A gambler managed to beat the odds and crack the horseracing code
Gambling has existed for ages as a form of entertainment. Many gamblers have always tried to beat the odds hoping to earn some good money.
Bill Benter is the man who succeeded to defy the odds and invent a successful horseracing algorithm
With his powerful algorithm which could not lose on the track he succeeded to do the impossible.
Bill Benter comes from Pleasant Hills, Pittsburgh. He was a very good child and his parents were proud of him. He studied physics in college and liked travelling very much. When he left school it was in Las Vegas that he went to play cards.
The maths professor Edward Thorp who was the inventor of the system referred to as card counting became Bill Benter's inspiration. Edward Thorp wrote the book Beat the Dealer. The book was written in 1962 and was about overcoming the house edge’s advantage in blackjack.
As Benter was blacklisted by many Vegas casinos and he was added to Griffin Book, it became impossible for him to play at the casinos.
He started to play other games, like horse racing. He gathered much information and learned many facts about this game. For example, how big the horse-betting pools were in Asia, as well as that the biggest pool was run by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. He understood that he would have to make bets with a profit margin that would be greater than the clubs percent cut.
Benter read the academic paper “Searching for Positive Returns at the Track: A Multinomial Logit Model for Handicapping Horse Races”. There was a discussion in this paper regarding different factors for the successful prediction of horse racing outcome.
Benter started gathering statistic, for example, any racing information referring races in Hong Kong. For nine months he could develop the algorithm and completed his study on regressions. In 1985 he went to Hong Kong to test his theory.
Benter spent some years in Hong Kong and he bet on horse races. In this way he could improve his system and the algorithm who had written.
Just to prove a point but not for money
With his dedication to find an algorithm that will beat the odds Benter wanted just to prove that anything is possible. He says he never did it for money.
In 2001 Benter and his partner Alan Woods won the biggest jackpot ever seen on a single bet called the Triple Trio. This proved that the algorithm worked. They won $16 million. But the winners did not collect the money as they considered this as ‘unsporting’. This was a prize they would never claim.
Benter keeps betting on horses. He likes watching the odds change continuously. He is still happy with the fact that he is able to win. He still continues to improve and modify his model.
Benter has just proved that anything is possible with the readiness to learn and determination to do the impossible.