Jai-Alai Chalk Talk Hall of Fame

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Re(1): Handicapping opinions

Posted on September 20, 2003 at 12:59:21 AM by Craig G

Since all of the pools have a seriously negative expectation, the answer - if there is one - would be to improve your handicapping skill. Switching pools alone probably won't help.

You didn't say much about your current approach. Do you play numbers? Do you attend live?

I think that people who actually go to jai-alai have a potentially whopper advantage over the computer statisticians. There is a lot of visual information re form and attitude and ability that cannot possibly be summarized or even hinted at in the published results. You could watch a backcourt player dominate the play and yet fail to win or place owing to poor play by his partners, lucky winners from his opponents, unfavorable post positions, etc. You can also distinguish between a 3rd-time-up-win and a convincing runout.

The horse racing author Joe Takach says this on his website:


In your own personal handicapping methodology, instead of thinking only about speed, pace, class, trip, pedigree, connections, jockey, post position etc., do you ever look upon the horse you are handicapping at the moment as a "living and breathing" entity, or do you only see numbers?

If you are only "crunching numbers" and/or playing an endless array of pet "angles" such as first off the claim, stretching out, shortening up, 1st lasix, dirt to turf or vice versa, returning to most favored surface or racetrack, 2nd or 3rd off a layoff, move to a stronger rider etc., you are missing 50% of our great game.

But most important of all, you are also throwing your money away by continuing to ignore the reality that a horse is an athlete and not a machine.
That is pretty much the way I've always looked at jai-alai.


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