It's OK to be wrong as long as you get paid when you're right

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosa

July 30th, 2013

What do Rich Perloff and the Players Pool have in common? Neither hit the Pick 6 on Monday at Saratoga.

The difference, though, is that Perloff could have while should have. The former because Perloff gave out an $80 play that would have hit for ~$50k (if he had been in the pool). The latter because the players pool had roughly the same opinions in the last three races that would have allowed Perloff to connect. The biggest difference being that even with $50,000 compared to Perloff's $80, the Players Pool couldn't find race 7 (leg 3) winner Jade Run despite going four deep in a race Perloff only needed two bullets.

Perloff got some razzing for not playing his ticket, but most people were impressed not only with his handicapping (he essentially hit a 275-to-1 Pick 4 using only two combos) but also his bet structure; count me among the latter group.

Perloff works for a company with similar goals as my employer: Educate horseplayers and make horse racing fun. His Pick 6 strategy certainly educated me. I wrote that missing the leg 3 winner was our critical error. While that's true from a which-race-did-you-miss standpoint (we had 14 consolation payouts, but the consolation rarely is one) the critical error was not leaning harder on our strongest opinions.

The size of the Players Pool doesn't mean we have more things to be right about, it means we can afford to be wrong sometimes if we're "really right" about some other thoughts. There's no reason liking the winners of races 8, 9, & 10 as much as we did that we shouldn't have spread a little bit earlier. We don't mind being wrong about a race, but it stings to be right and still not get paid. Perloff did his job in that regard. It was clear what needed to go right for his ticket to cash.

I don't consider myself a tout or public handicapper. I love the game and share opinions on social media just as brazenly as I do at the Paddock Bar at Keeneland. The Players Pool is a shared experience too. We pool our money and try to have some fun. Yes, winning is more fun than losing, but handicapping is fun, too, as is leaning from our experiences.