This is the vigorish, also known commonly as the “vig” or the “juice” — the bookmaker’s cut of the action. Oddsmakers try to set betting lines as precisely as possible to attract an equal amount wagered on each team involved in a particular game. They use money from losing bets to pay off people who make winning bets, while keeping a percentage for themselves. That percentage varies, but usually is around 10 percent, so that a successful $25 bet would earn you a $22.50 profit.
Benter’s solution to the phone ban was time-consuming and required him to manage teams of runners, who risked being robbed. But it was almost as profitable as his old arrangement. The club continued to exchange his cash vouchers for checks, and no one came to shut him down. Woods kept betting in a slightly different manner, sending members of an extended roster of Philippine girlfriends directly to the racetrack with bags full of cash.
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There are three founding sires that all Thoroughbreds can trace back to in the male line: the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian, and the Byerly Turk, named after their respective owners Thomas Darley, Lord Godolphin, and Captain Robert Byerly. They were taken to England, where they were mated with mares from English and imported bloodlines. The resultant foals were the first generation of Thoroughbreds, and all modern Thoroughbreds trace back to them. Thoroughbreds range in height, which is measured in hands (a hand being four inches). Some are as small as 15 hands while others are over 17. Thoroughbreds can travel medium distances at fast paces, requiring a balance between speed and endurance. Thoroughbreds may be bay, black, dark bay/brown, chestnut, gray, roan, white or palomino. Artificial insemination, cloning and embryo transfer are not allowed in the Thoroughbred breed.
Benter’s model required his undivided attention. It monitored only about 20 inputs—just a fraction of the infinite factors that influence a horse’s performance, from wind speed to what it ate for breakfast. In pursuit of mathematical perfection, he became convinced that horses raced differently according to temperature, and when he learned that British meteorologists kept an archive of Hong Kong weather data in southwest England, he traveled there by plane and rail. A bemused archivist led him to a dusty library basement, where Benter copied years of figures into his notebook. When he got back to Hong Kong, he entered the data into his computers—and found it had no effect whatsoever on race outcomes. Such was the scientific process.
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Charles II (reigned 1660–85) became known as “the father of the English turf” and inaugurated the King’s Plates, races for which prizes were awarded to the winners. His articles for these races were the earliest national racing rules. The horses raced were six years old and carried 168 pounds (76 kg), and the winner was the first to win two 4-mile (6.4-km) heats. The patronage of Charles II established Newmarket as the headquarters of English racing.
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The training of racehorses, simply expressed, is maintaining a horse in the best condition to run. Exercise and feeding programs and knowledge of the individual horse are factors involved. A good trainer selects a jockey who suits the horse and, perhaps more important, enters the horse in suitable races. A trainer of a horse for a classic race not only must develop the horse into peak condition but must time the development so that the horse reaches its peak on a certain day, which is the most difficult art of all.
For example, when two teams play a game of soccer, the bookmakers set odds of each team recording a win, loss, or draw. Sometimes large numbers of people can bet on a particular outcome for reasons that are unrelated to the odds—that team might be more popular than expected, for example. In that case, the bookmaker is set for a large payout if that outcome occurs.
Once you’re much more experienced and ready to take things to the next level then I strongly Conquering Risk: Attacking Vegas and Wall Street by Elihu D. Feustel. This is a book for advanced sports bettors and not a good read for anyone not already winning. It is heavily math, statistic and handicapping intensive. If you eventually decided on a career as an advantage player at some point down the road you’ll want to work to understand what Elihu D. Feustel shares in this book.
Probably the most important aspect of winning at sports betting is knowing what to avoid. There is a myriad of things to avoid when betting sports. For example, try to avoid paying -110 when -105 is easily available somewhere else. Don’t bet more than normal because you’re stuck for the day/week/month/year. Don’t bet more because the game is on TV. Take any picks with a grain of salt. Most picks, especially picks that are given away, are worth their weight in gold, so 0. Occasionally you’ll find someone worth following, but chances are they are just trying to sucker you in to purchase future “locks” with the promise of a free half-season if they happen to lose.
One of his most impressive bets was on the 2010 Super Bowl, when he put down $3.5million on New Orleans Saints to beat the Indianapolis Colts. The Saints were the underdogs going into the game with the Colts looking unbeatable, but Billy’s stats and figures all pointed to the Saints as the favorites. He went with it, and it paid off. No one knows how much Walter raked in exactly, but we’re pretty sure it was a hefty sum!
The Arabian horse was developed by the Bedouin people of the Middle East specifically for stamina over long distances, so they could outrun their enemies. It was not until 1725 that the Arabian was introduced into the United States. Arabians appeared in the United States in colonial times, though were not bred as purebreds until about the time of the Civil War. Until the formation of the Arabian Horse Registry of America in 1908, Arabians were recorded with the Jockey Club in a separate subsection from Thoroughbreds.