Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

05 March 2008

Do not count on racing becoming a mainstream sport anytime soon




The plain fact is that racing is in a low popularity cycle now. The game is incompatible with the times where most desire instant gratification. Are you hungry? roll into the drive-thru for instant Mcburgers, boom you have filled your intestines. Are you bored and need some entertainment? We have 477 channels right at your fingertips. What about broads? There are millions of photos available on the internet, it is all so easy and cheap. These things once took a tremendous effort to attain and can now be had cheaply and easy. Horseplaying is as hard now as it has ever been. Racing is like an old chewed up bone protected by a pit bull in a supermarket stocked with beautiful porterhouse steaks on sale and ready to go.

In this climate of easy and cheap thrills how can you expect some Joe six-pack to put down their burger and remote to read PP's and absorb tough beat after tough beat watching animals run in a circle? Mainstream sports fans like TV mindless games where they can sit down, zone out and have a TV presenter tell them what to think. There is little nothing asked of the mainstream sports fan except buy the things we show you on the commercials. Conversely, horseplaying successfully is a massive effort coupled with a little mental abuse.

Some argue that lowering takeout will save the game, but that is a fallacy. Takeout has absolutely nothing to do with the popularity of racing especially from a mainstream point of view. It has been proven that low takeout bets are unprofitable and are not handle drivers. The takeout could be cut in half tomorrow and only a select group would notice or care. The average horseplayer is not savvy enough to capitalize on low-takeout bets the horseplayer wants action. You talk about takeout with a mainstream sports fans and they will respond with Sesame Chicken or Little Ceasers Pizza Pizza.

There is little appeal to the mainstream fan in dissecting the racing form and picking winners. While many of us love playing the ponies, we are in a small minority. We absorb the abuse of tough beats and losing streaks, the horses are a big part of our recreational lives. The hope is always for that race that we can crush and our egos are once again nourished with the fruits of handicapping genius. Today many people are just too feeble minded to deal with the downs of racing and need a fricking zoloft just to be happy. The fruits of handicapping genius are just to challenging for them to reach for, the effort is too much to ask. Instead of the fruits of handicapping genius the modern mainstream fan wants to sit on the couch and have a fruit flavored smoothie delivered to them. Do not count on racing to go mainstream anytime soon.

6 comments:

Cangamble said...

It has been proven that low takeout bets are unprofitable and are not handle drivers.
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Proven where? Do we know where the extra money won on Ellis Park W4's or at the Laurel meet went. I say it was rechurned probably on other high takeout bets or tracks.

And yes, most people won't care if takeouts were cut in half tomorrow, but they will have more money to churn and not go broke as fast.

Most importantly though, is offshore bookie houses will lose many of their clients back to track pools, and winners may be created. If winners are created, there is a chance that new blood will be attracted to the game.

Power Cap said...

Low takeout is good for horse players and i wish it was a bigger success, that6 would make it easy for track management to argue for lower takeout with local regulators. I actively play the Sam Houston Pick 3 with the 12% takeout only because of the takeout, it is a value wager. However look at the Sam Houston charts, the trifecta with a 25% takeout consistently has double or triple the handle of the pick 3 on the same race.

We are among the few that would appreciate low takeout but it is too bad that we are in a select minority.

Cangamble said...

Track takeout is something that most players don't care about, but the bottom line of how much a player gets back for his or her bets determines whether a player gets hooked or not.
Yes, the Sam Houston Pick 3 represents value for players (in fact I wasn't aware of it until yesterday though), but my point is that the player doesn't think about it in most cases, they don't realize they are getting back 10-12% more dough if they cash. But to be sure, they will churn that extra 10-12% in this instance most of the time.
In Sam Houston's case it is just a way to attract smart players to handicap their races. Once a player does so, they will probably be enticed to bet into the high take races because they have selections now. A player is still a gambler.
In Canada we were unable to bet Laurel because WEG doesn't give a rats ass about the player. Youbet too didn't take Laurel it is my understanding. So the experiment was doomed to begin with.
WEG also increases Pick 3's at Sam Houston to 25% just like they did last year with Ellis Park's Win 4's. So many people don't even get the benefits of these deals.

TripCrown73 said...

Who says you can't have drive-though betting? During Keeneland race meets, and special events (i.e. Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Breeders Cup) Keeneland has drive-through betting. It makes it really convenient when you can't get to the track (work, don't want to deal with the crowds, or other reasons), you can still place your bets. During the race meets, I usually take an early lunch drive through and then watch the reply at night or whenever is convenient. Plus on the 4 big days, I can sit at home and watch all the coverage on television. I don't know how much this has helped Keeneland but I do know the lines can be very long!

Valerie said...

In addition to many of the fine points you’ve made, let me also offer one that horseplayers and those in the industry rarely consider—many people love to watch horseracing, but they could care less about handicapping or even betting. They just love the power and beauty of the animals running. Unfortunately, it is this fan, which frankly could be in the majority, the industry takes for granted or flat out ignores. What other possible explanation could rationalize why many tracks, particularly newer racinos like Presque Isle Downs, have virtually no seating for fans on track and are satisfied to produce an inferior product with doped-up, broken-down horses? (I’m not directly tying PID to the inferior product category—it’s hard to judge since they haven’t run a full meet yet).

The largest untapped fan base right now? Those under the age of 18, who ironically appear to have the greatest amount of disposal income since their parents (perhaps guiltily) provide it for them. I'm not suggesting children gamble, but planting a love of the game early in life can pay huge dividends when those kids become adults. Just saying...

Power Cap said...

In Canada we were unable to bet Laurel because WEG doesn't give a rats ass about the player. Youbet too didn't take Laurel it is my understanding. So the experiment was doomed to begin with.
WEG also increases Pick 3's at Sam Houston to 25% just like they did last year with Ellis Park's Win 4's. So many people don't even get the benefits of these deals.
I was not aware that WEG manipulates the takeout on simulcast tracks. This is a good reason to be takeout sensitive. WEG is abusing their monopoly in Canada.