Chalk

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 15, 2009 in General Discussion, Handicapping | No Comments >>

I know, we always try to stay away, but sometimes it is a good thing…

Today I played in a handicapping contest. I entered with the optimistic hopes of qualifying for Vegas. Yep, Vegas 2010. Now that is the mindset of a player. It isn’t even spring, and I envision going next Winter…

I began playing and started off O.K… I had some winners, and the day held promise. With 5 races to go, I was third in the rankings. Things were starting to feel good. Been there before, but still not home. So close you can see the wire, but you are far enough away for it to be a dream…

I got kicked backed to 6th with a place runner. No problem, been there before.. It was at this time the chalk got in my eyes… Then another….

There were three chalkers; the kind that if you play, you will hold your place in line. You definitely won’t win, but you can get paid and call it a good day. I let one slip away by playing a nice solid 5-1. He ran third and the chalk rolled. I dropped back a bit. The same movie happened 20 minutes later.. I was getting farther back, and I still knew I could get back in. The truth was I was still in, and didn’t realize my poor move at this point. I wanted to win, and could have called it a day with a check..

The final race came around and I skipped again. The cardinal rule is not to play chalk. But on this day, it was more likely that I could cash rather than win. Take what you can get, and be happy. By letting that last runner go, I fell from 10th with a $1,000 payday to 13th and a story. The moral is simple. Know when you can’t win it all, and still get a brass ring. I can still taste it, and I will be back. I have been there before, and hopefully I will again. Today, I should have been more flexible with rules. You can still win, and make it back to battle another day. As my dad used to tell me:  “the pigs get fatter, and the hogs get slaughtered.” I guess this hog just learned another lesson for the future.

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