Two Entry Strategies

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Barry Spears

July 26th, 2016

Everywhere you look these days you will be able to easily find two for one deals. Whether it be for food, video games, shoes, hats, and even cars you can always find a "B.O.G.O" (Buy One Get One) and feel like you get your money's worth. Obviously the "B.O.G.O" is a clever psychological marketing scheme but the idea of having more of something always has appeal and it is no different in handicapping contests. When handicapping contests allow for more than one entry there are ways to play them effectively and have a distinct advantage over the competition. I will take a look at a few ways to attack a contest using two entries and cover some controversial points of view on the subject.

The Same Pick strategy is not as common as one would think but can be highly effective when, as a handicapper, you are hitting on all cylinders. With this strategy, you will have the same picks on both entries throughout the whole entire contest. It works well for both "Handcuff" and "Live Play" contests alike and can put you in the unique and sometimes enviable situation of sweeping the top two spots in a given contest. Employing this strategy you will need a great deal of confidence in your own personal handicapping and that the series of races involved contest highlight your handicapping strengths. When it works out properly, you can destroy the confidence of your competitors by just the fact they see your name at the top of the leaderboard in two spots and being successful will fill your pockets with first AND second prize money

The Sacrificial strategy is almost the polar opposite of the Same Pick strategy in which you would sacrifice one entry  for the betterment of the other. Different selections are made on each of the two entries and whichever entry scores in the contest first becomes the primary entry and the other usually retains your weaker selections and thus gets sacrificed. The secondary entry does not get completely ignored because there are times when a longshot boosts the position of the secondary entry and at that point it may become the primary entry going forward. This strategy tends to be quite frustrating because you would be essentially be paying more in entry fees to cover more horses in the contest with a very small possibility of a return on one of the entries. It also is not as effective in "Handcuff" contests as it is in "Live Play" contests but allows for more coverage overall. The simple fact that you are covering more horses gives you a great advantage especially with landing on higher priced horses in a contest.

The Dynamic strategy combines elements of both the Same Pick strategy and the Sacrificial strategy. Selections would remain the same on both entries throughout most of the contest and deviating in key races that may yield a higher priced winner that can boost either of the entries up the leaderboard. This strategy really helps with positioning within contests. You could essentially have great position on the leaderboard toward the end of a contest when you decide to split the selections and enjoy the luxury of having more horses covered. This strategy can be effective in both "Handcuff" contests and "Live Play" contests because the picks would only be different in the key races you have singled out prior to the contest.

This is just a brief overview of some strategies you can put to use when you have two entries in a particular contest. Its highly recommended to buy or qualify to have multiple entries when you can to maximize your chances of winning in a contest. Covering as many horses as possible with multiple entries in any contest will always give you an advantage over those that only have one entry. The ability to have more than one entry in a given contest remains a source of controversy among contest players. Some believe having more than one entry is too much of an advantage for players, reduces the chances for smaller players that cannot afford two entries, and undermines the essence of a handicapping contest. The fact will remain, that players with multiple entries are playing under the rules allowed by the contest. Two entries or more are apart of the ever expanding landscape of the handicapping contest world and do not look like they are going anywhere soon.