JT from Central Texas is no stranger to winning DerbyWars games, and last Sunday he once again showed his stuff winning the $5,000 High Stakes game. JT ("taytay" on the leaderboard) shares a few pearls of advice for contest players and proves it's not always what you play, but how you think about the game! Contest Players Need Guts - "I had a bright outlook heading into Sunday’s big game. I had been snake bit a little more than usual the previous couple of weeks. Based on historical patterns I knew that was about to change. Over the years I have learned what my capital requirements must be in order to stay out of the poor house. That is why I suspected my luck was about to change. If you have not been beaten at the buzzer by an unlikely scenario or applied that same scenario to others that you were chasing…you simply have not been playing long enough. It will happen and it will be emotional, if you allow it to be. That is one of the beauties of this format! It’s never over until it’s really over. Not everybody has the stomach for the ebbs and flows of this format."
Player, Know Thyself - "For me, it is important to understand my strengths and weaknesses. At times, the toughest part for me is application of strengths. The competition at DerbyWars is as good as, or better than anywhere in the world in my opinion. I see many of the same names at the top of many leader-boards. In addition to the tough competition, it can be very easy to second guess yourself and be lured into the shtick of some other emotional or self-promoting talking heads – whether they are on TV, radio, print or the DW chat forum. I can pick enough losers all by myself, I do not need to let others influence me. In my opinion, if I pay too much attention to the chat forum, I will pay the price."
Be Unconventional - "As the card progressed on Sunday I was battling some internal second guessing. My biggest concern was that I really liked 2 races, both of which were @ SA with Perez (10-12 winning %) on the winner. If I am not mistaken, Perez had 2 winners the day before (Saturday) and if he won 2 more on Sunday that would be 4 of his last 6 (3 mounts each day) or a 2 day current win trend of 67% winners. That is highly unlikely for a low % jock with low % connections. I decided to stick with my gut and that was difference maker. I was lucky enough to cut my teeth @ Del Mar and was blessed by some grizzled veterans taking me under their wings, teaching me the ropes. I have been at this 30+ years and I consider myself to be an unconventional player. I think data can be over-utilized and I am always looking for an angle that the others might not have discovered!"
JT's final score was $66.20, to take down the $4,000 first prize in the elite 12-player field and also win a spot in Saturday's $50,000 game. Runner-up was fellow Texan Josh Taylor, orca80, with $54.40 to score $1,000.