Kentucky Derby 2017 – Renovations & Betting Tips

Improvements at Churchill Downs

In the world of sports, there is not a more moving moment than when the horses step onto the track for the Kentucky Derby post parade and the band strikes up “My Old Kentucky Home.”  And let’s not forget the hats, the festival of two days, the mint julep. Click on this link about your best derby hats from Kirby Adams of the Courier-Journal:  Nothing quite as fabulous as a good Derby hat.

This year, visitors to the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday will be met with a revamped feel and a smattering of new amenities and capital improvements designed to enhance their dining and wagering experiences.

Rendering of 2nd floor Clubhouse renovation.

Renovation of Turf Club, Churchill Downs

According to Aaron Stanley of CDC Gaming Reports, Bill Carstanjen, chief executive officer of Churchill Downs said “The big change you will see this year is the $16 million renovation project of the clubhouse.”  The new and improved clubhouse will feature 95,000 square feet of renovated space, 220 flat-screen televisions, 180 new pari-mutuel wagering windows and 133 restroom stalls…..new food and beverage offerings includes several bars named after prior Derby winners, such as Behave Yourself, Spend a Buck, Regret and I’ll Have Another.”

 

The $12 million video board, which will have a 15,224-square-foot screen towers over the backstretch, 80 feet over the ground and is  170 feet off the ground at its peak – higher than the iconic Twin Spires, which are 120 feet above the ground.  The board is clearly visible from the new, $14.5 million Grandstand Terrace seating area, which Churchill officials say represents the first major upgrade to the part of the track closest to Central Avenue — and overlooking the Kentucky Derby starting gate — since the 1950s.

Betting the 2017 Kentucky the Derby

CasinoCity Times

Gary Trask of CasinoCityTimes said recently interest in the Kentucky Derby has been at an all time high. Trask states, “When Nyquist won last year’s Derby, the attendance at the track was 167,227, the second-largest in history, and the total amount wagered ($192.6 million) was also the second-highest ever. Both records were set two years ago when 170,513 people witnessed eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, a race that prompted $194.3 million in wagers.  WalletHub.com predicts that $200 million will be wagered on this year’s race….. even though, overall, the horse racing industry is experiencing a steep decline.”

Trask also has some betting advice for this year’s Derby:

Avoid the far inside and outside posts – Since the 20-horse full field became the norm, it has made it extremely difficult for those horses to use early speed to get ahead of the pack, or to overcome hanging back and falling behind. Since  1964, only one horse has won at either the 1 or 20th positions. “Somewhere between 8 and 13 are probably the best spots to be.”

10 and 5 have been prosperous – The best starting post in Kentucky Derby history has been the 10, with 11.3% of the wins and coming in the money 30% of the time. The No. 5 post isn’t far behind, with a 10.3 winning percentage and coming in the money 23% of the time.

The “curse” of the 14 post – While horses breaking from the 13 post and out have won six of the last nine races, the 14 starting spot has been somewhat of a jinx, holding the longest current drought since producing a winner. For some reason, the last time a horse in the 14 block has won the Derby came way back in 1961.

Finally,  Longshots worth looking at – So, with Dempsey calling for the end of the favorites’ reign at the Derby, we asked if he had any longshots we could dive in on and “bet a little to win a lot.” He gave us three, keeping in mind that his opinion could change depending on the post position:

  1. J Boys Echo (33-to-1): Although he struggled in his final prep race with a fourth place at the Blue Grass in Kneeneland, he owns the highest Beyer Speed Figure earned this year by a Derby contender.
  2. Hence (22-to-1): Won the Sunland Derby, which produced recent Derby winners Mine That Bird, the horse that owns one of the biggest upsets in history by cashing a 50-to-1 ticket in 2009, and Firing Line, who ran second last year.
  3. Practical Joke (14-to-1): Trainer Chad Brown is one of the best in the business and won the Eclipse Award for top trainer in 2016. Practical Joke won two Grade 1 races as a juvenile and is lightly races so far this year with just two starts, including a place in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.

BTW – A local plug for Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast (where, together you & Vito can make luck happen!).  A CT native with a Casino Podcast on the rise!  Today, he released his latest episode “How To Enjoy the Kentucky Derby.”  He’s a hoot, with guest Marco D’Angelo from Wagertalk.com. 

The most exciting 2 minutes in horse racing takes place Saturday.  Where will you be to celebrate.  Later today, watch for NETimeGambling’s coverage of New England’s casino celebration of the Derby – Fancy Hats, Mint Juleps, and Roses, oh my!

Binbin

 

13 Essential Gambling Websites

Rated #37 in 2017

By the way, NETimeGambling was recognized last year as the one of the top 75 Gambling Blogs, rated at #37. Our following has doubled every year, and in September of 2017, we were added to the TravelZork Team with a monthly post about New England Casino News, Events, Promotions and more.

Mark Gruetze of the Tribune-Review, or Trib-Live, posted an article last year about websites for Gambling fans.  It’s a great list, with some additions from your favorite Northeast gambling blog.

Many gambling websites cater to either beginners, AP’s (Advantage Players) or a special place.  There is a plethora of Las Vegas websites, for example, and caution is suggested since many Vegas websites are driven by entertainment and dining sales.

One thing is for sure, if you like swapping gambling stories, or gambling strategy, there are plenty of sites out there to help you.

Mark lists his favorites below.  You will also see NETimeGambling’s suggestions added as well.

General Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

“An original: Las Vegas Advisor, the brainchild of Blackjack Hall of Fame member Anthony Curtis, started in 1983 as a monthly newsletter, focusing on all things Vegas for people looking to get the most from Sin City through smart gambling and cut-rate deals. The recently updated website, www.lasvegasadvisor.com, features an encyclopedic guide to any type of Las Vegas offering, including 27 restaurant categories plus details on casino buffets; a rundown of shows and concerts; and blogs by gambling experts including Jean Scott, James Grosjean and Bob Dancer. A subscription, which costs $37 or $50 a year, gets you the monthly newsletter either online or hard copy, plus an annual Las Vegas coupon book that can easily cover the subscription cost and access to online forums.”

TravelZork – Complete with Vegas news, travel reports, loyalty program & hotel reviews.  A Vegas travel site within an up-and-coming travel site.

VitalVegas.com – owned and operated by Scott Roeben, who happens to be the Interactive Marketing Manager for the Freemont Street experience.

EatingLV.com – run by John Curtas, this is one of the quintessential blogs for foodies visiting Las Vegas and features numerous reviews and write ups of everything food.

Cheapo Vegas  – Around for years, it’s your guide to Las Vegas on the cheap.

The Vegas Solo! This is THE website for solo travelers headed to Las Vegas. What you’ll find on this website are pages of information to help you plan your solo trip to Vegas.

Las Vegas Advisor, For nearly 30 years, Anthony Curtis and his team have provided hundreds of thousands of visitors with all the information they need to get more out of Vegas than it gets out of them.

Playing strategy and advice

Blackjack Strategy Card

www.wizardofodds.com, started in 1997 by current adjunct professor of casino math Michael Shackleford. Shackleford sold his site in 2014 but remains the main content supplier. WizardOfOdds offers the best strategies for virtually every casino game…. The free site includes odds calculators that account for rule variations in blackjack and other games.

www.888casino.com/blog, operated by the world’s largest online gaming venue.  The 888 blog, also free to all, is relatively new but boasts an impressive lineup, including Henry Tamburin’s “Ultimate Blackjack Guide” and the AP Heat blog by gambling mathematician Eliot Jacobson, which analyzes ways that advantage players can attack a variety of games. The content gets updated frequently.”

GamblingSites, a trusted guide to help ensure safe online gambling and betting, they also rovide an abundance of gambling-related advice and information, written by experienced and knowledgeable experts. We cover sports betting, casino gaming, poker, bingo, daily fantasy sports and more.

Poker News, PokerNews.com is the world’s leading poker website. Among other things, visitors will find a daily dose of articles with the latest poker news, live reporting from tournaments, exclusive videos, podcasts and so much more.

Casino City Times – Gaming Gurus like Frank Scoblete, John Grochowski, Jerry Stickman, and John Robinson (only to name a few) have hundreds of posts for game strategy, facts & suggestions for all games and all players.  Their archives are listed as well, which include a wealth of information.

Casino news

www.cdcgamingreports.com provides news stories and analysis by its own writers and aggregates reports from publications throughout the United States. For a scholarly approach, check it out.

The Center for Gaming Research site, gaming.unlv.edu, fathered by Dr. David Schwartz at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a fantastic source for “casino math…..casino revenue figures from across the country, [&] offers podcasts and publishes research papers such as “Of the Rat Pack, Ashtrays, Cocktail Napkins and Grateful Losers: The Making of the Las Vegas Experience as a Historical Process in the 20th Century” and “Elvis Who? Understanding, Attracting and Retaining the Next Generation of Las Vegas Customers.”  Dr. Dave also has publishes some of the most amazing historical resources of the recent decade with  Roll the Bones: The History of GamblingSuburban Xanadu: The Casino Resort on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond, Cutting the Wire: Gaming Prohibition and the Internet, and Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas.

Dr. Dave Scwartz, Professor at UNLV

World Casino News – As well as great content, it includes information concerning casinos from all over the world.  Just ignore the onlinje commercials if that’s your thing.

Casino.Org – Latest Gambling & Casino News. Discover the important stories from around the world since 1995.

There are many specialty gaming sites on the net, and Mark lists a few in those areas. However, there are many sites for newbies and AP’s for all games – table, carnival, slots & video poker.  It would be a good idea to check out forums in each area you are interested in and ask for the preferred sites.  Let the experts in the forums lead you to the best advice on a particular game.

For the entire article by Mark Gruetze, just click on the title below. It’s a great article.

“Gambling fans should bookmark these websites”

That post should keep you busy for a while!

Binbin

Casino Bankroll Planning – Q & A

“Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.” — Jonathan Clements

If you think about it, every time you visit the casino, that’s the goal. To enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you deplete your bankroll.Bankroll

ASK these questions before your next visit to the casino:

1)  “How long am I going to stay?”  Decide before you go.
2)  If using bus transportation, “Do I have plans on how to spend my free time?”  (Time without bankroll)
3)  “If I get ahead on a slot or video poker machine, how will I establish a stop value to cash out?”
4)  If it’s a longer visit that spans over a meal time, “Do I have a plan for dividing your sessions?”  and “Am I taking enough money to include downtime, tips, and meals?”
5)  MOST IMPORTANT – “Does my allotted bankroll equal the allotted time for my visit?”  In other words, will your time expectations match the $$ you brought?  (If not, be careful not to make that ATM your friend)

Bankroll Suggestions

 

$100 Funny Toilet Paper

 

Keep in mind that the following are suggestions.  While a suggested bankroll might give you the best run at a certain percentage of lasting, the opposite is also true. The house edge might not change in your session, but your success can get crazy bad or crazy good in a short session – after all, it is casino gambling.

 

SLOTS – John Grochowski says, “….as a general rule of thumb, to have a 90% chance of staying in action for three hours on the slots, your bankroll should cover 250 bets. If you’re betting 40 cents a spin on penny slots, a $100 bankroll gives you that 90% chance. If you’re betting 75 cents on quarter slots, the bankroll need rises to about $187.50, and when you bet $3 per spin on dollar slots, it’s $750.”

BLACKJACK – according to CountingEdge.com, “….always buy-in with at least 50 times the minimum bet. No exceptions. In other words, to play at a $5 minimum bet table you need to buy-in with $250. At a $10 table you need $500, and so on.

CRAPS – Its my understanding to bring to the table 7 to 10 times the amount you are betting. So a $5 table with 3-4-5x odds pass line w/ odds only ave bet $25.00 so $175 to $250.

VIDEO POKER – 150 bets to cover 400 decisions per hour (average player with perfect strategy).  In other words, playing quarter VP and five coins per single line, $1.25 X 150 = $187.50 (round up to $200).  Of course, the lower the pay table pay out, the more you will need.  Also, higher the volatility (Triple Double Bonus Poker as compared to Jacks or Better) would me a higher bankroll.

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as such.

OTHER TABLE GAMES – Casino Player writer Basil Nestor, from “Casino Player” writes “…Blackjack and other table games are best played with a minimum of 50 bets. The only exception to this rule is Let It Ride, which requires 150 bets. For table poker, it’s 100 bets.”

Remember, my fellow recreational gamblers, it’s great to win.  But if you lose, only lose the bankroll you bring and the money you can spend for fun.

That’s all for now.

Binbin