Jeff Tune's Gambling Blog
Friday, 24 February 2017
Injury update: Wed. Feb. 22.
To make a long day short, I had a cat scan and have two minor fractures. One in my pelvis and one in my right hip. No wonder I have pain! No surgery or cast required - just pain meds, crutches and walker, and time to heal. Ok, let's gamble!
I decided to try another $2.00 tourney today. Gulfstream again, eight races. I was also looking at Tampa Bay races, I hit a decent pick three. Paid $46.70 for a .50 bet. Since my Twin Spires account was sitting at $15, that means I quadrupled my balance!
The contest was a close one. Once again only three players. When one guy hit a 6-1 winner in contest race 6, he went ahead of me by $7.00. But I had the next 8/5 winner and with one race to go here's how the standings looked:
No. 2 guy: $29.00
No. 3 guy: $28.80
The finale was a $30,000 claiming race on the turf at one mile. The favorite was CASTOR, trained by Todd Pletcher. I didn't like the horse - his last race (off a layoff) was pretty awful. CASTOR sold for $270K, and now he's in a $30,000 claimer? At 5/2 odds no thanks.
I had originally picked CAPE MIST, first off the claim for trainer Jane Cibelli - a 18% winning angle. My second choice was the outside horse LILLIE'S ANSWER, second off the claim for trainer Mike Maker - a 35% winning angle! Top jockey Jose Ortiz was aboard. This one was second choice at 3-1. Even though I didn't like the outside 12-post, I decided that it was very likely that one of the other contest players would pick this one so I changed my pick and went with the Maker/Ortiz mare.
LILLIE'S ANSWER won it pretty easy despite the outside post. Neither of the other players picked her (the guy in 2nd picked the fave). Btw, my original choice, CAPE MIST, was a good third.
So I finally won one of these HorseTourney contests. Usually I play the pick and pray ones but I think I might like the live format better. Much more fun that way.
Sunday, 19 February 2017
TOURNAMENTS! (part two)
Yesterday I tried another $2 tourney on HorseTourneys. Same format as before (see last post), but this time it was nine races - once again Gulfstream. And it seemed to be a tough card. Even though it was a live tourney, I handicapped all nine races prior to the first race and made my selections for each race. I could always change later as needed.
I picked the first three winners - all low prices. Then the next race I picked a 5-1 runner who finished second. But another guy had the 6-1 winner (my alternate choice). I still had the lead but two races later he hit a 3-1 winner and overtook me by a buck. I changed my original pick in the seventh race from a 3/2 to a 7-1 who I really liked. He finished 4th and the 3/2 runner fin. 2nd which would have put me in the lead. Grrrrr. We both had the winner of the eighth so going into the final race I am still down by a dollar.
DELTA PRINCE, the 6/5 favorite in the finale, an allowance turf event, certainly looked like the horse to beat. I originally picked him, but most likely the leader was going to go with him also. My second choice was a 5-1 Chad Brown runner who certainly could upset the fave. Even if he placed I could win the contest. Well, DELTA PRINCE won it. The tourney leader ended up going with some 17-1 shot!! The Chad Brown runner didn't do much running and I finished second again.
The funny thing is that on this "tough" card, if I had gone with my original picks, out of nine races I would have had six winners and two seconds and would have won easily. Oh well. I threw some more money into HT for future tourneys.
TOURNAMENTS! (part one)
So I injured my hip in a nasty fall at work. No fracture but I am at home recuperating. Of course this means lots of time for online horseplaying. Both my Twin Spires and HorseTourneys accounts are in dangerous need of replenishing. I went on HT to make a deposit and saw that my balance was $5.00. I also noticed that they have $2.00 tourneys for those that played less than $250 in the past year. That includes me so I played a live Gulfstream contest this past Wednesday.
These $2 tourneys only have three entrants and the winner gets $6. A real cheap way to have some fun and kill some time. Usually in tournament play you need to look for longshots, but with only three players I figured that was not the case and just decided to pick winners - especially early in the tourney as this was a live format.
There were eight contest races (Gulfstream races 4-11). So I picked mostly favorites and had three winners and four seconds in the first seven races! The other two contestants pretty much picked the same favorites but I had about a $6 lead going into the final race, a $25,000 maiden claimer at 7-1/2 furlongs on the turf.
I did not have a strong opinion on this race. It's my thinking that if you have the lead going into the final race you should probably play the favorite and let someone beat you with a pricier horse. But then I thought that the the guy who is in second behind me is probably thinking that I will play the fave, and he will play the second fave to try and beat me. So maybe I should also play that horse to cover myself. There was a clear cut second favorite, but I didn't like him at all. CLASSIC MOVE was a Shug McGaughey - trained colt who was dropping from MSW into Mdn CL and also adding blinkers. But he had run terrible his last two starts. I couldn't play this horse and went with the fave. Well, CLASSIC MOVE won easily at 9/2. Yep, the guy behind me had him and beat me.
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Here is the lowdown on 2016. Lost around $300. In early December I was down about $100 and tried to get ahead for the year but only dug the hole deeper, lol. Had a rare losing Saratoga meet in 2016.
There were some highlights. I cashed more tickets in 2016 than in any other year. I hit a 43-1 winner at Keeneland. And I hit two pick 4's! Small ones, but it's a start - and I didn't play the pick 4 hardly at all. Hoosier Park was a strong track in 2016. (Note to self: need to play Hoosier more in 2017). I played a few online tournaments - did well but not well enough to cash. I'll be playing more tourneys in 2017.
Blackjack was a bust in 2016. No luck at all, especially when I was in Vegas. Disappointing, but I will be returning to Las Vegas again the first week of May, and will be playing more BJ than last year - I am out to win in 2017!
Below are the numbers for 2016. Thoroughbred winnings edged out harness. Cashed a ton of pick threes but most very small ones (yep those .20 Canadian ones). Cashed tickets at 25 different tracks!
Thoroughbred vs, Harness
Thoroughbred winnings - 52%
Harness winnings - 48%
Mohawk - 21%
Woodbine Harness - 12%
Hoosier Park - 10%
Presque Isle Downs - 9%
Saratoga - 8%
Tampa Bay - 7%
Woodbine Thoroughbred - 6%
By Bet Type
Pick Three - 47%
Win - 27%
Daily Double - 19%
Exacta - 5%
Pick Four - 2%
Friday, 6 May 2016
I'm in Las Vegas and unable to edit my web page so here are my selections for the Kentucky Oaks.
Weep No More
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Boy, do I wish my state of PA would allow online poker soon. I quite often play on PokerStars, but like most of the country can only play for play money. It's still fun and keeps up my poker skills. I play mostly tournaments and lately I have been on fire! Here are the results of my last seven tournaments. I cashed in all seven.
1 of 87 players - Stud Hi/Lo
3 of 18 players - No Limit Hold 'Em
2 of 18 players - No Limit Hold 'Em
3 of 9 players - No limit Omaha Hi/Lo
2 of 18 players - No Limit Hold 'Em
3 of 18 players - No Limit Hold 'Em
1 of 116 players - 8-Game
As you can see I like playing many different poker games. My favorite is probably Stud Hi/Lo followed by Omaha Hi/Lo and Razz. I love HORSE and 8-Game which incorporate multiple games. Here is the lineup of games for both:
-Hold 'Em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, 7-card Stud, 7-card Stud Hi/Lo Eight or better
-No Limit Hold 'Em. Pot Limit Omaha, 2-7 Triple Draw, Limit Hold 'Em, Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Stud, Stud Hi/Lo
Of course play money games are easier pickins than real money games but still, my bankroll is up to $10,700,000. C'mon Pennsylvania--legalize online poker!
Monday, 14 March 2016
This coming Saturday is the Buffalo Raceway WHHC qualifier contest. In past years they have had four qualifying contests and the top five from each of those came back for a final contest. This year there is only one contest!
I did well in last year's contest - finished third which awarded me $250. But here is an update from last year's contest. Last month I received a call from Buffalo Raceway. The winner of the 2015 contest never collected his winnings! Therefore they were re-distributing the contest prize money and I was moved up to second place and received an extra $150. Sweet!
I'm now preparing for this weekend's contest by watching replays. Here are a few tips for playing handicapping contests.
- Get all the contest rules ahead of time. What tracks are included in the contest? Are there any mandatory races? What is the contest format?
- Familiarize yourself with the included track(s). Check track profiles and driver/jockey/trainer stats for the meet.
- Watch replays! For me this means watching last Saturday's races (and the previous Saturday too). Many of the horses who raced last week wil be racing again this Saturday. The contest this weekend includes both Buffalo Raceway and The Meadowlands. As I watch the replays, I make notes for each race and use these notes when handicapping.
- Handicap in advance! You don't want to show up for the contest without handicapping prior. Your handicapping should be done and your time will be spent checking odds for possible plays.
- Map out a contest strategy beforehand. What races will you play? And what horse? At what odds? And maybe most important, what races will you skip? If it looks like a big fave will win a race, it's best to skip it. Of course you will have to tweak your strategy depending on odds and where you stand in the tourney.
- Look for longshots! You don't win these things by playing favorites. For this particular contest I will be focusing on live longshots at the Meadowlands.
- Have an idea of what final dollar amount you will need to win the contest and shoot for that.
- Save your bullets for late races! This way you will have a good idea what you need to get near the top. Even if you happen to be near the top or leading early on, it's still a good idea to save bets for later races.
Ok, I gotta get back to work and watch more replays! I will post next week about the tourney.
Thursday, 3 December 2015
A quick report on tonight's action. I went up to PID to bet some Woodbine harness and hopefully get in some blackjack action. Found a seat at the $5 table. Kamal was the dealer. I hit a double down early on and then placed a $10 bet with my match play. I got a 16 and the dealer had a 9. The play is to surrender so I did and lost my match (would've lost anyway). In fact I surrendered twice during my short session. I also pushed three times. I guess you can't complain about pushes--you're not losing anything. Reminds me of what my ex-wife used to call me - Even Steven. Well, Kamal was pretty lucky and I left down $17.50.
On to harness betting. I had one horse to watch tonight in the 5th race, Pier Ho Temptation. He had a tough first over trip last week getting hung the first half mile in a fast pace and fading late. But he looked to have some pretty good competion tonight and I picked him third. Anyways, I played a pick three for races 3,4,5. A .20 play 2 x 1 x 5 for a $2.00 bet. I had the 4/5 winner in the first leg and then my single in the second leg closed from way back to get up for the win - $6.50. I'm alive to five. It turns out that Pier No Temptation is my longest price and he gets up by a nose to win! He pays $17.70 to win and my .20 payout is $26.17. Not bad as that is about 2.5 times the parlay. So I ended up ahead for the races $17.77. Even Steven!!
P.S. Just for fun, I wrote down a proposed pick four play at Woodbine--races 4,5,6,7. I used Steve Crist's ABC method with multiple tickets. Turns out my three tickets would have cost $16 for a .20 play, and I would have won on one of them! $.20 payout = $289.67. Ouch!
Sunday, 29 November 2015
More blackjack! Went up to PID early yesterday in hopes to get in a little blackjack before the simulcast races started. Sat down at a $5 table around 11:30 AM. A fellow player warned me, "You might not want to play this shoe, the dealer has already had two blackjacks." Nonetheless, I bought in for $80 and got my $10 match play coupon. The dealer was Andrew. I hit a blackjack right away and won a double down early on. But yes, Andrew was pretty lucky. After playing maybe half the shoe, I lost three in a row and stood up, down $7.50.
But I still have my match play so over to the roulette table I go! I decide to put my $10 bet w/match play on even. The delaer spins the ball and it starts to rotate but then jumps off the table! Hmm, good sign or bad sign? He spins another one and bingo! Black-6! I take my $20 and wander over to bet some horses ahead $12.50. Turns out after betting all afternoon that's about what I lost, so a break-even day for me, lol.
Incidently, I just read this article about gaining an advantage at the roulette table by identifying a "dealer signature." I may have to try it!
Thursday, 19 November 2015
I've been itchin' to play some blackjack for a few weeks--I'm in the middle of a free $10 match play which I can use every three days. I'm always looking to play at a $5 table ($10 tables can get expensive). There is usually a $5 table going during the daytime and early evening but quite often they are full. Also I like to watch a few hands before I sit down. I will do a quick card count--yes I can count cards a little. If the count is unfavorable I won't play.
Tonight it looked good--it was a little before 7:00PM and there were only two people sitting at the $5 table. Big Mike was the dealer but this was also a handicapped table so Big Mike was sitting down and didn't look so big. I bought in for $80 and won my first two hands. I then upped my bet to $10 and used my match play. Bingo! Won it! Nice to start out $30 ahead. I had pretty good luck--won a couple of double downs. I did surrender a couple times. I've been watching players surrender occasionally, and I'm not sure if it is good strategy--I'm going to have to research it.
I didn't play very long, not even a full shoe but Big Mike started to get lucky. I lost 3 or 4 hands in a row-- that's usually when I will cash out, especially when the dealer gets a BJ. I ended up ahead $30 and tipped Big Mike a $2.50 chip.
I also made a few horse racing wagers. Hit a small pick three at Woodbine Harness and ended up even with my wagers. Gotta make it a point to play more blackjack--I am well ahead for the year (something I can't say for horse racing, lol.)
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