This is the transcript, chapter 3 of 5 – It IS Possible To Handicap the Handicapping, for the PaceMakesTheRace Podcast: Actually Brilliant Ideas that You Need to Know from Mark David
Dave Schwartz Interviews Mark David, and this chapter covers ways to Handicap the Handicapping! “This was a very enjoyable podcast. Mark turned out to be as articulate a speaker as he is a writer. The bar for podcasts has just been raised.” – Dave S.
Dave: I am reading between the lines of what you are saying and I am thinking.
First of all we talk about experts, I think there are two kinds of expertise:
the one side is the technical side, the ability to analyze a race with important factual data, interpretation of data.
But then there is another level of that and that is where, effectively, it is like handicapping the handicapping. That is where it ultimately progresses to making bets. Does that make sense?
Mark: It does but I would distinguish one thing you just said. You’re an expert at getting factual data and you back that up by turning it into profitable plays over time right?
Dave: I build the system and the system results in plays.
Mark: But you are the system, you built it. It is you.
Dave: It is kind of like if you lived in a coal mining area – which I never did. Picture a coal mining cart that is filled to the brim or maybe with gold. As you push it, it is hard to get it going but once it gets some momentum it pretty much keeps going on its own with the occasional shove. That is how I visualize systems.
Mark: My point is that I know visual facts based on how I track when I make those assessments, how factual they are to a percentage.
By looking at a horse that lugs in, how many times will a horse that lugs in do it, will he do it again the next time or stumble out of the gate? How often does he do it the next time? Is a certain breed lame, do they go lame at a certain pattern?
I track these to factual percentages not just to visuals. I take the visual facts, I see the facts and then I verify them by tracking when I make those how often it performs. That is also a fact if I can prove that it is a factual statistical reality.
You do it with data, it is different things but, they still add up to the same thing: value if you are correct to a certain point.
Dave: I said there are different types of expertise but it seems like there’s an undercurrent need for the winning player in order to achieve that level you have to understand cause and effect, you have to study what happens.
Mark: Absolutely. That is correct, that is everything.
Dave: I know we said winning is better by not being a gambler. Tell me, we have kind of been touching on it but, what is your meaning there?
Mark: I do not gamble and if I do I bring $20 to the track and bet $2 on whatever I like, that is gambling. I just walk into the red mile because I am on vacation and I stop at the red mile because I just want to have fun.
I take a two second look at the program, the 4 horse looks good on the track, I will bet him, that is gambling. There is nothing to that. You do not do any work to achieve that. That is just gambling and I expect to lose because I still have to deal with the 17% take out.
If I am any good at it I am gambling. If you are that player, when I was that player and when I am that player periodically, when I take $20 out of my account and gamble I do not feel like doing the work that night.
I do not play $200 a race when I am playing I play $2. I am only going to lose about 6 of that anyways or I might win it if I get lucky. I do not care, it is gambling, it is for fun and I do not have a problem with that.
But that is not what I do when I play. I invest when I play. I invest when I play, I am making investments in the things I do and I expect a return, whereas most players are gamblers and they can’t derive things that way.
Dave: In other words you have two different modes, playing for fun and playing seriously. When you are playing for fun you might be a $2 player but when you are playing seriously it is business.
Mark: Absolutely and that is not gambling, I am not in the gambling business. I’m in the investment business.
Dave: One of the topics we discussed weeks ago was the bridge jumper.
It is funny because we just put up a podcast today where Derek and I, a week ago, discussed bridge jumping. I think you will find that podcast very interesting.
I always said that is like four races a day and I am kind of not interested in that. When you and I spoke you said there were certain tracks prone to bridge jumping and the key thing that jumped off the page at me was that you said you chart them. Tell me about that.
Mark: Here is how I started that.
I was just curious about this bridge jumping thing because I had seen it and had never played the game. It was a guy in a previous group I was in, on Facebook, that was strictly a guy who played against bridge jumpers. That was his only play as far as I could tell.
He only found a bridge jumper and played against every single one all the time because eventually, it is going to hit, and something is going to lose. That is why bridges are made for jumpers, because they are going to have to jump off at some point.
To me a bridge jumper is someone who makes a bet when they know they are going to get $210 back for $200 and they do not care. They are willing to make that bet. They know that no matter what happens with anyone else betting that race, they are betting what they are betting. Usually that’s a large sum, and they are going to take $210 back.
The exception is Mountaineer and Charleston where they give you $220. That is why there is more there because they are getting a double return for the same exact risk.
Dave: As a minimum in other words.
Mark: They are always going to get the minimum because they bet so much that they kill any chance for anyone to alter that.
We hope you will join us for Chapter 4 – Do You Play For The Thrill of One Big Bet?, which will post in a couple of days!
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