How Election Betting Can Influence the Outcome4 years ago
The 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event champion certainly knows a thing or two about money and odds, and last week he claimed that some $200milllion will be gambled on the outcome of the White House race.
That’s a lot of money, and Gold told viewers of Fox News that where it goes is a more accurate predictor, at this still-early stage, than the commonly-believed exit polls.
His interviewer in the brief segment admitted knowing nothing about poker, nor betting for that matter, so it was up to Gold to explain to viewers that, “people have been betting on elections, even back to Roman times,” although in the USA, real money betting on such things is illegal.
As to who would emerge as the victor in the presidential battle, Gold explained that:
The betting line and odds have, historically, been a much better, truer, indicator of who is going to win.”
Gold’s reasoning has some merit, as he explains that polls don’t always elicit accurate or truthful responses:
...sometimes they’re not going to talk about it because of social pressure, they don’t want their spouses to know who they’re voting for - they sometimes change their minds.”
When it comes to laying down hard-earned cash on the potential victor, however, the picture becomes more ‘honest’:
When people are betting real money, they are actually going to vote for whoever they really bet on.”
The clip goes on to reveal Gold’s version of the bookies odds, pre- SuperTuesday.
Hilary Clinton -140 (5/7)
Donald Trump +250 (5-2)
Marco Rubio +800 (8-1)
Bernie Sanders +1500 (15-1)
Michael Bloomberg +4000 (40-1)
Ted Cruz +8000 (80-1)
Jon Kasich +10000 (100-1)
Joe Biden +10000 (100-1) and
Mitt Romney +20000 (200-1) according to Gold.
This seems to predict that Clinton would be a huge favourite come November’s elections, even though the primaries are still underway.
“She’s the out-and-out favourite as of right now,” explained Gold, giving the basic run-down of how much you’d have to bet to win a certain amount back, how the odds change daily and why some candidates are such wide outsiders in the race.
Of course, outside of Sanders, betting on anyone else is pretty much throwing money away unless something massive occurs between now and the party choices to run for the White House.
Gold’s Fox News slot comes at a time when poker players are making their views known quite clearly about the presidential race. The hot topic has seen Phil Hellmuth explain his strategy for defeating Trump in the Republican race, and also Daniel Negreanu offering a bizarre bet to the divisive billionaire businessman.
When Gold was asked the eternal expert pundit question:
If you had to make the best for somebody today, what would it be?” Gold responded, “There’s actually a really interesting phenomenon which happens sometimes, where you can bet on two different candidates – and be sure you will win one way or the other. So, right now, it’s about a 99% chance that it will be between Clinton and Trump, based on statisticians, so mathematically those odds would make you want to bet on one or the other. But I believe that right now we have a spot – we call it a middle – where you can actually bet on both,” he continued. “So if you bet $80 on Trump, you would win $200 if he wins. If you bet $140 on Hilary, you would win $100.”
He explained that this would mean either a $20 win for a Clinton victory, or a $60 win if Trump comes up trumps. Gold even seemed to get the interviewer to understand the basic maths behind the arbitrage, or arb, bet.
The piece finished with Gold revealing that:
It’s not legal in the US, but there are sites all over the world,” adding that, “people do it in the same way that people are not supposed to be betting on sports, but people are constantly betting. It’s believed there will be $200 million in bets on one side or the other by the time the election happens.”
The former Main Event winner may not see his ‘betting punditry’ career last longer than the election this fall, but he has never struggled to find ways to keep his career going, inside and outside of poker.
Currently sitting at 17th spot on the all-time tournament money list –a hefty $12,446,538 to his name - he has not been in the public eye so much I recent years. TV production, talent agency boss, and charity specialist have all been part of his colourful career, but poker players will always remember his 2006 run to the bracelet; his brash and outspoken play gaining him many detractors along the way.
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