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TAB fluctuations

For the last few months I have been "playing" with a place betting method which requires knowing the horse's dividend won't be less than $2.00 before they jump. That sounds like a rather simple assignment.......and you would think in this day and age of technology a reasonably easy thing to incorporate in any plan.

Well, the bottom line is that using any TAB makes that task almost too hard.

On November 12, I was interested to observe the slowness of the tote to reflect the updated prices. A couple of examples...... in the Snake Gully Cup I was particularly interested in a place bet on a thing called Riebeek which had been hovering around the 2.20 to 2.30 price mark from around the 6 minute mark with around 17000 in the place pool. With one minute to go the update shows 28000 in the place pool - nearly doubled in the period 2 min to 1 min as you would expect - and the price fell in to $1.80 - so I stay out. After they jump, another 5000 jumps in to the place pool (around another 20%) and the price eases to 1.90.

Now with this scurrilous "rounding down" that the TAB indulge in (not happy with their 14 to 16.5% gouge) how close was that to being a bet at the $2.00 level according to the rules of the method I was using? Well, that of course I will never know.

Similarly, in the next race at Ipswich it was interesting to observe the figures in the place pool. In race 6, with 2 mins to go there was $17672 in the place pool. This became $20434 at 1 min to go, approximately $24527 with 30 secs to go, $32357 at starting time and, again, AFTER they jumped, dramatically rose to $40950 or, if you like, 25% increase in the pool which you could not possibly anticipate or count on as far as estimating approximate dividends is concerned.

So therein lies the problem. By having three totalisator operations in Australia and smaller pools in each, the fluctuations with the late money ( 25% after they jump) makes it impossible to accurately assess what these things can reasonably be expected to pay.

The only way you could would be if you had a live screen feed with live instant dividend fluctuations which of course we will never get.

It would be less of a problem if all tote pools were amalgamated in to one to even out the fluctuations. This of course will never happen as too many bureaucrats are dependant on maintaining the current system and remember, our role as the "little people", is to keep handing up funds to the ruling aristocracy and bureaucracy - that's our job so get used to it!

So given that betting in to a place totalisator of any description, with their OUTRAGEOUS rounding down of dividends, and their % grab on top makes it almost impossible to win in "narrow return" situations, it is obvious that "random" dividends is not the way to go.

So fixed odds must be the answer you say? Sacrifice the possible chance of a higher totalisator dividend for the certainty of a price equal to or in excess of your minimum requirement? Scan the percentages on the tote fixed odds boards. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Your strike rate had better be enormous if you're going to climb that percentages mountain.

After 50 years of "supporting my friendly TAB" I have now reached the point of "sayonara baby" and intend doing all future punting through Betfair and devoting time to getting the best price about horses I'm interested in rather than wasting that same amount of time trying to outguess the result of this stupid late-money-in-to-the-pool-raffle. If I wanted to bet on a chocolate wheel I'll go down to the local school fete.

Now I know it is not as convenient as popping down to the TAB to get cash out and that you have to negotiate that minor inconvenience, but the TAB route has become impossible to negotiate to continue to justify betting with. Until they are one pool and provide the necessary technical infrastructure, well, adios, it's been an interesting 50 years but your time is up. You've simply been surpassed by a better model.

Sad but true - the TAB is fast entering the world of Ansett, Austin A40 cars, In Melbourne Tonight, Sheffield Shield cricket matches and Joh Bjelke Peteresen. Interesting in their time.... but the time has passed.