Who is Bill Benter? [and why you should care]

William “Bill” Benter is the most successful and profitable gambler of all time. He created special software to beat the world’s largest horse racing  market in Hong Kong.  

At a young age he knew he wanted to use his mathematical talents to make a profit so after finishing his physics degree he went to the blackjack tables in Las Vegas. He came across the famous book by Edward O. Thorp called Beat the Dealer and immediately began counting cards. Shortly after, he was banned from most of the Vegas strip casinos.

Benter then met a like-minded gambler named Alan Woods. Woods staked Benter with an original investment of $150,000 and the two agreed to create a statistical model and software to predict winning horses. It is now well accepted and believed that Benter has made $1 BILLION from his software!

This means for every $1 he turned it into $666,566.67… yeah.

So what was so unique about his software? In a paper he published disclosing some of his secrets, https://www.scribd.com/doc/166556276/Benter ,he describes a few key aspects of his success. I want to show you how Bets 2 Make has attempted to build our own version as we believe Benter was an early adapter, but we are only in the beginning innings of data driven betting systems!

Benter used ~137 factors in his software analyzing historical data looking for things that have predictive value. Benter used “only” 137 factors whereas Bets 2 Make has attempted to include every factor we can think of and are always adding more (currently 1000 plus per sport).

Regardless, Benter viewed things such as did the horse win its last race? What did it eat today? Where is the race taking place and what is the weather like? Some of these factors could be considered non-sensical and Benter specifically mentions that ‘number of past races’ proves a great factor but states that he “knows of no ‘common sense’ reason why this factor should be important. The only reason it can be confidently included in the model is because the large data sample allows its significance to be established beyond a reasonable doubt”.

Now let’s breakdown this last quote. This is the premise of Bets 2 Make. There is no reason why a particular factor or combination of factors might give us an advantage when taking risk, but if the factor continues to show itself as a good predictor of things to come then why not use it? There is no reason that holding a team to < 150 rushing yards but allowing over 400 passing yards should be predictive (completely erroneous example) but if that pattern continues to prove itself stating that a team with those stats last game covers the spread over 78% then why would you not use that type of information?

Benter not only used it but got rich off of it. The question remains… why wouldn’t you use similar information? Why wouldn’t you use data like he did?

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