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Jeff Tune's Gambling Blog
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
2010 RECAP

2010 was a very good year.  Profit from playing the horses was $1472 - not bad at all for this $2 bettor.  I can pretty much narrow down that profit to one very good day betting Meadows harness and a two-week stretch at the beginning of May where I was on fire and couldn't lose (including a future bet on the Derby winner).  I played to my strengths - harness racing, mainly Woodbine and The Meadows, and focusing on pick threes at those tracks.

The stats below tell the story.  The Meadows was the surprise of the year.  37% of my total winnings!  It was at the Meadows that I cashed three pick threes >$250 and three win bets >20-1.  Once again Woodbine was a profitable track.  Not one thoroughbred track accounted for more than five percent of my total winnings!  Pick threes accounted for 55% of total winnings.

There were some racing disappointments.  Once again it was not a good summer at Saratoga.  Realizing that I wasn't doing well, I scaled back on my betting there.  Likewise for my local track Presque Isle Downs - still a parimutual puzzler to me.  But even more, the short fields turned me away.

Online poker was a success also as I cashed out $250 from PokerStars.  Playing almost strictly sit-n-go tournaments. 

My state of Pennsylvania okayed table games at the casinos.  I played a little blackjack - basically sit-down-and-see-if-you-have-any-luck.  And I didn't.  Only played four times and lost $160.  But I will try again in 2011.

Harness vs. Thoroughbred

Harness winnings     -       70%

Thoroughbred winnings  -   30%

By Track

Meadows                 -   37%

Woodbine Harness  -   21%

Mohawk                   -    8%

By Bet Type

Pick Three        -  55%

Win                  -  23%

Exacta             -  14%

Daily Double    -   8%



Posted by pa/tune at 10:22 PM EST
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Friday, 24 December 2010

Experiment successful!  I played 20 of the $2.20 tourneys (see below post) which cost me $44.  I cashed for $67.  Nice $23.00 profit.  But if you look at the following recap, I should have quit after 10 tourneys.  I started very strong and finished pretty bad, lol.  The recap below shows my finish and "out" hand.

1.  won - $11.00

2. fin. 11th (out:  my J 10s vs. A9)

3.  won $6.00 - fin. 7th. (out:  my KK vs. A8)

4.  won - $11.00

5.  fin. 12th (out:  my QQ caught trips vs.  A8s caught flush)

6.  won - $11.00

7. fin. 13th (my K8 vs. AQ)

8.  won - $11.00

9.  won - $6.00 - fin. 7th

10.  fin. 12th (out:  my 56 vs. 10 6)

11.  fin. 21st (out:  my A5 vs. KQ)

12.  fin. 22nd (out:  flopped top pair, top kicker - got beat by two pair)

13.  fin. 20th

14.  won - $11.00

15.  fin. 25th (out:  my trips vs. straight)

16.  fin. 14th (out:  89s vs. 22)

17.  fin. 10th

18.  fin 16th

19.  fin 21st (out:  my 99 vs 55)

20.  fin. 8th (out:  my 55 vs. AA)




Posted by pa/tune at 10:41 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 29 December 2010 10:25 PM EST
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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Mood:  vegas lucky

Every Sunday, PokerStars offers the Sunday 1/4 Million tournament.  The prize pool is guaranteed at $250,000 and the buy-in is $11.00.  This tourney attracts between 25,000-30,000 players each week.  PStars has numerous satellite tournaments for this, but the one I usually play is the 36-player sit-n-go which has a $2.20 buy-in, and is a turbo tournament (the blinds go up every 5 minutes).  The top six finishers win an entry in the Sunday 1/4 Million (and 7th place gets $6.00).

I seem to do quite well in these.  I will play only premium hands but will try to see a flop cheaply with a small pair, suited connectors, or ace-suited cards.  If I get short-stacked with less than 10x the big blind, I will go all-in with any kind of hand.  Quite often this is how I will win these things.  It's a different kind of tourney in that the big stacks may sit on their chips since they already are in the top six.  The short stacks are playing cautiously, and by being aggressive later in the tourney, you can often steal the nice-sized blinds and really build your stack.  Also these tourneys won't have too many real sharp players so the above average player will do well.

If I win an entry, I will usually unregister and take the $11 tournament dollars to use for a couple of $5 or $6 tourneys.  But I've decided to experiment and try to parlay these $11 payouts.  Can I win better than 20% of the time and make a profit? 

To be continued . . .


update: 1 for 2 so far

Posted by pa/tune at 10:16 PM EST
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Saturday, 2 October 2010

The good news - I won a 360-player no-limit hold'em tourney on Pokerstars today.  The not-so-great-news - the buy-in was only .10 and my first place payoff was $8.50.  Still I was proud of myself.

I couldn't have asked for a better start - I went all-in on the first hand with QQ.  I figured I'd get someone to call.  Well, I got 4 callers!  Three of them had an A and one guy had a K.  A king came on the flop and I figured I was history, but then a Q on the turn and a Q on the river for quads!  I quintupled up on the first hand!

I played it pretty safe for awhile but never dropped below the top 20.  Luckily I had a wimpy guy to my left that I could bully and steal blinds from.  I made it to the final table, lost about ninety percent of my stack, but made it back to finally be heads up with the chip leader.  Turns out he wasn't very good at playing heads up - I just started raising every pot and got him to fold most of the time.  I took a commanding lead and he finally went all in and I called with my Q7.  He had A9 but I caught a 7 on the flop which was good enough for the win.


Posted by pa/tune at 8:40 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Free past performances

I just want to point out a couple of websites where you can obtain free past performances.  I use both of these and print out the pp's at home.  This will save you some $$ - the cost of printer ink and paper is far less than buying a program all the time.

Horse-races. net  is one of the best horse racing websites.  They have a free past performance link.  You can get free pp's for certain trainers who have horses running.  Some of these include Todd Pletcher, Bob Baffert, Gary Contessa, Barclay Tagg, Doug O'Neill, Linda Rice, Kiaran McLaughlin.  You can quite often get the whole Saratoga card for free!  Check it out at:

For Canadian racing fans, check out the Woodbine/Mohawk website for free programs for Canadian racetracks.  Check it out at:


Posted by pa/tune at 7:05 AM EDT
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Sunday, 1 August 2010

Lot's going on!  First of all, table games are here in PA!  I'll be trying my luck at blackjack soon.  Forget about finding any $5.00 tables however.

It's Saratoga time!  I played opening day and did ok, hitting a 7-1 shot and then a $107 double.  I will be up at Saratoga this week!  Can't wait!!  It looks like I will have a laptop with me this year so I may post here or make selections.

I played Saratoga yesterday.  Some nice stakes races - The Diana and the Jim Dandy.  FOREVER TOGETHER who won the last two runnings of the Diana, is one of my favorite horses.  I saw her win the Diana at Saratoga in 2008.  Also, she has been training right here at Presque Isle Downs!  She's trained by Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppherd.  His assistant Barry handles his horses here at PID.  I spoke with Barry yesterday before the race.  He said she had worked great here.  He was confident but noted that she had tough competition in PROVISO, the Bill Mott-trained mare.  It was a great race.  FOREVER TOGETHER was super-game, finishing third (Proviso won it), but only missed winning the whole thing by a head and a nose.

I was also betting Meadows harness yesterday.  The Meadows used to be my main track back in the 90's.  They race mostly weekdays now, so I don't get to play it much anymore.  Also it was their big day - a 17-race card featuring their premier race, the Adios Pace.  The Adios was race 11, so I played a small pick three on races 9, 10, 11.  I hit the 6-5 favorite in the first part.  Then driver Yannick Gingras brought home a 30-1 shot.  In the Adios, I was alive with the favored Versado and the 17-1 Delmarvalously, driven by Brian Sears.  They never posted the P3 will-pays, but I figured they had to be pretty nice.  Sears took Delmarvalously right to the lead from the eight-hole.  Wicked-fast fractions but Delmarvalously dug in down the lane and won it by a head!  My pick three returned $1208 and I had it for a buck.  Less than half the parlay but I wasn't complaining - my first IRS signer in quite awhile. 

Then I played the late pick three - a $6 ticket, 6x1x1.  I hit the first part with a 15-1 shot, then Ponda River who had a tough first-over trip last out, got up by a head at 10-1.  Could I be looking at another signer?  Nope, the will-pay on my selection in the finale, Nicoles Dreamboat, was paying $554.  He won pretty easily at 9-5, again almost half the parlay, but a great day for me - a $823 profit.  Looks like I'll be hitting the blackjack table!

Posted by pa/tune at 10:19 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Sometimes things don't go as planned.  You handicap the races in advance and when you get to the track to bet, the turf races have been switched to the main track.  Or your key horse of the day is scratched.  You may be caught by surprise by a late scratch or jockey change.

Last Friday night I had some things to do earlier in the evening, but decided I was going to head up to the track later to play the late races at Mohawk Raceway.  I had handicapped the last four races in advance.  So I get to the track, plop down in front of a TV, and start switching channels looking for Mohawk.     Where the !@#$%  is Mohawk and then I remember - for some reason my local track does not carry Mohawk on Friday or Saturday nights!  Great, now what?

Well, I didn't want to turn around and go home, so I grabbed a discarded thoroughbred program.  There was certainly a lot of racing left - nearly a dozen tracks running, including Churchill night racing!  I suddenly felt like most of the others here - quickly looking to see what track to bet next.  These simulcast programs are the kiss of death for most horseplayers - they simply bet too many races.  I never use these programs to seriously bet.  Those Equibase figures just don't seem to make much sense.  So I was basically just looking at the running lines and trainer/jockey records.  I lost a few bucks playing a Mountaineer race and then a Lone Star race, and decided I'd play one more race before heading home. 

The last race at Charles Town was a $5,000 claimer for non-winners of two, distance was 6-1/2 furlongs. The #3 horse, Dot Mitchell (5-1 morning line odds) caught my eye.  She had just broke her maiden at this same distance, battling for the lead in what looked to be a decent pace and drew away to win by two lengths.  At eight minutes to post she was 7-1.  "I'll keep my eye on her odds," I said to myself.  At two minutes to post she was 8-1 and I placed a win wager. 

Well, Dot Mitchell turned in an almost identical race as her maiden-breaker and returned a sweet 14-1.  Sometimes things don't go as planned but turn out ok - go with the flow!


Posted by pa/tune at 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 1 July 2010 9:28 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! This PokerStars tournament is a No Limit Texas Hold’em event exclusive to Bloggers, you too can take part by registering on WBCOOP

Registration code: 577459

Posted by pa/tune at 5:24 PM EST
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Sunday, 3 January 2010
2009 RECAP
Mood:  lucky

2009 was a real struggle, both at playing the horses and playing online poker.  But the good news is that I came out ahead for the year.

I cashed out $100 at poker but nearly went broke for the first time ever (been playing for six years).  A long dry spell took me down to my last $10 but I came back and am currently at my break-even level.  As usual, I played mostly small sit-n-go tournaments - a mix of limit and no-limit hold 'em, omaha hi-lo, stud hi-lo, and my favorite game, horse.  A recent PokerStars update now allows you to see notes on players who are entered in tourneys - a nice feature!  So I now look for tourneys where those weak players are entered - it will help me in 2010.

I spent many days at the track in 2009, maybe more than in any previous year.  I cashed a lot of tickets (and many pick threes), but I failed to hit a big one.  Nonetheless, I made a small profit of $183.  This was somewhat of a surprise as I had a pretty horrible Saratoga meet, although I won the week I was up there.

Harness winnings narrowly beat out thoroughbred winnings, and once again Woodbine Harness was my best track, accounting for 25% of my total winnings.  I did pretty well at my home track, Presque Isle Downs.  PID percent of total winnings was nearly double that from 2008.  The bulk of my wagering was pick three and win betting (77% of total winnings).  Once again I cashed tickets at 30 different tracks!

Harness vs. Thoroughbred

Harness winnings          - 53%

Thoroughbred winnings - 47%

By Track

Woodbine Harness  -  25%

Presque Isle Downs - 19%

Meadows                 - 10%

Saratoga                 -  9%

Mohawk                  -  9%

By Bet Type  

Pick Three     - 39%

Win               - 38%

Exacta          - 12%

Daily Double - 11%




Posted by pa/tune at 12:30 PM EST
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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

If I have one angle I use most when handicapping thoroughbreds it would be trainer stats.  I use the Brisnet Ultimate PP's and the first thing I usually look at is the trainer stat numbers.  Lately I've been handicapping my local track, Presque Isle Downs.  I'm still perplexed by PID - the artificial Tapeta surface sometimes favors speed and at other times favors those closers that come six wide around the turn.  This year it seems that the track has played pretty fair overall so I've been experimenting with the Brisnet numbers.  I add the E2 and LP figures (second early pace and late pace) and go with the resulting highest total.  Sometimes I will add in the final speed fig.  It's been working pretty well.

Anyway, in the third race the other night I had narrowed it down to two horses.  This was the middle leg of a pick three, and I had included these two in my pick three wager.  I hit the first leg and was content to just sit on my ticket in this race.  I was watching the horses come out onto the track and heard the announcer introduce them.  The five horse, Bukah, was trained by Scooter Davis.  Now I know Scooter Davis is a winning trainer at Mountaineer, but I had noted that he was 1 for 25 at PID!  So I immediately tossed the horse.  But I glanced at my PP's and saw something I had missed.  Scooter Davis had just claimed Bukah and he wins 42 percent first off the claim - a super stat!  I looked up at the board and saw odds of 14-1.  Definitely worth a win wager.  Bukah stalked the pace and won by half a length.  The odds had drifted up to 21-1 and the payout was $43.00!!  Don't ignore those trainer stats.

Posted by pa/tune at 6:59 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 16 July 2009 10:42 PM EDT
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