10/05/2016 10:06AM

Kinchen uses match-up means to BCBC end

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Match-up contests recently debuted on the DRF Tournaments site and they are gaining in popularity by the week. Last year’s National Handicapping Championship Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen has been active in the match-ups as he seeks to qualify for a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seat. His angle is to use the match-ups to essentially pay for his berth into the BCBC.

Here’s how the plan works. On a weekday, he will play in a match-up contest with a similar buy-in to a BCBC feeder. In the feeder, he needs to finish in the top 10 percent to advance to the weekend qualifier. If he executes his strategy properly, he’ll will have between one and three shots to finish in the top four in the qualifier and win his $10,000 seat that way without risking even the buy-in of the qualifier.

“The idea is that I believe in myself enough that while I might not be as good enough on the day to finish in the top 10 percent of the feeder, the chances of my being better than one other person that day are significant,” Kinchen said. “If I can get one to three entries into that qualifier on a free roll, I like my chances of winning in to the BCBC.”

The ideal scenario is he wins both the match-up and the feeder. “Then it’s like I’m getting paid to play,” he explained.

The most common scenario is that he’ll win the match-up and lose the feeder. “In that case, at least it didn’t cost me anything to try to set out on a path that could have led to a significant prize,” he said.

And what of those days where he loses both? “Well, those are just bad days at the office,” he continued. “Some days your opinion is such that you were going to lose no matter how you chose to participate, but the positives outweigh the negatives for me with this plan of attack for sure.”

As for strategy, Kinchen also prefers the match-up events, all of which to this point have utilized the all-in format, where all picks must be in before the scheduled post-time of the first contest race.

“With match-ups versus the typical all-in format the strategy changes but not terribly,” he said. “I’m a huge believer that in tournaments you should play who you like but that’s not always possible in a big field.”

If a tournament features 50 entries there may be times when you love a 9-5 shot but the right move is to reach a little bit for the 7-1 in there who should be 7-2. Playing the 9-5 in that example may not be giving yourself your best chance to win against such a big field.

“But in a match-up I’ll play that 9-5 every time and take my chances,” Kinchen said. “In a match-up, points are points and I’ll always take that.”

Furthermore, he finds match-ups less frustrating. “In a 100-entry event, if some unhaveable bomb runs, someone’s going to have it, probably several people,” he said. “In a match-up, three bombs can come in and very often your opponent won’t even have one of them. Match-ups provide a way to avoid getting beaten by ridiculous horses.”

Of course, match-ups can provide some frustrations of your own. “You’ll lose a match-up more often because you took the good value 7-1 shot and your opponent took the overbet 3-5 that won by the length of the stretch.”

But all in all, he finds the skill-to-luck ratio more favorable. “Match-up contests, especially, all-in match ups, are very pure,” he concluded. “It’s very hard to get lucky and win a match-up.”

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rberto64 5 months ago
What happen lost all your money already kinchen
Dahorsecapper 5 months ago
I wish the contests listed who is signed up beforehand. 

Example a head to head match up  has one entry so far for the $55 and next to it is the name Jonathon Kinchen as entrant # 1. That way i know he is entered and i can challenge Jonathon on a particular  day . Likewise someone can avoid him if they prefer. 

Is this possible at all ? 

Good luck to all !
Trey Stiles 5 months ago
I wish I was half as good as Kinchen thinks he is. 
Greg Hopper 5 months ago
Great piece Peter! I'll be doing an even simpler version of JK's "free way in" strategy. I'm finding my own 3-race parlays and playing approx $150 to win (cheaper than a buy-in to a qualifier) on three 3-1 shots. Pays about $10K if it hits and I have all of October to find just 3 races in which I like a 3-1 enough. I'll do another with 2-1 shots but I'll need to go 4/4 for aprox $120 to win enough. And so on... ;)
mrpirate520 5 months ago
The entire tournament scoring system should be changed to a points system that would allow people to "stab" for longshots but not penalize those that have successfully handicapped in earlier races. Here is what I propose.

Winning horse that pays:
$2.10-$7.00 = 6 points   $7.10-$15.00 = 7 points   $15.10-$25.00 = 8 points   $25.10-$41.90 = 9 points   $42.00 and up = 10 points.

Place horse that pays:
$2.10-$5.00 = 1 point   $5.10-$10.00 = 2 points   $10.10-16.00 = 3 points   $16.10-$21.90 =  4 points   $22.00 and up = 5 points. 

Even if the numbers I have proposed for this scoring may be needed to be tweaked, I believe this would at least open up some conversation to  what I would consider the answer to a simple problem.
Nick Pavletic 5 months ago
Interesting!  I've been complaining for years about the current format.  True handicapping would be ten races awarding full WIN + PLACE prices.  The trick is awarding only 10% of the total prices per race. After ten races the winner has highest TOTAL score. This rewards players who pick WINNERS!  The current format only rewards players with the MAX horse required to win most tournaments.
Nick Pavletic 5 months ago
Though this might work for JK, your site is being over run with these "match ups".  This used to be the PREMIER site for qualifying to major tournaments, i. e. NHC, BCBC, live contest events at major tracks.  Now you're just another site offering LESS seats to the NHC & BCBC weekly (TWO usually) and less players in these contests because of too many options for your potential customers.  Additionally, LIVE seat awarding contests that only have ALL-IN feeders doesn't make any sense.  C'mon man  Live feeders should be available on this site by now! 

Finally, a new business copying competitors never works!  Is being just another site really your goal? Will your site survive your self inflicted cannibalization?  No one knows for sure, but getting back to your core mission (see above) couldn't hurt!
RacetrackFan 5 months ago
Dart throwing is what wins handicapping contests over brute force handicapping to pick the most likely winner. Skills involved are minimal and take a backseat to providence of having long shots which NO player would bet with actual money. Players likely wouldn't bet their own money on almost all of their selections in the contests. Match ups may be a bit different but not all that different.
mrpirate520 5 months ago
The entire tournament scoring system should be changed to a points system that would allow people to "stab" for longshots but not penalize those that have successfully handicapped in earlier races. Here is what I propose.

Winning horse that pays:
$2.10-$7.00 = 6 points   $7.10-$15.00 = 7 points   $15.10-$25.00 = 8 points   $25.10-$41.90 = 9 points   $42.00 and up = 10 points.

Place horse that pays:
$2.10-$5.00 = 1 point   $5.10-$10.00 = 2 points   $10.10-16.00 = 3 points   $16.10-$21.90 =  4 points   $22.00 and up = 5 points. 

Even if the numbers I have proposed for this scoring system may  need to be tweaked, I believe this would at least open up some conversation to  what I would consider the answer to a simple problem.

To anyone that reads this please tweet me @mrpirate520 and let me know good or bad what you think of this idea.