Friday, March 4, 2011

My bio for NHCXII

They asked each of us to do a bio before the NHC, for the press to read.
I had forgotten about it, but rediscovered it just now.
So here it is.

How did you first get into horse racing?
Saw Majestic Prince win the '69 Preakness - and I thought, this is fun! and an intellectual challenge too.
So I became a handicapper and bettor, and have enjoyed it ever since.
best finish
I finished 2nd in the April contest. No payout.
Our Associative Remote Viewing (ARV) group finished 2nd in Steve Davidowitz' first GradeOneRacing contest, winning $750.Largest payout
My biggest win was the 2006 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs. Using no logical handicapping, I did an Associative Remote Viewing (ARV) session, and came up with Seek Gold.
I bet $30 win on him, cashing $2700 when he got up to win by a nose at 91-1. The video of Calvin Borel exulting in his win is priceless ;-) and echoed how I felt.

Interesting hobbies, experiences, past accomplishemnts etc.

I play the horses in a unique way: I combine both the logical handicapping techniques all of us are familiar with (PP data, pace and speed figs, trainer patterns, biases, spot play stats), together with intuitive tools and techniques, which include listening to my inner voice, through insights that come out of nowhere, subtle nudges to bet horses that son't really figure, and structured techniques to access intuitive data such as ARV. Combining left brain and right brain explicitly is a focus of mine.
I work with a group of people doing ARV sessions for the NHC and other contests, though I am on my own in this one.
My hobbies include playing ice hockey for the fun of it, and swing dancing lindy hop style.
I am a HANA member.
I have a Ph.D. in physics from U. Minnesota.

Mos memorable HR experience

There are many: Saratoga for the 2001 Travers and Point Given's last race, Saratoga in 1987, breakfast watching the workouts in the mist, and running into Alysheba during the stable tour; visiting Keeneland, twice, and Equibase and BRIS; attending meetings with HANA, meeting the Keeneland CEO (great guy, horseplayer advocate); visiting Del Mar for a week; having Little Current at 13-1 and Master Derby at 23-1 in successive Preaknesses; having fun with winners and losers in the Cyberspace Racing Team, Pillar Stable and Mares Tail racing partnerships in Maryland; watching Smarty Jones blow the Preakness field away with daughter Katie, watching Azeri and others win in the 2002 Breeders Cup, and hanging out with some great Derby List folks; having a wonderful time at the 2007 Handicapping Expo in Vegas, meeting with people who love this game as much as I do.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Momentoes and Paraphernalia


Seating chart

Wall of screens at top

Cheat sheets

Sample contest betting ticket
Blank entry form
Contest ID card for swiping

Cover for very nice NHC Qualifier certificate given to all participants

ARV paraphenalia

Sketchbook, headphones for listening to Hemi-Sync Metamusic during sessions and judging

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sat. Night Banquet

The banquet was a fun time to relax and meet people, and to applaud the top 30 winners in the contest.

I posted a link to my photos in an earlier post.

Here are some more my buddy Scott Carson of sent me the other day.

That's Scott on the right, and fellow (former?) guru Christopher Larmey in the middle, who finished 11th and earned $9,000, Dave Flanzbaum on the left.

From left:  Ed Lawless and former PH Editor Kelly Lawless, wife Carolyn and me.

Talking to Bob from Randallstown - turned out we grew up only a few miles apart in the Baltimore suburbs, both went to U. Maryland, and are both Orioles fans.

Scott with the three Public Handicapper NHC Tour winners: from left, John Herko, Joe Eckert and Mark McNulty.

You can see all of Scott's photos here.

We all had a fun time, as you can tell.

NTRA CEO Alex Waldrop went around shaking hands and talking to people - he is our kind of guy.

They presented real physical Eclipse awards, horse statuettes, to most of the former NHC champions since 1999. It was very cool.
Contest winner John Doyle gave a speech - he seems to be a great guy.
You can read more abut it all on Alex Waldrop's blog.

Many of the players stayed on the next day to compete in the Red Rock's 2012 NHC qualifier.
We headed home early the next morning, happy to have had the experience.

Next: Summary and Final Thoughts

More ARV Hits

Saturday Optional #1, 4th Aqu: this one I rated a 4. The match is not as clear for this one, but the fact that it was a large structure which the camera was looking up it was the key match for me. There isn't much of a match to the bottom part of the sketch, except maybe the curved tracks.
This photo was associated with #9 Apianus, who finished 2nd at 131-1 giving me $22 contest dollars, as noted in a prior post. (Note that the top match for this set was a scratch.)
Sometimes the matches are marginal like this one - and after all it was a marginal horse at 131-1, who finished far back of the winner. But it was nevertheless the highest win/place payoff (the favorite won so his win/place payoffs were low), and that's what it's all about.

Saturday Mandatory #2, 5th Aqu: I rated this one a 4 out of 7 also.
The main match is the round thing on the one guy's head, which is yellow, matching my top sketch; the bottom sketch is a match to the same item, if you consider looking down on the globe from above - it has a black band around it.

You can see my sketches are sparse compared to the photo usually.
It does not bother me that I missed the heiroglyphs entirely.
How much of my sketch matches what is in the picture, is my main focus while judging.

Even if only one component of my sketch is a great match to an item in the picture, I will still give it a relatively high rating.

The picture corresponded to #4 Thunder Chief, who won and paid $12.00.
Very nice for a mandatory race!

I believe Scott had this horse also, so we were a happy couple of dudes at this point.

Saturday Mandatory #4, 8th GP: For this one I had #8 Aegean tied with #3 Amen Hallelujah, both with Targ CRs of 5 out of 7; I picked #8 for her higher odds (see previous post).
The match here is for the bottom of the sketch, to the grandstand at back right of the photo. My notes read "Manmade structure, framed, windowed, large - or medium"; the Analytical OverLay (AOL) column reads "Airport terminal, indoors, or car frame". (AOL is what happens when your mind tries to make sense of your images logically. )
In fact the image I saw was the new terminal at Reagan National Airport, indoors - which looks very much like the grandstand, though it is outdoors. Hence the 5 out of 7 rating, even though I did not match the cars or the stands at all.
Note that this winner and the next one are not technically ARV hits, since there was a tie for the top Targ CR rating - it's officially a Pass.
But I did pick the right horse of the two in the contest, so I was very happy ;-)

Saturday Optional #7, 9th GG: This was The Last Race. The match to the bottom part of the sketch is obvious. The top sketch (AOL reads "confetti") is kind of a match to the snow and maybe the clouds, also. I gave it 5 out of 7. This was also a tie with another picture, as explained in a previous post, and I did not pick this horse in the contest strictly because of odds.
But it was a great big winner for me all the same - I bet cash on him at 14-1 ;-)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

ARV Hit: Friday Mandatory #8

A few other things before I get to the summary:

First I will post all my ARV hits - photosites and sketches - as a record of my ARV successes, of which I am proud.

For those of you reading this who are not that familiar with Associated Remote Viewing, here is a brief recap of the process: first, I set my intent to have a successful session/contest; I set the races up using the PRECOG10 software, which randomly assigns a photograph from a previously assembled "photoset" to each horse in the race; for each race, I do an ARV session, in which my intent is to view the photosite represented by the photo that I will receive in email in the future, associated with the contest winner of this race, drawing a sketch of the images I see; I then judge the quality of the match of my sketch against each of the photos for this race using the Targ CR scale of 0-7, recording this info in PRECOG10; I receive an email from the system, which tells me what photos are associated with which horses, and which horse I have predicted as the winner of the race; finally, when the race is over, I record the winning outcome in PRECOG10, which sends me the winning photograph in email, which I them use as feedback, noting the matches, congratulating myself on winners, learning about how to do better judging, and flowing positive emotion to the whole process and myself.

It sounds complicated, but it is quite natural once you get used to it ;-)

So now I want to show the photosites and sketches for the races in which I got hits - when my top rated photo was the correct one, in the sense that it was associated with the winning contest outcome for that race (defined as the horse with the highest total payoff to win and place added together).

On the right is the sketch I made for Friday Mandatory #8, the 8th at Santa Anita, which originally had an 8 horse field (scratched down to 7). On the left is the photo associated with #4 Sassou, which I judged to be a Targ CR of 5 out of 7, the highest Targ CR of the 8 photos in the set.
You can see the main match is the the waterfall in the bottom half of my sketch. I did not get the bear at all; but a portion of my sketch was clearly a direct hit on part of the photosite, and that's what counts. One very rarely gets complete and perfect matches - that would be 7 of 7.

#4 won the race, so this was an ARV Hit.
(Unfortunately the horse was the 3-2 favorite, so I switched my contest pick to another horse with higher odds.)

Next: More ARV Hits

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Last Race

So, one optional race left.
I was mathematically eliminated from winning now, but I still had a shot at prize money, if I could hit a longshot in my last race.

My last optional was the 9th at Golden Gate.

Two horses were tied with Targ CR of 5: #2 Shi'ah Sand, morning line 8-1, and #7 Indian Charlize, ML 15-1. Based on this, the no-brainer choice was #7. I needed a horse with odds of 12-1 or greater to attain 30th place and the prize money.

Also, I had a very strong knowing that #7 would win. This feeling was very strong - the strongest feeling I had in the 2 days of the contest. I just knew #7 would win.

When the odds for the race were first posted, I was dismayed to see #7 listed at 7-1. This was far too low to be an acceptable pick. Now this horse was a first time starter, and having money show on the tote like this early and steadily (which it was) is a very good sign for a horse with a lesser known trainer - it means the stable thinks the horse has a really good shot to win, usually.

#7 remained at 7- to 9-1 throughout most of the betting. Meanwhile, the other Targ CR 5 horse #2 was around 20-1 - more than enough to finish in the prize money.

So, at about 5 minutes to post, I decided to change my pick to #2 - I overrode my strong intuitive feeling, to make a strictly logical choice.

Somehow I lost track of the tote board at this point - I did not notice that #7 had drifted to higher and higher odds, while #2 was being bet down somewhat. In fact by post time, #7 was 14.3 to 1, while #2 was 15.6 to 1. Either one would put me close to 30th place, depending of course on what the others were doing, and how many people would move up in the standings in their last few races.

In the race, #7 took the lead from the start and won wire-wire, paying  $42.60 in win/place contest points. #2 was no factor and finished 7th.

I have to play the "what-if" game now, of course ;-)

Had I not changed that pick and stuck with #7, my total for the contest would have been $151.20.
Initially I was not feeling good about this, since I thought that 30th place was around $148. On looking at the final leaderboard in my room later on the net though, I discovered that 30th place had been at $154.20 - I would have finished in 31st place, $3 behind.

So, my last minute change did not cost me the $2,000 prize money for 30th place.
In fact, it turned out that the 15.6-1 vs. 14.3-1 may have been enough difference to put me in 30th place, had #2 instead won.
I also would not have finished in the top 3 for Saturday's prize money - I would have finished tied for 13th.

Anyway, whatever the actual result, this race was a big lesson learned for me.
The lesson is, bet what feels right - do not try and override it with left-brained thinking.
It is best when logic and intuition work together; but when it comes to the final decision, trusting my gut feeling must take precedence.

Oh, and I should mention my cash bets. I made one bet Friday, and 7 bets Saturday before the last race, without cashing a single one.
I justified my switch in the contest last race by thinking, I can still bet the horse that I have a strong knowing about, in cash. So I did - and it did feel good to cash that bet. The winnings actually gave me a $50 profit for my cash bets for the two days - nice!

Next: ARV Hit on Friday Mandatory #8

Second Half of Saturday's Contest Day

My 4th optional, 9th Aqu: my pick was close for awhile, then stopped to finish 10th at 98-1.
(Top ARV choice (Targ CR 5) was the 6-5 favorite who ran 3rd; my pick was the longest odds of the three Targ CR 3 horses.)

5th mandatory, 9th GP: Top Targ CR 5 horse ran 7th at 53-1.

My 5th optional race, the 10th at Tampa: Targ CR 5 horse ran 8th at 42-1.

My 6th optional race, GP 10th, the Sunshine Missions Classic Stakes: Top Targ CR 5 #9 Dream Maestro had a valiant effort, but flattened out to finish 3rd - at 57-1! - while another cap horse was the winner. Tantalizing, but no cash.

Mandatory race 6, the 6th at Golden Gate: Top Targ CR 4 horse ran last at 13-1.

So, even though I had no points lately, I noted that the leaderboard showed 30th place at $139.00, so with $108.60 I am still very much in the hunt to get some prize money. Winning it all is looking like a longshot at this point - I'd probably need a 20-1 and a 10-1 winner in my last 3 races - not impossible though....

Mandatory race #7, 9th at Oaklawn: My 48-1 pick is no factor and finishes last.

8th and last mandatory, race 8 Santa Anita: My pick runs 5th at 6-1. (Short field of 7 so only one horse was greater than 10-1.)

Next: The Last Race