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Old 10-28-2016, 01:27 PM   #1
2low
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The Big Bankroll Building Challenge

And we all can play. All you need is a strategy and a commitment to discipline and your small bankroll, which you will turn into a big bankroll. If you've got that covered, feel free to add your running story to the thread if you'd like.

We are starting small whatever that means to you - for me, just under $100 - and building it into a very large bankroll, whatever that means to you. Our primary goal is to not lose the starting bankroll. Our stretch goal is to grow our starting bankroll.

Background: I was looking back through my old posts just for fun and found this:

http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/...2&postcount=189

The quoted post was and is generally the way I approach horse racing. I failed at that time, but I've continued to believe in my core theories. I knew that I had some critical missing pieces to the puzzle in my software due to lack of programming ability and time. I've now fixed those and tweaked a few other things, and I feel like if I am going to be successful, it's now or never.

My method: I've hacked together an excell/VBA based software package that is essentially a black box. I run my software on the tracks that are running once scratches are available, and place Win, Place and/or Show bets on the horses that it tells me to bet. I'm betting 2% of daily starting bankroll. I seek value in my approach, not in an individual horse. Been there, failed at that.

I placed my first wager using my strategy on September 18th. I am now up to 247 wagers total: 70 Place wagers for a 10cent loss, 127 Place wagers for a $33.20 win and 50 Win wagers for a $5.20 win.

Obviously, my sample is far too small to draw any conclusions. My hope is that I can grow my bankroll to a point where I can afford to place EX and TRI wagers, should the data I'm tracking on those bets prove to have promise once I reach that point.

I am adding new tracks to my software as they open. By this time next year, I should have all U.S. thoroughbred tracks in operation, or none

Off we go!
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Old 10-28-2016, 06:48 PM   #2
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Very cool thread. Am I to understand you're doing WPS bets only, depending on the odds? For example: Win only on odds >=5/2, Place on >=6/1, & Show on >=15/1. Just picked target odds I've used in the past. Reading your initial post, discipline in sticking to a plan is paramount, and my hardness hurdle to leap.
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whosonfirst
Very cool thread. Am I to understand you're doing WPS bets only, depending on the odds? For example: Win only on odds >=5/2, Place on >=6/1, & Show on >=15/1. Just picked target odds I've used in the past. Reading your initial post, discipline in sticking to a plan is paramount, and my hardness hurdle to leap.


I pay no attention to odds. My attempt was to develop a handicapping methodology that will on average select overlays, even though wagering on underlays a certain percentage of the time is unavoidable.

Currently, I'm making only WPS bets (not necessarily all three - most of my bets have been Place bets), but I hope to add EX and TRI wagers in the future.
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Old 10-28-2016, 10:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2low
And we all can play. All you need is a strategy and a commitment to discipline and your small bankroll, which you will turn into a big bankroll. If you've got that covered, feel free to add your running story to the thread if you'd like.

We are starting small whatever that means to you - for me, just under $100 - and building it into a very large bankroll, whatever that means to you. Our primary goal is to not lose the starting bankroll. Our stretch goal is to grow our starting bankroll.

Background: I was looking back through my old posts just for fun and found this:

http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/...2&postcount=189

The quoted post was and is generally the way I approach horse racing. I failed at that time, but I've continued to believe in my core theories. I knew that I had some critical missing pieces to the puzzle in my software due to lack of programming ability and time. I've now fixed those and tweaked a few other things, and I feel like if I am going to be successful, it's now or never.

My method: I've hacked together an excell/VBA based software package that is essentially a black box. I run my software on the tracks that are running once scratches are available, and place Win, Place and/or Show bets on the horses that it tells me to bet. I'm betting 2% of daily starting bankroll. I seek value in my approach, not in an individual horse. Been there, failed at that.

I placed my first wager using my strategy on September 18th. I am now up to 247 wagers total: 70 Place wagers for a 10cent loss, 127 Place wagers for a $33.20 win and 50 Win wagers for a $5.20 win.

Obviously, my sample is far too small to draw any conclusions. My hope is that I can grow my bankroll to a point where I can afford to place EX and TRI wagers, should the data I'm tracking on those bets prove to have promise once I reach that point.

I am adding new tracks to my software as they open. By this time next year, I should have all U.S. thoroughbred tracks in operation, or none

Off we go!


IMO...the betting unit should fluctuate in accordance with the difficulty of the particular wager. 2% of bankroll is the right amount for win-bets, but the place-bets carry a much lesser risk...and the show-bets, even more so. If we are going to recalculate our bet after every play...then I think that 2% for win, 3% for place, and 4% for show would be a better alternative.

And, when it comes time to include exactas and trifectas in our "portfolio"...then a 2% of bankroll betting unit would be very excessive.
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Old 10-29-2016, 03:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaskalos
IMO...the betting unit should fluctuate in accordance with the difficulty of the particular wager. 2% of bankroll is the right amount for win-bets, but the place-bets carry a much lesser risk...and the show-bets, even more so. If we are going to recalculate our bet after every play...then I think that 2% for win, 3% for place, and 4% for show would be a better alternative.

And, when it comes time to include exactas and trifectas in our "portfolio"...then a 2% of bankroll betting unit would be very excessive.


That's a very good point on the place and show wagers. I am recalculating on a daily basis, but those should still be good percentages. If the bankroll slips down to an uncomfortable level, I still have time to reduce the wagers.

EX and TRI definitely will be a lower percent of bankroll.

Thanks for the input!

Not a great day of wagering today, but the results on unbet races yielded a few new bet opportunities going forward. That I guess is a net long term positive. Hopefully.

Last edited by 2low : 10-29-2016 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 10-29-2016, 05:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2low
That's a very good point on the place and show wagers. I am recalculating on a daily basis, but those should still be good percentages. If the bankroll slips down to an uncomfortable level, I still have time to reduce the wagers.

EX and TRI definitely will be a lower percent of bankroll.

Thanks for the input!

Not a great day of wagering today, but the results on unbet races yielded a few new bet opportunities going forward. That I guess is a net long term positive. Hopefully.


To show you how inspired I have become by your undertaking here, I have set up a small bankroll of my own...to track a promising new twist of a method that I created not too long ago. If things go well...expect a "finder's fee" to come your way.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaskalos
To show you how inspired I have become by your undertaking here, I have set up a small bankroll of my own...to track a promising new twist of a method that I created not too long ago. If things go well...expect a "finder's fee" to come your way.

Great comments Thaskalos. I've never considered your percentage ideas on place and show bets, much less exotics. In my case, I'm trying to abandon(mostly) exactas which sap too much out of my bankroll. One exception for me is coupling a strong favorite with my pick as a saver. But overall, I p_xx away too much money on exactas. I'm always amazed when these odds-on favorites will all the figs get beat. I'm thinking of setting up a separate bankroll to do the same. It looks like I've found an edge on certain class of race. It's interesting to hear that the OP had similar discipline problems that plague me.

Last edited by Whosonfirst : 10-29-2016 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 10-29-2016, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaskalos
To show you how inspired I have become by your undertaking here, I have set up a small bankroll of my own...to track a promising new twist of a method that I created not too long ago. If things go well...expect a "finder's fee" to come your way.


Good luck! Finding new promising opportunities is so much fun. When one of my tracking numbers turns from black to green, I feel like I just won something

Bummer! Keeneland has been very good to me, but no wagers on closing day. I don't have my minimum required sample size for dirt routes, but I sure would like a bet on the in the 9th race. Next meet...

It feels like I'll be transitioning over the next couple of weeks, from betting tracks that I've barely collected minimum samples on to setting up new tracks with new meets. I look forward to having all of the new tracks set up in my little system. The setting up is not much fun, and it takes at least several weeks to collect data sufficient to pick out promising wagering opportunities.
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Old 11-04-2016, 03:03 PM   #9
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As expected, as soon as I posted this thread I took a gigantic hit and lost 21 of my next 25 wagers, and the winners were small enough they barely matter Oh well, that's gambling. The losing streak brought my net down to about break-even, maybe just a little below. I have since recovered a bit to post a small $7.50 gain on 304 total bets.

I thought more about increasing the size of my place and show wagers, and decided against. On the one hand, I can increase the size of the wagers since my hit rate will obviously be higher, reducing risk of loss. On the other hand, if I stick with a lower wager, I am reducing risk of loss in a real, tangible way, while taking a lesser return as the offset. Since my main goal is to not go broke, I've opted to stick with my minimum wager size for these bets.

Related to that, I think 2% of bankroll is too much for a win bet for me. Since I am trusting my program to pick my wagers for me, I waive the right to skip races and/or wagers on horses that I would toss without even thinking about it if I looked at the form. Much of my losing streak was due to wagers on 20/1+ shots that had absolutely no chance, but they slipped through my code. I had a wave of those.

Once the dust settles and I've finished with the basics, I'll be able to go back and see if I can program these losers out of my system, but until then, I'll have to live with them as an expense of black boxing, and hope the rest of the wagers can overcome these guaranteed losses. All that said, I think I'll keep my win bets at 1% of bankroll once (and if) it grows to where I have that flexibility.
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Old 11-04-2016, 03:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2low
As expected, as soon as I posted this thread I took a gigantic hit and lost 21 of my next 25 wagers, and the winners were small enough they barely matter Oh well, that's gambling. The losing streak brought my net down to about break-even, maybe just a little below. I have since recovered a bit to post a small $7.50 gain on 304 total bets.

I thought more about increasing the size of my place and show wagers, and decided against. On the one hand, I can increase the size of the wagers since my hit rate will obviously be higher, reducing risk of loss. On the other hand, if I stick with a lower wager, I am reducing risk of loss in a real, tangible way, while taking a lesser return as the offset. Since my main goal is to not go broke, I've opted to stick with my minimum wager size for these bets.

Related to that, I think 2% of bankroll is too much for a win bet for me. Since I am trusting my program to pick my wagers for me, I waive the right to skip races and/or wagers on horses that I would toss without even thinking about it if I looked at the form. Much of my losing streak was due to wagers on 20/1+ shots that had absolutely no chance, but they slipped through my code. I had a wave of those.

Once the dust settles and I've finished with the basics, I'll be able to go back and see if I can program these losers out of my system, but until then, I'll have to live with them as an expense of black boxing, and hope the rest of the wagers can overcome these guaranteed losses. All that said, I think I'll keep my win bets at 1% of bankroll once (and if) it grows to where I have that flexibility.


Not good!!! Change that goal right now. Defensive gambling is losing gambling, particularly at the track. And you really should reconsider the escalation clause in your risk assessment model as Thask suggested. The best way to avoid going bankrupt is to build.

Go forward young man, and don't look back. Put $0 in your rear view mirror.
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ultracapper
Not good!!! Change that goal right now. Defensive gambling is losing gambling, particularly at the track. And you really should reconsider the escalation clause in your risk assessment model as Thask suggested. The best way to avoid going bankrupt is to build.

Go forward young man, and don't look back. Put $0 in your rear view mirror.


I don't disagree with that strategy at all, assuming I have a profitable handicapping model. I don't know that. Step 1 is to prove the model, which I'm assuming to be 2,000 wagers. At that point, I'll know roughly what my ROI/winning percentages are, and I can size wagers appropriately. As of now, I may be losing. I have no idea. The sample sizes I'm using to even decide to start tracking each wager is actually too small by miles, but $2 a pop isn't going to kill me if I'm making bad bets.

That said, I could do all of this without even wagering since I make no decisions. I don't even look at the bets before I make them, so no emotion comes into play.

I'm in no hurry. If I'm making money after 2,000 wagers, I'll start trying to maximize my winnings. I'm 325 wagers in and up about $27.50.

Last edited by 2low : 11-09-2016 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:49 PM   #12
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Wow, been brutal since my last update. Through 370 wagers, now down about $35. I think I had maybe 3 or 4 winners in the last 45 bets.

I'm going to have to reset things over the next couple of weeks. There is what I think will be a very key factor missing in my work so far, due to sample size. I needed to build up the race numbers before I could use it. It has to do with expected race shape, and breaking out races of different shapes and treating each separately from the others. To date, all race shapes have been lumped into one bucket, which is somewhat like treating grass and dirt as if there is no difference.

So, I am doing the work of changing code and spreadsheets to account for the new data, and I'll start my 2,000 wager count over once it is done.

As for what I've done so far, I consider it a success. First, the software is working without major bugs. That's a miracle

Second, my little bankroll survived, even if smaller than I started. I pretty much expected a small loss since I am wagering on sub-optimal sample sizes across the board. I knew that I'd be making bad wagers in spots, and not making good wagers in other spots. Having less than a 5% net loss through almost 400 wagers is not bad, considering.

This update to my little system is the last major one that I have in mind at this time, so I fully expect to make the changes and wager 2,000 times to see what happens. I'll be expecting a small loss again, since I'll actually be backtracking on sample size again. But, assuming I survive the 2,000 wagers, I hope to move into positive territory from there.
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Old 11-17-2016, 02:05 PM   #13
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I would be willing to bet that if you go back and check your wagers that you will be money ahead betting the same amount to win as you would on win/place or wps. A $6 win bet instead of $2 WPS. You won't collect as often but when you do it will usually be more. Every time I have checked this over the term of 100+ bets, the win only wager usually has the highest ROI.
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Old 11-17-2016, 02:13 PM   #14
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I would be willing to bet that if you go back and check your wagers that you will be money ahead betting the same amount to win as you would on win/place or wps. A $6 win bet instead of $2 WPS. You won't collect as often but when you do it will usually be more. Every time I have checked this over the term of 100+ bets, the win only wager usually has the highest ROI.


I do keep track of this in a pivot table. So far, place wagers have consistently been best ROI and show wagers worst.

I should note that I am not necessarily making all three wagers on a race. I let the numbers dictate. Some races are win only, others place only, some w/s, etc.
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:09 PM   #15
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Alrighty then, phase 1 is in the books. The basic system is tested as far as I care to take it, and I've just finished inserting my last major component.

And now, a tip for all of you who are in the midst of a brutal losing streak. I suggest a $2 WPS bet on a horse that returns about $95. works like a charm! Phase 1 finished with 395 wagers and a profit of $61.70. Special thanks to the horse in the seventh at Remington Park on Friday. Couldn't have done it without ya!

So now, I'm resetting at zero and a $200 starting bankroll for 2,000 wagers using my full blown system. I'm going to stick with wagers equaling 1% of bankroll, or $2, whichever is higher. At the end of the test, if I show a profit, I'll rework the wager amounts. I have no idea how long this will take, but I'm guessing better than a year. More and more wagering opportunities should arise as sample sizes grow, but it is also possible that most are a dry hole in the end. Time will tell.
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