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Old 08-19-2023, 04:01 AM   #46
Poindexter
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Originally Posted by thaskalos View Post
Come on, now you are overdoing it. Of course the CAW groups can beat today's game without the rebates...they would just have to bet less so their wagers don't depress the odds as much. If a CAW group can operate on a 4.5% deficit while making mammoth wagers, they can beat the game while making smaller bets...it just wouldn't be worth their while, financially speaking. The generous rebates that they get are a way to offset the negative effect that their huge wagers have on the odds.
You are missing the point.there are guys out there getting nice rebates and making a living from this game going against the caw. My hypothetical eliminates the rebates for that specific player or team but not for the rest of the caw. How are they going to compete against the other caw that is highly rebated. They cannot. Just like the masses cannot today. Maybe some of them are super sharp and bet a tiny fraction of what they currently bet and make 5 percent. The rebate is far more important than the ability to bet last and more importantly it is what drives up the takeout on the recreational non rebated bettor. That is supposed to be the lifeblood of the sport and that is why the game is dying.
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Old 08-19-2023, 04:33 AM   #47
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Poindexter, it's not enough and that's with rebates, for the time invested.

We passed the precipice years ago; the speed of decline is simply too fast, now.

Immediate severe contraction is the only thing I see just ahead....It's all that's left that might save the game anyway.
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Old 08-19-2023, 05:01 AM   #48
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If rebates continue the game will die more rapidly...We're in a mess and I'm just about done with live betting, it's a waste of my time.

I'd rather play tourneys and bet sports, it's much more profitable..
I couldn't agree more. I am betting baseball and loving it.
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Old 08-19-2023, 09:42 AM   #49
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I think a far bigger problem is that the edges many of us had 20-30 years ago are gone. The ease in watching replays, coupled with a far better educated fanbase has taken away much of the edge trip handicapping offered. Products like Formulator made what used to be three to four hours of work even more efficiently done in under an hour. The availability of pedigree information and workout reports. Craig's figures used to have limited exposure, now they're readily available to everyone.

CAW play is raising the effective takeout a little over 2% in NY. That's more than compensated by rebates. Yes, it's a problem that they are allowed to flood pools in some other places, and the Jackpot bets are a disaster for the regular player, and a boon to computer players, but saying CAW players are driving everyone out of the game is naive. The game got a lot tougher because the fan base is better educated...much better educated.
Iíve been saying the same things endlessly for years.

Obviously nothing personal in this, but every time some sharp player is on social media, a podcast, TV, or forum making selections, giving away their best insights, developing new tools for sale or public use, they are making the game tougher for everyone else.

There seems to be a quality to horse players that goes beyond generosity that makes them want to give away insights and horses, when smart actually means keeping your mouth shut about where you still have an edge and which horses you are going to play.

In what other competitive business do people give away all their secrets?
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Old 08-19-2023, 10:00 AM   #50
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I still love the game, but like most of us, not as much as I used to.

I just cannot find as many playable races as in years past, due to smaller fields with heavy favorites. I've turned mainly to turf racing because I find more value (winning favorites in dirt racing, esp Alw, is ridiculous).

Anyone consider Australia?
They had a big card at Randwick last night/this morning with some large fields and GroupStakes races. It's difficult because they run in the middle of the night on our clock, but there's value to be had, esp in exotics.
I also like the way they train and run their horses. I've noticed they lay their runners up for a few months, then run them 3-4 times over the course of a month to 6wks, and repeat it a few months later.
Many horses will run in a Gr1 or Gr2 prep race a week before the Melbourne Cup, reminiscent of how it used to be done here.
The free pp's available on Brisnet are easy to read (with a speed rating & running lines) and are similar to what we have here for North American racing.
They even give you some fractional times and splits.
There's a lot to learn about Aussie racing, but I've taken more and more of an interest the last few years.

Anyway, who ya got in the Alabama today?
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Old 08-19-2023, 10:11 AM   #51
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There AREN'T any "holes in their game". They have every advantage and they're better than us too.
I disagree.

They have advantages and they may be better overall.

However

There are still huge holes in the game when it comes to evaluating bias and the understanding of the impact of bias and pace at an individual horse level. There are still rarer cases of incorrect figures or misunderstandings of class that can be exploited. Itís getting rarer and rarer and you have to work harder and harder to find fewer and fewer bets, but they still make mistakes.
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Old 08-19-2023, 11:11 AM   #52
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Iíve been saying the same things endlessly for years.

Obviously nothing personal in this, but every time some sharp player is on social media, a podcast, TV, or forum making selections, giving away their best insights, developing new tools for sale or public use, they are making the game tougher for everyone else.

There seems to be a quality to horse players that goes beyond generosity that makes them want to give away insights and horses, when smart actually means keeping your mouth shut about where you still have an edge and which horses you are going to play.

In what other competitive business do people give away all their secrets?
This is a really, really bad argument.

Every NFL pregame show has a whole panel of people giving detailed game selections, point spreads scrolling across the screen. Explain to me how it has hurt that sport's popularity.

The people who are watching and reading other people's horse racing selections are not the ones driving CAW handle. Shows like Saratoga Live are awesome but they are NOT making a CAW that bets $50 million a year change their computer algorithms to account for selections made there.
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Old 08-19-2023, 11:36 AM   #53
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Poindexter, it's not enough and that's with rebates, for the time invested.

We passed the precipice years ago; the speed of decline is simply too fast, now.

Immediate severe contraction is the only thing I see just ahead....It's all that's left that might save the game anyway.
The game has been priced to fail forever. It didn't matter when the competition was non existent, but when competition entered the market, racing had to pivot. Instead of doing the correct thing and lowering takeout, they decided on the rebate thing. 20+ years later this game is a small fraction of what it was and a much smaller fraction of what it should be. We all know the status quo is going to end in the death of the game. 10 years, 20 years wtf is the difference. Fixing this game is not about getting back a bunch of guys in their 60 and 70's. Fixing this game is about reaching a brand new generation of young people in their 20's, 30's and 40's. But when they lose far more than 20% in their initial attempts at this game they realize pretty quickly it is a very tough buck. So is sports betting, so is Poker, but at the same time you can bet sports and hold your own and play poker and hold your own. Holding your own means you stick around, you try an improve your game and you hope one day that you cross the threshold into profitability. If you don't, so be it. Life goes on, you have fun and if you can control your gambling you only lose an affordable amount of money and you enjoy yourself. Everything costs money. So it is very easy for people to get into sports betting or into poker and think they have a good shot of beating it. If you bet 10 games a week in NFL, you 4-6, 5-5, 6-4. 3 weeks in your 15-15 and you lose the vig. Get one extra winner and you make money. How hard is it to convince yourself that you might bet one extra winner over the next 3 weeks.

Racing currently has an unconscionable takeout that does not ever provide the layman the same sense that they are this close to turning the tables. They bet $300 one week, they lose $200, they bet $300 the next week they lose $250, they bet $300 the next week and they lose $100, they bet $300 the next week and they make $200. 4 weeks in and they are $350 down on $1200 bet. The next 4 weeks maybe they lose $250.....It is a never ending cycle of consistent losing that leads anybody with sense to leave the game and never even try to up their ability to beat it. All this has been amplified by the rebates and CAW.

Contrary to what Nitro thinks, I have no problem with the caw. They have an edge and they are using it to their full ability. I don't fear them. They are just excellent handicappers with very sophisticated betting tools and very big bankrolls and big rebates. I don't need the sophisticated tools to compete against them, but playing on a level playing field with proper takeout would be enough imo. I do suspect at least some of them are probably using tote access to their advantage (have a field of first time starters in leg 3 of the pick 6, it is nice to know how much is being bet on each horse in the multi legs etc). If that is happening I do have a big problem with that, because that is a huge advantage. We will never know. Racing will vehemently deny it and nobody taking advantage is going to raise their hand and say yeah we peak ahead into the other pools to determine how much action each horse is getting in every race. Theoretically they should not have tote access. The ability to place large amounts of wagers should be made from an outside source where the only contact with the tote is when the adw makes the bet at 5 seconds to off. I don't know shit about computers so if I am off base here someone can correct me. I don't trust anything the racing industry says. We used to have a guy posting here who went by also eligible who I think used to work in the industry and I felt he was a straight shooter. I guess I can re-read some of his posts, but I honestly care that much. If my life betting horses is betting harness races and select carryovers I am good. Contrary to what a lot of people think, this isn't about me. I just enjoy this game and it saddens me deeply that it has collapsed like it has. I was literally sick to my stomach for a long time when they tore down Hollywood Park to turn it into a football stadium. That was my go to track from the age of 13. I loved that place.

Not everybody that gambles needs to win. They just need to lose comfortably and they need to know they have a reasonable chance to win (not long term, but often enough that the game is fun). Very few people playing this game have that perception anymore. This can change with proper pricing and a whole lot of marketing/education of a new fan base. But this post like every other post I make will fall on deaf ears, another article will come out in two or three months I will preach the same speech, Thaskalos will let the world know how happy he is that he can now devote his time to playing high stakes Poker and betting games 6 or 7 times a game. I wonder if he bets the games at the Poker table?

If most of you want the lid closed on the coffin, that is fine. Whatever makes you happy. But don't tell me this game is not worth trying to save. Trying to save it requires proper pricing, eliminating rebates and a whole lot of excellent marketing/education so that you can build a fan base. Not Welfare.

Last edited by Poindexter; 08-19-2023 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 08-19-2023, 12:10 PM   #54
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There AREN'T any "holes in their game".
Well, they don't have holes in terms of comparing profits and losses at the end of a session or year.

They actually do have some holes in their game from other perspectives. If we are talking about mistakes, they don't have an understanding of some of the deeper handicapping and race-watching stuff.
There aren't many players who know these things in existence, and there is not a market for these syndicates to seek these players out.
If it doesn't show up in an algorithm or a statistic and it doesn't occur frequently enough to impact their edge, they aren't interested.

Not really a 'hole' per se, but they also have the incentive of maximum churn at a profitable ROI being greater than maximizing ROI on infrequent basis. All that means is that there are times that they aren't hogging all the value in a race, even if it's not such an esoteric understanding of a situation as outlined in the above paragraph.

I've also read statements that claim these syndicates are required to bet every race. I don't know how true this is. It feels a bit arbitrary as the tracks are catering to these syndicates. The tracks are treating the syndicates as any business would treat a highly prized customer. There may be some required limits, and various rules. I just don't expect them to be extremely significant.


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Originally Posted by castaway01 View Post
[B They have every advantage [/B]
They really do.
Even if we just limit our understanding of their advantages to fair play, they have greater funding, greater resources, greater information, ability to quickly calculate proper bankroll allocation across multiple wagers, ability to bet multiple pools quickly, ability to bet last, and more stuff I can't think of.

I have an apprehension towards their vision of the pools. I wonder if they can see three slots ahead as opposed to the two slots we all can see. I wonder if they can see more than three, or can see things like uncovered horses in multis.

I have an apprehension towards their relationship with supertrainers and superowners. There's these guys who run a bunch of horses and administer powerful PEDs in most of the races. A relationship with these folk would advantageous to the high churn betting syndicates. The information gleaned would exceed the cost of courting the client.

I have an apprehension towards their relationship with elite jockeys. These guys ride a ton of favorites and a ton of underlays. The information gleaned would exceed the cost of courting the client.

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and they're better than us too.
They really are. Their bottom line is better. Their handicapping result is better. Their insight is better. Their choices/tickets are better. Their bankroll allocation is better.

We as players have made a significant complaint about late money, even when the vast majority of late money is clearly projected well in advance.
We haven't even adapted to require ourselves to first generally not anchor in blind pools, but also we haven't even required ourselves to read the will pays and project the final odds with much more emphasis on the will pays than we would with the current live 'Win' pool. We still act surprised about this. If the early speed horse was a horse telegraphed in the will pays to take a ton of late money, then there are a bunch of guys who stiil assume and complain past posting occurred in that situation.

You have to be a great great player to beat takeout at any significant volume. That's not most of us. This isn't an ego discussion about IQ where everyone delusions themselves that theirs is at the very least 140. This is a game that is brutally honest and real results in right or wrong decisions. Even before it got as heavily infested by these CAW/CRW syndicates, it was very rare for anyone to succeed as a professional player, and relatively rare for someone to come out ahead as a non-professional player. The 'good old days' of nostalgia it was not easy and common to be a top player. It's more difficult and rare now.
You either have to get lucky and hit a single high payout wager, or you have to really have things mastered along with the patience and discipline.
The saying "you can beat a race, but you can't beat the races" has some truth to it. It is true for the vast majority.
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Old 08-19-2023, 12:37 PM   #55
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The challenge isn't that they bet last. They bet when we bet - when the horses are in the gate.

They SEE (basically) the same odds we do. (Yes, they can hit a tote server and sometimes get an extra refresh but that really doesn't do much.

The difference is we are limited how many bets we can place at that that time. They are not. Big difference.
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Old 08-19-2023, 12:38 PM   #56
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If the rebates are taken away, handle will suffer and purses will drop....It's a catch-22 situation.

Rebates should never have been implemented in the first place, thus Pandora's Box.

If rebates continue the game will die more rapidly...We're in a mess and I'm just about done with live betting, it's a waste of my time.

I'd rather play tourneys and bet sports, it's much more profitable..
Rebates prove lower takeout will drive handle, something track execs don't want to extend to us peons even though it would have the same exact effect.
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Old 08-19-2023, 12:45 PM   #57
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I disagree.

They have advantages and they may be better overall.

However

There are still huge holes in the game when it comes to evaluating bias and the understanding of the impact of bias and pace at an individual horse level. There are still rarer cases of incorrect figures or misunderstandings of class that can be exploited. Itís getting rarer and rarer and you have to work harder and harder to find fewer and fewer bets, but they still make mistakes.
In order to be able to spot the weaknesses in someone else's game, and be able to exploit them...you have to have a more thorough understanding and a more complete game yourself. Otherwise...you yourself become exploitable by the other person, and you can't claim any sort of "advantage" over him. If we "rarely" exploit them on one thing, while they exploit us "more regularly" on something else...then they have the overall edge over us, and it's curtains for us.

Don't forget...we can't spot their "weaknesses" until it's too late to act upon them. And even if we think that you can anticipate their moves ahead of time, this may not carry out into the future...because they have the resources to improve their game much quicker than we can.
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Old 08-19-2023, 12:50 PM   #58
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I disagree.

They have advantages and they may be better overall.

However

There are still huge holes in the game when it comes to evaluating bias and the understanding of the impact of bias and pace at an individual horse level. There are still rarer cases of incorrect figures or misunderstandings of class that can be exploited. It’s getting rarer and rarer and you have to work harder and harder to find fewer and fewer bets, but they still make mistakes.
You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of how CAWs operate. They don't all bet on the same horse. They might bet 100 different combinations that they think are overlays, trying to get enough value that they show a profit with rebates. They are a bunch of threads describing this process.

Are there races where longshots win? Sure. Are there races where the CAW bettors go in the wrong direction (though as I said, they don't all bet the same horse)? Sure. But overall, in the long term, they're sucking out the value from the pools. I don't personally believe that you or almost anyone else can see those races coming in advance often enough to turn a profit, especially when the bets are coming in with 10 seconds to post. You're still thinking you're trying to outwit "the public", a bunch of other mediocre or casual bettors, but that is 30 years ago thinking. What you're talking about doesn't exist today.

Thaskalos basically said the same thing while I was typing my post, but I'll leave it up.
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Old 08-19-2023, 12:57 PM   #59
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If you think it's bad now, wait until AI matures.

It's become a real chore to follow a circuit, handicap a card the night prior, then watch when a few drops of rain in the morning takes all races off turf and causes a dozen scratches, then having to re-handicap the card to find the few opportunities that day where a rebated player leaves an overlay on the board that is a contender......only to watch its odds drop in the backstretch.

Those overlays on contenders have become more sparse over time to the point where I only have a few a week now where I play that are worth betting. It wipes out the horizontal pools for me unless it's on the first half of a DD, and forget the verticals.

I still handicap it because I enjoy it, whether I bet or not. I'm not going to lie though, I'd rather sit down and play single zero roulette because it's at least fair and unaffected by humans or their betting like any kind of card game is.
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Old 08-19-2023, 01:11 PM   #60
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A late addition:

Thaskalos said:
Quote:
In order to be able to spot the weaknesses in someone else's game, and be able to exploit them...you have to have a more thorough understanding and a more complete game yourself.
I would nominate this as the greatest post of this thread, if not the year.

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I don't question what you said Dave, but I don't think most of us started handicapping because we wanted to be able to guess who the smarter bettors might bet at the last minute.

No one is saying it's impossible to reverse engineer what the CAW bettors are doing...but is that a game most of us can or even want to play? I don't. I don't appear to be alone.
100% in agreement with you.

Quote:
I disagree.

They have advantages and they may be better overall.

However

There are still huge holes in the game when it comes to evaluating bias and the understanding of the impact of bias and pace at an individual horse level. There are still rarer cases of incorrect figures or misunderstandings of class that can be exploited. It’s getting rarer and rarer and you have to work harder and harder to find fewer and fewer bets, but they still make mistakes.
If you judge your results the way they judge theirs, AND YOU ARE A WINNING PLAYER, then life is good.

Logically, I doubt that is true for very many players.


HOWEVER...
Let's take a moment to understand what is REALLY going on.

Everybody thinks they are an expert.
And you know what? We are!

We know how handicapping works.
(We know some are better/smarter/more experienced than others, but we're all experienced and relatively knowledgeable.)

You know how like only a tiny percentage of players will track their performance?

And how even a smaller percent would ever bother to calibrate their handicapping to understand their strengths and weaknesses so they could improve?

Well, get this...
THE WHALES WIN BECAUSE THEY HAVE CALIBRATED US!

They know that a horse that looks like this one and is in the gate at these odds should win this pct of the time and ultimately go off at those odds.

IOW, they use our consistency as a group to out wager us.

Yes, yes... I know. You handicap so differently and uniquely that nobody gets the same horses.

The point is that IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW YOU GOT THE HORSE with your Razzmatazz Unique approach. This includes my Razzmatazz software and my own obviously different (LOL) handicapping.

THE POINT is that we have been CALIBRATED.

Crestridge asked:
Quote:
Dave How does that (knowing how they bet, have value) work for the "layman"?
Overly Simple Answer:
You see this obviously great overlay on a horse who is (say) 5/1.

You see him as (what we'd call in HSH) an A+ horse.

He's not only a good bet but also the best horse in the race.

WE must get through our heads that if we can see it, so WILL the whales. Therefore, this horse will not be profitable.

The game changes to
1. picking good contenders
2. Tossing the high hit rate A+ horses
3. Playing one or two of the others.

IOW, play the worst bets among the contenders.

Welcome to our new reality.

Shockingly, it can work well.

But there will be a better solution.
Working on it every day.

Last edited by Dave Schwartz; 08-19-2023 at 01:14 PM.
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