Friday, March 07, 2008

Was Pete Rose a Bad Gambler?

by Ken Houghton

Following up to the previous post, some more details.*

  1. On an absolute basis, any presumption that Rose's working within the National League should give him special insight is not borne out by the data. Indeed, he performs notably better when betting on the American League:

  2. His winning and losing splits almost perfectly. If he bets $2,000 or less on a game, he is likely to win. Bets of over $2,000 appear more likely to lose.**

  3. The combination is disastrous.

Overall, the high-level data appears consist with a gambler whose instincts and information are near-perfect contraindicators.***

More later.

*All data from Coate (2008), available in PDF form here. Dollar amounts do not foot for the National League; presumably this is an error of mine.

**It would be prudent to assume that bets of $2,200 consist of a $2,000 and the 10% "vig" charged to the loser. However, the data indicates five (5) bets of $2,200, two (2) of which are winning amounts.

***Another example of this may be his consistent betting in favor of the Phillies, one of his former teams, which had a major P&L impact, as shown before:

but there is not a similar effect for his other former team, the Montreal Expos.

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