Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

20 January 2010

New Years Resolutions For The Horseplayer

Each New Year provides a fresh impetus to take a look at ourselves and make a fresh start. If anyone knows about the power of fresh form it is the horseplayer. This is the time of year where we can make the changes that can propel a marginal player into the ranks of the winning players. Power capping is for people that love the game and love to play it with panache. If you are not here to win there is no point in playing this game. There is much easier stimulation/entertainment options offered elsewhere but there is nothing like horseracing as it combines the ultimate puzzle with the beauty and grace of the natural form.

The number one most neglected thing that horseplayers could do but don't do is record keeping. How do you know what you are going if you didn't know what you've been? Record keeping more than just accounting; it provides financial situational awareness. A good spreadsheet is like a navigational tracking system for the bankroll. Without record keeping a player can not be sure if they are winning or what is winning and how do the numbers stack up. It defers the power to the emotions; a horseplayer should be grounded in reason.

The real power of record keeping is that it is like the rabbit in a greyhound race. For the horseplayer the rabbit is profitability. Too many people do not know where the rabbit is and how to get to it. Record keeping places that rabbit right in front of your face and forces you to focus on it rather than drift like a rudderless ship. If you just closed out another losing year or are not sure what kind of year you had it is time to make a change. My suggestion is build a spreadsheet in excel and consult it on a regular basis to update your statistics. This was the turning point that ended my days as a parimutuel mamaluke and made me into a person with a profitable hobby.

Another thing horseplayers can do is square away their account situation. There are horseplayer friends in New Jersey that have been unnecessarily blocked from prime tracks such as Santa Anita, Churchill Downs and Gulfstream because of political infighting. There are ways and means around all of these annoyances that could stand in the way of cashing tickets and peace of mind. Don't let industry idiocy impact or political corruption impact your profitability. How about those still patronizing an OTB branch and paying government taxes on winnings, not only are they dwelling in a negative environment but they are funding political corruption. An easy New Years resolution is to change to a superior vendor and upgrade to a first-class online horse racing experience. The vendor you choose should bend over backwards to accommodate your needs. When you have a play of the day ready to go roll you should have the confidence that the wager will be paid off without the online interface crashing or the track not being available.

We could go one and on with with resolutions but I would rather have people focus on what is important. Record keeping is at the heart of reason and directs the horseplayer towards profitability. Record keeping has the potential to turn a negative gambling vice into a profitable hobby. Help with excel and building a spreadsheet is available, please inquire within.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I have started a spreadsheet and it has paid big dividends for me. Less gambling and more winning. Discipline is getting better as well. I'm sure I can google it, but how do you determine the ROI? Thx my friend...Cice

Anonymous said...

ROI = $earnings / $totalbet

(don't forget to include loses in earnings)

Anyway... I'm curious what metrics you keep track of. I have a spreadsheet from last year that I keep track of all my wagers at nyra rewards, with a simple distance column (sprint/route), surface (and conditions), class, and if the race is filly and mare only.

Then of course the properties of my wagers, as well as a column with some thoughts about the wager --should not have placed it, should have hedged better, et cetera. This column worries me as it might make me focus on those aspects I missed more then others. But, knowing this deficiency is a good start in avoiding it.

I guess a column with how many drinks in is a good idea too.

Anyway, I agree with you on your suggestion of book keeping. It's a check and keeps you honest. Have a good year!

Power Cap said...

The formula for $2 ROI is AMT WON/(AMT BET/2)=$2 ROI. In excel if your amount won column is C and amount amount bet column is B the ROI formula is =C/(B/2)

Power Cap said...

@ANON#2 (not Cice)

Each bet is logged individually into excel.
The things I keep track of is my performance at individual tracks. There is also a formula for the three different surfaces DIRT/SYN/TURF. Then I track my ROI over sprint and route distances with =>mile. I also track wager types from win all the way up to pick 6.

I have ROI/strike rate/ave hit for each of these perimeters.

The important thing I gleaned from this is that I am a very good capper at Aqueduct and not so good at Saratoga. Lower win percentage on turf but a higher ROI. Win bets show a long term profit. That profit is diminished in exactas. My ROI remains strong in pick 3s due to a few lucky scores.

The most important thing is remain committed to logging the wagers either directly into excel or in a note book so that you can transfer the data later.

Bklyn's Best said...

How would you do a spreadsheet to include your P3, P4 and exotics (ex's , tri's , supr's) ?
What would be the factors?
Thanks in advance

Anonymous said...

Thanks PC, it seems we have similar spreadsheets.

Brklyn's Best:

You need to keep track of the base amount and the total cost of the ticket, then you can divide to find the number of bets placed in that wager. This is at least for the win percentages you get out of the sheets.

But for including tatistics on the races within the multi-race wager in your win% et cetera, I think the best way would be to have separate sheets for each type of bet.

~ annon#2

Power Cap said...

There is a column for wager type when I log each bet. W,DD,P3,EX etc etc. Then I log the total cost of the wager.

The multi-race exotics cloud the distance/surface tracking a bit. A pick three can consist of turf, a dirt race, sprints and routes. They don't really fit into the categories.

In this imperfect world I decided to lean on the "key" horse and credit that wager to the type of race he/she is running in.

The important part is that I am mining three key pieces of data generated by my play. Strike rate, ROI and ave win. I have this data for each track I bet, each wager type I make and also for surface/distance.