I once heard a great story about gambling. “Never gamble with someone who is not happy to see you win.” Not only can it make for a long day, but you can feel alone as you sit just a few feet from someone who is rooting against you. For me, this has never been the case. This doesn’t make me a martyr, but I would just like to think that I am happy to see my friends win.
This summer, I was playing in the BC Qualify contest. If you were lucky enough to finish in the top three spots, you would be whisked away to play in the coveted $10,000 Breeders’ Cup contest at Santa Anita. I was laying third, and had to leave as I made my final selection. As I was driving down the road, I was contacted by one of the best handicappers out there. His name is Brian Feldman, and if the designation of being a great handicapper makes his face turn red. He is a hundred times over a better friend. He called me to give me an update as the runners were on the track. He told me all that I had to do was hit the board, and I should hold my place as long as a bomb did not light up the tote board. I asked him to call me back with the results, and he was in 9th place at the time.
Four minutes later the phone rang. My girlfriend was silently wishing me luck as we drove down the highway. Brian’s voice came over the phone, and he said he had some bad news and some good news. Well, all that I could see was me hanging out at the track at Santa Anita wearing my finest, as I gambled a $10,000 bankroll from Millionaires Row. He began to tell me that the longest shot on the board won, and I finished 5th. He on the other hand had scored, and was on his way to California. If I couldn’t win, I was so happy to see my friend and his lovely wife making the trek.
Here are some of the rewards for the victors:
- Credential for the qualifier and one guest for Breeders’ Cup weekend
- Access to the private tournament room, located at Santa Anita Park
- Hospitality including complimentary buffet and beverages
- Access to discounted hotel room rates and transportation from an Arcadia hotel
- The top six finishers in the BCBC contest will qualify for the DRF-NTRA’s National Handicapping Championship in January, 2013 in Las Vegas.
- Players are responsible for their own transportation and hotel expenses in Arcadia during the BCBC event.
Brian Feldman has had a tough year. He lost his his best friend and father, and is one never one to get down. He exudes the confidence that makes him a winner no matter what his score. His lovely wife Amy is not much of a gambler, but after seeing his success. She is starting to be a believer. The story is one that gives the handicapper in all of us the confidence to do better. I was bested by the better man on this day, as well as many others. A gentleman handicapper, and a good friend. I sure hope he does well and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him take the gold.
He called me last night and sounded if he had three Red Bull drinks. He was excited and planning at the same time. He is going to dinners, and rubbing elbows with the folks who drive the sport. What better way for a great race fan to spend the biggest weekend in racing? I thought back to how close things looked for me and then reality set in. I didn’t make it, and my good pal is on his way. I am all-in, and wish all of the good mojo to a great guy. There was talk earlier this week about some big-time poker players coming out to roll the dice. Well, all that I have to say is unless they are dealing cards my man may just have an upper hand. I wish you all the luck in the world, and be safe on your journey. Oh, and by the way, this year you will have a special angel rooting you on, and giving you the advice that has guided you so well in life. Good luck my man, and I’ll be waiting at the airport to hit you for a loan on your way back!