This is the transcript, chapter 4 of 5 – Do You Play For The Thrill of One Big Bet?, from the PaceMakesTheRace Podcast: Actually Brilliant Ideas that You Need to Know from Mark David
Dave Schwartz Interviews Mark David and in this transcript chapter talks about the Thrill of One Big Bet. “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.
The last chapter concluded in the middle of a discussion:
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.
Picking up where we left off:
Dave: But the minimum there is higher. The phrase you used was that you chart these tracks. Tell me a little bit about how you do that.
Mark: I began to be interested in bridge jumping because I saw him playing it and I thought there had to be a smarter, more factual way to do this instead of playing against everyone.
Playing against everyone makes no sense because 19/20 they are going to beat you. I do not want to lose. What if in terms of streaks 90 in a row beat you? That is a lot of money. It is only a little over time but that is a big chunk to lose.
Ninety races where you lose every bet? I do not want to do that. I want to incorporate my handicapping and skill set into that. I do not just want to play and say “Hey look at me I just hit a $100 show bet.” But you lost $120 to get it so it does not mean anything.
I am an investor not a gambler, I do not play for the thrill of the one big bet.
I began to study bridge jumper horses as I was doing my other bet. I just come along and see that. Within the midst of a card you are going to see a few here and there at every track.
Then I started to notice it at Fingerlakes, Charleston and Mountaineer specifically. Three tracks that had so many of them. In other words, where you would think there was one every three cards I would say there was maybe 40% of it being entire races they run are going to have a bridge jumper in them.
Dave: This is the skeptic in me, this is what I thought to begin with before you convinced me.
If I am understanding you right, what you are saying is there are one or more individuals that are consistently wagering at this track who have more money than brains. Their approach to this is to dump huge amounts of money. We’re talking about show pool here, aren’t we?
Mark: A show, or place, if they take the show away. Some tracks have taken show away because they are giving $220 away. It is too big a hit to keep taking over and over again.
To some extent when they get a five horse field where a lot of the tracks with the lead show up, they are taking away making the jumper go to place and making it difficult. Now he has to finish in the top 2 with less leeway for them to get out.
Dave: Is there a precise definition?
Derek, in the podcast last week, said he used 75% of the show pool – for simplistics I will use show pools. He said 75% or more of the money was on their horse, in truth it really starts at about 80%.
Mark: I view it as a confidence thing. In other words the higher the percentage the horse takes the bigger the players that are in there because they bet higher amounts so they increase the percentage on the bridge jumper horse.
It becomes higher for bigger players who in theory have a program, do their homework, have inside info or anything like that. Some of the horses are still going to break their legs or fall out the gate, that can always happen. Or just race bad, the odd one will do that too.
But the higher the number goes the more likely you are to not beat that bet, the guy who is jumping. That’s just how it goes. If that is what you are trying to do, if you are playing against a bridge jumper, you are trying to beat them.
Here is how I learned to find where the number was. I began to play the bridge jumper game. So, I would have to learn how to access which ones were the better ones to play and which ones were the riskier ones.
So when I got on the other side I knew where to look for the risky ones in the first place. In actual experience that is what I did. Not a large amount. I play $100 on every bridge jumper horse I thought was safe.
I was not taking much risk because if I hit 19/20 and I lose, I am even. It makes no difference. I am not risking anything other than my time and capital. $100 to me is not even like a drop in my account.
I did that for a month, maybe two months. I took every bridge jumper horse I saw and if I had the time that day I would assess them based on what I do and make a value call in whether I thought they could down, whether they were safe.
Dave: Now you are talking about your playing the positive side. In other words you’re looking at the bridge jumping.
Mark: I am jumping. I did that so I could learn how to play against them.
Dave: That makes sense, cause and effect.
Mark: Part of that is a confidence thing. You would have to think when you are a bridge jumper that you have to have ice water in your veins because they can make these large bets and sleep at night.
Or they are idiots and play with large amounts of money. They do not care because they can lose the money and take their rich kings, they do not care how they lose, it means nothing to them.
Take their average streaks, they can spend 16 million on a horse that have runs. What do they care? They have $160 billion. To me and you it is a lot but to them it is not, they do not care.
I have to assume that these people have the confidence in this horse to bet that kind of money if they are serious about it so that they are going to make money. You would think they are making money if they are doing it.
I wanted to see how uneasy I felt when I was going to make any of those bets, that horse worries me, why does he worry me, what do I know about him, what do I think I know about him, where are the holes?
Dave: You said something really powerful there. If I heard you right you’re trying to gauge your feelings and then asking the question why do I not feel good about this?
Mark: That is a roundabout way of saying what I just said. I’m trying to say if I make this bet and $100 does not mean anything to me, let us say I’m thinking about it as $100,000 worth I’m going to make a real bridge jumper’s bet like they do.
Could I sleep at night and make this bet? Do I have the confidence that I would make this $100,000 bet and I wouldn’t lose much over time because I would still win the other nineteen?
I would use that a measure stick. How worried am I that I’m going to lose this big chunk when I make this bet? When I do that I write that down.
Next up is Chapter 5 – It’s All About Pattern, Everything Is A Pattern and we hope you’ll enjoy!
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