Luck is all right, but don’t overdo it

Jun 11, 2002 5:08 AM

Well, all the hoopla is over with War Emblem stumbling at the start to lose his chance at the Triple Crown and little Mike Tyson getting buried by a very real fighter in Lennox Lewis.

One thing came to light though especially in the Belmont. When everyone picks the same horse or the same side, it is a very high percentage play to bet the opposite.

I happened to be in the Paris Race and Sports book for the big race and several things came to my attention. One thing is how race and sports bettors are so superstitious. The ticket writers at Paris are some of the most knowledgeable and courteous that I have come in contact with nationwide.

A customer purchased a ticket and the writer, with a smile on his face said thanks. The purchaser of the ticket was outraged as that was the kiss of death on the bet. Never say thank you (in a very loud and nasty tone) he said to the writer, I should void this ticket, I know it can’t win but the worst thing you can do is void a ticket. When you void a ticket it always wins.

Boy, what a catch-22 the person was in. But this is very typical of superstitions in the everyday betting public. There are so many I just don’t have the space to get through them all. I myself am not a superstitious person, but I do believe in luck.

You see these people playing slots, bingo, keno and most other games of chance and you will see all kinds of lucky stuff that lay nearby. Once I was on a very hot streak and wore the same lucky hat the entire time.

Also there are lucky writers, lucky pens, lucky places to play, lucky slot machines etc. Some players will actually get shut out waiting to get their bet in with their lucky writer, assuming that they would have lost anyway using someone else.

So the bottom line is don’t be superstitious, because that is just outright dumb. But don’t be afraid of being lucky. Also, be nice to your local ticket writer. These people go through a lot of abuse for nine dollars an hour in a thankless job.

ALSO: Vic Cruiel will soon leave his job as director of race and sports at the Hard Rock Casino Resort. Cruiel will be heading back to Kansas to run his family’s bar. No successor has been named.