10/23/2007 1:54PM

Capital Dilemma


A few weeks ago, Capital OTB asked me to make out a $5,000 pick six play that it will put in for its Albany teletheater customers, at no charge, on Breeders' Cup Day. It seemed like a good, fan-friendly idea at the time, and it still is, but it has left me with a couple of dilemmas for which I invite your suggestions.

The first is how complicated to make the investment. When I told Capital that I usually eschew one-ticket caveman plays, believing you can get more and better coverage with an array of multiple tickets, they told me I wasn't limited to one ticket. Still, won't I utterly confuse the shareholders if I make out 25 or more main and backup tickets? So my first dilemma is whether to make out more like 1, 5 or 25 different tickets. It's appealing to do a basic 2x2x5x5x5x5 for the $5k, though I'd never play it that way myself.

Which brings me to my second problem. As the fine print in the contest rules says, "Mr. Crist will not collect any winnings if his ticket wins." As it should be. But am I going to feel like the world's biggest idiot if my Capital ticket(s) hit and I get absolutely nothing? Am I sort of obliged to put in the same $5,000 ticket(s) for myself, even though that's about twice as much as I was planning to invest in the thing? I could pare down the Capital play to a more comfortable level, but then I'd just feel worse if I whittled away the winning combo at the last minute.

So at the moment I feel like I'm probably stuck playing it for $5k myself. (At least they're not putting in $10k.) I'll post the ticket here Saturday when it's released to the shareholders, shortly before the first leg of the bet. If you're near Albany and interested in participating, check the rules carefully: It sounds as if you have to show up at the Teletheater both Friday AND Saturday to be eligible, and you have to register with a driver's license and Social Security card on the off chance that we win.

--I'll be updating the Friday and Saturday cheat-sheets throughout the day as the post positions, rider assignments and ML and DRF odds come in. Then tomorrow and Thursday, I'll refine them further, ranking and grading the horses in order of preference. I'll provide links to both the ungraded and graded versions so you'll have the option of printing out either the ranked or opinion-free versions of the lineups.

SamG More than 1 year ago
How about 2,500 on a caveman ticket and the other 2,500 in multiples.
Steve Davidowitz More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve, I personally have no sympathy for OTB not giving you a basic, fair percentage of the booty as a legit professional fee for setting this promotion up for their fans. Even if you were to designate "the award" (if any) for a favored greyhound or horse rescue charity it would be far more honorable for them to make that part of the deal. . .As for the style of the play, anything less than your best approach is not up to your own Pick Six ethics. I wish you luck as always, but also believe there might be some hidden value playing against your most prefered horses in the sequence, given the tag alongs who will read the ticket and accent similar horses with their modest or not so modest private plays. See you in the press box/Steve Davidowitz
Justin from Staten Island More than 1 year ago
Steve you should probably play it the way you usually do, by the way I just heard there's a chance for rain on Saturday,maybe the caveman way ain't such a bad idea afterall. Anyways good luck.
thanh nguyen More than 1 year ago
If the ticket comes in, have Capital OTB donate the money to "Save the Greyhound" in your name. Your two dogs will thank you.
Mark_Spa More than 1 year ago
Steve...$5k is way beyond most players bank roll but we would get some insight on smaller $200-$600 type plays that may be consider with our typical 5-10 better syndicate plays....similar to what we do for Superfectas...Go with multiple tickets. Mark...the SPA 08/08/08 GROUP!!
pappi0007 More than 1 year ago
Steve..i am having a problem with u posting the pick6 bet right b4 the first leg...i will be at Aqueduct on Saturday and if i am going to play the Pck6... aint nobody advice i would listen to but yours...so help me out of the dilemma...i know the great handicappers always wait for the last moment to bet..that i know for a fact
Aaron in NY More than 1 year ago
Hey Steve, I've dealt with the issue of confusing "shareholders" in the past, when soliciting some contributions to pick-6 plays from acquaintances who were more interested in rooting home numbers than contemplating a multi-ticket strategy. In that case, I've made sure that each individual ticket is very clearly written out, while creating a sort of cheat sheet with numbers written out in order of preference. The point is, I think you can get away with some complexity...but don't get carried away. 5 tickets sounds about right. Surely OTB has asked you to do this because it believes you're an expert, so give them what they're looking for and use the ticket that you think has the best chance of winning..within reason. Maybe you'll teach them a thing or two about proper strategy while you're at it.
Bob Grant More than 1 year ago
After posting a blog calling out TVG for poor ticket structure, it seems obvious you MUST play your multi-ticket style! If you don't set the example, who will?- Good Luck, & remember Pick-4's will only have a 15% takeout vs. 25% on Pick-3's & the Pick-6! That's 10% bonus on winning Pick-4's, nothing to sneeze at with the size of the pool!
Horserun More than 1 year ago
simple solution... play the caveman ticket, which will be easier for all at the OTB to follow and play your own Pick 6, as you normally would, thus if the OTB ticket hits, you will most likely have it as well, and if for some reason you miss it, you can sleep at night knowing you would never bet the caveman ticket and you made a bunch of people happy...A WIN-WIN SOLUTION !
Rich from Lexington More than 1 year ago
Easy. Play your normal multiple tickets, which you say would be half the $5K. Then double each ticket it for the Capital OTB. You can't possibly put out a book on playing multiple tickets and then not follow your own advice. And I can play the BRIS PLayer's Pool, since there is no Crist Player's Pool and $2,500 breaks my bank.