Webster’s dictionary defines “luck” this way: “Whatever happens by chance, fortune …” If you subscribe to that definition you can modify the noun with an adjective, such as “good” and “bad,” thus creating two brands of luck.
But, for the sake of staying sane, a pari-mutuel player needs to defy modification of the word and maintain a sole definition, that is, luck is not just whatever happens by chance; it is what good happens by chance.
Pari-mutuel players should take this English lesson seriously. They need to settle into a state of mind that demands there is no such thing as “bad luck,” having an understanding that bad happenings by chance are situations void of luck. Therefore, when things go right on the track concerning elements that are beyond the control of the bettor, luck is on his side.
If one changes the paradigm of luck’s meaning it will work wonders for the psyche when your emotions are attacked because things go wrong with wagers that could never have been an ingredient of handicapping. And I don’t have to tell you how often things go wrong, do I?
Thinking of luck as a solely positive force takes the victimizing out of losing. We all feel the pangs of a losing, no less a streak of it, when we do everything correctly—our handicapping and betting—and still lose. Giving power to a force called “bad luck” is dangerous; it’s adding some strange black magic to the circumstances and that puts unnecessary pressure on the heavy task of gambling on any game.
Believing in bad luck has ruined the best of players because in the throes of gambling losses human nature turns against us all, creating thoughts of ruin and predicting further doom based upon forces working on another plane. That is pure nonsense, but gamblers have a long history of falling into superstitious pits.
It is far better to understand we need luck to win because luck is solely whatever good happens to you by chance. Shakespeare often referred to being “unlucky,” which is simply being without the aid of luck—-not a strange force that seeks to disparage people. “If it be my luck, so; if not, happy man be dole!” Dole, or charity, is a gift without obligation. That is what we need, as gamblers, on our side.
I have found through the years that as difficult a task as it is to play the horses, no less times I did it as a living, you do not want to make the game a joust with fate. Though you need things beyond your control to happen in your favor, you should never appraise misfortune as a personal attack, no less from invisible forces. Luck is good and it spreads the good around, which is why it may not be there when you need it.
“We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like?” –Jean Cocteau
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