Upside vs. Downside Risk
- Part 7:
natural tendency for all of us is to �press� during losing days or
losing streaks and to �guard profits� during winning days or winning
We should be doing the exact opposite!
If you too are guilty of this, you have plenty of company to include
While I never �press� during losing streaks and haven�t for many
years, to this very day, I�m still guilty of �guarding profits� on
winning days or during winning streaks.
For example, if I have 3 bets �on paper� before walking into the
track on any given afternoon and win the first two, I begin to
question just how long I will stay in �my zone� and just how long my
�luck� will hold. What�s more, the less that the margins of victory
are with both of my prior two winners, the less likely I am to bet
my third horse.
I positively know that this is wrong!
My third bet (assuming that I can�t throw him out for looking bad
physically or not warming up properly) has nothing to do with my
first 2 selections winning or losing--------------absolutely
Yet, I still hesitate at times and really wish that I could stop it.
I recently called a friend of mine who happens to be a psychologist
and asked him why I did this at times and continue to do it to this
very day even though I know that what I�m doing is wrong. He gave me
a very long-winded explanation that basically came down to �the need
to recover losses� is much greater than the �need to keep on
winning� once you�re �fat� for the day or for any given period of
I think that says it all and I�ll continue to try to perfect the 2nd
half of the equation even if the �norm� is to play it safe.
17---DOWNSIDE---Whenever you �glance� at a public handicapper�s
selections in your local newspaper, you could be subconsciously
influenced causing you not to bet your own pick or you might even
foolishly substitute the public handicapper�s selection for your
If you are guilty of this you have plenty of company.
It is one thing to rely on the past performances and any other
�proprietary information� that you may purchase to help you to make
your handicapping decisions. It is quite another thing believing
that a public handicapper knows more than you.
They don�t, unless of course, you don�t do any personal handicapping
18---UPSIDE---This question is akin to #16 but in reverse. Just
about every money management �Guru� in existence will tell you that
this is financial suicide.
For many recreational players, it is.
For most semi-professionals and full time professionals, doubling
wager size in the middle of a hot streak is quite normal. Even
tripling or quadrupling wagers is common.
Personally, I have no problem of doubling, tripling, or quadrupling
my wager in the middle of a hot streak, not that I do it all the
time. It�s just that some hot streaks are �hotter� than others with
a higher win percentage. As mentioned above in question 16, I just
have periodic trouble sticking to a day�s wagering plan after
hitting my first 2 bets of the day no matter how �hot� my hot streak
When �you�re hot, you�re hot� and you should be increasing wager
size even if wagering only once a day. Everybody has their own
�comfort zone�, so there in nothing �carved in stone� as to how much
you should increase your wagers. But you positively should be
increasing them during �hot streaks�, even if unable to double,
triple or quadruple them.
19---UPSIDE---I�ve always found it more profitable to wager on
smaller fields. Yes, you often get the worst of it �mutuelly
speaking�, but it is far easier to win.
Why? There are many reasons to include ease in finding the �lone
speed�, class standouts, physicality standouts, running bias
standouts, trainer-jockey standouts, etc.
What�s more, there is far less �traffic� in the shorter fields and a
far less likelihood that you�ll rip up a win ticket because of a bad
trip. This is not to say that every horse in a 5 horse field gets a
�perfect trip�, but surely more do than those finding themselves in
10, 11, or 12 horse fields!
20---DOWNSIDE---If you�ve lost your first 2 bets of an intended
3-bet day thru no fault of your own, by all means continue to make
that 3rd wager for the afternoon. In other words, if you lost those
wagers because of your horses breaking poorly, getting bad trips or
maybe even getting �stiffed� due to low odds etc., that�s not your
bad handicapping causing you to lose, that�s merely bad racing luck
and it happens to everybody every day.
However, if you can find no legitimate excuse for losing your first
2 bets of the day with operative word being �legitimate�, stop
betting for the day----you are far from your �zone�. You are not
reading something correctly that day and most likely will only
compound the felony by pressing another bet.
Just remember, there�s another full card tomorrow or next weekend.
There is no need to rush.
You�ll be betting for many years to come and have plenty of time to
recoup losses without pressing! NC
Next: UPSIDE VS. DOWNSIDE RISK---PART 8
Copyright �2004 by
Joe Takach. All rights reserved.
Joe can be contacted through his website at
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