From The Desk Of Michael Pizzolla
Las Vegas, Nevada
January 16, 2011
Dear ValueCapper and Friend:
Wanted to drop you a line to thank you all for the support and great feedback to the improvements we’ve been making to the Post Time Solutions data.
And I want to tell you about some improvements that are coming down the line.
But first, I want to get on my soapbox. It’s about something very near and dear to my heart: Exotic betting.
A short while ago, the geniuses in California decided to up the takeout on exotic bets from around 20 percent to 23 percent.
That’s not bad enough, but the CHRB actually claimed that this was a better product for the horseplayer.
I’m sorry, but that’s an unmitigated lie.
And it comes from not understanding the game, how much diligence it takes to beat the take, and who is picking up the tab for horse racing.
News flash, California, it’s us-the bettors.
So, you can’t expect to up the take and not get some reaction, even if you deceptively claim that it’s good for the horseplayer.
I don’t get involved in organized anything these days, but I did take notice that the Horseplayers’ Association of North America (HANA) is boycotting the Santa Anita product.
Now, I neither support or oppose a boycott. I simply look for value bets factoring in the takeout. Of course, by definition, because of the increased takeout, there will be fewer value bets in that jurisdiction, so I am de facto not playing the Santa Anita races. I’ve heard from some of you that a boycott hurts those who are least able to withstand the loss of revenue and who had nothing to do with the decision: Track staff, backstretch staff, and so on.
This morning, there was an article about the boycott and the handle at Santa Anita.
HANA claimed a 15% decrease in handle yesterday at Santa Anita. Santa Anita countered by saying that the handle was actually up 5%.
Saying in effect, there you go horseplayers, you have no voice, you are so stupid we are going to tell you that increasing the take will be better for you, sit down, shut up, and give us your money.
George Orwell was an optimist.
What Santa Anita had to do, of course, to come up with that 5% increase is to once again prevaricate. They included the simulcast handle to come up with an increase.
Don’t you get it? The boycott is against YOUR product, Santa Anita, and the handle on YOUR product is the only relevant number.
Get honest, and lower the take, or lead the parade of racing’s demise.
Whew. Thanks for listening. I’m just really tired of we horseplayers getting treated like idiots.
Back to Post Time. I’m delighted to tell you that Operation Data 2011 is going well so far.
There have been upgrades to our adjustments in our numbers that will show up automatically when you update Post Time Daily 2.0 or Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software™. I’m very pleased with the numbers, they’re a significant improvement.
We’ve been generating all our files from a new server which will bring a number of separate processing steps together in one place. It’s taken a few years to do this, because it’s a really complex job.
What’s in it for you is increased reliability and speed.
For example, you’ll notice that the Results Charts are now available shortly after the races are official. In the past, we would have to wait until ALL charts were official, so until the last race at Delta or Charlestown or Los Alamitos was official, we couldn’t post the charts from Aqueduct or Laurel which were finished 8 hours earlier.
No more: They’re up as soon as the track’s results are official, and those of you using Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software™ can import them the same day, no waiting until the next day.
Luckily, the upgrade process on Black Magic: The Ultimate Handicapper Software™ and Post Time Daily 2.0 has gone very smoothly, and I’m really grateful for your kind feedback and support.
Besides the numbers being improved, there were a whole bunch of little improvements. For example, the ‘Reset All Preferences’ matches the preferences I use on the example races on the Wizards’ Forum and DVDs. Can’t tell you what a timesaver that is, because BLAM has so many little tweaks so the user can set it the way he likes.
We’re working on a number of database improvements that will mean a better, easier, faster, more enjoyable experience for you. Stay tuned.
Well, that’s it for now.
I did a blog post this morning about the California handle issue, and you can read it here:
Remember to always look for the value in the race, and let the bet make you!
My sincere thanks to all of you who have sent me emails telling me of your progress. I enjoy hearing from you, and you can always get me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best,