It happens to all of us at one time or another and if you have been playing the game as long as I have you have been down this road more times than you care to remember. It has many names but most call it bad luck while others use bad break, tough break, rotten luck, misfortune and if you look up bad luck in a thesaurus you can even find the term “hard cheese”. I am partial to calling it a “bad beat” and if you are at the track and can’t win one for trying you can say you are “riding a bad beat” for those prolonged strings of bad luck. I would say Calvin Borel is riding a bad beat right now after his fight at the Breeders’ Cup and then shortly after being tossed from his horse, getting injured and being sidelined. That’s a bad beat!
Todd Pletcher was 0-24 in the Kentucky Derby which at the time was one of the longest streaks of bad luck in all of sports at the time. Every year Pletcher brought his best horse and every year he went home without the win until he finally had the right hand dealt to him and played it for all it was worth. The drought came to an end with Super Saver last year but what people forget is that Pletcher ran 3 other horses in the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Discreetly Mine, Mission Impazible and Devil May Care.
While bad luck can strike at anytime and nobody is immune, it can be controlled and minimized more than most people think. Here are 4 simple rules to leave bad luck behind.
1) Before you decide to place a bet first make sure you know the rules. Some of you, even the veteran players may be thinking I am a crackpot right now but it’s hard enough to win so when you do make sure you are getting the best value you can. Do you get free cash on every deposit you make? Do you get a rebate on your wager volume win or lose? When you bet exotics does your exacta payout at 750-1? If you are answering no to one or more of these you might want to look for a new place to play.
2) Do your homework! Jay Cronley who I admire wrote the book “Good Vibes” which was adapted into the movie “Let it Ride” in which the character Jay Trotter played by Richard Dreyfuss started polling the crowd and his friends as to which horse they liked to win and betting against the public, wagering on the horse nobody else was going to bet on. While betting against public opinion works well for sports it doesn’t work quite the same way for horse betting. Put in the time and research not only the horse you want to bet on but all the horses he or she is running against also!
3) Be consistent, selective and have a plan. Let’s say you have $50 to wager and there are 3 races you really like at the track. Plan out all your wagers for the 3 races and your $50 budget and stick to it. You don’t have to bet every race on the card and you don’t want to be busted by the end of the first or second race, having to hit the bank machine or pull out your credit card to play the third race. This is how your $50 day at the track all of a sudden becomes a couple hundred dollar day… Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance (The 5 P’s).
4) Have Fun! Betting is recreational entertainment so have fun with it, celebrate your winnings by cheering, throwing high fives, buying your buddy a cold beverage (not the bar), dancing the jig, whatever floats your boat but the whole point of it is to have fun. If you lose then stay positive, bet with confidence and know you are going to gettem in the next race because you have done your homework and will stick to the 5 P’s.
If you are going to bet on the Kentucky Derby 2011 then start looking at future odds to win now as there is great value out there and most places will let you place a bet for as little as $1.
Leave bad luck behind , create your own luck and I will see you at the track!