I will amend that a little: "... historically, it has not been a scalable thing."

That is completely illogical. If one had a new concept for a restaurant and expected to expand to 100 locations would they immediately open 100 restaurants? If I expected to bet $100m someday I would want to know if I could be successful betting something considerably less than that before I dove into that pool.


As for the thing about "Why wouldn't he just play it himself?" --- The answer is that one guy cannot wager that much. It is a gruelling endeavor for a team of about 15-20 people making wagers.]


If your software is the goods you will make far more money than you would selling the software.


As Mike Pizzolla once said, "Anyone who thinks making a $500 bet is the same as making a $5 bet has obviously never made a $500 bet."

I am not sure I get your point. Are you referring to comfort levels of an individual making bets? If a player struggles emotionally making larger bets they shouldn't be making larger bets. Scared money can ruin any gambler.

GameTheory
07-20-2014, 08:14 PM
The effect of the large wagers on the pools and the payouts is the difference. There are many winning methods that simply cannot be executed with large wagers because the pools won't support them. (For instance, you won't find whales that only bet longshots.) Some things will not scale.

Other things may not scale because they are based on exhaustive human handicapping (the lone bettor) -- he can't be much of a whale if he can only possibly handicap one track a day and his method is too internalized/subjective to teach anyone else.

Etc.

AndyC
07-20-2014, 08:20 PM
You "don't buy it" because you are looking at it from your own point of view, and that is to not reveal anything about anything. From my own point of view, I started the free "AllData Project" for one reason, to help other players. The fact that I later created a black box for my own use and then decided to share it, at a very modest cost, that only "somewhat" covers my time and effort, is a continuation of that original project's goal, to help other players.

Just because you "don't buy it" only means that you don't have the same view of the world that others do. We're all in this game together and we depend on each other for whatever success we obtain (it is a paramutuel system by the way), and the continuation of the game is important to many of us, and if people continue to lose money (for most, more money than they lost in the past), many will eventually leave the game, and if enough leave the game, then the game no longer exists for the rest of us.


It is admirable that you try to help fellow horseplayers. I have mentored several myself and it is satisfying to watch the transformation from gambler to winning handicapper or an informed loser.

The problem with your philosophy is that no matter what you do you won't increase the number of winning bettors. Losing bettors are needed to support the few bettors that do win. Informed losers (people that think they can win) are the lifeblood of the sport.

AndyC
07-20-2014, 08:24 PM
The effect of the large wagers on the pools and the payouts is the difference. There are many winning methods that simply cannot be executed with large wagers because the pools won't support them. (For instance, you won't find whales that only bet longshots.) Some things will not scale.

Other things may not scale because they are based on exhaustive human handicapping (the lone bettor) -- he can't be much of a whale if he can only possibly handicap one track a day and his method is too internalized/subjective to teach anyone else.
Etc.


Agree about the pools and the scale. For the lone bettor, isn't the "professional software" suppose to take care of the exhaustive handicapping?

raybo
07-20-2014, 08:53 PM
It is admirable that you try to help fellow horseplayers. I have mentored several myself and it is satisfying to watch the transformation from gambler to winning handicapper or an informed loser.

The problem with your philosophy is that no matter what you do you won't increase the number of winning bettors. Losing bettors are needed to support the few bettors that do win. Informed losers (people that think they can win) are the lifeblood of the sport.

I suppose if you look at it from only one point of view, that there will always be the same number of winning players, then you would naturally come to that conclusion. The fact is, nobody knows how many winners there are in the game at any point in time. And, this month it could be a completely different set of winners than last month, or next month, etc.. Many players only play a couple of tracks, or a few bets per month. Those players, if they get to the point of winning more than they lose, will increase the number of winning players in our game. Players that were losing 20% in the past, but are now only losing 5% or less, in the mind of those players, are becoming winning players and who's to say that someday they won't cross that positive/negative ROI level?

There are many tracks running, and many races running, and many pools in which to bet into. There is plenty of room for more winners in this game. It's a matter of degrees of success, not numbers of winning players.

You are right that, for the most part, the game has traditionally remained viable due to the losing players who enabled the winners to be winners. But, today's game is much different than it was in the past. Yes, the "whales" have made it tougher to find value in our investments, but there is still value to be had, you just have to be more patient and more disciplined than maybe in the past. But, with internet wagering, simulcasting, OTBs, and the home track, there are a plethora of opportunities for more players to exploit than in the past.

So, I don't think that there will always be the same number of winning players, and they won't always be the same players, or play the same type game, or at the same tracks, races, pools, etc..

When new winners are created because of a new approach, others will lose more, but that doesn't mean that all those others will suddenly become losing players, they may just win less. There are a whole bunch of people around who are flirting with profitability, and one or 2 percentage points up or down decides the number of winning players. If you help someone achieve that small percentage of increase, you don't necessarily reduce the total number of winning players, if by "winning players" you mean all people who are winning more money than they are betting.

I hope that makes sense to you, because you are right, that is my philosophy regarding helping other players. I'd hate to find out that I have been wrong about that all these years! So, please, if you have absolute proof of your statement, don't tell me I have been wrong all this time, because I get a lot of satisfaction from believing I'm of help, to at least one other player!

GameTheory
07-20-2014, 09:20 PM
Agree about the pools and the scale. For the lone bettor, isn't the "professional software" suppose to take care of the exhaustive handicapping?The point is if you want to be a whale, you need to start with a strategy that is "whale-ready" as Dave was getting at. Most of the ways that your lone better plays (even if he wins) simply cannot scale up to whale play. So I agree with him that the idea of gradually working your way up and "graduating" to whale someday is pretty much an impossible fantasy. If you want to be a whale, go be a whale -- that's the way to do it.

It is admirable that you try to help fellow horseplayers. I have mentored several myself and it is satisfying to watch the transformation from gambler to winning handicapper or an informed loser.

The problem with your philosophy is that no matter what you do you won't increase the number of winning bettors. Losing bettors are needed to support the few bettors that do win. Informed losers (people that think they can win) are the lifeblood of the sport.Helping other players keeps players in the game. People just quitting the game is a bigger problem than how many winners there are.

Dave Schwartz
07-20-2014, 09:29 PM
The effect of the large wagers on the pools and the payouts is the difference. There are many winning methods that simply cannot be executed with large wagers because the pools won't support them. (For instance, you won't find whales that only bet longshots.) Some things will not scale.

Other things may not scale because they are based on exhaustive human handicapping (the lone bettor) -- he can't be much of a whale if he can only possibly handicap one track a day and his method is too internalized/subjective to teach anyone else.

As they say in the younger vernacular today, "Word."


I can see nothing more that I can add to this thread.

traynor
07-20-2014, 09:39 PM
The effect of the large wagers on the pools and the payouts is the difference. There are many winning methods that simply cannot be executed with large wagers because the pools won't support them. (For instance, you won't find whales that only bet longshots.) Some things will not scale.

Other things may not scale because they are based on exhaustive human handicapping (the lone bettor) -- he can't be much of a whale if he can only possibly handicap one track a day and his method is too internalized/subjective to teach anyone else.

Etc.

Exactly. There are many cases in which betting less returns more. "Positive expectations" tend to evaporate into smoke and mirrors when too much is dumped into the mutuel pools.

traynor
07-20-2014, 09:43 PM
Agree about the pools and the scale. For the lone bettor, isn't the "professional software" suppose to take care of the exhaustive handicapping?

Yes. And the exhaustive wagering can be done (primarily) online with a few mouse clicks.

AndyC
07-20-2014, 11:44 PM
The point is if you want to be a whale, you need to start with a strategy that is "whale-ready" as Dave was getting at. Most of the ways that your lone better plays (even if he wins) simply cannot scale up to whale play. So I agree with him that the idea of gradually working your way up and "graduating" to whale someday is pretty much an impossible fantasy. If you want to be a whale, go be a whale -- that's the way to do it.

Helping other players keeps players in the game. People just quitting the game is a bigger problem than how many winners there are.


I know of nobody who just decided to get into horse racing and become a whale right from the start. You don't become a whale without a thorough knowledge of how to make a profit at betting races. So I would say that it is an impossible fantasy to start out as a whale.

People quit the game if they can't think they can win. I don't disagree that helping other players keeps them in the game.

traynor
07-20-2014, 11:59 PM
I know of nobody who just decided to get into horse racing and become a whale right from the start. You don't become a whale without a thorough knowledge of how to make a profit at betting races. So I would say that it is an impossible fantasy to start out as a whale.

People quit the game if they can't think they can win. I don't disagree that helping other players keeps them in the game.

Exactly. And if you already have a thorough knowledge of how to make a profit betting races, you probably know exactly what you need, and you probably have enough sense to realize how easy it is to hire highly skilled, competent programmers to create exactly what you need. Bloated budget fishing expeditions with no real idea of what is needed are not especially useful.

GameTheory
07-21-2014, 12:41 AM
I know of nobody who just decided to get into horse racing and become a whale right from the start. You don't become a whale without a thorough knowledge of how to make a profit at betting races. So I would say that it is an impossible fantasy to start out as a whale.If they are already thoroughly experienced, they still have to totally reinvent themselves for whaledom. And they probably are fairly big bettors to begin with (for an individual). Some come from other but related enterprises -- sports betting, financial markets. There are plenty of guys that just want to be the money man and want to hire what they need. Let's put it this way: no one becomes a whale by using the money they earned from betting horses to get into the big leagues. They either have a ton of money already or have gathered some big investors that do (in which case they aren't really the whale).

AndyC
07-21-2014, 12:51 AM
If they are already thoroughly experienced, they still have to totally reinvent themselves for whaledom. And they probably are fairly big bettors to begin with (for an individual). Some come from other but related enterprises -- sports betting, financial markets. There are plenty of guys that just want to be the money man and want to hire what they need. Let's put it this way: no one becomes a whale by using the money they earned from betting horses to get into the big leagues. They either have a ton of money already or have gathered some big investors that do (in which case they aren't really the whale).


That wasn't the point being made by Dave. He said that whales start out as whales. I respectfully disagree. This was never a discussion about how the betting is financed.

Dave Schwartz
07-21-2014, 12:57 AM
Andy,

There are, by my definition (i.e. betting $100m per year or more), six whales in the United States. That is all. (Only 4 are based in the U.S., btw.)

A "whale" is not just a big bettor that wagers a few million per year.

All 6 of those began with at least $500k in start up and an infrastructure that included MANY employees.

This is FACT.

TonyMLake
07-21-2014, 01:22 AM
I think the best a programmer could do is to allow the end user to weight each data item and set of the superset of the data items in terms of the end-user's perceived relative importance.

This can be done in a surprisingly simplistic way, in my opinion and experience.

Of course, the number of fields included in the app will be limited by programmer choice and the original dataset itself.

Fact is, though, making a more complex algorithm isn't necessarily going to produce a more successful gambler. If that were possible, 3000 years into horse racing, somebody would have found it by now... and even if not, it won't be discovered by the average college Algebra teacher or computer programmer.

It boils down to: a DECENT horse picking algorithm, a DECENT way of throwing out unpickable races, a DECENT money management system, discipline, and luck.

Right now, one the most profitable things you can do to be successful is play Hong Kong tracks - in my opinion.

PS. I hate to be cynical here, but it also helps to play the same tracks often enough to know who the cheaters are ;^|

traynor
07-21-2014, 03:59 AM
I think most on PA would be happy with a million in profit in a year. Possibly two. Three in a good year. Let the whales have the rest of it. They work hard for their money and deserve it. I don't begrudge them a dime of it.

I will like to see a million dollar profit in a year--on the table--before getting unduly enamored of what someone, somewhere may or may not be doing. How much one bets is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is how much one actually makes--as in profit. Like Lawrence Revere used to say, "It doesn't matter who wins and who loses. It only matters who ends up with the money."

Capper Al
07-21-2014, 06:36 AM
I'm always writing code to cap. I've said tbis before in this forum. I am always surprised that after engineering an application and developing an idea to it's finished product that my own understanding of how it will perform will surprise me. I actually have to learn how to use my own software.

Okay, I get it. No one understands my post. The discussion, as I see it, was about "Out of the Box" professional software verse "Recreational" tweaking the output software. My experience is that one doesn't know where their software's algorithm is going to take them. It isn't like the programmer has the answer and then codes it. (Remember, there is only one absolute truth in racing. And this isn't it.)

What I believe is that software has increased the public's strike rate. That the average 25% strike rate handicapper can now have a strike rate of 30% on his win bets. This doesn't necessarily make them profitable. Most likely improving their wagering methods would help some. The bottom line is that for the expert handicapper hitting their 30%+ strike handicapping just got easier and faster. And for the average punter, they can now have more fun and understand the races a little better. The vast majority of software users will eventually push their apps by tweaking the output because few are profitable or trust the black box every time.

AndyC
07-21-2014, 11:47 AM
Andy,

There are, by my definition (i.e. betting $100m per year or more), six whales in the United States. That is all. (Only 4 are based in the U.S., btw.)

A "whale" is not just a big bettor that wagers a few million per year.

All 6 of those began with at least $500k in start up and an infrastructure that included MANY employees.

This is FACT.

Is it a fact that none of them ever were involved in betting on horse racing before they started betting $100m?

AndyC
07-21-2014, 11:58 AM
Andy,

There are, by my definition (i.e. betting $100m per year or more), six whales in the United States. That is all. (Only 4 are based in the U.S., btw.)

A "whale" is not just a big bettor that wagers a few million per year.

All 6 of those began with at least $500k in start up and an infrastructure that included MANY employees.

This is FACT.

Why is it that when I asked you why you don't just use your software for your own gain you go off on a tangent about super whales?

AndyC
07-21-2014, 12:03 PM
Okay, I get it. No one understands my post. The discussion, as I see it, was about "Out of the Box" professional software verse "Recreational" tweaking the output software. My experience is that one doesn't know where their software's algorithm is going to take them. It isn't like the programmer has the answer and then codes it. (Remember, there is only one absolute truth in racing. And this isn't it.)

What I believe is that software has increased the public's strike rate. That the average 25% strike rate handicapper can now have a strike rate of 30% on his win bets. This doesn't necessarily make them profitable. Most likely improving their wagering methods would help some. The bottom line is that for the expert handicapper hitting their 30%+ strike handicapping just got easier and faster. And for the average punter, they can now have more fun and understand the races a little better. The vast majority of software users will eventually push their apps by tweaking the output because few are profitable or trust the black box every time.


How would a coder know what to code if they didn't have some answers?

If you had your choice between a program that gave you a high strike rate and one that gave you a nearly perfect estimations of probabilities which one would you prefer?

Dave Schwartz
07-21-2014, 12:15 PM
Is it a fact that none of them ever were involved in betting on horse racing before they started betting $100m?

I never said that.


Why is it that when I asked you why you don't just use your software for your own gain you go off on a tangent about super whales?

Thaskalos asked the question about someone who wanted to purchase software that was designed for profitability. I responded and the thread went in that direction.

Why the angry tone?

Earlier you said:

If a developer had such a program they wouldn't be out negotiating for how much they would be paid. They would be using it themselves.

How would you know that they would want to? Do you have such a piece of software and accompanying system? I do. And I have found that I do not wish to spend my days betting on horse races. Occasionally, for fun and profit? Yes, but not to a gruelling 6-8 hr per day schedule.

To each his own.

raybo
07-21-2014, 12:16 PM
How would a coder know what to code if they didn't have some answers?

If you had your choice between a program that gave you a high strike rate and one that gave you a nearly perfect estimations of probabilities which one would you prefer?

LOL. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but-----

If you had a program that provided "almost perfect estimations of probabilities" then you would, "almost perfectly", know what your hit rate would be, wouldn't you? So, given the choice of the 2 programs, one that had a high hit rate, and one that gave you "almost perfect" probabilities, then you could look at the one with the probabilities, and if it said that your hit rate would be higher than the other one, then the choice would be obvious, wouldn't it? And that does not even take into the account that the "almost perfect probabilities" would also allow you to see, "almost perfectly", the true inefficiencies of the market, allowing you to "almost perfectly" place all your wagers on true overlays.

That program would be worth, well, as much as you could come up with, and then some. In the right hands, that program could make one a very wealthy person, in a very short period of time!

Isn't that the goal of the "big boys", knowing when the market is inefficient, and capitalizing on those inefficiencies? Attracting one, or more, of those "whales" that Dave speaks of, probably would be a snap.

AndyC
07-21-2014, 12:21 PM
LOL. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but-----

If you had a program that provided "almost perfect estimations of probabilities" then you would, "almost perfectly", know what your hit rate would be, wouldn't you? So, given the choice of the 2 programs, one that had a high hit rate, and one that gave you "almost perfect" probabilities, then you could look at the one with the probabilities, and if it said that your hit rate would be higher than the other one, then the choice would be obvious, wouldn't it? And that does not even take into the account that the "almost perfect probabilities" would also allow you to see, "almost perfectly", the true inefficiencies of the market, allowing you to "almost perfectly" place all your wagers on true overlays.

That program would be worth, well, as much as you could come up with, and then some. In the right hands, that program could make one a very wealthy person, in a very short period of time!

That was my point. The poster was impressed with an increased strike rate and I believe strike rate has little meaning in being a profitable bettor.

banacek
07-21-2014, 12:23 PM
Earlier you said:



How would you know that they would want to? Do you have such a piece of software and accompanying system? I do. And I have found that I do not wish to spend my days betting on horse races. Occasionally, for fun and profit? Yes, but not to a gruelling 6-8 hr per day schedule.

To each his own.

You should try this:

The primary goals of HSH are:

1) To provide a platform that is capable of winning using an automated (or semi-automated) approach.

2)To make the user's race day experience smooth and exhilarating.

Sorry, couldn't resist :)

raybo
07-21-2014, 12:27 PM
That was my point. The poster was impressed with an increased strike rate and I believe strike rate has little meaning in being a profitable bettor.

Well, to a point, of course, value is what it's all about. But, not knowing the extent of that hit rate leaves room for some discussion. If the hit rate is over 50% with an average price of $4 or more, for example, it would be worth quite a lot, but I've never heard of such a hit rate, long term. So, if my knowledge of maximum possible long term hit rate is true, then value is still King.

raybo
07-21-2014, 12:35 PM
Earlier you said:



How would you know that they would want to? Do you have such a piece of software and accompanying system? I do. And I have found that I do not wish to spend my days betting on horse races. Occasionally, for fun and profit? Yes, but not to a gruelling 6-8 hr per day schedule.

To each his own.

It didn't take you long to figure that out, huh? I thought at one time that being able to bet many tracks, and many, many races per day, would be great! But, my brief trip through the journey of full time, professional wagering soon let me know, emphatically, that my previous dream was only a dream. Unless you have employees to do all the work involved in playing multiple tracks, and lots and lots of races, horse racing becomes a very "dirty job", to say the least, and "burnout" (and maybe insanity itself) is just around the the corner.

AndyC
07-21-2014, 12:36 PM
I never said that.

Really? You weren't the one that said "whales start out as whales"?


Why the angry tone?

If my responses to your statements appear to have an angry tone, I apologize, because there is no anger intended.

raybo
07-21-2014, 12:45 PM
That was my point. The poster was impressed with an increased strike rate and I believe strike rate has little meaning in being a profitable bettor.

Long term strike rate is "exactly" half of the long term profitability equation. So, it does have meaning, as much meaning as price.

AndyC
07-21-2014, 12:53 PM
Long term strike rate is "exactly" half of the long term profitability equation. So, it does have meaning, as much meaning as price.

As a stand alone variable it is meaningless. Had the poster said that the strike rate on 6-1 horses increased from 25% to 30% then that would have had meaning.

raybo
07-21-2014, 12:55 PM
As a stand alone variable it is meaningless. Had the poster said that the strike rate on 6-1 horses increased from 25% to 30% then that would have had meaning.

Price, as a stand alone variable, is also meaningless. It takes the right mix of both to be profitable.

Furthermore, if you are talking about "degrees" of profitability, strike rate takes on additional meaning. Why? Because, the higher the hit rate, the more you can wager. The higher the strike rate, inevitably results in more lower priced horses, and lower priced horses will be able to take more money without reducing those odds. So, in such a case, one could produce much higher capital turnover, and as a result, much higher profits, especially if you are getting decent rebates.

whodoyoulike
07-21-2014, 01:04 PM
That is pretty much the point. Software intended for recreational use should enable the user to interact with the output in some meaningful (to the user) way, with ROI almost irrelevant. Software intended for professional use should not (necessarily) be "fun" to use. They are two distinct types of software, intended for two distinct categories of users, with little or no overlap.

I'm getting the impression that you are familiar with both recreational and professional types of software. In either type, do you place a wager on every output selection? Does it indicate how much or when not to make a wager?

My software will always provide a best to worse ranking but I use my judgment whether the rankings are valid and worth a bet.

PaceAdvantage
07-21-2014, 01:06 PM
Exactly. And if you already have a thorough knowledge of how to make a profit betting races, you probably know exactly what you need, and you probably have enough sense to realize how easy it is to hire highly skilled, competent programmers to create exactly what you need. Bloated budget fishing expeditions with no real idea of what is needed are not especially useful.Where does the "daddy's money" come into play again? You kinda lost me with that one a few back, and I was expecting you to mention it again since you are answering a "whale" question, but you curiously left it out of this reply.

whodoyoulike
07-21-2014, 01:11 PM
...
For anyone interested in the potential profit available to astute bettors in the horse racing field--as opposed to purely recreational use--I strongly encourage you to pay attention to what Delta Lover is doing with his open-source data analysis project. He seems to be one of the few who realize the potential of software as an aid to decision-making, and the (obvious to serious bettors) potential of structured decision-making processes as opposed to "subjective interpretation of the output."

Sounds as if you're familiar with Delta Lover's program. I haven't seen it. How long have you been able to use it? What features in it have you found valuable?

raybo
07-21-2014, 01:12 PM
I'm getting the impression that you are familiar with both recreational and professional types of software. In either type, do you place a wager on every output selection? Does it indicate how much or when not to make a wager?

My software will always provide a best to worse ranking but I use my judgment whether the rankings are valid and worth a bet.

I'm sure Traynor will answer your questions, but I'll fill in the time lag. If you are talking about the type of program that results from thorough, extensive historical research, which most good programs do, then the models it produces are dependent on consistent application, meaning if the program gives you betting selections, then you must bet them, or you destroy the model.

As to your 2nd question, any good program, recreational or professional, should have its own rules contained within it, regarding pass or play situations, and necessarily should tell you when to play and when to pass. Mine does, and it is hardly "professional" quality software, as described by Traynor anyway.

"Professional" software, again according to Traynor's definition, probably also analyzes the pools and the prices offered, as well as probability, and probably tells you how much to bet. Mine does not, unless the user is using the bet sizing app within the program, in which case the bet amount would also be displayed (based on a percentage of current bankroll and a percentage of current cycle profit amount).

Dave Schwartz
07-21-2014, 01:16 PM
Really? You weren't the one that said "whales start out as whales"?

Whales start out as whales means that they begin with a vision, lots of capital and a commitment to bet vast sums of money.

They do not start with a handicapping system that they have already been using because (as Game Theory said) it does not scale.

To generate that kind of handle, one must play about 80% of pools, in 80% of the races, at 80% of the tracks. (Note: It makes no practical difference if the number is actually 85%.)


Being a whale is a difficult endeavor. You must have a systematic approach that takes zero personal subjectivity, that can be used by a worker-bee operator.

Because bets are made as the horses are loading, it takes a staff of agents to pull the trigger in a timely manner. That staff needs managers or supervisors.

To stay ahead of the game (as Traynor has pretty much said) you must be constantly studying and improving. That also takes a staff.

The software is in a constant state of development; another small staff.

The math work takes specialists. More staff.

The staffing takes staff - i.e. to track hours, write checks, replace people, etc.

Suddenly, it is a real business.


How do WE compete? I'm trying but it is very difficult without manpower.

thaskalos
07-21-2014, 01:17 PM
Price, as a stand alone variable, is also meaningless. It takes the right mix of both to be profitable.

Furthermore, if you are talking about "degrees" of profitability, strike rate takes on additional meaning. Why? Because, the higher the hit rate, the more you can wager. The higher the strike rate, inevitably results in more lower priced horses, and lower priced horses will be able to take more money without reducing those odds. So, in such a case, one could produce much higher capital turnover, and as a result, much higher profits, especially if you are getting decent rebates.

Also, the higher the hit rate, the fewer and shorter the losing streaks become...and the fewer, shorter losing streaks do not demand the same type of bankroll as those longer, more numerous losing streaks which are associated with the lower hit rates.

If I have a higher hit rate, then I can make higher bets with the same bankroll than the player who has a lower hit rate but a higher ROI than me. And those higher bets can often overcome the ROI edge that the other player has.

ROI is not the true measure of profitability. Profit relative to bankroll is the real measure, IMO. At least until the player gets to the point where he can't bet any higher because of mutuel pool-size limitations.

whodoyoulike
07-21-2014, 01:20 PM
I'm sure Traynor will answer your questions, but I'll fill in the time lag. If you are talking about the type of program that results from thorough, extensive historical research, which most good programs do, then the models it produces are dependent on consistent application, meaning if the program gives you betting selections, then you must bet them, or you destroy the model.

As to your 2nd question, any good program, recreational or professional, should have its own rules contained within it, regarding pass or play situations, and necessarily should tell you when to play and when to pass. Mine does, and it is hardly "professional" quality software, as described by Traynor anyway.

An example which comes to mind, is when a horse has only run sprints 5.5f and 6f in good time and is now going 8f or 8.5f. I've noticed that these types are always identified as contenders. I always have to evaluate whether they fit this race.

raybo
07-21-2014, 01:24 PM
Where does the "daddy's money" come into play again? You kinda lost me with that one a few back, and I was expecting you to mention it again since you are answering a "whale" question, but you curiously left it out of this reply.

I think he probably means that if you are betting with "daddy's money" then you don't necessarily know what the heck you're doing, but are betting huge amounts anyway, because you have access to the money to do so, "daddy's money".

raybo
07-21-2014, 01:30 PM
Also, the higher the hit rate, the fewer and shorter the losing streaks become...and the fewer, shorter losing streaks do not demand the same type of bankroll as those longer, more numerous losing streaks which are associated with the lower hit rates.

If I have a higher hit rate, then I can make higher bets with the same bankroll than the player who has a lower hit rate but a higher ROI than me. And those higher bets can often overcome the ROI edge that the other player has.

ROI is not the true measure of profitability. Profit relative to bankroll is the real measure, IMO. At least until the player gets to the point where he can't bet any higher because of mutuel pool-size limitations.

I'm glad you posted that, I was going to go back and edit my post, to include the bit about fewer, and shorter losing streaks. For someone primarily interested in "degree" of profitability, I agree with everything you said. :ThmbUp:

raybo
07-21-2014, 01:32 PM
An example which comes to mind, is when a horse has only run sprints 5.5f and 6f in good time and is now going 8f or 8.5f. I've noticed that these types are always identified as contenders. I always have to evaluate whether they fit this race.

Good software will do that evaluation for you. It's all part of models creation.

"Good" software, IMO, is absolutely filled with "decision trees", lines of code or logic constructs, that ask questions and depending on the answers, take a specific path that ultimately results in all, or almost all possible scenarios being accounted for. As someone said a long time ago (several years ago somewhere on this forum), if you can think it, computers can be programmed for it.

PaceAdvantage
07-21-2014, 01:34 PM
I think he probably means that if you are betting with "daddy's money" then you don't necessarily know what the heck you're doing, but are betting huge amounts anyway, because you have access to the money to do so, "daddy's money".And here I took it to mean that the only reason there are "whales" is because they were all wealthy to begin with, primarily from inheritance...I was under the impression that Traynor believes there are no true whales making serious, serious money.

thaskalos
07-21-2014, 01:36 PM
And here I took it to mean that the only reason there are "whales" is because they were all wealthy to begin with, primarily from inheritance...I was under the impression that Traynor believes there are no true whales making serious, serious money.

Well...according to Dave, they MUST be wealthy to begin with...no?

How else could they set up such a costly enterprise?

AndyC
07-21-2014, 01:40 PM
Whales start out as whales means that they begin with a vision, lots of capital and a commitment to bet vast sums of money.

There is a vast difference in having a vision and realizing a vision.


[QUOTE=Dave Schwartz]They do not start with a handicapping system that they have already been using because (as Game Theory said) it does not scale.

Nonsense. A handicapping system is merely an estimation of actual probabilities. Scale applies to the act of betting while maintaining
a statistical edge. There is no need to scrap a solid handicapping system.

raybo
07-21-2014, 01:44 PM
Well...according to Dave, they MUST be wealthy to begin with...no?

How else could they set up such a costly enterprise?

I think Dave accounted for that when he mentioned that the software creator could be offered a percentage of future profits, which would offset the upfront costs somewhat. He also established that one wouldn't necessarily need to have gobs of money, oneself, when he mentioned other investors being included in the project. There are probably more than a few people, with lots of money, willing to invest in such a project.

raybo
07-21-2014, 01:47 PM
And here I took it to mean that the only reason there are "whales" is because they were all wealthy to begin with, primarily from inheritance...I was under the impression that Traynor believes there are no true whales making serious, serious money.

I have no idea what Traynor believes or doesn't believe, because I've seen many examples of his taking both sides of discussions, even within the same thread. :lol:

thaskalos
07-21-2014, 01:49 PM
According to Dave, there are 6 Whales operating in this game...and these 6 Whales were "Whales to begin with".

How can we be SURE that they were "Whales to begin with"? Isn't it possible that they started smaller...and they grew in size as their profit and experience increased?

If I bet $100-million a year, then I am a Whale. Do I bet this to begin with?

AndyC
07-21-2014, 01:56 PM
Originally Posted by raybo
Price, as a stand alone variable, is also meaningless. It takes the right mix of both to be profitable.

Furthermore, if you are talking about "degrees" of profitability, strike rate takes on additional meaning. Why? Because, the higher the hit rate, the more you can wager. The higher the strike rate, inevitably results in more lower priced horses, and lower priced horses will be able to take more money without reducing those odds. So, in such a case, one could produce much higher capital turnover, and as a result, much higher profits, especially if you are getting decent rebates.



Also, the higher the hit rate, the fewer and shorter the losing streaks become...and the fewer, shorter losing streaks do not demand the same type of bankroll as those longer, more numerous losing streaks which are associated with the lower hit rates.

If I have a higher hit rate, then I can make higher bets with the same bankroll than the player who has a lower hit rate but a higher ROI than me. And those higher bets can often overcome the ROI edge that the other player has.

ROI is not the true measure of profitability. Profit relative to bankroll is the real measure, IMO. At least until the player gets to the point where he can't bet any higher because of mutuel pool-size limitations.


Good points.

whodoyoulike
07-21-2014, 02:28 PM
Good software will do that evaluation for you. It's all part of models creation.

"Good" software, IMO, is absolutely filled with "decision trees", lines of code or logic constructs, that ask questions and depending on the answers, take a specific path that ultimately results in all, or almost all possible scenarios being accounted for. As someone said a long time ago (several years ago somewhere on this forum), if you can think it, computers can be programmed for it.

Is your software capable of evaluating when a sprinter can go longer? I've find that sometimes they can and other times they aren't suited to the pace.

raybo
07-21-2014, 02:33 PM
Is your software capable of evaluating when a sprinter can go longer? I've find that sometimes they can and other times they aren't suited to the pace.

If your decision process is not based on "intuition", but concrete data, then yes it could be programmed.

GameTheory
07-21-2014, 02:34 PM
You guys are taking this whales start as whales business way too literally and nitpicking. The point is that whales are doing something completely different than non-whales. (i.e. they aren't just "doing it bigger" because that's an impossibility) OK?

As someone said a long time ago (several years ago somewhere on this forum), if you can think it, computers can be programmed for it.Ha, I remember saying that on here years ago.

raybo
07-21-2014, 02:50 PM
Ha, I remember saying that on here years ago.

Yeah, it was probably you that said that. Back then you were much more active on the forum.

At that time, I was convinced that there were decisions and analysis that I was doing, that couldn't be programmed. I have changed my mind since - LOL.

Magister Ludi
07-21-2014, 03:00 PM
You guys are taking this whales start as whales business way too literally and nitpicking. The point is that whales are doing something completely different than non-whales. (i.e. they aren't just "doing it bigger" because that's an impossibility) OK?

Amen. Capital requirements are relatively trivial - mid-seven figures. The quantitative methods and even the data used by one fund are unlike anything that's been discussed on this forum. It's far more than scaling up your spreadsheets and bets to a nine-figure level.

TrifectaMike
07-21-2014, 03:00 PM
LOL. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but-----

If you had a program that provided "almost perfect estimations of probabilities" then you would, "almost perfectly", know what your hit rate would be, wouldn't you? So, given the choice of the 2 programs, one that had a high hit rate, and one that gave you "almost perfect" probabilities, then you could look at the one with the probabilities, and if it said that your hit rate would be higher than the other one, then the choice would be obvious, wouldn't it? And that does not even take into the account that the "almost perfect probabilities" would also allow you to see, "almost perfectly", the true inefficiencies of the market, allowing you to "almost perfectly" place all your wagers on true overlays.

That program would be worth, well, as much as you could come up with, and then some. In the right hands, that program could make one a very wealthy person, in a very short period of time!

Isn't that the goal of the "big boys", knowing when the market is inefficient, and capitalizing on those inefficiencies? Attracting one, or more, of those "whales" that Dave speaks of, probably would be a snap.

How would one know when they have "almost perfect probabilities" ? There are NO objective propbabilities apriori. They are subjective and information driven. In fact, there is an infinite set of probabilities, which can give rise to similar results... tote odds being one of them.

Mike

Capper Al
07-21-2014, 03:06 PM
Six Whales, how many mini rollers?

raybo
07-21-2014, 03:10 PM
How would one know when they have "almost perfect probabilities" ? There are NO objective propbabilities apriori. They are subjective and information driven. In fact, there is an infinite set of probabilities, which can give rise to similar results... tote odds being one of them.

Mike

I believe he was talking, hypothetically. At least that's what I thought, that's why I used the quotes.

raybo
07-21-2014, 03:12 PM
Six Whales, how many mini rollers?

Define "mini rollers".

acorn54
07-21-2014, 03:26 PM
i'll add my two cents. there are few tracks with sufficient liquidity to extract any substantial inefficiencies. at any given time of the year two or three. even at those tracks with large liquidity such as the ny metro tracks and major tracks in california, one would be hard pressed to extract a siginificant amount of monies from the inefficiencies given the onslaught in parimutuel pools of so many participants with sophisticated software.

AndyC
07-21-2014, 03:37 PM
You guys are taking this whales start as whales business way too literally and nitpicking. The point is that whales are doing something completely different than non-whales. (i.e. they aren't just "doing it bigger" because that's an impossibility) OK?

You beg the question. Other than betting much larger sums and having to factor in their own bets affect on payoffs what is happening that is completely different?

AndyC
07-21-2014, 03:46 PM
How would one know when they have "almost perfect probabilities" ? There are NO objective propbabilities apriori. They are subjective and information driven. In fact, there is an infinite set of probabilities, which can give rise to similar results... tote odds being one of them.

Mike

True, there is an infinite set of probabilities, but all that matters is that the probabilities you derive from your own methodology are accurate enough for the intended purpose of identifying overlays.

GameTheory
07-21-2014, 03:54 PM
You beg the question. Other than betting much larger sums and having to factor in their own bets affect on payoffs what is happening that is completely different?Well, as Dave said, they need a couple dozen or more on staff. And that's just to handle the trivial matter of "betting much larger sums and having to factor in their own bets affect on payoffs".

You must use a handicapping approach that can find advantages (after rebates) in nearly every race, in nearly every pool, and usually on multiple selections. (Plus horizontal.), and it has to be nearly totally automatic. (Although there is a place to have "expert handicappers" on your staff handling their specialties and then quantifying their findings as part of the program. [For instance evaluating things that cannot be automated easily -- trip handicapping or how a horse pulled up after his last race.] I know they did such things in Hong Kong, but the circuit is so much smaller I doubt much of that goes on in the USA.) Anyway, the VAST majority of individual handicappers do not have a suitable approach for whaledom (nor do they need to, nor is it even particularly smart to -- individuals bettors do have their own advantages after all, one of the primary being is that they can pick their spots or concentrate on things that whales simply can't afford to pay attention to). Just as the individual's approach is not suitable for the whales, the whale's approach is not suitable for the individual (nor profitable if they don't also get the same significant rebates, nor even physically possible to make all those bets without that staff, even at lower levels).

Now I think you are being deliberately obtuse in order to continue this debate. If you really can't connect the dots, I don't know what else to say other than go try to be a whale and you'll find out...

TexasDolly
07-21-2014, 04:05 PM
According to Dave, there are 6 Whales operating in this game...and these 6 Whales were "Whales to begin with".

How can we be SURE that they were "Whales to begin with"? Isn't it possible that they started smaller...and they grew in size as their profit and experience increased?

If I bet $100-million a year, then I am a Whale. Do I bet this to begin with?

No they weren't all whales to begin with. They don't all have enormous staffs either. The one from Canada stated on 60 minutes he had a staff of twenty and he bets 300 mil a year.
TD

AndyC
07-21-2014, 05:23 PM
Well, as Dave said, they need a couple dozen or more on staff. And that's just to handle the trivial matter of "betting much larger sums and having to factor in their own bets affect on payoffs".

You must use a handicapping approach that can find advantages (after rebates) in nearly every race, in nearly every pool, and usually on multiple selections. (Plus horizontal.), and it has to be nearly totally automatic. (Although there is a place to have "expert handicappers" on your staff handling their specialties and then quantifying their findings as part of the program. [For instance evaluating things that cannot be automated easily -- trip handicapping or how a horse pulled up after his last race.] I know they did such things in Hong Kong, but the circuit is so much smaller I doubt much of that goes on in the USA.) Anyway, the VAST majority of individual handicappers do not have a suitable approach for whaledom (nor do they need to, nor is it even particularly smart to -- individuals bettors do have their own advantages after all, one of the primary being is that they can pick their spots or concentrate on things that whales simply can't afford to pay attention to). Just as the individual's approach is not suitable for the whales, the whale's approach is not suitable for the individual (nor profitable if they don't also get the same significant rebates, nor even physically possible to make all those bets without that staff, even at lower levels).

Now I think you are being deliberately obtuse in order to continue this debate. If you really can't connect the dots, I don't know what else to say other than go try to be a whale and you'll find out...

I appreciate the condescending remarks.

Wal-Mart didn't start out as a whale in the retailing business but they grew to be the world's largest retailer. I am sure that they have to do things that the local 7-11 store doesn't have to do. I get the additional burden of a larger operation. But the goals of each operation are the same. Sell goods at a high enough price to cover fixed and overhead costs and provide a profit to the owner.

I am sure that being a betting whale requires management skills not required of a small bettor. Just don't tell me that to be a whale you have to start as a whale.

traynor
07-21-2014, 05:38 PM
Where does the "daddy's money" come into play again? You kinda lost me with that one a few back, and I was expecting you to mention it again since you are answering a "whale" question, but you curiously left it out of this reply.

In Las Vegas, the term "whale" is used for large bettors. A number of those large bettors are second- and third-generation members of industrial families with considerable wealth. "Losing daddy's money" is a generic reference to those who wager large amounts of money, and have an almost endless supply of additional funds available to cover any losses.

traynor
07-21-2014, 05:41 PM
Sounds as if you're familiar with Delta Lover's program. I haven't seen it. How long have you been able to use it? What features in it have you found valuable?

I refer you to dl's thread, in which he fully explains what he is doing and what he intends to do.

traynor
07-21-2014, 05:47 PM
And here I took it to mean that the only reason there are "whales" is because they were all wealthy to begin with, primarily from inheritance...I was under the impression that Traynor believes there are no true whales making serious, serious money.

Quite the opposite.

Dave Schwartz
07-21-2014, 06:26 PM
No they weren't all whales to begin with. They don't all have enormous staffs either. The one from Canada stated on 60 minutes he had a staff of twenty and he bets 300 mil a year.

I know that operation.

I will stop talking now. You guys can choose to believe whatever you want.

I will tell you that the smallest of the 6 has 45 employees. Despite the fact that he says (publicly) that he started with just him and a laptop, he actually began with a "study, analysis and programming team" of over 20.

The largest has 175 employees.

Believe what you will.

Capper Al
07-21-2014, 07:43 PM
Define "mini rollers".

Under $20 a race.

Capper Al
07-21-2014, 07:44 PM
I know that operation.

I will stop talking now. You guys can choose to believe whatever you want.

I will tell you that the smallest of the 6 has 45 employees. Despite the fact that he says (publicly) that he started with just him and a laptop, he actually began with a "study, analysis and programming team" of over 20.

The largest has 175 employees.

Believe what you will.

Ouch!

traynor
07-21-2014, 07:47 PM
I think an unnecessary layer of confusion is being created by the use of term "whale" (by almost everyone else) to refer to "large bettors" and by Dave to refer only to six specific people.

Similarly, I think it is confusing to consider that all "large bettors" (or more specifically) "all large bettors winning significant profits" are ONLY doing so with the same (at least generic) type of software, and that those "large bettors winning significant profits" are ONLY able to do so with the aid of 10-20 "helpers" and mega-millions in bankroll (apparently required by that particular type of software).

There are bettors winning significant amounts of money (with "significant amounts of money" operationalized as "profit in excess of $500k a year") using software that--with conditional wagering at an ADW--does NOT require anyone other than the user to use, does NOT require a flurry of last minute activity based on the tote board, and does NOT require more than an hour or so a day to operate. At tracks that support fairly large wagers without (substantially) diminishing mutuels, users of such software may choose to wager onsite. That may involve more time invested on any given day, but could hardly be considered grueling or unpleasant (unless one detests racetracks).

traynor
07-21-2014, 08:04 PM
Do I think it is possible for a solo bettor starting with a relatively modest bankroll to win enough profit (meaning way more than a couple of percentage points shy of break even that requires rebates to be "profitable") to build up fairly quickly to "professional-level wagering"? Absolutely.

Because one specific type of software (apparently) is seriously constrained and requires (whatever) does NOT mean that ALL software has the same constraints. As Katherine Jung observes, "That is a conceptually impoverished point of view." Not to mention extremely limiting.

If someone has a "professional-level" piece (or pieces) of software that cannot generate enough profit to double a bankroll in a month or six weeks, and continue re-doubling until a level is reached that additional increases in wager size is counterproductive within (at most) a year (with six months a more realistic target), the developer of that software should keep working on it until it is finished.

whodoyoulike
07-21-2014, 08:34 PM
I refer you to dl's thread, in which he fully explains what he is doing and what he intends to do.

Haven't seen any updates in a while. It sounded like he allowed you to be a Beta tester.

traynor
07-21-2014, 08:39 PM
Haven't seen any updates in a while. It sounded like he allowed you to be a Beta tester.

I don't know what he is doing in the handicapping area, but his approach to data mining (and related data analysis) seems (conceptually) about as good as it gets.

raybo
07-21-2014, 09:19 PM
Under $20 a race.

Betting under $20 per race? Man, there's probably a whole bunch of those.

Now if you change that to making $20 profit per race, long term, you reduce that by gobs. It has been estmiated that 2% or less of all players make ANY net profit long term, so if you can estimate how many players there are, then you can get a better idea - LOL. Good luck with that. By "long term", I would say 8 to 10 years, a couple here would say " lifetime". :bang:

whodoyoulike
07-21-2014, 09:21 PM
If your decision process is not based on "intuition", but concrete data, then yes it could be programmed.

But, does your software program consider this type of situation? Anyone with a black box program can respond. There are numerous situations which come to mind, another is a horse which is tearing up his races for 6f at a "C" track and then is entered at an "A" track similar distance. Do you blindly follow your BB selection without evaluating the selection? How much would you wager? I wouldn't wager on him until I see how he performs.

Several people have indicated they would and everyone should also bet the BB selection(s) because the program selected it. There are too many exceptions in horse racing for me to be comfortable with this approach of no subjectivity.

raybo
07-21-2014, 09:33 PM
I don't know what he is doing in the handicapping area, but his approach to data mining (and related data analysis) seems (conceptually) about as good as it gets.

I have to agree with that. If he can indeed create a suite of software that can analyze historical and future races, and modify and weight factors, on the fly, he will have taken a huge step towards creating a viable black box. However, there is a lot more to it than just that, as I'm sure anyone who has ever created models will testify. One must constantly maintain the database and continually upgrade and verify the software's processes, for example. User support is a huge part of a project of this scope also. Anytime you put a piece of software out there to the public, free or not, you take on the responsibility for user support functions, and from the sound of what I have heard so far that is going to be significant.

raybo
07-21-2014, 10:12 PM
But, does your software program consider this type of situation? Anyone with a black box program can respond. There are numerous situations which come to mind, another is a horse which is tearing up his races for 6f at a "C" track and then is entered at an "A" track similar distance. Do you blindly follow your BB selection without evaluating the selection? How much would you wager? I wouldn't wager on him until I see how he performs.

Several people have indicated they would and everyone should also bet the BB selection(s) because the program selected it. There are too many exceptions in horse racing for me to be comfortable with this approach of no subjectivity.

Since you quoted me, I'll respond. My program does consider distances and surfaces run in the past to address changes in distance, and quality of fields and adjusted velocities (fractional and total) in past races to address changes in track.

Except in very high class races like the TC and BC, and most stakes races with purses of $250k or more (because there are far fewer races of this type, per track, in the database. I have a separate database for each track.), I follow the program's output to the "T", otherwise all my database data means nothing. Regarding betting, I bet the same amount (flat bet), generally based on 1/2% of bankroll and 2% of last cycle profit (updated by card, not race) at most tracks I play, that varies by track, according to how the track tests and which rankings method I choose to use, also according to my track testing activities. However, before my ADWs all dropped me due to Texas state law outlawing internet wagering, I kept my bankroll rather low, and as a result my bets rather low (I no longer wager due to not being able to wager online, and live over 70 miles from the nearest track, and I absolutely hate betting at the track anyway). I don't try to make big profit with the program, which was designed for win betting primarily, rather I use that win profit as cash flow to support my superfecta play, which is higher risk but with much higher reward potential.

My view on "subjective" analysis, is that, in the long term, most players will "guess" wrong more times than they guess right. And that is what subjectivity is, guessing based on prior experience and knowledge, IMO. Lack of discipline and lack of consistency comes into play when your method contains too much subjective analysis. Basically, I believe in the old saying, "Keep It Simple, Stupid".

traynor
07-21-2014, 11:15 PM
I'm getting the impression that you are familiar with both recreational and professional types of software. In either type, do you place a wager on every output selection? Does it indicate how much or when not to make a wager?

My software will always provide a best to worse ranking but I use my judgment whether the rankings are valid and worth a bet.

I think a lot of confusion come in when "every race is handicapped" and the software is expected to "make selections" for every race by comparing the entries in that race in some (relatively simplistic) aspect(s) of their performances. "Pace" or "speed" analysis would be an example.

The professional-level software I am familiar with doesn't work like that. Meaning it may generate "selections" in two races, three races, a half dozen races, or no races at all at a given track on any given day. Do I bet on every selection? The simple answer would be "yes" with the addition of "almost always." There are exceptions, but they would take long, boring explanatins to cover.

raybo
07-22-2014, 12:02 AM
I think a lot of confusion come in when "every race is handicapped" and the software is expected to "make selections" for every race by comparing the entries in that race in some (relatively simplistic) aspect(s) of their performances. "Pace" or "speed" analysis would be an example.

The professional-level software I am familiar with doesn't work like that. Meaning it may generate "selections" in two races, three races, a half dozen races, or no races at all at a given track on any given day. Do I bet on every selection? The simple answer would be "yes" with the addition of "almost always." There are exceptions, but they would take long, boring explanatins to cover.

I agree, a good program will NOT generate "betting" selections in every race, sometimes no races on a card. This simply validates to you that the program is doing what it was designed to do, put emphasis on the best races for wagering. There are times when one makes a conscience decision to play races that the program tells you should not be wagered on. For me, that happens only in the big races, where the pools are huge and potential betting value is very high. On all the other races, those races where the most analysis has been done, because of the relative frequency and numbers of those types of races, I trust the program to point me to good betting opportunities.

Ed Keenan
10-22-2014, 05:27 PM
Your summary reply contrasting the utility of decision-making software for the professional vs. the hobbyist, highlights the first-order issues: an "omniscient black box' versus a final decision, based on subjective factors, gets to heart of what the software might be expected to do for the bettor. How far has CX Wong [Precision, copyright 2011] been able to advance this project? Do you or anyone else have any thoughts on far the Author and/or his Asia based syndicate has been able to advance this project?