The Ticket Structure Debate

There has been so much talk about ticket structure lately, and despite all the good points that some people make, most bettors still employ horrible ticket structure. Bad ticket structure combined with all the other hurdles will kill you before the announcer says, “they’re off.”

I have done many articles on Past the Wire on ticket structure. It is a key component. I have done seminars, and even this recent video on it. 

Fundamentals and beating the game

It really all comes down to going against the innate desire to cash more tickets, so use more horses. I say cash less, but win more by using fewer horses and going for more than the minimum amount allowed. 

I have recently spoke of a friend who likes to use a lot of horses. The so-called cowboy ticket I call fishing expeditions. He loved a horse in the sequence and yet used three horses in that race. He hit the pick 5 for 50 cents and won 6K. He told me see the way I bet I hit for 6K, a nice hit. I told him I thought he lost 12K. You didn’t single the horse you loved. 18K is a lot better for your margin, profit and loss, ROI, whatever you want to call it than 6K is. The trouble is it goes against human nature. To win, you must get over that.

The Suburban at Belmont on Saturday is a perfect example. If you see it as more than a race between Mystic Guide and Happy Saver you have no problem. It is a spread race for you unless you like one horse to beat them both. I don’t. I think it comes down to one of them. Most would use both to close the sequence and seemingly lock it up. I disagree. I will use one and invest double the amount I would using both. bet your opinion, not to protect yourself or cover everything. Make it count if you are right. Structure comes down to putting yourself in position to win the most money you can if you’re right, not cashing the most tickets for lesser amounts. 

We have all heard how scared money does not win. It doesn’t and while fishing may not always be with scared money as plenty of bigger players do it and structure that way, in the end they are feeding the sharks. I say thank you to them and don’t feed the sharks to you. 

The Suburban is, in my opinion, a two-horse race for the win. If I am right about that, then I have 50% chance of cashing my ticket if I am alive into that last leg. Yes, I realize 100% is better than 50% but double the money if I win is better than the 100% in the long run to beat the game. 

There does not look like a lot of pace exists in the race, and I think the more aggressive jockey will have the edge. Happy Saver has yet to lose and has beaten Mystic Guide before, and the latter is coming back from the dreaded trip to the desert. 

Despite the morning line giving a slight favoritism edge to Mystic Guide, I think happy saver will be favored when they leave the gate. I don’t know which way I’ll lean just yet, but I do know I will only have one of them. I think that is the only way to approach this type of scenario structure wise. 

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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