I have two distinct lives. One in the trenches of low-budget film and television, the other in professional gambling. Because of the feast-or-famine nature of show business I need a reliable income... gambling. So here you will read about both worlds. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gambling With an Edge - guest Michael Kaplan

Our guest this week is Michael Kaplan. Michael is the author of Aces and Kings: Inside Stories and Million-Dollar Strategies From Poker's Greatest Players which is a great book with New Yorker type profiles of all the top poker players.  He is also the gambling writer for Cigar Aficionado magazine which has lead him into becoming an advantage player at both poker and blackjack.  In this episode we talk about his travelling to Hong Kong for an article on horse racing, and his learning to play poker as a winning player.

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Percy said...

As well as enjoying the podcast, I also found the WIRED article on horse racing very interesting.

I was surprised when I read "the track earns only the fee charged for handling each bet; in Hong Kong it's 19 percent".

Are these guys really overcoming a 19% house edge, or have I mis-understood?

Richard Munchkin said...

They are overcoming more than 19% both in Hong Kong and the US. The more exotic pools like trifectas and Pick 6 rake up to 25%.

Percy said...

I find that pretty incredible. Isn't it a not-for-profit organisation too? And they need 19% of everyone's bet to balance their books? Yikes.

In the UK, the implied percentage odds given by the bookmakers, usually equate to 105%-110%. I'm not sure, but I guess that means a 5%-10% house edge on each bet.

On betfair it's typically 101%-102%.

However, neither of these betting options offer the kind of liquidity that appears to be available in Hong Kong.