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August Contest Enter your selections and SCREEN SHOTS and explanations here. Please start a new Thread with your User Name as Title

View Poll Results: I have Read and Agree to the UPDATED August Contest Rules
Yes 17 100.00%
No (please ask any questions in this Thread) 0 0%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-24-2012, 11:08 PM   #1
Ted Craven
Grade 1
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 8,847
UPDATED - Official Contest Rules, beginning AUGUST

RDSS - Learn to Win Contest



1. To accumulate the combination of highest Bankroll AND greatest Consistency ('Hit Rate') over 1 or more 20 races cycles during each Contest month. Win and/or Place bets permitted on up to 2 betting interests (i.e. 1 or 2 horses; entries count as a single betting interest, for example 1 and 1A). The Contest renews at the beginning of each month until further notice. Please see the current list of monthly Prizes following the Rules and Examples sections.

2. To learn from others and to demonstrate to yourself and to others successful analysis and wagering skills involved in applying the Sartin Methodology and the RDSS software by posting a screenshot of a RDSS screen in each race illustrating your analysis process (at minimum) and preferably also a few words describing your analysis and wager decision approach in each race.


1. Contest is open to RDSS subscribers or RDSS evaluators. Anyone may request a 30 day free RDSS evaluation.

2. Bets are made in 20 race cycles each month, between the 1st day of the month and midnight of the last day of the month. US or Canadian thoroughbred races only, any day of the week, as many races per day as you like. You may start at any time during the month. You may complete as many 20 race cycles in a month as you wish. The best cycle will be used to judge your Contest performance. Only Players who have completed at least one 20 race cycle will be eligible for Prizes.

3. Each Player starts each 20 race cycle with a mythical Bankroll of $2000. Exactly $100 must be wagered in each of 20 races (i.e. the whole $2000 must be wagered). Losses are deducted from the Bankroll, winnings are added to the Bankroll.

4. Players may make Win or Place bets on 1 or 2 horses in each race (i.e. betting interests: entries count as a single betting interest). For example: 1 or 2 Win bets, 1 or 2 Place bets or combinations of these summing to exactly $100.

5. Win mutuels are capped at 20-1 (i.e. $42.00) and Place mutuels are capped at 10-1 (i.e. $22.00)

6. Each month you enter the Contest, you start a thread using your Pace and Cap User Name as the Thread Title. You make your posts for the 20 races in your own thread. You can change your bet (or edit your post) for a given race up until 1 minute before the Official race Off Time as shown in the Equibase Results Charts. If your final post for a race is the same time or later than the Official Off time, your bets in that race do not count in the Contest.

7. You may post your selections only and no screenshot before the race, or you may post both your selections and screenshot before the race. If you post only your selections before the race, you must follow up your post for that race with an explanatory RDSS screenshot by Noon Eastern Time the following day at the latest. If you don't follow up your selection post with a screenshot, the race is counted as one of your 20 races, but it is scored identically to a loss, regardless of whether your picks won or lost. Please - if you choose to post your selections only before the race goes off, be sure to complete that race's posting by following up with a screenshot.

8. Conditional Wager Instructions - to assist Players who typically wager very close to post time and may not have enough time to make a Contest Post (i.e. because their Wager may change depending on late odds), you may post earlier and give conditional wager instructions to the Contest Manager as to what the wager will be depending on Final Odds appearing in the Equibase Result Chart for the race. If no conditional wager instructions appear in the last post before the race (remember, you can change your wager yourself up until 1 minute before official Off Time), the Wager is as you record it. Please see Examples below of how to issue clear Conditional Wager Instructions.

9. If your wager in a race is not exactly $100, or if you wager on more than 2 horses, or in other than the Win and/or Place pools, the Contest Manager will modify your wager to meet these rules. The last horses mentioned in excess of 2 horses will be dropped; wagers in other than Win and Place pools will be dropped; wagers exceeding $100 will be adjusted downwards beginning with the last mentioned wager and horse; wagers less than $100 (including where a horse or pool was dropped, as described above) will be adjusted upwards beginning with the first mentioned wager and horse. Please see Examples below of how the Contest Manager will adjust your wager(s) if they don't sum to exactly $100.

10. Scratches - you may give instructions to the Contest Manager how to treat your wager if one or more of your selections is scratched and you are unable to change your post yourself. If both horses are scratched, the selection is a no play. If one horse is scratched but another horse remains, the remaining horse gets the scratched horse's amount bet in the same pool ratio as the original bet on the remaining horse (unless specific scratch instructions are given). You can specify 1 or 2 horses with alternate wagers to be used (in the specified order) in place of wagers on scratched horses. If your main wagers and any substituting scratch wagers don't add up to $100, the Contest Manager will adjust them according to Point #9 above. Example: $25 Win/Place on Horses A and B. Horse B scratches. The $50 bet on it are applied to Horse A - 50% to the Win Pool, 50% to the Place pool (as that is the pool ratio of the original bet on Horse A).

11. Hit Rate affects Contest Score - in addition to cumulative wagering Bankroll, a Player's Hit Rate governs their standing in the Contest. For Contest purposes, a Hit will be recorded when the total winnings in a given race are greater than $100 - in other words, you need to have a positive ROI for a given race (if your wager makes some money but less than you bet, you still keep the winnings, but it is not a Hit for the purposes of computing the Bankroll Consistency Bonus see below).

The 'Hit Rate' (analogous to 'batting average') is determined as the number of Hits divided by the number of races played (races where you posted picks in time before the race, regardless of whether you posted a screenshot in time - in other words, failing to post a screenshot - even if after the race - counts against you). In a given 20 race cycle, if you hit with a positive ROI in 11 of them, your Hit Rate = 11/20 or .550.

Your Contest Score is your Bankroll supplemented by a Consistency Bonus when your Hit Rate exceeds .500. Example: if your ending Bankroll is $3000 and your Hit Rate is .600 (12/20), your Bankroll bonus is .600 - .500 = .100 x $3000 = $300. Your Contest Score is $3000 (Bankroll) plus $300 (Consistency Bonus) = $3300. If your Hit Rate is .500 or less, there is no Bonus and no penalty: your Contest Score is your Bankroll. Contest rankings are based on Contest Score (Bankroll plus Bonus) and Prizes are awarded to Players who complete at least one 20 race cycle and who have the highest Contest Scores (based on their best cycle). Players who do not complete 20 races before the end of current month Contest re ineligible for Prizes.

Consistency Matters!

12. Guidelines for explaining your analysis and wager decisions - the minimum requirement is that you post a RDSS screenshot (any screen, but typically screens you use in your decision process). No screenshot posted by 12 noon Eastern Time the following day means the race counts against you and you do not get credit for any winnings. Since the purpose of the Contest is to learn and improve by observing your own and others successful decision processes, Players are requested (though not required) to also post a few words explaining how they selected pacelines, identified Contenders, chose wagers from among their final Contenders, etc.

For example, you may identify your typical Configuration Settings in your opening post then omit those thereafter. You may identify, for example, that you typically use a given PSS (Paceline Selection Strategy) then only subsequently mention when you do something different. You may state, for example, that you use NewPace to get Contenders, then identify how you choose the horse(s) you wager on from those Contenders. For example, if you perform a Matchup analysis based on a Projected Pace, state which horse(s), which race(s) defines that Pace. You may find that your explanations become simpler, as you follow a consistent approach race after race, and some of your comments in earlier races may apply to the current race.

You may also be as verbose as you feel like (either before or after the race) - post as many screenshots as you like, give detailed comments on Contenders and Pacelines selected, attach a video if you like! At minimum, you must post a RDSS screenshot.

13. Race follow up - you do not have to post race results or your score from each race - the Contest Manager is responsible for Official Scoring. However, as a courtesy to those who are watching the Contest and seeking to learn from the selections and explanations, you are invited to make a follow up post stating the race result and how you did.

14. The Contest Manager (Bill Varone) along with Ted Craven (if necessary) will have final say on adjudicating any disputes or challenges which may arise or rule changes or clarifications which may be required. The Contest is intended to be played in good faith and in "the spirit of the game", and with behaviour honouring the founders of the Sartin Methodology!

15. The above Rules may be amended or clarified as required during the Contest, or for subsequent monthly editions of the Contest.


1. Conditional Wager Instructions

"$50 Win #2 and #6 - if either is below 2.5 (5/2) on the Result Chart, cancel ALL wagers"
"$50 Win #2 and #6 - if #6 is below 2.5 on the Result Chart, wagers are $50 Win/Place #2"
"$50 Win #2 and $25 Win/Place #6 - if #6 is below 8-1, wagers are $50 Win #2 and #6; if either is below 3-1 cancel that bet" (implies that any remaining horse gets all the bet, or if no remaining horses, the bet is cancelled)

2. How wagers are adjusted if they don't add up to $100 per race

Wager is: $50 Win #2 $30 Win/Place #5 (= $110) - adjusted to $50 Win #2, $30 Win #5, $20 Place #5 (last wagers/horses are dropped)
Wager is: $40 Win #2 #5 #8 (= $120, 3 horses) - adjusted to $40 Win #2, $60 Win #5 (last wagers/horses are dropped)
Wager is: $40 Win/Place #2 (= $80) - adjusted to $60 Win #2, $40 Place #2 (first wagers are increased)
Wager is: $25 Win/Place #2 and $50 Win #6 and the #6 is scratched and no scratch instructions are given - adjusted to $75 Win #2, $25 Place #2

MONTHLY PRIZES (as of July 31, 2012) - Prizes may be higher

Please see the current month Prize thread for prizes available.

Thanks to Ray Kuah (Buffaloxp) for suggesting the Contest in the first place and for ongoing primary Prize funding! Thanks to TrackMaster for the RDSS data prize.

If anyone wishes to make a one-time or ongoing contribution to the Prize Fund, please PM or email me.

Good luck and good skill to everyone - enjoy!



Racing Decision Support System™

Last edited by Ted Craven; 10-29-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:09 PM   #2
Ted Craven
Grade 1
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 8,847
Summary of Changes to Contest Rules, beginning August

1. Change to Hit Rate
– a 'Hit' is recorded (for purposes of calculating the new Bankroll 'Consistency' Bonus, see Point #2 below) if all your wagers in a race result in a positive ROI (i.e. your wagers return greater than $100). You may otherwise bet any combination of Win and/or Place on 1 horse or 2 horses in any amounts totaling $100. It is your responsibility to determine that the wagers you make in a given race employ sound wager composition practices, though count on lots of free advice ongoing! (See also Point #4 below re new requirements for the monthly RDSS Subscription Prize). For example: if part of your bet is on a Horse to Place and you indeed cash a Place mutuel but the return from that and any other wagers is less than $100, you keep all the money won, but no Hit is recorded for that race.

2. Change to Contest Ranking Method – Your Contest Score is your Bankroll plus a Bankroll 'Consistency' Bonus of your Bankroll times the amount your Hit Rate exceeds .500. A Hit Rate of .500 (50%) is the ‘base line’ (note the new definition of a ‘hit’ above) – a reasonably achievable goal given the options of 2 horses and 2 pools (Win and Place) to bet in. For example, if your Hit Rate is .600, it exceeds the .500 base line by .100. If your Bankroll is $2500, your bonus is $2500 x .100 = $250. Your Contest Score is $2500 + $250 = $2750. If your Hit Rate is less than .500, there is no penalty and your Contest Score = your Bankroll.

A hall-mark of this Contest - as for the Sartin Methodology overall – is a certain consistency of income-taking, hitting mid-priced Win or Place mutuels (in this particular contest format) while standing prepared to cash on the longshots when they present themselves. Thus, this Contest rewards consistency of Hit Rate above a base line (set at .500).

3. Change to bets after the first 20 – your monthly Contest is scored on one or more 20 race cycles. After you have completed a 20 race cycle, you may begin a NEW 20 race cycle (as many as you like). Your final Contest standing in a month is based on the best 20 race cycle. An incomplete cycle does not count. This is different from July where the same cycle continues for the whole month and you are scored on the last 20 races.

4. Complete Contest Prizes for August to be announced, but the RDSS Subscription prize requirement is changed to: .500 Hit Rate AND at least a break-even Bankroll (i.e. $2000) in the completed cycle used for your Contest Score.

5. Rule change on scoring involving a Scratch – If one of your horses is scratched and another horse remains, the money on the scratched horse is carried over to the remaining horse in the same pool ratio as the original bets on the remaining horse. Example #1: $60 Win $20 Place on Horse A and $20 Place on Horse B. Horse A scratches. 100% of the original bet on Horse B was in the Place pool, so all the money on Horse A goes in the Place Pool on Horse B. Example #2: $40 Win $20 Place on Horse A, $40 Win Horse B. Horse B scratches. The $40 bet on Horse B is carried to Horse A and split 2/3 in the Win Pool 1/3 in the Place Pool (the same ratio as the original $40/$20 bet Win/Place on Horse A). Any resulting fractional dollar wagers are rounded to the nearest dollar.

This differs from the existing rule where the bets on the scratched horse were carried to the same pools on the remaining horse. Remember – you can specify alternate horses and betting instructions to use in the event of a Late Scratch. The above rules apply in August and forward when no such specific Scratch instruction exist.

6. When betting 2 horses, the Contest Manager will record your first horse stated as your Horse #1, and the other one as your Horse #2. This is merely a score sheet recording convention which will enable evaluating alternate scenarios involving how much of your wager might go on your #1 ranked horse, versus your #2 ranked horse. For consistency purposes, players are encouraged to follow the same conventions when recording bets. Example: your bet reads: $50 Win #1 and #2. Horse #1 may be your top tiered BL/BL horse at 5/2 odds while horse #2 may be your 3rd tiered horse at 6-1.


Racing Decision Support System™

Last edited by Ted Craven; 07-30-2012 at 02:41 PM.
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