Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bad Beats and Lucky Wins

I had to have a chuckle at a post regarding someone who made a bet he should not have and won.

I was down at the simulcast betting some B-harness tracks on a tuesday night. I was up about 40... or maybe I just had 40 left to lose and ready to leave. It was race 5 at Northfield Park and I spotted a sweet driver change that I was sure was going to win.... Almost 3-1. So I went to the terminal bet the 40 to win on the 5 and got ready to see if my trotter was going to get away clean. He did...... got away second and I thought I had an easy winner..... then his odds popped up under the number and it read 30-1!!! I couldn't believe it..... I glanced quickly at the program and realized I bet the wrong horse!! I meant the 6 and bet the 5 (Just as I'm typing this I realize it must have been because it was race 5)..... I was disgusted... there was no way the 5 was going to keep up..... He had Charles Smith Jr driving..... I have a rule against betting on anything Charles Smith Jr drives......but he did..... a coulple of horses broke that would have beat him. My 6 finished 3rd......... Again.... I couldn't believe it......over $1200 I made on that mistake. What a night.

This made me laugh even more because on another chat board we were discussing betting horses on driver changes. I know a lot of people who "will never bet Driver X" because they don't like him, although the person wins 12% or 15% or his races. We also know quite a few people that bet driver changes as a strong bet. This fella was betting a horse because of a driver change, and stoked to do it, then he lands on a horse driven by someone who "had Charles Smith Jr driving..... I have a rule against betting on anything Charles Smith Jr drives", and Chuck Smith gets the job done netting him $1100+, while his driver change horse loses. That is too funny. As Steve Crist says "this is called horse racing for a reason". We do much better when we bet horses.

Regardless, we all need a little luck sometimes, because we have bad luck too.

Last night I had a funny moment of my own. I was busy for most of the day and just glanced at racing, and then during the evening life kind of got in the way and I was not at all playing seriously. I did like the Del Mar Pick 4, however, because there were horses in the 1st and 2nd legs that looked like they were bombs (bombs with a chance) to throw in a ticket. From my software output:

The 8 horse in the first leg was a must use at a big price (he was 30-1) and so was the long one in race 7. I made a ticket up earlier then got working on something. I missed getting it in. The result? You guessed it. The 8 won leg one and paid $64. The one won race 7 and paid $34. The third and fourth leg winners were on my "notepad" ticket. The pick 4 paid a nice $42,000.

I used to get mad at bad beats, or typing in a ticket wrong, or getting shut out. But that was the old handicapper in me. I remember about six or seven years ago I bet a horse at the Meadowlands whom I really liked. He was a good price. He won and I cashed my win ticket, but I had the ex and tri too and my balance did not go up by what I thought. I had keyed in the exotic tickets wrong and it cost me upwards of $4000. I chatted with a friend who bets stuff for a living after that and vented. He said you gotta let these things go and what goes around comes around. We all make mistakes.

About two weeks later I was betting a race, again at the Meadowlands, and it was a shorter shot in the sixth race. I had about ten seconds to get my bets in and again I keyed my tickets in wrong - second time in a fortnight. This time I chose the 7 instead of 6. The seven won at 19-1 and I cashed more than I would have won not more than 14 days earlier.......... on a wrong ticket.

If we get all uptight and get into a woe is me mindset with handicapping it does us no good at all. We do not learn from our mistakes, we do not keep that even keel that we all need to even come close to beating 22% takeouts. I am a much happier person as a bettor now and realize that I will make a mistake on tickets, I will lose photos, I will lose by bad rider or driver decisions in a race, I will lose inquiries. But guess what? I will win my fair share too.


Anonymous said...

Great post! The thing is that we need people that do not learn from their mistakes and keep doing bad bets. It's their money that's up for grabs! An old betting friend of mine once said to me that: "It's not enough to know everything about the horses and the drivers/jockeys, you need to know how to make a bet as well."

Anonymous said...

Unconscious luck is the greatest. My hangup is when betting pk3s I'll mistakenly write down the number of the race instead of number of the horse.
My greatest claim to fame happened one afternoon as we were leaving the track to go to the Coney and I still had $8 on a voucher. Picked up a sheet with the evenings(I thought) Mountaineer entries. Spotted a horse in the last race I was familiar with and played him in a double and bet him $6 to win. Later I find out I bet off a day old sheet. He pays $90 to win. I'll take it.

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