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In September, after a long campaign to reach him through friends and colleagues, I received an email from Benter. “I have been avoiding you, as you might have surmised,” he wrote. “The reason is mainly that I am uncomfortable in the spotlight by nature.” He added, “None of us want to encourage more people to get into the game!” But in October he agreed to a series of interviews in his office in downtown Pittsburgh. The tasteful space—the top two floors of a Carnegie Steel-era building—is furnished with 4-foot-tall Chinese vases and a marble fireplace, with sweeping views of the Monongahela River and freight trains rumbling past.
Something that is absolutely key to success in sports betting is accepting the realities of what sports betting is and what the possible outcomes are and one of those is that you will have losses. Once you have accepted that losses are a part of betting it frees your mind, reduces the tension, and helps to manage your emotions. You cannot be at your best while you are always tense from trying to resist losing, and interestingly sometimes the more you try and avoid something the more you are drawn towards it ? have you ever had one of those awkward moments when you have caught the eye of a stranger walking towards you and ended up doing a side-to-side dance with each other?
The computer-model crowd spent nights in a neighborhood called Wan Chai—a honey pot of gaudy bars and topless dancers that’s been described as “a wildly liberated Las Vegas.” Moore favored Ridgeway’s pool bar, where he’d start fights and boast about his gambling exploits. Woods didn’t drink much, but he enjoyed ecstasy, and he could be found most nights in Neptune II, a neon dungeon full of drunk businessmen and much younger women.
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The robo-bettors’ numbers have continued to proliferate. After Woods’s death, his children maintained his Hong Kong operation, but other members of the team went into business for themselves. And Benter spread the secrets of his success in various ways: He gave math talks at universities, shared his theories with employees and consultants, and even published an academic paper laying out his system. The 1995 document—“Computer-Based Horse Race Handicapping and Wagering Systems: A Report”—became a manual for an entire generation of high-tech gamblers.
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Ideally, the Sportsbook would like to have the same amount of money wagered on the two teams playing. If the Giants are playing the Colts and they have one player betting on the Giants and one player betting on the Colts they would pay the winner $100 but collect $110 for the loser. This gives them a $10 profit so they really don’t care who wins as long as they have an equal amount bet on each team. To accomplish this they assign a line or spread to make the contest equally attractive for both sides.
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That 60% betting record (with the odds of -110 that is traditional for against the spread bets in football) will leave you with a profit of $160. Think about it—your $600 profit from your 6 winning bets minus the $440 you lost on losing bets leaves $160. It took you $1,100 to win $160, meaning you have to bet $6.87 to win $1 on average. So you see the small differences between a 52.4% winning rate and a 60% winning rate—inside those 7.3 percentage points lies hundreds of dollars in profit.
2018 Eclipse Award Winners - Justify won Horse of the Year and Champion 3-year-old Male at the Eclipse Awards. Other winners included Accelerate as Champion Older Male, Roy H repeated as Champion Sprinter, and Stormy Liberal as Champion Turf Male, the first time a sprinter has won that category. Get all the winners, details about them, and the vote totals here.
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The club had come to see the syndicates’ success as a headache. There was no law against what they were doing, but in a parimutuel gambling system, every dollar they won was a dollar lost by someone else. If the everyday punters at Happy Valley and Sha Tin ever found out that foreign computer nerds were siphoning millions from the pools, they might stop playing entirely.
If, that is, the model were accurate. By the end of Benter’s first season in Hong Kong, in the summer of 1986, he and Woods had lost $120,000 of their $150,000 stake. Benter flew back to Vegas to beg for investment, unsuccessfully, and Woods went to South Korea to gamble. They met back in Hong Kong in September. Woods had more money than Benter and was willing to recapitalize their partnership—if it was renegotiated.
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Flat racing is the most common form of racing seen worldwide. Flat racing tracks are typically oval in shape and are generally level, although in Great Britain and Ireland there is much greater variation, including figure of eight tracks like Windsor and tracks with often severe gradients and changes of camber, such as Epsom Racecourse. Track surfaces vary, with turf most common in Europe, dirt more common in North America and Asia, and newly designed synthetic surfaces, such as Polytrack or Tapeta, seen at some tracks.