Sunday, February 6, 2011

Details: Introduction and Overall Strategy

As promised, this post starts my detailed descriptions of my NHC XII experience, which I had no time to do (nor did I have net access) during the contest.
I am writing this a week after the NHC was over, based on my recollections about it.

There are 15 races a day.
Eight of these are Mandatory - all contestants must make a pick in these races.
Seven are Optional - you get to choose any race for that day from a list of 8 tracks.
Points are scored by the total Win and Place payoff of your pick, based on a $2 Win/Place bet.

In general, one does not win these contests by betting short odds horses. You mut be able to come up with several winning longshots.

My race strategy was to focus on the winner of the mandatory races. I looked for value also, but if I really felt a horse had an overwhelming win probability, I would pick that horse even if ut were short odds.

For optional races, I focused entirely on longer odds horses 5-1 or greater.
The optionals are where you have the chance to get a lot of points that othere may not get, since most of them will be playing other optional races for the most part.

(This strategy was not mine alone; I read about it in Noel Michaels' Handicapping Contest Handbook, and most of my competition uses it or something similar.)

I picked my optionals by just going through the list of available races, and choosing the ones that felt good, with the prior intent that they be ones where I was likely to select winning longshots. I also required that there be at least 10 horses entered in my optionals, because smaller fields deflate the odds.

My analysis strategy was two-fold, based on my life's work of combining left-brained logical information with right-brained intuitive information.

Firs, using standard handicapping methods (for me, mainly BRIS pace numbers, running styles vs. biases, BRIS speed figs and class ratings, trainer expertise, clocker reports, Racing Flow bias ratings) I rated each horse either A (highest), B, C or X (little chance).  I call this logical handicapping.

I also did an Associative Remote Viewing session for each race, rating each photo 0-7 on the Targ CR scale.
(If you are not familiar with ARV and how to predict horse races, here are some things to look at: Wagering with Remote Viewing; ARV Horse Racing Glossary; How I Qualified for the NHC .)
In addition, I assigned each horse a "yes" or "no" as to whether I had a good feeling about it or not, before I did any other analysis.
I call this method intuitive handicapping.

I did the ARV sessions earlier in the week before I came to Vegas.I assigned a letter to each race.
After I knew the mandatory races and chose the optionals, I assigned race letters to each. I do not believe that the order of doing this is important; the universe will figure it out such that I get winners given my positive intent to do so.  In fact I had the order one way first, then changed it for a reason I don't remember.

Once the race lineup was published and I chose the optionals, I analyzed each race.
Logically, the ABCX process given above; for the intuitive part, I had to judge all the ARV sessions. I started doing this for Optionals while still in VA. I continued it for Friday's races on Thursday after I got to Vegas, working until about 9 PM or so (which was about midnight VA time), then getting up at 3 AM to finish it up by 9 AM or so for Friday. My first optional was at 10:50 AM.
So it was an intense process.

I had to step back and let go of my tension about getting all this done on time, severl times. I was still more tense about the whole thing than I wanted to be, but the stepping-away-from-it times did help me relax a little.

My general feeling was of quiet confidence in the knowledge that I could win this. I was somewhat fearful of doing something wrong and picking the wrong horses. I looked forward to having fun and competing in a fun atmosphere.

Next: Optional Race 1 - 4 Tam

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