Marco's blog An [almost] daily rant 

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

More fun with numbers. How much is a high roller really betting? Say I go to Preakness Day (an old vice), and bring $100, my usual stake. On the first race, I bet my usual $12 ($2 on each of two horses to place, and then boxing the exacta). Say I cash $20 worth of tickets. So, I feel lucky, and for the second race, I double my bets, but again only cash the same $20 worth of tickets. I continue betting $24 for the remaining eight races, cashing $20 each time. How much did I bet? Well, I went in with $100 to risk. But I left with $72. So, was it $28? Or was it the $228 I dropped at the ticket window over the course of the day? Any single number is misleading, but in my simple example, my total bets were almost an order of magnitude greater than my net loss on the day.

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